Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

November 2016
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Merry Christmas
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 1:40 pm

It is hard to believe it’s November 30th already. I hope everyone had a good month and a wonderful Thanksgiving. This is the time of the year when we all get so busy that it sometimes feels like we can meet ourselves coming and going.
We had a dinner party for sixteen of our favorite people ten days before Thanksgiving. Our oldest granddaughter came and helped us with serving and clean -up. She’s a gem and it made everything so much more fun and easier.

Then we had 16 cherished family members with us for Thanksgiving this year, including four great-grandchildren under the age of five. Our home was a lively place for a few hours! I ate too much like I always do on Thanksgiving.
We missed the nine immediate family members who were unable to be with us this year. At least five more of them will be with us for Christmas. Our Stony Brook U. granddaughter, Hayley, will be home for Christmas, and our Air Force grandson Ethan will arrive back from Japan on December 8th. Yeah!

Our granddaughters, ages fourteen and seventeen came on the two Sunday afternoons after Thanksgiving to help us decorate for Christmas. The second Sunday they were joined by their 12 year old cousin. Christmas music blasting and a few fresh decorating ideas…almost everything is done. What would we ever do without these awesome grandchildren!?

You can read my review of the Context of Love, posted on Story Circle in early November, please click the following link to read it:

ALSO I had good news from the Story Circle anthology. (Needless to say this made my day!):
I’m truly glad to tell you that your fiction entry, The Callahan Sisters, will appear in both the print and online
editions of Real Women Write: Sharing Our Stories, Sharing Our Lives,
volume 15. You’ve created an evocative and moving look at an experience that
many women share.
It is on schedule to be published in January.  It’s a strong addition to this year’s
remarkable collection”

I have had less time to read this month. But I did manage to read a few books:

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse  Historical fiction. This was a beautifully written, powerful coming of age novel set in Nazi occupied France during WWII. A gripping page turner, unforgettable characters.

Bridge to Terbithia
by Katherine Patterson.  Fiction. An older children’s novel, a  Newbury Prize winner. Excellent writing, great plot and character development. *I highly recommend it for Christmas gifts for children on your gift list.

View From the Rigging, Memoir of a Coast Guard Career by Captain Richard J. Marcott. The author lives in our home town, and we’ve known him during his retirement years from the military. It is an impressive and exciting book. *If you need a gift for a retired military person or for a young person considering a military sea career, this would be a perfect gift! I am glad his daughter encouraged him to write his life story, and you will be too after reading this compelling memoir.

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve  Historical Fiction. It started out a bit slow for me but soon picked up speed and I soon loved this old fashioned novel. Set in the United States, England and France during WWI. It dealt with PTSD when it was still called Shell Shock, amnesia, and domestic abuse when women had no rights. Layered complicated plot with great characters.

There are lots of good movies to be released within the next few weeks but it seems most of them will by-pass our neck of the woods. Having a dog, we are not able to make extended trips to nearby cities to watch a movie. Too long for our Lucas in the dog crate! We watched The Boys from Brazil (1978), starring Gregory Peck playing Dr Josef Mengele. A truly excellent movie, though Aticus Finch he certainly was not!! (Netflicks) We also watched a couple other movies from Netflicks but they are not
even worth mentioning. We didn’t didn’t even finish one of
On Thanksgiving evening, after the family went home and everything was sort of back to order, we collapsed in front of the television and watched two wonderful movies on PBS, Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna.

Please take a few moments to remember WHY we celebrate Christmas. And it’s definitely NOT the glitz or the commercialized Black Friday shopping hoopla. 
Till next time my friends, keep reading. I suggest a Christmas novel to help you find your Christmas spirit!

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