Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn

Henry Dunbar is wealthy and powerful. And he turns all over to his two older daughters. In exchange, they have him committed and put out of the way. Only his youngest daughter seems to care about him and not his power and money. After a dramatic escape from the hospital where he is incarcerated, Henry and Florence, his youngest, find each other. But for how long remains to be seen.  

In a modern retelling of King Lear, St. Aubyn has written a wonderful story. A short read, only 244 pages, it is worth an afternoon in the recliner with a cup of hot coffee while it's cold outside.

While this isn't my favorite Shakespeare story, I will be passing it along to my oldest daughter who loves King Lear.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

You are the Beloved - Henri J. M. Houwen

Although raised in the Methodist Church and a constant church-goer until my junior year in high school, I do not consider myself Christian. So this book might come as a bit of a surprise as one I requested to review.

Set up as daily meditations on various aspects of life, I found them quite enjoyable. It was easy to replace some of the terminologies with a more generic meaning, or a meaning more suited to my personal beliefs. I also feel one shouldn't hold another's beliefs against them. They are valid to that person and as long as they aren't forcing them on me - blessed be.

Another reason I wanted the book is to forward on to a good friend of mine who is very interested in religion and is strong in her Christian faith. I think it will make a nice gift to pass along.

I enjoyed the quick read on a daily basis and they give you something to think about, regardless of your leanings.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Mandala Monday

Not a mandala, but I loved the tone this picture made when I put it through a filter with the Portra app. Despite some of the negative reviews, I didn't have an issue at all with it. The only problem I had was to stop playing with it on the pictures on my phone!

Personally, I think this picture conjures up a great book idea.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Week In Review - November 5 - 11

This morning I finally 'played' with the Portra app on my phone.  Don't pay any attention to the negative reviews, as I had zero issues with it. Other than wanting to go through all my pictures and play with it. 

I am behind on my NaNoWriMo writing. Don't understand it, as I was so jazzed to get started. But when it came time to actually put words on paper, wasn't happening. Part of it I feel is I need 'alone' time to write. I can't write at home if others are running around. But I can go to a coffee shop or the library and write. Go figure. Anyway, will attempt to play catch up this coming week.

I'm blaming this face for the problem with being behind in my writing. She was home for two days last week (and several the week before) with pneumonia. Not enough to make her feel bad and lay in bed, just enough to give her a cough and not being able to go to school and spread it around to everyone else. So selfish!

Part of Monday and all of Tuesday morning was spent making 120 mini-cupcakes with roses. A lot of damn roses and icing. But they turned out nicely and were appreciated by Savvy and Jensen Jewelers.

And with the onset of cold weather and snow, I have been feeding the entire sparrow population of Helena, plus a few friends. We have had seagulls and now crows came to partake of my stale bread I threw out. The snow has stopped and nothing in the forecast for any this coming week. It will give a chance for the rest of the snow to melt.

Otherwise this week...

  • Potted up my amaryllis for my contribution to Christmas decorating. They are already starting to put out the stem and leaves...barely.
  • Did a bit of Christmas gift sewing
  • Some crocheting on my Corner-to-Corner afghan
  • Bundled up a trash bag of scraps to move on
  • Had my permanent crown put on my broken tooth
  • Saw Murder on the Orient Express with a good friend
  • Got a ton of laundry sorted and put up (mostly)

So for the coming week...

  • Catch up on NaNoWriMo
  • Clean plants out of bay window and put up window cover to help stop cold air leaking in
  • Attend Orchid Society meeting
  • More crocheting while binge-watching Midnight Texas. I'm hoping they didn't butcher it like they did her Sookie Stackhouse vampire series.
  • Going to see Thor: Ragnarok at the movies Tuesday (discount day)
  • Working the Turkey Challenge at our local library (taking in turkeys for the local food bank)
  • Punch Class Saturday at Gulch Distillers
  • Lots of reading (huge stack of books at hand)

But for now...

More coffee, some oatmeal, and fresh fruit salad for breakfast.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Comic Book Story of Video Games

We are a gamer household. 

My daughters grew up on Zelda and the Pokemon games. I still think the first Bomberman was one of the best. My oldest daughter met her fiance playing World of Warcraft and we still play. We have owned and currently own, different platforms for gaming.

So, Jonathan Hennessey's The Comic Book Story of Video Games was right up our alley. Especially since graphic novels are also a passion in our household.

This was more a walk down memory lane for me as I remember going to the local 7-Eleven to play Joust. 

It was fun to read about how various games evolved and (cringing) how many I and my family have played over the years. 

In full color, even non-readers will love this book. However, it did make me sad to think about all the money I have spent over the past few decades on consoles and games.

This is a great book for the gamer in your life!

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Awesome Things Matching Game

Considering the stack of books beside my bed (and pending reading) was beginning to become more than unmanageable, I opted for this little jewel as my next 'book' to review.

Needless to say, I have actually handled it for about 5 minutes total since it arrived. Lady K, who is 4.5 years old, loves it.

Some of the great things about this set of 'matching' cards...

  • Size fits little hands nicely
  • You can match by color or by image
  • You can pull out one stack of 10 at a time for a small game or use them all for a larger game
  • Pictures are fun and there are 2 blank ones so they can make their own cards
  • Made of study cardboard with bright, simple images 
  • The box they come in is study and will hold up better than the regular card boxes

Since we are on the 'decluttering before we move' stage, we sent the game to 'school' for everyone to play with, especially as we are entering winter here in Montana and days they can play outside will be few and far between. 

And the head of the day care brought up a good point - they aren't 'commercial' images, like Disney Princesses and the like. She was really excited to get them for the classroom.

And the two blank cards? Well, I think a picture of the two classroom teachers will be on them for a fun match.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gone - by Min Kym

I received a copy of Gone - A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym shortly after our house had burned down and we were in limbo between emergency housing and finding a rental until we found permanent housing. And while the house we lost wasn't a soulmate, it was the home to my daughters, son-in-law, grand daughter and myself.

So in reading this book, I felt I understood a lot of the feelings Min Kym was going through with the loss of her violin. Not to mention it was a priceless Stradivarius.

I think the thing which I really took away from this book is that you really have to go through a loss in your life to understand what it really feels like. In the past, I could empathize with someone who had a major loss, but I didn't know how it felt. Now I do.

But you don't have to go through a loss in your life to pick up this book. At just over 200 pages it makes for a nice read on a rainy afternoon. Preferably with violin music playing slowly in the background.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."