Posts Tagged With: Forgiveness

Review: The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was chosen for the Book Club Read this month. ( I don’t often attend, but usually try to read the book, if it’s available through the Pioneer Library, my main resource for my books. ( I was pleasantly surprised to find this one available, and it was a quick read. Although, I would not classify it as easy. In fact it was rather heavy.

The story was told from the mindset of the Japanese Mail Order Brides / Picture Brides (kind of reminded me of the Borg on some levels) taking place just prior to Pearl Harbor being bombed. They told of what promises and hopes they had in mind, and their realities, and shattered dreams, they tell of their treatments, and always being on the outside and then move into the suspicion, going into hiding, and then the disappearing.

Overall it was very interesting, really opened my understanding much more. Despite it being a short read, and with the risk of redundancy, it was very heavy and heartbreaking. Nonetheless, it’s a read I recommend just once.

(Actually finished 20 January 2014)

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Categories: Book Reviews, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Purpose, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what I had expected when starting to read this book. I honestly didn’t know what it was about, just that it was a popular read and that they made a movie out of it. I was hoping it would be decent, as I often don’t enjoy ‘popular’ books. I have to say I was very pleased with this great read. Another surprise was that it was another telling of the horrors during World Ward II & occupied Germany.

I enjoyed the fact that it was told in a narrative manner from the point of Death, as he jumps all over Europe, collecting souls. Follow the story of a young refugee Leisel, the curious and kind hearted young girl, who simply loves books, her only way to obtain them, was to steal them. Her other great love in life, were the people closest around her.

For whatever reason the past year I have found that I have accidentally picked up a handful of World War II books. I obviously love Historical Fiction and find it very rewarding to continually learn more about us as a people, the good and the very bad, and finding the humanity in the horrid situations.

I really enjoyed the different style of the storytelling. I thought it was well written, flowed well and well worth the read. I highly recommend it. However, towards the end, and points in-between, make sure to have a box of tissues.

Now I can watch the movie… Yes, I’m sure, it’s not as good as the book – it never is.

(Actually finished 9 February 2014

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Categories: Beauty of the World, Book Reviews, Humanity, Life, Literature, Purpose, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m pretty sure they made a movie out of this book. Frankly I’m not sure why. I’m not sure of why there was so much hype about this book or why people were so excited. Completely baffles me!

I was first surprised that it has the same sort of rhythm as Dumas and Hugo, telling the story of one character for a while then jumping to another and trying to make the world complicated. Which was ok at first but then it just felt like the author was trying to hard, at which point it got really annoying.

By page 95 I was ready to be done with this! I didn’t care, it just rambled and I wanted to be done. But because it was so short I carried on, hoping that it might redeem itself. It didn’t. Now I’m just annoyed. ūüėź

The tag line on Good reads says, “Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious.” ‚ÄĒ BOOKLIST (starred review)” Yeah I think they were digging too deep and trying to hard to find a point…or they were paid off. Either way my opinion horrid book!

Side point, towards the end of this book I looked up the author. I was very surprised to see that she wrote “Because of Winn Dixie“. Hard for me to fathom that they were written by the same author, then again I read that well over a decade ago…

My recommendation for this book…. keep moving, don’t waste your time!

This book is so stupid! I”m so grateful that it’s short! I don’t like the style. And completely do not understand that point of this story! I really don’t understand why there was so much hype about this book. Gag me! I’ve been pushing through it only so I can be done with it!

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Christmas Magic & The Festival of Trees

I love Christmas! I love the season, the smells, the feel of everything, the taste in the air and the energy all around! For years I have dreamed of having that perfect storybook Christmas, my family never had that. Oh we had our own type of Christmas Magic, but never what I knew was waiting out there…. somewhere.

I grew up all over the US, my dad works for the Federal Government in the Bureau of Land Management. Therefore, we lived in every small podunk¬†town known to mankind. Ok, not really, but it sure felt like it! I ended up going to 11 different schools by the time that I graduated from high school, so I’ve been around. We never lived close to our extended family and we always just celebrated our quiet little¬†immediate¬†family holidays by ourselves. Which I ultimately grew to appreciate VERY much! After college, I ended up moving back East, New York City, Vermont & then was in the Philadelphia suburbs for nearly a decade. (While on that subject I think the state of Pennsylvania simply has something incredibly magic about it – but¬†especially¬†during Thanksgiving to¬†Christmas¬†to¬†the¬†New Year!) Which again put me far away from extended and immediate family. As I’d always done, I adopted new family(ies). This also comes with invitations to spend holidays with other families and get a glimpse into other people’s worlds and traditions. From this I have gleamed some of the best ‘magic’ I have witnessed, and implementing their traditions and magic into my own traditions – and hoping that someday when I have a family of my own I’ll be able to continue to add to that great Christmas Magic!

However, here I find myself close to family once again and some holidays are celebrated, while most are not. If they are celebrated it’s generally because I’m hosting the whole shebang. Most the time though, I find myself ignoring the things about the holiday’s that I love so very much – in order not to be once again heart-broken. I stopped putting up decorations, I don’t want to cook my big fabulous meals, and I look forward to the quiet day off with no one bugging me, no phone calls or texts beyond Happy whatever holiday! It breaks my heart knowing this. I even do it for my own birthday anymore (I’m a Christmas week baby) no one cares, no one will come and if they do, they do stupid stuff that makes me wish I never attempted to throw myself a party in the first place. ūüė¶ This I know all stems from the years of heartache and let downs of having hopes so high that just maybe this year might be a fraction better. In addition in all likeliness its that awful voice of my ex-husband telling me everything was horrible because of me, and my wanting each moment to be great – even if it’s horrible – I continue to believe that there can be goodness found in all things even if it’s just a micro or nano thing… Of course I find myself just wanting to take myself on some fabulous vacation that I can’t afford; far away from everyone and everything…. and it’s warm of course!

Despite my jaded view on this subject, there are a few things that bring me such great joy!

I have been an Auction Host at the¬†Festival of Trees¬†now for 3 years! It’s hard to believe I’ve even been around here that long! I was first introduced to the Festival of Trees from my girlfriend, Andrea. (Andrea’s Main Blog & Andrea’s Second Blog – Things you will not believe!! Regarding the Health of her Children) ¬†These are¬†amazing¬†stories that you need to read!) The¬†Festival of Trees¬†¬†is a fabulous non-profit organization that donates 100% of their proceeds back to the children at Primary Children’s Hospital. Each year the first week after Thanksgiving they hold a gigantic auction at the South Towne Expo Center. People and¬†organizations¬†donate their time, talent and resources to providing a fabulous¬†environment¬†and things to auction. You can find Large Trees, Medium Trees, Small Trees, Centerpieces, General Decorations, Wreaths, Quilts, Statues/Sculptures, Paintings,

Photography, not to mention all the baked goods and other gifts that you can purchase there and MUCH more!¬†It’s quiet the¬†experience¬† Auction night is always quite elite and has a formal attire dress code. Andrea & I are Auction Hosts for whatever section we might be assigned to each year answering questions and facilitating the silent auctions in our area. What fun this is! Not only do we get to dress up in our beautiful formals, but we also get to make new friends, meet interesting people and serve! What energy fills the air here! In this one place my Christmas Magic has returned and ignited such a fire of¬†hope and joy all around! I’m so grateful that Andrea invited me three years ago! This

is truly one of my most favorite events of the year! I’m so glad that my little effort actually makes a difference in someones life! It’s amazing to see what some of these items go for – and it’s all really for the children!








So whatever it might be that you love about the Christmas Season… I hope you find it this year. I hope you grab onto it and hold it tight. Find people around you in every capacity that you can serve in either the littlest of ways – most people are so in need of a genuine smile and a hello, or in big ways – but do it just because.

May you be blessed with the Love of our Lord and remember exactly WHY we have Christmas after all… because someone gave us the greatest of all gifts!

I’ll post a few photos from our night. ūüôā Later when I am working on a better computer… ūüėČ


Categories: Beauty of the World, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Photography, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What a great book! I feel that the authors did a great job researching the subject, the interviews and base knowledge greatly added to to understanding of the Amish people and their belief systems and ultimately more of who they are. I actually love books about the Amish. I used to live within 45 minutes of Lancaster and have always been amazed at these wonderful people. In addition I think that they authors did a fabulous job compiling all the research, and interviews together. The book flowed very well and kept me engaged, yearning to read just a little longer and when I finished with the strengthened desire to improve my own weaknesses and let go of things.

I started this a few months ago, then life got so busy I wasn’t able to finish it by the time it expired. By the time that I received it again from the library hold it was only a few days before the Aurora, Colorado Shooting at the Premier of the Batman movie. What a surreal moment it was finding out about the devistation in Colorado. I had already been reliving the horror of the 2006 Amish Masacre near my home. I remember thinking back then thoughts like, “Are you kidding me?” “Who would ever want to hurt any of the sweet Amish that wouldn’t even hurt a bug?! Let alone 10 harmless little girls!” “Wow, if that can happen there – none of us have an ounce of safety.” It was amazing to see my exact thoughts echoed in the book. That Friday morning when Aurora was announced (I saw it on Facebook – I generally don’t watch the news). I remember thinking is this a joke because I’m reading this book? What horrible events.

It was amazing to see the different responses though Lancaster vs Aurora. In Lancaster it was an outpouring of outrage, but also love and forgiveness… In Aurora it was outrage again, but this time mixed in with hatred and vengenouce. Of course anyone who commits this sort of horendous act is obviously very mentally ill (that should never really be a plea…) they would have to be mentally ill to even conceive of such actions. Of course justice needs to be met. But all the hatred, vengence, retaliation, etc. Isn’t healthy for anyone. The person that commits these acts don’t care, in fact they kind of get off on it. Those feelings merely eat the person/people feeling it from the inside out creating worse situations down the road. My point is, when these horrid things happen, or even smaller every day actions. How are we responding to them? How are we chosing to be? When we look in the mirror at night, is that the person we want looking back at us.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Let us offer a little mercy, understanding and forgiveness to all those we come in contact with.

As a side note to the massacre’s check out Glenn Beck‘s comments and how and when I learned of the incident.

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Categories: Career, Family, Preparedness, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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