Friday, April 22, 2011

More of a Warning than a Review...

I just finished reading The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson.

From Goodreads:
Fresh from finishing university in England, Adam Woods arrives in Venice to begin a new chapter in his life. He soon secures employment as the personal assistant of Gordon Crace — a famous expatriate novelist who makes his home in a dank and crumbling palazzo, surrounded by fabulous works of art, piles of unanswered correspondence and the memories of his former literary glory.

Before long Adam becomes indispensable to the feeble Crace, and he finds himself at once drawn to and repelled by his elderly employer's brilliant mind and eccentric habits. As Adam comes to learn more about the scandal that brought Crace to Venice years ago, he realizes he has stumbled upon the raw material that could launch his own literary career and makes a bold decision: He will secretly write the famous author's biography. But outsmarting Crace is easier said than done, and the two soon find themselves locked in a bitter contest over the right to determine how the story of Crace's life will end. Against the haunting backdrop of the serene city, the two men engage in a ruthless game of cat and mouse that builds to a breathtaking and unexpected conclusion.
I had to force myself to continue reading this book.  There was nothing inherent in the characters that drew you to them, that made you sympathize with their plight.  The were seedy swarthy lying murderous men playing on each other's weaknesses and falling for their own.  Even if you could get past the less than enjoyable characters you can't enjoy the book.  It has fits and starts and bits of different story lines that might have been interesting in their own right but as a whole, mashed together, leave you feeling that you didn't get the full story of anything.

I'm giving this book 1 star.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm having one of those days.  You know those days?  The kind that make your mascara dewy for no single reason, but all together it seems like a lot?

It's Monday.  I have a chest cold that won't decide what to do with itself so it's just sort of junky without being productive.  It's Spring Break which means that my kids are constantly on the verge of being booooooorrrrrrred.   My Big Boy is turning 10 this week. TEN.  That right there is enough to make me cry (a couple of times).  Mr. I'm-Going-To-Be-Ten just changed his mind on what he wants for his birthday and I'm left feeling like I don't have something worthy of the big ONE OH.  Easter is coming and my kids so enjoyed the scavenger hunt I set up last year that they have demanded another one.  Can't I just huck a few eggs behind couch cushions and call it good?  I volunteered for something that I am feeling overwhelmed with.  It will be fine eventually but TODAY I feel overwhelmed.  We just committed to doing something big BIG this summer and I'm all stomach twisty about it.

This is the kind of day that makes me want to go hide under my covers.  I'm trying to be better about that though.  *SIGH*

I'll get through it.  Right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Scandalous Monarchs and Resilient Dressmakers ...

I think Fridays are good days for book reviews, this Friday is anyway.

Last week I read The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war—a rare achievement for any Afghan woman—Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.
This book was excellent.  I give it 4 stars.
I'm currently reading Behind the Palace Doors by Michael Farquhar.

Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination.
I'm really enjoying this one but it's not something I'd bother to pass around so I'm going to give it 3 stars.

What are you reading?

Open Letter to Spring...

Dear Spring,

I know I begged for you to arrive.  I couldn't wait for the warm temps and the pretty flowers.  I had happy thoughts of flowering trees, bunnies, chicks, and short-sleeve shirts not covered with wool sweaters.  I conveniently forgot about the never ending rain and the pollen and the humidity.

I will admit that I have been cursing you of late.  My car is a dusty shade of spring green, I can't open the windows at the house because it's both too polleny outside AND too humid, my kids haven't played a soccer game in weeks.  We'll be making games up well into 100* temps.

Where is the Spring of my dreams?  Is the warm dry weather, open windows, and kids frolicking outside until just before bedtime a figment of my imagination?  Must we pay before we play?

Is it really necessary that something like this picture should strike fear in my heart?

Please end your reign of terror now.  I promise to forget the misery by next year.

Love and Smooches,

Oh the HORROR...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Look for the Stirrups...

I have to share this with you.  I laughed so hard I cried.  I LOVE when a comedian cracks himself up.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Every once in awhile I let you guys know about a product that I really like and I'm going to grace you with another one of my suggestions today.

A few (six?) months ago I had a coupon (maybe) for a Bounce Dryer Bar. I usually just buy the store brand of dryer sheets and toss one in each dryer load. I'm usually not that thrilled with the results but didn't care to put much effort into it.  Anyhoo, I attached the Bounce Dryer Bar onto the inside of my dryer and have loved the results. I was happy and enjoyed the smell but again didn't think too much about it.

The other day I was pulling towels out of the dryer and they were still warm and they smelled SO.GOOD. I looked at the dryer bar and realized it had been in there for quite a while, like maybe two months. I looked at the package and it said that each dryer bar lasts two to three months. And I swear to you that months later your dryer items still smell fantastic. I'm loving it.

I find it necessary to say that I am in no way associated with Bounce.  Bounce doesn't know I exist.  I was not compensated in any way for loving the Bounce Dryer Bar

Monday, April 04, 2011

Round She Goes...

Do you remember when you were a little girl and you used to cartwheel all the time?  Round and round and round?

Skyler has been taking gymnastics at a great local gym since December.  Her main mode of transportation right now is the cartwheel and attempted round-off.  I hear "Mom watch this" roughly 42,000 times per day.  She was recently moved up a level and her coach is a little firmer with them.  I thought this would discourage her but it just makes her try harder.  I'm so proud.

I tried to show Sky my mad cartwheeling skills the other day - she said "Mom, don't do that, you're going to hurt yourself."  Even the kids know I lack the ability to do anything physical without needing surgery afterward.

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