Monthly Archives: March 2017

Victorian Reading Challenge

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I’ve found another reading challenge on Books and Chocolate but I think it originated from Becky’s Book Reviews. This one is a Victorian Reading Challenge and I like it because it offers more classics to get into. Here are the categories and rules. Below that, will be my choices for the challenge.
_ 1. A book under 200 pages
_ 2. A book over 400 pages
_ 3. A book that REALLY intimidates you
_ 4. A book you REALLY want to reread
_ 5. A new-to-you book by a FAVORITE author
_ 6. A book with illustrations
_ 7. A book that was originally published serially
_ 8. A book published between 1837-1849
_ 9. A book published between 1850-1860
_ 10. A book published between 1861-1870
_ 11. A book published between 1871-1880
_ 12. A book published between 1881-1890
_ 13. A book published between 1891-1901
_ 14. A book published between 1902-1999 with a
Victorian setting
_ 15. A book published between 2000-2017 with a
Victorian setting
_ 16. A book by Charles Dickens
_ 17. A book by Wilkie Collins
_ 18. A book by Anthony Trollope
_ 19. A book by Elizabeth Gaskell
_ 20. A book by George Eliot
_ 21. A book by a new-to-you male author
_ 22. A book by a new-to-you female author
_ 23. A book translated into English
_ 24. A fiction or nonfiction book about Queen
Victoria
_ 25. A book that has been filmed as movie,
miniseries, or television show
_ 26. A play OR a collection of short stories OR a
collection of poems
_ 27. Biography, Autobiography, or NONFICTION
book about the Victorian era
_ 28. Genre or Subgenre of your choice (mystery,
suspense, romance, gothic, adventure, western,
science fiction, fantasy)
_ 29. Book with a name as the title
_ 30. Book You’ve Started but Never Finished
_ 31. A Christian book fiction or nonfiction
_ 32. A children’s book

Rules:

Fiction or nonfiction.
Books, e-books, audio books all are
fine.
Books and movies can be reviewed
together or separately.
You can create a reading list if you
want, but it’s not a requirement
If you do make a list, consider adding a
list of five books you’d recommend to
others
If possible try to try a new-to-you
author! I know it can be really tempting
to stick with familiar favorites.
Children’s books published during these
years should not be forgotten!
Rereads are definitely allowed if you
have favorites!
A blog is not required, a review is not
required, but, if you don’t review please
consider sharing what you read in a
comment with one or two sentences of
‘reaction’ or ‘response.’
Any qualifying book reviewed in 2017
counts towards the challenge. If you’re
like me, perhaps you try to schedule
posts a week ahead of time. So if it’s
reviewed in 2017, it counts. Even if you
finished the book the last week or two of
2016!

MY PICKS:
2) Tess of the D’ Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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14) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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5) Villette by Charlotte Bronte

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19)Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

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17) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

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20) Romola by George Eliot

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National Puppy Day or, My Puppies That Are Really Cats

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I lllooovvee animals! I’m constantly watching all sorts of amazing animal documentaries and when Big Cat Week aired two weeks ago, I was in animal heaven. I’m also curious how people interact with their animals so I also enjoy shows like Too Cute and My Cat From Hell. I just love animals! So I’m excited for this week’s prompt from Mama Kat which involves puppies. March 23rd is National Puppy Day and even though I’m not a puppy owner,I do have two cats that I love.

I owned a kitten named Puma, 5 years ago and she was the first animal I ever owned. She contracted fleas from her mother and I had to give her up to my neighbor. That was a heartbreaking experience but I knew I would be an animal owner again.someday. Enter Tootie and Sanai. A relative moved in with us a winter and a half ago and she bought Tootie and Sanai with her.

I welcomed the chance to care for them because I felt like a failure with Puma. I knew I couldn’t go all out and raise them the way I wanted to because they weren’t mine,technically. But, I needed validation that I could be a good pet parent. My relative moved out almost three months later, but she didn’t have a place to lodge the cats. She entrusted them to me because she knew I had previously owned and loved a cat. I immediately set to work forming a relationship with both cats based on their individual personalities. Speaking of which:

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This is Sanai. She is 4 years old and the expression on her face sums up jer personali. She is ornery, tempermental, and snobby. She was tough to get close to and it took about 6 months for her to trust me. She hates lots of people in the areas she considers hers and has NO problem letting you know she’s uncomfortable with a sassy hiss. I have to say that although her attitude may be off putting to some, it’s endearing to me. She comes to get me out of the living room when I haven’t gone to bed by 11pm and her favorite activity(aside from sleeping) is standing guard in the kitchen waiting on a mouse to appear. Little does she know, we don’t have mice.
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This lean lady is Tootie. She is three years old and is the life of the party! Amani and her are bosom buddies who enjoy chasing each other around the house. Tootie is always looking for ways to entertain herself,which can land her in trouble. Unlike her sister, Tootie is very sweet natured and likes being held. Her lean stature allows her to run and jump to her heart’s content,much to the chagrin of her sister,Sanai.

Both cats are very dear to me and I enjoy watching them enjoy being with us. I know that my relative will be coming to get them soon,but for now they’re my girls and I love them!

Top 5 Favorite Songs As A Child

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Growing up in my household there was really only one type of music allowed in my house: gospel. On the weekends,my mom would play gospel music all day while us kids formed a singing group and sang along with the music. My mom grew up in church and her grandparents owned their own church. Attendance was mandatory. Despite the ban on other music, I would hide out in my room with my Walkman and listen to Radio Disney. Radio Disney was a kid friendly music station that played popular hits but nothing vulgar or inappropriate. I was obsessed with it. Radio Disney was my introduction to N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Also,I was the ONLY black child in my group of friends that knew what Radio Disney was. Here are my top 5 favorite songs growing up:
1) Allstar by Smashmouth-Growing up,I wasn’t very popular and this song was my “You got this girl” anthem.
Favorite lyric-
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas,I need to get myself away from this place.
I said yep,what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we can all use a little change

2) Drowning by The Backstreet Boys-This song solidified the boys as one of the greatest boy bands ever. Kevin.was.the cutest,especially after he ket his hair grow long. No,this is not up for debate.

Favorite Lyric:
Maybe I’m a drifter
Maybe not
‘Cause I have known the safety
Of falling free into your arms

I don’t need another lifeline
It’s not for me
It’s only you can save me
Oh, can’t you see?

3)The Hamsterdance by Hampton the Hamster- This song was pure fun with a “hamster” squeaking out nonsensical lyrics. Its actually a song my daughter loves now.

Favorite Lyric:
Just tap your feet
And clap your hands
Come on everybody
It’s the hamster dance!

Take some time
Do the beat
You don’t even have to move your feet
Just shake your hand, I want to see you move
Now spin around and feel the groove

4) Rain In Your Life by Tommy Ellison and The Singing Stars- This is a beautiful gospel song that taught me a valuable lesson really early in life. I couldn’t find any lyrics so here’s the song(no video):

5) Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins- Who doesn’t have a favorite Disney movie song? This one is a favorite because my youngest brother is rrreeaalllyy into Phil Collins so Im always hearing it. I think the Tarzan movie soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever!

Favorite Lyric:
Every gesture
Every move that she makes
Makes me feel like never before
Why do I have this growing need to be beside her
There are some emotions that I never knew
Some for the world far beyond this place
Beyond the trees, above the clouds
I see before me a new horizon

This was a fun post to do and thanks to Mama Kat for hosting another awesome prompt. Head on over to her blog and join the fun!

A Memorable Date

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I remember a beautiful date I went on. It was my first date with a man who reminded me of Prince with a similar swag and sex appeal. The day we met he had just threatened to beat up a fellow train rider who he felt was in his personal space. I remember catching his eye when I laughed and asking for his number.
Anyway, the date idea was his but I thought it would never happen because I had to wait about two hours for him to get off work,go home and change,and meet up with me. Strike One. We rode the A train out to Manhattan. There was a guy on the train selling some kind of drink called a nutcracker. Apparently its a mix of liquors and it sneaks up on you with its fruity taste.
We learned alot about each other and we sipped our nutcrackers…well, I sipped and he guzzled. By the time we got to our.stop, he was pretty buzzed. Strike two.

He didn’t want to tell me where we were going but I remember we had to walk quite.a distance from the train. He got confused about our direction so we had to turn around and walk even further to the mystery location. Strike three.

Just when I’m about to.pretend that I have some sort of emergency and I need to get home ASAP, we turn the corner and I see beautiful small yahts lit up like Christmas trees in what appears to be a cul de sac of sorts on the river. The water was a beautiful glistening black . In the backdrop were the mountainous skyscrapers that NYC is known for. It was breathtaking. My date knew from the look on my face, I had never been here before. “This is Battery Park ” he whispered in my ear.
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( The view of the other side of Battery Park)

Battery Park is about 25 acres and is located on the southern end of NYC, facing The New York Harbor. Along that waterfront, ferries are offered to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There are gorgeous gazebos and as I’ve witnessed personally, is at its most beautiful on a balmy summer night. If you ever visit here, I STRONGLY suggest visiting yourself.

We walked down a cobblestone pathway under the watch of a full moon. There were canopies of branches and I imagine the Secret Garden looks jist like this. It was hot that night but not uncomfortably so. We strolled pass the yahts and watched people lay out on then, some holding champagne flutes. There was some kind of party on one.and a beautiful leggy blond winked at my date. I grabbed his hand and almost pulled it out the socket doing so. He laughed as did Blondie. I hoped he didn’t see me as jealous or possessive

He pulled me in close to him and that was our first kiss. We found a fountain to sit by and we made out a little. He’s a smoker and was the first smoker I ever kissed. It wasn’t bad. We walked all around the cul de sac of yahts and found ourselves walking down a really dark path with not enough street lights to give it life. To my amazement at the end of the path was the base of a winding staircase that led up to a fabulous gazebo. The darkness hid the staircase so the gazebo appeared to float all on its own. I shrieked with glee and ran(okay walked briskly) up the stairs with the date following close behind.

The view was even more amazi fromt up there, giving the illusion that I could touch the moon.I announced to the date,that this waa the place I will marry the love of my life. He gave a nervous laugh but put his hands around my waist while we let a surprising breeze blow harbor water on us.

Unfortunately, me and the date didn’t.work out. He moved out of NYC to take a job in Michigan and whenever he did visit,he spent all his time visiting his six children and breaking dates with me. I ran into him a couple of months ago and he asked if I jad found someone to touch the moon with