Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Пятница Ponderings: It Takes a Village

Ponder: to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate 
Пятница (PYAHT-nee-tsuh): Friday in Russian

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When a child has a birthday or reaches a milestone, it is common to reflect back on that child's birth. For us, we can't reflect on The Boy's birth without being reminded that his birth was the best and worst day of our lives.

20 years ago. The Boy had open-heart surgery as a newborn. He was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries. The pulmonary and aorta arteries are reversed and so the oxygenated blood doesn't circulate properly. It is a heart defect that is fatal without surgical intervention.

It truly does take a village to raise a child and we have had an amazing village of doctors and nurses who have treated, cared for and loved our son over these past 20 years.

Thank you to the surgeon who performed open-heart surgery when The Boy was 6 days old. An arterial switch; a complicated, delicate surgery that saved his life. We were never able to speak with you because we were told you didn't talk with parents. But we are incredibly grateful to you and for your knowledge and skill.


Thank you to amazing nurses who have loved and cared for The Boy, both in the NICU and in so many doctor's offices. And most especially, to nurse Carolyn, who saved his life when she noticed that his color wasn't good. She suspected a heart problem because he was slowly turning blue, but didn't tell me that when she took him to the nursery for the doctor to check him, because she didn't want me to worry. He was just 6 hours old. He'd weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and was huge. We had no reasons to suspect any problems. But Carolyn noticed, and acted, and she saved his life.


Thank you to pediatricians who cared for The Boy and who allayed parent fears with good humor, counsel and attention.


Thank you to pediatric cardiologists who have monitored progress and answered questions and counseled and advised, and who have reassured a worried Mom that her son could hike a 50 miler with his scout troop in the White Clouds.


Thank you to specialists and a family doctor who examine, monitor, order tests, explain results and counsel with us as to The Boy's health.


Today The Boy is a tall, strong 20-year-old college sophomore. He has no significant medical restrictions. He is healthy. He brings immeasurable joy to our lives. He is here today because of a village of medical professionals. Doctors and nurses who have worked as a cohesive team to monitor, mentor and care for him.

I am so very grateful to each and every medical professional who has touched our lives. It really does take a village.

Edited. Originally published August 2016.

Neonatal Nurse's Day...Our experience

Thursday, July 12, 2018

#CoverCrush: lake como

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I have a bucket list like most people. One of the things on my list is to visit Lake Como. I've been to Italy, but there is so much more to see. I loved this cover the minute I saw it. The beautiful lake, gorgeous mansions and a lone woman, sitting at the bottom of the steps. Who is she? What is her story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical  Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

#CoverCrush: I've Been Thinking

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


Maria Shriver is someone I have always admired. I appreciate her drive to better the world and help people. I've wanted to read her book and I just love the cover. What is she contemplating?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Books I Have Forgotten

Each month I revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I found that I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!

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Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd
3/5 Stars
11/2008

"Definitely chick-lit. Light and fluffy with very little depth or substance. Lexi is a college graduate going from job to job. Her degree is impractical, having something to do with French culture and literature. She moves back home, only to find that her parents are in the midst of preparing to sell their home and move to a retirement community. Predictably, Lexi's choices disappoint them. However, Lexi loves all things French and is determined to find employment that will indulge her.

When a casual conversation with the manager of a French bakery leads to a job offer, Lexi jumps in only to find that the pay is inadequate and the staff are difficult. The story is fairly predictable, but Lexi is likeable. She's real, there is nothing fairy-tale about the story. She says the wrong things at times and makes mistakes. Her family is annoying, but whose isn't at times? The story is Christian, without being preachy or religious.

Overall, a light, enjoyable read. "

I don't remember anything about this.

Going Down South by Bonnie J. Glover
1/5 Stars
10/2008

"Most reviews I've seen call it "wonderful" and a great book for and about mothers and daughters.

It's meant to be a thought-provoking, coming of age, multi-generational book. A young girl becomes pregnant and her mother takes her down south to her grandmother's home. Mom and grandma are somewhat estranged, mom and daughter are somewhat estranged. Most of the men are losers. Secrets are shared and ideally everyone comes together at the end.

I couldn't even finish it. I didn't care about the characters. I couldn't relate to any of them and they inspired no compassion in me whatsoever. The book jumped around a lot, it wasn't a smooth read. It was too raw, with profanity and s*x scenes: and a vulgar edge that was uncomfortable. I'm sure it was "realistic" for many, but I didn't like it."

I have no memory of this one either. I didn't finish it, but I did link to several, more positive reviews for a different perspective.

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling
4/5 Stars
10/2008

"Nora wants the perfect Christmas with her family. Jenna wants a miracle for her daughter. One snowy day, right before Christmas a tragic accident changes both of their lives forever. The story alternates chapters between Nora and Jenna. Nora struggles with grief and depression after the loss of her child. Jenna struggles with accepting the miracle of a new heart for her daughter, knowing that somewhere, another mother is grieving.

Beautifully written. Lauraine Snelling is a captivating storyteller. She captured the emotions of each mother so well and so believably. I haven't lost a child, but I've lost a parent and I know all too well how encompassing that grief feels. I haven't had a child who needed a heart transplant, but I have a child who was born with a heart condition that required open-heart surgery. I remember being in the NICU and seeing so many babies who wouldn't go home, and feeling guilty because mine would. I can only imagine how one would feel knowing that because one person died, your child lived. The mix of gratitude and grief could be overwhelming.

I'd never read Lauraine Snelling before, but you can bet that I will in the future. A lovely, touching story."

Apparently I enjoyed it. Quite a bit.

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What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?