Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Weekend Reflections 12/30

Looking outside...it's clear and currently 43. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. There is still snow on the ground because we had a white Christmas.

Listening...to The Artist on his computer. The Boy is watching something on his phone. The Doctor is taking a nap.

Loving...time spent together. There is nothing better than being with my husband and sons.

Thinking...that I am blessed. We had a wonderful Christmas. It was nice and quiet. We spent Christmas Eve with just us. We went to the evening candlight service at The Cathedral of the Rockies and it was beautiful. We read Christmas stories as is our tradition. We opened presents Christmas morning. My mother joined us for part of that and then we went to her home for an extended family Christmas dinner. It was a lovely day.

The best part of Christmas was seeing the joy that our boys found in giving to others. They were more excited to see each other open their gifts than they were for the ones they received. As a parent, it is wonderful to see your children as kind, thoughtful people.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. Not sure what we're doing for dinner tonight.

Wearing...black skirt, red sweater with a black cardigan and black boots. When outside? A gorgeous red, black and gray scarf I received for Christmas.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it. I'm writing my 2017 Wrap-Up post and it's a bit depressing.

Today...this morning we saw patients in the office and then stopped at the hospital to see a patient there. This afternoon, I am taking down Christmas. The Boy is working and The Artist is going to a youth dance.

Quoting..."You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life." Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Feeling...tired, but hopeful. As regular readers will know, we started our own practice this year. We've learned a lot about business and patient records and tracking and insurance and claims and billing and more. We've made some mistakes and learned some lessons. The Doctor and I have also learned that we make a pretty good team. Our strengths and weaknesses balance each other's. He is the doctor and I am the office manager. My strengths are organization and administration and his are working with patients. We've also discovered that we like spending time with each other every day.

I have learned that I really don't like healthcare from a provider's perspective. I love seeing patients and visiting with them and watching them walk out of our office feeling better. I despise trying to communicate with insurance companies. When  the system works, it can be good. But, it's so convoluted and confusing. I'm convinced that the spawn of Satan sit in their little gilded offices and look at insurance claims and toss a coin to see if they will pay it. Then those same spawn walk into Satan's office and get rewarded for putting more money in Satan's pocket.

Meanwhile, down in the trenches. A really nice office manager is trying to learn why she can't find her patient in the provider portal online, because she went there to check why the patient's claims were rejected. When she calls Satan's Insurance Company, she gets transferred to 5 different people. 3 of whom are not even located in her country and speak only enough English to read the scripts in front of them. When the office manager's questions deviate from what they think she is supposed to say, they get confused and just transfer her to someone else because no one knows what anyone does in Satan's Insurance Company. Satan himself doesn't know, he is just happy that claims are denied so more money goes into his pocket and the pockets of the congressmen that he bribes.

The office manager? When the doctor walks out of the exam room, he finds her banging her head against the desk in frustration.

Fortunately, every once in a while, a real person answers the phone. This blessed woman is from somewhere in the south and is my new favorite person in the whole world. She actually had answers. She actually helped me get into the provider portal. The correct one, because one of the many transfer people had me going to the wrong one. After the call? I had the chance to take a survey. Oh hell yes, I took the survey. And I gave credit and kudos to my new favorite person in the whole world and then told Satan's Insurance Company that the rest of them were useless and that they needed to get it together so that everyone knew how their system worked.

I abhor the word deductible. It's awful. The words, "your remaining balance owed" are terrible to utter. Mailing bills to patients is just as painful for me as it is for the patients who receive them. But, as much as I would love to just serve everyone for free, we too have a mortgage and building rent and expenses and a family to support. So if we treat you, we expect payment. If not from your insurance company, then from you. I will take payments, because I know what it is like to not have the full amount for a bill and then have a doctor's office (always from dentists because they are the fathers of Satan and Satan's spawn) say that they won't take payments and the full balance is owed or you're going straight to collections which is worse than hell. Because of them? I will take payments. Just talk to me. Please.

The patients who know what their coverage is? Who know that they will be getting a bill for the remaining balance and then who either send payment or come into the office and pay? You are my favorite people after the one real person who works in Satan's Insurance Company. Thank you for being real and reasonable and for understanding that we are people too.

I do enjoy serving people and helping them to feel better and get well. It's rewarding. I have enjoyed the freedom that has come with owning our own practice and setting our own hours. I have enjoyed seeing The Doctor be a doctor. I love hearing him with patients. He is so good to educate and explain what he is doing and why or why they are hurting or in pain. I love seeing how much they appreciate and respect him.

We are ending this year on a better business note than the one we started on and I am hopeful for an even better year in 2018. And The Doctor? He has taken a leap of faith this year that most people will not even understand. And he has worked hard and done well. And I am so proud of him.

Planning...this next week. The Artist goes back to school on Wednesday.

Gratitude...for the sunshine today.

From my world... 

40 years ago, I stood in a line with my father to see a funky little space movie called Star Wars. I loved it. He loved it. He loved it so much that he went back and saw it more than 10 times according to family lore. The original trilogy became one of our family's favorite film series'. 

Last week, I watched The Last Jedi with my family. As the opening scene rolled and those iconic yellow words scrolled up the screen, I thought how much Daddy would have loved it. How he would have loved watching these films with his grandchildren. 

I don't think many people get misty-eyed during the opening sequences of Star Wars films, but for me they are treasured memories. 

No spoilers here or in the comments, please. All I will say is that Luke and Leia are still my favorites and we need a pet porg.

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

5 Books I want to Read: Denied by Netgalley

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2900. True story. 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 viewing.

Several of my blogging friends have done posts about books they were denied to review. I've been denied many times and it was interesting to go back and see which books I'd requested but, for whatever reason, the publisher denied the request. So far Netgalley has denied 101 review requests.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

In his much-anticipated new novel, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.

The Rules of Love and Grammar by Mary Simses

A woman finds love and closure, and rediscovers herself, when she returns to her roots in the enchanting new novel from the author of The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café.

Newly jobless, newly single, and suddenly apartmentless, writer Grace Hammond has come unmoored. A grammar whiz who's brilliant at correcting other people's errors, she hasn't yet found quite the right set of rules for fixing her own mistakes.

Desperate to escape the city and her trifecta of problems, Grace hits pause and retreats to her Connecticut hometown. What begins as a short visit with her parents quickly becomes a far more meaningful stay, though, as she discovers that the answers to what her future holds might be found by making peace with-and even embracing-the past.

As Grace sets out to change her ways and come to terms, finally, with the tragedy that took her older sister's life so many years ago, she rekindles a romance with her high school sweetheart, Peter, now a famous Hollywood director who's filming a movie in town. Sparks also fly at the local bike shop, where Grace's penchant for pointing out what's wrong rattles the owner's ruggedly handsome schoolteacher son, Mitch.

Torn between the promise of a glamorous life and the allure of the familiar, Grace must decide what truly matters-and whether it's time for her to throw away the rule book and bravely follow her heart.

Juliet's Answer by Glenn Dixon

Eat, Pray, Love meets The Rosie Project in this fresh, heartwarming memoir by a man who travels to Verona and volunteers to answer letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet, all in an attempt to heal his own heartbreak.

When Glenn Dixon is spurned by love, he packs his bags for Verona, Italy. Once there, he volunteers to answer the thousands of letters that arrive addressed to Juliet—letters sent from lovelorn people all over the world to Juliet’s hometown; people who long to understand the mysteries of the human heart.

Glenn’s journey takes him deep into the charming community of Verona, where he becomes involved in unraveling the truth behind Romeo and Juliet. Did these star-crossed lovers actually exist? Why have they remained at the forefront of hearts and minds for centuries? And what can they teach us about love?

When Glenn returns home to Canada and resumes his duties as an English teacher, he undertakes a lively reading of Romeo and Juliet with his students, engaging them in passions past and present. But in an intriguing reversal of fate and fortune, his students—along with an old friend—instruct the teacher on the true meaning of love, loss, and moving on.

An enthralling tale of modern-day love steeped in the romantic traditions of eras past, this is a memoir that will warm your heart.

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.


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: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

#CoverCrush: The 13th Gift

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.

A beautiful red door. A beautifully wrapped package on the doorstep. Snow on the ground. It's obviously Christmas. Who is receiving this gift? Who is giving it? What is the story?

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 PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

So may I suggest the secret of Christmas
Is not the things you do at Christmas time
But the Christmas things you do all year?
--The Secret of Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2017

#CoverCrush: Engaging Father Christmas

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.

This book is second in a trilogy that I love. They're novellas and easily read in a sitting or two. This cover is just a perfect Christmas image. A warm, inviting room. A cozy fire and beautifully decorated Christmas tree. A couple, snuggling together. You can just hear the words, "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..." Who are they? What is their story?

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 PagesA Literary VacationOf Quills and Vellum.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Reflections 12/16

Looking outside...it's clear and cold. But the sun is shining. It's currently 23. We had our first snowfall last night. 

Listening...to silence. The Doctor is seeing patients this morning. The Boy is on the couch under a blanket. The Artist is still asleep.

Loving...Yesterday was my birthday. The Doctor and I drove up to McCall to get a burger at our favorite little restaurant. Yes, we drive 2 hours just to get a burger at My Father's Place. But, you have to understand. These burgers are delicious and McCall is our happy place.

We love the drive up. The winding road through the mountains. The river that runs along the road. We love the drive and we talk and plan and share and just enjoy being together.

Yesterday, the drive was snowy. The trees were gorgeous. The river that we rafted this summer was full of ice. It was beautiful. 

Thinking...that I am blessed.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. But, I ran out of Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup last night, so I need to pick up some more. Tonight, we're grilling burgers, because...Snow BBQ!

Wearing...fuzzy yellow minion jammies, black turtleneck and black slippers.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it. I've become a book blogger who doesn't read books.

Today...I am working on bills.

Quoting...“The secret of Christmas is not the things you do, at Christmas time. But the Christmas things you all year through." -- The Secret of Christmas, sung by SHeDAISY

Feeling...tired, but surprisingly content. Epiphanies are amazing. Not always easy to acknowledge, but amazing nonetheless. Understanding yourself and why you have specific or limiting beliefs is key to moving forward and becoming better. I am a far from perfect person and I say and do things I regret. But, life is a journey and I am realizing that progress only comes when you are willing to accept the need to be discerning about yourself.

Planning...this week. I think I have most of the Christmas shopping finished. Thank goodness for online orders. I need to finish the quilt I'm making, but the fabric I need is delayed by weather and won't arrive until Monday.

Gratitude...for the good things that social media brings. The main reason I stay on Facebook is because it allows me to connect with friends and family who live away from me. Yesterday, it was so fun to read the birthday wishes from people I love.

From my world... 

I may be a book blogger who isn't reading books right now, but that didn't stop me from finding a book ornament and putting it on our tree.

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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#CoverCrush: Christmas Oranges

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.

One of our family's Christmas traditions is that we read stories on Christmas Eve. Everyone shares a favorite story or two. We did this when I was a girl and as a result, I have collected Christmas books. Each year my mother gives my sisters and me a new Christmas book. So, when I begin decorating for Christmas, that big box of books comes out and replaces the traditional books on my living room shelf for the month.

One of my favorite stories is Christmas Oranges. It is a beautiful story of kindness. I can't read it without crying.

And this image, perfectly captures Rose's longing for the sweet magic of Christmas.

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 PagesA Literary VacationOf Quills and Vellum.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

#WeekendReflections 12/9

Looking outside...it's cloudy and cold. It's currently 22.

Listening...to Christmas music. The Doctor is home from seeing patients. The boys are up and about. We talk and laugh a lot. I love it.

Loving...Thursday and Friday evening, the Artist participated in the Theater Showcase at school. All of the theater students presented the projects they had worked on this year for district competition. The Artist did set design, an ensemble piece which was a scene from the musical Chicago and a pantomime. 

I loved watching him on stage. His solo pantomime is amazing. And his ensemble scene was awesome. I love observing him with his friends and peers. He has made good friends at school and more in his theater classes. It has been a joy watching him overcome some of his natural trepidation in performing. 

Thursday night after his pantomime performance and after the show was over, he was so hyped and excited. It was a delight to see. And I am so impressed with all of these kids. Seriously. there are some talented students and some truly fantastic pieces performed.

Thinking...that I really need to get my Christmas shopping done/ordered/wrapped.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. They have a peppermint flavor that is amazing, especially if you add a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffle to it... Not sure about dinner. 

Wearing...fuzzy yellow minion jammies, black turtleneck and black slippers.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it.

Today...I am working on a handmade Christmas gift and paying bills. The Artist is going with Grandma and his cousins to buy a toy for Toys for Tots. Each year, she takes the grandchildren to the store and gives them each a set amount of money to buy a gift and then they give it to the very nice Marines who are standing at attention near the donation boxes. The Artist loves doing it. The Boy is working this afternoon/evening. The Doctor is at the office, but we have office business to do this afternoon.

Quoting...“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee

Feeling...tired. Still weary, but working through issues of my own.

I have decided that expectations suck. We all have expectations. You can deny it all you want, but you have them. I have them. We expect people to behave in certain ways. We expect our children to do specific things. We plan activities or events and we expect that they will follow a precise pattern. And then, when those expectations are not met, we are angry. It's hard to let perceived slights go. We lash out. We hold grudges. We get feelings hurt.

Do me a favor the next time some of your expectations aren't met. Ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are. It's unlikely that the person who didn't meet your expectations did something heinous. They just did something that you didn't want or anticipate. But did they even know that you had assigned an expectation to the event or their behavior? Probably not. So ask yourself why you're so annoyed and then let it go. I'm trying to do that and it's difficult. But I am learning that finding the Why in anything is important. I have my husband to thank for that. He has an amazing way of helping me shift perspective.

I don't think there is a person alive who doesn't have some kind of personal or emotional issue to work through. Everyone has them. Every family has them. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect families. No matter what people portray on social media or on Sunday at church. Trust me. No one's life is perfect. 

Someone's trials might seem petty or trite compared to your own, but to them? Those trials might be overwhelming. And you probably don't know the depths of their struggles. You're just on the outside looking at what might be the fragile pieces of their sanity, still holding together a shell of calm, despite the fractures that keep appearing in it. So if they didn't meet your expectation? Step back and give them the benefit of probably having a good reason. Like I said, I've been trying to do that more. Sometimes the self-reflection that follows isn't always comfortable.

Have we become so selfish that we think everything is about us? A post on Facebook by a friend or acquaintance suddenly seems like a personal attack. When, in reality? It's just something that person posted. A thought or experience that radiated with them. It has nothing to do with you. If you think it does or it resonates with you, ask yourself, "Why?" and reflect. You might not like what you see, but hopefully you will learn something from it and gain a better understanding of someone else. And, you don't have to comment on any post you disagree with. Did you know that? You can move past it. Try it some time. It's not easy. I actually did it yesterday, because I realized that the reaction I had to a comment I made, was my own and the person replying wasn't directing anything towards me. But, it's not easy.

If you invite someone to an event, don't be offended if they don't come. It's likely not about you. They may have another commitment; they may just need a break; they may just not want to be around other people. Accept that they have the right to do that and move on. 

And if you're concerned or really want to know why, just ask. Don't assume. I assume way too much and it's never a good thing.

And these weekend reflections? These are my rambles. My thoughts. They help me work through issues or ideas or thoughts I am having. If you see something in them that resonated with you, ask yourself, "Why?" And then reflect and you may gain a better understanding of yourself or compassion for someone else.

Planning...this week. Christmas seems early this year. I've struggled in finding my Christmas spirit, but I love that my boys have it.

Gratitude...for a wise husband, who through his own struggles and learning has gained wisdom and knowledge that he shares as he counsels and helps others.

From my world... 

Hoar Frost is surreal to see at a distance, but absolutely beautiful up close.

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

#CoverCrush: The Bridge

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 the bright sparkly Christmas cover. And it's a bookstore! A bookstore at Christmas? That. Is. Awesome. Who is this couple? Why are they in a bookstore? Did they just meet? Are they old friends? What is their story?

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 PagesA Literary VacationOf Quills and Vellum.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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!


The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop
1/5 Stars

"I know that life on the frontier was difficult and full of harsh realities. The famous blizzard of 1888 is well known and horrific in its aftermath. Yet, with so many stories of the pioneers and those who came west, there is hope amidst trials along with love and joy in family. In this story, there was never any hope. These characters had difficult, horrible lives and experiences that left them bitter and angry. The mother/daughter relationship didn't inspire me, it frustrated me.

Some will find it inspiring that forgiveness and understanding come almost when its too late, but I just found it sad and depressing."

I don't remember anything about this, but it doesn't sound like I missed anything.

Perfectly Invisible by Kristen Billerbeck
2/5 Stars

"This is a sequel to Perfectly Dateless which I haven't read. I don't know if it is intended to stand alone, but there are references to past events and I always felt like I was missing something. I never connected with any of the characters and quite frankly, didn't even like them. I couldn't understand Daisy and Claire's friendship, especially since Claire isn't even very nice to Daisy. The book is full of high school drama and the Christian elements are light. Perhaps I'm just too old for Teen/YA books now. I don't know.

Still, I think that fans of Kristin Billerbeck will probably enjoy this, especially if they've read Perfectly Dateless. It was cute, but not one I ultimately enjoyed. "

I have no memory of this one either. Sounds kind of fun, but nothing that was memorable.

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper
4/5 Stars

"While they've known each other a long time, Greg and Carrie are drawn to each other when Greg begins helping Carrie attempt to figure out mysteries occurring with her staff. Murder, a mysterious religious cult and twittering senior citizens make for an interesting and entertaining story. Add Greg's and Carrie's respective pasts and baggage and you have Shadows on the Sand. But, put it all together and it works. The plot moves along well and I enjoyed watching Greg and Carrie come to terms with their feelings for each other.

... I did wish for more details/depth about Carrie's relationship with her Mom. I wanted to know what had happened to her Mom during their separation and what turned her around? As this is apparently the first in a series, hopefully we will learn more back story as the series progresses. An entertaining read. I look forward to more from Gayle and Seaside. "

Apparently I enjoyed it. Quite a bit. Wish I could remember.


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

Saturday, December 2, 2017

#WeekendReflections: 12/2

Looking outside...it's cloudy and cold. I think it's currently 28.

Listening...to Christmas music and the dishwasher running. The Artist is watching something on his tablet. The Boy is asleep, because he worked late. The Doctor is seeing some patients this morning.

Loving...hot cocoa, thick socks, sweaters and scarves. 

Thinking...that I really hate the administrative side of health care. Each insurance company does things their own way. There is very little continuity. Medicare still can't get it together to be consistent about anything. 

I am realizing that there are many, many things that go wrong with billing, and how many people just pay their medical bills without actually questioning them. 

And I absolutely abhor the word, "deductible". I always did, but I do even moreso now. The word "deductible" is simply an excuse for insurance companies to not pay for anything. "It goes towards your deductible." Like that helps anyone or anything except greedy insurance companies. So, on the doctor side of it, we get patients who expect their insurance company to cover their costs (and insurance companies really don't like chiropractors), so when they don't because "it went towards your outrageously high deductible" and then the patient receives a bill, they're not happy. 

And because I know what it's like to be stretched for money, I will even accept payments. I wish other doctors would do that (especially all you greedy dentists who just say, "We like you, but not enough to let you make payments, so come back when you can pay the full price"), so I will work with you to make them to us.

In my kitchen...We're grilling burgers for dinner and watching the BSU game.

Wearing...black skirt, burgundy turtleneck, black cardigan and black boots. What? It was chilly this morning!

Reading...Seriously, what's that?

Today...We got up early so the Artist could go into town and meet his bus driver. The bus company is doing a charity drive this week that benefits The Ronald McDonald House of Boise. The Artist came home with a flyer about it and suggestions of items to donate.

Ronald McDonald Houses are one of our favorite organizations to support. When The Boy was born and transferred to UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco for his heart surgery, we were offered space in the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. We were so touched, but ultimately decided that because we lived within an hour of the hospital, we would go home each night and not take away space from a family who truly needed it.

But, ever since then, when we have the opportunity to donate or support Ronald McDonald Houses, we do. The majority of donations go to the houses, not administration. It's a fantastic organization.

The Artist understands this, but he also just simply has a giving heart and when presented with an opportunity to serve others, he takes it. We gave him a budget and some suggestions towards items to purchase and went shopping. In addition to canned food, items suggested were towels and sheets and toys/gifts for varying ages of children, from babies to teenagers.

So today he took his gifts to Kirk, his beloved bus driver, so they could "Fill the Bus"!

As a parent you think your kids are amazing, even as you also try to understand that they aren't perfect. It warmed my heart today to see Kirk as happy to see The Artist as he was to see Kirk. And then to hear Kirk tell us that The Artist is such a great young man and he wished that he had a bus full of kids like him.

Quoting..."Oh, the joy that fills our hearts and makes us see...Cause that's Christmas to me. I've got this Christmas song in my heart; I've got the candles glowing in the dark. And then for years to come we'll always know one thing; that's the love that Christmas can bring Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me". -- That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Feeling...tired. Still weary, but working through issues of my own.

Planning...this week. Lists for the office, gifts and plans for Christmas. 

Gratitude...for a comfortable home. It's not grand, but it's ours and is warm and meets our needs well. I am grateful for my fireplace, for electricity and gas, appliances that work, and cars that run. I am grateful to be able to work with my husband as we build this practice.

From my world... 

I am grateful for people who are good influences on my children. I am grateful for children who not only serve and help others, but who look for and recognize those opportunities.

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