Yes, We Are A Republic, Not A Democracy..

For the past three years I’ve been taking classes on the Constitution and The Federalist’s Papers. I’m happy to say I have completed those. And in doing so have been in a lot of discussions arguments about what it does and does not say.

I’ve found people willing to come to blows about what our Forefathers said and did.

My best advice. Do your Research. Read your own country’s constitution and know what you are talking about before you start defending it. And that is all I am saying on the subject.

And that is the Sermon of The Day….Thank you for coming!

 

xx Patricia

Strong Women The World Over

Reading this amazing look at the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Women never stop showing me how strong we are when we stand together against corruption in life. Who are the strong role models in your life? What are you willing to fight to the death for?

A lot of questions in this wonderful biography!

xxPatricia

 

House of Silence by Sarah Barthel

House of Silence

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin s future like that of every young woman hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiance commit a horrific crime and no one believes her. 

Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel’s debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.”

A wonderful look inside Bellevue Sanitarium in the year 1875. Isabelle is marrying Gregory and love has nothing to do with it. She has been raised as most of the women of the era, to either let her family pick a husband for her, or choose someone who could advance both of your stations in life. Her best friend Lucy, is working on running away and marrying the man she truly loves and while she is happy for Lucy and aids her in her attempt, Isabelle isn’t one to rock the boat.

She is however a smart young lady, and when she sees her supposedly loving fiance’ commit an unspeakable act, she does not stay silent. Unfortunately appearances are everything to Isabelle’s mother and neither she or the authorities believe Isabelle.

So she just shuts up. Not a word. Nothing. And that is how she ends up at Bellevue. A game of who can hold out the longest. Isabelle or her mother. As Isabelle meets more women at Bellevue, she sees how easy it is to just lock up a woman on pretty much any trumped up reason. She fears she may never be released and is alone and scared. Until she gets a neighbor. Mary Lincoln, whose son Robert is trying to have her declared insane.

Together she and Isabelle will come up with a plan to rescue them both.

Mary Todd Lincoln was a resident of Bellevue in that year, so there is some fact mixed in with the fiction.  This was a very nice historical fiction read, and I thank the Publisher and Netgalley.

This book will be released December 27, 2016. You can preorder here

Smooth Operator by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall

A Teddy Fay Novel Featuring Stone Barrington

Smooth Operator (Teddy Fay, #1)

Stone’s presence is requested at the White House by President Kate Lee. A matter of urgency and secrecy. Of course, this is Washington D.C.

The House Speaker’s daughter has been kidnapped and the people who have her are threatening to kill her if a certain bill isn’t passed. Stone has the perfect guy for the job. Teddy Fay! Now working out in movie land with Stone’s son, Peter. CIA background scrubbed, new identity and no one has any idea who he really is.

With all of the killing going on my head was spinning. Is it a terrorist act? A home grown conspiracy?
Full of twists and turns all the way to the final page! This time we get to see almost all of our favorite characters. Holly, Kate, Anne, and of course Teddy! All time best bad ass!

I am hoping we see much more of Teddy! He is one of my favorite characters.

All The Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell

All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses, How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America

Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses-How the White House grounds have grown with America.

Starting with the plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden, All the Presidents’ Gardens is a rich and compelling narrative that masterfully reveals how the White House grounds reflect what is happening in the country.

The book is written in chronological order beginning with George and Martha Washington in the years 1789 to 1797, the original inhabitants of what was called Versailles on the Potomac.

Ms. McDowell takes us through the centuries and how those 18 acres surrounding the White House have been nurtured, designed, planted and re-planted, changing with the times as well as each of the families who lived there and contributed their own personal mark on the gardens.

The book is full of rich history of not only our Presidents, but the whys and hows each plant came to be in the garden. The stories are informative as well as entertaining.

Each horticulturist is mentioned as well as every shrub and plant growing in the garden, with information about every one. The book is full of lovely illustrations and photographs, along with quotes from our past Presidents and their families.

I found this book to be not only educational, but I will definitely keep it as a resource for my own garden. Ms. McDowell took on a huge task with this project and I for one am glad she did!

The Author:

Marta McDowell lives, gardens and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She teaches garden history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. where she studied landscape design. A popular lecturer, she speaks to gardening groups across the country. She is also the author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher.

The Residence Inside The Private World Of The White House by Kate Andersen Brower

 

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

This was a Book Club Selection for April at my local library. I put off reading it until the last minute mainly because I thought it would be dry. It was not.

The first thing I’d say is that it is a very readable book. Very easy to read and I love that Ms. Brower didn’t offer her own opinions or try to speak for the men and women she interviewed.

Even after having been to the White House and been on the tour, I had no idea what goes into running such a huge house, and I also had no idea exactly how big it is. Way over the three stories I had thought!

We hear what working at the house means through the memories of the maids, butlers, chefs, florists, doormen, plumbers, secretaries who have worked there through multiple administrations. They are the house. The first families are really just renters for however long they are there.

I’m not sure I could work in such a place where every four to eight years, on a day’s notice, you had a new family living with you and you had no idea what they were like and you couldn’t really grieve the loss of the outgoing family.

If you want to know what some of our first families are really like in private you must read this book. However I found the memories of all those who have served generation after generation to be much more compelling. The pride in what they do. The professionalism they maintain day after day. It is definitely a juggling act!

The poignant moments when Mrs. Kennedy returned from Dallas with her blood stained pink suit, that was a truly tender moment that spoke volumes about the characters of the staff and of Mrs. Kennedy.

It was not shocking to me that some of the First Ladies weren’t as nice as they appeared.

I think you should all read this book! I actually read it out loud to my friend as I kept saying, ” Oh, my, listen to this!” He finally said, just read it to me.

Great job Ms.Brower! And great job to those men and women who keep out White House running so flawlessly!