Tag Archive: family



The Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town LifeThe Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town Life by Pearl Whitfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was young I loved spending the night with friends. I loved seeing how other people lived. I found it interesting how the parents were different from my own, even how the friend became different in their own home than they were at school. I think that is why I love to move to new places. Not traveling, you don’t get the truth by visiting, but sinking into a community. Big cities, small towns, and finally the smallest I have ever lived in. I think those raised and who stayed find fault in the other. Small town people make fun of city-folk, city folks laugh at the country folk. They both have their points and their blindnesses.

Such is reading The Storekeeper. It is a tale about a small town. It takes a few people and follows them as does the main character, Ralph Johnson, widower, sinks in as a storekeeper. As the spiderweb of acquaintances grows we learn about others as he does. We hear the bigotry and the gossip, but we see the mature people that are open to help those in need rather than make fun of something different.

I was not a fan of Ralph. I wished he were female. But of my seventy years, fifty or more was spent reading books about males. When I asked my librarian when I was a kid, then as an adult the only answer was that it was to encourage boys to read. Why didn’t I deserve to be encouraged? Oh, yeah, because they were going to get jobs and needed to be readers to be smarter. And the reasoning loses something for me in that with all my reading I still didn’t get the good jobs my male classmates got for a lot less education. So as an old lady I am more demanding of my main characters, especially those who were created by female authors.

Still, Ralph gave us the insight we needed for the various people we meet in the town. He is kind and tries to give as much as he can to those around him. This is where my interests in the book developed. I loved the females brought into Ralph’s circle. I wanted to know more about the little girl and her mother. I wanted to know more about the woman dying of cancer, I wanted to know more about the love interest.

The book seemed longer than I would have liked, yet in the end, I wanted more. Maybe there is a book two coming that focuses on the other people other than Ralph? As a newbie in a small town, I get lost as to how to negotiate social situations. But that may be my own social anxiety. And fibro that keeps me as unreliable as I stay home when I am in pain to great to be out driving. I have no clue as to how folks move from being the grocery bagger to the big farmer, maybe there is a way besides being born to it? The difference between rich and poor seems far more visible here than in the city.

Anyway, during this pandemic, while everyone is looking for peace, this is a great book to slow it down and sink into another life. This could make a great television series!

By the way, here is the cover as it is on Amazon:

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Sad Sunday


I love it when family and friends come to visit. I absolutely turn to jello and can’t find my keys to the new-to-me car I’m so sad.

Pixabay.com

Then I spend the ride home thinking about the good feelings of no bra, no shoes, and sweatpants. And fish and chips. And a wonderful newish car. I look at it and even though I am comfortable and self-soothed, and Kali snuggles, I miss the daylights out of my family and friends. Even the recommended Daylight Savings Time nap didn’t take away that sad.

Back to life as we know it. Watching Doc Martin season 9 while knitting and snuggles. I am feeling grateful for all the love, happiness, and health that surrounds me. I wish it for all of you, too!


A Woman Lost Box Set: Books 3-5A Woman Lost Box Set: Books 3-5 by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun bunch of books. The characters, especially the main character, Lizzie, seemed realistic. I am grateful I didn’t have her family. Whew, what a mess! But, even so, it was fun to watch the development of each of the characters. And to watch the Twinkies go from zygotes to toddlers.

I like reading books in a combo like this but it makes me mad that I don’t get the credit for three books, even if I put a small review on each book. That messes with my reading goals. But that is a GoodReads problem.

I was lucky to find these on Kindle Unlimited so it was a ‘free’ read. I love this author and am glad she has a few listed on KU. I’m reading Holly and Ivy as I didn’t want to leave T.B. Markinson’s world. It too is a KU.

It is nice to see educated, strong women in books dealing with problems and not going crazy. Sure they have their own emotional issues but they grow and learn. And the romance isn’t so gushy and angsty as many other romance novels. I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Markinson.

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One-Liner Wednesday


My favorite day of the week, month, year, is the day I get to see my family and friends!

 

That’s my one-liner for One-Liner Wednesday.


Seeking SarahSeeking Sarah by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jerry Springer eat your heart out! Oh, the drama!

Okay, I didn’t mean to start with that. There were things about this book I liked. I love that we have a diverse character, though the cover picture doesn’t give that impression. On the other hand, the blurb grabbed me about a young woman that wants to find her mother who she previously thought had died.

What seems to be set up to be an exciting adventure learning why mom left, and possibly reconnecting, the main character, Brooke, is hooking/breaking up with a guy that shouldn’t even get a female. Even in the process of getting to know her mom, she takes every opportunity to jump to conclusions to be angry. I guess my way would have solved Brookes problems within minutes and there wouldn’t be a book but a short story.

I was lucky to get to read this book from Netgalley. I’d love to see what others think of this novel. It is different.

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Today’s letter in the A-to-Z Challenge is F and the prompt for Stream of Consciousness is the word Fab used as part of a word or alone. Since I don’t see Fab as part of my story I’m writing, I’ll just stream a bit about how fabulous it has been to visit with my daughter and son today. They took off work yesterday, drove half the trip and stayed at a motel. They got here this morning It was windy which made getting out and enjoying the day outside nearly impossible. But Kali’s mommy took her out for a jog anyway. Kali was so happy and now is exhausted. By the way, my daughter was silly and wrote “Dorg” on the picture. LOL! We get to have breakfast with them before they take that long trip home. I’m so glad they got to come even for a short visit.

 

Meanwhile below is the first couple paragraphs I wrote in my CampNaNo project. Again, I went to a random word generator and picked up 20. But in the writing, I think I added more. Again, I know that this may sound confusing, like coming into a conversation not knowing much of anything. I just want to prove my combination of A2Z and CampNaNo. This book seems to be pulling from all the books about Haven I’ve done so far.

Finally after eating Dusty remembered. “I forgot to tell you that the spin and orbit of Haven have changed. We think that may be one factor why everything isn’t functioning at full force.” She glanced at the end of the table and noticed that Henry (Judy’s husband) seemed to have his head in the bowl.

When he noticed everyone staring he wiped his face and smiled. “This soup is so full of flavor!”

Robert (Anna’s husband) and Adam (Beth’s husband) laughed. “I don’t know how you stay so thin! You are eating all the time!” Robert said. “I have to watch my girlish figure!” Again the three laughed. They had been friends from the very beginning. They were half of the original six. Robert had known Anna back on Earth and they reconnected quickly. Henry, Anna’s brother, connected with Judy. Judy was the botanist and zoologist, a very serious scientist. Henry was funny. Smart and interested in everything, but funny. Judy needed that. The six were as faithful to their spouses as they were to each other. They all pursued their own intellectual passions so that when they were with their mates their time was fresh, new, exciting. They were family. There were no favorites, they worked to keep it fair.

Dusty held up her finger and the group quieted. They knew they had work to do. They just needed to figure it out. One thing was for sure, they weren’t going to leave it to fate. Still, as they sat there in human form, they realized that without being enhanced by Haven, by gene-poppers this would be a useless cause. One they would be sure to fail. They knew the first thing to do. They gathered out on the grass and held hands. There was a fraction of a second they thought they hadn’t factored in how different Earth was from Haven. But that thought didn’t last long. Suddenly there was the sound of a full freight train moving through. The temperature rose to the point they each thought they had a fever. Then they heard the voice. Dusty, Jade, and Mary had heard it in the cavern on Haven, Earth was speaking to them. Dusty indicated that they all change form, to dragon-up. They all knew that they would hear and understand Earth better telepathically as dragons.

__________

Lots more to write before I sleep. Hope you had a great Saturday, full of fab fun!


London Holiday (Americans Abroad, #5)London Holiday by Miranda MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book! Need a beach read or a nod to fairy tales with a twist? This is it. Though it was a little predictable, I still couldn’t go to sleep until 3:00 in the morning as I wanted to see what would happen.

In our crazy cyber-gossipy world, a princess and a journalist fall in love, quite by accident. Fun and adventure happen, lots of London is explored.

Beyond these words, I am afraid I will ruin your discovery of this gem if I tell you more. This book was just a lightweight read to fill the moments between heavier books. I probably won’t read it again but I am now a fan of this author and will read more by her. Enjoy!

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What do you do with a Friday that didn’t work out as planned?

I couldn’t take the trip to town, Flare. Body predicting cold snowy weather. Husband and son volunteer. But snow would be coming too soon. Canceled. But need groceries. Even as we discussed what to do flurries were gathering on the banister of the porch.

Yeah, the old snow never melted so this coming week should be interesting.

DH and brother drive to little town. Get necessities which in the case of the snow that had started celebratory pizza.

While they were gone my friends and I got together over the internet and laughed and talked for hours. Friends are great!  They made me feel like this:

This evening while trying to figure out what to share here, Teddy came to visit with me.

“Mom, I’m bored.”

“Wanna play?”

“Nah.”

Then he marched off my bed to see what other mischiefs he could get into.

More snow expected over the next week. It is pretty. But worry about Kali and her outside times. Much deeper and she will disappear.

Friends, family, furballs, pizza. Who could ask for more? Snowed in? What do you do?


Happiness is a CollageHappiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t like short stories. Give me a long series any day. But this book was marvelous! It is a collection of stories of women who have paths of their own and how they deal with cultural, spiritual, educational issues and mix that with those mores of American feminism and ‘modern’ ways of life and these stories seem nearly as truth, not fiction.

If there were more story for each told here I would be happy. Nearly any of these stories can be full novels, that I would love reading. I love the education I pick up as I read of each of these life situations.

This wasn’t a long read. I think it was a couple of nights. With text-to-speech it was often hard to know when I had moved into another story, but other than that I enjoyed Gita V. Reddy’s writing. I think others will like it, too.

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The Hope Chest: A NovelThe Hope Chest: A Novel by Viola Shipman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was personal for me. I recently lost a dear cousin to ALS. It was through her mother that I got my antique hope chest. It was one of those dome-lidded train trunks. My grandfather and brother lined that hope chest with cedar and the lid with velvet. With all that family involved in this chest, how could I not fall into the thought processes of the day? Girls grow up and have families. They get married. Become someone else’s. That’s not all bad. (I’ve grown to accept that a hope chest could just be hope of growing up and having a place of your own, not put the hope into another person.) But I had a wonderful family full of aunts and uncles and double the grandparents. No matter how life at school or home was, there were other relatives of love I could rely on.

My hope chest aunt taught me to knit. All the cousins, girl cousins, learned to knit slippers. My other aunt taught me to crochet and sew. Mom didn’t have the patience for all that but having a fantastic extended family gave me hope and taught me what I think everyone should know. That you can love past differences. The uncle attached to that aunt, taught me how to tie my shoes. That uncle and the uncle attached to my crochet aunt, taught me that even if you disagree so much with ideas the rest of the family hold, everyone will still love you. Just disagree with you.

My brother, who helped my grandfather fix up that chest, was killed in a car accident. That grandfather died of Parkinson’s. Even that chest disappeared in the many moves of my life. But the love of that family is still there. My cousins and I see each other on FaceBook daily. It is the only reason I haven’t left social media. It is my new hope chest. It’s in my heart. And so is the cousin who isn’t with us anymore, at least not where we can see her.

This book brought all that up for me. Sure, in ways it is a little hokey. But it wasn’t a stupid romance novel. It was about people who love or learn to love and help each other. The writer wrote characters I could believe. The mom was a little too strict with the little girl, seemed she wouldn’t let her be a little girl. But there are people like that. The woman with ALS seemed a little too perfect, though in pain and having the disease. The husband was every woman’s dream husband, so maybe not so real. Even still, when a book can reach into your heart like this one did and you see and smell the garden and the lake and feel the love, that’s a good book. Bring your Kleenex.

Thank you, NetGalley for letting me read this gem!

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