Sunday, July 31, 2011

Four Books

Four Books

Ok, so I'm cheating here and including series.

Dark Legacy - Anna DeStefano

Ok, so I have no clue what this book was about. It was hard to follow and didn't make sense. I'm ok with books that have a secret and as you read them the secret gets revealed, but this one was just confusing.

Maddie and Sarah are twins. They are psychic. They find a note regarding some legacy, but their mother disregards it. Confusing.

Jump forward to when the twins are sixteen. Sarah is apparently the darker twin. She's gotten into trouble and her parents pick her up. On the way home, they are hit by a truck. Their father dies and Sarah is in a coma.

Jump forward 10 years, and Maddie is now becoming a doctor. She's supposedly brilliant, but for the past 3 months she's been having disturbing nightmares. Sarah's mind has attached itself to hers, and they are sharing these nightmares. Confusing.

It gets even more confusing. Sarah is not in a coma but in a facility where they are using her as a weapon.Think Inception. Maddie tries to help her sister. There's a raven who's really a doctor trying to aid Sarah. Maddie has a doctor mate who's in love with her (whatever). There's a wolf who's some mystery evil. It made no sense. 

Apparently it ends with a cliffhanger, but it only makes sense if you actually understood all the dreams vs reality stuff, and only if you're keen to read more about these twins.

Which I am not.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Six Places

6 Places

#7 would be Chicago (just for you Sarah!!!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seven Wants

7 Wants

1. I want to loose weight. I know everyone says that, but I enjoyed my time in Canada a wee bit too much. This is actually a need more than a want.

2. I want Ethan to grow into a confident, intelligent, caring person. 

3. I want to make some great mates here in Lusaka. (Am getting nervous for Ethan and I.)

4. I want all the boxes to miraculously get emptied and things put away where they should be. (I'm blogging as a way to stall from doing more unpacking)

5. Bags. I bought a new Fossil bag while in Canada (sshh don't tell Scott) but I want more. Kate Spade. Coach. More!

6. A veggie garden. I want a beautiful veggie garden in my backyard.

7. Once again, stealing from Sarah, a Seeds meet up would be the best!

Hidden Currents - Christine Feehan

The Drake sisters series has come to an end. An explosive end in Hidden Currents

I had read some reviews on Goodreads, that stated this was pretty hardcore, but I was honestly not prepared for this. It was gut-wrenching. The first half of the book is hard to read, and even made me feel ill. But, it wasn't as graphic as I expected it to be, and it was done...tastefully....if I can use that word.

Elle is the last sister. She is destined to keep the Drake family legacy. Throughout all the books, you can see there's something going on between her and Jackson, so you know this is their time. Throughout the books, Jackson intrigued me, but Elle, she was, just there. I liked learning about Jackson's past and present. He was a lonely badass. Now he's a badass, but perhaps, not so lonely. Oh, and he has a heart. But sshhh... he doesn't want anyone to know that.

Elle feels rejected by Jackson, so she agrees to take an assignment overseas, undercover to expose a sex slave ring. (What's with me and books about sex slaves? See Girl Who Played with Fire) She is kidnapped, held captive for a month, where she is brutally beaten and raped on a daily basis. Intense. I know. 

A lot of reviews criticised the way, once she was rescued, she jumped into bed with Jackson and seemed to heal quickly. Ok, yes that's weird, but the other option is having the book go on longer because we all know she needs her HEA.

What I liked about Hidden Currents was how all the sisters are re-visited. We see them again, and their men. We get to see what the men can do. BTW, all but 2 of them are really into guns and blowing things up! Also, it was great how the town of Sea Haven came together.

There is a sense of finality. We see a little bit of an ending to all characters we've met in the past. A new character arrives, and there is no ending. But then I'm told her new series begins with this one. But without the Drake sisters, I'm not sure if I'll begin that one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

8 Fears

8 Fears

Snakes - Seriously. If I even see one on TV, my feet go off the floor and onto the sofa. Even this picture is creeping me out.

Heights - Sometimes I'm ok with them, other times... HELL NO!!!!

Death - My own, Scott's or Ethan's. I refuse to get older, mainly because I keep thinking that means I'm closer to death. Morbid. I know.

Being alone - I hate being alone in the house when Scott travels. I'm worried about being lonely in Lusaka. I worry that people will leave me and I'll be left all alone.

Failure - Terrified of failing. Failing at being a good mother, wife, teacher, friend...

Rejection - Fear that others will reject me and not take me as I am.

Needles - OMG I hate needles. Just the thought of getting one creeps me out.

Disappointment - Like rejection, I fear disappointing people.

Nine Loves

9 Loves

(thanks for the pic Sarah)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

101 Tips for Travelling with a Vampire - Joleene Naylor

Now why didn't I think of this?

If you want a cute, fun, short read, and you like vampires, here's one for you.

Joleene Naylor writes a tip book. She is currently dating a vampire and since there aren't any Facebook pages for humans dating vamps, so she shares some tips.

101 Tips for Travelling with a Vampire is broken into sections for your easy reading. There's tips on lodging, packing, travelling by car, train, boat and plane, and foreign travel. They are all filled with humorous antidotes.

And, there's a bonus!

25 Tips for Dealing with Your Vampire reminds you, that staking your boyfriend as a way to break up with them, may not be ideal.

Like I said, it's a good, easy, fun book.

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 21

Scott moved to Lusaka 2 months ago.
Ethan and I haven't seen him in 6 weeks.
Our flight to Lusaka was delayed by 45 minutes.
And I had to pay for overweight luggage.
we made it. 
To our new home.

Saturday morning, 
we began our Life in Lusaka
with breakfast at the Mugg & Bean.

Scott has a cappuccino and Ethan has a babycino (hot chocolate in an expresso cup) 

Later that evening, we went for dinner.
Scott found a Korean restaurant.
It was the best Korean food we've had since leaving Korea.
Even Ethan enjoyed the kalbi.

Happiness is beginning our new Life in Lusaka.

10 Day You Challenge

I need to get back into the blogging world. My mate, Sarah, started this on her blog, and I thought it would inspire me to get blogging, at least for the next 10 days. 

Ten Secrets

I think I've shared all my secrets. Let me think on that.

1. I was terrified of child birth. To the point, I asked if it were possible for either a vodka IV to ease the pain, or a bat to the head and be woken when Ethan was born.

2. I always wanted a girl. As a teen, I worked in retail, and would collect girl clothing for my unborn seed. Once we learnt we were pregnant, I was hoping for a boy. (A box of girlie stuff was then given to my cousin)

3. I hate coffee. And yet, in the past year, I've develop a fondness for lattes.

4. My parents sent me to many shrinks when I was a preteen.

5. In Grade 6, I hated my homeroom teacher with a passion. Every Friday, I had 90 minutes straight with her first thing in the morning. It was too much to bear, so for over a month, I skipped school every Friday. (which may explain #4)

6. I enjoy doing laundry.

7. I was a vegetarian for many years. When I was pregnant with Ethan I started craving meat (I always say that's how I knew he was a boy. No girl would make their Mommy eat meat.)

8. I was not a vegetarian when I met Scott. In fact, he would say, when I was, that if I were when we met, we probably wouldn't have dated.

9. I will not throw caution to the wind and admit to having the same #9 as Sarah's. (You're stuck visiting hers if you want to find out)

10. I lived off Dairy Queen banana splits during my last trimester.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson

Last year, I began reading The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I had trouble getting through it, so put it away. I eventually went back and loved it.

Earlier this year, I started The Girl Who Played with Fire. Once again, I couldn't get into it, so I put it away. Upon returning from Canada, I realised I had nothing to read, so I picked it up again. This time I found myself intrigued with the mystery.

Just like The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire has a whole bunch of mini stories that come together. What makes it difficult, for me, are all the names. Blomkvist, Bjurman... While I know who they all are, when new characters are introduced, it takes me many chapters before I've sorted out who they are, how they fit into the main story and what their personal story is.

But then again, isn't that the point?

Blomkvist is working with two young people. One a journalist and the other a grad student. Millennium is about to publish an article and book exposing the sex slave trade. The two end up dead. The gun is found with Lisabeth's fingerprints. But we all know she didn't do it. All these characters are introduced with their own story and are somehow linked to Lisabeth. It's up to you to keep reading and solve the mystery.

I shall now begin The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, knowing that I may have to put it away for a couple of month before returning to it.

Lazy Meme

I found this over at Making Home and while I'm suppose to be busy unpacking, I'm stalling. And wouldn't this be a great way to stall?

The instructions with this are to bold the ones you've done, leave the others in normal type. So here goes. 

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (I don't sing)

11. Bungee jumped 
12. Visited Paris 
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (only if scrapbooking counts as an art)

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (I'm not a running fan)

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse 
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (taught myself? no. Learnt? yes)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (kinda living here)
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted 
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie 
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class 
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving 
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 
67 Bounced a check 
68. Flown in a helicopter 
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book 
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous 
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a be

Enough stalling. Back to unpacking. And making a list of the things I apparently need to do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Expat Anonymous

At our home, in Valhalla, Ethan had a bedroom and a playroom.
His mate, Isaac, also had a playroom.
And so did his mate Alex.

My parents are moving to a new flat in Dar.
They brought Ethan and I to see it.
They bought the place a year ago, 
when construction was just beginning,
and we had no plans of leaving Dar.
They planned for Ethan to have his very own room
and even planned to have it painted.

So when they took us to see the place,
they pointed out to Ethan,
where his room would be.
It's now his room for when we visit. 
Ethan approves of his new bedroom.

As we were leaving, 
Ethan pulled me close to whisper in my ear.
"Where's my playroom, mommy?"

Hi, my name is Tima, and I'm an Expat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Understand and Support Children with Dyspraxia - Lois Addy

Last year, Ethan was diagnosed with DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder). I hate labels. And worse, I can't find a whole lot on DCD. Ethan went for physio for a few months last fall. Then his physiotherapist went back to Denmark. She returned in April and he resumed. She tested him last fall, and again in April. He's improved a lot. But he still has issues.

One of my class parents lent me the book How to Understand and Support Children with Dyspraxia. It's a resource meant for teachers, but wow, did I learn a lot. So first off, DCD is a form of Dyspraxia. Now the book confused me a bit, since a lot of things they discussed didn't apply to Ethan.

However, I got some great ideas of games we can play at home. Ethan still struggles with a proper pencil grip, and an alternative grip was presented here. There's also a strong focus on teaching cursive immediately, which I think is a great idea.

I also liked a lot of the activities presented. There are a number I would use in the classroom. While I am unaware if any of my students last year had Dyspraxia, there were many activities and ideas that would benefit students that needed some additional fine motor work, or even some great games to play during class meetings and social-emotional games.

So while I still hate the label, and am not sure how severe Ethan's DCD is, I am thankful to have found a wonderful resource.

Half Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls

The thing I like the most about being in a book club, is I get the chance to read books I probably wouldn't think about ever reading, and I enjoy them.

Half Broke Horses is one of these books.

It is a true life novel. In that, Jeannette Walls has written the story of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, but since her grandmother passed away when she was 8, a lot of the stories are second hand. But still, I would don't normally like biographies, but this was great.

Lily's father had me in stitches. I think reading about him, and the things he would say, really got me interested in reading more. "If words were simply spelled the way they were pronounced, he argued, pretty much anyone who learned the alphabet could read, and that would virtually wipe out illiteracy."  His ranch was called Casey Ranch, but since he was a fan of phonetic spelling it became KC Ranch.

Lily lead an exceptional life. Forget about what she accomplished in the that time, most woman (myself included) would probably not do as much in their lifetime. Lily grew up on a ranch and learnt to break horses. At 13 she was sent to boarding school but was withdrawn when her father spent her tuition money on great danes. At 15, she got a job teaching in a small town, and went there on her horse. She moved to Chicago, fell in love, and got married, only to learn her husband was a double crossing arse, who was already married with children! She learnt to drive a car, fly a plane, remarried, had children, and kept up an exciting and adventurous life.

Thanks Amanda for choosing this book for us to read. I would probably never have thought of it.

Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong

Isn't this the coolest book cover? I kept seeing it in the bookshop and was drawn to the cover. Can't remember how many times I read the back, and yet each time I saw the book I couldn't remember what it was about.

Don't judge a book by it's cover. Why the heck not????

So it turns out this book is a part of the Woman of the Otherworld series. It's book 11. I've never read the series, and jumping into book 11 was a little scary.

If you've never read the series, but are drawn to the cover, there's no problem. Yes, the beginning is slightly confusing as I'm not exactly sure who everyone is. But you soon learn. There's a lot of background information I lacked on the characters, but I could still follow along.

Savannah is a, not vampire.. witch! She works at a private investigation firm and her first solo case is to look into a series of murders which have a supernatural undertone to them. Soon, she finds herself being followed, people close to her are getting killed, and she's determined to find out what's going on.

The only issue is the book doesn't have a real ending. While the murders are solved, the story of Savannah isn't. Now it could be the way the series is written. All I know is if I want to find out what happens next, I need to find book 12.