Monthly Archives: May 2019

In Memoriam

I wanted to share with you again this post that I wrote last year. I have never re-shared one of my own posts before, but this one so clearly captures what I was feeling at the time, and so feel, when I contemplate the meaning behind Memorial Day.
This is a day we chose to honor the memories of our fallen families, and especially the memories of those who have given their lives in service to our country.
This holiday may not be marked by the chaotic, commercialized excess with which we endow other holidays, but it is no less important in meaning.
So today, however you chose to celebrate, with fireworks and parades or visits to the graves of loved ones or just a cookout with family and friends, I wish you and yours all the best for this most solemn and proud holiday. Happy Memorial Day!

amycaudill.net

Memorial Day...... This cemetary has been in use for perhaps generations.  Photo by Astrid Photography. on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

One of my earliest reminisces of this May holiday, before I even understood its real meaning, is of riding in the back of a pickup truck with my family down winding country roads to reach the old family cemeteries.   Once there, we would disembark and make our way up a hilly path, to a fenced-in area of carefully tended lawn bordered by shady trees.  Laden with plastic tulips and daisies, we would seek the markers for ancestors whose names I only recognized from stories, and place our bounty in careful clusters and rows.

This is one way my family honored those who had gone before, ancestors whose faces were etched in the memories of the older generation, and introduced to the children by way of books and boxes of old sepia-toned photos.  My…

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Amy Caudill’s Reviews : Weakest Lynx

Weakest Lynx by Fiona Quinn
Weakest Lynx (Lynx #1) by

Fiona Quinn (Goodreads Author)
50275498

Amy Caudill‘s review

Lexi Sobado has lived an interesting life.  Only twenty, she is a Kung Fu master and has trained with police officers, spy masters, and master chefs.  She can shoot a bullseye, beat trained operatives on an obstacle course, and still appear as sweet and innocent as the girl next door.  She also has gifts that insure her life will never be the “normal” she craves.

Lexi is great at solving puzzles.  Her mentor, Spyder McGraw, a legend at the shadowy government agency Iniquus, trained her in secret to find connections no one else can.  But when Lexi is being hunted by a cruel, obsessive man she calls Stalker, Spyder is off on a secret mission and Lexi must turn to others for help.  She has attracted the attention of a very dangerous psychopathic drug addict who has already murdered six girls, and Lexi is his latest chosen victim.

While this story is definitely a thriller with a heroine who has paranormal abilities, I found myself caught up more by the lead character’s backstory than the plot itself.  For all Lexi’s gifts, she is honestly trying to create an ordinary life.  She spends her time, when she’s not being stalked or helping the Iniquus team sent to protect her, getting to know her neighbors and turning a fixer upper into a home to share with her husband Angel when he returns from Afghanistan.

Lexi’s desire to have a normal life helps make her character more appealing, more vulnerable, than the mysterious and gifted psychic undercover operative who is her alter ego, Alex.  Fiona Quinn managed to instill her heroine with a multi-faceted personality, while still writing a story that will appeal to both spy enthusiasts and paranormal romance fans.

I award this novel five stars and would recommend it to a large body of readers.

I Need a Vacation! Helpful Planning Tips

woman working girl sitting
Someone is more than ready for a vacation!  Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

As more and more of my colleagues talk about the plans they have made for vacations this year, or actually have already taken time away from work, I long to head out for some “time off” of my own.  Where to go?  What to see?  Decisions, decisions.  As I buckle down to make my own plans, I thought I’d share some tips that have helped guide me in the past

Consider your group.

Do you have young children that will be going on vacation with you?  Teenagers? Elderly parents?  Every aspect from your trip needs to keep your company in mind, from travel method to accommodations to planned activities.  Tailor your plans to find something everyone can enjoy, whether that be a trip to the beach or mountains, or a road trip with numerous stops along the way.  Remember that some members of your group will tire easily, or need snacks, or distractions along the way- you know who these are!

man holding white pennant beside girl raising two hands in front of lake surrounded by mountains
What is your ideal vacation?  Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Consider a “destination vacation.”

There are various places that offer all-inclusive packages, from theme parks that include transport to/from the airport, as well as meal plans and shuttle services; to cruises that offer a variety of on-board and site-seeing tours; to resorts that feature water parks, spas, and quality restaurants on the premises.  This type of vacation means you can book and pay for almost your entire trip in advance, and spend less time on the road and more time having fun!  Plus, there are trips of this type to meet almost every budget.  It’s easy to find good deals on vacation packages to destinations like Florida here

Staycations can work-really!

If you have no desire to spend your free time in an airport or on the road, or if you only have a short break from jobs and other commitments, a staycation could be your best bet.  The key to enjoying this type of holiday is that you absolutely must remember you’re on vacation, and actually taking a break.  No fair checking in with work or completing that household project you’ve been planning to get done!

Play tourist in your home town.  Do the fun and interesting things you’ve always meant to do, like trying a new restaurant, or visiting the aquarium or museum, that you keep postponing until “you have time.”  Take a day trip to a nearby attraction, something you can enjoy in one day, and still be home to sleep in your own bed.  Turn off social media, and pretend that you’re far off the grid.

Hopefully very soon my husband and I will settle on some plans for a vacation,; I think he is just as ready for one as I am!  Until then, I hope you all enjoy the warmer weather, and get to plan a trip of your own!

Amy

What Being a Mother Means to Me

happy mothers day card beside pen macaroons flowers and box near coffee cup with saucer
Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

When I decided to write a post about Mother’s Day, which is this coming Sunday, May 12th, I had a lot of possible directions to take.  I could have made a list of gift ideas, or written about how time spent together is more valuable, or even quoted numerous authorities on motherhood, family, and love.  However, since I am blessed to be a mother of two myself, these choices seemed a little too self-serving.

Instead, I decided to share some of my feelings about being a mother.  I became a mother for the first time when I was only twenty.  I was not really prepared to take on such responsibility, but then again, who is at any age?  The learning curve was steep with my son, though I did my best, and I like to think I did not do a terrible job.  Four years later we welcomed my daughter to our home.  In some ways it was easier the second time round, as we already knew some of what to expect, but then again, no two children are alike.

As my children grew I began to see them more and more as distinct individuals, each with their own unique personalities, though they inherited plenty of traits from their father and me.  (Sorry about that, kids.)

I learned early on that it doesn’t make sense to dwell on ideals-what I’d like the children to do or be, but it’s far more important to see what and who they truly are, while still rooting for them to reach their farthest potential.  My kids have grown up to be independent, responsible adults, and I like to think I helped them best along the way by teaching them to make their own choices, and accepting the consequences.

I know that being a mother doesn’t stop at a certain age or point of development-I still worry about their safety, their happiness, their future.  I want the best for them, and would do anything I could to give them that.  Mothers love fiercely, completely, and protectively.  I think if my children were in danger I could perform heroic deeds to keep them safe, though I am hardly brave or strong as a person.

Being a mother is a lifetime conviction, and no other vocation is as devoted, as stressful, or as blessed.  It is a calling that it not for everyone, certainly, but it comes with endless rewards for those who accept the challenge.

To all those readers who are, or plan to be, mothers out there, I wish you a Very Happy Mother’s Day!

P.S.  My all-time favorite gifts from my children for Mother’s Day were the hand-written cards and poems I received when they were young, some of which are still hanging framed on my bedroom walls today, and the breakfasts that were lovingly cooked by teenaged hands years later.