Welcome Book Lovers, Animal Lovers and men and women of the world!

I hope you find something to interest you in my blog. I wanted a place to share my love of books, make some sense of the Universe, and possibly make some friends along the way. If you like what you see, please feel free to comment, and if you are a fellow book lover or animal lover, it's a pleasure to know you. Come back any time and share your day with me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello again

I will be back more frequently now that I can leave my puppies home and come to the library to post. I will see you soon!


I have been gone for some time due to circumstances beyond my control. I have not been able to post on my blog and I have missed it a great deal. I don't know if I have any followers but if so I am sorry that I have not been here. Many new and exciting things are going on with me. We now have our 2nd new puppy...so now two American Bulldogs in our home. They are approximately 12 and 15 weeks old. The female, Lyla is the oldest and weighs approximately 33 lbs and the male Remy weighs approximately 29 lbs. He is a beautiful white dog with brown patches over his eyes and three on his back. She is a beautiful creamy beige color with a black muzzle much like a boxer. He has light green eyes. They have quite different personalities but both are a joy to be around. I am having a great deal of fun with them. They are quite a challenge also, but I have never been so happy in regard to dogs in my life.They will be attending obedience classes and I hope the husband and I will be able to build agility pieces in the backyard for the dogs to work on in the back yard. They need a great deal of entertainment or they become anxious and destructive. While long walks are okay I think they need a great deal more than that to be truly happy in their environment. They can sit, give paw or high five in lyla's case, she also does down which Remy has not mastered. They need to be taught sit/stay and down/stay and very importantly, they need to be taught to walk more calmly on the leash. They are not the most cooperative when it comes to potty-training either but I have faith that when we master more behaviors they will follow with better potty behaviors too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Craft Room

I am happily sorting through my craft supplies and setting up a sewing/craft/writing room in my daughter's old bedroom. I hope to have it done nicely in time to submit my pictures for a contest featuring the rooms where "  Women Who Create...,"  do their creating. It has become a necessity with our new puppy. She is a great puppy ,but still...she is a puppy,which means chewing on everything and getting her teeth on everything I own. Putting baskets full of magazines, etc in the spare bedroom is certainly going to alleviate that problem. Now if I could just get some sleep...My husband is fond of Victoria Stillwell so we just watched a program on training puppy! I think it helped.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ladybug thank you note to husband

Ladybug Note Generator

Word of The Day

doula-/doo-luh/noun- A woman who assists during childbirth labor and provides support to the mother, the child and her family after  childbirth

Doula derives from Greek doula-Servant-woman, slave

Book Review-The Day The Falls Stood Still-by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Cathy Marie Buchanan will be remembered for her evocative and tender debut novel. Her attention to detail, the novel's unique storyline and Buchanan's appealing characters combine for an emotional read. Niagara Falls is a setting of stunning beauty and frightening power, demonstrated unerringly by the force of the water and its influence on the lives of the town's inhabitants.The Falls play an integral part in the unfolding story of Bess Heath and her family, in which Bess grows from a self-centered child to a resourceful woman,capable of great love for those in her family who are most important to her. Buchanan is as adept as an artist while painting a scene  using the backdrop of Niagara Falls through the various seasons to depict the correlating changes in the lives of Bess and her lover, Tom. Tom is a man whose very existence is closely connected to the mysterious power of the Falls. He has an uncanny knowledge of its ability to give and take. He never loses his love and respect for the water. He believes too, that the water is made capable of great damage through the intercession of reckless and unscrupulous men. He eventually becomes so attuned to the river and Falls that he becomes a liability. Bess must choose between her love for him and her trepidation towards crossing those who want to harness the Falls for their own purposes, which will ultimately affect the lives of her parents and townspeople. Through careful research Buchanan immortalizes the destruction of Niagara Falls while she chronicles the lives of Bess and Tom and their friends and families. The Day The Falls Stood Still, unique in style and content is written with the authority of experience and I look forward to more from this far from fledgling author. ( )

Book Review-On, Off by Colleen McCullough- Audio Book

I listened to On, Off by Colleen McCullough on an audio book borrowed from the library. I found myself intrigued by the story and eager to listen every day for more clues to the identity of the brutal killer of a minimum of 14 mixed race girls. The body of a victim is discovered by accident in the refrigeration unit at the Hughlings Center, a research facility. Detective Carmine Delmonico is brought in to discover the murderer. McCullough soon involves Carmine in a romantic entanglement with Desdemona Dupre, who is in a management position at the Hug as the facility is called. I felt this part of the book to be the least interesting, mainly because while Carmine is somewhat intriguing, both characters lack any real appealing characteristics. The eccentric group of suspects are far more interesting. I found that the book took longer to find its way to the end of some scenes than necessary. This caused the action to slow down and made me want to fast forward until I found another action-packed scene. I kept expecting there to be a reason why McCullough set the story in 1965. I never did find one. After some research, I did find that McCullough was a neuroscientist for twenty years before she was published, so that explains the setting in a science research facility. Ultimately, I think the book was too long. There were many passages that did not seem to move the story along in the least. While it may have served the purpose of explaining some motivations for characters actions, it was not necessary in helping to discover the identity of the murderer. The two main characters, Carmine Delmonico and Desdemona Dupre were equally uninteresting and so, seemed well-matched for each other. Still, I did ultimately listen to the whole audio book so there must have been enough happening for me to finish the story. I don't think I can highly recommend it, but I would not discourage any of her fans from giving it a try.

Word of The Day

contentious-kon-ten'shes-adjective-argumentative,quarrelsome, causing disagreement

"There are those that would call me contentious but I consider myself adamant, I mean, when you're right, you're right, there's not much else to say, is there?"

Book Review-The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Apparently this book has made an impression on its readers, as it has been spotted everywhere from doctor's offices to fast food restaurants. I enjoyed the story and its characters a great deal. The plot was suspenseful enough to keep me turning pages, although it could have been boring based on its subject matter, the relationships between the help and the families who employed them in the homes of Jackson,Mississippi. I mean how much can be written about a day in the life of a maid? Well, apparently, a great deal. Stockett not only shows us the day to day grind of the help, but how they take an important role in the life of the white children they have a substantial hand in raising. She reveals that many of the "housewives" of Jackson, Mississippi had more than
what they were wearing to the next house party on their mind, what with the infidelity , the alcoholism, the insanity that ran in families, and more. Stockett quite literally brought tears to my eyes when the pastor of the black church presents one of the maids with a gift for her brave actions on behalf of the other members. What the author reveals is that while the "help" did not have monetary means, they had the support of a loving community behind them at all times, something not enjoyed by the white members of the community. In a frightening climax, we learn that one person can make a difference in the life of many. And that in this case "the help" was truly the one with the resources and the fortitude to be of incomparable assistance to the person assumed to be the more fortunate, in more cases than one. I don't want to give away any of the story since much of the pleasure I experienced in reading this book is in what happens in the last two chapters, so I hope I am summarizing the important message that "The Help" showed me without giving away any of the story line. I recommend this book heartily.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review-"Even The Dogs" by Jon McGregor

My review of Even The Dogs was one that I took under careful consideration. This was an unusual book which, it was clear, would shock some readers, while hitting home with others. In a technical sense, the author shows his mastery of the craft of writing, and his deep understanding of the human condition as it applies to those who frequent the underbelly of society. Is this through a personal acquaintance with a seamy, dark life among the scavengers of a middle class existence, of those who do not "succeed" but chase after the crumbs and detritus of the lives they never quite "managed"? Or does McGregor have the gift of placing himself in the skin of his characters so completely that his stream-of-consciousness dialogue becomes disturbing to the reader? This dialogue, often trailing off mid-sentence, or seeming to lose its focus as it begins another story within a story, is often an indictment of those of us who can observe the "low crawlers" of this society and feel nothing but contempt for their apparent weakness in the face of temptation. In fact, the dialogue is a tool McGregor employs that carries the reader from the scene at hand to events that led to the present catastrophe or dilemma, or has the potential to suggest redemption, just out of reach of the speaker. Some readers may feel only compassion for the ruined lives before them, the bad choices, the potential unrecognized, the humanity withheld, while other readers wonder how to feel pity for these people who choose to live their lives in dirty holes, apartments full of used needles and the vomit of past trips into an ecstasy only felt, never realized in any concrete world? Either way, McGregor has accomplished his task of placing before his readers a world of dark and light, depending from where the reader views it. It is a book filled with only a few days, but days jammed full of the existence of people who fill every minute with a desperation that makes the time seem longer, the end seem closer, the parallels more distant. I think the novel is a success. Its success makes it neither easier to read nor more pleasant for the reader. It makes Jon McGregor a master at manipulating dialogue and characterization into a world clamoring to be remembered, a literary device that allows each reader to carry away from "Even The Dogs" what they will, be it positive or negative. It seems a given that it will not be forgotten easily. ( )

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review of Little Women

Oh, book of little women about your little men! I was charmed by Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" and I'm bound to read another book by her. It has been suggested that I read "Eight Cousins." I could not help but notice that each of the girls is involved in the pursuit of a man to make her life complete, because as she sees it, the formation of a family is the focus of a young man or woman's life, and why be coy about it? The characters in "Little Women" each of whom the reader follows from childhood to young adulthood into motherhood, are a combination of saucy, bitingly honest, refreshingly sincere and touchingly common, in the gentlest sense of the word. Even the vocabulary reflects their station in life. At any given point, the reader can find a sentence in which the character states "It don't mean" or she "don't intend to" but they do not lack commonsense or book smarts, as provided by their home-schooling mother, fondly called"Marmee." Money is never the focus of their love interests, while still being of key importance to young women who always struggled for more than the basic necessities. And yet, when necessary, they gave generously of what they called their own, be it time, money, clothing or food. Throughout the book, Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth, lovingly exist in their plain home next to the dwelling of the Laurence boy, Teddy. His friendship with them is of long-standing, in fact, he finally becomes a part of the family. Each of the girls has their own special quality that serves them best and makes them special to the other members of the family. Jo is focused on primarily, and she, in turn, focuses on the family for the readers, who see them through Jo's eyes. There is Meg, proper oldest sister, who becomes a model of domesticity for her younger sisters, and Amy, the painfully shy youngest sister, talented piano player, much beloved of Mr. Laurence, the girls benefactor and appointed grandfather, who has a piano moved to the house for the March girls pleasure. Beth,next youngest, is never quite well, but decidedly proper and made much of by her sisters, particularly Jo.And then, Jo, the writer, outspoken and unabashedly opinionated, admired by her sisters, self-appointed protector and instructor for Teddy. 
Not only were the characters quite fun to observe as they developed into "little women" but the story was well-written, full of literary allusions and other well noted references. Each chapter is titled and progresses the story to its conclusion, in which the March sisters are happily ensconced within their small, nuclear families. It was a relaxing pleasure to read "Little Women" and I did not find it syrupy sweet as I suspected I might due to the era in which it was written. No, I looked forward to the ways in which they solved each of their dilemmas and I think I read it at the appropriate time in my life, when I seemed to benefit from an enduring classic of the American home. It seemed to me not unlike a memoir, and as it is based loosely on Alcott's life I think it is safe to say it was fiction's closest cousin. I recommend it highly, and also suggest it for a family read.

Death and The Living

We don't think much about death until it affects us directly. When a family member is struck down or cursed with an incurable illness or disease closely affected friends or family begin to live in a netherworld of twisted emotions, ugly foreboding and potential collapse. Revelations of all sorts become a daily rejoinder, memories, predictions, questions and realizations rushing in. My mother-in-law has been cursed with the Big C, The Cancer, Renal cancer metastasized to lymph nodes, cancer in her chest cavity, her body a morass of uncontrollable invaders. "Why her?" queries segue into prayers to keep her comfortable in these, her last days. Prayers to lessen her suffering by distributing it among her faithful followers, we, her family, are shouted to the Universal Gods. The knowledge that a life of sacrifice and oceans of time toiling for others, both family and friends, has come to this, a solitary bed, equipped to manage the failing systems and the drugs and fluids transported by tubes, each painfully and mercilessly inserted, injected, affixed. Tubes are hanging from an ingenious metal framework like extra appendages, tubes wrapped around and protruding from pumps, clicking, whirring, buzzing pumps. Have you been there? A place that is best quickly forgotten, a place of last resort, The Hospital is nevertheless the lifesaving ring we seek when struck by a health crisis. Grateful in the knowledge that The Hospital is there when we fall, it quickly becomes a nightmare to run from, to escape from, to recover from. Having worked in one or two,I have always seen the more human side of The Hospital, employers, friends, acquaintances, fellow sufferers of the Harbinger of Death, a hospital stay.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow was falling...

Hello World! The world of technology is very off-putting. In order to communicate with others I have had to learn the lingo first, then learn the right steps to take to leave a message. After losing so many to cyberspace (the proverbial Black Hole) I am simply trying the simplest approach. Send others to my site where they can read a post intended for them. Hopefully, they will come out to play, and we can get to work on our writing! Today I meant to go to a big Library sale at one of the local libraries and got so carried away with what I was doing on the computer that I never even looked up. When I finally did. snow was falling quite steadily and it was too darn late to go to the library. I hope that those I have directed to my sites find them without much of a problem...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review-Dogtown

This is my review of the book Dogtown that I checked out of the library at Stafford. It is the second review this year-

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Life is too short...

Life is too short. Unfortunately, that appears to become clear to us only when we are faced with the end of our life, or the life of a loved one. While we make our way through the doldrums of everyday life,we often find that time slips by quickly, almost completely without notice. Suddenly another week has gone by and another month, soon we are celebrating another birthday, and our pets are beginning to get white around their muzzle. 
With a loved one in my family at the mercy of a fatal illness, time is a commodity. I keep looking back and wondering if there was a way that I could have made more of the time we spent together which now seems so brief. There is no way to stop the marching on of time. Each day I am painfully aware of the ticking of the clock, aware of what the family faces in just a short time. That the end of her life will be the end of my life as I know it, in so many crucial ways. That our extended family will grow distant without her presence as the glue that binds us together. That my children will no longer learn life lessons in love, in how to give of oneself unselfishly, in how to be a mother. That I will no longer have her unconditional love and guidance, her unselfish way of letting me know that I made her proud, or happy, or simply that I made her laugh.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche said:

Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Freud said...

"If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer."


Word Of The Day

Abash-(uh-BASH), verb

To disconcert,humiliate, or shame. To cause someone to lose composure.

Louise was abashed by Victor's blatant disregard for her feelings.

Book Review-First review of 2010!

 This is a review I wrote on January 2, 2010 on Librarything on a book I received through a program they have called Early Reviewers. You are selected to receive the books on a random basis as long as you persist in reviewing the books on LT and/or any site you are on. The title of the book is "Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same" by Mattox Roesch