Oh Kindle…Why Did I Wait So Long?

I love me some books.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  I frequent the library.  And it’s not just reading – it’s the look and feel of the book.  It’s the smell of the paper.  It’s flipping back, and making notes, and highlighting and reading over and over again until it falls apart.

I love ago cured myself of buying books (with the exception of cookbooks and Harry Potter) and go to the library instead, as our house is tiny and we have no storage.  I have donated dozens of books to the library or goodwill.  A few I’ve kept – I have two or three copies of To Kill A Mockingbird, a Barbie book my sister gave me that I’ll never part with, and of course, as stated earlier, cookbooks and the Harry Potter series.  I also retained the textbooks I couldn’t sell back, some reference books, and a few children’s books for when my grandbabies visit.  But I no longer purchase actual books.

It is for my love of the look, feel and smell of a book that I resisted the Kindle for so long, but when Mr. G asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I researched it, and found that hundreds of great works of literature are available for FREE on a kindle, that I finally said yes.

And now, I’m hooked.

It’s so light weight, and easy to carry!  And the screen is easy to read.  And it holds 3,500 books!!!  Holy-a-lot-of-books Batman!  I love it!

I’m currently reading the most interest biography – Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – and they have pioneer diaries and all of Jane Austin (!) and Lord of the Rings! 

My only complaint – NO HARRY POTTER.  Grr.

But other than that, I’m in love with my Kindle.  I can’t recommend it enough.

I will, however, resist the iPad and iPhone – because yeah, I’m cheap.


Dedicated to Our Troops

 I was listening to an old Kraft Music Hall Radio program on my XM Radio this evening from December 24, 1942.  In it, one of the sponsors read a letter J.L. Kraft had written to his employees at  Christmastime.  The letter stirred me, and I felt its relevance still today.

During World Wars 1 and 2, American families who had a son in the wars would hand a service flag in their window.  I’m admittedly uneducated about service flags (which we can liken now to our yellow ribbons) so I naturally googled it.  Here is the answer I got:

“The Service Flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.”  This was from USFlag.org.

I was so stirred by the letter and its relevance today, that I found the radio program this evening on Youtube and copied it down.  Here is the text, and I’d like to dedicate it now to my friends and family who have served this country, continue to serve, and my friends and family who have dear ones serving now in Afghanastan, Iraq and around the world.

“To my friends,

Each weekday morning, as I walk into the Chicago office, the first sight that greets my eyes is our great service flag  – a flag whose stars are ever growing in number.  More than eight hundred blue stars are there, emblazoned on a white field in this December of 1942.  Almost every morning there are a few more added to the luster of the flag.  On Sunday mornings, when I go into my home church, I am greeted by another service flag with more than two hundred represented there.

Walking along the city streets wherever I go, I see more and more windows lighted with a glory that was never there before.  As I see the service flags which mean so much to us personally, I’m reminded that the meaning of each star is two-fold.  Each service flag in a window means not alone that there is a member absent from that family circlej, but is a symbol that the enduring light of home still shines for him, and that it shall not be extinguished.  That it is for his home and the multitude of homes that make up the United States of America that he fights around the globe today.

This Christmastime, when we turn our thoughts and hearts to our boys so far away and their thoughts are warm and strong enough to reach around the Earth and back to us, the light of this sacred birthday is a lamp unto our feet, bringing us all home in thought, and love, and faith and rekindled devotion.  The stars on our service flags take their light from a holy star, that one which lead the wisemen of old.

May the abiding glory of Christmastime be upon you and upon yours where ever they may be.  May it be our constant prayer that before another Christmas dawn shall break, the everylasting light may have overcome the darkness of the Earth.


J.L. Kraft”

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, please please please remember to pray for the safety and well being of our troops overseas.  Thank a soldier.  Hug a soldier if you can and remember that for every service member who is within your reach, there is another separated from family and home and all they love this holiday season.

A sincere thank you to all who serve.  May this holiday find you safe, warm and with family and friends.

A Celebration of Life

This weekend, I had the honor of attending the memorial service for my friend Drew’s beautiful wife, Donna.  It was held at my home church in Delaware, and many of the people I had grown up with were there (Delaware is a small place – if you grew up in Delaware you are either related to or KNOW someone who is related to someone else, and everyone knows everyone).  It was pleasant to get to see old friends even if I didn’t have the time to say hello to them.  It was most pleasant to see Drew again – the wonderful man he’s become.

I was very emotionally moved by Donna’s service – so much so that it has taken me a day or two to compose my thoughts about the service.  Drew has posted the eulogies that were read in Donna’s honor on her Caring Bridge site and even this morning, after reading them again, I tear up. 

I was not close to Donna.  I was friends with Drew through the Wesley Foundation, and Drew and Donna were a package deal, but she was older and already working when Drew and I met, so though she attended many functions with him, Drew was the person I got to know and love.

Drew has a kind heart, and a generous nature that you desire out of everyone you meet.  He is genuine and kind, funny and playful, and no matter what, he makes YOU feel good.  Even as I hugged him on Sunday when I saw him in the lobby of the church, he made me feel good.  Drew is that kind of person that just makes you feel good to be around.  If only there were more people like that on this earth.

I went to Donna’s service for Drew.  I felt I needed to go.  I did not expect to get so emotional, but it quite honestly brought back memories of my sister’s memorial service 10 years ago.  But what really truly moved me the most was the outpouring of love for both Donna and Drew and their son Josiah that you could feel the moment you entered the sanctuary.  At what should be such a horrible time, Donna’s memory was celebrated with laughter, and with song.

Can you measure the prosperity of your life with the outpouring of love you received at your funeral?  If so, Donna’s Memorial Service showed that she was most definitely loved to the moon and back.

365 Photo Blog

Beginning in January, I’m starting up a 365 photo blog – Come visit!

Not. Fun.

So, yeah. First of all – I’m bored with the 30 day meme. Bored. Yup. Executive decision made to discontinue.

Second, Mr. G totally scared the shit out of me yesterday. SCARED. THE. SHIT. OUT. OF. ME.

Sunday afternoon, he looks over and says, “What did it feel like when you had your heart attack?”



“Well,” says he, “I’ve been having some weird sensations in my chest, like my heart is fluttering.”


“No no…I’m ok. I feel fine. It’s gone away. I just wanted to know what it felt like when you had a heart attack.”


“I’m ok – football is on.”


So, I made him promise to keep his appointment with his primary care on the 3rd.

Queue yesterday.

“Feel my pulse – my pulse keeps stopping and then starting up again.”

OMFG…queue panicked Bea. He was pale (which isn’t easy for a mexican man), clammy, and his heart rate was all over the place. GETINTHECAR or I CALL THE AMBULANCE.

So, off we went to Harford Memorial, where, to their credit, they took him right back, got him on an EKG and drew blood. And by the way, can someone please tell me why in the hooha ER rooms are so freaking cold? Anyhoo – his EKG was normal (but so was mine the day I had my heart attack) and his blood work was perfect. So, they think he has either an SVT or an AVT – heart arrhythmia. He has to go into the cardiologist today to get hooked up with a heart monitor for the next few days. They say that the arrhythmia is generally something that is pretty safe, BUT can be known to throw clots. It can also be the result of CAD, diabetes, or high blood pressure. So, yeah. Can also explain the problems we’ve had with ED.

Y’all, my husband is the center of my universe. Send some good Ts&Ps our way until we find out what’s going on.


Day 22 – 30 Day Meme

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

I have a few things I “wish” I hadn’t done, but I’ve lost contact with some very good friends and I really wish that hadn’t happened. We all kind of let life get in the way, and thanks to the Internet, we have found each other again.

I wish I had never EVER let my health get to the point that it did. I was a very sick person. It was a wonder I was alive.

I wish I’d never let my Mom cut my hair short in the 1st grade.

Days 20 & 21 – 30 Day Meme

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Alcohol is fine, in moderation. I don’t believe at our age people should be getting stinking drunk all the time, but once in a while is ok – as long as you are RESPONSIBLE about it. Not a big fan of drugs for recreation purposes. Just not.

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Rush to the hospital. Duh. Nothing is more important than the friendship. My bestie (other than my husband) is like a sister to me. The past is the past.

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