Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Hubris Falls

Hubris FallsHubris Falls by Matthew S. Hiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One last huzzah after cramming four years of college into five, Brian Hamilton and his friends ride off together on a rafting trip in an effort to thwart the real world for just a little while longer. The story evolves with a few flashbacks, a lot of stoner humor and man-child antics, but goes from darkly comedic to darkly life-altering just as fast as the rapids.

In general I have really enjoyed all the Matthew Hiley books I have read, and while this was no different it was a bit of a departure from his other books. Still a lot of drugs and swears, but definitely more thoughtful, attacking issues head on instead of through satire. While I don’t know Hiley’s history, this story seemed more introspective, more personal. It is a well-crafted story that has long term implications for the reader, and forces you to confront issues that you might not have been expecting to deal with on a post-college river trip. If you enjoy challenging yourself this is not only a fast read but a thinker.


View all my reviews
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FIghting a Cold using EOs

 
Last week I got sick. This may not be quite as earth shattering for you as it was for me, I realize. But I haven't been really sick for quite some time - well over a year and maybe more. We all have those times when your body just can't quite fight it off, and this was one of those times for me. Since it happens rarely, I thought it might be useful to let everyone know what worked for me and what didn't.

First off, let me tell you the cold really only lasted three days or so. You read right - three. Not two weeks, like usual, 3 days. I've had to blow my nose occasionally for the past couple of days, but nothing like the hacking and dripping that used to plague me for at least ten days.

http://www.doterra.com/images_tools/images_photos/OnGuard/OnGuard_Drops.jpgThe first thing I did was suck on an On Guard drop, which I love. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't taste great. However, when you are sick you can't taste much anyway, and this really helps you start draining and numb your throat a bit. I also "bombed" myself. What in the heck is that? It is basically a shot glass with water and a few EOs designed to help your body start to heal. While I don't often recommend internal use, this is one of those cases where I wanted to get them in body and healing quickly, so I put one drop each of On Guard, Oregano, Lemon and Clove. Tastes awful, the oregano burns a little if you don't down it quickly. However, all of a sudden you clear up so fast you aren't sure if you were sick to begin with. Seriously, it works fast and keeps you clear for a long time. In addition I huffed a bit of Breathe, and put that in the diffuser overnight.  



http://www.doterra.com/images_tools/images_photos/15ml%20HighRes/Breathe_15ml.jpg

I repeated that a couple of times throughout the day, and a couple of times the next day. And then I stopped bombing myself because I hated the taste of it, and just used the breathe and OG on my feet twice a day. And that's it. Seriously. The next day I blew my nose a little more often but could totally breathe out of both nostrils, which, as you know, is something you take for granted until you get sick and are struggling to breathe out of one.

I know everyone has a different approach, but that worked for me. Don't get me wrong I still drank a lot of water and went to bed early, it's not like you stop taking care of yourself. But it is huge for me to get over a cold in 3 days, and I didn't take any OTCs at all. Although I'm not pleased about being sick, I'll chalk this up as a win for the EOs.

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: The Sanctuary

The SanctuaryThe Sanctuary by Cassandra R. Siddons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lydia has a problem. Her recently and unexpectedly deceased husband had kept a secret from her that may now cost her land that has been in her family for generations, an island off the coast of South Carolina called The Sanctuary. To get it back she rallies her group of girlfriends who call themselves the Carolina Girls Forever. This starts a cross-country road trip, a reconciliation, an intervention, and a few other instances of heart-pouring. Lydia isn’t the only Carolina girl with secrets and problems, after all.

The Sanctuary seems like a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants cross with Steel Magnolias. While a good warm fuzzy sisterhood book - complete with recipes at the end, which I loved - I was a little underwhelmed by the writing. There was a LOT of emotion being experienced by the characters, but the writing itself was sort of just a flat description. I thought it was odd that so much emotion was written so emotionlessly. I was also a little annoyed by the sitcom endings of some of the huge issues, and there were many huge issues. You know there’s no problem that a sitcom can’t solve in 30 minutes, but life doesn’t generally work out that way. I find it hard to accept that some of the huge personal, emotional, financial and relational issues can be put behind you so easily. Still, I think this is a nice beach read or book club discussion book, but it’s not as deep as it needs to be to be a take-your-breath-away novel.


View all my reviews
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: The Bed

http://www.amazon.com/Bed-fails-laugh-laughter-love-ebook/dp/B00KZ2DI84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405823748&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bed+vlachosThe Bed is a deceptively simple two act play portraying a married couple, Joe and Sara Isaia, at various stages in their lives, beginning on their wedding night and ending in the year 2045. Note, as stated this is a play, and is written as a script, not a novel. I really love that about it though, it adds to the appeal. If you are familiar with live theater you can see everything unfolding in your imagination, and it adds to the ambience.

Joe is going to be a famous painter, and Sara is a nurse. Their marriage is not perfect by any means, but it is clear that they love each other. I love the theme and the representation of the bed as the constant in their lives. I am thrilled to see a story celebrating a long marriage without diminishing the difficulty of it; I wish there was more of this out there. I think this would be a great play for college students to perform, and it seems like it can be done well without a lot of high budget flashy effects, which I appreciate. Sometimes the most compelling stories take place during the quiet, intimate moments in our lives, and Vlachos has capture that in Joe and Sara’s story.

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review: Mineko

Mineko: Book of SistersMineko: Book of Sisters by R.G. Dillon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 17th century Japan a little girl is ripped from her home and is forced to be a slave to a house of vicious Samurai. As she grows up she only wants one thing, vengeance for her slain family and to find her surviving sister. So begins the story of a female assassin, trained in the ways of the Samurai and ninja - unusual but not impossible.

I really enjoyed Mineko; Dillon creates fantastic imagery and the story flows at a great pace. You can feel the emotions of tortured Mineko as she is betrayed and beaten, and struggles to survive in an impossible situation. Fight scenes are meticulously choreographed and delivered in a way so that you see it all and are rooting for the underdog Mineko, and the description of ancient Japan takes your breath away. She is a strong female protagonist without being unrealistically perfect. I look forward to reading about more of Mineko’s descendants, and hope they inherit some of her skill and honor.


View all my reviews
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Outdoor EOs or How to Force Your Kids to Play Outside Longer

Wow, posting on EOs has gotten away from me! I apologize for that. It's been a busy week for my adoption agency so that has taken priority for me. But I consider that a good thing of course, given that it means I'm helping families begin!

Anyway, I wanted to highlight a few EOs that my family uses in the summer, particularly when we are outside. Yes, I realize summer is half over, unless you are here, in which case the summer will drag on through October off and on, but school starts the first week of August. (Really.)

Given that I have small children, and one of them seems to get a rash every time she touches grass, the LLP protocol has been amazing for me this summer. And I do mean me, because this allows me to force my kids to play outside longer while I have some "memyself time" inside. For those of you who may not be aware, seasonal allergies can be fought by combining the essential oils of lemon, lavender and peppermint. I know that sounds crazy - at least I thought it did - but I have been talking to people who have been able to eliminate OTCs like Claritin and Zyrtec thanks to the magic of three little drops. I guess it is kind of a natural antihistamine.  In fact, it has been so effective that doTERRA has made a soft gel called TriEase and all it contains is those three oils.
Tri Ease Seasonal Blend If you want to get started feeling allergy relief naturally you can check out www.mydoterra.com/elizabethehlen 
For my kids, I simply made up a roller bottle with 15 drops each of lemon, lavender and peppermint, and I swipe them with it before they go play outside. It has decreased my daughter's reactions tremendously, and helped them play outside longer. Every mom agrees longer outside time is a good thing, right?

http://www.mydoterra.com/elizabethehlen/
The other thing that goes on them before they play outside is TerraShield. This is doTERRA's version of a bug spray. It is a blend that does an excellent job deterring bugs from even landing on your skin. My husband once watched a mosquito fly from leg to leg and hover, and finding no suitable place to land (he was wearing shorts - normally plenty of exposed skin to attack!) eventually got frustrated and flew off. While some people add various oils to TerraShield depending on the bug population of their locale, so far it has worked very well for us in hot'n'humid Missouri. 

So, does the flora, the weather, the insects, [insert valid or not so valid excuse here] keep you or your kids from getting their daily dose of Vitamin D? Are you tired of feeling drowsy and fuzzy while you try to ward off seasonal allergies? I would encourage you to look into essential oils for relief, you won't have the nasty side effects and you won't be worried about all the other stuff in the pills.

(Side note - I added a drop of Lime oil to a peanut sauce I made for dinner last night. Soooooo good!)

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Life with One Eye Open



Carlson begins by explaining Dopplegangers, and how the main character in Life with One Eye Open is being viewed by her dead Doppleganger, who provides the narration for the story. It is an interesting perspective, as the Doppleganger does not provide character names, but instead refers to My Twin, the Young Girl, etc. These names persist throughout the story, even though it is quite clear the Young Girl is no longer young by the end. Everyone seems to exist as they are when the Doppleganger first met them.

This is a tragic story, admittedly, spattered throughout with poetry from the perspective of My Twin. However, both Doppleganger and My Twin seem to come to the same conclusion, that by the end of her difficult story - and the book - the better story that you must invent for yourself is merely the beginning. But while providing detail it is quite clear that the reader has to invest some effort in finishing the story, and it seems quite autobiographical in some respects. If you like clear cut, fast paced, happy ending stories this is not for you. But if you enjoy realistic life choices and the pain associated with them, along with some hope for Divine intervention, you will enjoy making your own music along with My Twin.  
 

 Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.