Welcome to my blog where I share my book reviews
and life along the winding road

Sunday, November 29, 2020

One Day More Corona Parody

 This Les Miserable parody was sent to me by a friend. (The miserable ones is very appropriate for our current time) We're all ready to get back to a life where we don't have to socially distance and can enjoy a play, musical or movie without a mask or sanitizer.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Uncle Sam's Plantation by Star Parker

In Uncle Sam's Plantation Star Parker  speaks from experience about the welfare system. She categorizes herself as once being part of the lazy poor when she discovered as a teenager in 1980 that with a pregnancy confirmation note from a California doctor she would receive $465 a month plus $176 in food stamps and 100% free medical and dental assistance. To qualify she couldn't have a bank account, a job or be married. To her it seemed like a great deal. She also managed to sell the medical "stickers" on the black market and live an adequate life (she previously had 4 abortions all paid for by the government).

In Uncle Sam's Plantation she likens our current system to slavery - a developed and sophisticated poverty plantation operated by the federal government. This provides a government safety net for bad choices rather than natural consequences taking effect. People have been assured that there are political remedies for their dilemma and society will help them. Even the minimum wage increases caused more unemployment and problems in poor areas. This mostly affects small businesses who cannot afford to pay higher wages and as a result raise their prices, making them less competitive, and laying people off.

She shows there are three types of poor Americans:

Weary Poor: They think their situation is simply bad luck and don't have the confidence to make life better.

Hopeful Poor: They work hard and stick to a budget and although they have very little, they are content.

Lazy Poor: Who equate being on welfare to winning the lottery

She shows in a swimming pool analogy that the welfare system is as ludicrous as it would be to have a swimming pool with a deep end and shallow end and saying it is unfair for those who can't swim to not be able to use the deep end and those in the deep end have unfair privileges.

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Old Girls' Network by Judy Leigh


The Old Girls' Network by Judy Leigh while not a cozy mystery with a murder, it is still, nonetheless, a cozy story. The type where you want to make a cup of tea and eat a chocolate biscuit while reading. I'm currently taking advantage of a three month free trial of Kindle Unlimited (I bought a Kindle Fire HD8 which was on sale recently).

Pauline, a well respected and liked neighbor in a small Somerset village, had difficulty with being alone after her husband's death when her 77 year old sister arrives. The sisters are completely different and rub each other the wrong way until Pauline accidently runs into, who she categorizes as a tramp, with her car. She offers him hospitality and as a house guest he clean himself up, tells the sisters that rather than being a tramp he had both his luggage and wallet stolen and was on his way to his chateau in France. With his Irish blarney he manages to build fences figuratively and helps Pauline with repairs to her cottage.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Constable on the Hill by Nicholas Rhea

The Constable Nick series starts with the constable moving, with his family, to a small village in North Yorkshire during the 1960s. It's written in a similar style to the James Herriot series - in vignettes. 

Constable on the Hill is the first of the series. Nicholas Rhea had once been a village policeman and wanted to share some of his stories. His books were made into a television series, Heartbeat, which is available on Brit Box.

Constable on the Hill is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison was a book club selection. Although it was  published over 50 years ago, it is still resonant today.

Nine-year-old Claudia finds herself sharing a bed with not only her older sister but also Pecola Breedlove, who had become homeless when her father is jailed and her family separated. The Bluest Eye is told through the eyes of Claudia who watches Pecola drink more milk than most children. Not because she likes milk, but because Pecola finds an attachment to the image of Shirley Temple on the glass she drinks from. From Dick and Jane books, child stars and even a blond classmate, Pecola decides to ask God for blue eyes which she believes will then make her beautiful too.

Claudia, on the other hand, destroys her blond, blue eyed dolls and wants to do the same to the entitled arrogant white girls she comes across.

The story is heartbreaking with children neglected, unloved and no one telling them their true worth.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Sadly our soil and water is depleted of minerals these days and we need to look for other sources. I have noticed that by drinking a glass or two of the Crazy mineral water No. 4 in the evening, I no longer have night leg cramps which have plagued me for years. Note: No. 4 Crazy Water has the highest mineral content and not recommended for drinking all day.

The different types of water are explained here by water Sommelier, Martin Riese.

 Crazy Water was the name given to the water in aquifers below Mineral Wells in Texas. It's high mineral content was found to be beneficial and the town grew after it's natural mineral benefits were discovered. The Baker Hotel and spa was a popular place to visit in the 1920s and it was a bustling place. Mineral Wells isn't quite as popular now and the Baker Hotel has closed but the mineral water is still sold and there are talks of the majestic Baker Hotel opening at some point in the future.

It's available at Albertsons, HEB and Amazon or from Drink Crazy Water.

Note: Mineral Wells has an interesting history and I used the setting for one of my cozy mysteries - The Berton Hotel.

For more health related and diet posts, hop on over to my Less of Me blog.

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd

 The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd takes place in South Carolina beginning in 1739 when Eliza Lucas is 16 years old. Her father, an ambitious military man, leaves three plantations in Eliza's charge while he leaves to pursue military ambitions in Antigua which is an area of Spanish conflict. Eliza, who has a desire to learn botany and make her family's plantations thrive, takes on the difficult task of plants that produce indigo dye and much in demand by the French. Among her obstacles are a surly, cruel overseer and a mother who wants the plantation to fail so that she can return to her refined life in England, Eliza is also of marriageable age and tries to avoid would be suitors. She finds out that her father has mortgaged the family properties to purchase commissions in the military, a common practice at that time.

The novel is based on the life of Eliza Lucas Pinckney.