Nov 192020
 

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community
by Lady Gaga, Born This Way Foundation Reporters
Narrated by: Alex Aide, Aysha Mahmood, Connor Long, Cynthia Germanotta,
Hanna Atkinson, Lady Gaga, Mitu Yilma, Shadille Estepan
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-22-20
Language: English
Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners

For Lady Gaga, kindness is the driving force behind everything she says and does.

The quiet power of kindness can change the way we view one another, our communities, and even ourselves. She embodies this mission, and through her work, brings more kindness into our world every single day.

Lady Gaga has always believed in the importance of being yourself, being kind to yourself, and being kind to others, no matter who they are or where they come from. With that sentiment in mind, she and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, founded Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a kinder and braver place. Through the years, they’ve collected stories of kindness, bravery and resilience from young people all over the world, proving that kindness truly is the universal language. And now, we invite you to listen to these stories and follow along as each and every young author finds their voice just as Lady Gaga has found hers.

Within these chapters, you’ll meet young changemakers who found their inner strength, who prevailed in the face of bullies, who started their own social movements, who decided to break through the mental health stigma and share how they felt, who created safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, and who have embraced kindness with every fiber of their being by helping others without the expectation of anything in return.

In one story, you’ll hear about a young person with an autoimmune disease, who after being bullied at school, learned how to practice self-love and started an organization with the mission of educating others about the importance of self-love, too; and in another story, you’ll meet a young person who decided to start a movement to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraged others to talk about their feelings openly and honestly, a reminder that kindness and mental wellness go hand in hand.

Not only were we moved by these individual acts of kindness, but we were also touched by the many stories of organizations, neighborhoods, and entire communities that fully dedicated themselves to helping those in need and found new, innovative ways to make our world a kinder and braver place.

Individually and collectively, these stories prove that kindness not only saves lives but builds community. Kindness is inclusion, it is pride, it is empathy, it is compassion, it is self-respect and it is the guiding light to love. Kindness is always transformational, and its never-ending ripples result in even more kind acts that can change our lives, our communities, and our world.

Thoughts
This book is very inspirational. It shows that we all should and can be kind, love each other, and most importantly, be accepting of others who are different than we are.

The stories vary but they all have show that no matter what difficulties you are going through, it can get better. All of the people in the book overcame whatever it was that they were going through. Sometimes life is hard and some of the people you meet can be cruel, but there is hope that you will find exactly what and who you need to feel accepted and loved, and have a fulfilled life.

The stories are very touching and gave me all the feels. It made me stop and think. It made me want to say and do more when I meet people that are struggling with something, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. We all have at one time or another needed, or will need, emotional support or acceptance, and hopefully we found someone who helped us through it. We should pay that forward.

Lady Gaga is an amazing person. Just how amazing she is (and her mom is) shows through this book.

5*

Nov 142020
 

Outside… 
Looks like the rain and wind from Eta are gone, the sky is a pretty blue and there are only a few clouds, the high today is supposed to be 75°

Reading…
You Carried Me by Milissa Ohden

Listening To…
Almost finished with Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Lady Gaga

Books Reviewed Last Week…
The Man on the Mountaintop by Susan Trott

Watched…
So glad that my shows are coming back! I watched the Chicago shows: Med, Fire, & PD last week and loved all 3!

Next Up In The Kitchen…
Easy Cheesy Breakfast Casserole
Kielbasa with Brussels Sprouts
Oven Baked Pork Chops with Potatoes (& baby carrots)
Fish, Fries, & Captain D’s Cole Slaw
Sticky Drumsticks, Anastaia’s Best Ever Baked Beans, Sweet Potatoes

New To Me Stuff:
I finally tried Taco Bell’s Dragonfruit Freeze and I LOVE it!

Today’s To Do List…
Relaxing before going back to work tomorrow

Looking forward to…
Vacation later this month

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
James 3:10

From the camera…

It’s me time, put that book down!

Nov 102020
 

The Man on the Mountaintop by Susan Trott
Narrated by: Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins,
Jeff Harding, David Thorpe
Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
Performance
Release date: 11-09-17
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Originals

Thoughts
This book was just what I needed when I needed a break from 2020. The story had a calming effect on me and I loved getting to know the Holy Man named Joe and the others at the hermitage and in the town below.

In the summer, thousands of people trek up the mountain single file to get to the hermitage so that they can see and talk to the Holy Man for just a minute or two. He always knows what to say and makes such a huge impact on them that some of them climb that mountain over and over.

There was quite a bit more to the story, including when a long time friend of Joe’s comes to visit him and brings her husband and children. I don’t want to give away too much but believe me, this story was so interesting. It made me laugh and even shed a few tears. I listened to it every chance I got, even while trying to fall asleep. I will probably listen to it again in the future.

One of the messages I loved the most was that the people in your life are the most valuable thing you’ll ever have.

I love that there were 4 narrators and all of them did a great job.

Nov 032020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

 

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by [Born This Way Foundation Reporters, Lady Gaga]

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Lady Gaga

FIRST CHAPTER: 
1
Trust Kindness
Charleen Colón

On a gloomy afternoon in December 2013, two days before Christmas, my family’s doorbell rang. Not much in the mood for an unannounced visit from a friend-much less a stranger – I felt little enthusiasm as I went to see who it was.

TEASER: 
It’s important to pause and think about what you’re doing, just in case you might hurt someone. And by someone, that includes yourself.

Nov 012020
 

Well it’s the first day of November and this year is almost over
I’m praying 2021 is a MUCH BETTER year
I did early voting and am looking forward to seeing who wins

Reading…
You Carried Me by Milissa Ohden

Listening To…
Zikora: A Short Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Animals at the Office by Sarah Sommer w/giveaway
The Goose on the Roof by Sarah Sommer w/giveaway

Watched…
Big Brother, loved the last few episodes and finale

On The Menu This Week…
Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Ham, Tomato Slices, Southern Style Baby Lime Beans

I bought  the Gooseberry Patch Cook It Quick cookbook and want to try these this week
Hawaiian Grilled Pork Chops
Taffy Apple Cupcakes

New To Me Stuff:
I don’t know what happened to my pizza stone so I bought another one, a Soft Pretzel Making Kit, and a  Mini Serving Spatula to use for Brownies etc. from Pampered Chef

Today’s To Do List…
Working until about 11:30 and then going to find a new mattress for my bed. I’ve had my memory foam for under 2 years but my back has recently started getting a twitch when I get off work and stop moving around so much, I’m hoping a firmer mattress will help

Looking forward to…
Going on a mini vaca for a few days

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

From the camera…

Sandhill cranes are a common site in the area I live

They walk very slowly and you have to sit and wait for them
to cross the road before you can start driving again, but I don’t mind

They used to come into the yard a lot where I used to live

Oct 292020
 

ANIMALS IN THE OFFICE by Sarah Sommer

Book Title:  The Goose on the Roof by Sarah Sommer
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  40 pages
Genre:  Picture Book
Publisher:  Sarah Sommer
Release date:   January 2020
Format available for review:  print (USA), gifted Kindle
Tour dates: Oct 19 to Nov 13, 2020
Content Rating:  G. Children’s picture book with no adult topics or language

Content Rating: G. Children’s picture book with no adult topics or language

When one little girl tries to solve a big problem involving a goose on her roof, she enlists the help of her animal friends. Despite her best efforts, things don’t go as planned, and she ends up with additional challenges to navigate as well. The Goose on the Roof features rhymes, animal characters, and a theme of problem-solving. The order of the characters can serve as a memory game as the story builds up and unwinds. Children may also be encouraged to come up with their own ideas for how to solve the issue of the honking goose on the roof and the predicaments created by the other animals. Winner (1st place) of the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards in the animals/pets category (ebook), this children’s story highlights animals in a wholesome and engaging way.

Thoughts
There is a  Goose On The Roof of a little girls house and it just won’t stop honking. Honk, honk, honk, honk! The neighbors have some people at their house and want the girl to stop that goose from making so much noise, but she can’t, and neither can any of the animals that try to help her.  Then her dad comes outside with a ladder and  he’s able the goose off the roof.

This is such a cute book! The message is that if you need help with something, don’t be afraid to ask, and keep asking until you get the help you need. In this book that help came from her dad.

The story is told in rhyme and is easy for children to follow along and to understand what’s going on. This would be a great book for young children, day cares and kindergarten classes to have.

The illustrations are cute and colorful and I think children will love them as much as the story.

5*

I received The Goose on the Roof from the publisher
This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion     

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Bookshop.org ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Children's Author Sarah Sommer

Meet the Author
Sarah Sommer enjoys working with words in a way that makes the story feel musical and rhythmical, which is a reflection of her first career in music as a professional clarinetist. She is passionate about animals and enjoys nature, the arts, and dark chocolate.

connect with the author:
website  ~  facebook  ~  instagram  ~  goodreads

Tour Schedule

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 222020
 

ANIMALS IN THE OFFICE by Sarah Sommer

ANIMALS IN THE OFFICE by Sarah Sommer

Book Title:  Animals at the Office by Sarah Sommer
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  40 pages
Genre:  Picture Book
Publisher:  Sarah Sommer
Release date:   October 2020
Format available for review:  print (USA), gifted Kindle
Tour dates: Oct 19 to Nov 13, 2020
Content Rating:  G. Children’s picture book with no adult topics or language

It’s Gator’s first day at his new office job, and he is surrounded by quirky personalities like the slow slug, the obedient dog, the aggressive hawk, and the chatty chicken. He is eager to fit in with his new co-workers, so he tries to be like them. But acting like everyone else doesn’t work out for him, and he learns a valuable lesson about himself instead. Featuring hand-drawn illustrations, vibrant colors, and rhymes, Animals at the Office sparks dialogue regarding first-day jitters, fitting in with new crowds, and embracing one’s own special traits despite being surrounded by others who are different. Adults may relate to the featured characters based on their own experiences at an office and can use the book to talk more with children about their own job and what going to work means for them.

Thoughts
Gator is  a bit nervous when he starts his new job and wants to fit in so he tries to be like the first animal he meets, Fred the slug. But that made him feel uncomfortable, so he tries acting like all the other animals in the office as he met them, but it just didn’t feel right.

Finally, he goes to see his boss, a wise Owl and told her what was going on. She tells him to just be himself and everything would be ok.

He went back to work just being him, and from then on he got along just fine with all the other animals.

This would be a great book for any child to read, but especially for those getting ready to start school etc. You are special because of who you are.

I love the illustrations in this book, they are very colorful and bright.

I highly suggest getting this book for any child, especially those who are starting school etc.

5*!

I received The Goose on the Roof from the publisher
This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Bookshop.org ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Children's Author Sarah Sommer

Meet the Author
Sarah Sommer enjoys working with words in a way that makes the story feel musical and rhythmical, which is a reflection of her first career in music as a professional clarinetist. She is passionate about animals and enjoys nature, the arts, and dark chocolate.

connect with the author:
website  ~  facebook  ~  instagram  ~  goodreads

Tour Schedule

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You may also like to read:


Book Title:  The Goose on the Roof by Sarah Sommer
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  40 pages
Genre:  Picture Book
Publisher:  Sarah Sommer
Release date:   January 2020
Content Rating:  G. Children’s picture book with no adult topics or language

Book Description:
When one little girl tries to solve a big problem involving a goose on her roof, she enlists the help of her animal friends. Despite her best efforts, things don’t go as planned, and she ends up with additional challenges to navigate as well. The Goose on the Roof features rhymes, animal characters, and a theme of problem-solving. The order of the characters can serve as a memory game as the story builds up and unwinds. Children may also be encouraged to come up with their own ideas for how to solve the issue of the honking goose on the roof and the predicaments created by the other animals. Winner (1st place) of the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards in the animals/pets category (ebook), this children’s story highlights animals in a wholesome and engaging way.

 Buy the Book:
Amazon
Bookshop.org ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Oct 202020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

 

Listen to the Marriage: A Novel

Listen to the Marriage by John Jay Osborn

JoAnn reviewed this book and it sounds really good

FIRST CHAPTER:
“Is there anything practical that needs to be addressed right now?” Sandy asked.
Like a student, Gretchen raised her hand.
It had been a long time since one of the couples who came to Sandy had raised her hand before speaking.

TEASER: 
“That was a pretty lame conversation,” Sandy said.
There was more about Bonny, both of them knew it, both of them didn’t want to talk about it. Sandy decided to deal with it.

Oct 182020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
The Other Side: A Short Story by Chevy Stevens (only 34 pages)
Poems To Live Your Life By (Chosen & Illustrated By)  by Chris Riddell

Listening To…
I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Watched…
Fried Green Tomatoes (again, loved it)

In The Kitchen…
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
BLT’s
Taco Bell Chicken Power Bowl
Southern Style Baby Lima Beans

New To Me Stuff:
New kitchen appliances which I LOVE!

Today’s To Do List…
Relax and maybe take a nap

Looking forward to…
Receiving the items I bought from Pampered Chef 

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
John 11:25-26

From the camera…

Image may contain: one or more people, people sleeping, baby and closeup

Jensen is sleepy! She’s 3 months old now.

Oct 172020
 

Chili Hash

1 pound medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup water
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) chili starter
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sour cream, optional

Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish
Cover and microwave on high for 7 minutes or until tender
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain
Drain potatoes and add to the skillet
Stir in the chili starter, peas, parsley and salt.
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes
Serve with sour cream if desired

Thoughts
I adapted this by adding a can of stewed tomatoes (I LOVE tomatoes), I used frozen cubed potatoes and frozen diced onions.

This was so good! The only thing I’ll do different next time is add a little chili powder.

This recipe is quick and easy, not expensive at all, and it tastes very good. I will definitely be adding it to my list of favorites.

Weekend Cooking

Oct 132020
 

Anxious People By cover art

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
Release date: 09-08-20

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunts down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an 87-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them – the bank robber included – desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope – the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

Thoughts
This is a very kooky book. and I absolutely loved it! The characters are all dealing with personal issues and that was a big part of the book and a big part of what made it so interesting.

The story is about a robber who tries to rob a cashless bank. And then it gets weirder. When he finds out he’s not getting any money, he runs out of the bank and into an apartment building where he takes a group of people, who are viewing one of the apartments during an open house, hostage.  One couple is expecting a baby, another is an older married couple who flip houses. There is also a bank executive, an elderly widow, and a man who is only wearing the head of a rabbit costume and his underwear. The police who investigate the crime and interview the hostages are father and son, who are also dealing with their own issues.

I love every Backman book I’ve read, and I think this one may be my favorite. It kept me guessing who the robber was and every time I was wrong. When I finally found out who it was, I was shocked.

This is a very good book that makes you want to keep reading and makes you keep guessing. It had a little bit of everything, it was sad at times, funny, quirky, and had very interesting characters.

If you haven’t read this yet, you should give it a try. I loved it! I’d give it a 10*

Oct 032020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: Book 1 – A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes

Listening To…
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Books Reviewed Last Week…
None (again)

Watched…
Troop Zero, a fun movie to get your mind off 2020

This Week’s Meal Plan…
I haven’t figured that out yet

New To Me Stuff:
A friend kept telling me to try the Snackin’ Bacon at Dunkin’ Donuts so I did this week…YUMMY!

Today’s To Do List…
I have the day off work (yea!) and I plan on making a meal plan for the week and relaxing

Looking forward to…
Taking some time off work for a much needed vacation

A Favorite Bible Verse…
The Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13 Bible Verse Postcard | Zazzle.com

From the camera…

Sep 272020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Off You Go: A Mystery Novella by Benjamin Blackmore

Listening To…
The Man On The Mountaintop by Susan Trott

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale

Watched…
Selfie Dad Loved this Christian based comedy!

In The Kitchen…
Chicken & Gravy
Leftover Meatloaf that I froze, mashed potatoes, corn
Instant Pot Chili
Veggie Pizza

New To Me Stuff:
McCormick Gourmet Japanese 7 Spice & McCormick Gourmet Organic Chipotle Chile Pepper and love both of them

Today’s To Do List…
Going to watch Fried Green Tomatoes again, and having my son put a new rear-view camera in my car because the one I had was a stick on the windshield type and it kept falling off in the hot and humid Florida weather

Looking forward to…
We’ve been waiting to get our house painted for a few months but because we’re in our rainy season the painter is way behind, they finally came Friday and primed it so I’m hoping it doesn’t rain tomorrow and they can finish it

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

From the camera…

❤️❤️❤️  My great granddaughter Jensen ❤️❤️❤️

She ‘s 2 months old now

Sep 212020
 

Side Trip By cover art
Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin, Sarah Naughton
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
Release date: 07-07-20

An unforgettable and breathtaking novel of love, loss, and the unexpected routes that life takes from Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale.

With her deceased sister’s Route 66 bucket list in hand, California girl Joy Evers sets out on a cross-country road trip to meet up with her fiancé, checking off the bullets along the way.

Singer-songwriter Dylan Westfield has a serious case of wanderlust and a broken-down car. Stuck at a diner between LA and Flagstaff, he meets Joy, his complete opposite. She’s energetic. He’s moody. She’s by the book. He’s spontaneous. She believes in love at first sight. He thinks love is a complicated mess. But Joy has a brand-new convertible.

They strike a deal. She’ll drive him to New York. He’ll pay for gas. Only three rules apply: no exchanging of last names; what happens on the road, stays on the road; and if one of them wants to take a side trip, they both must agree.

A heart-stirring love story that spans a decade, Side Trip explores what-if. What if Joy and Dylan had exchanged last names? What if he’d told her she made him believe love was worth the risk? And what if they hadn’t made that second deal when they couldn’t say goodbye?

Thoughts
I love road trips so this book really appealed to me, and I loved every minute of it… almost. I loved the way Joy and Dylan interacted with each other. I loved that their first encounter was a road trip and that if one of them thought of a “side trip” they wanted to take, they would have to see if the other person agreed to it, and of course they did. The side trips were the most interesting parts of the book for me.

The ending was really sad and I paused to think things through before listening to the last little bit. And here is where the book took a dive, in my opinion. There was another alternate ending which was the complete opposite of the first one. Even though I enjoyed the book up until the end, I didn’t enjoy the dual endings at all.