Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on my Mom

My mom came through her hip replacement surgery just fine. She is in a lot of pain, which is to be expected. She ate a little bit this afternoon, but is still groggy and doesn't feel like talking. She is supposed to be released from the hospital on Thursday, and will be going back to the same nursing home where she was previously. This was a big set-back for her. I just hope that she will be able to do physical therapy and make it back to where she was.

Thanks to all of you for your hugs and prayers....they mean more to me than you will ever know.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Note

My mom fell yesterday in the nursing home and broke her hip. She is having hip replacement surgery today. I just wanted to let everybody know, so you wouldn't think I was ignoring your comments. I noticed that I got quite a few yesterday, and quickly posted them without being able to read through them carefully. My mom will probably be in the hospital for 5-7 days, then will have to go to rehab somewhere, probably another skilled nursing facility. Thank goodness my brother is here from TN for a couple of days.
Everyone take care, and I will talk to you soon.

Mailbox Monday

I received a bunch of books last week! Yay!

Stray Affections by Charlene Baumbich - I won this book from Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea.

Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames - From Paperbackswap.

The Sand Castle
by Rita Mae Brown - From PBS.

The Dead Whisper On by T.L. Hines - From PBS.

Learning Joy from Dogs With
out Collars by Lauralee Summer - From PBS.

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa - From P

Now! When and how I am going to make time to read all of these???? :)

What was in YOUR mailbox?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

~More 1985~

Sadness Pictures, Images and Photos

1985 was not a particularly good year for me. I was still reeling over the break-up with my boyfriend. He would do stupid things like call me when he was home from college on the weekends, and ask me to go out to a movie or dinner...and like an idiot I would go. We would have a good time and by the end of the evening I would be so happy. And then he would say to me "This doesn't mean that we are back together, or anything....." there are only so many times that your heart can be broken without getting mad...or getting even.

My mother loves to refer to this stage of my life as "Missy's Acting Out year." I was "acting out" because she and Dad separated, sold our family home (and everything in it) while I was at college, no less. Yes...I was angry. I was angry at them for wrecking the one solid thing that I had...my home...my security....and I was angry about being dumped by Jeff, who treated me like the proverbial queen from May - October, then in November promptly dumped me...on my birthday. He called me the evening of my birthday and told me he was going bowling with his mother. Oh yeah...I cried for hours.

I had started taking Secretarial courses at a business college in January, so at least I was doing something constructive. By March, I was so angry about not having a boyfriend and how I had been treated, that I felt reckless. I kept telling my cousin Dawn I wanted to "do something dangerous". I had a plan. There was a guy in my accounting class that looked "dangerous" so to speak. He was very tall and skinny, kind of cute...he had a goatee, which for some reason fascinated me. I began stalking him. Maybe out of boredom? I don't know....what I do know is that I wanted him to like me. I wanted to go out with him. Dawn and I did all kinds of crazy stuff, like find out where he lived, then drove by his house in disguise. We followed him...we called him and said "there's a girl that likes you.....". I finally ended up meeting him...and going out with him. We were together almost 3 years.

What were YOU doing in 1985?

What were YOU doing in 1985???

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Year 1985


US GDP (1998 dollars): $4,180.70 billion
Federal spending: $946.39 billion
Federal debt: $1817.5 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $23,618
Consumer Price Index: 107.6
Unemployment: 7.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.20 ($0.22 as of 2/17/1985)

•Rock Hudson dies of AIDS at age 59. He's the first major star to fall victim to the disease.
•Madonna launches her first road show, the Virgin Tour.
•Dozens of top-name musicians and bands perform at the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London. The shows benefit African famine victims.
•With the availability of relatively inexpensive laser printers and computers, tools for desktop publishing begin to be commonly used.

Top Ten Movies
1. Back to the Future
2. Beverly Hills Cop
3. Cocoon
4. Fletch
5. The Goonies
6. The Jewel of the Nile
7. National Lampoon's European Vacation
8. Pale Rider
9. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
10. Rambo: First Blood, Part II

Most Popular Books
1. "The Mammoth Hunters" by Jean Auel
2. "Texas" by James Michener
3. "Lake Wobegon Days" by Garrison Keillor
4. "If Tomorrow Comes" by Sidney Sheldon
5. "Skeleton Crew" by Stephen King

Most Popular Television Shows

1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Family Ties (NBC)
3. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
4. 60 Minutes (CBS)
5. Cheers (NBC)
6. Dallas (CBS)
7. Dynasty (ABC)
8. The Golden Girls (NBC)
9. Miami Vice (NBC)
10. Who's the Boss? (ABC)

Friday, September 25, 2009

~Book Review - The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo~

Amazon.com Review
A first novel of rare beauty and sensitivity, Jeff Talarigo's The Pearl Diver follows the harsh fate of a 19-year-old Japanese pearl diver who is diagnosed with leprosy. It is 1948. There are trial medications for her condition, but a weight of prejudice against her. Her name is erased from the family register, and she is rowed to a lifelong exile at the island leprosarium on Nagashima. Ordered to give herself a new name, she decides on Miss Fuji, for the mountain she loves. The balance of the novel is delivered in poignant fragments that appear as notes to a modern-day anthropological study of the leprosarium. Numbered artifacts like "An old map of Honshu" and "A blank white urn" spark stories of the patients Miss Fuji has known and cared for, most of whom were much sicker than she: crippled, blinded, deformed, but all the more human for their suffering. The cruelties inflicted on the patients at Nagashima almost rival the cruelties of the disease itself. Talarigo's novel could easily succumb to sentimentality, but he maintains the poise of Miss Fuji: one who watches, who does not forgive, but who will not be lowered by vengeance or despair. --Regina Marler -

A Short Introduction:

This is a story of a 19 year old girl...a pearl diver. This is her daily job, to search the ocean floor for oysters, sea urchins, and lobster. This is something that she loves to do, and being the youngest, hopes that she continues to learn from the other older, more seasoned divers. It is one day after they had all finished their diving, that one of the other divers notices a red mark on her arm. They all tease her, thinking that it is a "sucker bite" from a boyfriend. It is not until she is diving one day and cuts her arm open on a sharp rock, that she realizes that something is very wrong. There is blood, but there is no pain.
A doctor confirms that she has leprosy. Her doctor informs her that she can never dive again. From that point forward, she has to sever all ties with her family and friends and her home. A boat would pick her up to carry her across the water to the island of Nagashima where there is a leprosarium. Upon arriving, she is informed she must give herself a new name...she has no past. That part of her life is gone forever.

My Thoughts:

I normally do not read historical fiction, but the cover of this book appealed to me. The young woman perched on the edge of the rowboat, the water, and the misty mountains in the distance. From the first chapter, I was completely drawn into this young woman's life in the year of 1948. How she must continue the rest of her life cut off from her family, her home and shunned from the public. She is dropped off at the island of Nagashima at the leprosarium, thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected, told that she must change her name, and that her birthday is now the day she was admitted there.
Her name becomes "Miss Fuji", and from that point forward, her world totally changes.
This is a powerful story...yes, it is an emotional story...even painful to read at times. But I looked up to "Miss Fuji" for all that she endured...her story will be forever etched in my mind.

"The sea. From this day on, it will forever be different for her. Not hatred - she will never hate it - only something that separates. It had always been something that she thought connected - island to island, fishermen to home. But today it is, and always will be, a separator." pg 27

Four Stars

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400034914

About The Author:

“The Pearl Diver” was published in 2004 (Nan Talese/Doubleday) and was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. Talarigo, along with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. His second novel, “The Ginseng Hunter” (published April, 2008, Nan Talese/Doubleday), was rated one of the Best Books of 2008 by NPR and was one of the American Library Association's Notable Books for 2009.

Talarigo’s work has been translated in German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Korean. Currently living in Boston, he is at work on his third book, a novel about 20th century Gaza, and has begun research on a fourth novel concerning Chechnya.

What Books Did YOU Find This Week?

I found these books this week while browsing other blogs and the web!

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - From Icedream at Reading In Appalachia

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, February 2009: The publishers of Chris Cleave's new novel "don't want to spoil" the story by revealing too much about it, and there's good reason not to tell too much about the plot's pivot point. All you should know going in to Little Bee is that what happens on the beach is brutal, and that it braids the fates of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan (who calls herself Little Bee) and a well-off British couple--journalists trying to repair their strained marriage with a free holiday--who should have stayed behind their resort's walls. The tide of that event carries Little Bee back to their world, which she claims she couldn't explain to the girls from her village because they'd have no context for its abundance and calm. But she shows us the infinite rifts in a globalized world, where any distance can be crossed in a day--with the right papers--and "no one likes each other, but everyone likes U2." Where you have to give up the safety you'd assumed as your birthright if you decide to save the girl gazing at you through razor wire, left to the wolves of a failing state. --Mari Malcolm

The Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore - From Amazon.com suggestions:

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Lorrie Moore's people are jokesters, wisenheimers. They hold the world, and the language used to describe it, a little off to the side, where they can turn it around and, if not figure it out, at least find something funny to say about it, which, often, is not quite enough. It's been 11 years since her last book, 15 since her last novel, but A Gate at the Stairs is vintage Moore: brittly witty and lurkingly dark, the portrait of a Midwest college town through the eyes of Tassie Keltjin, a student from the country whose mind has been lit up by learning but who spends nearly all this story out of class, as a nanny for a couple who have adopted a toddler. Tassie's a bit of a toddler herself (and an ideal narrator because of it), testing the world as if through her teeth, and she finds the world stranger and more deeply wounded the more she learns of it. Her investigations make A Gate at the Stairs sad, hilarious, and thrillingly necessary. --Tom Nissley

What books did YOU find this week?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Today's BTT question is:

What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?

The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess.

What's the saddest book YOU have read recently?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

~Who Loves You Baby Award~

The wonderful, sweet Natalie from The Book Inn has awarded me with the Who Loves You Baby Award! Thank you, Natalie! I love getting awards and adding them to my slideshow! I think I am a little behind on doing that....hopefully I can add all of them on there soon!

I received this award several weeks ago and passed it on to a lot of my friends. Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog, and giving me awards. Some days I think that this blog is the only thing that keeps me afloat during the days/evenings. It is something that I enjoy so much....please just know that ALL of you are loved. :)

Cover Attraction

Cover Attraction is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. She says "I'm a very visual person and love beautiful or interesting cover art. It entices, and invites me to stop and take a peek, instead of walking right on by.

This is the first cover attraction that I have posted in awhile. I came across this book today while browsing, and fell in love with the cover; the story sounds good as well!

When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece Tally. The girl is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands- in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm-and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she, her husband Neil, and their two teenagers can offer the girl stability and a shot at a 'normal' life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

Seventeen-year-old Chase Janvier hasn't seen his cousin in years, and other than a vague curiosity about her strange life, he doesn't expect her arrival will affect him much-or interfere with his growing, disturbing interest in a long-ago house fire that plagues his dreams unbeknownst to anyone else.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won't make them go away.

Will Tally's presence blow apart their carefully-constructed world, knocking down the illusion of the white picket fence and reveal a hidden past that could destroy them all-or can she help them find the truth without losing each other?

: Paperback 9781400074570 Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this - she is dead. And alone in a vast, dark space. The only company Maddy has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things she lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that, with these artifacts, she can reexperience - and even change - moments from her life.
Her first kiss.
A trip to Disney World.
Her sister's wedding.
A disastrous sleepover.
In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and frightening truths about her life - and death.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061776793
What are YOU waiting for today?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

~Teaser Tuesday~

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read*

* Open to a random page*

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page*
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

She is startled out of her thoughts when she sees the two green dots reflected in the light of the candle. She is quiet as she crawls in the direction of the beady, glowing eyes. -The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo, pg. 70

What's YOUR teaser today?

~Fall Into Reading Challenge Begins Today~

Get psyched!! The Fall Reading Challenge starts today....do you have your list ready? If you do, head on over to Callapidder Days and leave a comment, then copy your link into Mr. Linky!

Here’s a brief recap of how to be a part of Fall Into Reading 2009:

  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like. (Also, feel free to modify your list during the challenge if it’s not working for you.)
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post using the Mr. Linky HERE.
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from today, September 22nd, through December 20th.
  • Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile!
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun. As long as you do some reading this fall (and enjoy it!), that’s good enough for me.
Let the fun begin! Here is my tentative list for this challenge.

The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie
Who Do You Think You Are by Alyse Myers (completed)
Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jenson Walker (completed)
Driving With Dead People by Monica Holloway (completed)

I might add some books to this list later on...I have been reading slow lately, so I want to start out with a list that doesn't overwhelm me.

What about you? What books will you choose for the challenge?

Monday, September 21, 2009

~Musing Mondays - Music While Reading?~

Today's Musing Mondays post from Just One More Page is:

Do you listen to music while reading? Does this change if you’re reading in or out of your house? Do you have a preference of music for such occasions?

I have just recently started listening to my iPod while reading. I mean recently as of last night, so how weird is it that this question came up today? :) I love listening to music...anytime, anywhere. While I am cleaning, fixing dinner, driving and while I am on the computer. While I have found that TV noise distracts me while I am reading, music does not. I am finding it to be relaxing.

What about you? Do you listen to music while reading?

~Mailbox Monday~

These books arrived in my mailbox last week:

Gal by Ruthie Bolton:

From Kirkus Reviews
A young African-American woman born and raised in Charleston, SC, movingly relates in unsparing detail her struggle to overcome a legacy of abuse and neglect. Choosing to write under a pseudonym to protect her family, the author showed her manuscript to another Charlestonian, novelist Josephine Humphreys (The Fireman's Fair, 1991), who describes in the foreword how she suggested that the story would be better told in the old Southern way--orally. And this they did, with Humphreys taping and transcribing each session. Born in 1961, when her mother was only 13, Ruthie was raised by her grandmother and Clovis Fleetwood, the man she called Grand-Daddy, in the Hungry Neck section of Charleston. Though shabby and rundown, it was a place of special pride to local African-Americans, who have owned land there for more than a century. Fleetwood, who gave Ruthie the nickname ``Gal,'' enjoyed an honorable naval career, winning numerous awards and achieving the rank of chief petty officer, but off duty he was a sadistic monster. He beat Ruthie's grandmother to death in front of her, punished minor infractions with savage beatings or humiliating punishments, and though he spent money freely on drink and other women, he refused to provide the girl and her sisters and young aunts with proper clothing or adequate food. Ruthie developed a stutter, began to steal, and as she grew older smoked dope and drank. ``I was evil as a child,'' she confesses, ``but I was evil because I was being treated evil.'' Her despair-fed anger and self- destructive behavior finally ended when she met Ray Bolton and his affectionate kin, who showed her that some families, unlike her own, could truly give love. An inspiring journey of a contemporary pilgrim who, beset by all the worst demons, learned to love and forgive. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers:

Product Description
After her mother's death, Alyse Myers covets only one thing: a wooden box that sits in the back of a closet. Its contents have been kept from her for her entire life. When she was thirteen years old her mother promised she could have the box, "when I'm dead. In fact, it'll be my present to you."

Growing up in Queens in the 1960s and '70s, Alyse always yearned for more in life, while her mother settled for an unhappy marriage, an unsatisfying job, and ultimately a joyless existence. Her father drifts in and out of their home. There are harrowing fights, abject cruelty, and endless uncertainty. Throughout her childhood Alyse adamantly rejects everything about her mother's lifestyle, leaving her mother to ask "Who do you think you are?"

A personal portrait of a mother and daughter, Who Do You Think You Are? explores the profound and poignant revelations that so often can come to light only after a parent has died. Balancing childhood memories with adult observations, Alyse Myers creates a riveting and deeply moving narrative.

What was in YOUR mailbox last week?




Many thanks to Dina Vathis for giving me the opportunity to host this HUGE PROMOTION!!

There will be two (2) winners chosen for this huge prize pack! Each of the winners will receive:

Maximum Ride: Max (paperback)
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback)
Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback)
Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback)
Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback)
Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback)
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback)
Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover)

Read "MAX" - the newest book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series.
On sale in paperback 09/01/09!

Still reeling from their most recent adventure, Maximum Ride and the rest of the flock must head out to sea to uncover the secret behind a brand new series of disasters - fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii, hundreds of ships are being destroyed. As if that weren't enough, they're also being tracked by a criminal mastermind with, oh yeah, and army of mercenaries. Can the flock save themselves and the ocean, and the world, from utter destruction?


The Fine Print:

The Maximum Ride: Max Promotion is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of September 18, 2009. There will be two prizes for each Promotion. Each prize consists of the following eight (8) books: Maximum Ride: Max (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback); Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback); Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback); Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback); The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback); and Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover). The approximate retail value of each prize is $72.00. Winners will be confirmed on or about October 15, 2009 by email. Prizes will only be shipped to confirmed winners with addresses in the US. Prizes will be shipped within 30 days after a selected entrant is confirmed as a winner.

Please leave me a comment with your first name, your blog link (if you have one) your email address (we must have a way to contact you) and let me know how you found out about this promotion.
(Items that are highlighted in red are REQUIRED for the promotion)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

~A New Award - Yay!~

I have received The Dragon's Loyalty Award from Diane at Spunk On A Stick's Tips! Thank you Diane...I am very honored!

The Dragon's Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just a someone who follows and comments regularly.

Here are the rules: * If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you. * Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know. * If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back. * Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans.

I will proudly pass this special award on to:

Yvette at True Crime Book Reviews
Lisa at Lit and Life
Lilly at
Reading Extravaganza
Judi at Judi's Mind Over Matter
Bloduedd at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Jo-Jo at Jo-Jo Loves To Read
Julie at Mid-Life Jobhunter
Mary at Bookfan
Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
Amy at Amy Reads Good Books

~More 1984~

What were you doing in 1984?

My parents split up: My dad stayed in NY, my mom moved to WV, where she is originally from. Plus, I was going to college there.

School just wasn't for me. I found college to be too much like high school (at least my college was). I did make some friends, though.
One of those friends had a brother whom I started dating in May. Needless to say, he was the one I fell particularly hard for. He was a year younger than I, which meant he would be leaving for college in the fall. We had a wonderful summer. However, after he had been up at school for a couple of months, things changed. Not with me...with him. Do you remember how heartbroken you were after your "first love" broke up with you? It hit me hard and fast. I tried to be strong...tried to forget...but...it was so difficult. I was so naive! I went through many boxes of Kleenex, and played the song "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins over and over.......

1984 was also the year that my cousin Dawn and I saw Prince's Purple Rain so many times, that we could recite the dialog along with the movie. My dad helped me buy my first car...it was a little Volkswagon Rabbit. I did not return to college in the fall. Instead, I worked waiting tables at a cafe. I was so bad at being a waitress, they moved me to hostess and cashier!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

~The Year 1984~



US GDP (1998 dollars): $3,902.40 billion
Federal spending: $851.85 billion
Federal debt: $1564.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $22,415
Consumer Price Index: 103.9
Unemployment: 7.5%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.20

•The Cosby Show debuts on NBC. The sitcom is widely considered the most popular show of the 1980s.
•The Supreme Court rules that taping television shows at home on VCRs does not violate copyright law.
•Led by Bob Geldof, the band Band Aid releases "Do They Know It's Christmas," with proceeds of the single going to feed the starving in Africa.

Careless Whisper by Wham
Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Like a Virgin by Madonna
Original Sin by INXS

TV and at the MOVIES
Amadeus became a foolhardy, farting, genius
We all rang the Ghostbusters
Gremlins got into everything
The Killing Fields shook the world to the atrocities suffered in Cambodia
Police Academy started it's epic movie serial
Night Court had us watching Bull
Miami Vice got those groovy pastel suits emptying off the shelves


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