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review 2017-12-14 10:55
Life in general and Tides
Tides - Betsy Cornwell

I haven't been around for a while because I haven't been feeling well.  I also haven't been able to focus on reading.  I have only been able to knit and crochet and I've made a few gifts.  I did have a good thanksgiving which we spent at my brother in law's new house.  I mostly liked not having to cook everything.  My birthday was on the 27th and I had a great day then too.  I got the best presents.  First, I had decided I wanted to donate my birthday to St. Jude's Research Hospital on facebook.  We raised $250. My oldest son kept buying me chocolate.  He knows my weakness.  Then my youngest son handed me something really quick as he dashed out the door.  It was a new laptop.  I was stunned.  He had to work during Black Friday and I guess he was able to get one of the deals they had on a break.  It is really nice.  

 

I did manage to get my Christmas tree up.  We tossed our old artificial tree last year because it was falling apart.  I wanted a smaller one that I didn't need help putting up.  No one ever wants to help put it up and I hate waiting.  My husband bought a tree that isn't all the much shorter but it is not as bushy and it fits in a pretty small box.  I was able to put it up myself and just had to wait for someone to bring out my ornaments.  It is decorated now and I just need to put some gifts under it and hopefully Buddy (the beagle) doesn't tear them up.  He hasn't tried to mess with the tree but I did move it a bit to one side and put a chair beside it so Buddy can jump up and look out the window.  He's a watcher.  

 

I finally finished reading this book and it took me so much longer than usual.  I just couldn't think or get comfortable for very long at a time.  I wish I could feel better but I do what I can do.  

 

Tides by Betsy Cornwell 

 

I enjoyed this story.  This story was different than what I am used to reading. I tend to stick to reality. I enjoyed this book about Selkies and how the author blended a little fantasy with reality. The descriptions were great and I felt like I could hear and see the waves crashing against the shoals. The story was touching and a blend of happiness and sadness.

 

Noah and his sister Lo are spending the summer with their grandmother on the Isle of Shoals.  Noah was granted an internship there and thought it would be good for his sister to get away for a while.  He is worried about her because she has an eating disorder.  He is hoping some time away from their father's negative comments about her size will help her.  They learn some interesting things about their grandmother while they are there and meet some friends they will never forget.  

 

 

This is my book for Bon Om Touk. 

 

Book themes for Bon Om Touk: Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river, or read a book that has water on the cover.

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review 2017-12-13 17:34
Review: "Fallow" (Whyborne & Griffin, #8) by Jordan L. Hawk
Fallow - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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text 2017-12-13 00:55
Irwin Consulting Services Review: How to make sure that your family is protected this holiday season

 

The holiday season also means “the season to be jolly” to many. It is that time of the year when people are getting busy to decorate their homes and even prepare some gifts to their friends and loved ones. It is indeed a season that brings joy and spreads love to one another. But this season is somewhat prone to accidents because of the cold weather where people sometimes mishandle heaters and electric blankets and even start accidents on warm fireplaces. Irwin Consulting Services, a consulting company that works hard to ensure public safety, wanted everyone to be safe during this happy season so they provided some basic thoughts to remember in keeping the whole family safe below.

 

Some of the common accidents during this season include kitchen fires, electrical fires, and fires that begin from flammable materials that were placed near to the house’s heat sources. No one wanted to experience unfortunate events or accidents even while cooking so you are encouraged by Irwin Consulting Services to focus each time you’re cooking and as much as possible, don’t let anyone stole most of your attention while preparing food for your family. It would also be better to have everything organized before you cook and avoid cooking everything all at once; multitasking on cooking was not always an effective approach. Outdoor grills were made to cook outside your home so don’t bring it inside to cook your favorite barbecues. No matter how cold it is outside, never place it inside.

 

Other households love to keep live Christmas trees. But this holiday season, such trees could become the biggest fire hazard in a house. You need to water it regularly and make sure that it can absorb water up through its trunk. If you have decorative lights on your tree, check if it is labeled for indoor use and if it is approved for safe use by a UL listing. Your live Christmas tree should also be away from fireplaces and space heaters to avoid fire accidents. Don’t put it on the path of an exit door as well. Live candles should not be on live trees too. Turn off all the lights and even unplug them each time your family goes to bed or going out the house.

 

Put away decorative candles on the reach of your little children. In the case of decorative lights, proper electrical wiring must be ensured and hang them using plastic clips instead of nails to avoid incidents of it penetrating through the wiring that could lead to shorts. We don’t want tragedies to happen in our homes, so see to it that there were no overloads and faulty wirings. Check every string of wire and see to it that they’re safe to use to prevent any dangerous situations. The extension cords must be used with proper caution and avoid plugging one extension cord to another because it could result in voltage drop and overheat. Indoor and outdoor light connections are much safer with the use of power strips. Some important pointers that Irwin Consulting Services would like you to keep in mind include making sure of a properly working smoke alarms and of an easily accessible fire extinguishers as well as having weather alert radios.

 

The chimney flue must be cleaned especially during this cold season and put a grate or screen in front of the fireplace, and never put stockings and other holiday decorations near a lit fireplace. Gifts should be placed in a safe spot as well as your Christmas tree, not on a close distance with the fireplace.

 

Develop a good and proper escape plan especially if you have a huge house, and if you have visitors, also discuss it with them. Getting to your doors must not be blocked by some furniture or huge decorations, but instead, make it a clear path in order to go outside easily in case of an emergency. The gas lines must be thoroughly checked to guarantee a safe use of heat in your home. Invest in one or two fire extinguishers and make sure that they are charged. As said earlier, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be present in your home. Don’t put space heaters near to flammable objects and use it with proper caution as well; space heaters with tip-over switches are often suggested by many experts. Outdoor heaters should remain outside and should never be used for indoor heating.

 

Have a safe and happy holiday season with your friends and loved ones.

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text 2017-12-12 02:01
Ave atque vale

My father-in-law passed away Sunday morning.  He was 95, would have been 96 in March.  He and my mother-in-law celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in October.

 

I took this photo of them in the summer of 1980, in the front yard of their house on the farm in Indiana.

 

Karl was a World War II veteran, a pilot who flew bombing missions in Europe but never talked about it.

 

He was a quiet man who could surprise every once in a while.

 

I remember my mother-in-law Helen and I had gone shopping in Fort Wayne one Saturday, probably in the early or mid 1970s.  On the way home, we stopped to pick up the groceries needed to fix a quick supper of sandwiches and salads: bread, cold meats, cheeses, salads, relishes.  When I added a loaf of rye bread to the mix, she kind of turned up her nose.

 

"Do you really eat rye bread?" she asked.  "That's so weird.  No one I know eats rye bread!"

 

Well, I like rye bread (with seeds!) so I insisted, but I knew she thought there was something wrong with me.

 

When we arrived back at the farm and began laying out a buffet-style supper for the rest of the family, Karl wandered into the kitchen to see how things were going.

 

"Oh, wow, rye bread!" he exclaimed.  "I haven't had rye bread in years.  Helen, why don't you ever buy rye bread?  I love it!"

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review 2017-12-11 12:45
The Listener by Robert McCammon
The Listener - Robert R. McCammon

What a great story this is! Set in the American south during the Great Depression, The Listener is a unique tale. Starting with a man we'll call Pearly and ending with the opening of a free clinic, Robert McCammon sucked me in as he always does and now I have another book to add to my All Time Favorites shelf!

 

With a young black man as the protagonist and a few visits to characters we've met in the past, (I want to say so much more about them, but I can't spoil the surprise for you!),

I wasn't sure for the longest time where this story was going. But when Pearly meets Ginger LaFrance, and joins her cold quest for riches, I knew I was in for the long haul.

 

Not since the book MINE, has Robert McCammon created such a cunning female villain. Crafty and OH SO cold, Ginger is capable of anything. When she concocts her evil plan with Pearly as her back up, you just know it's not going to go well. And when another of her family members joins their crew, you cannot help but feel that it was a mistake on  Ginger's part. You also hope that Ginger doesn't succeed. 

 

At a certain point in The Listener, you just have to hold on for dear life because this tale races to the denouement and you HAVE to know what happens. I recommend shutting yourself in a room for the last 50 pages so you can read it without being bothered. Trust me on this! You will be rewarded with an ending so poignant, yet so perfect and totally satisfying that you might find yourself with a tear in your eye. Not saying that happened to me, (it TOTALLY happened to me), but you know, prepare yourself. Perfection in an ending is so rare, but I think McCammon achieved it here. 

 

The only bad thing about getting an ARC, (and in this case it's a REAL ARC, that I can hold and hug tight to my chest, not that I did that), is that there isn't anyone to talk to about this story. I can't wait for you to read it so we can talk about Curtis and Pearly and good old Nilla. 

 

In February when it's released, I hope you will remember my words here today and hop on the opportunity to read The Listener. Please come and share your thoughts with me when you're done. I hope that Curtis invades your mind space as he has invaded mine, and we can talk about how much we both love him. Or perhaps we can talk about THAT character that was such a memorable part of another GREAT, (maybe the best?) Robert McCammon book, and how much we loved seeing them again? I sure do hope that we can, my fellow readers. I sure do hope we can.

 

The Listener has earned my highest recommendation!

 

*Thanks to Cemetery Dance for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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