Friday, July 31, 2015

It's Just My Opinion

The One (The Selection, #3)The One by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn't put this book down! I read it in four days. Kiera Cass must be magic because this is not the typical genre of book I usually enjoy. Dystopian world, royalty, castes, rebels, the palace, romance, and heartbreak all rolled into one futuristic, romantic, dramatic, slightly action-packed, happy-ending fairy tale. That's how I would describe, not only this book, but the three-book series. And there is a fourth book out, which I am anxious to read, called The Heir, which of course is the offspring of the hero and heroine of the first three books. Thank you, Mrs. Cass, for a series I can highly recommend to my students.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Read This Round-up #44

Check out TWO of my reviews below: Dystopian fiction and legal thriller.  I need to remind her my name is spelled wrong, though.  No biggie!
20150711_125737_resizedPhoto courtesy of KissinBlueKaren
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.

















Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Random Tuesday

Come join Stacy Uncorked for some random!
I'm sure we've all seen the new captcha technique... Choose all the pictures with hamburgers.  Or choose all the pictures with ice cream or sushi.  Come to think of it, the ones I get always involve food.  I guess it's better than having to type the correct letters when they're all squiggly, but it's still difficult for me.  Sometimes I can't really tell what the picture is!  LOL  Plus it makes me hungry :-)
I'm truly amazed at the number of people who carry on very loud, often very personal, conversations in public.  For example, I was in the dentist's office a few days' ago, and a girl who appeared to be 19 or 20-ish was face-timing a young man. From hearing her side of the conversation, they appeared to be discussing "first-date" type things as she looked at the phone and kept smiling.  She was not even attempting to be quiet and respectful of the other people in the waiting room.  Then yesterday at Barnes and Noble, an oldish woman, perhaps ten or so years my senior, had a headset on and was discussing, very loudly, a product she was considering.  I turned around, and there was another girl with her phone to her ear chatting away.  I thought it was common courtesy to speak in hushed tones in public, if you must speak at all, and particularly in such a small setting as a waiting room.  Am I over-reacting by allowing this to bother or perplex me?

PT yesterday didn't just stand for Physical Therapy.  It was also Positively Terrible, Perfectly Terrifying, Pretty Tough, and Pure Torture.  I knew it would be hard, but I really need to be able to use my arm for normal activities soon.  (See one of my posts about surgery - the day of, the day after, days after.)  I'm also still fighting some depression.

There has been so much negativity on Facebook lately, and even though I don't look at it constantly, I decided to "unlike" pages that post those misleading headlines or the ones that breed animosity.  Although I believe is the tenets of certain political pages or personalities, I just can't read the sensationalism anymore.  I did the same thing on Twitter.  I've already got enough unhappiness with which to contend.
Wow, except for my first topic, most of this was complaining. That's got to change!  How about this?  You know the new Honda commercial that spoofs the movie Vacation? (see above picture)  The "wife" who says to her husband, "Seriously?  A blonde in a convertible?"  That's Christie Brinkley, who played the blonde in the convertible from the 1983 Vacation movie.  Her "husband," the driver, Ethan Embry, played teenager Rusty Griswold in the Vegas Vacation movie in 1997.  So, technically, the wife in the commercial is actually old enough to be the commercial husband's mother.  Did you get all that?  Haha!  Have a great week!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's Just My Opinion-Two in One!

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Some Spoilers, but still worth reading,)

America Singer lives in a dystopian world where all people are classified by castes. She is a 5 (on a scale of 1-8). The boy she is secretly in love with is a 6, and girls are not supposed to marry someone in a lower caste. When her name is chosen for the Selection, she only agrees to go because the boy she loves wants her to. Her mother wants her to go as well, so America allows her mother to "bribe" her into going although America had already told her love, Aspen, that she would go. America truly wants no part of the Selection.

The Selection is a competition, so to speak, in which 35 girls are chosen, one from each province in the country, to live at the palace and "date" Prince Maxon. This is how he will choose his wife and the future queen.

At first, America only wants to stay there because her family is getting benefits they would not get if she were sent home. She is only one of three 5's who was selected, but America easily develops a bond with Maxon. They are only friends, and he agrees to allow her to stay so that her family won't have to struggle so much and so she has some time away from home to get over her lost love.

She is his confidante; however, Maxon begins to develop deeper feelings for her. Can she forget Aspen, who broke up with her the day before she left for the Selection, and can she also be developing feelings for Maxon? Can she give up the luxurious lifestyle and exquisite food and return home to a normal life? And what happens when Aspen is drafted for service and becomes a guard at the palace pledging that he still loves her?

I see this as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor. The similarity to the Hunger Games lies in the type of society that exists in the book, castes, a central government that controls all aspects of life, and a contest. Those chosen for the selection are similar to the tributes who go to the Hunger Games. It is similar to the Bachelor because the Prince must get to know the Selected and choose his bride from this contest.

The book is interesting and contains vivid descriptions. It has a futuristic appeal as well as some suspense, war threats, romance, and a smidgen of comedy. While not quite sophisticated for my tastes, teenagers, especially girls, are the target audience, and I know many of my students will enjoy it.

I must end with a negative. I finished the first book today, and I feel cheated because there is no resolution to the conflict. Instead of creating four books, the author could easily have created one long book rather than leave the reader with a major cliffhanger. I believe this was a ploy to make more money, and it worked. I'm on to the second book. I need closure!

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kierra Cass has me hooked!  I forgive you for making four books.  The Elite is the second in the Selection series. I liked the first book, and it left me hanging, but I actually took a break to read a different book before I dove into this one. The second one was even better! I couldn't put it down! I like Dystopian fiction, especially what I like to call the Original - The Giver. I enjoyed Hunger Games. Matched and Divergent were just okay. I'm not usually a fan of romantic fiction, but this series would be the exception, perhaps because it is also Dystopian. I see it as a cross between the Hunger Games and the TV show The Bachelor.

Or maybe, probably, Mrs. Cass has a way with writing. She stirs my emotions. I root for the characters I like, and I wish for harm to come to those I don't. Tee-hee! Prince Maxon must find a wife, a princess. Each of the provinces of Illea has sent a representative for the Selection, but now, only six remain, the Elite. Our protagonist is one of them, beyond all odds. She is a five; The Prince is a one. How could they have anything in common? And her previous boyfriend, a six, is now a guard at the castle and a two. America must decide who she loves and whether she can be a princess. She must come to grips with what she learns about Illea's founder, and with what she learns about the King. She must work alongside girls who are also in competition for the Prince's heart, and she must do so with grace and dignity, even as Rebels attack the castle to cause the Selection to end.

I won't tell you what happens, but there are many surprises along the way, and I am so engrossed in the story, that I have already begun reading the third in the series. Highly recommend!

View all my reviews

Weekly Roundup

My favorite reads from this week:

Scary Mommy - 10 Things I Want to Say to my Gynecologist.

The truth!  But not just true, so funny!  You can't miss this one!You will relate to at least one of these things, or maybe even all of them!  Panty rack, tissue paper doily, stretch-a-hoo-ha nutcracker looking contraption.  Go and enjoy the humorous truth.  I love the Scary Mommy site, but I would like to leave comments without first having to register.  That's the only drawback.  I always find things I enjoy reading.

Mom Bloggers Club -  Four Keys to Blogging Success That Never Go Out of Style

Even if you don't want your blog to specifically be a "mom" blog, these are some good, general tips for any blog.  These work for people like me who blog for fun, too.  I love to write, so it would be great if I thought more people were reading my blog, so every now and then, looking at some tips reminds me that there are things I can do to keep my blog current.  I especially like this statement:  They don’t simply write about topics, they take you on journeys.  

OrgJunkie - 5 Ways to Create a Bedroom Sanctuary for a Good Night's Sleep

I love sleep.  I don't get enough of it, but I love it!  And I wish I could get a good night's sleep, so I'm always looking for easy things to do to make sleep better.  This post has a few suggestions that you might like.  It's a sponsored post,  but OrgJunkie always includes lots of practical tips in addition to the things she wants to say about the product.  There's a giveaway included, so you might want to give it a look!

I'm linking up with High Heeled Love and My So-Called Chaos for the Weekly Roundup.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Deals from Teleflora

Do you have a relative with an upcoming birthday or anniversary?  Do you know someone who is feeling under the weather?  These are great reasons to send flowers, and Teleflora has some great deals on beautiful, hand-arranged, hand-delivered bouquets.

  Save $15 on Flowers for all Occasions with code AFLSOCC15. Offer valid through 7/31!

Save $15 off our July Bouquet of the Month: Teleflora's Blue Caribbean with code AFLSBQJUL. Offer valid through 7/31!
I know someone who would love these!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July Food Holidays

Who knew?
Almost every day in July is categorized as a food holiday.
Here are some.

July 1 - National Gingersnap Day
July 4 - National Barbecued Spareribs Day
July 5 - National Apple Turnover Day
July 6 - National Fried Chicken Day

July 9 - National Sugar Cookie Day
July 10 - Pick Blueberries Day
July 11 - National Blueberry Muffin Day
July 13 - National French Fries Day
July 14 - Macaroni Day
July 20 - National Lollipop Day
July 23 - National Hot Dog Day
July 29 - National Lasagna Day
July 31 - Jump for Jelly Beans Day

For a complete list, visit The Nibble.
To link with Thursday Thirteen, click here and link up below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's Just My Opinion

The ClosingThe Closing by Ken Oder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Closing is a legal suspense novel. The main character is Nate Abbit, a commonwealth attorney in rural Virginia. Abbit is on a downward spiral. He has ruined his career, his personal life, and his marriage. He almost dies in a car accident. With help from a Judge who also has his secrets, Abbit begins to redeem himself in his legal career. He's changed sides from prosecutor to criminal defense attorney. He is asked to work on the appeal of an inmate whose attorney has died. In the process, he uncovers a chain of lies, deceit, false evidence, obstruction of justice, and other corruption in the small county where his new client's trial was held. As it turns out, the deceased lawyer did not attempt to put on a defense for his client which leaves Abbit to wonder if the man is guilty or innocent, as he claims. Thus begins Nate Abbit's journey, one which very well could lead to his own incarceration for a murder he didn't commit.

This is the only book I have read by Ken Oder. His writing style is very straight forward. The book is easy to read, and the author keeps the reader hooked. Just when you think you've figured out the truth, a new twist is thrown in keeping you guessing at what may happen... until the end where it becomes somewhat predictable. Abbit's motivations also seem clear until the reader reaches the near end of the book, then some of his actions seem incongruent or illogical based on the character's intelligence and experience. But it was a good book, and I would recommend it. I really liked it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random Tuesday

Just some random thoughts today.

A week after my post about post-surgery depression, it's actually gotten worse.  I don't think I've ever been so depressed in my life, even after my father's death.   Well, maybe then, but I don't know.  And it's not just depression from surgery and slow recovery.  There are so many other things going on in the family right now, and I'm just so, so sad.

On a positive note, I have enjoyed some special time with my daughter and son lately.
 My daughter and I watched a movie together.    She took me to the doctor today.  She's taken me shopping a few times.  My son did the grocery shopping with me - that is major - and we cooked dinner together last night.  He also took me to Mardel last weekend since all of their educational items were on sale (it was the last day), and my daughter was working at the time, so we got to see her.

On a completely unrelated note... I have been binge-watching Law and Order.
 I rarely get to control the TV, so I guess that's how this show escaped me, but I love it!  I can watch episode after episode and not get tired of it.  Just not when my husband is home because he thinks the acting is  bad, and he usually determines what we watch most of the time.  So, since I'm home and recovering, I watch TV a lot.  I don't know what I'm going to do when I run out of episodes!

And on another completely unrelated note, I am so sick of the kinds of Facebook posts I'm seeing lately.  There is post after post about gay marriage, the Confederate flag, gun activists and gun controllers, race baiters and race haters, right-to-life groups and abortion proponents, Christian bashers, Muslim bashers, and so on and on and on.  What happened to the Facebook of a couple of years ago, or even just a few months ago?  Where are the cute kitten videos?  Where are the Farmtown and Cafe World requests?  Where are the pokes?  How about the silly quizzes such as "Which Disney Princess are You?"  That's what I want to see on Facebook, not all this hate and controversy.  So I will leave you with this...

 I'm linking up with Stacy Uncorked. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup is sponsored by High-Heeled Love and My So-called Chaos.  Link up your favorite reads from this week.

Organize and Decorate Everything - Spray Painted Wall Art

Spray painting is an easy and economical redecorating tool.  I love the way she totally changed the look of this wall art and how it matches her space better.  You can customize almost any type of art for any room.

Sparkles and Stretchmarks - So You Want to be a Pro-blogger
 Hayley is a mom from the UK, and she's definitely what you would call a professional blogger.  Even if your goal is not to become a pro-blogger, she has many common-sense tips and ideas for managing your blog, even if it's just a hobby.  I really liked the links she included in her section on using tools.  I had no idea these things existed.  Very informative.

Scary Mommy - If My Kid is Being an A**hole, I Want You To Tell Me
As I plan for the upcoming school year, I can't help but wonder what my new students are going to be like... and what their parents will be like because when students start sixth grade, their parents are still very much a part of the educational process.  Susie Johnson, the author of this post, is REAL.  And humorous,  I wish my students' parents could be more like her,  However, they are more likely to deny their angel has done anything questionable.  Not all of them, you understand, but enough of them to matter.  I enjoyed this post.

Salt and Pepper Moms - DIY Painted Lockers
I love these retro lockers!  I believe she has them in her mud room.  Here in Texas, we don't have mud rooms, but I could see this in the garage or even in my classroom.  The hardest part for her was finding them at a decent price, so I should probably start now.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 197

Today is the 197th day of the year.
What else can we learn about the number 197?

1. This is the 197th day in a row that I have read my Bible. I haven't missed a day this year!

2. 197 is written CXCVII in Roman numerals.

3. 197 is a prime number. In case, like me, you've forgotten what a prime number is, it's one that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself.

4. In 197 BC, Ptolemy V was King in Egypt. (credit)

5. On the TV show Revenge,David was falsely accused of being responsible for the crash of Flight 197.

6. 197 KPH is equal to 122.41 MPH.

7. U. S. Route 197, which was established in 1952, spans 69.93 miles in Oregon and Washington. (credit)

8. Gold has an atomic mass of 197, or, to be exact, 196.96657 ± 0.000004 (credit)

9. The 197th Infantry Brigade, also called Sledgehammer, was active as an Organized Reserve Unit from 1921–1942, from 1962–1991 and 2007–2013. (credit)

10. If I lived to be 197, it would be the year 2162. That's not gonna happen! HA HA HA!
11. Episode 197 of Little House on the Prairie aired on January 24, 1983, when I was a senior in high school. Laura writes a book for a book writing contest. Her book is chosen. She travels to Minneapolis to work out a deal with the publisher. However, when the publisher wants her to change some parts in her book, she withdraws from the contest and goes back home. (credit)

12. Number 197 on the Billboard 200 is the album I Will Follow by Jeremy Camp. I've never heard of him! (credit)

13. According to, number 197 on the top 500 registered domains on the Internet is... drumroll, called VK for short. It is the largest European social network with over 100 million users. It makes the Moz list at one below the website for the U S Environmental Protection Agency. HA HA HA! (credit)

I hope you've had some fun at Forgetfulone today!
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Be sure to link up at the New Thursday Thirteen as well as below!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Read This Roundup #42

Check out my review under fiction.
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.
















Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Random Tuesday

I'm joining Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Come join the fun!

So, yesterday I wrote about my post-surgical depression.  My life is pretty sucky right now, and won't improve as soon as I wish it would.  Even though the sling may come off Monday, I am only able to lift my arm slightly in each direction without severe pain.  I will continue physical therapy until I get my full range of motion back or until insurance cuts me off.  It could take 3-6 months, maybe longer.  It would help if I had more spousal support.
My awesome son is back to looking for another job.  He needed some time off to decompress and be a teenager with a social life after going to school full time and working 35 hours a week, but since his money is running out, it's time to go back to work.  He will start classes again in about five weeks, but he still doesn't know what course of study he's most interested in.
Oh!  Faux Pas!  I just ended a sentence with a preposition, and I'm supposedly the Grammar Queen.  Did you see my post last week about being a grammar nerd?  I mostly fit the criteria.
I was reading my daily Bible verses, and it completely fit with what is happening politically in the United States right now.  Romans 1: 24-27  "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised.  Amen, Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." NIV.  Now, whether or not you agree, you can see that there is a strong connection between what I read today (that being only a small portion of it) and current events in the US.

And on a happy note, I went to Hobby Lobby with my wonderful daughter yesterday and helped her choose some accents for her dorm this year.  She and her roommate want a white and gold theme, and I think it's going to look spectacular!


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