Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011 – Snow Line

I got up this morning and noticed that it had snowed in the “higher elevations.”  I haven’t aclue how much higher they are compared to us.  All I am sure of is that they are on the other side of the lake, and I am extremely grateful to be snowless.  Here’s what I find kind of cool.  (No pun intended).  I’ve heard weathermen talk about snow lines in their forecast but I’ve never seen one until today.

It’s like an invisible barrier went up and forced all the snow to fall just behind the houses.  Or maybe Switzerland employs snow boarder patrol people like the US kind of sort of does on the Mexican border.   However, it’s obvious the snow patrol is much more effective at directing where the snow can go.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011 – Caffeine and Sugar High

Really is there any better way to bring the month of December to a close?  I didn’t think so, although that isn’t really my excuse for the breakfast of champions: Peanut M&M’s (aka Peanut M und M’s) and Iced Tea interspersed with an occasional Coca-Cola. 

Like clockwork last night, or should I say this morning I woke up at 2am and could not fall back asleep.  I finally gave up at 3 when I was annoying myself.  It’s bad when you annoy yourself, what’s next a full blown self-argument?  Who would win?  So I found myself up at 3am watching Lost Girl on internet, all the while knowing I would have to be up by 7am and working by 8am to upgrade a clients’ production database during their off hours.  I finally went back to bed at 4am and of course Murphy joined the party this morning when I woke up and it was 8am.  Opps.  A quick run to the grocery store for food and yes, caffeine, I was at my desk and working by 8:45.  Hey it was still 3am at the client site so no harm no foul.

I just finished the upgrade and documenting the process, now I desperately need some tylonol and a coke, because my official day is just beginning.  Oye

I’m going to make this a good day for myself.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011 - Night Terror On a Plane

All you movie exec’s out there, the title is mine.  Sure it sounds like “Snakes On A Plane” but the plausibility factor of snakes on a plane is so much lower.  Then again, I did read about the guy who tried to smuggle 247 rare snakes onto a plane in his luggage.  That’s beside the point.  So Monday evening we flew out of JFK and made our way back to Zurich.  Just a quick shout out, I like traveling American Airlines, then again we have been fortunate that we are usually in an exit row or we get upgraded.  Those two things go a long way to making an airline nice to fly.  That and typically the flight crew is very nice.  So as I was saying; we flew back Monday evening and I even managed to fall asleep a couple of times.   The thing is, I rarely fall completely asleep on a plane, which means I’m hovering near the Night Terror stage of sleep.  For those of you who care, that would be the deepest stage of sleep before entering a REM sleep.  So there I am apparently sleeping, because I don’t know I’m the one sleeping, when something brushes my arm.  Yes I “know” that this had to be another human being brushing past me, but my subconscious thinks… well lord only knows what it was thinking.  The only thing I can be positive about is “Thank God for” (a) the many years of practice I have had subconsciously swallowing a scream.  The scream comes out more of a gasp in those instances.  I can probably credit my freshman year college roommate for that.  I hated screaming awake during nightmares and disturbing her so I got in the weird habit of sort of screaming.  Thanks Connie – it was helpful on the plane and (b) thank god for the fastened seat belts, because yes I did make a leap for it and yes they really do secure you into place.  Sometimes I think the worst part of a night terror isn’t so much the screaming and the “terror”, well and the occasionally sprinting, but trying the in-between stage of looking like I am awake and thinking I am awake, but still “seeing” whatever freaked me out in the first place and trying to figure out if what I am seeing is real, because during some of this I am waiting for my brain to catch up with the rest of me and it’s not easy figuring out if what is real.  So last but not least, thankfully L was sitting next to me because all she had to do was reach out and touch me.  That’s generally enough to anchor me, and let me know that she is real while the rest of me catches up.  Oh and it stops me from screaming.  I’m sure the other passengers on the plane would be grateful to know that.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 – I Can See

I mentioned the other day that I had an eye exam.  Well I picked up my new glasses this afternoon.  All I can say is wow, I had no idea how bad my vision had gotten.  Sure I realized that the letters on the stop signs were blurry until I was closer to them than I thought I should be.  What I hadn’t recognized was that I couldn’t read street signs anymore and that I SHOULD have been able to read them.  Then tonight I drove home and holy crap, I can read street signs and everything is crystal clear.  So very cool.  The seeing part, the glasses are kind of cool too.

The only down side, in addition to my distance glasses I need “computer” glasses.  The distance between my face and my computer screen is just far enough that I can’t see it without glasses but my distance glasses aren’t the right prescription for reading the computer and I can read without glasses.  It sounds more confusing than it is, I’m just psyched I can see clearly. 

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 – Dessert 1st

Last night we had dessert 1st night with the girls.  It’s always fun getting together with everyone.  I realized that D, C and I have been having Dessert 1st in one form or another for close to 20 years.  There are others who come and go based on availability but over the last few years it’s been another couple B&C who routinely join us.  There are two guarantees during Dessert 1st night:  Dessert (obviously) and lots of laughter.  Last night the laughter started before D and I even arrived.  I had an eye exam and of course since my eyes haven’t been dilated in 10 years the doctor threw the guilt around until I gave up.  He promised me that driving at night would not be impaired by having the pupils of my eyes pegged wide open.  I believe the doctor may have fibbed just a bit although the halo affects I was seeing in all the street and headlights was interesting it was also distracting.  It was also obvious that my need for a new pair of distance glasses was even more obvious.   Just imagine, D and I are in the little red convertible and I’m doing my best imitation of a little old lady with her face mashed up against the windshield trying to read the street signs looking for the turn off.  After the second wrong turn/u-turn we lucked out and spotted the correct road.  D pointed out that we might have been better off letting her drive and risking the possibility of a crash due to a seizure versus my desperate search for Braille street signs.  Oh and any town planners out there, placing the street signs 20 feet high on a telephone pole only complicates matters.  Once we arrived at C & B’s home I accidently set off the car alarm.  Thank god they live in the boonies so we didn’t disturb the neighbors.

I will say a very good time was had by all, and it was wonderful to see everyone.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 – No News Is Good News

Doctor’s seem to live by the adage that no news is good news and as a general rule of thumb it works for me.  If I go in for my routine exam and the doc runs the routine tests and everything is normal I’m good with not hearing from you until it’s time for my next appointment.

Here’s where things get tricky and what I recently discovered (yesterday) does not work for me. If one of those tests comes back with “mildly abnormal results” finding a letter in the mail that states:

 “Your test came back showing some mildly abnormal changes.  When this happens we check for X and that test result came back negative.  This is a good thing.  No treatment is necessary, but we need you to schedule a follow up test.”

I mean seriously, I read the letter.  I saw the word mildly and yet the word “mildly” did not make me feel better.  Of course this is combined with the slight mix of aggravation that I found out via a LETTER in the first place.  A letter dated a month ago… sent to my home in Connecticut.  When if the Doc or anyone in the office took a moment to read the chart they would know I temporarily live in SWITZERLAND and that they could CALL me on a local number.  Needless to say I was a little perturbed last night when I found the letter, and this morning when I woke up at 4am still thinking about it.  In fact it was only after I started this blog that I started to feel better about the entire thing.  It forced me to read the letter a few more times and that’s when I realized that the letter really would have been better worded as follows:

Dear CAB:

We have some Good News and Some Bad News:  The Good News: You don’t have X the Bad News: Your test results were a little hinky and want to do a follow up test in 6 months to keep an eye on things.


 Alrighty then, now that I am feeling better and will be calling the doc to schedule a follow up in response to said hinky test results.  Y’all have a nice day now.  I plan on having a nice day as well.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011 – Solstice Run

I may not always be the 1st to admit it, but I will eventually admit that I was wrong.  Today, I got up at 6:00 to meet my friends to do a 4.5/5mile run up East Rock in honor of the Winter Solstice.  The Solstice is the 21st but this was the next best thing for us.  I thought this would be a good idea.  I’ve done the run in the past and I figured that when we travel home from Zurich, I invariably wake up at an ungodly hour because of jet lag.  This morning that hour was 4am.  Now I didn’t get out of bed at 4am, but I was awake.  Anyway, back to the run.  I swear I thought this was a good idea and I thought that I would do pretty well, although I suspected that I would not be able to make the entire loop because I have not been running consistently.

Well for the record:  This was NOT a good idea.  No, it was a bad idea, a very bad idea.

It was freaking cold this morning.  I was colder here than it was in Zurich.

The 1st ½ mile of the run I was doing ok, but then we started the 2 mile uphill portion.  Yes, the uphill to the summit is approximately 2 miles long.  This is when things took a decidedly downhill turn.  Pun intended.

After ½ a mile on the hill I had to stop and walk.  It was that or curl up into the fetal position and pray for death, but I thought that was a little extreme.  I eventually made it to the summit but not quite in time to see the sunrise.  I also have to admit that in a twisted was I had fun.  It was great to see everyone and catch up a little, but next time I’ll take a car and a cup of tea to the summit.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011 – Pre-Trip Jitters

I admit it, I’m not the most relaxed individual in the world.  Fine, I’m not even the most relaxed individual under any circumstances including anesthesia.  A few years ago when I had surgery to remove Fred from my life I made the nurse hold my hand as they put me under.  So on a scale of 1 to 10 with major surgery being a 10, getting ready for a flight the next day ranks as a 5 on the stress scale.

In the grand scheme of things you would think this would be a minor event, and once I’m actually on board the plan it becomes just that.  Unfortunately, up until that moment I become a little OCD.  I’ve never counted how many times I have to check my pocket to make sure my passport is still there, but I am sure to check at least 5 times between leaving the apartment, riding the elevator to the car and getting into the car.  Those passports they can have a mind of their own and if you give them even a little leeway they will make a break for it and leave your ass behind as if you were nothing.  No loyalty what so ever, do they even for a moment consider the less than flattering picture that they hold of you for the next 10 years?  No, it’s all about them and how quickly they can raise your blood pressure by disappearing.  They really don’t know how lucky they have it.  Look at all those wallets on chains.  They’ve been totally enslaved. 

So what’s on today’s agenda:
  • Last minute laundry
  • Charging:
    • the US cell phone
    • The Kindle
    • iPod
    • iPa
  • Measuring the dogs’ food for the week.  We give the kennel his food to avoid the  potentional stress with a change in diet on top of going to camp.
  • Packing up the laptop and any other work materials I may need.  I may be going home but work continues.
  • The final thing I need to do before walking out the door is verify that I have the key to this apartment AND that I have the key to our home in CT.  It would be less than fun to show up home and be locked out.

Have a happy weekend all.  If things go according to plan, then I will be meeting Frontrunners on New Haven bright and early Sunday morning and running to the summit of East Rock in honor of the Solstice.  One of the only days I deliberately try to get up in time to see the sunrise.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011 – Bullets

  • I found the pedi-paws grinder for the beastly boys’ nails.  It was in the couch.  Don’t ask, I have no idea how it got there.  Thank you DeeAnne
  • We fly out on Saturday back to the US for the week.  L is doing a crazy amount of traveling next week.  CT, OH, MI, CT and then back to Zurich.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.
  • The beast is going to camp
  • I am really psyched to be going home for a few days.
  • I also made several doctor appointments while I’m home, the most critical.  “The Eye Guy.”  I think I may have reached the stage of old where I need reading glasses.  I can’t read my computer screen without wearing my distance glasses.  It would appear that how far I can see is getting much closer to my face every day.
  • Maybe I’ll get some colorful frames this time around.
  • I’m also hoping that the sun makes an extended appearance while we are in CT.  It has not made much of an appearance here in Zurich for what feels like weeks.
  • N
  • Airplane Reading: The Last Warewolf by Glen Duncan, Decoded by Sara Marx, and Hell's Highway by Gerri Hill.  What?  It's an 8 hour flight I have to occupy my time somehow

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011 – Book Review – Second Nature: A Love Story by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Second Nature: A Love Story by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Product Description from Website:
“New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novels, with their riveting stories and unforgettable characters, have won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, from the author of The Deep End of the Ocean and No Time to Wave Goodbye, comes the fierce and moving tale of one woman’s fight for her identity and her life when fate holds out a second chance.

Sicily Coyne was just thirteen when her father was killed in a school fire that left her face disfigured. Twelve years later, a young surgeon, Eliza Cappadora, offers hope in the form of a revolutionary new surgery that may give Sicily back the grace and function she lost. Raised by a dynamic, tenacious aunt who taught her to lead a normal life, and engaged to a wonderful man who knew her long before the accident, Sicily rejects the offer: She knows who she is, and so do the people who love her. But when a secret surfaces that shatters Sicily’s carefully constructed world, she calls off the wedding and agrees to the radical procedure in order to begin a new life.

Her beauty restored virtually overnight, Sicily rushes toward life with open arms, seeking new experiences, adventures, and, most of all, love. But she soon discovers that her new face carries with it risks that no one could have imagined. Confronting a moral and medical crisis that quickly becomes a matter of life and death, Sicily is surrounded by experts and loving family, but the choice that will transform her future, for better or worse, is one she must make alone.”

3.5 stars out of 5

This is the first book that I have read written by Jacquelyn Mitchard.  I was in Barnes & Nobel and the cover art caught my attention.  Then because I didn’t want to lug a book back to Switzerland I downloaded the electronic version of the story.  Not having read anything of her’s before I did not realize that the Cappadora family who play a central role in this story have been key players in other storylines.  I only discovered that after finishing this story.  In hindsight I can say that not being familiar with the family did not have a negative impact on my understanding of the story or its flow.

Regardless of the title, I don’t think that I would classify this as a love story in the traditional sense; although, it could be construed that the story is a journey of self-discovery and love for the main character Sicily Coyne. 

In an overly simplistic statement: Sicily is a burn victim whose face is horribly disfigured as a child who later in life has a face transplant.  Some readers might be turned off by either of those two ideas but I have to say that the book handles the concepts beautifully.  Mitchard gives the reader a good understanding of what is going on with Sicily without crossing over the line into  horror movie graphic.  For me personally the best part of the story is seeing how Sicily comes into her own as a woman and comes to terms with her own motivations.

The only thing I was not thrilled with was the ending, which seems to be left up to the reader to determine what happens next.  Regardless I would recommend this as a good read.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 - Monday Monday

It might be difficult to contain yourselves once I share the big news.  Are you ready?  Today, I went to the COOP in Goldbach.  Now, this is not your every day COOP no this is the Home Depot of COOP’s but not as large.  Well and w/o all the helpful people.  Although I am sure that if any of the people I encountered spoke English they would be helpful, or of course if I spoke German.  Well that’s a whole other can of fish.  Ok that makes no sense but I’m running with it.  Today I went an purchased a brand spanking new vacuum.  It’s an exact replica of the one we already own but with both wheels in place and an extending arm that extends and doesn’t need to be jammed full of matchsticks to keep it from collapsing.  I was willing to deal with the random collapsing of the arm thingy but after the wheel fell off we decided that dragging that vacuum around like that might just cause damage to the apartment versus sucking up the dog hair likes it’s supposed to.  Why would I buy the exact same vacuum that only managed to survive 18 months on this 3 year voyage?  Well I figure we only have about 18 months left, so if this one kicked the bucket in that time frame it would be ok.  That and lord knows we don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on a vacuum that would be totally useless to us in the US, because returning to the US is part of the game plan.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest; does anyone know what the heck I did with the pedipaws things that I use to grind the beastly boys nails?  I’ve misplaced it.  It’s not like there are that many places to misplace the thing.  It should be in the closet, but on the not so rare occasions when I leave it out, it’s either on my desk or the coffee table.  Nada!  I’ve even looked in all the drawers and under furniture.  The boy doesn’t mind the thing.  He certainly likes it way better than the nail clipper so I can’t blame him for hiding it.  Suggestions?  Hints?  ideas of where I can look next?  The boys’ nails are WAY too long.

Well happy Monday people.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011 – Friday Chocolate & Beer

Earlier in the week L had to go to Dublin on business, so of course I asked her to bring me back something “Dublin-ish”.  Just run with it.  What did she bring me?  It’s not really that surprising:

Really is there anything better than starting a Friday with Chocolate AND Beer?  I will admit that I can’t really taste the Guinness in the chocolate, but I could never be confused with a Guinness connoisseur.  As a matter of fact, the one time I tasted a Guinness beer I didn’t really enjoy it.  On the other hand I could become a connoisseur of Guinness if they continue to mix it in with chocolate.

This weekend, L and I are going to try and go to one of the Christmas Markets and Sunday we are supposed to run in a “4K Fun Run” for Charity.

Happy Weekend!

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011 – Me, Religion and the Catholic Church

I have these periods where I spend significant portions of time trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Sure that sounds a little ridiculous considering I’m 46 years old.  The thing is, I’m trying to figure out who I want to be next and how do I get there.   Whenever I start thinking about this I almost always start to think about religion and the role it’s played in my life.  I honestly like religion, all religions.  It doesn’t mean that I believe in all religions but I enjoy learning about other people’s beliefs and I enjoy discussing the commonalities between religions.
These thoughts prompt me to ask myself the same question I have asked myself over the last 10 years.  Do I want to go back to school for PhD in Religious Studies?  If I did, what would I do with it?  I could also continue on with my degree in Information Protection and Security, but do I really want to spend that kind of effort in pursuing something I find interesting but I’m not passionate about?

This, in turn, leads to the next issue which continues to evolve: my feelings about the Catholic Church.  I stopped attending mass quite some time ago, initially because I didn’t feel any sense of community or belonging.  I felt as if it was my parents’ church.  Around the same time I was also coming to terms with my sexuality.  The short story is I’m a late bloomer.  I spent years dating men, and then not dating anyone, because obviously something was wrong with me.  I just didn’t have a clue what that was.  Then I met L and it was as if a missing piece to the puzzle finally settled into place.  It’s hard to explain but mentally, everything relaxed and my brain took a deep breath and exhaled.  Here was someone who loved me, who I was absolutely capable of loving in return.  Prior to the moment when I realized I loved L (even if I couldn’t immediately admit it) I believed I was incapable of loving someone; of feeling that kind of attraction, of feeling that kind of “rightness”.

What’s any of this have to do with my internal religious debate?  I still feel disconnected from the church, because frankly it’s hard to feel connected to a church that places so little value on women and their role in the church.  Now that gets further complicated by the fact that I’m in a same sex relationship and the church hierarchy seems to spend an inordinate amount of time and resources fighting/attempting to overturn marriage equality.  Initially that emotion manifested itself as disappointment.  Not that the efforts are surprising.  Now I find that I am angry.  I’m angry every time I read anything the church hierarchy and more recently Archbishop Dolan says about women in the church or same-sex marriage.

The following is an excerpt from today’s online NY Timesarticle:

“Archbishop Dolan sees the church’s fight against abortion and same-sex marriage as a struggle for “religious liberty” against a government and a culture that are infringing on the church’s rights. The bishops have expressed increasing exasperation as more states have legalized same-sex marriage, and the Justice Department has refused to go to bat for the Defense of Marriage Act, legislation that established the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
The bishops are struggling to reclaim the role they played in the 1980s and into the ’90s as a nationally recognized voice on the moral dimension of public policy issues like economic inequality, workers’ rights, immigration and nuclear weapons proliferation. Since then, however, they have reordered their priorities, with abortion and homosexuality eclipsing poverty and economic injustice.”

I’m not going to claim that the church is homophobic because they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.  From a religious perspective they believe this, ok I can accept that.  From my perspective Marriage Equality has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with civil/human rights.  In a strictly non-romantic perspective it’s a contract between two parties and since our government deems it fit to refer to that civil contract as a “marriage” when it is between a man and a woman from an equality perspective it should be referred to as a civil “marriage” for same sex couples as well.  You can’t have a second class of definition for the simple fact that it’s a second class. I’m not asking the church to recognize my marriage within the confines of their religious beliefs.  I am asking that they separate their religious beliefs from politics.  I am asking them to perhaps direct their substantial funds to things that can better society.  I don’t know, maybe in these tough economic times they’d like to help out the homeless, and the hungry with some of the funds they are directing towards the campaigns to overturn same-sex marriage in NY or block same-sex marriage in Maine.  I’m asking that they focus a little more attention on opening their doors for people who want to have a structured relationship with God but can’t return to their churches because their church spends an inordinate amount of time telling them that they are less than.

Really, does Bishop Dolan or any other person out there really believe that I woke up one day and thought “wow, wouldn’t it be fun to be in a homosexual.  I think I’ll choose this path because my goodness how easy and fun it will be.”  Yes, I could choose to be single, but I believe that if God had intended on me being single and alone; if he had not wanted me to experience the joy of being loved, truly loved; he would not have introduced me to L.

So now I guess I have to focus on being less angry with the church hierarchy and more focused on what I want to do about my own spirituality and relationship with God. 

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011 - Service Interruption

We are having a momentary interruption in our routinely scheduled program for a massive headache.  That cracking you hear is my head exploding.   Thank you

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011 - Book Review – Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Book Review – Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

The synopsis on the back of the cover:

Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.

In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people—even those she loves and trusts most—don’t want that to happen.

Sing You Home is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family.”

5 stars out of 5

I originally bought this book for L because she enjoys the author but what prompted me to buy it was the premise of the story itself and the fact that a main stream author wrote a story dealing with LGBT issues.

There are three main characters, Zoe, Max, and Vanessa.  The story is told from each of their perspectives but follows the main story of Zoe. 

For most of Zoe and Max’s marriage they struggle with infertility issues and trying to have a child.  Following the last miscarriage their marriage falls apart.  As Zoe pieces her life back together she finds love in an unexpected place.  Max on the other hand turns to alcohol and eventually finds religion in the form of a conservative Christian religious group.  The story follows Zoe’s desire to start a family with her new spouse, Vanessa, and the ramifications of that from the point of view of each of the main protagonists.

There are a lot of stories in the news these days involving same-sex marriage, the proponents and opponents: the effects on the “traditional” family versus the rights of individuals.  Jodi Picoult does a wonderful job of portraying both sides of the debate in a safe, engrossing story.  There are certainly characters in this book that people will not like, depending on your perspective, but I believe that the way she strikes a chord with the reader also opens the door for some interesting discussions.

I haven’t gotten a full grasp of all the thoughts that are swirling around in my head as a result of reading this story.  I know many of them were already swirling around but it’s as if some mental piece of my thoughts have broken loose and I need to get a handle on what that means.  I’m sure I’ll get to that in the near future.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011 – Weekend Update

I finally caught up on some much needed sleep this weekend.  It was that or I was going to have to make up some excuse for the dark circles under my eyes.  I considered the following:

“I got into a fight with an elderly lady in the grocery store.  I thought I was saying “Excuse me I need to get past you.”  When in fact I said “Entschuldigen Sie mich Ihnen große Kuh” which apparently means: “Excuse me you big cow”  Those Swiss have a mean right hook.

Of course the few people who know me here, would know that was a big fat lie, that yes I can say excuse me, but that’s about as far as it goes.  So sleep was the best option.

Saturday evening L and I went to her secretary’s apartment for a Raclette party.  Raclette is a cheese that gets melted and then poured over potatoes or bread.  It was just the three of us and we had a very nice time.  I may not completely fit in with the Swiss but at least I have two critical things down:  I like cheese, and I like chocolate.

Sunday I went for a short run but primarily it was a quiet relaxing day.  I started reading Jodi Picoult’s book “Sing You Home”.   I’m enjoying it, and if all goes as planned I’ll have a review in the next day or so.  Let’s see what else?  L had to head out last night for a quick trip to Dublin, but she’ll be back this evening and fortunately I slept last night with all the windows closed because I had a minor night terror that resulted in me screaming.  You’d scream too if you thought a spider that was the size of a dinner plate landed on your face.  How does that qualify as minor?  I didn’t leap out of bed, I didn’t fall on the floor, I didn’t try to run anywhere, and I was able to go right back to sleep.  See, minor.

Happy Monday!

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2, 2011 – Book Review: A Pirates Heart by Catherine Friend

A Pirates Heart by Catherine Friend
Published by: Bold Strokes Books

Summary from the Bold Strokes Website:

“Four women, a long-lost treasure, and more than one “thief of hearts” share a destiny beyond time.

To foil a map thief, librarian Emma Boyd searches for a pirate's long-lost treasure map. She’s aided in her search by investigator Randi Marx, who proves to be as frustrating as she is beautiful. The treasure map Emma and Randi seek belonged to Thomasina Farris, a pirate who disappeared from the Caribbean in 1715. Did Captain Tommy steal an entire treasure from a Spanish galleon and escape? Was she convicted of piracy and hanged by her neck? Did she die of a broken heart when she lost the woman she loved?

In her race to find the map, Emma learns that pirates not only steal treasure, but they also steal hearts. When Emma discovers Captain Tommy’s fate, she must decide her own as well, choosing between romance...or revenge.”

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m going to consider myself extremely lucky because I’ve been on a role of really enjoying the books that I have read lately.  This one falls into that category as well.

I don’t consider myself a big “pirate” story girl but the story is told from two points of view:  The reader gets to experience the story as it unfolds during Tommy Farris’s life (the Pirate Captain), and the reader gets to follow the present day story/adventure of Emma Boyd as she tracks down Captain Farris’ hidden treasure map and the person who has been stealing rare maps from libraries.  Eventually, the stories intertwine as Emma pieces more of Captain Farris’ life and eventual death together.

Once I would start reading I found it difficult to put the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  From my perspective, work gives my brain and patience enough of a daily workout so when I sit down to read a book, I want to be engaged and entertained.  I want to relax and “see” the characters come to life in my imagination.  What I don’t want is to feel like have to exert effort to get through the story.  (I’m reading three of those books right now.  Pick one up, read a bit, go to a different one.  I want to finish them I just can’t stay focused on them for long periods). “A Pirates Heart” was perfect in this regard.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011 – December… When Did That Happen?

That’s not a complaint in the least, I just don’t know where all the time went and in another couple of weeks we’ll be flying home for a visit.  It also means that we’ll be starting the whole darned tax thing over again *shudders*.  Let’s not think about that.

So last night at 9:30 our doorbell rings.  It’s our downstairs neighbor Meri and her son Alex.  Meri baked a pumpkin pie and brought it to us.  Yes, you read that correctly.  She baked a pie and wants us to try it before she bakes another one.  You might be wondering how this happened?  Well a few weeks ago she asked me if I knew how to bake a pumpkin pie so I gave her a receipe but then we couldn’t figure out where she would find canned pumpkin.  Sure she could have found an actual pumpkin and gone through the hassel of cooking it etc but that’s WAY too much work for a pumpkin pie.  In my opinion.  So one day I was in town and went into the speciality grocery store and came across a big can of Libby’s pumpkin.  I think I may have mentioned this previously, but that can of pumpkin that would have cost a maybe 2 bucks in the US cost me and arm, leg, and the promise of any 1st born children.  Expensive is an understatement and had I realized how expensive it was, I wouldn’t have purchased it as the “fun” purchase I intended.  Then the quest for finding ground ginger and nutmeg was on. After much searching Meri found those on her own.

Anyway, that can of pumpkin I gave Meri will actually make 2 pies, and I had teased Meri that we wanted a piece of the pie… not the entire pie.  So last night she showed up, left the pie with us and instructions to tell her honest opinion.  Being a virgin pumpkin pie gal, I can’t compare it to anything but I did taste it and it was good.  L is more of a pumpkin pie connoisseur and agreed that it was very good, but she has instructed me to find whipped cream so she can top it with that.

My next goal is to give ½ that pie back to Meri – we can’t eat an entire pie.  Ok we CAN eat an entire pie, but that would be bad so we really can’t.   

Just some additional randomness:

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 – Barcelona Part 2

Did I happen to mention that similar to NYC where there is a Starbucks on every corner, in Barcelona there is a Gelato Vendor every 20 feet.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it, but I’ve decided that the universal language of Europe is Gelato.  Ok maybe not a language, but it should be.  In the US L and I were working on completing the list of 20 burgers you should eat before you die.  We’ll have to pick that back up when we return.  In the meantime we have replaced that with doing a comparison of both the chocolate and gelato quality of every city/country we visit.  So far Switzerland is winning the chocolate race with Belgium running a very close second.  Italy (specifically Venice) is winning the gelato war, but we’ll continue to do our extremely scientific study.

While we were in Barcelona I screwed up my courage and had paella.  Fine, it didn’t take much courage I had the vegetarian version.  I’m not completely insane, I know full well that if I had ordered the seafood version that at least one of the fish would have come with the head intact.  (a) I don’t want my food looking at me and (b) have you ever seen a shrimp???  They are hideous looking.  Besides that I don’t really like crustaceans.  Well except for shrimp cocktail but those are definitely headless.  On the other hand L is very brave and apparently unphased by having the heads on shrimp… etc so she went for the seafood version.  I’m happy to report that we both enjoyed our meals but I did not take a picture of her’s.  Trust me, that’s just fine.

What else did we do?  We went to a couple of museums and I learned a valuable lesson: just because I enjoy some contemporary art does not mean that I will enjoy all contemporary art.  We went to the MAC BA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) and I take full responsibility for this decision.  They were having a special exhibit called “Volum!”.  Seriously, that should have been a clue but I was obviously not paying attention.  Imagine walking into the noisiest bar you have ever been in, then increase the volume about 2 fold, add newsreel and a headache into the mix.  Then call it art.  No I didn’t appreciate the installation.  There must be people out there that see the value in this type of display, but it was beyond my intellectual tastes.

I will be more careful in my future selections.

Some random pictures we took in the city:

I love this picture


I believe this is another Gaudi building.  How cool is the dragon roof...

It seems you can rent these little 3 wheeled car like things

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 - Barcelona Part 1

L and I spent a long weekend exploring Barcelona.  Here’s a quick list of the things that impressed me about the city:

(1)   The subway is pretty easy to navigate (especially if L is doing the navigation)

(2)   The city is very pedestrian friendly.  The sidewalks are large and on many of the “main” streets there is large center walkway.

(3)   There are a lot of trees and green space.  I thought Chicago had this idea down pat but Barcelona has raised it to new heights.

 In keeping with tradition.... a Pic of L and I in Barcelona:

We arrived on Thursday and because it was Thanksgiving L had a “traditional” thanksgiving dinner at the Hard Rock Café.  I on the other hand had a traditional thanksgiving burger.  As you may have guessed L said I got the better deal.

L having Dinner and watching the football game, because she said it’s not thanksgiving without football.

While we wandered around Thursday evening I spotted this giant statue/monument of a goat standing on it's hind legs.  Why they have a statue of a goat I have no idea.
L insists that it's not a goat, but that was my first reaction when I saw the statue and frankly I had to share.  Yes, I am making an appointment to have my eyes tested when we are home in December.

I have no idea who this next statue is but you would be cranky too if your head was jammed under a platter:

Friday we went to see a park that Antonio Gaudi helped to build (I believe that is a true statement) that was orginally built as homes but was later donated to the city.  It reminded me of the children's game "Candy Land"

Then we went to the Olympic Stadium and I just liked the shape of the Radio Tower

Saturday we went to see the Sagrada Família, which is the basílica that Gaudí started building in 1889.  It's approximately 60% complete and not scheduled for actually completion until 2030.  It is HUGE and beautiful.  If you go to Barcelona I would highly recommend making a stop to see it.  These are just some of the stained glass.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 – Airplane Etiquette

Many of you know that we flew to Barcelona on Thursday.  Yes, I will be telling you all about it, or at least as much I as I can remember since I am getting older my memory is not so hot.  At one point I thought to myself: “this is why I need a netbook, so I can blog about our trips as they occur”, because no I did not bring my laptop.”

Anyway, back to airplane etiquette.  We flew Swiss Air from Zurich to Barcelona.  I enjoy Swiss Air.  They are typically on-time, the flight staff is always nice, they give you a decent sandwich on the short 1.5 hour flight, and chocolate.  How can you go wrong with an airline that gives you chocolate?  That’s right you can’t. 

Where you can go wrong, is with other passengers.  Now I’m going to generalize here, but I realize that there are some significant cultural differences between Americans and Europeans and the frequency in which we bathe.  I have no doubt that there are many Europeans out there that think we may even verge on fanatical with the frequency of our showers/baths.  I know that there have been occasions where I have even showered twice in the same day.  It’s rare but it happens.  I like to shower in the morning because (a) it wakes me up and (b) I often wake with a headache and it helps relieve it.  As for the second shower, typically happens if I have been working in the yard, or have had a particularly strenuous workout and feel grimy.  No one likes to feel grimy.  Well at least not “this” someone.  Here’s the thing.  Regardless of your views on bathing I would like to respectfully suggest that if you know that you will be spending any time at all in an enclosed space with other human beings, for instance a: plane, train, automobile, heck even an elevator, that you take a shower prior to said activity.

I’m sure the man who was seated next to me on the plane was very nice but he was also extremely odorous.  At one point I considered jamming the cherry menthol cough drops I was carrying up my nose in an effort to stop the scent but I thought that might be a bit extreme and possibly ineffective.  Instead I popped one in my mouth.  If you have ever had a cherry menthol cough drop you know that they overwhelm your sinuses. After about 30 minutes, the guy next to me fell asleep and I thought that I had either gotten used to the scent or my sense of smell had been effectively deadened.  I was wrong, because he eventually woke up and moved.  It seems obvious now that movement would increase airflow and result in a new bout of noxious fumes.  There is a silver lining in all of this: this was a short flight and not one of our trips back to the US. 

So please, if you are someone who only showers once or twice a week, please, please schedule it the day you are going to be on a plane.  The other passengers would appreciate it.  Yes, your spouse “loves” the way you smell, but we can’t all be married to you.  Oh and if you think skipping the shower and going for the heavy dosage of perform/cologne will suffice.  No, really it wont.  That just adds a new layer of overwhelming scent to the mix.  Deodorant will help, but typically only after a shower or at least a quick sink bath.  It does nothing to help eliminate a scent that is already present.

Tomorrow - Barcelona

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011 - Thanksgiving

Oh I bet you think this blog is going to be a list of all the things I am thankful for, nope.  I'm bucking the trend.  In fact this blog is simply my way of saying Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate the day and to everyone else.  Happy Thursday!

L and I are heading out this morning to Barcelona, I've got the camera charged and ready to go.  The beast is all set.  Carlos is coming to the apartment and will hang out with him for the next few days.  It's an excellent opportunity for the beast to brush up on his spanish.  I'm sure he'll miss "camp".  When you get over laughing at that, I realize I'm kidding myself. 

Gotta run, have a great weekend.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011 – Workout

Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser? I’m always amazed when they contestants have their first workout and inevitably one or more people throw up.  I always end up wondering how bad do these people have to feel to actually throw up when working out.  Then I wonder, how long have they been working out before they actually throw up: is it hour 1 or hour 6 because that might make a difference.  Well today I came as close as I care to in understanding just what might make someone throw up while working out.  Although, I can’t imagine that I was really exerting that much energy.  I went for a casual 2.5 mile jog and then I met Olivia for a workout.  After a min of jumping rope and wanting to cough up I lung I was left to ponder how the heck I was able to skip rope as a kid on the playground as if it was no effort at all.  Then we moved to a series of lung like things, squats, different lung thingies, chest press, triceps, and then she broke out the flat metal flexible bar that you’re supposed to shake while raising your arms over your head and back down again.  I admit it.  It broke me.  I said a not so silent prayer to the heavens that somebody anybody rescue me.  Where’s a fire alarm when you need one?  Olivia actually heard me and asked me to explain what I had just said.  I told her I made a plea to God to make it stop.  She thought I was kidding.

Do you know what’s really sick and twisted about all of this?  I would do it all over again tomorrow… well maybe the day after… just to prove to myself that I could do better next time.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011 – Brrrrr

It’s probably wrong that I am sitting in my office contemplating putting on a snow hat.  I’m also fairly happy that my laptop is overheating a bit because it’s keeping my hands warmish.  It’s not even that cold outside.  What the heck am I going to do when winter actually arrive.  Yes, I know I’ll be wearing the snow hat indoors instead of contemplating it.

I can remember a time when I would wander around in February in a denim jacket and shorts because I was warm.  Apparently I wasted all of that warmth on youth. 

It's moments like this when I miss a microwave.  Sure I mostly used the one at home as a clock, but it came in handy when I was drinking a cup of tea and needed to reheat it.  Sometimes it's just nice to hold a hot cup in my hands.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 – Weekend Update - Art Show

Sunday L and I went to an Art Show.   I thought it was going to be a series of artists trying to sell their work.  That may actually have been the case in a few instances, but there were also galleries ore private collectors selling pieces.  I finally figured this out when we wandered by a display of painting that looked like Andy Warhol pieces.  I couldn’t imagine why someone would replicate an Andy Warhol and then try to sell it.  Really who wants a fake Cambell’s Tomato Soup can hanging on the wall.  Then I spotted the signature and realized that they were selling actual Andy Warhol pieces.

Then I thought “well hey for a mere 38,000 Euro = 51,000 USD we could own a Warhol or an extremely nice car or have a decent down payment on I don’t know… a house. Really is a painting of a soup can worth that much money?  I can buy a can of Cambell’s Tomato Soup and hang it on a wall for way less.  Plus it would be in 3D.  Ok fine, maybe I just don’t appreciate the finer things in life.  I like my soup hot, and with oyster crackers.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 - Ode To Chocolate

I believe this is the final piece of evidence that indicates that I truly have a problem.

If this just came in a tank top I would be buying it in a heartbeat:

Hello, my name is CAB and I am addicted to “almost” all things chocolate.  The almost caveat covers:
  • “White” chocolate which isn’t really chocolate a derivative of it.  Of course calling it “coco butter” doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing as “chocolate”, but hey if you like that, cool, someone has to.  Just not me.
  • “Any chocolate candies that contains liquor” has anyone ever eaten a chocolate infused with liquor that actually tasted good?
  • Along those lines: Any chocolate candies that are filled with a weird jelly like substance.  Why would someone do that?
I’m not opposed to things being mixed into chocolate.  I’m a big fan of nuts, peanut butter, nougat, toffee.  OMG Heath Bars are awesome.  Hmm, I’ve not seen anything even remotely Heath Bar-ish in Switzerland.  Oh and I am a huge fan of the Swiss and Belgian Chocolate.  What are those chocolate balls with the soft chocolate centers called?  Wow, that sentence sounds totally inappropriate when I say it out load.

Oh and when you google: Chocolate Addicts this is what comes up:

 Why would anyone go to rehab for chocolate?

So many questions so little time…

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 – Bullets

  • I went back to the COOP today and yes that is a bottle of black label Jack Daniels on the shelf and no there was not a bottle of “green label”.  (Someone asked).
  • Next week we are heading to Barcelona for a few days.  We’re taking advantage of the couple of days off I get for Thanksgiving.  L already made reservations at the Hard Rock Café for Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.  I know, the Hard Rock Café and Thanksgiving dinner just seems wrong, but L loves Thanksgiving and since we will be there she found the only place that was offering it.  So we shall go.  For me personally, Thanksgiving Dinner has to have lasagna for it to be traditional.  Needless to say this should be entertaining and I’m looking forward to it.
  • Our neighbor gave us a “Crumple Map” of Barcelona.  I think this is the coolest thing.  Yes I am easily amused.
  • I have a couple of books I want to read but I am holding off for the weekend so I can stay focused on work.
  • Yes work is kicking my butt
  • I took the time to read the grand jury report on the Penn State Sandusky, for lack of a better word, debacle.  There are not words strong enough to describe my feelings on this and the disgusting lack of action by the parties who were informed of the ongoing abuse.  Hello... why did no one call the POLICE.  Not the campus police/security.  The actual police.  I know there are all sorts of justifications being thrown around.  I also know that I can not imagine what these "witnesses" went through but I would hope that if I had been in their shoes.  I'd have at the very least called the police.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 – Package Store

In Connecticut the liquor store is also called the package store.  I have no idea why; possibly because they wrap the bottles in brown bags.  Or I don’t know maybe in years gone by they used to sell liquor and other items and packaged them all together.  I can also tell you that when I was very young we used to refer to it as “The Packie” again, there is no logical explanation other than we were young and somehow that sounded cool to us.  Of course as an adult, I can roll my eyes at the absurdity of it.

Why am I telling you this?  Well I recall when we 1st moved here wondering where someone could buy liquor, for example: Vodka.  I know that I can buy wine in the grocery store.  Even the tiny COOP in town has an aisle dedicated to all sorts of wines, but the other eluded me.  Obviously, it was not that important to me, because it’s taken 19 months for me to even remotely get a clue.  The other day I was in the COOP and I walked upstairs and was struck with a clue by 4.

Yes the giant Gordon’s Gin display was a bit of clue.  If it were not for that I doubt I would have noticed the small selection of bottles on the back wall.  I’m not the most observant.  Speaking of which, it wasn’t until I revisited this picture that I also realized I could buy a Lottery ticket here as well.

Oh and no, in case you were wondering I did not buy any Gin.  I’m more of a Jack Daniel’s and coke kind of gal.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 – Pet Peeve

This is not what I had planned on talking about today but then again, nothing ever goes quite as planned.  I like Switzerland.  I do.  Not so much that I want to live here the rest of my life but certainly enough to enjoy the time we are here.  However, and this is a big however.  I’m beyond upset at the number of people who have their dogs off leash.  Worse they are off leash and their owners are nowhere to be seen.  Fine, some people will say that the Swiss are used to having their dogs off leash and that it’s cultural.  Well goodie for them.  Do you know what’s not cultural, having a freaking dog come after me snarling and snapping.  What’s worse is having a dog come after me and my dog, who IS on leash, and the owner being shocked that their dog is being aggressive.  Ok I’ll buy that bridge the 1st time your damn dog comes after me, I might forgive you the second time because you’re too far away from the freaking dog to notice.  What I wont forgive is that your damn dog is loose, running around having a grand old time, because you decided to let it out of your nice fenced in yard to get some exercise.  I’m tired of having dogs snapping at me and Ernie.  What I really want to do is kick one of these dogs teeth in.  That’s what I want to do, but frankly I’m a little afraid of big dogs, and I’m really afraid of dogs that come up to me too quickly and snarling. 

I’ve altered where I walk with Ernie to avoid some of these encounters, but I thought that I was ok yesterday late afternoon as I walked through the park.  The aggressive dog I have only encountered their on the weekends.  Ernie and I were almost through the park when I looked down and there was a dog at my ankle.  No kidding.  She scared the crap out of me, before I recognized that she’s the nice one.  Off in the distance I could see the other one, so now I’m backing out of the park because I don’t want to turn my back to this other dog.  The last thing I need is to have it come up on me while I’m not watching.  Where are the owners?  Who the heck knows.  Probably in the house having a cup of tea.  So last night I was shook up and a little upset about this… again.

So what happens?  This morning I take the boy out for his walk.  Avoiding the park and heading to the bus stop instead.  We’re about ½ there when a small black dog comes out of its driveway and is suddenly nose to nose with Ernie and snarling.  I swear I have no idea why I don’t just let go of Ernie’s leash and let him defend himself.   Instead this little dog nips Ernie on the leg and I’ve completely lost it and I’m yelling at the damn dog to get the hell away from us.  Two things happened:  I think I stunned the dog because it stopped moving, and the owner came running.  I’m sure the owner was trying to figure out what some crazy non-German speaking woman was screaming at their dog about.  He apologized, or at least that’s what I interpreted the “Excuse Me” to mean.

Here’s what I want to know?  If I start carrying a stick am I within my Swiss rights to defend myself and my dog with it?  Yes that means that I certainly will threaten the next dog who comes at me with it, and yes that means that I might very well attempt to crack the damn dogs' head open with it if the dog doesn’t back off.  What do you suppose the dog owners reaction would be to a crazy woman wielding an axe handle over head?  Of course that assumes the owner is anywhere in sight.

I really hate stupid dog owners and I hate that I am slowly becoming more afraid of dogs.  I had outgrown that.  Stupid Switzerland.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 – Book Review: Before I Died by Sara Marx

Before I Died by Sara Marx

Published by: Bella Books

Summary on the Back of the Book:

“Laney Cavallo had a charmed life. Two wonderful kids and the love of the best woman she’d ever known—after years of unhappiness, she had it all.

Then the one evil in her life that she couldn’t shed finally did his worst: after years of blackmailing her into silence, her power-drunk ex-husband has made her silence permanent. Now she can’t warn her beloved Mara that he plans to come after her next, and that even the kids aren’t safe.

Unfinished business, undying love and the burden of her own complicity drive Laney to take action, hoping it’s not too late to save the people she loves. It would be easier if she weren’t already dead...”

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

The story has an interesting premise; it’s told from the point of a woman who has been killed by her ex-husband.  We’re introduced to her after she’s died and throughout the story we watch her come to terms with the realization that she is dead and the unraveling of the mystery of “why” she was killed.  The “why” is really fascinating more so because it takes into account how every action or decision a person makes has a ripple effect and often unanticipated consequences.  As a result, we watch as Laney attempts to correct some of these consequences from beyond the grave.

I really enjoyed this book and will have to check out her next one “Decoded”

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 – Book Review: Redemption by DeJay

Redemption by DeJay
Published by RCE Books

Summary on the Back of the Book:

“Architect, Mackenzie Taylor will tell you she's married, that love transcends eternity, and vows are meant to be honored. She builds homes through her business, helps to rebuild lives through her volunteer work at a women's crisis center and strives to build self-esteem in children with special needs as sponsor and coach of Team Bella. What she can't rebuild is her family. The deaths of her wife, Isabella and their daughter, Bella, haunt her every breath. While she attended a business meeting they were kidnapped and senselessly murdered. The guilt is all encompassing.

Emily O'Brien, a widow, and straight, arrives in town to open KK's Book Emporium. She lives in the apartment above the store where she struggles to make a new life for herself and her orphaned grandchildren.

Renee McVee's partner, Emily's daughter, was killed by a drunk driver, on the way to pick up her children from school. Renee's response to her grief is to drown her sorrows.

Redemption takes a gritty look at domestic violence and how it influences the lives of these three women and how they learn to deal with the devastating fallout. It is also a story of love, old and new. It answers the question: is it possible to love again?”

Review 4 out of 5 stars

We picked this book up while we were in P-Town for Women’s week.  Partially because it looked like it could be an interesting read; but also because it was the authors 1st published book and we wanted to be supportive, and finally because I’m always interested in finding new authors who I can read.

I was about ½ way through the book when I realized that is does not suffer from what I refer to as “1st bookitis.”  I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’re reading a book and you start saying to yourself “This has to be the authors 1st book” because it lacks a certain maturity in the writing.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad book, it just means that you know/hope the next will better.

The storytelling is redemption is complex and well written, but not confusing.  The main character Mackenzie is a shell of a person who has lost so much in her life that she’s not really living at all.  The author allows us to see Mackenzie’s pain, the process of dealing with her grief and her eventual need to start living again.

Not only would I recommend reading this book, I’ll be keeping my eye out for DeJay’s next one.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.