Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fly A Little Higher - Sobiech


Title: Fly A Little Higher: How God Answered One Mom's Small Prayer in a Big Way


Author: Laura Sobiech
Published: Genre: Memoir
Rating:
5/5- Excellent. Keep it, treasure it, reread it.

Book Source:
I purchased this book.

 
Recommended if you like: Memoir,  Books about loss/cancer


What Its About:  
 Zach Sobiech was just a teenager, barely, that spring day when he went running with his little sister. By the time he got home, his hip was aching. Assuming a pulled muscle, he let it pass. Weeks later, with the pain was still present and increasing, he went to the doctor. And life changed forever.

Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. He and his family pursued surgery.  They started chemo. They tried every reasonable therapy they could find but, when the cancer showed up in Zach's lungs,  they knew that perhaps this wasn't a fight they could win. Zach's mother, a devout Christian, could accept the loss as God's will, but she wanted her loss, and that of her family, to make a difference.  Laura Sobiech asked God to make Zach's life, and death, count for something.

A passing comment made during one of their many long road-trips for chemotherapy, that perhaps Zach should write letters to his loved ones - in case they did not beat the cancer, inspired Zach (a musician) to turn to music as a way of saying goodbye and "I existed and was important."

Sobiech wrote a little unassuming ditty called Clouds. With "heartfelt lyrics and irresistible positivity in the face of adversity", Clouds quickly caught on with friends and family and eventually with the world.  "When Zach passed away on May 20, 2013, his fans had pushed Clouds to up to #1 on iTunes, Spotify and the Billboard charts – a fitting tribute to a remarkable young man." 

Before he passed, his little ditty had given Sobiech a record contract and to record a SoulPancake video about his struggle, as well as opportunities to meet celebrities, to perform live for thousands, to record in a professional studio, and to meet and touch the lives of thousands of people who may have never known of this young boy's struggle. As well, it gave the Sobiech family the opportunity to bring some attention to the battle that is childhood cancer and to make sense of this horrible, heartbreaking loss.
 
The Bottom Line:
How does one rate such a book? It seems less about rating a book and more about rating a mother's soul.

Let's just say that Zach Sobiech was an incredible young man and his story is a "testament to what can happen when you live as if each day is your last".

An amazing read, for everyone.

Quote:

“I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.”
~Zach Sobiech

 



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 10/21/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Luka
Suzanne Vega, Artist & Writer



My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you've seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was


I think it's because I'm clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it's because I'm crazy
I try not to act too proud

They only hit until you cry
After that you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore


Yes, I think I'm okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that's what I'll say
And it's not your business anyway

I guess I'd like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown

Just don't ask me how I am
Just don't ask me how I am
Just don't ask me how I am


My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you've seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was


And they only hit until you cry
After that, you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Salon - 10/19/14


If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

Life:

Oooff... A busy week here! At work, one of my admin folks was out sick, one was on vacation, and the other left to work for another department a couple weeks back. That left me doing three (actually 3.2) jobs... And, remember how they are splitting my job in two? Well, part of the reason is that my job is more than one full-time slot...especially during the fall.  So, in reality, I was doing more than three full time jobs this week, - all by my lonesome! I'm pooped!

Talking about splitting my job... The interviews went well. I have been told that, though we are still waiting for HR to follow up, I am the candidate they have chosen for the job. Yeah! It's nice to know I will have a job!  Now my supervisor has to work with the powers-that-be to work it out... The department doesn't want to loss me, which again is really nice, so they are asking me to think hard if I want to stay or go.

Purely Vocals has gone into the studio three times to record. Now its up to the sound engineer to make something of our tracks. But, we should have a CD soon!  Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas! :)

Still doing the work out thing. Took some days off not feeling well, but trying to maintain at least every two to three days.


Blogging

I've finally begun to get control again. I've preset some posts, so I am not always struggling to keep  up (or let's be honest, catch up!). This fall has just been too crazy, it's tough to keep it going. But, I am determined to make it through until things calm down (and I am once again only doing one full time job, ha!).

Just finished up reading this:



I love Liz Harrell (Owen), in case you don't know. Her blog MabelsHouse, was amaze-balls! She is funny, entertaining, and seems like a really cool chic. I say "was" because she recently switched over to Elizabeth-harrell.com. She is going through some changes in her life (including a divorce) and the new blog site is a shift toward her new future. I wish her luck, success, and joy. Lot's and lots of joy!

I've started reading a fun new book... But you'll have to stop by tomorrow to see what it is!

Have great week everyone!

S

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Savings - 10/18/12

**DEAL OF THE WEEK**



Total trip = $0.48!

Papers towels = $5.00 each minus $1 coupons for each
Soap = $3.39 each, BOGO (buy one get one free), so $3.39 for two, minus $1 coupons for each pair

And I had last week's extra care bucks (CVS) =  $13.50

Total paid was $3.48

But I got an additional $3 ECB, so total cost $0.48!



Actual cost was about $0.50 for paper towels per roll (pretty good, though not 'amazing' price) and soap about $0.57 each (not a rock bottom price...bit I needed to use or lose those extra care bucks this week).



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stronger - Bauman

Title: Stronger


Author: Jeff Bauman
Published: Genre: Memoir
Rating:

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: 
Borrowed from the library.

 
Recommended if you like: Memoirs, Surviving tragedy stories


What Its About:  
Despite what people say, Jeff Bauman never thinks of himself as a "hero". He is just a regular guy who was at the wrong place, at the right time.

Bauman was one of the many thousands of spectators at the Boston Marathon on April 16th, 2013. He just happened to be close to the finish line, as his new girlfriend Lauren was expected to finish any moment. As he and several friends stood waiting, he looked around and came face to face with evil. He recognized easily that the man next to him, dark skinned and wearing a baseball cap, was up to no good. He even thought, I should get out of here. In the seconds it took to look away, the man was gone and then all hell broke loose.

As Bauman and others stood awaiting loved ones, a bomb exploded. The force of the homemade pressure-cooker bomb removed one of Bauman's legs and damaged the other severely. The bomb, and its brother which went off shortly after the first, seriously injured many other spectators. Bauman remembers looking around and seeing his friend, who moments before was standing beside him, lying on the ground. He remembers realizing he too was on the ground and in lying in a pool of his own blood. He remembers thinking, its all over. I can't survive this.

But he did, thanks to the quick thinking and selfless response of countless others at the scene and the amazing efforts of Boston medical personnel. After awaking, one of the first things Bauman did was ask for paper so that he could tell someone, anyone, "Saw the guy..." FBI visited him and used the information he was able to share to hunt down the bombers.

Over the next months, Jeff Bauman fought for his health and for the ability to walk once again and struggled to reclaim his life, even as his realized life had changed forever.

The Bottom Line:

This was a very quick and easy read with just enough recounting of the "gory" details to be clear, but not so much as to make the reading uncomfortable. It was very interesting to read about this horrific event from the front-lines, rather than the television and radio recounting that occurred. It was also interesting to hear of Bauman's personal struggles to recover from the injuries, to regain control of his world, and come to accept what his new life was. Reading his story, you truly begin to understand what "Boston Strong" is about.





Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 10/14/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Stupid Boy
Keith Urban, Artist
Dave Berg, Deanna Bryant and Sarah Buxton, Writers


Well, she was precious like a flower
She grew wild, wild but innocent
A perfect prayer in a desperate hour
She was everything beautiful and different

Stupid boy, you can't fence that in
Stupid boy, it's like holding back the wind
She laid her heart and soul right in your hands
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans
She never even knew she had a choice and that's what happens
When the only voice she hears is telling her she can't
Stupid boy, stupid boy
Oh

So what made you think you could take a life
And just push it push it around
I guess to build yourself up so high
You had to take her and break her down

She laid her heart and soul right in your hands
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans
She never even knew she had a choice and that's what happens
When the only voice she hears is telling her she can't
You stupid boy

Oh, you always had to be right but now you've lost
The only thing that ever made you feel alive
Yeah, yeah

Well, she laid her heart and soul right in your hands
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans
Yes, you did
She never even knew she had a choice and that's what happens
When the only voice she hears is telling her she can't
You stupid boy, oh, I'm the same old
Same old stupid boy

It took awhile for her to figure out she could run
But when she did, she was long gone, long gone

Ah, she's gone, she's long gone.
Yes, she's gone

Nobody's ever gonna love me like she loved me
And she loved me, she loved me
God please, just let her know
I'm sorry, I'm sorry
I'm sorry, I'm sorry
Baby, yeah, I'm down on my knees
She's never coming back to me

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2014

September 2014 ReCap...



SEPTEMBER 2014

A better month, despite being crazed with work stuff, though still not up to norm. I am still tracking, even though I am confident I will not succeed in Challenges this year. But I've read some pretty good books so far, so it was all worth it anyway!


This month I read: 
Total Read: 3
YTD: 22
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 1
Abandoned: 0


Including:
Fly A Little Higher (Laura Sobiech)
Stronger (Jeff Bauman)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Abandoned: 

None
Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

Fly A Little Higher (Laura Sobiech)

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 22 of 58
A-Z Book Challenge = 18 of 26
Library Reading Challenge = 5 of 36
E-Book Reading Challenge = 17 of 25
What's in a Name 6 Challenge =  2 of 6

Year of ReReading Challenge - 0 of 1-4
 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Chobsky


Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Author: Stephen Chobsky
Published: Genre: YA, Fiction
Rating:
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: 
Borrowed from the library.

 
Recommended if you like: Young Adult,  


What Its About:  
Charlie, a "wallflower", writes letters to an anonymous reader, "friend", (perhaps as therapy?) describing his daily life, struggles and experiences. As a freshman in high school he is facing such issues as sadness at the loss of a friend who committed suicide (exasperated by death of his favorite aunt earlier in his life), his efforts to develop friendships despite being shy and introspective, a  crush on one of those friends, and his struggles as his family changes, including his brother graduating and leaving for college and his sister getting pregnant by a boyfriend.

Eventually, Charlie supposedly realizes he has been molested by his beloved aunt when he was younger and ends up in therapy.  Ultimately, he decides that he should "take part" in his life and stops writing and moves on.


 
The Bottom Line:

Just eh.

I know lots of folks really enjoyed this one, but I was unimpressed.

The character of Charlie was such a wuss, going so far as to allow his homosexual friend to kiss him because he wanted to make him happy. However, on the flip side, his pathos was never quite fully realized. Having, supposedly, been molested as a child he is seemingly deeply loving of his molester, there seemed to be no anger or intense negative feelings. The character was just unrealistic.

Also, as I have mentioned in other YA reviews...this book just tried to address SO MANY issues. Drugs/drinking, homosexuality and bullying, teen pregnancy/abortion and teen promiscuity, rape and molestation, loneliness, suicide, death of a family member, growing up, etc., etc. Each of those items are very important, and perhaps several together would be fine. But all of those items forced into one *quite short* (200-ish page) novel...ech!

And through it all, Charlie's teacher assigns him additional reading assignments in class, for enjoyment. Ok, I get the reading for enjoyment thing... But its not like Chobsky expanded on this. Charlie didn't learn anything from those books (or if he did, it was never shared). So, what was the whole point? To connect the rambling whining about his traumas to reality? Or to draw in the "geek crowd" that Chobsky was tying to get to buy the book?  Ditto for the theater/Rocky Horror thing (and I am a theater person!).
Though I RARELY say this...

just watch the movie and save a few hours of your life.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 10/7/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Stealing Cinderella
Chuck Wicks, Artist
Chuck, Wicks, George Teren, and Rivers Rutherford, Writers




I came to see her dad for a sit down man to man
Wasn't any secret, I'd be asking for her hand
I guess that's why he left waiting in the living room by myself
With at least a dozen pictures of her sitting on a shelf, she was

[CHORUS:]

Playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Runnin' through the sprinkler with a big Popsicle grin
Dancin with her dad, lookin up at him
In her eyes I'm prince charming but to him I'm just some fellow
Riding in and stealing Cinderella

I leaned in towards those pictures
to get a better look at one
When I heard a voice behind me say
"Now, Ain't she somethin son?"
I said "Yeah, she's quite a woman"
And he just stared at me
And I realized that in his eyes she would always be

[CHORUS:]

Playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Runnin' through the sprinkler with a big Popsicle grin
Dancin with her dad, lookin up at him
In her eyes I'm prince charming but to him I'm just some fellow
Riding in and stealing Cinderella

Oh, he slapped me on the shoulder
Then he called her in the room
When she threw her arms around him
That's when I could see it too

[CHORUS:]
She was playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed looking for a pillow fight
Runnin' through the sprinkler with a big Popsicle grin
Dancin with her dad, lookin up at him
If he gives me a hard time
I can't blame the fellow
I'm the one who's stealing - Cinderella

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday Salon - 10/5/14




If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Life:

And hello friends!  I hope your week was good. Same crap different day here. :)

Got a 2nd interview, later this week..

Purely Vocals went into the studio Friday to record our CD. We are not planning on selling them or anything, so it was real free-form and flexible.  We got 8 songs down over two hours (again, not selling it, its just for us). And we had a ton of fun!

No progress on the hubby/music thing.

I did have a check in with the CPAP doc a couple of weeks ago and he gave me a hard time...I had gained 12 pounds since our last meeting. Twelve pounds!! I admit I had to go home and weigh myself...I just couldn't believe it - uh...ooops! So I've buckled down these past weeks and tried to walk every other day or so and have seriously cut my sweets intake (the real problem, let's be honest shall we?!). I have been adamant that I am NOT after weight loss... I never, ever loss weight from working out. In fact, I usually gain muscle and therefore pounds, "FAILURE"! So, I am just focusing on "eating healthier" and "being more active", very doable goals.  And if I loss weight, terrific!


Blogging

I've had a few good couponing trips and have all kinds of intentions of posting them...and just haven't had time or focus. In fact, the only posts I seem to get up regularly are the Tuesday Tunes/Lyrics...and that is because I can set up a bunch ahead of time.  So, I am trying to buckle down a bit more and get ahead on all my posts, like I was before, so that I won't fall as far behind as I have been and have so many days off-line.

I am reading away and have some reviews to catch up on still. They are coming, I promise.

And I am almost done with this really good book! I honestly didn't think I would like it as much. But The Martian by Andy Weir has really sucked me in. I can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.  And frankly, it's been quite a while since any book has done that!! I look forward to posting a review soon.



Wednesday, October 01, 2014

To Selena, Wtih Love - Perez

Title: To Selena, With Love


Author: Chris Perez
Published: 2014
Genre: Memoir
Rating:

Book Source: 
I purchased this book myself.



Recommended if you like: Memoirs, Music/Artists, Selena fans


What Its About:  

Selena Quintanilla Perez was taken from this world so suddenly, so violently.  Countless fans felt the sudden, tragic emptiness and  patiently awaited...something more.  The 2000 film starring Jennifer Lopez was a band-aid on the glistening wound, but not quite enough to heal. While time has helped, fans finally have a book to ease their loss, Chris Perez's retelling of his and Selena's love story.

Perez talks about his experiences meeting Selena and her family, how he came to be part of Los Dinos (Selena's back-up group), the struggle of performing music which did not fulfill his passion for rock 'n roll, and talks of the difficulties of finding his way into the extremely tight-knit Quintanilla family. He offers an honest look at the joys, and the difficulties, of being Selena's husband...and being Abraham Quintanilla's son-in-law. 
He offers a more thorough look at the timeline around Selena's murder and shares what life has been like since that horrible, heartbreaking loss. 


The Bottom Line:

Much of this book is very similar to the movie, right down to sharing the same stories. It would have been nice if Perez had picked more untold stories and anecdotes. But the look at Perez' point of view is valuable. It provides a more thorough look at Selena as a woman, not just Abraham Quintanilla's daughter, and reminds fans of the wealth of talent that was lost.


Definitely a great read if you are a fan...or are just wondering what happened after the movie ended.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09/30/14

A good lyric is like a great book...
Sounds of SilenceSimon and Garfunkle, Artist
Paul Simon, Writer


Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - 09//23/14

A good lyric is like a great book...

Stairway to Heaven
Let Zeppelin, Artist
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Writers



There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying a stairway to heaven

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mondays and Monday Mailbox - 09/22/14









 

Monday Mailbox hosted by Marcia @ To Be Continued.
It's Monday! hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.


Now Reading: 
Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom's Small Prayer in a Big Way (Laura Sobiech) 

Just Finished
Stronger (Jeff Bauman)
The Perks of Being A Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

On Deck
So, so many...


These are from a couple of weeks back. I keep forgetting to post it!



And this little goodie, which was won in a giveaway from Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness, 
sophisticateddorkiness.com. Thanks Kim! Can't wait to read this one!







Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Salon - 09/21/14




If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Life:

Hello all,

Apologies for blogging so little... The first month or so of school is always crazy busy...any time at work where I can usually sneak in a bit of blogging is rare and by the time I get home I'm fully spent.  I interviewed this past week and await a response on the job situation. It's stressful not knowing what to expect, I'm a planner!  But all I can do is wait to see what happens.

Hubby and I have started working on some music. We are very different people when it comes to performing.  He likes to rehearse and repeat, repeat until he gets something. I'm more a fly by the seat of my pants, learn it as I go performer.  So we are taking it slow and trying to find a mix that allows him learning time, but enables me to not get bored.  It's weird, developing a totally new working relationship with someone you already love and care for...you can't exactly go home and bitch about him/her to your spouse, you know!?! Ha!

Purely Vocals had our last official gig this past weekend...very sad. But we are solidifying our plans to record in October which will be fun.

Today is two months since our kitty passed. Every day is a struggle, but what are you going to do, right? We keep pushing through.

Blogging

I've fallen behind on my reviews. I'm reading though, so I hope to catch up soon and return this baby to a book blog and not a  Shannon whines blog.

Hope it's a great week of everyone!