My Reads, Reading

“The World As I See It” by: Albert Einstein

“What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it”. -Albert Einstein

From time to time I get curious about influential people, past and present. What is the “it” that they possess that has made them re-memorable? That made them a house hold name? What is the “it” that so many people seek to have.

Though I have learned years ago what powers “it”, I still find it interesting how individuals that harness the power allow “it” to manifest into the world.

Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.” -Albert Einstein

This book is a compilation of thoughts and letters written by Albert Einstein through the course of his life. When I read about people, I prefer to read, when possible, autobiographies or work from them directly. This way I can form my own opinions and not be influenced by the opinions of others. Though very intelligent, seemingly humble, and with a hint of a heightened ego; I found this book very difficult to read. I agree with most of his perspectives on life and situations, but I found that I couldn’t read more than 2 passages before I was yawning. Perhaps my mind is not educated enough to grasp exactly what he is saying the first time, but the way it’s written and the way he speaks, I had to reread things a few times to let the meaning sink in. Also, I found that I really needed to try to place myself in his shoes at that time to understand where he was coming from. Since this book isn’t about setting up any particular setting, it’s not a “story format” I grabbed scenes from movies and other books to help put myself in the moment when he was writing.

There are some enlightening moments in the book, but mostly it’s his perspective on world events happening at the time. I’m very neutral with my feelings about it, I guess it’s a good read to fill a curiosity about the man.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

My Reads, Reading

“I Am Watching You” by: Teresa Driscoll

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realizes they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.” Copied from goodreads.com

This book has a lot of good reviews, however it was only “meh” for me. I found myself skimming thru the chapters for key details, just enough to get the jest of it. The most intriguing part that kept me reading it at all was my curiosity as to who the watcher is and is he the same person that kid napped Anna.

Each chapter is written from a different characters point of view and switches from first to third person, there were a few times I lost track of who’s point of view I was reading from and had to check the beginning name on the chapter.

The story didn’t feel very suspenseful and I couldn’t get attached to any of the characters. There was no moments that made me think or that sparked any emotion, besides for annoyed.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you guys.

My Reads, Reading

“The One” by: John Marrs

“A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for.” -Copied from Goodreads.com

I almost gave up after the first several chapters, it didn’t really grab me at first. As most stories, the characters and some of their background had to be introduced, the characters in this story are typical people with average lives, well except for the serial killer, but it made the beginning a little slow, which is why I almost stopped reading.

Just when I was about to give up, the twists and turns began as people started meeting their matches. Then the characters lives started getting interesting and I couldn’t stop reading, where it took me more than a week to get threw the first 50 pages (more or less) it took me a couple of days to finish the entire book.

Imagine if there was a test that could match you with your soul mate. Would you believe it? Would you take it? Those answers might be easy if you are single without kids, but what if you were married? What if you were married with young kids? would you?

It’s an interesting question. Would you give up the life you created up to that point to be with The One person who is made for you? What if they turned out to be a killer? What if you are heterosexual and got matched with your same gender? What if you are a homosexual and got matched with the opposite sex? They might be much older or younger. Perhaps you get matched with a politician. Who knows what might happen. But if they are The One, it doesn’t matter because the feelings you have are so intense, it’s a chemical reaction that can’t be helped.

I like to think that I would not take the test at this point of my life. I am married with young boys that I love more than anyone else in this world. Even more than my potential soul mate. My “soul mate” will never love them as much as me or their father love them. It’s unfortunately possible that no one may love them as much as we do, so why would I destroy their family and put them in a situation where they can’t have access to both of us 100% of the time? Why would I take away family time, when my husband and I are happy together, financially stable, and devoted to them? I wouldn’t. We have had our problems, our challenges. We have both made concessions and sacrifices to keep our family together. The important thing is we are in a happy place now. That being said, I would be curious. I would probably be tempted. Who doesn’t want an intense absolute love? But I wouldn’t do it.

Now, that’s just my circumstance. Every person and every family situation is different. If you decide to read this book you will see some of the interesting possibilities of being matched with “The One”.

For better or for worse.

My Reads, Reading

Nest by: Terry Goodkind

#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes. -Copied from Goodreads.com

I’m not really into thrillers because usually they scare the bagesus out of me. But this one was written by favorite author who has created a wonderful fantasy world that I have visited periodically for the last 16 years. So, I decided to step into the thriller world for a change of pace since it was after all written by my favorite author.

It was so well written, that I think I will stick with the fantasy books. It’s a really good story and will keep you wanting more (if you’re not scaredy cat). I also like that he gave Kate the ability to “see” killers when she looks into their eyes. It’s a good twist and made it all the more interesting. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers or wants to brave a new world of books.

Kid Reads, Reading

The Poky Little Puppy-Classic Kid Book

How many of you remember reading this or your parents reading you this book when you were a kid? Truthfully, I had forgotten about this book until a friend of mine gave us a bunch of their books, her kids were to old for these special classics so I happily took them.

I remember as a kid thinking how special the books were with the golden spine. As an adult reading them to my kids now, I feel that they are even more special. We read a lot of newer character books, Dora and Diego the Explorers, Last Kids on Earth, The Magic Treehouse, etc, etc, but none of them made quite the same impression on my kids.

It was interesting to hear how they reacted to the Poky Little Puppy and how they felt about the consequences enforced by his mother after getting into trouble. In the story, Poky and his siblings keep sneaking out of the yard by digging under the fence to explore the surrounding world, despite warnings from their mother not to do it otherwise no dessert! However, the first couple of times Poky comes back after his siblings have gone to bed and eats the dessert for himself.

My son “Ninja D” and I had a somewhat heated discussion about this. lol He feels that the mother was being unfair to the puppies for not giving them dessert before bed.

So naturally I asked, “so there are no consequences for the puppies breaking the rules?”

he replied, “they only wanted to explore and learn about their world, it’s not their fault they get bored in the yard!”

Me: it’s natural to want to explore the world, but they are to small to go out by themselves. What if something bad happened to them? They wouldn’t know what to do or how to defend themselves.”

Ninja D: “well, their mommy needs to find a better solution. Why can’t she go with them to explore?”

Me: “Maybe she was busy working, cleaning, and cooking for the puppies and she doesn’t have time right then to take them exploring. Maybe the puppies should have asked her if she could schedule time to take them out”

Ninja D: “yeah, maybe. But she needs to be the one to have that idea and talk to them. Not just torture them with no dessert”

Me: “so, do I have to worry about you exploring the world without me?”

Ninja D: “heck no!” “you’re stuck with me!”

I found it to be an interesting moment and very insightful to how his mind works. He doesn’t lack discipline or consequences for his actions. But his mind does process information in a very different way than the majority of kids his age. He already at the age of 8 years old values communication and working things out. He is coming to understand that his mind processes differently and he is trying harder to talk and ask questions instead of get angry and frustrated because he doesn’t understand. I to am trying to understand and have a different response to his impulsive defiance and naturally dramatic personality. As long as he waits till after I have had my coffee, we are usually good for the day.

These kind of conversations don’t usually happen with newer stories. The action and adventure stories are fun, but nothing beats the classics. I am going to look into getting more of the Little Golden Book Classics.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful Day!

My Reads, Reading

Where The Crawdads Sing By: Delia Owens

I have been into emotional books lately and this one did not disappoint. This was a story that takes place in the 1950s and 60s; its about a young girl who is abandoned by her family at a very young age and forced to learn how to live in the Marsh all alone. She survives with the very few skills her parents and siblings taught her before they left. The towns people treated her very poorly as she was a “Marsh Girl” and most never tried to help. Those that did she was very skeptical of and afraid they too would leave. She befriended and became very close to a boy who was one of her brothers friends. He taught her how to read and opened her eyes to science. However, as everyone else in her life he too left her.

I don’t want to spoil the whole book. The story is very well written and the characters are very memorable. It’s a beautiful story of survival, determination, and finding happiness and peace in self acceptance. I would recommend taking the journey with Kya as she becomes the legendary “Marsh Girl”.

My Reads, Reading

When We Believed in Mermaids- by: Barbara O’Neal

Usually when I read fiction I read something in the Scify-fantasy realm. I decided to venture out and try something different. Broaden my horizons!

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s being a mom, maybe it’s being on locked down with the kids for 6 months and I’m going somewhat insane. I have been drawn to more sentimental type stories. So I googled popular books and this one came up, not going to lie, the title grabbed my attention more than anything as I have always loved mermaids.

When I was little we lived in South Florida and my grandparents had a boat that we use to go out on. We would snorkel and swim between fishing sessions ( in different spots of course). I had always felt out of place and sad as a child. I never felt like I quite fit in anywhere. I wasn’t really bullied in school and I had a good home, it wasn’t perfect, but my parents provided everything we needed. I was the sweet and quite girl; because of that other kids assumed I was smart. After “The Little Mermaid” was released from Disney, I wished more than anything I could turn into a mermaid and always pretended to be one when we were at the pool or in the ocean. I think it’s all of those memories that drew me to the title.

Once I got started with this book, I couldn’t put it down. It was very well written and I didn’t get bored with the characters because the chapters bounced from Kit to her sister Josie. Showing different perspectives to the same story.

The story is about sisters who grew up on the coast of California. Their parents owned a restaurant and were not very involved with their daughters. The girls were allowed to sleep on the beach and run wild and on their own until an runaway boy came to live with them and took on the responsibility of looking out and caring for them. The three kids loved one another and would to anything for each other.

A broken family, as they grew the problems grew and the kids couldn’t hold on to one another as they became adults. While Kit was is college, Josie became a party girl and disappeared. Fifteen years later, Kit goes on a mission to find her sister and while doing so finds a happier version of herself.

It’s a beautiful story of overcoming the tragedies that life sometimes gives and about letting go of the hurt and giving yourself permission to forgive. In so doing, finding love and acceptance. Families may be living in the same story, however we see from different perspectives and still experience different circumstances.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for inspiration to let go of their hurt, find love, and who want a good cry at the end.

My Reads, Reading

Books For Successful Minds

A few years ago I was really into reading my horoscope daily. On one of the readings, there was a quote:

“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” Jim Rohn

I really liked the quote so I posted it on social media. But then I got to wondering about Jim Rohn and figured I better know who he is if I’m going to be sharing quotes from him. So I googled and learned a little about him. During the research, I decided to buy this book. It’s a small book, I finished it in a couple of days but it confirmed everything I always thought to be true and led me to other books that re-enforced my belief in the power of the mind.

I haven’t met many people who have inspired and encouraged me to be better. Let alone gave unconditional support. Usually I summon strength within myself to see life as an optimist. That energy was sustained mostly because of positive reactions I received from the people and the world by being this way.

There was a point where I became overwhelmed by challenges, life, and pessimistic views from others. I was consumed by fault and guilt that was not completely my own and I didn’t have anyone to help me see life as an optimist, I became very sad and discouraged. After years of falling deeper and deeper into this hole a life changing event happened and I woke up. This happens to a lot of people, I thought through the years that I was fighting to be better but as it turned out, I was just fighting. I didn’t have the right frame of mind. I was torn between what to do, never really taking steps forward. Until something happened and I realized that I’m not going to live with all of this negativity, I was going to live the best and happiest life possible. When I made that decision, the world automatically started me down a new path. On this new path I met someone who is a true leader. He inspired, encouraged, and supported me; even when I was over the top emotional and self destructive. He never fed the negative or insecure image of myself, he ALWAYS encouraged my more positive qualities. When you have fallen into a deep hole and been there a while, you don’t automatically get out of the hole just because you decided to. You have to fight, climb, look for foot holds,hand placements, and sometimes you slip back down. I am very thankful to this person for shining a flash light down that hole and waiting so I could see better how to get out.

I was drawn to this book and the books below; even though they were published 1930-1980s time frame (more or less) and for the most part are directed towards men in the workforce, I got a lot of valuable and solid information from them. I know this year has been overwhelming and a lot of people are falling on hard times and becoming discouraged. For those people I hope that you are able to summon faith and determination to keep moving towards success and if you loose your flashlight, I hope that someone is kind enough to offer theirs to help you find your way again.

In a nut shell, what I received from these books was the same thing I was told by my flashlight holder, “You just need to make up your mind and go for it”.

Lessons As We Grow, Running

Getting My Kids to Exercise

Like the rest of y’all, our house is trying to get along and make the best of the over abundance of family time we have had the last few months. In between the murder hornets, COVID-19, hurricanes, riots, and every else that happens, we get out to nature or a park to get some vitamin D via sunshine. But we are in the house a lot. My kitchen table is my office and my kids school desk, I set up my mobile gym right next to me so I can stop and exercise for a few minutes or do some stretches. My gym is a jump rope, (2) 10lb weights, exercise ball, and a yoga mat. After i serve dinner I run on my treadmill, which has been one of my best purchases ever!!!

The problem is my kids are getting lazy. Well, lazy until I make them stop watching Netflix or Minecraft videos. Then all of the pent up energy comes out and usually turns into them trying to kill each other, then my blood pressure goes up and de-escalating becomes tricky at this point. I know I should not have been letting them watch so much, but I still have to work and if they aren’t watching something they are very literally making me crazy because being Mom and outstanding employee takes 2 different mind sets and skill sets. Trying to do both simultaneously for 8-10 hours a day has been a headache to say the very least.

So as a solution I tried having them do exercise videos on YouTube, which they enjoy and there is a lot of cool videos for kid work outs. But after a few weeks they started getting tired with it. So I tried to get them to do at least a mile on the treadmill, and that was a battle because they got bored after a quarter mile and start wining. Then I came up with, “so you want to watch Minecraft videos, ok. But you are going to watch it while walking on the treadmill.”

It has been a beautiful compromise. They walk 1.5-2 miles before they realize how far they went. No more fighting to get them to move and they go to sleep easier too. It has been a WIN WIN. Now they ask me if they can walk /run on the treadmill during the week because that’s the only way they get YouTube time now.

I noticed their moods have improved since we started this compromise also. 🥳

My Reads, Reading

The Sword of Truth Series by: Terry Goodkind

When I was 24 years old I walked into a Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks in hand, just kinda wondering around wasting time. I liked to read, but I wasn’t really into reading. I enjoyed going to book stores because it always felt like there was possibility of finding something spectacular in them.

My thing was walking the rows of books (all genres), browsing the titles, waiting for something to just jump out at me and whisk me away on an adventure. On this particular trip, I remember going through the store and not really finding anything of real interest, so I started to head out and I noticed a collection of books on the Science Fiction end cap that I had missed. I studied it for a moment from several feet away, debating if I should check them out, took the last gulp of my cinnamon dolce latte and wondered over. (It’s hard to imagine now that there was a time when this was the biggest decision I had to make in a day. Go check out the books or don’t check out the books, hmmmm)

I walked out of Barnes & Noble that day with the first book of the Sword of Truth Series, Wizards First Rule and 14 years and 24 books later am still hooked. There is actually more than 24 books related to Sword of Truth series, I am 2-3 behind waiting for the price to drop. Needless to say, I am now a dedicated citizen of the world he created in these books.

I feel like anything I say about these books and about the world he created just won’t do him justice. It’s a world where magics are used instead of technology, there’s forbidden love, fighting for human rights, sick and twisted power hungry people trying to take over the world, unbreakable friendships, and most importantly, lessons to learn from. It’s the whole package.

I will admit, there were 1 or 2 books in the middle of the series, up till now, that I found a little repetitive and had a hard time getting through. I won’t say that every single one had me on the edge of my seat, but most of them do. The first 6 books of the series are by far my favorites, I listen to them on audible now while I work, and I encourage anyone looking to start a wonderful adventure to go on this one.