Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Posted by in bassgiraffe-linkups | 0 Comments

Wednesday GIVEAWAY link-up 08/20

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bassgiraffe's Thoughts Canadian Mommy Blog Reviews and Giveaways

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“The Boxcar Children” DVD- Sept 5- US/CAN

Every Wednesday I will host a link up for your giveaways. Please post direct link to your giveaways only, no links to blog main page. This link up will start every Tuesday Night and will close Wednesday Night at 11:59PM EST. Each week a new link-up will be posted.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Posted by in book-Movie, children, DVD, giveaway, review | 4 Comments

“The Boxcar Children” DVD Review & GIVEAWAY!


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.”

My Thoughts-
“The Boxcar Children” on DVD August 19th! Based after the hit book series of the same name.

I sat down with my two girls, ages 8 and 5 to watch this movie. It starts out with four children looking for some food. The come upon a bakery and buy some bread and ask for some shelter. They inform the shopkeeper that their parents died and their Grandfather hates them, they are on the run. The shopkeeper talks to her baker and says she will keep the older three to work around the store and put the youngest into an orphanage. The oldest hear this and run away. Soon they come upon a Boxcar and with some hard work they make this their new home. The oldest boy then goes out to find a job. He starts working for the Doctor in town. Soon they are all introduced to a man named James Henry, he’s a kind man and they enjoy being around him.

The movie started a bit slow for me and my girls asked why there was so much music and no talking. But this was just part of the introduction to the kids and their journey, journey music. At the end my kids started wondering if the Doctor or James Henry could be their grandfather, both seemed to care for the children very much. The ending melted our hearts.

I loved watching this movie with my kids. I was able to talk with them about other children that don’t have homes or a lot of toy (if any at all) and have to struggle to find food to eat. I think it made my kids realize how much they really already have. I was also about to talk to them the importance of family and loving one another no matter what. Plus the Boxcar kids had huge imaginations, so my kids and I decided to design our own fun home that would fit into a boxcar.

This is a good, clean, wholesome family film. I’d let my kids watch it any day. Plus now my oldest wants to find the books so she can read them, a bonus from just watching the movie.

FIND it-

About the Cast-
Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s best-selling classic!

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Posted by in book, book-Movie, review | 0 Comments

“Alone at Midnight: Short Horror Collection” by Scott Zavoda (#book review)


My Thoughts-
“Alone at Midnight: Short Horror Collection” by Scott Zavoda

I already had read Scott Zavoda’s short story called “Bobby” and fell in love with is unique and creepy stories. I couldn’t wait to read a collection of his strange horror stories. I’ll go through each story one by one adding my thoughts as I go. One thing I really loved was at the end of each story the author added his comments on where the idea for the story came from and where his mind was at while writing.

Short story number 1- “Oh Christmas Tree”. The story starts out with a family in their home before Christmas. They get a disturbing phone call demanding they return the Christmas tree they bought or else their child would be hurt. The story gets twisted from there. I felt like I went through a strange time-warp as we get inside of the father’s head. What is reality and what is a false reality?
I loved this story. My heart raced when he leaves his wife out in the car and he enjoys “non-alcoholic” drinks looking for the man who was threatening them. The very short story had my head spinning.

Short story number 2- “Castle Point”. I’m not sure if I liked this one too much. A man is in some level of hell and trying to escape. The author does a great job a imagery and building suspense. You have no clue where this man is and how come her can’t get out of this awful place. There are blood and bones and children laughing. The kind of story that leaves you with goosebumps. I just didn’t like how dark the story was.

Short story number 3- “Bobby”. I already reviewed this story before but I still enjoyed reading it again. Here is a small snippet of the review I wrote before. “Bobby is in a wheel chair. Him and his brother, Danny, one day go out fishing. But before they go fishing we hear stories about Bobby’s chair, there are strange things that happen to the owners of this wheel chair. We also learn about how poorly Bobby is treated by other people and kids. Once they are at the fishing pond more strange things happen. Events that will send chills down your spine.”

Short story number 4- “Fright Flight”. Henry Conroy his a pilot with a debt to pay. He is flying a corpse across the country. He thinks he hears it moving around but he knows that can’t be possible. He then is forced to fly through a bad storm to get the cargo to it’s destination on time. The whole time he fears the corpse is coming alive. What is the nose he keeps hearing?
This story gave me the creepy crawlies. I didn’t want any body to come out of the coffin. I didn’t want to know what was making the noses in the back. In the end I ended up laughing at how the events turned out. Great story.

Short story number 5- “Beneath the Sand”- Detective Marty Hedstrom finds a journal with a note attached saying it was found on the beach and that he needs to read it. Officer Hedstrom finds himself reading a journal of a war veteran and his experience with the beach, most importantly the sand. He hates sand and for a good reason. Many people he cares about have been lost or died on the beach. In the journal it seems the sand is creeping into his house in very strange ways. The ending will give you chills and make you think twice before heading to the beach.
This was by far my favorite story. My mind thought the veteran had lost his mind, but in the end I wasn’t so sure. I’d love to read more stories similar to this one. Well done.

Short story number 6- “Flowers for Mom”- This story was very short. A little girl Rachel runs out her front door because she saw something. Her brother is forced to chase her down and get her home before church and before their mom gets mad. What the little girls saw and what happens when they get home will haunt you.
This story may have been story but it was packed full. It’s cute and strange.

Short story number 7- “The Calling”. Detective Schneider is looking for a missing boy, dead or alive, he just needs to find the body. He calls on the help of Dana, a psychic. She leads him out to a wooded area. She has a strange feeling about this one but still follows through. The ending of this story will leave you asking if Dana knew what was going to happen, was she involved with what happened or did she just do what she was asked of by the detective?
This story felt too short and a bit rushed but at the same time it gave me the shivers (again). I love it.

I love Scott Zavoda’s writing style. I love his twisted mind. I do hope that one day he will write a full length horror story. I know I will love it. Thank you Scott for giving me nightmares at night, it’s too much “fun”.

I recommend this book to those who want a quick fright. Each story is short enough to read in one sitting, or if you have more time you could read a few stories at once. Be warned, the author has a way of making your skin crawl.

FIND it-

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Posted by in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Truth about myself and depression


I look like the happy-go-lucky person. I smile, I laugh, I love, but there are times I am hiding something deeper, something dark. I suffer from depression. I first learned I had this disease when I was in the 7th grade at a school dance and tried taking my life with a bottle of Tylenol. Thankfully I threw it all up. Also thankfully a friend of mine invited me to church soon after and I saw that life wasn’t all meaningless. It didn’t take away my deep hurt but it has given me hope.

For a few years I was doing great. My depression didn’t come back. Then in 1999 my depression came back full force. I was seeing many people I loved dying around me and I couldn’t cope. By the time I was married in 2000 I was in a deep dark place. My poor husband didn’t know what to do with me. I’d cry, I’d scream, I’d throw things just to see them break, I was eating myself up to 300lbs. My kind, loving husband decided I needed help and asked me to go see a doctor. I hated him for it. I thought, “no doctor can help me. I’m stupid and my life is stupid”. A doctor gave me some medications, they seemed to help for the time being but I still felt lost and I still had many panic attacks.

After the birth of our first daughter in 2006 I ended up with Postpartum depression, it was bad. Bad enough I would have to leave my baby in her crib because I was afraid to hurt her. I was screaming all the time again and I was breaking things. My loving husband again saw I needed help. This time I went willingly to the doctor and was put back on some medications.

I was only on the medication for 6 months and then I was fine. Then in 2007 a close relative died. She had taken her life. I couldn’t breath anymore. I wanted my heart to stop beating so I would stop hurting. I wasn’t going to take my life but I prayed God would just let me die. The pain was too much. My husband, again, (the poor guy is so strong for me) forced me to not only see a doctor but get some counseling. I think the counseling did more for me then the medication this time, but I think it was a team effort. The counselor had me write note to God and to my loved one. First letters were full of anger and hate. The counselor then had me throw those letters away. She then asked me to write letter of forgiveness and then pray about it. The healing began then. I was able to get out my anger and then able to find the love back in my heart. There are still days to this day that the anger creeps in but I then pull out my forgiveness letters and have a good cry and a good prayer time. I’m not sure if my heart will ever be fully healed form this pain.

By the time 2008 came along I was doing really great. I felt like my mind and heart were healed. I had no feelings of sadness, anger or deep depression. It had been a long long time since I had such amazing feelings. In January of 2009 I was put on bed rest with our second child. The loneliness that comes with bed rest is awful. You’re stuck in bed but no one has time to visit you. You are truly alone. The only reason why I kept in bed was because I was fighting to keep my baby safe. She was born in June of 2009. Right away my husband and I knew I had PPD and needed to be put onto meds. After a year of being on meds I was taken off and life began to look up for me.

Because I was feeling so good I even started taking care of my own body. I lost weight, had a ton of energy and was even going on TV once a month reviewing things from my blog. I felt like I was on top of the world. I then got pregnant with our third child. While pregnant our middle child was diagnosed with T1D and I was put on limited activity AND had kidney stones(plus surgery while pregnant). I never did end up having PPD or getting depressed with all the bad things happening around me. However, I was worried and still worry that I will be pulled down to the dark place again. I always feels like I’m right on the edge and that one more bad thing will tip me over.

I still have some really bad panic attacks. And I still have long cries, but I don’t feel out of control like I do when I’m truly depressed. I know I will also have to be on the lookout for the signs of my depression coming back. I’m thankful for a kind and loving husband that isn’t afraid to tell me when I need to seek help. I’m also thankful he is here for me when I do fall.

With the passing of Robin Williams, my past has come back to me. The dark places my mind and heart have been. The places they could fall into at any moment. Even though I’ve been clinically depressed and I suffer from panic attack I can NEVER know how someone else feels who is in depression.

We all have our own dark places, ones that we feel we can’t get out of. Does this mean we’re weak? NO! Does it mean we’re not trusting God enough to help us get out of the depression? NO! I hate when Christians tell other Christians that they must not be praying hard enough, or trusting God enough, or reading our Bible enough and that is why we’re depressed. Do they not realize that by saying those things they are actually making it worse for the person who is struggling? We already feel worthless, stupid and a failure; we don’t need someone to tell us how we’re failing.

I recently read a few articles about depression and God. In one of the articles that author got it so right. They were talking about Christians who say “you must not be trusting God enough to rid you of your depression.” The author said, “then we need to to say that to those who are suffering from Cancer, diabetes, and other incurable disease. If God is not healing them, does that mean they’re not trusting enough?” Depression is a disease. Yes medicine can help but it’s not a cure. Just like insulin keeps my child alive but doesn’t cure her. I actually HATE when a Christians uses the saying, “You need to trust more” or “you’re not trusting enough” when it comes to healing of any disease. YES, God can heal anyone of anything but sometimes that is not His will in our life.

So, instead of bringing a person down, please be there by their side. Don’t be afraid to help them seek help. Don’t be afraid to be an ear to listen and to hug as long as needed, but also know when your loved one needs some safe space. If you think you or a loved one might want to end their life please call 1-800-273-TALK or call 911. Your loved one might be mad at you at first but they will one day be thankful you saved their life.

I don’t know how much of this made sense. I find I have a hard time writing things I’m very passionate about. It’s even harder when it’s personal. Please remember everyone who suffers from depression does it differently then someone else. You can’t fix someone but you can be there for them. I learned that I can’t hate myself when I didn’t help someone, people who are dressed know how to mask it and it’s really hard to see it sometimes. I could write a lot more but I think I got out what I wanted, what I needed to say. Thank you for listening.

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