What I Believe

I believe:

That we are spiritual creatures on a human journey

That most animals are more intelligent than humans

In peace, acceptance and respect of everyone, regardless of the skin color, nationality, who you love, what gender you identify with, religion, or political party affiliation. I may not agree with your opinions, but I will defend your right to have them.

That we all are in need of love, home, comfort, food and medical care.

That when Jesus said “Love one another…” He didn’t finish the sentence with “except”.

We are all in this life together to help our brothers and sisters.

Featured post

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

This is such a wonderful book that I’m reposting my review.

I was thinking today of some of my greatest influences, even as a child. Dr. King, Selma, Maya, Mahalia and Dinah Washington.  For some reason, maybe reincarnation? I have always felt a pull.  The first time I heard Dinah sing, “This Bitter Earth”, I cried. When I heard Mahalia sing, “It is No Secret”, I cried.  Maya’s “Still I Rise”, Dr King’s “I Have A Dream”, and when I learned of the events in Selma, I cried.  And recently, after reading Small Great Things.  I don’t cry easily, I really don’t.  And I can’t stand racism, bigotry and xenophobia.

Back to Small Great Things. This book moved me to tears. It is sad, poignant, though-provoking, touching, gripping and compelling.  Without a doubt, this book will be on my favorites shelf.

I have often said that I am “colorblind and a humanist”. I very much believe that everyone should be regarded equally with respect. To me, we are all God’s children. Black, white, gay, straight, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim or Mormon none of it matters to me as neither does creed or religion. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I believe you should be able to live your life, in peace.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?  The infant ends up dying and Ruth is charged with murder and committing a hate crime.

Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

A couple of poignant statements:

“I am not a racist, Ruth. And I understand that you’re upset, but it’s a little unfair of you to take it out on me, when I’m just trying to do my best—my professional best—to help you. For God’s sake, if I’m walking down a street and a Black man is coming toward me and I realize I’m going the wrong way, I keep going the wrong direction instead of turning around so he won’t automatically think I’m afraid of him.” “That’s overcompensating, and that’s just as bad,” I say. “You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.”

“Active racism is telling a nurse supervisor that an African American nurse can’t touch your baby. It’s snickering at a black joke. But passive racism? It’s noticing there’s only one person of color in your office and not asking your boss why. It’s reading your kid’s fourth-grade curriculum and seeing that the only black history covered is slavery, and not questioning why. It’s defending a woman in court whose indictment directly resulted from her race…and glossing over that fact, like it hardly matters.”

Oh my God. I am guilty of that and I am sorry.  I would never intentionally dismiss what anyone has lived through, especially the black community.  A tweet today from the Women’s March:  “Throughout history, violence has been committed and justified in the name of white womanhood.  Terence Crutcher is no exception.”

I remember Dr. King saying “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  And I am left with the question, what can I do to make a difference?

Featured post

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes remains where it has been since the first day I read it, still in my top 5 books (and movies) of all time. I have read all of Fannie’s books, and while I do love the Elmwood Springs series, Whistle Stop will always be a place in time, of a town I wish I had grown up in, with a friend named Idgie Threadgoode. So, of course, when Fannie wrote The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop, I could not wait to read it. And they’re all there, again, Idgie, Ruth, Big George, Ninny, Sipsey and the lovely Evelyn. This time though, Fannie jumps ahead to the life and times of Buddy Jr., Ruth and Franks baby. We learn all about what happened to Whistle Stop and it’s irascible inhabitants. Fannie has such a way of bringing you through the haze and completely immersing the reader into the story, whether you’re fishing with Idgie or playing cards with Buddy Jr., you become a part of the story. Run, don’t walk and grab this soon to be best-seller. Beautifully written, sweet, touching and Lordy, are you ready to fry up some green tomatoes? Time’s a wastin’!

Lyrical Lines

I Can’t Breathe, by Devin Marie I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.  I’m tired of living in the skin I’m in I didn’t know danger was synonymous with melanin I go for jogs bur I never ask my brother to come ‘cause God forbid anybody sees a black man […]

Lyrical Lines

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade

This wonderfully fabulous romcom by professional dog trainer (and wrangler on the annual puppy bowls)is a MUST READ! This story made me want to move to the English countryside and find a village just like Fargrove.

We meet Elizabeth, recently fired after saying something somewhat inappropriate on live TV. She is a bit lost now, in San Francisco trying to figure out her next steps, when a supposed Uncle she’s never heard of contacts her about some land that belongs to her and would she like to come see it? Why not, she doesn’t have anything else to do…

So she takes off for Fargrove, UK, a sweet town west of London and meets her deceased father’s brother Rowan and his wife and their friends. Elizabeth has been a social media junkie and has a come-apart at the lack of cell towers and signals. Nevertheless, she is rescued by an abandoned border collie mix puppy and the two become inseparable. But, she gets a call from a major corporation back in the US and has to decide what is right for her. And there’s also a sexy and handsome guy who is becoming quite irresistible as well.

I LOVED this story, I laughed, I cried and I couldn’t wait to share it with my besties!

Faithful Valor by Isabella

Faithful Valor is the third book in the Faithful Series by Isabella. Until today I didn’t know that this was part of a series, it’s so well written it could be a stand alone book.

The characters are beautifully written in a gut wrenching and realistic story for today’s times.

Nic Caldwell is a former kick-ass Marine, now stateside after her recent tour in Afghanistan. Her wife Claire and daughter Grace are helping Nic battle her demons from PTSD. Claire is strong, compassionate and a fighter.

CeCe is also stateside now and retired after serving as well. She has a daughter and mom that she wants to move out of LA to Monterey California for a chance at a better life for all of them.

Isabella treats these heroines with much respect towards the soldiers and the hell they go through with PTSD. It is a wonderful story and now I must go read the other two! Thanks to Sapphire Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Where We Are by Annie McDonald

In this beautiful debut novel, Annie McDonald introduces Cassidy “Sid” Harris, a physically strong and intelligent art gallery curator who has been called home to her family’s ranch in Alberta Canada to help deal with cattle rustlers. She meets her new neighbor, Mia Jarvis, a dog trainer who is finding her way through intense grief. Mia’s best friend from childhood, Leah is there to offer her support as much as possible but is also battling an intense personal issue. Mia and Sid butt heads at times as Sid is a bit grumpy and cantankerous. The pair are drawn together after a severe bull attack almost kills one of them.

You would never know that this is a debut novel, McDonald writes creatively and reflectively and has created warm and believable characters. The dogs Flynn and Milo are scene stealers too.

Looking forward to her next novel! Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Warrior Heart Practice by Heather Ash Amara

You know how sometimes, things plop in your lap when the universe decides, hey, YOU need this. Now. ? This was one of those. Through NetGalley, I was able to receive an ARC of The Warrior Heart Practice. If you know me at all, you know I have been through all kinds of hell as a kid and have paid for it in my adult life. I work hard at the idea of “Rise above Your Raising” and believe wholeheartedly in the connection of body, mind and soul. As an adult I have worked on my PTSD trauma using a fantastic therapist who specializes in PTSD using EMDR methods. I have graduated from a top notch massage school, learned Trauma Touch Therapy and have my own massage business. What I’m trying to say is that I am doing well.

Now, the universe plopped this book down in my lap and wow, what an amazing life-changing book! If you want to get through your emotions, this is the one to read. Four chambers in the heart: Feeling (What am I feeling?), Story (What is the story I am telling myself?), Truth (What is true?), and Intent (What is my intent for this situation?). Based on Totec Wisdom, referring The Four Agreements, adding with the teaching of Big Soul and Little Soul and how to learn what is true and what to create and how, by moving through each chamber. Mind-blowing book and I encourage reading it. Fantastic author, fantastic writing. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this opportunity.

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