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

Shauni

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!



Get off the computer! and have a Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 9, 2012

Finding Her Way to Peru

Just found out today that Word Girl is off to Peru for the summer! How exciting is that? She will be doing some environmental stuff and donating her time and efforts where needed. She will also be spending at least a weekend at Machu Pichu.. I am so jealous!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to a Special Girl

Twenty One years ago today.. at about 1am or so, my water broke..

I of course called the Doctor and they told me to come on in, being the mother I was I explained that it would be closer to 6am because I had to finish the Halloween costumes for my other two children, take a shower and of course shave my legs.

Around 6am, we strolled into the hospital, only to be yelled at by my doctor who had beat me there. I told him I had explained that I was busy and it would be closer to 6 before I showed up. He looked at me for a moment before shaking his head and saying, well yes but no one actually believed you. From there I was taken into a delivery room where I promptly fell asleep. What can I say, I was tired, it had been a long hot summer with no central air, which meant I didn't get all that much sleep and the past 24 hours I had none. A Few hours later they woke me up and told me it was time to push.. Ok, I did so.. heard from my husband "honey, it's a girl" smiled rolled over and fell back asleep. You have to understand, after two stepsons and two sons, I really really wanted a girl.. but I was tired. From delivery they took me to this absolutely gorgeous private room. It was available and they gave it to me at no update cost. Brass headboard, Brass cradle, floral prints everywhere.. gorgeous.. and what a waist! I literally slept for the next day and a half. Sometime in there my doctor came in to check on me (I found out later) and the chart said I was over medicated.. the only problem is, I hadn't had any... yep.. I had the easiest delivery in the world.. and I slept through it.

This beautiful girl was a joy, at 9 months she was the how to dunk a baby example at mommy and me swim lessons, we would dunk her and she would come up laughing. The instructors told the other mothers that if they did it right this was how their children should react.. (still makes me smile) by 3 she was going off the high dive by herself (I wasn't going with her).

Also at three she decided she wanted to learn how to ride her bike without training wheels, so I took them off.. standing behind her holding the bike and ready to run behind her, she smiled at me and said "Let go mommy, I can do it myself" and she did! The next day she rode her bike, with the rest of us into town, about 4 miles.. fortunately a friend had a truck to bring us back because that was a bit much.. From there she was off and running!!

This child had the heart of a lion and the determination to do it all on her own.. but she also had a sensitive soul. I failed my baby in this manner, she was often bruised by others, even adults.. instead of fighting for her.. I told her to suck it up and learn to deal. Being sensitive is a hard burden to bear.. she did but the shell that encased that heart sometimes hurts mine.

For all of her sensitiveness about herself, she learned early to stand up for others, no one was going to be insulted or put down on her watch. She stood for those who would not or could not stand for herself. She was the first to say it like it is and wouldn't put up with any crap. This made her an easy target for the mean girls and their moms.. and believe me, those butter wouldn't melt in their mouths children took great joy in picking her apart.

While hurting her, a lot, this didn't seem to stop her from being a true leader. Not that she ever realized that... she gathered a group of friends around her that others fought to be a part of. Twice, those groups were destroyed but a girl who wanted what my girl had created and young girls learning their way.. chose the interloper.. the same one.. who came in and bad mouthed my girl, worked at her insecurities and turned her "friends" away. The first time she was forgiven. After the second time I told Word Girl, she was welcome to forgive her again, but she was not welcome, in my car, in my house, in my presence.. I don't care that her life was hard.. MY DAUGHTER.. deserved better. But in both cases, Word Girl rebounded by making wonderful new friends and starting a new circle.

All through her elementary and high school years she was the lightening rod that attracted the mean girls and sometimes they managed to really hurt her.. but most times.. my girl soared! Of course she never understood what a leader she really was.

When she left for Western Illinois University.. she shed this town. She left behind the mean girls, those that stepped all over her to find their glory and those that needed to demean her to create their own.. Instead she blossomed. From the very beginning she was given leadership positions. She was a member of the Residence Hall Committee, even chairing the after hours committee, as a Freshman!! She has never really came home. She works as a summer RA and a leader for incoming freshman with Camp Leatherneck. Has been active with STLF (Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow) and this year has pledged to XO sorority..

All that while maintaining an excellent GPA!

I am so proud of my amazing girl.. and more than that I respect the woman she has become!

I love you baby Happy Birthday

Mom


Monday, October 1, 2012

Suppport 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 choices...in 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!!

Shauni

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Girls are doing JUST Fine!!

 Blond Girl is on a great floor on her residence hall. So far they have gone to church, on a moonlight hike, bouldering, shopping, swingdancing and today to the first University of WY football game.. aren't they just too cute? At least the girls are wearing shirts.. *Grins* oh yeah she's the W


Word Girl is doing just fine as well. Her hair seems to be growing back much faster than it did last year (yes two years in a row where she shaved her head for the St Baldric charity fund raiser). This year, her Junior year she has pledged a sorority.. Chi Omega..

great things for my girls aren't they just beautiful?

I just hope they remember what the classrooms look like *grins*

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Blond Girl

So Blond girl was off to college last week. We packed up our car and went on a road trip.. First a 15 hour drive to S. Dakota where we did the monuments.. then down to the Univ of WY.. where we moved her in... we had a blast but poor blond girl had to sit in the smallest space ever..

This was not an exaggeration.. our little car was stuffed to the rafters.. but we made it with all of her stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Treasured Olympic Memory

When Pita Boy and Word Girl were four and six.. I came home one day and word girl was running.. then she jumped.. then she fell down.. then Pita Boy came running out and helped helped her.. and they hobbeled off. I asked what are you two doing.. and Word Girl looked up at me with her beautiful smile and said.. "We are playing Olympic Gymnast mommy"..

Monday, July 16, 2012

18 and a Tattoo



Blond Girl had a birthday today.. Yes the last of my babies is now a grown up.. and as a right of passage she wandered off to the local tattoo shop and got her first tattoo.. hopefully this has fulfilled her needs and she will never want another one..

It was a fun story, she and a couple of friends left for the tattoo parlor that had been recommended to them.. They said the guy was so high it was ridiculous..She said she could smell him and his pupils were so dilated that she couldn't even see any color.

Then the lovely gentlemen was rude to her.. said she couldn't have it on her wrist.. that it would look stupid as an anklet and the only place she could get it done was on her shoulder blade.. Then she had an id issue.. So she called me..

I called Word Girl who told me the name of the place where she got hers. Then I called them.. they were lovely.. and had a way to work with my id instead.. So the gang all came by and picked me up. Off to the tattoo parlor..

This place was a rather interesting it looked more like a hair salon than a tattoo parlor. Very upscale.. The guys working there were great, they talked her through everything.. and if you will notice, there it is right on her wrist where she wanted it... Oh and the best part about the other place.. they spelled Lamentations wrong..

If one has to have a tattoo.. this was a wonderful.. made ,e consider getting one.. except that unlike my children, I am afraid of my mom.. and she said no tattoos!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last Home Swim Meet

There is a tradition here in town where the 15&Over Boys dress up as girls for the last relay of the season. A Few years ago the girls got tired of the boys getting all of the attention. Since this was Blond Girl's last home relay she was in on it.. here they are


I know I have shared pictures of Blond Girl before.. can you figure out which one is her?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blond Girl Goes to Prom

Count down to Graduation.. The baby is bailing on me! That's right one more step to saying goodbye.. She had her Senior Prom over the weekend and she was stunning!!

A good friend's family arranged for them to go to prom, then off to spend the night downtown and Tea and The Drake.. What lovely people..

The Girls before Prom









The Girls Downtown



 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Award Winning Mother.. Psycho Mom That Is

Hair Boy lives downstate in a college town... that being said he works two jobs and does his music so I don't hear from him regularly.. 24, two jobs, music and occasionally sleeping.. a very busy boy.

He calls about once or twice a month..and when I need to talk to him I will either text him or shoot him a voice mail.. I realized today that I hadn't spoken to him in quite some time. So I called him.. except I got a message saying his phone is out of order.. I um freaked just a wee bit..

I sent him an email, I sent a FB message to his ex girlfriend who is one of his roommates, I called my daughter and asked her if she had heard from him. I had just spoken with my mom last night and I knew she hadn't heard from him for a while.. so of course I now went into crazed mom mode and called the police. Yeah that's right.. I didn't wait for any response just called the police.

They had me call the local hospitals first then I called back.. To be asked if I had called the jail.. I was thinking please God don't suggest the morgue. Before I had to actually call the jail (a place that is highly unlikely, not impossible but unlikely for him to be) The police dispatcher called his number.. and sure enough it worked, he answered and promised to call. Which he did before I had even hung up with the police.

He started out with Mom, I'm OK... and just starting giggling.. See I am not one of those Lady, cut the apron strings kind of mom, so when I do something like this they hold it over my head for years if not decades.. We had a good giggle and he promised to call a bit more..

It was just funny.. and well embarrassing but at least he knows he is missed and very much loved..

Friday, March 23, 2012

For all You Hoodie Wearing Kids..Ask Geraldo, It's the Hoodie's Fault

Geraldo Rivera finds real culprit in Trayvon Martin slaying: The hoodie

This entire fiasco offends me.. First off the man was afraid of a child in a hoodie.. he was acting in self defense? HOW? Trayvon didn't even have a weapon. That anyone even remotely accepts that reasoning ticks me off..

I hate when people throw the race card out there.. oh you did that because you are white.. Or you did that to me because I am black.. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and honestly, because of the fact that my mom is the least racist person in the world.. I seriously thought that racism was something we only read about in the history books..

Of course I grew up in Southern California and as a High Schooler I did see the racism against Mexicans.. and yes back then the correct term was Mexican.. I NOT being politically incorrect.
But.. back on track.. this incident was a case of Racism pure and simple.. unless Geraldo is right and it was the Hoodie.. Then my kids better watch out as they LIVE in hoodies.. Hair Boy even has dreads these days.. so a tall kid w/dreads and a hoodie.. scares me.. At one point Word Girl had 14 different school related hoodies and various other ones as well.. Blond Girl actually "V's" the neck when she starts to out grow them to make them last longer and PITA Boy lives in his Green Bay Packer Hoodies (We do live in Chicago so that might be cause for me to worry).. My point being it's not the FREAKING HOODIE..

For the first time ever I have respect for LeBron James and his Miami Heat team mates..  I say we all wear our hoodies.. We are all, Trayvon Martin




Look at that beautiful boy.. we lost him way too soon.!!

Fortunately, or unfortunately this case was not about the hoodie.. it was about an idiot with a gun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disappointing My Baby

Today I got some bad news that I have yet to impart to Blond Girl.. She was supposed to go away with church to North Carolina tomorrow. She was very very excited and has been getting things ready.

I got a phone call today that told me because of her history (she had a health scare at camp last summer) that they do not feel comfortable allowing her to go. She is going to be heartbroken.. 

The thing that makes me angry is I started this ball rolling.. I sent an email explaining what they should do if she should have an incident. Which hasn't happened since the New Year.. Then I received the phone call. So by my being proactive.. about something that probably won't happen they are not going to let her go.. 

I understand where they are coming from but I am just ANGRY..

Monday, March 19, 2012

She's Almost A Teen So gets a post on this page


HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILLIPER!!! 

To the very best of nieces.. I LOVE YOU


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blond Girl Points Out the Obvious

With all the talk of the World Ending in 2012, Blond Girl made a very accurate point. Umm hello, The Mayans did not celebrate Leap Day.. that means that every four years for what 5000 years, a day was not accounted for. Very interesting.. To take her point even further she did the actual math, which I of course do not have.. Anyway her point being, if we were really going by the Mayan Calender 12, 21, 2012 would have come 7 plus months ago.. Ooops the world has already ended and we just don't know it.

I love it when our kids have more common sense than we do!! Of course Earth could be hit by a meteor tomorrow.. We have no clue and counting on an ancient calendar to determine the end of the world is pretty stupid. It's like listening to the quasi predictions of Nostradamus.. Sure it COULD happen but it's not a sign. Now if I am wrong and the world does end on 12, 21, 2012 I  give you all permission to send a letter of complaint..

Shauni

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Infamous, A Review

Infamous, by Sherrilyn Kenyon pretty much says it all.. who needs to actually write a review? But I will try. When JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I hated it. It wasn’t because it was dark, I got that, it wasn’t poorly written, it wasn’t about the fact that the world was out to get Harry, No. It was about the fact that 15 year old Harry had a huge attitude. It took me forever to realize that it was the only realistic thing in the book. I had a 15 year old male child at the time and it was like reading a mirror description of what I had at home. Why speak of Harry Potter in a review about Nick Gautier? Well because he too is 15 and Sherry got it oh so right. Yes, his trademark, Nick Gautier attitude is there but so is this dark, seething, brooding male of the human species. 


Infamous is much darker than the previous two books and we see Nick’s battle really gearing up. His relationship with Ambrose starts to make sense and we begin to get a peak at how Sherry is going to combine this Nick with the Nicky we have already met and fell in love with the early days of the Dark Hunter Series. We get a lot of information in this book and it leaves the rollicking good time concept of the first two books. But that makes sense, Nick is growing both as an adolescent human and as the Malachai.. The good news, even though it is most indeed darker than the previous books it in no way compares to Sherrie’s offering to suffering and despair, Archeron, although it has it’s moments. I suppose to really understand a character of such depth that Nick is turning out to be we must first understand how they came to where they are. Fortunately for us, we get Nick in pieces instead of all rolled up in one book. This way we still get to see the charming, snarky,  pain in the derriere that we call Nick.


Infamous in many ways is about relationships.. Nick’s relationship with Kody, Caleb and most importantly his mother. We also find out about Bubba and his family and get to meet his mother, the dynamics of this relationship come as quite the surprise. It also embraces the concept of creating a family, knowing who your friends are and in learning to trust them. We also learn that sometimes those that you think are on your side, aren’t. 


This story begins, the real story not the prologue, as Nick, Kody and Caleb walk into home room and discover that something nasty is happening at the school. First off there are horrid pictures of Brynna Adams (yes one of those Adams) manufactured and posted on computer.. then students are posting rumors and innuendo on another person’s locker.. Then all heck breaks loose as Nick and crew try to get to the bottom of things. Nick has to battle Demons both inner and outer, in this realm and other ones.. He has to fight his mother to be heard, truly heard and worst of all, he is in constant battle with true evil, humans. 


Along the way he is beaten, betrayed and not believed. Every time he does what is right, what we know is right someone takes him down for it. He has to battle his way through demons, makes his first sneak appearance into Azmodea and enjoys a rather strange first meeting between Nick and Asmodeus. Ok, could a meeting between those two be anything but strange? But I giggled my way through it, I couldn’t help myself. Adarian Malachai makes his presence felt and in doing so we learn a few interesting facts about why Nick can be saved.. Nicky also makes a deal with someone that infuriates an unbelieving Ambrose. 


As I previously stated Infamous is a dark, brooding, cacophony of the demons that control us but it has it’s fun moments and it is endearing in the way Nick continues to really want to be normal, human and good. Yes, Nick has way more battles ahead but he shows such promise. Maybe Ambrose will finally be happy. Do I recommend this book, heck yeah.. it is a must read for those who are following Nick’s chronicles but more than that it stands as a wonderful example as why Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the leading PNR writers today.


Shauni

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interesting info From Author Gaelen Foley


It's Friday so I am sure the Hot Off the Press feature is going to run wild.. That seems to be the way it's been working of late..

Here is a post from Gaelen Foley..

For a long time, whenever people asked me if I ever wanted to write any other kind of book, I had always said that "someday" I would love to try my hand at a children's novel. "Middle grade" literature was formative for me as a writer - all those great books from Black Beauty to Little Women to Huck Finn to Nancy Drew to the Narnia tales. Well, the time for "someday" has come.

Over the past couple years, in my spare time, working in tandem with my husband, who is an educator and teaches this age group, Eric and I have been working on a series idea that we fell in love with, called The Gryphon Chronicles. I am thrilled to announce that
this summer, (while you're still waiting for Inferno Book 5 - MY SCANDALOUS VISCOUNT, Beau & Carissa's story - Coming in October!) I will be able to bring you the first installment of The Gryphon Chronicles - Book 1: THE LOST HEIR, a fantasy adventure (with a hint of steampunk!) that's as much fun for grownups as it is for kids.


Set in Victorian England, THE LOST HEIR has the kind of adventure and heart you are used to from a Foley novel, but is perfectly suitable for children (PG rated) It's got fairies, ghosts, a gryphon as you can see (below), Thames water nymphs, and many other whimsical, magical creatures.

If you're familiar with my books, then you have probably noticed the spunky, ragtag London orphans who occasionally are befriended by my protective heroes and kindhearted heroines. Well, THE LOST HEIR actually focuses on one such kid - an orphaned pickpocket in Victorian London. His name is Jake, and as he will learn in the course of his story, he is in fact the longlost heir of an aristocratic family...with magical powers! 

COMING SUMMER 2012



I am certainly not surprised that it will have that Steampunk atmosphere.. Gaelen does that dark brooding type of romance so very well so the fact that her YA book will have it as well.. nope doesn't surprise me at all

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blond Girl and Tolkien Cloaks..


I was telling a blond girl, about a conversation I had with Author Jessa Slade, about laundry of all things.. The conversation went from my insanely obsessive laundry habits to her writing a post on dressing a character. I pointed out that it would be a really interesting post because so many authors go overboard in the clothing description department..

At this point in the story it, gets interesting..

Me: Some authors go on and on about designers and frills and...


Blond Girl: *cough* JRR Tolkien *cough* 


 Me: JRR Tolkien? (I was astounded..how dare she? She was raised on Tolkien she knows he can do no wrong)

Blond Girl: Mom FOUR pages on describing a cloak.. FOUR pages (she was warming up now)

Me: Seriously?

Blond Girl: Mom, it borders on Grapes of Wrath Bad...

Me: Dumbfounded stare.. Grapes of Wrath Bad? (For those that don't know Grapes of Wrath is my least favorite book in the entire world.. I hate Steinbeck's need to take four chapters to describe in minute detail, the DUST BOWL.. no dialog, just excruciating detail about dust)


Blond Girl: Ok, maybe not as bad.. but you get the point..

When I finished rolling my eyes and trying to out argue her.. I was quite proud.. My girl could discuss the Grapes of Wrath and Lord of the Rings in One conversation..

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Brithday Dr Seuss

Over at Speculative Fiction they are doing celebrating Dr Seuss' birthday by doing Seuss style blog

Here's my attempt


Happy Birthday Dr Seuss
you'd be here if I choose
you'd be here to write a book
you'd be here to meet a zook

If I had my way
You'd be here to stay
writing writing every day
maybe even writing a play

If you were here
I would stand up and cheer
wishing you well
with my silly spell

but you are not
things aren't so hot
you've been gone a while
But I still smile

when I hear about ham
and someone named sam
whenever a hoo let's out a shout
or a screech is out and about

I miss you today
All of the way
But at least we know
what you tried to show

that you were you,
that is truer than true
and there is no one alive, who is Youer than You!!

@Shauni

hey don't laugh it's a poem

No School Again and Again and Again

Today was what Blond Girl's school calls a 12:12 day..it's pretty self explanatory.. they get out of school at 12:12. This happens a few times a year and after 10 years I am almost used to it. They have all their regular classes except 0 hour, it's gym and not worth the time for her to go to school early for a 20 min gym class.

Now 12:12 day wouldn't be bad if they didn't also get tomorrow off.. Yep some sort of teacher institute day.. then Monday because it's Casimir Polaski day *rolls eyes*.. so a 4 and a half day weekend.. Again wouldn't be so bad had they not just gotten presidents day off.. then two weeks before that, Martin Luther King Day.. yep from mid January to mid March they pretty much get every other Monday off.. PLUS a 12:12 day and a Friday or two tossed in..

Oh yeah.. did I mention that EVERY Thursday is an early dismissal day? They get off an hour early? I know teachers work hard, that they are expected to perform miracles and they need time to plan. I know that many of these early dismissal days they spend in meetings and classes.. but it is just so frustrating.. and frustrating is the theme for today it seems.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hunger Games Trailer

The Hunger Games is one of Blond Girl's favorite books and we are really looking forward to the movie.. Just thought I would share a trailer with you


Sneak Peak at Insurgent Cover

Insurgent, the sequel to Veronica Roth’s dystopian YA novel Divergent, won’t hit stores until May 1, but today Entertainment Weekly posted an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 2.
Here’s the official description:
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blond Girl at Spaghetti and a Song

Every year our local HS choir has a fundraiser  called spaghetti and a song. It's tough.. they not only are performing but often to a disinterested audience, bad mic and all sorts of other issues!! Blond Girl sang her first ever pop song. I voted for a torch song cuz she totally belts those out but she wanted this one..



Exciting News from Sherilyn Kenyon's Chronicles of Nick Series

Just posted on Sherilyn Kenyon's Website.. the fourth book in the Chronicles of Nick Series: Inferno!!


About the Book


Original Publication Date: March 04, 2013

The heat is on, and a new threat to humanity has risen…
Nick has his driver’s license and he’s not afraid to use it. But turning sixteen isn’t what he thought it would be. While other boys his age are worried about prom dates and applying for college, Nick is neck deep in enemies out to stop him from living another day. No longer sure if he can trust anyone, his only ally seems to be the one person he’s been told will ultimately kill him.
But life spent serving the undead is anything except ordinary. And those out to get him have summoned an ancient force so powerful even the gods fear it. As Nick learns to command and control the elements, the one he must master in order to combat his latest foe is the one most likely to destroy him. As the old proverb goes, fire knows...

Is this a HUGE tease or what? We can almost taste Infamous and she is taunting, that's right TAUNTING us.. with this

Friday, February 17, 2012

When Does She Have Time for Class?

I got a call from Word Girl today.. she was in Elgin which is about 30min from me. Now she goes to school in Macomb which is 4 hours from us. She is on a bus tour with her school, visiting High Schools.. From Elgin she went to Champaign/Urbana which is about 2 1/2 hours from here.. then on to Kentucky, then Nashville.. before heading back to Macomb..

She should be back sometime Monday Night.. She is acting as some sort of ambassador for school.. and that's good, eventually her connections are going to be very very excellent. Although, I don't see how they will help in the field of Marine Biology.. but she is learning how to deal with people.. how to stand as a leader and how to public speak (which she is horrible at).. Next month, during Spring Break she is off on another trip with the school.. and in the summer, another.. a busy girl my girl.. Maybe she will even find time to go to class.

Yeah, really I'm not complaining I am just too proud of her!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Parents remember take time to enjoy today.. Even old married folks need romance!!

Shauni

Friday, February 10, 2012

And Mom Doesn't See What the Problem is...


Sydney Spies keeps getting her  photo rejected by the yearbook committee.. she doesn't understand why.. She and her mom even had petitions signed and lead a protest at the school Admin.. Seriously? As a mother of daughters I can tell you no way would that picture have even made it past proof stage.. Of course my girls wouldn't have worn that to have their Senior Pictures done in..

Don't get me wrong, I might have worn something similar back in the day.. and I wouldn't be upset to see one of my girls wear it to like, the beach... but a Senior Picture? and that pose? Yearbook, I think not.. now if she wants to be on the cover of a Romance Novel...

What gets me is the mom is fighting FOR her.. doesn't she want her child to understand the nuances of proper behavior? Etiquette, manners and common sense? Oh well, I am not a perfect mother so I guess I should shut up..

Thursday, February 9, 2012

There is Absolutely Nothing Better

So Hair boy gets it.. that must be it!!

Anyway he was in this almost lecture tone.. then said.. and yes this was so very sweet!!

"I know, you have taken care of yourself and four kids for a long time.. so you are perfectly capable..." sure there was more but that line was just so sweet!

For the longest time it has driven me nuts to listen to my know it all kids.. FINALLY, one of them gets it.. I have a clue. I have spent half my life being a mom and have been on my own since I was 18! I really can take care of myself..

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Explain to Me

Out of all my children PITA Boy is the one I have the most connections to.. The one to this day that I refuse to walk down a flight of stairs because I seriously worry that I will push... The one who garners the strongest reactions in me and yes the one, in personality, the most like me..

I almost lost him when he was a baby.. he really did fall down a flight of stairs.. I had left the basement door open and next thing I knew I was looking at the what appeared to be broken body of my 15 month old son.. Honestly, his neck was turned at such an angle that you will never convince me that God did not heal him just because He knew I would not have survived the opposite.

I love this man/child with such an intensity that it sometimes scares me.. and yes I get angry at him w/that same intensity.. Over the past four years we have formed a tighter relationship than I had ever thought possible as it seems he too loves football and umm General Hospital.. We can discuss football on any level and it really is fun. I try and avoid the GH conversations because well.... *grins*

Today he turns 22.. a gift from God many times over.. and yet how did that happen? How can it be that his Man is my baby? I still don't get it..

Oh well.. Happy Birthday PITA Boy!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blond Girl Makes the Play!!

Blond Girl's High School is putting on a production of Chicago.. she very much wanted to make this play.. She had hopes of being in the Jail house Tango, although we both liked different parts..

Auditions were all last week and the announcement was posted on Friday..
I got a text.. said she was in the chorus and a reporter which meant she had LINES.. she is too cute.. the girl is ecstatic because she managed to get four whole lines..

5th Child, got basically the same parts.. so we get to watch them together.. and I am excited because the boys in our lives (not the related ones) got the appropriate parts.. the ones that best suited them.. although, I still think Blond Girl's best friend deserved the Billy Flynn role..

The play is late April.. so I am sure there will be lots of exciting things going on..

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Frustration

Last year I came into just a teeny bit of extra money.. I didn't have a lot but I used it to make a couple of purchases for me. That's right I dared to spend the money on ME.. 

I bought myself a cute little iPod nano and a very nice canon camera.. I really enjoyed both of them.. Stupid me, let the beasties use them. I mean honestly, they are either adults or in blond girls case almost an adult.. They would respect my stuff right?

Yeah, right.. in October while blond girl was using it, the camera bit the dust.. I am hoping Canon will fix it for me but (now this was my bad) I didn't save the receipt so hopefully the fact that the model itself is under a year old, will save me..

Now, PITA boy had been using my iPod and guess what? Yep, you guessed it.. it's dead, gone caput.. ruined, destroyed.. He says he will replace it when he gets his taxes and in all honesty he probably will.. It's just the principal.

I got to listen to days of Word Girl WHINING because her computer got a virus while in my possession and yet no one thinks, hey this is mom's stuff and look what we did to it.. Oh both Blond Girl and PITA Boy felt horrid when it happened but it's still upsetting to me..

I did learn my lesson... yep when I get new stuff, they don't get to use it.. they don't seem to respect my property enough. The worst part is, the are adults, or almost adults, the lesson has been learned about how they as adults treat my stuff.. guess I won't be loaning any of said adults anything for a good long while..

I could reciprocate of course.. but somehow, I don't think I want to break their stuff.. I mean it could be a grandchild or something.. *grins*

Monday, January 30, 2012

It Seems So Weird

Just a few short years ago, every single moment of my day was filled with the antics of my children.. I could wax on forever about the insane and silly things that they did.. And when I wasn't talking about them I was either with them or doing something for them. Even at work, stories of them filled my working hours..

As they get older and for the most part out of my life.. I have many empty moments.. Ok, not empty that implies that there is nothing there to fill it. Oh there is, I have lots of fun stuff going on and have plans for even more.. but I do sometimes miss those days where I never had any time to myself.

Hair Boy is an amazing young man, caught up in his music and his life.. going forward with such plans.. remember those days? Poised to soar?

PITA Boy, has plans upon plans but has yet to solidify any of them.. I know he will fly once he gets out from under my too confining wing.. I don't mean to stifle but I think I do. I allow him to not soar.. there that sounds better than stifling.

Word Girl, well that one has always had a mind of her own.. as well as a plan and a way to get what she wants. I remember when she liked to cuddle but that was way back in the land before time.. Mostly I remember this amazingly strong of spirit young woman who could do it herself..

Blond Girl, she is there.. poised.. on the very brink of life.. Just a few more months and she will be off.. And yes I think she will be sticking with her first choice and going off to the University of Wyoming. She has considered all her options and just keeps circling back to Wyoming..

So very soon, it will be just me.. Scared? you bet!! But Excited as well!! It will be very hard juggling these individuals from a distance.. but I am just the mom to do it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Mage's Daughter, A Review


The Mage's Daughter is book two of Lynn Kurland's wonder full Nine Kingdoms Series. Staying true to the trilogy format this second book is a bit darker and more desperate. Kurland sweeps her brush across this wonderful canvas and the vision her words create helps us to continue on her epic journey.

Morgan, left for dead in book one has to deal with her healing her weakened body and accepting that only does magic exist but it exists everywhere. Even in the least likely places. No one is who she thought they were least of all herself. This book is full of choices for Morgan, should she stay safe and secure in a magic sink hole, where no magic exists? Should she follow Miach? Should she remain Morgan, the shield maiden? Should she embrace her heritage and become Morghaine of Ceangail? Each cross road takes her further into danger and yet closer to becoming a truly strong mage..

Miach, having paid the ultimate price for withholding his true identity, fears for Morgan's very life and leaves his pratt of a brother, the kings wedding to chase after her. Missing her by a mere day he is forced to enter the assassins keep to find her. Every one can enter and everyone leaves... just not by the front gate. The only way to make it out the front gate is by earning his mark. Training to become a swordsman.. amazing Morgan he advances fast in the ranks. Learning how to fight without magic, a skill that unknown to him, he will need in the future.

Typical to the trilogy format, it seems that evil has a secure footing and while despair has not fallen over the land.. The situation is dire! An ancient spell is leaking into the lands and the Lothar, the ultimate evil has corrupted even that evil to do his bidding. He insidiously, weaves his magic to creep forth and search for all members that are left of Morgan's blood.

As they travel this journey they face Morgan's past.. We touch base with some of the characters from the first book and are introduced to some wonderful new ones. Morgan a girl who believed she was alone in the world is suddenly over run with protective relatives who want what is “best” for her. This takes patience and love on Morgan's part as she tries to explain that Miach is what is best. Although a mage, he is an honorable man.

Leaving us at the point where hope and doom collide we are left on the edge our seats waiting for Lynn Kurland's next installment. Fortunately Princess of the Sword is out and I can rush to read it.. 




Shauni

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday Silly

Just goes to show you... anyone can be a good parent if they just put forth the effort...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Law and Order Chime and Conditioning

PITA Boy works a very odd schedule.. never quite sure from week to week if he will be working am or pm, early morning or late at night. Consequently, he sleeps odd hours of course he is 22 (almost 22) so he sleeps odd hours anyway..

Anyway... the other day he laid down to take a nap.. with the typical wake me at .... comment, something I refuse to do.. (back to the 22 comment).. he is also a complete jerk when I wake him.. saying not to bother him.. he knows what time it is. Of course when he oversleeps he tries to blame me.. ok, back on topic..

The other day, he lay down to take a nap.. fell into a total and complete sleep.. really deep.. then all of a sudden the Law and Order Chime went of on the tv (you know the cha cha chunk sound they do?) The kid sat straight up, bounced out of bed and was fully awake! I am so getting that sound on his alarm clock

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Word Girl's Return

Oh Joy of Joys.. Word Girl came home from California to bless us with her presence for three whole days.. sadly those days were marred.. yes fans, our days of bliss were not bliss free.. *grins*

It seems, while borrowing her computer I sorta kinda gave it a virus.. and of course it happened right before she came home so we weren't able to get it fixed BEFORE she got home.. So instead we sat around plotting out ways to tell her.. what would cause the smallest explosion.. Sadly, I ignored all our plotting and didn't tell her in public.. or in the car with a friend as witness.. NO, Silly me.. I had to tell her in private.. Oh yeah.. that was fun.. NOT

So our conversation went something like this...

Word Girl: When were you going to tell me?

Me: Hello? Isn't it obvious? I am telling you now.. I obviously waited as LONG as POSSIBLE to tell you.. *shakes head* Sheesh

Word Girl: You break everything.. I am texting Hair Boy!!

Me: *rolling eyes and mock quivering*

The next day she was ok.. and on Saturday we checked w/Best Buy to see how long it was going to take.. which btw, it was forever... which lead to another wonderful conversation...


Word Girl: I knew you would break it..

Me: *just letting her rant*

Word Girl: You break everything...

Me: Finally fed up... You know.. I have had my laptop for THREE YEARS.. and this is the first virus.. you have had yours for less than two and this is your THIRD.. I know I didn't give it the first two.. But I am pretty sure I PAID for it to be repaired..

Word Girl: *Silence*

Finally I got the last word.. doesn't happen all that often with our Word Girl

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Star of Morning, A Review


The first in book in Lynn Kurland's Nine Kingdoms series casts a delightful spell upon the reader. Kurland weaves a sensual spell as she slowly crafts her story. Introducing characters in full detail that leaves one feeling like she is standing right there with them. Her landscaping reminded me of fields and streams set to canvas with the paint of her words. In general a rich fulfillment of promise.

Morgan, the shield maiden was as unassuming as a girl could be, trained first by mercenaries, then educated in secret amongst orphaned young men and finally trained by the master of assassins. The one thing she was sure of was that magic was bad. At best the user depended too much upon it and not practicing more mundane things, like skill... At worst, it was corrupt and evil used by those who chose to destroy the kingdoms. So what's a girl to do when her mentor, her father figure asks her to deliver this one little dagger to the King of a different land? This one little dagger that glows and sings to her. That constantly pulls at her sense? This little dagger that is causing her to dream, dark dangerous dreams..

Miach, the Archmage, brother to the king, loyal to the kingdom. Miach upon realizing that the king's magic has failed him sends the king off to find the one person who can wield the Sword of Angesand. Long hanging in the king's hall. Bespelled years before by a powerful queen. Sending his pompous brother and king off to do his duty and find the person who can wield the sword is his only hope but as time passes and he has not heard from the king he sees no recourse but to follow him.

Upon meeting the brothers she things King Adhemar at best a pompous twit of a landowner full of himself and Miach, his sweet but rather hapless farmer of a brother. While finding both men attractive, well Adhemar until he awoke and opened his mouth (made me giggle) she was drawn to Miach. A man she could trust, turn to and rely on. Together along with her traveling companions, fellow mercenaries and friends, they set off to Neroche to deliver the dagger to the king.

Along the way Morgan, the girl who hates magic finds that she can remember the odd spell, that she indeed has magic within her. Which terrifies her, she wants nothing more than to be the shield maiden that she thinks she is. As they travel towards the kingdom of Neroche, darkness follows and evil stalks them. Each step closer to Neroche more dangerous than the last. And yet each step they take into darkness draws Miach and Morgan ever closer together..

A wonderful beginning to this trilogy, I am completely looking forward to reading The Mage's Daughter and Princess of the Sword the next two books in this trilogy. From what I understand Ms Kurland is going to write three complete trilogies about the Nine Kingdoms. Which given my pension for things to match makes me very happy. There are Nine Kingdoms so there should be Nine books. I know I am looking forward to reading each and every one of them.

Shauni