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review 2018-06-06 06:28
Review: The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets
The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) - Mike Berenstain

You know the best series out there that good for children is The Berenstain Bears. It teaches about things children need and still really good. It one of my favorite series. I regret getting rid of my books i had growing up. The one I have now i will not give them away. I am over the children section but I love reading children books. These books i will never grow out of or want to.


The Berenstain Bears Bless our pets is really is a new one. It deal with or what our children need in moral teachings in the real world. It teaches us that animals or our pets are more family rather than just plan animals. They should be treated like any other family member. I know I treat my pets like they are family and talk to them like their my babies.


Children will learn that they need to take care of pets and what it like and treat them like other family members to a point. Mike Berenstain does a really well job with it and with the pictures. The picture can tell the story.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/06/review-berenstain-bears-bless-our-pets.html
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review 2018-06-03 21:13
Red Dirt Heart 3
Red Dirt Heart 3 - N.R. Walker

Charlie and Travis are back again with Ma, George and their pet wombat, Nugget. For those of you who don't know, like me, wombats are kind of mini-pig/gopher-looking things:



Also, they're illegal to own as pets, so it's a little weird that didn't become an issue in one of the subplots in this book.


Oh, and they have square poop. Why wasn't this brought up? Of all the things Travis doesn't seem to know about, despite growing up on a Texas ranch, that would be the thing that should've caused a comment but didn't.


Anyway, I'm off topic.


This is a culmination of Charlie's part of the story, and it was nice to see him coming fully out of his shell, learning to communicate with those around him and rely on them. He's got a lot on his plate, but he's really settled into his skin and if he had one more challenge to face, it was learning to stand on his own. While Travis might have helped him to open up, he didn't bring out anything in Charlie that wasn't already there. There was a teensy bit of Big Misunderstanding there that felt on the contrived side that I don't think was even necessary to get Charlie to where he ended up, but eh. YMMV.


The family drama was...unexplained to say the least.

Why did Charlie's dad tell his mom to get rid of her pregnancy? That part was never explained. They already had one kid, after all, so what would've been wrong with having a second one?

(spoiler show)

That part really needed to be more fleshed out. As it stands right now, the answer seems to boil down to "just cuz." Still, it gave Charlie another part of himself to come to terms with and grow from, and that was neat.


This did start off a little slowly, since Charlie had to feed Nugget every other paragraph, which got repetitive fast. It ended strong though, so despite the fact that the editing is actually getting worse with each installment, this one still gets a four-star rating.

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text 2018-05-31 08:36
So not book related ... garden updates and new additions to the menagerie.

Note: This is a LONG and picture-heavy post that has nothing to do with books, and everything to do with gardening and critters.  If neither interests you, please do skip right over this post.  Thanks!


Updates and pics were requested for the newest additions to our menagerie - Aubry and Molly, our newest chickens, and our very newest members at Casa de los locos amantes de los animales - fish!  It turned out today was a reasonable sunny day, and I was out in the garden setting up some new pond plants, so I snapped some pics.


First the fish ... there's a story here.  Really, two stories that merged.  First, for my birthday MT 'bought' me a fountain for the garden.  The quotes are there because we had to a.) find one, that b.) we both agreed on.  That only took 3 months ... in the mean time, I found our old fire pit sitting disused; I hate stuff lying around the garden, but it's a pretty terracotta pit, and I had a water pump still in its box in the shed (the wrong pump was sent to me ages ago, but they didn't want it back when they sent the new one). I thought: why not make this into a tiny water garden?  In my enthusiasm I set it up straight away:



I was so pleased with myself ... zero dollar outlay, less crap sitting unused... WIN!  And then I went out and bought some fish for it, which I named Edith and Archie.  (pics are coming).  


I was also so enthusiastic that it didn't occur to me that terracotta needs to be sealed first.  Oops.  Researching, it turns out they're super easy to seal, but it takes 7 days to cure before it can be wet again.  Seriously, oops.  I lived with it awhile; it only lost about 1cm of water every few days, but I began to worry the thing would disintegrate out from under Edith and Archie.  So, they needed a temporary home while the pit cured.  I'm dedicated to not buying plastic if I can avoid it, so I found another bowl, which I was prepared to swear was the same size (it's not, it's about 50% bigger), and set it up.



Archie and Edith were relocated, and settled in.

Crap, fuzzy photo, because ... fish on the move. Edith in the yellow one.


Meanwhile I got the fire pit sealed, and set it back up but didn't have the heart to move poor Edith and Archie again, so MT and I went out and bought two more fish*, Smokey and Stimpy:


Stimpy is the top one with the giant black eyes; Smokey is a calico gold fish.


* Really, we bought 4 fish.  The Bandit and Ren both went MIA on separate occasions, leaving not a trace of their fates.  It's a touchy subject with all of us, but there's now more greenery in the bowl, thus more hiding places.  (We suspect a neighbourhood Pied Currawong, but lack proof.)


Meanwhile our fountain was found, agreed upon and ordered - that birthday present that indirectly started all this - and we needed to rip out and redo part of our garden for it, creating a path and laying down foundation stones for the fountain.  This was at the time MT started having health issues and couldn't do any manual labor... Ace!  As it turns out, I have muscles, who knew? and better, I can still use them!


The fountain:

And yes, there will be more fish for this pond at some point soon; I wanted to get the plants established first and make sure everything was running well before we added fishy residents.


And the new path:



The path is made of bluestone we found buried in the property when we bought it; each weighs about 15kg/30lbs - ish;  I don't have that many muscles, so a lot of rolling of the bluestones was going on for a week or so.  :)


The path at the top of the pic on the right is made of thin slate slabs, which I also laid myself, years ago, but they weigh hardly anything.


Finally, the chooks - er, chickens.  The good news is that Aubry is getting feathered boots, and Molly isn't - now we have a way to tell them apart.  The less great news is they are getting HUGE!  They were supposed to be 'medium' sized; they're well on their way to super-sized.


Aubry (you can just see her boots):

Their feathers are so gorgeous - this photo doesn't do them justice.  (Henrietta is the white chicken behind her.)


And this is Eggy, Molly and Aubry:


Am I the only one that thinks this would make a great album cover?


I'm pretty sure that's it for our menagerie, but I've learned to never say never.  I can't think of any other animals we could add that wouldn't turn me into a full-time zoo keeper (the chickens are surprisingly self-sufficient and fish are ... fish; the ponds are set up with plants that make them self-regulating/feeding/cleaning/oxygenating) so I'd like to think we've reached a place of stasis.  But I won't bet on it.  ;-)

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review 2018-05-14 04:17
Agent Bayne (PsyCop #9) (Audiobook)
Agent Bayne (PsyCop Book 9) - Jordan Castillo Price,Gomez Pugh

Review of book here.


Still as enjoyable as the first time. Gomez Pugh once again performs brilliantly.


I'm eager to see where this series is going to go next after the reveals made here with Vic's past and the pre-runner to the FPMP.

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review 2018-05-11 02:36
Red Dirt Heart 2
Red Dirt Heart 2 (Red Dirt Heart Series) - N.R. Walker

This started off kind of rocky, to the point I even considered quitting at one point since the first book was only ok. I'm glad I stuck with it though since it ends much stronger than it started. All it took was Charlie to stop acting like a twelve-year old (jealousy and angry snits are really not appealing to me) and the guys to actually start talking to each other instead of just having sex as the basis of their relationship. Go figure. 


There's still too much of everyone thinking the gay couple is cute, and I wanted to (lightly) smack everyone who was smiling/laughing at Charlie's discomfort at various points throughout the book. Their reactions came from a place of love, but that still wasn't cool.


I felt that this ended with a stronger relationship between Charlie and Travis, which helped me to care about them as a couple and as individuals. Charlie's coming out process is maybe a bit too rushed considering his years of baggage, but it was too satisfying to bother me long. :)


I also got a (somewhat) better sense of some of the side characters. Greg is an even better friend to Charlie than originally thought.


Onto the next one.

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