January 31, 2011

January reflections

What a month!
Baptism in the River Jordan
  • January 1  - woke up on the Mediterranean coast.  The next two weeks were a whirlwind.  Physically strenuous. Emotionally exhilarating.  
  • Sailing on the Sea of Galilee,  climbing the hills of Jerusalem
Plane wing being de-iced
  • Flew home January 11 --  a perfect day of travel for me -- others were stuck due to snow, but Delta and God got me through!
  • Snowbound for a few days, which gave a chance to rest and begin some great books.
  • Son-in-law's brain tumor came back. Prayer warriors uniting.
    • My double aunt's funeral was yesterday.  Double because she was Mother's sister and married to Daddy's brother, so I saw cousins on both sides of the family ... some I hadn't seen since we were children.   I like what Tracey C. wrote on FB: "Cousins are the first friends most people ever have as children. No one will ever understand your crazy family like your cousins. Even if you haven't talked much lately."
    How was your month?

    January 28, 2011

    Friday Blog Hops - January 28

    Today's question from Book Blogger Hop  "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

     I enjoyed Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Sisters when it first came out, so I've already pre-ordered The Four Ms. Bradwells.  Here's a summary from Clayton's website:
    Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979—the four have supported one another through life’s challenges.

    Parajunkee's View Follow Me Friday asks:
    What was your favorite subject in school?
    In high school it was algebra and trig.  The challenges were like solving fun puzzles.  I adored the teachers, Mrs. Hansen and Miss Simmons.  One day in trig when I caught on to a sine problem, I yelled out, "Ohhh!"  Miss Simmons laughed.  Had the best intentions of majoring in math in college, but changed my mind the first quarter. No favorite subject in college/grad school -- just finish and get out!  The world was awaitin'

    January 27, 2011


    Booking Through Thursday asks a question about books or reading.

    This week's question is: What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?

    I was 13 years old and visiting my Grandmother's farm.  A hardback copy of Gone with the Wind was on my Aunt Virginia's bookshelf.  I started reading it one summer afternoon.  Finished it at 2 am the next morning! A very satisfying read for a Georgia girl!

    Just remembered another thick one, with even more pages,  Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, in hardback.  It was a library book;  liked it so much I searched for an out-of-print hardback on the Internet and bought it.  Going to be a movie soon.

    And I loved James Michener's books -- HawaiiChesapeake, Centennial, and others.

    What about you?  Your heaviest books?  Boring school textbooks don't count! (wink)

    Full of Reflections

    Dean Family 1922
    I'm full of memories and reflections today.  

    My Aunt Marguerite died peacefully this morning, two days past her 98th birthday.   My mother, three aunts,  and a very young cousin have died within 11 months of each other.

    Starting at far left,  Marguerite,  Minerva, father Clyde, Nell,  baby Henry, mother Jessie, Wilmoth.   One brother who came 9 years after Henry is still living.  I cherish this Uncle.

    Another picture --  this one from 1958, at one of the many Christmases we had at Oak Lawn.  Different stages of saying "cheese."
    front:  Marguerite, Wilmoth, Jessie, Nell, Minerva  back:  Henry, C.W.

    January 22, 2011

    review: How to Be Perfect

    How to Be Perfect
    author:  Daniel M. Harrell
    published January 5, 2011
    publisher and source:  Faith Words

    I just returned from a trip to Israel and Jordan.  While there, we saw how rough the Wilderness is. The Jews who wandered for forty years with Moses needed a set of rules to keep healthy.  The Jews in the Promised Land also needed the regulations -- to remain healthy, live together as a group, and to follow the laws of G_d.  The priests, the Levites, were told specifically how to worship.

    That's where the Biblical book Levictus comes in.

    Levictus!   At the beginning of every year, many people make a resolution to read the Bible all the way through that year, but they fall by the wayside when they hit Levictus.

    Daniel M. Harrell, a pastor in Boston,  challenges his congregation through email to follow the rules in Levictus.  Twenty members take up the challenge, and this makes the basis of How to Be Perfect. They communicated through Facebook.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially after being in Israel. One good chapter is about getting worked up over Sabbath. We were there for two Sabbaths. Our Israeli Jewish guide made a point of going home to her own family both Friday nights. It was also neat to see the local (Israeli) Jews celebrate in our hotel with their children; and the teens, oh! the teenagers! But I digress....

    This is a book I'm glad to have had the privilege to read, I recommend it to you.

    As a side note, here is a great article by Bob Deffinbaugh on Learning to Love Levictus.

    Here is a place where you can read the excerpt from Harrell's book or order a copy.

    January 21, 2011

    Bloggiesta - update

    Aaaargh,  I had a post all written about Bloggiesta and it went bye-bye.
    Breathe, Betty, breathe.
    Confession:  I'm the world's worst procrastinator and I could give a run for the people in Hoarders (which I refuse to watch).  So here comes Bloggiesta to make me accountable.   Hmmm, that's why I started this blog in the first place -- see the subtitle up in the header.  

    I don't like to set goals, they're a nasty list of "must-do, should do, ought do things," tsk-tsk you haven't done them yet?  So I'm joining the Fiesta, the party, the fun.
    Here's my list of goals, hey cool!  Amy has a mini-challenge on blogging goalsTaking a deep breath, holding it and turning blue
    • find all the review and TBR books I have around here.  On the floor, on the chairs and the sofa, under my nightstand.
    • organize these books a la Jenn's Bookshelves.  That includes writing all the review books in my little Moleskine planner I bought after reading Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
    • organize my email with great hints from Trish of Hey, Lady.
    • create a template for review posts --  hopefully I'll find a place to learn how
    • start some review posts for books I haven't read yet -- with the covers, titles, release dates.  This is mundane "housekeeping" which is required before the creativity
    • read, read, read -- I'm so far behind and reading is beginning to be a chore that I play mindless iPad games instead of reading.  (Another confession: I'm a video-game addict.)
    • add a new page up at the top listing books I've already reviewed.  Wish there was a way I can alphabetize them. 
    • Read other Bloggiesta participants' posts (yes, Betty... another lecture to self:  I know this is another form of procrastination -- but maybe you'll learn, so grab your pom poms and cheer them on!)

    January 20, 2011

    Friday Blog Hop - January 21

    Parajunkee's View asks this week:  Who do you root for?
    If you're talking sports,  it is the Lady Volunteers of the University of Tennessee coached by Pat Summitt, basketball's winningest coach.  The Lady Vols even have a blog.
    No blog hop on Crazy for Books this week.  J. had to go out of town for a funeral.

    Grace and Strength

    This morning I lay in bed reading some blogs on my iPhone -- a lazy way to start the day in a good way.    Two posts were so similar to each other, I knew this was a nudge to me.  When you hear the same thing two or three times or even more in a short span, you know it was meant for you.

    Lara, the Farmer's Wife wrote inCourage about Sustaining Grace.  She said "all I could pray was, "Lord, give me whatever it is that I need to make it through this day."   At day's end, Lara "realized I hadn’t gotten myself through the day at all.  God’s sustaining grace had."

    Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional for the day talks about True Strength and paradoxes.  He concludes,  "We become strong (in Christ) as we recognize our own human weakness, when we depend more on Him and less on ourselves"

    Both Lara and Dr. Jeremiah use 2nd Corinthians 12:9.  Here it is as in the NIrV:

    January 17, 2011

    Moody Publishers

    Congrats to Moody Publishers for their new Inside Pages.
    They're having a Launch Party with prizes starting today.  Check it out here.

    Disclaimer:  receiving nothing from Moody Publishers for this post.

    January 14, 2011

    Friday blog hops - January 14

    Book Blogger Hop "Why do you read the genre that you do?  What draws you to it?"
    I enjoy YAs, especially the dystopian type, because they are quicker and easier to read. For several years, I had a "blah" attitude about reading;  enjoyed only The Help.  I suspect it had to do with my glasses (long story).  Through a miracle, I found out the problem.   Last spring, I started reading YAs and was hooked again.
         I also enjoy other types of books,  non-fiction, memoirs, mysteries.  It all depends on the mood of the moment.  That's why I have about four books going at once.

    What makes up your non-human family??
    Button, age 16.  Constantly with me.

    Also grand-cats:  Phoebe, Cleo, Jackson, and Cicero
    Jackson, loves laps and to shed fur
    Cicero - only a few months old, more fur than anything else.  A laid-back fellow.

    January 3, 2011

    Blogger Unplugged

    I'll be unplugged for couple of weeks.

    One thing I'll be doing is reading the five non-fiction books that made the short list for the Indie Lit Awards (see sidebar to the right).

    In no specific order, they are:

    Now off to take a nap.  

    January 2, 2011

    tour: Second Chance

    subtitle:  How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog
    author Sandra J. Gerencher
    published April 2008

    Welcome to the Tribute Books virtual tour of Second Chance.  This brief 28-page book packs a wallop within its covers.  There's adoption of both a young boy and a shelter dog.  There's the boy's autism.  There's confusion in moving to a new home and learning new rules.  Plus another dog attempts to show who is alpha and adds to the drama.  So many topics all tied up in one dog.

    The story is told from the viewpoint of Chance, a Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix.  He is a "slightly mouthy" four-month old puppy with many questions about life.  It is a sweet story and I enjoyed it.

     Second Chance is an award winner on the PBS Kids Recommended list.   The author Gerencher is a special education teacher.    Here is an excerpt of the book for your benefit.