Posted in Writer Musings

Choices

All of my life I have been faced with decision after decision and making choices one way or the other.  I am sure, Dear Bloggites, that you have all been in this situation, it is called LIFE.  Throughout my life, every active choice I made had a specific reaction to it.  As my boys were growing up (and now my GrandKiddos), I always said this phrase, “For every action you make, there is a reaction, be it good or bad.” to remind them that their choices in life affect many things and not just one thing they are deciding on.

I have made plenty of bad choices in my lifetime but not all the bad choices had bad outcomes.  Both my boys were from choices I made when I was younger, and I do not regret those decisions in the least bit.  My life has been so enriched by my sons and will continue to be enriched for as long as I live.  I thank God every day for my boys and how well they turned out in spite of who raised them (me).

I have also made plenty of good choices in my lifetime and I continue to reap the benefits from those daily.  One of the greatest choices I made in my lifetime was to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior.  He has always seen me through, even when I had not accepted Him, and He continues to see me through daily.  Now, I still struggle with my timing verses His timing, but in the end, what is meant to happen, happens according to His plan for my life.

I am faced with some choices right now.  I do not know the current outcome because I have not made any decisions, but knowing the result of some of the decisions, I have put contingency plans into place.  That is something I recommend everyone doing, always have a contingency plan.  While one of my favorite phrases is the “For every action there is a reaction, be it good or bad” my ultimate phrase that I say and do is, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

choicesHoping for the best is a no brainer, everyone has hope the best, ultimate outcome will happen, unfortunately, the ‘best’ outcome is usually some form of happy ending in their life, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes the ‘best’ outcome is having to say good-bye to someone or something you love because you know it is for the best.  The best-case scenario I had to face was when my Dad was dying of Cancer.  I did not want to see him pass away, but I KNEW he would be better off if he did die.  This may sound heartless to some of you, but he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and I knew if my Dad died here on Earth, he would be in heaven celebrating a new body that will never give out on him.

Preparing for the worst is the hard part on my ultimate phrase of “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” because no one wants to face or deal with the worst-case scenario.  The death of a loved one, to many, is the worst-case scenario.  But preparing for the worst-case scenario forces you to think of all the possible outcomes of a situation and decide on which choice would be best to take if faced with the worst-case situation.  I am at that point right now.

I have many choices to make in the next couple of months.  These choices have good and bad outcomes, but I still have to make them.  In order for me to move forward in life for myself, my Autistic son, and my dog, I have to decide which choice to do so when and if I am faced with the worst case scenario, I will have my contingency plan in place and make that decision when the time comes.

I challenge you, Dear Bloggites, think about the choices you have made in your past and all the different possible outcomes that could have happened if the current one you are in did not take place.  Then, think about your life and what you want in the future.  Make some choices and plan the contingency plans to follow and then run with the results.  You only have one life to live, make it the best life you deserve and want!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose

“It took me a long time to learn that not all pain is pointless.” ~Rebecca Rose (in It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul)

It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul by Rebecca RoseHello, Dear Bloggites!  I know, I was supposed to make a post yesterday, but I intentionally delayed it for today because I am bringing you a special book review.  The author, Rebecca Rose, emailed me offering her latest book for free if I was willing to give an honest review of it after I was finished.  Of course, I do my best to never turn down a request for a review, but this one was extra special because I “met” Rebecca via email when she published her first book, I’ll Be Fine, and requested a review.

I loved that story so much, that I talk about it to this day!  So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read her newest release, It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul.  This is the author’s third book but second published under her name.  This book is a story of what the author has learned over time about life, belief, and self.  The book is formatted into a separate “love letter” for each topic.

This book was written in a loving, intimate style that made you feel as if you were sitting with the author while she explained what she has learned from life.  The pictures are a joy and will bring a smile to your face even if you think you are the grumpiest person alive.  Each letter has a theme in it and the author goes into detail about what journey she took to realized that specific theme i.e. true self, fear, laws of attraction, intention, etc.

I loved that even though this book is on spirituality, it is not preachy or skewed to one view or another, so it is written for all to read.  I enjoyed reading how the author found her way through situations and time.  So many people do not view “bad” or “hard” times as a learning experience and I think this book would help people realize that even though the situation may be less than optimal, it is always better in the end.

I give It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Great read for people looking for ways to deal with life. 🙂

P.S.  THANK YOU, Rebecca, for the Honor of reviewing your book! 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Easter Musings

Happy Easter, Ya’ll! 🙂  Today was a rare day and a glorious one.

I will start on the rare day first:

Today was a rare day because work was actually closed all day!  Last time we closed was on Christmas Day, so I decided we were off on Easter Sunday.  It was really nice to not have to get up and load the computer and start processing orders.  I was able to turn off my regular alarm, lazily wake up, and then have cuddle time with my dog, Ragonk.  I went to Bible Study class, then spent the afternoon with family.  It was wonderful!  I truly believe the mind and body need rest and with the industry that my business is in, it prevents that ability due to being a seven-day a week industry.  I feel the pressure of working seven days.  I am trying to create boundaries to allow my mind and body to get the needed rest and today was a first step on that journey. 🙂

What do you do to get the rest for your mind and body, Dear Bloggite?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, onto the glorious one:

Being a Christian, today I celebrated the Risen Christ after His crucifixion and three-days in the tomb.  Today reminds believers that Christ is alive and well and He has overcome death.  I have many friends who are Christians and many who are not, and one of the biggest differences I see in these two types of friends is the fear of death.  When you are not a believer in Christ, you view death as an ending with nothingness after.  When you are a believer in Christ, death is just the beginning of a life everlasting with Christ.  As a believer, I do not fear death, I welcome it when it is my time to go because I know I will go to a better place than this Earth.  That knowledge is so refreshing and having that knowledge, I rejoice in the life people lived after they pass and rejoice in their life everlasting if they are a believer.  It is amazing to be free of the fear of death and I wish everyone could feel that. 😀

What do you believe in, Dear Bloggites?  Do you celebrate life and death, or do you live with the fear of death each day of your life?  Share your belief in the comments below.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Cane River by Lalita Tademy

“Sometimes, while you wait for what you think is better, what is good enough slips away.” ~Philomene (in Lalita Tademy’s novel Cane River)

Woo Hooo!!! I am impressed I have been blogging consistently for a week or so, Dear Bloggites!  Go ME!  Okay, enough self-celebrating.  Today’s blog is over March’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice.  This month (YES, you read that right, I am caught up!), the book club chose to read Cane River by Lalita Tademy.

Cane River by Lalita TademyThe premise of this historic novel is about five different generations of a slave family, specifically, the women-folk, and how they were treated by their plantation owners and white people in general just because of their skin color.  This book was INTENSE!  The time-frame is from the 1830s to the 1930s.  The backdrop was in Louisiana on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne.  The four main women in the book were Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily.

The author, Lalita Tademy, created this work of fiction based on stories she heard about her great, great, great, great grandmother, who happened to be the girl in the fifth generation in the book.  While the time and experiences shared in the book were based on historical facts, the story line itself was a work of fiction created from the author’s own mind on how life might have been like for her great, great, great, great grandmother.

I normally do not like reading books like this, however, I found myself enjoying the dynamics of each complex character and how the women found a way to overcome what life threw at them no matter how the dice rolled against them.  I found this a very emotional read and enjoyed the book until the end.  The end pissed me off so much that I threw the book across the room.  It ended with one of the female characters “Rosa Park”-ing the bus.  No flack against Rosa Park and no jab meant to that movement, I just felt that it was wrong to end the book in that manner.

I give Cane River by Lalita Tademy 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I only recommend this book to avid readers that love the history of the Civil War time.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Here’s What I know; Here’s What I Believe

Here is what I know: People Suck

We as a human race are so self-centered and self-focused on what “I want” and what’s “In it for me?” and what “I am entitled to” and on and on and on.

GET OVER YOURSELF!!!

The “I, I, I” and “Me, Me, Me” mentality is so over the top!  And I grew up in the 80s – the most materialistic era of “Beautiful People”!

Here is what I believe: People are Amazing

Every individual is amazingly unique and provides something worth knowing – no matter how small.

EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUENESS!!!

I believe every person out there has a desire to spread happiness and/or joyful encouragement.  I mean, Everyone really wants World Peace! 🙂

I love to meet people where they are in their life journey and then continue with them onto the next level of self together.

Here is what I live: Rule #32 – Appreciate the Little Things in Life

I live each day with a purpose and one thought in mind when I wake up – make a difference for just one person.

DO YOU, BABY!!!

I wake up every morning believing I make a difference no matter what.  Each action, each word, each gesture I make has an impact.  Even if all I do in a day is to organize the haphazard shopping carts in the cart zone, I believe that random act made a difference for the employee responsible for collecting all the carts because I helped them for a moment in their life on the job.

Here is what I find: It Is Not Easy

I suffer from chronic pain daily and many times I wake up to a rebellious broken body that the thought of simply moving is the last thing I want to do.

I HAVE TO CHOOSE!!!

I choose to make a point of making a difference, especially on those pain filled days, I especially need to intentionally follow Rule #32 because I believe that when a simple act is done, it creates a ripple – as if a single rain drop lands on a still pond – that ripple spreads.  As it spreads, I know it will return back to me in such an amazing way that for a moment, I forget People Suck and I remember Each Person is Unique and they provide something worth knowing – no matter how small.

My Challenge to you, Dear Bloggites, is this: Take today and intentionally do a random act of kindness, no matter how small, because it is how we all can Appreciate the Little Things in Life #Rule32. 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

Hello, Dear Bloggites!  I am back!  This book review is over the Books & Broads Book Club choice for May.  I am getting closer to the current month and I hope to finish June-October in the next five days.  I know, big challenge, but I am up for it now that I got my reading groove back on. 🙂

The Secret Wife by Gill PaulMay’s Book Club choice was The Secret Wife by Gill Paul.  I was dreading this one because it was once again a historical fiction novel set in the years 1914-2016.  Now, not all the years were touched like that last novel we read, but most of them were a chapter in the book.  Gill Paul wrote this book in a toggle effect between past and present which I am not a big fan of, but it was in the third person so that softened the blow.

The Secret Wife is about a love found, lost, and found again between Grand Duchess, Tatiana Romanov, and a Calvary Officer, Dmitri Malama, as well as, about a woman, Kitty Fisher, who has left her husband after he cheated on her and caused her to go to America and start to uncover the true story of her Great Grandfather, Dmitri.

The backdrop of the story is the war between Russia and Germany and the unrest of the citizens under the Romanov rule.  Dmitri and Tatiana first became acquainted when he was wounded in battle and she was assisting all the nurses to care for the soldiers who were brought in from the battlefield.  As the book toggles back to present day, you follow Kitty and her struggle to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity while finding out more secrets as she renovates her Great Grandfather’s cabin.

Gill Paul did a great job at creating complex characters which pulled at the reader’s emotions.  You rooted for true love to win out for Tatiana and Dmitri while rooting for Kitty to come to terms with what she actually wants to do with her life.  The imagery was well written for the readers and Gill Paul stayed true to what was known from historical documents while taking liberties with the “What if?” questions of the people you were reading about.

I enjoyed reading this novel and am always enthralled with the history of the world as I read these types of novels.  I may not be a hardcore Historical Fiction lover, but I think I am growing a crush on it. 🙂

I give The Secret Wife by Gill Paul 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

“Loss, once it’s become a certainty, is like a rock you hold in your hand.  It has weight and dimension and texture.” ~Frank Drum (in William Kent Krueger’s novel Ordinary Grace)

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. ~Aeschylus

Hello, Dear Bloggites! 🙂  January’s Books & Broads Book Club book was Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (yes, I am caught up with the readings, FINALLY).  I was hesitant to read this book because of the horrendous pick from November that took me over a month to read (not to mention a month before I even picked it up to read).  I am so glad that I did read this book.

ordinary-grace-by-william-kent-kruegerOrdinary Grace is a novel that tells the story of a young boy, Frank Drum, who is coming-of-age in 1961.  During the summer of ’61, Frank and his younger brother, Jake, learned the hard truths about death in various forms: accidental, natural, suicide, and murder.  Frank was 13 years old during this time and the story is told from his point of view.  Yes, the book is written in first person (you all know how I feel about that) and it worked.  The way the author, William Kent Krueger, wrote the story made you feel as if you were sitting in your living room having a conversation with Frank about his summer.

The author wrote with wonderful imagery throughout the novel and the reader felt as if he was right there feeling the breeze on their face or smelling the river.  The story keeps the reader engaged with Frank and Jake’s antics that wound up placing them in precarious positions and involving them knee deep in the active investigations.  Frank’s father, Nathan, is a preacher, and throughout the novel the reader learns about what ordinary grace is from the way the he handles every situation, no matter how bad, in life to how he drew strength from his faith in God.

The characters in the story are well developed and have unique personalities that are relatable.  From past loves to current loves to love lost, each person in the book handle each situation differently.  Some shut down, others got angry, and some just crumbled under the loss and fear.  From cover to cover, the reader will want to keep on this journey no matter how heart-wrenching it may be.  William Kent Krueger wrote the novel so that no one can really figure out the mystery of who-dun-it until the very end.

I read this book in three sittings only because I was super busy with work but I am so glad that I read it! 🙂  I love falling in love with characters that are so personable you think you truly know them and this book provided that.  I also love reading a good mystery that keeps me guess and this book provided that.  I also love reading about internal strength derived from one’s faith when faced with life’s troubles, and this book provided that.

I give Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Go out and get a copy, Dear Bloggites, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P