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Happiness

Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager by Janet Garber

dream job

This sounds like a hoot, and it is on my read list, but with my schedule right now it will be a couple weeks before I get to it – so I wanted to share the press release and links. If you read it before me – let me know what you think!

Leiah

 

Single and sexless Melie Kohl strives to keep order at the out-of-control Axis Mundi Medical Center, which is swarming with buttock-grabbing doctors, hebephrenic staff and monstrous bosses, all while trying to find a life of her own in author Janet Garber’s new novel, “Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager.”

As the story unfolds, Melie runs into a little murder here, some cancer there, a handsome devil and rivals, not all of whom are human, like Gladys, the first parrot-woman gladiator. Through it all, Melie won’t give up until she has sorted it all out – the hunk, the macaw and her life’s work.

Garber says she wrote the book after being inspired with a “burning need to inject humor into my day-to-day existence.”

Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager

By Janet Garber

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 178 pages | ISBN 9781483447476

E-Book | 178 pages | ISBN 9781483447469

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Lulu

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61GG8xsSTZL._UX250_.jpgAbout the Author*

Janet Garber’s nonfiction work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal’s Vertical Network, New York Times, New York Post, Jewish Week, NeworldReview, HR Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. In 2001, Silver Lining Press brought out her nonfiction book, “I Need a Job, Now What?” and rereleased it as “Getting a Job” by Barnes & Noble Basics. Of late, her fiction and poetry have appeared in a few dozen literary journals. She received a bachelor’s degree from Queens College in New York and a master’s in English from the University of Rochester. She’s had a long career in human resources while moonlighting as a freelance journalist, fiction writer and poet. You can visit her and learn more at www.janetgarber.com.

 

Buy now at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Melie5 in paperback or e-book.

Wow! Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

It’s that part of the year where all I want to do is be out in the yard, to garden, watch the birds, plant flowers in the yard. It has been a weird summer, cold then hot, wet then miserably dry, then miserably humid. Pah! Let’s see what I have actually accomplished while not blogging!

20160718_084726First, the garden. The constant rains earlier on means a big, lush garden. Some of the plants, i.e., the zucchini, are way TOO big for my garden! I will have to plant them separately in their own bed next year. They are choking everything else out, and I am

having to strip out leaves in order to let light in to other plants. And of course, there is always the one that ‘got away’. In this case, the one nearly as big as Koda!

The peppers are coming along nicely. This is a photo of a Spanish Spice pepper. Yummy!  20160718_084749Spicy, without blowing the top of your head off while burning off all your taste buds 😮 (The pot? An apricot tree!) I even have Corn!!! 20160718_085220

20160718_085634The little flowers you see where I laid a couple of the zucchini I harvested? Yep. Those are morning glory vines. They grow absolutely everywhere, and choke out the other plants unless I rip them out every day. They seem to grow a couple feet a day!

20160718_085437Koda is, of course, my constant companion and helper. I love having his company, and he still adores the taste of mint!

The rare black Russian tomatoes (left photo) seem to be doing well, the ones that starting developing are already about three 20160718_08504920160718_085233inches across. The Zapotecs (right photo) are doing well, and the new, tiny Sugar Tomatoes are making a lot of clusters. I am most thrilled, however, with the Grapes! I have always had one or two clusters a year 20160718_085319that the birds and other critters get first, but as you can see from the photos, the vine is loaded this year! Me being me, I went out and wrapped the branches around where the clusters are growing with dog fur (Shelties really shed!) hoping to scare off the critter so I can actually get most of the grapes for myself!

Here is the fabric for my next quilt project!

20160707_155141I am helping out Jan Krentz, who is wheeling around in a wheelchair right now from a broken leg. I am making the quilt from one of her test patterns, taking photos and checking for measurement errors in the pattern as I go along. I will send photos when I am done. The one below is going to be for sale when it is done… lots more to do on it, of course, but the top 4 diamonds are all sewn.

20160725_011543-1

I “interview” a lot of fabrics for the spaces between the star and the outer ring of stars. These are three of the first I picked out of my “stash”. The light is bad where I have my big layout board, it always turns everything orange! 20160725_183958

Of course, I ‘interview’ several fabrics before deciding on a color palette for the stars as well. Losers?

purplepossibilities

And another:

20160617_061534

This is how I decide if a star is really going to “work” or not. I make one diamond, then use two mirrors to check out the overall flow. These two still have “possibilities” but I wound up liking the one I have on my board better.

I have a ton of reviews to get to, so off to do that! I have been doing edits for Susan Bliler and Michael Angel this summer, as well as some “technical” edits for a couple of businesses (Ugh! Dry, dry, dry stuff!), so I need to get the book edits done, and I have actually read a few books (and listened to more!) since the last time I posted as well.

More soon!

Getting Ready To Place My Heirloom Seed Order… BUT!

SO!!! Much. Fun, flipping through Organic and Heirloom Seed web catalogs and postings, getting ready to order unusual heirloom seeds for this years garden. With the windfall from my IJustRead.It win, I decided to use part of the money to purchase a grow light setup for my basement for my veggie and herb seeds, and then to use part to purchase heirloom seeds from small growers selling seeds on Amazon.

Oops.

I had no Idea what a confusing bunch of nonsense I was going to be embroiling myself in! See, here’s the thing . . . There are lots of people advertising “Organic/Open Source/Heirloom” seeds on Amazon. Available in small packs, there are some really interesting varieties they claim are all, or some, of the above. Take, for instance, the Hillbilly Tomato. From Wikipedia: Hillbilly Hillbilly Tomatoes - Seeds from Terra Edibles - Late. A huge bi-colour (bright yellow with red marbling) potato-leaf tomato, good slicer. Rich sweet flavour. Said to originate from West Virginia.: Tomato, also known as the “hillbilly potato leaf tomato”, scientific name Solanum lycopersicum, is an heirloom cultivar originating from West Virginia in the 1800s. This fruit is considered a beefsteak tomato weighing 1-2 pounds. It is round, heavily ribbed and its skin and flesh is orange- yellow with red streaks. The flavor is described “sweet and fruity” and is low in acid.[1] [2] [3]

It is on my “Seriously considering planting” list. So, as I am looking through Amazon seed listings, I saw this one and added it to my wish list, where I am gathering all the different things I like – then whittling the list down to what I can actually fit in my garden (big sigh).

But there, Horatio, is the rub. For you see, that particular vendor imports the seeds from China.

WTF?!?!

So, I started doing some digging…. and digging…..  and digging……………………

And learned quite a few things. There are Chinese laws about “organic.” There are American laws about “organic.” And never, ever, shall the twain meet. . .

The Chinese are now requiring that the Americans meet their particular organic regulations on imports, as we have required them to meet our regulations on organics . . . but they don’t come close to matching (and of course American exporters are all up in arms that they have to meet “expensive” export regulations. Big sigh.)

I dug deep on marketing laws, organic specifications between the two countries, etc. ad nauseum. I was looking, hard for rules about whether you could market seeds as organic, open source, etc. if they are imported from other countries. I found laws regarding endangered plant species, phytosterility, and all sorts of other little goodies dealing with small batch seed imports. But the more I read, the more ‘confusticated’ I got about my original question – should sellers be required to tell buyers that their supposedly organic seeds are imported from other countries? Are these seeds even close to being what they are marketed as? This particular seller had multiple reviews indicating the seeds, 1) Didn’t arrive because US Customs seized them, 2) Didn’t sprout, or 3) If they did sprout, they weren’t what the customer had ordered but some other tomato entirely. OK. Not good. I had wanted to buy from small, independent growers, and my Amazon credit – – – but if this is what I can look forward to, forget it. It looks like Territorial Seed Company is getting my business again this year!

I finally sent a letter to US Customs and Border Protection (since they are the ones who stopped the other customer’s seeds from coming through customs) as follows:

 

I recently nearly ordered vegetable seeds that were advertised as “Organic” from a company on Amazon.com, but reading reviews I noted that the seeds were imported from China and orders had been held by US Customs. There were other issues with that particular seller as well (which I addressed with Amazon) but my questions are:

1. Are companies who are selling Chinese imports required by law to notify American Consumers that they are doing so?

2. Are there strict laws in place that require Chinese seed sources to prove via chemical testing that they truly Are organic and non GMO?

I have read the phytosanitary regulations and USDA APHIS, but I can’t find clear and unassailable information. I find differing information on the internet, and I don’t trust any of it. I want to be absolutely certain that any seeds I buy are organic, open sourced, and (in my case) heirloom varieties – but I have found that more than one supplier out there is actually selling Chinese imports that, until you receive them from a Singapore address, or receive a letter from US Customs saying the product was destroyed, you have no way of knowing for sure are imported.

Your clarification would be greatly appreciated – and will be happily spread to my organic gardening groups!
I wonder if they will answer? They do say it can take three weeks or so for a response from a customer service agent. And if they do, what the response will be?  Have you thought about these questions? Do you plant heirlooms, organics, open source and/or non GMO seeds? Inquiring minds want to know!

(Veggie photos  courtesy of Pintrest.com)

Review: Welcome To Fat Chance, Texas

Welcome To Fat Chance, Texas“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

Clarence “Cutthroat” Johnson certainly changed huge chunks of the world. And yes, he cast his stones across the waters and created many, many ripples. The thing is, of course, that the huge chunks of the world he changed crashed in on the people who inhabited those chunks, and the stones he cast destroyed lives and crushed families. He always said, “You have to have a tough hide to succeed.” Yep. And succeed he did. He succeeded in making billions, more than he could ever spend in several lifetimes. But that doesn’t do you any good when the Reaper comes your way. The Reaper doesn’t take checks. He doesn’t even take cash. But seeing the creature in the black robes standing over your shoulder can make you look back at what you have done with your life – and sometimes? It makes you think. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance is all natural – but sending his spoiled rotten daughter, who never worked a day in her life, and lived for her hair and nails and various charity events and social gatherings, to live in a ghost town in the Texas Hill Country with seven other people, and told to “make something” of the town before she can earn her inheritance?! Seven other people from the “lower” classes at that?!

How are we going to shop? Can I get my nails done?

Yep. This isn’t starting out well. And telling Daddy’s Little Princess she should be a “good sport”, well, you know that went over well. So, Daddy’s Little Cleo sets out with an eclectic band of misfits to Fat Chance, Texas. Well, not exactly “with” – Daddy may have taken away the family private plane, along with all access to the family funds, but there is no way she is climbing on a rented RV with Titan, Polly, Dymphna, Elwood, Wally Wasabi, and Old Bertha. So, she packs up more fancy clothes than she can fit in the trunk of her stretch limo (Stilettos? And mink coats? In a ghost town? Really?), stuffs her family retainer behind the wheel, and they leave California for Fat Chance. Fat Chance this is going to work out, right? Especially when the unexpected seventh person in the group turns out to be her ex-husband, Marshall “Let’s call me ‘Powderkeg’ like a Pirate cause everyone else has cool nicknames!” Primb.

Cutthroat destroyed these seven people’s lives, or the lives of their families, in one way or another through his long, money-grubbing career, starting with Wally’s grandfather and working his way down to his latest bit of destruction, buying the land Dymphna live quietly upon, raising her sheep, spinning yarn and selling her knitting, right out from under her. A pristine, pastoral life, destroyed in the name of greed and rampant over-development. Now, he is determined to “help” them to “Get up, get out, and achieve the American Dream.” If they can live in Fat Chance for six months and create a functioning, successful town, Cleo gets her millions – and the rest get three years’ wages. And if three years wages for each doesn’t add up to $100,000, well, they each get that amount. As Dymphna puts it, “I guess he figures if we’re stuck there for six months, we might as well give it a shot.”

What happens next, as these eight completely disparate people come together in a dusty, ramshackle town where the buildings seem to be holding together on a wing and a prayer, the only road has been washed out for years, and no one has been near the place since the 1950’s – well, except for crotchety, gun-wielding old Pappy, the town’s Mayor, Sheriff, Banker, and all around butt-kicker. An old, “old” friend of Cutthroat’s, Pappy is there to make sure they don’t self-combust in the first week.

This book really touched a place deep inside for me. People with no shared history, no common interests, thrown together in a place where they are pretty much completely isolated and forced to learn to barter goods and services and to rely on one another for survival, in what amounts to a “post-apocalyptic” landscape. The only store for fresh food and supplies is a four-mile hike, with only Jerry Lee the mule and Thud the Bloodhound for pack animals. Watching these strangers pulling together to make a community is charming. Developing a fellowship, learning to survive with little, as well as learning to be a grocer, a hostler, and myriad other business owners – well, the story was so creative, and so positive, I couldn’t resist reading it straight through. There is pain and disappointment, but there is also hope and happiness to be had in Fat Chance. And at the end of the six months? Well, read it and see!

I received this book in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Oh, and one thing I really liked about it? Everybody learning to live and work closely, without the author falling into the whole “let’s pair everyone off romantically” trope. Refreshing!

If you enjoy my reviews, please do me the honor of clicking “This review was helpful” on whatever site you are reading it on (I post my reviews to several!). I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you.

Celia BonaduceAbout the author


Currently a Field Producer on HGTV’s House Hunters, Celia Bonaduce’s TV credits cover a lot of ground – everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone. An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been always a lifelong ambition. Kensington eBooks’ The Merchant of Venice Beach, first in The Venice Beach Romance Series, is available now!

My 1,000th Post! Wow

stay-in-bed-lady-dog-laptopI just realized that I just wrote my 1,000th post. Wow. Sitting here tonight, that milestone brings to mind all the wonderful people I have met during this time. Authors and readers, gardeners, quilters, knitters. I have edited lots of books, reviewed even more, and made some wonderful friends.

So, THANK YOU to all of you who have trusted me with your books. And THANK YOU as well to all the people I have met and who have been so positive and friendly and wonderful. I have met friends, and a couple I have lost during this time to cancer, the same disease that nearly took my own life. I have been supported, laughed and cried, and have tried to give back the same support I have received. We have all suffered loss and all enjoyed successes. We have laughed, and sometimes we have cried. And through it all, I have been so very happy to know all of you! And I look forward to more laughter, more joy, and more excitement over the next 1,000 posts!

1,000 Posts

I Can’t Stand It Any More . . .

This was me ALL DAY….. I wanted to BITE someone…..

I give up.

I have looked and looked and looked. . .

And I am going to have to go to Home Depot tomorrow. Not the one that is close. Noooo…. that would be too easy. l Ryobi 10-Inch 18V NiCd Cordless Electric String Weed Grass Trimmer EdgerRyobi P205 18 Volt 3/8" Drill/driver (Drill only, battery and charger not included)have to go to the one over on Colfax, which is a pain to get to. You see – I am distracted. Like, all the time. Unless I am working on a book, I am a total goofus. As in, I have this really nice set of Ryobi tools. I pinched and saved to buy them early last year – hammer Product Detailsdrill, drill/driver, jigsaw, and weed whacker. All Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRP521 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Laser Jigsaw (Bare Tool)the stuff that I use consistently and want good quality. Sounds good, right?

 

 

Only thing is, you need the CHARGER to power up the batteries.

And I have No Damn Idea where the FREAKIN’ thing is!!!!

And yes, I do have that Oh, so nice CASE that you fit the driver and drill in – you know, the one where the the charger fits right in it’s own slot.

Yep. goofus. Total, complete goofus. I have torn this place APART looking for the stupid thing so I can finish the raised beds and start my potting bench… but OH NO… the stupid thing can’t be found anywhere.

Tiny House Living And Loving It: 50 Creative Ways To Maximize Your Small Living Space, Declutter And Get Organized (Simple Living Book 6)I can’t stand it any more. Since I can’t move into a tiny house where everything has to have it’s own spot or you are tripping over it all the time, I have to do something about this “Where the hell did I put that freakin’ (fill in whatever item I am looking for at the moment). So, how pleased was I that bookbasset.com has Kathy Stanton’s Tiny House Living And Loving It: 50 Creative Ways To Maximize Your Small Living Space, Declutter And Get Organized! on her freebie list today. Downloaded that sucker toot-sweet!

This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to make living in a small space more manageable and efficient. Well, I don’t live in a small space, but I am going to act like I do and read what she has to say on seperating the trash from the treasures (of course, every time you throw something out, you need it the next week, right?) and notes on decluttering and organizing.  If her systems work out, she has a lot of different books that sound good.

I also got this book – and it is FREE!

Simple Living And Loving It: 50 Proven Steps To Simplify Your Life, Downsize And Get More Done In Less TimeShe has others too, some free, some free on Kindle Unlimited.

And one that I have GOT to read. Like, now. Cause, if I don’t I am going to start hitting things with a hammer….

How To Cure Anxiety And Stress: 20 Simple Tips That Lead To A Healthier, Balanced Life

So, Home Depot. New charger cause I really have to get the garden in, and I have driven myself to distraction trying to find the one I had. I wonder if I threw it away with all those useless cables from all those old computers and printers I took to recycling, and then found the cables for? Hum….. could be I suppose. Ah, well. The cost of being a goofus.

 

Yummy….. Chocolate!!

Yes, yes, I get it… the holidays are over. But that doesn’t me we can’t still make our own luscious chocolates!! Why spend $50.00 on Ghirardelli when you can buy the Ghirardelli (or maybe a single origin Venezuelan – thanks Megan!) and make your own lovelies? Besides, you know you have one of those gold boxes around to store them in! (Wink Wink Nudge Nudge!)

Here are a few Chocolate recipe books to start your new year – and they are all FREE!

For free at eBooksHabit.com

This book is free right now on Amazon.

Holiday Candies And Cakes by June Kessler

Get This Book FREE

Welcome to Candy and Cakes recipes, some times dessert just doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth cravings, this book is a collection of Cakes, Candies, Truffles, Pralines, Peanut Brittle, Fudge, and Cheesecakes. Many recipes can be packed and sent for Christmas gifts from your kitchen.


20958656A Baker’s Guide to Chocolate: A Collection of Recipes and Useful Information

Dennis Weaver


Are you a chocolate lover? Do you love using chocolate in your baking? Then this is the E-book for you!

Explore the different kinds of chocolate and when and where to use them.

Learn tips and techniques for baking with chocolate and see numerous recipes including chocolate braided bread, peanut butter cookies with chocolate ganache filling and macadamia and raspberry chocolate chip cookies.


 

200Chocolate does not need an introduction. You know you love it, you know must have it, so come and get it. This book offers you 200 reasons why you must own a copy of this book. Note this book is over 150 pages long. Book has been updated with clickable table of contents.Includes recipes for:* Chocolate cookies
* Chocolate cheesecakes
* Chocolate cupcakes
* Chocolate brownies
* Chocolate cakes
* Chocolate pies
* Chocolate mousse
* Chocolate fondue
* Chocolate truffles

and much more….


17737080
OK, this one is $7.99, but don’t you want to just lick your screen?? 😉

Chocolate: Heavenly recipes for desserts, cakes and other divine treats

Sheasby’s 100 recipes explore chocolate in all of its guises, from sauces and desserts to tarts, biscuits, cakes and drinks. Whether you want to whip up the most incredibly simple mousse or indulge in a sinful sticky chocolate cake, this book covers it all. From rich chocolate truffles to warm fruit drizzled with chocolate sauce, from comforting thick and creamy hot chocolate to sophisticated shiny chocolate icing, the flavors, textures and aromas are always utterly intoxicating.

Chocolate provides a superb collection of delicious, luxurious recipes, all of which are easy to follow and simple to make. Whether you’re looking for the perfect way to end a dinner for your family and friends, or just an indulgent treat for yourself, you’ll find a delicious array of options, from simple and traditional recipes to exquisite and innovative ones.

What A Loss

I was going to post a rant, because I dropped my Nook on the floor, face down, and the glass shattered like spun sugar. Well, I have insurance (I never get electronics without the insurance – thank goodness! This is my second Nook in a couple of months – the last one the battery was no good on, but it was covered by warranty –  but the “Drop” insurance will come in really handy on this little ‘boo-boo.’

So I sat down to write, and just now found out about the passing of one of my heroes, Robin Williams. Maybe “hero” isn’t the right word for you – but whenever I was really, really down, or in excruciating pain (don’t EVER let anyone tell you chemo isn’t painful) he could make me laugh.

It is ironic that he left us due to his devastating problems with depression and substance abuse. But his generation, which is my generation as well, has always had problems with depression and substance abuse. What a terrible thing to happen to an amazing man. We just never know what is behind the mask, and how our icons suffer, no matter how popular or well loved they are.

We were raised in a time when depression was shameful – it wasn’t talked about, wasn’t treated and wasn’t understood. So, we self-medicated with alcohol, drugs and self destructive behavior. And sometimes, we can’t get over it – can’t get past the pain and shame and addictions. No matter how much we may be loved, the demons still live in our heads, eating away at our hearts, minds and souls.

Robin Williams is such a loss to the world. His humour brought us joy. How sad that it didn’t bring him joy as well.

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