book review, family, Memoir, mental illness, Nonfiction Review, psychology, self-help

Codependent No More

codependent

I will never stop reading this book. Codependent No More reminds me to nurture the person I am and not feel guilty about that. To take care of myself. To remember I cannot control others no matter how much I may think I know what’s best for them.

I know. It’s ridiculous. I sound like I’m nuts. But sometimes my family makes me nuts.  Codependent No More – How to Stop Controlling Others And Start Caring For Yourself was originally written from the prospective of a former alcoholic married to an alcoholic.  Melody Beattie is very frank about her background and knows where of she speaks.

However, this book for any one who is in a relationship that seems out of control. Is your teen acting out or your adult child abusing drugs? Are you are overeating, overexercising, overspending while you seethe and obsess about ways to solve the problem or what advice you want to give?   Is your spouse taking advantage of your good nature and you are doing all you can to keep the peace while inside you feel resentful and used?

It’s natural for us to want to help. The problem is sometimes things have to run their course. Sometimes we really Can. Not. Help. Still we feel compelled to try. And nothing happens. Or the person we tried to help doesn’t appreciate us. Or they don’t want our help. We feel frustrated. Angry. Hurt. Victimized.

Being codependent isn’t always about alcoholics, drug users, or someone living an extreme lifestyle, though it can be, and if that is your life then this book is for you.  But it is also about people-pleasers like me, who care too much when it is actually ourselves for whom we should be caring.

Read Melody’s book. She will make you feel good about yourself, help you embrace the strong wonderful person you are, and in the long run, help you develop healthy relationships with all your loved ones.

4-daisy-rating

Reviewed by Leigh

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Melody Beattie

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book review, Nonfiction Review

Angel Letters

angel letters

Angel Letters

 

Ballentine Books, 1991

 

After writing and publishing her book, A Book of Angels, hundreds of people wrote to the author telling their own angel stories. Those stories are compiled into this book, Angel Letters. “These experiences of healing, rescue, warning, and comfort, of angelic blessings seen and unseen, will bring solace, wonder, laughter, and inspiration to anyone who welcomes a little angelic intervention in everyday life.” (From the dust jacket, inside flap.)

 

The stories in this little book are really inspirational. Sometimes in this crazy world we need to be reminded that we are Loved and Looked After.  Here’s a story shared by the author –

 

“I remember once I was in the desert without a hat. The sun beat down unmercifully. I thought, “I ought to have a hat; I’m going to get sunstroke.” And four hundred paces ahead, behind a rock, was a battered, torn straw hat. I clapped it on my head. This was before I understood that something—angels, a spiritual cavalry—is watching over us, waiting to be of help. And not to me alone but to all of us and all the time.  I took it as a lucky accident, that hat.”

 

As I read these stories, my skin rippled with goose pimples and I was truly amazed at some of them (one of my favorites was the elderly man on the side of the road that stopped a car from plowing head-on into a herd of deer in the dead of night. However, even as deeply as I believe in angels and the Presence of the Divine in my life – some of the stories were a little more difficult for me to believe – but then I realized, I don’t have to believe them. They weren’t my angels; those messages weren’t meant for me.

 

If you believe in angels – or even if you don’t – I hope you’ll find this book to be inspiring, or at the very least, thought provoking.

 

Rating: 4 daisy rating

 

Reviewer: Debby 2Debby

 

book review, happiness, journal, Nonfiction Review, self-help

Gift from the Sea

Gift_from_the_sea_by_anne_morrow_li

Gift from the Sea

 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Pantheon Books, 1997, 1955

 

From the back of the book, “A modern-day classic here are Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s elegant and wise meditations on youth and age, love and marriage, solitude, peace, and contentment, as she set the down during a brief vacation by the ocean. She helps us see ways to reconcile our most deeply personal needs with obligations to family, friends, lovers, and work, ways to separate loneliness from replenishing solitude, and ways to find solace in the simplest of daily tasks. Now more than ever, Gift from the Sea serves as a spiritual compass guiding us toward inner tranquility in the face of life’s deeper questions.”

 

I loved this book. It is going on my wish list to add to my library. There is so much nourishment contained within its pages that it deserves – no, demands – to be read once a year. This one reading only scratched the surface if the treasure within. I read it slowly – had to renew it once at the library – as to savor the words and lessons. And there are lessons to be learned and applied to my life. Lessons that are just as meaningful today as the time in which they were originally written.  First published in 1955, her insight into the world and its foibles is just as apropos today as it was then. This quote is timely despite its age:

 

The inter-relatedness of the world links us constantly with more people than our hearts can hold.  Or rather—for I believe the heart is infinite—modern communications loads us with more problems than the human frame can carry. It is good, I think, for our hearts, our minds, our imaginations to be stretched; but body, nerve, endurance and life-span are not as elastic. My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds. I cannot marry all of them, or bear them all as children, or care for them all as I would my parents in illness or old age. Our grandmothers, and even—with some scrambling—our mothers, lived in a circle small enough to let them implement in action most of the impulses of their hearts and minds. We were brought up in a tradition that has now become impossible, for we have extended our circle throughout space and time.

 

I love the way the author  writes – it is quiet, lyrical, and soothing. Like a cup of cool water on a hot day or a mug of hot chocolate on a cold night.

 

“The sea does no reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”

 

Rating: 5 daisies

 

Reviewer: Debby 2Debby

 

220px-CharlesLindbergh22Of interest: Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of Charles Lindbergh, of flying solo across the Atlantic fame and mother of  the infamous kidnapping and subsequent murder of her son, Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
book review, happiness, Nonfiction Review, Picture Book, self-help

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book

everythingEverything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book
Golden Books, Random House, 2013
          From the forward by the author: “Dear Reader, If you are like most Americans, you grew up with Little Golden Books. … We at Golden Books think there’s a good chance that many of us learned pretty much everything that really matters about life from what we read between those sturdy, gilt-bound cardboard covers. … Our country has faced some hard times of late, and we’ve been forced to look at ourselves and how we’re living our lives. …Maybe this book can help you! After all, Little Golden Books were first published during the dark days of World War II, and they’ve been comforting people during trying times ever since – while gently teaching us a thing or two.”
          What a sweet book!  It is compilation of many illustrations from many different Little Golden Books and recaptioned to gently remind the reader to enjoy life. I loved it – but then I love those little books. Many of the illustrations were familiar to me and it was good to see favorite artists again (Eloise Wilkin, Gustaf Tenggren). But I also ran across some books that were new to me, ones that I’d like to read even all these years later!  It’s a great book to give a friend  – or even yourself – when they’re feeling like life has run them over. We love this book very much and although the copy we read is a library book, we wouldn’t mind having a copy for ourselves!!
Rating: 4 daisy rating 4 daisies!
Reviewer: Debby 2 Debby
book review, Cookbook Review, cookbooks, Nonfiction Review

The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook

budget

Dear Reader,

I read The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook on my Kindle Fire. The format was extremely easy to use, but unlike one I can hold in my hand, it’s probably not a book I would use very often.  However, even if I did find a print copy, it still wouldn’t be a favorite.

The book explains in the chapter entitled ‘Cooking on a Budget’, you should approach saving money on food as you would any other project: with a plan. The author, Linda Larsen, who created and tested recipes for companies like Pillsbury and Malt-O-Meal since 1987, and written articles for Woman’s Day magazine advocates writing lists, planning menus, and cutting coupons.

Many of Larsen’s recipes are basic ones which can be found elsewhere. She includes traditional convenience foods in her ingredients lists like canned beans, vegetables and condensed soup, as well as white flour and sugar.  Granted this cookbook was first produced in 2008, just as the general public was beginning to truly grasp how unhealthy these foods can be, but there are plenty of people like me who want to save money on food, so Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook remains available.

While this is not a book I would use on a regular basis there are some interesting recipes I might try like Larsen’s recipe for Old Bay Seasoning. This is why I read cookbooks – the ‘aha moments’ when I discover something that interests me.  I enjoy finding a recipe I’ve never made or one that recreates a product I usually purchase at the grocery store, like Old Bay.

The Everything Meals On a Budget Cookbook gives cost per serving, so you can see at a glance which recipes cost less to create. However, I question the book’s accuracy in reflecting current food costs. In Appendix A  Larsen gives a cost comparison between canned or boxed foods and its’ homemade counterpart. Appendix B gives sample menus, their costs, and a shopping list for each.

The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook is part of a series of titles on various subjects, including many cookbooks. As a cookbook this title is moderately interesting and those who want to save a little money on food preparation may find it of some use.

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Reviewed by Leigh

leigh 2

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Old Bay Seasoning (From The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook)

Old Bays Seasoning is the classic blend of spices used for cooking seafood. You can make your own mix; it’s cheaper and it’s fun.
Combine
1T celery salt
½ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp each white and cayenne peppers
1/8 tsp all spice

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