Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Moving to Wordpress

New address is Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Who doesn't love a good contest...and how unique!

Living on the shores of Lake Michigan sure has its advantages. Just being able to see this majestic beauty every day is such a wonderful thing I can’t imagine doing without. One thing that Manitowoc/Two Rivers really has going for it is we have some unique/funky shops that offer something special for everyone. One such shop is Persimmons. And, to help promote their fantastic items here is a link to a contest that they are running. Just click on this link:

Good luck to all and really make sure to look around and check out the Etsy site as well. Thanks Kim for the great store and contest:)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What's in a Name Meme

Lifted this Meme from Books on the Brain- seemed like it could be fun, so here goes:

1. Your Rock Star name (first pet, current car): Zeppelin Jeep

2. Your Gangsta name (fave ice cream flavor, fave type of shoe): Butter Pecan Sandals

3. Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Frog

4. Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Laura Manitowoc

5. Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name): Gletr

6. Superhero name (2nd fave color, favorite drink): Green Coffee

7. NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Allen Joseph

8. Stripper name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Eternity Butterfinger

9. TV Weather Anchor Name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Dunkel Detroit

10. Spy Name (your favorite season/holiday, fave flower) Autumn Calla Lily

11. Cartoon Name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Strawberry Socks

12. Hippie Name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Cereal Willow

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Feast

Appetizer: Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?

I would prefer the country. I never used to feel this way but after visiting my uncles house I thought it would be great to have some land and the peace and quiet. That said, I wouldn't want to be farther thatn 15 minutes or so away from "real" civilization.

Soup: Who is the cutest kid you know?

Seeing as how both of my kids are adorable this is a tough one for me. But, if I had to choose it would be my baby Ella (Beans). She is so damn cute and she sure knows it and knows how to work it, lol!

Salad: Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.

That I had stumped the doctors in Milwaukee - it is kind of scary when a team of doctors that does this type of thing multiple times a day couldn't explain my condition.

Main Course: If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?

Again, this is tough - there are a few things that I don't skimp on in my life, coffee, garbage bags, and toilet paper. So maybe one of those.

Dessert: What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?

None, although I should probably take something with some extra calcium in it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Feast

I saw this on some other blogs that I follow and thought it was perfect for a Friday. So here goes:

Appetizer: If you could be any current celebrity for one whole week, who would you want to be? Angelina Jolie, just so I could be with Brad Pitt

Soup: On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you enjoy talking on the phone? It depends on who I am talking to. But, for the most part it has to be close to a 1 - I am not a big fan of the phone.

Salad: Name a charitable organization to which you have donated (or would like to). I donate to a lot of charitable organizations but the ones that get the most money are CHD groups because of my daughter.

Main Course: What is a food you like so much you could eat it every single day for a month?Spaghetti

Dessert: Have you or anyone in your family had the flu this year? We all have and it was AWFUL!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Across Time by Linda Kay Silva

Jessie Ferguson is what some people might consider a lost soul - to fill the void in her life she has turned to drugs, alcohol, and sex but nothing seems to ease the aching she feels deep within her soul. After all she has put her parents through, they feel the only alternative they have is to start over in a new town. Maybe a fresh start will be enough to help Jessie to shed the negativity that seems to surround her and give her a chance to lead a more normal life.

To Jessie, nothing sounds worse than leaving sunny California to go live in dreary, foggy Oregon. Who would want to live in a town where everything seems to move so slow and everything seems about 10 years behind the times? Even though her parents and brother seem excited at the prospect of running a Victorian B & B, she has a hard time feeling anything but angry and depressed - who moves their daughter when she is about to start her Senior year in high school, no matter what she may have done in the past?

Jessie's life is about to turn around in a major way, all thanks to the town "crazy" Madam Ceara. At first, Jessie isn't sure what to make of her, especially after it seems as if she truly is the psychic she proclaims to be. But after seeing a door that mysteriously vanishes and reappears in her house, she turns to the one person who may be able to help make sense of some of this. What Madam Ceara tells her is shocking, and would make most people shake their heads in disbelief. But Jessie has faith that not only is Madam Ceara right about the "magic" of the door, but also right when she tells Jessie that following the advice she gives will drastically change her life, even if it endangers it at the same time.

I must say this is one of the more fascinating books I have read. I don't like to delve into the plot too much as I want each individual to experience the story in their own way. I related to this book on a very deep level - one of my favorite passages was this:

"Dreams are powerful. No matter what the people think in your time, you must believe in their power. You must know without any doubt that this is a special place where souls meet and reflect on the wisdom of the ages."

Dreams and their meaning have been discussed for many years. Some people thing that they are just the minds way of "rambling", while others, like myself, feel that they convey a lot of information that could be helpful in leading a more productive and peaceful existence. It takes time and patience to study your dreams, but it really may be worth the effort, especially if you are struggling with problems in your life (and which one of us isn't).

The other passage that struck a chord with me was this:

" We believe that our anam cara always sees our light, our beauty, our very best traits. Our anam cara accepts us for who we truly are. The anam cara love awakens the fullness and mystery of life."

What is an anam cara? According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all round the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open - appreciative and trusting - with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or "Soul Friend." Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life. You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place.
What a beautiful thought!

Linda Kay Silva has written a thought provoking story, that leads you down a path not traveled often. Open your mind and heart, and pick up this fantastic read that will be sure to evoke thoughts and emotions that may have been buried deep within you.

To purchase a copy of this book simply click on the title - Across Time

This review is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion's, where Linda Kay Silva's book will be on virtual tour all month.

A copy of this book will be raffled off to one lucky reader on Saturday. In order to win, please visit and look under Current Reviews for more details. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book Meme

So, I haven't done a meme before. I have seen them on many other sites and am just never sure if I am up to the challenge, so to speak. But here was one that caught my eye and I thought I would see how it turned out.

Look at the list of (100) books below. Bold the ones you’ve read.Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’tinterested in. (Movies don’t count.)

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Looks like I have some reading to do, lol! Not too much else is new in my world. We are getting ready for my trip to St. Luke's in Milwaukee on Friday. I have to have another ERCP done and hopefully this will fix the problems that I was having. Of course now I have been without symptoms for a few weeks and part of me wants to cancel this appointment. But, I know that if I do that I am only setting myself up for suffering with this in the future and going through this all again. I just REALLY don't want to be put under again, and i don't want to worry about a 1 1/2 hour drive if I am sick. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brett Favre retires

I am not a Packer fan. To some this may not seem like a big deal, but when you live 35 minutes from Titletown, and are born and raised in Wisconsin, this statement is almost sacrilegious. I can't explain to those of you who haven't been here, the type of hype and the adoration that follows the Green Bay Packers. I know, a lot of people follow sports and back their teams but I honestly don't think anything compares to this. The Packers are the last vestige of "small town teams" that were once common in the NFL during the 1920s and 1930s. There is a sense of loyalty that Packer fans feel. My husband told me he heard once that there were Packer bars in most major cities in America.

The Green Bay Packers have won twelve league championships (more than any other team in the NFL) including nine NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl era and three Super Bowl victories in 1967 (Super Bowl I), 1968 (Super Bowl II) and 1997 (Super Bowl XXXI). The team has a fierce rivalry with the Chicago Bears, whom they have played in over 170 games. The Packers are currently the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States.

Beginning with the 1992 season, the Packers had 13 non-losing seasons in a row (their worst record being 8-8 in 1999), two Super Bowl appearances, and one Super Bowl win (Super Bowl XXXI). The Packers' 13 consecutive non-losing seasons was an active NFL record until the team finally suffered a losing campaign in their 2005 season. They returned to have an 8-8 season in 2006 and a 13-3 regular season in 2007, both under new head coach Mike McCarthy. (per Wikipedia)

So, when I heard that Brett Favre had retired, I was ready to see this on EVERY local station almost nonstop. I am sure the bars are going to be full tonight of people reminiscing about his fantastic career, and more than a few tears will be shed. I am just glad that I have Directv, lol!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A new addition to the family

I have been pretty down lately. I had an ERCP done last week Tuesday and after 2 hours of digging around they couldn't get into my bile duct. Not only that, but I was so sick afterwards thanks to the general anesthetic they gave me. And to make matters worse, it didn't change anything.

Thankfully for the past few days I have been feeling a little better. I will be going to St. Luke's in Milwaukee to have the procedure performed again, but this time they will make a slight incision on the bile duct to open it and hopefully permanently relieve the pressure. The only thing that makes me nervous is it is a 1 1/2 hour drive away and if I am sick like I was last time it is going to be a LONG ride home.

On a lighter note, we purchased a new addition to our family yesterday. We bought a Newfoundland puppy that we named Julius. He is so adorable and I can't wait to pick him up on Sunday. Now it's time to go through the house and get rid of all of the toys the kids don't play with so the puppy has less things to destroy. I will post pictures after we get him. Hope you all have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nervous about tomorrow

Not sure if I will be around much for the next few days. I have an ERCP scheduled tomorrow. Wish me luck as I am stressing out about it. I have a tendency to get nervous about things like this. It sounds like a fairly simple procedure, and if it helps me feel better it will really be worth it. I just don't like the idea of being put under. Thanks to all of you for the well wishes, and I will definetly keep you all posted on what they find, if anything!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So I've Slacked Off

Well, I have really fallen off the bandwagon of Blog 365 - oh well it was bound to happen. I have been busy nursing two sick little girls who have the flu. Not sure how much more laundry I can do, if you catch my drift.

Other than that I have been completely engrossed in reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - really excellent! A good friend reminded me that I still needed to make time to read the books that were on my TBR list BEFORE I started the book group - it was good advice and I will have to try and keep it in perspective.

I also have found some new favorite blogs pertaining to my other passion, cross stitching. I don't get nearly enough time to do this either, but am going to start "scheduling" it in. Have been working on a snowman that I love but realize that I am going to need to go back to a rotation if I plan on getting to some of my favorite patterns. I don't want to have 10 WIPs, or maybe I do. That way it forces me to stitch more often, lol!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New website....again

So, I missed a day. Oh well, what can I say, I have been busy trying to switch everything over to the new book review website - I was a little upset that I couldn't keep the domain name that I originally chose but at least it is early on. Hopefully my loyal readers won't be too upset at having to add yet another change.

I may be kind of sparse on here for a little bit but promise to come back with a vengeance soon. Take care all!

Friday, February 1, 2008

2008 Valentine's Day Goody Swap

I am pretty excited about this - found this site called An Island Life thanks to another blogging friend of mine and she is hosting a goody swap. Swaps are something that I just love and wish that I could find more of on the net - there is nothing like getting a special package in the mail with all sorts of goodies in it, come on, who doesn't like that?!

There is a questionnaire to fill out to help our partners get a head start on getting to know us, our likes and dislikes, etc.. so here goes:


What is your idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day?

Years ago I would have said a nice night out with the hubby, but now with the little ones I enjoy spending quiet nights at home - maybe a nice meal and a good movie with some popcorn, followed by a nice long bubble bath!

In reality, what is your Valentine’s Day really like?
I usually end up cooking something, and I may be able to take a bath but the girls will be upstairs playing music and "keeping me company" (they are 2 and 4) - not too relaxing, lol!

If you could have a lifetime supply of your favorite sweet indulgence, what would it be?
Definitely Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Those mini ones are dangerous because it’s so easy to just pop them in your mouth. I think I once ate half a bag in one sitting! (I agree) or Butterfingers

Is there any sweet treat you absolutely do not like?
black liquorice, candy hearts, and any dark or white chocolate

If you fell into a pool of chocolate, how would you get out?
Is drinking the chocolate and option? I am sure the chocolate would do wonders for my skin:)

Book Raffle Winners are:

to the following people - they have won the books up for raffle for the month of February:)
Mourning Redemption - Rachel R.
The Ghost Under 3rd Base - Marcia
Returnable Girl - Kellie
All Soul's Faire - Cindi
Into the Spell - Val
There's An Angel in My Closet - Nen
The Tea House - Jenny
The Second Virginity of Suzy Greene - Debbie
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver - Justine
Don't Die Dragonfly - Piseco
Dancing with Dragonflies - Carol
and last but not least
Oblivious - Cari
Thanks again for participating, and make sure to check back at for more chance to win every month. Take care all:)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't Be Afraid of Heaven by Clint Adams

Miguel Estes has been born with a rare genetic skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa, or E.B. for short. Unsure of how much time he has left to live, his Aunt Shirley has helped him develop a To Do list - a place to keep track of all of the things he is afraid to try. She believes that it is necessary to conquer these fears to lead a more enriched existence. This certainly helps to motivate him and in spite of his daily struggles, keeps him in high spirits, after all, he can't let his aunt down. When his mother chooses to move in with her husband, Hunt, Miguel decides it is best for him to move in with his father, even though this means starting a new school, and changing doctors as well.
Aunt Shirley decides that when school starts, Miguel should start up an afterschool program called F.A.A.T. or Fear Ain't All That. She thinks that this will be a good way for him to get to know new students, and help them realize that life is what you make it, and fears are all relative. Thankfully he already has the support of his new best friend Samantha, his nurse's niece. And there is no one that needs F.A.A.T. or Miguels help more than she does.
This book was a rollercoaster ride, and it was so wonderful to read a book that was sure to inspire children and adults alike. We all fear something, but we need to look past all of that and make a To Do List - I believe it would help us all stay positive, and realize that there really is nothing to fear, anything can be overcome, even death. Thank you Clint for opening my eyes, and I think you will do the same for many people in the future.
Author Questions
How did you come up with the idea for this book, and the F.A.A.T. concept?
Honestly, I wrote DON 'T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN as a tribute to my cat, Samantha. I named one of the main characters after her. I learned so much from Samantha, her life and the time she chose to die. Since my books all have to do with 'eliminating fear,' I decided to write about eliminating, or trying to help teens eliminate the most common fear of all, the fear of death. I hadn't seen many of these for the teen market (not novels anyway) I thought I'd give it a shot. In my mid-thirties, I began to feel certain that fear is something that is completely learned, not natural in any of us. I wanted the themes in all my books to be the same; lives begin to change only when fear is absent.
Do you have any books currently in the works?
Yes, I do. After having published four novels for teens, I've decided to try something different. My newest novel is a suspense thriller for adults titled, THE SEVEN RITUALS. Two plots run consecutively throughout; the two protagonists are the same person, yet one offers an innocent outlook at something rather perverse and dangerous, while the other shows incredible determination to discover the truth that will inevitably set him free.
What made you decide to have Miguel suffer from E.B., as opposed to some other ailment?
Good question. A long while ago I attended a fundraising concert in San Francisco ...not really knowing what the particular cause was. It ended up being a benefit event for kids that live with this rare disease, E.B. Shortly after the concert, I got to meet several of these brave kids. Their courage inspired me incredibly; I learned as much as I could about E.B. and I decided to continue writing about a boy living with E.B. as a tribute to them, those kids that have chosen to live without fear.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I love meeting people from as many countries as possible and learning as much as possible about their lives and their cultures. This is my favorite hobby, as well as being my greatest opportunity to learn.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The perfect vacation for my family

Our lives get so busy, raising our 2 and 4 year old, that I really can't remember the last time we relaxed. My husband works two jobs and we don't get a lot of time together as a family. We have decided that this year we are going to take a "mini" vacation. We didn't want to spend a lot of money (which we don't have) and we didn't want to travel too far - next year we are going to take a big vacation to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. So, we started looking at places in Wisconsin.

Lucky for us, we have one of the greatest vacation spots in the country - Wisconsin Dells. For those of you that are not familiar with the Dells, it is home to the waterpark, indoor and outdoor. Noah's Ark is the largest waterpark in America. Check out the link if you get a chance, it is really something to see:)

We found an AWESOME package. It is 4 days and 3 nights for $400. This includes lodging at Meadowbrook Resort, a day of fun at Mt. Olympus Indoor Water and Theme Park, and 2 full days at America's newest multi-level indoor waterpark "Lost Rios". There is campfires every night (may be a little cold though) with song and smores, and a waterpark at Meadowbrook for us to enjoy. We also found out that they have a 24 hour shuttle to Ho-Chunk casino which also offers childcare. So, looks like we may be doing a litle bit of gambling as well.

Now, we just have to decide when we are going to go. We are looking at next month but we'll see how things pan out. It is exciting just to talk about it!

Happy Wednesday everyone...don't forget to sign up for the free book raffle at

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jenny's Legacy by Cassandra Barnes

What would I do if I lost a child? Especially if I lost them and there was a chance I could have stopped their untimely death? Kyle Cordell's father has decided that it is his mission to put an end to all psychics, psychologists, counselors, mediums, anyone who is attempting to do "mind control". After all, that is what Master Kundalini did to his youngest daughter Jenny, and it ended in her death. There is no way any good can come from anyone doing these types of things. He is so adamant that he forms The Family Foundation - a group of individuals intent on doing everything in their power to stop this from happening again. Kyle has been "brainwashed" into this belief system - and since he and his sister were so close he feel responsible for not stopping her before it was too late.

Gaelynn Graham is at the crossroads of her career. She is a school counselor part-time but her dream job at Millwood Mindworks is slowly becoming a reality. She has been blessed with a special gift and uses it to help her patients deal with their problems. If things continue going so well she will be able to quit her job as a counselor and work at Millwood Mindworks full-time. Unfortunately, her psychic abilities do not help her see her own future, as there are some struggles she is going to face in the very near future, struggles that will change her life drastically.

When Kyle and Gaelynn meet at the ER, there is a physical attraction that neither can deny. But when it become apparent to Kyle what she is, there is no way he can have ANY kind of relationship with her...after all it is people like her that were responsible for the death of his sister.

"Jenny's Legacy" is a great read with well thought out characters and a plot that will be sure to keep you reading into the wee hours of the night. I am thrilled that books involving the paranormal are becoming so popular as I am a HUGE fan of anything like this. We must all try to overcome our differences to see the good in each other, and in the end Kyle and Gaelynn are able to do this.

Thanks Cassandra for the opportunity to review this great book!
A copy of this book is to be raffled off the first week in March. To enter, please visit Upon Further Review and sign the guestbook under each book you are interested in.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Book Page - America's Book Review

So, we did our bi-weekly trek to the library on Saturday and I saw that they had January's and February's issues of Book Page up front. I am not sure how I missed January's this many weeks in a row - probably because I am busy trying to keep the rugrats out of trouble.

For those of you that aren't familiar with this publication it offers a little bit of everything, book reviews, author interviews, Q & A's from readers, a little piece of heaven for any bibliophile. As much as I enjoy looking through them there is a down side - my TBR pile, which is already ENORMOUS just continues to grow. There could be much worse things I know, lol!

I also have had a pretty good response on the website for reviewers. It is a little difficult trying to keep all these things straight, but I know that once I get it organized it should run fairly smoothly.

Visit my website at http://www.uponfurtherreview/ for book reviews and the chance to win some great books!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Black Dove by Bridgette Cassese

When Emma decides to pack up her lucrative job after a failed engagement to get a fresh start and do something that she really enjoys her sister tells her, "No one is really free, and there is no such thing as 'free will'. We all have responsibilities." Emma has decided to move to Cornwall with it's beautiful beaches, interesting history and a place to start over. She finds a place to start her new dream - The Black Dove Inn. She can't believe her good luck when she finds out that it is for sale, and at a very reasonable price. Rumor has it that it is haunted, but this is more intriguing that scary for her.

She has also met some new friends, among them Anton, a local artist and somewhat of a mystery himself. Although there is an immediate attraction he seems to be involved in a relationship and she needs to put some work in to make the Inn exactly what she wants it to be - an art gallery, wine bar, and a great place to just sit and socialize while appreciating the finer things.
After moving in she does experience some "hauntings", and when she comes across a painting that resemles Anton she does some digging. She finds out that the history around the Inn involves seances, pirates, and smuggling gone bad. This is extremely enchanting to her, and when she meets Anton again their chemistry is impossible to resist. After all, this is the same man she has seen in her dreams, and some of her nightmares as well.
This story really makes me want to visit England and see some of the historical sites. The author really draws you in and evokes many different emotions as you are reading.
Black Dove is a collection of 4 Novellas including Black Dove, The River Tale, Castle of Dreams, and Dark Goddess. Each focus on mystery, intrigue and romance. Each story is set in a new location that matches the atmosphere of the tale.
Bridgette Cassese, in her late thirties currently resides in Sennen in Cornwall. She studied Social Anthropology and Psychology, at Sussex and London Universities and enjoys Jungian analytical, Rogerian and humanisitc psychology, from which she has taken many of her themes. She is also a contributor to the magazine Dark Nights. She has taught psychology at Norwich city college and as a private tutor.
Questions for the author:
Do you miss teaching?
I still teach occasionally - the psychology of creativity - I dip in and out.
Do you have any books in the works currently?
I am currently working on another historical novel with supernatural themes and featuring local legends - 'The Lost Isle of Lyonesse - a flight of doves', for which I am seeking a publisher and agent.
What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
Hobbies - Surfing - body surfing mostly, but can use the big boards but not standing up yet. Walking and exploring rugged and wild terrains. Swimming horse riding, computers, desktop publishing, psychology and art. Creative writing, short story writing. Visiting art exhibitions - the romantics. Music.
Seeing as how Black Dove focuses on art, do you have any artistic abilities?
Yes, I attended Ravensbourne College of art and design for one year and studied graphic design and did a fine art module. I paint in both watercolours and oils (an average talent). I worked for 18 months as a researcher on the compilation of the Penwith artist's dictionary, at the Hypatia Trust, an academic publisher here in Penzance and like the romantic artists, particularly the Pre Raphaelites - such as Dante gabriel Rossetti and John Waterhouse Collier and F Leighton etc.
A copy of this book will be raffled off the first week in March. To enter, please visit and sign the guestbook under each book you are interested in.
If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact me at

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Same old Saturday

Well, this Saturday started out like most Saturdays around our house. The girls were up early, as usual. We usually follow the same routine - get up and dressed, go out for breakfast, grocery shopping, and to the library. I am so fortunate that all 4 of us are such big fans of the library - it truly is one of my favorite places, if not my favorite place and I hope to instill my love of reading in my daughters.

Besides not feeling well, it has been a pretty productive week. I have gotten a few emails from people that want to be book reviewers, have been fortunate to visit some blogs of people that seem to love books as much as I do, and have finally felt able to concentrate on reading - the illness has hampered that a little so that is when you know I am sick!

Sorry so short, but not too much else is going on. Everyone is asleep (except the hubby is gone) so I will try and get some reading in right now. Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Disgusted with Doctors

So, I haven't been feeling well for almost 2 weeks and haven't really been able to eat much, mostly because of this pain I have in my stomach. I ended up in the ER on Monday and they noticed a Prolonged QT which I had to wear a Holter monitor for. On Wednesday I had to have CT scan done of my stomach and pelvis. Lucky me, my Doctor is off until Monday so I end up talking to his nurse today. I was told yesterday that the Holter monitor report did show irregular heartbeat, but nothing to be worried about. Yeah right, I have done nothing but worry. Now, when I call to get the results of the CT scan I am told that I have a cyst on my liver and a dilated bile duct along with enlarged lymph nodes. Again I was told that this really wasn't a cause for concern. No offense because I know that there are times when RN's can know more about things than some doctors but this wasn't putting my mind at ease. So, when I asked if I should call first thing Monday to talk to Dr. Hendricks she told me he would be quite busy after just coming back from his 3 days off and maybe I would talk to him Monday afternoon or early Tuesday. I don't think so...first thing Monday there WILL be some answers for me. It is going to be a LOOOOOOONG weekend:(

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson

With mental health issues being so prevelant in society I was very intrigued by the premise of this book. Let me tell you that as hard as it was I read it in one sitting - it grabbed hold and would not let go.
All Destiny wants is to get a job and try to have a semblance of a normal life. Instead she is burdened with the responsibilty of taking care of her mentally ill mother and trying to protect her younger sister Cassidy from the violent rages and outbursts that have become more common than not. Destiny's life has never been anything but that of a constant caregiver and mediator...especially since the incident at Crater Lake. She loves her mother, and even though she knows that this is not a normal family life she is willing to do what her father asks and help keep her mother in their home, for better or worse.
As this book unfolds you watch this family go on such a downward spiral that my heart was literally breaking. As much as I hated to turn to the next page for fear of what was going to happen next, I was compelled to do so in hopes that a ray of light would be found and something positive would happen to change some of the bad to good. At first I was unsure if this could really happen - how could both parents let their children go through this living hell? I then thought of my own life, and the lengths I may go to keep my family in tact. Love is a very powerful emotion, and nothing is more powerful than the love between a parent and their children. As Ms. Gregerson points out in her Author's Note, children that come from abusive families are even more loyal to their parents than children who don't. They seem to constantly be searching for a way to gain acceptance and love from the parent(s) who neglects or abuses them.
This book is a true eye opener, although it is fiction we can't turn a blind eye to the fact that there are families like this in every town in America. I am hopeful that this book will give some of these families the strength they need to get the help so desperately needed before it is too late and the children are damaged to a point of no return. It will hopefully also make people think closely about some people they know and maybe will give them the strength to intervene in situations they know are not healthy for the family involved. The author has done a true service by writing about an issue that should not be ignored.
Questions for the author:
What made you decide to write the story from the perspective of the oldest daughter?

Well, it was personal really. I was a parentified child, meaning that I was one of those kids who took care of my mother and my older sister when my family was spiraling out of control. I was the one who felt responsible to hold everything together because no one else would. And I believed that multitudes of people all around the world experience that same thing -- they become the savior of their families because no one else will. I wanted to shine a spotlight on that problem and what it does to a kid. And on another level, this is a cautionary tale: beware what you do to your children. When 5 children a day die in this country because their mother, a family member, or someone who knows their parent kills them, we're in deep trouble. We are allowing the ruin of our children and then we wonder why these kids can't learn in school or why they turn to crime, or why they're depressed. This book tells why, in some cases, our children are lost.
What was your inspiration for the story?

There were several things that inspired me. And in some sense, it was reaching critical mass and feeling that I had to say something about this problem. I tell everyone the story about meeting a man whose mother set their house on fire after locking him and his little brother in. There was Susan Smith and Andrea Yates. I thought they were anomalies, but I found out that they aren't. I started studying this issue and realized that 500 mothers a year kill their children. I started wondering what it would be like to live in a family like that. What if every day, your little sister's life was on the line and you couldn't do anything except be the one who stood between her and your mother? What if you knew your life was on the line and you had to live with one eye open so you could survive? These are the things I thought about, they're the questions that horrified me, as I wrote this book.
Do you have any books currently in the works?

I currently have one book in the works about a girl whose mother deserts her at the local grocery store, leaving the girl with her eccentric extended family and the question, "Why did she leave me?" I'm about a third through that and may get back to it soon. I also have another book finished about a girl in a trailer park who's the underdog and can't seem to find her way.
What hobbies do you enjoy?

Oh, I'm an odd one. I love to research. That is really relaxing to me. I pick a topic and then I search it out. I travel a little. We have a summer place on a beautiful glacier fed lake and I love going there. I hang with my daughters who are almost 18 and 21. They're my greatest joy. I read some, mostly nonfiction. I have a few favorite TV shows like CSI and Ugly Betty. Other than that, I just hang and try to find things to laugh at. The absurdity of life amuses me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prolonged QT and stomach pain...ugh!

So I end up at the emergency room on Monday. I haven't felt right for over a week with intense stomach pains that don't go away. I wanted to diet this year, but this was not exactly what I had in mind! So, they give me some heavy duty pain killers through and iv and also give me some saline and a sugar/saline mixture because I was borderline dehydrated. While I was there they hooked me up and did and EKG because I also have been experiencing some pressure in my chest. Well, I guess it was a good thing they did as they noticed a Prolonged QT - so, home I go with a holter monitor for 24 hours and am still waiting for the results of THAT particular test.

This morning I had to go up to the hospital again. This time I had a CT scan done of my stomach and pelvis. Oh the joys of drinking barium sulfate:) I don't care if it comes in berry flavored or not, this is still some nasty stuff! And you have to drink soooo much of it! The test itself is painless and doesn't take too long. Now it is just a waiting game on both of these. Hopefully they can figure out what is going on soon, living like this is truly miserable!

The Legend of Billy Davies by Emma Brown

Living in Wisconsin we are home to 2 of the most notorious serial killers in history; Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer. I have read many books about serial killers and the one thing the majority of them have in common is they are quiet, unassuming, and someone you would never suspect of committing the heinous crimes they are eventually convicted of. This is the most frightening thing about them.

I am also a true lover of horror movies and books so I was thrilled to receive a copy of The Legend of Billy Davies by Emma Brown. Melding elements of Halloween, Psycho, and The Vanishing, just to name a few, the author works these into her own style to create Billy Davies- psycho extraordinaire. Billy is a troubled youth who commits a murder out of what he believes is neccesity. He becomes institutionalized, and while theredevelops a horrifying scheme - revenge so sinister it would make any fan of horror proud.

Without going into too much detail I will say that the mental state of Billy and the crimes he commits would turn some stomachs and may keep some up at night. It once again proves you just never know who you may be dealing well do you REALLY know your next door neighbor?

Thanks Emma for a great read and true page turner!

Monday, January 21, 2008

May/December Romance

So, I finished a book the other day where the leading lady was hesitant on forming a relationship with a man who was 10 years younger than she was. I feel like somewhat of an expert in this area as my husband is 16 years older than I am. I wasn't aware of the age difference when we first met because he looks much younger than his age. But, to be perfectly honest, age is just a number.

Don't get me wrong, when my mom found out the age difference she was not happy, that is until she met him. After meeting him she saw what a wonderful man he is and any doubts she had went out the window. And, apparently we are not alone. When I went online to do some research for my book review I found the following celebrities and their age difference:

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. Soon-Yi is 35 years younger.
Martha Raye and Mark Harris. He was 33 years younger when they married in 1991.
Clint and Dina Eastwood. Dina is 25 years younger.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Catherine is 25 years younger.
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. Annette is 21 years younger.
Francesa Annis and Ralph Fiennes. Ralph is 19 years younger.
Mary Tyler Moore and Dr. Robert Levine. Robert is 18 years younger.
Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica. Jessica is 18 years younger.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Demi Moore was 42, and Ashton Kutcher was 27 when they wed -- a 15 year difference.
Geena Davis and Dr. Reza Jarrahy. Reza is 15 years younger.
Tony Bennett and Susan Crow. Tony is about 33 years older than Susan.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Tim is 12 years younger.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie. Guy is 10 years younger.
Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong. Lance was 9 years younger.
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. Justin is 9 years younger.
Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich. Bart is 9 years younger.
Tony Randall and Heather Harlan. Heather was 50 years younger.
Chuck Norris and Gena O'Kelley. Chuck is 28 years older than Gena.
Norman Mailer and Norris Church. Norris was 26 years younger than Norman.
Rod Stewart and soon to be ex-wife Rachel Hunter. Rachel is 25 years younger. Stewart's fiancee, Penny Lancaster is 26 years younger.
Paul McCartney and future ex-wife Heather Mills. Heather is 26 years younger.

And this is just the start. I know of a few other friends that are in relationships and marriages where there is an age difference of 10 years+. If you are one of them, I would love to hear from you!

Now, I also wanted to mention a site that a fellow blogger alerted me to called Marry Our Daughter - believe it or not this is a site where parents are actually auctioning off their YOUNG daughters to be wed, as young as 14 years old. What self-respecting parent would do this? I was appalled on seeing this and can't even believe it is legal, but according to the site a child can marry as young as 13 with the parents consent. Pretty scary if you ask me. Would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.

Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Soldier of Chance by Nathan Rosenfeld

After reading "A Soldier of Chance" I realized that not only did I not know much about the Holocaust, I didn't really understand what it meant to have to live through this horrific time, and the trials and tribulations that many individuals had to go through not only to survive, but to keep their sanity as well.

To call this a tragedy would be somewhat of a joke. This book is written by the son of holocaust survivor, Alex Rosenfeld. Alex came from a family of extremely hard workers. He wasn't booksmart as some of his siblings were but preferred to learn a trade, something that may have had an integral part in his survival during the Nazi takeover.

Alex certainly had luck on his side, as you will see repeatedly when you read this book. He is able to disguise his identity as a Polish Jew not once, but numerous times, and is able to convince the people in his life that he is a Frenchman who lost his family at birth and was adopted by a family with the last name Rosenfeld. Unfortunately, truth be told, he does end up losing his parents and sisters to the holocaust.

Instead of being sentenced to a concentration camp he is called to the police station where he is served his working papers. Upon receiving these he volunteers to work in Germany in their factories (something he would have been eventually ordered to do anyway). He has not choice as he is almost out of ration cards and will starve if he doesn't leave. He ends up excelling at his work and even becomes friendly to some of the Germans including his bosses. They have nothing bad to say about him and even award him a plaque commending him on being an exemplary employee, something else that may have attributed to his survival at a later point.

Working in Germany eventually takes its toll, so on one of his vacations he decides it is time to stay in France and "do the right thing" by joining the French Resistance. This also almost costs him his life numerous times, as the Germans continued to try and keep their reign of terror at an all time high, even though it appeared they were starting to weaken and lose their power.

One of the things I liked most about this book is you felt like you were there walking along the path that Alex followed. Nathan adds wonderful historical documentation through photographs to help blend the historical aspects with his fathers personal experiences to truly give you an understanding of all this man went through to survive.

This book is a true eye-opener and a refreshing view on how it is possible to overcome and survive anything as long as you don't give up and fight for what you believe in.

For more information on the holocaust, please visit The Holocaust Cybrary - it is a fascinating site.

A copy of this book is to be raffled off the first week in March. To enter the contest, please visit and sign your name to the guestbook below any book you are interested in.
As always, if you have any questions or problems, please email me at

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How cold is too cold?

So, unfortunately we had to venture out and do some grocery shopping today. Not only am I still battling symptoms of the flu, the temperature is -6 degrees, that's right -6!!!! This does not factor in the wind chill which puts us at about -30. Reports on the news today said that if you were outside for more than 15 minutes with any exposed skin you were going to get frostbite. I actually felt guilty taking the kids out, bu we made sure to bundle them up and off we went.

I try so hard when we go grocery shopping to stay in a budget. Well, needless to say we went WAY over budget again (spent close to $200 - for the week). Granted, we did get a bunch of extras because they had some great sales, so we have lots of extra things to eat, but I still cringed as I saw the total...ouch!!

Thankfully we get to stay in the rest of the weekend - hubby has to work again tonight but he doesn't really mind, although I do when I feel this way, it would be nice to curl up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me today. Oh well, that's the joys of being a mom:)

Sorry this isn't too exciting, just don't have it in me to write when I feel so bad. Maybe I'll try
and squeeze a bath in before Tim has to head out!

Currently reading:

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm cheating today with a survey

Ok, I feel like I am cheating on the blog today because I am posting a survey. But, I have been up sick most of the night with the flu and I don't want to miss a day, but don't have much energy to write anything meaningful. So, here goes:

1. Are you single?
Nope, been married to the same wonderful man for 8 1/2 years

2. What holiday is your birthday closest to?

3. Favorite pie?
pumpkin or pecan

4. Does it bother you when someone says they will call you and they don't?
Not usually, things come up in everyone's lives

5. Are you allergic to anything?
not that I know of

6. Is there something special you want?
I just want to feel better

7. When was the last time you went swimming?

8. Do you like cheesecake?
I like it

9. How many of the U.S. states have you lived in?
just one

10. what color were the last socks you wore?
Navy blue

11. Do you keep a planner or calendar with daily events?
yes, both on paper and online

12. What is the relationship between you and the last person you kissed?
she's my daughter :D

13. Do you have any strange pets?
no but would love a sugarglider

14. Would you get back with anyone from your past?
no, you break up or are broken up with for a reason

15. What did you do today?
ate some dry toast, sipped some soda, and got the girls breakfast

16. Are you bipolar?

17. What is the main ringtone on your cell?
don't have one

18. Where would you want to go on a first date?
just a nice meal and good conversation

19. When is the last time you were hugged?
Just a few minutes ago by my little ones - they love me:)

20. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally?

21. How important is romance?
very...romance keeps love alive

22. Have you ever bungee jumped?
no but it sure sounds fun

23. Have you ever been white water rafting?
no but i'd like to go

24. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you?
Well, seeing as how my hubby is more than ten years older than I am...yes

25.would u rather eat a bug or tell your grandmother you failed 8th grade?
tell granny.

27. What song are you listening to right now?

28. What is your favorite song at the moment?
This question is always so hard - The Enemy by Godsmack

29. What was the last movie you watched?
Million Dollar Baby

30. Where was the last house you went besides your house?

31. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
no, that's not something I would ever do

32. Have you ever been punched?just on the arm

33. What do you notice first about the opposite sex?

34.what time does your computer say right now?

35. Say something totally random about yourself:
I have green eyes

36. Do you have an mp3 player?
An Ipod

37. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
don't think so

38. Do you have a favorite sibling?
I only have one so she is my favorite

39. Are you comfortable with your height?

40. Do you love someone?
a lot of people

41. How tall are you?

42. Do you speak any other language other than English?
a bit of french mon ami...but not much- even after 6 years

43. How do you like your steak cooked?
I don't - don't like steak

44. Has anyone you were really close to you passed away?
lost a friend in high school to a car accident

45. Do you watch MTV?

46. What is something that really annoys you?
People that think they have all the answers and don't know what they are talking about

47. Right now you are thinking of someone from that last question. Will you ever forgive them?not sure

48. What is the best thing in your refrigerator right now?
soda or leftover pizza

49. Do you have a crush on someone?

50. Does that person like you back?

51. Do you drive when you go on long trips?
Tim always drives

52. Whats the latest you have ever stayed out?
all night and then some

53. Have you ever thought that you were honestly going to die?
I think about it sometimes

54. Were you ever rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?

55. Have you had stitches?
yes and staples too

56. Anyone on your mind right now?

57. What color is your hair?
reddish brown with some gray peaking through

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mourning Redemption by Sharon M. Clarke

This book has done something that no other book has ever done for me, made me truly interested in history and anxious to read more. To be perfectly honest this is a subject I am usually not very interested in. Fortunately I was provided this book by a great publishing group -Triad. I knew that it was on my to be read pile, and because it isn't very long thought I would pick it up and "get it over with". Wow, how judgemental can I be, right? Well, thank you Sharon M. Clarke and Vern Firestone for making me see that I literally can't judge a book by it's cover.
To say that being a coal miner is a dangerous job would be an understatement - each year there are over 93 deaths and thousands of injuries. Sharon M. Clarke has written a wonderful story which uses mining as a backdrop for some extraordinary characters, and leads you on a journey that will tug on your heartstrings. It is not one you are soon to forget.
The Evans family have nothing holding them back after Mari loses her mother, and Rhodri's job at the mine is rendered redundant. They decide that now is as good a time as any to start over, and what better place than America. So they pack a few items and board a ship with their 3 young boys.

Once here they decide that New York is not for them and they settle in New Salem, PA. It is a mining town, which is ok with the Evans' as this is the life that they are accustomed to. Unfortunately, working in the mines was similar to slavery - you arrived here with nothing and the mine set you up with a place to live and the essentials, but you used credit that the mine set up. It became almost impossible to get ahead so you became trapped in a very dangerous and very hard life.
The sorrow that this book exudes is overwhelming at times. I think what makes it so is the fact that this is how people lived their lives. The author has an uncanny ability to weave historical elements into the story, and really make you feel as if you understand what the individuals were going through. Starting with the sinking of the Titanic and the effect that it has on Mari's neighbor and best friend Catherine, to the effects of a heartbreaking loss due to Anthrax, and what emotions are evoked when the oldest boy enlists in the military to fight in WWI.
This story encompasses so much history and brings it to light in such a fantastic way, it was truly a page turner. Many people today, myself included, are not aware of the hardships that these people went through just to survive daily - the children received a knitted scarf and an orange for Christmas gifts and were THRILLED - can you imagine that happening today?

This may be the story of just one family, but we all should be able to read this and see what are ancestors did in order to provide us with the way of living most of us are accustomed to - I am hopeful this will make some of us take stock in our lives and do things that will leave a lasting impact onour descendents.
I don't give out 5 stars on a book lightly - it doesn't mean that I didn't like the book, in fact I love a lot of books that I only give 4 stars to. It takes a special book to earn 5 stars, and this one has done it. Thanks to Sharon M. Clarke, and hope to read more by you soon!

This book will be raffled off the first week in February. To enter this raffle visit and sign the guestbook underneath any book you are interested in.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Burger from Bacon

Ok - I am just wondering when we have gone too far. Part of me wanted to laugh when i saw this, but then I thought "there will be people who will really try this". Kirk Draut of Peppers and Smoke came up with this idea (see picture on the left). Don't get me wrong, when I am really craving a burger my favorite place in town to go is Late's BBQ (with Kroll's in Green Bay a close second). They have THE best cheeseburgers and deep fried cheese curds around. When I say they are greasy, it doesn't really describe it. The burgers are fried and then are put on a toasted bun with a pat of butter on it so when you eat it the grease actually drips off of the burger. I know, this may sound disgusting to some of you, but let me tell you don't knock it until you've tried it...they are a little place and have a huge reputation around the area. I know, I know, not really a healthy choice but it is ok occasionally.

Now, this is different. According to the author of the site it is made with 100% ground BACON, stuffed with cheese, and then deep fried and served on a bun. I think after eating this an appointment with a cardiologist might be in order, but it actually might be pretty tasty!

On a healthier note, I have included a recipe for you health conscious consumers like me - as good as the above burger might taste it wouldn't be worth the consequences (ok, maybe just one bite wouldn't hurt), lol!

Recipe courtesy of WebMD

1 pound very lean ground beef (or fresh ground sirloin)
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Canola cooking spray
4 slices reduced-fat cheese
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Tomato and onion slices (optional)
Mustard and ketchup (optional)
Barbecue sauce (optional)

Divide the beef into 4 equal portions. Use a patty press (or your hands) to make four burgers. Sprinkle them with the pepper and garlic salt.
Pan-fry, broil, or grill the burgers, using canola cooking spray to keep them from sticking to the pan or grill. When the burgers are almost cooked through, place the cheese slices on top and finish cooking (30 to 60 seconds). Remove the burgers to the serving plate. If desired, cover the plate with foil to keep burgers warm and moist.
Dress your burger on the bun with the lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup as desired.

4 servings

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: 397 calories, 35.5 g protein, 34.5 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 767 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Will try and convert to my other blog soon...wish me luck,lol

I can't decide which blog to use. I am not sure which one is easiest - this one is going to be easy for people to find, but I really would love to use the feature built into my website ( I will keep them both running so you can check either site. Just wanted to give you all a heads up!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just another boring day for me

So, I don't really have anything interesting to blog about today. Hubby works until midnight tonight so hopefully the kids cooperate and I can get some reading and cross stitching done. I have really been slacking off on both of those.

We have had a bunch of drama in our lives lately, nothing I will go into here because it's really trivial but it is a source of irritation. Some people just have to learn to live their lives and not worry so much about what others do. I am guilty of this myself sometimes, but with everything else going on there are much better things to do with the time we have.

We are going to have a pretty boring weekend as well. Honestly, I don't really mind. Just going out for breakfast, to the library, and grocery shopping tomorrow. We better make it quick though, because the Packers play and if we aren't home for the game Tim will lose it, lol!
Sunday will be another quiet day. Sorry for the boring blog but it's Friday and just kind of a blah day on this end. Hope you all have a good one though!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What is the advantage of a rear wheel drive vehicle?

So, once again the hubby and I had a discussion that neither of us really knew the answer to. We are looking at getting a new vehicle, and seeing as how we have had both front wheel and rear wheel drive cars we wanted to know what the difference was. Our favorite car that we have owned so far was a Lincoln LS. It had rear wheel drive and it seemed like it handled great, even in the bad weather. Anyway, I did some more digging (thanks Internet), and here is what I found out on wikepedia:

Rear-wheel drive (or RWD for short) is a common engine/transmission layout used in automobiles. RWD typically places the engine in the front of the vehicle, but the front mid-engine, rear mid-engine and rear engine layouts are also used.

Rear-wheel drive is used almost universally for driving motorcycles, whether by driveshaft, chain, or belt.

The vast majority of rear wheel drive vehicles use a longitudinally-mounted engine in the front of the vehicle, driving the rear wheels via a driveshaft linked via a differential between the rear axles. Some FR layout vehicles place the transmission at the rear, though most attach it to the engine at the front.

Rear wheel drive has fallen out of favor in passenger cars since the late 1980s[citation needed], due in part to higher manufacturing costs, and that front wheel drive is safer for a driver of average ability[1], and that it performs better on slippery roads.[2][3] However, some automobile brands, including Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Porsche continue to use rear wheel drive platforms. Rear wheel drive (or all-wheel drive) is still the preferred choice for high performance automobiles because very powerful front wheel drive cars tend to understeer[4], and the ability to fit a large engine in a front-wheel drive layout while maintaining good fore and aft weight distribution is limited. The limit of controllable power for a front wheel drive car is generally placed between 230 and 300 horsepower, and no engine larger than an OHV V8 has ever been fitted to a front wheel drive production car.

Even weight distribution - The layout of a rear wheel drive car is much closer to an even fore and aft weight distribution than a front wheel drive car, as more of the engine can lie between the front and rear wheels (in the case of a mid engine layout, the entire engine), and the transmission is moved much farther back.[5]

Weight transfer during acceleration - During heavy acceleration, weight is placed on the rear, or driving wheels, which improves traction.

No torque steer[4] (unless it's an all wheel steer with an offset differential).

Steering radius - As no complicated drive shaft joints are required at the front wheels, it is possible to turn them further than would be possible using front wheel drive, resulting in a smaller steering radius for a given wheelbase.

Better handling in dry conditions - the more even weight distribution and weight transfer improve the handling of the car. The front and rear tires are placed under more even loads, which allows for more grip while cornering.[1]

Better braking - the more even weight distribution helps prevent lockup from wheels becoming unloaded under heavy braking.[1]

Towing - Rear wheel drive puts the wheels which are pulling the load closer to the point where a trailer articulates, helping steering, especially for large loads.[1]

Serviceability - Drivetrain components on a rear-wheel drive vehicle are modular and do not involve packing as many parts into as small a space as does front wheel drive, thus requiring less disassembly or specialized tools in order perform servicing.[citation needed]

Robustness - due to geometry and packaging constraints, the CV joints attached to the wheel hub have a tendency to wear out much earlier than the universal joints typically used in their rear-wheel drive counterparts. The significantly shorter drive axles on a front-wheel drive car causes the joint to flex through a much wider degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and angles of steering, while the CV joints of a rear wheel drive car regularly see angles and wear of less than half that of front wheel drive vehicles.[citation needed]

Oversteer and the related problem of fishtailing.

On snow, ice and sand, rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage to front or all-wheel drive vehicles which have greater weight on the driven wheels. Rear wheel drive cars with rear engine or mid engine configuration do not suffer from this, although fishtailing remains an issue.

Some rear engine cars (e.g. Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced steering ability under heavy acceleration, because the engine is outside the wheelbase and at the opposite end of the car from the wheels doing the steering.

Decreased interior space - In a passenger car, rear wheel drive means: Less front leg room as the transmission tunnel takes up a space between the driver and front passenger, less leg room for center rear passengers (due to the tunnel needed for the drive shaft), and sometimes less trunk space (since there is also more hardware that must be placed underneath the trunk). There are some exceptions to this as rear engine designs do not take away interior space. (See Porsche 911, and Volkswagen Beetle)

Increased weight - The components of a rear wheel drive vehicle's power train are less complex, but they are larger. The driveshaft adds weight. There is extra sheet metal to form the transmission tunnel. There is a rear axle or rear half-shafts, which are typically longer than those in a front-wheel drive car. A rear wheel drive car will weigh slightly more than a comparable front wheel drive car (but less than four wheel drive).

Improper weight distribution when loaded - A rear wheel drive car's center of gravity is shifted rearward when heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause unpredictable handling behavior.[2]

Higher initial purchase price - Probably due to more complex assembly (the powertrain is not one compact unit) and added cost of materials, rear wheel drive is typically slightly more expensive to purchase than a comparable front wheel drive vehicle. This might also be explained by production volumes, or the fact that the majority of rear-wheel cars are in the sports/performance/luxury categories. Few "family" sedans have rear-wheel drive, so a cost comparison is not necessarily possible.[citation needed]

The possibility of a slight loss in the mechanical efficiency of the drivetrain (approximately 17% coastdown losses between engine flywheel and road wheels compared to 15% for front wheel drive - these losses are highly dependent on the individual transmission, and the source should be cited). Cars with rear engine or mid engine configuration and a transverse engine layout do not suffer from this.

The long driveshaft (on front engine cars) adds to drivetrain elasticity.

Current or recent rear wheel drive cars to 2006
While the popularity of rear wheel drive has declined since the early 1980s, it is still relatively common, and has been making something of a resurgence. Here is list of current or recent rear wheel drive vehicles. See also Category:Rear wheel drive vehicles.
Nearly all two-wheel drive trucks and most sport utility vehicles are rear wheel drive.
Alfa Romeo - Alfa 8C
Aston Martin - All models
Bentley - Arnage, Azure
BMW - All models except the MINI, and all-wheel drive variants
Cadillac - All models except DTS, BLS and all-wheel drive variants
Chevrolet - Corvette, Camaro
Chrysler - 300, Crossfire
Dodge - Viper, Charger, Magnum, Challenger,Durango
Ferrari - All models
Ford - Crown Victoria, Falcon (Australia), Fairlane (Australia), Mustang, Thunderbird
GMC - All models except Acadia and four-wheel drive variants
Holden - Commodore (all models), Statesman / Caprice
Honda - S2000, NSX
Hyundai- Genesis, Genesis Coupe
Infiniti - All models except all-wheel drive variants, I30, I35 and G20
Jaguar - All except X-Type
Jeep - All models except Compass and four-wheel drive variants
Lexus - All cars except ES, RX, and all-wheel drive variants
Lincoln - Town Car, LS
Lotus - All cars except Elan M100
Maserati - All models
Mazda - MX-5 Miata, RX-7, RX-8, 929
Mercedes-Benz - All cars except A-Class, B-Class and all-wheel drive models
Mercury - Grand Marquis, Marauder
Mitsubishi - 3000GT
Morgan - All models
Nissan - 350Z, Skyline (except 4WD models),Silvia, 180SX, 200SX, 240SX, 300ZX
Pontiac - GTO, Solstice, G8, Firebird, Trans Am
Porsche - All cars except the four-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4, 911 Turbo and Cayenne
Saturn - Sky
Smart - Fortwo, Roadster
Tofaş - Şahin, Doğan, Kartal, Serçe
Toyota - Altezza, Crown, Mark X, MR2, Supra, AE86
TVR - All models
Vauxhall Omega - known as Opel Omega in continental Europe

One of the most interesting things about this article is if you look above you will see that most of the high end cars are rear wheel drive. So, there must be something positive about it. Hope someone else found this info helpful, and take it from someone who has owned both - even driving in snow with rear wheel is not much of a struggle, after all, snow is snow:)