Obsession or Passion?

My book obsession passion has reached new heights.

dovekeepersThen why am I writing instead of finishing the last chapter of The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman? Well, to be honest, the last chapter has filled me with anxiety and trepidation. I am fearing the end because I fell in love with 3 out of 4 of the women whose stories are intertwined with each other. I don’t want to see it end, nor do I want it to end badly, NOR do I want to say good bye. I will busy myself with house work and some other mundane chores before I sit to weep and say farewell to Yael and Aziza.

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Last night at my Book Club meeting, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of sitting for the entire evening talking about books. We asked each other why this happened. First off, we all read the book Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danicat. Two of us really liked the book and two of us weren’t sure. This made for great discussion as to what we liked and what we didn’t. The big consensus was that this was an unfinished book, with gaps and details left to misunderstanding or oblivion. I like that in a book. I don’t always want to know the meat of the story, it helps with speculation of the character. But I did love the cultural aspect of the characters family. Learning about the bond of women and how they give everything up to serve man. This makes me thankful I am a Canadian Girl with North American values that honor education and independent choices for women and their daughters.  Leaving this book behind did not sadden me like leaving the Dovekeepers will.

Other books that have stayed with me over the long term and make me sad when I leave them behind have strong character development and something that has me relate on a personal level. Everyone I talk to who has read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant has felt the same as me, they loved this book and rank it amongst the best they have ever read. The Dovekeepers feels the same as this book. From the time in history, to the bonding of women, to the servitude of men, The Red Tent speaks to the strength of women over time. Read it.

I have been ever vigilant in searching for that next great read. I browse Goodreads on a regular basis and have found some reviews to be stellar and others that make me wonder if we read the same book.  There is a section on goodreads called Explore. I stepped into that section this week to look at new books that are going to be released this year. Authors I have never heard of, genres that don’t interest me (romance) and concepts that I have never heard of for fiction (Steampunk? I thought that was art!). Then I discovered a section called GIVEAWAYS!

For the record, I love free things! From soap and shampoo in hotel rooms to water bottles at conferences, Free = Good! I started heading down the list and began entering the draws. Publishing houses and authors give away first copies before the launch of their books to readers who are willing to read and review these books. Tuesday I won a Canadian book The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper! Simon and Shuster publishers are mailing it to me. The release is set for March. It sounds scary but so interesting! I can’t wait to crack it open!

The next night I was browsing that list again and entered a few new draws. By morning I received notice that I won Healer’s Touch by Deb Howell. Deb sent me a private message on Goodreads, she is signing the book and mailing it to me! Her and I chatted back and forth a bit and I admit to being star struck. I get that way with writers, hockey players and astronauts.

Then Friday I was browsing again and came across The Fallen Snow by John Kelley. I entered the draw for that book because it is another autographed copy but then I noticed a message, this weekend is the book launch! He was offering a free download on Amazon click here you Canadians for a free copy for your kindle or kindle app to read this book. The deal is, by accepting the free book, they hope you will review it on Amazon or the Kindle store. Fair enough, I appreciate the book and will be honest about my review!

I do know that the more you review, the more books people will send you. SWEET! Bring on the books! But here is my disclaimer, if it isn’t smart or clever, I will be ruthless.

What do yo think? Obsessed or passionate?

So here is me, looking for my next great read! I have chosen these ones for the month of March  and end of February:

  1. The Fallen Snow by John Kelley
  2. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  3. The Dinner by Herman Koch
  4. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (the book club selection for March)
  5. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
  6. Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb

Thoughts or opinions on my chosen ones? Got a better one for me? I am ALL EARS!

Happy reading!

My favorite books I read in 2012

English: Stack of books in Gould's Book Arcade...

I am not going to lie, 2012 was a craptastic year. But every dark cloud has a silver lining and I had a few of those. I achieved some goals, learned some hard lessons and made new friends. All of those belong in the win/win category of my story.

My Life Coach advised me to make a non-fitness goal this year. That was hard. A non-fitness goal made me feel weak. I looked at the things that were important to me and I decided convincing myself that I am intelligent was pretty high on the list. My non-fitness goal of 2012 was to read 50 books. Today is December 30th and I completed my last book today, just under the wire.  You can see the complete list of books here. That list shows 51 books, that is I am not sure whether to include Life of Pi. I read it 2 years ago and reread for book club. I got new insights out of it as I often do when I reread books, so I added it to the list. I also didn’t include the TON of reading material I read for University, that wasn’t for fun it was for marks which is fun in a different way, so that didn’t count either.

I decided to reflect back on my year of reading, trying out new genres and exploring topics that had been difficult for me in the past. I picked most of  these books because someone else read it and said, you might like it. Mostly it was true. If  i started a book and hated it, i stopped reading it. 50 books was a lot to get through and I wanted to enjoy my reading, after all this was suppose to be fun! This was a huge year for risk taking when it came to books and it paid off in droves! Here you have it, the Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 books she read in 2012.

My favorite books I read in 2012

  1. Book of Negroes by  Lawrence Hill. Yes it is an older book, yes it won the Canada Reads award, yes it shamed me as a human and Canadian. But the story was captivating and engrossing. I couldn’t put it down. This should be required reading in every high school on the planet. I missed her when I finished the book. She was remarkable.
  2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Maybe I loved this because of where I was at the moment in my life but it struck a chord with me. It was my Eat, Love Pray of 2012. I want to read it every year to see if I learn new insights from it.
  3. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This was and is the only book I have read by him. I will admit to being scared of him. I have seen some of his movies and I don’t like feeling scared, but something about this book called to me. First of all it wasn’t scary! Secondly it had an element that lots of people think about, myself included, the chance to go back in time and fix a wrong that you did. Sadly there would be consequences  I loved this book, but it was loooooooooooong. Not a quick read.
  4. Room by Emma Donoghue. This is not for the faint of heart. It was told through the eyes of a 5 year old boy and that made it seem less horrific because he didn’t really understand what he was seeing. A college girl is kidnapped and made to be a sex-slave for a creepy old guy and she is kept in ROOM. It made me think about how young children see their world and how they deal with pain and abuse.
  5. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. A book club pal recommended this to me. It is from the perspective of a dog who reincarnates into several lives looking for his purpose. He takes the lessons learned into the next life. Brilliant book, I loved it. It was heart warming and not sad.
  6. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Better than the movie, although I thought the movie was great. I loved this man’s journey to discover what was truly important to him. The fact that I could vividly picture my future ex-husband George as the main character only broke my heart. I love how his relationship with his girls builds throughout the book. There is nothing sexier than a great dad.
  7. The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It was long listed for the Booker Prize and I heard about this from Laurie Greenwood on CBC Radio. I liked this book as it played like a movie in my head, but it wasn’t until the end when you find out what it meant, then looking back over the book made it brilliant.
  8. Me before You by Jojo Moyes. I have figured this for some Chicklit fluff. Was I wrong! It had me torn in pieces thinking about the moral dilemma  Loved the two main characters. Great read!
  9. Gone girl by Gillian Flynn. I had never ventured into mystery before, or a mystery like this one. I often found my jaw hanging open in shock and awe. I may have found a new genre I like!
  10. Shop Girl by Steve Martin. I like his writing style. His other books were not as good as this one. I like how he captured the female character. I think it is hard for a man to write about females, I find them often unbelievable but I liked her.
  11. A Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. This was almost poetry and made me feel pretty. Lots of memorable lines and something I could really relate to. Heartbreak transcends gender.

It was hard to narrow it down to 11 but I found some authors who I will read again, I quite like Diane Chamberlain and Jennifer Weiner both new to me. And I had the pleasure of reading Maeve Binchy’s last book. She is my favorite author and of late her books had left me flat, I was not like the Father Flynn series at all. But a Week in Winter brought in new characters and was as lovely as Even Class. I shall miss her.

As for next year? I am setting a goal of 20 books. This time I am going to explore fantasy. This is something that doesn’t interest me much but people yap on and on about it. Can’t say I hate something if I don’t give it an honest chance. I find it hard to wrap my head around weird names and bizarre settings. I like Sci-Fi so maybe I need to re-examine Fantasy, and by Fantasy I don’t mean that crappy 50 shades series. There is 2 days I will never get back.

So tell me, what is on your list for 2013? What is the first book you will be reading?

Readers

Fiction - October 09
Fiction – October 09 (Photo credit: Pesky Library)

Here it is 8:00pm Wednesday night and my children are buried deep in their books. They finished their homework hour ago, this is reading for fun. The house is silent except for the hum of the water cooler and refrigerator. The odd comment comes from one of the offspring and a giggle about the part of the book they have reached. They are both reading Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. This is the latest from the Percy Jackson series that hooked my kids a long time ago.

There is nothing that gives me as much pleasure than knowing I raised readers.

It started when they turned one. I read Good Night Moon every night before bed. Children need lots of repetition. When we could talk about what was happening in the pictures we increased the books to two before bed. Eventually, we worked up to longer content and by the time my kids were in school, we were reading chapter books together. They would read to me for homework, then before bed, I would read to them. It was pure pleasure on my part. Together we read The Magic Coin, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, The Narnia Series and of course the entire Harry Potter series. We read classics like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. I would choose stories that I loved from my childhood, like Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing.

Parent/Teacher interviews often had a book fair on the same evening. These fairs were library fundraisers for the school. I would always reward my children with a books of their choice. It was a big deal. Family nights were often a trip to the bookstore and a cup of hot chocolate. We learned that Alex Rider was a great series and Clementine made for great bedtime reading. The trick was finding books that appealed to my kids sense of adventure.

Then one day, the day came when my kids read on their own before bed. They would come and kiss me good night, and tell me they were going to bed early so they could read the latest adventures of Peter and the Star Catchers or Anne of Green Gables. Even as they entered high school, the stories changed and Michio Kaku and his physics books became more interesting than fiction, they still would read every night and complain if they were out of books.

On the “I have read these books” shelf, my kids have placed The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Steve Jobs, The Time Travelers Wife, 11/22/63, Tara Road and many other adult fiction titles. It makes me smile when they pick up a book they have already read because it feels like an old friend. The books that get revisited most often are the Peter and the Starcatchers series and the Hunger Games. Occasionally book #4 of Harry potter comes out or a companion book like Magical Beasts and Where to find them.

Dinner conversation sometimes revolves around books, “I never thought I would see the day when ‘underscores’ were used in dialogue.” Huh… I wasn’t even sure what that meant, but a meaningful conversation ensued. Both offspring have decided to take it slow with Mark of Athena because of the sadness that comes with finishing a great book. We have all gone through that mourning period when we think about the characters long after the book is finished. They each have several books in queue, but the one they are reading is currently the best. Perfect for a quiet Wednesday night at home.

What were some of your favorite reads as a kid?

Fifty Fifty Me: Playing Catch Up

I am 26 books in and I better get crack-a-lacking on my goal of 52. It seemed so doable when I made the goal now it seems exhausting. In an effort not to panic, I am just going to play it cool. Read them as they come. I have been reading since I finished Wild. I needed to digest wild and think about it. I just couldn’t plunk myself into the next book very easily. Once I did, there was no stopping me. I enjoyed the last book. When I really enjoy a book and then finish it. I need to mull it over. It is hard for me to jump right into the next book with the same eagerness to read. It took a while, but I was able to move on after Wild.

I have been laid up with Bronchitis this week and when you are on vacation, nothing sucks more than being sick for part of it. What that has done is free up some time to read. I read 3 books this week and started another. I caught up on movies as well, 6 to be exact.

The Books:

The first one was The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlaine. It took me a fair bit of time to commit to liking this book. The early beginnings had me wondering what all the hoopla was about amongst my Goodread friends. The main character in the early stages was 16. With that comes bad choices and impossible situations.I remember being 16 and like the character I made choices that effected my entire life – and not for the good. On some level I could relate to the character, but most of me wanted to forget being 16, being naive, being stupid and mostly being seduced by older men. I understood the bad choices but I am pretty sure I knew the difference between morally right and wrong. i had the benefit of family teaching me the difference. This character did not.

As the story progressed I became more enchanted with the choices she was making. Eventually she set her life back to the moment of 16 – because 16 haunts you forever if you made stupid choices. The character rectified it all, making a huge impact on everyone in her life. That was when this story became the type of book I love, not being able to pt it down. The climax was marvelous.

The second book I read was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. Of all the books I read this week, this one I loved from start to finish. This was billed as a romance, but I never saw it as a romance. It was more about euthanasia and choices of others. I found this book to be a real metaphor for my life. No matter how badly you want something, other people’s choices affect you in a profound way. Wanting something bad enough and working towards that goal isn’t always enough when human choices are involved.  This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned on my Tourist journey. The characters in this book handled it remarkably well. It surprised me. Typically books turn out they would would hope them too. Maeve Binchy is a master of this never happening. The ugly duckling doesn’t become the beautiful swan, she just plods along, enjoying or dealing with what life throws at her. This is real life. You are dealt a hand and the purpose is to see what you make out of it, not throw them all away and get lucky by drawing a Royalflush. That never happens. I wish it did. So in an effort to find happiness, you look within – not externally. Buddha was right.

The final book was The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I really enjoyed the first book, but I was young and still hadn’t figured out stuff yet I thought I knew everything. I think I have moved beyond this type of book. I want more meat or substance from a book. The bottom line is I am busy, so I want a book that is worth my time, a book that makes me think. This book had New York going for it but that is no longer enough. 50/50 me challenge had opened my eyes up to new authors and genres. I can no longer go back to the books I loved in my youth.

Now that is not to say Young Adult books have left my peripheral vision. Fantastic Mr. Fox was recommended to me. I enjoy reading children’s books because I love to talk about them WITH children. Learning from children is an undervalued resource.

The Movies:

Since my love affair with the Avengers, more notably Tony Stark, I have watched 6 movies.

  1. People Like Us
  2. Bottle Shock
  3. Single man
  4. The Best Marigold Hotel
  5. Blade Runner
  6. Things you can tell by Looking at Her

Not only have my taste in books changed since the start of this project, but my taste in movies has as well. Lets just say, I appreciate art movies more than I did before. There isn’t one movie in that list that I enjoyed more than the others. I am crazy for superhero movies – not one of those is an action pack superhero movie with the exception of blade Runner. It comes close, but Harrison Ford got his ass kicked to often and there wasn’t enough swagger going on for my taste. When I watch sci-fi or action flicks, I expect the impossible. It’s fun to revel in the impossible for a while.

English: Chris Pine poses for a photograph at ...
Isn’t he just delicious?

People Like Us and Bottle Shock had the nicest eye candy. I still have a thing for the new young Captain Kirk aka Chris Pine. He has swagger and is sexy in all his roles. A man with swagger is delicious. Single man surprised me. The Best Marigold Hotel made me laugh because those old birds are delightful! I loved this movie as much as Calendar Girls. But the movie that made me think the hardest was Things You can tell by Looking at Her.

What struck me was the mire these women were all stuck in. It made me think that although people’s lives look better from the outside, we are all the same.

 

My Friend The Reader just put me onto a great site that helps determine your next read. It’s called Whichbook.

You choose from a list of options what you feel like reading, Happy/Sad, Predictable/Unpredictable, Optimists/Bleak an d a myriad of other choices. Then it shows you which book best suits your mood. Sounds perfect for me! I will be giving it a try for my next book.

As for movies? I HAVE to get to the theatre to see BRave, Batman and Spiderman. Although, what was wrong with Toby McGuire’s Spiderman? Those were great movies! Ah well….happy reading!

 

Fifty Fifty Me: Fifty Shades of Grey – Please don’t Judge me!

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) I finished one book and started yet another. I watched 3 movies and played taxi driver for my son. So watching Taxi Driver seemed very fitting. As for reading, hmmm. Joining goodreads as been helpful! I invite you to join it as well, and add me as a friend. You can find the link on the left of my WordPress page. I finished 50 Shades of Grey and started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I have been so tired this week I have no made much progress with reading, but you will be updated!  Anyways…. on with the words!

Book

I felt the world collective pressure to read 50 shades of Grey by E.L. James. The internet is such a buzz about this book I felt compelled to give it a read. It is the first book in a trilogy and can I just say, I will not be delving into the other two books. This book was for me, like reading a dime store romance with BDSM elements. It apparently was based on fan fiction of Bella and Edward from Twilight. There are stalker elements and controlling behaviour, none of which is done in a healthy light of course, but there is reasons for it and therapy is being sought. This is not great fiction, nor does it pretend to be. What it is…is… well… interesting. I am not the girl who is naive and easily shocked. I understand this book is tame by many BDSM standards. It did take me down a road that I was curious about and did it in a non-threatening way. I think that is why this appeals to so many women, and making so many men happy. It provides insight and tools to spice up a love life that may be less than interesting or stellar.

The rules of this relationship are clear and both parties go into negotiations about hard and soft limits. Speaking up for yourself is the underlying theme. Being your own advocate in situations that make you uncomfortable resonated with me. I have been needing to do that a lot.

All in all, this book was not for me. I rate it mediocre. I have moved out of the romance genre in my early 20’s and moved into books about people struggling to find their way in life. I am currently reading a thriller-ish book. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The grandfather could be my own, so it hooked me from the start. I am not reading this as quickly as I normally whip through books, so I may or may not be finished next week.

The Movie

This week I watched 3 movies. I started out with Taxi Driver and crossed that one off the AFT 100 list. THen I watched Bye Bye Birdie and Ballet Shoes. Could these three movies be any different? I am not sure if Bye Bye Birdie counts. I watched it when I was 7, but never saw it again since. It is no secret that I love musicals, Dick Van Dyke and the 60’s in THAT order. The dance sequences with Ann Margret were spectacular. The white dress with red polka dots and red flats that Janet Leigh wore in her dance sequence was so fabulous!I have only seen her in Psycho where she was a blond. Holy hottness was she stunning as a brunette!  Giving Ann Margret a run for her money. There were some great moments, the romantic leads were meh, and half the music was good. Was this my favorite? No, it came in third and THAt surprised me.

Ballet Shoes was a wonderful movie you should watch with your teenage daughter. It focuses on the importance of goals, strength of character, team work and support. Not one of the dreams was far fetched, and it showed that dreams come true only with hard work. I Loved this movie. It came in second.

Taxi Driver had a film noir feel to it, although I am not sure if it is classified as one. If it is, it need more narration

Cover of "Taxi Driver [Blu-ray]"

from De Niro. Can I just say, that man is AMAZING! I remember the scandal with Jodie Foster, her age and her role playing a prostitute. Let’s just say the times have changed and teen prostitution is no longer a taboo subject – at least in my circles – it is seen as a tragedy and a form of abduction and abuse. I think this may have been the first movie to show the seduction nature of the controlling pimps. Regardless whether it was or not, it sure got people talking about it. The seediness of New York was very fitting for this movie. After I finished it my immediate thought was, huh…wierd. But the inner struggles and character development was fantastic. I enjoyed this movie more the next day after thinking about it, then I did while watching and digesting it. If you haven’t seen it, it is on the AFI 100 for a reason. Simply amazing.

Next week I am looking to fulfill my girl talk need by watching The Jane Austen Book Club. It seems perfect for me and I am wanting to read some Austen, I haven’t read all 6 of her books so I think I might tackle Sense and Sensibility or Mansfield Park. It is only then I can say I have read all her books thoroughly.

Happy Reading and Happy Watching!

Fifty Fifty. Me.: When God was a Rabbit

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) finished one book and started yet another. I watched 2 movies and mostly did copious amounts of homework. My mind is filled with so much information, I chose drivel to read this week. I shouldn’t have done that. Fluff or drivel wounds my soul and makes my brain feel soft. There is a fine line for me to find a book that is a fun read and a book that is fluff. 50 Shades of Grey is pure fluff, and not all that fun to read. Last weeks enjoyment of A Lover’s Dictionary was fun. I think I need to start carefully assessing why I read as opposed to what people say I should read. Suggestions are wonderful, but I need to read from suggestions of people who like the same type of read as I do. Joining goodreads as been helpful! I invite you to join it as well, and add me as a friend. You can find the link on the left of my WordPress page. Anyways…. on with the words!

The Book

I read When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. This book made me laugh, cry and smile. There was a dark cloud that followed this family yet it didn’t seem to matter, they laughed and lived in spite of it. I think it gave a truer sense into people’s lives when nothing is perfect, yet people live being as happy as they can. I loved following the main character through her life. She didn’t dwell on the painful moments, she moved on. Very british actually, stiff upper lip and all that. She felt emotion but realized life was a series of moments. Each moment builds on another to create the next moment. With that knowledge you can can choose to feel however you want about a situation. I loved that sentiment. I have always felt this way. There is no point in blaming someone else for past crimes against you. Its about taking what we learned and growing from it. The letting go is hard, but in the end worthwhile. This book spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you too.

The Movie

I watched 2 movies this week. Annie Hall by Woody Allen (- this can be crossed of the bucket list!) and the

Film poster for Annie Hall - Copyright 1977, U...
Film poster for Annie Hall - Copyright 1977, United Artists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contagion starring Matt Damon on recommendation of my friend Chef. Her delicious blog is here.

Chef is an ex-pat Edmontonian living in Texas and we share a love for all things yummy, heathy and Matt Damon.

I thought this movie might be too much for my Howard Hughes like obsession with hand sanitizer. It does justify my freaky feeling about clean hands, but it was as scary as I thought it could have been. Although people do die at an alarming rate. Famous people kept dropping like flies. Did this help? Meh… So this was not my favorite of the bunch.

I did love Annie Hall. I love Diane Keaton. I loved how innocent she was and her fella Woody Allen encouraged her to give personal growth a try and lo and behold, she out grew him. A very common theme amongst my peers of late.  I do not get the sex appeal of Woody Allen, but I do understand his intellectual appeal. I loved the dialogue. I am coming to realize that Woody Allan movies are definitely for me. Conversation, discussion, and possibilities without a clear cut happy ending. It certainly is not an escape genre, but it fulfills a need in me. Loved this one!

 

This week I am finishing up 50 Shades of Grey and am NOT going to read the other 2 in the trilogy any time soon. I have two books on my list that interest me, Under the Tuscan Sun and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Can you find two vastly different books? I think not. one thing this challenge has done for me is open my mind up to knew genres that I would normally not have considered before. We shall see how I feel after 50 shades, that will determine my next choice.

As for Movies? I am in a De Niro kind of head space. I think I will watch Taxi Driver and cross that off the AFI 100 list. Perhaps there is a movie that my teens wish to watch too. Let’s see what the week brings, shall we?


 

But I Don’t Want to do My Homework!!

Island Lake, Alberta 2010
Image by Gord McKenna via Flickr

Have you ever had an Angel Intervention? You know what I mean. Oprah talks about them all the time. It is when someone slips into your life or a part of your day for just a moment, but their presence is life altering. That happened to me today at 7:15 PM MST.

Everyone has little or big Angel moments. Think about it.

When I was 4, my grandparents took me up to the cottage at Island Lake near Athabasca most weekends. They always brought me without my siblings because A) my brother was a handful and a half – maybe he was several handfuls and B) My sister wasn’t even a glint in my mother’s eye when I was 4. My aunt/sister/best-friend, who is 5 years and 8 months older than me, always was stuck with me for a playmate by default. She was the youngest, I was the oldest and together we ruled the world! One particular weekend, a friend of the family came with us. His parents were going through a divorce and my Grandma brought him with us for a vacation from his life. My Aunt had a serious crush on him, and I thought he was cute. Keep in mind, I was 4, she was almost 10 and he was 12. The rule was no going down to the lake without a life jacket. It didn’t matter if you were on the beach, the pier, a boat or the grass in front of the cottages. NO LIFE-JACKET, NO BUSINESS BEING THERE. Period. No exceptions.

Well, somehow it was decided that the two older bad influences should take the boat out on the lake and just cruise around. I had to go because I was the chaperone. So away we went with the 12-year-old in charge because he was so manly. Straight to the middle of the lake we went, and promptly ran out of gas. The boat had a small leak, so it was my job to bail with a bean can. Somehow only one paddle was in the boat and around in circles we went trying in vain to reach the shore. There were no life-jackets on any of us. If we took the time to wear a life-jacket, then Grandpa would know we were at the beach. We didn’t want him to know, because the boat was off-limits and rightly so.

So there was me sobbing my little heart out because I could not keep up with the water coming into the boat. There was Thing One and Thing Two, trying in vain to get us to shore. I was crying so hard it became hysterical screams. I never heard the rescue boat pull up beside us. All I remember is two giant arms of steel lifting me out of the boat and hold me tight. My Grandpa Saved me.

He always said that God gave us Angels so we wouldn’t die before the age of 5 because kids are always looking for trouble. Something or someone whispered in his ear that day to come to the middle of the lake to rescue us. That was a BIG Angel moment.

I have had smaller moments, like when my oldest offspring ran away from home at the age of 2. He pushed on every fence board until he found the way out. He went to the garage sale around the corner and a woman walked with him until he showed her where he lived. Clearly an Angel told him. Or the time when  my youngest was paralyzed with serum sickness and no one knew what it was until the BEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD said, he was just reading about this rare but deadly illness. An Angel Moment.

Well another Angel moment happened for me at 7:15 PM MST. I was eating dinner with my family when the doorbell rang, my dear sweet friend was at the door with an envelope for me. We spoke briefly, then I went back to dinner. Tonight when I was doubting why I was back at school with a work load that depresses me, thinking I will never get through the homework and reading assignments, I looked at the envelope and opened it. Inside was a simple yet beautiful note telling me what a great role model I am to my offspring, showing them that the power of education, dedication and self fulfillment is an amazing thing. So while I read my reading assignment and made notes, answered the assigned questions, I had this lovely note cheering me on. It was EXACTLY what this tourist need tonight. So Thank You to the Angel who whispered in my friend’s ear to write that note. To my friend, Thank You for listening to the whisper in your ear. I love you for it and for many many other reasons.

I would love to hear your Angel stories. If you are to shy to post them to the world, please think about emailing me