Saturday, March 31, 2007

Three To Get Deadly ~ Janet Evanovich

Trenton, N.J., bounty hunter and former lingerie buyer Stephanie Plum (last seen in Two for the Dough) becomes persona non grata when she tracks down a neighborhood saint who has failed to show up for his court appearance. No one wants to help Stephanie, who works for her bail-bondsman cousin, Vinnie. While questioning admirers of the man nicknamed Uncle Mo, Stephanie is attacked and knocked out as she cases his candy store. She comes to next to the dead body of her attacker, who turns out to be a well-known drug dealer. Suddenly, she can't avoid stumbling across the bodies of dead drug dealers: one in a dumpster, one in a closet and four in the candy store basement. Stephanie suspects that mild-mannered Mo has become a vigilante and is cleaning up the streets in a one-man killing spree. But when she's repeatedly threatened by men wearing ski masks, she wonders if Mo has company and just might be in over his head. Despite her new clownish orange hair job, Stephanie muddles through another case full of snappy one-liners as well as corpses. By turns buttressed and hobbled by her charmingly clueless family and various cohorts (including streetwise co-worker Lulu, detective and heartthrob Morelli and professional bounty hunter Ranger), the redoubtable Stephanie is a character crying out for a screen debut.

I found this book to be the funniest yet. I had so many laugh-out-loud moments with this one. The banter back and forth between Stephanie and Joe is hilarious and the eventual coupling promises to be filled with hilarity and trouble as only Stephanie can find.

Two For The Dough ~ Janet Evanovich

With her bounty hunter pal Ranger stepping in occasionally to advise her, Stephanie staggers knee deep in corpses and caskets as she traipses through back streets, dark alleys, and funeral parlors.

And nobody knows funeral parlors better than Stephanie's irrepressible Grandma Mazur, a lady whose favorite pastime is grabbing a front-row seat at a neighborhood wake. So Stephanie uses Grandma as a cover to follow leads, but loses control when Grandma warms to the action, packing a cool pistol. Much to the family's chagrin, Stephanie and Granny may soon have the elusive Kenny in their sights.

Fast-talking, slow-handed vice cop Joe Morelli joins in the case, since the prey happens to be his young cousin. And if the assignment calls for an automobile stakeout for two with the womanwho puts his libido in overdrive, Morelli's not one to object.

Low on expertise but learning fast, high on resilience, and despite the help she gets from friends and relatives, Stephanie eventually must face the danger alone when embalmed body parts begin to arrive on her doorstep and she's targeted for a nasty death by the most loathsome adversary she's ever encountered. Another case like this and she'll be a real pro.
These novels are such fun. The possibility of such things actually happening is highly unlikely and that is what makes this series so enjoyable. I read to get away from the everyday and these books do just that, offer an entertaining escape

Friday, March 30, 2007

Debby Ann Closs June 9, 1950 - March 30, 1989

Today is the 18th anniversary of my Mother's passing.

There are times when I miss her so much and for reasons I don't always understand in regards to a relationship that never existed in the way I miss her. There was never a time in my life I could pick up the phone and talk things over with her. I was too young to be at that point in my life. I find when life gets out of control I have this urge to be able to p/u the phone and talk with her. Strange eh?

Some anniversary dates are just not happy one's to celebrate. As much as I miss my mother dearly, her life, in the end was a struggle medically and emotionally because of her medical conditions. The struggles she faced is what enables me now, and at the time of her death, to be thankful of her passing. I was relieved at the time of her death, much to annoyance and frustration of many that loved us both. Her time of pain and suffering was over. It was time for those left to deal with the loss, and let her go with a freedom we all deserve in the end.

I wonder what she would think of my life today. Would she understand the choices I made? Would I have made different choices? Would I be a different person than I am this very minute? What would she tell me to do (whether I'd listen would be another story) about my children? What would she think of the fact that I'm going to be a divorced woman? Would she be proud of me in some of things I've done in life? I can never know because life didn't work out that way for us, but I would like to think she would be proud of me.

Love you, Mom

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Between The River And Me ~ Tim McGraw

I was fifteen when my daddy died, mama worked two jobs just to get by
Seemed like a blessing when Harley came around so she took his name but I had my doubts
Didn't take long for his drinking ways to start showing up on mama's face
One violent night hiding under my bed I swore that he wouldn't see another sunset
Next day I followed him down to the riverbank
I knew one of us wouldn't walk away

I might have had a plan but he didn't know it
I might have been scared but I didn't show it
That's all between the river and me
With the current and the rocks it could have been misty
He might have been sober but I brought the whiskey
That's all between the river and me

I walked up to him and I said his name
Just so he could see the look on my face
We stood eye to eye and toe to toe
When I told him that he wasn't gonna come back home
He raised his fist to me but I didn't flinch
I said 'I ain't your son you son of a bitch'

I might have had a knife in my back pocket
I might have pulled it out before he saw it
That's all between the river and me
I might have had a gun but I didn't fire it
He might have tried to yell but I kept him quiet
That's all between the river and me

Sheriff came knocking on our front door
They said they found his body by the reservoir
Bottle in his shirt and liquor in his blood
He must have fallen in the river and he never came up

There might have been blood but they never saw it
Just a little mud on the living room carpet
That's all between the river and me
Well after what he done there ain't no wonder
I can't remember how long I held him under
That's all between the river and me

That's all between the river and me

That's all between the river and me

That's all

That's all
I've not posted music lyrics in quite some time and knew the time had come to do so again. Tim McGraw's most recent disc, Let It Go was released on Tuesday. I've listened to the disc a few times through by now. This particular song, from the first note, had me hooked. The story is sad, of course, but the storytelling is amazing and done in only the way it could be done in a country song. From the first note to the last my body is a chill.

Between The River and Me

Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

Wow! What a wonderful life I live. I sit here just baffled at the idea of where my life was not too long ago and where it is at this very moment.

There is no one particular thing that has happened or any one person responsible for my sense of peace, and peace is exactly what I feel. There are many contributing factors to my happiness. I have the most amazing friends in my life and I couldn't make it through one day without each and every one of you. I know I could survive, but I guess what I'm really trying to say is that it just wouldn't be the same without you. I share my day to day life with two amazing young ladies that bring me such happiness, although I struggle with both girls at times, I still am able to find happiness within my relationship with each of them. I don't even know where to begin in trying to explain the feelings of peace when speaking of the man in my life. Those that know me well, know of what I speak. Whether he gets it, one never really knows. He is too cute for words. I'm still struck by moments of 'Wow!'

Cute Boy and I went away together last weekend which was a total blast. I was a bit fearful that after the weekend ended I'd have a feeling of let down. That feeling of what do I have to look forward to now kind of thing. I did delay my return to reality a bit longer than I should have, but all things considered I didn't stay away too long. Being away for the weekend and having no pressure from anywhere, being 'just' a girlfriend, not a mother, not an employee, not a cook, not a cleaner, nothing more than just 'me' being a girlfriend... nothing could have been better. I couldn't put a price on a gift like that, not ever. The weekend away was just what this weary, sometimes wrung-at-both-ends woman needed!

My life is not without worry right now, and how I'm not going insane is beyond me. I'm trying very much right now to look at things from a positive perspective. I can't do anything to change the stresses in my life, so I'll deal with each issue as it arises and not panic. I knew the moment of stress with which I'm dealing would happen. It was always just a matter of when, never if. I know without a doubt I'm in a good place mentally or I'd not be able to handle this current stress with such calm. I think I'm finally growing up. Imagine that one for a good laugh.

I do have some great things to look forward to in the next little while. I'm hoping when I wake up in the morning I can find the gumption to go for a run. My first run since Thanksgiving. I've skirted the issue long enough. I'm tired of feeling overweight. I consistently wear a size 4 and I'm whining that I can't fit in my 2's and 1's.... get a grip. Run is what I want to do, so that is what I'm going to do again. I miss it more than I thought possible.

I'm going to be getting together with Mary and Krista this coming weekend. I always look forward to these getting together with these incredible women. I can never do justice to the fun we have, especially when trying to put it to words in my blog. I try yet fail miserably. The best of women, a barbecue, Corona and Cute Boy's Raspberry biscuits. Awwww, life is sweet!

This is what brings me full circle. Where I was, to where I am right now, stresses and all, I'm right where I want to be. I've said it a few times, I wouldn't change a single thing if it didn't put me right here right now. I would gladly take every mistake, every tear and every heartache if it is that that has blessed my life as I know it today!

Sweet Dreams

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Innocent Man ~ John Grisham

John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.

In the major league draft of 1971, the first player chosen from the State of Oklahoma was Ron Williamson. When he signed with the Oakland A’s, he said goodbye to his hometown of Ada and left to pursue his dreams of big league glory.

Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits—drinking, drugs, and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and slept twenty hours a day on her sofa.

In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered, and for five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.

With no physical evidence, the prosecution’s case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts. Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence. Ron Williamson was sent to death row.

If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you. If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you. If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you.

This book more than infuriated me, it broke my heart as well. I've never read a book that has inspired such anger, sadness and frustration. The miscarriage of justice is a sad and unnecessary occurrence at any time, but when a person is denied proper medical care and mistreated because of mental instability is the most heinous of crimes.

My life has been closely touched by schizophrenia and to see the mistreatment of Ron Williamson and his illnesses exploited is something that hit close to home. I kept wondering if this could have happened where I live, with people I knew. Sad to know it happened at all, very sad.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Step On A Crack ~ James Patterson

First there was Alex Cross.

Then there was the Women's Murder Club.

Now meet Detective Michael Bennett, NYPD.

Detective Michael Bennett is about to face the greatest challenge of his career. After the death of a beloved former first lady, the most powerful people in the world gather in New York for her funeral. Then the inconceivable occurs. Billionaires, politicians, and superstars of every kind are suddenly trapped within one man's brilliant and ruthless scenario.

Ten adopted kids.
Bennett–father of ten–is pulled into the fray but is then hit with devastating news: his wife is battling a terrible disease. As New York descends into chaos, he faces the prospect of losing the great love of his life and having to raise his children alone.

The crime of the century to solve.
Day after day, Bennett confronts the most ruthless man he has ever encountered, a man who kills without hesitation. As the entire world watches, Bennett has to find a way out–or face responsibility for the greatest debacle in history.
This man is absolutely brilliant. I don't know how he does it, I'm just glad he does. I read this book in just over 12 hours. I couldn't put it down and it was worth every minute.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Firefly Beach ~ Luanne Rice

Under the summer sky, anything is possible....

Coolly sophisticated and steadfastly single, Caroline Renwick has always been the sister everyone could count on. As she and Clea and Skye gathered at Firefly Hill, their childhood home, Caroline thought that they had all put the past behind them. But as summer gets under way, a mysterious man arrives -- a man who has the power to bring it all back....

Joe Connor was only six when his father died at Firefly Hill. Though he and Caroline had never met, the five-year-old girl reached out to him. They became pen pals and friends, until a teenaged Joe finally learned the truth about what had happened to his father that night. Now, after years of silence, Joe is suddenly here ... and Caroline still feels a connection. But she can't help but wonder if this handsome man holds the key to her family's healing -- or its destruction. And in his presence, how long will she be able to guard her heart?
This is my first Luanne Rice novel and it will not be the last. This was a great book, so great and well written I was crying by the end of it. There were so many layers to this story. I was expecting a fluff love story, which in some small way I got, and so much more. A dysfunctional family was really the main line of story, but it was with the struggle the family fought to correct the wrongs of their past that I noticed the layering and depth.

There was the most adorable dog 'character' in the book. I say character, because he was so much a part of the family it was through him you could see the family learning to move forward. I'm curious if her future books, family pets play a pivotal part of the story developement or if this just the way of this story.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Peace and Contentment

Do you ever wake up and know that the day is going to be a good one? For no particular reason you have a sense of peace? I'm a morning person, so waking up in a good mood is nothing new to me, but this is different.

I woke up this morning and felt awesome. I can't pinpoint what exactly is making me feel this way. Nothing in life has changed since I went to bed last night. Slept like crap to the point that I was up reading a book at 1:30AM. The stresses and issues are still present, if not more so this coming week.

I'm going away on the weekend (sorry Wee Krista) and it could be that I'm looking forward to that, although I don't think thats it either. I've been looking forward to this trip for a while now.

I don't know why I have this feeling and at this point I don't care. I have it, it's mine and I'm going to love it while I have it. Who knows what the next minute, hour or day will bring, so I shall enjoy this feeling and deal with whatever comes my way, good, bad or otherwise.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bedroom Renovation Pics

This is the new bedside table I bought to use as a night stand. I'm not sure it's the most practical, but I fell in love with it. I'm currently in the hunt for the 'right' lamp. You know, the one that just screams "I was made for your room".

This is the view from my door. The picture on the left of the window (heart) was a print I bought at IKEA for $6.00 and the frame I bought for $5.00. The frame came with a hideous picture in it, but the size was perfect for this piece so I disassembled the original print and re framed my own.

I wanted you to see the twigs or whatever you call them. I bought the red container at Micheal's again for about $5.00. It is actually a red faux leather wine bottle holder. It was one of those things that just screamed out at me. You can see over in the corner a frame and a thing with round things sticking up. That is a candelabra. The framed piece is: "Always Remember To Kiss Me Goodnight".

On the brown chair you can see the bear that has been traumatized by my cat and dog. They continually steal this bear. He is without his left eye. Poor fella. The bear is the first bear Cute Boy bought me and I could torture my fur babies for abusing another of my babies! That chair is a story in itself. I originally wanted a very light beige one, but ended up with this one somewhat by default. Looking back I couldn't be happier with this one.

I'm currently on the hunt for a shelf to hang above the head of my bed. I want a long shelf, pretty much the width of the bed to sit the collection of candles, I think I currently have 7 and the candelabra. Under the shelf I will hang the "Kiss Me Goodnight" piece. On the wall that sits the chair, the end of the bed I will be hanging 'Love with A Capital L'. I think that will be end of the wall decorations, but you just never know.

I have an antique dresser in my garage that I'm trying to refinish (holy wow) that will be under the window and in the corner away from the chair.

I think for now, that it is all I can share with you in regards to my room.

I have more to share on the emotional level, but I'll put that in another post. Kinda funny, kinda sad, but regardless of all that a very happy post!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lisa Gardner ~ Gone

When someone you love vanishes without a trace, how far would you go to get them back?
For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it's the beginning of his worst nightmare: a car abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, purse on the driver's seat. And his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, gone, leaving no clue to her fate.
Did one of the ghosts from her troubled past finally catch up with Rainie? Or could her disappearance be the result of one of the cases they'd been working-a particularly vicious double homicide or the possible abuse of a deeply disturbed child Rainie took too close to heart? Together with his daughter, FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Pierce is battling the local authorities, racing against time and frantically searching for answers to all the questions he's been afraid to ask.
One man knows what happened that night. Adopting the moniker from an eighty-year old murder, he has already contacted the press. His terms are clear: he wants money, he wants power, he wants celebrity. And if he doesn't get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good.
Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, it's still not enough.
As the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Pierce plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a lethal truth, and for the love of his life who may forever be gone.
In true Lisa Gardner fashion, this book was fast-paced and entertaning. I'm now caught up with all Lisa Gardner novels and as good as that is waiting for the next one always take what seems like forever.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bear Thief on the Loose ~ Beware!

My house has been overrun with a thief. It is not kind nor compassionate or sentimental whatsoever. If you've been reading about the renovation progress you'll know that my room has recently been renovated but has most recently been labelled as the 'scene of the crime'.

It is a beautiful room, except for some of the renovation tools and a missing dresser. If I do say so myself it looks awesome so far. I have some things in their place and some things still needing attention. One thing that was in it's place was my cute little teddy bear. I love this bear, for one because he is cute and another because it was gift from Cute Boy. Very early on in our relationship he had to go out of town for about 10 days and this was a souvenir gift from him, so little bear has some special meaning because he was my first gift.

I bought this beautiful chocolate brown chair to sit in my room with a matching chocolate brown overstuffed pillow to sit on the chair. The place of honour for little bear was on top of the brown cushion/pillow. Now this is where the thievery comes into play, where havoc overruns the house.
Yesterday I caught my precious kitty stealing my bear 5x.... yes, 5x! One time I caught her in the living room with little bear bounding along in her mouth, bear paws flapping in the wind. I caught said thief and returned little bear to his throne. What do I see a few minutes later, but little bear and kitty tearing through the house again. This time headed for under the dresser that is in my front room waiting to go downstairs. Caught the delinquent once again, you get the picture. Little bear heads back to the room and returns once again to the pillow. I do this 3 more times, but the following times kitty and bear make it only as far as under the bed. Do you have any idea how hard it is to catch a kitty that doesn't want to be caught? She was slowed down only by the fact that she wouldn't give up little bear.

Now for the criminal of all criminals! Daisy the, ohhhhh so cute (not) Shih Tzu. I went out last night with Cute Boy and came home to my poor little bear not only stolen from his stoop, but maimed and ewwwy. Little Miss Daisy took it upon herself to abscond my little bear and quite nicely remove one of his eyes. I couldn't believe it! Poor little bear! He had one heck of a day already and Daisy was the nail in his itty bitty coffin. He now sits atop his pillow with only partial vision since his left eye is just barely sitting in place. He stinks and needs a bath too. Poor fella.

I can say Miss Daisy and kitty are lucky they didn't get my Valentine bear. I betcha they tried but she's a bigger bear and probably growls louder and meaner.

I get it now! Daisy and kitty were being bullies and look what happened! Nasty critters they are. I'm so disappointed in them. I thought I'd raised better babies, apparently I was wrong. Be cautious when out and about. If you see said dog and kitty, hold tighter to the paw of the stuffed animals you love. They're not safe!

February Finishing

With the start of a new month I always set goals for what I want to accomplish in my stitching and size up where I achieved the goals I set for the previous month.

I did accomplish a couple of goals. I finished Mirabilia's Elf Fairy and hit my personal goal of an average of an hour per day of stitching. I was able to dedicate 39 hours 5 minutes to my stitching this month. All I can say is thank goodness I have a job that allows me the time to stitch, if not for that I'd never have time.

I deviated from my original plan of not starting anything new this year. Now that is a good one if I've ever! I had to go and start Love with a Capital L. I've not been able to dedicate a lot of time to it yet because I'm trying to finish up my Dear Santa piece yet. It would be so cool to finish Dear Santa this month and have 3 finishes in the first 3 months of the year. I'm really close to finished, but keep getting called to Love and then with everything else going on in life I just get too busy! Excuses, excuses.

There has been so much going on lately. In the past month I've pretty much finished Princess' bedroom renovations. There is still a few things to get finished, but not much more I can do. I'm waiting on window coverings as well as the curtain-type covering she wants for her canopy. She has found what she wants, but I'm waiting on the store to see if they can order them in.

My bedroom renovations are pretty much complete. I have to go to Home Depot today to pick up a few things. My flooring has been laid, my trim hung, my new bed put together (my goodness it is high). I recently bought a new chair and side table for my room. I think they put a nice finishing touch to everything. There is still a bit of money to be spent and time to be committed, but from what it looked like a week ago until today, it is worlds apart.

Cute Boy has been hard at work on my room and I couldn't be more thankful.... how to thank him really, I don't know. Simple words don't seem to suffice in this situation. I will be forever grateful. My newly renovated room is where I most want to spend my time just to be me in a space that is decorated completely by me. It is a small slice of heaven in my very own home.

All this changes in my house will be accompanied with pics at one point or another. As I stated before my camera is on the fritz and I need to figure out what I'm going to do about it, but until then I'll do the best I can to describe the things going on.