Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Magic of Finkleton (Finkleton, #1)The Magic of Finkleton by K.C. Hilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a cute little story. It's actually a series of three books, but the third has not been released yet. The author self-published under the pseudonym K. C. Hilton.

Finkleton is the perfect town in England. The weather is perfect, and the fruits, grains, and vegetables are the best around. The town centers around a shop owned by Harry Finkle. When Uncle Harry dies suddenly, and the Finkles' home in Bath burns down, the Finkles move to Finkleton to take over the shop. Things have not been going well since Uncle Harry died. One by one, the children, Jack, Lizzy, and Robert, put clues together and discover the magic of Finkleton.

The book appears to be set in a time long ago based on the language and the absence of contractions used by characters such as "I'm" and "You're." It's a little static at times, and the children are too syrupy. But overall, it's a creative and entertaining story, and I look forward to reading Return to Finkleton.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Cat Story for T13

1.  My cat, Lacy, is supposed to be an indoor kitty.  My husband, however, likes to let her out in the back yard, usually in the morning.
2.  He leaves the door cracked so she can come in when she is ready.
3.  Sometimes he leaves for work before she comes in.  That is when things get interesting.
4.  One day, she had a locust in her mouth, and it was buzzing loudly.  She was so scared of the buzzing, and I don't think she knew the buzzing was in her mouth. We were laughing so hard.  Upstairs, downstairs, upstairs,, behind the couch, etc.  She finally and dropped it.
5.  One evening, I heard a strange meow which means she has something in her mouth.  Then I heard a squeaking.  Mice really do squeak!  It was a baby mouse, and she had injured it, I think.  She still ran upstairs with it, so I tried to sweep it into the dustpan to get it outside, but I think it died.
6.  Another thing she brought in was a snake.  I have no idea what kind or whether or not it was alive because I hate snakes!  When I heard her weird meow and peeked to see what she had, I ran! Thank goodness my husband was here to deal with that one!
7.  A few days ago, I heard that strange meowing again.  This time it was a lizard.  A big, fat, black lizard, definitely not your garden-variety green lizard.
8.  I dislike lizards almost as much snakes.  No one was here to help me!  I got a trashcan and trapped it before I realized he could probably slide out from under it.  So, the nearest heavy item was our scale.  I held a side of the scale up right in front of the trashcan, lifted the side of the can nearest to the scale, and dropped it on him.
9.  Turns out it was trapped, not smashed as I had hoped.  But I had to stay out the bathroom all day and keep the kitty away because she wanted to play with it, until my husband came home and took it out.
10.  Today, my daughter and I were sitting on the couch, and the cat was behind the loveseat (which is open - not in front of a wall), and we kept hearing a clicking noise.  It sounded like the cat was playing with the wildlife again.
11.  This was just a bug, although I have no idea what kind... black, about an inch long.  When I tried to step on it, it jumped about a foot off the floor.  When it landed, it made the clicking noise my daughter and I had heard before we knew what it was.   Never saw one like it before!
12.  It must have had a hard shell that made the noise when it jumped and landed on the wood floors.
13.  It took me three times, but I was finally able to make contact and flush it!
And that's my cat story, and I'm sticking to it! In spite of all this, I love her!

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy!

What a win!  Astros beat the Indians in 3 games.  Final score of game 3, 11-3.  Go Astros!
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And my Houston Rockets season is about to begin!

Can we just get all the political crap over with?  I know, I know.  It's NEVER over.  How do we expect people not to become divisive when our process, by nature, is divisive?  We have 2 parties.  I realize we have several others, but for those that basically control everything, there are two.  Is there such a thing as non-partisanship?  I don't think there is.  I just want it to be over.
Maybe Florida has the third party system figured out!

The world needs more kittens.  More puppies and kittens.
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And jokes.
Have a great week!

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was good, but I must admit it was disappointing in comparison to Gone Girl. I have not seen the HBO series based on the book, and I'm not sure I will.

Camille Preaker is a reporter who returns to her hometown to get the scoop on the disappearances and subsequent murders of two young girls. We later learn that Camille has recently been released from a psychiatric facility because she is a cutter. We also learn that her sister Marian died when Camille was about 13 years old.

When Camille returns to Wind Gap, she stays at her family's mansion with her mother Adora Crellin, step-father, and her 13 year old half sister Amma. Camille never had a good relationship with her mother who preferred her sister Marian. The relationship is tenuous with the entire family. Amma is a spoiled brat who one minute is playing with her doll house and the next minute is drinking, doing drugs, and teasing all the boys with her blossoming figure.

Camille befriends the detective who is in town from Kansas City to help the small town police department solve the crime. Together, the two of them uncover some clues, but Camille seems to uncover more reliable clues based on her interviews with the townspeople. The reader ultimately learns the reasons Marian died, the reasons Amma behaves the way she does, the reasons Adora is aloof, and who the killer is.

Several things bothered me about this book. First, it was too predictable. You will figure out what is happening long before the author plans for you to know. Second, the character of Amma never made sense. She was at once behaving like a seven-year old brat and then a sexy woman-child. It seems Ms. Flynn couldn't decide which characterization of Amma would move the plot forward more. Either way, it didn't work. Also, the characterization overall was lacking. There did not appear to be motivation for what many of the characters did. Last, she said in 254 pages what could have been a good story in half that many pages. There were pages and pages that did not add to the story or were repetitive.

I didn't love this book; it was just "okay." You might like it, but parts of it annoyed me.

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Monday, October 01, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

What a busy week and weekend it's been!  We had a houseguest last week, my daughter's boyfriend.  He was here to do classroom observations.  He is living about 4 hours away right now. It was unusual having another person in the house, then also having my son home over the weekend.  Too many people!  I love them all dearly, but I'm not used to things being so busy anymore.  Empty nest is not going to be a huge problem for me.

My husband and I need to have our shower replaced.  We have needed to for a while.  This past week it was extremely evident that we cannot continue to share one shower!  We also have two bathtubs, but no one wants to take a bath every day.

And speaking of showers, I finally got one of those turbo shower spinners.  I've been wanting one for a while.  It's works pretty well, but I think when I put one of the other brushes on it, it will work better.

Have you heard this?  A private boys' high school in Miami had WILD animals for decorations at their prom including a live tiger in a cage.  It's really a sad story.  The poor tiger was pacing and pacing while there was a performer with fire and dancing with loud music.  I hope PETA put them in their place!

And now for some funnies...

Have a great week!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

I'm exhausted, so just some funnies for today.

Texas state "rodent" with a Lone Star beer!


Have a great week!

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The One and Only IvanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this Newbery Award winner. The story about Ivan, a gorilla who lives in a cage in a mall. It is based on a true story of a Silverback who was captured in the wild and lived behind the glass walls of an enclosure for 27 years. The author's note explains the differences between the real facts and the novel.

The story is told in first person by Ivan himself. He watches the world go by, learns about humans, creates "art," and makes friends with some of the other animals. He even has a friend in the custodian's daughter. Ivan is complacent about his situation until Ruby, a baby elephant, joins them under the big top at the mall. He watches how she is trained to perform. He comforts her when she misses her family. Then Ivan decides to do something about it.

This is a story about animals in captivity who are forced to perform, but it's also a story about human nature and friendship. I think you'll like it.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Remember When...

1.  We had to answer the phone without knowing who was on the other end.

2.  All the stores were closed on Sunday.

3.  We had to set the VCR to tape our favorite shows.

4.  Dial-up was the only way to access the WWW.

5.  Car phones were the size of two bricks and at least as heavy as one.

6.  No one carried a backpack to school.

7. Bubble gum was a penny.
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8.  Your first TV remote had a wire.

9.  Microwaves were almost as large as a regular oven.

10. Doctors made house calls.

11.  We would "lay out" all day because we didn't know the sun could cause skin cancer.

12. We waited "in line" instead of spending all day online.

13. You had to go inside the restaurant to order food.

I hope this brings back some memories!
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Photo Day

Copyright DLA
This picture that I took is the side of a building in downtown Houston.
I'm proud to be born and raised here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.  Come join the fun!

I'm so mad at Bath and Body Works!  No, not mad enough to quit buying their products, of course.  They used to have aromatherapy "sleep" fragrances:  lavender & chamomile and lavender  & vanilla.  They still make a lavender vanilla fragrance, but it's different.  They don't carry the lavender chamomile fragrance anymore.  They changed their "sleep" fragrance to lavender and cedarwood.  It's nice, but it's not the same!  They also have a "comfort" fragrance that is nice:  vanilla and patchouli.  It's kind of like candy and pepper.  I like it!

Speaking of cedarwood... When I was growing up, I was always told that my sister was allergic to cedar so I would inherit my mom's cedar chest.  I loved that cedar chest.  I had it in my home for a while waaayyyyy back when I was in my 20's, but I have no idea what happened to it.  It sorta bums me out.
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And speaking of allergies... I've been writing a personal narrative at work, teaching my students how to write, so I've been writing about the time I stepped on a nail when I was 6 or 7.  That is when they found out I was allergic to tetanus.  Yep!  I got out of taking the DPT booster vaccine all my life because of it.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  It just IS.  You might be surprised how difficult it is to document this kind of allergy for school officials.  I was always very careful about playing outside barefooted after that.

And now...

I saw this on Facebook, and it made me sad.  I, too, have a Master's Degree, many, many years experience, and have had to work two jobs to make ends meet.  It shouldn't be this way.  I'd be making two or three times my current salary if I were a professional in another industry.

And on the funny, but also true side...

And Hahaha!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, and I was excited to find out what would happen next at each point, but I feel like this time, Dan Brown dragged the story out more than was necessary. Luckily, he's a good author; otherwise, I might not have read the entire book which is almost 600 pages. Actually, I love the Robert Langdon character who is said to be based on Dan Brown himself.

Science versus creation, a long-time theme in Brown's books, is the subject of Origin. This time, Robert Langdon is in Spain to attend the unveiling of his long-time friend's discovery. Edmond Kirsch has discovered the answers to two questions: Where did we come from? Where are we going? The curator of the museum where he will make his presentation, Ambra Vidal, is engaged to the Prince, soon-to-be-king, of Spain. At just the moment that the answers are going to be revealed, there is an event that will prevent release of the information. Not to worry, though. The reader finds out what Edmond's discoveries were. I can't say that I agree with Kirsch's answers to either question, but it is interesting, and I feel like I know so much more about both religion and Spain.

The book is full of intrigue, subtle humor, art, politics, architecture, history, religion, science and technology, betrayal, loyalty, artificial intelligence, codes, and symbols and suspense.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fun Friday!

Fun Friday!  Wanna play?

I saw these ads in my garage sale group on Facebook, and they made me giggle.

For sale:  SNORES maker.

I don't know about you, but here at my house, we don't need any help making snores!  My husband does very well at that, and if I'm sick, I can make a pretty good snore, too.  LOL

For sale: HORIZONTAL file cabinet

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this appears to be a regular vertical file cabinet, right?  A horizontal cabinet would have the shelves NEXT to each other, not one of top of the other.  Correct?  Or am I confused?  I really don't know now!

Have a great weekend!

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