Archive for April, 2012

Sasha never figured she’d go home to small town Wanonishaw, Wisconsin. A world-class ballerina, her life was on the road with her ballet company as the principle dancer.

At 37, dancing was all Sasha had known. From before she was taking lessons to getting accepted at Julliard to living life on the road “performing for standing ovations,” dancing was everything to her.

And now it was gone. A career ending crash during a dance with her partner- her husband- has left her broken. 5 months post surgeries, she’s home, to rebuild. Rebuild. How can she even do that? What’s left to go back to? Out of contact with her husband, Sasha went home to her recently departed mother’s house, determined to let him go and not hold his career back.

But she can’t do it by herself. Newly engaged 19 year old Evelyn is hired as a live-in caregiver to Sasha. At odds with her parents over her engagement and refusal to go to college, Evelyn is happy she’s got a place to stay, even if her boss is prickly.

The biggest theme I see in this book is adjustment- moving forward; continuing life when a curve ball has been thrown; moving forward even when you don’t want to.

This book hits my scale at the “it’s fine” level. There were a lot of ways the author could have gone with this; the actual events for the base of the story aren’t ones that I personally could completely identify with. I’m not sure if the book would have hit harder if I was a dancer?  I don’t know. While this book isn’t a skinny (short),  I’m not coming away with the feeling of having read something substantial, if that makes sense.

Character development was ok; maybe there were too many directions. I’m not really sure. You won’t regret the time you spend reading this book, but it’s not one that I felt was a “must read.” Honestly, it left me a little bit lukewarm.

The big stuff that would have helped make this book significantly better- discussion between Sasha and Donald (her husband) just wasn’t there; it was completely glossed over. I thought it odd that she shut the door on him completely (to where he wasn’t even sure where she was, which left me wondering how, in her fragile physical state she had even gotten there) and then just as mysteriously, the door was completely opened again without much detail. The author could have focused completely on this aspect and had a much more engaging read.

I think she went for the developing dynamic between the two women, but even this part felt half done. There were too many unanswered questions about the relationship between Evelyn and her fiance, although it made me wonder if there is a sequel to this title for that part of the storyline. There wasn’t enough information about the relationship between Evelyn and her mother to understand Evelyn’s break-down after the comment Sasha made.

I’ve giving this one 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t do much for me.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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I am sorry, but I refuse to apologize. I can’t control your neuroses and you shouldn’t waste your time trying to control me. I’m moving to the nudist colony. Bite my bare @$$.

Not Yours,



This weekend’s Trifextra is community judged.
  • For the 12 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • Voting is open to everyone.
  • Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don’t tell them to vote on a number. The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
  • You can vote for your top threefavorite posts.
  • Yes, you really only have 12 hours to vote. We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.
For this week’s challenge, you have to write a letter of apology in exactly 33 words. Addresses, salutations, closings, etc. (should you wish to include them) do not count in the 33 words.

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Everyone crashed out,

Sleeping on the couch,

No one remembers;

No one can vouch.

Slowly awaking to

Cackles and taunts,

It rumbles and shatters,

Poking and flaunts.

Awareness trembles,

Opening one eye at a time,

There is no recollection

Of the actual crime.

Stumbling with a cry,

They all scurry;

Clamoring for the door,

Frantic and in a flurry.

Oppressive and sickening,

Outside in the gloom,

They raise their heads slowly,

Afraid of facing the doom.

With a crunch it straightens,

And drags them to their fates,

Without a look behind,

The scandal awaits.


This is my second entry for week 22 of Trifecta’s writing challenge. My first entry can be found here.

This week we’re back to just one word but it’s the third definition we’re looking for and we’re asking that you use it exactly as it appears below.

As always, we wish you well.

scan·dal noun \ˈskan-dəl\
1 a: discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious person

b: conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another
2: loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety : disgrace

Please remember:

This week’s word is ‘scandal’.

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The shuffling of the program from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to the Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA) and then back to the CIA was essentially a “try to follow the bouncing ball” measure before the documents were declassified in 1995. After the scandal that rocked the government world, they were publicly shelved.

Officially the project was kaput. In reality, that just meant they went underground and really got creative. The former team was now buried deeply within the Special Activities Division (SAD) of the CIA, and coordinated by team members from the Intelligence and Analysis, the Clandestine Service, and the Science and Technology divisions.

A true group effort,” Frank thought with a snort. And then to top off the cluster, they chose the brainy she-bot Marisol with uncanny “intuition” to lead them all. Frank rolled his eyes.

Marisol was the off-the-wall choice to lead the Mesmeristic Normative Mindvision team, or “MnMs” as they liked to call it. Well, Frank didn’t like to call it that, particularly since he was the “n” in the equation, solidly sandwiched between Marisol and Macy.

“Somebody either had too much caffeine or too many Wheaties that day when they minted that stupid name,” Frank grumbled silently. Why they chose him to be the “normative” part of the equation was a mystery to him.

Nah, what Frank wanted to call his team was something that started with the first letter of his name and was profanity, which he reluctantly agreed to stop using when Macy “agreed” to be paired with him. At first blush, Frank was totally taken with Macy. He’d felt like for once he’d finally gotten a normal partner; a partner he could put up with long-term.

Then he went on a stake-out with her and the weird just got deeper. It also gave him too much time to think. And right now, he was thinking about how he could sneak out and drain his lizard without irking either of the Ms.


To read the first three parts of the story, check out these links:

Clean- Part 1

Cheap- Part 2

Brain- Part 3

Observe- Part 5


It’s week 22 of Trifecta’s writing challenge.

This week we’re back to just one word but it’s the third definition we’re looking for and we’re asking that you  use it exactly as it appears below.

As always, we wish you well.

scan·dal noun \ˈskan-dəl\
1   a: discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious person

     b: conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another
2:   loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety : disgrace

Please remember:

This week’s word is ‘scandal’.

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Well, not really.  Let me just say that I am not- and never have been- a fan of coloring Easter eggs. No idea why; it’s just not an activity I enjoy. No offense to those who do.

Our “tradition” dictates that this endeavor is left entirely up to Hunny to supervise and inspire, since he is the artist. It’s a trade-off- he does Easter, and I do Halloween. No one complains. I assume this is mostly because there is always candy involved, and they are not about to mess that up!  😆

This year, however, we didn’t do a single drop of dye. Nope. We didn’t need to. We simply boiled our eggs, and once cooled, let the little girls add stickers and things to them. We only boiled 2 dozen.

You’ve no doubt seen one of the daily gifts our girls have left us. I need to add that just the other day, we got another egg from Bella that was standing at attention. So, that makes 2. And it still made me laugh!

Anyhow. I’ve promised egg pictures before, and we finally got around to taking some. At some point in the future, I’ll post some better ones, but for now, this is what I’ve got:

These were fresh out of the pot and still wet.

No idea why they are all wiggly in there, except to say that my 13 yr old dd took this picture………

Yep. It’s like having Easter eggs every day of the week. Good job, girlies!  😀

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Here on Easter Eve, there are many thoughts about the crucifixion running through my head. Coming off of Holy Week, it’s kind of hard not to think on the whole event.

Several years ago, as part of a devotional, I detailed what happens to the human body during crucifixion. One thing that important to note, too, is that Jesus wasn’t just crucified, but he was also scourged before they finally nailed him to the cross for 6 hours and left him to die up there.

Now’s probably the time to click away if this sort of thing bothers you deeply.

I think, as a Christian, it’s easy to fall into the “He died for my sins” bit and not really have a truly sound grasp of what that means. Yes, we all know death was the outcome. It’s easy to sanitize it all and just focus on the end result of His death and our salvation.

But do we ever stop and think about the scourging and the physicality of what it’s like to hang on a cross until you die?

Crucifixion death comes by suffocation. That’s right- suffocation. In those days, it wasn’t a quick death; it could literally take days. You’ll see why below. Many times, the legs of the crucifxee were broken, to hasten the suffocation.

Before he was crucified, Christ was scourged. What exactly does that mean?

Most people think of it just as a whipping. According to what I’ve found, an ancient Roman flagrum {flagellum} not only had the whips, but there were pieces of either bone or metal attached to the end; the point of which was to flay (remove the skin of) the recipient. This is what one looked like:

We’ve all seen images of Jesus carrying the cross, blood running down his face from the crown of thorns. But I don’t know that we all want to think about how bloody his back was by that point- exposed muscle; shreds of skin and muscle hanging off His body.

*“There is much disagreement among authorities about the unusual scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.

The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.”

After the scourging- of which there may have been **three different kinds, the crown of thorns was mashed onto His head and he was forced to try to carry the cross 650 yards to the final location in Golgotha. It was at this point that Simon of Cyrene was selected to pitch in and help carry the cross.

*”Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the writs are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.”

It is thought that it was at this time, Christ uttered his final seven sentences. But wait- there’s more.

To make sure Jesus was really dead,

*”…the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.”

I don’t know about you, but when I think of what Jesus endured that day- the scourging; hanging on the cross for 6 hours; the taunts, the sneers, the mocking- the taking on of the sin of the whole world- the separation from God for those last 3 hours, as darkness enveloped the world– I have no choice but to look at the crucifixion differently than I did before.

It’s not so easy to ignore His suffering. It’s not so easy to focus on the end result.

I don’t think it’s quite so easy to gloss over the whole deal and to not imagine in great detail the extent of His suffering.

There’s a lot of music, and a lot of focus on the resurrection. And the resurrection IS important. It just would have never happened if not for the crucifixion; for Judas’ betrayal; for all the parts that equaled the whole of the event.

When I think about what it must have been like, in those final moments, I shift to the crucifixion scene from Jesus Christ, Superstar (Andrew Lloyd Webber, of course). This is the best depiction I’ve seen.

Close your eyes, even, to just listen:

And the requiem (obviously, there was no bus; no main characters in 70s era clothing, etc):


Does really understanding the physicality of crucifixion affect your perceptions of the sacrifice on our behalf?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

* A Roman Crucifixion


Jesus’ Suffering and Crucifixion From a Medical Point of View

Darkness at the Crucifixion- Metaphor or Real History?

Jesus’ Death: Six Hours of Eternity on the Cross

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Had to pass this one on………… 😆


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