Saturday, November 5, 2011

With Every BreathWith Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love time travel, I love the highlands, and I love highland warrior this book had an advantage from the beginning.   Lynn Kurland has a way of making her readers fall in love with her heroes.  I liked Cam so much I even had dreams about him.   ;o)  I liked the heroine Sunshine quite a bit, but her habits of falling into a puddle of tears every other scene got on my nerves by the end of the book.  I was wondering what Cam saw in her and wished I could magically pull him out of the book to be with me, as I wouldn't bawl at the drop of a hat!  LOL!!  The other characters in this book were endearing and there were laugh out loud moments as well as "make you swoon" moments.

There was no sex scene in this book, which I did not mind at all, as the romance was enough to carry the book.

I won't bore you with another plot review, as many of the other reviewers have done a great job reviewing the plot.  If you like Time Travel, Scotland, and Warrior Lairds...this is the book for you!

P.S.  I would have give this book 5 stars but Sunshine's incessant crying drove me nuts by the end of the book.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yes, Bryn there really is a Santa Claus

Santa Claus is my favorite fictional holiday character, I always manage to make a good run of Santa.  I can find the perfect little gifts and I manage to keep my kids guessing the whole time.  Santa has a good message, better be good or you won't get your rewards, and I can tie him into the real meaning of Christmas rather well. My 11 and almost 10 year old still whole heartily believe. My 11 year old may believe until she goes off to college. Santa Claus brought her a cat for Christmas a few years ago even though Mom and Dad are allergic to cats. This is how it went down:

We had moved into our lovely base housing on Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu Hawai'i a few weeks before Christmas. Our household goods arrived on 19 December. We had 5 days to whip the house into shape before Christmas Eve.   To get the kids out of the boxes, and out of darling husband's hair, we walked over to the Christmas parade and festival being held at the water tower on Hickam Air Force base.  The parade was a bit cheesy, but the water tower lights were lit, and there was a band playing Christmas music.  All and all it was a very enjoyable evening, until Santa arrived.  When Santa arrived the children swooped down upon the poor man like a herd of buffalo stampeding in a storm.  My kids were pushed around and steeped upon.  Santa looked as though he would faint.  Mostly the kids wanted their free candy canes, but some of the kids wanted to tell Santa their deepest wishes and desires.  After about 45 minutes of standing and bing pushed around in line, it was finally our turn to have a chat with Santa.  Santa took both my girls on his lap, one on either knee.  Annika went first.  She wanted the Playmobil fairy princess castle.  Ok, mental note to me, find a specialty toy store pronto! Next it was Bryn's turn.  Bryn turned to Santa and asked him for a cat.  Not just any old cat, but an orange and white cat. I shook my head furiously at Santa while my girls looked adoringly at his face.  "I am allergic to cats" I mouthed. Santa paid no attention to my silent plea.  He saw me, he just refused to play along.  Santa looked at Bryn and said in his gruff north pole accent " I would be happy to bring you a cat, darlin'."  I could have lept past the elves and the candy cane and sugar plum barrier to throttle him with my own hands.  Were was I going to get an orange and white cat three days before Christmas and how was I going to get it home before Christmas Eve to keep it a secret? Even more importantly, how was I supposed to convince Darling Husband to let me get a cat when we are both allergic?  A quandary, you can see.

So, what was to happen next was two days of frantically searching all over the island of Oahu for the orange and white cat.  We searched pet shops, shelters, the pet pages of the paper, vet clinics.  No orange and white cat was to be found. 

December 23rd:  One of the shelters on the other side of O'ahu had been brought a litter of orange and white kittens, who were about 12 weeks old.  My sister and I raced to the other side of the island, hoping they would still be there by the time we arrived.  We arrived to see there were only two kittens left.  They were not the cute little fur balls you see on calenders and cute e-mails.  No, theses poor cat were starved, diseased, and the female had a chunk missing from her ear.  I knew this was the cat I needed to adopt.  After shots, medications, and a lot of coaxing to calm down in the car, we managed to get the kitty home.  While my sister ran out for all the supplies, I hid the cat in the bathroom, laying down with her to keep her from meowing and alerting darling daughter number one.   The kids came home, had their dinner, got in to bed with no sign of knowing about the kitty.  All was well and good, for at least the next six and a half hours. 

December 24th, Christmas Eve, 2 am: 

"Mommy, wake up!"I barely register that there is a child next to my bed.  "Mom-mmm-y!  Wake up!  There is a cat in your bathroom!  Santa came a day early!" 

"mmmm....mmrfr? What are you talking about?"  wake up, oh crap, she found that cat!

"Mommy come see!"

"Oh, wow!"

"See Mommy, Santa comes a day early when he bring the pets that people want for Christmas." 

"Really.  Where did you hear that?" 

"My friend Alura, she got a rabbit for Christmas, and it came yesterday.  Santa must have brought the rabbits and hamsters yesterday and all the puppies and kittens today.  Then he will come back tomorrow."

"Great, can we go back to bed now?"

So, the rest is history.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

A peek into one of the mundane aspects of military life

What I am reading: Sherry Thomas's Not Quite a Husband
What we are reading to the Kids:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
What I am working on: Re-write of His Father's Bride

From Rainy Germany.....

Life as a miliary wife brings quite a list of adventures, one of which is the PCS, or Permanant Change of Station. We move approximately every three years and this is usally a very exciting time for me, there are so many unknowns. What will our new house look like? What kinds of activities will be in the area? Who will we meet? What will we discover? I love the adventure of the move.

PCS time is different for everyone. My children are anxious and nervous about where they will live, what will happen to thier toys in transit, will they be able to make new friends? My hubby stresses about the new job, will he like it, will there be a big learning curve and what will his new coworkers be like?

Personally the initial waiting to learn where you are going is the hardest part for me.  Right now we are waiting to hear about a job that will begin in July.  The application was due last June.  The selection board for this job met in September and my hubby was one of 80 people selected to fill 35 slots.  The "matching time" to place candidates in slots is from 1 November to 30 January.  Sometime during these three months we will find out if he was placed in one of the 35 positions.  If not, we start looking to see what else is available for the next rotation.  Everyday he comes home and I want to say "Did you hear anything"., but I keep quiet, knowing he would tell me right away if he did hear something.  The waiting is agonizing.  Other jobs are coming and going and we sit biting our nails wondering if we should forget the dream job and find something else.

So, where do I want to go?  Well, where ever my sweetie will be happy.  But besides from that, anywhere outside the CONUS.  That is anywhere outside the continental United States for you non military folks.  I am up for any adventure out there...Iceland, Norway, Turkey, Egypt, Japan, Australia, Peru, name it, I am ready to go!  :o)

So, join the Air Force, see the world and go a little crazy waiting to see where you get to go.....where in the world will Cinderwriter be next year.....I can not tell you yet, but hopefully soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do Swedish Fish, Juji Fruits, and Snickers make a balenced meal?

I've been a bit preoccupied lately, with writing, the demands of a new homeschooling year, and getting thing in order for my newest role as the commander's wife. So preoccupied, that I have let my domestic duties slide just a bit. I had not realized just how much just a bit was until earlier this week when the kids were complaining they were hungry. Not wanting to give up whatever task I was concentrating on at the time, I directed my self sufficient 11 and 10 year old into the kitchen to make themselves lunch. Here is the resulting shouting conversation being shouted up and down the stairwell.

10 year old: "Mommy, there isn't anything to eat!"

Me: "Of course there is, what every you pick make sure it is a balanced meal."

long pause

10 year old: "Mommy, does Swedish fish, Juji fruits, and mini Snickers bars make a balanced meal?"

Me: "What?!"

11 year old: "There is nothing to eat in the house except condiments, Daddy's beer, and Halloween candy. I figured since we are too young for alcohol, and maple syrup, ranch dressing, and ketchup doesn't sound very good for lunch, you would let us have Halloween candy. Is it balanced?"

Me: "Add a granola bar, and we'll call it good."

Domestic goddess, I am not.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hip-pity Hop-pity Easter's on it's Way!

What I'm reading: Suicide by Sugar, A Startling Look at Our #1 National Addiction by Nancy Appleton and my Friend Katrina Snow's new book...can't say more until it is published!

What I am writing: Emmie's Time travel story. I do not have a title yet.

My next door neighbor Christy ranks up there in the top three funniest people I have ever known in my life. The other two are my darling husband Carl and my good buddy from high school Chris Cushing. Christy has a wonderful blog that I like to check in on every once an a while, when I need a dose of the happy stuff. She has such a light hearted way of dealing with everything. She does not have my quick and out of control Irish temper. (or do I get that from the Norwegian side....) This week she was blogging about the mythical creatures our kids believe in: The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, St. Nikolaus (Living here in Germany we have to keep up with German ones too).

My nine year old is convinced she saw a ten foot easter bunny outside our house in Hawai'i so, she knows the easter bunny is real. The other kids on the block are trying to convince her otherwise. "It's was your Dad" they say. I assure her that there is no way in hell her dad would wear a bunny suit. I could have been the giant rats, my other daughter helpfully adds. "Ewe! No, he was cute and fluffy, not...rat-y"

How long should I let this go on? We have a ongoing debate about Santa Claus as well, but my 11 year old will cut people off at the knees who try to tell her Jolly Old St, Nick is a myth. Should I send her off to college still believing, or should I take care of this problem? You thoughts?

Headed to Norway for my ....eeek....40th birthday!

Ok, so I guess I have to take the 30-smething description off my "About Me" box on my Blog. Not that anyone but my cousin Robyn reads this blog, but still honesty is the best policy. :o)

Three years ago, during the memorial service for my sweet, wonderful, wise, dashing grandfather, my twelve cousins and I decided to meet up in 2010 and go to the 17 Mai celebrations in Norway. My grandfather was Norwegian and it would be a great trip to see all the cousins we had never met, due to the separation of the family for years. The pact was made. Because I was in contact with several of our cousins in Kristiansand and Lillesand, I would do all the planning and all they had to do was save their pennies. Then the economy tanked. All those extra pennies now had to be put towards frivolous things like milk, and mortgages, and diapers for the newest additions to the Nielsen/McDermott Clan. With 17 Mai 2010 fast approaching there are only two left who will be going on the trip, myself and my sister. To be fair, we both live in Europe. I in Germany and she in Italy.

So, off we will go, with my two daughters in tow, for our great 17 Mai adventure. I have visited Norway before to visit with cousins from both sides of my Grandfather's family, but I have never visited on 17 Mai. We will begin our trip in Stavanger to Hike Pulpit Rock and then grab the train to Kristiansand to spend 17 Mai. My cousin will dress me up in his mother's Bunad for the celebration. (My great great Aunt's Bunad). I tried it on once before, and I was afraid I would loose one of those thousand dollar buttons or cuff links. Walking around all day will make me very nervous. Will I have to take out an insurance policy agains loosing any of the beautiful pieces? I have also wondered about the children, should I dress them up in little generic Fest Bunads? Will that be insulting to the Bunad police? I see photos of plenty of other children wearing the little generic Bunads. The authentic Bundads for children are so beautiful. It seems as though it is quite a bit of money to invest in one outfit for one day.

After Mai 17, we take the train to Oslo. My sister does not want to go to Oslo, but my girls would like to see the Viking Ship Museum. In Oslo, we are starting the Norway in a Nutshell tour track. You are on your own for this tour, which is very nice. It takes you by Train Across the country to the Myrdal and the to Flam. Stopping at many beautiful places in between. Once you reach Flam, you take a boat on the Aurlandsfjord to Bergen. We will spend the day in Bergen exploring and celebrating my birthday and then take the ferry to back to Stavanger.
On our last day in Stavanger we will explore the Lysefjord by boat. We will fly home that evening.

I am very excited about this trip, but my girls do not want to go with me. They have their heart set on traveling to Egypt this summer. I told them we may not be able to both, we will have to see how many pennies we can save on milk between now and then. :o)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kissing the Frog - or a late night Pity Party

Do you ever feel like the frog in life? I think I am having one of those years, ok, let's be honest, one of those decades. I feel like the ugly frog that the princess is forced to kiss.

Ever since I had to drop my insanely funny blog "Run Dirty Girl, Run", I have been at loss for what to write about. Cinderwriter was just supposed to be all about writing, and Run Dirty Girl, well, that was my adventures in getting back into running. It was my release, where I could cut loose and not worry about what editors and readers would think. But, when the blog ended, well, sadly, so did the running. I lost my anonymous creative outlet and my motivation to keep running. Without the runs, I turned more and more into a gelatinous mass resembling a frog.

Why did the blog end you ask? If it was so cute and cleaver and kept your feet out on the trails? I received many kind invitations to get-togethers not fitting for a married mom. Apparently when I said Run Dirty Girl, Run they were not thinking of a gal who loves to run on the muddy trails of the Aiea Trail Loops of Oahu. hmmm....Perhaps some of those followers did not mind kissing the frog.

That was a year ago, right before we moved to Germany. I have run a handful of times since then, but nothing to keep me heading back to the fit pre baby shape. I know every mother deals with this, but it is driving me insane. How can I look at my handsome hubby everyday and then look in the mirror and think "Man, he has to kiss this?" He deserves better. My kids deserve better. Hell, my mail lady deserves better!

I know, I know what you are thinking. "Cinderwriter, there are plenty of other things you can do to get back in shape!"

True. There is the Gym. The nasty smelling gym with enormous guys who like to throw around dumbells and make loud grunting noises that pass for birthing sound effects. Hmm, no Thanks.

The Pool. Yes, I do love to swim. Almost as much as I love to run. And I am assistant coach of a swim team. But I can't swim at the same time as my kiddos, and the pool near the house has mean little old German ladies who won't get out of the way when I try to do my flip turns.


Is it Karma? When I was younger I was quite obnoxious about my looks and how fit I was. If I saw an out-of-shape or overweight person, compassion was not the first emotion that fluttered through my heart. I have changed though, truly, I have . I know what it is like to look at the pie and gain an inch on my waist when I am eating the celery. I now have walked hundreds of miles in those peoples moccasins. So I ask God. "Hey! Have I learned my lesson yet? I don't want to be the Michelin Girl anymore."

God answers: Sure, she learned compassion, but what about vanity and humility?

Oh dear, How much longer until I am humble?