The Bone Feud – Book Review 4/27/2015

Spirit of 13 - Book Review

Historic Fiction comes in all types of styles, genres and themes.  The Bone Feud is a story of two “Professors” that are in a race to find the most dinosaur bones and get them identified so they can name them.  The true story is fictionalized by adding wonderful characters to the tale and making one of the participants the bartender  and storyteller.

I was captured from the beginning of my #fridayread.  From P.T. Barnum to Wild Bill Hickok, the authors ability to bring other characters of interest into the story was great fun.  His writing style is clear and the story flowed nicely.  However, I missed hearing from the storyteller himself in the middle of the tale.  He got lost, and so did I, in the middle.  Thankfully, he was found and once again took charge at the end.

For a fun #fridayread, it’s great and is well deserving of 4*’s.

 

Learning To Say No!

11 years as a Congressional Field Representative taught me a very valuable life lesson – How to say No!

Constituents wanted a speaker, a ribbon cutter, a grant writer, coach, project coordinator, and problem solver. And why not the Congressman’s aide? During those eleven years I helped individuals and groups, cities, counties and special districts with every conceivable problem. We built bridges, found a bridge to buy, dedicated wildlife refuges, saved U.S. Coast Guard Services, got special funding for docks, ports, dams, and parks. Each project had one specific characteristic – it matched the Congressman’s goals.

During those eleven years I read a number of excellent books on management, leadership, and time management. I don’t remember which one had the magic phrase for me, but it’s stuck after all these years. When someone calls, writes, or drops by and has a request for some use of your time go ahead and use the phrase I’ll have to check my schedule, but instead check your goals.

Does the event, project, time, speech, etc. further your goals, and in that case it was the goals of the Congressman? When the answer was yes I took the project on personally. If it didn’t I found someone or agency to help them meet their goal. It wasn’t so much that I needed to help them, just getting them help when they had no idea where to turn was the answer.

This week’s theme is “Don’t be afraid to say no”. The power of establishing boundaries is critical to everyone’s well being. Don’t let people talk you into doing things you don’t really want to do. Conversely, when you take on a project to help others, don’t let them down. Put all your energy into helping them achieve their goal. You’ll find your time is better spent and you won’t feel guilty because you learned to say no.

Emergence – A Book Review

Derek Rydall has written a most compelling book on the “Law of Emergence” and the baggage we carry due to cultural beliefs about what constitutes worth, value and success. It’s a system we all get hung up in and can be one of our biggest challenges. Rydall’s premise is “Our work is to strip away our false exterior and reveal our innate wholeness.” That “Everything you need to fulfill your destiny is within you, waiting to emerge”.

Spiritof13 - Book ReviewHis discussion on worth and value is food for great soul searching and provides ideas and support for helping us all find our inner self. Starting with the word Sin – it’s actually an archery term that means “to miss the mark” but has been cultural zed to shame us into not accepting our inner self.

The handicapped and mentally ill suffer the most from these cultural judgments . They must create a different belief of worth, value and success. Rydall states “The problem is you’re stuck on this idea of what you think your life should look like and how you think things should work out, but you have no idea how things should work out.”

HIs discussion on self-worth and our “selfie” makes you stop and think about what you’ve been doing and what you should be doing to become centered without fear because “No matter what you try, as long as you’re coming from a place of fear nothing you do will ever get you what you want.” So true.

There are so many wonderful and quotable thoughts in this book, one has to hit home with everyone. For instance, on having a self-worth measure of money he remarks, “You made your savings account your source, your god, and whenever you make something outside of you the source of your security or supply, the universe is set up to betray you – so that you’ll turn within and find your real source again.” So much for keeping up with the Jones’.

Does self-worth = value and success? Not to Mr. Rydall’s Law of Emergence. “While we’ve made great strides as a society, we’re still hungry, broke, scared, and killing each other at alarming rates”. I couldn’t have said it better.

A wonderful read for everyone. 4 Stars.

Her First and Always Mentor – Part I

Everyone in the world needs a mentor at every stage of their life. She never really thought about who her first (and always) mentor was until much later in life. She had so many over the years, it seemed. There was always someone who helped her get to the next stage of her life. Not all were men. In fact, her first and most impactful mentor was her mother.

It wasn’t always a relationship of love and joy, in fact were there times of downright hate. But it was that love/hate relationship that allowed her to grow and recognize how important her mother had been in her life.

She didn’t feel mentored when her older sister basically raised her while mom played in the bridge club. She didn’t feel mentored when her mother divorced her father and she was cast to the four winds (or at least that’s how she felt) when her “Pal and Buddy” left the house. She didn’t feel mentored when she became an outcast wearing thrift store clothing and had no friends while mom wore expensive suits and gadded about on weekends.
What she didn’t see was that regardless of all the emotional pain, she was so much better off than so many others. What she did’t know is she had #enough. She didn’t know that the musical talents she was given were her anchor to sanity. She could hide behind her flute and play to soothe her soul. She didn’t appreciate her warm bed and three squares. All she could see was the dysfunction of her family and her life and hate her mother for it.

It would be years before she realized that she would not have gotten to the employment levels she did without the example set by her mother. She would not know how to dress, behave or work in a professional environment without her guidance. She remembers at 14 having to “go to work” with Mom during Christmas break. There was no way this “creative child” could be left home alone. She was given the task of addressing the Law Firms Christmas Cards by hand (that’s where Mom worked). The addresses had to be lined up just so; the penmanship impeccable; the envelope perfect, while dress was skirt and nylons, voice was quiet, and comments were kept to one’s self. She hated it. But it was such good training for other mentors to send her forward.

Order In Court – Book Review

Order In Court by David Osborne is an odd, but fun little book. Each Chapter is a new adventure by Barrister Toby Potts. From his love life to his court life, everything is just a little odd – but so are all his clients.

I purchased the book because the tease said it was humor, and I was pleasantly surprised his unique style of writing made me laugh out loud. Mr. Osborne has a gift for turning your tongue. And his subtle humor and innuendo is refreshing.

“Gettig squiffy on rough cider” makes it clear what was going on. Mr. Dan D Lyon is yet another of his characters you’ll want to know more about. He pokes fun at just about everyone, but in a kind way. And you’ll need to be paying attention as you read, the hidden barbs and twists are cleverly woven into the text and all are worth a chuckle.

4 Stars for Mr. Osborne’s latest.