Friday, January 2, 2015

January 2nd, 2015

Hi, it’s Christina –

Happy New Year! Yeah, it’s been a dog’s age since I’ve written or posted anything. Sorry. It’s been a little crazy around here since Thanksgiving. I planned on making this post yesterday, but I got distracted…reading. I can’t remember the last time I was able to sit down and read and entire book, and yesterday I had so spare time, so I took advantage. Also, the circumstances of how I acquired the book were a mystery, so my curiosity got the better of me.

On New Year’s Eve, I booted up my Kindle to quickly look for something, and there, on my carousel, was a book. It wasn’t there the night before. I didn’t down load it. Honestly, even if it was one of the free books offered, it probably wouldn’t have even caught my eye. I have no idea how it got there. I opened it up to skim the first page, quite frankly to prove to myself the book was downloaded in error, and it sucked me in, but I didn’t have time to read right then. I had guests coming over for New Year’s Eve. So, like a good girl, I shut off the Kindle…reluctantly.

First thing yesterday morning, after I let the dog out and got a cup of coffee, I began to read. By two, I was finished with the book. Now, I would LOVE to say I would pick up the next book in the series and start reading, but I would feel too guilty. I have an entire book case in my bedroom of books I’m supposed to be reading for other authors, so I can’t, in good conscious, start the next book in the series; but believe me, as soon as I can, I will.

Want to know the name of the book? It’s Never Buried: Volume 1(Leigh Koslow Mystery Series) by Edie Claire, and it does happen to be free at the moment, so if you like mysteries, now’s your chance to get it for free.

Quick summary: Leigh moves in to help her seven month pregnant cousin Cara, who is showing signs of pre-term labor, while Cara’s husband is working on a project in Tokoyo. The day after Leigh arrives, she finds a dead body in the hammock on Cara’s patio. The body has a note pinned to his chest, “Get Out Of My House”. It is a mystery, so that’s all I will reveal, you’ll have to read it for yourself. Now, I will admit, I did figure out who the culprit was well before the reveal, however, the “why” behind it wasn’t clear until the very end.

Now, as for some highlights as to why I haven’t been on line lately. Right after Thanksgiving, I drove Lys back to school in NC, and while we were there, we stopped by the police department to officially file a complaint about the harassment, but because they perpetrator did not cross the line into actual threats, the police were unable to act. The school’s solution was for my daughter to stick her head in the sand until the problem went away. After very little deliberation, we decided this was not a situation she needed to be dealing with, college was hard enough without all the extra drama. The week before Christmas, I drove back down to NC and packed Lys up and brought her home. Her old college welcomed her back with open arms, and full credit transfers, so in eight days we are headed back to Vermont.

While all this drama was going on with my oldest daughter, my youngest daughter was extremely sick. Somehow, she contracted mono – the first case at the school, so we really don’t know where it came from. She missed nearly the entire month of December (she was there the 1st & the 2nd). She has never been so sick in her entire life. After a trip to the hospital, and a heavy duty round of steroids, we were able to get ahead of the beast; and by Christmas morning, she was much like her old self. She still gets tired easily, that is to be expected, but we got our baby back for Christmas – best present ever.

So, since 2014 has come to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to recap some of the highlights of the past year – I don’t know about you, but I feel like every time I blink, another year flies by, and by recapping, at least I can say, oh yeah, I remember that…

Russell Johnson
2014 started with a bang. On January 1st Colorado legalized recreational marijuana and the affordable care act was passed. Makes me wonder if lawmakers weren’t in CO when they came up with and passed that beauty – don’t get me started. January (and again in April) also heralded a botched execution – sorry, my heart isn’t going to bleed for a man who raped an infant, and it took 24 minutes for him to die – again, don’t get me started. The Prez basically admitted the government was spying on us, and long overdue investigations started on the inadequacies of the VA. In January we lost, Phil Everly (Everly Brothers), Russell Johnson (The Professor), and Pete Seeger (folk singer), to name only a few.

Richard Bull
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Richard Bull (Little House on the Prairie), Shirley Temple (no explanation needed), Sid Caesar (ditto), John Henson (Jim’s son), Maria von Trapp (ditto again), David Brenner (Comedian), and several of the “Wind Talkers” from WWII, and a few from the cast of Gone With the Wind, left us in February and March.

J.E. Freeman
Warm months were tough for the entertainment world with the passing of: Mickey Rooney, The Ultimate Warrior (WWE Wrestler), Hal Cooper (Producer), Efrem Zimbalist Jr (Actor, Producer), Bobby Gregg (Drummer), Maya Angelou (Author), James K. Randall (Composer), Ann B. Davis (Alice), Marjorie Strapp (Dragnet), Casey Kasem (American Top 40), Tommy Ramone (The Ramones), James Garner (The Rockford Files), Michael Johns (American Idol Contestant), J. E. Freeman (Actor – you might not recognize the name, but you sure will recognize the face – he was everyone’s bad guy), Robin Williams (my heart still hurts over this one), Lauren Bacall (Actress), Stephen Lee (Another actor whose name you might not recognize, but his face you will), Don Pardo (You might not know his face, but you sure know his voice), Joan Rivers (Comedian), Denny Miller (Tarzan), Richard Kiel (Jaws from James Bond).
Stephen Lee

As the weather cooled, things slowed down a little. From October through the end of the year we lost: Michael Goldberg (Screenwriter), Oscar de la Renta (Designer), Jan Hooks (Actress-Comedian), Marcia Strassman (Actress – you’ll recognize her face too), Brittany Maynard (Death with Dignity), Ernest Kinoy (Author - Roots), Bobby Keys (Musician), Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley), Mary Ann Mobley (Actress), Norman Bridwell (Author – Clifford the Big Red Dog), Christine Cavanaugh (You’d recognize her voice), Joe Cocker (Musician) and Edward Herrmann (Actor).

Eileen Ford
Several “American Royalty” departed in 2014. William Ford Sr. (yeah, that Ford – think cars), Richard Rockefeller (yeah, that Rockefeller), Eileen Ford (The other Fords – think models). I should also mention James Brady (Ronald Regan’s Press Secretary who was also shot by John Hinckley), and James Foley (Photojournalist) & Steven Sotloff (Journalist) the two journalists who were beheaded by Isis.

This list was just a small sampling (only American sampling) of all the folks who are no longer with us. During my research, I came across scads of professional athletes who have also departed, unfortunately several of them were current athletes. Car accidents seem to be the biggest culprit. Strangely, I also came across almost a dozen stuntmen and women who met with untimely demises. We lost “the oldest man” and “the oldest woman” a few times over the course of the year as well (think about it, the title passes to the next in line after someone dies, and at 115 years old, the chances of dying greatly increase).

In 2014, we were faced with an Ebola outbreak which actually managed to reach our shores, and airplanes vanishing into thin air. We had several cases of civil unrest when black men were killed by white cops, and then more upheaval when charges were dismissed against the white cops. A firestorm erupted with the Taliban’s release of Bowe Bergdahl – the verdict is still out on that one. The Supreme Court ruled that companies could refuse insurance coverage of birth control if it was for religious reasons (penny wise and dollar foolish if you ask me). TV icons Bill Cosby & Stephen Collins fall from grace after sexual assault and rape charges surface. The proverbial poop hit the fan in the Ukraine. Although we were not hit with a major hurricane for the third year in a row, Mother Nature was sure cranky. We still have not ended hunger, poverty, discord in the Middle East, animal poaching, or drug trafficking.

On a more positive note, a majority of states have adopted same sex marriages. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was freed from a Mexican jail where he was held for seven months. The world’s awareness of ALS has grown exponentially. The seriousness of domestic violence has been thrust from the shadows with the Ray Rice case. (Although the story itself is not positive, the call to arms definitely is.) The Humpback Whales & the Western Grey Wolf may be coming off the endangered species list. You can now have your very own personalized bottle of Coke (LOL).

Obviously I have not cover every news story, every notable death, and I didn’t even hit on hot new inventions of 2014 (the curved TV, internet ready appliances, and affordable unmanned drones and 3D printers – let’s not go there), but I think I have prattled on long enough. Making up for lost time right?
The next entry we will start with challenges again, and I am adding something new this year as well. Notable quotes from authors or about writing. There probably won’t be any rhyme or reason as to what, how or when they will be posted, just that they happened to have caught my eye on that particular day. 

So, here’s the first one:

I hope you have an amazing day, and happy writing!