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Reflections on Father's Day
Reflections on Father’s Day
Today, being Father’s Day, makes me wonder what my relationship would be with my father had he lived longer. I
wonder if as he got older (and I did) if our politics would align more. I wonder if he would still love living in a small town where he grew up. I wonder many things about him and wish I had more time with him. I know he would be loving the Red Sox and
his grandchildren !
The last two days I have spent the majority of my time at the lake. We sat near the spot we always like to sit. It is in the shade for most of the morning and near the picnic
tables and water (Well. it is hard not to be by both.) Above our heads in the nearest tree was a hole with two newly hatched flickers. The parents came back often to feed them and their cries were quite raucous for something so little. After the
first day, I went home and looked up flickers to learn more. What I read suggested that both males and females work at feeding the hatchlings. Today I watched the flickers again, only to realize that it was the father who kept coming back and feeding the babies.
I never saw the female. Now of course, I could have simply missed seeing her, or she came when I was in the water. How appropo, that on Father’s Day, the male flicker was feeding his hungry babies so often.
Today as I watch the Red Sox and remember the flickers, I am glad I had the time I did with Dad. I am sure it is the wish of many children for them to have more time with their father. It is mine too. He was a good man, who wanted his children
to have a better life than he did. He wanted us to have jobs we liked, people to count on and to be happy.
Thanks for all your love, Dad.
week Elise Cooper’s interview was with Karen White, one of my favorite authors. The book they speak about is on my couch arm to read - Dreams of Falling! After reading the review - it is moving up my to read list!
Books Read this week:
Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Devil of a Duke
by Madeline Hunter
The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan
Feared by Lisa Scottoline
Wrath by Nina Levine (no review)
Kings Reign by Nina Levine (no review)
A Perfect June Day
It is a perfect June day. The sun is shining. There is a slight breeze. It is not too hot nor too cool. Days like this are perfect and I have absolutely used the day as a perfect day. I went
out to breakfast this morning, ran a load of recycling to the transfer station and while I was out picked up something for dinner. The rest of the day has included writing book reviews and reading (while the baseball game was on, of course). Perfect
days are few and far between in life. We have perfect parts of a day or imagine perfect days or mostly I think hope for perfect days. I never expect them, so when a day is slow, quiet and sunny, it is perfect.
For the past two weeks I have read some fabulous books. Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone with its intertwining of Our Town by Thornton Wilder still has not left me. The author twisted the stories together reminding us to live everyday
as every moment is precious is how the book continues to resound with me. Shelter in Place are the words that every teacher does not ever want to hear - even in a drill - so to have a book named that caught my attention. The fact it was written
by Nora Roberts didn’t hurt. The story of a serial killer in Shelter in Place and in the Jar of Hearts do not seem to be in the same league as Little Do We Know, but they were every bit as riveting as the others. The tension that is built up with
the suspense that grows with each chapter was fascinating. Barbara Delinsky’s newest book, while be a little too dramatic in places was a perfect counterpoint. In this case there were some real issues to be resolved including some recent issues with
hacking and the overkill of the media when tracking a story. (Which the more I think about it - It is like the game of telephone we used to play. Where the story you start with is not the story you end with.) I can only hope the next set of books to
be read are as interesting.
It is bike week here in New Hampshire, with motorcyclist coming in from all over to hang out in Laconia and Weir’s Beach for the next week or so. I am celebrating
it by reading the next part of Nina Levine’s Sydney Storm MC series with the books King’s Wrath and King’s Reign. They are down and dirty books about a leader of an MC in Australia, who will hurt, maim or kill anyone who gets in his way.
Interesting characters and storylines abound, but I am still grateful this is not a part of my life.
I wish for you all a day of peaceful, joyous perfect - or at least a darn good day.
Read this week:
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Again by Barbara Delinsky
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts
The Risk of Rogues by Sabrina Jeffries
King’s Wrath and King’s Reign by Nina Levine
This week I read Tamara Ireland Stone’s newest book, Little Do We Know and was reminded all over again about living and appreciating the everyday.
Her book was a great read that really brought home the importance of family, love, friends and faith. The book highlighted the main points of Our Town (play by Thornton Wilder) as one of the main characters Emory played Emily in the play. While
the play was not the main point of the book, the questions of life and death were a part of the book and really were highlighted well by Our Town.
One summer, Mom had the opportunity to participate in
live theater up at the Lincoln Playhouse in Lincoln NH. She played several roles, but the one that has always stood out to me - and not just because I have a picture of it (which I do) is the role she played in Our Town. As I remember she didn’t
do much but cry during the wedding of George and Emily and then again at the funeral of Emily. I also remembered when Emily had a chance to revisit her life on an unremarkable day and realised that people do not recognize the importance and the value of everyday
life and events. The older I become, the more I know the truth of those words, but do not always take the time to ‘walk the talk’. The dead townspeople in the last act emphasize how the living should be enjoying the time they have on Earth.
Today I sat outside on the deck, enjoying the leaves blowing in the wind and the symphony of the birds. I know I will not spend every moment as I did those - but I took the time to appreciate the beauty of
the day and enjoyed the time I have. Perhaps Thornton Wilder’s point did resonant more than I thought.
Take the time to enjoy living and the important people in your world.
Books Read this week:
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable
Little Do We Know
by Tamara Ireland Stone
The Princess by Elizabeth Elliot
The Legends of Nimway Hall 1750: Jacqueline by Stephanie Laurens
Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky
The news this week, I am afraid took much of my attention this week. Being Memorial Day weekend, I had planned to write about men and women
lost in conflict, but instead I find myself unable to let go of the news that our government has “lost” about 1500 children of illegal aliens. (First of all - to me illegal aliens showed up on Independence Day - not coming over the southern
border.) I am appalled and outraged. Today’s book blog is more of a political statement, so I will understand if you want to skip it and come back next week, where I will wax on about “books and things”. This week I can not.
I do not have children, however, I have taught children since I was in my 20’s in various positions. The most recent (and most prevalent) has always been children who struggle with learning due to learning
difficulties or emotional disturbances. It is from this perspective that I am quite affronted. Children separated from their parents except in the most needy situations (of abuse and neglect) are harmed, some beyond any healing. Children - even
those whose parents are illegal aliens - are irreparably harmed by being put into facilities and taken from their parents. To me this is the most disheartening decision that has been made to stop rapist and murderers from entering our country. I might
not have the same beliefs as others about people entering the country illegally as other, but punishing children - some still babies is unconscionable. What makes it even harder for me is that out of all the children removed they DO NOT KNOW WHERE about 1,500
of them are. How inhuman, America has become! Children the most innocent and precious of all should be treated with love and hope, not despair and hopelessness. I think what makes this even harder (which is hard to believe) is that so professed Christians
are defending this as a method to deter illegal aliens from entering this country.
I am not the most religious of people. I am generally peaceful with a deep regard for people and nature.
I grow flowers and teach children. I have cats (no dogs due to restrictions by landlord). Perhaps the most unlawful thing I do is drive too fast sometimes and forget to put on my seatbelt when in other states. I AM OUTRAGED. The weight of
the horror that we are knowingly allowing...leaves me OUTRAGED. What happen to treating people with respect and love? What happened to treating others as you would like to be treated? Where is the do no harm?
And what concerns me the most, why are more people not outraged? Have we lost all decency?
Books read this week (all actual books
The Other lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
to Wed by Eloisa James
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable
Fairy Tales and princesses. Princes and knights on chargers. Women who were quirky but yet loyal and intelligent and sought
after by the most handsome of men (according to them). Yup, that was me. I have always loved a good fairy tale. I have always loved romances. So the wedding of Prince Harry to Megan tugged on my heart strings. And can I say that man looks fine
all dressed up! However, as my invitation was obviously delayed in the mail, I resigned myself to watching it on the TV.
Three times now, I have gotten up early and watched women walk to their princes.
The first one was doomed from the first day. I am still hopeful for the other two. Despite my love of fairy tales, I never believed I would have one. I wished for one and tried a couple of times, but somehow knew they were not right for me. So instead,
I lived vicariously through books and watching them on TV. The dresses, the flowers, and the music alway captivate me. The pomp, pageantry and preciseness of the British when putting on a wondrous ceremony are so far out of my realm of reality. Yet,
I watch with baited breath each and every time.
The royal wedding is a direct clash to the tragedy of another shooting in another school. Proving once again, that violence, guns, mental illness,
and young people are not a good mix. As the school year winds down, I continue to be hopeful that I will never witness one in my career. So I rewatch the ceremony and comb the news media for one more tidbit about the royals.
The books this week
Any Day Now by Robyn Carr
by Diana Crosby (review to come)
To Catch a Bride by Gina Welborn (review to come)
Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe
I have learned a new word… multi-slacking. I love the meme, and the thought that went into it! After all, reading, drinking coffee and having donuts in jammies - what is not to like? Although
a cat would improve the scene. Saturday was like that for me. Although I was up and dressed and did puttered around with some things, I was definitely loving the idea of multi-slacking. There always seems to be so much to do and so little time to accomplish
it, but I know all of you also manage very busy lives as well.
Sorry about missing all of you last week. In case you didn’t hear, we had
a “wicked” storm. Friday night, while I was watching the Sox game, a weather event moved in. It has been called a twister (unusual for up here), a wind shear (not even sure what that is), or a microburst (my favorite). We lost
all power when one of the HUGE pine trees came down and ripped all the wires off the house. Interestingly enough there were three other very large pines that took down lines and covered roads to block us in as well. I do need to give a shout out to all
the people who helped us. (Awesome peeps! Thanks!) Power came back on Monday and internet was on a couple of days later! There are still trees down and messes to be picked up, but at least I am able to be back with all of you! I heard that there are
houses that just got power a week later!
You would think that would mean plenty of reading time - since there was nothing else to do… Amazingly,
that didn’t work that way. There was much to do, between carrying water from the local stream for flushing, foraging for food, finding a place to plug in the electronics, and going for supplies! When it was light - there were things to do outside
- like picking up branches and other details! Luckily I had a paperback or two in my possession, since the kindle kept running out of power. (I later realized that it was because it kept looking to connect as the cover wasn’t shut correctly.) I
found the quiet time to read wonderful, but too short. I felt way too much like a pioneer trying to keep everything maintained. I am now pretty positive that I am happy in this century!
A shout out to all the mothers out there - Happy Mother’s Day! My mom was a reader and helped feed the need to read within me. She made sure we had access to books whether at home or at the library and encouraged us to
read. It is one of the gifts that I cherish from her. I hope your Mother’s Day is as special as each of you are!
The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
Summer at the Castle Cafe by Donna
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (Still reading)
Another weekend comes to a close with rainy gray weather. The kind of day made for introspection, reading and lots of tea. This week has been a much needed break in the madness that comes from the
end of a school year. The spring storms, while not uncommon, have left their mark with their frequency. Students and teachers have been craving the sun and fresh air that has been slow in coming. This vacation has occurred as a glorious week .
I read a great deal this week, crossing off books on my to read list quite effectively. I have enjoyed the beauty of the early spring and raked out some gardens and spent some positive time in the sun. I have attempted
to clean the house - but let’s face it - sometimes sacrifices need to be made.
I have spent time this week thinking about the books I read compared to books I choose not to read. I have realized
(perhaps not for the first time) that when things are hectic in my world, I choose to read books that are assured to have positive endings and are not onerous reads. Most of this week’s read list epitomizes that thought process.
Then I ran into To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear and Love and Ruin by Paula McLain.
Both books deal in part with the time between the Wars (One and Two). Both authors
highlight the absolute devastation of battles that cannot be won books and describe the courage and resolve of the soldiers. It was then I realized while the the horror of Dunkirk (like in To Die But Once) was like no other, the horror of conflict, or
kidnapping are still times when people need to show bravery and strength. The stories that I dismissed as lighter reads - also highlighted the grit of people in their daily battles of life. Some of the books had main characters who suffered from PTSD
from their time in the service and some who felt the need to help others, even when things seemed hopeless. I realize that not all stories need to contained the horror of Dunkirk, but in each their own way had characters that needed grit to survive.
Perhaps that is the key element that gets us through some of our days - grit
Books Read this week
Love and Ruin by Paula
McLain (still reading)
To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear
The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter
Amazing Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick
Lone Rider by Lindsay McKenna
Jamison by Chris Keniston
Chance by Joanna Wylde
Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley
Rescuing Sadie by Susan Stoker
Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster (review to come)
The week before a vacation week is always busy. This last week was no exception. There were a lot of last minute things to be done, before I took off for Maine to see a college friend. I always forget
how peaceful it is up where she lives. The wide plains near the Kennebec River are always welcome to see. On this journey, I also saw bald eagles several times soaring over the highways, fields and salt marshes. I have to admit, I get such a thrill out of
seeing them each time and I hope I never lose that thrill.
While in Maine, we ended up in two used book stores. One store was having to move so all the books were on sale! I am telling you those are
turning out to be some of my favorite words - on sale. I was able to find great used copies of some of the Audubon guides! I was stoked! I was able to get each book for $4.50 - guides to wildflowers, forest animal and birds - all on the east coast!
Total Score!!! In another store, I was able to buy three used romance novels for $2.97 apiece. Another serious score! The fact I was able to hang out with friends at the same time was a bonus.
I love going through used and old bookstores. There seems to be such a level of history there. Books that other people have read with all their thoughts, desires, wishes, hopes and dreams. Sometimes it is almost as if you can feel the awe
and reverence when you hold the older books.
This week, Elise Cooper sent in a book review (The Saint of Wolves and Butchers by Alex Grecian) AND an author interview (K.J. Howe was interviewed about her newest book - Skyjack). Both are quite interesting! There are two new book reviews from me and two more
to write and publish during the week - Yes I am behind in writing again! (Did I mention I was away this weekend?) I heard the weather forecast is for SUN for two more days. I hope it is enjoyed by all!
Books read this week:
Fallen Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
Beast by Daphne Loveling
of the Bride by Janna MacGregor (an ARC novel - review to come)
The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst (an ARC novel - review to come)
Paper VS Digital
This week my musings are taking different routes…. Paper VS Digital
Somehow I managed to get conjunctivitis this week. So I have spent this weekend, putting
drops in my eyes every two hours and will have to continue to put drops in every four hours for the next few days. My eyes have been crusty and ITCHY. It has been an interesting weekend. I have discovered how much I use my eyes. I have also found how
much I miss reading when I can’t. I found myself watching binge watching some TV shows, just because the strain was less on my eyes. The lesson I learned means I am certainly going to take care of my eyes!!!
While on Facebook, I joined a new page - Chris Bohjalian’s page (author of Midwives and many other books). One of the discussions that I happened upon was reading a book on paper or a digital edition. One person made a statement about how
people learn less from a digital book that a printed book. I have to say I found that statement very interesting. In my head, I immediately started questioning the statement. I have noted in the past with my own reading that I prefer the kindle for pleasure
books (this weekend being grateful for the larger font available.) and printed books for learning. I have attributed this to my learning style of liking to underline, highlight and write notes while reading to help retention. I also find that it is easier
to look back on paper books vs digit. However, having said all that I love to read interesting and new articles on the computer.
What I found in researching is that there are some studies on this information, but
not a lot. The facts seem to be a mixed lot. Both types of readers scored similarly on tests based on reading a short article and a chapter. The difference was on the frequency of higher scores went to the paper readers. All that did was offer
more questions for me. One of the interesting statements within the study was that it often took longer to read the same article on a digital format than a paper format. Well HELLO - the students were reading on an iPad. The functionality of an iPad
meant the students could be doing multiple items at the same time, like checking Facebook or Email. If you are reading a book, you are usually not multitasking. I wonder if this is more about multi-task reading vs single task reading. It does take
me longer to read and write items on the computer on days when I am easily sidetracked. There are so many things to check out and stay on top off. Perhaps that might be the bigger issue of our present reading effectiveness for comprehension. We spend a lot
of time multi-tasking and people do not do that as well as they think they do….
I am looking forward to reading this week on my kindle!!!
This week’s reading
Willow’s Way by Sharon Struth
The Duke Who Ravished Me by Diana Quincy
Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin
Beast by Daphne Loveling (only part way through)
Another week closer to warm weather. That is how I have been trying to countdown the time. It has snowed this week - well mostly squalls - some pretty intense. I have noticed a couple of plants
popping up. Crocuses mostly with some other vegetation. It is curious how hard I am willing to look for a small bit of green in all the brown. Even the cats have worked at staying outside in the sun for longer periods of time.
Today was a work day - laundry, groceries, dishes and prepping meals and food for this week. It seems there are always dishes to accomplish, the never ending battle! Reading this week included a number of different types of reads:
a thriller, a character driven story, a transgender coming of age and a second chance at love. Each book was a good read with interesting characters, a well developed plot line and in a couple of cases a little excitement before the end.
The transgender book, If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo was the book that is going to stay with me for sometime. I found the entire story fascinating from the first revel to learning to live in a world where all the rules
have changed. I was so upset by the violence and the cruelty horrifying. I am not sure how come some people seem to feel that they can judge another person’s feelings and choices that are causing them no harm. I also found myself realizing
the steps required to change gender were arduous.
Go Ask Fannie was set in New Hampshire. My favorite place and my home. I loved reading about our capital Concord and the small towns in the north
around Franconia Notch. New Hampshirites and both generous and reticent in various cases. Fannie in the title is Fannie Farmer, I have a vague memory that Mom might have worked in a Fannie Farmer when she was younger. The shop was a chocolate shop,
I think. For the record, there really is a Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook and is stuffed full of recipes.
This week, Elise Cooper has a great interview with Joan Johnston. http://marjay.simplesite.com/239538810
Her latest book called Surrender was released in February and the review is under http://marjay.simplesite.com/239538796
As always, thanks to all the readers and viewers!!
Read this week
Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Red by Sandra Brown
Catch Up Reviews
Brick by Daphne Loveling