Monday, August 30, 2010

A Book Report - Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

I've just finished reading the book Handle with Care written by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. First let me sing the praises of Jodi Picoult. I've read eight of her books and I've loved each one. The most unique thing about Jodi is that each chapter in her books is from the viewpoint of one of the characters. So it's like you and you alone are in the mind of each character; you know what they are thinking when the other characters in the book don't.

Handle with Care is the story of a little girl born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which means that she was born with super brittle bones and has broken bones while in the womb and had several more broken during delivery.

Her parents are devastated, but they love their little daughter, broken bones and all and bring her home and learn how to live their lives handling the little girl like she's fine china. Charlotte, the mother, quits working to care for Willow. Sean, the father is on the local police force and he works as many shifts as possible to pay for all the mounting medical bills.

Charlotte had another child prior to marrying Sean and giving birth to Willow. Amelia now has to learn how to survive her pre-teen years in the shadow of her sick sibling. How to lose all the attention of her mother; attention she never had to share with anyone before.

The main point of the story begins when Charlotte has an opportunity to file a "wrongful suit" case against her obstetrician who was not only her doctor but her best friend and Godmother to Willow. Charlotte doesn't regret having given life to Willow and she wouldn't trade her for the world but she realizes that she wasn't given the choice ahead of time to terminate the pregnancy. Although as a devout Catholic she thinks to herself that she would never have terminated the pregnancy she realizes that she never counted of having a disabled child that would require so much attention and medical care.

The matter becomes even more difficult for Charlotte to bear when she loses the friendship of her best friend and doctor Piper. Her husband Sean is against the law suit and agrees to testify for the other side which causes strain in the marriage. Amelia has such a difficult time handling the way adults are ripping her life apart that she goes to extremes to ease the pain in her poor, young heart. And Willow herself has to come to terms with a mother that tells her she loves her unconditionally yet tells the world she should have been given the choice to terminate the pregnancy.

Handle with Care is a great book that makes you think. How disabled is too disabled. When is it a doctors responsibility to counsel termination of a pregnancy. How far would you go to care and provide for a disabled child. Obviously unless you happen to be in those shoes you never really know how you would handle it; but at least it makes you realize what strength parents with disabled children have.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly. You won't want to put it down once you start it. And that's how every single Jodi Picoult book is.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday Favorites - One Year Ago

Today was such a busy fun day. I finally finished cleaning up after dinner. I made my kids favorite TacoBell Teriyaki Hamburgers. I take a packet of Taco Bell seasoning and mix it with the raw hamburger, shape the patties and then when they are almost done I brush on Kikoman Teriyaki Glaze. YUM! But one year ago, almost to the day I was visiting my daughter April in Turlock and we ate at a restaurant that became a favorite to all of us. So I'm going to share this past post because it's Sunday Favorites hosted by Chari over at Happy To Design. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed living it!

Sunday Favorite 
August 25, 2009

This weekend my mom, my sister and I went to go visit my daughter up in Turlock. We had a great time. We did a lot of thrifting and found some wonderful treasures which I will share with you later.

We found a wonderful restaurant called Mi Casa (My Home) and I want to share pictures of one of their specialties called a Molcajete. A Molcajete is a stone tool, the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle tool. It looks like this. . .

I remember my mom and my aunts all having one of these and using it to grind up spices. I know my mom used to have one, not sure what happened to it.

In the picture above you can see that a Molcajete is made out of stone. At this restaurant we went to they take this stone and place it over an open flame and heat it up until it's red hot and they place whatever meat you've chosen along with broth and salsa in the molcajete and heat it up. When they are ready to bring it to your table they pile on shredded cheese. The molcajete arrives at the table still bubbling. It is pure ambrosia. It is served with beans, rice, pico de gallo, tortillas and guacamole. It's the most unique dish I've ever seen in a restaurant.

My daughter ordered one and I'm glad she did. I hope to try one next time! I took some photos, but they don't do it justice, but hopefully you get an idea. . .

The green stuff hanging out are green onions that have wilted due to the heat of the dish. When they place this in front of you - you feel it! It is boiling, sizzling hot!

The cheese gets all melty and gooey as it sits in front of you and it's a dish that doesn't get cold quickly. Here's the empty finished Molcajete. Looks like lava doesn't it? Well that's basically what it is, stone hot lava in a Molcajete. If you ever make it to Turlock you have to try it!!

Here's some photos of what the rest of us had, but trust me...after seeing and tasting the Molcajete we wished we had ordered one.

I had these Sopes, which actually were very delicious. I got them with carnitas...shredded pork.

My sister had these tacos, which I believe were Carne Asada, or maybe Carnitas, don't remember and a Mango & Jicama salad with Mango Dressing.

My mom ordered this humongous burrito filled with carnitas. She could barely eat 1/4th of this dish.

So if you ever get a chance to make it to this restaurant, don't be chicken like me...order this dish, it's wonderful!

Monday, August 23, 2010

And the winnings keep on coming!

A few weeks ago, Kathryn with From the Inside...Out was contacted to review a book. Not just any book, a very special book written by a very special lady, Lucille O'Neal. Lucille O'Neal is the mother of none other than...the Shaq! Shaquille O'Neal, the NBA superstar!

Kathryn not only received an autographed copy of the book, she also received four more autographed copies to share with her blog buds! And since she has more than four blog buds she had to have a drawing and her boys got to draw names out of a hat. And the best part? I won one of the books!

Last week I came home and found a package from Kathryn, all the way from New York!

I started to read the book this weekend but because it was such a busy weekend I only got through the first chapter. But so far it's very interesting and easy to read (and by easy to read I don't mean the words are small, but rather that it grabs your attention right away). I'll do another book review once I get through the book.

Thanks Kathryn for having friends in high places! I meant it when I said that I hope you get many, many more requests to endorse products, especially as you mentioned from wineries and breweries. We truly are kindred spirits!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a Winner and have been for a long, long time!

Back in April of this year I was minding my own business, cleaning my closet; sorting clothes to take to Goodwill when all of a sudden I noticed a small pain in my buttock on the left side and I thought, "Hmmmm, that's weird". Well within a half hour it turned into a stabbing, radiating, unbearable pain that knocked me flat on my back for almost a month. What was it you ask? It was Sciatica! You can read more about it here.

It has taken a long time for me to get back to normal and in fact...I'm still not back to normal. My left leg is still very, very weak and gives out when I least expect it to. I've fallen a couple of times and I can't climb stairs, but I'm hopeful that with every passing day it will get better.

It was a long time from that day until I was able to even sit long enough to check my email. When I did I was thrilled to find out that I had won a Giveaway hosted by Flory at Living Creatively! I immediately emailed Flory and let her know how happy I was and also that it would be a while before I would be able to photograph my winnings and post about them. I sent her that email on May 2nd and today I actually took photos and now I'm posting about winning.

Here's a photo. I received the package on May 26th. Flory sent it to me from the Philippines which is where she lives. I don't believe I've ever received a package from outside of the United's was pretty thrilling and my mom was very curious about why I was receiving a package from the Philippines!

Flory also has a photography blog and when I won I was able to choose from several different photos she had taken. I fell in love with one she captioned "Pasta and Ikea". I just loved the way the light hit the pasta. I knew it was something I would love to hang somewhere in my kitchen.

The great thing is that when I received it Flory had already mounted it, ready to hang with magnets on my refrigerator...and it's been there ever since, brightening my day every time I open my fridge.

The small drawing was a gift from my precious niece Clarissa when I had my 1st surgery for Thyroid Cancer in 2008. I've had it there to remind me every day of the message Clarissa wrote:

You are going to feel great. You are free!

I think what she was saying was that I would be Cancer free...and so far I have been! I love you Clarissa!

But back to my winnings. Besides that gorgeous photo on my fridge, Flory also sent me the gosh-darnedest, cutest, hand-made notepad ever!

She hand-painted those "beans" on the front cover. She calls this "Beans for a Cause". She has an Etsy shop where she sells them. She says this about them:

I wanted to do my part by offering a Beans for a Cause Notepad. 
It's for Uncle Rey on dialysis and desperately needs 
help raise money for a kidney transplant as soon as possible.
My 3.5x5 inch colored paper notepad has a 
hand drawn kidney beans on a hard yellow and blue cover. 
With 100 colored and/or white pages whichever you prefer.

She sent me the colored pages as you can see in the photo. The kidney beans she's hand-drawn of course are a symbol of the kidney transplant that her Uncle Rey desperately needs. If you would like to purchase one of these note pads you can do so here.  

Thank you Flory and thank you for being so patient in waiting for me to finally post about this giveaway. I hope your Uncle Rey is doing well and that he heals completely.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shrimp and Sherbert and A Birthday Celebration

I've been a little scarce with my blogging this week, but it's been a busy week. Tonight I celebrated my son's 25th birthday. Can you believe it? 25! Why I barely look a day over thirty, forty ok, so maybe a week, week and a half over 50...but who's counting?

We started the evening with a shopping spree...which my boy truly hates. But I wanted to buy him a few items of clothing instead of just giving him money. He chose a nice pair of Levi Jeans of course and I bought him several t-shirts and he picked out a Red Sox T-shirt, one of his favorite teams. Then he and I met up with his sister April at one of our favorite restaurants, Woolgrowers. And then we feasted!!!

Woolgrowers opened in 1954 and has been run by the same lady and her children since then.

This is an authentic Basque Food restaurant and it's family style. By family style I mean that they don't bring each person their own little portion on their own seperate plate. No get a great big basket full of fresh baked french bread, a big bowl of cabbage and other veggie soup, a big bowl of beans and a big bowl of their special salsa (my favorite thing). And that's all just to munch on while you peruse the menu and choose your entree.

And everyone has their own special way of eating this first course. I like to put beans in the bottom of my bowl, then pour some soup in, then a big spoonful of salsa. While they all meet and get to know each other I introduce a big ol pat of butter to a slice of french bread. They I alternate between eating a big spoonful of soup/beans/salsa and a bit of bread; and just dipping the soft, buttery bread into the soupy mix! Mmmmm, heaven in a bowl!

And because I'm the mom and I can...I ordered myself an Amaretto Sour drink to enjoy with my meal while the kiddies had soft drinks! (The kiddies are my daughter April who is 29 and my son...the birthday boy, James who turned 25 today!)

At Woolgrowers you can order one of two ways.
1. You can have the setup, which includes all of the yummy items listed above plus a whole lot more.
2. You can have the setup and order an entree. If you have a big appetite you can order a juicy New York Steak seasoned and cooked to perfection, or maybe a Filet Mignon? You can also have Fried Chicken, Fried Shrimp, Scampi or their specialty Lamb Chops! Click here to see their complete menu.

After you order your entree, and you've finished the beany, cabbage soup with salsa and bread mixture, they bring you a big plate of pickled tongue. (We quietly let our waitress know that none of us were tongue lovers so she didn't have to bother to bring that to us.) But she brought us a big plate of salad, which is special Woolgrowers salad, just lettuce and vinegar and oil dressing. A big plate of bite sized pieces of juicy tomato with thinly shaved green bell pepper and onion all tossed together in a vinegar and oil dressing.

I like to put the salad on my plate, then a side of the beans (cause they never take the old bowls of food they brought you first) then some of the tomato, bell pepper & onion dressing and just kinda mix it all together on my fork while I eat. My son James likes to put the salad on the plate and then pour a big ol spoonful of beans on top of the salad. To each his own...there is no wrong way to eat anything at Woolgrowers!

Then they bring you even more food! At this point they bring the entree to those who ordered one. April and I opted for just the set up tonight, James ordered the Fried Shrimp. He got six huge pieces of Fried Shrimp with Cocktail sauce. (He asked for Ranch Dressing, but they don't do the Ranch at Woolgrowers...he had to settle for Catsup). With the entree, they bring a huge platter of their super delicious specially made French Fries, a big platter of Spaghetti and a plate of peas and carrots.

Those French Fries are the best things I've ever tasted. They should be featured on Food Networks "Best Thing I Ever Ate" show. I love to dip the fries into the salsa. I could eat just that and be happy! James totally enjoyed his Shrimp, even dipped in Catsup. They were so huge that he only managed to eat four of the six, so I guess he has a snack for later.

Then we had to have dessert. If you are a special, loyal, regular customer, then you get a small plate of blue cheese to enjoy for dessert. Thank goodness, they didn't know us from Adam and we got Rainbow Sherbert instead. Sometimes it pays to be a nobody!

Also, April had purchased a boxful of special cookies from Smiths Bakeries of Bakersfield. Jim's favorite, little thumbprint cookies filled in with frosting and topped with Jimmies (sprinkles). We all got to share in those goodies as well!

All in all it was a delicious meal, made even better for me by the company of my children April and James. We don't often all go out together, but when we do we always wonder why we don't do it more often as we have such a good time! Happy Birthday James! Thanks for being born so we could pig out with you tonight!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heeeeeres Johnny!!!!!

I watch the Today Show with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira every morning. I've watched the Today Show ever since my kids started school. I love watching them. Today on the Today Show Meredith Vieira did a piece about the Greatest Late Night Talk Show Host EVER! Johnny Carson.

I love Johnny Carson. I can remember waking up late at night to the cry of a hungry child (mine, not just random hungry children) and sitting there rocking my baby to sleep and watching Johnny Carson. He is about the only person that has made me laugh out loud. He could do it with just a look, he didn't really have to say anything.

Well now his entire Tonight Show career has been digitized and put on DVD! Man oh Man! Would I love to own the entire set. The great thing is that even if you can't afford to get the whole collection, you can go to and they have tons of clips you can watch for ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!

Here's a few of my favs. . .

Johnny was so awesome with kids!

This next one is a bit long but worth every single me! This brought back all those memories of laughing out loud! Not only was he great with kids, but he was great with animals!

Go on now...GO! What are you waiting for? I know what I'm doing tonight. I'm watching the King of Late Night Talk Show, the Original, the One and Only...Johnny Carson! Heeeeeeres Johnny!

Guilt Trips - Why?

"The Guilty think all talk is of themselves"
Geoffrey Chaucer, English Poet

Truer words were never uttered!

The other day on my way to get that Baskin-Robbins Pecans & Pralines Ice Cream I told you guys about here on my lunch hour, I was waiting my turn patiently at a red light when all of a sudden someone honked. I have no idea what direction the honking came from, but I knew, I just knew it was directed at me and that I was doing something wrong!

But what? I immediately checked the light again to make sure it truly was red and I wasn't just sitting there daydreaming of ice cream while the light had turned green...but no, it was red. I quickly ran through the motions of what I did before I got in the car; did I put my purse on the roof, did I get in the wrong car, was there a dead animal attached to my rear bumper that I had accidentally hit as I was backing out? What! What did I do, why were they honking at me?

Turns out they weren't honking at me at all. They were honking at the Dancing Cowboy who stands at the corner of California Avenue and Stockdale Highway with a Little Caesars sign who has become a celebrity of sorts here in Bakersfield (yeah I know, but since Buck Owens passed away we're pretty hard pressed to find celebrities here). Although we can claim a professional football player, Joey Porter. I have no idea who he plays for but I know there's a fund raiser in his backyard this weekend.

This guy has been doing this job every single week day (I don't know if he does weekend cause I'm never in the big city on weekends) for as long as I can remember, at least two years. Sometimes it's 102 degrees out there and he's always wearing that black cowboy hat. People honk at him and he becomes even more animated. He's pretty amazing and I certainly hope Little Caesars is making it worth his while to stand out there and entertain their customers.

But anyway...this time the honking was not all about me; it usually isn't as I'm an awesome driver and never almost never distracted. But what is it about a honking horn that makes me all paranoid and certain that I am doing something wrong. Does that happen to you? Is there some other thing that happens randomly that makes you panic like that? Do Tell...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Iwanna Wednesday - Iwanna New Computer!

I had this great Iwanna post started, photos and all but then last night when I got home and logged on my computer was slower than me climbing stairs...and that's pretty darned slow! I also keep getting an error message that says something like...  "A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete."

Isn't a script what you take to the pharmacy to get your meds? And why is the script busy? What's it doing? And you have two choices of what the problem is, either the script is busy or it may have stopped??? What? Thats like saying that guy laying in the middle of the road is either busy, or his heart may have stopped! You can't be busy and/or stopped!

But anyway, I would click continue and I would click stop. I defragg'd, I ran spyware checks, I ran virus scans, I cleaned the monitor with equal parts of vinegar and water and canned aired the keyboard, but still it wouldn't let me so anything. So I quit and went to go watch Reba! So that's why no GREAT Iwanna post today!

Now I'm on my lunch hour, eating my left over chile colorado burrito with beans & rice left over from my Margarita Day yesterday and I'm writing this post on my work PC.

And since it's Iwanna Wednesday I think I'm going to end this here cause Iwanna some Pecans & Praline Ice Cream from Baskin-Robbins which is right down the street. Can I get you some? What flavor?

Happy Wednesday and may all your Iwanna wishes come true!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

5 hours of ENERGY for $2.48?

Yesterday my sister Lisa and I went to check out the newest Super Wal-mart in our fair city. Neither one of us had ever been there and it's probably been open close to a year now.

It's kind of hard getting used to a new Wal-mart because you don't know where anything is, so we had to do a lot of walking and backtracking to find the things on our shopping lists.

We definitely got our exercise yesterday, wandering all over a huge store lost. Back and forth trying to find pool chemicals and Hair Spray. When we finally made it to the cash register we were pooped! We noticed in the impulse displays a product called 5 Hour Energy Shots for $2.48 each and they had a new Pomegranate flavor. Neither one of us had ever tried the product so we kinda talked each other into trying it.

We popped those puppies open right there and sucked them down, before even paying for them. They tasted pretty good. A bit tart, but not that bad. We instantly decided they would be pretty good with some Vodka, sorta like a 5 hour energy Pomegranate Martini! Then we paid for the empty little bottles. I make sure to mention this so you don't think we drank them and them put them back in the box!

I don't know if it was all in my head, but by the time I finished paying and loading bags into my basket and heading out to my car I noticed that my eyes weren't tired anymore. That was the first thing I notice because I felt sleepy prior to drinking the shot. You know how your eyes kinda burn? Well they didn't anymore.

I've also notice that I wasn't tired all day. I wasn't exactly running around my house brimming with energy and cleaning and all. But I was a bit more alert and didn't even need my Saturday afternoon nap!

Would I drink one of these everyday? Hmmmm, well maybe....if they weren't $2.48 each! If they had maybe given me MORE energy instead of just not making me as tired as usual. But it was kind of interesting to try a product like that and see if it really worked. Have you guys ever tried them? Would you try them?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday Favorites - Tablescaping

 Today for Sunday Favorites I want to share a post I did back on February 1, 2009 about a Valentines Tablescape. I haven't done a tablescape in a long time because now that my mom has come to live with me we actually use the table for preparing food and eating! But I still love tablescaping and visiting tablescaping websites. So join Chari over at Happy To Design and maybe you will see other tablescapes!

 Sunday Favorite
February 1, 2009

Napolean Hill, one of America's earliest Motivational Writers says, "The jack-of-all-trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim."

That's me. Jack of all trades, master of none. I like saying I know a little bit about a lot of things but not a lot about just one thing. Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?

It might be a good thing to concentrate all your efforts on one definite aim in your career or business, but not in your personal life and hobbies and interests. While it may be good to be an expert knitter or sewer, wouldn't it be better to be just a so-so knitter and so-so sewer and so-so cook and so-so painter and...well you get my point. Try lots of new things and have fun with them, rather than getting all intense and stressed out about trying to be perfect at just one of them. What do you think?

I like being just so-so about a lot of things. That being said, I have a new interest. Blogger hosts a Blogs of Note award that it gives out daily to a blog they think is worthy. I try to check out the blog of note each day and some of them are great and some of them are things I'm not interested in at all, but it's always fun to check.

The other day, I checked out a blog of note about Tablescaping! What is tablescaping you ask? Good question, I'd never heard of it either. So I clicked on the link and Tablescaping is simply setting a beautiful, interesting, unique, special table for either a special event, or as this blogger does, just for everyday use. Go check out this blog and look at all the great tablescapes and see if you don't get some idea of your own. I know I did. Let me share.

I decided to try my hand at a Valentine's Day table, see what you think. I first got the idea because I have the Corelle Pink Heart dishes like these...

I've had these dishes probably since 1990 or so. And I love them and use them as my everyday dishes. But then I remembered some dishes I bought about 8 years ago while shopping at a Goodwill with my mom.

They have beautiful flowers and a butterfly which I love, so I thought I would try these instead, since they aren't my everyday dishes.

I didn't have a pretty tablecloth or runner I could use, so I stuck with the crocheted tablecloth thingy I've been using on my table, since the color is neutral and it's kind of romantic.

I then looked around my kitchen to see what else I had that would work and be valentiny. Remember the post I did about the champagne flutes my daughter gave me? I mentioned some amber colored glasses, they are really more rose colored, although they do photograph a bit more orangy.

And see the pink napkin above? On Friday I went to the American Cancer Society Discovery Store (a nice way to say thrift store). It's an awesome and wonderful store and I went there again today. I'm hooked! It's so well decorated and the displays are made with such attention to detail, I love it. Anyway, I bought four pink napkins, just cause I like pink, I had no plans at that time to do a tablescape using them, but they sure came in handy!

And here's the whole table. The angel blowing a kiss in the middle was the centerpiece for my niece Sarena's quincinera in August of 2005. I have two of them and I just love placing them in different places around my house. The other one is in my bedroom right now, on a nightstand, blowing me kisses before I go to bed :-) I think I still would like a different centerpiece and I will show you what I did differently at the end. The pink candles I've had forever and had never used them. I have some lilac ones exactly the same, and the hearts strewn about are candies.

Here's a closeup of the napkins and the silverware, I didn't put any knives on it. I don't know why, maybe whatever I plan to serve for Valentine's day won't need cutting?

The napkins look rather plain don't you think? So i found this wonderful website that teaches you lots of different ways to fold them. I did the one below because it was the simplest and also the only one that I saw that didn't require an iron and starch, (I just don't do irons and starch)!

So here is the finished table. Except the angel still doesn't seem right. I think I need to add some pink flowers to her, or maybe something totally different???

How about this? This was my purchase today at the American Cancer Society Discovery Store. I saw it Friday and secretly coveted it. It was $18.00 and that seemed pricey to me, but remember what happened last time I saw something I wanted and I didn't buy it? Well I took a chance again with this item. When I was there on Friday I saw a sign that said that on Super Bowl Sunday they would have everything in the store 25% off. So I figured I would wait til Super Bowl Sunday and if it was there it was meant to be...and it was there!! Yippee!!!!

So here's the final table, sorry about the lighting but it's late in the evening. It still seems kind of bare to me. I think I'll email the Tablescaping lady and have her take a look at it and give me some ideas. I'm thinking maybe if I take the cover off the cake stand and put pillar candles in shades of pink and white in varying heights it might help. What do you think?

Also linking up to Marty's at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday! Go visit Marty, she is fabulous and has the most beautiful home!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Report - The Host

A person would have to have been living in a cave in the Arizona desert without TV, radio, cell phones, newspapers, magazines, internet, twitter, facebook, ham radios and any other type of not have heard about the author Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight Book Series.

These books were written for a younger audience, but I gotta tell you; I loved them. They were what got me through my Week of Captivity back in February of 2009 when I had to stay home for a whole week due to the I-131 Ablation Radioactive Iodine Treatment I had to take because of my Thyroid Cancer, you can read about that here.

I got so engrossed in the story of Bella and Edward that I couldn't put the books down. Even though Bella drove me crazy with all her immaturity. Imagine...she wants Edward to turn her into a Vampire, so that forever she will be one of the living dead and she can remain with him forever, never aging, never seeing her family or friends again; but she can't marry him! Marriage is too big a commitment! Um, What?

But my book report is not on the Twilight Series because by now I'm sure you've all seen the movies, at least the first three. Today my book report is on another book written by author Stephenie Meyer. This is the first book she's written for adults. The book is The Host.

As with the Twilight series my daughter April had to literally BEG me to read this book! I told her I didn't like alien books as that is what the title clearly implies, right? She told me I would love this one; and I did! I loved it so much that currently I'm re-reading it after BEGGING my sister Lisa to read it (she loved it too).

The Host is a book about Aliens, but it's also a book about so much more. There's really a lesson in humanity, family and love in this book.

The main characters of the book are Wanda and Melanie, two women sharing the same body! Wanda is the alien who comes from a race of aliens known as Souls. Her true name is Wanderer, a name given to her because this is not the first planet she has ever lived on. In her true self form she is a beautiful silver, Soul who will be implanted into the live body of a human being, the host body. Melanie is the human host.

When the Souls first come to Earth, they are implanted into human beings by a small incision made in the back of the neck. The souls then take over the mind of said human, leaving their body intact. In the beginning the Humans don't even realize that they are being invaded. Their neighbor across the street acts the same, looks the same, goes to work everyday, just like normal. The only way to tell that a Human has been implanted with a Soul is their eyes. Their eyes become reflective when light shines on them.

By the time Humans figure out what is happening most of them have been invaded by Souls. Putting aside the fact that Souls invade a live Human body and take over the mind; they are really a wonderful species. Souls just do what is right and proper. Once Souls take over the Earth there is no more crime and murder. Souls hate violence and would never think of harming anyone or anything.

Souls know that they have to do their part in this world to make it prosper. Everyone does their share of the work and they all take turns doing the unpleasant jobs in the world. Since everyone works equally hard there is no need to work for paychecks anymore; you work because it's the fair thing to do. To be productive for all human kind. Since there are no paychecks, there is no need to pay for items in stores, you just go in and you only take what you need, no money changes hands. A soul would never think to take more just out of greed; because there is no more greed!

Once the soul takes over the mind the human, memories, thoughts and feelings are for the most part wiped out of that body. But when Wanderer takes over the body of Melanie she finds that Melanie doesn't just disappear quickly into that dark night. Melanie is a fighter and she's been fighting the take over of her body and the body of her little brother Jamie as well as the body of the love of her life, Jared.

Melanie makes life difficult for Wanderer so that she doesn't think as completely as a Soul does, she questions things, or rather Melanie makes her questions things. Melanie also keeps replaying her memories of Jamie and Jared in Wanderers mind. Wanderer finds herself having feelings for Jamie and Jared as well as for Melanie.

They take off on an adventure to locate a secret hiding place that Melanie's Uncle Jeb had told Melanie of in the Arizona Desert. The whole story takes place in an area that I am quite familiar with as I was born not 20 miles from Picacho Peak where the adventure begins; so it was exciting for me to be able to picture the area in my mind.

I don't want to give away the story in case anyone wants to read it, but I do want to say that I highly recommend the book...even if you don't like stories about aliens.

The book is soon to be turned into a movie and I can't wait to see that one! If you have read or do read this book, please let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Iwanna Wednesday - Iwanna Book Nook!

Over the weekend I spent some time adding some of the books I've read in 2010 to my list over there in the side bar. I'm at sixteen books read already in 2010! I would be further along but I'm re-reading The Host because I just loved it so much. But I'll do a book report later in the week to share that book with you.

Also over the weekend my mom and I made a visit to our favorite bookstore. This is the most amazing store! Aisles and aisles of books, hardbound, paperback, books on tape and CD. And get this, any hardbound book, only 90cents! Paperbacks, only 80cents! I know...unheard of huh? See this isn't just any bookstore, this is the Goodwill Bookstore. We have lots of Goodwill Stores in Bakersfield, but this one is strictly for books with a few little knick-knacks just to keep those that don't read interested when they come in with  their literate loved one. I love this place and am so grateful it is here because as much as I and members of my family love to read we would spend our childrens inheritance buying books! (Just kidding April and James, there is no money, no inheritance, twas just a joke; an lol if you will.)

But I bet you're wondering what books and Goodwill and my sidebar over there have to do with Iwanna Wednesday. How am I ever going to tie it all together? Never fear! I have it all organized and plotted out in my head. I just hope my fingers cooperate.

What does a book lover need, nay wanna? I'm a book lover, what do Iwanna? (Haha, get that play on words there?) Iwanna book nook, or book alcove, reading room, library. However you wanna term it Iwanna one. I'm hoping one day my son will move out and I can turn his room into a Book Nook.

Iwanna Book Nook that's cozy and well lit with lots of sunshine streaming in the windows. I'd love to have shelves all around so I would have lots of little nooks to put my favorites books. A lovely, cozy, comfy chair is a must. So as I am wont to do I let my fingers do the walking and found some pretty incredible Book Nooks to share and to keep here on my blog to refer back to the minute my little boy heads out into the real world with a loving farewell from his beloved mother..."Don't let the front door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!" Amen!

So here's the first one Iwanna share with ya'll. I love this one. So clean and simple. Not a lot of distracting objects and colors to take your mind away from your book. As I get older I get Adult Onset ADD. (I don't think it really exists yet, I may have invented it.) With Adult Onset ADD or AOADD I find myself distracted by the least little thing, so this room would be perfect. That chair looks so comfy and I love the little throw to keep my legs and feet warm (even though at this moment it is a brisk 96 degrees outside) brrr!

The only thing I would change are the little pops of color. Those would have to be green, not blue; as green is my fav color. Heck, Iwanna this first room so much I'm almost tempted to stop here and start measuring the room for curtains! But fingers already did the walking so I'll let'em do the talking as well. Let's see another room.

I actually chose this one first because the yellow just makes the space so cheerful, and I love the windows. But I know that eventually I would become distracted by all the exciting things going on outside the window and lose interest in my book. So even though Iwanna'd this one first, feel free to keep it for yourself if Uwanna!

This one caught my eye right away. Can you tell why? If you said, "Cause it's Green Alicia" you would be correct! I just love this chair and ottoman. I've always wanted an ottoman and now with the AOADD and Sciatica (meaning I'm getting older), an ottoman would be so comforting in my book nook! If nothing else I would love the little green throw in this room in the first room I showed you above. Perfect Green color!

But there are just so many choices! Like this one. I love that the windows are higher up and love the shutters! I can't tell from the angle of the picture if this is just an over stuffed armchair or an over stuffed lounge chair. Either way I see plenty of room for my over stuffed tushie and my skinny little legs!

Here's another one whose very simplicity makes it stunning! And this one might be totally do'able now in my bedroom if I just get a full-sized bed instead of my queen-size bed! That way the boy wouldn't have to be homeless just so his momma could have a book nook!

I really adore this room. Mostly cuz Iwanna French Doors so bad! I've always wanted a bedroom that had french doors leading out into my English Rose Garden! And my sons bedroom is in the back and it would be ever so easy to just have French Doors put in! Iwanna this room!

At least I thought Iwanna'd that room until I saw this one! This is it. This is THE ONE! This is perfection and has everything Iwanna and everything Ineeda! I love, love, love the shelves. So much room for all my lovely books! I love the French Doors and you know what? They don't even have to lead outside, I think they would be just lovely leading into the hallway and they would open up the end of the hall so much and let in so much light!

I'm not too thrilled with the chairs though, but there are lots of other cozy chairs in the pictures above to inspire me. Yes...Iwanna Book Nook, don't you? Which is your fav? Do you suffer from AOADD? Have you ever bug-bombed a loved one? (That's for you Kathryn!)

The great thing about being nicknamed Iwanna and having my very own Iwanna Wednesday is that even though I can't possibly afford any of these rooms right now, nothing says I can't Iwanna them. Plus the boy just came in and I said "Look what I'm gonna do to your room someday" and he looked and said "I'm never leaving" and walked off down the hall into my BOOK NOOK!!!

Happy Iwanna Wednesday! May all your Iwanna Wishes come true!