Thursday, November 1, 2012

Well Whadayaknow

I just figured out I can write a post from my phone. This coul get dangerous.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Yesterday, we lost our beloved Puck. He was 12 years old and passed peacefully at home with us.

When we first got him, It was just Chris and me; we hadn't had the boys yet or even gotten married. For a long time, it was just the three of us.

When we brought Stasiu home from the hospital, priorities shifted, for us and Puck. He had a new job; protector and best friend. He wouldn't leave Stasiu's side, even following me around while I walked him, put him to bed and played. Puck would lay in the floor and just let Stasiu pull on his ears, jowels and whatever he could reach. 
Even as he got older, he was gentle with the boys. He
crawled into this crate to get a nap. The boys crawled in right after him and he just snuggled in.

We were really lucky to have such a wonderful pet for as long as we did. Toward the end, he moved less, slept a lot but was still happy to see us and get snuggles and scratches.

Stasiu, my 8 year old, showed what a remarkable young man he is. I found Puck in the living room. I called Chris in to the room. We all cried and hugged and kissed Puck. The hard part was Chris had to take him to our Veterinarian now. I had notified him and he was expecting us, but it didn't make it easier. Stasiu then decided he would go with his Dad to the vet so he could be there for his Dad and for Puck. He wrote Puck a note telling him he loved him and it was put with him.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A and Freedom of Speech

The Chick-Fil-A president is all  over the news and media these days. If you haven't heard about it, then you are probably living in a remote jungle somewhere blissfully ignorant about what's going on.

Whether you agree with what Dan Cathy said or not is irrelevant; he has every RIGHT to say it. While it is surprising he said it so publicly (from a purely business standpoint), it's not surprising that it is his view. This is a CHRISTIAN company, people. They have all out advertised that they are Christian from the get-go. They advertise that they are closed on Sundays so their employees can go to church.The fact that he said he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman should not surprise anyone. Is it good business practice to possibly shun an entire section of the community? Only time will tell. How many companies have been thrust into the media spotlight and survived?

Just in case you aren't sure what he said, here in an excerpt taken from the Washington Post on his interview with an online Baptist journal, "“very much supportive of the Biblical family unit. We are a family owned business, a family led business, and we are still married to our first wives.While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage (between a male and female), we love and respect everyone, who disagrees.”

I find it interesting, that until I read this I hadn't realized that the divorcees should also be up in arms.

Today, there were floods of Christians who support heterosexual marriage at CFA (note: not free speech) and Friday there are rumors of the GLBT community going for a "kiss-in" to support their side. I don't want to see anyone, gay, lesbian, hetero, whatever tounging, so I think I'll skip that.

Here's what I find interesting; the media rhetoric going back and forth.The Christian community hasn't come out and blasted the GLBT community for their crude comments about CFA. But, apparently the GLBT community believes that if you speak out against the GLBT community, you are the worst of the worst. That is no way to handle yourselves. I understand that it is upsetting to hear on such a wide reaching level, but take a page out of CFA and choose your words more carefully.

That being said, this is about FREE SPEECH. Dan Cathy has every right to state his beliefs. The GLBT community has every right to state theirs. Here's mine: I have no problems whatsoever with ANY marriage between two people. The marriages I have a problem with are the ones that last 6 months (or less), the ones that QUIT when things get tough, the ones that QUIT because they want to see if the grass is greener, the ones thatQUIT because of infedelity....You get my point? I support Dan Cathy because he has every right to FREE SPEECH, I support the GLBT community because they, too, have every right to FREE SPEECH.

We have bigger issues, people, than what Dan Cathy and the GLBT community have to say right now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Rebel Wife

Augusta Branson was born during the time of slavery in the south. Her family owned several slaves and she is accustomed to that lifestyle as well as society. Soon after the end of slavery she marries a Northener who was knows to help the newly freed slaves. This made her a pariah in her circles. She was largely unaware of this until her husband died.

Augusta grew up and married into an extreemley sheltered existence. She had little knowledge of what was going on around her with the slaves, war and politics until her husband came home suffering from blood fever and died shortly thereafter leaving her to pick up the pieces.

Her cousin, The Judge, intervenes on her behalf to help settle her estate. The more questions she asks about her husband's business and the more she looks into his dealings the more she begins to question who she can trust to look after her and her son, Henry. She begins to question society, racial separation and the steadfast politics and ideals that many in her small southern town are desperately clinging to.

I must say that at first, I really didn't like Augusta. She was cold, especially to her son, and didn't come across as I would assume a character that was genuinely looking racism, politics and southern society in the eye would. But, the more I read, the more I saw the subtleties the Polites pointed out. He did a wonderful job showing how truly sheltered from the world Augusta was and how firmly she held on to the sensibilities and societal workings she knew. She very gradually came out of herself to take a good look around her and see what was going on. Polites has the reader taking that journey with her, we aren't given any hints from other characters into what is truly going on with the estate, The Judge, the blood fever her husband dies of and of his business dealings. We slowly find out who Augusta can and cannot trust.

I liked the picture Polites painted of the small town. The unbearable heat during Augusta's struggles is practically a character in itself. At first people are just blaming illnesses and deaths on the heat, which isn't unheard of there. Then people start leaving town because of the blood fever.

I must say, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm not a southerner, but I do live in the south and this was such an unexpected pleasure into the societal history, racism and slavery. I was surprised when I turned to the dustjacket and found Taylor Polites is a man. The subtlities with which he describes this shelterd, somewhat spoiled woman are quite good. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to another and am going to read it again myself.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Pirate Review

The Endless Waltz by Jacob Marc Schafer

Bret de la Cosa wants nothing more than to get on his ship and return home to his beloved fiancee, Isabella. Upon boarding his ship ready to take his Navigator duties, his Captain tells him about his retirement and Bret's promotion to Captain. This will allow Bret to buy his wife a proper house once they are married. Bret's future couldn't look any better.

But, Davey is watching. Davey Jones hates Bret's happiness and his good soul, so he goes after him. Bret's ship goes down in the open seas and Bret somehow ends up in Davey Jones's locker alive. Once Davey finds out that Bret is still alive, he sends The Flying Dutchman down to retrieve and kill him.

That's just the beginning of the story.

Bret is a good man. He helps others, is devout to God and his fiancee. His crew thinks highly of him and works hard for him. All he wants to do when he is trapped in The Locker is get back to Isabella. He meets anther man, Edward, who helps in The Locker while Captain Falkenburg of The Flying Dutchman hunts him. His adventures include marines, misguided clergy, a ghost crew and dragon.

This book was a fun and fast paced read. Like many these days, I also love the current pirate movies out there. This book puts an entirely different spin on the current stories. Bret is no Captain Jack Sparrow, who can get out of any situation, but an ordinary man put in extraordinary circumstances. Schafer's writing style is smooth and very descriptive. He does a nice job of painting the scenery. He especially did a fantastic job of what The Locker would look like. I would like to see more about Captain Falkenberg's fate as The Flying Dutchman's Captain as well as some of the stories from Bret's leather bag at the end. You'll have to read the book to find out about the leather bag.

I understand this book is in pre publishing stage, but would like to see it edited for spelling and grammar. Without those issues, this book will be a phenomenal read.

I give this book 3.5 start out of 5.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Love My Job

As a Realtor, I take pictures of a lot of houses. Some are beautiful, some not so much. Recently, I listed 40 acres in Fountain Inn and my brother in law and I walked it taking pictures on a beautiful February day.

We even managed to find a beaver lodge.

There is a small river runing the length of the property.

There is also a pond in the front that supports ducks, frogs and fish. Of course, our tramping through talking spooked all the ducks and we didn't get any pictures of them.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Deadly Reflections

Deadly Reflections by D. H. Sayer is a horror book in the style of Dean Koontz or Stephen King. In other words, it's a great story.

Justin Wells in new to town and living in squalid conditions with his severly depressed father. As a result, he is self sufficient and has matured quickly. In school, he falls for Sarah Ellis who just broke up with her hockey jock boyfriend, Brandon Tate. This is the story of normalcy within the horror. Brandon is horribly jealous while Justin and Sarah slowly fall for each other.

While life continues for these high school students, a hobo is protecting a horrible secret. Once his secret gets out, people start to die. Justin and Sarah try to stay one step ahead of the horror while trying to get answers to stop it.

Sayer has done a great job intermingling a story of normalcy, teenage love, and horror. So many horror writers forget to include the personal stories of the characters invlolved while writing about whatever is menacing the same characters. Because of this, the reader gets attached to the characters, which make the loss and "horror" part of the story even better. Sayer has a great writing style that flows and captures the reader and keeps the reader hooked.

I really enjoyed this story. I would read it again and recommend it to not only my fellow horror readers but those who don't read this genre as well. He does such a great job of manifesting the scary bits without being vulgar or bloody, while being scary that anyone can read this.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Book Review

Pool of Souls is a story of a fantasy world named Regalis where evil sorcerer, Queen Saranor is working her way across the land using magic, terror and brutality to gain control. Her erstwhile commander, General Viadon, had defected and is now battling against her to save the land.

Cazlina Narzin has left her sleepy village to chase after her brother, Gareth, who left to join General Viadon'c crusade against the queen. Along with Caz is her horse, Miris, with whom she can telepathically communicate.

During her travels, a horse thief attempts to steal Miris while Caz is sleeping. Caz chases him off but he has an annoying habit of showing up to rescue her from beasts and beastly men.

After Caz finds General Viadon and her brother, she is conscripted into the general's army to work by his side as a scout, using her telepathic abilities to help her. She encounters wonderous beasts, heroes, villans and finally the queen's army and pool of souls.

I enjoyed the book. One of the gratifying characteristic is Landmark's writing style. She has such a good command of the English language and it was a pleasure to read a book that flowed well and was eloquent. I also enjoyed the story. It is always nice to see a heroine instead of a hero.

I do wish more information was provided on the horse thief, Jorin since he plays a substantial role in the story. I also had a hard time believing a general of such a huge army would take Caz under his wing and make her part of his inner circle. Granted, much of it was due to her gift of aminal communication, but she used it sparingly and didn't use it at times it would have provided useful. The ending was a bit too nice for my tastes. I don't want to spoil it, so I won't go further, but I do wish it were a bit grittier.

The ending seemed to hint at a sequal. I would love to read it and, hopefully, learn more about Caz's gift and Jorin's past.

I give this 3 stars out of 5.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Children's Museum

Back in November, we took the kids to the Children's Museum while Pops and Grammy were visiting us. We had never been before and found it to be lots of fun and worth the admission price.

There is a huge plexi and rope climbing build in the middle of the museum. Stasiu alone could have spent hours here.

Bohdan was a little anxious about it, but still managed to go on it and crawl around.

There is a construction area where you can use the equipment to move items around. Here, Daddy is helping Bohdan use a crane to move wood and blocks around.

Bohdan rode the pint sized crane.

Chris tried to build an arch using the blocks provided. Pops is "helping".

Bohdan was able to practice his handwriting using a back-lit desk.

A huge stegosaurus made of found items sits upstairs.

Ferb, I know what we are going to do today.

Stasiu loved the wind tunnel.

Big car, little head.

Daddy tried, unsuccessfully, to land the shuttle. Maybe next time!

His name in lights.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Me? A Book Reviewer?

I recently joined a blog called, you guessed it, The Book Nook Club. The purpose of it is to review published or not yet published books, write reviews and post them. The reviewers come from all walks of life and are "average joes". None of us have training in editing but we all share a love of books, reading and discovering new authors.

I am a voracious reader as it is. Last year, I started reading only free books from kindle. Boy, was that a bad idea. The majority of them are b. a. d. I mean, really, really bad. I thought my brain had started to atrophy. Lo and behold my friend, Carol, tells me about this wonderful blog where authors submit their books for review. It's free, it's good reading and I'm involved in a community that cares about books and reading as much as I do. Jackpot!

I just finished my first review of a book titled Grace. It is a story of mob wives done wrong by their husbands. It was a fun, interesting and heartwarming read. You can read my review here.