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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Now THIS is What You Call an AWESOME Teacher

Homework Letter for the Weekend Before the Big Test–I love this teacher!

Kindness Blog

It is unfortunate that many School Teachers have been placed in a position where they have to be so concerned about their pupil’s exam results and how children ‘perform’.

Children work hard all week at school, do their best and then also have homework set to complete at weekends. We know that many parents think this is too much work and too much pressure for our young people. They deserve a childhood!!

One teacher, Mrs Thom, obviously understands that having a good life-balance is of the utmost importance to a child’s well-being.

Please see the wonderful homework letter below that Mrs Thom gave out to all the pupils in her class prior to their latest exams.

homework kindnessAnother teacher cried when she read about this on Facebook and wrote;

“I’m only a student teacher and I don’t teach in year 2 or 6. The tension at my placement school is still palpable……

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“Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” ―Christopher Paolini

So true!

writingthedreamblog

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“Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.”

―Christopher Paolini, Eragon

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Pumpkins in Paradise–Great Example of a Cozy!

Pumpkins in Paradise

by Kathi Daley

Pumpkins in ParadiseI love mysteries–the kind you read.  Not the kind where you wonder where you hid something so no one else could find it! I love the type of mystery that focuses on the puzzle, not on the actual blood, gore and violence.  I’m not interested in the extremities of psychological madness or depravity. When I retired, and before I began reviewing, I sated my appetite by reading all of Agatha Christie’s novels.  Although I didn’t care for her mysteries that dabbled in the occult, most of the rest of the works of this prolific writer are excellent.

Having conquered the Christie mountain of 78 mystery novels, I read from a variety of genres and stumbled across a sub-genre developed at the end of the twentieth century, the cozy mystery.  While I don’t limit myself to cozies, I do intersperse them with my other readings.  Cozies downplay sex, violence, and inappropriate language while providing the reader with a puzzle.  The story is usually set in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The amateur detective is usually a woman with some contacts in the law enforcement community.  A cozy series may be thematic and there is often an element of humor and a touch of romance.  Christie’s Miss Marple books fit into this category as does the television series Murder, She Wrote.

Pumpkins in Paradise is the first novel in the Tj Jensen Mystery Series written by Kathi Daley.  There are currently seven books in the series, all set in the little town of Paradise and most with a seasonal theme.  Our heroine in this cozy series is Tj Jensen, a single, high school PE teacher and coach who has moved in with her father and grandfather. They run a local woodsy resort and are helping her care for her two newly orphaned half-sisters.  Pumpkins in Paradise meets all the criteria for a good cozy and excels in the puzzle category.  In order to solve a murder mystery, Tj has to solve a final puzzle created for her by the victim.  The story is populated by interesting, colorful townsfolk and visitors. The setting has small town appeal: Paradise is decorated for fall and bustling with pumpkin activities.

I recommend Pumpkins in Paradise as an excellent cozy that you will not want to put down.  I plan on reading other books in the series–comfortable excitement in a feel good setting.  But don’t be fooled–Pumpkins in Paradise has a healthy dose of suspense as well!

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wisdom From an Old Father: “Mind Time” ~ By Denis Ian

DON’T RUSH KIDS! This is a great post, but if you are pushed for time, start reading where the blue letters say “mind those sweet moments…” And read to the end. It is an excellent passage–especially if you have anything to do with kids (parents, teachers, grandparents, etc)

Kindness Blog

I’m an old father now. Suddenly it seems.

My sons have sons. I own lots of memories. I polish the sweet ones and never dust the ones that hurt.

I mind time now. I didn’t used to. In fact, like lots of you, I was reckless with time. Not any longer.

When I was a boy of about 9 or so, I had the temporary misfortune of being the last to the dinner table … and that meant sitting just to the left of my father. That was like sitting next to the district attorney … or the pope. My brothers loved my dilemma … because that’s what brothers do. It’s in the Irish Manual of Life.

So … there I was … waiting for my moment of challenge. The knives were clanging plates and there were two or three different conversations happening around this table with the fat legs…

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DISILLUSIONED–Didn’t Disappoint This Reader

Disillusioned

by Christy Barrittdisillusioned

Disillusioned, a Christian thriller by Christy Barritt, plunges the reader into a tense scene of media pursuit. It then segues before the end of the first chapter into an attempt to coerce Nikki and her brother Bobby, a Navy SEAL, to accompany some armed men.  Are their attackers terrorists or feds? The action continues at a fast pace through the whole book with a cast of strong characters.

Interwoven with and integral to the main plot, in which Bobby is accused of being part of a Columbian terror group, are three major subplots. One deals with Nikki’s complicated romantic relationships.  Another with spiritual faith and trust issues Nikki has in the aftermath of several traumatic years.  The last is the mental state of her brother and the possibility that his years of captivity in Columbia have altered his character.

I strongly recommend this book on two levels.  As a thriller I find the ins and outs of the plot to be fascinating.  Except for the high stress level I occasionally needed to relieve, it is a book I didn’t want to put down.  As a Christian novel, I found the implicit challenge to be personal.  If confronted with the extreme difficulties and disappointments Nikki faced, would my faith in God remain strong? Would I remember that “God is on my side even when all seems lost.”?

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Waterfall Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Farewell, Hastings!

hard back cafe

On my way back to Mexico, I spent the night in Roswell, NM near a Hastings bookstore.  Out of country for most of 3 years, I was unaware of the Hastings bankruptcy and closing.  It was sad to see the store being liquidated.  I bought a hardback Daniel Silva book for $4.00. I would have bought more books, but my truck was already bursting at the seams with things I had missed or needed south of the border. I could do a whole blog post on bookstores versus online sales and ebooks, but we’ll save that for another time.

I snapped a picture of the Hard Back Cafe sign–such a clever play on words. The cafe was closed that evening but not liquidated. What a feeling of nostalgia as yet another bookstore closes.

the heist

The Daniel Silva book will be the subject of another post down the reading road. I have a number of ebooks that should be read and reviewed first. I read a review of one of his books (maybe in an airline rag?) over a year ago and thought I would enjoy his books. It was a good opportunity to pick one up; and in spite of my appreciation of ebooks, I do so love to hold a book in my hands as I read!

SLOW INTERNET CONNECTION

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We went on a long vacation in northern New Mexico and discovered our cabin now has very slow Internet connections. So, forgive my sporadic appearances as I could only occasionally make contact with bloggers, Facebook friends and email correspondents. It will take time, but I hope to catch up a little day by day. On the up side, what a blessing to visit with family and friends, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and work and relax every day in what seemed like my own bed and breakfast. I am now back in our little town in Mexico where we usually have good connectivity–except now, the rainy season. At times, I have no connectivity; but when it works, it is fast!

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