Monday, April 21, 2014

A Tire Gauge and A Limp

Over the past couple of months various family members have been hospitalized. My husband for a light heart attack, hip replacement surgery for my mother, and now my grandfather is in the hospital with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Here are some highlights from his stay in the hospital:

My grandfather was sitting in a recliner in the hospital when all of a sudden he jumped up and headed to the bed.
" AAAH!AAAH! What are you doing?", I asked.
" Trying to get back to bed."
He was quicker than me and got back on the bed before I could make a move. He sprawled across the bed and got tangled up in his wires. 

Jesus help me.

I hollered for the nurse to help me. She remarked:
" Boy, he's a spunky little thing."
" Yes he is. He's a lot quicker than me."

I don't know whether to be impressed or ashamed.

Meanwhile, my Mother is still recovering from hip replacement surgery and my Dad has been staying with her while the husband and I are at the hospital. When we got back yesterday he came upstairs and started talking about random things as usual:

"When I was young people was jealous cause I had a wiggle in my walk", he said.
 "I don't think I'd be bragging on that fact," I replied.
" I was hot. I had blue eyes and a good tooth. Now I have a tire gauge and a limp".
" Lord have mercy."

And today my Grandfather was having trouble with his hearing aid so he told his nurse:

"My hearing aid battery might quit so if you come in here and I can't hear you just kick me."

I must say it's never a dull moment when helping loved ones. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Review of Andi Unexpected

Andi Unexpected
(Andi Boggs #1)
By: Amanda Flower
Genre: YA Mystery
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication Date: September 2013
218 pages

Get it at:


* I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Twelve-year-old Andora 'Andi' Boggs and her fourteen-year-old sister Bethany move to rural Ohio to live with their eccentric twenty-something aunt after the sudden death of their parents. While dealing with her grief, Andi discovers proof of another Andora Boggs in the family tree whose existence was hidden in a Depression-era trunk in the attic. With help from her new friend and neighbor, Colin Carter, Andi is determined to find out who this first Andora was and what happened to her.

My Thoughts:

A well plotted mystery that keeps your attention. A quick, fun read that's suitable for adults as well as kids. Read it! Read it now!



About the Author:

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.  

Author Links:



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chinese Meatballs

My Dad was visiting today. I offered him something to eat and here's the conversation that ensued:

Me: I've got a meatball dinner if you'd like to have some.
Dad: What kind are they?
Me: Meatballs with marinara sauce.
Dad: Marynary sauce? But what kind? Are they Swedishy? Is is Chef Boyardee without the chef?
Me: Chinese.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Something Yellow by Laura Templeton

Something Yellow 
By: Laura Templeton
324 pages
Publisher: Page Spring Publishing 
Publication Date: October 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy it:

Add it on Goodreads


It has been thirteen years since Holly’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, disappeared without a trace.

It has been thirteen years since Holly left her hometown.

It has been thirteen years since Holly’s first love and high school boyfriend, Houston, was the only suspect.

Now another nine-year-old girl has disappeared.

Holly is back, and so is Houston—never charged and still proclaiming his innocence.

Can she trust him . . . should she trust him?

My Thoughts:

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book- I'm from the mountains of Southwest Virginia and it was a refreshing change not to have my people depicted as lazy, uneducated, toothless in-breeders. The characters were well-rounded, successful, and intelligent. The story was part mystery, part supernatural, with a little romance thrown in. All those elements made for a haunting tale.



 Author Links:


Friday, March 28, 2014

A Review of: Within My Grasp: A Double Amputee's True Story

Within My Grasp: A Double Amputee's True Story
By: Mike Penketh, with Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March
Genre: Autobiography/ Personal Growth
224 pages
Publisher: EditPros LLC 
Publication Date: April 2013
Buy it:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


What would you do if you found yourself awakening from a deep slumber to discover that your hands were missing? How would you eat, or drink? How would you brush your teeth? How would you change your clothes? How would you turn a door knob? How would you answer the phone? How would you sign a check, or a form? The frustrations are endless, but survival is a human instinct, so you would have to figure out how to perform essential functions, or have someone do them for you. The innate instinct for survival can get you by, but the human spirit and a strong sense of determination can help you overcome obstacles at a much faster pace.

American Airlines Captain Mike Penketh maintained a perfect safety record while flying passengers, but on his own time he got his adrenaline rushes by mastering aerobatics and flying in competitions. He raced his homebuilt Pitts S-1 biplane in the Reno Air Races. In his quest for speed, he miscalculated only once � and he paid dearly.

"I didn't know where I was, and I didn't know the guy who was leaning over me. I had been unconscious, and I was flat on my back, but as I began awakening in a groggy, dull fog, I sensed that I was in some kind of aircraft. Over the noise, the pilot spoke. He was talking about a patient with severe limb damage and a possible head injury," Mike wrote in the opening chapter of the book. "The pilot was contacting the radio dispatch room at the University of Utah Hospital Trauma Services Unit in Salt Lake City. I did not comprehend that I was the patient. Everything revolved in slow motion around me. I felt cold, numb. And then I blacked out again."

Trauma surgeons subsequently were forced to amputate Mike's hands following a horrific accident that nearly killed him. Although the course of his life was unalterably changed, he was determined against all odds to fly airplanes again. Within a remarkably short time of losing his hands, Mike became determined to resume flying airplanes. He was fitted for and tried numerous hook devices and prosthetic arms before his relentless pursuit led him to a technologically advanced solution with which he was able to perform some critical hand functions.

He culminated two years of preparations when he successfully demonstrated for doubting FAA examiners his ability to fly an aircraft using electronic prosthetic hands. The FAA reinstated his pilot's license and, while he never flew Boeing 737s again, he went on to perform intricate maneuvers in aerobatics shows to prove to himself and to naysayers that he could do it. Mike, working in collaboration with Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March, tells his story in Within My Grasp: A Double Amputee's True Story.
My Thoughts:
The author writes in a spare, effective style. The parts about his accident and how he overcame his disability are very inspiring, I enjoyed reading about that. My mind did tend to wander, however, when he spent pages talking about airplanes. Overall, though a very inspirational, beautiful read.
 About the Authors:

Mike Penketh:

 An inspiration to school children, Mike travels weekly throughout the school year to Northern California grade schools as part of the non-profit Touch of Understanding program. His mission: to teach young children, teachers and parents to respect and have empathy for all individuals. The program encourages its participants to focus on their own strengths rather than on weaknesses, and to realize that everyone faces adversity and frustrations that they may struggle to overcome.
Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March:
This is the fourth biographical book that Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March have co-written. Their previously published books are Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 2 (2012, EditPros LLC); Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 (2011, EditPros LLC); and Echoes of the Sixties (1999 print edition, Billboard Books; 2012 e-book edition, EditPros LLC). They own and operate EditPros LLC, a company they established in 1993 to perform writing, editing and publication services.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Setting Boundaries

My Mom saw her GP today. She's been having migraines more often. As she was summarizing what she was ordering for me she turned to me and said,
" And you, you need to make her an eye doctor appointment."
Okay, that set my teeth on edge.
This is the second time that she's ordered me to do something concerning my mother. The first time I kept my mouth shut. This time I didn't.
As my Mom was going to check out, I got the doctor's attention and said this:
" Doctor, I don't mean to be rude- but don't tell me what to do."
" Don't ever tell me what to do again." You understand?"
I believe technically she's a good doctor but she's acts unprofessional at times and is a little mouthy. She's badmouthed doctors and complained about things in front of us that she should keep to herself. She's also from a different country and maybe doesn't realize she's being offensive.

After I told Mom what went on she was upset. She said,
"Lisa, you shouldn't have done that. That could hurt things between me and her."
" Mom, that was between me and the doctor. I was just setting some boundaries. I kept my mouth shut the last time but she needs to learn to act more professional and pay attention to what she says."

What's your thoughts? Has anyone encountered a doctor like this? Was I being too sensitive? Should I have stayed quiet?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses

A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses
By: Susan Wittig Albert
303 pages
Genre: History
Publisher: Persevero Press
Publication Date: August 2013
Buy it:

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


 From bestselling, award-winning author Susan Wittig Albert comes the true story of Rose Wilder Lane, who transformed her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, from a farmer’s wife and occasional writer into the world-famous author of the Little House books. A Wilder Rose is a novel about of two exceptional women: a mother who has a fascinating pioneer story to tell but lacks the skill to write for publication; and a daughter, a much-published author with the skill to turn her mother’s drafts into memorable books and the publishing connections to get them into print. Set in the Depression, their story is one of painful family conflict and eventual triumph over difficult odds.

But why did they conceal their collaboration? And why did Rose not seek recognition for her contributions? Based on Rose’s diaries and letters, A Wilder Rose is a fact-based fiction describing the real events that led to a literary deception that has continued for decades.

My Thoughts:
I was familiar with the Little House books from Laura Ingalls Wilder and of course Little House on the Prairie based on those books. I wasn't aware, however, of Laura's daughter Rose's involvement. So, when I heard this book was written I was intrigued. 

I found it to be a fascinating read about the story behind the Little House books. I felt the author captured that time period and Rose's voice perfectly. I didn't know much about Rose, nor did I know she also wrote books based on her mother's story. She was an interesting and accomplished person in her own right. I plan on reading Rose's books as well.


 Check out: