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Book Review: Song of the Lion

Song of the LionIn author Anne Hillerman’s latest book, Song of the Lion, Bernadette Manuelito emerges as a savvy heroine who does her job with intelligence and wit while stoically ignoring the irritation of not being respected by a fellow officer. It is not luck or pride that motivates Manuelito, it’s doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, including trusting her instincts in a life-threatening moment of peril.

Manuelito and her husband Jim Chee, work for the Navajo Tribal Police where facts and evidence add up to answers. That doesn’t discourage Manuelito from using her intuition and connection with old ways, or Chee from showing respect for honored traditions.

Put that cultural identity and awareness into play when the two unofficially work a case, and the result is a compelling story. A car bombing outside a school gymnasium that kills an unidentified young man sets the story in motion. Add in the complication of developers wanting to make dramatic changes on tribal lands and the groups for and against the proposal. Mix in a little sabotage designed to sideline the negotiations. Season with a surprising connection between the case and Manuelito’s friend and mentor, Joe Leaphorn. What you have are all the ingredients for a fast-paced story featuring familiar characters doing what they do best. Manuelito proves to be a dedicated law enforcement officer with an unbeatable spirit.

I recommend Song of the Lion to anyone who likes a good tale woven throughout with interesting, well-drawn characters.

Praise for Song the Lion from Booklist: “Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”

Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

Title: Song of the Lion
Type: Novel
Author: Anne Hillerman
Publisher: Harper Hardcover
Publication date: April 11, 2017
Price: $27.99

Springing into home improvement

Measure twice, cut once

The old saw – pun intended – that you should measure twice and cut once is a good axiom to live by when you’re doing any kind of home or outdoor improvement. With the weather warming up we’re all thinking of getting out there – meaning the yard or the house – and doing something. What that something will be is sometimes slapdash at best and may not be the ideal “improvement” in the long term. Even if you’re in your home for the foreseeable future, when you make changes take into consideration a future in which you will want to sell the property.

Each of  The 8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements identified in this post cost under $5,000 to implement, but are sure to add value and curb appeal to your home.

If you are ready to sell, there are affordable fixes you can do now to add value. The ideas shown on the This Old House website are interesting and make a huge difference.

Container Showpiece

Don’t be intimidated by the numbers on this Southern Living website. Going through the 123 photos is worth the effort and time. You get lots of ideas and suggestions about how to create the look you’re striving for with your container garden. You also get a bit of background on the plants.

If you plan to xeriscape, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico website is a good place to start. They talk about water savvy plants, principles of water conservation and other topics about successful xeriscaping. Landscaping Network is also an excellent source of information.

TomatoesAnd you can’t beat the old Farmer’s Almanac for good gardening advice! The site has several articles about container vegetable and flower gardening, which I plan to check out. I will let you know how many seeds I drown!

Enjoy the beautiful summer. Make sure you check city watering restrictions in the area where you live. Enjoy the fun of watching stuff grow!

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PHOTOS: clipart.com

Hallelujah! Christ arose!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

Empty Cross

On this Good Friday, it is important to remember: one tragic, ill-advised and cruel event changed everything. Despite all the ways God’s loved people have misconstrued it all, despite the multiple religions that claim to know it all, despite every doubting Thomas, Christ’s act of sacrifice rings through the ages. The people at the foot of the Cross did not know that in three days Resurrection would happen. They only knew their friend and teacher was dead at the hands of jealous and fearful men. The first Tenebrae service I ever attended was shatteringly emotional. I’d never seen the altar striped, the Cross draped in black, the light extinguished. The worshipers leaving in silence and reflection. Even knowing the outcome would be Resurrection Day – Up From the Grave He Arose – it brought home what was done to Christ the Savior. It brought home what He did for me.
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Blog Recognition: Thanks a Bunch!

My sister blogger, Aiming Flamingo, has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much Aiming Flamingo! Readers and followers are essential elements of the conversation that happens in the blogosphere. I very much appreciate your support.

blogger-recognition-award

I’ve been blogging for several years, had a website, and created a web zine. It was driving me crazy trying to keep up with four blogs, a website and the zine. I decided a little over a year ago to put everything under “one roof,” hence the title of my blog, One Roof Publishing.

I cover a lot of territory in the blog, writing Q&A posts about events and people, posting inspirational essays, writing about health and wellness, and anything else I can think of, including occasional short fiction. I welcome Followers and am always looking for new essay and article ideas. If you would like to guest post on my site, send your query to fsharon@msn.com.

I am a writer through and through. I have indie published several books and am close to publishing a new novel. I also do writing for hire through my business, Write Stuff Writing Services.

I’m not much for handing out advice, but that’s part of the process of passing the Blogger Recognition Award around. So here goes: My two pieces of advice for new bloggers – your best shot at getting readers is to know who you want your readers to be (target marketing), and posting regularly.

Below are the sites I’m recognizing. It is indeed an eclectic mix that shares one thing in common and only one: these are all folks who have a passion for something. I find that admirable and inspiring. Passion puts the pizzazz in life.

1eclecticwriter
Dr. K. L. Register, The Ninth Life
Edge of Humanity Magazine
Momentary Lapse of Sanity
Windy Lynn Harris
Success Inspirers World
Gabriella Clark
Kate  Barnwell Poetry
Haddon Musings
Kathleen Rodgers
saneteachers
Sarah Flores Blog
Be Inspired!
Charles French
Author Kristen Lamb

 

Now it’s your turn. The rules are simple.
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created

I hope you can make the time to join in the support and recognition of other bloggers.

Exercise and healthy eating

Fighting diabetes by making good choices

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. Being obese is defined as a health issue, not a personal flaw. There are good reasons for that. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Image: clipart.com

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. in 2008 (the most recent published study I could find) was $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

It isn’t any surprise that obesity is linked to over consumption of sodas, high fat fast foods, and most of the processed foods you pull off the grocery shelf, coupled with sedentary life styles. Everything you read indicates the trend is to eat more and exercise less. In the name of convenience we load up our grocery carts without spending five seconds figuring out what we will be putting on our family’s dinner plates or in their lunch boxes. Convenient rarely adds up to healthy.

According to reports by the National Institute on Health, obesity in the U.S. has soared from four percent to more than 34 percent in the last 50 years. In an age when we can have whatever we want if we’re willing to work for it, the one problem we can’t seem to solve is obesity.

Some analysts project that in 20 years the cost to taxpayers for obesity-related illnesses will exceed $550 billion. Why? Because many of those who overeat unhealthy foods are in lower income brackets. They live in urban areas considered food deserts where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. Fast food and convenience stores dominate the landscape. Even though many chain restaurants, like McDonalds, offer healthy choices, the big sellers continue to be fat and salt loaded burgers and fries, served with high-sugar sodas large enough to bathe in.

There are those who say, “People who eat too much have a choice; nobody is holding a gun to their heads to force them to eat a bag of chips instead of an apple.” Perhaps, but only if you can find an apple to buy. Yes, self-restraint is up to the individual. The reality is a generation of people who grew up on super-sized everything from burgers to Big Gulps. One eight-ounce serving of Coke may have only 97 calories, but the double or triple sized version has double or triple the calories. A single serving of chips (and what that constitutes varies from brand to brand) might be listed as 150 calories, but if you look closer there are 24 servings in a bag. Multiply that out and see what you get. How many times have you sat down to eat a “handful of chips” and before you know it, consumed half or more of the bag? This, by the way, is the very reason I rarely buy chips. The allure of that salty goodness is too hard to ignore, and allure is what the food manufactures are selling, from the packaging to the fat-laden contents. The more you eat, the more you want. Remember the commercial that challenges the consumer to “just eat one,” followed by the assertion that no one can eat just one? The hidden message is, “Eat all you want.” When we trick ourselves into believing the bigger version is just one serving we’re paving the road ahead with poor health and bigger waistlines.

Food and beverage congGetty Image - webmd.comlomerates do have an interest in nutrition, I’m sure, but their bottom line is to sell you and me on buying more and consuming more. The consequence is a surge in the number of people — young and old — with health problems. Children 11 and 12 have the arteries of 45 year old men, and many are showing symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Efforts to control behavior through legislation are doomed to fail. Fighting obesity requires moderation in consumption, better food choices, regular exercise and a commitment to good health. The added benefit is a longer life.

Despite being in a rural area, Las Vegas (New Mexico) is not a food desert. Most people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Whether that is the choice made is another matter. San Miguel County has a high rate of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in a state that ranks number 10 across the country in that category.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a personal choice. There is plenty of help for those who want to take charge of their well being. Whether you are tuning in to an exercise video on www.sparkpeople.tv or trying out the Mediterranean Diet, making good choices will lead to better health.

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Please share with your network. My readers are the most important people to One Roof Publishing. Thanks

 

 

 

I Believe

Easter LilyWe are beginning the season of Lent and will soon celebrate Easter. Every year about this time television (mostly cable) runs programming about the “truth” of the resurrection, how much of the Bible is verifiable, whether Judas was a betrayer or following the will of the Most High God. Did Jesus really die and then come to life again, or was his body taken by the disciples and everything else a myth? The questions are limitless.

It intrigues me that in the quest for truth in these programs, the messages from Christ are lost along the way. Did he walk on water? Does it matter? Did he feed 5,000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread? In what way do these miracles make Christ more or less believable? Were you there? Did you see?

These programs often miss the message of both the Old and New Testaments: love one another. What does that mean? It means to serve others, and that takes many forms. Not everyone can be a preacher or a teacher, a rabbi or a priest, but everyone can serve where she or he is.

  • Kindness.
  • Friendship.
  • Thoughtfulness.
  • Understanding.
  • Mercy.
  • Nurture.
  • Listening.
  • Faithfulness.
  • Respect.
  • Integrity.
  • Truth.
  • Succor.
  • Comfort.
  • Compassion.

These are one-word descriptions of what service might look like. The Easter story is about transformation. We are transformed and made better every time we reach out to others. We arise each morning to new life and new opportunities. What we do with that is up to us.

 

 

Courage in the chaos

Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

PrayerIt is normal to slide into panic when life surprises you in negative ways, but it is not in your best interest to stay there. Panic overload leads to poor decisions, causes words to be spoken that cannot be taken back, and generally keeps a person’s life in a state of uncertainty bordering on chaos. God is present. He can find us when we can’t seem to find him. His promise is to never leave us come what may. Each day brings opportunity, and yes, challenges. The challenges that create opportunities to get closer to God – and to each other – often prove to be the events that lead to enrichment.

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Image: http://www.clipart.com

Made with love

Lanie's QuiltI made my first quilt. Not that I haven’t made quilts, I have, but always the tie kind. I’ve never actually made an honest to goodness quilted quilt. I’m proud of the finished product, not so much because of the perfection of the end result (it is FAR from perfect), but because I didn’t give up when I made one mistake after another. In fact, within a week of finishing it, I all but threw up my hands and said, “I’m done!”

My final setback (after countless other setbacks that will go unnamed), came when I realized I’d attached the binding in such a way that I couldn’t finish off the corners in a neat and tidy fashion. When it didn’t seem to be working the way I thought it should, I made a major mistake and trimmed one corner thinking that would solve the problem. Uh… no! I’d   made it WORSE. Imagine my surprise when I found, after checking out instructions on the Internet and two days of pulling my hair, I’d done it right all along. My mistake was how I attached the binding. I should have sewn it to the back and pulled the binding to the front. I was frustrated and began to think it was so incredibly WRONG! The temptation to give up was intense, in fact I told my husband I was going to go out and buy a baby quilt for my soon-to-be-born great niece.

Ah, right, the reason I took on this project was to make something with my own hands and heart that would reflect my love for this precious child. I couldn’t give up. No matter what, I wanted to finish it and I’m proud to say I did, and in time for the baby’s shower on Saturday.

I will go out and buy some things for my great-niece, but I hope she will grow up knowing this handmade quilt was made with love interwoven with prayers for her to be healthy, happy and passionate about life. The quirky secrets hidden within the mistakes are my prayers for her to find plenty to laugh about, even when things don’t go her way. She is coming into a family who will cherish her, and give loving support to her mom and dad.

I can’t wait to see her.