Bullet Journal

February Bullet Journal Cover

So – January is gone – POOF. Eleven more months until Christmas. You may smirk, but ya’ll know you’ll be pulling your Christmas decorations out within a few blinks. It’s amazing how fast time flies.

And January 2021 is over, never to return.

Only 47 months to go until Biden is gone. Assuming he leaves. Please God, MAKE HIM LEAVE.

*ahem* Anyway …

Time to move on to February, As usual, I didn’t get much done in January. My work life … it consumes me. I wish it didn’t, but it has. The big question is, how do I NOT allow it to consume me? I’m still working on that one …

Here is a glimpse of my sorry bullet journal pages this month:

I didn’t do as well with my steps this month. You can definitely tell when the weekend comes around – I barely hit 3000 steps. But whatever. I’m cool with it. However, I DO need to get back to walking and NO I didn’t get back to walking this month.

Is anyone really surprised?

I’m not doing a productivity tracker this month. One, I don’t have room because I just couldn’t make myself not use the remaining pages in my journal and two, my productivity trackers are boring. I don’t really DO anything and it’s always the same stuff. I think I’ll give it a rest this month. I like the tracker, it’s just depressing to look at it. Care to count the number of YouTube icons?

Yeah, me neither.

Self explanatory. We had three snow days and one ice day in January this year. I’m the only one who cares to remember that.

Not crazy about the mood/writing trackers – mainly because the writing side looks pathetic. Might do something different next month. I may have to break down and just draw some books as opposed to using the stencil – it depresses me that I’m not filling that up anymore. Four books this month – wow. And not wow in a good way.

The majority of my pages are journaling and of course, I don’t want to post the details – I get pretty raw and uncut in my journal but I wanted to put this in because look Ma! A quote! (Side note: that calendar sticker I bought from a little side shop and though I really like the girl, it took two months, TWO MONTHS, to get my order. Dude – come on!)

I started a book review section in my journal. I’m really digging it. It helps to look back on my impressions when I go to write my reviews. I will definitely be continuing that.

Here is this month’s best plan-with-me video, in my opinion. I think this girl needs WAY more followers. She’s so creative and imagine the patience it took to make this pop-up!

 

There is NO WAY I could ever do something like this. I’m just not creative enough and there is NO WAY I would have the patience to try this but wow, it is so fun to watch her do it! Have you ever attempted a pop-up in your journal?

random stuff

What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About You? Also, Naps are Good.

Video Summary:

1. Fetal position – comfort, safety, shy, sensitive and introverted – kind, soft hearted

2. Stomach – skydiver position – open, playful, fun loving, brash, straight forward, take risks, bold, sociable, sensitive to criticism

3. Back – sleepy soldier – strong, silent personality, disciplined, hard working, structure, take themselves seriously, perfectionist.

4. Side – the log – talkative, charming, friendly, trusting and warm, gullible and naïve

5. Back, arms overhead – starfish – amiable, mild-mannered and easy to get along with, supportive, good communication skills, loyal.

6. With leg raised – unpredictable and adventurous personality, emotional, temperamental, moody, driven, competitive and charismatic, leaders, center of attention

Me? My sleeping position is actually not mentioned here. I sleep sitting up.

I know, weird! But it’s comfortable for me and I breathe easier sleeping up. There will be nights that I will jerk awake and am STILL sitting up nearly six hours later. When that happens, I know I got some deep sleep. I also sleep on my back, (but wake myself up snoring so I don’t keep that position for long), side and with my leg raised. I NEVER sleep on my stomach, (that’s actually not a great position for your back) and rarely in the fetal position because it makes my legs sore.

 

Video Summary:

1. There are different types of nappers
A. Habitual
B. Planned
C. Emergency

2. One bad nap can throw your entire sleep cycle off

3. Naps cannot fully make up for lost night sleep

4. Naps have an ideal duration
*Experts suggest drinking caffiene before a power nap since caffiene takes approxmately 20 minutes to kick in.

5. Your body has an ideal nap time
*Best time to nap is in the middle of your wake cycle

6. Naps can improve your immune system

7. Naps have a positive impact on your memory

8. Naps – full night’s sleep for learning

9. Naps improve alertness and performance

10. Naps can lift your mood.

11. They are good for your heart
*Decrease blood pressure

12. Naps have a positive impact on your physical health

I thought the naps information was interesting. I used to take a lot of naps, not so much anymore now that I am drinking caffeine on the weekends and taking iron. (Iron has REALLY helped my fatigue). I also found it extremely interesting about drinking caffeine, then taking a nap allowing the caffeine time to kick in by the time you wake up. I’ll have to remember that.

So how about you? What is your primary sleeping position and do you take naps? Why, or why not?

Podcast

Podcast: Hospitals Overwhelmed?

This was published 11-29-20

Sorry, it’s a little blurry. We’re still learning. We are currently using three cameras so that’s why the lighting is off. There is a camera on me, a camera on Kevin and a camera on the both of us. I’m still not sure how I feel about filming our podcast but here we are, in all our flawed glory.

Please be patient as we (and by we I mean Kevin) works through camera issues. He’s getting better and better and he learns a little more each time. He is playing around with transitions and I think he taught himself how to insert pictures/graphs.

Our channel is Right From Us on YouTube. I know at some point he’s going to make an account on Rumble simply because we can’t trust YouTube to eventually find us and censor us as we’re right leaning and obviously critical of radical left wing agendas. I’ll link that account when that happens.

Anyway. I hope you enjoy two mature (ahem) people shoot the breeze about today’s politics. We are working on making our podcast more lighthearted and fun as we don’t want it to just become a bitch fest. And we’re also working really hard to challenge ourselves to think objectively and present ALL sides to an issue, not just OUR side.

Thanks for watching!

Politics

Can Congress Impeach a Private Citizen? Let’s Hope Not

Are you paying attention? Biden has been in office for one week, ONE WEEK, and he’s already signed close to 30 executive orders. Who needs congress when we have a dictator that takes things into his (her – because let’s be honest, Kamala is behind this push, too), hands? Who needs the people when we have a dictator that knows what’s best for the people? Who needs jobs when we have a dictator, and his minions, who simply tell you to “find another job?” Who wants to be energy independent when we can get our energy from foreign countries so they can blackmail us into doing what they want us to do in exchange for said energy?

Biden has “fundamentally changed” America is less than one week. On the surface, this is alarming but let’s be fair, let’s see how this is actually going to translate in the coming weeks. But I’ll be honest, this is a lot in a little time and if that doesn’t make you nervous, it should.

And this whole impeachment thing with Trump? Still? MOVE ON PEOPLE. I swear, some of these left-leaning Democrats are obsessed with Trump and they’re having a hard time letting go of him and their obsession. Newsflash – YOU WON. Let it go! That’s like winning a tennis match and then immediately jumping over the net to beat your opponent to a pulp. It’s petty and disturbing. Trump is no longer a threat to you and your radical agendas. You have a commander-in-chief who is making decisions on your behalf, isn’t that what you wanted? Isn’t it all you dreamed it would be?

Trump is a private citizen now. You can’t, and/or should not, be able to impeach a private citizen. And if our crazy left-leaning radicals pull this off, then every American should be scared because then they’ve set the precedent to come after YOU. Or anyone who disagrees with them. ME.

Senator Rand Paul gives a scorching argument against impeaching Trump. We must have rules in this country – our constitution is our rule document. We must abide by her because if we do not, then the United States is no longer a free country. And judging by Biden’s executive order frenzy? I’m beginning to think we’ve already lost a lot of that freedom.

Paul, with sound logic, rightfully called out Democrats on the unmistakable double standard of the impeachment charade.

Since when did rhetoric from politicians become ripe for unprecedented actions such as a post-presidency impeachment trial? More importantly, as Paul noted on Tuesday, “Democrats insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican that they refuse to apply to themselves.”

Arguably, the left’s campaign of harassment, intimidation and violence, as well as the progressive advancement of cancel culture, helped lead to the events of Jan. 6 as much as anything. Yet the Democratic Party has absolved itself of years of inflammatory rhetoric that has left millions of Americans feeling pushed into a corner.

In their attempts to undercut and oppose Trump, elected Democrats uttered words and took actions that defied the civility they now claim they want to restore.

But when looking at the incursion at the Capitol, their selective memory on political violence and inflammatory rhetoric shows that they are after what they’ve always been after — the destruction of Trump as a political force and the demonization of all those who supported the former president.

Those loyal supporters supported Trump even in the face of threats, violence and the potential cancelation of their livelihoods.

Democrats are playing the role of victim after years of stoking civil unrest.

The hypocrisy isn’t lost on Paul. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone else, either. Source

Annoyances

Things That Annoy Me #1

I promise you, I’m not that easily triggered. Sure. I have things that annoy me, but I do what every one else does – I deal with it.

However, when I was looking for blog posts ideas, (by the way, here is a really good list of ideas if you’re struggling), and saw pet peeves was on the list and then Googled pet peeves – wow. There are a lot of things that annoy people.

Not all of these things truly annoy me, but I thought it would be fun to tackle them, one at a time.

(Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate this little girl’s face? Ha!)

Let’s break them down, beginning with the first one on the list – Talking during a movie.

I took this one step further and expanded it to include, “interrupting me when I’m trying to focus on something.”

Yes. I get super annoyed when people start talking during a movie. The whole purpose of watching a movie is to watch the movie – you can talk later. Or if you can’t, then leave the theater, or the room, and continue your conversation away from others. That’s the polite thing to do. But I think a lot of people don’t even think of it as being rude because I believe a lot of younger people have not been taught to think outside themselves.

Kevin and I don’t watch movies anymore. In fact, we don’t watch a lot of TV. Now YouTube is a different monster, but it could be applied here. Please do not interrupt me while I’m focused on … anything. Because I’m in the zone. I’m focused. I’m concentrating. My wheels are turning and my wheels don’t turn very often – so respect the moving wheels! 🙂

I try and do this as well, especially at work. When I see my doctor is staring intently at his computer monitor, that means he’s studying an image of someone’s brain or spine and that is NOT the time to ask him a question. Let the man do his thing. Or. My nurse is in the middle of writing something down, or doing something on the computer and I have to tell her something RIGHT NOW (it’s not really an emergency but in my mind, it is), and I have to tamp down on my very important thing to tell her and say, “Let me know when you’re at a stopping point and I’ll tell you what I have to tell you.”

It’s called courtesy. It’s called respect. It’s called being polite.

Something else that annoys me is when people don’t pay attention to something said in a meeting, or their thoughts wonder during a show and to play catch up they look to me and say, “What did he/she just say? Who is that character? Why is that character doing that?”

*sigh* If you had been paying attention, you wouldn’t have missed it.

Or, when something exciting happens in a movie (back when we watched movies) and I’m all hyped up and I look over to Kevin to comment on the exciting moment or comment on the revelation, (wait a minute, now I’M talking during a movie), only to find him, slack jawed, eyes closed and softly snoring.

Rude. lol

All of this to say, respect your fellow human’s space and if he/she looks like he/she is focused and there is steam coming out of his/her ears, give it a minute before interrupting. I promise, what you have to tell that person can wait.

Unless the house is on fire, then you might want to interrupt in that case.

What say you? How annoyed do you get when someone talks to you while you’re focused?

TBR

February To-Be-Read Stack

Hello readers!

I didn’t get as much reading in January as I would have liked, but four books is on course for my 55 book goal this year, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed. It’s nothing like the eight books a month average I had last year, but if you couldn’t tell, I’ve been blogging more and that definitely takes more of my time and I want to devote more of time to writing so I shouldn’t be as disappointed in myself.

(I feel like I just talked myself into a corner there).

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review on Goodreads – I’ve come to trust the reviews of Goodreads readers. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Moving on, here is my February TBR stack:

  1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  2. The Arrangement by Miranda Rijks
  3. The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne
  4. Elsewhere by Dean Koontz
  5. The Professor by Robert Bailey

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy from NetGalley)

Happy Reading!
Podcast

Podcast: Where Do You Fall on the Oppression Matrix? Marxism For Everyone!

Antiracism comes to the heartland – Marxism is knocking on our back doors and our teachers are being forced to find where they are on the “oppression matrix.” Our world has gone truly mad. Also, why is everyone so obsessed with skin color? What happened to the content of our character? This obsession will not promote unity. This week’s book review is “Trust No One” by Debra Webb. (Which perfectly describes our political environment right now). As always, I end the podcast with some story ideas, along with a prompt for romance, horror and mystery.
Relationships

How to Deal With Selfish People

We all know selfish people.

We’re all selfish to some degree. The trick is to know when it’s healthy and when it’s not.

I’m selfish with my time. I know this and accept this. I think the biggest reason I’m selfish with my time is because most of the time, my time is not my own. Meaning, I work 40+ hours per week and when I’m working, I’m doing things FOR other people. I’m taking care of other people’s needs, answering other people’s questions, listening to other people talk about their lives.

And that’s okay. It comes with the territory. And people interest me, so I can deal and accept that.

Not many people ask me questions about my life. Most of the time, I listen to other people and honestly, I’m okay with that. I don’t really feel that comfortable talking about myself. Not that I’m ashamed of me or my family, I don’t know, I just don’t think I’m that interesting. Again, I say that not in a self-depreciating way but because, honestly, it’s true. When I’m not at work, I keep to myself. I read and write, a lot. I’m okay with my own company. I need alone time to recharge my social batteries. No. I REQUIRE alone time to reset.

Though I guess you could say that blogging about me, my thoughts, is selfish.

I always cringe whenever I read articles or watch videos about “self care,” because I hear self care but think selfish. I shouldn’t think that way, but I do. I think self care is a buzzword nowadays and I think some people go overboard with self care.

Okay – yes, take care of yourself, but when you’re too focused on taking care of yourself, doesn’t that cross the line into selfishness?

Being selfish means there’s a desire to take from others, often to their detriment. However, selfcare is about replenishing your resources without depleting someone else’s. Selfcare is a means of restoring your own energy, which promotes healthy physical and emotional well-being.

I’m a very empathetic person. I try and put myself in other people’s shoes. What must it be like to live their life? Why do they feel the way they do? Why are they acting like that? Where did that attitude come from? Though I like to try and figure out what is behind a person’s attitude, I also have zero patience for people who use excuses for the way they behave. For example – I’m in an abusive relationship. My parents never showed me they loved me. I have depression and anxiety. Etc.

It might be the REASON you’re acting the way you are but it should NEVER be an excuse to treat other people with anything less that respect. Unfortunately, those are issues you’re going to have to address and move past.

For example: I work with a gal who is not nice. She’s mean to co-workers and patients. In fact, patients have complained about her. She has a very Eeyore attitude and she doesn’t even try to be diplomatic or kind – in short, she’s just a bitch. Her reason is she has depression and anxiety and though we’ve never talked about it, it’s common knowledge . She has a standing “date” with her therapist every other week because we, as MA’s, have to decide who is going to cover her while she’s gone.  And okay. I don’t fault her for that and I’m glad she’s seeking help, it means she recognizes she has a problem and she’s actively working on it. However, I feel like others excuse her behavior. “Oh now, so-and-so has anxiety. She’s on medication.” Again, okay. I get that. I get that she has to work harder to reign her nastiness in and I’m sure it’s really hard for her, furthermore, she’s actively working on it, good for her. However, that is NO excuse to treat her co-workers, who only want to help her, like garbage. I think part of this girl’s problem is, she doesn’t recognize when she’s acting like that way because there have been times I’ve gotten so annoyed with her bitchiness I’ve looked at her and said, “What’s with the ‘tude? Are you upset with me?” In which she will reply, “oh, not at all” and suddenly her attitude changes.

I actively avoid her. I have no desire to get to know her or be around all of that negativity. I’m not the only one. Which is sad, really, because I think that conscious decision to not be around her only serves to reinforce her opinion about herself.

At any rate, I have zero patience for selfish people and I have no problem getting away from selfish people. Because ultimately, I don’t care enough to deal with them. But I realize that not everyone is as lucky – they have people in their lives that for whatever reasons, they can’t get away from.

How do you know if someone in your life is selfish?

Here are 14 signs of selfish people from Hack Spirit:


Selfish people are very good manipulators

A manipulative person refers to someone who seeks to control people and circumstances just to achieve what they want. They might use emotional blackmail. Selfish people are skilled manipulators by instinct and a control freak at heart.

Selfish people are uncaring toward others

For example, if you open up your emotions to them, they may try to manipulate you to get what they want or make you feel guilty.

Selfish people plot and scheme against you

Abigail Brenner M.D. wrote on Psychology Today, “Manipulative people are really not interested in you except as a vehicle to allow them to gain control so that you become an unwilling participant in their plans.”

Selfish people are conceited and self-centered

The way selfish people think is that they want to be put first. However, they are not satisfied with being the priority. They also want to put you down.

Ever met someone who insists that everything they say is of relevance and everything that you say is not? That is a classic example of a selfish person.

Selfish people find sharing and giving difficult

Maybe you know of a selfish person but you have some doubts because that someone shows a caring side.

Let me tell you this, it’s all fake. Caring, sharing, and giving are not an easy thing for them to do and those actions will show through in this situation.

For one, they will want something in exchange. Maybe they want everyone to know about it so that they are praised for it.

If you are in this situation, just let their gesture of goodwill go unnoticed and don’t praise them for it.

Selfish people put their own goals ahead of other people

Because of their way of thinking, they expect other people to do things for them. When you see that this is happening, do not let them have what they want.

It’s all about control, so do not give it to them.

Selfish people do not show weakness or vulnerability

Selfish or narcissistic people are scared to show weakness. They think that by helping other people, he or she is demonstrating weakness or internal insecurity.

Selfish people don’t accept constructive criticism

People who are selfish cannot and will not accept constructive criticism. Their huge egos just can’t process that constructive criticism is for their own good.

They only think that you are attempting to devalue their work and their potential. This situation will always end up with the selfish person defending themselves.

Indeed, it is very difficult for them to realize that they are wrong.

Selfish people believe they deserve everything

Being selfish is not only characterized with self-centeredness but also with false sense of entitlement.

For example, they expect to be continuously rewarded even without doing anything. The reason? They just deserve everything and they’re perfect.

Selfish people do not listen to those who do not agree with them

When you say something to a selfish person, even if it’s constructive, will be taken against you. They will think that you are their enemy and you do not deserve their respect or attention.

Selfish people criticize others behind their backs

Selfish people prefer easy judgment and nothing is easier than judging behind a person’s back.

Selfish people exaggerate their achievements

One of the most notorious deficiencies of selfish people is their lack of humility.

Humility, considered as a precious human virtue, is needed for us to grow as people and as social beings in our environment.

But selfish people, having huge egos, will always look for ways to stand out and exaggerate their achievements.

Selfish people are scared of public failure

Selfish people cannot bring themselves to think of their failure. When they fail, either they run from the situation or blame others.

However, when other people fail is another story. They don’t think twice about giving out severe criticism when others fail

Selfish people dominate others

Do you know someone who calls you up whenever he or she feels like it? Or asks you to meet them at their whims and fancies?

This is one characteristic of a selfish person – they wrap you around their fingers and it’s pretty hard to break loose. Victims of selfish people end up losing confidence.


Okay – so we’ve identified selfish people. Now, how do you handle selfish people? This is from Power of Positivity:


Silence is golden

Someone has just said something terribly selfish. Let their words hang in the air as you gaze at them in silence for a few, long, seconds. Pausing like this gives the selfish person a chance to hear their words again and process how you might have taken their meaning in a negative way.

That is not what is best for me.

This statement may sound selfish, but it reflects your assessment of what the selfish person has asked for, and it sets a boundary that you do not want them to cross.

It sounds like you want _______. Is that right?

I like this one. Because it takes the selfish person’s words and turns it back on them. It clarifies their request and forces them to realize what they want, and/or how they are going about getting what they want, is selfish.

I would like a turn to speak when you are done.

A selfish person can monopolize the conversation and unless you make your expectations clear, you might not be able to speak your mind.

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t word it quite so nicely, personally.

Let’s see if we can find a compromise.

Because life is compromising. Period.

Can you see that what you want is not in my best interests?

This approach is an attempt to get the selfish person to see your point of view. It might not work, but it doesn’t hurt to ask them to TRY to see things from your perspective.

That doesn’t work for me. How about _____ instead?

You’ve made it clear that you do not accept what the selfish person wants and you have stated your preference. What happens next is up to the selfish person’s ability to change their mindset.

Let’s talk about what’s best for both of us.

Again, trying to gain the cooperation of the selfish person will benefit both of you. Researchers studying selfishness found that when there was a choice between a purely selfish result and a result that would benefit the group, a brief discussion before making the choice resulted in people choosing the option that benefitted the group 100% of the time.


I think my favorite comeback is to just say nothing and stare at them. Then, when the silence stretches out for so long it becomes uncomfortable, look at them with a deadpan expression, and call them out. “You do realize that’s a pretty selfish perspective, right?”

But then again, I’m not always a nice person … so take that with a grain of salt.

Here’s a really good video on how to identify if you’re with a selfish, or toxic, person.

 

I hope this was helpful. People are complex and people are flawed. The challenge is to determine whether we should keep these people in our lives and/or not to lose ourselves in the process.

Book Corner

Book Review: Trust No One

Buy the book on Amazon

A double homicide and a missing woman lead a detective to unearth disturbing secrets in this gripping thriller from USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb.

It’s the worst possible time for Detective Kerri Devlin to be involved in an all-consuming double-homicide case. She’s locked in a bitter struggle with her ex-husband and teenage daughter, and her reckless new partner is anything but trustworthy.

Still, she has a job to do: there’s a killer at large, and a pregnant woman has gone missing. Once Devlin and her partner get to work, they quickly unearth secrets involving Birmingham’s most esteemed citizens. Each new layer of the investigation brings Devlin closer to the killer and the missing woman, who starts looking more like a suspect than a victim.

But just as answers come into view, the case twists, expands, and slithers into Devlin’s personal life. There’s a much more sinister game at work, one she doesn’t even know she’s playing—and she must unravel the truth once and for all to stop the killer before she loses everything.

 

 

 

The title says it all. I remember thinking this very thing when I was reading it – wow, I have no idea who the murderer is, all of the characters are shady and hiding a secret. It really could be anyone.

So Kerri, our main protagonist, is a detective who is married to her job. This obsession forced her self-centered husband away and he had an affair. Kerri found out about it and divorced him. Kerri has a 13-year old daughter who is bitter about the divorce and seeks her father’s love and attention, only dad is busy with his new family to pay her much attention. As a result, the daughter lashes out and causes Kerri grief and anxiety which only adds to her difficult job.

I was glad the author didn’t spend much time on this dynamic. I feel like she spent just enough time to give the reader a glimpse into her history thereby giving the reader a chance to get to know Kerri outside her job. It served to show the reader that Kerri was human after all and that she has to do what so many of us do on a daily basis – deal with home struggles while maintaining our professional lives as well.

Falco, her new partner, is a mystery. He’s portrayed as a bad boy who was undercover for a while and his experiences while he was undercover somewhat “broke” him. Kerri is “saddled” with him and she’s not sure how to feel about him, she certainly doesn’t trust him. I liked the dynamic between Kerri and Falco – sparks didn’t immediately fly. Instead, they seem to be slowly building a relationship, a professional relationship, though by the end of the book, Kerri is starting to trust him and she’s allowing a few of her defenses down so that it’s implied that something more for the two of them could potentially be coming down the road. I do wish Webb had written Falco a bit more brash. I liked the mysterious aspect of him but he’s almost too nice too soon. Though it was nice to see her partnered with someone who had her back, I wish he had been a bit more rough around the edges thereby giving Kerri an opportunity to smooth those edges.

I really enjoyed the mysterious bitchy Cross character. I hope she makes more appearances in future stories. I liked that Falco uses her as a resource to help them solve the mysteries (because there is more than one, more on that later), and how he keeps saying “he owes her.” I would like to see Cross cash in those favors in future stories perhaps placing Falco in a difficult moral dilemma later. I would actually liked to see a story about Cross – why is she the way she is? What sort of experiences made her into this character that we see now? Ms. Webb, if you’re reading this … *smile*

And speaking of characters, there were A LOT of characters in this story. Almost too many and I confess, I got lost a few times. I had to pause and think, “now who is this again?” However, I do feel like each character played a role and I didn’t feel like Webb was inserting characters willy-nilly just to muddy the waters. Though I was frustrated by the sheer amount of characters, I will say that Webb did a nice job of interweaving all of these characters later in the story and by the end, their functions were all justified and I could forgive that aspect of the story. She introduced a lot of characters because there were several threads to this story: the main murder of Abbott and his mother-in-law, Sela’s past, discovering Sela had a sister and wondering what happened to her sister, Sela’s mother’s mysterious illness, Amelia’s disappearance, Kerri’s best friend’s affair and Kerri’s sister’s husband’s secrets. All of these seemingly unconnected issues were actually all connected in various ways and I appreciated the way Webb kept me guessing and masterfully made all of these mysteries come together in the end. That’s mainly the reason I bumped my rating from four stars to five stars because I could appreciate the complexity of the story and I admired the way she brought all of these storylines together in the end. Bravo. That couldn’t have been easy to do.

I also liked the way Webb put Sela’s perspective into the story as well. You know she’s heavily involved in the murder of her husband and mother but you’re just not sure what role she played in the murders. I thought that added a richness to the story and definitely gave the reader a peek at Sela’s motivation behind the events. Sela ends up being a master manipulator and very clever and I would like to see Kerri cross paths with Sela again in future stories – perhaps Sela becomes a master criminal as predicted by her college professor. *cough-hint-cough*.

The plot moved forward slowly and I was as frustrated by Kerri’s lack of progress as she was. However, with that said, I also appreciated the fact that every time Kerri made progress with the mystery, it only served to raise more questions. It was a frustrating process but also piqued my interest. I confess, I had no idea who the murderer was and by the time it was revealed it made sense on a level that I didn’t see coming. Again, bravo.

As the mystery is slowly solved, the answers become more personal for Kerri. Quite a few characters, close to Kerri, are actually heavily involved in the mystery and I appreciated that personal aspect. It made solving the mystery that much more important for Kerri, and the reader. I felt invested in Kerri’s journey.

The ending was very satisfying and the key characters deserved what they got.

Let’s address a few one-star comments on Goodreads:

Abandoned! First the narration of the audio book was awful – whiny, everyone sounds the same and she sounds like a whiny teenager. Then the story: bunch of rich, entitled a-holes for the most part, the lead character who is undecided about most everything in her life (how could she get to be a lead detective?) and most everyone else unlikeable. I tried for 9 chapters and then sent the book back for refund. Not recommended for anyone.

This is why I don’t listen to audio books. First of all, I get too distracted and lose my place whenever I listen to a book. I want to give the book my full attention and when I’m doing something else while listening to a book, I can’t and that frustrates me. Kudos to those of you that can do that, I can’t, apparently. Secondly, I don’t want whomever is reading the book to sway my opinion as this commenter states. She couldn’t get past the voice of the narrator and that automatically puts the story in a negative category for her – which is unfair to the story. She mentions she can’t get past the rich a-holes in the story. Fine. To each his own. But that’s precisely why I liked the story – because rich powerful people get away with crap the rest of us poor saps would never get away with. Unfortunately, these types of people exist today (Politicians) and it’s so satisfying when these rich a-holes get what they deserve. Unfortunately, these types of characters DO exist – why exclude them from stories?

I will say, I do agree with the commenter on how Kerri seems undecided about most everything in her life. I got that vibe too and I too wondered how she got a reputation for such being such an outstanding detective when it seemed she was anything but confident most of the time.

The other one-star reviews basically complained of the story being too slow and I can’t say I disagree with those observation. But overall, I really liked how Webb starts with one mystery and by the end of the book, Kerri and Falco end solving a 15-year old mystery as well as bringing rich, powerful a-holes to justice.

Work Stuff

Welcome to My Work Office

Happy Friday!

Today, in the office, my office, not the TV show, I am furiously calling patients to prepare them for Monday’s clinic, making sure charts are compiled and ready for my doctor on Monday, returning phone calls and working flags (messages) from various sources from the week. I’d like to say Fridays are our quiet day, but alas, they haven’t been lately. I don’t know if that’s because people are freaked out because our office will be closed for two days and OMG, I NEED TO CALL MY NEUROSURGEON’S OFFICE, or if it’s just a coincidence, but I can assure you, there is no sitting around waiting for the phones to ring.

Actually, we don’t have a dedicated person answering our phones. We don’t have a receptionist whose sole job is to wait for patients to call. I wish we did. We do have a secretary, and she does answer our calls on clinic days, but we share her with another doctor so we only really get to use her on clinic days, off clinic days, it’s up to me. Patients don’t understand that. And I don’t blame them, that’s just the way our office is set up. The MA’s do the bulk of phone work. We triage the calls and the nurse returns calls she needs to, post op questions, medication questions, surgery questions, I do the rest.

Anyway. I thought you might be interested in where I hang out 40 + hours per week. I purposefully stayed late one night when everyone left so I could take this video. I had to film it several times because I would come across patient information and of course, we can’t have patient information displayed anywhere. I apologize for the quick turns but I was nervous someone would see me and it wasn’t so much I was filming that made me nervous but my “explanation.”

“Um, oh, hi. Yeah. I’m just filming for my blog.” *embarrassed smile*

Just feels weird.

Thanks for watching!