Every Natural Fact Five Seasons of Air Parenting


Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Air Parenting

By Amy Lou Jenkins

Nature and the wild is so beautiful and when experienced can bring about a true understanding of the world and all of its beauty. When people deface the trees, burn them, or abuse the beautiful land we live in, measures need to be taken to protect our forests, parks, land and greenery. Amy Lou Jenkins in her book has brought to light many issues that are not only faced by humans when exploring the forests, the oceans and natural resources, but she teaches the reader a lot of animals, ecology, the environment and enjoying nature with her son, DJ. DJ and Amy spend many long weekends, days and more hiking throughout the state of Wisconsin and share with the reader their exciting experiences, the history of many of the parks, forests and places they visit and her family. Throughout the book, the author tells the reader about many of her family members that visited the areas she and DJ are seeing for the first time and of the wonderful memories that she will never forget.

I enjoyed reading about the cranes and how she was determined to see a White one and the history of that crane and how some are endangered really enlightens the reader and helps you understand why it is important to have sanctuaries and safe places for these and other birds, and animals to thrive. Sharing with the reader how one man was able to teach these cranes how to migrate for one season and come back for another was truly amazing and exciting to read. Of course my favorite, was her Grandma Bertha who definitely reminds me of my Grandmother who was also Bertha and my Aunt Lil that resembles hers in so many ways.

Bonding with a young child is difficult when they start middle school and are beginning to form different friendships and relationships. Teenagers and preteens would rather spend time with their friends, watching football and enjoying activities whether indoors or outdoors with people their own age. The fact that DJ was willing to go on these adventures with his mother is truly remarkable and quite commendable. I really liked when he asked Amber to come on one trip and how she was treated as one of the family and asked to be the navigator on the journey. DJ’s polite ways and respect for both adults and other kids and his sensitivity to Amber and how the people they met seemed to treat her, is a tribute to the author and how well brought up and mannered DJ is. Amber sounds like a wonderful young lady who could use some extra help in school and needs to feel special in her own right.

Each essay enlightens the reader about the wonders of nature and the remembrances that they trigger in the mind of the author from her past. Some are good and others evoke thoughts that she shares with her son and the reader about her childhood, her parents and the many events in their lives that helped create who she is now and was then.

From her experiences the reader learns about the many seasons of nature that she shared her experiences with not only with DJ but her family too. I really enjoyed reading about the Audubon Center and its history. Her son’s excitement going bird watching and seeking the landscape through his own camera and eyes was exciting. Describing her father and her relationship with him as child, pretending to be part of the crowd during one of their parties and understanding her limitations and sharing her love of nature with her son. I love watching birds, so the descriptions of the red cardinal and the woodpecker interested me as well as the excitement of their trip to Lake Superior.

Living in the city you rarely see the changes in the seasons and nature that someone living in a rural area sees. Learning to sit upon her throne of silence the author learned the comfort and wonders found in stillness. How many people look out of their windows and marvel at the beauty of the landscape, the trees that and changes throughout the seasons, the animals that appear and migrate, or take walks to jus to appreciate each other? Each season that is described, each journey that she and DJ takes brings the reader to a closer understanding of the bond that she has with him and the relationship with her son that is firm and solid.

The history, the stories, her love of nature and her family come through in these wonderful essays. Which ones did I really love the best, try all of them. I especially loved Valley of the Snake and County of Origin. Read these essays and learn why DJ and Amy Lou loved their time together and really became one with nature.

I give this book five more perfect seasons for Amy and DJ explore the world of nature.

Fran Lewis

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Tell Me When It Hurts


Tell Me When It Hurts

Author: Christine M. Whitehead

A minute formal point, detail so insignificant that when brought to bear upon a main issue it is meaningless and should have no weight on the final outcome. This often occurs during a trial when the jury listens to the evidence and the judge decides to throw out a case because of some minor technicality that should have been addressed before bringing the case to light. But, sometimes we don’t know that a particular procedure, although followed correctly, is not and a defense attorney finds a loophole and gets the suspect off. This is the case in the murder of Annie Mackenzie. When the legal system fails, as it did Annie, what do you do? How far would you go to avenge the death of your child? Sometimes the only way to get things done is to do it yourself!

Imagine a piece of fine porcelain or blown glass breaking into millions of pieces when accidentally dropped. These pieces of glass or porcelain that were once whole cannot be restored to their original shape or form. Lives can be shattered and broken into millions of pieces and never restored when a tragedy strikes as Archer Loh found out when learning of her daughter’s death. Those pieces can never be made whole and the original shape forever gone.

Annie Mackenzie went on a school trip and was excited about seeing the sights of Washington DC. Taught not to talk to strangers or go off on her own, Annie left along with her friends and chaperones to embark on her first overnight trip. Then the unthinkable happened. Becoming separated from the other students on her bus, she meets a stranger that offers assistance. But, not the kind any parent would want for her child. Faced with a difficult choice, Annie enlists the help of a stranger to find her classmates and chaperones. Once again she is failed. This time by those in charge of the trip and the school as well. Why didn’t anyone know she was missing? Why didn’t anyone tell Archer and Adam after it happened? Failure is unacceptable and must be handled at any cost!

Who was responsible for the senseless death of this child named Annie? Is it the killer, the chaperones, the teachers in charge or all of these people that were supposed to care for the children on the trip and prevent this from happening?  Managing the safety of your child when they are in the company of friends or other people is difficult and scary for parents. Annie needed to find her bus and placed her trust in the wrong adult. Viewing her as weak, helpless, defenseless, the offender manipulated her to fulfill his needs and the outcome proved tragic for more than just Annie and her parents.

Archer Loh could not handle what happened to her daughter, and although she considered her father her knight in shining armor and hoping he would come to the rescue, no one could. Distraught and unable to handle life, her career as a lawyer and more, she became despondent, depressed and turns to alcohol for comfort. Adam, her husband, supportive at first, realizes their marriage has ended and she moves away with her dog, Hadley to log cabin in the Berkshires. Tell Me When It Hurts: If you asked Archer she might say: It Never Stops! The pain and the guilt are constant and although she is not responsible for her daughter’s death, she eliminates all rationale by blaming herself for her child’s death because when she failed to attend the trip as a chaperone. But, would the events have turned out differently? No one will ever know, certainly not Archer.

A vigilante is someone who decides to take the law into his/her own hands. The person acts as his/her own law enforcement and might form a group or organization of such people to mete out their own form of justice to what they might call worthy offenders. Often these people incorporate themselves or present themselves as a private security firm or a non-profit organization. Righting the wrongs that the justice system failed to prosecute this organization eliminating the problems minus the fanfare, the trial and the notoriety. Do you agree?

Into Archer’s life walks Connor McCall a tall, handsome and distinguished man who slowly enters her life and changes her perspective and outlook on life. He owns 300 acres of land near hers and has a Harvard Business Degree and a sheep ranch. Meeting Archer changes not only her life, but his too.  Learning about his past he tells Archer about his daughter Lauren and why he has no contact with her. Archer convinces him to change that. Archer is an Olympic level rider and had given her daughter a horse named Allegra, which she loved. Archer can’t face losing her daughter and abandoned her family, friends, career, and horses and creates her own timeline, agenda when dealing with her own issues. She even joined a secret group learning training as a skilled assassin for the government. This illusive and secret group of vigilantes, along with Archer, pronounces and performs their own sentence on the criminal in question.

Connor McCall learning her truths and her secrets, tried to help restore her faith in love and herself, until he got too close and she had to choose between him and remaining close to her memories of Annie shattering yet another piece of fine blown glass and two lives. Connor was not devoid of mistakes or guilt. Allowing another man to raise his child Connor thought would be best for nine -year old Lauren. But, not in her mind and was it too late to become part of her life? Both Connor and Archer form their own special bond, but when asked to choose between her life at present and become part of his, Archer regresses back into her own private world of isolation.

Christine Whitehead brings to light many important issues in this novel. The first is the issue of vigilante justice, next abuse, neglect, forgiveness and hope. Forgiveness is hard when you blame yourself. Christine Whitehead allows the reader to understand the pain, the heartache and agony that Archer faces each day in order to find her way back to herself, understanding self compassion and begin to heal. Abuse is unforgiveable whether physical, spousal, verbal, child, or sexual. Through Archer and the Group deals with those who have inflicted that pain on others the reader has to decide whether he/she agrees with how they mete out their own brand of justice.

A father who decides it is best to allow another man to bring up his child for her sake. But, is it? Adoption often brings with it privacy and anonymity for the real parents. But, sometimes a child might want to meet their real parents and then things can get out of control. Children are often more forgiving and hopeful than adults. When Connor meets his daughter Lauren she is so taken with him and of course Alice, his dog and Millie, his horse, an instant bond is formed. Not wanting to create a rift between her adoptive father and her, Connor becomes an integral part of her life as a good friend. With characters whose voices are clearly heard and so brilliantly defined, the author takes the reader on a journey that no parent should have to go on and the end result will surprise you.

Alienation sometimes brings your closer to your end result. Part of The Group, she has agreed to eliminate a man guilt of heinous abuse on his family. Freed due to a minute point of law, Gerald Jerome must pay. But, one simple turn and one wrong move changes the course of events for Archer and the stark reality’s of life find their way back. But, will it be in time?

Each hit or death brings closure to the victim’s family. Some may get a piece of their lives back and feel some sort of redemption. Hiding behind the Group and not counting on God to carry out justice, this group became her salvation and given her the strength to go on. Sent to eliminate a man who committed many counts of abuse and escaped justice, Archer faces more than just a killer. One final hit, one fatal shot, one moment of total illumination will change the course of events for her forever. What does happen you will have to read for yourself. What are the final choices that she makes and will she decides to change it with Connor or continue on as before? Hurt and dejected, will Connor allow her back into his life and work through their losses, fears, and despair and find hope and deliver themselves from sin and seek their own redemption.

When the law fails, should we? Would you join the Group? You decide after reading this outstanding novel.

A child whose memory will never fade. A vision that will bring back her light. A mother who never gave needs to come full circle and accept some decisions that can’t be changed. A book equal to that of any on the N.Y Times bestseller list. Issues that need to be addressed, school that need to be more responsible and children that need to know: NEVER GO OR TALK WITH STRANGERS! I give this book Five Gold Stars in Memory of Annie.

Tell Me When It Hurts: It will never stop hurting but the pain will ease and your life will go on if you let yourself FORGIVE Yourself AND UNDERSTAND!

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books