Saturday, April 30, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Book 20 of 2011 -- Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly, #2)Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really looking forward to this book, but was a little disappointed. I figured out the killer way too soon for my liking. I'll still read book 3 in this series, but if it's not better I doubt I'll try again.

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Z is for Zest

Z is for Zest. One of the definitions of zest according to the Merriam - Webster online dictionary is 'an enjoyable exciting quality. I joined the A to Z Blogging Challenge with zest. I knew it would be a difficult task for me to write the posts each day (excluding Sundays) but I really wanted to try hard. I was right, it wasn't always easy, but it was mostly rewarding. My blog had been mostly a solitary thing with only a handful of followers. I wrote mostly book reviews with a very few posts about life in between the reviews. I've finished this challenge with 44 followers. Wow! That astounds me. What is most incredible to me is that these are people who have absolutely no connection to me except that they stumbled on my little blog through this challenge. It's amazing to know that some of them will continue to stop by periodically to see what I've written. My goal is to continue to write about all sorts of things. Oh, I'll still be posting my book reviews and I'll definitely be joining some other challenges. So, I started this challenge with zest ,  I feel like most of my posts have been written with zest , and I've finished it with zest. I look forward to the challenge next year and I look forward to my visits to some way cool blogs I found while surfing the challenge sites. Thanks!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yellow

 Y is for yellow. Yellow, the color of the sun, pretty daffodils, sunflowers, school buses and the Queens suit for the wedding of William and Kate! I've never been fond of yellow clothes. I love yellow flowers. Daffodils and sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums (not sure about that spelling), but yellow clothes just don't float my boat. Could be because I don't look good in yellow. I don't like yellow rooms either.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for Xenophobia

X is for xenophobia.
I started worrying about my x,y,z posts a few days ago and went on a hunt for 'x' words in Wiktionary. I found
xenophobia and thought it was certainly a timely word to explore given the issue of illegal immigration. Are those who are in favor of a stricter adherence to current immigration laws xenophobic?  Xenophobia is defined as  deep-rooted antipathy towards foreigners (Oxford English Dictionary). The Dictionary of Psychiatry defines it as "a fear of strangers". I'm sure this label could be applied to some but certainly not all who call for illegals to be deported. X is for xenophobia, now I'm searching for those y and z words for Friday and Saturday posts!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Words

W is for words and I don't have very many left in me today. Words can be used for good or evil. Words can be used to praise or to condemn. Words can be positive or negative, big or little, soft or harsh, mean or nice, friend or foe. Words, how do you use them?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for the Voices I hear in my head!

V is for the Voices that I hear in my head! Do you have these inner voices? Sometimes they are very helpful, but at other times the voices can hinder. I  always listen to the voices in my head but I don't always do what they're telling me to do. I sometimes give the voices names and I talk back to them.(does that make me craaaazzzzy????) The voices don't always give the best advice. I think that knowing when to heed the voices is one major sign of being a grown up.

I'm already dreading day's x y and z!

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Update to the A to Z Reading Challenge

U is for Update!  Okay, so it's a cop out a little bit, but I'm just tired today and this is my U post!

Read a book for each letter of the alphabet. Should be pretty easy. Titles that begin with articles (A, an, the) won't count, I'll skip to the next word in the title. It should be interesting and fun.

A        The Art of Keeping Secrets  by  Patti Callahan Henry
C        The Cracker Queen  by Lauretta Hannon

D        Devil Bones  by Kathy Reichs
F         Flesh and Bone  by Jefferson Bass
G        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  by Steig Larsson
H        The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins
I          I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
L        Lucia, Lucia  by Adrianna Trigiana
M      Murder List  by Julie Garwood
R         Room  by Emma Donoghue
T         Total Recall   by Sara Paretsky
W        Wild Fire  by Nelson DeMille

Book 19 of 2011 The Art of Keeping Secrets by Patti Callahan Henry

The Art of Keeping SecretsThe Art of Keeping Secrets by Patti Callahan Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book started out with a bang and ended with a little whimper. I really enjoyed the first 2/3 but was disappointed with the lat 1/3. A plane crash killed Annabelle Murphy's husband and 2 years later, the wreckage is found. His body is there along with the body of a female. Of course, this makes Annabelle and her children wonder if their entire life with husband and father was a big ole lie.

I wish the relationships with Annabelle's circle of friends had been a bigger part of the book. I felt like the author really lost out on some good stuff when she didn't flesh out Annabelle and Shawn's friendship. It wasn't a long book, so I feel like it could have been expanded.

Not the best I've read, but not the worst either. Just a meh.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

book 18 of 2011 -- Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grave Peril is the 3rd book in The Dresden Files. I've come to this series a little late and I've thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 books in the series. According to a snippet on the front of this paperback, there is a series based on the books on SciFi channel. Wonder if it still airs? I'll have to check on that.

This book is exactly how I like my sci/fi/fantasy reads. Over the top! Harry Dresden faces some really bad-ass supernatural shit in this outing. Ghosts, spirits, vampires, and other un-nameable entities. this one is Evil with a capital E! I'm sad that Susan has been hurt and anxious to read the next installment to see how she fares. I'm glad to have met Thomas and Justine and am hopeful that they will make appearance in volumes yet to be read. Michael is awesome and I'd like to read more of Charity and the kiddos, especially Harry's little namesake. He should be one interesting kid based on his tortured birth. Book number four shall be placed on my library hold list so that I can get on with this series.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Talk

T is for Talk. It's one of the things I do best. I can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. I love to talk. I think I've always been a pretty big talker, but as I get older, I get talkier (is that even a word? I don't think it is but I'm using it anyway). When I was in school I got in trouble all the time for talking when I should've been listening..Now at work I have to really watch myself or I'll get carried away talking and won't get my work done. I also have to try to remember when I'm on the phone with friends and family that they'd like to talk also. It's hard for me to shut up and let somebody else do the talking. I guess there could be worse things.

Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for Sand

S is for Sand, and sand means the BEACH!! In two weeks I'm going to the Gulf Coast of Alabama to spend a most wonderful weekend with my cousins. We did this last year and had so much fun we decided to make it an annual event. Rented a wonderful house on the beach with lots of bedrooms and an absolutely breathtaking view of the Gulf and an enormous expanse of sand. I can't wait. Seeing all my cousins will be so much fun. They are coming from several different states. A few won't be able to make it this year and we will miss them big, but we're counting on them being back for next year...we won't be taking no for an answer! Can't wait to get my toes in the sand!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Reading

R is for Reading. It's what I do. It's the pleasure that I hope I never have to give up. I always like the book better than the movie. I try to watch movies based on books with an open mind, but the movie is never good enough. Maybe I should watch the movie before reading the book. Nope, don't think that'll work. It would ruin the book. I'll stick with reading.
I read lots of different genres. I love mystery, thrillers, paranormal, YA, horror, chick lit, popular literature. My favorite is what I call sick shit. Books about serial murderers are some of my favorites. What would I do if I couldn't read? I'm not sure, and I hope I never have to find out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

q is for quiet

Q is for Quiet.  And boy do I need some today. Peace and quiet. I work part-time at an elementary school with learning disabled students. Most days I enjoy my job. Today, I was pulled from my regular students to sub in 5th grade. Do you have any idea how annoying and disrespectful 5th grade students are? I hope you never learn.  So, after a stress filled day of 5th graders, I'm having a nice cold glass of Moscato and some well-deserved peace and quiet!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pizza!

P is for Pizza, and it's best when my mama makes it. I love home made pizza. I can make the sauce and put the pizza together, but I can never get the crust as thin and crispy my mom's. Maybe I don't knead enough, or I knead too much, but the dough is never quite what I want it to be. The sauce that I make is so very tasty, a little sweet but not too much. My favorite has pork sausage, mushrooms and plenty of cheese! Nothing quite like a home made pizza to make me over eat!

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Organization

O is for organization, and I wish I had me some! I've tried and tried over the years to get myself organized and I just have never quite gotten it done. I have these brief periods of great organization and then I just sort of let it go and become my old disorganized self. I've read books and websites. I've tried websites that offered tips and tricks. I've watched my family and friends who are organized and tried to learn from the. And I've come to the conclusion that it just ain't happening for me. I'll keep trying to get myself organized, but I surely am not counting on it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book 17 of 2011 -- I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

I'd Know You AnywhereI'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one was just okay for me. I've heard such good things about this author, but now I think I've read 2 of her stand alone novels and neither of them have really done it for me. Probably won't try it again.

As far as this book, the idea seemed a good one, but it just never developed for me. I didn't like Elizabeth/Eliza at all. She finally got some balls at the very end of the book, but it was too late for it to matter to me. So this was barely okay.

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N is for Nuts

And that's what I've been lately. Nuts! There's alot going on in my crazy life right now and I'm feeling it. Can't go into it all, but I'm holding out and hoping that things get better soon.

M is for me...Michelle!!!

I was babysitting on Friday and Saturday and didn't have internet access, so my 'm' and 'n' posts are late.

M is for Me, Michelle.  I thought this would be a good time to tell some of my new friends a little bit about myself. What's the first thing you would notice about me if you met me? I think it's probably that I talk alot. But, I love to talk. About anything. I'll talk your ears off, so just be warned if we ever meet in person, I'm a talker.
I turned 50 this year. I've never been too worried about aging. I was very pregnant when I turned 30, so I was more concerned with getting a baby here than I was with being 30. My sister threw me an awesome surprise party for my 40th. She posted huge blown up embarrassing photos of me throughout my life. I still have those posters. My 50th I spent babysitting. I got a cute card from the kids I was sitting that they made for me.
I grew up in a very rural area in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It was the best childhood ever. All my mama's sisters lived on the same road as well as my Mom-maw and Pop-paw and we went from house to house running in and out. We're still close even though we live in different parts of the country. I'm a Southerner. I love the heat and humidity. Hate snow and cold. I spent 2 years in Cincinnati just after college and while I loved the city, the weather just wore me out.
I'm divorced. Been divorced for about 15 years I guess. I like being on my own. I have one son and I'm very proud of him most of the time. He's 20 so every once in awhile he does something I'm not so proud of, but he's a good kid and he loves his mama!
Are those the most important things about me? Maybe not, but there they are and now my new friends know me a little better!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman is a fairly new author to me. My favorite author, Joshilyn Jackson, has recommended her books on her blog on occasion. Since I Love me some Joshilyn Jackson I decided to try Laura Lippman on her recommendation. I'm reading  i'd know you anywhere  now. I'm about halfway through it and I'm really liking it. It's about a woman who was kidnapped as a 15 year old. The kidnapper also raped and murdered some other girls. He's on death row and contacts her. The book switches between the present and the time of the kidnapping. So, if you want a new author to try, Laura Lippman might be a good one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Karma

According to Wikipedia Karma usually refers to the concept of destiny (loosely speaking) in Indian religions. 

I've often said, 'Karma's a bitch'. or told someone, 'that's gonna bite you in the ass'. Most often referring to the bad side of karma. What I often forget is that karma isn't always about the bad, but can also be about the good you put out there that is supposed to come back to you. That's the kind of karma that I need more of.  Good Karma... we all need more!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book 16 of 2011 -- House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House RulesHouse Rules by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual for Jodi Picoult, this book is about a difficult subject. It follows a family whose son Jacob has Asperger's syndrome. Jacob is 18 and is charged with the murder of his social interaction tutor/coach. The majority of the book deals with the build up and the trial. It's told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of Jacob, his mother Emma, his brother Theo, the detective Rich, and his attorney Oliver. This writing style is great for a book of this sort and I liked the different points of view. The ending was somewhat abrupt and had it been better the book would've gotten 5 stars from me.

If you like Picoult and her type of fiction, then this is a must read.

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J is for Job

J is for Job! Right now I have a part time one and it's ending in May. I'm looking. I think I'm looking hard, but so far I haven't found anything. Am I being a Job Snob? Am I overlooking jobs that I think are 'beneath' me? Maybe so. Maybe I'm not desperate enough yet. Maybe I'll get there soon. Like when this part time job ends and I have to go back on unemployment. While unemployment is a blessing, it only pays the bills. And it really only barely pays the bills. Guess I'll be eating lots of beans and rice! That's okay because I love beans! and I'll learn to love rice.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Ireland

I'm in love with Ireland and have always been fascinated by the country.
The scenery is beautiful. Isn't this scene pretty. The rocks tumbling down the hillside and the mountains and sea in the background.
  Aren't these flowers beautiful. And the green of the trees is intense.
The Irish folk dance. Aren't these costumes amazing. I'm in awe of what these women can do with their feet!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for House Rules

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
     I about halfway through this book and it's pretty difficult reading. I think most of her books deal with difficult subjects. House Rules is about a family dealing with a child with Asperger's syndrome. Asperger's syndrome is on the Autism spectrum. I think Asperger's also has a 'spectrum' and Jacob is on the severe end of the spectrum. I can't imagine how much goes into daily life with a child like Jacob. I do know however, that not all families/moms go to the 'trouble' that  Jacob's mom Emma goes to. She dedicates every moment to Jacob's Asperger's. Is this good or bad? It's probably good for Jacob, but it's bad for her marriage (her husband left the family and it's really, really bad for her other son Theo. That's who I feel sorry for in stories and in real life. I feel sorry for the sibling who is completely ignored so that the special sibling has everything he/she needs. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so, but some may think it sounds bad.
     At this point of the book, Jacob has been arrested for the murder of his social interaction coach. He's obsessed with crime scene television shows and while the book tells us that he staged the scene where the body was found, we do not know who the murderer is. There are at least three suspects so far that we've been shown. Jacob who went to meet his social interaction coach the day she was murdered and set the scene as described above. Theo who has been going into strange houses to pretend he lives the lives of the family of the house. On the day of the murder he broke into the house that the coach (Jess) was house sitting and she caught him. And Mark, Jess's boyfriend who is abusive. Will post a complete review when I'm finished, but if you've been pondering reading this one, I say go for it!

G is for Golf Balls

I missed my post yesterday. I feel so embarrassed. I'll get on with it. Golf balls. Some may wonder why I would pick such a topic for 'g' day. I don't play golf. But I live on a golf course. I get golf balls in my yard DAILY! I'm on the 4th fairway, so I expect golf balls. I'm surprised by the number of bad golfers there are out there. Not only do I get golf balls in the back yard where I expect them, but I get golf balls in the front yard which is just sad...sad that there are such bad golfers. I will say that I've lived in this house for about 12 years or so and only have one broken window, so it's not bad. But mowing is a bitch because if you've missed a golf ball it can be ugly when the mower gets ahold of it! I have a basket full of golf balls, what the hell will I do with them?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for ...You know what F is for!

     I know some of my closer friends and family know that my favorite 'f' word is...well it's the f word. Of course it is. I mean if my favorite 'd' word was damn, then it just sorta goes without saying that my favorite 'f' word is fuck. Do I  really want to fill an entire blog post with fuck?  How do I write a blog post about my favorite 'f' word without writing it? I really can't and now that I think about it, why do I care if it's all over this blog post.
      I say it out loud A LOT! Is it worse to write it than to say it? I know many of my friends and family are offended by it and yet, I say it in front of them. Why should I give my readers any more consideration than I give my friends and family?
     I'm just an all around potty mouth. I didn't start with the potty mouth until I was out of college and living on my own. I was actually living with my cousin Pam and I think she was the bad influence. Yep, I'm gonna blame it on her! I NEVER said Fuck until I lived with her and my nasty mouth is all her fault! Thank you Pam, you outgrew the potty mouth, I didn't!
      I hope I don't run off any of my new readers/followers with my potty mouth.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Eggs!

So this A to Z blogging challenge is just that a real challenge. I've noticed some blogs are going with a theme, all recipes or writing tips, or well just a theme. I didn't limit myself to a theme, but I'm going back to food today.

Eggs, I love eggs. Boiled eggs...isn't Easter coming up soon? I'm so over those flimsy plastic eggs filled with candy. When I was a kid we had real Easter eggs that we  colored them with PAAS egg dye. They weren't fancy usually they were pretty pale because we were too impatient to leave them in the dye long enough. They also were uneven because you had to turn them and we never got it quite right. But man those were fun times and I love eating me some Easter eggs. Now you have all those plastic eggs filled with candy, or just plain old candy eggs. Could that be one reason kids are getting fatter? We certainly didn't eat boiled easter eggs until we were stuffed. A couple and we were done. Candy filled eggs and candy eggs. Kids eat them until they puke! Parents need to get off their lazy asses and color some eggs and get rid of all those candy filled eggs!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Damn

Yep D is for Damn. It's one of my Favorite words. I use it all  the damn time. It conveys so much meaning and the meaning really depends on how you say it. So here goes my attempt at describing how I use the word and some variations of the word...
short and sweet dammit - shows frustration
long and drawn out daaaammmmn  - shows awe
loud and rough DAMN - shows anger
Just Damn!  - shows excitement and/or approval
Those are some of the ways I use my favorite word! Just Damn!

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Chicken

Day three of the A to Z blogging challenge and I'm really enjoying myself. I've already increased my followers and I've found some awesome blogs to follow myself. Loving this challenge so let's get on with my 'C' post.

I love me some fried chicken! And I just discovered that Publix supermarket has just about the best fried chicken that I've eaten. Now, my very own fried chicken is pretty tasty, what makes Publix' fried chicken better is the fact that I don't have to handle raw chicken or clean up my stove and find something to do with all that  oil that I fried the chicken in. If I was gonna fry me some chicken tonight I'd soak my chicken in buttermilk, while it's soaking I mix up some flour with  a little garlic powder, salt and pepper   and put it in a big ole plastic bag.  Then I drop the buttermilk soaked chicken pieces in the bag ( a couple at a time)  and shake it all up. Then I drop it in the hot grease in a cast iron skillet and fry it without moving it around too much. I't's good stuff. But so is the fried chicken from Publix!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Books!!!

Day 2 of the A to Z blogging challenge and it's B is for Books, what else could it be? If you know me then you know that I love Books and reading. I love to hold books in my greedy little hands. I haven't made the switch to an e-reader yet and the main reason is that I can't imagine reading from a device instead of holding a book in my hands. Although I do have to admit that heavy hardback books are becoming more difficult for me to hold onto while I read. This is the only reason I can think of to invest in an e-reader. So, off I go to read a real book.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Day one or should that be day 'A'?

A is for Alabama, my home state. I wish I was there right now because that's where my sister is headed with my sweet sweet niece and nephew. They are at such a cute age. Every time I see them I think "this is the BEST age!" and then I see them the next time and it's even better.
A is for Asswipe, and I know a few. An asswipe is even stinkier than an asshole because you wipe an asshole with an asswipe!

book 15 of 2011 -- Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress

Georgia BottomsGeorgia Bottoms by Mark Childress
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

won this book from Joshilyn Jackson on her Faster than Kudzu blog.
if you've never read her books you should.

Mark Childress writes a pretty funny book. Georgia Bottoms has some funny twists and turns in her life and some heartbreaks. She goes to church every Sunday and entertains her gentlemen friends 6 nights a week. She takes care of her mother who is slipping into the bottomless pit of dementia. She takes care of her little brother who might be a tiny bit crazy. When the preacher (Mr. Saturday night) decides it's time to come clean in front of then entire church things get a little crazy. Just as soon as Georgia takes care of that little mess, another mess comes along.

My biggest complaint with this book was that some of the scenes weren't fleshed out enough. It just wasn't enough.

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