An Empty Vessel by Vaughan Mason, Written by JJ Marsh

Warning: This is not a happy story.

I’m sure you’ll figure that out as quickly as I did when you read the first page and see that Nancy the main character is sentenced to be “hanged by the neck until you are dead.” However as this fairly short novel backtracks into the lives of the condemned woman and those around her, it paints a rich scene with well developed characters making it a worthy read despite its macabre topic.

Would I recommend it? Yes. The book explores topics ranging from war time jobs for women during WWII, abuse, women’s roles in the home afterward, family obligations, innocent until proven guilty, the death sentence and the advantage that being “pretty” gives you in life all without lecturing on any of them. I think it would make an excellent book club choice!

 

But what’s with that book title Jessie?

So glad you asked! JJ Marsh has taken a fictional character out of her Beatrice Stubbs Series and written his book! How cool is that?!? You can find more info about this on her website: http://www.beatrice-stubbs.com/relaunch/2019/03/10/an-empty-vessel/

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

 

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Prussian Blue?

I thought about asking y’all to guess what this is but, honesty, it’s random and I’ve never seen it before so instead I’ll just tell you.

Maybe you can tell me why you think it’s blue now.

This is a close up shot of a shovel that had been at the bottom of a fire. (It was thrown in to burn out the handle that had broken off inside.) When I pulled it out the next day I found this brilliant blue color on parts of it!

John’s theory is that the iron in the shovel reacted with potash from the fire and created iron hexacyanoferrate better known as Prussian blue pigment. He also admits that this is not exactly his type of chemistry (the internet was heavily utilized in the theory making tonight) so other ideas are welcome!

Personally I have no idea why but I can tell you that the color was a beautiful surprise hiding in the ashes!

The Doll Maker by Celine Jeanjean

Sometimes stepping back into a fictional world is like coming home or snuggling under a cozy blanket. Reentering the world of Damsport with Longinus and Rory is more like slipping on your favorite summer dress. But then, as you pull on the comfortable fabric, ready for a sunny day of adventure, you absently slide your hands down your side and discover that your favorite dress, the one you’ve worn again and again, has pockets that you had never even noticed before!

Would I recommend it? Yes! In case the pockets in dresses reference wasn’t for you, let me be plain. I have always enjoyed this series but as it goes on and the characters continue to grow, I fall more in love with the world, the characters and Jeanjean’s writing. Start with The Bloodless Assassin and enjoy the ride!

Self

I listened to The Thick Thighs Save Lives Podcast today. It’s a fitness podcast, generally aimed at women, and today’s episode was called “Lift Like a Girl.” While the whole thing was great, the part that really stuck with me was when they pointed out this:

Why do we, as adults, go watch all our kids games and activities but when it comes time for us to go for our workouts, our practices, our games, our races, we leave them with the babysitter? Or we forgo activities altogether because we don’t have “time” in between their activities.  We are their roles models. I want my girls to see me work hard at something I love. I want them to see me succeed and I also want them to see me fail and try again. I want them to see that because that’s what I hope they grow to aspire to do themselves.

Photo by: Foster Chaffee Photography taken at the 2018 Natural Family Expo.

Admittedly, I already drag the girls along to many of my events but I’ve always felt a bit guilty for doing it. Not any more. They might not always love it, but that’s okay. Moms having been forcing kids to do things they didn’t want to do because it was good for them since the first two year old said “I don’t wanna!” It’s basically a requirement.

Not only that, I want them to see me as more than just a mom. I am a mom but also I’m a “real” person, who does things she likes to do. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of family life. So easy to put the kids’ needs ahead of your own and suddenly, if you aren’t careful, the mom who facilitates everyone’s plans only has time for a quick bath and calls it “self care.” I want more than that for me and my girls. I want them to see me as a mom who still has a sense of self. And if they go down this road of motherhood, I want that for them too.