27th Feb2012

MapMyFITNESS Quaker Challenge {In the Gym}

by Daenel
MapMyFITNESS

My “Wake~Up Call” Photo

As many of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know, I’ve been struggling with my weight for years. Actually, struggling is really not an accurate description… I see pictures and I think I really need to do something. I do something for a week or so then it rains or I catch a cold or the kids are home or whatever stupid excuse I have pops up and I stop working out and I gain the weight back. I’ve even been enlisted as the weight loss “encourager” for my church group and, while I can encourage others, I fail when it comes to pushing myself forward. Do what I say and not what I do
Then I read this post by Kristi at live and love out loud and I was encouraged by her honesty. She posted her “wake~up call photo”, brave lady. Kristi’s a beautiful woman with an incredibly lovely family and I understand her desire to get fit and healthy not just to look better but to feel better. So I’m going to take the same challenge that Kristi took ~ MapMyFITNESS Quaker Challenge.

MapMyFITNESSMy goal is to workout 15 times between now and 28 March. I can do this. I will do this. If When I complete the challenge, not only will I be healthier but I’ll be in the running for a $750 prize. Woo hoo! You can take the challenge too, just click here to sign up and don’t forget to leave a comment below telling me that you’ve entered ~ let’s support and encourage each other!

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any compensation for this post.

Off
26th Feb2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

by Daenel

Today was crazy! I was getting out of the car at church and I heard a riiiip. Yep, my whole backside was exposed because I ripped my skirt. I mumbled a quick explanation to the minister and went back home. Fortunately, I was in the parking lot when it happened, but still… It was hard to make graceful exit without mooning everyone.

1. Crossed

Crossed

The back of a wrought iron chair on the front porch where the hubs and I like to sit and enjoy evening coffees.

2. A Glimpse

Glimpse

Miss 15, the only family member who will let me photograph her. Like her mother, she enjoys the attention.

3. Handwritten

Handwritten

From the archives. And, yep, that really is my handwriting. My father was an artist and he taught me how to write. For him, writing was art not just a means of expressing ideas.

4. Bliss

Coffee Mug

From the archives. I think it’s been well established that nothing says bliss to me like a hot cup of coffee in one of my favorite mugs.

5. Gray

Gray

Once upon a time, I was into shiny sparkly glittery things so I bought this sequined tank top. I’ve worn it once. But I keep it because, well, I’m still into shiny sparkly glittery things.

I’m linking up with Ashley at Ramblings and Photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Here are the “rules” if you’d like to join in:

  1. Take a photo of each prompt {if you have to dig into your archives, it’s OK but the pictures should be relatively new}
  2. Link to the URL of the blog post, not your main blog
  3. Grab the button
  4. Visit some of the other participants and leave some comment love

Next week’s prompts are:

  1. Routine
  2. Music
  3. Technology
  4. Show Me Your Style
  5. Mismatch

 Have a great week!

25th Feb2012

Saturday at the Water Front

by Daenel

This has been one beautiful weekend. The weather was gorgeous. So gorgeous, in fact, that I conned talked the hubs into driving me down to the Water Front so I could take some pictures.

I needed a landscape picture for 52 Weeks: 2012 Edition, so I pointed my camera at the Mississippi River and started shooting…

Mississippi River

Isn’t it beautiful? Sometimes I like to go down there during the day and just sit and watch the water. It’s a nice way to just sit back and relax, ya know?

Bricks

Someone on the Water Front is pretty artistic, they took the time to paint those bricks and then discarded them on the side of the street. I wonder what they were for?

Buildings Along the Water Front

See those buildings? When I was a kid I had a lot of dreams, one was to be a reporter and the other was to live in a loft apartment with exposed brick on the interior. If my kids were out of the house, I’d beg the hubs to rent a spot for us here. I know they look run down, but they’re part of the historic revitalization project so it has a lot of potential.

What’s your dream home? Is it a cottage on the beach? A farm out in the country? Leave a comment telling me where you’d like to live.

24th Feb2012

Calm {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

by Daenel

Calm {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

A verse from one of my mother’s favorite songs. When I was little she used to sing it all the time.  How can you not find calm in the midst of such beautiful words?

Calm {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

When I’m in need of peace and quiet, I often grab my camera and go to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Center. Just walking in the woods, listening to the whisper of the wind helps me to center.

Calm {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

And at the end of the night, when everyone is snuggled in their beds, I cozy up on the sofa with a book and a cup of green tea.

I’m linking up with Alicia of Project Alicia,  Faith of Sweet Violet, Kristi of live and love…out loud and Rebecca of Bumbles and Light  for a 4 week photography challenge that celebrates the poetic beauty of winter. If you’d like to participate, here are a few details:

  • Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level, time commitment or photographic tools
  • Make sure you link to your blog post and not your homepage {linky remains open from 9 AM Friday ~ 9 AM Thursday CST}
  • Don’t forget to grab the badge
  • Each Friday there’ll be discounts, freebies, tutorials and other fun photography related tidbits
  • Visit other participants and leave some comment love

The themes for the challenge are:

  1. 3 February ~ Solitude
  2. 10 February ~ Warmth
  3. 17 February ~ Passion
  4. 24 February ~ Calm

You can also join the fun on Flickr and Pinterest

23rd Feb2012

Randomness {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

Has this week flown by or what? I’m trying to remember what I could have done to make it go by so quickly but, yeah, I got nothing. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and time flies…

Self Portrait

I’m finally starting to branch out and get a little more creative with my self portraits. It’s nice to do more than take pictures of my face. Thank you, Creators of Photoshop.

Buttons

Do you see all those buttons? Aren’t they pretty? I originally bought them to use as accessories on scarves that I crochet but I’ve stopped crocheting so now I have a ton of buttons just sitting in a drawer. I’m not sure whether I should start crocheting again or find a hobby that uses buttons.

Garlic and Chive Pita Chips

I discovered these Garlic and Chive Pita Chips at one of the local discount stores and oh my gosh these are my new Kryptonite. I seriously cannot stop eating them which, of course, leads to a whole nother set of issues that I really don’t feel like dealing with right now.

I’m linking up with Deb from Deb Duty Photography for This or That Thursday.

22nd Feb2012

He Keeps Me in Peace {Word Filled Wednesday}

by Daenel

Flowers with Psalms {Word Filled Wednesday}
This past week and a half has been a tough one for me emotionally and spiritually. My sleep has been more fitful than usual and my waking hours have barely passed without me shedding more than a few tears. I’ve sent up the myriad questions to God about everything. Well, you know, he doesn’t have to answer to me but what he did do was provide me with the comfort that comes from knowing that no matter what I’m never alone and if I’ll just trust in him, I can lie down and sleep in peace.

I’m linking up with:

21st Feb2012

The Darkest Child: A Novel by Delores Phillips {Book Review}

by Daenel

The Darkest Child by Delores PhillipsBOOK DESCRIPTION {FROM THE BOOK}

Rozelle Quinn is so fair~skinned that she can pass for white. Yet everyone in her small Georgia town knows. Rozelle’s ten children {by ten different daddies} are mostly light too. They sleep on the floor in her drafty, rickety three~room shack and live in fear of her moods and temper. But they are all vital to her. They occupy the only world she rules and controls. They multiply her power in an otherwise cruel and uncaring universe.

Rozelle favors her light~skinned kids, but insists that they all love and obey her unquestioningly. Tangy Mae, thirteen, is her brightest but darkest~complected child. Tangy wants desperately to continue her education. Shockingly, the highest court in the land has just ruled that Negroes may go to school with whites. Her mother, however, has other plans.

Rozelle wants her daughter to work, cleaning houses for whites, like she does, and accompany her to the “Farmhouse,” where Rozelle earns extra money bedding men. Tangy Mae, she’s decided, is of age.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Delores Phillips was born in Bartow County, Georgia in 1950. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a BA in English and works as a nurse at a state psychiatric hospital. Her work has appeared in Jean’s Journal, Black Times and The Crisis.

This is her first novel.

MY OPINION

This book is quite possibly one of the most disturbing books I’ve read. And that’s why I gave it 4 stars. Any book that grab and twist my emotions is a winner. I wanted to stop reading it ~ the abuse scenes were cringe worthy. Not just the physical aspects, but the mental aspects… a part of me just kept asking myself if there are really kids who are living under these conditions and I know there are which made this story all the more compelling.

Tangy and her siblings are sympathetically written. They have hopes and dreams, the need to be loved… All of this despite everything that their mother did to them. I like that the end of the book was open ended, instead of wrapped in a neat little package. Phillips debut novel is definitely an emotional journey not for the faint of heart.

I would recommend this novel for book discussion groups because of the varied topics: race relations, child abuse, color issues within the black community, poverty and education. Just be prepared to put the book down and walk away for a few minutes.

FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 99

Our mother stood at that rickety, old table, kneading guilt that she would later bake and feed to us in bite~size pieces. And I was determined to swallow mine without gagging or choking, although guilt has a stringy texture, like strands of hair in a bowl of Cream of Wheat.

LEAST FAVORITE SENTENCE(S) (This is actually one of the saddest sentences)

Page 272

Night after night the men came, and the gentle ones were the worst, for they assumed they could coax life into a girl who died each night before they even touched her.

RATING
★★★★

20th Feb2012

Breaking Curfew {Nails to the Yeah}

by Daenel

Breaking Curfew {Nails to the Yeah}When I was growing up, I was the family rebel. My only purpose in life was to exasperate my mother, shock my father and thrill my sisters. Some would say I suffered from “Middle Child Syndrome” ~ you know, stuck in the middle, always fighting for parental attention. Whatevs… I had fun.

Our curfew was “12:30, no later than quarter to 1.” Even after I grew up, joined the Army and had a child. My mother was serious, no excuses. Ever. One weekend, while visiting her, I decided to go out with some friends and I left my infant daughter with her. Thinking I was grown {I was 20 with a child and had been living on my own for almost 2 years}, I returned to her house at  a little after 1 AM and she was sitting up waiting for me. Lemme tell ya, there’s nothing worse than coming home to a dark house, entering and finding out that your momma is sitting up waiting for you to walk in… As soon as I closed the door, she flipped on the light, gave me the rules of her house and took back my house key. It’s been over 18 years and I still do not have a key to my mother’s house.

Nowadays, my rebellious streak is limited to my nail polish choices. I prefer dark vampy colors to the sweetly docile pastels. And, right now, my new fave is “Breaking Curfew” by L’Oreal. From the grounding worthy name to the deep velvety purple with the oh~so~subtle hint of red, everything is perfect about this color.

What’s your favorite nail color?

Nails to the YeahI’m linking up with Sheena at Sophistishe for Nails to the Yeah. She’s also running a contest at her blog, so head on over there and check it out.

I found out about Nails to the Yeah from my friend, Mama Violet, at Windy City Mama. If you’re in to thrifting or want to learn more about thrift store shopping, be sure to visit her blog.

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any compensation for this post, I just think this color is crazy cool.

19th Feb2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

by Daenel

Happy Sunday! I hope y’all had a great weekend. Mine was pretty nice. I spent it relaxing with my family. I honestly can’t think of too much else I’d rather do.

Are we ready for this week’s finds? Well, here they are…

1. Love

Love

This one is from the archives. They’ve been married for over twenty some years. That’s a lot of love ’cause, whew, I’m almost at 17 and there are times when… Let me just leave it at that… LOL

2. Duplicated

Duplicated

A picture from one of my walks through the Cape Girardeau Conservation Center. If you’d like to see more pictures, click here.

3. Trend or Trending

Monkey

At 8 PM Saturday night “#10randomthings” was trending on Twitter. So I’m sharing something random about myself. I love monkeys. Like seriously love monkeys. Wanna know why? Click here. Also feel free to follow me on Twitter, I’m @DaenelT. By the way, that’s a clock that I photoshopped my face on to because, well, photoshop is fun!

4. Paper

Paper

A card that I bought for someone’s wedding but never sent out. 

5. Plastic

Plastic

My mouse. Butterflies and gold, what could be more girly?

I’m linking up with Ashley at Ramblings and Photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Here are the “rules” if you’d like to join in:Scavenger Hunt Sunday

  1. Take a photo of each prompt {if you have to dig into your archives, it’s OK but the pictures should be relatively new}
  2. Link to the URL of the blog post, not your main blog
  3. Grab the button
  4. Visit some of the other participants and leave some comment love

Next week’s prompts are:

1. Crossed

2. A Glimpse

3. Handwritten

4. Bliss

5. Gray

Prompts for next week are courtesy of Brooke from my real. every day. life.

17th Feb2012

Passion {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

by Daenel

I think it goes without saying that I’m passionate about my faith and my family…
Passion {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

So I decided to share something else that I’m passionate about that many of you may not know. It’s Natural Hair. I’m in the process of transitioning from relaxed {also known as chemically straightened hair} to natural hair. I don’t talk about it because it just is… Although I think some day I may write something about the love~hate relationship that Black women have with their hair.

I’m also passionate about my morning coffee… And having the light hit me the way that it did with a steaming cup of coffee in hand… What could be better?

I’m linking up with Alicia of Project Alicia,  Faith of Sweet Violet, Kristi of live and love…out loud and Rebecca of Bumbles and Light  for a 4 week photography challenge that celebrates the poetic beauty of winter. If you’d like to participate, here are a few details:

Poetic Winter Photography Challenge

  • Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level, time commitment or photographic tools
  • Make sure you link to your blog post and not your homepage {linky remains open from 9 AM Friday ~ 9 AM Thursday CST}
  • Don’t forget to grab the badge
  • Each Friday there’ll be discounts, freebies, tutorials and other fun photography related tidbits
  • Visit other participants and leave some comment love

The themes for the challenge are:

  1. 3 February ~ Solitude
  2. 10 February ~ Warmth
  3. 17 February ~ Passion
  4. 24 February ~ Calm

You can also join the fun on Flickr and Pinterest

16th Feb2012

A Photography Tip {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

Coffee

Today’s photo tip {as if I’m a professional or something} is to watch your background. I was playing with using natural light and absolutely love the halo that was produced from the bright sun pouring through the windows. But… Do you see the vase of flowers that has sprung from the top of my head? Yeah, totally should have moved that out of the way before taking the picture.

Coffee IIIn the second picture, I switched locations because I wanted to try to get that aura again and see what would happen if I just shifted slightly. I kinda like the side light too. I also think that the background is still a little wonky but I think the picture looks a little more natural. What do you think?

Coffee IIIThe last picture is clearly the best as far as background goes but I still love the lighting in the first shot. So the moral of the story is GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME! But it was fun experimenting with location and lighting.

Also did you notice the cup of coffee? I really needed it today. Well, truth be told, I need it every day but today if I could get an IV hook up I totally would.

How big of a part does background play in your photography? 

I’m linking up with Deb from Deb Duty Photography for This or That Thursday. If you’d like to participate, here are the rules:This or That Thursday

  • Submit the URL of your blog post, not your blog
  • Link up to a photo that was taken by you
  • Include a link back to Deb’s blog post {either a text link or the button}
  • Visit a few other blogs and leave some comment love

14th Feb2012

The Greatest Valentine’s Day Gift {Word Filled Wednesday}

by Daenel

John 3 16 For God so loved the world

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 {KJV}

I’m linking up with:

Word Filled Wednesday

Woven by Words

 

 

 

 

 

Living Well WednesdaysWordless Wordful Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, my prayer is that you will accept this most precious gift…

13th Feb2012

Steaks, Charity and Valentine’s Day {Monday Mingle}

by Daenel

Monday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, here are the rules:Monday Mingle

  1. Simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions
  2. Hit up the linky
  3. Grab the badge
  4. Leave some comment love for your fellow participants

This week’s questions are:

1. If you could have a free dinner at any restaurant, which restaurant would you choose?

Outback Steak House. The hubs absolutely loves that place. So we’d definitely end up there. He can give a whole lecture on the cuts of meat, why which piece is more expensive, etc. I’m like “Dude, it’s steak.”

2. You are given $50,000 to donate to your favorite charity. Which charity would you choose and why?

I wouldn’t donate the money to a charity. I’d find families who are in need and give them assistance. I’d rather help out that way than to have the families only get 25% or 35% and the rest go to overhead.

3. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

The hubs and I are not big Valentine’s Day people. We’d rather just buy stuff for each other as we find it. 

12th Feb2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

by Daenel

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you had a pleasant weekend. I spent mine in bed, courtesy of my daughter and her cootie passing. But I’m on the mend and thought doing a little photo hunting might help get the blood pumping.

So here they are, my finds for this week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday:

1. Facial Feature

Facial Feature

This is from my archives. I’m sick, there’s no way I’m posting any of my dripping dropping facial features and no one in my family would pose for me.

2. Shadow

Shadow

I took this in front of my house after we returned from church. Maaaan, I just love how long my legs look. 

3. Spicy

Spicy

Crushed red peppers. I use it in just about everything. 

4. Gold

Gold

A glass perfume bottle that one of my previous bosses bought for me during one of his trips to Egypt.

5. Fabric

Fabric

Many years ago, I used to collect Barbies. This is one of my three Byron Lars Barbies. I treasure them because of the rich looking fabrics and exotic color schemes that Lars used.

I’m linking up with Ashley at Ramblings and Photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Here are the “rules” if you’d like to join in:Scavenger Hunt Sunday

  1. Take a photo of each prompt {if you have to dig into your archives, it’s OK but the pictures should be relatively new}
  2. Link to the URL of the blog post, not your main blog
  3. Grab the button
  4. Visit some of the other participants and leave some comment love

Next week’s prompts are:

  1. Love
  2. Duplicated
  3. Trend or Trending
  4. Paper
  5. Plastic

How was your weekend?

10th Feb2012

Warmth {Poetic Winter Photography Challenge}

by Daenel

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE HERE, PLEASE JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK!

Coffee

A steaming cup of coffee…

Coffee Hands

Warms my freezing cold hands
{Edited using “Caramel” texture from The CoffeeShop Blog}

It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston

February is Black History Month, so I’ll be trying to share quotes from famous African Americans to go along with my photographs for the challenge. Ohhh, look a little history lesson to go with the pretty pictures

I’m linking up with Alicia of Project Alicia,  Faith of Sweet Violet, Kristi of live and love…out loud and Rebecca of Bumbles and Light  for a 4 week photography challenge that celebrates the poetic beauty of winter. If you’d like to participate, here are a few details:

Poetic Winter Photography Challenge

  • Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level, time commitment or photographic tools
  • Make sure you link to your blog post and not your homepage {linky remains open from 9 AM Friday ~ 9 AM Thursday CST}
  • Don’t forget to grab the badge
  • Each Friday there’ll be discounts, freebies, tutorials and other fun photography related tidbits
  • Visit other participants and leave some comment love

The themes for the challenge are:

  1. 3 February ~ Solitude
  2. 10 February ~ Warmth
  3. 17 February ~ Passion
  4. 24 February ~ Calm

You can also join the fun on Flickr and Pinterest

10th Feb2012

Use Clipix to Organize Your Life

by Daenel

I’m an organizer. A catergorizer. A putter~in~its~placer. A librarian. I like for things to have their own spot.

I create “To Be Read” lists. Lots of them. I read a blog post or see a book review and think I have to read that book, so I scribble the information onto a scrap a paper and forget about it. I needed to be able to create and maintain my “To Be Read” lists in a way that they wouldn’t get lost or forgotten about before the pen was put down. That’s where Clipix comes in.

Clipix is an online tool that allows me to quickly and easily organize information. All you have to do is go to clipix, create an account using your Facebook, Twitter or email accounts and then add the “Clip” tool to your toolbar. Don’t believe it’s that easy? Just watch the video…

I use clipix to maintain my “To Be Read” list because I got tired of having to scroll through my blog or find one of a thousand pieces of papers that held my list. As I read the books, I move them over to the “Books I’ve read” list. Cool, huh?

My Clipix Clip Boards

You can make your boards private or share them with others by making them public (you can even share them across various social media platforms). Your boards can also be used collaboratively by synching them with other users. And, if you have an iPhone, there’s an app! You can also follow Clipix on Twitter or like them on Facebook to learn all sorts of tips and tricks.

Please do me a favor, go to clipix and look around, then come back here and tell me how you’d use Clipix to organize your life.

Promoted Post
Visit Sponsor's Site

10th Feb2012

iPortrait {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

by Daenel

iPortrait {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

This has been a slow week for me. Photographically, speaking that is. I suspect I burned out my creative little brain cells on Tuesday trying to figure out how to make an iPortrait. Gosh, have you seen those things? They are really cool. Mine came out a little wonky but it made me giggle, so I kept it.

Have you created an iPortrait? How’d you do it?

I’m linking up with Misty and Kim for Shoot. Edit. Submit. If you’d like to join in, the “rules” are simple:Shoot. Edit. Submit.

  1. The photo must be taken this week {Saturday~Friday}
  2. Only one entry per person
  3. Must have the “Shoot. Edit. Submit.” button or text link to back to this week’s post to qualify
  4. Link only to the blog post and not your main blog URL

And make sure you visit some of the other participants and leave some comment love.

09th Feb2012

Against the Wall {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

The Wall

This week I hit a brick wall creatively. All the photography memes have fallen to the wayside. And I have nothing left to say. I don’t know if it’s seasonal melancholy. What happened to the springlike weather I was bragging about just last week? Or if I just need to put the camera down and walk away from my blog for a week or two but I’m drawing a blank.

Have you ever had a moment when your brain was absolutely positively blank? How did you get your creative juices flowing again?

I’m linking up with Deb from Deb Duty Photography for This or That Thursday. If you’d like to participate, here are the rules:

  • This or That ThursdaySubmit the URL of your blog post, not your blog
  • Link up to a photo that was taken by you
  • Include a link back to Deb’s blog post {either a text link or the button}
  • Visit a few other blogs and leave some comment love

I’m also linking up with Shauna at Mist and Lilies for the One in Thirty Photography Challenge.

If you’d like to join in, here are the rules:One in Thirty

  • Try to get a different setting for each shot, for each day.
  • Try to use Photoshop to warp the expressions on your prop (Shaunna posts examples here and tutorials here).
  • Submit your shots on Sunday in February only.
  • Add the button to your post.
  • Feel free to incorporate your prop shops if you participate in Ashley Sisk’s Scavenger Hunt Sundays.
  • Visit other challenge participants and leave them some comment love

09th Feb2012

The Weird Sisters: A Novel By Eleanor Brown {Book Review}

by Daenel


Book Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor BrownBOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK)

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father ~ a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse ~ named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters each have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast~living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eleanor Brown’s writing has been published in anthologies, magazines and journals. She has an M.A. in literature and lives in Colorado with her partner, J.C. Hutchins, a writer.

MY OPINION

I. Loved. This. Book. At the end. That’s how I know I’ve read a good book, the end comes and I think Wow, that was worth the effort and, trust me, parts of this book were an effort to get through. Shakespeare, anyone? I admit to being a little put off by all the quotes Gosh, I avoided reading Shakespeare in high school and college so I don’t really want to read him in my novels but as I got deeper into the story, I realized the quotes were integral to the story and a dominant feature of the family culture. And, truth be told, my sisters and I have a habit of quoting lines from two particularly bad 80s romance movies, so who am I to talk?

The girls were interesting and believable. The way the fell into roles prescribed to them by their namesakes and their parents’ benign neglect, was a revelation in the sense that it made me question myself and how I interact with my own family. Each of the sisters reacted to given situations in ways that the family expected them to act, even though they considered acting in a totally opposite way. I thought about my own family, relatives expect me to say and do certain things, so I do them even though I don’t necessarily feel or think that way. So, I wonder, are we conditioned to remain in our roles or can we ever really break free?

One of the things I found most interesting was the voice Brown used for writing this novel. Rather than writing from one person’s point of view, she wrote from all three sisters’ points of view, melding them into one. In the end, I felt like I was seeing the world through all three women’s eyes and experiencing it with one heart.

This book would make a great read book club read, there are so many themes to explore: familial ties, birth order theories, the impact of illness on family members, escaping our pasts, confronting our futures, etc.

For the next month, I’ll be discussing The Weird Sisters with The BlogHer Book Club. Please feel free to join the conversation.

FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 184

Sisters keep secrets.

Because sisters’ secrets are swords.

LEAST FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 327

Is this what we’d become? We’d inherited our father’s genius to squander it on food service and academic peripateticism and librarianship?

RATING
★★★★

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

08th Feb2012

Discovering My Family History

by Daenel
My Family

One of the only pictures of us with my aunt, grandmother and father

Yesterday I discovered the names of my great grandparents on my dad’s side. This may not seem like a big deal but to me it is. We grew up in a fractured family. Not unlike most American kids. My parents divorced when my twin sister and I were roughly 8 or 9 and my younger sister 6 or 7. My mother remarried and we moved to Italy. My twin sister never saw my birth father again and my younger sister didn’t see him until she was in her late twenties. I didn’t see him again for nearly 14 years and, by then, I was so wrapped up in my own little family that I had very little interest in delving into my family’s past. I wanted to rebuild my relationship with my father and introduce him to his grandchildren.

But, on some level, I’ve always wanted to know who we were… I think every black person who has ever read or watched Roots has questioned their lineage. But we’ve also understood the difficulty in tracing our family trees. Honestly, most of them probably begin and end on some plantation somewhere with nothing more than a first name and no other identifying information.

Sometimes, though, it is in those places that we least expect that we find a shred of information. My dad died suddenly in 2008, leaving me so devastated that I took all of his memorabilia, boxed it up and stowed it away until yesterday.

Dad and His Daughters

Shontel, Jacquie, Dad and Me

I sat on the floor, opened the box and cried as I hadn’t since the day I received the call telling me that he was gone. There were notes from my dad’s friends and family. Cards that I’d tucked away to read when I was able. Then there was the Guest Book from the funeral…

Mid~way into the book is a section where someone had written our family tree, all the way back to my great~grandparents. I sat there, tracing their names with my fingers:

  • Samuel Fitzgerald and Wynona {Babson} Fitzgerald parents of  Martha Fitzgerald, my grandmother
  • Henry Vaughn and Mary {Bayley} Vaughn parents of Seth Henry Vaughn, my grandfather

My plan is to continue researching my family {both sides} and to tell their stories.

Have you researched your family history?

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