Monthly Archives: November 2013

Book Review: Diner Impossible

Diner Impossible  (Rose Strickland Mystery, #3)Diner Impossible by Terri L. Austin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fun, fun, fun! This is a fun book! When I began reading, I didn’t realize that this book was part of a series.

Rose Strickland is a waitress and part time crime solver. She comes from money but decided to live on her own, independently of her family. In this book, she pops back into her family to help solve the murder of the police chief’s secretary. The police chief’s wife is her mom’s friend.

The characters in this book are awesome and larger than life. Entwined with the story of the investigation, is the hilarious story of two rival Star Trek clubs and their missing prize uniform. I guess it was made even funnier in that it was unexpected to me from the way the story began.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to read the two Rose Strickland Mysteries that came before it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Book Review: Leonie

LรฉonieLรฉonie by Sveva Casati Modignani
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, here’s another book I really loved. It was translated from Italian to English and there were just a couple of places where I thought it read “funny” but the story is excellent.

I love books that travel through generations and this is a book like that. You grow to love the characters so much by the time the book is over you don’t want it to end.

Leonie, is a poor French girl who was basically unwanted by her mother and raised by two older neighbors. She was very smart in school and, in the end, life.

She marries Guido Cantoni, the son of an industrialist who has left the family, plumbing fixtures business. She feels he has a secret that makes him sad. Eventually, she has a secret, that takes place every year, that makes her happy.

Through the course of the story, Leonie has five children and joins the family business and is a factor in growing and modernizing the company.

At the end of the story, after so many years of secrets, Guido and Leonie realize they have loved each other all along.

If you like getting lost amidst the story, this is a great book suggestion for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Book Review: Zealot

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of NazarethZealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an intriguing book. I’ve read the Bible but this is an historical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

As a Christian that hasn’t done much study about the history of Biblical times, I found that the author did a good job of describing the evolution of the Christian church, the Roman Empire and the Jewish peoples of that time.

The book was thought provoking and I stopped many times to discuss different ideas that were presented with my husband who is a better student of history than I.

If a book about the history of anything can keep my attention, and this one did, it’s a good book.

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Book Review: Seven Deadlies

Seven DeadliesSeven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie Grazer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love, love, loved this book! It was funny and off the wall and sort of twisted.

I used to love reading Kurt Vonnegut for the same reasons: because his books were funny, off the wall and sort of twisted. Having read all of his books, I was thrilled to find a similar read with a Beverly Hills twist.

Perry Gonzales, a high school freshman at an elite Beverly Hills school relays stories that describe the Seven Deadly Sins but happen in her life as a tutor to the very kids she goes to school with.

Perry’s mom is a nurse and Perry thinks the world of her. She is also very wise, like Buddha according to her daughter.

I read this book straight through and it is so clever. I adore clever and I think you’ll adore it too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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C is For Cookie, That’s Good Enough For Me

Back when we were eight or nine years old and before my Aunt JR had kids of her own, she used to do a Christmas cookie baking extravaganza with my sisters, cousins and me. ย She would give us each our own ball of sugar cookie dough and provide all kinds of frosting and sprinkles choices.


We each got to take home all of the cookies we made. It is one of my favorite childhood memories.

When my kids were small, I attempted to recreate this awesome event with the boys and my niece and nephew. They were 5, 4, 3 and 2 and it was a disaster. My sister and I were pretty close to pulling our hair out and I vowed that I would never, ever do that again. And I didn’t.

But today, I thought it would be really fun to let the Glambaby make cookies. I have a great small batch sugar cookie recipe and I figured it would be just enough for her to have some fun rolling and patting and marking with a B. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3045So I told her all the deep dark cookie baking secrets she needed.

wisdomAnd then we got started.

getting started

ย And then we cut out some shapes.


I offered her some dough to eat early on and she said, “No”. Then at some point, she decided that eating the unbaked cookie was a good idea. And David was thrilled because “Rottmayers eat cookie dough”. LOL! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Yes, Grandpops, I really like the dough. ๐Ÿ™‚


All in all, we had a great time.


I think that remembering that she is still really little and not putting any great expectations on the activity helped to make it fun for all of us. She did a great job and she totally got the concept of what were were doing. I loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Book Review: My Name Used To Be Muhammad

My Name Used to Be Muhammad: A True Story of a Muslim Who Became a ChristianMy Name Used to Be Muhammad: A True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian by Tito Momen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an incredible, true story of a man who was born in Nigeria and raised to be a Muslim cleric.

Tito Momen, formerly Muhammed Momen) began memorizing the Quran when he was six years old. He was eventually sent to Syria to study further and was disappointed to find that the college he was attending was strictly Muslim studies and no engineering or art which he would have loved to have included. He found the instructors to be bullies and was sent home where his father was completely disappointed.

He then went to Cairo where he would study for his PhD in Islamic studies. Through his own research, he began to doubt that Mohammed was truly a prophet.

He visited the LDS church with a friend and eventually converted to Christianity. Because the LDS church wasn’t recognized in Egypt and because his Nigerian college brothers felt he had committed a grave sin, Tito was jailed for his beliefs under the guise of drug trafficking which he had never participated in.

This is the story of a man’s growing faith and it was gripping and inspiring!

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Book Review: Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American FortuneEmpty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fabulous book! I have made no secret of the fact that I’m not really into reading historical works. Real history, fictional history, just not my thing. But I loved this book. It is fascinating and interesting and it never felt like “history” but, rather, a really good story.

The book is about Huguette Clark, the last daughter of millionaire industrialist W.A. Clarke who made most of his wealth in copper.

The descriptions of the empty mansions and the life of the Clarks was awe inspiring. The jewelry, the artwork, the gatherings. But most endearing and readable was the information about Huguette herself.

Huguette had a sister who died when she was young, the sister only 17. After that she was extremely close to her mother, even more so after the passing of her father. Her mother wanted her to be married and she did marry briefly but ended up getting one of the first Las Vegas divorces. Huguette was a loving soul. She enjoyed children very much. She loved and collected dolls and miniature castles. She was an artist and a photographer. She outlived so many in her family, only recently passing in 2011 at the age of 105.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the history of America or learning of this wonderful woman who was seemingly a hermit but had many loving friendships over the years.

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Book Review: Compliments of a Friend

Compliments of a FriendCompliments of a Friend by Susan Isaacs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven’t read a book by Susan Isaacs in a while but have loved her work in the past.

This was a fun, short story reprising characters from her earlier book, Compromising Positions. The author states at the end of the book that she had never written a short story before. Nor does she read a lot of short stories.

I’m the same way. I really like a story I can get involved with and have time to grow to love the characters.

But this was fun and fast and I liked it a lot. I’m planning to go back and see which of the authors books I haven’t read and read them! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Over reaction?

So we’ve been in our new house for around two weeks now. Maybe one. The time always gets warped when David is away.

Anyway, this house has gas. And it terrifies me (maybe you’ll remember my propane blog). I’ve smelled it outside on the back patio every single time I’ve been out there. ย I asked David about it and he said it’s normal to smell some gas. Hmmm. Doesnt’ seem safe to me but what do I know?

This morning, as I was trying to find a key that would open the front door (we had 10 keys made, none of them work) I actually smelled gas in the front of the house. So I called the gas company. While I fear sounding like a crazy over reactor, I fear blowing up more.

The lady asked if I had a gas emergency. I told her I wasn’t really sure, that it’s possible I was over reacting. I told her I smelled gas outside and she said I shouldn’t be able to smell any gas. Just what I thought. So she sent a guy out.

I feared I was over reacting and tweeted about it. My twitter friends were supportive.


Before he even crossed the street the gas guy yells, “That is not gas you’re smelling”. Oh great. Something about the street crews, construction smell but he did proceed to check everything out.

When we got around to the back of the house, he told me that there wasn’t any gas that his instruments could tell. I asked him if he could smell it. At this point, I knew he wanted to stuff a sock in my mouth. I could see it in his eyes. He patiently explained he was still testing everything inside and outside of the house. Okay.

When he got finished he told me there was no gas leak. That his super sonic ultra high powered gauge detected no gas and it can detect even the smallest amount.

Perhaps the gas company should rent my nose. ๐Ÿ˜‰