Showing Posts From: General

16 Oct, 2015

Read This

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Photo courtesy of

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.
























03 Oct, 2015

Read This

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bookshelfPhoto courtesy of Caroline Andrus

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.























25 Sep, 2015

Read This #51

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11717448_10207237277148856_8218957447026415156_oPhoto courtesy of Katie @Just Another Girl and Her Books

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.














18 Aug, 2015

Books & Bloggers Swap

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Are you ready to join us for the final Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap of the year?
Get ready, readers!
Your Swap Objective:
Get to know your fellow book-loving partner and send them a fantastic bookish package.
Your package must include:
  • A book from your partner’s wishlist.
  • A book you have read and loved.
  • A book you haven’t read, but think looks interesting. (Can also be on their wishlist.)
  • *Optional* Other book-related goodies.  
Important Dates to Remember:
  • Sign-ups Open: Monday, August 17th.
  • Sign-ups Close: Monday, August 24th.
  • Partners Assigned by: Wednesday, August 26th.
  • Packages Ship: on or by Saturday, September 5th.
  • Show-Off Linky Opens: Wednesday, September 9th.

I’ve done this swap before.  It was so much fun.  I’m looking forward to doing it again.

16 Aug, 2015

A Car Story

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I am not a car person.  I can (and do) point out the pros and cons of horses in pastures 100 yards from the interstate while driving past at 70 miles per hour but I think that all cars look alike.  I am married to a car person.  He is prone to statements like, “Look at that 1978 Cadillac.  That’s the only year they had those headlights.”** He thinks horses are pretty but doesn’t know a Friesian from a Fjord.

Since we’ve met one of his favorite topics of conversation is “I think your next car is going to be…”  It has changed over the years.  I’ve been driving a 2005 Honda Civic since October 2006.  It is my favorite kind of car – amazing gas mileage and paid for.  The husband was shooting for over 200,000 miles on it.  I have 150,000 on it.  It has been trouble free.

It needed a check up 2 months ago and hoses replaced.  One month ago it wouldn’t start and once it did start it overheated.  It had to have the head replaced.  I questioned whether that was worth the investment in an old car.  We decided that it was cheaper than buying a car and all was well.

Wednesday it wouldn’t start all over again and I lost all confidence in it.  By Thursday he was texting me car ads he was finding.  I knew it was all over.  Friday I bought a car.

I’m not happy.

We worked really hard to get debt free except for the house and we are trying to pay that down.  I didn’t have enough saved up to pay for the car in cash because I wasn’t planning on that being an expense anytime soon.  I was able to put down 1/4 of the price and finance the rest.  I was able to finance it without anyone else on the loan like a real grownup though.  Previously, I had credit issues in my first marriage.  I got that all fixed and paid off which is momentarily good and then BOOM.  Your credit score drops like a rock if you don’t have debt. The only thing keeping me above a dismal rating is that I got two credit cards that I don’t carry a balance on.  They took that into consideration though and gave me the good interest rate for people with perfect scores.

I got a 2015 Suburu Impreza.  Yeah, new.  Horrible financial decision, right?  Guess what?  Used Suburus cost $2000 – $3000 more than new ones due to demand if you can even find them.

We test drove one Thursday night so I knew what it looked like.  I felt sorry for the saleswoman.  She tried to engage with me in the sanctioned way of How To Talk To A Female Car Shopper.  She told me all about the position of all the airbags like I care.  At the end of the drive the husband asked what I thought.  I shrugged and said, “It’s a car.”  I don’t even have the frame of reference to have a conversation.  The two colors they had were hideous though.  Being a quilter qualifies me to make that decision.

The next dealership had better options. I got a dark grey one because I’ve spent the last 8 years looking for a tiny black car in parking lots and it is hard.

I also had to clean out my car to trade it in.  I live out of my car.  I could survive the end of the world in my car. I was fairly sure that I hadn’t opened my trunk in at least 3 years.  Emptying the car was daunting.

Things in my car:

  • Needles – boxes of hypodermic needles and acupuncture needles.  Some were spilled.
  • Drugs – mostly bottles of allergy meds that I didn’t know I had.  Also spilled.
  • Change with sticky stuff on it.
  • 4 flashlights
  • 3 pool noodles
  • A girth and two shims for my saddle.  Remember that I got rid of my last horse in December 2011.
  • A duster to use when riding in bad weather
  • 3 empty purses
  • Clothes I bought at Goodwill
  • Books
  • New tupperware
  • Towels
  • Assorted cables and chargers for devices I don’t have any more
  • A key for my ex-husband’s truck that I last drove in 2008
  • A bunch of other stuff

Yeah, cleaning the car was fun.  Then, I couldn’t even trade it in because I don’t have a clean title.  My ex is on it and our divorce decree doesn’t have the car’s VIN number so it doesn’t count.  So, I have to find him and get him to sign it.  Joy.

But there are some good things besides having a car that I’m fairly sure will start on demand. Technology has advanced since 2005. I don’t listen to the radio. I use my iPod for music, podcasts, and books. I had a contraption that broadcast my iPod onto an unused radio station. In this car, it plugs in.

The NPR Books podcast list

You don’t have the full functionality of the iPod and forget about using the voice recognition commands. The computer can’t understand a word I say. But, I don’t have to have wires running all over for the best reception and I don’t have to keep finding radio stations when I go out of range.

The Bane Chronicles

That’s what the saleswoman should have been using to try to get me interested.

By Friday night it was all over and I was pretty sad about the whole thing still.  The insurance company people yelling, “Congratulations!!!  You got a new car!!!” didn’t help.  The husband went out and came back and tried to cheer me up.  “I know it is debt but we’ll pay it off quickly.”


“You can’t keep getting stranded places.”

Sigh.  “I know.”

“I noticed that you put your Doctor Who magnet on the back.  It looks really good there.”

Brightening – “Yeah, I took that into consideration when I chose which car color I wanted.”

He patted me on the head.  “Of course you did.”  I am the person who once decided what house to build based entirely on which floor plan had the best bathtub.  I don’t care about many of the details in life but I do have definite opinions on a few things.

I took the car to the mall the first night.  I memorized where I parked.  I still got lost.  I remembered it was grey.  I tried to get into a grey BMW that had a garage door opener like mine but my key fob didn’t work.  I finally found my car.  It has a temporary plate and a Doctor Who magnet but that doesn’t help if you see it from the front.  I really need a neon sign on top that says, “Heather’s Car” since all cars look alike.


** I totally made up that example.  I don’t care if it isn’t true.

Sunday Post
05 Apr, 2015

Sunday Post

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Bookish Posts This Week

Taking Flight – A war orphan from Sierra Leone becomes a ballerina.

10 Books Added to My TBR list

How Books Lower Your Stress Level – It isn’t the way you think.

Somewhere Inside – The story of Laura Ling’s captivity in North Korea

Crazy Rich Asians – Think Asian Danielle Steel

Around the Internet

There’s a #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge going on. I’m signing up because there is a scavenger hunt at the end of the month. Check it out here.

Listening To This Week

Written in Red (The Others, #1)Written in Red by Anne Bishop

“As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.” From Goodreads

I’m loving this book. I’ll finish it on the trip to and from my parents’ for Easter. I’ll probably get the sequel immediately.

Reading This Week

Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen VictoriaBorn to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi

“Here are the stories of Alexandra, whose faith in Rasputin and tragic end have become the stuff of legend; Marie, the flamboyant and eccentric queen who battled her way through a life of intrigues and was also the mother of two Balkan queens and of the scandalous Carol II of Romania; Victoria Eugenie, Spain’s very English queen who, like Alexandra, introduced hemophilia into her husband’s family—with devastating consequences for her marriage; Maud, King Edward VII’s daughter, who was independent Norway’s reluctant queen; and Sophie, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s much maligned sister, daughter of an emperor and herself the mother of no less than three kings and a queen, who ended her days in bitter exile.” from Goodreads

I’m about halfway through this book. World War I has just ended. Alexandra is dead and some of the others have lost their thrones.

Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

“The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.” from Goodreads

I don’t remember a lot of details from Seraphina except that I really liked it so I hope I can remember enough to read this sequel.

29 Jan, 2015

Books N Bloggers Swap Reveal

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I received my package today in the Books N Bloggers Swap.

My partner was Kenzie from Chasing My Extraordinary.

We were to send a book we loved, a book we haven’t read but are interested in, and a book from our partner’s wish list. Here’s what I got.


One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

“Pestered by her close New Jersey family, Stephanie Plum offers to catch high-school crush Joe Morelli, cop turned bail jumper, for her cousin Vinnie’s company. “

City of WomenCity of Women by David R. Gillham

“Whom do you trust, whom do you love, and who can be saved?

It is 1943—the height of the Second World War—and Berlin has essentially become a city of women.
Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. Her lover is a Jew.”

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.”

I also received some hot chocolate and some great skin care products which will be great during this cold snap. Thanks Kenzie!

20 Nov, 2014

Best Books of 2014 – #BookBlogWriMo

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Best Book I Read This Year

Ok, for my long-term readers, let say it all together now:

Who Fears DeathWho Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a post-apocalyptic future in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nuru are waging war against the Okeke. The Nurus believe in using rape as a weapon. They know that raped Okeke women will be shunned by their families and that any children born will be Ewu. Ewu children are identifiable by their skin color. It is believed that children conceived in violence will be violent themselves so Ewu are kept outside civilized society.

After a powerful Nuru sorcerer rapes an Okeke woman, she flees to the desert where she gives birth to a girl who she names Onyesonwu. It means Who Fears Death. Onyesonwu grows to be a powerful sorcerer herself but will her society reject the possibility of a savior who is twice an outcast – both Ewu and a woman?

I feel like I’m a broken record on this book. I’ve plugged it so often. Here’s the rest of my review.

Best Conclusion to a Series

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review



Fiction Favorites

The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My review



The Midnight RoseThe Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review



Best Fiction Audio

Calling Me HomeCalling Me Home by Julie Kibler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review – including why listening to the audio drove me batty.



Best NonFiction So Far

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil WarLiar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review



Series I’m Glad I Started This Year

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My review




Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review




Enchanted, Inc. (Enchanted, Inc., #1)Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My review

11 Oct, 2014

How to Afford Travel

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This is the post I meant to write before I got distracted by discussions of privilege.

So many people think that foreign travel is a hugely expensive endeavor that they can’t hope to accomplish. I’m cheap and I do it. Here’s some things I do.

How to Pay for Flights Over Time with No Fees

I mentioned in the last post that I’m debt free. I think only bankruptcy will destroy your credit faster than being debt free. So when I decided that I wanted to get a credit card to accumulate frequent flyer miles, I couldn’t qualify for one. I had to take a stepwise approach. I applied for a poor-credit person’s credit card with a $1000 limit. I would use it for one meal a month and pay it off. After about 8 months I was able to get a card with a higher limit.

Then I booked my flights. I put them on the higher limit card. A month later I paid off half that bill from my bank account and put the rest on the old lower limit card. A month later I did it again – half on the first card and half from the bank account. Then I paid it off the next month. This only works if you remember to pay off the cards before you get any interest fees. I stretched out paying for my flights over several months.

You can do the same thing with prepaid hotel rooms or rental cars.

Stay Cheap

I don’t care where I stay. The husband is a super snob about it. Left to my own devices I’d stay in hostels or B and Bs and save more money. He won’t so we spend more than I like here. I do a lot of research to find deals.

Travel Off-Season

My job is most busy in the summer so we travel in either May or October. Prices are lower in the off-season. Rick Steves calls this the shoulder season when most things are still open but the crowds are gone.

Pick a Destination Based on Price

That’s why we went to Portugal. We looked at a map and acknowledged that Portugal was so much closer to us than Italy where we were researching. Shorter flights are cheaper usually. Lisbon in November isn’t a tourist Mecca so prices were low.

Self Serve

Public transportation instead of car rental – Americans aren’t used to combative driving so we probably shouldn’t try. We plan our trips around available public transportation. We get hotels near train stations. We look at local train routes to figure out what day trips we could take.

We don’t book with tour groups. It is so much cheaper to do your research at home and head out on your own.

Go With the Flow

There is a temptation to want to see everything if you are only going to be there once so people plan every minute. You know what our plan is for this trip to France? I know the names of the towns on the local train lines. I know what things are available to see in each area. That’s it. We’ll decide what we want to see each day. We aren’t locked into prepaid activities that we have to do even if we don’t feel like it at the time.

06 Oct, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: General

Reviews Posted Recently

The Unexpected Earl – Regency Romance

Gutenberg’s Apprentice – Historical fiction about the invention of the printing press

My Soul to Keep – What happens when you find out that your husband is actually immortal?

Paradise Lot – Turning a small backyard into a food producing forest

Henna House – Historical fiction about Yemeni Jews in the 1920s and 30s

Listening to Now

Tomlinson Hill: Sons of Slaves, Sons of SlaveholdersTomlinson Hill: Sons of Slaves, Sons of Slaveholders by Chris Tomlinson


Tomlinson Hill is the stunning story of two families—one white, one black—who trace their roots to a slave plantation that bears their name.

Internationally recognized for his work as a fearless war correspondent, award-winning journalist Chris Tomlinson grew up hearing stories about his family’s abandoned cotton plantation in Falls County, Texas. Most of the tales lionized his white ancestors for pioneering along the Brazos River. His grandfather often said the family’s slaves loved them so much that they also took Tomlinson as their last name.

LaDainian Tomlinson, football great and former running back for the San Diego Chargers, spent part of his childhood playing on the same land that his black ancestors had worked as slaves. As a child, LaDainian believed the Hill was named after his family. Not until he was old enough to read an historical plaque did he realize that the Hill was named for his ancestor’s slaveholders. from Goodreads

Reading This Week

The Heist (Gabriel Allon, #14)The Heist by Daniel Silva


Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.

Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one . . . From Goodreads

02 Oct, 2014

What I’ve Learned from Anti-Feminist Blogs

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One of the things that I absolutely love to do is to read anti-feminist websites. They amuse me to no end. I don’t tend to comment because my definition of feminism is the right for women to live how ever they want even if I think it is insane even if I disagree.

One of my favorite anti-feminist sites is Raising Homemakers. The best day is Wednesday because they have a huge link up and you can see all kinds of blogs dedicated to the idea that girls should be raised to be homemakers and mothers.

I’ve learned a lot reading these posts. I once saw a listing of skills that a homemaker should have and I had most of them up to and including the quilting. (They considered quilting a potential money maker and I consider it a money sucking pit of a hobby so we don’t always agree.)


Dating is bad. Girls should only be approached by boys who have already talked to her father about exploring the possibility of marriage.

  • YES – I’m a relationship person. I didn’t like men who only wanted hook up. I like the idea of being straightforward with your intentions from the beginning.
  • NO – Are you kidding me? Ask my father first? No way, buddy boy. I’m a fully formed human who is able to make her own decisions and I don’t need to hide behind a man when important decisions are being made. I’m even way too offended when people talk about asking a father’s permission to marry his daughter. I think that is a crazy-offensive beginning to a marriage.

There is a blog that links up written by a college-aged man who talks about courtship with the authority of someone who has absolutely no real world experience whatsoever.  I’m just waiting for someone to come along and rock his world(view.)

Stay at home daughters

A stay at home daughter is a girl who has graduated from high school and then does not pursue higher education or a job outside the home. The idea is that if her goal is to be a homemaker, why should she be wasting her time doing anything else and getting in debt pursing an education that she isn’t going to use?  She should be home “contributing to the household economy” by helping in her father’s business, starting her own small business that can be done from home, or helping her mother with younger children.  Preferably all three.  Remember, girls should be able to run a household by the age of 14 because that’s when Mary had Jesus.

  • YES – College isn’t for everyone and if you can start a business that supports you – go for it.
  • NO – Where do I even start?  The idea is that girls are under the protection of their fathers until they have a husband to take over that duty.  Nope.  Just nope.  What are they going to do if they suddenly lose a husband?  Oh, excuse me, because of courtship and being serious about their marriages they won’t get divorced.  Guess what?  I’m a former good Christian girl who was serious about her marriage and my last husband took off anyway.  It happens.  You could be widowed.  Then what are you going to do with no skills?  Some folks say that the church should support widows.  Yeah, I’ll believe that happens when I see it.


Women should not wear revealing clothing.  In this community it usually involves wearing mainly skirts.

  • NO – I don’t buy into the notion that women are responsible for the thoughts of men.  If you are advocating modesty for women so they are not a distraction for men, they I’m not with you.  That’s the step before mandating burkas.  Men need to learn to live in a world with distractions.  I get distracted by chocolate.  That doesn’t mean I get to ban it from my sight.
  • YES – I think women should dress modestly because they should have some class and self-respect.  I’m sure there are people in the world who are interested in seeing all your personal bits but that person is not me.  Please put them away.  And let’s get real.  You are going to be judged by your clothing choices.  You may not think that is right but it is the truth.  Look at this guy.

evolve-2-pack-muscle-tee-251x300 Photo from

Was your first thought that you imagine that he is a magnificent accountant?   If a woman comes strolling in wearing a shirt that shows her bra and a miniskirt are you going to think that she’s smart and likes to do charity work?

Because of my exposure to these sites, I started to notice all the women around me wearing maxi skirts.  They looked nice.  Too many of the modesty sites espouse a look that is “Amish chic.”  I tried maxi skirts this summer and felt like I was let in on a huge secret.  I wear leggings under them and it is just like wearing sweats when out in public but because there is a skirt covering them, people are under the mistaken impression that I am fancy and put together.  They don’t know that I just pulled a skirt over the nasty sweats that I had on at home in order to go out in public.  I’m getting credit for being sort of fashionable when in reality I’m just too lazy to put on pants with a waistband. Win!

If you want a more political look at the anti-feminist world, try out Ladies Against Feminism. This is a site that I sometimes just need to click away from before I say something I regret. They have a tendency to link to studies that are so very poorly set up that their conclusions are invalid (Ooops, I learned that in vet school. Look at me being too educated.) I do post a comment when they start twisting what an article actually says to make it mean what they want.

On this site I learned that I was emasculating my husband by having a job and making money.  I immediately went and apologized to him profusely and told him that I would quit my job in the morning so he could support me fully and feel like a real man.  He told me that I was banned from reading that website anymore.  Unfortunately for him, I had already learned that I was a bad, feminist type woman who didn’t listen to her husband properly so I just continued to ignore him like the heathen I am.

There are some sites of people with differing world views than mine that I genuinely like.  Fresh Modesty is written by a woman who is a stay at home daughter.  She does modest fashion that is not Amish-like and is starting a clothing business.  My Holy Joy is written by a woman from this background who went to college and is starting to realize that the world may not be exactly as she was told.  (See, that’s why you can’t go educating impressionable young women!)

Linking up to The F Word.



20 Sep, 2014

Saturday Snapshot

/ posted in: General

Last weekend I was judging a competitive trail ride in Tennessee.

These pictures were taken as the horses and riders came to the top of a hill that was over a mile long. They were climbing up bare rock for most of it. I was at the top to make sure that the horses were good to continue.

Linking up with West Metro Mommy Reads.

06 Sep, 2014

Latin America/Caribbean

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I’m lumping these together because I’m weak on both of them. I’ve read more than I’ve listed here but I haven’t read a lot that has been really great. I need to find more books in these areas.


A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the CaribbeanA Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I list this one primarily for the life changing Caribbean Corn Bread recipe in it. I’ve tweaked this over the years to make it vegan and not quite so likely to clog your arteries on sight, but in any incarnation it is amazing!

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a TimeTurn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.”

And that’s it. Pathetic, huh. It is especially so since some of my major travel experiences are in this region. I stayed 5 weeks each in Costa Rica and Bolivia.

TBR list

For this read-a-long I decided to specifically look for fiction set in South America. I’m going to read:

Inés of My SoulInés of My Soul by Isabel Allende

“Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés, a seamstress, finds herself condemned to a life of hard work without reward or hope for the future. It is the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and when her shiftless husband disappears to the New World, Inés uses the opportunity to search for him as an excuse to flee her stifling homeland and seek adventure. After her treacherous journey takes her to Peru, she learns that her husband has died in battle. Soon she begins a fiery love affair with a man who will change the course of her life: Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro.”

I recently heard of:

Land of Love and DrowningLand of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

“In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.”

29 Aug, 2014

Dream jobs

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If you could have any job other than the one you have and one not related to the one you have, what would it be?

I want to be the parking lot attendant at my library. To understand why you have to know how the parking works. Any parking there for less than an hour is free. Most people use the library for less than hour. So therefore the parking lot attendant mostly spends all day just taking a ticket, putting it in the machine, saying thank you, and opening the gate. They don’t have to take any money. Most of the time I go up there and I’m interrupting their reading in order to give them my ticket. I could do that. I could sit in a climate control box all day, reading my book, and just waiting for someone to show up.
If you think that might be a bad job because of uncertain hours, think again. The parking lot only has attendants from nine in the morning until six at night. The parking is free on weekends and after 6 PM. So I don’t have to work at this time.
The only problem I see is that I can’t quite figure out when and how they get to go to the bathroom. But they probably have that figured out so it’s got to be the perfect job.

If I can’t have that job I want to be the person who types up the closed captioning on TV shows.
I watch almost everything with the closed captioning on. Some of the programs that I use to watch TV shows don’t really give me an option of how to turn it off. Or I’m just too stupid to figure out how to turn it off. Anyway I like close captioning I want to be the person makes it.
I don’t think I’m a good enough typist to be the person that does close captioning on live TV but I’d really like to be. Have you seen that? Sometimes it is just a mess and I know I could do better.

My third dream job is to be a person who makes prosthetic limbs. I think it would be really cool to help people regain function. I’d like to be the person who gets to fit the limb and teach people how to use them. I would also like to be able to make specific limbs with really really useful attachments, like power tools. Think of Inspector Gadget. That would be really cool. I did tell my husband that if we were to design a prosthetic arm with a vibrator attachment that we would be multimillionaires. It’s for the good of humanity, people.

What about you? Do you have any crazy dream jobs?

23 May, 2014

World Turtle Day

/ posted in: General

It is World Turtle Day. I found that out by accident a few days ago but now I plan on celebrating.

It is appropriate that this guy came in the mail yesterday.


His name is Turtle Gangsta.

29 Apr, 2014

Fitness Tuesday

/ posted in: General


We started out with 5 sets of 2 deadlifts.  That is bar from the ground to waist height.  I did 175 lbs.

The workout was:

  • 5 minutes of rowing.  Record the calories burned.
  • 4 minutes of box jumps
  • 3 minutes of hang squat cleans.  Take the bar from the knees to the chin while squatting.
  • 2 minutes of light wall balls – 10 lbs.  Squat while holding a medicine ball then stand up and throw it up against the wall 9 feet up.
  • 1 minute of pike pushups

I did 158 total reps.


This week at my gym is dedicated to seeing what our one rep max is for various lifts.  Today it was deadlifts.  I did 175 lbs last week which was my max at that gym.  I did 200 lbs once elsewhere.

I got up to 175 and then decided to quit doing the math as I added weight.  Doing the math is hard at that time in the morning.  I didn’t need the mental strain.  When I got to as heavy as I could go I had to do the math several times to believe it.  I was at 215!

Then we did max effort pull ups or ring rows in 90 seconds.  I did 30 ring rows.  After that it was max effort burpees in 90 seconds.  I did 19.

10 Apr, 2014

Guide to Naming Pets

/ posted in: GeneralWork

A public service announcement on the naming of pets:

1. I think it is creepy to name pets after real people and then refer to them by the full first and last name. Example – “So how long has Ernest Hemingway been peeing outside the litterbox?”

2. If you name your pet after a fictional animal be careful crossing species lines. This became an issue after The Lion King came out. There are so many dog Nalas and Simbas. If those dogs knew they were named after cats they would not be amused. The only acceptable variation of this is for Pomeranians.

3. You can cross species if they are far enough apart. Baloo doesn’t have to be reserved for bears. I don’t care if that isn’t logical.

4. Never, ever, ever cross gender. I am going to use the appropriate pronoun for the name and then you are going to yell at me. My personal pet peeve on this is the name Artemis. She was a freaking Goddess, people. Don’t disrespect her by naming a male after her. Now I have recently learned about the Artemis Fowl books that have obviously led a generation astray and led to lots of male Artemises but I’m still grumpy about it.

5. Don’t name your pet after something that you can neither pronounce nor spell, especially if you are apt to get pissy whenever someone else does it correctly. I feel this way about Versailles KY too. I could never live there because I’d feel like an ignoramus ever time I had to say Ver-sales.

6. Do not name your pet after bodily fluids or excrement. You’d think that would go without saying but obviously not. That one is by request of every vet staffer who has to go into a crowded lobby and yell your pet’s embarrassing name.

I hope this helps.

08 Apr, 2014

Fitness Tuesday

/ posted in: General


We had to run for warmup. I’ve been dreading this. We haven’t run all winter because it has been so cold and icy. I had done some running in the last few weeks but for some reason the thought of running warmups was really stressing me out. I usually start out first and end up last. I’m slow. This time I started off first and was going my normal pace and no one was passing me. We got to the 200 m point and I was still ahead. I was getting confused. Eventually some of the guys passed me but I was mid-pack at the end. Weird. I think they were all just being lazy. I could breathe ok so I guess it isn’t really spring yet when the pollen makes me wheezy on sprints.

We did 5 sets of 5 front squats. I did 85 lbs.

Then we did bench press. I was at around 60 lbs.

The workout was as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

  • 4 pistols on each leg- These are one legged squats.  I can’t do them.  Most people can’t so we started in a lunge and had to stand up without using the back foot.
  • 8 kettle bell swings – I did 35 lbs.
  • 12 wall balls

I did 4 rounds with an injury time out.  Seriously, I am a danger to myself.  The wall balls consist of taking a 14 lb medicine ball, squatting, and then standing up and throwing it up to a mark 9 feet up on the wall.  The next part of the move is catching it on the way down.  That’s where I had a bit of a failure.  The ball smacked me in the face and bent up my glasses.  The nose pad snapped off when I tried to fix it.  I was all crooked for the rest of the day.


03 Apr, 2014


/ posted in: General

I live with a bunch of jerkfaces.

I have to have a special feeding time for Under the Bed Dog because she won’t eat if Freckles is around. They don’t share a bowl or anything but apparently it is too scary. So last night I locked Freckles in the bedroom and presented UTBDog with her food.

Immediately Riley sauntered over and took a big bite out of the bowl. The dog covered under the table. Now, I have tried to feed Riley canned food. He doesn’t like it. He wasn’t there to get the spoonful of canned food in her bowl. He was there for a pure joy of taking her food from her while looking her in the eye and saying, “Yeah, dog? Whatcha gonna do about it?”

I shooed him off. He went and sat on top of the table. He casually dangled his front paws off the edge a few inches above the head. I told him that if he “accidentally” hit her from above when she was eating he was going to be in big trouble. He gave me his super innocent look.

By this time I was sitting on the floor next to the bowl while she ate. Powder showed up next. I just bodily turned her around before she enacted whatever devious plan of attack she had.

02 Apr, 2014

Boys and dogs

/ posted in: General

Z’s dog, known as Under the Bed Dog, is visiting because she is very stressed at her own house. She is not stressed with us. However, she is stressing us.

She can NOT be outside off lead. I learned my lesson this last time when I chased her in the woods at 3 AM. The husband did not learn this. She ran off on him during this visit. I had to chase her through the woods again. He agreed that she was NEVER to be off lead.

So why, pray tell, was I hearing him call her name over and over at 4 AM? Surely she wasn’t off lead?

The husband appeared and said — wait for it — “Freckles tricked me.”

I was flummoxed. She isn’t known for her cunning. How did she become a criminal mastermind? Turns out he opened the door to let Freckles out and then intended to put the leash on. UTB dog ran out.

So I head out I the woods wearing a bathrobe, sandals, and ankle deep mud. He stays in the yard. I see her by the light of my flashlight app but I can’t get near her. Finally I grab her collar and she screams like she was attacked out of the blue. I get her leashed and drag her back to the yard where the husband says, “Freckles ditched her.”

I reply, “Freckles hates her.”

I get her inside and while the garage door was shutting he tried to unhook her leash. “Don’t…..You……Dare!” I could see her running free again.

I tried to go back to bed. She was so excited that she needed to jump on me repeatedly. I went to the guest bedroom after rinsing my mud filled sandals in the shower and making a mess. I couldn’t go back to sleep. Neither could the husband. He got up and started unloading the dishwasher. Loudly. Just in case I was sleeping and needed to stay awake.

Then he appeared in the guest room. Both dogs and one cat came with him and piled on the bed. I mentioned that I was seeking alone time. He said that they were there to support me in my quest for aloneness. He tried to pet my head to tell me I was a good girl. He poked his finger in my eye.

Then the cat on my pillow and UTBDog got in a fight. The fight took place on top of my face. I gave in and got up.

I’m tired now.