Monday, October 28, 2019

Ornery Reviews: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat

Genre: Animals, Mystery (Middle-Grade)

Rating: Four out of Four Stars for the Online Book Club
Five out of Five stars on Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If readers purchase the book through the above link, I receive a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my review on Amazon.

Read my official Online Book Club review for this book here.

Although this wonderfully imaginative story is especially excellent for young girls with its self-reliant and plucky feline heroine, it is also a fun tale for any mystery lover, young or old, boy or girl. This decidedly not-young reader (age 54) received a review copy and was delighted by the antics of Inca. This determined little Siberian cat leads readers through an educational adventure as she solves the mystery of a sword stolen from the Colombo museum in Sri Lanka.

For an adult reader, it was nice to be able to focus on the aspects of intrigue and suspense without having to worry about overt violence cropping up. Besides, it's hard not to smile about a mystery-solving cat.

~Cie AKA The Ornery Old Lady~

Free use image from Pixabay

Ghost Town Grover Sez:
"I tried to tell Cactus Clem that the Old Lady's cats would jest use him fer a scratchin' post, but he insisted on readin' 'em this story anyways."

Cactus Clem Sez:
Heck, Grover, I don't mind. I've got a tough hide, and I reckoned that maybe if them cats heard this here story about a cat that solves mysteries, it might inspire 'em to make their own detective agency and earn some money to pay fer their tuna fish an' stuff.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Haiku My Heart + OctPoWriMo 2019: Day 25: White: A Senryu

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

why do some wish to
stain the white snow red with blood
to steal the white fur?


image copyright juliahenze
Cie's activist alter-ego Sly Fawkes has been on a tear the past couple of days.

Friday Flashback Repost: A Love Letter to E.A.

This was originally posted at Aunt Cie's Attic (formerly Deliver Me) on October 25, 2018.
I have since become too disabled to work outside the home. I currently work entirely from home blogging and freelancing. My primary source of income comes from book reviews.

The majority of my book review income is from paid work via professional review sites such as Online Book Club. A small portion comes from commissions made via Amazon affiliate links to books I have reviewed. I do not and will never charge a fee to an independent author for a review. The only payment I ask from an independent author is a link back to my review if they like it, and permission for me to provide an affiliate link to their book on Amazon if it is available on Amazon.

If you are interested in having me review your book or provide beta reader or proofreading/editing services, click here. Payment for my beta reader services is a link on your site or in a post to my services page if you think I've done a good job and permission for me to provide an affiliate link to your book on Amazon if it is made available via Amazon.

And now, on with the REpost!

This comment that I left on the Sims Freeplay Facebook page is "under review." I am sure it will never see the light of day there, but that doesn't mean I won't publish it elsewhere.

Not allowing players to finish collecting the items they were crafting when a quest ends is a serious dick move. Surely it isn't a cash grab at all to instead offer the chance to pay ludicrous amounts of money to complete the project without even allowing players to finish collecting the items they were crafting at the end.

This sort of thing is predatory at best. I guarantee that there are not a ton of millionaires playing games like this. A lot of faithful players are disabled and don't have money to spare.

For my own part, I have been sick with a severe respiratory infection this past week. I finally fell asleep at dawn after being up all night coughing. I left my Sims working on one last set of crafts.

When I woke up and sat there coughing up yellow crap for about 10 minutes, I then injected my insulin and went to collect the final items. Lo and behold, I was not allowed to do that. But there was this very generous and not at all predatory offer to finish the quest for the low price of $70.

I don't have $70 just lying about, and neither do many of your faithful players.

I am not so disabled that I can't work at all, but have severe enough health problems that I can only work part time and am on Medicaid.

I am probably stupid for continuing to play this game, but I love the characters and the interaction with them helps distract me from my deteriorating health.

Shame on EA for their predatory practices.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Real Cie Reviews: Of Illusions and Ink Spills


Four out of Four stars for Online Book Club
Five out of Five Stars for Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If readers purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I receive a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my review on Amazon.

You can read my exclusive review of this book for the Online Book Club here.

If you like your poetry untamed and not afraid to wander off the beaten path, then Divya Hirani's short volume of playful, avant-garde verse is the book for you.

These free-verse poems explore a myriad of ideas in an almost laid-back fashion. Some might call the tone of the poetry depressive. These works are actually closer to grungy, viewing the world through a realist's somewhat jaded but not ready to give up lenses. If these poems were characters, they would be introspective loners walking resolutely through the shadow of life with a low spark of humor twinkling in their eyes as they took in the sometimes absurd scenes around them.


Free use image from Pixabay

Monday, October 7, 2019

Real Cie Reviews + Hearth and Soul Link Party + Inspire Me Monday #246 + Promote Yourself Monday: Burn Zones

(Subtopics: entrepreneurship)

Four out of Four stars at Online Book Club
Five out of Five stars on Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If you purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I will earn a small commission.

As a book reviewer, it makes me very happy when I can enthusiastically recommend a book.

Jorge Newberry's Burn Zones makes me very happy. 

Not only is this fascinating autobiography extremely well-written, through its pages I discovered a kind soul who truly cares about others. 

Jorge is the sort of person that this world needs more of. 

He takes it upon himself to understand the mindset of the people he encounters and to show compassion to those that society at large tends to judge harshly.

Like most power players, Jorge has an intense personality. But he understands that not everyone is wired the way he is. He is also uncompromising in his approach to himself, describing not only his strengths but his potential shortcomings.

Jorge Newberry has a humble, honest, personable style. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Burn Zones and recommend it without reservation. If you enjoy real-life stories and appreciate those who think of others before themselves, I believe that Burn Zones is a great choice for your next read.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

OctPoWriMo 2019: Day 3: Aunt Cie's Soapbox: Leave My Old Womb Alone (Choka)

Image by Solarus from Pixabay

lay off my old womb
I am not a candidate
for new motherhood
I can no longer achieve
reproduction, no
but it would not bring me joy
to endure the pain
of removing my old womb
it is my life choice
to keep my organs intact
despite a slightly
elevated chance that I
develop cancer
somewhere well on down the line
any womb is not
only worth saving when it
is available
to serve as incubator


The poem references the incidents of 2018 when my life continued revolving around my uterus despite the fact that the painful periods I had endured for 40 years had come to an end. In April of 2017, and again in April of 2018, I experienced post-menopausal bleeding, and in June of 2018, I underwent a D&C to determine the nature of the endometrial cells.
Had the cells been abnormal or the endometrial hyperplasia complex, this would have elevated my risk of future endometrial cancer by 36%, in which case I would have opted for a hysterectomy.
My cells were normal and it was simple hyperplasia. This only increases the risk of endometrial cancer by 1.6%. In the end, I felt that the risks posed by undergoing a hysterectomy, which is a major surgery no matter how casual a spin doctors try to put on it, were greater than opting for a wait and see approach. 
Post-menopausal endometrial hyperplasia can occur for a variety of reasons. It is more common in Caucasian women, in women over fifty, in women with a larger body type, and in diabetic women. I am a large Caucasian woman over fifty with a large body type who has diabetes. As it turned out, I also had a number of small fibroids in my uterus which were probably irritating the endometrium and causing it to overgrow.
My primary care physician wanted me to have a hysterectomy.
My OB/GYN wanted me to have a hysterectomy.
The gynecologic oncologist whom I consulted wanted me to have a hysterectomy.
This despite the fact that all of them quoted a very low increased likelihood of the type of hyperplasia I was experiencing ever developing into cancer.
I had one of those obnoxious trans-vaginal ultrasounds in February of this year which showed that the endometrial lining was still slightly thicker than normal but had greatly reduced in size and was within the perimeters of acceptable. I did not experience bleeding in April of this year. My OB/GYN wanted to do another D&C, but I said no. There was no presenting reason to undergo a procedure that leaves me feeling like someone has been up in my business with a cheese grater.
I consulted with a radiologist who specializes in a procedure called uterine artery embolization, which utilizes tiny radioactive grains to block the uterine arteries and cut off the blood supply to the fibroids so they shrink and cease to cause trouble. As opposed to a hysterectomy, which is a major surgery, this is a minimally invasive approach. The doctor told me I was not a candidate for the procedure because fibroids will shrink on their own after menopause, but she agreed with me that since I had not experienced post-menopausal bleeding this year, the endometrial thickness is within acceptable boundaries, and my hyperplasia is the low-risk variety for future development of cancer, a wait and see approach makes sense in my case. She discussed this with my OB/GYN and the gynecologic oncologist, and they agreed with her.
During The Year Of Focusing Way Too Much On My Uterus, I learned just how quick doctors are to recommend a hysterectomy to post-menopausal women. If a woman can no longer serve as a baby factory, let's just yank the old plumbing out, risks be damned. The fact is, major surgery is always risky although sometimes the risks of surgery are necessary. It is also a fact that the female reproductive system provides benefits to its owner even after menopause and unless it is malfunctioning in a way that makes life unacceptably uncomfortable or poses risks to a woman's health, it's best to leave it alone.
Uterus: it's not just for incubating infants. 
That's been Aunt Cie's Soapbox, Ladies! Hysterectomy is sometimes necessary, but it tends to be overprescribed, particularly in post-menopausal women.