Book Review: Loopers by John Dunn

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LOOPERS
A Caddie’s Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey

by John Dunn

“A looper, you know, a caddie, a looper, a jock. So I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Calais Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama… So we finish the 18th and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something for the effort, you know.’ And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” – Carl Spackler, from “Caddyshack”.

I don’t like golf. I didn’t enjoy it in high school even though we only had to try hitting the ball for 2 weeks. Two weeks was even too long. Tennis I like. Football has a lot of action. Bowling and baseball are considered to be sports. But golf? Paint dries faster than 18 holes of golf. If I had to choose between the two I would prefer to watch paint dry.

So how then did I end up buying and reading a book about golf? Daphne and I were at one of our favorite bargain stores, The Dollar Tree. As we walked in, there was a box of books for only a dollar. We looked through them all. For some reason the name LOOPERS got me interested. I read the book description and I put it back because golf is not my thing. However, I ended up going back to the bin and adding it to the cart. Maybe I got it because I love the movie “Caddyshack”.

I actually found this guy to be a good storyteller and it was so interesting to hear about his travels as an itinerant caddie. He certainly wasn’t afraid to pack his backpack hitchhike across the country. I am sure that caddie’s are better paid than what he wrote in the book. The top dollars go to caddie’s who work for the pros, like Arnold Palmer (RIP!) and Tiger Woods.

It isn’t always a bowl of cherries. Many of the caddies live hand to mouth. Some drink a lot of their money away. The author seemed to do well. He did write a fair amount about getting drunk, smoking marijuana, or playing golf when high on mushrooms. Hmm. No further comments on this. I don’t want to climb up on my soapbox.

In case you didn’t know, the “game” of golf was invented in the bonny land o’ Scotland. John even took a trip to Scotland to play on the original golf course where the game began. I learned that caddie’s not only carry the clubs, but they also measure distances and check the lie and fix the digits that the clubs make in the turf.

I have to say I enjoyed his stories and actually found I learned a few things. This does not make me like golf any better, though. I would recommend this book as an entertaining look forward into the life of a looper. Fun read. Try it and see for yourself what you think. If you are a golfer I hope I haven’t offended you. I cannot guarantee that after reading the book your handicap will improve or that you will win the Master’s Tournament, but you may come to appreciate your caddie a little bit better.

HAPPY READING!

Sugar and Spice Advice on Forgiveness

Hug and make up

Hug and make up

A very wise man, President Thomas S. Monson, has said, “Happiness does not consist of a glut of luxury, the world’s idea of a ‘good time.’ Nor must we search for it in faraway places with strange-sounding names. Happiness is found at home.”

Close, positive relationships are important for a healthy, balanced life. But relationships with family are also complicated and need constant nourishing to stay strong. That is why it is important to settle unresolved issues quickly. Even minor spats can have long-term effects.

Holding a grudge not only negatively affects the dueling parties, but everyone else, too. Some studies (I know. I know. Me and my studies. You might be amazed at the number of studies out there.) have shown that these negative vibes can trigger or worsen high blood pressure and depression.

What can be done to make things better? Simply put: FORGIVE. Though this may be harder at some times than others, forgiveness is essential. It is a conscious choice. Forgiveness allows a person to redirect her/his energy and rebuild trust.

As you work through the hurt and difficult feelings, it helps to remember 3 important things:

  • Nobody is perfect. Everyone is a work in progress. If you think about it you will realize that you have probably needed forgiveness at one time or another. Think about how the other person is feeling.
  • Take back your power. When you dwell on the actions/words that hurt you, you give these actions/words control over you. You are only hurting yourself. Instead decide to focus on the positive steps you can take to get past the hurt. By doing so you are taking back the control of your emotions and life.
  • Life is too short to waste on grudges. Find common ground, agree to disagree, or better yet, just make up. Exchanging laughs and hugs is so much better than cold shoulders.

Take the time this week to work on your relationships and don’t forget to enjoy the people around you.

Sugar and Spice Advice
is provided by Mama Vicky & Daphne,
a co-owned family company,
Sugar and Spice Designs,
makers of hand-poured soaps, scented bath salts, unique greeting cards, and comfy beanies.

Learning to accept adversity

A kite rises against the wind

Kite

Learn to accept adversity. No matter who you are or where you serve, you are going to have some. But do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember, a kite rises against the wind, rather than with it!
~ Elder Jacob De Jager

Book Review: The Silence of the Chihuahuas by Waverly Curtis

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THE SILENCE OF THE CHIHUAHUAS
by Waverly Curtis

The dynamic duo is back. Not Batman and Robin, if that is who you had in mind. Here lies the mystery. Am I referring to private investigators, Sullivan and Sullivan, Geri and her talking dog, Pepe, or am I referring to the authors of this book? Though the author’s name is Waverly Curtis, the name actually is the first names of the duo that write the Barking Detective Mysteries, Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert. Mystery 1 solved.

Mystery 2 – The book is indeed about our two super-sleuths, Geri Sullivan and Pepe, who again find, by accident, another murder victim. The dead woman is Mrs. Fairchild, whose name is a misnomer. She is a shrew of a woman who demands the finest in interior decorating, changes her mind after the work is done, and then doesn’t pay the contractors for the work they have done. Her neighbors hate her as do the workers. With a cast of a thousand suspects, who done it? It looks like Geri is going to have to figure it all out on her own because the cat has gotten Pepe’s tongue, something like that. Pepe is no longer talking. However, he is now blogging, but Geri doesn’t know that. Who would expect a dog to have a blog?

On top of finding a dead woman, Geri’s ex-husband is getting married and she’s expected to attend the wedding, her best friend has disappeared, his design shop has been burglarized, her sleazy PI boss, Jimmy G., actually gets off his fanny to chase a run-away bride, and her long lost sister, Teri, frantically calls telling Geri that someone is trying to kill her. Geri ends up in a psych ward and the federal marshals and a known gangster complicate the story. She thinks her boyfriend is going to dump her for an animal psychiatrist. And Pepe is still not talking. What is an amateur detective to do? Read this book and find out. It was a fun romp through Seattle. I read it in one day. I enjoyed this book even more than Dial C for Chihuahua. I gave it 4.5 of 5 stars.

Happy Reading!

What’s always in fashion?!

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Kindness is always fashionable.
~ Amelia E. Barr

Blog Ahead Event ~ October 2016

Blog Ahead 2016-Oct

This is the first time ever I will be participating in a blogging event of this nature. The goal is to write 30 blog articles over the course of the month of October to give us bloggers a buffer in the event of emergencies, vacations (if I ever get to take one! hah!), writing slumps, etc. It is hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup and I am happy to give this a try. Help cheer me on if you can!

Blog Tour/Book Review: Finding Libbie by Deanna Lynn Sletten

untitledAbout Finding Libbie

Paperback: 331 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 6, 2016)

Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.

In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s humble family and his aspiration to become a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.

Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?

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My Review

While helping her grandmother, Bev, pack things up for a move, Emily finds a box of old photos. As she looks through the box Emily finds pictures of her father, Jack, as a teenager. In many of the pictures her father is seen with a beautiful girl at his side. The girl is definitely not her mother. Her father sure looks happy in the photos.

Jack loved Emily’s mother dearly and they had a happy home life. So who is the beautiful blonde? Emily asks her grandmother and hears a love story that did not end well. The girl in the photos is Elizabeth, aka Libbie. Libbie comes from a family with money. Jack comes from a farming family. He wants to be a mechanic. Jack and Libbie plan to marry despite the unwelcome hostility of Libbie’s mean and vengeful mother.

Jack and Libbie marry and life couldn’t be happier. Things start to change when Libbie has severe mood swings. She changes from happy to angry, screaming and crying. She becomes addicted to Valium, which is handed a like candy in the 70’s. She also turns to alcohol. Jack doesn’t know what to do for her. Libbie sinks deeper into mental illness she attempts suicide. She then drives drunk injuring herself and 2 friends. This is the last straw. Libbie’s parents decide that Jack is at fault. They tell him that if he were taking care of their daughter properly none of this would have happened. Her family bars Jack from seeing her and makes her file for divorce. They don’t see each other again. Jack moves on though unwillingly and brokenhearted.

Emily is touched by the story and wonders what ever happened to Libbie. And the hunt begins.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours once again for giving me the opportunity to read a book by an author I hadn’t tried before. The author weaves a tale that takes the reader through a multitude of emotions and yet I personally could not put the book down. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

 

untitled2About Deanna Lynn Sletten

Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of Southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class, and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna self-published her first novel and has since published several more, both on her own and with Lake Union Publishing.

Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, magic, and happily ever after—all of which are reflected in her novels.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd or relaxing on her boat in the summer.

Connect with Deanna

Website | FacebookTwitter

Deanna Lynn Sletten’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, September 6th: Bookchickdi

Thursday, September 8th: Reading Reality

Thursday, September 15th: Back Porchervations

Friday, September 16th: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, September 19th: Ms. Nose in a Book

Monday, September 19th: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, September 21st: Mama Vicky Says

Monday, September 26th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Tuesday, October 4th: Kahakai Kitchen

Wednesday, October 5th: Books and Bindings

Thursday, October 6th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Friday, October 7th: View from the Birdhouse

Monday, October 10th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

Wednesday, October 12th: Write Read Life

Something to Think About Success

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Success is contingent upon our effective use of the time given us.
When we cease peering backwards into the mists of our past,
and craning forward into the fog that shrouds the future,
and concentrate upon what lies clearly at hand,
then we are making the best and happiest use of our time.
~ President Thomas S. Monson

Movie Review: Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy

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Eddie Murphy is a comedian, right? He was the tough but cheeky police officer who taught the Beverly Hills police officers a thing or two. He was the voice of the goofy braying donkey in the “Shrek” movies, the obnoxious real estate agent lost in a haunted mansion (one of my favorite movies, by the way), and the famous Dr. Doolittle, among other roles. “Mr. Church” is not a comedy. So, the big question is can Eddie Murphy succeed in a really serious role? I suppose anything could happen. Let’s see as the story unfolds.

Mr. Church is a cook who is on a 6 month loan from his rich boss to his former mistress, Marie. Marie has one great treasure, her daughter, Charlotte. Unbeknownst to Charlotte her mother has end stage breast cancer with a prognosis of 6 months to live. Mr. Church is here to make her last 6 months as smooth as possible. Charlotte wanders into the kitchen one morning and is not pleased to find a strange black man in her house. He is preparing a feast and she is rude and disrespectful. She won’t touch a morsel and demands a bowl of Apple Jacks. She insists her mother get rid of him. Marie says she will and then does not. Much to Charlie’s dismay, Mr. Church stays. Charlie and Mr. Church have a tenuous relationship that develops into one of deep friendship because of books and food.

Mr. Church has only one rule: his private life is nobody’s business but his own. Charlie breaks the rule by asking him about his life. He bellows at her. This has never happened before and Charlie is shocked to tears. Mr. Church gives a terse apology before leaving for the night and returns the next morning as if nothing had happened.

Everyone has secrets. Mr. Church and his private life. Charlie’s mom doesn’t tell her about the cancer. Charlie is attending a private school as a charity case and doesn’t want the cute boy at school to find out. Life goes on and as with real life, everything changes. Or does it?

This movie is based on a true story. Daphne and I saw the movie on the day after its opening. There were only 6 of us in the whole theatre. That is sad because those who didn’t watch the movie missed out on an a wonderfully written film. Eddie Murphy was fabulous! He played the role with finesse and authenticity. Who knew? Though he played a complex character, and how complex we don’t find out ’til the last third of the movie, he surprised me with his talent. Charlie, played by Britt Robertson, also did a fantastic job. I kept thinking that she really looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Leave it to my Fan Girl, Daphne, to recognize Britt as the actress who played Angie in Stephen King’s “Under the Dome”.

Daphne and I really recommend that you see this movie, but make sure you bring a few handkerchiefs and some companions. This is a 4 hanky film as some parts are going to make you tear up. Be assured that this is not just a girly movie. Daphne and Mama Vicky give it a very high 2 thumbs up! “Mr. Church” gets 5 of 5 stars! Even though it didn’t open with a lot of fanfare and the house wasn’t packed, do yourself a favor and see this movie. You will love “Mr. Church”.

Sugar and Spice Advice on coping with the flu

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Fall has arrived and the flu season will be here as well. What can be done?

Fever, chills, headache, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, and muscle aches are no fun. These are the constellation of symptoms that make up the flu. The flu lasts for several days. For those with chronic heart or lung disease or those with immune systems that are compromised, the flu can be dangerous. It can lead to pneumonia and other things.

For those persons with chronic health problems or are immunocompromised, the flu vaccine is the key to protection. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend an annual flu vaccine for all people ages 6 months and older. Getting a flu shot is an individual decision. Flu shots can help prevent the flu and they can lessen the severity of symptoms . The flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to give maximum immunity. The best time to get the vaccine is from September to mid-November. This is about 6 to 8 weeks before flu season.

The following information was just announced by the CDC on 9/7: The inhaled nasal flu vaccine is not to be given to children under the age of 6. It has proven to be ineffective for that age range. The CDC is recommending that children under 6 receive the injection.

Those with allergies to eggs, thimerosol, or have had an allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past should not receive the flu shot.

If you get the flu get plenty of bed rest and fluids. Use over the counter aspirin or acetaminophen. When ill stay away from others as much as possible to avoid getting them sick. Wear a mask if you have one. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash hands often to keep from spreading the flu. Handwashing is a great idea any time. Don’t be surprised if your doctor doesn’t give you antibiotics for the flu. A virus causes the flu and antibiotics don’t work on viruses.

Wishing you good health!