Monday, March 25, 2013


Which do you find more relaxing after a really long day?  A glass of your favorite wine, or a long soak in a warm bath?

Friday, March 22, 2013


If you visit my blog on a semi-frequent basis, you know I love to take photos of my family, and I absolutely love to make scrapbooks!  Shutterfly makes beautiful photo books, and when I need prints, they usually have great prices.  Right now, you can get  Free Shipping on all orders over $30 from! Use promo code SHIP30 . I just love the photo of my daughter's big finish!  Can't wait to scrapbook it!


I am not fond of SPAM, either kind.  I've been getting a lot of anonymous comments lately... and tons of comments trying to promote websites to sell medication, consolidate debt, work at home, and so on.  Is my content attracting these types of comments?  Anyone else have this issue?  I have my blog set to let me review anonymous comments, but somehow, a few of them get through, so if you see a comment I've deleted, that's probably why.  Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easter Flowers

Like most women, I love to receive flowers.  Easter is only 11 days away.  Do you send flowers on Easter?  Teleflora has a great selection.  Save on Easter bouquets starting at just $29.99! They also have a terrific assortment of bouquets for birthdays, anniversaries, and get well. Save 15% on flowers from Teleflora! Use promo code: AFPX15 Teleflora will make sure your flowers are fresh and beautiful.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Just My Opinion

If I were the type of person who could abandon a book, I would have abandoned The Shepherd within ten pages due to the author’s blatant error in using the present perfect verb tense. More about that later. I just don’t abandon books. I have to finish what I start, and unfortunately, I finished this one. Apparently, the author didn’t, though. Thank goodness I got this via a 99 cent special from BookBub.

Ethan Cross is the author’s pen name. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that he chose the name Cross. I believe he wanted to invoke thoughts of James Patterson’s iconic hero, Alex Cross. But Ethan Cross, James Patterson you are not.

First of all, the reader is assaulted by a barrage of characters that have no obvious link until too far into the book. The first few chapters seem like they are pieces of different stories. Second, there are numerous mythological references throughout the story which I find to be trite. Third, the characters are completely unbelievable. They say things to each other and to themselves that no normal, logical person would say. And Cross does not create any likable characters in the whole bunch, including the protagonist.

  I am happy to suspend belief when I read crime thrillers, but Cross crossed a line. His protagonist fought six or seven men in the first chapter of the book and wasn’t even sore. He received a gunshot wound, yet continued to act as though it only gave him strength. Cross didn’t develop a hero and a villain; he developed a super-hero and a super-villain. No one could do the things these men did and continue to function. And why would approximately ten people have a clear shot at a serial killer and not take it, no matter that they want to use him to meet their “organization’s” goals. I found that ridiculous!

I felt cheated when it was revealed that the whole plot with the sheriff was an elaborate audition for a new recruit. That plot device is just as bad as the “it was all a dream” scenario. And I was cheated again when the Dempsey brothers were introduced, likely hoping to hook the reader into the next novel. And there is no way Ackerman would be alive after walking into the fire. Even if he were, there is no way the police wouldn’t have had all of the entrances sealed off including the tunnel he supposedly used to escape. I felt cheated when it was mentioned there was a connection between Ackerman and Marcus, and that connection wasn’t revealed.

Cross is guilty of overuse of clichés such as “It’s meant to be.” He’s guilty of allowing his characters to over-soliloquize. And he’s guilty of thrusting his symbolism in the reader’s face as though we can’t see that darkness is the antithesis of light. I believe the reader can infer symbols in darkness, light, shepherds, wolves, flocks, vigilantes, and so on, if given the chance instead of having it forced upon him or her. He also uses far too many words when few would have sufficed.

Now let’s get to the way Cross butchers the English language. How in the world did this get past the editors? I counted at least four instances of using the incorrect present and past perfect verb tenses (saying “have went” instead of “have gone” which makes the author sound uneducated, in my opinion). I truly almost abandoned the book when I read the first one. In addition, Cross uses the nominative case “he” instead of the possessive case “his.” He puts a comma outside his quotation marks. I frequently read “gonna” and “wanna” instead of “going to” and “want to.” There are misplaced modifiers, inconsistent verb tense, and a malapropism as well. Cross’s spelling of homophones is atrocious! (“sorted” instead of “sordid,” “poured” instead of “pored,” “horded” instead of “hoarded) I expect some mistakes might make it past an editor, but there were just too many.

I believe that Cross can craft a clever story, but it’s the manner in which he tells it that will make a difference in whether or not he ever rises to the level of James Patterson.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Ever feel like you're being taken advantage of?  Have you ever thought of yourself as a push-over? 

I have a friend, a really good friend, who made me feel bad today.  Okay, psychology majors... SHE didn't MAKE me feel bad.  I felt bad for telling her "maybe" instead of "yes."  I shouldn't feel bad, though.

Back story - She really is a great friend.  We've been there for each other through some very difficult times as well as the good times.  We both teach, and we share a passion for scrapbooking.  We often treat each other like sisters, play bickering, and such.

When we make plans to scrapbook at Archivers, we have to drive to Katy, the nearest store, where my sister lives.  It's about an hour drive, and it's an all-day thing.  We leave about 1 in the afternoon and get home at midnight, so it's something that takes some planning since I have a family and she's a single mom.  The last two times we scheduled a scrap event, she is the one who chose the date, and my sister and I worked our plans around her schedule, including a scrap night on my nephew's birthday weekend.  And the last two times, she bailed at the last minute, and my sister and I had already paid for our reservations, so of course, we had to go.

We are on spring break, and she is out of the state with her daughter visiting relatives.  She asked me if I would pick her up at the airport Sunday.  I've picked her and her daughter up from the airport before.  It's not that big of a deal, but I don't know what my plans are for Sunday yet, and if I commit to picking them up, then I CAN'T make any plans.  So, I told her I would have to wait and see, that we will probably be going to church, and I don't know what else.  She shot back, "We'll just take a cab."  I told her I would let her know when it's closer to Sunday depending on what I'm doing with my family.  She just said, "OK.  Thanks."

Does it sound like she's mad?  It does to me.  But, am I supposed to just plan my life around her plans?  How did she get to the airport in the first place?  Can't that person pick her up?  And why didn't she make arrangements before they left?  And am I the first person she calls when she wants to do something?  No.  She already made Easter plans with another friend, probably because the other friend is also a single mom, but she didn't ask me.  I feel like I'm giving, and she's taking, and I don't want to be taken advantage of.  Or... am I just blowing it out of proportion?  Re-reading this, it sounds like I'm whining.  Maybe I just need to let it roll off like water off a duck's back.  Who knows!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Birthdays, Birthdays Everywhere, and Not a Dime to Spare!
We've had so many birthdays around here.  My step-daughter, mom, and husband in January.  My sister and her husband in February.  My nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and brother-in-law already in March, and it's only the 5th!

I really don't like the idea of spending 4 or 5 dollars on a card.  Sometimes I don't have much more than that to spend on an entire gift for someone.

That's why I'm so excited we learned to make a cute card at the make-and-take at Archiver's this past Saturday night.  I'd show you a picture, but I already gave away the one I made.  Guess what I'm going to be saving money on in the near future.  I can't wait to make another one and post it here.  It's so cute, and it's easy to make!  And it has that special, hand-made touch.  All I have to do is write a pretty verse inside and send it.  I really can just look up verses on the Internet that I can use depending on what type of card it is.  Works for me!

Do you prefer to get store-bought or handmade cards?

Friday, March 01, 2013

Girl Burning Hair

I had so much fun watching YouTube videos with my kids last night!  That's something I rarely do.  Just don't make time for it.  But with my teenagers, who really know their way around the site, it was fun, especially this video about cats set to the music of Van Halen's Jump.  But...

Have you seen the  video of the girl who burns her hair off using a curling wand? . If you've seen it, do you believe it's real? I think the girl totally under-reacted. If I had burned off that much of my hair, I would be frantic! And I sure wouldn't let someone put it on YouTube! Besides, the wand wasn't even steaming when she wound her hair in it. I just don't know. A friend of mine said that happened to her daughter using the same type of curling wand, but, skeptic that I am, I just have a hard time believing that video wasn't set up.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I can't bring myself to post it here, but you can do a search and you'll find it. 


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