Sorry for the sad look on this kitten's face. I recently lost another of my late husband's siblings. This makes 4 out of 5 brothers and 1 sister. With the exception of my husband, all three of them died from Huntington's and ALS. The family has been in a study because of the combination of diseases that seems to have come from their mother's and grandmother's side of the family. The latest brother passed away last Friday. He had been ill for several years and finally his body had enough. I'm going to the funeral home visitation this afternoon.
I thought it might be appropriate to see what Sarah Ban Breathnach's SIMPLE ABUNDANCE BOOK might have to say on this date.
She suggests creating some type of HOPE CHEST. Back in the"day" many young women started a hope chest and filled it with linens and other items they wanted to use when they got married. I never could afford one of those beautiful LANE hope chests. As Sarah Ban Breathnach reminded me, we young girls all poured over those advertisements in SEVENTEEN magazine.
But Sarah Ban Breathnach says if you are looking for your authentic self, you can still create a "hope" chest of your own. She used a big wicker basket filled with projects she wanted to do some day. As she found lovely things that she wanted to use in her home, she put them inside. Some people want to redecorate when their lives change due to a divorce or a loss of their partner. I had our family room repainted and moved furniture around. I put away most of my husband's collections and brought mine out to display. I also had the kitchen floor replaced and had some wainscoting put on the walls. On occasion, when I go to Goodwill, I find some little thing that I like and it is now on display too.
I decided I wanted to try a new hobby this week. I used to love to color when I was a child. I just read an article that says that coloring is a very good way to relax. I am going to look for some of those intricate designs and get some colored pencils to work on them. Now that I am nearly done with my fourth book manuscript, I can color in the evenings to relax.
You can buy pages to color at an art store or you can just go online and print some off for free.
So, I think you get the idea that Sarah Ban Breathnach was trying to convey. "Not all of our desires can be immediately gratified. We've got to learn to wait patiently for our dreams to come true, especially on the path we've chosen. But while we wait, we need to prepare a place for our hopes and dreams. Find something to put your new treasures into and where you can look at them and dream about a brighter and happier future. And for those of you who have daughters, maybe you will want to start a "hope chest" for them now."
As I mentioned earlier, I have been trying to get my latest manuscript into Createspace. Editing is so much harder than writing the actual story. I've submitted the manuscript several times. When I convert it to a PDF file, sometimes it makes the words move around. I have had some blank pages which Createspace does not accept. Hopefully I finally got them all out today. When it is accepted, I will have to proof it one more time because sometimes it also removes the spaces between the words! Oh, it gets to be so annoying! But I like my story and I am looking forward to
having it up for sale very soon on Amazon.com.
The time in-between this post and my last gone so quickly. More snow to remove from the driveway, the death of my brother-in-law, keeping up with some issues with my computer and trying to read.
I think that sometimes you have to be in the right mood to read some books. Apparently I was not in the mood for this novel. It's the story of the Waverley women in a small town. The women have a reputation for having special gifts. One of them is an excellent cook and decides to recreate some candy that her grandmother made years ago. It was rumored to have special abilities ~ rose flavored recalls lost love, lavender promotes happiness and lemon verbena soothes throats and minds. As the reputation of the candy gets more well known, Claire Waverley is caught up in the overwhelming success of her business and can't seem to find her own happiness. She has to abandon her real love of cooking to keep up with the candy orders.
Apparently there is a book before this one titled GARDEN SPELLS. I've read that it was much better and explained how the Waverley women got to this point. Maybe if I read that book, I will feel differently.
Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?
When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is... First Frost.
Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.
I will pause here to say that all of Allen's novels contain some magical realism, with varying degrees of success. Her books also have some romance and Southern charm, which can be delightful. In the past I have enjoyed dipping into her stories when I needed a light read, but "First Frost" was too silly and just didn't gel. I caught myself dreading picking up this book, which should never happen with a supposedly fun read.
If you would like to try an Allen book, I recommend starting with "The Peach Keeper" or "Lost Lake."
If you enjoy books about the Civil War and the slaves and plantation owners, you will enjoy this book. But remember that the wording is very difficult to get through.
What follows is the sweeping tale of Ruth’s life as shaped by her strong-willed mistress and other larger-than-life personalities she encounters in the South: Jehu Glen, a free black man with whom Ruth falls madly in love; the shabbily genteel family that first hires Ruth as Mammy; Solange’s daughter Ellen and the rough Irishman, Gerald O’Hara, whom Ellen chooses to marry; the Butler family of Charleston and their shocking connection to Mammy Ruth; and finally Scarlett O’Hara—the irrepressible Southern belle Mammy raises from birth. As we witness the difficult coming of age felt by three generations of women, gifted storyteller Donald McCaig reveals a portrait of Mammy that is both nuanced and poignant, at once a proud woman and a captive, and a strict disciplinarian who has never experienced freedom herself. But despite the cruelties of a world that has decreed her a slave, Mammy endures, a rock in the river of time. She loves with a ferocity that would astonish those around her if they knew it. And she holds tight even to those who have been lost in the ravages of her days.
Set against the backdrop of the South from the 1820s until the dawn of the Civil War, here is a remarkable story of fortitude, heartbreak, and indomitable will—and a tale that will forever illuminate your reading of Margaret Mitchell’s unforgettable classic, Gone with the Wind.
Mammy Ruth moves from one famous Southern family's home to another as we the reader follow her and find out what made Mammy the mammy she was. There are many happy situations, but there are also many sad ones. The O'Haras are mentioned throughout the book and, of course, that is where Mammy ends up.
RUTH'S JOURNEY was very well researched, but unfortunately difficult to follow and enjoy until the book was almost over.
I loved GONE WITH THE WIND, but RUTH'S JOURNEY had something to be desired. It didn't get interesting until way into the book, and most specifically not until Mammy got to Tara with the O'Haras. Visualizing Tara and hearing chararacters' names from GONE WITH THE WIND made the wait worthwhile.
I enjoyed learning about Mammy, but RUTH'S JOURNEY wasn't a favorite read...it was a bit tedious even though the writing was outstanding.
You will love Mammy Ruth and feel sorry for her, and you will love learning about her strong will and her love and loyalty for the people she cared for and kept her going on through all her many losses. Mammy Ruth was an interesting person, and a character everyone most likely loved and will never forget especially in her dealings with Scarlett.