Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone #YA #Review #LifeWithRox

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There really isn't anything I can add to a review that hasn't been said already about this book, but I'll share my thoughts anyway.

I admire how JK Rowling wasn't afraid to take such dark subject matter and place an 11 year old at the center of it. She did it with grace and honesty.

The book made me feel.... pure hotblooded anger towards Petunia Dursley for how she treated her nephew, immense love towards Hagrid for taking an orphan under his wing, pity towards Malfoy for falling in lockstep with his parents' prejudices, sadness for Ron who struggles with being on the outside due to poverty and at the same time joy that Ron and Harry formed a David and Jonathan friendship bond.

I read it many years ago like so many others and decided to take a more critical look at it this year. There are plot holes but for me they are easy to ignore for the story is pure joy from start to finish.

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Giveaway: $10 Amazon OR $10 PayPal #FrostyBeginnings

Welcome to the Frosty Beginnings Giveaway Hop hosted by Mama the Fox! Over on the host blog, Mama the Fox is giving away a Robyn Babymel Diaper Bag which has a ARV $80!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Snickers: My Deployment Dog #LifeWithKat

This post may sound a little silly to some of y'all. But I want to get this out, and what better place than here? I have four dogs. And they all mean something different to me. I have Gypsy, the two year old "surprise" that my husband brought home. I was not happy at all, and she is a holy terror. But I fell in love and got attached. Then there's Ony. She's around nine years old, and was another surprise that my hubby came home with. She, however, was just supposed to be a dog that we watched while his army buddy was stationed in Korea. But we were stationed somewhere new before that buddy came home, and he had no one else to watch her. It was, we keep her or the pound. And I'd gotten attached and there was no way I was taking her to the pound, so...we kept her. Next is Bella. She's eight years old and I watched as she was born. You can't not get super attached after that. She's my baby.

And then we have Snickers, who is also Bella's dad. He'll be 15 years old in February and I've had him since he was four months old. I walked into a shelter, wanting and expecting to leave with a cat, and there he was. There was nothing wrong with him; he was taken to the shelter because he had the misfortune of being the last in a litter of puppies, and he was never given away. Because of that, I knew exactly what he was (Jack Russell and Schnauzer mix) and how old he was. I was still living at home when I got him; going to college full time, working two part time jobs, and volunteering for America Reads. My mom was not happy when I brought him home. At all. But I loved Snickers from the very beginning, and my mom eventually grew to love him too.

Snickers has been with me through every major life event I've ever had. Moving into my own place for the first time. Crazy college parties. Falling in love, being hurt, doing it again and getting married. A horrible marriage followed by a quick divorce. He was there for me a lot for that one. Moving to Georgia, hurting my back, meeting Sean, getting married again. A pregnancy and raising a newborn while my husband was deployed. Being stationed in Texas...slowly falling apart in Texas, especially when my husband announced his next deployment. While I was slowly being built back up by some wonderful people I met in the book world. He was there when my world fell apart again a couple months ago. There as I got it together again, even through all the drama.

I'm sure y'all get the point. This may sound weird, but this dog has been my best friend, always there with a furry shoulder to cry on when I feel like my world is crashing. Always there with a doggy grin when things are going right. I'm terrified of losing him. I have been since he started getting older. And when Sean was leaving, I was scared to death because in 2015, we lost a dog. Her name was Daisy and I'd had her for eight years. She was Bella's mom. And I was inconsolable. I cried constantly for a week and I was useless for days after she passed. It's been over a year and I still sometimes look for her and get sad when I remember she's not here anymore. And losing Snickers would devastate me. So I was scared when Sean left. If something happened to him while Sean was gone, I don't know how I'd get through it. But Snicks doesn't act his age. He can't jump as well, and he mostly eats canned food because his teeth don't seem to tolerate kibble very well anymore. His hearing is going, and he's got some gray fur. But he's just as active and present as he's ever been.

And then a couple weeks ago, the worst happened. He got hurt. I don't even know how. But his eye started to swell shut, and there was a lot of discharge. I called the vet the next morning but they couldn't get him in for a week. A week! I was outraged. I called around and got some recommendations, and found a vet that would take him he next day. And by then, the fur had matted completely over his eye. I was in a panic, freaking out. The vet shaved the fur off and treated him. His eye itself was ok, but the lid underneath it had been cut pretty bad. And at this point, I'm feeling so much guilt, because I still don't know how it happened. Snicks got put on antibiotics, and some eyewash and ointment for the eyelid. But he'd gotten down...wasn't eating, had lost five pounds. The was on me hard. I had to bring him back in the next week, so see how his eye was doing, and if he'd need surgery on it.

I took him back in last week. He's ok. He's put two pounds back on. His eye is healing well. He doesn't need surgery. And I wanted to fall over in relief. I'm not losing him. Not yet. And my husband will be home soon, and I can breathe a sigh of relief, because hopefully, Sean will be home when something finally does happen. But I'm sincerely hoping and praying that Snicks has another five or ten years left in him, even if the chart in the vets office says he's surpassed senior stage and is now a geriatric. He has another appointment next week, to recheck his eye and his ears as well, because he has an ear infection. But...he's gonna be just fine.

I didn't intend this post to be this long when I set down to write it. I really didn't. But it felt so good to get all of this off my chest, and I thank all of you for taking the time to read it. It means a lot.