Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coffee Chat

I'm joining Rory Bore at Ink Interrupted for Coffee Chat.  No random stuff today.  Almost didn't make it for Coffee.  I'm feeling a bit disorganized lately and rushed.  So much to do at work.  As soon as I catch up, I'm swamped again!

Today, our lovely hostess asks us...
What is your go to Confidence Booster?

Wow.  What?  First, I think...Who?  Definitely not my mother.  Actually, that's not necessarily true.  If she knows I need a pep talk, she'll give me one.  But if I'm just spending time with her, and she's not giving me a pep talk on purpose, she can be very negative.  She tends to point out that other people are prettier, smarter, better in some way.  I honestly don't think she means to, but she grew up with a very negative mom, so she must know how it affects people.  Avoid negativity!

My husband.  He's my go-to-guy.  He can boost my confidence.  Sometimes he might not realize I need a boost, but when he knows I do, he's the best.
My daughter, too, is a great confidence booster, and she doesn't even realize she's doing it.  She'll tell someone how much she admires me.  She'll thank me for sacrificing for her.  And if she knows I'm down, she'll tell me all the reasons I need to be up.

Planning an interactive, engaging lesson boosts my confidence.

Reading the Bible and/or attending church boost my confidence.

Donating goods or money to organizations that I feel are worthy boosts my confidence.

And your comments on my blog boost my confidence!

Here's a quick fix to boost your confidence:  Fake it till you make it!  Appear self-confident.  Speak with confidence. And you will become confident.

How do you boost your confidence?

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunday Synopsis

Beware That GirlBeware That Girl by Teresa Toten
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I rarely just think a book is "Just OK." I purchased this book because it was advertised like this: "For fans of We Were Liars, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train comes a powerful psychological thriller with a gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists."

Not necessarily true. I didn't hate the book, but I really found no parallels to Gone Girl or Girl on the Train, both of which I loved, except for the fact that both books have a psychopath in them. That's it. There were no Hitchcockian twists in this book, either. I was rarely surprised by any plot events.

Beware That Girl follows the lives of Kate, the poor scholarship girl, and Olivia, the rich, high society girl, who both attend a private girls' academy in New York. Kate is a street-smart liar who worms her way in to Olivia's life, a life full of money and privilege. Kate is outrunning her past which is revealed during flashbacks that can often be confusing. Olivia is basically doing the same running from her past as she had some psychological issues the previous year. Enter the mysterious Mark Redkin, a sexual deviant who has no remorse for the evils he commits. How these three lives merge is the basis of the plot.

I do admit wanting to know more and more and having a hard time putting it down because the author only gives little doses of information here and there, so you have to read quite a bit to feel satisfied that you know more than you did when you started. It tends to be repetitive.

Every other chapter is from a different character's point of view, Kate or Olivia, except those that are from both. But even if the chapter is from Olivia's point of view, it sounds like someone else is talking about her. There is an omniscient narrator which is difficult to understand since there are different points of view throughout the book.

The ending is quite disappointing. I don't want to spoil anything, but a complete resolution is not achieved. This is one of my pet peeves. There is a tragedy at the end, but it does not tell the reader who the real villain is. They all 3 are villains in their own ways. And of course, it is extremely far-fetched.

The description also says that this book is meant for older teens and up. It is so dark and demented that I would not recommend it to a teen, older or not.

If you get this as a bargain book, I would recommend it, but I wouldn't pay full price for it.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This is a typical day

Play along at Thursday Thirteen.

I worked from 8AM to 5:15 PM with a half hour break for lunch.  This is what I did when I came home:

1.  Chopped vegetables
2.  Cooked dinner
3.  Washed dishes
4.  Cleaned Kitchen Counters
5.  Swept the kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and living room
6.  Dusted the downstairs furniture
7.  Vacuumed four of our five bedrooms
8.  Cleaned out the vacuum cleaner
9.  Gathered trash from the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs and took it out
10. Scooped the kitty litter
11. Ironed a shirt
12. Went through a large stack of mail
13. AND wrote a message for the belated birthday card I'm sending to my nephew

(And... after all that, I also did some school work.)

I didn't get to do any of these things I would have liked such as
Eat peanut butter M&Ms
Drink a Coke
Watch several TV shows
Take a bubble bath

Play computer games
Read for fun
OR Organize my scrapbook supplies

Oh, well.  Maybe I can do the pleasant things this weekend!
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Random and a Chat

I'm linking up with Stacy for some Random Thoughts on Tuesday.

I've heard a lot of those Ancestry DNA and 23 and Me commercials on the radio lately and seen some on TV, too.

DNA Testing?  Do I really need to know that someone with my DNA tends to get pulled muscles when she runs?  Do I really need to know that I am 0.5% Hungarian?  Do I really need to know that I might inherit hearing loss?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "No.  I don't need to know all that."  Now, if I am ever in line for an organ transplant, perhaps that could change.  I don't know.

But do I really want my DNA out there?  Do I want my DNA in the hands of who-knows?

Again, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "No."  Why would I want my DNA out there in some database for infinity?  Who knows what could happen to it!  Once you've sent your sample off, you're no longer in control of what happens to it, where it goes, or who uses it?  What if I am framed for a crime?  (Yes, I watch a lot of police procedural dramas.)  But I still think that, at this point, I don't need to know.

New Topic
The struggle is real.

You've heard of fat-shaming, body-shaming, cigarette-smoking-shaming.
But I'm here to tell you that Coca-Cola shaming is REAL.

I used to drink 3 or 4 Cokes a day.  My sister still does.  Now I drink one a day, usually, and sometimes even less than that.  But people still give me a hard time about it!  "You drink regular Coke?" they inquire. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do.  I don't like the taste of Diet Coke, and I'd rather use real sugar in my Coke rather than too much aspartame.   People like to brag, "I never drink sodas anymore."  Fine.  Good for you!  I love Coke, and if one-a-day is going to kill me, so be it.  I also drink iced tea, decaf tea, and water, so it's not like Coke is all I drink.  Oddly, I don't drink coffee at all... ever!  I love the smell, but not the taste.

New Topic
24 Legacy

I loved - loved - 24 with Kiefer Sutherland.  I watched it religiously.  So when I heard a new 24 was coming out, 24 Legacy, I knew I would eventually have to watch it.  The first episode was after the Super Bowl, and I have been recording them so I'd have a few to watch all at the same time.  I started yesterday, and I've watched 4 episodes so far.  I like it!  Of course, I miss Kiefer, but the new guy, Corey Hawkins, does a great job playing a similar role.  Have you seen it?

Coffee Chat
This week, our hostess asks us
What is your favourite indulgence?

Well, since you brought it up, yes. I love Coca-Cola, especially a fountain Coke.  I read an article the other day about why McDonald's Cokes taste better than others.  It was an interesting read.  But as I said above, only one a day in most cases.

Another indulgence is something I discovered only a few months ago.  Peanut Butter M&Ms.  Not peanut M&Ms.  Peanut butter!  OMGosh, they are so good, and so addicting.  I could get one of those giant bags and eat the whole thing.  I could.  But I don't.  Because that would be, well, piggy of me.

And a final indulgence is getting to take a hot bubble bath, uninterrupted, where I can sit in the relaxing water and read my book for about an hour.  Sooooo nice!  What are your favorite indulgences?

That's all for now!

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Synopsis

All of the AboveAll of the Above by Shelley Pearsall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our school is using this book as a "read it forward." The librarian asked me to read it, and I begrudgingly accepted, but when I actually started reading, I zipped through it - close to 150 pages on the first day alone.

The book is an easy read for an adult, but that does not make the story any less compelling. It is based on a true story, which also makes it more appealing.

The book is narrated by several dynamic characters: James Harris III, Marcel, Rhondell, Sharice, and their math teacher Mr. Collins. There are a few other characters as well. During the course of the novel, the reader develops a connection with most of the characters and actually cares what happens to them. The author describes settings and people in such a way that the reader can easily picture what is happening. The story never becomes dull or slow.

This novel is about a group of inner-city kids and their math teacher. They are all bored with math. Even the teacher finds no more joy in it, so he asks what would make it better. They decide to have a contest in which the students at the old, crumbling schoolhouse on Washington Boulevard will attempt to create the world's largest tetrahedron and break a world record.

Along the way, individual character's personal stories are intertwined with the story of the whole group. There is some humor, some sadness, some unpredictable events. Find out whether the group is able to achieve their goal, and whether the characters can overcome their difficulties.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday Thirteen St. Pat's

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  Since I'm half Irish, I thought I'd collect a few facts about it.
Thursday Thirteen Play Along!

1.  Saint Patrick was born in Britain. At age 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave.   He escaped 6 years later but returned to Ireland.

2.  He is Ireland's patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland. (My daughter visited St. Patrick's Cathedral last year.)
copyright Forgetfulone

3.  Saint Patrick died on March 17 in the fifth century.  This date has been a holiday for over 1,000 years.
copyright Forgetfulone

4.  Since it occurs during Lent, St. Patrick's day was observed by first attending church then celebrating in the afternoon.  The prohibition of consuming meat was waived so celebrants could feast on traditional Irish bacon and cabbage.  Now people eat corned beef and cabbage.

5.  The shamrock, Irish clover, is associated with St. Patrick's Day because this is what he used to explain the Holy Trinity to  them.

6.  On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers who were serving in the English army marched in New York City. This was the first St. Patrick's Day parade.

7. Since 1962, the Chicago River has been dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.

8.  Even the Coliseum in Rome is "turned" green for St. Patrick's Day.  (My daughter was there last year.)
copyright forgetfulone

9.  About 1 million people take part in St. Patrick's Day festivals in Dublin, Ireland each year.

10.  It was St. Patrick's idea to superimpose a sun onto a cross creating the Celtic Cross.  The sun was a symbol of Irish lore, so he incorporated it with the cross to make it more natural to them.

11. St. Patrick's blue was the color of St. Patrick's Day until the Irish nationalism became  more popular during the 1790's.  From then on, green has been the color associated with it.

12. The correct abbreviation for St. Patrick's Day is NOT St. Patty's.  It is St. Paddy's Day.  Patty is short for Patricia.  Paddy is short for Padraig, a variant of Patrick.

13. As for Saint Patrick banishing all the snakes from Ireland... That one is a myth.

Thanks to the History Channel for providing photos & information that helped in my research.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

So Random and Coffee Chat

I'm linking up with Stacy Uncorked and Ink Interrupted.

So... having a conflict at work, and it is totally raining on my spring break parade.
 It pervades my thoughts and dreams, mostly thoughts.  I replay situations in my head.  It doesn't leave my mind for long before it's back.  You've probably been there before.  I would have liked to get it solved before spring break, but two of the three other people involved decided to leave instead of confronting the issue.  So, I wait. (heavy sigh)

But at least I've got my kids home for a week!
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I actually watched The Bachelor this season.  I had a feeling he'd end up with Vanessa, but I really wanted him to end up with Raven. My heart broke for her. Vanessa is too strong-willed and demanding.  She's beautiful, and she has a worthy occupation, but she kind of gripes too much.  Raven is also beautiful, but she's less demanding, more playful, and loyal.  They are both confident and strong.  Oh well.  He didn't ask me to choose for him.  I hope he and Vanessa will be so very happy together.

And I'm looking forward to Rachel being the new Bachelorette.  She is from my home state, you know.  She, too, is a beautiful, smart, and confident woman.  For so long, I refused to watch these shows.  I don't normally like reality TV.  Much of it is scripted, anyway.  I got sucked in the last three or four weeks of Ben's season.  I don't know how.  But I'm hooked.

So, today would have been my dad's 82nd birthday.  He passed in October, 2004.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him.  I'm going to try to stay busy by meeting a friend for lunch, a movie, and a trip to Hobby Lobby.

St. Patrick's Day is Friday.  Do you have plans?  I don't.  However, my grandfather, dad's dad, was born on March 17, 1898.  Pretty cool, huh? And yes, he was Irish.

I need to lose about fifteen pounds before our daughter's wedding, or 20, or more, but diets are so hard for me!    I have no willpower like I did when I was younger.  I've got 12 weeks.  But this is me...

And now, Coffee Chat

Today our hostess asks...
Where are your Lucky Charms?  
It's St. Patricks Day this week, whether you are Irish or not, 
do you have any special totems or symbols of your culture?

I don't have any lucky charms or totems, so to speak.  But I do have a pecan that my grandfather gave me once when we were walking around the property of his retirement home. Even at age 98, he liked to get out and take walks.  I've kept in all these years, and probably always will, not as a lucky charm, just as a remembrance.
I used to have a rabbit's foot (more than one) when I was younger.  It wasn't a REAL rabbit's foot, of course, but it represented it.  It was said that a rabbit's foot would bring good luck, prosperity, and success to the person carrying it.

The biggest symbol in my culture is the cross.  It is a symbol of Christ's crucifixion which happened in order to set us free from sin.   Another symbol is the ichthus, or fish.  The letters in the Greek word ichthus each represented a word:  Jesus, Christ, of God, Son, and Savior. "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior."  The ichthus was a code word and symbol used to express their convictions by those afraid of persecution. (Reference)
That's all for this week!

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