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text 2017-09-21 05:52
Tree Therapy, Indian Summer - Facebook vignettes

 

Tree Therapy

Most days I get ahead of the morning. I’m up and busy with the mindless tasks that paradoxically fill my mind. It’s good to be engaged, interested, anticipating the challenges and rewards of the day unfolding.

 

Then there are days I awake anxious and for no particular reason. I don’t indulge these moods but despite my best efforts they prevail. I become disconcerted and irritable. Little things seem difficult, difficult things seem insurmountable.

 

On days like these I’m more keenly aware of intolerance and bigotry, of ignorance. I despair at people’s motives and am appalled by their actions. Frustration gives way to anger, gives way to cynicism, gives way to a feeling of hopelessness.

 

I’m running out of optimism. I know for a fact that everything is not going to be all right.

I would surrender, but to whom? I would retreat, but to where?

 

Nothing constructive or creative will happen until I shake this pall of despondency. I gear up and head out.

 

Even as I approached them my mood begins to lift.

 

The Maples of Kensington. Eight stately giants – so huge, so proud, so magnificently impersonal.

 

These are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), the largest of the Maple family perhaps 300 years old, maybe 50 metres high. Being tightly clustered they have developed a narrow crown supported by a trunk free of branches for about half its length.

 

I stand beneath them, I press my palms against their bark, I take a deep breath and listen.

 

And they speak to me.

 

High in their lofty branches the leaves rush and whisper and their sound soothes and reassures. Slowly their benign energy renews my confidence and restores my vitality. The desolation passes, and I feel unburdened, at peace and prepared.

 

 

 

 

Indian Summer

 

The summer had inhaled
And held its breath too long*

 

A strange mood ascends on me as summer slowly draws to an end.

 

The days have a listless quality, time seems suspended. There’s a feeling of deja vu – though not of an experience, rather an emotion, a dream sense, vague and inarticulate.

It’s like a lost memory – tinged with warning.

 

It’s about ending – something good, something sweet and easy. It’s about something approaching – new, different, challenging. The anticipation of change sends a ripple of foreboding, but I feel resigned, accepting.

 

One afternoon I find myself at Trout Lake, the local swimming hole.

 

When I was a kid the entire family would walk here from our home on East 4th. Sometimes I’d go with my neighbourhood buddies. It was a different world then, no structured play dates, we roamed free seeking and finding adventures. Most of these people are gone now, yet standing on the shore I can hear their happy voices, catch glimpses of them splashing into the green water.

 

This lake was witness to many rites of passage and figures prominently in my writing. The beach is small and less crowded than I remember. The raft I nearly drowned trying to swim to is not so far. Could it possibly be sixty years since I swam here?

 

Suddenly I’m enveloped in a sense of longing for a phantom life that almost was, but never will be.

 

I run across the hot sand, splash through the shallows and dive in.

 

The water is cool, slightly murky, exactly as I remember it and for brief seconds it washes the years away. I kick hard, go deeper, then roll over. Up through the depths the sun sparkles, shards of diffused light. I’m eight years old until I break the surface and look back to shore.

 

They’re gone.

 

And I’m still here.

 

 

 

*From Coming Back to Me, written by Marty Balin,
On Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, 1967

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6HEU

Facebook https://www.facebook.com

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review 2017-09-14 20:57
Awesome Christmas Book!!
Hope at Christmas: A Novel - Nancy Naigl... Hope at Christmas: A Novel - Nancy Naigle

Hope At Christmas is a touching holiday read by Nancy Naigle.  Ms Naigle has penned a well-written book and filled it with amazing characters.  These characters made this story a joy to read, and really, everyone needs a Miss Bea in their life.  Sydney and Mac's story is packed with drama, humor, heartbreak, Christmas cheer and a touch of spice.  I totally enjoyed reading Hope At Christmas and look forward to reading more from Nancy Naigle in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.

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review 2017-09-08 07:14
Emotional
Untouchable: An Unacceptables MC Standalone Romance - Kristen Hope Mazzola

I'll be the first to admit that I don't read many MC romances, but this series has me hooked. It's a rare treat to find such complex characters in book of this length and the emotions that the author packs into those pages run the gamut. This group of people is more than just a club, this is a family in every sense of the word. The club is still reeling from the loss of their president when Sloan rolls into town and meets Trent. This pair certainly has some obstacles to overcome - he's a recovering addict and she's on the run from an abusive ex - but when they come together, the sparks fly. There is reference to the abuse that Sloan has suffered and the story of how Trent was introduced to heroin is absolutely heartbreaking. The romance is some pretty quick love and fan yourself sexy, but these two seem so right together. Overall, Untouchable is a novella length read that is beautifully written, and packed full of action, suspense, emotion, romance, and steam. I can't wait to see what's next for this series. Note that the story does get violent and there are some graphic descriptions.

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text 2017-08-31 07:30
August 2017 Wrap Up
Falling for the Enemy - Naomi Rawlings
Homicide in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
Her Holiday Family (Texas Grooms (Love Inspired Historical)) - Winnie Griggs
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin

 I am burning out on COYER. I need something other than Harlequin romance. Bring on Halloween Bingo!

 

Challenges:

BL/GR: 128/150; 85% completed

Pop Sugar: 2; 42/52 prompts filled

Library Love Challenge: 2; 42/36 for the year

COYER: 12; 82% of list read from June-August

 

1. Falling for the Enemy by Naomi Rawlings (COYER) (Pop Sugar) - 5 stars

 

2. Homicide in High Heels (High Heels #8) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) (Library Love) - 4 stars

 

3. Chaucer's Major Tales by Michael Hoy and Michael Stevens (Pop Sugar) (COYER) (Library Love) - 2.5 stars

 

4. Her Holiday Family by Winnie Griggs (COYER) - 4 stars

 

5. Mission of Hope by Allie Pleiter (COYER) - 4.5 stars

 

6. The Baby Barter by Patty Smith Hall (COYER) - 3 stars

 

7. Emma and the Outlaw by Linda Lael Miller (COYER) - 1.5 stars

 

8. The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson (COYER) - 1 star

 

9. Love, Special Delivery by Melinda Curtis (COYER) - 2 stars

 

10. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (COYER) - .5 star

 

11. The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin (COYER) - 4 stars

 

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text 2017-08-31 07:25
COYER Summer 2017 Wrap Up
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
A Mistress for Major Bartlett - Annie Burrows
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Homefront Hero - Allie Pleiter
The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
Falling for the Enemy - Naomi Rawlings

 

I am cutting COYER short to make room for Halloween Bingo. Between IRL obligations and running this beehive, my reading time is shorter than it was in the beginning of summer. So here is my wrap up post.

 

I chose the reading list option for this challenge, which helped a lot because I didn't spend so much time choosing which book to read next - it was already done for me. I tried to pick books that were languishing on the TBR for a long time. I only read 2 books not on my list.

 

When it came to the quality of what I read, there are some highlights: book one and two of the Brides of Waterloo trilogy, all of Allie Pleiter's books, Falling for the Enemy, and The Complete Persepolis. Some lowlights include the Midnight Breed novella, Butterfly Swords, and a few books I received at RT that failed to impress.

 

I completed a trilogy in the first read-a-thon of the challenge (Brides of Waterloo). I got ahead of a few series as well. The first two read-a-thons went well, the last one I tanked hard. I also did BL-opoly for a little while and did two outside read-a-thons (#24in48 and BoB Cycle 20). I also got a few more prompts from the Pop Sugar challenge filled.

 

For the most part, I kept up on reviews and participated in the FB group most days. The Instagram challenge went well for the first 18 days, then I completely lost the will to keep going - this is still MUCH more than I usually do, so I am happy. I won during one of the Twitter chat parties, so I just have to pick out my prize.

 

Overall, I am happy with my work in this challenge and look forward to the winter edition. For the winter edition: sign ups start November 18th, challenge starts December 18th (not as long as the summer one). The title of the winter edition is Winter Switch, and there is hints at having another list option and new rules to play by. Stay tuned.

 

Stats:

45 books total on the list (30 original and 15 additions)

37 books read

     .5 star - 2 books

     1 star - 4 books

     1.5 stars - 2 books

     2 stars - 10 books

     2.5 stars - 1 books

     3 stars - 3 books

     3.5 stars - 3 books

     4 stars - 4 books

     4.5 stars - 3 books

     5 stars - 3 books

6 books sent back to the TBR pile

2 books DNF'd

6 books from the library, everything else was from my personal library

3 non-fiction books

 

 

 

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