Thursday, January 18, 2018

Another Friendly PSA

I posted this two years ago, but it bears repeating.
Oh....and the crazy car flashing her lights at you incessantly as we pass in opposite directions, might just be me.

This was our driveway this week.
We have always had fog after rains, although our town seems to usually be on the lighter side than the rest of the valley. 
Even with the miniscule amount of rain this year, the fog here has been worse that I remember in ages.
Tule Fog, it is, and not much scares me more to drive in.
It is the leading cause of weather related deaths in all of California.
I have been lost once in it...when I was in my early 20's and have never forgotten.
I have passed my driveway before and then had to drive through our neighbor's round-about and feel my way back before.
Thank goodness that was before they put a fence up...wonder if that is WHY they put a fence up.  Hmmm...
It has brought me to tears recently as Monday night.
I have learned to control the tears until I have made it home...looking through tears and fog don't mix well.
MANY people with cars that have automatic headlights don't know that the lights don't always come on in the fog...while you can't see distance, it is bright enough and the sensors don't read it properly.
I heard a CHP officer the other day reminding people of this fact as well as the fact that if your lights are not on, neither are your tail lights.
Lights in daytime fog is not to help you see is to help other cars see you.
So turn your lights on manually every time.
This has been your friendly Public Service Announcement for the day.
Oh...and fog drivers...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


For anyone who may be facing a life challenge, today or any other day...remember to always have hope...and faith.
I believe they are the same thing and will guide you and lift you up in your darkest hour.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Truism

These words are so powerful.

I pray that those in the devastation in Montecito will come to believe them.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Books of 2017

I have some that have been passed down through the years, some that I just love and others with sentimental value.
Most of the ones I read this year were from the library or on my Kindle.
So, here is the list.
My list of what I read in 2017. 
Some good, a few terrific and some not so much.
I hope you find one that piques your interest.

The One I Was by Eliza Graham.
A nurse returns (unhappily) to her former childhood home to care for an elderly man who as a refugee, fled Nazi Germany.
Untrusting of each other at first, secrets begin to be shared.
Ghosts of the past come.
Really liked this one.

The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen
Follows a girl of 17, unmarried and pregnant in the 1870's as she is sent to the Poor Farm to have her baby and then give it up for adoption.
But there is more at play here than simple covering up of unwed mothers.
I enjoyed this.

A Strange Beginning by Gretta Curran Browne
This tells the story of Lord Byron's early years.
Tragic and hopeful.
I enjoyed this.

The House by the River by Lena Manta
Five daughters born and raised in a house by the river at the foot of Mt. Olympus. ach can not wait to leave.
But will they return?
I loved this!

Sentence of Marriage by Shayne Parkinson
A young, naïve girl in 1800 New Zealand.
Acts upon her heart and then make decisions to please everyone else.
Not always a great way to live.
I enjoyed this.

The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hull Chatlien.
This is based on the true story of an American girl who falls in love and marries Napolean Bonaparte's younger brother, Jerome.
Her dreams did not live up to their potential.
I love hostorical fiction and this was a good one.

Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan.
Fighting for the Ireland they believes in in different ways.
Can their love survive?
Can they?
I enjoyed this and can only imagine the sense of patriotism they must have felt and sacrifices they made.

The Designer by Marius Gabriel.
Tells of a friendship with Christian Dior beginning before he struck out on his own.
The main character experiencing two different worlds as his friend.
Interesting, sad, funny.
I enjoyed this.

What Remains True by Janis Thomas.
This was tough.
A 5 year old boy is killed.
Story is told from different character's perspectives...including the boy's.
Well done, but hard subject matter.

Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner.
The main character's beloved sister dies.
I liked this one and it kept me in the dark until the VERY end!

Love and Money by Ruth Harris.
Two sisters...not knowing the other exists.
A man (always a man)...murder.
Not great, but certainly enjoyable.

The House by A. O'Connor
This spans more than 100 years in Ireland.
Begins with an estate being built for a bride.
No heir.
What happens to the house and those who lived in it makes for an intriguing read.

A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia by Clara Benson
A murder mystery...just okay...
I don't think I cared for the characters enough to love this.
Most were rich and selfish.
I didn't guess the true murderer until the end, so that was a good thing.
Just not my favorite.

Spencer's Mountain by Earl Hamner.
As a lover of The Walton's, I was worried I wouldn't like the book or be sad that the series wasn't true to it.
Neither happened.
Names are different, and a few characters were tweaked for the television series, but over all, I LOVED it!
AND the casting was nigh on perfect.

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani
One Italian American family divided.
This tells of love, loss, hope, and most importantly family.
I really liked this one.

New York by Edward Rutherfurd
It is also very long and not one to skim through.
Begins in 1664 in what was New Amsterdam and ends a couple years after 9-11.
Follows families over 400 years and how some intertwine.
The historic value of how the city we know now came to be with its immigrants, wars, strikes, glory days, etc, is interesting and fascinating.

The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley.
Two families that are connected by genes, tragedy and love.
Set in London, Ireland and New York, this is a good read and had me turning pages and being unsure of what was coming next.
Very good.

Siracusa by Delia Ephron
This story tells of one vacation abroad from the 4 viewpoints of the two couples.
Same facts, different interpretations.
Two marriages unraveling.
Interesting perspective, but I didn't really care for any of the characters.
Maybe that was the point.

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
#3 in the series.
Can't wait for #4 to come out.

The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
Number two in the Seven Sisters' series.
I enjoyed a lot.

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig.
A homesteading widower with three boys answers an ad for a housekeeper in Montana.
Who arrives will change many things.
I enjoyed this and was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My Grandmother asked me to Tell You She's Sorry.
Hard to get into at first, but worth the effort. 
Story from a 7 year old's eyes.
Her grandmother was a storyteller...a fairy tale weaver.
Upon her death, reality meets the tales.
I enjoyed this!

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley.
Next two books already ordered from library.
6 sisters adopted from far corners of the world by a wealthy and kind father.
Upon his death, secrets are learned and journeys this one for the eldest daughter.

All My Love, Detrick by Roberta Kagan
Set in Berlin during WWII.
I enjoyed this tale of hope, love, loyalty and sacrifiice in an unimaginable time.

The Templar's Cross by J.R. Tomlin.
This was okay for me.
I grew confused and felt as thought there were too many storylines.
Just not my cup of tea.

Paper Boats by Dee Lestari.
This tells the tale of an artist and a writer.
I enjoyed their journey.

Changing of the Guard by James Farner.
This follows an orphan boy in the 1800's on England.
I grew to care what happened to him as he grew and was intrigued by the people in and out of his life. Secrets.
I enjoyed this.

The Practice House by Laura McNeal
Tale begins with two Scottish sisters who were visited by Mormon missionaries.
How their lives play out was not as I expected or had hoped for.
Not my favorite.

The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor
This follows the story of a young Irish girl who survived the Titanic.
It is fascinating to hear her thoughts from the time she learned she would be leaving her homeland and then through the sinking.
I enjoyed this.

Through the Streets Broad and Narrow by Gemma Jackson
I loved this!
Set in Dublin in the early 1900's..tenament houses and wealthy mansions meet.
I found a couple spots where I wanted to cheer out loud!
The ending reads like the old T.V. season ending cliffhanger!
Need to read the next book NOW.
Easy and fun.

Bloody Lessons by Louisa M. Locke
I have read another in this series and enjoyed this one as well.
Continues with the life of a widowed woman supporting herself in a man's world in San Francisco in the late 1880's.
I like the characters and care what happens to them.
Easy and enjoyable read.

The Garden on Sunset by Martin Turnbill
This is set in Hollywood just as the talking films were coming into being.
Lots of parties, alcohol and what it took the young, friends to make it in their respective careers.
I finished it, but not a favorite.

Undesirable by Laura Stapleton
This is the second in a series of three, but works on its own.
Follows characters on the Oregon Trail.
Enjoyed easy read.

1931 by ML Gardner
I am still enjoying this series a great deal.

Of Moths and Butterflies by V.R Christensen
I liked this.
A wealthy young woman, with a sad childhood inherits great wealth when her uncle dies.
She wants nothing to do with the fortune and tries to escape from the weight of it.
Good read.

Still Life with Murder by P.B Ryan
Follows a nursery maid in Boston in the mid 1800's.
Civil War prison camp, love (of course) and a murder...or self defense.
I liked this
The Smuggler's Gambit by Sara Whitford
Set in North Carolina, circa 1765.
Follows the life of a teen boy who finds himself apprenticing with a sea merchant.
Friendship, loyalty and the turmoil that was in this country in those years.
Enjoyed this.

The One I Was by Eliza Graham
The story of a nurse returning to her childhood home to care for the present owner, who is dying. Weaves nicely how their pasts intertwine over the years without their knowledge.
I enjoyed this.

The Man From St. Petersburg by Ken Follet.
I have enjoyed this author in the past and this book was no exception.
Murder's all there

The Cheyenne Christmas by Caroline Lee
An easy romance novel read.

Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr
This follows the lives of three generations of women and how their decisions impact those in the future.
Beginning in Palestine in the late 1800 and continuing to the US.
This was fascinating.

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
This young adult book tells the story of unlikely friends during a summer camp for at risk teens. Enjoyable

An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt
This was a good whodunit.
The main character is a lawyer whose biggest desire is to defend one innocent person.
This was a page turner.

The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard
This begins in 1775, south of Boston as the Battle in Charleston rages.
A young midwife befriends Abigail Adams as her husband...and Abigail's ...are off to fight for and form America.
This had it all.
American history
This is the first in a series and I'll read more.

Palm Trees in the Snow by Luz Gabas.
This story follows the lives of two Spanish brothers and their lives as Colonists on a cocoa plantation in Africa.
I found the historical aspect fascinating and eye opening.
The story opens when a daughter reads a box of letters from that period.
I really enjoyed this book.

Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainger
Set in 1913 Dublin, this follows the often lives of those fighting for and dying to be free from British rule.
Historical novels are right up my alley and this was no different.
At least one love story is intertwined as well.

For Now and Forever by Sophie Love
Leaving NYC and escaping to her father's abandoned home in Maine starts a whole new life for Emily, but not one she had planned.

Once in a While by Linda Ellen
This is a true love story beginning in the 1937 South.
A young girl and her love.
Lies never meant to hurt, but they always do.
This was good!

Hope's Peak by Tony Healey.
Serial murders.
Small town.
Caught me off guard several times.

Reading through these lists each year amuses me. 
This year, it seems I was drawn to murder.
I am also reminded of several books that I loved and wanted to read more. 
Library requests are being made.

Did you tread any wonderful books in 2017?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sweetest Video to Start the Year

I have so many partial blog posts rambling around in my brain but haven't been able to sit down and compile them into anything that would make sense to the normal person. 
Hoping to get caught up this week, but for now...