Books I Am Reading Or Have Read: " The Redbreast"

Someone suggested I read the "Harry Hole" books.  I read a lot of reviews about books, but I had never heard of those.  I wrote a note to myself, researched how many there were and if I needed to read them in order, found our that indeed there was an order to the books and then began on the first one...well, the first one written in English.

The first two "Harry Hole" books are not written in English, therefore, I had to start with book number 3, "The Redbreast", written by Jo Nesbo.  If college taught me one thing, it was to finish what I started, so saying that I will admit that I had to stick with this book a little while before I became really drawn into the story line.  However, once I became drawn in, I could barely stand to put the book down.

"The Redbreast" is one of those books that jumps back and forth between times.  It jumps between World War II and the present day in Norway.  That is the other thing that readers must adjust to; the names of places and people that are totally unfamiliar from what one may be used to reading.  The jumping back and forth must take place, though, in order for the story line to develop.  Things twist and turn until past meets present and then the "Ah Ha Moment" happens for the reader.  I would not dare begin to tell you WHAT the story is about, but I WILL give you a little hint.  It involves war (of course...), a love story and an assassination plot.  Believe me, it is a very exciting novel AND there are more "Harry Hole" books that I cannot wait to read, because there was one situation in "The Redbreast" that was not resolved at the end of the book which I suspect will continue in the next one; that fact alone makes this series a compelling read for me.

If you need further proof that Jo Nesbo is a talented writer, let me share with you a little about the author:  "Jo Nesbo is a musician, songwriter, economist, and one of Europe's most critically acclaimed and successful crime writers today.  His first novel featuring Police Detective Harry Hole was an instant hit in Norway, winning the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel- the most prestigious crime-writing award in Northern Europe.  In 2004, "The Redbreast" was voted the "Best Norwegian Crime Novel Ever Written" by members of Norwegian book clubs."  NOW...That's pretty impressive, isn't it?  I would definitely recommend reading this author's work; you won't be disappointed.  I am so happy when individuals introduce me to authors that I otherwise would never have found on my own.  If YOU have any reading suggestions for me, please leave them in my "comments" sections.

                                                               HAPPY READING!!!

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Not Wanting To Say Good-Bye To The Beach And My Family...

Friday was to be our last day of vacation.  I always get sad at the end of our family vacation because, although there is LOTS of noise and often times drama, it is strangely comforting to have all of my offspring under one roof.

As planned, we all got up, got dressed and headed out to the beach for our family beach photos...

                                        Parker Ann watched as Ca Ca put her make-up on

                                                                       Caitlin and Kevin
                                                                      Robby and Me
                                                                Justin, Sarah and Parker
                                                                        David and Codi
                                                                        Ryan and Allison
                                                                             The Girls!
                                                                          The Guys!

My BIG, FAT Family!
Poppi, Ya Ya and Parker Ann

Tropical Storm Debby was kicking up some pretty rough waves out there on the beach so we decided to hit the pool for pretty much the entire rest of the day!  When we finally drug ourselves out of the pool, Ryan and Allison were already preparing our dinner for the evening.  We would be eating early since David and Codi had to leave around 7.  David had to start his residency the next day in New Orleans...sadly, our family vacation was already breaking up.

Ryan and Allison did not disappoint us with dinner on this final evening either.  They prepared fried pork chops (a stuffed chicken breast for me...), garlic asparagus, home made macaroni and cheese, rice consume' and banana's foster for dessert!  

 WOW!  I was impressed by ALL of the meals that were prepared this week.  Although our tummies were full after this delicious meal, we headed back out for a walk on the beach to search for sand crabs one last time.  Upon returning, Caitlin, Sarah and I sat down to finish the game of Mexican Train Dominoes that we had been playing all week long.  Our group had dwindled down quite a bit from that first night but we three still had fun.

This year's family vacation had been a great one and I was definitely sad to see it come to an end. There is one thing that I once again realized; it doesn't matter where we go because it isn't about where in this world we are if we are with the ones we love.  We are family...a BIG, FAT, LOUD group of individuals and no matter how far apart we may live, we are always close within each other's hearts.  I feel blessed to have had ALL of my children together this year for our annual vacation.  Eleven of my most favorite + one big house + the sand and sun=  WONDERFUL MEMORIES!


Enjoying The Sand, Surf And A Little Late Night Crabbing!

Thursday morning we all got up and headed to the beach; this was going to be a sand, sun and surf day for our crew!  We had only previously been going out to the beach in the evenings so what a surprise to see how BIG the waves were this particular morning.  That, however, did not deter us; the morning found us riding the waves and making sand creations...

After hitting the beach, we decided to eat a little lunch, get cleaned up and head to town...It was to the Outlet Mall this day.  Every year, Robby treats us all to something on our "shopping day" and this year it was new tennis shoes at the Nike Store!  Everyone left there with a new spring in their step.  The thing Parker like most about the Outlet Mall was the rides!  It seemed that at every corner there was a new one for her to ride.  She picked up a rider on this particular one...

And our stop a the yogurt shop was another favorite!

                                                SO many choices...And I LOVE them ALL!

                                                       YAY!  New Nike's for everyone!

Upon returning home, it was Caitlin and Kevin's night to prepare dinner.  Now, if one knows Caitlin, they know that she is NOT to be out done.  She and Kevin had planned an oriental dinner.  The first item we were to enjoy would be chicken lettuce wraps, followed by a fried, spicy chicken and fried rice.  Oh...and we also had Fortune Cookies for dessert (I was REALLY impressed!).

After dinner, Robby decided that we should walk down to the beach and do something that we had not done since our kids were small...look for sand crabs!

Next, although it was almost 11:00, we decided to resume our game of Mexican Train Dominoes, with Robby silently monitoring attitudes close by.

Since we went shopping today, we decided to postpone our family beach pictures until Friday morning...I know, we are just putting off the drama that is sure to come along with that little activity.

This evening will be Ryan and Allison's night to prepare dinner...I can't WAIT to see what our next yummy meal will be!

Tune in tomorrow to see what else happens on our BIG, FAT FAMILY VACATION!

A Snake, A Ringing Doorbell And A Sleeping Baby...

OK...So, I told you there were "adventures" that happened yesterday.  Here's the scoop!

The plan was that the guys would all be playing golf while the girls would go to the pool with Parker.  Later we would head to town (something we hadn't even done since getting here...) and then David and Codi would be cooking dinner for us.

After having my morning cup of coffee and breakfast out on the deck with the girls, I announced that I was going down to get dressed to go to the pool.  Everyone got up and began to get ready too.  When I walked into my bathroom to get dressed, I noticed that Robby had plugged my cell phone up in there.  Reaching for it to see if I had any missed messages or calls, I noticed a message from Robby:  "I got bit by a snake but I am OK."  WHAT?!  OH MY GOSH!!!  Everybody who knows me knows that I am TERRIFIED of snakes.  I can handle spider and rodents, even lizards but snakes...I was in a panic!  I immediately sent a message back asking what kind of snake, where did he get bit, how did he know he was "OK".  He replied by saying, he didn't know what kind of snake, he got bit on the ankle and the doc said he was OK.  Hmmm..."WHAT Doc?", I asked; SURELY not David and Kevin who were out there playing golf with him.  Oh, I KNOW they are doctors, but REALLY...How much do they know about snake bites?!  Apparently, they told him that if it was bad, he would be in distress pretty quickly.  THAT'S "medical advice"?  We girls, were brainstorming, trying to figure out what kind of snake it could have been, if it was truly poisonous and what should be done about the wound.  Codi suggested that maybe one of them should try to suck the poison out but I quickly told her that I remembered from a first aid class I took, you should never do that.  I also remembered a tale about a snake bite that my grandmother once told me.  Her sister had got bitten by a snake and they poured coal oil into a bucket, put her foot in it and as the venom was sucked out of the wound, the oil turned green.  True story (although Robby has never believed it...)!  I have to admit that I was worried about that snake bite but then we saw the guys out on one of the greens from our balcony and Robby was waving so I relaxed a bit.

              This is where the snake bit Robby on his ankle...He needs to stay out of the rough!

The girls ate lunch, Sarah put Parker down for her nap and then we all decided to get showers so we could go to town later.  THAT'S when all of the the chaos FUN began!  When Parker is napping...well, it is important that she not get woke up suddenly or too soon from that nap.  When the next event took place, I was actually drying my hair and missed the immediate shock of it.  OK...First, just let me say that no matter how old boys are, they are still BOYS (if you know what I mean...).  I'll give you an example:  When Ryan and Allison arrived the other night, they threw all of their luggage in the elevator.  As soon as that elevator began making its ascent, the alarm button continued to go off.  YES!  That would be Ryan continually pushing it.  SO...when those guys got home from golfing, they did not merely knock or ring the doorbell once; you've got it...they rang it about 30 quick times in a row before Sarah could make her way downstairs to shush them!  Naturally, I never heard the initial ringing since I was drying my hair but when I came out of the bathroom, there was STILL ringing going on.  I'm not really sure WHO started the ringing, but I did hear someone say, "I will ring that bell till it raises the dead!"  Hmmm...

Luckily the ringing bell did not rouse Parker from her nap, however, when she did get up, we all headed into town to bowl!  Bowling is a fun activity for our family but there are many who are VERY competitive in this little group...

            And, of course, Parker was VERY excited that Ca Ca won her a Dora doll at the arcade!

After we had bowled a couple of games it was time to head home; It was David and Codi's night to cook.  They served up a sort of Italian meal for us; shrimp and pasta (chicken and pasta for me...), salad, French bread and ice cold watermelon for dessert.  Once again, we enjoyed a delicious meal (that I didn't have to prepare!).

After dinner it was game time!  Eight of us sat down to play Mexican Train Dominoes.  It was already late but we played for a good while...That is until people began attempting to enforce the rules (you know how THAT goes!).  Robby said he hoped he didn't have to ban all game playing.

Today we will head out to the beach for some more fun in the sand and sun.  I don't know what the plans are for afterwards, except that we will be taking family pictures on the beach late this afternoon.  That should be pictures with 11 people always is.  And then tonight is Caitlin and Kevin's night to cook...I can't WAIT to see what is in store for our palates!

Join me again tomorrow to see what MY BIG, FAT FAMILY is up to!