Apr 29, 2011

Three Beautiful Things



A wonderful lady by the name of Claire had a wonderful blog by the name of Three Beautiful Things.  In this blog she shares three things every day that are beautiful to her.  I know that I wouldn't be able to do that but I would like to try to share them weekly with you.  So here is my first shot at it.

.1  Being able to spend time with my husband over the weekend and realizing just how much I still enjoy his company after 10 years.

2.  Watching one of my cats sleeping peacefully on my desk.

3.  Getting my Nano replaced so easily when I had given up ever having another of that style.  Thanks Apple for making my day.

I won!






I won some wonderful goodies from Cyndi at Beading Arts!  The picture really doesn't do the justice to these beads.  The petrified wood is just to die for.  In fact when I showed them to my hubby, he was even impressed.  What I love about them is the orange running thru the stones.

I actually sat down yesterday and made a necklace because the stones just wouldn't leave me along.  I would show you a pic but it doesn't hang quite right so I have some more work to do on it.

Cyndi will be holding 5 more contests all containing goodies from the same vendor these came from.  Be sure to pop over and enter.  You won't be disappointed in the quality.
Apr 27, 2011

Not yet, not yet, Done

Everyone has things that they want to do before they die.  Some of us are even so organized that they have that list written down.  I unfortunately don't.  Perhaps if I did, I would be better at crossing things off of that list. 

Some of the things I want to do can be problematic as I love to travel but having all my animals can be an issue.  Especially as BeiJing can't be kenneled.  Some of them are just simple things that I have never got around to do.  

I finally did one of those simple things yesterday.  I have always wanted to go be sized for a bra since I have heard that most of us wear the totally wrong size.  So yesterday when I was in the Mall to pick up my Ipod, I also stopped by Victoria's Secret and had myself sized.  I was happy to know that I have been wearing the right size.

So are there any simple things on your bucket list that you could cross off this spring?
Apr 25, 2011

Color me Impressed

My Nano stopped working about 4 months ago and I had been told that I could just take it into the Apple store because it was still under warranty. Well when I was told that, the nearest store was like 40 miles away.  I just knew that I would never find the time so I wrote my Nano off.  Well on Friday when we were wandering about the Mall, I found an Apple store.

We went in today and I showed them my Nano.  It was 4 days short of the warranty expiring but they are going to replace it and a shuffle that I have been having problems with.  I should be able to pick them up in a couple days.  Now I am getting a hint of why people like Apple.  Talk about customer service.
Apr 24, 2011

Fallen...

I guess that sometimes things happen for a reason.  What we thought was a movie ended up in our NetFlix queue somehow.  Niether of us remember putting it there.  But there is was so we decided to give it a try and I have to say that I am impressed. 

FALLEN is actually a mini-series that plays like a book.  In fact when my husband read the blurb on the sleeve I commented that it sounds like a book that I would read.  Some might find it....blasphemous.... but it is good.

So I am kicking back, reading blogs and watching this mini-series.  Makes for a relaxed evening. 

Awesome Weekend!

I don't get to see much of my husband as we work opposite schedules so it is always a treat when we get time off together.  This time around, we had both taken a 4 day weekend so that we could go to Northwescon.  Well the con didn't work out but we have had fun.

On Friday, it started out irritatingly enough  with the bank that I have been banking with for 10 years suddenly deciding that it was going to put a 3 day hold on a check I deposited thru the ATM.  I don't know why they suddenly decided to do this but I went into the bank and threw a fit.  They removed the hold. 

And then we were going out to lunch and decided to go to Shari's as it was right next to the bank.  I decided on a senior Chopped salad.  The waitress refused to let me order that because I wasn't old enough.  Nevermind that I have been ordering off the senior menu for years.  All a sudden I am not old enough??  What was neat is that my peace loving husband was so in accord with me.  We just looked at each other and as one stated that we would go elsewhere to eat.  That's never happened before.

Yeah I know that I said that it was a wonderful weekend and all you see is doom and gloom.  Well things went uphill from there.  After leaving Shari's, we decided to check out a place at the Tacoma Mall.  BJ's Brewery was awesome!  Great  fun atmosphere, hubby loved the ale, the food was great and we ended up spending less then we would have at Shari's!  We then wandered about the Mall looking in shops.  I don't usually go to the Mall and to have my husband with me was fun.

We then went over a friend's house where I have been helping him edit his book.  Spent a few hours there with good people and worked.  Then off to the casino to a going away party for another friend.  I had fun in the casino but didn't spend much time with my friends as they showed up late and well it was too loud in the lounge with the music.

I think what really made my day was spending time with Saje.  Very enjoyable and relaxing.  There is more because we went out and had fun on Saturday also but this post is long enough.  I will have to write more tomorrow.
Apr 17, 2011

Flowers...gardens...ramblings

Utterly gorgeous weekend!  This is our first weekend without rain or gloom.  I recently read that you shouldn't plan before April 15th and boy were they right.  I just wish that I had jotted down who. 

In between getting ready for our potluck last night, my husband went out and planted the garden.  Now mind you, we are only planning a very small one as this will be our garden in this home.  And well I have never gardened and he hasn't in years, so small is the way to go.  He planted some onions, squash and a few other things.  I just can't recall what all he put in.  I am more concerned about the flowers and fruit.

I have a three blueberry bushes, a couple cherry bushes and a banana tree.  Next year, I want to put in a peach and an apple tree.  I don't think that I realized how much I liked the feeling that I can walk outside and pick something to eat.  At the last house, we had both pear and apple trees.  Now mind you I didn't care for either those apples or pears, it was just the thought.  At least this time, I will know that I like the fruit planted.

Actually I have a funny feeling that our garden will be much larger next year.  I like the thought that for a little work, I can cut down on the grocery bill.  I don't know about you but I cringe when the register rings up my purchases at my local market.

Oh and that flower bed that I have been working on....well it is done.  Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope that it all comes up.  I would love to have fresh flowers for the house.

Good news as far as Kits is concerned.  The masses appear to be noncancerous.  It is a worry the speed that they appeared and spread but they appear to consist of fat cells.

Now I get to do my taxes.  Yeah I procrastinated.  It's really kinda silly when you consider that they take me like 30 minutes with the software but I still put it off.

I hope that everyone else had a great weekend.
Apr 14, 2011

Book Review: Tempest's Legacy

Nicole Peeler returns with the third book in the Jane True series, a small-town fantasy perfect for fans of True Blood

After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl - at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane's world to its very core.

After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females -- supernatural, halfling, and human -- Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires.


And she's not sure which she finds more frightening. 


I recently read the first two books in this series that I picked up from my local library and I have to admit that I was hooked.  I was getting ready to request the third book when I noticed that I had it waiting in my review que.  Score!

Ms. Peeler is definitely on the top of her game when it comes to her characters.  I think that the one things I enjoy best about this series how we get to watch Jane True grow and change.  She starts out the series unsure of herself because she just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere.  In TEMPEST'S LEGACY, Jane has become much more accepting of her place in the supernatural world and she is ready to push her boundaries.  Now if only she was that sure of herself in the relationship department.

This is one series that I highly recommend for anyone that loves the Sookie Stackhouse book.  They have the same feel yet are so very different.  I dare you to pick one up and not be hooked.

I rate TEMPEST'S LEGACY a 4.5.

I did receive this book from NetGallery in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.

Book Review: Hidden Embers

Quinn Maquire, healer of the Dragonstar clan, has seen far too many deaths from this virus that was engineered by a rival clan.  Yet there is no way he will approve involving a human doctor in their plight.

HIDDEN EMBERS is the second of the A Dragon's Heat series however it does a fantastic job as a stand alone novel.  There are hints of what occurred in the first book but nothing that detracts from the story line.  So don't be loath to pick up just this book though chances are after you have read it that you will be picking up the rest.

Ms Adams has done a wonderful job with the characters in this book.  Quinn is all macho man who just doesn't want to admit that perhaps a human female might find something that he has missed about this virus.  And to add insult to injury when he meets her, Quinn is unable to keep his hands off of her. 

Jasmine is accustomed to working in all kinds of conditions as her job takes her wherever the hotbed for infectious diseases happen to be at the time.  Her last job was rather hard on her body though so she was put on leave to heal.  Healing is boring so when her friend asked her help, Jasmine jumped at the chance.  What she didn't expect is to find a testosterone laden man that pushes all the right buttons.

I really enjoyed HIDDEN EMBERS.  The byplay between the characters is right on and so amusing in places.  And the sex scenes are both tender and very hot.  I was slightly disappointed in the ending as it did conclude Quinn and Jasmine's arc but didn't give any idea of what was going to happen with their discovery about the virus.  I don't mind cliff hangers but give me enough to encourage me to get the next book.

I rate this book a 4
Apr 11, 2011

Tense

Things are just a bit tense in the Shaiha household right now.  I found what feels like a cyst or a tumor on Kitsune's right side on Saturday.  Today I found one on the left side.  Both small and right over the rib cage on each side.  We are going into the vet on Wednesday.  I would do it tomorrow but I am working :(

Kits is an older this dog.  This past winter his age has really caught up with him.  But I really want to give him one last summer.  He is such a neat dog.  He never had any of the bad traits of his breed.  Kits has always basically been to lazy to act up.

Shiba Inus are known for being aloof dogs that really don't like people other then their owners and sometimes not even them.  Kits however has always loved everyone.  We used to take him to pet fairs some that people could see the breed but we would have to warn them that he isn't a typical Shiba.

So things are tense and will be until we find out what is going on.
Apr 9, 2011

Book Review: Vampyre Kisses

Vampyre Kisses is an enthralling story about a young woman named Faith, who was content with her life, but deep down craved more excitement. Then a mysterious man named Trent enters her life and everything changes. Surprising to Faith, Trent is a green-eyed vampire from Ireland. She is even more surprised to find out that she is a witch, and the last of her kind.

Faith finds out that she is destined to restore her witch line and becomes more powerful as she gains confidence and knowledge, but danger lurks everywhere. Especially when unknown assailants steal the most important gems from the vampire master and werewolf royalty.


Now surrounded by a world full of mystifying vampires and werewolves, can Faith gain enough power to help her friends and rescue the stolen gems?


The premise of this book sounds just wonderful and I was really looking forward to reading it.   Unfortunately in my mind it just didn't live up to its promise.  I had a really hard time relating to either Faith or Trent though the issue could really be with me as first person books aren't my favorite unless they are really well done.  In this case, there were context errors and the pacing seemed off. 

Now mind you that everyone's mileage will vary and you just might love this book.  That being said, I just don't feel that I can recommend this book in its current incarnation.

I rate this book a 2.4.

Ouch





Now that we have a house, I have big plans for the yard.  Ya know, cutting beds, outdoor rooms and oh of course a vegetable garden.  I don't have to worry about the vegetable garden as the guys are handling that part.  But the flowers....that is all me. 

So I got a packet of seeds that are supposed to make a wonderful cutting garden along with some day lilys.  I had mapped out this 6x6x12 triangle in the corner of the front yard and tried to get to work.  First up was removing the grass...errrk...sudden stop.  I can't even get the shovel thru the grass to cut it out.  Okay time to rethink this.  I go and get the DH so that he can cut out the grass.  Now of course he has to work so can only break up the grass for about 15 minutes.  Pull out what he cut up for me.

Time to go sit down and read.  Can't do anything until Saje is home to help.  That is until David, the roommate comes out and offers to help.  Great we are on the road again.  That is until we discover bricks.  Apparently someone had a flower bed here at some time or another.

Time to regroup.  Okay now my flower bed goes from a larger bed to one that is 2x8.  Sigh.  Though apparently that is a good thing.  David worked on breaking up the sod and we only got like 2x2 done.  Gonna have to work some more on it today.

I am determined to have a beautiful yard.  Good thing that plans I have don't need to be done all this year as they involve in investing in a hot tub and all.  Might take ten years to complete but I figure that I can't retire for another twenty-three years.  And that is hopefully because by that time the government might have changed the retirement age.

Oh and the ouch.  I discovered muscles that I had forgotten about.

Book Review: Savage Sanctuary

Sexy bad boy shapeshifter Michael O'Dare grew up on the streets. When government soldiers finally captured and imprisoned him, he became a lab rat and a collared slave, never again allowed to be human. His escape allowed him to return to human form, and head for freedom in the Western Territories.


Robert Hamilton-Scott had lived by the code "you're careful, or you're caught" for too long to take chances now. The one risk he takes in his carefully controlled life is offering temporary shelter to shifters on the run like Michael. 

Robert knows it's definitely not safe to want the sexy renegade he's giving sanctuary to-passion is dangerous for a shapeshifter. As the soldiers close in he must choose between the careful life he's built or life on the run with the man who has captured his heart. 

I have to admit that I did enjoy SAVAGE SANCTUARY.  Both Michael and Robert are yummy heroes that I wouldn't mind meeting even though I am definitely not their type.  Ms Barbary did a wonderful job with  the characters.  Readers are invited to examine the motivations of the characters.  That being said, I did have some issues with the story.  I would have really liked to have seen more plot development and the pacing is jerking at times.  Still for a quick hot read, SAVAGE SANCTUARY fits the bill.

I rate this story a 2.8.


I did receive this book from NetGallery in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Apr 8, 2011

Book Review: The Third Secret

He did the crime. He’s done the time. 

Rick Thomas stole drug-cartel evidence from a government facility. And spent three years in a federal prison.

Attorney Erin Morgan has a rule: never defend the bad guys. But Rick Thomas, quiet and self-assured, doesn’t seem bad. That’s why she agrees to defend him against what he swears is a trumped-up murder charge. She’s ignoring her experience and listening to her instincts instead. 


But psychologist and expert witness Kelly Chapman is listening to her instincts, too. And they’re saying that Rick Thomas is lying to Erin. That he’s keeping secrets. That he’s a dangerous man. And that, despite everything, maybe he’s one of the good guys… 

Let me tell you a secret.  I am old enough to remember when Harlequin meant romance.  And a very narrow view of romance at that.  I used to have a subscription where I would get six books a month and I would eagerly read them.  Then I outgrew them.  There was so much else out there to explore.  Things have come a full circle.  Nowadays when you pick up a Harlequin book or one of their imprints, you are ensured that the writing and editing is first class and the genres can really vary.  No more cookie cutter romances.  This is definitely a sidebar but you have to love a company that grows up and changes as the reader does,


Now onto my review.  THE THIRD SECRET is actually the third part in a series, The Chapman File.  And as my readers know, I am usually almost anal about reading a series in order.  I demand that each book stands alone yet I can't handle feeling like I have missed anything.  I didn't get that feeling at all from THE THIRD SECRET.  It is a very nicely done romantic suspense.  Ms. Quin shows a deft touch with both the pacing and the characters.  Deft enough that I am planning on picking up the rest of the series. 

I rate this book a 4.3 and recommend it to anyone that enjoys a first class romance with enough tension to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

I did receive this book from NetGallery in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Apr 6, 2011

Happy Hump Day





I hope that everyone is having a great Wednesday.  Just think that it is that much closer to Friday!  One thing that I really enjoy about my job is the fact that I have wednesdays off with my 4 10 schedule.  Gives me time to recharge for the rest of the week.

Regardless of the fact that I have the day off, it seems as though this day always gets filled with things I need to do.   Today I have to run to the bank to get some money to pay on the house.  And of course, it is wet out there.  It's a good thing that I am such a homebody because going out on days like this just aggravate my fibro.  Aw well.  It needs to be done.

The next thing that I need to do is fun.  I am participating in a bead swap so I get to go rummage thru my studio to find some goodies to ship out on Saturday.  I have a bunch of things that need to go out then.   I have a funny feeling that once I wander thru my studio that I will probably be playing in there for a while. 

I am actually sitting down in my office typing this up because I just don't feel like relocating my laptop today.  It is actually quiet down here.  I have my tea and I get to come alive slowly.  And my office is now complete.  Monster, my cat, has been throwing a fit because the dogs get to join me and he didn't.  The major problem with him joining me was the fact that he wanted on my lap or he would meow.  That just doesn't work when I am working on the phones.  Well today I brought him down a cat bed and he is just curled up happily and quietly on my desk.  It's a really good thing that I have a U shaped desk because both dogs have beds under one leg of it and now Monster has a bed on the top of it.

Well I guess that I need to start getting busy.  I hope that everyone has a great day!
Apr 4, 2011

Ooops



As I last posted, I went up to Snoqualmie Falls on Saturday.  I was supposed to be meeting a group of people that are working with an author to edit the book.  I have to admit that I have edited a lot of books but never one by committee.  It is actually kinda fun as it forces me to get out and also socialize some.

Well anyways, I made it to the Lodge that we were all supposed to be meeting at and called to find out the room number.  Well I did a boo boo.  We aren't meeting there until Mar. 30th.  So I then had to drive to the house that we were meeting at.

At least it was a nice drive.  Especially since I was driving the hubby's Tiberon.  I have to laugh at him though because he gets so nervous when I am driving it even though it was originally my car and I do know how to drive it.
Apr 2, 2011

If you like Sookie Stackhouse

I have found another series that might appeal to you.  I just ran across Nicole Peeler's Jane True series.  The first book is TEMPEST RISING.  I have only read two in the series so far but I feel in love with the series.  It has that down home feel that one gets from the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Check it out.

Sorry for such a short post today but I am heading out to Snoqualmie Falls.  I will try to get some good pics while I am up there to share.
Apr 1, 2011

Awwww

A huge sigh of relief.  I am finally back to working from home.  That will make being able to save up for the new engine so much easier as I will just cook my own lunches rather then eating in the cafe.  Also I don't have to worry about juggling the one car that is currently running.

I don't think that I really appreciated just how much I enjoy working from a home office until I lost the option for a few weeks.  Working from home is just so much quieter.  What I missed the most will probably sound silly but I went into withdrawals because I had to deal with substandard tea.  The cafe does great for coffee drinkers with espresso and all those flavors but the only bagged teas.  Seems kinda trite but it really threw me off not being able to brew up my three to four pots of tea a day.

So what little thing that you do that you would really miss if you had to go without?