Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ask the Editor #4

This episode of Ask the Editor tells about some of the new words included in the 2011 version of the dictionary. I was surprised to hear cougar (as an older woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man) was only added this year. And there were a few others I had never even heard of before. As always, these videos help me learn something new!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 5:46

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dear Wal-Mart,

I know we have not had the perfect relationship over the years, but I wanted to take a minute to thank you for what happened this past week. I will be the first to admit it - I am truly thankful for the Wal-Mart employee who found and turned in the iPad my DH left in the cart last Thursday night. By the time I realized the iPad was not to be found (late Friday night), my DH (at that point it stood for dog house rather than darling husband) was gone camping and had not taken his cell phone. So by the time he returned home Saturday afternoon and realized he had left it at your store, we were almost certain the iPad was a gonner.

My hopes were raised when the Mobile Me app couldn't find it - I began to reason it must be in a safe at the store if the homing device was being blocked. Maybe it was me wishful thinking - I mean, I truly and desperately did not want to tell my mother the iPad she had gifted me was already missing. But when the weekend manager was not able to contact the head manager and give a definitive answer about the iPad, and the Mobile Me app wasn't tracking it all weekend, I have to admit my hopes grew.

Sorry to drone on like this. Really, I just want to say I could have kissed the feet of that manager when she called this morning. Only, being on the phone and all, I couldn't see her feet. And when I got to the store to pick it up and saw the dirty floor in there, I just decided to go with a handshake and a gushing "thank you."

Although I have doubted at times, there are really a few good points about shopping at Wal-Mart.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Much Change

So, is anyone out there liking the new Blogger interface? I tried it for a week and found I preferred the old version. And I thought the new version looked too sterile or boring. I miss the blue and find the orange kind of meh. If you like it, please share what you like. Maybe I am missing something.

And then there are the facebook changes, which I am not hip on either. I do like the idea of video chat options--totally nice. But the news story concept is just not needed. Facebook people are totally messing with a good thing. And they are making changes every month it seems. Are they not aware that some people out there need time to adapt to change? Not everyone is as high tech as Mark Zuckerberg.

Scripture of the Day: Revelations 1:4

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book review: Minor Adjustments

Minor Adjustments is Rachael Renee Anderson's third book. I loved her first two (Divinely Designed and Luck of the Draw), so I was excited when this new book was released recently and downloaded it on my eReader right away.

Although Minor Adjustments has a fun romantic element to its plot, similar to Anderson's first two novels, it is different in that it tackles the serious topic of child custody. This marks new territory for Anderson and shows she has the depth of talent for thought-provoking literature.

One thing I especially liked about Minor Adjustments was that the plot did not take the hard challenges facing the characters and then provide them with an easy out. The long distance relationship and custody battle were not wrapped up simply; the decisions made by the main characters were complicated and emotional. I found myself wondering what I would do if I were faced with such a situation. And although I questioned an unethical decision made, I honestly could not say I would have not considered that option myself if I had been walking in their shoes. (Probably I am getting a touch too ambiguous now... sorry! I don;t want to give away too much.)

Needless to say, this was an enjoyable book. I am very interested to see what Anderson comes up with next.

Amazon's product description: Chicago businessman and bachelor Devon Pierce doesn't want to be appointed guardian of Australian four-year-old Ryan Caldwell - but Ryan's solicitor, Stella Walker, won't take no for an answer. Little does Devon know that this "minor" adjustment will grant him a future he never expected to have. Told in a fast-paced, poignant, and witty style, Minor Adjustments will take you on a journey filled with humor, growth, romance, and love.

Watch the Minor Adjustments book trailer here.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Cor. 12:3

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 10 Things I Did This Weekend

In no particular order...

1. Watched Project Runway - (pretty boy won again; not sure how I feel about that.)

2. Went to the temple - a definite highlight

3. Supported an eagle scout project (now if I could get Patch to work on his!)

4. Took my girls and four other neighborhood kids on a slushy run to Sonic. (Kitty called me the best mom ever for doing this.)

5. Had my annual fold-laundry-while-watching-You've Got Mail fall celebration - and now I am totally in the mood for fall weather!

6. Made French Puffs for the kids for breakfast. (See recipe here.)

7. Went for a walk Saturday morning and enjoyed a nice breeze.

8. Read a novel by Marcia Lynn McClure -a short, but sweet, one.

9. Worked on the outline and background materials of a new novel I had an idea for (not sure if this will ever go anywhere).

10. Did not have a fight with my DH even though he was majorly in the wrong!

Scripture of the Day: John 16:13

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ask the Editor #3

My DH kinda got me hooked on these Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor videos. I have learned something from every one I have watched, and have even begun using some of this new-found knowledge in my writing. So, I thought I would start sharing some of them with you. Enjoy!

This installment is about adding slang to the dictionary, which is something many complain about. I have even questioned this practice. But I do like the added sense of history we get when we keep track of slang word over the course of time. What do you think?

Scripture of the Day: Matt. 7:7

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Jane Austen Ruined My Life

My friend Mary recently watched an episode of Hoarders, which ultimately resulted in my inheritance of three boxes of books. After taking several days to sort them into three piles, I now I have a good supply of "to read" books on my list. And Jane Austen Ruined My Life was one of them. {Thanks, Mary!}

Written by Beth Patillo, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is one of three similar books about smart, modern-day women who are obsessed with Austen books and characters. I have read two of them now, and prefer the first one I read (Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, which I will review for you soon). The most recent one, The Dashwood Sisters Tell All, came out in April of this year and was not in Mary's treasure trove. And I am not sure I will buy it. "Why," you ask? Because, although I liked Jane Austen, I did not love it. I found myself skimming rather than reading, and have little desire to reread sections of it.

My main issue with this book is the ending. ***WARNING: Skip the rest of this paragraph if you want to keep the end of the book a secret.*** The main character cries early on when thinking about her broken marriage and her unfulfilled dream of having children. But in the end, instead of commitment and the life she has dreamed of, she chooses another road. I am probably giving away too much of the ending here, so I won't say anything more--but this did not make sense to me.

To be honest, the cover of this book is great. I love the photograph, the red dress in particular, and the contrasting font color in the title. The cover alone sucked me into reading this book.

From the back of the book: English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.

Read additional reviews on Goodreads here. Jenny has a review there, too.

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 29:18

Friday, September 9, 2011

Catching Up

I thought I would share a little about what I have been up to lately in this post. But first things first: thanks to all those who left a comment for the giveaway. The winner (according to is:

Congratulations and happy shopping!

Okay, now back to what I have been up to lately.

First of all, teaching seems to be going well this semester. I have three classes all back to back in the middle of the day. Perfect for me because it is while the kids are at school. The students are fun as usual, although I have one with restless leg syndrome who keeps standing up during class. This drives me nuts, but I don't know what to say. I did tell him he has to stand at the back of the room so he isn't blocking anyone's view. But otherwise I am at a loss. Any advice? Please?

My writing has been slow as a result of work hours. Plus I had to finish a required online course for work (so glad that is done now). And then Primary has been somewhat busy, too. I really need to nail down a set time to do my writing. I miss it and have things buzzing in my mind that want to get out and about. I did get another article accepted by Mormon Times yesterday, so that will be coming out soon. But, on the down side, I also had a manuscript turned down recently. I think I am getting more used to rejection though as I did not take this one too hard.

Patch has hit the teen scene harder lately. Attitude-wise, I mean. After a few experiences I won't detail here (I am sure he would prefer to avoid that embarrassment) I realized it was time to shift gears with him and back off a little. He is needing his autonomy more and more as he gets older. And it seems it is time for him to take it to a new level. Not that I am ready for him to do that (would I ever be?)--just that he is ready for it.

I read two great books this week and am looking forward to doing reviews of them on my blog here in the next few weeks. I am beginning to be convinced that there are some really great new fiction writers emerging on the scene. And I kinda wish I was one of them (my green-eyed monster is showing a bit now).

And lastly, I saw these were going up for auction soon in New York. I'll take one of each, please...

Scripture of the Day: Deut. 8:3