In Honduras until November 8

Hi everyone!  I am currently in Honduras (even as I type) and will be back November 8th.  I have lined up several wonderful bloggers to take care of my blog this week so please stop by often and see whats happening here.  They are planning giveaways, fun posts and more I will check in as I can… internet is never a guarantee here, but if I have time I’ll pop in and say hello – I hope you will too!

Byron, me and Hido

Guest Blogger: Julie from My Own Little Corner Of The World (W/ giveaway!)

My home town of Covington, Georgia
My home town of Covington, Georgia

Hi!  I am Julie from My Own Little Corner Of The World!  I am here while Sheila is away on her mission trip to Honduras. Just trying to keep the cobwebs away from all the precious books!

While I’m here, I thought I’d introduce myself as I don’t know many of you! I am a 30 something wife and

homeschooling mother of 4. I am also a registered nurse and currently, a high school health care teacher.  (Insert your laughs here…yes my new friends, I’ve lost my mind!). In my spare time (HAHA) I enjoy reading, spending time with my wonderful family, blogging, singing, and did I mention reading?! I’ll read just about anything as long as it’s not full of graphic sex and language.  Just not a fan of that!

The courthouse of my town that is featured in Vampire Diaries
The courthouse of my town that is featured in Vampire Diaries

Even though our beloved friend is not currently here to attend to her blog, she has graciously opened up the prize box for her wonderful readers. To enter, please visit my blog My Own Little Corner of the World and leave a comment under my “I’m Cleaning Sheila’s House” post telling me what book I have won from her blog recently. If you are chosen to be the winner (I will use to determine) you will get to pick a prize from her PRIZE BOX and I’ll throw in a $10 Amazon gift certificate! The giveaway will end on November 7.

Also, because I love my friend Sheila so much for being Sheila and keeping us all entertained, she will have the choice of one book from her wish list to come to her in the mail.Thank you for letting me entertain you for a few minutes! I hope the cobwebs will stay away for awhile now and that Sheila has a safe return home. If you’re like me, you anxiously await to hear of her Honduras Adventures!!

Morning Meanderings…

It is Saturday Morning and I am leaving  Texas and on my way to Honduras.  In a few hours Julie will be here from My a big improvementOwn Little Corner Of The World to take care of things while I am in flight.  I will try to check in the mornings if I have internet access to give you morning updates – otherwise please enjoy the great bloggers who are stopping in this week to water my plants and chat with you!  🙂

Happy Halloween!!!


Word Shakers On Line Book Club: Review Of The Help by Katherine Stockett

word shakersThis is the first book review of the new Word Shakers on line book club.  I am so excited we were able to start with such a wonderful read.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

Here are the discussion question as well as comments made from different members of this group.

1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

Across the board, all participating members in this discussion agreed that the favorite was Aibileen.  Lisa from Lit and Life also thought maybe Skeeter as well as Skeeter was willing to stand up for herself no matter what the cost.

2. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?

Laurel from Laurel Rain Snow Reflections says that while Hilly was a good mom, her prejudices color her judgment. As Lisa states, Hilly is a product of her own upbringing.

3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter–and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?

Esme from Chocolates and Croissants describes Skeeter’s mom as sympathetic or possibly pathetic.  She wants what she feels is best for her daughter and in her eyes that is marriage and a good solid one at that.

4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?

Julie of My Own Little Corner Of The World says that the times in which a person lives has a lot to do with their character.  Look at todays teeenagers, theyw ould not have survived these times.  Kids were more respectful and obedient of their parents.  Laurel adds that it takes an exceptional person to move out of the mold of the world.

5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?

Sheila (me) says yes, I dislike it when a woman undersetimates her worth to any man.  I was thankful that in the end Skeeter held true to who she was.  I think even Skeeter’s mom in the end started to see that her daughter really could take care of herself.

6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?

All agreed that due to the experiences that Minny had with white people, she had no reason to trust them.

7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?

Taught!  Sheila (me) thinks that Aibileen made a good effort to teach Mae Mobley about seeing people for who they are not for the color of their skin.  Hopefully, we as the readers are left to believe that this will stick with Mae Mobley through the years.

8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?

Julie:  If I had to pick one I would say the tube of toohtpaste used to get rid of pimples as a teenager

Esme:  For me, it was just getting the routine down as a teen – from showering to make up, etc…

Laurel:  Sleeping with my head in those giant rollers!

Lisa:  Well, it used to be perms and now it is straightening my hair on a daily basis

Sheila:  Had to be the spiral perms that were all teh rage.  It would take 4 hours in the salon to wrap my hair in those long twisty rods.

9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?

Julie:  Aibileen’s character shows this in how she treats Mae Mobley…. patiently teaching.

Sheila:  Maybe because she has helped raise 17 children she has learned to see what these children are not gettingfor their parents by being torn down so she has trained herself to build them up.

10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white? Have you heard stories of parents who put away their valuable jewelry before their nanny comes? Paradoxically, they trust the person to look after their child but not their diamond rings?

Esme:  Racism does still exist today, whether it is directed at a person of color, religion, or sexual beliefs.  My favorite is when you are in a group and someone says something about a group they find out you are part of and then says, “Oh but not you…”  The nanny example is great – they are good enough to be trusted with the child, but not the diamonds.

11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?

Sheila:  Oh!  I had to read that twice to make sure I got that right….  LOL.  I cant imagine myself going that far, but Minny’s character?  Absolutely!

Laurel:  Probably not but I did get a chuckle out of it.

Lisa:  Yuck!  I was more than grossed out by the pie thing!  Nope, I would not do such a thing.

Julie:  Loved it!  I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do such a thing.  It was very creative and I loves the :gotcha” feel to it.  It made the book so much more effective for me.

12.  Would you recommend this book to a friend?

Julie:  I would – yes!  It is the best book I have read in 2009 so far.  I couldn’t put it down!

Esme: Definitely-this is a beautiful story about love, relationships, trust and life in the South in the early 60’s.  While I was not old enough during that time to remember the problems nor did I live in the South I think the book has given an accurate description of how life was for blacks and whites.  It describes the frustration of blacks, due to segregation, their hope they must have had in MLK and Kennedy and their aspiration for their children.  For the women of the novel, their roles were very defined.  To be a good mother and wife.  You have women in the book that supposedly had a higher education yet they were content not to graduate and keep a nice home.  Their beliefs in segregation were those that were defined for them by their society.  They were quick to adopt these beliefs and not question them.

Lisa:  I have already recommended this book to a lot of people.  I think it is a wonderful look at a time and place.

Laurel:  Yes!  It was a book that spotlighted a time that I remember well, I did not (nor do I now) live in the South, I was part of the civil rights movement in the 60’s.

Sheila:  Oh yeah!  I have never read anything like this before and I really enjoyed it.  This book is a keeper for me and I highly recommend it!

You can see members of the Word Shakers On Line Book Clubs Personal reviews on this book here:

Lit and Life

Laurel Raine Snow Reflections

Chocolate and Croissants

My Own Little Corner Of The World

One Persons Journey Through A World of Books

Watch for the next Word Shakers book choice to be posted soon!  All are welcome to join!  See how here!

Have you read The Help?  We would love for you to join in this discussion.  What are your thoughts on any of the questions above?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

If you could only read one more book for the rest of the year – this is the book to read.  ~  Sheila

The HelpSynopsis

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

My Thoughts:

I love a book that makes you feel, and that is exactly what I found in the pages of  The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  The book spoke out with the voices of the maids, “the help”, of Jackson Mississippi.  It is 1962 and I quickly found myself enjoying those voices as Aibileen speaks in words such as “Law, that child’s legs so spindly she done  look like she grow them last week.

From the white folk who either were upper class, or liked to pretend they were, to the maids filled with opinions that some like Aibileen keep to themselves and others like Minny(who by description is anything but Minny) who cant help but speak their mind and wind up being fired time and again.  Or Skeeter, a person who sees things that others do not… sees clearly right from wrong.  These characters are colorful, delightful, and I could easily picture the white women playing bridge as Aibileen waits on them hearing their conversations.

And this book did make me feel.  I felt anger over how some of the help was treated.  I laughed out loud when once again, Minny’s hot head got the best of her – and yet wept for her when she went home with uncertainties that she may be beat again by her husband.

I never like to give away too much of a book in the review yet I have to share this part with you.  Towards the end of the read there is a moment when Aibileen and Minny are discussing lines.  Those invisible lines that we draw in our minds.  That line that we dont cross when we think someone is better than us or if we feel they are beneath us.  I loved that.

I hope I can be a person who always lives without lines.  I can’t encourage you enough to pick this book up and read it.  I am forever changed by doing so.

This book was purchased by me from Amazon

I would rate this book PG

Stay tuned to read what the Word Shakers On LIne Book Club are saying about this book

Morning Meanderings…

a big improvement5 hours to go and I am sitting almost like my skin in buzzing with the things I am completing.  Its all going well and currently Coffee Cup and I have just sat down to do a few blog visits while the laundry is going, the chicken is baking for one of the suppers I am leaving Al for the week, and the coffee cup is brewing a pot of Chocolate Covered Cherry blend as I ran out of my standard Folgers.

I feel good.

I stayed in bed a little later today to finish the last few pages of  The Help.  In a word?  Delicious.

Well… I have much to do.  I will be in Texas tonight (late night) we should get to or hotel anout 11 pm.  If not totally wiped I will pop in (I am attempting to bring lap top with me but not sure I will be able to use it in Honduras where we are staying or not.  They have a computer there but internet connection can be iffy.  We will see…

Couple more posts yet today and of course the sticky post to tell you all the exciting things that are going to go on for the next 8 days!

Author Chat: Sarah Lindberg

author chatSarah is a friend who I used to work with and I was there when she was working on her first book, Life’s Compass For Eternal Treasure.  I even was able to be one of her proof readers as she self published this book and that was pretty exciting!

Since that first book, Sarah was married and moved away from Minnesota to Florida where she now lives happily with her husband Paul.  She has written a  second book, His Hope For Your Destiny and is currently working on her third.  I had the opportunity in July of this year to interview Sarah here and she graciously offered her books for a giveaway.

This past weekend Sarah was in town for her sisters wedding and she and I were able to connect over coffee and catch up on what was new with her and about this third book that those who have followed her incredible writing style are waiting anxiously for.

Me and Sarah Lindberg

Ahhh!  Sarah it seems like forever since we have been able to connect!  I am excited to hear about the next book!

Sarah: Well, I am still working on it.  This one is coming along a bit slower than the first two.

What do you mean by coming along slower?

Sarah: In the first two books I was speaking directly about scriptures that were on my heart and I felt as though God just lead me through the writing.  In this book, I am coming in with a different approach and since this book is more in depth in different ways, I have to do more research.

So what is this book going to be about?

Sarah: This book is going to be about how thoughts and especially the negative thoughts that are verbalized around us can be taken in to ourselves almost like a toxin or poison.  This book is going to be how to keep true to God’s word, and to learn through His word how to snap off those dead branches, dead relationships even that are unhealthy for us to keep us growing in the right direction towards Him.  I am basing this book off of Philippians 4: 4 – 8, mainly on pure thoughts.  We have to train our thinking process, almost prune our thoughts.

Wow – that sounds really interesting!  Do you have a title yet?

Sarah: The title usually does not come to me until the book is finished.

Any time frame we can be looking at for this book to be available?

Sarah: The research is very interesting and I am still working on that part.  I am hopeful that it can be in print by late 2010.

Well I look forward to it!  Thanks Sarah as always for hanging out here at One Persons;s Journey Through A World Of Books with me.  Its always fun to hear what you are up to and I look forward to having you back to review and discuss your book!

Sarah’s Website