Book Talk Tuesday: Finding Me

It’s here! I finally got my hands on this baby Friday. I started reading and didn’t put it down until I finished it.

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman
Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

It officially releases on April 7th, but Amazon says its available today! I highly recommend you pop over and snap it up.

I’ve loved everything Katie Cushman has written but this one may be her best yet.

Kelli Huddleston’s world has imploded. Her father and step-mother were recently killed in an accident and as Kelli cleans out her father’s things, she discovers that everything she believed about herself and her father is a lie.

How do you go on after that?

For a women’s fiction book, this one was full of suspense. I had to keep turning the pages to see if Kelli was going to spill her secret to anyone.

The story begins in Santa Barbara then Kelli travels to Tennessee on a journey to find some answers. Along the way, she finds herself. And a whole lot more.

I love this one and recommend it enthusiastically!

Media Monday: Yours and Mine

Some people are Chevy folks. Others believe it has to be a Ford.

Same thing for Toyota vs. Honda.

Some people love McDonalds.  Others will only go to Burger King.

yinIt’s weird/funny/bizarre how we get set on these paths. But there has to be a reason for it.

Some people love Google. Others swear by Bing. I’m a Google girl, myself.

I’ve been a happy Pandora listener for years. Between Pandora, Soundrown while online, and XM radio, my listening needs are nicely satisfied.

But a few people have been telling me to check out I ❤ Radio. I tried it a year or so ago and switched back to Pandora pretty quickly. Apparently Taylor Swift had a new album out, and literally every. other. song. was from her new album. It didn’t matter that “my” station was Contemporary Christian Music or that I hit Thumbs Down on every song, she still kept popping up every three to four minutes. I went back to Pandora and never looked back. I don’t have anything against Taylor Swift. In fact, I like a lot of her music, but I didn’t want to listen to her just then. So I didn’t.

Stud Muffin has started listening to I ❤ Radio. But invariably, he gets frustrated because the songs being played aren’t what he wants to hear. When he’s busy, I go and change the station to Pandora, tell the app what he wants to listen to, and pretty soon he’ll say something like, “That’s better. Why did they have to play that other stuff before getting to the good stuff.”

😉 It’s our secret.

He thinks he’s an I ❤ Radio guy, but really he’s a Pandora dude.

Food Talk Friday: Zippy’s on Maui

I thought we were going to Da Kitchen as soon as we landed in Maui, but instead we ended up at Zippy’s.

Zippys in Kahului
Zippys in Kahului

We found Zippy’s on our last trip. It’s kind of like a Denny’s on the mainland. Part diner. But there’s also a counter service to get food to go. And a bakery (malasadas, anyone?).

It’s near the airport. It has a large menu. American dishes. Asian food. Hawaiian favorites. You name it, you can probably get it at Zippys.

I had fried chicken which Stud Muffin denigrated, saying I could get that at home at any KFC. But the chicken was nicely seasoned and just the right amount of crispiness. A couple of our party got Loco Mocos, the rice, hamburger, egg, and gravy dish. A new arrival to the island ordered the turkey club sandwich and swooned as she ate it.

The food isn’t fancy. It isn’t gourmet. It’s plain, unadorned, filling, generous, and tasty.

In other words, just as we like it.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Home Again

We’re home!

We had a whirlwind week in Maui.

Ocean view from our lanai!
Ocean view from our lanai!

A wedding. Swimming. Meltdowns. Beach. Whales. Food. Sand. Leis.

All of the above were part of our week, but none of them does justice to our time there.

We hit the ground running and didn’t stop for several days. We did go to the beach after about three days and it was heavenly.

I’m not normally a morning person, but for some reason, I can wake up early in Hawaii and enjoy it. I know it’s probably the time change, but even after a few days, I was falling asleep at 11:00 instead of 8:00 but still waking up around 6. I love that about me in Hawaii.

At this time of year, the humpback whales are in Hawaii to give birth view 3and breed. We love being on the water and watching them. We love sitting on the beach and watching them. We love sitting on the lanai and watching them. Basically, anytime we have an ocean view, we’re looking for whales.

To the right is a picture I shot from the deck of the boat on which we took a whale-watching excursion. It’s a calf, about to try to breach (when the whale throws him/herself out of the water, spins, and lands). We saw many of these baby breaches and a few large breaches.

We came home happy and exhausted. And looking forward to our next trip. Whenever it may be.

Book Talk Tuesday: Calling Me Home

Between the time I wrote last week’s Book Talk Tuesday post and our trip to Maui, I did read this one. It’s excellent.

CALLING ME HOME is told in two points of view. Isabelle McAllister is 90-years-old and wants to travel from Texas to Cincinnati for a funeral. Dorrie Curtis is Isabelle’s hair dresser and a friend. Dorrie is in her 30s, a single mother, and is African-

CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler
CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler


The unlikely pair sets out from Texas and Isabelle spins a story from her youth. She tells Dorrie about her first love, a young black man whose mother worked for Isabelle’s family.

Isabelle grew up protected. Robert grew up with the reality that he couldn’t be seen on the streets of town after dark without being beaten, arrested, or killed.

Their story is spooled out during Isabelle and Dorrie’s drive cross-country and is interspersed with Dorrie’s own story of a looming problem with her teenage son and the man she’s dating.

The identity of the deceased whose funeral Isabelle is heading toward is hinted at nicely. I figured out who it was (not Robert) pretty early on, but it was still gratifying to be right when it was revealed at nearly the end of the book.

The writing is lovely, the story is simple and tragic at the same time.

It’s inevitable that CALLING ME HOME will be compared to THE HELP. There are some similarities, but they are completely different stories. I believe CALLING ME HOME is in development to be made into a movie. More comparisons will follow, I’m sure. But this is an excellent book and it deserves to stand on its own. I recommend it.