Life at Midlife

This one says it all! Once again, Roda has found an answer to one of my many life questions 🙂

Growing Self

I came across this poem and it spoke everything I feel… ♥

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Life at Midlife

Author: Mary Anne Perrone

I am no longer waiting for a special occasion; I burn the best candles on ordinary days.

I am no longer waiting for the house to be clean; I fill it with people who understand that even dust is Sacred.

I am no longer waiting for everyone to understand me; It’s just not their task

I am no longer waiting for the perfect children; my children have their own names that burn as brightly as any star.

I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived.

I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now.

I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held.

I…

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One Lovely Blog Award!

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The lovely and talented Sophie from “Foodzesty” kindly nominated me for this award. This is the first time I have been nominated for this one, so thank you Sophie! If you have not made it to her blog yet then you are in for a treat! Sophie is a wonderful cook and has shared a number of delicious recipes-go now and plan your dinner!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  2. They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  3. Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  4. Nominate 15 people to do the award

 

Hmmm, 7 facts about me…

  1. I am the mother of two young adults, and am very proud of them!

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2. You can see from this picture that we like to rock climb as a family

3. I turned 50 last February and got a tattoo to mark the occasion. This is my one and only!

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4 & 5. My husband and I like to run half marathons and travel as much as possible.

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6. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology and taught at the college level for 25+ years.

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my daughter and I at my graduation from USC

7. A few years ago, I went to culinary school because I enjoy baking and cooking and needed to get better at both!

 

Now for my nominees! Please do not feel pressure to respond to this award, my intention is to recognize how much I appreciate your blog and your talents!

Recipes by chefkreso

The Austrian Dish

ONCE UPON A HOT FLASH

juliecares

Marcia Strykowski

Arbie Krae

Simply Seppos

Everyone Else has the best titles

Rhapsody Boheme

Growing self blog

Food to glow

abbeyco

indianeskitchen

wakinguponthewrongsideof50

thisismytruthnow

 

Thank you all for your friendship, advice and your positivity 🙂

 

Netgalley Book Review: The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Book Review: Netgalley

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The Wife Between Us

Greer Hendicks, Sarah Pekkanen

4.5/5 stars

 

When Netgalley suggested that I would like The Wife Between Us based on my preferences and past reviews in the Mystery & Thrillers genre, I thought how predictable. Another novel about cheating, lying and infidelity, haven’t I read this so many times before? Then I took a look at their description that read

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.

You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

 

Assume nothing.

I was intrigued so I dove into the story of Vanessa, the wife who had been cast aside, Emma, her replacement and Richard, the man at the center of it all. The first third of the story moved along well and I was definitely interested in these characters but I felt that all my prior assumptions were well in place and had yet to be challenged. For all practical purposes this appeared to be the story of a jealous wife. Still the authors expertly conveyed Vanessa’s pain, which was so palpable and relatable, that I wanted to know more about how her marriage fell apart. I was sure that my review would have to contain a warning to those who have suffered the deep ache and torment of infidelity in their own lives to, perhaps, steel oneself in order to read this intensely accurate portrait of betrayal that Vanessa had to endure. But, as the description above promised, the narrative takes a dramatic and unexpected twist in Part II of the novel. Although I felt this was slightly clumsy and a tad awkward in execution (perhaps that was the intention of the authors?) it was nonetheless extremely effective and totally unexpected.

As Part II progressed and morphed into Part III of the story the twists kept coming, right up to the final page and I found myself altering my initial proclamation. Whereas I previously had concern for survivors of adultery and may have warned them to wait for the pain to lessen before reading The Wife Between Us, I now realize, if you have been at the loosing end of an affair, then you should, and need to read this book! I love the ending and the feeling I was left with as I imagine how the lives of all three characters would unfold as they move forward.

I absolutely recommend this book and hope to watch the movie someday, as I believe it would make a great suspense story, akin to Gone Girl. This story will take you places you had not thought of and will leave you thinking, “What just happened”? That is the most I can ask of a good book!

Netgalley Book Review: Enigma, by Catherine Coulter

It has been quite awhile since I did a book review, and this is not the normal self-help, midlife crisis tome I usually post in this category. However, I did read Enigma from my Netgalley shelf and felt like it was worth sharing the review with you good people. Please let me know if this is something you would, or would not like to see, in the future as I will be penning more reviews for Netgalley in the Mystery & Suspense genre. Thanks!

enigma

 

Book Review Netgalley

 

Catherine Coulter

Enigma (21st in the Savich & Sherlock series)

3.5/5

 

I have been reading the Mystery & Suspense genre for 30+ years and it is still by far my favorite category. I enjoy the puzzle that is laid out by the author, tempting the reader to figure out what information is important and how the story will unfold. The downside to having read such a large sample size of this sector is that very little surprises me anymore. The plot twists are generally anticipated, the foreshadowing is upfront and fairly blatant and common themes are oft repeated. All the above applies to my experience with Catherine Coulter’s latest installment of her FBI Thriller series, Enigma. I was drawn to this novel for two main reasons. First, I have read Coulter’s previous works and found them to be entertaining and secondly, any cover with a DNA molecule grabs my attention. I am a molecular biologist and am often curious as to how the author will handle some of the more complicated and nuanced details with respect to genetics and disease.

Enigma opens with a hostage situation where an apparent mad man has entered the home of a pregnant woman, Kara Moody, and holds her against her will. While engaged in a stand off with the local police, FBI Special Agent Dillion Savich manages to single handedly save Ms. Moody setting up the first of the common themes I mentioned earlier. The audience learns that Agent Savich is not just merely an agent but a super hero with extraordinary skills, and of course the head of the local police department feels threatened by his innate talents and they do not get along in the face of Savich’s incredible negotiating skills and expert marksmanship. The old feds vs local cops, is the first of our common themes shared by most of the novels in this genre. The abduction appears to be just a peripheral event but the savvy reader knows that this will be woven into a larger storyline as the novel unfolds.

In parallel to this occurrence a high profile inmate has orchestrated an escape during a prison transfer. He is, of course, exceptionally cunning, manipulative, violent and attractive. This sets up the need for a special team of brilliant, and attractive agents to track this monster, forming the basis of the next common theme: everyone is exceptionally smart and beautiful. Of course two agents are selected to work together for the first time to track the madman in the heavily wooded and remote forest. The agents are about the same age, both have a strong and complementary skill set, are single and one is male and the other a female. Convientlty setting up the next common theme: Will they or won’t they?

Quickly we learn that Kara Moody and this young man are pawns of, you guessed it, a grander more sinister game. Which is orchestrated by a brilliant, yet evil genius with apparent unlimited wealth. Common theme number four: the bad guy always has unlimited liquid assets at his evil genius disposal.

Both story lines are compelling and Coulter weaves them together brilliantly. The cliffhangers from one chapter to the next are expertly crafted, and I enjoyed learning the fate of each beautiful, talented, brilliant character. One such transition occurred in chapter 11 which took me by surprise. An unexpected plot twist that I did not see on the horizon! Another area that Coulter excels at is constructing strong female roles in high-ranking positions, which I do appreciate. I was particularly fond of Kim, the teenager as she was a pleasant change of pace in the storyline.

As for the human genetics component, it was hit and miss for me. Yes HLA genes are contained on the human chromosome number 6, but a single inversion event would not explain the toxic tolerance by the systemic response. More importantly, it would most likely not be inherited in the offspring, which is why a parent is often not a suitable organ donor for their own child. There is no amount of evil genius, or disposable income that could make this happen! And, I don’t believe that hardened experienced FBI agents would be sitting around, after what they had just endured, and have a politically correct discussion on the merits of DNA testing like the one that occurred in the novel.

Common, predictable themes and nitpicky genetics aside I do recommend this book! I was entertained and surprised once. That means it was well worth my time and money.

A Submission to Guest in Jest, for you Linda!

The wonderful and hilarious Linda, from Everybody Else Has the Best Titles asked for submissions for her “Guest in Jest” series. If you have not met Linda, aka mainepaperpusher, you really should check out her blog! She has some fun series and great, edgy sense of humor that I really appreciate! I decided to post this on my own blog because it gives a little snapshot into my past and maybe some mom out there can relate.

 

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My name is Dee Dee, and I go by Dtills on WordPress. I started my blog, Invisible-no-more.com because I felt, well, invisible! I had entered that magical time known as “the midlife crisis”, sort of fell into it really, and couldn’t figure out how to begin the painful process of pulling my life together. My youngest had gone off to college, my husband and I were not connecting well and I felt alone and isolated. My blog is a chronicle of those activities, actions and connections formed that have helped me piece together a future that I now feel is hopeful and engaging. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have helped me as I work through this transition!

As for an amusing story, well this was not all that amusing at the time, but with the passage of 23 years, it has taken on a warm and satisfying glow! In 1994 I was a graduate student working on my doctorate degree at USC in Los Angeles. At that time, the process required the Ph.D. candidates to finish a series of written exams, which, after the successful completion, then required an oral exam. The oral had to be completed within eight weeks of finishing the written tests, or the candidate would have to start over from the beginning. These are the kind of exams that take months to prepare for so starting over is not something anyone wanted to do, I assure you! I was deep into studying for these five written exams, when I found out, in February of 1994, that I was pregnant with our first child. Honestly, the timing could not have been less ideal as I would have to take the exams at the beginning of October that year, and Alex was born October 28th. This meant that my oral exam had to happen in mid November, or I would have to start over, effectively loosing a year of work in my program. The crux of this “amusing” story is that I was breastfeeding my new daughter during this time. Now, all of you lactation survivors know that producing pints of milk all day long comes along with a unique set of challenges. For one thing your milk doesn’t just flow for your little one, a number of triggers can cause milk to “let down”, as the specialists call it. My personal triggers were ANY child crying, my crying, Hallmark commercials and once a dog barked scaring me so much that my shirt was soaked before I could run home. Oh yeah, and stress. Standing up in front my oral testing panel, which was made up of five men, and two women, who choose not to have children in order to focus on their careers, while they fire questions at me was, indeed, stressful.

That day I felt prepared, not well rested with a 4 week old at home, but I had my presentation and had done my research. I also had two sets of nursing pads on and a thick knit sweater. I could have stacked books on my huge, busty chest. The exam started and everything was going well. I was almost done; just a few final questions and I could go home and feed my daughter. Then it happened. The committee member that I feared the most asked me a question and I had absolutely no idea how to answer. I could feel the cortisol rushing through my blood stream and hitting my lac glands. I was starting to sweat and the room went eerily silent as the milk raindrops started hitting my feet! All I could think about was “I am going to fail and my shoes will be squeaking as I walk to the car”! That same committee member, after what felt like a month, gently asked me if I would like to take a break. Hell yes, I wanted to take a break and die! As I was walking through the door I heard him tell the others “she just had a baby a couple weeks ago” and I thought, great now I am done for sure! I took a few minutes to wring out my pads and blot my sweater, as best I could, and most importantly, I figured out the answer to the question. I mustered up what little dignity I could find and entered the exam room. I was expecting them to tell me to pack up and head out but instead they took pity on me. That same, scary committee member told me to just write up the final questions and submit them the following week. He was so nice to me! I had passed on the contingency of submitting the final write up! I didn’t wait around for them to change their minds and got the hell out of there. I guess I didn’t really learn my lesson because I had my final doctoral defense in December of 1996, after giving birth to our son the preceding April. But this time I kept my milk tightly in my jugs!

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My daughter and I on graduation day!

The Ten Commandments of Blogging

I just found this wonderful blog by Wayfarer, that it appears, everyone else already knows about! I really love this post! And, I hope to follow these “commandments” as I think they make for a better blogger

A Holistic Journey

1. Thou shalt not waste readers’ time. Offer up thy readers a worthy sacrifice that they might take and be satisfied.

2. Thou shalt honor thy muse. Be prepared in season, out of season to seize inspiration when she comes that ye might write, dance, photograph, paint thy bliss. Be not caught without thy scroll, ink, pen, iGadget, camera. Thou wilt not redeem the moment the locust has eaten.

3. Thou shalt preview thy draft and spell-check before publishing that the Angel of Vengeance shall not fly over thy blog in the night.10commandmts2

4. Always speak ye the truth.

5. Thou shalt not take up the like button in vain, foremost on this blog. It is holystic ground. Thou shalt in integrity read the posts before clicking anything lest thou incite my wrath. Know ye that I see thou couldst not have read four of my brain-intensive posts in one…

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An Award I Have Never Heard of Before!

black cat award

The beautiful and positive Roda sent me a message the other day. She said “I have nominated you for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award!” I thought, is she pulling my leg? It sounded kind of like a joke-but it’s not. What I found out is that the intent behind this award is to recognize those bloggers who attempt to write for everybody, regardless of the number of viewers they acquire. It is designed to acknowledge writing from one’s passions and not really targeting a blog that necessarily has a large following or a tremendous amount of “likes”. The official statement is:

What Is This Award

This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.

As Roda put it “This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee and it should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it.”

How kind is that! We all enjoy followers and “likes” of course, but I think we sometimes get caught up in that loop and forget that we started this for ourselves and our passions. I love the ideal behind this award and am honored that Roda thought of me!

Rules

  • anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers
  • the nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator
  • the questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions

Roda’s Questions to me:

  • What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

This is tough for me to address because I follow a number of really diverse blogs. Cooking, rock climbing, running, story writing, photography-all are approached differently and I enjoy that diversity in my Reader feed. As long as everyone stays positive and supportive of one another I am happy. I have yet to find a blog that is negative or demeaning in any way (thankfully!). If I did run into that I would not follow, comment or like any part of it!

  • Tell us 4 things about yourself, one of which is not true… and see if we can guess.
  1. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology
  2. I have a twin sister
  3. I have run 3 half marathons, to date  and
  4. I went to culinary school
  • Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

I rise early and get in a good run then come home and have a scone (or two!) that I made earlier. I head out with my family for a day of rock climbing (of course I never fall because it is my “perfect day”!) We go out for a tasty dinner and a cocktail or two, then I spend the rest of the evening with my husband-not filling in any more details from here on!!

My Questions to you

  1. Where do you look for inspirations for your blog posts?
  2. How has your blog changed / evolved over time? Was the change in line with your expectations?
  3. What would you like to be doing in the future? Are you still blogging?

 

I do realize that not everyone participates in awards and my only intent is to honor and recognize those blogs that I truly enjoy! Please do not feel any pressure to engage with this post and know that I appreciate all that you do!

 

My Nominees:

Ink Owl

In Diane’s Kitchen

This is My Truth Now

Running Forward, My way

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