crucial conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson and More

Crucial Conversations, Third Edition

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw

And so begins this book of tools for having the hard conversations. Communication is everything. It may seem as if all you need to do is talk. But it is never that simple. Everyone has opinions. Sometimes the stakes are high and emotions run high.

So, how do we have these important talks? Well, we don’t avoid them. We stop and take a moment or more to make sure we understand our own motivations and the other party’s opinions or views.

This book in the third edition addresses workplace conversations as well as personal relationship conversations. There will always be topics that are difficult to articulate without being seen as a bully. Whether it’s the ending of a relationship or giving a third warning to an employee. Have the facts and state your case clearly and then LISTEN.

In the hospitality industry, we deal with multiple personalities. Customers, staff, vendors, and they all need to be spoken to and handled differently. This book now sits on our shelf in the resource room. Unclear conversations lead to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and loss of business.

We are referring to it on a daily basis.

Highly Recommend.

HELLO JUNE! Spillin’ Tea!

Here it is June already. It hasn’t been the greatest few weeks, has it? Children are being murdered in their classrooms, here in a hospital, and craziness is rampant.

I rarely turn on the news anymore. It’s soon primary time so all of the politicians in Oklahoma are bragging about being endorsed by the other guy who lost. It’s depressing. Guns before kids. Until one of theirs is killed nothing will get done. It’s easier for an 18-year-old to buy a long gun than it is for a rape victim to get an abortion. I guarantee if all the women in the country took up assault rifles over this issue the NRA would shut down assault rifles real quick!

Anyhoo, we have been fighting allergies and asthma, with both of us having to go to the hospital. OU Boy had another MI and had to have all of his 5 stints scrubbed out as they were 100% blocked. Then he had an ear infection and the doctor perforated his ear drum trying to get the wax out. The pup has allergies as well so we all look like we are crying all the time. I think we are all past the worst of it now.

Luckily I didn’t miss going on the river in the kayak because it has rained or been windy AF all week. Perfect weather for curling up with a book. And I have read a lot. Right now I’m reading Ann Cleeves Rising Tide, a Vera Stanhope mystery. I love the show, Vera. We are also watching The Sopranos from the beginning because OU Boy has NEVER seen the Sopranos! We finally got to see Stranger Things 4 and I quit halfway through. These aren’t kids anymore. It was a bit over the top. I enjoyed the Johnny Depp trial more. At least it was funny.

This morning the sun is shining and the birds are pooping all over the sidewalk. There is a red cardinal on my birdfeeder and I’m feeling hopeful I can get outside today. And in a stunning turn of events, I only have 10 books on my NetGalley list! I’ve managed to catch up on other reads and even edit a cookbook.

I was planning on going to the beach this month, but my sister went to Sanibel Island and came back with Covid, so maybe not. Coco is almost 2 pounds now and we call her The Flash. She could be a racing dog she’s so fast.

What is everyone planning for the summer? Going any place? Reading anything I should know about?

xx P

AMERICAN KLEPTOCRACY by CASEY MICHEL

American Kleptocracy: How the U.S. Created the World's Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History

How the U.S. Created the WORLD’S GREATEST MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME in HISTORY

Casey Michel shows us the world of illicit offshore money schemes.

American Kleptocracy looks at how the United States morphed into the center of global money offshoring.

Our country has been at the center of this illicit game for far too long. While our leaders decry corrupt regimes around the world, we are happy to take their money.

If you want to start your own shell company go to Delaware. Or Nevada. Delaware will let literally anyone set up a virtual shop. Having managed property for a long time, most of my owner’s companies are LLCs in Delaware. A state they don’t live in. Soviet Oligarchs, African despots, the worst of the worst store their money here while their own people starve. And when Trump came along it was a marriage made in greed. Restrictions were released. Laws made it easier to launder and hide money.

Do we really know how much of our own country is owned by outsiders? Shocking.

This was an excellent book that taught me a few new things. The author has a way of breaking down a rather large topic and just saying, “Hey, this is what is going on!”. He also talks about how our new President could proceed.

Very well researched and written, this was a great read.

NetGalley/November 16th, 2021, St. Martin’s Press







CAJUN KISS OF DEATH by ELLEN BYRON

Cajun Kiss of Death (Cajun Country Mystery #7)

A Cajun Country Mystery #7

Back in Pelican, Louisiana, Maggie and Bo are setting up house after finally getting married. Bo is detective and Maggie is an artist and also helps her family run the Crozat Plantation B & B. As Valentine’s Day approaches the place is busy with the famous chef, Phillippe Chanson and all of his entourage arrive to open their newest Cajun-themed restaurant. His reputation in New Orleans is a bit sketchy with accusations of recipe stealing and other shady dealings.

He begins making enemies the minute he arrives. Stealing the local chefs recipes, sabotaging the competition. Even Maggies good friend, JJ is under fire. Someone is planting mouse droppings and getting him shut down. Even Ninette, Maggie’s mother has had a recipe stolen from the chef. Which puts them both in the line of fire when Phillippe is killed.

With everyone busy trying to clear their names, Maggie now has a stalker. Someone has been delivering countdown gifts and it could be anyone. Or a killer.

Besides being a really good series, the food descriptions and recipes seal the deal!

NetGalley/August 10th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

INK and SHADOWS by ELLERY ADAMS

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #4)

A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel

This is the fourth in this excellent series! My three favorite things are in the name. Secrets, Books, and Scones! So what has our Nora been up to?

Nora owns the bookstore in Miracle Springs, North Carolina and her window displays are always amazing. This Halloween Nora and her band of helpers decide on a showcase of strong, female heroines. Think Circe through Matilda! It’s a magical display and people are loving it. Well, not everyone. It seems the preacher’s wife has decided to be the moral police and has riled up some of her friends to force Nora to take down the display. And she isn’t the only one on their radar, one of the new businesses in town, owned by the mysterious Celeste, is also being targeted simply because she sells CBD oil products.

Nora isn’t going to let anyone push her around, but she is very worried about Celeste and her daughter. This is where the secrets come in. These ladies have some. And someone is willing to kill over them it would seem.

When Nora finds an odd paper under her mat full of strange symbols, a body is not far behind. Surely the church ladies aren’t behind this?

Nora and the Society are going to have to dig into Celeste’s background and figure out the who, why and how before any more harm is done.

Oh, how I love this series! All the characters are so real. And there is always laughter. Okay, so there is also always murder, but the laughter and friendships these characters have are what keeps me coming back for more.

Grab a cup of tea and a scone and start reading!

January 26th, 2021 by Kensington Books/ NetGalley Review





A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett

A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits #3)
Deadly Edits #3
A retired teacher, Mikki, has added editing services to supplement her retirement income since moving back to her childhood home.
Lenape Hollow is a small place where everyone knows your name and your past.
Mikki is helping Sunny Feldman with her memoirs of growing up in Felman’s Catskill Resort, a once thriving and successful vacation destination. With famous stars, singers, and hanky panky.
 Sunny sold the crumbling resort long ago and there seems to be some seriously bad blood between the new owner and pretty much everyone in town.
When his body is found on the property the day after he verbally attacks Mikki in public, she is going to have to find out who did the deed before she gets arrested!
I enjoyed Mikki, an older, mature woman who has no problem speaking her mind.
I didn’t care for either of her relatives and I even thought Nick may be suspect!
When you spend your life swindling people there is a long list of suspects.
I enjoyed the older main character a lot.
Give this one a try!
 NetGalley/June 30th, 2020 by Kensington

HELLO JUNE! CAN WE COME OUT NOW?

I love it when a month begins on a Monday! All orderly and stuff. And the sun is shining and the pool is sparkling like diamonds. But the lawn guys are here so the allergy fairy is locking the doors and windows.

Wow, what a past few days we have had. It’s hard to believe this is the country my relatives fought for. Even though all of them were slave owners and relatively horrid people, I would have thought by now we would have all learned we aren’t “special”. That every human being is precious and worth protecting.

But this is what happens when you elect crooks. They lie, cheat, steal, and then like the psychopathic narcissists that they are they toss verbal and real grenades and then run away. It’s not just the senseless killing of people, it’s also the economy, the virus, the total lack of empathy in our orange man and his posse. We are fed up. We need an adult in charge.

OU Boy and I went to the OKC protests yesterday and there were rules. The organizers had a bull horn and you better not step out of line. When they left, the people on the fringe, who are always looking for a reason to act a fool, came in and acted a fool.

So take a breath and I’ll tell you a tale!

I received a text from my baby sister the other day. It simply said, “Your mother is a hot mess”. She’s “my” mother now. So I had to get the dirt. Turns out Momma asked her if she would shave her legs for her. Sister said, “NO, that is where I draw the line!”. Sidenote: That is nowhere near where I draw the line. So Momma proceeded to plop her tiny hiney on the edge of the tub to shave her own legs. First, she cut up her leg then slid off the tub onto the floor making her ribs hurt. Mind you, the first time we took her along with us on the sailboat, she slipped and broke a rib. We will never live that down. But we were all asking the question WHY? Why are you shaving your legs? Her answer was so she could wear capri pants. OU Boy kept asking WHO? As in who is she shaving for?

For that, we have to go a day earlier. She forgot to lock her front door at the retirement center and when she woke up from her nap on the sofa there was a naked old man standing there looking at her. I feel relatively confident it’s only the second time she has seen a naked man. But, hey, if it puts a pep in her step, who cares.

I hope that made you laugh. We all need to laugh. And I can always count on my Momma for a good one!

Love each other

xx P

 

YOU SUIT ME TO A TEA AND BOREDOM

It’s been a minute since we’ve talked. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

The amount of tea that has been consumed in my house is ridiculous! And for some reason, we are really loving any Peach Ginger combinations. My favorite is Harney and Sons but Bigelow and Tazo have some nice ones as well. Baking seems to be a popular activity now that people have time at home. I went to the open-air farmer’s market last weekend and brought home such nice vegetables and fruits. Plus my baking lady had finally perfected her Snickerdoodle Bread. It’s a quick bread, like banana bread and such and it was good. After making some Chai to go with it I had a lightbulb moment and decided to do a Chai Bread. Brilliant.

I have a freezer full of baked goods and premade meals. My house is spotless, my car is clean, the refrigerator even got a scrub! From ceiling to floor, it’s been disinfected. I planted my garden and all of my herbs are doing great. Especially the mints.

We have been going camping every week. Leaving Thursday afternoon and returning on Sunday. We plan to visit every lake and state park. So far we have done Lake Murray, which is amazing. Shawnee Twin Lakes, Arbuckle Mountains and we have reservations for Ft. Cobb State Park for tomorrow through Sunday. We will meet up with the grands and do some boating and fishing. The SUV is packed and ready to go. All I need to do is pack the cooler and we are out of here.

The gym opened yesterday and we were the only ones there and it felt wonderful!

A sweet treat that is better than the one at Tropical Smoothie Cafe’. I tossed watermelon, mint from my garden and ice. Boom! Watermelon Smoothie.Full of Vitamin C and it is so good! We have made quite a few smoothies with strawberries we are getting now from Bootstrap Farm.

Today we are off to ride bikes. Stay safe and Be well!

xx P

 

Read or Alive by Nora Page

Read or Alive (Bookmobile Mystery #3)

Bookmobile Mystery #3

Two wrongful accusations have librarian Cleo Watkins and her loved ones booked for trouble.

It’s always a fun time going to Catalpa Springs, Georgia, to visit librarian Cleo Watkins and her friends. And they are all here and quivering with excitement to be at the Georgia Antiquarian Book Society Event. Cleo’s beau Henry will be there with a booth. Henry is a bookseller and restorer and is very well respected in his field.

Everyone is looking forward to seeing old books, manuscripts and hoping to find a treasure or two.

Unfortunately not all book people are in love with books, but money. And there are some unscrupulous dealers at this event that catch Cleo’s eye right away! Is the bookplate in a dealer’s trash one from a book her cousin Dot owns? A first edition Gone With The Wind?

Someone in town is scamming people out of their priceless treasures. Also, unfortunately, the book scout who she has accused is found dead behind Henry’s shop with death by bookbinding hammer!

Who in the world is setting up her friends? It’s obvious to Cleo that the police are headed in the wrong direction so she has no choice but to check out the evidence and find a killer. And as usual her cat, Rhett Butler, will be assisting!

Being a Georgia girl with my own first copy of GWTW, this book was so much fun. The characters are clever and funny and most are way over 50, which makes it all the more fun!!  Who doesn’t love bookmobiles and cozy mysteries?

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

Totally Winging It Right Now

Piratepatty

Monday morning sunshine! We saw so many baby ducklings over the weekend. We were able to get out to the lake and catch some sun and watch people having secret meetings and smooches while napping and watching the boats.

Since our gym is closed OU Boy bought me a bicycle. And I am in awe over how well he knows me. It’s Rose Gold with a cup holder and a phone holder with a small insulated cooler on the front. It’s got gears but I don’t know what they are for yet. But y’all it is so much fun! I went and bought him one! I tore that parking lot up! And then storms came. And they stayed a long time. My poor plants were being tossed around outside, but it is tornado season and this weekend my poor Mississippi was tossed! Luckily our fam is okay.

You can tell this forced distance is making us all loopy. I bought an Insta Vortex 7 in 1 Air Fryer thingy. It’s pretty. I made ‘fried’ chicken in it and it was delicious. No fat, no shrinkage, just yum. OU Boy made bacon yesterday and my house didn’t smell, there was no smoke or grease everywhere.

We played Dominoes, and Scrabble. I hate Scrabble. I am OCD. With dominoes everyone knows to keep the lines straight. Scrabble is just a new mess with every word. We played Rummy and I won. I always win. And now we are feeling 100 percent after 6 weeks and I’m bored AF! I’m supposed to be looking at outdoor furniture for the condo but instead ordered some shoes and shorts.

I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I decided I should try on my skinny jeans just to be sure I wasn’t eating my emotions…or too much cake. At first I was alarmed and then OU Boy told me I was still wearing leggings and bike shorts. Oh, well we may have lost some brain cells.

Today I’m washing all of the pillows. That is how bored I am. Could I be reading? Why yes, Karen, I could. But I finished the new James Patterson-J.D.Barker book,  The Cross -Country Murders, and it’s going to take me a few days to come down from that! Y’all know I love me some Barker horror. Combine that with Patterson’s experience and all I will say is September is looking good.

I tried to find a hobby. I have a basket full of crochet hooks and yarn. Turns out my favorite things are going out to eat, buying things in the store and touching my face. I haven’t discovered any new skills, I’m not baking anything because the gym is closed. Everything is clean. And this must be what prison is like. Trading sex for a ride in the car.

Stay Safe! Stay Sane!

xx P