Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Live Alone And Like It by Marjorie Hillis

“There is nothing like a good domestic background for producing results.” ~Marjorie Hillis

Circa 1936, women were finding their footing in the World of Man and finding they were liking the freedom, independence, and individuality of being on their own and not dependent upon a man to live their life.  This new world of independence brought on many questions about exactly how a woman should act and be when they live alone.

live-alone-and-like-it-by-marjorie-hillisMarjorie Hillis heard these questions and answered them with her book Live Alone and Like It.  From fighting off loneliness to proper etiquette on how one should act in the presence of a suitor, this book discusses it all.  I just happened by a review on this book and it sounded interesting and quirky and so I bought me a copy to see what all the hub-bub was about.  I am so glad I did!

Being a single woman in today’s age of online dating (which I refuse to do), constant electronic busyness (I have gotten better about staying constantly plugged it), and demands from everyday life (still trying to find the balance), I struggle with finding time for just me.  This book helped open my eyes to the fact that I must take the time to ‘do me’.  As all the ladies know, when you take the time to look good, you feel good about yourself, and life seems easier.

Live Alone and Like It has some great advice for the single woman out there.  Not only does the author, Marjorie Hillis, explain how a “Liver-Alone” has to manage life on their own, she also discusses how life of a single man and life of a single woman differ.  Single women need to take the initiative to get together with friends instead of waiting for the invitation to come their way.

One of the first lines in the book says it all starts with the attitude.  If you do not have the right attitude when you live alone, you will be overtaken by the negative mindset of depression, desolation, self-loathing, and loneliness.  Will you feel some of these things, especially loneliness, at times-yes.  Will the advice and tools help you know how to defeat it-of course!

The book contains practical advice in every area of struggle a woman may feel when she is living alone and having to fend for herself.  Along with the practical advice, the author provides examples and answers to the most asked questions a woman may have.  The only thing a reader may find as an issue is some examples are dated for the time the book was written, but overall, the advice given in Live Alone and Like It can be used and put into practice in today’s society.

I give Live Alone and Like It by Marjorie Hillis 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Give it a read, Dear Bloggites, you will enjoy the whimsy nature of the writing along with the practical advice.

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Everybody is a good person and a bad person at the same time.  The only real variation is in the balance.  How much good to how much bad.  When a person has a bigger good side, we call him a good person.  But it’s never absolute. ~August Shroeder (in Catherine Ryan Hyde’s book Take Me With You)

Only a few days delayed on posting August’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice.  I will get back on track with September’s book, I promise, Dear Bloggites.

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan HydeAugust’s book club choice was Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Once again the author of Pay It Forward, hit a homerun from the ball park.  Take Me With You is about a burned out school teacher name August Shroeder.  Every summer, August would travel with his son, Phillip, except this summer.

After losing his son, Phillip, August stopped drinking all together and is now on the recovery path from his alcoholic days.  On this summer trip, August planned on going to Yellowstone to spread the ashes of his son.  At the beginning of this rough trip, the RV breaks down and he is introduced to Wes and his two boys, Seth and Henry.  Wes has a strange request for August.  He asks August to take his two boys with him on his trip because Wes will be going to jail for the summer and the boys have nowhere else to go.

This is just the beginning of the storyline in this novel.  As you can figure out, the boys join August on his trip and all three of their lives are changed forever.  During the journey, August finds out Wes is an alcoholic and this trip to jail is not his first according to his sons.  As August learns from the boys, they learn from him and a lifelong relationship is born.

Catherine Ryan Hyde did a wonderful job at creating characters with such depth in this novel.  Each character has their own uniqueness about them that endears them to the readers.  During the journey, the author did a good job explaining the different things the kids experienced and saw through the main character, August.  The reader is able to learn something without being overwhelmed or distracted from the storyline.

While this book touches on alcoholism and AA Meetings, the focus is not on the disease but on the relationships being built from the experiences each character has by living with alcoholism in their lives.  At times, the book seemed to drag but for the majority of the read, the storyline was in constant motion.

The story is written in the third person (which I love) and is a bit on the touchy-feely side.  I normally do not prefer touchy-feely stories, but this one was not so much that it distracted the reader from the true purpose of the book, relationship building during times of trouble and loss.

I give Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you are looking for something new, give this book a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Familial Unit

A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Final Good-Bye

“I will be right by my Dad’s side, covering his six.  I Love You, Dad, you will survive for many years to come if I have anything to say or do about it.” ~Me, November 21, 2015

Event-01-CD1We only made 9 months, Dad.  My heart is empty without you here with me.

Our Journey together was short-lived but full of many fun and scary memories.

On November 21, 2015, I wrote my first blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Battle, and almost nine months to that day, I felt my Dad take his last breath.

On February 17, 2016, I wrote my second blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Twist, in which I shared with you, Dear Bloggites, that my Dad’s Doctor told me he was on his downhill slope and we had to take it one day at a time now.  The doctor also told me he did not want any of my family members to even inquire about “three months from now” because he could not guarantee that my Dad would be here in three months.

We made it 6 months, Dad.  I still cannot believe you are not here with me.

Our Battle together was strong, I kept your six until the very end.

It was a Monday morning, July 11, 2016.  See, Dad was struck down by a massive stroke followed by many mini-strokes out of left field.  We were not expecting that at all.  I rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital that specialized in strokes.  We were in the hospital fighting this new battle my Dad faced for almost a week.

The following Saturday, July 16, 2016, my Dad’s doctor pulled me aside late at night and informed me that if Dad stayed like he currently was (not eating, barely drinking) he had three to seven days to live, three to fucking seven days!  The doctor went on to say if Dad started to eat and drink, we maybe had a few weeks left!  He recommended Hospice because we were at the end of the journey with Dad.

Hospice?  Put Dad on Hospice?  He was just laughing and teasing me two weeks ago and now the damn doctor is telling me we are at the end!

My brain could not compute what was being said.  He just wanted two more years!

We had a family meeting (at this point every one of my brothers and sisters were in town and at the hospital with Mom), and on Sunday, July 17, 2016, we all, sans one, agreed to put Dad on Hospice.  He came home July 18, 2016, Monday, a week after the first massive stroke that put him in the hospital for the last time.

We made it 1 month, Dad.  I feel lost without you here with me.

Our twists were many during this journey and we faced them together side-by-side.

On August 19, 2016, my journey with my Dad ended.  The battles we fought have left scars on my heart and soul, scars that will never fully heal.  My Dad, My Hero, My Constant Companion passed from this life into the Ever After.

He took his final breath at 6:47am; officially pronounced dead at 8:32am.

My hand was on his chest feeling his heart beat until it beat no more.

Now, I must continue this Journey alone, with only fond memories and a huge empty space in my heart.  I Love You, Daddy!  Keep up the party with the J-Dude until I can join in!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

15 Minutes of Fame-Revisited

Above is a picture I took a few years ago.  It received some national coverage due to an incident that had happened at the beginning of the Baseball Season that year.  My friend, John, Tweeted the picture with a little blub to a few known sports writers as well as blogged about it on his blog site, Goin’ To The John.  I enjoyed my 15-minutes of fame and would like to share that memory with you, Dear Bloggites.  Never give up your dreams, your 15-minutes can happen at any moment, too…

Two years ago today, I had my 15 minutes of fame, my viral moment, in this social media driven world. We are probably all destined for one, at least according to Andy Warhol, and he made that claim before Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube existed – let alone the concept of the internet. Or the “information […]

via Cut Flowers — Goin’ To The John

Posted in Familial Unit

The Road To Recovery…

…is full of twists, and turns, and loop-de-loops.

Hello, Dear Bloggites.  I am sitting here in the hospital with my Dad, yet again.  We have become frequent fliers, he and I.  So much so, the name tag on the door states, “This patient is a star patient, he gets star treatment” followed by the fact he can have a snack at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight.  Such a frequent flyer are we that the doctors walk in, see me and state, “The important one is here” or “Good to see you again” or “Hey! How have you been” as if greeting a good friend you are fond of.

Yes, this is our life and as hard as it is to live, I would not change a thing of it.  The reason I would not change it is very simple.  It means my Dad is still alive.  It means my Dad has not given up.  It means my Dad is a fighter.

I struggle everyday watching him.   He fights each day and I fight alongside him to help assist where I can.  We make it through each day and rejoice when he doesn’t “wake up dead” (his preferred method of dying, “I want to just wake up dead one day”).  I am proud of the fact that he is fighting death with all he has, yet, I am saddened that this fight – no matter how grand – is weakening him more each day.

It is a quandary.

Our life paradox.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Zesty E.M.O.T.I.O.N.

Zesty E.M.O.T.I.O.N.: Exuberant, Mesmerizing, Opinionated, Tantalizing, Interesting, Overzealous, Nonconformist
#BloggiteBits-Zesty Emotion
Zesty E.M.O.T.I.O.N.

Most people do not associate the word ‘zesty’ with emotions, however, I believe there are times where we all experience a form of emotions that seem zesty and exciting.  In the final installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to share with you a few words that truly express a Zesty E.M.O.T.I.O.N. and how you can incorporate these emotions into your daily life: Exuberant, Mesmerizing, Opinionated, Tantalizing, Interesting, Overzealous, & Nonconformist.

 

Exuberant: Having an exuberant emotion is something most people experience but think it is something else.  Whenever you are feeling extraordinarily happy about something, you are feeling an exuberant emotion.  Sharing your exuberance with others will only help them tap into their personal exuberant emotion.  Exuberance is a bit like a sneeze, once one person does it/shows it more follow suit.

Mesmerizing: Everyone has experienced a mesmerizing person at least once in their lifetime.  That person that you cannot stop watching or listening to is exuding a mesmerizing emotion to you.  Having a mesmerizing emotion is something you do not really notice (some of you might) because it is more of the impact you have on others versus you intentionally showing an emotion.  You can share your mesmerizing emotion by simply taking in your surroundings, assessing the situation, and sharing your ideas on how to proceed or correct the problem.  A take charge person exudes a mesmerizing emotion for others to see.

Opinionated: Everyone is opinionated.  You cannot deny this fact of being opinionated because the denial in itself is an opinion of yours.  There is a big difference with being opinionated and being judgmental.  Sharing your opinions should always be done in a respectful manner.  A proper opinionated emotion is shared by keeping your tone respectful, providing facts that support your opinion, and above all, share with an open-mind to be able to hear the differing opinions others have and find a compromise.

Tantalizing: Having a tantalizing emotion means you find intrigue in the simplest of things and help others find the intrigue as well.  When you share something that provokes an interest in something, you are expressing a tantalizing emotion for others to see and embrace.  Be sure to always share things that challenge others to think outside the box and venture into the realm of possibility even if it may seem impossible.

Interesting: Having an interesting emotion means you cause others to engage in a curiosity of what you are discussing.  Interesting emotions work similarly to the mesmerizing emotion, your words and actions cause others to pause and take notice.  Always try to engage others with an interesting emotion because it brings about a melding of minds to dream of something more.

Overzealous: An overzealous emotion is one that shows your eagerness and enthusiasm for something or someone.  Bring that overzealous emotion into all that you do will bring more joy and passion back into your life.  Share with others your passions and happiness about things in your life and in turn ask them about theirs.  Soon you will both experience the overzealous emotion in your lives.

Nonconformist: Having a nonconformist emotion in life means you dance to the beat of your own drum.  You do not just follow others blindly in life.  You keep your independent thinking while listening to others.  Share your nonconformist emotion by always questioning the status quo and be sure to gather all known information before accepting something as truth or facts.  The world will be a better place when you use your nonconformist emotion with all things in life.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Young D.E.S.I.R.E.

Young D.E.S.I.R.E.: Devoted time, Eager to please, Special feelings, Intense reaction, Reverent acts, Enthusiastic love
#BloggiteBits
#BloggiteBits-Young Desire
Young D.E.S.I.R.E.

Oh to be young and foolish again.  Or not.  Being young has its good and bad sides.  The good: youth, energy, physical fitness, and an inconsequential mind of death.  The bad: inexperience, naivety of the world, reckless, and an inconsequential mind to death.  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to help you tap into the good parts of Young D.E.S.I.R.E. to bring some of the wonders of youth back into your life: Devoted time, Eager to please, Special feelings, Intense reaction, Reverent acts, & Enthusiastic love.

 
Devoted time: Think back, Dear Bloggites, to your youth (for some not too long ago for others it may seem like a lifetime ago).  Are you there?  Remember when you could devote your time to whatever you were currently interested in?  Be it school, family, relationships, friendships, you were able to provide total devoted time to the interest.  To tap back into your young desire for life, you just have to give your all into whatever activity you are interested in.  If you have a busy life (like most of us), look over your schedule and find a time each day to devote to the passion of choice you are currently involved in.  You will find that allowing yourself time to chase your dreams and passions, you will have a much lighter and stronger desire to embrace life.
 
Eager to please: Remember a moment in your youth where you were smitten with the puppy love that only the young experience?  That eager to please mentality found during the “puppy love” stage in relationships is actually a good thing.  Busy lives (like we all have) tend to prevent you from really getting outside yourself and into the world of others.  To tap back into your young desire and eagerness to please others, all you have to do is respond to someone in a positive way when they ask you for help or even a simple question.  Being eager to please does not mean you allow yourself to be walked all over or taken advantage of by others, it just means you show an eagerness to make someone’s day a little better by providing a simple act of kindness or service.  You will find your outlook on life begin to show a positive view on your day to day activities.
 
Special feelings: The giddiness, the joy, the butterflies, and anticipation of seeing your special someone you had a crush on when you were younger-sweet feelings, indeed!  Most people do not feel that carefree giddiness of emotions as adults, but I challenge you to reach deep inside your soul and reawaken that special feeling again.  To tap back into your special feelings, you just need to remind yourself of the good qualities of the person or people you are interacting with daily.  There is a reason you have the people you have in your life and I bet it is because of some special quality that caused your feelings to attach to each person individually.  Make an effort to focus on the special qualities of each person you are blessed to come into contact with.  Life is a gift to all of us and you will find that your view of people will be less tarnished when you actively look for the special quality of each person.
 
Intense reaction: “Shock! Thrill! Oh MY!” fills your senses throughout your body as a younger you feels that first intense reaction to someone or something.  Oh, beloved youth of yesteryear, wherever have you gone.  Nothing beats the thrill of feeling such strong, overpowering emotions that an intense reaction provides a person.  I am not just referencing a physical attraction sensation, I am referencing the sensations that course through our mind and bodies when dealing with people or situations.  Intense reactions can be a wide range of feelings.  No matter what those feelings were when you were younger, they had an impact in your life.  To tap back into your wide range of intense reactions, you just need to open up your emotional floodgate and feel each sensation.  I am sure the emotional sensations that show up are the ones we usually stomp down as we grow older: awe, joy, giddiness, appreciation, love, hope…all these positive emotions are sadly repressed as a person grows up and has to “act like an adult” in life.  Embrace those long forgotten intense reactions and be prepared to embrace a freer-feeling you.
 
Reverent acts: Reverent acts sound so serious, however, a reverent act as a young child is that of a child believing their parents are all powerful and nothing can defeat them.  I am sure you can think back on a time when you witnessed something spectacular that a parent or grandparent did.  That feeling of overwhelming love and admiration washed over you and you looked at the person who caused those emotions as if they were a fairy tale hero come to life.  The pure intellectual honesty you felt as a child is where you felt the emotions stirred by the reverent acts you witnessed.  To tap back into your reverent acts mentality, you have to open yourself up to the pure intellectual honesty and begin to see all the everyday heroes inside the people you interact with daily.
 
Enthusiastic love: Enthusiastic love was the giddy joy you felt as a child when a person you were enamored with talked to you.  Did you know, Dear Bloggites, that there is a mature kind of enthusiastic love?  Well there is.  To tap back into your mature enthusiastic love, you just have to add a little rose-colored glasses to your mind’s eye when dealing with others.  The mature enthusiastic love is the ability to embrace someone else’s success as if it was your own.  I am a firm believer that we should always build each person we engage with up to help them reach the next level of them on their journey in life.
~4-Ever, P