Saturday, September 25, 2021

Sunday Synopsis

 I'm back!  With lots to catch up on next week!  But for today, I have a review of a book called Mulholland Dive by one of my favorite authors,  Michael Connelly.  It is a collection of three separate tales that could have been part of some of the books he has written, especially "Two Bagger."

Mulholland DiveMulholland Dive by Michael Connelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love Michael Connelly, and I was very disappointed in these three stories. He is so good at weaving complex details into the plot that it made them seem unfinished. One, in particular, sounded like a scene from a book by Connelly that I had already read.

The first story is called "Cahoots," and it is about a cheater in a backroom poker game being caught. The second story, "Mulholland Dive," a man deciphers codes and investigates fatal car accidents. Last is "Two Bagger" about a cop who is tailing a recently-released convict he believes is up to no good.

These short stories end abruptly without a definite resolution to the conflict. The reader is left wondering. These could easily have been worked in as subplots to his novels rather than languishing in a book on a shelf.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 20, 2021

Hello Tuesday

I'm off celebrating my birthday week! Be back soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Synopsis Picoult's Small Great Things

 

 Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually find Picoult's books to be thought-provoking, and in a way this one was, too, but there were things about this book that can't get me past a simple, "I liked it" 3 stars. I can't say I REALLY liked it or that it was amazing. Let me explain why.

First of all, there are three main perspectives, and each one is a stereotype, one-dimensional in characterization. There is Ruth, the black labor and delivery nurse who went to prestigious schools including Yale, paid for by her mom's employer. She is the quintessential black character who doesn't "act black" and occasionally gets called out on it. She gets asked not to touch a white baby at her job, and something unimaginable happens.

The next one is a do-gooder public defender who ends up asking to take Ruth's case yet refuses to mention race which was clearly the reason for the debacle she is in. Kennedy, the attorney, claims she doesn't see color, then toward the end of the book claims she can see her own white privilege getting in the way.

Then there is the white supremacist couple who ask the hospital not to put their baby with an African-American nurse or doctor.

Ruth is thrown into an emergency situation where she MUST watch the baby, and shortly thereafter, the baby has complications. The white supremacists think she did something, but of course, she is just a scapegoat. Each of these characters are one-dimensional. They are role players in the story.

Next, the title comes from a quote by Martin Luther King that says, "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." I don't feel like the title fit the story.

Also Jodi Picoult is a white woman writing from the perspective of a black woman, and not really doing a great job with it. This annoyed me. It is not easy to put yourself in the shoes of someone else whose life has gone completely opposite of your own.

It is supposed to become a movie staring Viola Davis as Ruth and Julia Roberts as Kennedy the Attorney, and I would love to watch that, but I sure hope it moves more quickly than the book. If anything, I questioned my own attitudes about the topics presented in the novel, so that's a good thing. But I also don't feel like Picoult accurately gave the African American viewpoint and it was very presumptuous of her to try. I cannot claim to know how to write from a POV of a black person.

I kept reading and reading thinking there would be this great climax to the story, but I was disappointed. I enjoyed 19 Minutes, My Sister's Keeper, House Rules, and A Spark of Light much better.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Fun Photos

 This week's theme is animals!

My son and his goat Kuzko back in 2013



My son, his pig, and his sponsors, 2014.


My cat, Lacy.




Two of my granddogs!

Rhino at the Abilene Zoo back in 2015.

See  you later, Alligator!

Find more fun photos at image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Random Tuesday, Here Comes Nick


 Wow.  Hurricanes and tropical storms do not usually scare me, but as I sit here listening to the wind whip against my house, and the rain come down in literal buckets, I'm feeling a bit uneasy.  It's not often that school is cancelled, doctor's offices close in the middle of the day with little warning, grocery stores look like they did during the "Great Toilet Paper Quest of 2020," and even pizza delivery is put on hold.  And apparently, flights are cancelled as well, which, by the sound of the wind, I would hope so.

Tropical Storm Nicholas is set to make landfall some time tonight.  I only live 35 miles north of Galveston, so we are accustomed to coastal flooding and strong winds.  The past has shown that a tropical storm can cause as much damage as a hurricane.  There is a fine distinction in wind speed with tropical storm winds slightly lower than those of a category 1 hurricane.

Am I scared?  Not really.  I've always felt an abiding faith that I am going to be okay.  The noise is a little disconcerting right now, though. And poor Louisiana!  They are set to get much of what we are getting and they are still recovering from the previous storm.

The storm surge is a cause for concern.  It is unpredictable how much the seawater will rise above normally expected tides.  Thirteen years ago, the storm surge from Hurricane Ike caused almost $25 Billion (with a B) in damages.

Iconic Ike Photo from my area

Although Texas and Louisiana have declared states of emergency, we are not under an evacuation order.  I trust our city leaders to  guide us during times of crisis, and I trust God to guide me personally, so I am not freaking out, just a little uneasy with the sound right now and praying for anyone who is actually suffering during this storm.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so....

I could get this for my husband!  Gotta love him!



This always bothered me when I was teaching.


This isn't just a southern thing, right?







One more difference between dogs and cats

And last, but not least,

Awwww.


I'm linking up with Stacy for Random Tuesday Thoughts and Sandee for Happy Tuesday.  Have a great week!


Sunday, September 12, 2021

9/11 Exactly Where I Was

 

Image Credit

I remember exactly where I was on 9/11/01. My next-door-teacher came to get me from my classroom to show me on the television what was happening. 

At first, I thought it was a Hollywood stunt. Then, I thought it was a joke. He explained it to me, and reality sank in. 

I realized why the skies had been eerily quiet that morning. I lived near a major airport, and I was so accustomed to planes flying over every few minutes, and there was nothing in the sky. I was at the school where I taught at the time. My twins, age five at the time, were at a different school for kindergarten. 

I know exactly where I was, and I remember how I felt. I hope we never forget. I hope we are better prepared for a tragedy such as this, and I hope it never happens on American soil again. 

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Thursday Thirteen - Wedding Shower Cards


 I have been searching the Internet (Google and Pinterest, basically) for a unique card idea  to make before Saturday.  I'm thinking about one of these. (Click to see a larger version of the card.)














I would, of course, change the wording on this one.












Do you have a favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Visit Thursday Thirteen for more fun lists!

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Fun Photos

 I love outdoor shots of plants, flowers, structures, and water features.  Here are just a few near the area where I live.

No idea what this is, but it reminded me of cabbage.







Visit image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday for more fun photos!


Monday, September 06, 2021

Happy Random

 

I've never understood why people like the smell of laundry that has hung on the line outside to dry.  I cannot stand the smell of "outside."  You know what I mean? Am I really the only one? That smell you get after you've been outside in 90 degree heat for 2 or 3 minutes. I cannot imagine wanting my sheets to smell like that!  To me, they don't smell clean.  I guess I just like the fake softness and smell of using a dryer sheet in my laundry.

One of my grandmothers (Mamaw) always hung her laundry to dry.  It fascinated me as a kid, and I loved playing out in the yard with the sheets on the line. I think the reason she hung it out was financial; it costs nothing. Using an automatic dryer costs money.  She and Papaw had five kids, one who died at just over 1 year, and they were depression-era farmers, so money was in short supply and never wasted on something unnecessary.  I think that's what made my dad so good at saving money without being stingy.

 My other grandmother (we did not call her granny or grandma), as much as I can recall, hardly did any physical labor and always used her automatic washer and dryer.  I guess she did some gardening. My grandfather did most of the cooking.  They both worked outside the home until retirement; he was in sales; she was in insurance. Even after retirement, they managed a convenience store in the Texas Hill Country before it was so populated like it is now. My mom was an only child, but she spent her summers at camp or hanging out with her cousins, so she wasn't always alone.

Funny how one image can lead to all these memories of loved ones that I dearly miss.  Out of all of them, I only have my mom left, and having my dad pass away suddenly at age 69 taught me the hard lesson that tomorrow is not promised.


Earlier, I was speaking about my Mamaw and Dad saving money.  I'm sure you've heard of Rakuten.  I got $55 back last month (and some great discounts) doing my regular online shopping, no special purchases... just my every day stuff.  What's not to like about that?  And it's super easy!

Now more happiness!








Hahaha!  My kind of joke!


This is appropriate with COVID and all the runs on toilet paper and tissues!



Out of the mouths of babes!
And last, but not least...
HAHAHAHA!


Have a great week!




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