And, then there was the time I spoke out on gun control…

Gun control means hitting your target
Gun control means hitting your target (Photo credit: Malingering)

I was contacted the other day and asked to review a book on the 2nd Amendment – gun control. It was from a Democrat and he was very anxious to have this little book read and reviewed. It was about enacting gun control and to me that means taking away rights, my rights.

I normally keep my opinions to myself, except for when I don’t. I responded (and I am still trying to figure out if an alien had taken over my body – I was definitely having a Gracie moment that day!) I told him that I did not think gun control was the answer to all of the violence. Drugs are against the law and they are still readily available on the streets for anyone willing to break the law to purchase them. It would be the same with guns. You can find anything against the law on the black market.

In my opinion, gun control will only penalize the law-abiding citizens who use their guns responsibly. I told him that I grew up with guns in the house. My father is a retired State Trooper. My Hubby is a retired State Trooper, and an avid hunter. He also fishes and fishing twine could definitely cause some damage if wrapped around someone’s neck. Are you going to make that against the law? I went on to tell him that I agreed there was a huge problem, and I did not have any ideas on how to even begin solving it, but I definitely did not think gun control was going to make a difference.

I also told him I felt I could give his book a fair review – I still do. Inserting something here about my personality – don’t you love when I do that – I am someone who is able to view both sides of an issue and judge it fairly.

I cannot figure it out. I haven’t heard back from him. I may have mentioned that I vote Republican too. That might have been the decisive factor. As I said, I must have been having an out of body experience that day, because I even surprised myself.

I actually do have a few ideas on how to solve the world crisis. In my humble opinion, I think it all goes back to family values and teaching good, old-fashioned respect for one another. It is as simple as that. When we respect each other, we allow one another the right to have an opinion and we respect that opinion. We use manners. We pray. We say the pledge. Respect has disappeared and the world is going to pot. That’s my opinion.

What about you? What is your view on Gun Control? Make believe you are a beauty queen and tell me how you would achieve world peace?

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Stalking my prey

       I, for some strange reason – because I don’t normally explain myself – felt the need to explain myself – stranger things have happened – to someone that I had been surfing around the internet visiting their site and such, because they had requested I review their book. My explanation – needed work because as I explained I do not feel the need to explain myself – came off sounding like a stalker – at least to me. Anyway, the person thought it funny and did not in the least think I was stalking and even friended me on Face book – which by way has punished me again, suspended my friend requesting for a month. I can accept requests, just not send any.

English: Statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh



       So, getting back to the topic on hand, I decided to come clean. I do investigate those sending me requests to review their books. For me, it is part of the process in deciding whether I review a book.


       First, and foremost, the book has to be a genre I enjoy reading. Second, if you would read some of the requests I receive, you would do some investigating as well – perhaps even hire Sherlock himself. Just a hint here to any authors or would like to be an author requesting book reviews. A request has a better chance of being accepted or even taken seriously, if you actually take the time to address the person by name and send information rather than just links. A book reviewer’s time is as valuable as yours is. And, you are the one asking for the favor of a review. Think of it this way – would you just walk up to someone and toss a book at them, no explanation about what the book is about, and expect them to catch it and read it? I bet you never thought of it that way.


       Back to the subject – not being a rude person and therefore just hitting the delete button – I admit that sometimes I do – I grab my magnifying glass and slap on my Sherlock Holmes hat and surf the net.


       I check out the links they may or in lots of cases may not have included. I check Amazon for the book and sometimes read the reviews. I check out their website to see how they are handling the promotion of their book. I also like to read some of their “other” writing. A person’s website tells a lot about a person. I also check out their face book page and other sites that they have indicated they are on to see how they are promoting themselves.


       I guess in a way, I do stalk those who request I review their book. Hopefully, they have been “stalking” me as well. After all, I hope they have read my Review Policy along with some of my book reviews to see if my style of reviewing and my blog are compatible with the audience they are trying to reach and if my review will help them sell their product.


       What about you? If you are a book reviewer, how do you make your decisions on whether or not to review a book? If you are an author, how to make the decision to contact a reviewer; and once you find a reviewer, what type of letter writer/information giver are you?


       There you have it. My name is Donna, and I’m a stalker, and you read it here first.


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Hurricane Isaac – "Lucy's" Disaster

     Part 2

       The storm has passed and the bayou is attempting to return to normal. Hubby was out and about and checking on our rental houses and as luck would have it, part of husband duty was trying to find milk for wife. After passing many still closed markets, he happened upon Wal-Mart, which, just his luck, was out of milk. Hubby didn’t panic, even though he knew I would no doubt go through milk withdrawal at any moment. Being the person he is, he lost no time spinning around and heading for the soda department where he found a six-pack of IBC Root beer in the bottle. He knew without a doubt, what would make his wife happy. Now, THAT is what love is!
Ryka got excited and jumped on me.
Hubby did a pretty good job.
It was looking better until it opened back up. Now
the lines don’t match. Oh well.
It is not only the actual hurricane that causes distress in our lives; it is the personal aftermath. It is the moments in the week following the storm as you are trying to re-establish your routines. Case in point; today. Hubby was helping to fold up Ryka’s metal petcrate, which is quite heavy. I normally do this by myself, but I’ve been having problems with the arthritis in my hands so I asked for help. BIG MISTAKE!
        He kept telling me I was doing it wrong and I kept telling him I wasn’t. The crate ends fall in and then the bottom, sides, and top sort of fold down into place -kind of have to be there – like an accordion. As men will do, he told me to do it myself. He let go as I began folding and as the pieces fell into place, my pinky became caught in between two pieces of the cage. The crate was too heavy for me to lift back up with one hand and my pinky was either going to stay stuck or … -it could only stay stuck.
       So, I screamed. Yes folks, I resorted to screaming – in pain – until he figured out that he had to lift the crate to release my finger. I can’t blame him for his confusion. After all, he is not an –sighing – INTJ. I enjoy using that excuse – except for when he laughs and throws it back at me.
       I now have a black and blue pinky and it is quite sore. It is still crooked from when I fractured it and misplaced – dislocated – it during a fall. Still whopped; just a pretty shade of blue whopped now.
      Alas, but that was not the only mishap. My feet look like they have chicken pox from the many ant bites. Instead of piles in the yard, they have scattered everywhere and they are looking to hurt. I am not trying to sound paranoid, but they seem to want to hurt me. Hubby said I needed to wear my white shrimp boots -yes, I am mortified to admit I have my own pair- but then, it would just take longer to notice the ants had crawled up the boots.
       Ants are not the only little nuisances I have had the bad luck to find myself up against. Going back to trying to re-establish a routine, I went out the back door to ring the bell to alert the dogs for dinner and dang, if a wasp didn’t reach out of the bell and sting me on the same hand I hurt this morning dismantling the kennel! That bell has been hanging at our house for ten years and NEVER once has anything built a nest in it.
       And, I’m not through! As if that weren’t bad enough, Hubby wasn’t around to come to my rescue, so I had to call him on the phone so he could tell me what to do – did I mention I’m not too handy in a crisis? After lots of cold water and then cold Benadryl gel, the sting finally subsided. Now, it is just a hole in my hand. And, for the record, whoever said – and Hubby repeated – that bee stings alleviate arthritis pain in the joints – doesn’t work. Take my word on this.
       I wasn’t the only one to suffer from this mishap. Calypso ended up caught in the bee fray. I couldn’t find the wasp spray so I figured the flying insect spray would work. After all, wasps fly. I took aim and sprayed into the bell. Nothing happened. I had checked and there was a wasp in there, so I sprayed a second time. It finally fell, disoriented from its perch.
        BUT, it didn’t fall to the ground in death, it continued flapping around, so I went inside to locate a shoe. I came back out just as it took flight and landed on Calypso’s back. I am horribly chastened to admit that I popped Calypso on the back with the shoe. Poor thing did not know what was going on. She will probably need doggie therapy from the entire trauma. The little buzzard got away and I think Calypso finally realized I was not trying to hurt her. Who can tell? She is still watching me with a funny look on her face.
       Speaking of therapy, Ryka and Calypso could probably use a good doggie therapist by now. Well, knowing that under normal circumstances, their “Papa” expects them to realize that they are dogs and therefore should remain outside; they were a little confused when the kennels came out of the shed and were put into the garage.
       With tails wagging and hearts full of hope, they got excited. They were running in and out of the garage, at a loss as to what to do. As soon as the rains came, they were all too happy to come inside and ran straight for their kennels. Each time I opened the kennel doors and asked if they wanted to potty, they ran to the back door. Once I opened the door and they stepped out, they immediately turned around and went back to their kennels. Knowing that “Papa” does not let them inside, they were not taking any chances on being left outside. Those poor dogs didn’t potty for almost twenty hours!
       Then, to confuse the poor little souls even more, their “Papa” would sit out in the garage each morning and drink his coffee. He would sit in the rocker right next to them. Before Ryka and Calypso could truly understand what was going on, the hurricane passed and they were once again, banished outside.
       We ended up being without power for about five days, had uprooted trees, with another poor tree sheared and no longer looked like a tree, and shingle damage. No one is any worse for wear, but I hope that we do not have to go through that again for a few years.
       Just when you think the story is over, “Lucy” has another hurricane adventure! I had blood work done on Friday -looks like a vampire bit me. I had to show the tech where they normally stick me. She stuck me on the side of my arm. I do not like needles and that made no freaking sense to me at all. I had it done at the local hospital and then sent into New Orleans. I told Hubby, next time, New Orleans. They get loads of practice and know what they’re doing.
       I received the results a couple of days ago and my platelet count and red cell count are both continuing to rise. This brings me to Hubby’s reaction to the news.
       We were having lunch and I told Hubby about the blood results. After much contemplation, his response -and I’m still baffled- was that people -me?- need to exercise more and work out in the yard and do more things and then they wouldn’t have all these diseases. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
       But, I went out and “exercised and worked in the yard with him clearing branches” and that worked out real well. I sliced the knuckle on my thumb wide open. The blood was flowing, just like a faucet – not a dribble – running. It would not stop. Hubby had walked to the barn and was sharpening his saw. I made a detour through the house to get a towel for my finger.
       Then, I went to the barn to find him. As I walked up to him with a soaking wet red dishtowel I said, “I did something.”
       In calm Hubby fashion -he’s used to bandaging me- he pulled out the first aid kit, dumped hydrogen peroxide on it -now there was a puddle of blood and hp on the concrete- and he proceeded to wrap gauze around and around my thumb and then taped it up. So much for curing my blood disorders. I guess that will have to wait for another day. Now, he did a really fine job bandaging my thumb, but the thing is, I am allergic to anything that contains the least little bit of sticky or latex. Are you getting my drift? That’s right. The finger is all nicely bandaged and itching like crazy.
       -Sighing- it’s just another day in the life of “Me”.
       Feel free to jump in here and add your own comments. How is your day going?
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Hurricane Isaac rears his ugly head

Part 1

It is 8:14 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. The house has been shuttered as though expecting a long winter’s nap. The first wave of rain associated with Hurricane Isaac is beginning to hit the house. The last two days have literally been the calm before the storm, as it is said, as they were beautiful, warm sun filled hours in which to prepare. This morning was no exception. It began quite early for those of us in the storm’s projected path as we completed last minute preparations.

It is strange how many items you find that you can do without as you pickup and secure things in anticipation of the winds. The roadside garbage piles the last few days have been reminiscent of spring cleaning at its best.

I sit here in the darkening room as the day progresses, listening to the wind gusts and the howling of the wind as it whistles its way through the rafters of the house like a lonely ghost. Perhaps it is the silence of the shuttered house that magnifies the pump at the oil batteries across the rising bayou. It is not a sound that we normally notice, but with the silenced normal activity in anticipation of the storm, it is somehow fitting that we hear the eerie drone of the motor.

Family pets, not normally allowed inside, welcome the respite from the heat as they lie in the cool garage. They cannot even be tempted to go outside to romp and potty, afraid that the very action of venturing outside, however momentarily it will be, will end the rare allowed luxury of bedding down in their kennels.

For a while during the storm, it was as though we were cake batter in the Kitchen Aid mixer. The wind was beating against the front of the house and whipping around the corners with such velocity, that I waited, with baited breath for the house to begin spinning.

Thursday, August 30, 2012. Now, that the weather has calmed down, there is a gentle breeze accented with the occasional rain, hampering the cleanup efforts of many. The highways are beginning to come alive with traffic as people venture out to restock supplies depleted during the confinement brought on by the storm.

I was outside earlier washing down the house, removing the remnants of leaves that had become part of the exterior before they dried. Already wet, I continued my task as the rains once again came down, enjoying the chance to feel the light cleansing rain on my skin, a sign of the healing that begins after a storm has passed.

I spent time on the front porch swing with Ryka and Calypso, who were rapturous to be free once again. Calypso seemed intent on catching up with all the time she missed chasing her tail, while confined to her kennel. Ryka was content to take up the extra space on the swing, enjoying the gentle movement back and forth as the breeze ruffled her coat.

Generators are humming all around us as people charge up freezers and enjoy the comfort of fans.

We were lucky this time around. Even as the storm danced and stalled several times as it stalked the coastline, trying to make up its mind where to strike, it did not hold the punch of storms long passed. The seventh anniversary of the devastation reeked by Hurricane Katrina upon an unsuspecting coast, has passed in relatively quietness, allowing those holding their breath to exhale.

Some things never change. It’s hot after a storm.
Tree damage.
The wind.
First rains.
Tree down. Water.

Additional pictures are available on