Monday, December 30, 2013

From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin

I absolutely loved every page of this enchanting story!

A mother, Valerie, tells her daughter, Meg, a lot of very awesome stories about Meg's life and therefore Meg has to go through quite a bit in order to find out the truth about her life.

Meg's mother is dying of cancer and when Meg goes home to stay with her mother during her last days, Meg learns a lot about herself and her mother.

Maria tells this story in a way that made me very happy. All of the stories that the mother tells her daughter are quite enchanting, and they left me feeling warm inside.

At the end of this story, the reader learns about all of the people whom Valerie has touched through her generosity, the life of Meg, and the life of Valerie. And all of this made for a story that is good for the soul.

I got the feeling that after the death of Valerie, Meg was going to be all right.

What a great read for 'such a time as this.'

I hope that you are enjoying this season as much as I am.....

Friday, December 27, 2013

Please Know.......

I wish I had the words for the JOY and Gratitude that I feel today because of God's favor........

My People favor feels sooooooo good....................

Get Ready......Your favor is coming!!

Happy Friday!!!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

After reading The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, I really wanted to read another good story. I did not want something that I had to analyze to deeply; I just wanted a good story that was good for my soul.

I searched and searched and read about a lot of books. Finally, I ran across an article from The Huffington Post titled "African American Books: 20 Books That Every African American Should Read (Readers' Choice)." On that list was this book titled The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, and after reading the synopsis, I decided to give it a try.

Well, this book satisfied my thirst for a great story....

This is a story about a bi-racial girl named Rachael who has a very complicated life and is sent to live with her grandmother after a family tragedy. This book is quite suspenseful, and Heidi does a great job of tying together a few stories in order to create a heartwarming story of identity, love, life's complexity and on and on.

There were many things in this story that felt familiar, and familiarity always makes me feel warm; just like running into a childhood friend a long way from home.

This was Heidi W. Durrow's first novel, and I give it two thumbs up.

Heidi Durrow and her first book!

Ain't nothing like a good book on Christmas Day!!!

Merry Christmas, My People...

My next read is what I hope is another good story: From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin.

Merry Christmas, My People!

My people, mom is in her chair snapping green beans, and I am in another chair reading and drinking coffee.

I have learned over the years that....

This is the DAY...... Rejoice and be GLAD!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Don't Wait for 'Motivation!'

I  hear a lot about motivation, and I really have a hard time with motivation. I'm not quite sure what it is, or if it is a good thing in our lives.

I hear people saying things like "I am not motivated to work out," or "I need some motivation to get started with this task."

When I hear these type of statements, I usually think that this person is waiting on something or someone to come and get them started, and normally "Ain't nobody coming, especially motivation!"

It's really about just "Doing It." And "It" is whatever needs to be done.

I have starting riding my bike with this racing team, and we do a 40 to 50 mile bike ride EVERY Saturday and Sunday morning in the cold weather. Yep, in the cold weather. There is not one weekend morning where motivation comes into my house and gets me. I never think "I can't wait to ride my bike in 34 degree weather." I never get that feeling at all. But, when the alarm goes off, I hit the floor, and I go and ride with my team. It's just what I do. Motivation does not come. I just get up and do it, and the joy that I feel afterwards can not be described. I normally call my friend, Tim, after the ride and excitedly give him all of the details. After the ride, my energy level and happiness are to the sky literally.

Motivation never helps me to do things that need to be done like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, teaching good lessons, working out.... I just get up and do these things!!!

I must give a warning to the wise: "Don't Wait for Motivation; It Ain't Coming!"

Happy Tuesday, and Get Up and Do it......

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

The Good Lord Bird is one of the most fascinating books that I have read in awhile...

This book is a historical fiction satire that looks at the life of the abolitionist John Brown. Now, I have always been fascinated with John Brown, and I have traveled, quite often, to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to where John and twenty-one of his followers, courageously, tried to get ammunition to arm a slave rebellion. John Brown was determined to end slavery.

Abolitionist John Brown!

Well, James McBride tells this comical story through the eyes of a twelve year old boy who John nicknamed "Onion." There were times when I was reading this book when I was literally laughing out loud.

McBride shows John as a religious fanatic who would misquote The Bible, break out in a loud prayer at the drop of a dime, and he shows John as a man who really wanted to end slavery.

Also, McBride has appearances in the book from abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Now, many may find the portrayal of the honorable Frederick Douglass as offensive, but I reminded myself that this was McBride's fictional interpretation of Frederick, and I found myself chuckling. I loved his portrayal of Sojourner Truth as this strong woman who was working to preach the truth about Jesus and slavery; she wanted 'her people' free.

There is a message to this story, and I found the message to be quite refreshing......

We all know that John Brown did not succeed in his attempt at Harpers Ferry, but we must admire his courage to try and arm a rebellion against the institution called slavery.

McBride, what a great, feel-good book!!!

Read and enjoy another look at history.....

This great read has me frantically searching for another great read; any suggestions "My People?"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day!

A friend gave me this poinsettia, and every time that I look at it, it's like "Sunshine on a Cloudy Day!"

Happy 'Hump Day,' My People!

Monday, December 9, 2013

That Girl Is On FIRE......

Ladies, we CAN be HOT at any age....

The HAIR. The BODY. The DRESS. That MAN!!!!!

Let the church say AMEN.

Yea, They Matter.....

I so believe that it is important for people to know their numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, body fat etc.

I, like many other people, hate going to get my routine physical, because I do not want to hear any bad news. A few years back, I was told that my cholesterol was a little high, and I went into a total panic, and then I went straight into action.

So, I am not proud to say that my last physical was around June 2012, about a year and a half ago. I had been putting it off, but eventually I had to face the music. So...

June 2012
  • Overall cholesterol went from 209 to 180 (less than 200 hundred is good),
  • My bad cholesterol (LDL) went from 127 to 102 (Below 130 is good, but under 100 is optimum),
  • My good cholesterol (HDL) stayed at 73 (60 and above is optimum),
  • My Triglycerides went from 43 to 29 (Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body. A high triglyceride level has been linked to higher risk of coronary artery disease. A number under 150 is good, and I am at 29. Thank You Jesus!)
  • My Vitamin D is normal (I take Vitamin D everyday religiously.)
  • My blood pressure went from 120 to 100. (120 is optimum and 100 or less is athletes and children's blood pressure.)

December 2013
  • Overall cholesterol is 174, six points lower than 2012.
  • My bad cholesterol is 92, ten points lower than 2012.
  • My good cholesterol is 74, one point higher than 2012.  (This is a number that we want to see go up.)
  • My Triglycerides is 38, higher than it was in 2012, but still in a good range.
  • and my Vitamin D and Blood Pressure are still good.

Yep, I am boldly putting my numbers out there, and I hope that this inspires someone else to get to the doctor and 'know your numbers.'

Yes, it can be frightening, but we can not do anything about our numbers unless we know them.

Ignorance can be bliss but not when it comes to our health!!!

My people, let's not just let life happen…...

Today, I am grateful for a snow day, which means a day off from work, and good numbers....

This is the day....Rejoice and Be Glad!!!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Local Girls by Alice Hoffman

What an enchanting story!

Two of my students did a report on this book, and I had to read it.....

This story is about friendship, and following one's path, and compassion, and not so perfect families, and hope, and childhood joy and pain, and lost and..... so much more.

This story centers around a girl named Gretel and her lifelong friend, Jill. Both girls have a lot going on in their families, but their friendship is what helps them to make it through the tough times. Alice shows us, through this story, that women friendships are necessary and priceless. She also shows that our lives can take different directions, and we can continue to be in a friendships with our girlfriends if we could only accept that everyone has the right to live her life anyway that he she wants to.

In this novel, Alice's writing is simple and enchanting. She switches from 1st to 3rd person point of view and this was very effective for this story. It was great to see this story from the eyes of someone who was not in the story, but it was also great to get first hand accounts as well.

This is a fairly simple read, but it is quite rich!!!

If you want a book with some very deep messages, but written in a light-hearted fashion, try this book!

Right now in the DC area it is lightly snowing, and I am about to curl up on my sofa with a book that was recommended by my sister Dot: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. I am hoping that school will be closed tomorrow so that I can spend the day reading and relaxing.

Happy Sunday, My People, and GET TO READING!!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

One thing that I know for sure is that Khaled Hosseini is a master storyteller. He can tell a story that will leave an imprint on a reader's mind for quite a long time.

I remember when I read The Kite Runner many moons age, I was so moved by the characters, and it took me quite a long time to get them off of my mind. A Thousand Splendid Sun is a must read; this story is riveting and my heart went out to the women in this incredible story. And, Hosseini does the exact same thing in And The Mountains Echoed; he tells a darn good story.

There is a character, Pari, who was sold by her father to a husband and wife who could not have children. There was Pari's stepmother, Nila, whom I could identify with once I knew her story. There was Masooma's who was left paralyzed after a fall. There was, Nabi, the older brother of Pari, who arranged for Pari to to be sold.....

Khaled writes this books as if it is nine different tales with each tale told from a different characters perspective. Yep, I loved all of the characters' stories, but they were disjointed and left me wondering how did the stories fit together.

Individually, all nine chapters were great stories, but when I put them together, I am not sure if all of the pieces fit together.

Khaled is a great writer, and I enjoyed this book, but it left a little to be desired!!

However, I still think that it is a novel that definitely should be put on your reading list.

My next read is Local Girls by Alice Hoffman; why don't you join me?

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