Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s End the Mom Wars

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with a post I wrote a few years back. It was a popular post and it still has relevance today so I thought I’d share it again. Thanks to all my followers for reading. I love you all!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the Mom Wars. You know what they are, where Moms become competitive with each other over mothering. Whenever I see it I groan. It drives me absolutely nuts.

Photo credit: hans s via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

I remember talking to one parent in particular. My kids weren’t friends with her kids, but we’d end up running into each other at the park and we’d compare notes. For example, what movie my kids liked and what one they didn’t. She’d tell me what play areas were good and which ones weren’t and so on. However, each time we parted, I felt frustrated and I wasn’t sure why. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So the next time we talked, I paid attention to what was going on, and I noticed that every…

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Posted in inspiration, kindness, Uncategorized

Saturday Wisdom

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you.  I saw this quote on Facebook a while ago and I thought I’d share it with all of you. I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be back soon with a post. 🙂

 

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“The sagely person is like water
Water benefits All things and does not compete with them.
It gathers in unpopular places.
In this it is like the Tao.
In dwelling, live close to the Earth.
In thinking, be open to new ideas.
In relationships, be kind.
In speech, tell the truth and keep your word.
In leading people, demonstrate integrity.
In daily matters, be competent.
In acting, consider the appropriate timing.
If you do not try to prove yourself superior to others,
You will be beyond reproach.”

Tao Te Ching 8, translated by John R Mabry

Posted in Uncategorized

The Victims Speak

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week off from work. I’m changing jobs, so I took a break. There’s been a lot of controversy in the world these last few weeks what with the accusations of Christine Blasely Ford and the emotional denials of Judge Kavanaugh. Bill Cosby’s in prison for rape and more and more of the clergy from the Catholic Church are being accused of abuse.

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Official Trailer of “The Keepers”

Last summer I watched a documentary titled, “The Keepers.” It’s the story of two women who went to Seton Keough High school and while they were students there, one of their teachers was murdered. Thirty years later, these two women banded together to find out who killed Sister Cathy Cesnik.  What they’ve accomplished is phenomenal. During their investigation they discovered evidence of horrific abuse by the clergy running the school. Since the broadcast of the documentary, more than two hundred victims have come forward, and the police are actively investigating new leads. They’re also finding that the Catholic Church knew about this abuse and covered it up, allowing these priests to continue their abuse. I would love to see that institution held accountable for the coverup. What a horrendous abuse of power.

That’s the common theme running through all these events. An abuse of power. People in a position of power using it to manipulate and control others. It makes me sick. I’m so glad victims are finding their voice and speaking out. It’s about time.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Many of the victims are women and if there is a positive side to any of this it’s the fact that women are starting to come together and support each other. I love this. I love it. I haven’t seen this kind of solidarity in a long time. Before, we operated under the guise that there was not enough, so we became competitors instead of friends.  We fell into the habit of judging, criticizing, and ridiculing women who were different from ourselves because it made us feel more secure. We’re right if they’re wrong kind of mentality.

Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives on Visual hunt / No known copyright restrictions

We’re just now recognizing our power. It’s time. It’s time to stand up against the forces that drag us down. It’s hard, I know especially when we’ve been marginalized for so long. The insidious thread of devaluation starts in our relationships in our own home. Maybe our father didn’t value our intellect because we were a girl, and all he saw in our future was marriage and babies. Parents need to step up to the plate and teach their daughters they’re worthy of respect, and a zero-tolerance rule against abusive behavior is the only way to go. And if your daughter comes to you and tells you she’s been abused. BELIEVE HER.

Photo credit: Jeanne Menjoulet on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

That’s the best thing you can do for her during such a horrific time. I applaud the victims standing up for themselves. Speaking their truth. Know that we’re all behind you. Keep shining your bright light. Stand and be heard.

What are your thoughts on these events? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, Uncategorized

Technology: Friend or Foe?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of writing and vacationing. There’s nothing like heading to the lake when you’re experiencing a heatwave. My kids invited a friend along and that made it a little more special because they’ve been friends since my oldest was in kindergarten.

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I was happy the weather cooperated because the kids were able to get out and swim. Physical activity is so important for our young people. I remember when I was growing up we were outside early in the morning and only came home for meals. We rode our bikes everywhere.

Photo on Visual hunt

Unfortunately, it’s not like that in today’s world. Kids can’t ride their bikes all over the place because the traffic in our streets is heavy and the streets aren’t as safe as they were twenty years ago. Kidnapping and human trafficking are real issues and it’s happening in every state not just those close to the borders.

So we as parents keep our kids close to home because it’s safer. We have to arrange play dates and take our kids to trampoline parks so they can get exercise and develop face to face social skills. The internet has allowed us to connect to people from all over the world, but it has made our relationships weaker on the home front.

 

Photo credit: ldodds on Visualhunt /CC BY-NC-ND

Because of technology, our children are moving less, reading less, and losing opportunities to develop valuable social skills.  Parents need to be cognizant of this. Exercise, Reading, and Face to Face Social Interaction are good for our brains and our bodies. We need to help our kids develop good habits that include all three of the above and they need to do it every day.

Photo on Visual Hunt

I make sure my kids get out on the trampoline at least a couple times a day when we’re home. I also try and get them to read for half an hour a day, and I try and make sure they have opportunities for social interaction. Some days I do a better job than others. Luckily, we do have neighbor kids they play games with outside where they’re getting their vitamin D.  I haven’t taught them the game Kick the Can, yet. But I will. 😉

Photo on Visual hunt

 

How about you? What do you do to make sure your kids are developing healthy habits? Do you have any suggestions for me? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in poetry, Uncategorized

When I am an Old Woman

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and with my writing so I’m taking a break this weekend, but I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems because it reflects how I’m feeling today and it reminds me of my grandmother who’s favorite color was purple.  This poem is by Jenny Joseph and it’s one of my favorites!

 

Photo on VisualHunt.com

 

When I am an Old Woman

I shall wear purple

with a red hat which doesn’t go,

and doesn’t suit me,

and I shall spend my pension on brandy

and summer gloves and satin sandals,

and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired…

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain.

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

and learn to spit…

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I should practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when suddenly

I am old and start to wear purple.

Photo on Visualhunt

Isn’t this a great poem? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Uncategorized

Blogcation

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m taking a Blogcation Day today. I’ve been very busy with my writing, back to school, and birthdays so I’ve got to have a day of rest. (pant, pant)

So, I’ll be back next week for our regularly scheduled programming! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Reading, Uncategorized

My Summer TBR Pile

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. My first week of my summer break has flown by. I finished my WIP and I’ve been through one phase of editing. I’m going to give it one more read through before I send it to my Beta reader.

 

I am so excited about this story!

 

But enough of that. 🙂 I’ve put together my TBR Pile for the summer. Squeee!

The downside of that is I won’t have time for housework. Sigh.

I’ll have to find a way to live with that. Somehow. (Places hand over heart and wears a sad expression…for about three seconds!)  😉

So here it is! Dun…dun…dun….

 

Lisa’s Summer TBR Pile

 

The Heretic’s Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by [Kent, Kathleen]

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha’s courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family’s deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

 

Winter Garden

 Winter Garden by [Hannah, Kristin]

 Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

 

The Tiger’s Wife

 The Tiger's Wife: A Novel by [Obreht, Téa]

In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Bookand the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.

 

Rush Home Road

Rush Home Road: A Novel by [Lansens, Lori]

 

When 5-year old Sharla Cody is dumped on the doorstep of Addy Shadd, a 70-year old woman living in a trailer park, Addy does not know how completely her life is about to change. She’s hardly used to company and the troubled Sharla is not the sweet, beautiful angel she had envisioned. Over time, Addy and Sharla form a bond that neither of them expected-and Sharla begins to undergo a transformation under Addy’s patient and loving care. But much to Addy’s surprise and dismay, Sharla’s presence brings back memories of her own tumultuous childhood. As she reminisces about her days growing up in Rusholme, a town settled by fugitive slaves in the mid 1800s, she remembers her family and her first love and confronts the painful experience that drove her away from home, never to return.Brillia ntly structured and achingly lyrical, this beautiful first novel by the award-winning author of The Girls tells the story of two unlikely people thrown together who transform each other’s lives forever.

 

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by [Kingsolver, Barbara]

 

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband’s part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters—the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father’s intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility.

Dancing between the dark comedy of human failings and the breathtaking possibilities of human hope, The Poisonwood Bible possesses all that has distinguished Barbara Kingsolver’s previous work, and extends this beloved writer’s vision to an entirely new level. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.

 

 

The Kitchen House

 The Kitchen House: A Novel by [Grissom, Kathleen]

In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic: A Novel by [Hoffman, Alice]

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

 

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

 

 

In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.

 

When Breath Becomes Air

 

When Breath Becomes Air by [Kalanithi, Paul]

 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, this inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
THE WASHINGTON POST • THE NEW YORK TIMES • NPR

BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD FINALIST

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

 

Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces by [Glasgow, Kathleen]

Fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places will love the New York Times bestselling novel Girl in Pieces.

A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

 

Touching the Wire

 

TOUCHING THE WIRE: Auschwitz:1944 A Jewish nurse steps from a cattle wagon into the heart of a young doctor, but can he save her? 70yrs later, his granddaughter tries to keep the promise he made. by [Bryn, Rebecca]

 

“He had no way to tell her he had given her life: no right to tell her to abandon hope.”
A fictional story of every man and woman interred in Nazi death camps throughout the Second World War, this novel is based on real events.
Part One – In the Shadow of the Wolf
In a death camp in 1940’s Poland, a young doctor and one of his nurses struggle to save lives and relieve the suffering of hundreds of women. As their relationship blossoms, amid the death and deprivation, they join the camp resistance and, despite the danger of betrayal, he steals damning evidence of war-crimes. Afraid of repercussions, and for the sake of his post-war family, he hides the evidence but hard truths and terrible choices haunt him, as does an unkept promise to his lost love.

Part Two – Though the Heavens should Fall
In present-day England, his granddaughter seeks to answer the questions posed by her grandfather’s enigmatic carving. Her own relationship in tatters, she meets a modern historian who, intrigued by the carving, agrees to help her discover its purpose. As her grandfather’s past seeps into the present, she betrays the man she loves and is forced to confront her own guilt in order to be able to forgive the unforgivable and keep her grandfather’s promise.

 

So there you have it! My TBR Pile for this summer. I’m hoping between my writing and my family, I’ll be able to get them all read. I just finished one that’s not on this list because I’ve read it already. 😉  It was very good. 🙂 It’s titled “The Sugar Men.” If you like WWII stories, then this one’s for you! 🙂

 

How about you? Do you have any books you just can’t wait to read? Share them with me! I’m always looking for a good story! Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!