Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Unbelievable Adventures of a WW II German War Bride

The Unbelievable Adventures of a WWII German War Bride: Collections of Acts of Kindness in War and Peace
(Collection of Acts of Kindness in War and Peace)
by Ingeborg M. Johnston

Ingeborg was born and raised in Berlin. Her survival was credited to her upbringing, sense of values, and her kind, open heart. This is clear throughout her life.

Her book captures her adventures vividly and frankly. She tells them with an intimacy, as if speaking directly to the reader. Each chapter takes us on an adventure, from her childhood through WW II, when she became a teen aged nurse, then a War Bride and eventually coming to America. Once in America, there was no stopping her!

As a wife and mother, Ingeborg competed for the first Mrs. America title. She became a business woman. Ingeborg volunteered at a Veteran’s Hospital during the Vietnam War. She raised funds for the United Way. At the age of 79, Ingeborg flew in Aerial Combat Training! Her "unbelievable" adventures are many and varied, including publishing this book at the age of 85. 

Ingeborg’s outlook on life and what she has done with it all is truly incredible. However, the most amazing thing about this woman is her capacity and willingness to “collect” and share kindness throughout her long and very full life. To add to her credit is that she encourages and fosters this in others. She is an inspiration.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who Will Care When You’re Not There?

Who Will Care When You're Not There? Estate Planning for Pet Owners

by Robert E. Kass, JD, LLM &
Elizabeth A. Carrie, JD, LLM

I am a pet owner. My pets are family, and therefore very important to me.

This topic is something that all pet owners think about. Co-written by attorneys who specialize in estate planning, it is a straightforward basic guide for your pet’s care in your absence. The authors offer various options to consider for short-term, long-term, and permanent situations.

The author’s advice takes into consideration the type and lifespan of the pet, choosing an appropriate caretaker, and future costs and care for the pet. There is a section regarding the possibilities and ways for establishing trust funds. Tax laws and legalities for each state are also discussed. Finally, the authors offer pet information sheets, forms, and wallet cards where you can record the pet’s health, habits, schedules, and more.

This book is an important read for all pet owners, because they depend on us.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seamus to the Rescue!

Seamus the Sheltie to the Resc... by James Beverly 

I admit that I was first drawn to this book having had Shelties for many years. But this is much more than just that.

Based on a real-life Sheltie, “Seamus to the Rescue!” is the third in the Seamus series of children’s books. A collection of stories, the events and situations are told from the viewpoint of Seamus and his animal friends.

This book could be read alone by a grade-school child, or it could be read by an adult with a child. The animals speak in a simple, clipped manner. The author refers to this as “Seamus-Speak”, and includes a glossary for understanding the animal’s speech.

Black and white illustrations depict the situations in each chapter. In addition, there is a section with actual photos of the real Seamus, and the author’s family.

An appendix gives a synopsis and discussion guide for each chapter. Included in the guides are the morals and values stressed and suggested questions for discussions.

James Beverly has a degree in Clinical Child Psychology. He worked a lifetime with children and families. He is a parent and a grandparent. Now retired, James and Seamus plan to use their time on more adventures. There is a Seamus Fan club which offers many Seamus items, as well.

I wholeheartedly recommend Seamus to kids and their families,
to read together, especially.

Nightengale Press

Monday, April 25, 2011


Today while doing my morning meditation, I was enjoying Nature. I watched the many different birds at the feeders. I noticed the squirrels chasing each other up and down the trees. I was amazed at all of the colourful flowers. I don't remember having planted some of the flowers, though. I see these as beautiful surprises, special gifts from heaven. I then recalled something I have often heard. I am not sure who first said these words, though they have been quoted often. I share them here and now: "Bloom where you're planted."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Giveaway

Here's a giveaway with a fun question. It is hosted by Reading Habit. Here is their link:

Their question is: "What is your favourite Easter treat?"
Mine is Sunrise Mass. There is something very special about it for me.

Oh...if you mean something edible, it would be Cadbury eggs. *lol*

Monday, April 18, 2011

Words for the Week

This week we celebrate Earth Day. It is sad that we need to be reminded to be kind to our planet, our environment. This week I am quoting someone who reminds us in a very poignant way. 

      Plant a Truffula. Treat it with care.
      Give it clean water.
      And feed it fresh air.
      Grow a forest.
      Protect it from axes that hack.
      Then the Lorax and all of his friends
      may come back.
      Unless someone like you cares
      a whole awful lot,
      nothing is going to get better.
      It's not.
             ~from The Lorax~ (Dr. Suess)

Friday, April 15, 2011

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added!  We get over 200 links every week!! 
 "Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her."

I just finished "The Dry Grass of August", by Anna Jean Mayhew. (Check out my review!)
My character of choice is the 13 year old narrator, Jubie. Reaching adolescence as her family is falling apart, she becoming aware of herself. She is realizing she has her own beliefs and desires, while becoming aware of the world around her and the beliefs of others.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Dry Grass of August

The Dry Grass of Augustby Anna Jean Mayhew

The Dry Grass of August is a deeply felt and powerful debut novel. It is so beautifully written that it could easily have truly happened. Anna Jean Mayhew tells more than a simple story of the South. She takes us back to the South in 1954. She tells of a time of segregation, intolerance and things unspoken.

We see these issues through the eyes, and with the heart of 13 year old Jubie, our narrator. Reaching adolescence as her family is falling apart, Jubie is forced to come to terms with things that will change everything she thought she knew about her family and the world in general.

Anna Jean Mayhew has written an important book in beautiful prose. I savoured every page. Her characters are believable and memorable. I was moved to tears by the reality of this story and the beauty in which it was told. I am humbled by this beautiful story and the author herself.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Words for the Week

Today's news informed me that this week marks the 150th anniversary of the "Civil War". In ROTC, we called that war "The War Between the States", which obviously is more accurate. Historically war is a necessary evil, however civil we try to make it seem or appear. With this in mind, the words for this week are:

"Liberty never meant the license to do anything at will."
                               ~Mahatma Gandhi~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness, by Book Soulmates

It's April sign-up time, if you have not done so!
This is such a great idea, for the spirit and for the world.
I have to admit that I love to trade books with others, for those very reasons. 
My Wish List is endless, but these are the ones I am listing:

*Swallow the Ocean (Flynn)
*Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Chua)
*Weekends at Bellevue (Holland)
*Firefly Cloak (Reynolds)
*Flowers for Elvis (Schuster)
*Irma Voth (Toews)

Here's hoping you get a wish granted!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Catfish Alley

Catfish Alley (ebook)by Lynne Bryant

Actions and deeds often resonate throughout history being felt for generations. Such is the case in Catfish Alley. While working on a community historical project, Roxanne Reeves must deal with the sins of the past and the scars of the present.  

Set in modern day Mississippi, the book is interwoven with recollections and memories of the 1930s South. The book deals with race, family, and friendships, both then and now. The characters are genuine and wise. The relationships are full of all that real life is made of.

Even when writing outside her realm of experience, Ms. Bryant’s observations are keen and accurate. She has done her homework. She has tried to depict the South with its people and history in a broader sense. She has done it well, and its people proud.

Simple Weight

by Tania Runyan

Tania Runyan bases this book of poetry on the Beatitudes of the Bible. However, as is the nature of poetry, it is not as simple as just that.

In this book, Tania gives us her interpretation, her personal viewpoint, illustrating them through her experiences. Whether speaking of something as simplistic as an insect or as important as her own child, she does so with her heart and soul.

Tania Runyan offers a poetry book that is indeed simple, yet it has weight.
I recommend it, wholeheartedly.  

New Button & Special Artwork!

I am very excited to have a brand new blog button! Please notice it, and even use it! It was specially designed and created by Regina . You can find her at:  She obviously does very nice work and is quite computer savvy. Thank you, Regina!! (I also want to thank Cheryl,  for  recommending Regina to me.)

I have also added a very special piece of artwork to my blog. This picture of a bookcase and cats was created by my dear friend, Andrea. Andrea is a brilliantly creative and generous soul. The picture is very true-to-life of my library/computer room, as she knows. I love it, and am sure that Maggie P., my Maine Coon polydactyl, and her minions Grizelda & Chloe approve as well. Thank you, Andrea. You are wonderful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Words for the Week

The words for the week come from a gifted and complex mind. Sadly, some very bright and creative spirits have burned out much too soon leaving us to wonder at the loss. Brilliance can make the darkness that follows seem that much more empty. Our only consolation is to try to learn from the lessons left in their wake.
The bright star known as Jimi Hendrix once said...

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bufflehead Sisters

Bufflehead Sistersby Patricia J. DeLois

As an only child, Janet longs for a sister. In Kindergarten she meets Sophie, also an only child but very unlike herself. As is often the case, opposites attract. Janet and Sophie become inseparable.

Due to Sophie’s tragic home life and unavailable parents, she spends much of her childhood in Janet’s home. There they are dubbed “The Bufflehead Sisters” by Janet’s bird watching father. He teaches them about life and nature, while Janet’s mother is forced to take on the responsibility of Sophie’s morals and values, as well as Janet’s.

As the girls grow, they continue in opposite directions, though remaining as close as sisters. Janet tries to make healthy choices, while Sophie goes through one disastrous situation after another.

Finally reaching adulthood, Janet finds out things about Sophie, including secrets she long kept hidden from Janet. These secrets change everything Janet thought she knew about Sophie, their friendship, their “sisterhood”, and their lives both together and apart.

I was totally absorbed in this unique coming of age novel. At turns funny and heartbreaking, Bufflehead Sisters will touch you and affect you.


Foster Child

by Dennis Harris

Dennis Harris takes on a heavy issue eloquently, in a surprisingly small book. However, he knows well of which he speaks. He lived it, and lives it still.

As a young child in Washington, D.C., Mr. Harris first became orphaned. From there he entered the foster care system.

In this powerful and important book, Mr. Harris tells us what it means to be a foster child, what it is like. He tells of his struggles with self esteem, and issues of trust and abandonment.

But this book is more than that. Dennis Harris tells of how he finds the courage to succeed, even excel. He went on to get a college education and marry a wonderful woman we come to know as “Peaches”. Together they raise seven children and foster many more.

Dennis Harris has seen the foster care system from both sides. Not only has he survived, he has thrived, to become a role model to others.

I applaud him.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April is National Poetry Month!

Enjoy! Here are some sites to get you started...


*The Poetry Foundation

*Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 14th