Vicki

Sep 302022
 

Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life

Nowhere For Very Long: The Unexpected Road To An Unconventional Life by Brianna Madia

A woman defined by motion, Brianna Madia bought a beat-up bright orange van, filled it with her two dogs Bucket and Dagwood, and headed into the canyons of Utah with her husband. Nowhere for Very Long is her deeply felt, immaculately told story of exploration—of the world outside and the spirit within.

However, pursuing a life of intention isn’t always what it seems. In fact, at times it was downright boring, exhausting, and even desperate—when Bertha overheated and she was forced to pull over on a lonely stretch of South Dakota highway; when the weather was bitterly cold and her water jugs froze beneath her as she slept in the parking lot of her office; when she worried about money, her marriage, and the looming question mark of her future. But Brianna was committed to living a life true to herself, come what may, and that made all the difference.

Nowhere for Very Long is the true story of a woman learning and unlearning, from backroads to breakdowns, from married to solo, and finally, from lost to found to lost again…this time, on purpose.

Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. I started going camping when I was growing up and my husband and I bought an old school bus in the early 90’s and converted it into a motor home. It was beautiful. I looked for the photos but can’t find them. Must be in a box of other things I haven’t found, hopefully I will soon.

This story kept my attention right from the start. There was a lot of adventure and scary moments that I was thinking “why in the world are they/she doing that?”

There is so much adventure and also some sadness that I can’t mention or it will spoil a major part of the book.

If you like this kind of book, I highly recommend it!

 

 

 Posted by at 4:07 PM
Sep 132022
 

 

The Littlest Library: A Novel

The Littlest Library Poppy Alexander

A heartwarming literary-themed novel about a woman who turns an ordinary red phone box into the littlest library in England and brings together a struggling town.

A little red telephone box full of stories, a chance to change her life…

Jess Metcalf is perfectly content with her quiet, predictable life. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, Jess’ life is turned upside down.

Determined to pick up the pieces, Jess decides it’s time for a new beginning. Unable to part with her grandmother’s cherished books, she packs them all up and moves to a tiny cottage in the English countryside. To her surprise, Jess discovers that she’s now the owner of an old red phone box that was left on the property. Missing her job at the local library, Jess decides to give back to her new community—using her grandmother’s collection to turn the ordinary phone box into the littlest library in England.

It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their literary magic—bringing the villagers together… and managing to draw Jess’ grumpy but handsome neighbor out of his shell.

Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart, let go of her old life, and make the village her home? But will she be able to take the leap?

Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book! I liked that although Jess was afraid of change and life without her grandmother, she decided to make a change anyway. I loved reading about the relationships with the friends she made, the good and the bad. I love learning how the littlest library came about, and when the library was threatened to be closed I was eager to find out if would stay open.

Jess had a great relationship with Aidan’s young daughter from the time they met. As for her dad and Jess, it was rough from the start. As they started to loose some of the tension between them, along comes his ex-wife to complicate it even more.  I wondered if it would work out in the end.

The book is narrated by Karen Cass who did a great job. Very easy to listen to!

The book gave me all kinds of feels and now I want to read her other books:
25 Days Till Christmas
12 Days Of Christmas

 Posted by at 4:03 PM
Sep 082022
 

On the Ledge by Amy TurnerOn the Ledge: A Memoir by Amy Turner

Publisher: She Writes Press, (September 6, 2022)
Category: Memoir, Dysfunctional Families, Mental Wellness
Tour dates: September 6, 2022-October 7, 2022
ISBN: 978-1647422257
Available in Print and ebook, 256 pages

On the Ledge

Description On the Ledge by Amy Turner

In 1957, when Amy Turner was four years old, her father had to be talked down from a hotel ledge by a priest. The story of his attempted suicide received nationwide press coverage, and he spent months in a psychiatric facility before returning home. From then on, Amy constantly worried about him for reasons she didn’t yet fully understand, triggering a pattern of hypervigilance that would plague her into adulthood.

In 2010, fifty-five years after her father’s attempted suicide, Amy—now a wife, mother, and lawyer-turned-schoolteacher—is convinced she’s dealt with all the psychological reverberations of her childhood. Then she steps into a crosswalk and is mowed down by a pickup truck—an accident that nearly kills her, and that ultimately propels her on a remarkable emotional journey. With the help of Chinese Medicine, Somatic Experiencing, and serendipities that might be attributed to grace, Amy first unravels the trauma of her own brush with death and then, unexpectedly, heals the childhood trauma buried far deeper.

Poignant and intimate, On the Ledge is Amy’s insightful and surprisingly humorous chronicle of coming to terms with herself and her parents as the distinct, vulnerable individuals they are. Perhaps more meaningfully, it offers proof that no matter how far along you are in life, it’s never too late to find yourself.

Thoughts
This book caught my attention right from the start and gave me all kinds of emotions. It’s a very personal look at the authors life from a very young age when her father attempted suicide. I can’t imagine my family and I having to go through that, especially going through it at the age of four. The incident also puts her family on an emotional journey. Years later the author had her own brush with death when she was hit by a truck. As she goes thru a few different types of therapies, she starts to heal.

This book is very sad at times and at other times it is funny. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. I loved the writing style of the author and the flow. It was like sitting next to someone and listening to them talk. I didn’t want to put the book down until I read the last word.

I would definitely read more from this author.

Advance Praise On the Ledge by Amy Turner

“. . . an intriguing memoir . . . that many readers will find relatable. . . . A frank and engaging portrait of one family’s struggles with mental illness.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In lyrical and vivid prose, Amy Turner reckons with her family secrets and how they dug their roots deep into her psyche. With trauma as the inciting force, Turner courageously comes to terms with her past and present, showing us how choosing to lean into the scars can reveal paths forward. On the Ledge is a compelling read, told with grace, vulnerability, and depth.”—Rachel Michelberg, author of Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver

“This remarkable story of a woman’s journey toward healing after a random, shocking accident takes us back in time into the home of an unusual family and the seminal event that shaped them all. In peeling back layers of trauma and revisiting key moments from her past, Turner comes to a new understanding of what it means to be a daughter, a mother, a woman, and a seeker of truth. This is a riveting story of courage and redemption. And dare I say that parts of it are very, very funny?”—Hope Edelman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Motherless Daughters and The AfterGrief

On the Ledge is an extraordinary memoir of the way trauma harms both body and soul. Amy Turner’s near-miss with death at the age of fifty-seven propels her on a journey back through family history, leading to a new understanding of how her father’s attempted suicide and her mother’s determination to ‘move on’ has shaped—and limited—her since the age of four. Inspirational and beautifully told.”—Susan Scarf Merrell, author of Shirley: A Novel, now a major motion picture

“Absorbing, direct, humorous, horrific, On the Ledge explores the edge of madness as an artful memoir that also addresses two growing contemporary concerns: suicide and addiction. Timely, significant, well written, this is a courageous and engaging account, neither didactic nor sentimental, that belongs on school shelves as well as in the home.”
Joan Baum, host of NPR’s Baum on Books

About Amy TurnerOn the Ledge by Amy Turner

Amy Turner was born in Bronxville, New York, and is a graduate of Boston University, with a degree in political science, and of New York Law School, with a Juris Doctor Degree. After practicing law (rather unhappily) for twenty-two years, she finally found the courage to change careers at forty-eight and become a (very happy) seventh grade social studies teacher.

A long-time meditator and avid reader who loves to swim and bike, Amy lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Ed, to whom she’s been married for forty years. They have two sons. On the Ledge is Amy’s first book.

Website: https://www.amyturnerauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyturnerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyTurnerWriter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyturner2000/

Pre-Order On the Ledge by Amy Turner

Amazon
Bookshop.org

Indiebound

Giveaway On the Ledge by Amy Turner

This giveaway is for 2 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on October 5, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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On the Ledge by Amy Turner

 Posted by at 6:17 AM
Sep 012022
 

The Beach Trap

The Beach Trap by Ali Brady
Narrated by Brittany Pressley

When 12-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half sisters. Confused and betrayed, the girls break off all contact.

Fifteen years later, when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are immediately at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny, wants to sell the house, while social media influencer Kat is desperate to hold on to the place where she lived so many happy memories.

Kat and Blake reluctantly join forces to renovate the dilapidated house, with the understanding that Kat will try to buy Blake out at the end of the summer. The women clash as Blake’s renovation plans conflict with Kat’s creative vision; meanwhile, each sister finds herself drawn into a summer romance. As the weeks pass, the two women realize the most difficult project they face this summer will be coming to grips with their shared past—and learning how to become sisters.

Thoughts
As soon as I saw the cover of this book I knew I wanted to listen to it. Then I read the synopsis and knew it would jump to the top of my tbr list as soon as I finished my current book.

This was a 5* for me. I loved it. The girls first met at a summer camp and it reminded me of the times spent with my Girl Scout Troop, I loved every minute of those times. Kat and Blake became the best of friends right away. They felt like sisters.  Then Kat learns that her dad is coming to pick her up because of a death in the family and both girls learn that they’re more than “feel like sisters”, and all contact is broken off.

They meet again 15 yrs. later when their father dies and leaves each of them 1/2 of the family beach house.

Both girls are still hurt and angry. Kat is more so because she doesn’t think Blake deserves any part of the house. So much goes on with these two and then you add in boys they each start seeing and things go from bad to worse.

I liked both girls but Blake was my favorite. Kat had an attitude problem that really aggravated me at times. She was also always jumping to conclusions that were way off. Then at the end things happened that made them very close again. This book is very good and I would definitely read more from this author.

Brittany Pressley did a great job with the narration.

FYI: There are some scenes in the book that weren’t for me but you can fast forward through them.

 Posted by at 3:30 PM
Aug 272022
 

Outside…
When the humidity is factored in, 99°

Currently Reading…
Audio: The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

Kindle: Journey into The Apostolic by Bill Easter

Print: Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses by Paige Towler

Reviewed Last Week…
Ø

Review(s) Coming Up…
The Beach Trap by Ali Brady by Ali Brady

Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life by Brianna Madia

Watching…
The 9th season of Relative Race. Season 10 starts Sept. 18th ♥ LOVE this show! Check it out if you get it in your area!

Getting ready to start The Office again. My son Jeremy and his wife Susie say it’s hilarious. I tried it a while back and didn’t like it, but they told me to keep watching it, it gets better in the second season. I’ll give it another chance.

In The Kitchen…
Taco Salad
Pimento Cheeseburgers, sounds weird but I love pimento and I love cheeseburgers
BLT’s
Sesame Chicken, chicken fried Rice, Broccoli
Chicken Provolone, spinach, carrots

New To Me Stuff:
Dan O’s Original Seasoning It’s very good!

Today’s To Do List…
I’m off so I’ll either be going out to eat or will be relaxing after  14 days of being busy. 12 days of work, going to a drs. appt. one day & another day going to getting blood work

Looking forward to…
Mother and Daughter day. I worked or had drs. appts. for 2 weeks so we’ve missed them

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 7:15

From the camera…

This house is in a nearby town. The lot had trees on it and the people who bought it decided not to cut down any trees and just designed the house around the tree. You can see from the roof that they did that. I go by there every time I’m going past there.

 Posted by at 8:23 PM
Aug 132022
 

Outside…
High is expected to be 88°, with the humidity it’s expected to be 95°

Currently Reading…
Audio:
57 min. left of Nowhere For Very Long: The Unexpected Road To An Unconventional Life by Brianna Madia

Print:
On The Ledge: A Memoir by Amy Turner (for tour)

Kindle:
Mornings With God: 365 Devotions To Inspire Your Day by Dr India Logan

Reviewed Last Week…
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

Review(s) Coming Up…
The Beach Trap by Ali Brady

Watching…
On season 7 of Relative Race
Big Brother

In The Kitchen…
Beans w/ham, cornbread
Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken
Taco Casserole
Jambalaya & Smoked Sausage

Today’s To Do List…
Work and then home to relax. Yesterday I cooked dinner for today and did laundry, etc.

Looking forward to…
Cooler weather and a vacation even if it’s a staycation because of Covid

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

From the camera…

❤️Jaspurr is always touching me, her version of holding my hand❤️

❤️This time she decided to hold Kaiyo’s head❤️

 Posted by at 4:35 PM
Aug 122022
 

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

The swimmers are unknown to one another except through their private routines (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane) and the solace each takes in their morning or afternoon laps. But when a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, they are cast out into an unforgiving world without comfort or relief.

One of these swimmers is Alice, who is slowly losing her memory. For Alice, the pool was a final stand against the darkness of her encroaching dementia. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood and the Japanese American incarceration camp in which she spent the war. Alice’s estranged daughter, reentering her mother’s life too late, witnesses her stark and devastating decline.

Thoughts
Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to spend summer days at the pool with my friends. I continued swimming as an adult but haven’t for many years and I miss it. When I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it.

The book starts off with us learning about the pool and the people who swim there, most of them on a daily basis. We learn their specific routines, how they are alike and different, what motivates them to swim, and about the pool itself. I really enjoyed getting to know the swimmers.

One day someone notices a tiny crack in the bottom of the pool, then more swimmers start to notice it and soon they are all keeping an eye on it to see if it looks like it might cause problems. There were some interesting thoughts about what caused the crack, what it means, and what would happen if it started getting bigger. Then they start worrying for their safety if it keep growing, and if they would have to close the pool so it could be fixed. It was even seen as bad luck. When the crack does start growing, the management informs the swimmers that the pool will be closing for good. Not just long enough to be repaired, but for good! The swimmers are not happy at all.

Then the book turns solemn as it’s focus turns to Alice (who had dementia) and her daughter. Everything about Alice’s story was interesting and I enjoyed it, but would have liked knowing what happened to the other swimmers also.

This is a short book but it didn’t really feel short to me because the story was so interesting. It kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next.

I really enjoyed this so I checked out the authors other books and may add When The Emperor Was Divine, which also looks interesting.

 Posted by at 11:43 AM
Jul 312022
 

Outside…
High is expected to be 103°, low is expected to be 81°

Books…
Need To Review:
The Swimmers by  Julie Otsuka
The Beach Trap by Ali Brady

Audio: Starting Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez tomorrow

I thought I was out of the book slump but it crept back in and now I can’t seem to review books when I do finish them. Anyone else having book related problems?

Watching…
I’m going to start Rutherford Falls and see if I like it
Lots of movies on Ups Faith & Family
Loving Relative Race, starting on season 2, I can’t find season 1 anywhere

In The Kitchen…
Chicken and Veggies Ramen Noodles Skillet
Brunswick Stew
The Hillbillies Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken and Rice

Looking forward to…
Taking a day trip soon

Question Of The Week…
Pizza has been my favorite food since I was a kid but it’s not anymore.  A lot of foods that I used to love aren’t in that list anymore. I still eat a piece of pizza every now and then but most of the time have  a salad, Chinese or Mexican. Have your favorites changed, care to share from what to what?

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15

From the camera…

 

 Posted by at 2:12 PM
Jul 102022
 

Outside…
“Feels like” today due to humidity is 97°, low is expected to be 76°

Currently Reading…
Audio: The Beach Trap by Ali Brady
Kindle: The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple
Print: Love Story by Erich Segal

Reviewed Last Week…
Nothing

Review(s) Coming Up…
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

Watching…
Big Brother is back ♥
The Challenge USA
So many movies and series on UP Faith & Family

In The Kitchen…
Chicken Drumsticks w/BBQ Sauce, baked potatoes & beans, corn on the cob
Twenty Minute Easy Tortellini Bake
Slow Cooker Tri Tip Roast, mashed potatoes, fried green beans
One-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowl
Fish, fries/onion rings, coleslaw

New To Me Stuff: Well, when it rains it pours. I thought I was finished having to buy kitchen items but last week my  countertop pizza maker that I’ve had for probably more than 20 years and LOVED, started not fully cooking the pizza so I had to get another one. This is not the one I had but it’s the same kind, different manufacturer. When looking for a replacement I saw this and decided to get it because it can be used for so many other foods and had great reviews. I made a pizza in it last night and it was so well done and crisp.

Today’s To Do List…
Nothing, just stay home and read, watch tv, maybe take a nap

Looking forward to…
Going to see Where The Crawdads Sing with my daughter, asap

Question Of The Week…
My daughter and I went to see the move Elvis last week. It’s longer than most movies at 2h 39m and we LOVED every second of it. Are you a fan of Elvis? If you are, you need to go see this! There were only me and my daughter in the Elvis theater until about 5 min. before the movie started. Then a man and woman came in and sat way behind us. There are multiple movies showing and it was a workday so I wasn’t worried about being too close to anyone else. I didn’t expect only 2 other people in the huge room though, but was happy about that.

A Favorite Bible Verse…
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
Hebrews 5:9

From the camera…

 Posted by at 9:39 AM
Jun 252022
 

Outside…
High is expected to be 88° before the humidity is factored in then it’s 96°, I realized my mistake after I got home and read my comments

Currently Reading…
Audio: Only have a 34 min. left of The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
KindleThe Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple
Print: Love Story by Erich Segal

Reviewed Last Week…
Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

Review(s) Coming Up…
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

Watching…
I watched A Winter Princess on Hallmark and it was so good! I’m a big fan of Chris McNally and snow and I loved the movie

In The Kitchen…
I’m moving everything in my kitchen around to make it easier to use. Everything is still where I put it when I moved and I’m not liking it anymore. One thing for example is that my silverware, plates, and bowls are on the opposite side of  the kitchen from the stove. I want them next to the stove.

New To Me Stuff:
The only things I’ve bought since my last pots & pan etc. splurge is new decals in the tub. The ones that were there started coming loose. My son said he’d buy a walk in shower and put it in but I’m fine with the tub/shower that’s there, just don’t want to be slip sliding around in it. I had a huge garden tub and a separate shower where I used to live and never, not once, used the tub in all the years we lived there, and I bought a set of Bamboo cutting boards which I really needed to replace the ones I’ve had for years, and I’m pretty sure I’m done for now.

Today’s To Do List…
Working then home to order some groceries for the week, read everyone’s SS post, catch up on FB, and watch a movie or two

Looking forward to…
Going to the beach!!! It’s been WAY TO HOT & HUMID to go the last few days I’ve had off

Question Of The Week…
What made you the most happy last week?

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Have I not commanded you? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”.
Joshua 1:9

From the camera…

 Posted by at 6:28 PM