Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Weekend Reflections 7/30

Looking outside...it's sunny and hot. Our high today is supposed to be 101. I am so ready for fall.

Listening...to silence. The Boy and The Doctor are at work and The Brother is sleeping. It sounds like a normal Saturday.

Loving...my air conditioner. Have I ever mentioned how much I love air conditioners? 

Thinking...that I can't believe it's almost August already. Where has this year gone?

In my kitchen...a cup of hot chocolate right now. I think I'm going to try a ketogenic pizza for dinner.

Wearing...purple pajamas.

Hoping...that we can find a measure of peace in our lives again. 


Reading...Unlocked by Margo Kelly. Review goes up on Monday.

Today...The Doctor and The Boy are going to be working on the Buick which is having issues. The Trailblazer is in the shop. We've gone the runaround with the dealership where we bought it and the warranty company about the drive-train warranty actually covering the engine issues. We finally just picked up the Trailblazer and now it is with our personal trusted mechanic who has already discovered that the problem is completely different than what the dealership was trying to sell us. I am so done with that particular dealership. Never again.

Quoting...“Kindness is always motivated by something nobler than just a desire to be kind.” ― Susan Meissner, A Fall of Marigolds

Feeling...I am tired. So tired. I'm life weary at the moment. There is so much going on in our lives, in our family. Some days the stress and uncertainty is overwhelming.

I am so tired of this election. I am so tired of the polarizing rhetoric; the us vs. them. The labels. The idea that certain lives matter over others. And the thought that we have come to the point in our society where we feel the need to even state that certain lives matter breaks my heart. It is the 21st century and I feel like we are taking steps backwards in regards to progression rather than taking steps forward. We should be better than this. 

I am so tired of the ideas that if you don't like Hillary, you automatically support Trump and vice versa. I am tired of the idea that if you like Trump, you're a hater and against women and if you like Hillary, you're a baby killer. I have done a lot of soul searching over the past few months as to where my political beliefs lie. I have never been one to vote a straight political party line, for either side. 

As a woman, I am thrilled to see a female presidential nominee. It's fantastic and historic. But, I haven't decided yet if I believe Hillary is the right woman. In watching and listening over the past year, I have realized that my views have evolved over time and, at this point in my life, neither main party fully supports those ideals that I value and find important. I now have to decide if voting for a third party candidate is something I can do or what issues are the most important to me and if I can vote Republican or Democrat in order to try and see those issues resolved.

I am tired of the memes on Facebook and the incendiary posts and remarks. 

It's really not difficult to make this world a better place. Respect people. Be kind. Work hard. Do your best. Be honest. Make a difference. Help when you can. Love is a verb.


Planning...we are in the midst of making plans and checking off lists for The Boy to go to school in September.

Gratitude...for friends and family who have loaned us cars to get through this vehicle trial. I am so grateful for their generosity and love.

From my world... 





No matter what is happening around me, I can always count on the comfort that a cup of cocoa and sourdough toast with butter and apricot-pineapple jam give me. Just a little taste of sanity in an otherwise tumultuous world right now.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, July 29, 2016

5 Books I Want to Read...The Midwife

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2581. It went up. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my reading choices.

I don't know what it is about childbirth, but this month's theme morphed into books about midwives.

I gave birth to two children and both of whom were born in a hospital, where I was attended by a nurse-midwife each time. I am not a home birth advocate, because The Boy would have died had he been born at home. As it was, he came close to it in the hospital, but because a very astute nurse noticed he was slowly turning blue, he is a healthy 18 year old today. In fact, 18 years ago this weekend, on July 31, he came home from the hospital after 3 weeks in the NICU because he had open-heart surgery as a newborn.

My own experience aside I am, however, a "give birth in whatever way works for you" advocate and if home birth is your choice, I wish you the best.

Personally, I was very happy to be in a hospital because the necessary medical care was available, but I had the benefit of a nurse-midwife assisting my delivery. I never did see an OB for either delivery. Some of you will say that is not the same as a midwife-only birth experience. Perhaps not. But I am blessed to live in the Western world, with quality medical care available. I took it.

I hate that childbirth becomes a competition and that a woman who gives birth without medication or medical assistance is somehow a better person than a woman who gives birth via caesarean or with medication or medical intervention. Seriously? Birth itself is a natural process, regardless of your circumstances.

We should rejoice with each other in the birth of children, rather than criticizing someone else because their birth experience was different than ours.

End of soapbox. Sorry. I don't know where that came from. Without further ado, here is this month's wish list.

----------------------------------------

The Midwife's Here! by Linda Fairley

It’s the summer of 1967 and St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester is a place from a bygone age. It is filled with starched white hats and full skirts, steaming laundries and milk kitchens, strict curfews and bellowed commands. It is a time of home births, swaddling and dangerous anaesthetics. It was this world that Linda Fairley entered as a trainee midwife aged just 19 years old.

From the moment Linda delivered her first baby – racing across rain-splattered Manchester street on her trusty moped in the dead of night – Linda knew she’d found her vocation. ‘The midwife’s here!’ they always exclaimed, joined in their joyful chorus by relieved husbands, mothers, grandmothers and whoever else had found themselves in close proximity to a woman about to give birth.

Under the strict supervision of community midwife Mrs Tattershall, Linda’s gruellingly long days were spent on overcrowded wards pinning Terry nappies, making up bottles and sterilizing bedpans – and above all helping women in need. Her life was a succession of emergencies, successes and tragedies: a never-ending chain of actions which made all the difference between life and death.

There was Mrs Petty who gave birth in heartbreaking poverty; Mrs Drew who confided to Linda that the triplets she was carrying were not in fact her husband’s; and Murial Turner, whose dangerously premature baby boy survived – against all the odds. Forty years later Linda’s passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever as she is now celebrated as one of Britain’s longest-serving midwives, still holding the lives of mothers and children in her own two hands.

Rich in period detail and told with a good dose of Manchester humour, The Midwife’s Here! is the extraordinary, heartwarming tale of a truly inspiring woman.

Twelve Babies on a Bike by Dot May Dunn

It's 1957, and in a shattered post-war world, life goes on. Dot, a pupil midwife, negotiates the streets on her trusty old bicycle—come rain or shine—to help women in need. Living and working under the supervision of the strict Mrs. O'Reilly, she must complete her training with 12 deliveries: there's Mrs. Wardle who lives in a seedy slum; the eighth Clarke baby, born in an unusual place; the superstitious Wests, desperate for a boy; baby Murphy who is received with laughter; and brothel-worker Mrs. Maloney. Amid lectures, textbooks, and university dances, Dot must saddle up at any time of the day and night to attend deliveries. But just when she thinks she's got the measure of the job, fate deals her an unexpected hand.

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth

An unforgettable story of the joy of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the hope of one extraordinary woman.

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London's East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city's seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.

Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps confidences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed car­riage indus­try is threat­ened by the work of an arson­ist, and a carriage fac­tory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose's own knitting needle, she is drawn into solving the mystery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mis­tress is also mur­dered, leaving her one-week-old baby with­out a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While strug­gling with being less than the perfect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver to bring two murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas

It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer. Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.

----------------------------------------

What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: Layered Pages, A Bookaholic Swede, The Maiden's Court, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cover Crush...Unlocked


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'm not a huge county fair person. But, if it's cool and not hot, I don't mind walking around and seeing the booths, what's for sale, what won awards, etc. But, that aside, I loved this cover the minute I saw it. The muted colors, the bright alluring fairgrounds with its iconic Ferris wheel. As if it's saying, "Come to us! Come here and see what you find!" It just pulls you in, doesn't it? 

I've read the book and it totally pulls you in too. My review goes up on Monday!

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

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. 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 Pages, indieBRAG.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mailbox Monday 7/25

It's time for another Mailbox Monday which was created by Marcia at To Be Continued.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week... Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.   


Hi, my name is Holly and I have a book problem...
All books are from Netgalley unless otherwise specified.

Fever at DawnAmour Provence

Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos
Amour Provence by Constance Leisure

A Gown of Thorns: A gripping novel of romance, intrigue and the secrets of a vintage Parisian dressThe House of Dreams: A Novel

A Gown of Thorns by Natalie Meg Evans
The House of Dreams by Kate Lord Brown

Forever Safe (Beacons of Hope, #4)The Second Chance Shoe Shop

Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund, actually purchased by me.
The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and ConvictionBalancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose

Dancing Through Life by Candace Cameron Bure
Balancing it All by Candace Cameron Bure

Naapiikoan WinterPancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France

Naapiikoan Winter by Alethea Williams. giveaway win from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson

The Daughter of Union CountyThe Topless Widow of Herkimer Street

The Daughter of Union County by Francine Thomas Howard
The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street by Jacob M. Appel

What about you?

-----------------------------------

What new books did you receive?  Check out more Mailbox Monday posts here.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekend Reflections 7/23

Looking outside...it's sunny and hot. Have I ever mentioned that I hate heat?

Listening...to silence. The Boy and The Doctor are at work and The Artist is sleeping. 

Loving...family, extended family. Cousins. Heritage. Legacy.

Thinking...that I am tired, so very tired. Mom and I went to Utah for another funeral yesterday. 8 hours total driving, 600+ miles, 5 wonderful hours with beloved family members. A good, but long day.

In my kitchen...a Grande Peppermint Hot Chocolate and a butter croissant from Starbucks.

Wearing...black skirt, white t-shirt.

Hoping...that we can get some solutions to our vehicle problems. Both cars are having issues.


Reading...what's that? I haven't read anything of note for nearly a month.

Today...my house needs some care. It's been neglected and we need to do some definite tidying, sweeping and vacuuming.

Quoting...“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

Feeling...So many things. I drove to Utah yesterday with my mom for another funeral for one of her cousins. It is difficult because as we age, saying good-bye to loved ones becomes more common. But, I love this family that I am descended from. They are good people who came from a tiny little town in northern Utah. That town gave them an upbringing that shaped and molded them into amazing people who then raised more amazing people. 

Funerals are so bittersweet. There are tears and memories, but there is also laughter and reminiscing and reunions. I love cousins. First, second, third; once-, twice-, three times-removed, whatever. You're a cousin? It doesn't matter at what level you fall. You're related and you're part of this amazing legacy.

Planning...we got The Boy his housing for school. An apartment near campus, affordable and not a dive. Woot! I need to start looking ahead to make lists for what he will need. I'm working on his cookbook.

Gratitude...for family, immediate and extended family. Cousins. Heritage. Legacy.

From my world... 


Best new road trip snack. Seriously.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Conversation at Our House...Matches

I love going back through my old blog posts and finding these conversations. I'm so grateful I recorded some of these, because I'd forgotten many of them. This one was with The Boy when he was about 11.

------------------------------

M: (hugging The Boy): "I love you. Do you know that I love you?"
E: (hugging Mom back): "Yes."
M: "How do you know that I love you?"
E: "Because you do my laundry and let me play with matches!**"


**Disclaimer: The Boy "plays" with matches when he does his science experiments. He's always supervised.  Don't worry, he's not going to burn down our house or anyone else's!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cover Crush...The Book of Speculation


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 love books. Bet you didn't know that! (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink...) This cover has books. A woman holding books. Why? Why is she holding them? What do books have to do with this story? The synopsis captured my attention because it's about a librarian, a mysterious book and family history. The cover captured my attention, because, well...books!

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

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. 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 Pages.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Childhood Favorites...Caddie Woodlawn

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Books: Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Some books just resonate with you and Caddie Woodlawn was one of those for me. Originally published in 1935, the story is based on the author's grandmother and her childhood adventures. I'm not sure how old I was when I discovered Caddie. Easily elementary school age.  And I adored her.

I loved how she was a Tomboy and just wanted to be with her brothers. I was very much an outdoors child. I loved that her father convinced her mother to let her do just that, because there would be time later for her to learn all the things important to a young woman.

I remember Caddie and her brothers swinging on the rope in the barn and putting eggs in the cousin's shirt so when she fell into the hay, the eggs cracked.

Because it was pioneer times, there were conflicts with the Indians. I remember Caddie realizing how difficult it was for the little boys who had an Indian mother and white father. She shared her turkey sandwiches and used her own money to buy them each a comb and handkerchief.

That act of kindness resonated with me and I remember it to this day. I learned that compassion was important and that it didn't matter what race a person was or what color their skin was. That person was important. It was the way I was raised and to have the books I read just reinforce that principle was important to a school-age girl.


What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cover Crush...The Mailbox


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 loved this cover the minute I saw it. I loved the book too. 

The view from inside the mailbox looking out immediately captured my attention. What does it mean? A journal, a pen, a woman and a beach. Has she just left something or is she picking something up? 

Is this a place to leave letters? Is it an actual mail box with a postal pick-up? So many questions from one picture.  

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

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. 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 CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mailbox Monday 7/11

It's time for another Mailbox Monday which was created by Marcia at To Be Continued.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week... Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.   
Netgalley isn't good for my TBR...


The Girl and the Sunbird by Rebecca Stonehill
The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant


Counting Chimneys by Sandy Taylor
Leaving Independence by Leanne W. Smith


Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon
At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole



Healing Maddie Brees by Rebecca Brewster Stevenson
Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia de Haviland


Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker
Me and My Sisters by Sinéad Moriarty

What about you?

-----------------------------------

What new books did you receive?  Check out more Mailbox Monday posts here.