Friday, May 26, 2017

Family, Faucets & Broken Pottery: Celebrate the Small Things

Pottery - Kota Bharu, Malaysia
(personal collection, s.himsl)
Celebrating .....
  • My biggest celebration this week was receiving a mock up of my novel's book over. I love it!! But I'm saving it for a Big Cover Reveal, in the next week or so. Some of you saw it on FB, but I need to write up an official press release. I've been so busy this week. Why is it when things happen, good or bad, they all happen at once?
  • Spent six days with my mother, who recently fell and broke an arm. She's 92. A bit touch and go at times, but she's definitely on the mend. Also typed up her hand-written story, Forgotten Village. About 3000 words so far. She now has a typed copy to edit when she's feeling better. Pretty cool. My sister-in-law has been the main caregiver (she's an angel), as the family is doing this without the cost of a nursing home.  
  • Outside faucets back at home working again. So glad we hired someone to crawl under the house to check. He found lots of rabbit droppings, which could account for the funky odor we noticed in one of our closets. He's going to seal all of the outside entry points. I guess I should be happy he didn't find snake skins and rat droppings! Spiders yes, but those we can spray for.  
  • The Pacific Northwest was in its glory this week. On the west side, in the 70s, everything is blooming. Our place on the east side is warm and perfect for outdoor sitting. 

Some more Object Flash Fiction....

"Broken Pottery"

   Annie ran after her husband as he backed the truck down the driveway, waving her arms like a crazy woman. "Wait John, you took the wrong box."
    John stopped the truck and rolled down the window. "Crap, Annie. We have enough junk already." Grumbling inside, he stepped out of the truck. Ten minutes more and he would have made it to the Goodwill dumping station.
    Annie frowned. "You took the Malaysia box. I wanted this to go in the storage bin." She was already holding the box with the pottery they had purchased in Kota Bharu. The one piece with the chipped edge had once been perfect, but less than perfect made it all the more desirable.
    John gave a short, knowing nod. There was no debate. Malaysia had changed their lives, redefined everything they had valued in life up to that point. Marriage and raising children had nearly been the end of them. They had been close to a parting of the ways. The too young couple from Missoula with working class roots were about to prove the naysayers right. The marriage would fail. 

Then came the opportunity to work in Malaysia for a year, a strange twist of fate, a coming together of events, they never could have invented in their wildest dreams. They grabbed hold and went on an adventure. 

When they returned, they were grounded again as a couple, filled with dreams for the future. No, the Malaysia box with the chipped pottery would definitely stay. 

Wishing you a pleasant weekend! 

"Come celebrate with us"
To join "Celebrate the Small Things, visit Lexa Cain's blog
Co-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Friday, May 19, 2017

Life is a Balancing Act: Celebrate the Small Things

From family's Stereoview collection

Ha-ha. Kind of feel like the fellow above, getting ready for my next big act. I'm not balancing life perfectly but making headway nonetheless. How did life balance out for you this week? 

I finally added links for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on my blog (see sidebars), so feel good about that. FB gets smaller font for giving me such a bad time setting up an author page and blog link. Learning about marketing at Yvonne Ventresca's blog and other blogs. Some great tips and examples there!

  • Planted one remaining shrub to complete my barberry hedge.
  • Moved rather slow this week getting over a head cold that started last Friday, but it led to some relaxing baths soaking in Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt, labeled "Detoxify and Energize with Ginger and Clay." Never realized how softening this is to the skin. Love it :) Ever try this??

New from Evernight Teen

Lovely Scars by Cassandra Jamison

The Watched Girl (Escape series #2) by Rachel Rust

Crone by C.L. Marin (sequel to Maiden)


 Have a nice weekend everyone!!

"Come celebrate with us"
To join "Celebrate the Small Things, visit Lexa Cain's blog
Co-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Exploring the New Hampshire Colony by Elizabeth Raum: Book Review

Exploring the New Hampshire Colony
Author: Elizabeth Raum 

Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl
Publisher:  Capstone Press,  2017
Ages:  8 to 11, Middle Grade
Pages: 48
New Hampshire was the third colony founded in North America.
In 1623, a group of businessmen were given a piece of land by the king of England to develop as a colony, stipulating that the rules of government be strictly under the king. In 1679, New Hampshire officially became a royal colony, which by then was known for its source of fish, animal furs, and lumber. 

Raum describes the exploration of the land beginning with (Englishman) Martin Pring in 1603. Pring met the native people in the area, the Abenaki and the Pennacook, who grew corn, beans and squash, and hunted fish and game. For a time the colonists traded peacefully with the Indians, but white diseases began destroying native populations and conflicts soon arose. 

Later, during King Williams War between England and France in 1689, the French enlisted the Indians to fight, who then attacked the colonists. Battles over land between the French and English lasted nearly seventy five years, but peace eventually came in 1763.  

Unfortunately, conflict reared its head again with outrage over the English Stamp Act and high taxes. With its repeal in 1766, the undercurrents of the Revolutionary War had begun. When war broke out in 1775, some 1200 New Hampshire militiamen fought in Boston’s Battle of Bunker Hill, but never on home soil. New Hampshire became the first colony to form its own state government, officially becoming America’s ninth state in 1788.

Raum further describes some of the important cities and pioneers in New Hampshire, which became an important supplier of lumber for the building of ships, boat masts, and furniture. Today New Hampshire is known as the “granite state” for its rocky soil. 

Help aids in Raum's book include mini bios, maps, illustrations, quotes, glossary, timeline and “Did You Know” and “Critical Thinking with Primary Sources” sidebars. A good introduction to New Hampshire's early history.