Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama's Blackberry: A Review

Obama's Blackberry
Author- Kasper Hauser
144 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.

By this time we all know how attached President Obama is to his blackberry. Now there's a book spoofing fictional text messages, which might appear on it.

This newly published book is packed with irreverent and humorous messages from famous people like former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, John McCain, Sean Penn, Madonna, and many others.

This small fictional book, with it's smartly designed cover, could easily be carried in a purse or briefcase. It would also be a real conversation item if placed on a desk or coffee table. Consider it, too, as a fun gift for either Democrat or Republican. It is certain to become a piece of Americana and may even become a presidential collectible when President Obama is no longer in the White House.

At a time when there's not much to laugh about, this book brings a little levity into the lives of political junkies.

My Heart's Desire: A Journey Toward Finding Extravagant Love

My Heart's Desire: A Journey Toward Finding Extravagant Love
By- Mary Singer Wick
200 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 2/20/09

My Heart's Desire is an inspiring story of one woman's search for health, happiness, and everlasting love.

Mary Singer Wick shares with the reader, her earnest desire to one day have a family of her own, but first must undertake a long search for physical and spiritual healing. Her story is one of personal growth and, eventually, finding her heart's desire through a deep relationship with God.

This deeply personal and passionate book is well written and moves rapidly along. It is one you could easily read in one evening.

Thank you Mary for sharing your spiritual odyssey with us.
(Thanks goes to the author for my review copy)

Last Day for Giveaway

Today is the last day to get in on the Pashmina Giveaway at my newest blog I Recommend Great Reads and Page Turners.

Become a follower of my new book blog to enter!

Monday, June 29, 2009

We Need A Few Giggles

Hi ladies!

We read mysteries, romances, non-fiction self-help, travel, biography, autobiography, poetry, and history books, but how many times do we read something that really makes us laugh?

I need your help. Do you have a favorite novel that really gave you the giggles?

Please tell us the title and author (if possible).

Many thanks!!

In My Heart: A Review

In My Heart
Author: Ursula Hanks
108 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.

Publisher's Release:
This story is based on factual events and is the piece of the author's memoir that captures the preponderance of her life's journey. The events impacted by her aging parents' challenges prompted reviewing her memories of the family's epic history, including their immigration to the United States. In the process, she dared the truth by looking at what really was in "her heart". The story weaves in an out of more recent, heartrending events such as the loss of her beloved father and her mother's progressive dementia, as they elicit memories about World War II events, the family's refugee experience, and "coming to America". Sprinkled throughout the story, she describes the personal pain of a failed marriage, the loss of a son, and a failed career. Outweighing life's painful moments, the delights of her rich and joyful family life are her fortress. The self-discovery of the kind of soul-searching it takes in order to move on in life resonates unmistakably.

My Review:
In her profoundly insightful and compelling book, Ms. Hanks, shares her somewhat tragic and deeply personal story. It is an inspiring family history that will touch the hearts of all who read it.

(Thank you to Ms. Hanks for my review copy.)

Monday Meme

This could be fun!

1. I'm going to start a new week by doing my______________.
2. Show me a good woman and I'll show you______________.
3. I could eat an entire______________.
4. I wish I knew how to______________.
5. I like to shop at_________________.
6. My favorite dinner would be________and___________.
7. I need to__________what I____________!
8. My favorite wine is_____________.
9. My favorite season is_____________.
10. My biggest mistake was_____________.
11. My last good laugh was when______________.
12. My favorite TV program is____________.

Please copy and paste your answers under "comments"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Library Book Sales/Cheap Books

Calling all book lovers!

Check out this site where you can find library book sales in your area. Just find your state and hit the search button.

I've found wonderful books at library sales. One year I found an entire set of Harvard Classics in near mint condition for $20.00. The entire trunk of my car was filled with books as I smiled all the way home, and I had only spent $40.00 total.

Happy reading!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Fun Minute Manager: A Review

The Fun Minute Manager
By-Bob Pike, Robert C. Ford, John W. Newstrom
Hardcover: 107 pages
Publisher: Creative Training Techniques Press
ISBN-10: 1935291041

When is the last time you really had fun a work? Do you wake up in the morning, dreading going to your job? Do you go home in the evening feeling drained and unappreciated? If you are an employer, when is the last time you put a smile on the face of your employees?

Since companies usually want the maximum energy and productivity out of their workers, truly happy work places are rare. Every moment may be spent in an atmosphere of dull monotony and fierce competition.

There is now a movement afloat to eliminate job related stress and boredom. Ways to implement this can be found in "The Fun Minute Manager."

The book is loaded with inspiration. Chapters include:
*Having fun in a serious business
*The payoff from fun at work
*Spreading the joy
*When fun is done
*Becoming a fun minute manager

The reader will also find: Assessing Your Overall Fun Work Environment; 100 Illustrations of Fun at Work Activities; Fun and Humor Websites; and much more.

This is a small book with big ideas. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in establishing a more relaxed, fun-filled atmosphere while increasing productivity. Many of the ideas can also be used in the home.

(Thank you to the authors for my review copy.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Evening Walk

Jim and I just came in from taking a short stroll around the garden. The evening sun is setting and the 80+ degree day has cooled to 72 degrees, so it's perfect for meandering and quietly talking.

Jim has been working on the chicken house for weeks now and today he built nests for our little hens. He's going to cut a very small door on the outside, so we can open it, and gather eggs, not having to enter the chicken house at all. The chickens are growing fast and they should be giving us eggs in a few months.

From the chicken pen we strolled over to the bing cherry tree where we picked cherries, and then on to the few raspberries that are ripe. The apricots are doing well, too. Our friendly neighborhood squirrels are taking their share, but I think we'll have enough to make us happy.

My hollyhocks are about five feet tall and look like they'll have flowers in a week or so. I'm looking so forward to their colorful presence in the garden this summer.

The dahlia plants are just a little over a foot tall, so I expect to have large flowers by late summer on those.

There's one thing that I have a question about and that is "where are the hummingbirds?" We've only seen them four or five times this spring. We have four big fuchsias hanging around the porch, but no hummers in sight. Have you had many this year? Especially if you live in the Northwest. My friend who lives in East Tennessee says she hasn't seen many either.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jim received one of those hanging tomato planters (like you see on TV) for Father's Day. He has an Early Girl planted in it, so we're going to experiment and find out if it works. So far, it looks good.

The Texicans: A Review

The Texicans
Author: Nina Vida
296 pages
(Historical Fiction)

The Texicans, by Nina Vida, is a novel of historical fiction, which takes place on the frontier of Texas, and spans the years between 1843 and 1855.

Although Joseph Kimmel was a quiet, simple man who loved to read, and keep to himself, he was also a tough, rugged individualist. In his twenties he had been a mountain man and fur trapper, but was now a teacher of Greek, Latin, and math at the Independence Missouri Boys School. It was a job that seemed to suit him.

Just before the end of the school term, Joseph receives a letter saying his brother, Isaac, a shopkeeper, has died in Texas, and that Joseph should come to the frontier to receive any profits that may be left from his business.

Joseph has decided to make the trip alone on horseback and knows the trek will be difficult, at best. Having been an outdoorsman, he's sure he can take care of himself and in fact, he looks forward to the solitary life he will experience as he travels across the plains.

If Joseph thought he was going to have a peaceful journey, he was sadly mistaken. Not only is riding alone in Comanche country fraught with the constant danger of being brutally slain, but he, unfortunately, finds a variety of rag-tag strangers who desperately need his help to survive.

The author weaves together an exciting story of danger, incredible hardship, sacrifice, and unrequited love.

This is absolutely one of the best books I have recently read. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a remarkable Texas adventure story.

(Thanks goes to the author for my review copy.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Games We Play

I was out for a walk on our property a few days ago and came upon something hanging from the limb of an old lilac tree. I was startled. I hardly recognized them at first. They were rusty from age, but still seemed like old friends.

It's a favorite game of mine. What is it? What is your favorite summer outside game?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Triumph of Deborah: A Review

"The Triumph of Deborah"
By- Eva Etzioni-Halevy
358 Pages
Publisher: Plume (February 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0452289068

“The Triumph of Deborah” by Eva Etzioni-Halevy, takes place in Old Testament times, as war is about to break out between Israel and Canaan. Deborah, the beloved judge and prophetess of the Israelites, has asked the mighty warrior, Barak, to assemble an army and lead it against the Canaanites. The war takes place, and from that point, a cast of strong, determined, and impressive characters unfold.

This beautifully written story is centered on three entirely different women and the man they either love or hate. The main characters are Deborah, the prophetess; Asherah, the beautiful daughter of slain King Jabin; Nogah, the illegimate slave daughter of King Jabin; and lastly, the powerful and virile, Barak.

After defeating the Canaanites, Barak falls in love with Asherah, the daughter of the slain king and takes her to his home to make her his wife. Asherah despises her future husband and is determined to find a way back to her people.

Loosely based on the Biblical story of Deborah, this fictional story takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of murderous revenge and unremitting love. Although there are sensuous scenes, the author spins this love story with sensitivity, tenderness, and poetic grace.

The book was mesmerizing, classically melodic, and impassioned. I look forward to reading it again. It's a "keeper."

(Thank you, Eva Etzioni-Halevy, for my review copy.)

Bookstore Meme

Hi Ladies!

I found this on another blog and thought it had some questions worth considering. How would you answer them?

1.What's your favorite bookstore?

2.Have you ever traveled out of state or out of the country, just to visit a particular bookstore?

3.Have you ever gone on a date to a bookstore?

4.Would you consider a bookstore to be a romantic place?

5.What's the latest you've stayed out at night at a bookstore?

6.Do you like to go with friends or by yourself?

7.What would your dream bookstore be like?

8.What's your favorite specialty bookstore and what does it specialize in?

9.Have you ever worked at a bookstore or wanted to?

10.Do people ever mistake you for a bookstore employee and ask you questions as you browse?

11.Do you like bookstore cafes?

12.Would you consider a bookstore a social destination as opposed to strictly a retail destination?
13.What's the silliest thing you've ever done in a bookstore?

14.Ever been ask to leave one?

Copy and paste you answers under my comments. Use them on your blog, too, if you wish.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Adventures of Snip in Oregon: A Review

"The Adventures of Snip in Oregon"
Written by- Betty S. Moir
Illustrated by- Yumi V. Vong
Ages 9-10

Today I'm reviewing the children's book, The Adventures of Snip in Oregon, by Betty S. Moir and illustrated by Yumi V. Vong.

This beautifully illustrated book, tells a sweet story of a loving family and their dog, Snip-- a big, black, shaggy cross between a poodle, malamute, and husky.

As a person who loves and has owned many wonderful dogs, I could hardly wait to read and share this story with my grandchildren. One quiet evening I sat down with my granddaughter and we opened the book. She enjoyed the story and mentioned how much she liked the color illustrations and family pictures. She said she could relate them to her own experiences with her pets; they made the characters come alive for her.

Every chapter of the book teaches us about the enjoyment, friendship, companionship, protection, and the memories dogs bring to our lives. Our furry friends are not only pets, but in reality they are important members of our family.

My granddaughter and I especially liked the chapters, "Snips Has A Night Visitor" and "Snip Rescues Jim."

(Thank you to Betty S. Moir for sending me a review copy.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Merit Badge Friday

Hi Ladies!

It's Merit Badge Friday!

If you could give yourself a Merit Badge for Excellence this week, which of the following would it be:

1. Reading
2. Gardening
3. Friendship
4. Nurse of the week
5. Home Interior
6. Patience
7. Mother of the week
8. Hostess of the week
9. Seamstress
10. Writing
11. Painting
12. Boss of the week
13. Employee of the week
14. Baking
15. Cooking
16. Babysitter of the week
17. Grandmother of the week
18. Blogging
19. Playing
20. Something else?

***Give yourself a badge. You deserve it!!!!!!!!

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Buffet or Not?

I'm back from my trip to Spokane and I must say that Jim and I had a wonderful time with our daughters and grandchildren.

Jim and I like buffets, so we all went over to the Golden Corral for lunch. Some people like buffets and some don't. We happen to be two who do. Is it our age or what?

So that brings me to the question of the day.

How do you feel about buffets? Do you eat at them? Would you NEVER eat there? Tell us your feelings and don't be afraid to speak you mind!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Out Of Town Visit

Hi Everyone!

If you're reading this, please know that I am having fun today. I'm in Spokane, visiting two of my three daughters. We're going to lunch and shopping! It's always good to be with my children.

Hope you're having a great day, too.


Fill In The Blanks

1. When I was young I __________________.

2. ____________was the last website I visited before coming here.

3. Why can't I learn to___________________?

4. _____________________helps me sleep.

5. Thanks for not_______________!

6. I can't stand_____________________!

7. Tomorrow I'm going to_______________.

8. I wish I were__________________.

9. If I could do it all over, I would______________.

10. I have too many________________.

Copy and paste your answers under my comments.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Giveaway!

Hello Friends!

I'm giving away a new pashmina shawl in celebration of my newest blog. It's called I Recommend Great Reads and Page Turners. So if you go over there, and become a follower, you will get entered into the July 1st drawing. That's all you have to do. Easy!

I have three blogs now--two of them are book blogs. The three are:

Everything Victorian

The Serenity Gate

I Recommend Great Reads and Page Turners

Hope to see you over there!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Early Father's Day

Several of our family members will be unable to come home on Father's Day, so we celebrated yesterday (Saturday).

Our daughters Lori and Linda, and members of their families, came into town for a party for Dad Jim at daughter Becka's house. One of our sons had to work at his store and the other two are away serving their country in the military. We missed the three of them.

Grandma Lori and Grandpa Joe brought Kendyl Grace with them. She's now 8 months old and was just precious in her Barbie pink t-strap sundress. Of course, she was the center of attention as we all passed her around, watched every move she made, and laughed at her cute little gestures. She is the picture of health.

The kids gave Dad Jim a gift certificate to Cabela's for Father's Day, so he was a very happy camper!

It was difficult, as usual, watching everyone go back to their out-of-town homes after the party was over, but with God's blessing we'll see them all again soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Broken Wing: A Review

"Broken Wing"
By- Judith James
440 pages
Publisher-Medallion Press

Sarah, Lady Munroe, better known as the Gypsy Countess, and her half brother Ross, Earl of Huntington, are in search of their little brother James. He has gone missing; they have hired investigators to hunt for him. Upon hearing the news that their baby brother has been found living in one of the finer Parisian brothels, the two set out to bring him home to the safety of their family, though expecting the worst.

Arriving is Paris, Sarah and Ross find James has not been harmed, only because a male prostitute, Gabriel, has befriended the little boy and protected him at all costs.Gabriel is intelligent, musically gifted, and handsome, but has known nothing else but life in the high-class brothel, having been brought there as a child, himself.

Little James is insistent that Sarah and Ross obtain his friend Gabriel's freedom and bring him home to live with them as the child's companion. They offer Gabriel the position, which he accepts, and strike an expensive deal with Madame Etienne for Gabriel's release.

This is where the love story begins and what a love story it is! Taking place in the Napoleonic era, it is full of secrecy, danger, suspense, and intense romantic devotion and desire. It takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure into the lives of Sarah, Gabriel, Ross, Gypsy Davey, and an assortment of other interesting characters.

Judith James has created an exquisitely written, sexy, fast moving, extraordinary book that the reader can barely lay aside once they open the book and begin to read. Readers who are looking for historical romance, high adventure, a page-turner, and don't mind adult content, will not want to miss this one.

Note: Thanks to Judith James for my review copy.

(You can also find this review at my blog Everything Victorian.)

Happy reading!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Merit Badge Friday

Hi Ladies!

It's Merit Badge Friday!

If you could give yourself a Merit Badge for Excellence this week, which of the following would it be:

1. Reading
2. Gardening
3. Friendship
4. Nurse
5. Home Interior
6. Patience
7. Mother of the week
8. Hostess
9. Seamstress
10. Writing
11. Painting
12. Something else?

***Give yourself a badge. You deserve it!!!!!!!!
Have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Happened In Italy - A Review

"It Happened In Italy"
By- Elizabeth Bettina
384 Pages
Publisher- Thomas Nelson

When I think of the Holocaust, I think of torture and death, Dachau and Auschwitz.

Having been born near the end of World War II, I have heard of the horrible Nazi labor camps; the separation of families; the beatings; the starvation; the genocide of millions of Jewish people. But I had not heard of the humane internment camps in Italy.

The book’s author, Elizabeth Bettina, spent many of her childhood summers in Campagna, Italy, but never knew the important story that lay buried within the tiny, intimate community. She had never heard of the dramatic years of the Nazi regime and how it touched the lives of her relatives and friends. As an adult, she finds an intriguing photo of Jewish prisoners who are well-dressed and relativity happy, standing among a group of smiling people, a Catholic Bishop, and a police officer. The picture becomes the catalyst of the book.

This is a surprising and intriguing story that at times gave me “goose bumps” and made me smile. It is a story the author feels she was meant to write, one that had to be told. She has gone to a great effort to document the courage and friendship of the unheralded people of Italy, a people who risk their lives to protect the lives of their fellow man.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Back To Our Routine

The anticipation of company is always a happy time, but after they leave, there's that empty, sad feeling. You probably know how is feels. Most of us have experienced it at one time or another.

This morning, Jim's sister left after spending four days with us. She and Jim have so much in common and it was good to see the love between them and the history they share.

My sister-in-law's visit brought back lots of special memories, too, like the day Jim and I were married. I was a young woman of eighteen and she was only thirteen. I can still see us as we were then. I felt so much older than her then, but now we are much the same age (to me anyway). Wow, how time flies! It all seems like yesterday.

Well, anyway, the house is a little too quiet now and the two of us are back into life's routine....and I'm back to my blogging!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Goodness: My Kids - A Review

What kind of kids are you raising?

At last a book has been written about "common sense" parenting! In her book, "My Goodness: My Kids- Cultivating Decency in a Dangerous World" Nesta A. Aharoni, answers questions like: how often should we use praise with our children; should we ever say I'm sorry, or argue; what about letting go and when is the right time; what role does religion play in a child's life?

In this insightful book one finds old fashioned wisdom and good solid advice whether you are a first-time parent or one who just needs some answers-- fast!

As a parent, myself, I feel confident in saying the solutions in this book are ones that fit many of the problems of today and can lead to successful parenting and children with strong character. The book is well written, easy to understand and implement, and has received the Mother's Choice Award Honoring Excellence.

Some chapters which are included are:
*Chores and Allowance
*Dinnertime Conversation
*Everybody's Doing It
*Freedom and Trust
*Letting Go
*Sex and Drugs

I recommend this wonderful book.

Happy reading!

Winner of Closer To The Light

The winner of Closer To The Light is Lea. Congratulations!

Lea, please email your address.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Did You Notice?

Is it just my lack of interesting content or is the blog traffic slowing down because of summer activities?

Have you noticed a decrease in readers or an increase?

Do you have new, creative ideas to drive readers to your blog this summer?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

4th of July Tree

Most of you may remember that I've been doing Holiday Trees for our home all year.

I've decorated a St. Patrick's Day tree, Valentine's Day tree, and an Easter tree.

I now have our festive 4th of July tree, ready to enjoy, for a couple of months.

Hope you like it.

We live in a dangerous period of time. My prayer is that God will be with, and protect America!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer To Do List

I've started my Summer To Do List. How about you?

Here's a few things I'd like to do:

1. Go for long bike rides along the river.

2. Get a slight tan.

3. Lose 5 lbs.

4. Go for a picnic once each week.

5. Travel to Montana to eat at Cracker Barrel.

6. Visit my kids in Spokane

7. Read. Read. Read.

Do you have something you are looking forward to doing? It may be going to a favorite vacation spot, sitting in the shade of a tree on the fishing bank, or having family come for a visit. What will you do this summer?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our Own Style

It won't be long until summer is here. Today, the weather reminds us of the hot days ahead. It is already in the 80's in our valley. Temps will no doubt rise into the high 90's soon and 100 degree weather will follow.

It's time to consider summer clothing, so I'm thinking about those that are cool and comfortable, look nice when I need to run out to the store, or travel.

I've decided on pique polo dresses. They're just like polo shirts, but longer and easy to care for. I ordered them from QVC.com, in lavender, black (they were sold out of navy), red, and yellow.

We each have our own style. It may be jeans, shorts, capris pants, maxi-dresses, short dresses. What is yours?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Company Is Coming

Today is going to be a busy day around our house. My cleaning list is ready and waiting.

Tomorrow afternoon, a family member is flying in for a visit. Jim and I are excited to have company and, of course, they will stay in The Serenity Room. This will be the first person to stay there since I redecorated. I hope they like it.

If I'm a bit slow about writing new posts, you will know why.

So gotta get going and start preparing for our guest.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Six Little Things

I've been chosen to play a game of Tag by Sandy over at Aging Disgracefully.

This particular game of tag asks to post "Six Things About Me?" and then tag 6 other people. I think it's fun. Here goes......

1. I live in a peaceful valley in the Pacific Northwest, USA

2. My favorite place to eat is Golden Girls in Clinton, Tennessee

3. I love banana pudding

4. My favorite place to live would be East Tennessee

5. My favorite period of time is the Victorian era

6. I once owned over 600 cookbooks

Now it's time to pick 6 blogging friends and ask them to list six things about themselves:

Linda - Beautiful Mustang

Carmen - Bubbling Springs and Random Things

Becka - A Moment's Paws

Star - Star-Forever Young

Lea - Lea and Her Mustangs

suZen - Erasing The Bored

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Book Giveaway

My new book giveaway starts today and will end next Monday, a week from today.

The title is "Closer To The Light - Learning From The Near-Death Experiences Of Children" by Melvin Morse, M.D., with Paul Perry. Foreword by Raymond A. Moody, M.D. (author of Life After Life).

After reading this book several years ago, I can say with sincerity, it changed my life.

Somehow, I have managed to have two copies in my library, one of which is brand new--unread. I would like to give it to one of my readers.

Here is what you must do to win:
~Leave one comment each day for one week.

Good luck to all of you!

I hope you are having a wonderful day.

We Have A Winner!!

As most of you know, I'm doing a giveaway for a soft Pashmina shawl/scarf and today is the day to announce the winner.

I want to thank everyone for entering. It's been fun.

So let's get to the announcement. The winner is Carmen Gamble. Congratulations Carmen. Please email your address and your favorite color + two alternates.