March 30, 2013

Little Letters Fifth Edition

Dear Lizzie Bennet Diaries, you were all things awesome and fabulous! Thanks for finishing the entire story. I remember being worried at the very beginning that you wouldn't be able to. But you did! And made my Monday's and Thursday's a lot more fun. (Although I do think my coworkers thought I was crazy every time they came in the breakroom and had to listen to the new video with me. ;) I will miss you, but shall have wonderful memories now. Thanks for leading me on this adventure and leaving me happy at the end!

Dear Jane Austen, how amazing you must have been when you were alive. I would love to be able to have a peek into your brain and see how you were able to create such stories that still resonate with people centuries down the road. I'm so glad I randomly picked up the Pride and Prejudice mini-series with Colin Firth many, many years ago. It introduced me to your phenomenal writing and the rest of your books. And especially the many adaptations that have been made. I'm positively thrilled that you came into my life!

Dear New Yellow Purse, you are super-duper cool! I'm so glad I decided to get you after all. All your lovely pockets makes me a happy camper. Yay for groovy purses!

Dear Calvin and Hobbes, why is it no matter how many times I read you, I still laugh at all your antics? You made my childhood happy and that hasn't changed these many years later. You still make me happy!

Dear Lainer-bug, I had so much fun with you the other night! We need to get together more often now that you live close. Catching up with you and playing with your children was a wonderful way to spend my evening. The triplets are cute-as-a-button adorable and you know it! ;D

Dear Sherwood Smith, I don't know how you created Meliara, but I really love her a lot. I had to re-read her story again recently (for only the 100th time or so). She is such a fantastic character! Is it crazy that I love this book so much I had to buy every single version I could? Thanks for letting me get to meet Mel and Vidanric.

Dear Texas Roadhouse, thank you so much for finally opening in my town! I've been looking forward to not having to drive a long distance to reach you. Your bread, your ribs, your cinnamon butter. Aaaahhhh. My taste-buds were absolutely delighted to see you again!

Dear Weekend, you are going to keep me very, very busy. But I know it will leave me with terrific memories by the time Monday rolls around. Can't wait to see what you have in store!

Toodle-loo kangaroos! I hope you have a lovely and blessed Easter! :)

March 29, 2013

Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage
Going Vintage

About the Book:

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). 

The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous

But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

My Thoughts:

That was a lot of fun! As a huge fan of Sean Griswold's Head, I've been looking forward to Ms. Leavitt's next book. I'm so glad to tell you how much I enjoyed this one! The premise seems cute and fluffy, and so it is. Yet while the cute is certainly there, there are still undercurrents hovering below that draw you in. Which I really appreciate about Ms. Leavitt's writing. Because, like her previous story, there are bigger issues at hand than just a girl giving up technology. Mallory is  a lovely girl, but she's gotten so wrapped up in Jeremy, she's forgotten that she's an actual person aside from being his girlfriend. What are her hopes and dreams? Who is she really? This is her story of how she finds herself again. And it's not easy, because she makes plenty of mistakes along the way. Yet she has lots of good friends and an awesome sister (Love Ginnie! Seriously, the sister relationship here is wonderful.) who helps remind her to look beyond herself. That was one thing I really enjoyed about her. Mallory may be struggling, but when presented with proof that others are hurting just as she is, she immediately (or at least pretty quickly) wants to help alleviate some of their pain if she's able. She's truly a very likeable and compassionate person, and she doesn't even realize it. But Mallory's not stupid. She makes some mistakes yes, but ultimately she's got a great head on her shoulders and is able to realize that she needs to figure out who she is before she does anything else.  Then Oliver happens. And very unexpectedly I might add! So yes, the romance is adorable and sweet. Oliver knows who he is and doesn't care what others may think of him. Which is just the type of person that Mallory is realizing she'd like to be. Thus each person in her life, Jeremy included, push Mallory ever closer to her goal of going to Homecoming and hopefully figuring out her "thing".

Mallory's journey has lots of twists and turns and the ending is wonderfully done. I really liked that it was hopeful yet open-ended, because no one can figure everything out in just two weeks. Mallory's still got a ways to go, but she's off to an awesome start! And her list? (Did I mention how much she likes lists? In fact, every chapter begins with one.) I'm referring to the one that belonged to her grandmother. She's well on her way to crossing off each item by the time the last chapter rolls around. But it's getting herself there that's an uphill battle. Mallory's tough though, so she'll make it. And you'll have a great time right along with her! :)

A Favorite Passage:
"Not like now, where I go to the grocery store to buy herbal tea for my sick sister and the guy next to me starts discussing what flavor of Rice-A-Roni is best. Of course I answer chicken, only to find he's talking to his wife on one of the earpiece thingies. Then he gives me a weird look, like talking to the air is normal, and buys the beef flavor anyway.
Beef rice?
{Also, that is an awesome cover! The colors, the chairs, the record. I love it all.}

Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!

March 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge With Chocolate and Buttercups

1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner? Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service? Eating too much chocolate?

Our church has a morning worship service at 7 or 7:30, so I will be there. Don't know if I'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed or not. But I will be there. :)

 And I'm already eating my chocolate!

See? The bags are already half gone. And yes. I'm eating them all myself. Favorite chocolates ever!

2. What is something you feel too young to do?

Complain over my sore knees when I go up stairs or when I kneel down to pick something up. I'm young! My bones aren't supposed to start creaking yet!!!

3. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."

Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?

The patient part. I impatiently wait on people to get in line or if already in line-then keep moving up when they're supposed to or give me an answer to my question right now or whatever I'm waiting for. One of my biggest faults is I interrupt a lot. I feel terrible as soon as I do it, but my mouth seems to think that what I have to say just can't wait. When actually it can! Patience is definitely something God is still perfecting in me.

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?

Azalea's-my mom has several bushes near the front door, so I would notice them every spring

Oh! I also looked forward to Buttercups. And of course we had to hold them underneath our chins to see if we liked butter or not. ;)

5. Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you?

No I haven't. And.......maybe?? You'd have to convince me pretty well to attempt it. The last time I voluntarily sang a solo in front of other people was high school. One of my history teachers gave out extra credit to anyone willing to sing the National Anthem. Extra credit is a great incentive let me tell you! ;D

6. What is something you keep in a basket?

Well, I looked around my house and I couldn't find a single basket anywhere. :/

7. When was the last time you felt foolish?

Sometime in January I left my car headlights on. Needless to say, the battery went dead. This wouldn't sound too bad, except I had just done the same thing in December and told myself I would remember next time! Yeah, so much for that idea.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

One of the next books I plan to read reminded me of this 80s movie with David Bowie.

Have you seen it? Did you like it? I watched it for the first time a few years ago and loved it immediately! Yes, it's very dated. But so much fun! I've always enjoyed fantasy stories and this one is crazy and silly and awesome! At least that's my opinion of it. I know it wasn't all that popular when it first came out. But somehow it's endured and I'm so glad I have the chance to watch it anytime I want. Since my first viewing, I've watched it countless times. And I'm sure many more are in my future. :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 26, 2013

Beauty is There

There is beauty in the world!

(Isn't that a song or something? When I thought of it, it just seemed familiar somehow but for the life of me, I can't figure it out.)

There's lots of people who talk about beauty. I wasn't sure I really needed to add my two cents. But here I am. Putting my words out there.

Beauty. It's everywhere!

Sometime last week, I heard tell that there was a Down's Syndrome Day. (I forget where I heard it and I've no idea if it's truly a day or not. But I'm all for it if it is!) That made me think about beauty. Why, you may ask? Because just the weekend before, I had met Tony.

Tony is in his early 20s and has numerous handicaps. But oh my goodness, what a smile he had! I immediately noticed it. His whole face lights up when he smiles! With all the struggles he has to go through each day, simply to live life at all, his smiles still show up really often. And his laughs! His mother would tease him and he would laugh and laugh. So much so, that everyone around simply had to join in. He is beautiful.

Then there's John. Who's wife just passed away from Alzheimer's. She lived in a home and he faithfully went and ate lunch with her.  This beloved wife who no longer knew him, yet he would talk to her and help feed her and always always with a smile on his face. When I see him other places, the smile is there. With the burdens he had, he never complained. His first words to me are always, "How are you doing?". He is beautiful.

Or what about Charlotte? She has Down's Syndrome. And doesn't know a single stranger anywhere. It's not possible to dislike her! Not possible at all, trust me. Her smiles! Her cheerfulness! She befriends everyone and always finds something to talk about. She mails birthday cards to lots and lots of people.  I used to faithfully get one every year, until I moved out of state and she had to limit her card-sending somewhere. Who doesn't love receiving mail? And when it's guaranteed to make you smile? All the better! She is beautiful.

Beauty can be found. What the world calls beautiful and what I call beautiful may be two entirely different things. But I see beauty so very many places. Most especially in the people I see every day. Not just the ones I know either. When you're out and about, look people in the face. Really look at them and see what beauty they may have. It's not always apparent with a first glance, it sometimes requires a conversation. But it's there. Oh yes. It's definitely there.

Now granted, you may not see beauty in everybody. (Some is a little harder to find.) But if you look around enough, you will see it somewhere. Tony reminded me to keep looking. When the troubles surround us on every side; when the day seems extra hard and things aren't going well; when health problems crop up; whatever the trial---beauty can be found! Sometimes you have to look hard, it may be hiding behind what you first thought was ugly. But it's still there, just waiting to peek out to the right person.

What one thing can you see right now, that's beautiful in your eyes?

I see this picture. My nieces made that for me a couple years ago and I refuse to get rid of it. It's beautiful to me! Not perfectly made, but perfectly given. Perfectly given with little hearts just overflowing with love to share with me. What's more beautiful than that? To me-at this moment-absolutely nothing.

I hope you find beauty in your day, wherever it may be and however it may arrive!

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 25, 2013

Review: Edenbrook by Julianne Donaldson


About the Book:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, that was adorable! Such a cute and fun story. (I also have to admit that I read it right after watching Sense and Sensibility for the umpteenth time, so I read Marianne's name with an British accent thereafter. ;) A wonderful little story that reads similar to Jane Austen and other Regency writers. But it's more of a nod to those authors, not an exact likeness. There's none of Austen's biting wit here, but just a lovely story with mysteries to be solved and hearts to be won. Ms. Donaldson is a fabulous writer! And Marianne is a wonderful heroine. She's hilarious as she gets herself into scrape after scrape in the beginning! I don't think I've laughed that much during a book for a while. The poor girl has such good intentions, but they keep getting overridden by her awe of the outdoors. She loves being outdoors and especially loves orchards. She can collect her thoughts and find peace there. And she's got enough worries that peace is definitely something to go searching for quite often. She is also extremely likeable, and reminds me somewhat of Jane Bennet that way. She is aware that people are friendly to her, but not aware of what her effect is on them. Yet her fiestiness and stubbornness is certainly more suited to Elizabeth Bennet. She likes to be in control of things as well. After the upheaval in her life for the past year or so, it's perfectly understandable though. But matters of the heart can't be controlled very well. We get thrust into her adventure pretty quickly, with the first pages detailing her unique suitor Mr. Whittles. No wonder she wants rid of him! I sure wouldn't want him either. But by the middle of chapter two, we're off in the carriage enroute to Edenbrooke, happily leaving Mr. Whittles behind. And this is where Marianne's adventures really start! From highwaymen to arrogant gentlemen to surprises at Edenbrooke, Marianne's life is never dull. Add to that her talkative maid Betsy, who knows everything! or can find it out quick should Marianne require more information about something or someone. And a certain someone definitely needs figured out as he likes to keep things mysterious. But it's nothing nefarious, so no worries in that regard! :) During conversations in the library, horseback-riding in the mornings, territorial and outspoken ladies, sisters who turn out to be different than you remember, friends who aren't really friends, and so many other goings-on, Marianne has a lot on her plate. And you're bound to enjoy every single minute!

There's nothing new or earth-shaking to be found in this story. But it doesn't matter!! You'll be having so much fun that you could care less whether similar things have been done before. The characters are what these kinds of stories are about, and Ms. Donaldson has created some memorable ones. You'll love Marianne and shudder at Mr. Whittles. You'll wish for Cecily to live up to Marianne's memories. You'll wonder who a certain gentleman is and what his intentions are, as all the while you swoon over him. Because I did think he was quite swoonworthy! :D The end result? Read it! I can't imagine you being disappointed.

A Fun Passage For You:
"I was taken aback. "Oh. Well..." I did not know how to respond.
"Now tell me what brings you to this area."
I was irked by the feeling that this man once again had the upper hand. "I don't believe I should confide in you."
He sighed. "I thought we had agreed to be friends."
"Yes, but that was before I knew you would refuse to tell me your name. I can hardly be friends with someone who has no name."
He looked as if he found everything I said to be very entertaining."

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 23, 2013

Yup, Me Too

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Yes, I'm going in with all the cool blogs finally and doing the bloglovin thing! Follow, follow, follow! (You know. If you want.)   :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 22, 2013

I'm Supposed To Be a Grown-Up!

Hello all!

Yes, this is going to be a very nonsensical post about nothing. Basically. I do realize probably most of you have no interest in my silliness. So I won't be offended if you stop reading. (In fact. I'll never know, so all's good!)

I actually finished an awesome book last night (or should I say this morning *hangs head in embarrassment*) and had great intentions of writing my review today.

Yeah.......that didn't happen. Obviously. Needless to say, I watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries instead. I told myself, "Okay, I'll just watch this video one more time and then I'll go write my review." Well. One more time actually ended up turning into several more times. And then I rewatched other episodes and before I knew it, there was a whole lot of time gone!

I'm supposed to be an adult! But something about this "little" YouTube sensation has sucked me in and it's like I've become a teenager again. Multiple watches of episodes. Impatiently wondering when Monday or Thursday will get here. (The first time in my entire life that I've looked forward to Monday's!) I've decided it's a really good thing this show is ending next week. That way I can go back to normal. Or my version of it anyway.

I'm ridiculous!!! Completely ridiculous I tell you. I fully acknowledge that fact.

So. There you have it. I watched Lizzie all evening instead of reviewing my book. I have got to get my head back soon! Anyway, my review will be coming. Promise!

Have an awesome Friday. :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 19, 2013

Flipping Pages, Holding Pages, Quirks Are Abounding Over Here!

{Yes, that is my weird looking hand in that picture. Just ignore how strange it looks. And for the record, my skin is not typically that shade of reddish, orange-ish, whatever-color-ish.}

Good day to you! :)

So I was noticing something recently. Well, actually I've always noticed it about myself, but only recently really thought about it. (Do you ever do that? Notice something but don't really think about it until one day it hits you? And you wonder why on earth you do it? Yes? No? Maybe it's only me then.)

Observantly, I have tended to notice that when I'm reading a book, physically holding it in my hands I mean, I do this funny little thing with my fingers. If you can see beyond the unnatural color of my hand in the picture above, you will notice my fingers. See how they are all holding different sections of the pages? Yeah, that's precisely what I do.

While I'm reading, my hands never stay still. I'm flipping pages and holding different sections of pages together. Then I let go of those pages and my fingers flip to another section. Occasionally, I do have to remove my riveted eyes from the page I'm reading and adjust my fingers however they need. But normally I do all this movement very unconsciously.


Mostly unconsciously. Obviously I've noticed it, hence this post. But you know what I mean!

Anyway. Yes. Movement happens. I have absolutely no idea why I do this. But when I've got a book in my hands, my fingers refuse to simply stay on the covers. In and out of the pages they go. Around and around and up and down and everywhere. They simply don't stay still.

Actually, now that I'm analyzing it, it's probably got something to with the fact that I don't usually sit very still either. I do change position pretty often. So I suppose that my fingers are just following the lead of the rest of my body. Hmmmm. Hadn't thought about that til right this second. Sounds pretty credible, right?

So. I'm sharing all this fascinating commentary with you because I'm curious whether anyone else ever does this. Do you? Or do you sit perfectly still, hands included?

Am I the only weird one around here? It's perfectly okay if I am. I'm quite used to that actually. But I just thought I'd check to see if anyone else has this funny little quirk. Because you know what they say! When you have a quirk, you instantly want to know if someone else has ever dealt with it.

Well, someone's probably said it sometime or other anyway. I mean I just did say it! So if nothing else, I'm the "they" in this scenario.

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 18, 2013

Review: Fossil Hunter by John B. Olson

Fossil Hunter
Fossil Hunter

About the Book:

In the desolate Iraqi desert, a lone shepherd stumbles across a whale fossil. Initial analysis indicates that it could be a new species-a discovery that might shed light on the evolution debate.

Paleontologist Dr. Katie James is asked to lead an expedition to recover the rest of the fossil before her archrival, Nick Murad, can find it first. But while she's there, Katie also uncovers the unexpected-a human fossil so controversial she's forced to collaborate with Nick to analyze the find before it can be destroyed by a fundamentalist faction of the Iraqi government. Their initial results fly in the face of current scientific theory, and it seems the whole world turns against them, including those they thought they could trust.

Then the fossil disappears, sending Nick and Katie on a chase that could cost them their reputations, their careers-even their lives.

My Thoughts:

Wow. What an incredible story! This book is so far from what I normally read, and I have no idea what made me pick it up in the first place. But again, wow! If you want a first hand look at the life of archaeologists and scientists that go to remote places, working with troublesome governments, and all that comes with that kind of life, then here you go. Mr. Olson definitely seems to know his stuff when it comes to science. And writing a story about the controversy of evolution and creation had to pretty tough. But I thought he handled it very well. Switching back and forth between Katie's and Nick's points of view, this is a thrill ride that never stops until you hit the last page! Battling the prejudices of her co-workers, the harshness of the Pakistan desert, and worry for her father back home, Katie is still determined to get answers to her questions. She's a creationist but also a scientist and trying to balance the two is hard work. Especially when most of the scientific world around her thinks she's cuckoo. Nick, a scientist through and through, is the man who got the job she wanted and they've been rivals ever since. Always trying to outdo one another, even if they haven't even met in real life. Until they do meet, and suddenly have to trust one another in a confusing situation. Trust doesn't come easily for either one though, and the attraction they both feel doesn't help. Or doesn't help Katie. Nick doesn't deny it nearly as long as Katie does. Their interactions are fun! The romance is definitely there, but very subtly and absolutely takes a backseat when their lives are on the line. Which happens basically all the time! Because they jump from one bad situation to another to another and another. Wandering in the desert with barely any food or water, being chased by bad guys, fossils being stolen and blamed wrongly on them. Yeah, life is crazy for these two! It's a pulse-pounding story that refuses to let up. As soon as you think things may calm down, it only lasts for about a page or two and then the bad guys find them again. It simply never stops, but it's so much fun!

Like Indiana Jones and those types of movies, this is fast paced and entertaining. The good guys against the bad guys. But figuring out who the good guys and bad guys are is part of the adventure! You get thrown into the action from the first page and it never lets up. Simply put, I couldn't put this story down once I started it. So be sure to allow plenty of time to read it because you won't be able to either. :D A few hours later, and I'm still thinking about it. All I can end with is, wow what a ride!

A Passage For You:
"She cracked open her eyes, but all she could see was blinding white light. She tried to move her head, but the attempt sent pulses of shimmering pain through her brain.
"Katie, answer me."
"I..." The word burned in her throat. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry as cotton. "I..."
Paper crinkled all around her. "Katie, listen. We're in the sun. We need to move to the other side of the wadi."
"Okay." She finally managed to croak the word out. She sounded like a frog. A big green frog on a lily pad surrounded by deep green water. An icy cold stream, crystal clear and gurgling like rustling papers....
Grasping hands tugged at her arms and shoulders. Loud voices. Grunts and sighs. A wave of nausea washed through her body as she was hoisted onto her feet. She tried to take a step but her legs buckled beneath her. She was falling."

Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!

March 17, 2013

Holiday's Make Me Rhyme

Source: via Kara on Pinterest

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all!

I hope you're having a lovely Sunday. Whether you're eating corned beef and cabbage or wearing green or perhaps just having a normal day.

I myself am wearing green today. But that's about the extent of my celebrating.

Actually, I'm thinking to celebrate National Napping Day a week late! According to a reliable source, it is an actual holiday and took place last Monday. But I had to work last Monday. *wrinkles nose* And what better day to nap than Sunday? The actual 'day of rest'? A good idea, yes? *nods enthusiastically*  :)

Source: via Kara on Pinterest

Hibernating is always lovely in my opinion. Whether a national holiday or not. :)

When your life gets crazy and silly,
When the weather outside is chilly,
Hibernate in your bed,
With a book to be read.
My advice is fabulous really!

Anyhoo, here's a video for your viewing pleasure. It's Maxwell Glick, who plays Mr. Collins in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. He decided to eat only green foods for one whole day and.......well......he made some interesting choices. See for yourself!

Lime juice is not made for drinking,
Is what he is probably thinking!
That choice was bad,
Now he is glad.
Unlike Alice, he is not shrinking!

Yes, my rhyming stinks. I realize. But I had fun trying to write these things, so I wanted to share anyway. I hope I at least made you smile? Even a teensy little bit?

I smile when I'm happy and merry,
And when I visit the library!
So when do you?
Don't have a clue?
Or are you just being contrary?

But seriously, I hope you are having a glorious day. If it's sunshiney and awesome outside, go enjoy it! If it's cold and nasty, then hibernate. Just have fun, regardless. :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 16, 2013

Awards, Questions, and ME!! (yeah, it's kinda lengthy)

So this week I got awarded the Liebster Award by three bloggy friends! Yes three. Xenia from Collar City Brownstone, Hamlette from Hamlette's Soliloquy, and Kellie from Nothing Less Than Bread. Thank you ladies! Very sweet of all of you. I feel quite honored.

(I must admit that it still surprises me when I get comments and realize that people are actually reading and caring about what I have to say. *blushes* I'm quite verbose, so anyone with the patience to make it through a post of mine is something special indeed!)

These lovely ladies have wonderful blogs of their own and I love to peruse their posts each day. Click over and check them out! :)

Anyway, they all left me 11 questions each and that makes 33 questions in all and I know that you don't have the patience to read all those answers. So I'm going to cheat a little bit and pick and choose my favorite questions from each lady.

Oh! But first I'm going to list 11 random facts about myself like Kellie did.
  1. I grew up in the south, which means I still have a little bit of a southern twang. Even after 10 years! I don't hear it myself, but strangers ask me all the time where I'm from. So I take that to mean it hasn't gone away yet.
  2. I miss the friendliness of the south. There, you smile and wave at everyone you meet and it's great! Here, people look at me strange when I smile at them and doubly so if I wave at them.
  3. There's a bookstore I go to often enough that they all know me by name. I even get hugs from one of the ladies every time I visit. :D
  4. Lindor truffles are my favorite chocolates ever.
  5. I love Ansel Adams pictures.
  6. When I'm visiting my family, I have a tradition. Every single person gets a hug from me when I arrive, and a hug when I leave again. I refuse to leave without them. :)
  7. I know how to drive a stick shift. AND I learned how in VA, which means I learned on lots of steep hills. And let me just say that stopping and starting a stick shift on a hill is an acquired skill. It takes LOTS of practice to ever feel comfortable with it!
  8. I write poetry occasionally. I've started a tradition where I write one to send in lieu of a Christmas card or letter.
  9. Speaking of mail.....real  mail is so fun to receive! I'm part of a round robin with several friends out of state and it's a blast to get a whole stack of letters at once. :)
  10.  I think I have the best nieces and nephews ever. I love being an aunt!
  11.  I love them all dearly. But I have a special place in my heart for Jack since he's a reader too. My favorite conversations with him have been about what books he's reading and what he really thinks I need to read next

Now, on to the questions! (It's supposed to be 11 but I'm doing 12 so that I can be fair and pick 4 from each list.)

From Xenia:

1. What book do you treasure most and would never loan out to anyone? Why?

I'm not sure I'd say this is one I treasure most, but I do treasure it an awful lot.

  Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster.

Because it's not in print anymore, so finding a copy isn't very easy. It was given to me by my sister-in-law for my birthday one year.

2. When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher!

3. What is your all time favorite movie?

North and South with Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe

4. Do you prefer Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy?

I refuse to pick one or the other. Sorry. I like them both!

From Hamlette:

5. What was your favorite book as a child?

Uncle Remus Stories

6. What is your favorite book now?

I can't narrow it down to just one! There's far too many to pick just one out of the lot. Pretty much every time I read a new book and love it, it's my favorite until I read another one that I love.

7. Do you prefer The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?  Or both?  Or neither?

The Lord of the Rings

8. What song is running through your head today?

All My Tears (Be Washed Away) by Selah and Kim Hill

From Kellie:

9. Can you do a cartwheel?

Only in my dreams. :(

10. What was the FIRST and the last movie you've seen in theaters? What do you plan on seeing next?

The first one was Aladdin. Mom would go in fabric stores and be there for hours while my brother and I got so bored. One day she agreed to let us watch a movie while she shopped (my brother was old enough to be responsible for me).  It was only $1 for the tickets and we had a great time! :)

The last one was Titanic. Yeah, it's been a while. I don't go to theaters anymore. I do my movie watching at home. More comfy that way and snacks are cheaper!

11. Do you wear sunglasses? If so, how many pairs do you own?

Yes and I only have one pair. I wear regular glasses all the time and they have magnetic sunglasses I can attach. I really like them when I'm driving. That's probably when I wear them the most.

12. Would you rather run one mile or walk three?

Walk three. I am NOT a runner! Oh, it'd be nice to be one I'm sure. But I don't think I'll ever come to the point where I'd gladly run for pleasure. It's not pleasure, it's torture! Ugh. ;P

And now! The five blogs I award this to are as follows:

Wayfaring Girl On A Mission

Chumani Photography

Charlie and Me

The Blue Birdhouse

Booktalk & More

Here are your questions: (If you want to participate. :)
  1. What was your favorite book as a child?
  2. What's your favorite film (that was originally a book)?
  3. Do you eat breakfast every morning and what's your favorite breakfast food?
  4. What's the longest book you've ever read?
  5. What's your favorite flower?
  6. Who's your favorite character (book or movie)?
  7. Have you ever broken a bone?
  8. If you were writing a novel, what would you name the main character?
  9. Do you enjoy playing games? If so, what's your favorite?
  10. Do you enjoy traveling? If so, where's your favorite place you've been?
  11. When you're writing, do you use pen and paper or a computer?
Simply answer the questions and link back to me. Then choose five other blogs (with 200 or fewer followers) to award and ask 11 questions of your own. But only if you really want to. If not, then just enjoy your award! :D

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 15, 2013

Are You a Moody Reader?

btt buttonThis is Thursday's question:

Does your current mood affect your reading? Affect your choices? I know there are plenty of books I enjoy, but only if I'm in a particular kind of mood-or books that can lift me out of a bad mood without fail. Surely I'm not alone?

I'd definitely say a big, huge YES!

My mood absolutely will affect my reading and my choices. I admit that sometimes when I'm grumpy, reading is the farthest thing from my mind. Other times, reading will cheer me up!

And when I'm happy and cheerful already, then reading a great book will just about make me dance! (Although not really, because dancing and me? Yeah, we don't really see eye to eye. Or hand to foot. Or in, no coordination at all.)

Still, sometimes it depends on the book itself. The synopsis may sound just up my alley, but it may not be the day for that particular book. I mean, I might pick it up and be unable to get very far because it simply isn't what I'm wanting to read at the moment.

Why? No idea. It just isn't. I've learned that if I can't get into a book that I'm positive that I would normally enjoy, it's best that I put it down and search for something else.

I'll get back to it! But that moment? It simply isn't happening.

Funnily enough, I have a book waiting on my Kindle right this very moment. I really want to read it, but it just isn't working right now. So I'm waiting. Til when? No idea about that either. But someday it will be the right moment and I just know we'll be great friends!

(Okay, I suppose I also have to admit that I know the author. Which is why I'm anxious to read her first published work. So yes, I will read it. Just not today. But hopefully soon!)

Anyway! What about you? Does your mood affect your reading? What are your thoughts, gentle readers?

You know I want to know. I know you know. And you know I know you know. (Yes, I'm doing it again. Answer my questions and I'll stop!)

(Because you know I am just that devious.)

I really want to know! Honest!

(Okay, stopping now. It's late. What can I say?)

Kara's tired and silly,
Hoping you'll give in to her plea.
Comments make her happy!
Answer her and you'll see!


Toodle-loo kangaroos! Don't you just love badly written poetry?

March 13, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge (With Limericks!!!)

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?

Nope to all of the above. The closest I've even gotten to a slot machine was the Las Vegas airport during a layover.

2. Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?

I'm not planning on it at this point in time, though I do like it! As for my favorite kind of potatoes? I like them all, but I eat the french fried kind most often.

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over?

Hmmmm. I remember being envious of everyone last week who was healthy while I felt miserable!

4. What's at the end of your rainbow?


5.March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945). Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time. Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal? Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?

I do keep a journal around, I don't write in it every day. I mainly write when I get the urge to. (Or if I get inspired to write some poetry, which doesn't happen often.) So that means, sometimes every day, sometimes only once a month. Just kind of depends. I didn't write a great deal when I was a child, I think I mostly started more when I was a teen.

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?

I bought this tea cup and saucer a few weeks ago. Not sure if it has all the colors of the rainbow, but it has a lot of them! :)

7. Write a limerick with you as the subject. You can do it!! Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon.

There once lived a gal who loved reading,
More time in her day she was needing.
But the books to be read,
Simply piled up instead,
Since the time change was not receding.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I've officially decided I'm crazy. The other day at work I noticed myself doing the silliest thing! I was taking all the paperclips off of a stack of papers and replacing them with new ones. Which doesn't seem crazy until you find out why.

Because I thought it was only fair that the other paperclips get their turn to be useful.

Yes, I was attributing feelings to inanimate objects. Who does that? Me apparently.

Does that seem sane to you? Or am I certifiable? ;P

There once was girl gone insane,
Paperclips had addled her brain.
Office supplies
Beware lest it's you they obtain!

(Yeah, not my best work.)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 12, 2013

Jane Austen and Her (Many) Adaptations

Why yes, that is the handsome Rupert Penry-Jones staring at you. Sigh. Isn't he swoon-worthy? I fully admit to the fact that I watch the 2007 version of Persuasion mainly because of him. Sally Hawkins and the rest of the cast do a good job also, but Rupert is what convinces me to come back again and again and ag.....well, you get the idea. ;P


This is supposed to be a post about Austen adaptations. Not just Rupert (though he is fine to look at, right? You have to agree at least about this particular picture! Surely!).

I am an Austen fangirl. Yes, I freely admit to that. Besides, you've already figured that out, yes? I also admit to the fact that I'm not picky on what adaptation I watch. Gasp! The very idea!

Now believe me, I am fully aware of the varied opinions around (perhaps even belonging to you!). The differing reasons why this person likes this version better and this other person likes this other version much better. I just read a post recently on a fellow blogger's reasons why she is partial to P&P 2005. (She makes excellent statements and uses good and reasonable logic. Unlike me.) I've also read similar posts regarding the 1995 version. Every person has their own opinion and very valid (usually) reasons for liking a particular version better.

Here's a newsflash. There's nothing wrong with liking the version you like. Whatever your reason.

I know. I've shocked you, haven't I? You've totally never thought such a thing and can't even imagine why I'd suggest it, right? (I hope you're catching my sarcasm here.)

But you do see my point.

I'm just going to assume you do and move on.

So. Jane Austen. Everyone has their favorites. We're all on the same page now. Therefore, going back to my original thought.....I like them all!

Every adaptation has it's good points and it's not so good points. Every actor or actress has their good moments and their not so good moments. Every screen writer has their good scenes and their not so good scenes. You get my drift. Point is, there is something for every one. And for this Austen-ite, there's everything!

And it's all awesome!

I have moments where I'm in the mood for Rupert and want to stare at his lovely eyes a while. There are other moments where I'm in the mood for Amanda Root and her transformation. Other times I want to see Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul stiffly (but cutely) converse with each other. Still other times I'm ready to watch Jonny Lee Miller win over Romola Garai (and me!) with his beautiful emotion and all around awesome-ness. (I suppose I do have to admit a certain......"preference" shall I say....for the 2009 Emma over any other version of Emma. What can I say? I'm human! It's perfectly okay for me say one thing and then completely contradict myself a few paragraphs later in my own blog post. So what if you think I'm crazy? You already think it, right? So my confounding logic is nothing new then.) I even like Bride and Prejudice and Aisha.

Basically, I just like Jane Austen. I could try to expound on why, but this post is long enough and you're already reaching the point where you'd like me to shush. So the way I see it, whichever versions you prefer or don't prefer, so long as you're enjoying an Austen story then we're bound to be kindred spirits! (Or pretty close to it, at least.)

But you get my drift, right? I will watch an Austen adaptation anytime. Doesn't matter which one. I'm guaranteed to enjoy it. I have my favorite moments in each one. The moments that I rewind and watch again and again (don't we all). I have just about all the versions on DVD. I have re-watched them all multiple times.

If you say Jane Austen, I'm totally there with bells on!

Jane Austen was an amazing author. I am incredibly thankful that she wrote stories that I can still enjoy many, many years later. I am also thankful that I'm not alone in this feeling and that loads of other people still desire to watch her stories on screen. If any future adaptations happen, I'm positive I will absolutely enjoy myself!

So here's to Austen and her glorious-ness! *raises her cup of tea*

Do you have certain adaptations you like better than others? Do you have an adaptation you don't like? Or are you like me, and just like any and all versions so long as it's Jane Austen?

Or perhaps you don't like Austen at all? (Which probably means that you've abandoned this post long before now. But if not, then....?)

I'd love to know! (But please, be nice. I like happy people. They make me happy. So let's all be happy together, okay? :D)

(Lurkers are fine too. But I'd really love some comments if you so feel the desire. Comments = blissfulness)

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

March 11, 2013

Mini Reviews For Monday

I read three fluffy stories last weekend and I did enjoy them all. But none really warranted an entire full review. So mini ones it is! (But please. Don't think that because I didn't write full reviews that the books weren't that great. Because that's totally not true!)

Persuaded (The Jane Austen Diaries, #3)
Persuaded by Jenni James

Based on Jane Austen's Persuasion but the characters are teenagers. I really did enjoy this one! As Persuasion is my favorite Austen story, I had lots of fun trying to figure out who was who from the original. But Ms. James didn't just write a cookie cutter updated version, because it took me a while to figure out who was who! Not all the characters did what I was expecting. Which is a good idea really. There are so many Austen sequels and re-tellings that it was great planning on Ms. James' part to change things up. Gregory and Amanda had nice tension, which is definitely a good thing! :P All around just a fun little story.

Turning Pages
Turning Pages by Tristi Pinkston

This one is based on Austen's Pride and Prejudice. (Noticing a trend? ;) But it's even less a cookie cutter version than Persuaded was. I did love the fact that Addie and Blake work in a library. And Addie loves to read! Way too late into the night too. A girl after my own heart! I also enjoyed the list of recommended reads that Addie loves. I haven't read many of the books on the list, but I'm thinking I need to change that. I wasn't a fan of the fact that Blake starts off already engaged, but the split was handled nicely which I appreciated. I also liked that they end on a happy note, but not "oh we're getting married now". Because they are still very young. In fact, a marriage does try to happen (aside from Blake's I mean) but it's for a terrible reason and is treated carefully as it should be. Cute and fluffy!

Unmasking Maya
Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer

A sweet and clean romance. Maya's had a rough time of it lately and Derek is not helping her cheer up! Until he does, of course. ;P Derek's a cute, nerdy guy who is not ashamed of that fact at all. I loved all the techy people he works with and their company picnic was hilarious. These are people who love what they do and have a great time while they're at it. But both Derek and Maya have secrets they don't want anyone finding out about. So that means, of course, that they both find out about them. Yet they also have an attraction and fascination with the other that they are finding harder and harder to ignore. After they get to know each other better, well. I can't spoil the whole thing for you! But suffice it to say it was a charming little story. And just what I needed after an intense read! :)

So there you have it folks! Some fluff to while away a few hours should you need to. And who doesn't have a few hours that needs a little fluff in it? :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!

March 10, 2013

Little Letters Fourth Edition

Dear Dad, I hope your birthday was all things awesome! It was wonderful to chat. Thanks for being the best dad a gal could ask for. (No, that was not sarcastic! Why are you shaking your head at me?)

Dear Echinacea/Sudafed/All Cold Medicines, you were close and intimate friends this last week. And you were good to me. But I'm hoping our relationship is slowing down now. I'd prefer it actually. It's not you, it's me.

Dear Puffs People, whoever invented your tissues with lotion in them should be given an award! My poor "Rudolph"-like nose was very appreciative of your goodness. Your presence was so comforting and soothing. "A nose in need deserves Puffs indeed." And boy did mine deserve it!

Dear New Friend, it was so fun to unexpectedly run into you today! Your memory of details is amazing considering we've only met once before. Especially since I couldn't even remember your name. But I did remember your face! That counts, right? Luncheon was delicious, thanks for the invite. I should especially thank you for introducing me to.....

Dear Kolachy/Pastry Thingy, you are AMAZING! You remind me very much of the Apricot Pockets from my favorite bakery that closed down a few years ago (pause for a moment of sadness *sniff sniff*). Thank you for coming into my life! Although it's probably a really good thing we don't live that close to one another, as I'd almost certainly stop by every single day otherwise.

Dear Sense and Sensibility 2008, I'm looking forward to showing your delightfulness to new viewers soon. They long to be introduced to "Matthew" with brown hair. I still think it's amusing that I knew him first through you. Can't wait to watch you again!

Dear Time Change, I'm not a fan of your spring arrival at all. My "aging" bones now take a while to adjust after you happen. I'd really prefer the Fall version of you actually. How about working on that option?

Dear Clean and Fresh Sheets, your loveliness is wonderful. Your smell. Your crispness. You make my bed even more awesome than usual!

Dear New Week, I'm planning on you being awesome and fabulous and terrific. Don't let me down, okay?

 Toodle-loo kangaroos!


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