Hello!

Hi there! I am new to this so bear with me. This blog is going to be about some of the things I love: motorcycles, books and crocheting. I was encouraged to start a blog by a friend because I love books! I have a few authors I follow (more on that later) and I tend to Yammer on incessantly when the opportunity arises. I also have a love for riding my motorcycle; yes, I drive my own bike which is a Harley named Aengus. Then there is crocheting, it’s mostly about the yarn and the things people can do with it. These things are my escapes, if you will, from the everyday sometimes humdrum chaos of life.

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2018 Happy New Year!

I am running behind with my posts, but a few should be coming weekly. But let me fill you in on what’s been going on in my world.

The holiday season always starts with my mother in-laws birthday and then mine follows a week later in November, then BAM we are in full swing with Thanksgiving and Christmas events.

During this time, we were also preparing for our son’s wedding in early January. How lucky are we to not only welcome into our family a new member of the inner circle but we are also anticipating our daughter’s wedding in March bringing in another to our circle.

But next up is the birthdays of my son (the new Mr.), daughter (the soon to be Mrs.) And my husband; they are all basically a week apart too!

I did want to take a minute and give a huge shout out to my Hubs (aka The Caveman) because without him all this, that i am so blessed to have wouldn’t be possible without him. Love you my Sweets!

BB&Y Book Review: By LA

Book review of the Book Thief 10/29/17. By author Markus Zusak. The Book Thief is formatted differently than anything else I have ever read. It is poetic and very descriptive. The passages are so descriptive that you see in great detail what you are reading about. It is said to be a book for young adults: however, I would recommend an understanding of history and the tragedy of the Holocaust before reading this book. Death is a narrator in this book of historical fiction. Its main character is a young girl who is very real and lovable as are many of the characters in this book. I would recommend this book for all ages.

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

The Shack

The Shack

By Wm. Paul Young

• Published in 2007

• 248 pages

 

 

Synopsis:
     Mack’s daughter Missy was kidnapped and killed; they never found her body. This story is told from Mack’s perspective and deals with “The great sadness” as he calls it. Almost 4 years goes by and he gets a strange note that draws him back to the place they think Missy was killed. The note was signed by “Papa” which is a nick name his wife uses for God. He makes the trip and in a weekend, he learns a lot about himself and God.

 “Mackenzie, it’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. – Papa”

My thoughts:
     I read a review that totally blasted the author because they thought this book was to preachy. First, you need to know this is a work of fiction NOT non-fiction. I certainly don’t think it was preachy, however some of the conversations between Mack and God did go in circles and got a bit confusing. But I could follow the meaning and context of the conversation because I saw the movie before I read the book. Of course, the book gives you more details.

     Overall, I think this is a terrific book and I would recommend it.
At the back of the book you see information about “The Missy Project” which come to find out has nothing to do with the book. The author encourages readers to buy and share the book to help “The Missy Project”, going back to the review I read; this nugget totally incensed this reviewer which I really don’t understand. I hope you get a chance to read the story; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

whoever fights monsters

Whoever Fights Monsters

By Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman

 

 

• Published in 1992
• 256 pages

Synopsis:
     This book encompasses the 25 plus year career of Robert Ressler (Co-Author) as a criminal profiler who developed a knack for figuring out serial killers; to put it simply. Mr. Ressler became curious as a 9-year-old about crimes around his home town of Chicago; his father worked for the newspaper. He goes on to a lengthy career with the Military and the FBI; profiling and gathering information about what made serial killers tick. He and his colleges interviewed some of the scariest men you have ever heard about.

     These men seemingly without much prompting told Ressler about their childhoods, their dark fantasies and their crimes. He and his colleges gathered this information and went through the process of analyzing it for details that made them helpful when Law Enforcement had trouble solving these types of crimes and in doing so they aided these agencies by helping them see what they might have been missing so that they could catch the criminal. Ressler was credited for coining the phrase “Serial Killer” along with becoming a professor at Quantico and extensively traveling the world teaching how to see into a serial killer’s mind.

My thoughts:
     When I started reading this book I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The first chapter totally sucked me in as I realized that what he describes as going on in the 1960’s, is going on now in 2017; a bit spooky actually. You may have often heard the phrase “History repeats itself” and this was evident to me in this chapter.

     Ressler has made it clear that he did a lot of things and met and spoke with a lot of people and at times gets a bit high and mighty; but I urge you to try to look past some of this. He gives a lot of credit to other people that helped along the way. He gives what I am assuming is full disclosure of the crimes committed by some seriously disturbed people; so, proceed with caution.

     One of the things that struck me about this book is “How did this line of work affect his family?” I have often talked with military wives that just learn to deal (or not) with their spouses being gone for extended periods of time, but to deal with that plus this gruesome stuff? Being a wife of someone who worked in a similar environment, it drove me nuts that he would not share his day or thoughts about his day with me; I get it but it also alienates your family. I also realize its for good reason which puts everyone in a tough spot and adds to the stress of it all.

On continuing to read this book I literally had to alternate this dark stuff with lighter stuff because I found myself getting pretty creeped out. At the end of the Acknowledgments there is this Quote:

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
By Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

     I thought I understood what it was saying but when I finished it, the thought still hung around “How did this affect him?”. No wonder we are hearing more and more that our first responders are committing suicide or have succumbed to the pressure of being on the job; this environment really takes its toll on people.

     The other thing that Ressler points out is teachers and school systems are not really capable or cannot adequately deal with children that come from seriously dysfunctional families. In Chapter 4 he discusses his work compiling the life histories of the serial killers, many of which are of average or above average intelligence. That means delving into the environment that they were brought up in, but he cautions that obviously not everyone that comes from a seriously dysfunctional family grows into a serial killer but it’s more about a combination of stressors, mental illness and environment.

“It is my sincere belief, however that the number and percentage of organized killers are growing. As our society grows more mobile, and as the availability of weapons of mass destruction increases, the ability of the antisocial personality to realize his rapacious and murderous fantasies grows apace.”

     As I said in the beginning this book zeroed in on a lot of what’s going on now in 2017 almost prophetic:

“By the 1980’s, some 25 percent of murders were “stranger murders,” in which the killer did not really know the victim. The reason for the steady rise in the statistics, sociologists believed, could be found in the sort of society we had become: mobile, in many ways impersonal, flooded with images of violence and of heightened sexuality.”

     It has always amazed me just how creative criminal get to scam people. Like the gas pump and ATM skimmers; that takes some real intelligence to figure out. To me, if these people put half their efforts into doing things the “right” way they could be very successful and become honest hardworking citizens in our society.

     So, let me tell you why I wanted to read this book. I have always been interested in how criminal analysis worked and I don’t mean all this gruesome stuff. So, I am at a point in my life that if I am curious about something I am going to learn about it. Of course, Education is the key and I don’t necessarily mean getting a degree; but rather educating yourself so that you can form your own opinions about a subject or an event.

BB&Y Audiobook Review: By Dixie

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice Audiobook

Anyone else wish someone would have said “Dear Mrs. Bennet Do Shut Up!”

“Pride and Prejudice is a romance novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. Mr. Bennet of the Longbourn estate has five daughters, but his property is entailed, meaning that none of the girls can inherit it. His wife has no fortune, so it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well in order to support the others on his death. The novel revolves around the necessity of marrying for love, not simply for monetary reasons, despite the social pressures to make a good match.”

     This audio book version was read for Librivox and narrated by Karen Savage in 2007. I highly recommend this version as Ms. Savage not only has a pleasant British accent but I adore her different voices for some of the characters. I listened to this book every chance I got, mostly at work, and it took me about a week.

     Although I have seen the movie prior to listening to this book, I thought the book and movie compared well. It also helped me visualize some of the characters. Its been a long time since I watched the movie but I have to give them credit for type casting very well.

I’ve been mulling over what to say about this and I have come to the conclusion that most of you reading this will have already read, watched or listened to this particular book. I’d only like to add my fondest sentiments for this book; am I starting to sound like a writer from this period? ha ha I mostly enjoyed the complex word sparing that takes place in this novel. It really added to the visual I was playing in my head. These are people that spent all of their time really thinking about what they hear and say. Imagine if some people really tried to do this today.

     So tell me what are you favorite parts of the book? Do you have a favorite character besides Mr. Darcy and Lizzy?

BB&Y Music Concert Review: By Dixie

I wasn’t going to post about this but it keeps bouncing around my head, so I needed to let it out. HaHa

On November 10, 2017 we went to our first Chris Stapleton concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL. The headliners were Brent Cobb and Marty Stewart. Brent Cobb is an up and coming long haired fella that really rocked out for a half an hour; that was a little disappointing but I joined his Facebook group to follow his progress. Now Marty Stewart really rocked this venue; really enjoyed the old and new stuff. There was a very young couple standing behind us; we were all singing along. We said something about did they know who Marty Stewart was and the girl replies “Sure! I know all the old stuff even Garth Brooks!!!” LORD that made us Laugh!!! In an effort to blend in because at this point we are some of the oldest people in our section, we give the universal “Thumbs up!” and kept singing.

Also, we were up on the grassy knoll so we were dependent on the jumbo screens to see who was down on the stage. We noticed during Brent Cobb’s performance the screens were broadcasting in Black and White but while Marty Stewarts crew was setting up the screens were broadcasting in color; so we thought there must have been a glitch and it was fixed. Marty Start starts and BAM we are back to black and white; that was a total drag. But when Chris Stapleton’s crew was setting up the ads were in color again, so surely there must have been a glitch. Then when Chris took the stage the screens were in COLOR! Anyone have an explanation for this? It’s bad enough to spend over $100 for 2 tickets up in the nose bleed section with beers that are $16 and mixed drinks that are $18 you’d think we’d paid enough for decent video equipment.

So we are big fans of Chris Stapleton and the latest song that I can shout at the top of my lungs is “Broken Halos”, if you haven’t heard it DO! During this song in the concert apparently a couple people went to pushing and shoving down front. So much so that Morgane (Chris’ wife, who is pregnant with twins!) starts shouting at them to settle down. Chris tells them basically it’s not fair to ruin the experience of the people around them and they play “Broken Halos” AGAIN!!! What a class act! I have never ever seen any artist do such a thing. Not only did they want to make it right for the people who had to deal with their unruly neighbors but we got to sing it again! The very next night they were playing in Jacksonville, but Morgane wasn’t able to sing backup because “she was busy growing two people!” Chris told the crowd.

Overall, it was a good night. We tailgated early so we didn’t go broke buying drinks inside. I got an official Chris Stapleton bandana (I have a thing for bandanas); little sad that Marty Stewart wasn’t selling any scarves (or bandanas).

***Note to self, next time we buy tickets for the grassy knoll bring a chair, sitting on the ground isn’t terrible but when the heard comes through you will get stepped on.

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

Renting Lacy:

A Story of America’s Prostituted Children; A Call to Action

By Linda Smith with Cindy Coloma

  • Caution: Mature Content
  • Published in 2009 revised in 2011
  • 163 pages

Synopsis: The author Linda Smith was a U.S. Representative who after she left politics founded the organization “Shared Hope” to help women and children in crisis. This book not only tells the story of “Lacy” but of many others lives and how they got sucked into the “night” life. She explains how predators manipulate children (aka the product) “as young as 11” into prostitution and drugs.

  • “it’s cheaper and less risky getting a girl from a small town or a city in the U.S. than to import women and children from other countries.” (page 11)
  • “while any child is vulnerable to being targeted and recruited by a pimp, the reality is that pimps seek out youth who are experiencing strife in the family, such as verbal, physical, or sexual abuse.” (page 119)
  • “…100,000 children are the human products meeting the demand of the sex trafficking industry in the U.S. alone. Around the world, more than 1 million children are subjected to human trafficking for sex or porn. The industry is estimated to bring in $9.5 billion annually.” (page 95)

My thoughts:

Someone gave me this book, they said it was interesting and eye opening. This book is very small but has a Huge message. For me that message is “Pay Attention, someone’s life may depend on it!”. I was sick at how easy it is to lure a child into this life. Our children are being not only bullied but preyed upon. I urge you to read this book slowly and absorb the details of how it’s done. The information in this book has encouraged me to not only share it with you but to point out we all need to pay attention more; really pay attention!

There is a scenario of a pimp that goes to his nephews wrestling match and notices a couple girls sitting by themselves. He tells his nephew he’ll have a party (complete with alcohol and drugs) for the wrestling team if he invites those two particular girls. He gets them high then encourages the boys to have sex with the drugged girls. Then the next day tells the girls that no one will want them but that he would take care of them. This seriously shocked me to my soul because I can totally see this whole scenario play out in my head; who hasn’t noticed a couple kids that don’t fit into the popular crowd? Or who has a reputation for being different?

Its pointed out clearly to me, that no one starts out in life wanting to be hooked on drugs or to be a prostitute. What is it that we all want? To be loved, protected and to feel safe! Think about this the next time you see a homeless person or you are at a school function and see kids that don’t quite “fit in” with the rest. Don’t turn your nose up or make rude comments because that could be someone you know and after all they are someone else’s children. An old saying, I grew up hearing was “until you walk a mile in their shoes, you don’t pass judgement”.