Adventures of a Stay at home Mom- continues…

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I didnt intend to clean my kitchen today.Not like this. Most people,like me,when they clean,they clean on their own terms. You know..when you want to and how much you want to. Ive discovered,with an Autistic 6 yr old,that cleaning on my own terms just isnt happening anymore.
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Oh I love this girl.

However,there are times that are very trying. Today, she drug a chair over to the kitchen counter and climbed up on it and refused to get down. So,thinking I would teach her a small lesson,I put the chair back,went into the other room to talk to my Husband on the phone and leave her to either find her own way down,or call me when she discovered she couldnt. 5 minutes later,(seriously,only 5 minutes) I went back in to check on her and she had dumped an entire 53 oz can of instant Lipton Tea all over the counter and floor.(this is the BIG canister,not a little one.) There was a fog of tea dust hanging in the air. She was picking up handfuls and flinging them around. It was all down the cabinet fronts,over the stove,on her,and halfway across the kitchen floor. Priceless.

I was speechless.

There is that moment as a parent,when your child does something, that you really begin to doubt your sanity. This was one of those moments. I was torn between crying and screaming mad. Do I walk across the tea and track it all over,to remove the child,or do i leave her where she is and clean the floor first? After a few moments of being completely outsmarted by a 6 yr old, The House Destroyer was moved and I began cleaning.

After staring at the mess,I thought..VACUUM. oh yes..should be easy. right? But my vacuum just didnt seem to be doing the job right after a few minutes. LIGHTBULB! I’LL GET THE SHOP VAC! Yay,me! That will suck it all up in no time and I wont spend half the day wiping it off my feet.
Seemed  like a good plan at the time.

I proceed to vacuum away,and after about 10 minutes of this,I stood up and turned around to check on the kid…and discovered that sure the shop vac had sucked the tea up fine…and blown it out the other side! It looked like my house had driven down a gravel road!! It had blown it into the living room!
Now,you can laugh..its ok. But,I was defeated and undone.I cried. Yes,I did.
It took me another 2 hrs to wipe down everything. I rigged up a fan to blow it out the window,finally resorting to the tride-and-true broom and dustpan,tying wet rags to my feet to mop the floor.
Im sure I will still be wiping up tea dust for the next week.

Anyone that has a child can tell you they get into things. They can cause havoc in mere seconds.An Autistic child can be doubly so. Anything that appeals to their sensory levels is fair game. Today,Ive cleaned up tea,sugar (TWICE), dish soap and water.

Dont get me wrong..Im not complaining. I wouldnt trade my daughter for anything,Ive never loved anyone so completely as I do her.

Ill just remember for future reference that a shop vac and instant tea equals disaster.
P.S.   And,yes,Husband laughed himself silly.

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Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix

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           Touch Saga

Airicka Phoenix.
Her name conjures up images of mythical beings doesn’t it? Wild things swept up on the air currents,ethereal and substantial at the same time.
I am fortunate enough to be able to call Airicka one of my ‘author friends’ and she gifted me a copy of her debut novel,Touching Smoke,for review,some time ago.
( My apologies,hun,for just now getting to it.)
Since that time,Airicka has published two more books in the Touch Saga with Anchor Group and self-published five other books. This,her first,Touching Smoke, I admit, is the only one I have read and I have to say,I am completely undone by the storytelling talent she has.

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                            Airicka doesnt give us mythical creatures. Touching Smoke isnt about dragons and witchcraft. But it IS about wild things swept up on the currents.
Wild things in the form of people. Manipulated people. Ethereal and substantial. Aptly titled,this book does indeed make you feel like you are trying to touch smoke,with characters like Isaiah who literally cannot remember his past ,or henchmen dressed in black robes that can sense the energy of a person’s inner power,like energy vampires.
Characters with strange abilities and no explanations. Believable characters with storylines that have a middle,but,no beginnings and still manage to be so well fleshed out,you can picture them in your head.Thats important to me when I read a book,being able to picture the scene or people. Touching Smoke is very well written,with seamless transition between characters and scenes.It sweeps you along,keeping the pages turning,action packed,never stopping.
I found myself wondering how much time had actually passed  and how these people could continue, when one thing after another keeps happening to them.
Its intriguing and mysterious to the point of being so frustrating you want to scream “But why?!? Just tell me WHY! “.
Airicka doesnt tell you why. Not in Touching Smoke,anyway. Maybe in Touching Fire,she does. I dont know,I havent read it yet. But, I will. Like, tonight.

Don’t understand what Im talking about? Im not going to tell you what the book is about,except to say it IS,in a way,a love story. It twists and turns so much,Im not even sure it can be called a love story.Other than that,Im going to tell you nothing. You can read the back of the book,or other reviews that will give you a plot synopsis,or even sample a few pages on Amazon for your tablet or Kindle. I dont do that with my reviews. You wont find any spoilers here. I want you to read the book yourself and you will see what I mean. Its worth it. Intrigued ?
Click one of the links to find Touching Smoke on Amazon,or any of Airicka’s works. Click her name above,to connect with her on Facebook.

Key The Steampunk Vampire Girl : A Review

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 Recently, I received a lovely gift from Becket (or Sir Becket,as we like to call him) ,a personalized copy of his recently published book! I promised him a review in exchange.Im sure he feels like Id forgotten him,lol.
So,here it is,Sir Becket,with my heartfelt thanks and much enjoyment.

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                                Key the Steampunk Vampire Girl – Book One: and the Dungeon of Despair (Volume 1)

On the surface,Key seems like a children’s story.A very imaginative,enthralling fairytale of a young girl who is attacked,her family killed,changed into a vampire,then taken to the Undead City of Necropolis. Where, she is promptly thrown into The Dungeon of Despair.
And,you would be right in thinking that it IS a children’s story.

Key is filled with lively,colorful creatures such as Bedbugs that are 3 feet tall,change their appearance and wear top hats, Zombie horses,Partly Dead Brownies that own a blood bank business and make chocolate covered bloody bon bons called Snuckle Truffles ( I understand their love of chocolate. It makes anything and everything better.), a spoon-crowned Queen Crinkle who rules Necropolis with a scepter of wire hangers and so very many more that it boggled my mind as to how Becket dreamed them all up. It not hard to imagine any preteen or early teenager would gobble this book up and want to be Key! Who wouldn’t want an immortal puppy?!?

You would also be wrong. Key is so very much more.

Becket weaves for us a delightful,but heartrending tale.Key’s loneliness within the dungeon is palpable – she spends 357 years there- however,she soon learns that she is not alone in Despair. Using a play on words (and tongue on fangs) here, Becket’s education and spiritual journey in life shows itself in a very REAL way. We are given metaphors,hard learned life lessons in growth,confidence in personal discovery and working to be our true selves.

                                  “…the depth of Despair had many levels…” ,   “..facing the vast emptiness of Despair felt easier than confronting pitiless hate.” ,
“…accepting what we do not understand is the first step in understanding.”

Key can be viewed as one big hyperbole,which would not surprise me if that was Becket’s intention, because it evokes one clear message with exaggeration to make its point. There is “..light and hope within darkness and Despair.”
Nothing is ever hopeless. Key transforms her dungeon into a light-filled garden with only a few seeds and a small amount of enchanted dirt. She finds friendship in creatures that are viewed ugly or dangerous,mistaken and misunderstood because of how they appear or act. A few seeds of knowledge can spark an imagination to grow or a few cruel words spoken can crush a spirit. These are lessons we as adults continue to learn everyday and can pass along to our children. And we should. The opinions of others and peer pressure can do more damage than we realize. Allowing our children to live in Despair would be the ultimate damage we could ever do when we can empower them with the greatest gift a parent can give. Confidence and love in themselves.

” The prisons enchaining us are usually made by others.
They’re often more fragile than we  realize,until we find the right key to freedom.”
Miss Broomble,the immortal witch.

I read Key twice and you can bet Im going to be reading it to my daughter when shes older.
Oh,and Sir Becket? Please, tell me where I can find the Garden Gravesite of Ivy Greenthumbs so I can get some seeds for glowing flowers and plants. My garden faeries would thank you and who better to have the gratitude of than faeries?

You can find Becket and the lovely,talented illustrator Raven Quinn on Facebook
Book 1 of Key’s journey is on Amazon – and now Book 2 ,The Tower Tomb of Time,has just been released!!

Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans by Deborah Burst – A review

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  Hallowed Halls

This small book,only 158 pages,packs a whollop of information. Author Deborah Burst plays devoted tour guide and historian for the grand churches of New Orleans and her devotion,love and respect shines through every word and chapter. We are taken from parish to parish,inner city to countryside,reading the journeys of Nuns,about the lives of the architects and their families,the industrial boom at the turn of the century that sported thriving communities and allowed these structures to become what they are today and were then ; places of teaching,worship,leadership and reverence,but above all how they became the examples of central stability that renewed faith in humankind and self,safety and community strength. Ms. Burst pays tribute to 12 of these buildings,some cathedral and grand,some small and lovely,each chapter showing that within the architecture there is art,literature,music,history,but mostly,family. Just as important,its about the people of New Orleans,the hodge podge of ethnicity and strange oneness that combined to form the very heart of New Orleans culture,as it is about the churches those people built.The people built,churches formed,which brought more people together and so on, until they blended together to be just as much as part of each other that the two coexisted together and within each other,
Above all,3 of these churches in particular stand out to me as shining examples of human kindness at its best. Algiers Point with its sanctuary-like picturesque village,just beacons me to visit. Marginy Opera House and its two devoted men determined to tackle a century old church and all its repairs,made my heart swell with pride,even though I do not know the men personally. Christwood Retirement & Christ Episcopal School is impressive in its unique approach to a multi-generational campus; school children building floats for Mardi Gras and throwing beads to the retired residents brought tears to my eyes while reading about it.
Much of the Catholic terms,titles and appointments of people,and architectural terms were lost on me,as I am neither,but Burst is kind enough to include a glossary of terms to help us muddle through this.Even without that,the overall feel and understanding is there.The life’s blood,heart and soul,dedication and ambition that went into the building,care and purpose of these churches is humbling and awe-inspiring.
I cannot imagine the time and sheer attention to detail Deb Burst put into this book,but Im glad she did.It will definitely be in my luggage on my next trip to The Big Easy.

Carolyn Seiver
Bell,Book & Candle Reviews
YA Book Addict Reviewer
Hot Tree Editing
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A review of Fablehaven :The Entire Series by Brandon Mull

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I couldnt help it. I bought the first book in this series and before I was half way through,I bought the other four.
I was so enthralled with the characters,plotline and wonderful story-telling that I had to have them.
All.Right.Now.
Brandon Mull completely outdid himself with the sheer pleasure these books give.The Fablehaven plot itself isnt necessarily a new concept,fairy tale creatures living amongst humans,however,our author makes a grand escape from the usual doldrums of such stories with the idea that these creatures are not what you think them to be. I was surprised by the arrogance of the centaurs,fell in love with the vanity of the fae,laughed out loud at the antics of the satyrs,cheered when an arch-nemesis Demon gave much needed advice to our young hero,Seth,and teared up when a crest fallen,insecure,young dragon found his strength and purpose. Throughout the books our hero and heroine,brother and sister, have a single purpose – to save the Fablehaven preserve from being exposed and overrun. Seems simple enough until you add in disappearing,or captured,or cryptic time-traveling adults,an evil banshee,dark flitting fairies that bite,poisonous fog and a villian with a single-minded purpose – destroy Fablehaven and unleash all of the creatures within it upon the human realm. Good and bad.
A pure joy to read,the Fablehaven series should be on every fantasy lovers shelf and in every child’s bookcase.
I am missing my friends at Fablehaven and may have to visit again,very soon.

Carolyn Seiver
Bell,Book & Candle Reviews
YA Book Addict reviewer
Hot Tree Editing