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Julie

Confessions

Down Goes the Internet

Seriously folks!

Our internet has been down since last Thursday! My data plan is going to be blown this month!  Right this minute, I am sitting in a friend’s driveway bumming their WiFi!  Yep, really!

So, I thought I would let you know.

I think it is just my luck! I’ve gotten all kinds of things going in my noggin to write, so I am getting it all down and will post it soon.  We are supposed to get a new modem from our satellite internet provider this Thursday!  Fingers crossed!!

It is crazy how much I find myself wanting to get on then internet.

Guess this might be just the break I need.

Keep On Keepin’ On!

Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out My Thoughts | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out – My Thoughts

First of all, I want you to know that I do not claim to know anything about this hot topic.  I can only address what I am hearing and seeing on social media or television. One of my favorite people in this whole world is a teacher in Oklahoma (Love you, Sis!), we have a granddaughter in Oklahoma public schools, and several of my friends are teachers here so, this is why I am concerned. (Yep, that is a run-on sentence. You know that because of a teacher. Hmm)

What I am hearing from the people that are not in the teaching profession is that all the teachers want is a raise.  Wait! Before you teachers start commenting about how wrong that is, let me finish.  This is all about my thoughts, so be sure you read this well before commenting. Read it twice if you need to. One of the main reasons a lot of people think this is because of a certain man in the OEA was heard on the news complaining that the raises that will be given are not enough. Then, our fabulous news media shows it over and over. Social media isn’t much better. I think the OEA needs to get on the same page as the teachers.

What I am hearing from the people that are in the teaching profession is that they would have rather had funding for the classroom than a raise. We need more teachers because they need fewer kids in each classroom, but there’s no money to hire more. We need new textbooks! When kids have to tape their textbooks together to be able to use them, that is no bueno. (Do you know what bueno means? Thank your Spanish teacher.) Oh, and get this, the tape used to tape those textbooks together was bought by the teacher or the parents.

I know that many teachers need a raise.  I know that many of the staff need a raise.  I also know many people who would be looking for a new job if they were not given a raise in a year or two years.  How long have teachers gone without a raise?

What about the funding that the teachers are asking for?  Do you go to work for a company expecting to supply your own pens, staplers, file folders, calculators, computers/tablets, supplies, or coffee (that’s a big one for many)  needed to do your job?  I for one loved being able to pick all new supplies to be provided by my employer when I started a job. I know a teacher that decided not to go to the Capital today to take a stand. Instead, she bought paint and was going to take the day to paint her classroom.  Am I the only one that finds something wrong with this? She bought the paint? And she has to paint the classroom? Why is she doing this? Because, she takes pride in her classroom. She wants her kids to have a nice place to learn. (Yes, I said her kids because believe it or not every teacher I know worth a damn considers them their kids. Just ask one.)

Yes, I know the argument.  Teachers only work nine months out of twelve, and they get paid all year.  They get Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and they only work until four p.m.. I’ve heard it all, in fact I’ve used it. That was a long time ago, and after watching my sister and many teacher friends through the years, I know the facts. The facts are that teachers work almost all year, and they are paid for nine or ten months (I am not positive which) over a twelve month period. They are almost always working over every break they get. They get sick days and/or personal days, but if they run out of those days they have to pay a substitute teacher out of their own pocket.  It isn’t that they just don’t get paid, they have to pay. They get off work at four in the afternoon. Yea, I know that isn’t true.  I mean, they may leave the building most days by four, but they work at home, coach, sponsor extra-curricular activities, or work in the concession stand at school sporting events. Yes, I know, coaches get more money for coaching. I was married to a coach, and I know that they money they paid him as a contract coach didn’t amount to anything. Many teachers have more than one job. I’m sure I could go on and on, but this has to end sometime.

Speaking of this having to end sometime. When will this end? When will everyone be happy?

Not everyone is going to be happy in the end. If the teachers get the funding that they deserve, then legislature won’t be happy. If the teacher walk-out continues then parents won’t be happy. Finding childcare for that many on such short notice won’t be easy or free.

What needs to happen?

I don’t really know, but I will tell you what I think.  You have your opinion and I have mine. We do not have to agree. We (most of us) are adults, and should be able to act accordingly. This is my website, therefore, I can say anything I want to here. Capiece?

I don’t think the teachers will get funding unless the walk-out causes pain and suffering for others. By pain and suffering I mean, I think parents need to have to find childcare for their kids or have to take off work to care for them. I think those parents then need to complain to the legislature, and make a stand any way that they can. People usually don’t react until it affects them. That is what I think might help teachers get the funding that they deserve.

Whatever happens, I am praying for the teachers, the kids, and even the legislature. I am praying for an outcome that will be better for everyone. In the end, the kids are the ones getting the short end of the stick. Our future teachers, employees, even politicians. How is this affecting them?

The House on Foster Hill - Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

The House on Foster Hill – Book Review

Book Description:

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–
including her own–are lost?

Review:

Dual timelines must be all the rave now. It seems like every time I turn around the book I am reading is set in dual timelines. I found myself interested in one story line more than the other, and think that both should be able to hold their own in a sense. This just didn’t ring true for these.  It was quite interesting to read about Ivy and her father’s job, and how Ivy documented everything in her death journals aka obituarys. It was also quite interesting that Kaine (the main character) purchased a house sight unseen so soon after her husband’s death. If I were in her shoes, I would have run! Crazy!

While I only gave this book three stars on goodreads and amazon, it wasn’t a bad book. It just started off a bit slow, and it was an effort for me to pick it up each time to finish it. It was a good story line, and I did like the ending but, don’t expect to finish this one in one setting.

This is Jaime Jo Wright’s debut novel, and I look forward to reading her next one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bethany House for providing me with this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

The House on Foster Hill Book Cover The House on Foster Hill
Jaime Jo Wright
Mystery, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Suspense
Bethany House
November 21, 2017
eARC
364
Received an advanced eARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

A Moment to Breathe - Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

A Moment to Breathe – Book Review

Book Description:

When the rush of regular life leaves you breathless by day’s end, this collection of everyday stories becomes the place where you can come as you are, and find yourself among friends. Friends who have been there. Friends who’ll lean in close and say, “Me too!” Through our stories the bonds of friendship deepen as we listen to each other, laugh with each other, and learn from each other. Because we’re better when we’re living this one beautiful life together.

With stories from 80 writers, these pages become the very place your soul can exhale, where you can: 

· Connect with the hearts of women through stories that echo your own.

· Find beauty in the ordinary and sometimes messy moments of your everyday life.

· See your own stories as an offering of hope to those around you.

· Treasure the unseen ways God moves through even your most regular days. 

With 365 readings, each day begins with a passage of Scripture, tells a story of everyday faith, and encourages you to take a moment to breathe with a simple but fun way to complete your day. So kick off your shoes and join us for a relaxing but special time, where friends come together and share the real stuff of everyday faith.

Review:

This book was a treasure trove for me. While I fangirled over many of the contributors like my friend, Robin Dance, Suzanne Eller, Lisa-Jo Baker, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Renee Swope, Holley Gerth, Annie F. Downs, and Emily P. Freeman just to name a few, I also found a bunch of the other contributors to be just as swoon worthy. They speak my language! They take everyday life and speak (or write) Jesus into those spaces that many of us seem to overlook.

One of the coolest things in this book is “A Moment to Breathe” at the bottom of each day’s devotional.  There are many days that I don’t know what to do, or I just need a little spiritual shove.  These are perfect for those days when I am at a standstill.  There are little ideas for you to either act on (pray for someone that seems to have it all, or just be present with someone).  The actions and ideas are simple, don’t take much time, and will surely bless you and someone else, too.

Fair warning:

This is a 365-day devotional, but it you are anything like me, you will catch yourself reading more than one day’s devo at a time. It’s a nice feeling that someone out there has the same situation or feelings that you do. It is nice to know that we are not the only ones that need A Moment to Breathe.

Thank you to B&H Publishing for providing me a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

A Moment to Breathe - 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess Book Cover A Moment to Breathe - 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess
from the (in)courage community
devotional
B&H Publishing
October 3, 2017
Hardcover
392
B&H Publishing

Ouch! I Got Called On the Carpet | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Ouch! I Got Called On The Carpet!

If you’ve ever been called on the carpet then you know it is never a good thing.

Thank you to my friend, Anya for calling me out! I needed it!

Here’s how it went down.

Anya: Hey, I thought you said you were going to start writing again.

That’s all it took. The guilt took over my whole being! I’m not joking!

I did, I told everyone that I would start writing again and then I didn’t.  Well, I had all kinds of great ideas when I wrote that.  I promise, I did. But then everything went blank.  Those ideas vanished! (I’m sitting here trying to think of Harry Potter’s spell to make something disappear, but it has vanished as well!) So, I’ve decided to just tell you what has been on my mind lately. (Happy, Anya?)

In no particular order:

  • I need to get back on my diet.
  • I need to remember to tell the vet that the dogs need pedicures.  Do not write TNT on the note this time. But really, the note was just for Butch (McD for you special bloggy pals) and he gave the note to the tech. Apparently, he forgot what my abbreviations stood for.
  • I really should start dinner.
  • Why, oh why, have I lost every good idea to write about. Oh, I will write about my prayer bracelet. Next time.
  • I need to get some photos of the baby calves!
  • Oh, I hope I get to build my raised garden beds this weekend.
  • Why do I write anyway?
  • I seriously need to finish binding that Crown quilt!! Like yesterday! Maybe I can share a pic. Hmm.
  • Why is it so hard to figure out my Enneagram number? Am I a 2 or an 8? Or a 9? Or am I an 8 with a strong 9 wing?
  • Did I leave that gate open?
  • I sure hope Jim’s shoulder is okay.
  • Should we be cremated or embalmed? (We recently went to a funeral!)
  • What should I plant in my garden? Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Marigolds. More tomatoes.
  • Maybe I can write about The Bible Binge podcast.
  • Oh, I need to tell BooMama about the calming treats we got for the dogs that one time. It sounds like Hazel really needs some.
  • Dang it! I forgot to have pie on Pi day!
  • RIP Stephen Hawking – I bet The Big Bang Theory has a special episode for him.
  • I think I should be sitting on the couch with the dogs.

Yea, I think I’m gonna go sit on the couch (after I fix dinner), and watch Bull. Then Criminal Minds. Oh, who knows, I might get caught up in a Mahjonng game!

See, aren’t you glad you don’t know what is going on in my mind?  I even cut this list in half! I took out the rude and crude. I hope I have made you happy, dear Anya.  I do have a few book reviews to post in the next few days. I have a bit to share about my trip to Jerusalem, and my prayer bracelet. I guess this little list helped some because a few ideas are coming to me. Sorry you had to sit through it all. If you did, do you want to give me a few ideas of what you want to know? Or what you think I should write about?

Hello? Anyone there?

I didn’t think so.

Julie out

Why I Haven't Been Writing | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Why I Haven’t Been Writing

Oh dear.

So this is either going to make a lot of sense or open a big ol’ can of worms.  Or both.

I quit writing because more people that I know and see in real life, face-to-face, have started following my Facebook page for this website. After I realized who some of the people were that were reading what I wrote, and had been going back to read everything I’ve written, I started to clam up.  I told myself it was out of respect for those people.  They might not like what I write, they might not agree with my opinions, and they might say something about it.  Most of my blogging life I didn’t have to worry about anyone I knew in real life reading it. Now, it’s different.

I love Jesus! I love to talk about Jesus! I know that not everyone is going to agree with my beliefs, and I will not agree with everyone else all the time.  I attend a church that is very conservative, in fact I was raised in this church as was my husband.  We are not that conservative.  We do not believe everything that our church, including our family, believes and I have felt like I can’t write because of it.

I’ve decided to start writing again. I have decided that we are all adults/grown-ups/big people, whatever you want to call us, and if we can’t all get along then quite frankly…get off of my page. (Hey Hey You You Get Off of My Page (Cloud). Are you singing it too?) It’s that simple.

Again, I am not going to be trying to be disrespectful in anyway. I am just going to be me.  I am just going to keep on sharing, and who knows what that will be. I hope that a few of you will stick with me.

So, be prepared. I’m ready to write.  But right now, I have to go feed the cows.

Until next time. Pray for me. I’m praying for you.

19 Souls - Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews

19 Souls – Book Review

Book Description:

Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie’s brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel’s real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the “perfect life” for the only man she’s ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he’s driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls.

Review:

Do you like television shows like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, NCIS, or Homicide Hunter? Those are some of our favorite show, and I think that is part of the reason I devoured this book and loved every bit of it.  If you like these types of shows, I am sure you will like this one too!

Oh, hi my name is Julie and I judge books by their covers. The cover of this one is what drew my attention to it, but I was hooked before I even finished the first chapter.  J.D. Allen really kicked it in high gear from the very beginning.  This story is full of non-stop action, and you don’t want to stop reading until you get to the very end. There were times that I just wanted to let Jim have it, even though I developed a soft spot for him.  But Sophie, on the other hand, was so easy to just loathe with every fiber of my being.  A couple of things were a little predictable, but it wasn’t enough to mess with the story.

I’m sorry to say that this book will not be released until February of next year, but really that is just around the corner.  I will be posting a reminder for you because I would really hate for you to miss out on this one.

19 Souls Book Cover 19 Souls
Sin City Investigation #1
J.D. Allen
Thriller, Crime, Detective
Midnight Ink
February 8, 2018
eARC
360
Received an advanced eARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.