Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Class Act

I know many many many people don't like Tim Tebow, I can't figure out why but there it is. I mean to me he seems like the kind of guy I would LOVE for one of my daughters to bring home. Intelligent, goodlooking, athletic and what looks to be a really just good guy. But for all that he is vilified on a regular basis. More so than even those that commit atrocious crimes. I won't mention the obvious ones that have remained in the press but think about Donte Stallworth, killed a person while he was drunk and driving and he gets 30 days and is currently playing for the New England Patriots.. This man, broke the law and committed DUI manslaughter why is it no one has ever said anything about that? And Tim gets reamed why? Oh yeah because he is a man of faith.. Don't tell me that's not why he is getting all the "bad" press.. 

And yet time and time again he steps up to the plate and responds with class.. I read an article by Jay Hart over at Yahoo Sports and really liked his response to the Tebow bashing... here are a few:

"On the field and off, Tebow's most scandalous act has been – wait for it – being himself.
He's not a prototypical quarterback, doesn't have the strongest arm or the best accuracy, and for that he's been castigated for the egregious act of trying. 

What a jerk! 

When a teammate anonymously called him a "terrible" quarterback, Tebow responded by saying, "It's not always fun having people saying negative things about you, but you try to be stronger from it." 

Clearly he has anger management issues. 

When the Denver Broncos kicked him to the curb after rallying a 1-4 team to the playoffs, replacing him with a future, albeit injured Hall of Famer, Tebow lashed back at his former team by saying, "First and foremost, I just want to thank the Denver Broncos for my time there." And then, "I understand what they were going through. You don't get many opportunities to have a chance to sign Peyton Manning. What a great quarterback he is."

What a bitter man Tebow is. 

And when the Jets relegated him to the roll of promotional pawn, parking him on the bench until they decided to utilize him in the wildcat formation in the worst of ways, Tebow agreed to play the upback on the Jets' punt team. 

What a prima donna. 

With nothing but role-model tales to go on, the vultures have taken to bashing Tebow under the guise of critiquing his quarterback ability. But even that's proven to be transparent. 

"Here's what happened in New York: They didn't realize how bad Tim Tebow was," Hoge said in his continued rant. "Once he comes in there and they got to see the sampling, they're like, 'Oh my gosh.' Not only can he not play quarterback, he's not really a good football player." 

What other player gets that kind of "critique," especially one who's coming off a season in which he finished 8-5 as a starter (including a victory in the playoffs)?
Maybe Tebow isn't good enough to be an NFL quarterback, but the "experts" who proclaim to know unequivocally that he isn't don't really know. In fact, the only evidence there is says otherwise. He has won in the NFL. He's done it more times than not, and he's done it despite being set up to fail. Heck, he was the best player on a pair of national championship teams that, last I checked, played in a conference that produces an awful lot of NFL players. 

Truth is, when it comes to hating Tebow, it's never about hating him, because really what is there to hate? He's a nice guy who gives of himself and doesn't have anything bad to say about anybody. Seriously, he's been criticized more than LeBron James' "Decision." "

And with all this the thing that upsets Tim the most? The slander on his character not his football playing.. here is his response

""You work your whole life to build a reputation," Tebow said Wednesday. "Then people try to bring you down when they don't understand even what happened. It's disappointing. You just want to express your side of the story. … You want people to look at what really happened, not what one person said." 

Oh, but this won't stop the vultures. They'll keep swirling, keep their eyes peeled for the next slip up, because, you know, the world just can't stand to have any more Tim Tebows running around. "

Nope they want Donte Stallworth and Michael Vick and... I mean who among us wants our children to grow up to be articulate young men with convictions and morals? 

I have to wonder why the news needs to vilify this young man just doing his best? I have a theory and it isn't a pretty one. It's because he insists upon living up to his faith and proclaiming it! He is an inspiration to those who believe in Christ.. but because we have become a nation that is determined to bash Christians, we can't accept that he is just who and what he says he is. Just days after we celebrated the birth of Jesus it is a shame that we insist upon mocking those who chose to walk in His footsteps..


Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Oreo really does have all the answers!!

So I was doing my usual peruse of my facebook friends and family when I saw a post that sent me into convulsions.. Yes I was laughing so hard my body literally shook!!! Thought I would share it with you all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit is Here, The Hobbit is Here

While I have certain reservations about this movie.. I am still just a tad excited that finally it has been made. I was 10 years old when my 5th grade teacher read us this book. One chapter a day, every day after lunch. I fell in love... from that moment on I read Tolkien, anything Tolkien. I read the book to my kids as a bed time story when they were 3, 5, 7 and 9. Of course later I firmly suggested that the read LotR.. The older two like to brag that they read the books BEFORE the movie came out. Me, I read The Hobbit 40 years before it came out.. LotR.. 30.

I have to thank Mrs Gerace, who made a difference in my life by reading me this book. I know she has passed away but still, she was a teacher who made a difference.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Wonderful Christmas Story

This is not my story to tell, I do not know these people.. I am just hoping that it is true.. BUT.. I found this on Facebook.. and thought it was so very precious and wanted to share this moment..

For all of us who have had crying/sleeping babies when it's time to meet Santa

"My mother and I had braved the mall (on a Saturday in December of all days) in hopes of capturing a picture of my 8 month old son, Kiptyn "meeting" Santa. We stood in line for over 30 minutes waiting for our turn. Of course, 5 mins before our turn to meet Santa, Kiptyn fell asleep!! Part of me thought we should just get out of line & avoid wasting anyone else's time that busy Saturday, but as we went to leave Santa gestured us over. I handed Kiptyn to my Mom & grabbed my camera. I was escorted outside of the fenced area in order to snap my own shots. What happened next will be one of my all time favorite memories of Christmas... Santa grabbed his book & slowly laid back into his oversized chair. He then silently motioned for my Mom to lay Kiptyn on his stomach. Kiptyn stirred for a moment and I thought he'd wake for sure. Santa hushed him & Kiptyn's little arms fell into such a peaceful position. After we finished taking pictures we heard a round of applause from the crowd that had gathered around below & above in the rotunda. I just wish this jolly ol' man could know how truly special he is. I can honestly say that I believe in Santa and the magic of the holiday season again. I'd just like for everyone to see how special the Santa at the Boise Towne Square mall really is. Happy Holidays to all!" from the FB pictures of Sarah Pasley..

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peterson Farm Bros

My daughter, Word Girl, shared this video on her Facebook page. It is funny, clever and yes as far as I am concerned a Joyful Noise to The Lord..

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The More Things Change...

When I was in High School.. way back when.. there was a policy.. It focused on the entire separation of church and state concept. You know the one that was NEVER mentioned in the constitution? Anyway, they refused to allow us to have a Bible Study on campus. While all other clubs and groups were allowed this one wasn't. We fought, we petitioned and eventually the battle was won. I was not amongst the winners of that battle because I had transferred to a Private Christian High School, obviously having a Bible Study on campus was no longer an issue. But this battle stuck with me..

The reasoning was that because it was a "religious" group it was violating the constitutional rights of those who didn't believe. Not sure how that could be as it was a voluntary group of students who just wanted to share like minded beliefs. No on was forcing anyone to attend and certainly the school was not mandating it. It was on these arguments that the group won.

Skip ahead a generation, my daughter had a Bible Study at her HS.. and yes since it was a school club, they needed a sponsor and even though the sponsor was a Christian she was not allowed to participate in any way. She was there to unlock the doors, turn on the lights and make sure no school rules were broken, that was it. I had no problem with this.. it would have been nice had she been allowed to participate but I understand the basic rules. The thing is all the kids knew she shared their beliefs and would stand for them. They understood that while she was limited in that room, she was on their side in so many ways. Can you imagine the discomfort and dismay, even discouragement these kids would have had, if the sponsor didn't believe as they did. Say, the sponsor was an agnostic, an atheist.. shoot even a person of another faith.. It would underline them in some very insidious ways.. they would know.. they would fear sharing things.. and yes many might stop coming..

Now Vanderbilt University has instated a policy that requires religious student groups to accept leaders regardless of their faith, even requiring Christian groups to allow atheist leadership. The school has outrageously compared these Christian groups to segregationists. There is a petition being sent to Vanderbilt that says..

"To: Vanderbilt University
You have compared Christian student groups to segregationists because they want the same rights as other Christian organizations in America — the same rights the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed this year — the right to use faith-based criteria when selecting leaders. We demand that you immediately reverse your new policy that discriminates against these students."

If you want to support the rights of these individuals, if you want to ensure that everyone's Constitutional rights are secure.. that yes even Christians are allowed their faith.. you can go HERE to sign the petition.


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Chance of a Lifetime

Such an exciting opportunity! Word Girl has been given the opportunity to spend her summer in Peru. Yes Eight entire weeks discovering the mysteries of the rainforest! She will be traveling with Operation Wallacea

Where she will be PP101 Biodiversity Monitoring in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Research Assistants on this project will be based on the research ship and will need to be prepared for the hot and humid conditions of the Amazonian rainforest. Whilst some respite can be found on the boat where the fan-cooled cabins, showers and food provide a retreat from the tough working conditions, the main reward is the opportunity to see and work with such a huge range of birds and animals, including the larger, and more rare, animals such as pumas, primates and tapirs.

 There is a large team of mainly Peruvian researchers based on the research ship with nine different research programmes running. Research Assistants signing up for the various projects will help on all the projects over the course of their stay. There is a strong research atmosphere on the boat with teams coming and going at all times of day and night on various research tasks.

 Research tasks which require volunteer manpower include:, spotlight surveys for caimans and diet studies of this species (which necessitates capture of the caimans through noosing), transect surveys for the abundant Pink and Grey River Dolphins and an elusive population of manatees at this site, mist netting surveys of the bird communities utilising the forest understory, transect counts of wading birds, point counts of macaws as indicators of forest fruiting, gill net surveys of
fish communities, standardised searching surveys to characterise the amphibian communities, land based transect counts of primates, large mammals and game birds as indicators of levels of exploitation, checking 20 camera traps run at a variety of habitats and depending on water level. In addition to these surveys there are dissertation studies where assistance may also be required - for example assisting with behavioural data observations on the primate species.

After her "official" trip is over she will be stopping in Machu Picchu to explore the ancient ruins..

Does this sound like the most fantastic of trips? Well I am sure it will be.. Of course there are expenses involved and we have started a fund raising push to help her cover those expenses. If anyone is interested in donating.. please click on our donating button.. It will show here in this post as well as on the side.. Thanks for all your support whether it be verbal or financial


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Get off the computer! and have a Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Who Knew that Football was Like Ice Dancing?

It's November and the College Football season is coming to an end. Right now there are three premier teams that are undefeated. The way the system is set up, one of these teams will be S.O.L... why? Because the way they determine a national championship is mind boggling. It brings to mind the former Ice Dancing System. Where basically the only way you could ever win was to be a Russian Team.. You had to wait years for your turn and even then it was almost impossible to break through. Why? Well because it was a judging system held in secret. No one really understood how and why decisions were made.

For years people, men especially, have mocked Ice Dancing.. saying it isn't really a sport because well it's judged and it's subjective. Tell me how is it different from the current system BCS system? How can they decide upon a top team when it's biased? When you can loose out as number one because you lost a game LAST year? When it depends on opinions, polls and some really sketchy computer programs that no one understands. And of course a system that does everything possible to ensure a SEC team gets in the top two? Makes me wanna scream in some man's ear.. hey buddy.. guess what? If we go by your definition.. football isn't a sport.. It's JUDGED.

"The polls themselves are an unquestioned mess. Through the years they’ve proven to be ripe with bias, confusion, groupthink and voters of weak credentials. Coaches regularly admit that media relations directors and secretaries fill out their ballots. Since no coach has the free time to watch any game not involving next week’s opponent, this may actually be a good thing.
The polls also lack a set list of criteria for voters to follow – is it more important how you win, who you beat, how you lose, where you win, etc.? It’s up to whatever each individual voter decides, which adds subjectivity to the subjectivity.
That’s where “style points” come in, which, much to Kelly’s chagrin, tends to be awarded to teams that put up big offensive numbers and sizable margins of victory."

Sound familiar? Yeah me too.. sounds an awful lot like the ice dancing rules of old.

 "figure skating was formerly judged on a 6.0 scale. This scale is sometimes called "the old scale", or "old system". Skaters were judged on "technical merit" (in the free skate), "required elements" (in the short program), and "presentation" (in both programs). The marks for each program ran from 0.0 to 6.0 and were used to determine a preference ranking, or "ordinal", separately for each judge; the judges' preferences were then combined to determine placements for each skater in each program. The placements for the two programs were then combined, with the free skate placement weighted more heavily than the short program. The lowest scoring individual (based on the sum of the weighted placements) was declared the winner."

What's a girl gotta do to get a playoff?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Living Off the Grid, Part Three Transportation

I have a friend who is taking a class. Not sure the exact term but it's a biology class and her most recent environment is about living off the grid, so she got me thinking. What does that mean to you? When we were kids it meant, living with the hippies in the hills in Laguna Canyon, or running or to a commune (usually in Oregon.. hey that's where California sent all it's crazies) or escaping to Montana or Idaho..come on you know what I mean.. But by today's standards living off the grid within society is the dream..

As this topic really got to me I am going to write my own thoughts about it in a three or four part blog (not sure how long this will capture little old ADD me so it's three or four for now)

Part Three... Transportation

There was a joke going around when I was a kid that has stuck with me for my entire life. When everyone was heading for the moon they talked about what was left there. I can't remember the entire joke but it went along these lines, The Russians left (insert object here), The English left (again insert object here) and the Americans, well they left a car. As I said I don't remember the entire joke but the car comment has remained permanently entrenched in my mind. Why? Well face it Americans love their cars and for some reason refuse to consider the ramifications of what they are doing to our ecosystem. Sure, there is the argument that cows produce more methane and do more damage to the world than cars but the fact remains, one we can do something about and one we can't. Why do we refuse to seek alternative fuel? Why do we allow big business and the oil companies to run our lives? Consider how many lives have been lost in the fight for oil and the resentment of Americans around the world in oil producing countries. Imagine that we could give them what they want and leave them alone. Create a cleaner, greener alternative fuel and take America out of the oil business. Oh sure there will be a need for the oil around the world but by removing one of the largest users we allow for growth without further damage. In fact we provide an alternative, affordable fuel and change the world. Creating jobs as well as a cleaner world.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Living Off the Grid, Part Two Alternative Power Sources

I have a friend who is taking a class. Not sure the exact term but it's a biology class and her most recent environment is about living off the grid, so she got me thinking. What does that mean to you? When we were kids it meant, living with the hippies in the hills in Laguna Canyon, or running or to a commune (usually in Oregon.. hey that's where California sent all it's crazies) or escaping to Montana or Idaho..come on you know what I mean.. But by today's standards living off the grid within society is the dream..

As this topic really got to me I am going to write my own thoughts about it in a three or four part blog (not sure how long this will capture little old ADD me so it's three or four for now)

Part Two... Alternate Power Sources

Another option for living off the grid would be alternate use of power. From private solar panels to personal windmills individuals are finding ways to make their space as green as possible. Can you imagine not having your home linked to any power source and yet still having all the comforts of well, home? Geomestic points out the different options in living green. Creating a green home within walking distance to all your needs, thereby eliminating the need for a car. Or maybe having an available space to grow your own vegetables, eliminating the need to purchase store bought and possibly items shipped from various locals. While they describe not being connected to any power source there are others who claim it is best to be connected but to send power back. That way, you are helping others to live a greener life. Your free energy is helping others as well. Whether it is solar panels, a water mill or a windmill there is a great ability to make your home just a little bit greener and allowing you a freedom from utility bills. An amazing economical feat. This could free you up to maybe take that job that pays a bit less but is closer to home, or take that dream job that you couldn't before because your bills just weren't being met. What an amazing freedom.. living a happier life has to be healthier.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living Off the Grid, Part One Creating Power Sources

I have a friend who is taking a class. Not sure the exact term but it's a biology class and her most recent environment is about living off the grid, so she got me thinking. What does that mean to you? When we were kids it meant, living with the hippies in the hills in Laguna Canyon, or running or to a commune (usually in Oregon.. hey that's where California sent all it's crazies) or escaping to Montana or Idaho..come on you know what I mean.. But by today's standards living off the grid within society is the dream..

As this topic really got to me I am going to write my own thoughts about it in a three or four part blog (not sure how long this will capture little old ADD me so it's three or four for now)

Part one.. creating living environments

Recently, I was surfing the internet looking at some fun options for houses and found that people have found some new and exciting ways to create their homes. Sometimes living in small spaces and others by combining used resources along with creative architecture. Imagine looking for a home and deciding to use shipping containers. You know those huge square, steal, containers that they use for shipping product around the world? There are hundreds of affordable used shipping containers just waiting to be maximized. Eight feet tall, eight feet wide and either 20 or 40 feet long, they may not have much space but designers and architects have found a way to link some together or combine them with more traditional housing components and build something unique. There have been container cities, container vacation homes, container beach homes, portable containers and one of my personal favorites temporary homes for hurricane relief.

Not just for resourceful squatters, container architecture is taking the world by storm. Recycled freight containers bring efficiency, flexibility and affordability to innovative green buildings, from small vacation cabins to movable cafes, schools and skyscrapers.” The Daily Green

These homes are affordable and unique. In fact they are awe inspiring. Another option available to individuals might not be quite as green but equally unique would be living in a small home and by small home I mean small. An entire house with 900 square feet. A Cute country cottage, with three bedrooms and three baths, 1500 square feet. 
Small homes are the perfect blend of form and function. They provide enough room for most families and their smaller frames will allow for building on a narrow lot while saving you money on building costs as well as keeping you from paying such high utility costs.” Small House Plans

Both the container homes and the small house concept help an individual or family leave a smaller footprint and yet allow for the individual needs, from whimsy to classic designs.

 Talk about a fun way to live. Can you imagine buying a lot and putting in a container home? Or buying a standard size lot and putting in two small homes, not duplexes but unique, individual homes sharing a lot? What would the neighbors think?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day Two in NaNoWriMo

What is this? Well for those of you who don't know this stands for National Novel Writing Month.. yep, the goal is to write 50,000 words in one month.. so if divided properly

That is 1666.6666666 words per day
 11666.6666666666 words per week..

actually when you break it down that way, it's not too bad..

So far I am on track.. plan to get some extra words in this weekend


Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo... Wish Me Luck

Time to put my dreams to the test.. wish me luck! I am so going to give this a try!

Monday, October 8, 2012

An Amazing Performance

The Ohio State Marching Band is one of the best in the country and has been for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately many of you who watch football are not aware of this. The talent that it takes to put on show after show, game after game and to know that even at a bowl game you will probably be usurped and never will be appreciated by the general public.. and yet they continue to put on shows like this..

Monday, October 1, 2012

Support Banned Books

Did you know that this week is Banned Books Week? It's a week that has been set aside for the last 30 years to promote reading. To stand up against those who would make our choices for us. It is for those who choose to proudly say I READ..

I grew up in a house where books were plentiful.. where more often than not when we were at sporting events, if you wanted to find my mom, you looked over to the nearest set of trees and there my mom would be in her chair, reading a book. Not watching the game, reading a book. The thought of not having a book on me at all times is inconceivable.

My mom always said, it didn't matter if your child would only read comic books, at least he is reading. Of course that didn't pertain to her children we read classics.. *rolls eyes* She still hasn't forgiven me for my love of romance books.. but that is another story. I do know, more often than not if she had heard that a book was banned and she felt it was age appropriate, we had to read it. I tried to raise my children in a similar manner. I can say with great pride, all four read.. they have unique and interesting tastes but read they do.

Sadly, not all people are afforded that right.. schools, governments, churches all for one reason or another choose to challenge or ban a book.. How can that possible be right? Sure some books are graphic, some books are extreme, some books are *gasp* bad.. but it is not the right of State to make that choice for us. Parents need to guide their children, encourage them to read and question what they are reading.. to make their own short to LEARN..

I found this list on Rebecca Ryals Russell's Website  and  thought it needed to be shared..

SOME of the 2011 challenged or banned books were:

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Flamingo Rising, by Larry Baker
    The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary, Real Life, by Baskin, Newman, Pollitt-Cohen, Toombs
    Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
    My Mom’s Having a Baby, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Betrayed, by P.C. and Kristin Cast
    Staying Far for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
    The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
    The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

In 2010 the top 10 most frequently challenged books were:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

6. Lush, by Natasha Friend

7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie

10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

But it’s not just contemporary books that get banned, classics get banned and challenged, too.
    *The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. *The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    3. *The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    4. *To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    6. Ulysses by James Joyce
    7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
    8. *The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    9. *1984 by George Orwell  (This one is the most ironic as its theme is suppression of books and thoughts)
    10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
    12. *Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    13. *Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
    14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    16. *Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    17. *Animal Farm by George Orwell
    18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    22. *Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
    23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    24. *Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    26. *Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    27. Native Son by Richard Wright
    28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
    31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    32. *The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    33. *The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
    36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
    37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
    38. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
    39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
    40. *The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
    41. *Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
    42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
    45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    47. *The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
    48. *Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
    49. *A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
    52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
    53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
    55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
    56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
    57. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
    58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
    59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
    60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
    61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
    62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
    64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
    65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
    66. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    68. Light in August by William Faulkner
    69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
    70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    71. *Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    72. *A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
    74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
    76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
    77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
    78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
    79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
    80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
    81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
    82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
    83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
    84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
    85. *The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
    86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
    87. The Bostonians by Henry James
    88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
    90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
    91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    93. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
    94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
    95. *Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
    98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
    99. *Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
    100. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

To read the entire article click HERE

You want to support banned books, share what books you have read that have been banned.. shout it loud and proud!!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Phantom Shadows Trailer

This is so exciting.. I have been waiting for this book for what seems like absolutely forever!!

Dianne Duvall is one of the authors that I had in mind when I first created Tea and Book. A new author with a wonderful story to tell. I am excited to let you all know that not only is Ms Duvall sharing this wonderful trailer for us but she will be visiting us on October 19th!! YAY..

“Knowing your enemies is a key concern in the newest installment of Duvall's excellent Immortal Guardians series. Vampires, and the virus that drives them insane, have been the primary threats that our heroes have been fighting against, but there is a new player in town. With this excellent entry, rising star Duvall is fast proving to be a major player in paranormal romance!” RT Book Reviews
Dianne Duvall lures readers into a world of romance and suspense,
where love can mean the difference between life and death . . .

Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it's not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire . . .

Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can't remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different � and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question � he can't put her in danger. But she isn't asking him . . .
And now this awesome Trailer!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's Just None of Our Business

I am a huge fan of Freedom of the Press.. I understand that the papers need to have the right to say what they want to. I understand that if they do not have this right then so much can be controlled.. but tell me.. why do we, the people have the right to know the private lives of public people?

Throughout my life I have watched the press gradually turn into an embarrassing caricature of itself. Instead of being the fourth estate it has become the neighborhood gossip. Gladys from Bewitched, you know that nosy neighbor that no one really liked.

What has sparked my rant today? Well the pictures of Will and Kate.. Let's see, a couple goes on a PRIVATE vacation in a gated compound. They go to get some sun on their enclosed balcony.. She takes off her top and pictures are snapped.. She was NOT on a beach (even a private one) on some boat in the open sea..nope she was on a PRIVATE estate.. I guess to me that means she should be allowed some privacy.. Oh and the second shots, the one where *gasp* she asks her HUSBAND to put some sunscreen on her lower back (this includes pulling her bikini bottom down a little)

Oh my, the nerve.. off gallivanting with her husband.. and behaving perfectly appropriately for a PRIVATE location.. I think the Royal Family should be shouting with joy.. Yep, here is a couple that is committed to each other. Sure they deserve their privacy.. and these photographers are just awful. BUT the fact remains, what they got was Will and Kate showing that they care about each other in a private moment.. I think Buckingham Palace should come out with their lip snarled and their superior attitude that only the Brits can do. Pointing out that the voyeurs that needed to take this picture must be jealous of the fact that these two just like each other.. Mock them.. yep Mock the photographers.. They are so desperate for scandal that the best they could get was Will in Kate in a private moment doing private things.. Mock them.. point out that if that is what they consider news then they should be ashamed of themselves.. and maybe they need to get a life.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? Well, for starters it's just not any of our business what a private couple does and someone needs to point this out.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Them's the Rules

As I have proclaimed on more than one occasion I LOVE the Olympics! It is an enduring fantasy of mine to be an Olympian, to raise an Olympian.. shoot to know an Olympian.. I love everything about the Olympics including the glaring mistakes that have created legends..

What I don't understand is how people can compete in something, then get upset because the rules don't suit them. Oh sure, there are things that should be changed but you can't be whining about it during the competition.. at least not during the competition when the rules don't favor you.

I am speaking of course of Jordan Weiber's coach.. NOT Jordan Weiber, while she was clearly devastated she was a wonderful good sport supporting her team mate when obviously all she wanted to do was crawl into a hole and cry.

For those of you who don't know.. Jordan Weiber was the favored going into the Olympics, to win the women's all round gymnastics gold medal. Sadly, due to a rather interesting rule, she didn't make the cut. Gymnastics rules say only two members from each team can go into the all round competition. Jordan came in third for the US.. which would be upsetting but not cause such an uproar had she not had the FOURTH best score over all.. I can hear the wheels spinning now.. she was robbed.. she should be in. Well she wasn't robbed she was outdone. Her team mates put in a better performance. She made critical mistakes and yes she was probably underscored. Sadly, that too is gymnastics. At first I felt pretty bad for her and yes felt she was robbed. Then I started listening..

Jordan was a class act.. she congratulated her team mates.. said all the right things when her heart must have been breaking but she still showed an impeccable sense of sportsmanship.

The rules are not new ones.. they have been in effect for a while.

Other sports have similar rules, just think in swimming only two people from each country can make it onto the Olympic team. Same things right? Well not exactly, once they get here both get to compete for a chance at winning the gold..

The thing is it's devastating.. but how would everyone be reacting if Jordan had won the place to compete and Aly had not? Would everyone be saying poor Aly? Or would they say.. sure just what we expected? Would Aly have been "robbed" under the exact same circumstances? I don't think so..

I hate whiners.. there are rules, accept them or don't play the sport.

Again this is not about Jordan Weiber, she was a classy young lady and I can only hope that my children would behave similarly. But those who are shouting foul need to shut up!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mark Spitz, Who can forget?

Do you remember this? Watching Mark Spitz win his 7th medal was one of my where were you moments.. I remember how hyped up we all were.. and the Munich Olympics were in September so we were back in school.. We weren't really allowed to stay up late on normal occasions but this was the Olympics!! We were all set.. I lay on the carpet in front of our console TV (my favorite viewing spot) and waited.. and waited.. Gradually my eyes closed and I fell asleep. Next thing my ten year old self knew my dad was waking me up so I wouldn't miss it.. It was such an awesome moment.

Yahoo Sports has a wonderful article on this.. click HERE if you are interested

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What is your first Olympic Memory? This was mine

I was six and this has to be one of the most enduring memories of the Olympics and it was my first.. What was yours?

The Olympic Torch


This image made available by LOCOG shows US Olympian sprinter torchbearer Michael Johnson holding the Olympic Flame at Stonehenge, England, Thursday, July 12, 2012. Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship gold medals, currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400m and 4 x 400 meters relay. The Olympic Torch is being carried around England in a relay of Torchbearers to make its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. (AP Photo/Danny Lawson, LOCOG)

Is this a cool picture or what?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Counting Down

Six days to the Olympics!! I am so excited! I love the Olympics from the first parade of nations until the torch is extinguished.. each moment has so much potential. In our house the TV goes on for the opening ceremony and isn't turned off until the last memory is made!!

Over the next couple of days I will be discussing my favorite memories.. but for today I just want to say.. The OLYMPICS ARE COMING!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July to All..

For those of you from other countries.. have a blessed day.. think of today as celebrating a friend's birthday.. For my American Friends.. Remember who we are and what we stand for..

Monday, July 2, 2012

Support is an Amazing Thing

As I have posted on the past couple of days.. I am seriously considering taking a walk.. What surprises me is the amount of support that I have received.

I thought this was at best a hair brained half baked idea.. but instead I have friends lining up to help me.. To get me to the track so I can get some basic walking in.. To offer me suggestions about the trip, where to stop, how to make it work.. why it would be good for me. Sheesh I thought this was a totally insane concept.. something to joke about, dream about, whatever but the more I discuss it.. the more it seems like a go.

So.. if you are interested.. I will be slowly turning this blog into a walk my weight off blog.. at least for the next year.. Sure I may discuss other stuff but for the most part you will be walking with me.. learning about the journey..


Saturday, June 30, 2012

When an Idea Takes Hold

Yesterday, an idea came to me.. what would happen if this September I just started walking.. oh not your normal everyday walking but start walking and not stop until I get somewhere.. you know like LA..

Somehow it took on a life of it's own.. logistics were discussed.. finances.. feasibility.. all sorts of things..

The thing is, I think I really want to do this. I turn 50 on Friday, my baby is off to college in August. The other kids are ready to get on with their lives actually already are. They have a support system here if they need a home base.. close friends and some family that will be here for them, so it's not like they won't have anywhere to return to if they need it.

I have always planned on doing something.. when Blond Girl goes off to college. I knew my life would have some major changes coming.. it was planned. BUT I was never sure what I would do.. now the more I think about it, the more I want to do this. Tomorrow I am going to start my practice walking.. I am going to see if I can by the end of the summer be up to 10 miles a day walking. If not, I am thinking so what. I am going to contact sporting goods stores to see if they want to donate materials, contact people and see if they want to sponsor my walk the weight off campaign.. I think I am seriously going to consider actually doing this..

OK, will follow up with updates as I get my stuff together.. or don't *grins* wish me well in my insanity


Friday, June 29, 2012

Taking a walk...

So I decided.. I think.. I hate and I mean really HATE being fat.. I seriously can't stand it.. and yet I can't seem to stick with a diet.. I honestly even contemplated signing up for the biggest looser.. yes I feel I am that big...

Back to my decision.. I will be working on my weight all summer but I think and here's the big I think.. I may be going for a walk. Taking a long walk.. As in moving blond girl to college.. getting PITA Boy settled and then going for a walk... and not coming back.. take the next year to walk.. across the country.. get where ever I am going.. see whatever I can see.. Kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.. As I consider this the plan seems to be better and better. Oh sure the first little while I won't make it far.. I will be lucky to get 10 miles a day if that far.. but if I just keep going I should eventually progress..

I think I am going to walk until I loose it all.. every single pound I want to loose.. Take a year.. enjoy the country and loose the weight..

Sure I would take my camera, my laptop and share my journey.. both weight and visual.. I am still considering this.. I may just take off on my bike.. as I love biking as well... Actually I hate walking unless there is a purpose... walking around tracks is boring but walking with a purpose.. yeah that can be fun. Make sure I have my iPod full, my camera ready and my sense of adventure all set..

It's still a consideration.. just a thought but it certainly intrigues me..


Friday, June 1, 2012


If my children ever become famous athletes (not likely so we will go with famous anything).. or ever loose to another person in anything (a bit more likely) I want them to be like Venus

Earlier Wednesday, we analyzed Serena Williams' post-loss press conference and came to the conclusion that it was anything but dignified, despite such proclamations from respected members of the tennis media.
Serena is 29 years old and unlikely to change her habit of ignoring the play of her opponents while talking about her losses. But if she wants to become noble in defeat, she won't have to look far for a role model.
Here's what her sister Venus had to say after her straight-set loss to Agnieszka Radwanska, according to Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim: "When I lose a match ... It's just important to give credit to the people who won. And I didn't win."
Disagree with me about Serena all you'd like, but we all know true dignity when we see it. A*from yahoo sports

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Zombie Apocalypse is Nigh

Seriously! I have been working with IO Tours this month and it seems that the Zombies have overrun us! Let me tell you this, I may not be a huge horror fan thus not a ready Zombie convert BUT.. these Zombie writers have interesting minds. Not just in their stories but while interacting with them. They are just fantastic. 

Why am I suddenly posting this? Well today I found a fun search on Yahoo all about Zombies.. seems it they are one of the 10 searches today.. *Grins* really check em out!  

Here are some of the Zombie books and authors I have worked with recently! Reviews, synopsis and excerpts can be found on Tea and Book

I have worked with Scot Baker who writes Rotter World.. 

You can find Scot on 
As well as on his website  

along with a little tease on Tea and Book
 Here's a brief Synopsis

Eight months have passed since vampires released the Revenant Virus on mankind, nearly wiping out both species. For Mike Robson, the situation could be far worse. He has joined up with a small band of humans and the last coven of vampires who are riding out the zombie apocalypse in an old fort along the coast of southern Maine. But the uneasy alliance between humans and vampires is strained with the arrival of the creator of the Revenant Virus. He claims to have a vaccine that will make them immune and allow mankind to take civilization back from the living dead. However, the vaccine is located in a secure underground facility five hundred miles away.
To retrieve it, Robson leads a raiding party of humans and vampires down the East Coast, which has been devastated by the outbreak and overrun by zombies and rape gangs. Yet none of the horrors he deals with on the road can prepare him for what he will find in the underground facility.  Robson will encounter the greatest threat his group has faced to date, not only from zombies but from betrayal within his own ranks.  

DL Snell and Thom Brannon Who write Pavlov's Dogs..  The guys can be found on

DL Snells Website
His Facebook 
And an excellent review by Lisa on Tea and Book
 A Brief Synopsis on Pavlov's Dogs
Zombies Versus Werewolves: Who Will Win?
Permuted Press - April, 2012 – A new action sci-fi horror novel answers the burning question all fans want to know.
With the rise in popularity of zombie fiction, readers have been dying to know which monster can beat the walking dead. Novelists Thom Brannan and D.L. Snell answer one of those questions in their newest book, PAVLOV’S DOGS (Permuted Press).
PAVLOV’S features genetically enhanced werewolves designed to operate as spec ops soldiers. They can transform at will and are fearsome killing machines. When the dead rise, the mastermind behind the Dogs wishes to unleash his creations against the undead hordes and send them on rescue missions to bring survivors back to his island. But many members of the doctor’s team raise critical questions: The Dogs are still prototypes, untested. What happens if they’re not ready for battle and their systems fail? More importantly, what happens when a Dog gets bitten by an infected human? Can the werewolves win out against the hordes?
As a kid I remember catching black widows and scorpions together in a coffee can,” says co-author D.L. Snell. “We wanted to see which bug would win. It was a fascination of ours. So that’s kind of what Thom and I have done with PAVLOV’S DOGS. We just threw a werewolf and a zombie into a coffee can and placed our bets.”
While tackling two well-established monsters, Brannan and Snell have observed some traditions while subverting others. The zombies are standard shamblers at the start, with power in sheer numbers, but the werewolves are unique to the genre from the beginning: they can transform at will; they are genetically engineered; most of them are human friendly; and they are equipped with an advanced Brain-Computer Interface that allows for not only a pack mind, but also for conditioning and a fine degree of control—thus creating worthy opponents of the walking dead.
I’m excited for it,” co-author Thom Brannan says, “because while there are some traditions we stuck close to, there are others we blew away, and when the two collide, it’s a load of fun. And gore. And fire.”
But who will win? Zombies, or werewolves? PAVLOV’S DOGS will be available to answer that question April 2012 in every popular format, including Kindle, Nook, audio, and trade paperback. 

And the Brother's Williams book Dead Meat!  

Chris and Patrick Williams can be found:
On their Website
On Facebook
On Goodreads 

and a review of this fantastic book on Tea and Book
And now for the synopsis..
The city of River’s Edge has been quarantined due to a rodent borne rabies outbreak. But it quickly becomes clear to the citizens that the infection it is something much, much worse than rabies...
The townsfolk are attacked and fed upon by packs of the living dead. Labeling the infected residents “bees” for their tendency to travel in swarms, Gavin and Benny attempt to survive the chaos in River’s Edge while making their way north in search of sanctuary. No one knows what waits outside the quarantined zone, but Gavin and Benny know that to survive, they must escape.

And finally there is the incredibly hysterical Zombie Apocalypse Preparation otherwise referred to as ZAP..  
 David Houchin and Scot Thomas can be found

 Their Website
And Goodreads

Looking for a sneak peak? Check out Tea and Book

Here's their synopsis 

"We guarantee this is the only tool you need to survive the zombie.
OK, that’s not really true. But when the SHTF you’re going to want a survival guide that’s not just geared toward day-to-day survival. You’ll need one that addresses the essential skills for true nourishment of the human spirit. Living through the end of the world isn’t worth a damn unless you can enjoy yourself in any way you want. (Except, of course, for anything having to do with abuse. We could never condone such things. At least the publisher’s lawyers say we can’t"

Zombie Apocalypse Preparation: How to Survive in an Undead World and Have Fun Doing It! is the first zombie apocalypse survival manual with entertainment in mind.  What fun is living in a world of the undead if you can't have a bit of fun?  The apocalypse is not just about survival it's about enjoying your new found life.
Inside the covers of this book you will not only find the way to pick the right weapon, building, and survival methods but you'll find entertaining ways to dispose of the undead, entertain yourself and your group, and dispatch your former friends and family members with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.