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photo 2017-11-18 16:18
Snowy Mailbox
Lots of snow

I said I´d take a picture to show what it looks like outside now.  I took several but couldn't get a show where you could actually tell it was snowing.  It was very very gray outside so I had to edit the pictures a little to fix the gray light.  I wanted to take a picture to show the tracks where a moose walked across my yard but it already snowed so much you could barely see them.  

 

I haven´t been able to do much thinking or concentrating lately so I´ve stalled on my book.  Also, my fingers are working too hot.  The PsA (Psoriatic Arthritis) is flared up and my fingers don´t wnt to function.  I feel like the tin man from Oz.  I need to find my oil can asap.

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review 2017-11-15 04:24
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

 

"The Jubilee Express" by Maureen Johnson - 3/5 Stars
I liked the story, thought it was cute-ish, but did not like how the main character stereotyped cheerleaders. It was another one of those "I'm not like those girls" type of thing. I really hate when people do that. Just because someone is pretty, wears make up and likes to be perky and do cheers, doesn't make them a bad person or make them less than you. That goes for any person/group who is different from you. Don't be so quick to judge. It was also annoying how the author basically said all cheerleaders are named Amber and Madison. Of course, I know nothing about cheerleaders, so...

I was really cringing throughout the story, because I was expecting her to cheat on her boyfriend; the story just gave that vibe.

Luckily there was no cheating

(spoiler show)

.

I liked Stuart as a character. He seemed genuinely like a good person.

The whole thing with the Christmas village was different.

I like the writing style and think it would be fun to expand it to a full length novel and really expand on the character developments, and have it not be so instalove.

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"A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" by John Green - 1/5 stars.
Did John Green really write this? It was horrible and gross. Are boys really like that about cheerleaders? Anyways, it just made me feel a little disgusted how the girls are being treated/are viewed because they happen to be cheerleaders. Also saying "that's so gay"... ugh, and it was used more than once. I also did not appreciate the dig at Lindsay Lohan. Sure the likelihood, Lindsay will ever read this is slim, but it's a pretty crappy thing to do. She's still a person and the story basically called her a slut. "Legs always open." So John Green lost a little of my respect.

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"The Patron Saint of Pigs" by Lauren Myracle - 2.5/5 stars.
The main character was really painful to read. I mean, I guess she learned her lesson in the end, at least I hope so. I didn't really care much for it, but I did like the ending somewhat with everyone coming together.

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review 2017-11-12 13:17
Review: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella - Liz Curtis Higgs

This book was slated to be one of my December/holiday reading list book, but it fit in so well with the book theme for Penance Day in the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season I read it a month early.

 

As the book opens, Meg has just left her parents' home in Stirling and is making her way to the train station to head back to her home in Edinburgh. Meg couldn't take another minute of her passive-aggressive family, and after reading this story I don't disagree with her action. Unfortunately, Stirling is in the midst of a serious blizzard and the train is delayed...until a minor accident in route to Edinburgh makes travel difficult. Meg is forced to walk back to Stirling and into the den of a seriously dysfunctional family.

 

Gordon Shaw, a Stirling native who left in disgrace, had an interview in Stirling and is already itching to leave the town after the interview finished. He was on the same train as Meg and struck up a relationship with her when the train accident left them both stranded in the town they were hoping to leave. Turns out their pasts were very much tangled and bringing "Mr. Gordon" home would take a lot of maneuvering.

 

This book would have been better had Meg and her family accepted Shaw's first 100 apologies and if Meg hadn't said "I'm sorry" to her abusers every time she turned around. There was some serious gas-lighting going on in Meg's family. While Shaw was truly sorry for what happened 12 years ago to Meg's brother, no one wanted to forgive him because without their anger they had nothing. Until of course dear brother's injury was revealed to be a long con. Then everything was just so water under the bridge and we always did like that Shaw fellow.....spare me. I did believe in the Meg and Gordon's relationship and hoped that when they marry, they stay out of Stirling.

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text 2017-11-10 08:30
Friday Reads - November 10, 2017
It Had to Be You - Delynn Royer
The Toymaker - Kay Springsteen
Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella - Liz Curtis Higgs
The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston

I haven't done one of these in at least two months. So what's up with me? I quit the PTO board (along with the person who held the president position, who is a friend) due to unethical behavior by a few members and by the principal and certain school staff. The position took a good 50 hours of my week and all I got was mistreatment and devaluing my work. Honestly I am not even bitter at this point; I kept my friendship intact with the other departing member and I can renew my passions that had to be put aside while others demanded my emotional, mental, and physical labor.

 

Parent teacher conferences were this week; my son's struggles with reading will require him to see a reading specialist once or twice a week (within the school day). In all other areas he is progressing at the right pace, so I'm glad his teacher is seeing the problem now and he will get the help he needs. My daughter's teacher wants her to attend one more day each week, as the teachers and specialists now see where her issues lie more fully than during the assessment phase and are tweaking her IEP. Again, it is because of dedicated teachers that my kids are getting the help they need. I treated the kids to donuts and flu shots, then took them to the toy store to see what they wanted to put on their Christmas list. No time like the present, as a friend and I are going to take advantage of the observed holiday today and go Christmas shopping in Cambridge while our hubbies take care of the kids. On Saturday we plan on going to Duxford's Imperial War Museum (one of five Imperial War Museums in England; 3 are in London and 1 is in Manchester). We are also planning on attending one of the Remembrance Sunday events this weekend.

 

As I mentioned in a book review earlier, I have decided to return to school to get my masters degree in library and information sciences. Right now I am just deciding which online program(s) I want to apply to and what the requirements are to apply. I am volunteering at my base library again (I go when my daughter is in school) and the librarians there are happy to teach me more of their job, so I will have a few years of experience "working" in a public library.

 

Reading-wise, it is all about the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season. I am having such a good time finding books from my huge unread pile that fit themes for the squares. I have one task to do, now just need to read some books. I am organizing my tasks and reading for the challenge by having each square's books and tasks in one post. Hopefully it will be easier to read and keep track of.

 

My currently reading shelf:

1. It Had to Be You by Delynn Royer - part Harlequin historical romance, part murder mystery set in the 1920s. (Square 1 All Saint's Day - black and white cover)

 

2. The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen - historical romance with class differences. (Square 1 Calan Gaeaf - heroine is named Ivy)

 

3. Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin - WWII romance between British Navy hero and American Navy yard worker heroine (Square 2 Bom Om Tuk - water on the cover)

 

4. A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs - Victorian romance with a hero that feels lots of guilt and shame for something he did in his past. (Square 4 Penance Day - plotline featuring characters feeling guilt)

 

5. The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3) by Shelly Laurenston - Nothing says community like 9 clans based on Viking mythology coming together to save the world from Guilveig and preventing Ragnarok! (Square 4 Thanksgiving - book about community)

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review 2017-11-07 22:07
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
Snow & Rose - Emily Winfield Martin

It should come as no surprise to my more frequent readers that I eagerly leapt at the chance to read Snow & Rose. Fairy tales were, are, and always will be, my favorite thing to get lost in. In what I can only assume was fate smiling upon me, I started reading this on a day when the weather was particularly rainy and cold. So I got to snuggle up under a blanket, sip tea, and get lost in the world that Emily Martin Winfield had woven for me. It was perfection, and this book had a lot to do with that.

This is a rendition of Snow White and Rose Red, but fundamentally changed in a way that I really appreciated. Snow and Rose's father disappears into the forest one day, leaving his little family to fend for themselves. Cue enchanted woods, mischevious creatures, and two brave little girls who absolutely delighted me every step of the way. I love that Winfield stayed true to the original story, but also gave it a more whimsical spin. Both Snow and Rose come to life on the page, with their own personalities and quirks. I adored them both.

Honestly, I can't wait to see the finished version of this book. The ARC that I was sent for review had sketches of the art that will soon grace the pages, and I am so eager to see the whole package. The sketches that were there already lent so much whimsy to the story, and those were only in pencil. I see Snow & Rose as a story for parents to share with their children at bedtime. I see it as the type of story that will appeal to all fairy tales lovers, both young and old. I see this as the perfect type of escape that we all need sometimes. Snow & Rose is beautiful, and it should definitely be on your reading list.

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