This and that July 25, 2021

Right where I’m supposed to be.

Like most people I look at my life compared to others, convinced I come up short. What have I done that would amount to anything?

Lately, I’ve been hearing voices of reason saying there is only one you, the one person equipped with your unique talents. There are things only you can do. If you don’t do them they will be left undone. Be you. To the best of your ability.

I’m listening. Working toward being at peace with being me.

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Switching gears completely; there was an interesting email yesterday from prolific and popular author Davis Bunn. There were two attachments, one was a reading from his latest book and the other was a tour of his current address. They are living in a palace, how awesome is that.

I’ll share them here for you.

Here is a peek at his latest book. I’ve read and enjoyed the sample.

Prime Directive 

Amazon quote:

Lieutenant Amanda Bostick is ordered to investigate why scientists on a distant outpost on the planet of Lorian are being murdered with no alarm raised.

“In the past ninety days, sixteen colonists have been murdered, and nobody thought to report it until now?”

When a number of scientists are mysteriously killed on an insignificant scientific outpost on the planet of Loria and no alarm is raised, Commander Rickets of the Galactic Space Arm (GSA) is angered that no one can explain why. Rickets orders Lieutenant Amanda Bostick along with two armed Guardians, Sergeant Hamoud and Corporal Nasim, to investigate.

All three have faced setbacks in their careers and time is against them: the GSA is demanding answers within ten days. But they have no idea what to expect as there are few reports on the planet.

Why are the scientists being killed? Is there more to the mission than first appears? Are the sentient Lorians who inhabit the planet more of a threat than the GSA realize?

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This wasn’t on my radar for today’s post but now that it is I am more than happy to share with you.

If any other sudden inspirations pop up, I will plan on This and That part two.

Enjoy your day.

Happy Reading.

How was your week?

This was a letter to a friend tonight, chatting and asking about her week. It was fun to remember good days gone by and I thought it would be nice to share memories with you too. This takes place in Canada.

How was your week? Was the weather warmer than you’d like? Did you have a chance to get to the mainland to see the kids?

Our weather has been warm again the last few days. It makes me very grateful for A/C when temps are in the 30s. I like to be outside when it’s working though because cold air blowing around makes me shiver. I sit on the deck with a book and a coffee to enjoy the heat. I don’t work in the yard though, exertion in heat like that is a killer. My body doesn’t handle overheated very well anymore. I wait for evenings and mornings to garden.

We’ve had air quality alerts with all the smoke hanging around from the many forest fires between Saskatchewan, here, and western Ontario. We don’t have nearly as many fires as you do in BC but still, there’s been enough smoke to reduce visibility and turn what sun we could see orange. We’ve had rain with thunder and lightning where I live. The rain seems to be localized. Some areas get it and others don’t. The farmers are having a hard time of it. Some are selling off their herds as they are having trouble with feeding them.

One of my neighbors has been replacing part of his fence due to the weather. It had a definite list to it after one of the big storms whipping through at the end of May. The wind can get really wild around here with major storms . Watching the poor trees taking a beating and listening to roar of the wind, always makes me think of being out on the water. Between the number of years spent near the ocean in North Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and then Chemainus, there must be scary memories buried somewhere in my subconscious data bank.

I guess the ocean wasn’t the only place we experienced scary times. One year, when Gerald was four months old, we were camping in a tent at Mara Lake in the Okanagan. A big storm whipped up on the lake, strong enough to take out trees. We were hiding in our tent through it all, fortunately we were in the middle of a field and it didn’t last long. The campers parked among the trees closer to the beach were not as lucky, several had trees fall on them (the vehicles, not the people, thankfully.) I’ll never forget that trip.

The other strong memory I have from that holiday was staying among the trees (apricots) in an orchard turned campground. That’s what you call diversification. It was at the south end of Okanagan Lake on the eastern shore. It was pretty and different. It was hot too. So hot that my can of baby formula was wrecked. Who knew? I was a new mom with little baby food experience.

Of course, this also reminds me of our first summer camping trip about six years earlier. We were headed to Regina for a visit with Dave’s sister and we camped overnight in Jasper. It never crossed our minds to think that we would freeze to death in our tent in summer in the middle of the Rocky Mountain forest. We were fast learners, let me tell you. Not a whole lot of sleep that night. We travelled on hoping to stop for the night somewhere in Saskatchewan never realizing there would be no tress to speak of. We were spoiled with BC forest campgrounds. Not finding any trees, we opted for a motel room. We were more experienced on the return trip.

Lots of good camping experiences. I could share memories all night but I’d better quit.

I am doing well, in spite of the heat. Life is quiet around here. The biggest excitement currently, aside from the fence, is the bunny eating all the tender plants in the neighborhood. I have a feeling he’s alone and sticks pretty close to places he knows. Sad for us.

Have a great weekend.

Still praying God’s blessing and strength for you and your family.

♥ J

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

This and that July 22, 2021

I have no new suggestions today. Some days are just like that and I’ve decided I’m OK with it.

I think my goal for the moment needs to be – reduce the line up of books waiting to be read.

It’s gradually gotten out of hand and I’m finding it overwhelming, if I’m being honest. I can hear someone saying – it took you long enough. What can I say. I’m a sucker for books 🙂 Anyway, I purposely haven’t done a deep dive today looking for bargains.

Moving on,

The last number of weeks I’ve spent a significant amount of time watching podcasts and while I’ve enjoyed them I’m realizing there is a down side to this kind of indulgence. Many (not all) of the sites I’ve subscribed to are built around the state of world news. Between opinions and an over abundance of information there comes a point where enough is too much. I feel weighed down, and distracted. There are other things requiring my attention and I haven’t been able to do them justice.

This blog has been affected the most by this stealing of reading/writing time. My mind feels foggy and empty. It takes a good amount of thinking time to have something to say. It takes input too. The trouble with the podcasts is the political subject matter. I don’t write about politics and the abundance of input produces no fruit in my world.

Reading, on the other hand, always spurs some kind of usable thinking.

I’m going on a podcast diet, cutting way back on time spent and it’s helping. With more time devoted to reading, the fog seems to be lifting enough to make comments.

During last nights post, I found I’d inadvertently started a new read with the novella belonging between books 1 and 2 in the Culper Ring series. I was too far into it to avoid the spoiler so I went ahead and finished it. Going back to the beginning, I’m now half way through book one and while the novella has given away one aspect of the ending it hasn’t spoiled the whole book for me. It is still a good read with lots of unexpected action.

Another decision in the back-to-reading restrictive diet was concerning my TBR list of neglected Non-fiction downloads.

Earmarking an hour devoted to Non-fiction reading seemed like a reasonable way to make some headway. The Power of Writing It Down is my pick for current read and I’m almost to the end of the first chapter.

This read definitely takes more work, that’s for sure. The author packs every single page full with thoughts, concepts, and information. A number of things stood out for me, right from page one.

I need time to chew on them before I can make comment.

There was one thought towering above the rest, though.

Research shows that thought patterns and tasks performed thousand of times create a rut or neural pathway and without conscious thought the mind automatically goes there. It’s discouraging to think that without thought these ruts lead us to unhealthy places. On the plus side: research also shows that with conscious choosing of different, healthier paths, performed enough times, over time they can overwrite and replace the old unhealthy paths.

This idea resonates with me more than usual. I think it’s because, even before reading this book, I’ve found myself practicing new patterns of thought and actions this summer. I’ve noticed myself making different decisions and choices and I’m pretty happy thinking about what it means going forward. I’ve been praying for healing and it appears to be on the way.

Read and current reads

Happy Reading y’all

Read and enjoyed July 21, 2021

This was my favorite read of the week. A story full of family secrets.

Going in, I never would have guessed how far they extended.

It seemed like many of the secrets started with a particular tragedy. If that heart breaking event could have been prevented, life would have been so much different. That was the general opinion.

But would it have, really?

On the surface you would think so but further down the road, the truth of that seemed much less likely.

There was nothing predictable about this story. The secrets seemed to multiply as the story went on. Details were allowed to filter out a little at a time. In some ways it was frustrating but mostly it was appreciated.

The characters were well developed and one couldn’t help but be drawn into their emotional struggles.

I could never have predicted the ending. A couple of details, maybe, but not the overall picture. Very nice.

Things Left Unsaid

Amazon quote:

An emotional novel of family, friendship and forgiveness from Courtney Walsh, the New York Times bestselling author of Hometown Girl.

Lyndie St. James is thrilled that her best friend, Elle, is getting married but unprepared for the emotional storm of the wedding week and returning to her childhood summer home of Sweethaven. The idyllic cottage community harbors some of her best—and worst—memories. It’s not only the tragic death of her childhood friend Cassie that has haunted her for ten years, it’s the other secrets she’s buried that have kept her from moving on.

But Lyndie isn’t the only one with secrets.

Cassie’s mother, father and brother, still struggling with the loss, have been drifting further and further apart. And Elle herself, the last to see Cassie alive, carries an impossible burden of guilt. Now reunited, each of them has a choice: to reveal the truths of that night or continue to live in its shadow. That means embarking on a personal journey of the heart—to escape the darkness and all its regrets and to finally come to terms with the past and, especially, with each other.

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I would definitely read this book again.

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Currently I’m reading a book I shouldn’t be, I don’t think.

It’s a short story, I’m already 1/4 of the way through. I’m not entirely sure what is going on yet as details are being doled out sparingly.

Pulling up the cover to include in this post, I realize my mistake. It’s a novella, meant to be a bridge between book 1 and 2 in the series. Oops.

Book 1 begins only 10 years earlier. Now, I’m not sure if I should stop and read book 1 first or carry on and take my chances.

I think I will be taking my chances.

I’m intrigued with the novella, I’m looking forward to book 1 being just as engaging.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Reading!

Confessions of an abuse survivor

I decided to name this post, and any future posts like it, in a way that would provide a heads up for anyone wishing to avoid such emotional discussions. I’m not planning on raw, uncomfortable, tell-alls, I know difficult discussions can be had in a civilized manner.

Anyway, today’s post doesn’t include any of that.

This could be a this-and-that kind of day except my thoughts have been heavier than that this week. Confession seems to be a more appropriate label.

I debated including the term abuse survivor but decided it gives context to where my head is at with the topics. There is nothing frivolous in my contemplations.

Enough of that.

So here’s the thing I’m trying to figure out. Why?

That’s what I need to know. Why?

I haven’t come up with an answer, so far, and I doubt this writing exercise will be all that revealing but I have to try.

I’m reluctant to tell you what I’m referring to because when I think of putting it into words, in my mind it sounds silly. I’m afraid you will dismiss it as such if I tell you what I’m thinking.

So, partial confession. As I’m contemplating the why of my reluctance to take on a certain task I’m wondering if maybe a trigger is behind it. What thought or emotion is holding me back?

So, here’s the thing. In the last year or so, because of interviews and the like, I’ve been exposed to non fiction books, mostly related to my life experience with abuse. They struck me as useful in my healing journey and I put out a significant amount of money to obtain them.

I was excited to have them, paid full price for most of them, and yet I can’t seem to make myself take the time to read them.

Were they just another bright idea that didn’t survive the light of day?

Would my reluctance to tackle the challenge stem from deep insecurities? The fear of failure?

Could the reticence be linked to anticipated emotional responses to painful subjects?

Are there unidentified triggers going on?

I’ve faced head on the physical abuse attributable to my dad. At the same time, I will admit I don’t want to think about or deal with the emotional abuse stemming from my mother or my marriage.

Is that what this is about?

I’ve heard it said we must ask ourselves this question – Do you want to be healed, really want to be healed?

When we honestly ask ourselves this question we might be surprised to find that the answer is no. The price we would have to pay to find healing could seem too high.

If I’m really honest, I think when it comes to my mother and my marriage, my heart says the price is too high.

I do really want to be healed. I’m not acting like it.

I will keep on thinking and praying about this.

In the meantime…

Some of the books in the lineup.

The one I’m considering at the moment is The Power of Writing It Down

If you made it this far, thanks for listening.

This and that July 18, 2021

I’ve discovered it’s best to date these things. They all merge together otherwise. Indistinguishable.

It’s warm out there! That the biggest thing on my mind at this moment. Usually it starts to cool off a little by 7 PM but not tonight. I went out to do some watering and quickly changed my mind. Later.

The highlight of the week was last night’s family Zoom call. Most of us live thousands of miles apart. We enjoy one another but we are not good at staying in touch. In all honesty, I’d have to admit that would be a gross understatement. Since we’ve committed to a Zoom call once a month, we are doing much better at connecting and we are having a lot of fun. The next call is going to fall on my birthday, how nice is that!

So, the other thing on my mind this week was tied up with a comment I made the other day about a writing project I had in mind. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time but even more so lately. It seemed like it was time to do something about it so this weekend I did put some hours into it and wrote something. In the end, I didn’t use any of it.

I’m surprised about the level of unexpected relief I felt.

Part of the impetus for this writing project was to have a place where I could fill the need to rant and rave once in a while. I couldn’t do it here, didn’t want to do it here, I felt like it would spoil everything.

Anyway, I created another space, wrote an introductory piece with a small rant at the end, and struggled with getting the site set up the way I wanted it. No matter what I did nothing was going right.

By the time I decided to give it all up and deleted the new blog, my rant had lost it’s steam and I felt a lightness I didn’t have earlier.

Sometimes it’s healthy to visit the dark places but sometimes it’s not. There already is an over abundance of negative self-talk going on in my head I don’t need more. It feels healthier, for the most part, to stick to the lighter side of things in my communications with the world.

Part of my reason for wanting a place to rant was to work my way through some of the life long issues that surface from time to time. Writing and talking can be very therapeutic.

The subject of my short rant was acknowledging, for the first time, that my parents were selfish, immature teenager/young adults making unhealthy decisions and choices without a worry over whose life would be negatively affected. I can’t believe that they would unthinkingly do what they did.

While it was healthy to face this truth, I could see that to camp on the negative side of my life, while creating content for a new blog on a regular basis, would be injurious to my emotional health.

I’m so glad I’ve got that all figured out.

Maybe for future needs, I can work through the issue in my mind and then reduce it to a short paragraph. That should take care of everything

There is one more truth recently discovered but I’ll save that topic for another time. It’s a very encouraging truth. I must share it with my brothers.

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Currently I’m reading book one in a three book collection.

A Family to Love by Cindy M Amos and several others

Skinny Ranch Romance – Cindy M. Amos
When a hometown parade explodes with violence targeted at obese onlookers, District Judge Ilie Walton is forced to team with former classmate Traynor Henning for a trial reduction program for the victims. None too pleased over the partnership with Tray, Ilie claims to remain blind to his Zach Efron good looks in the name of justice. As the fence lengthens and the pounds melt off volunteer participants, Tray’s devotion softens her resolve, launching a romantic partnership. When new evidence emerges on a cold case involving a death at their senior class party, Ilie insists that justice prevail, though it threatens to sever their tenuous relationship. Tired of bearing the guilt, Tray faces off with his buddy Rex about what really happened that day in his boat. When the cold case turns red hot, will Ilie stand with the hardworking rancher—or do justice and reconciliation take two separate paths?

The scales of justice possess keen discernment, yet love never needed a final verdict to overcome.

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This is the one recently finished

Dearly Loved: Second Chance Christian Romance

The lovesick daydreams of Meredith Ambrose’s teenage years for neighborhood heartthrob David Steller have faded into uncomfortable memories-until he lands in a hospital bed in her unit where she works as an R.N.

David came to the Northwest to look her up-he just didn’t plan on their reunion occurring with him on a gurney. Can he prove he’s really changed after all these years? (Christian romance)

Happy Reading!!

This and that part two July 14, 2021

I was talking about plants in part one but that isn’t what I’ve spent the most time thinking about today. More than plants I’ve been thinking about a new podcaster someone told me about the other day. He has a number of channels started and has been posting short videos on most of them.

This fellow is personable, interesting, animated, and funny. He knows how to supply great content since he is a Hollywood producer in real life. He has a different focus for each channel. There are four or five of them and I’ve subscribed to them all.

So today he was posting short clips from the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is beautiful. The coloring in the clip I’ll share with you is amazing.

This first one is the link for the story he promised in the last clip.

This next is the first beautiful clip I promised above. Not sure how they ended up in the wrong order but that’s the way things go sometimes. Enjoy the beautiful view.

His name is Michael, I’m sure he’s mentioned his last name somewhere but I didn’t catch it. If you enjoy him, he does give the links to all of his channels now and then as well.

Enjoy the Grand Canyon

A little of this, a little of that July 14, 2021

I’ll have to tell you about my momma plant. It is called a Spider plant but it is thought of as a momma plant because it sends out long stems, like a spider’s web and little babies, or pups, grow on the ends. They are cute and when the plant sends out multiple stems they are really cute. So cute that I hate to cut them off.

There were multiple stems and their cute babies had grown so big they were resting on the floor. It all sort of filled in the corner with pretty greenery and I liked it.

Lately I’ve been noticing that mom has been looking a little dry and starting to go brown. It’s summer, it’s warm, she needs more water. Still, even with more water she was dragging and looking a little worn out (I almost said warn there, oops) (maybe she was warning me)

Anyway, it occurred to me today that her babies were bleeding her dry, no wonder she was looking droopy.

She’s feeling much better now that she’s been delivered of four of her 15 lb babies.

They are resting comfortably in a tray of water. Growing roots to be ready to move into their own home, and start sending out their own babies.

Not sure what I am going to do with them all.

In the meantime…

Mom is starting to look perkier already.

She still has three more babies to feed though.

Hmmmm. Maybe I should have delivered all of them. Given her a fighting chance.

Maybe tomorrow.

Anyone looking to own a Spider plant? Anyone?

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The Spider plant isn’t the only one trying to give me babies.

The flowering Crab Apple cut down two years ago is trying hard to survive.

It’s roots keep sending up pretty pink suckers in an ever widening circle in the front lawn.

I have some thoughts on how to deal with this, I’ll let you know how who wins. Hopefully it will be me.

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Now for a less challenging subject… books.

Currently I’ve started….

Faith in the Mountain Valley (Call of the Rockies series Book 5)

This epic journey is the only way to leave her secrets behind.

After eleven years spent looking for the girl who stole his heart, Jean-Jacques Baptiste—better known as French to his friends—is tempted to give up. Until the day he spotted the flaxen-haired stranger traveling the wooded path with Blackfoot Indians. He never imagined he’d find his childhood friend masquerading as a man in this Rocky Mountain wilderness, hundreds of miles from the Canadian town where he last saw her. No matter her reasons, he can’t let her go this time.

Colette Mignon’s life has become a cacophony of lies, including the fact that her Blackfoot Indian companions believe she’s a man. She’s willing to live the taxing life of a trapper in these desolate mountains as long as it keeps her secrets hidden. When her childhood friend and first love discovers her, his determination to help might put everything at risk.

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I haven’t read far enough to form any opinions but I have high hopes.

That cover is refreshing on these warm days of summer.

Happy Reading y’all

Morning chat July 11, 2021

I took a little break from reading to pour a new cup of tea and while I was at it I felt like saying good morning to someone, since I am in such a good mood. Saying good morning to you seemed like the best choice and so, here I am.

So, why am I in a good mood? Well, I think it’s me picking up on the mood in my current read. Everything is going well for the characters and I’m happy about the way things are playing out. I’m happy about the writing too. Ultimately it is the authors treatment and handling of the story that elicits this type of response from me, the reader.

Hmmmm. It hasn’t ever occurred to me to express it quite like that before. When I stop and think about it, though, it’s true. On the surface I love the story but what I’m truly loving is the writing and the heart of the author.

There is a Bible verse that says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. It is so true. We write from who we are.

Our books and stories are flavored by our hearts. Our hearts are flavored by our thoughts, our outlook on life.

I’d try to explain what’s going on with the story but it’s complicated and convoluted. It would probably take me at least 5000 words and I know we aren’t ready for that. I’ll give you the brief synopsis from Amazon, it says it better than I could at the moment.

It’s talking about book three in the four book collection.

As a side note, I have to say I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read in this collection so far.

Warfare of Love 

HOMETOWN HERO
Fighting through two years without leave and secret feelings, Davis and Muller must go undercover as newlyweds to stop the disaster.

When a shocking mix up with the chaplain makes their undercover roles a reality; Wolf and Angel must unmask a mole, stop a terrorist, protect the President-elect and untangle the events that just made them partners for life.

Can undercover love survive in the midst of trial?

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It’s been nice chatting with you. Gaining a little insight into the way books affect me has been an unexpected added bonus. I love it when that happens.

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I’m not sure if this qualifies as the official post for today. I don’t really think so but time will tell. Maybe I’ll see you again later.

Hopefully after I’ve conquered book 4 in this collection. It’s still a bargain if you are interested.

Later, maybe.

Happy Reading.

Who knew

Oh my goodness, who knew it would take this much work to load the new Kindle with the books still on the old one.

(To bring everyone up to speed after the fact; my Kindle developed fatal issues and had to be replaced. The new one arrived yesterday and the unsuccessful attempt to load it with the same books took most of the day)

Syncing would probably work if I knew how to do it. The only reason I don’t know how is because I resist sameness. I like to think that different devices fill different functions, so I have steadfastly resisted.

Besides, it did not enter my mind ti think it would be this big a deal. Oh well, live and learn.

I haven’t accomplished the original goal and sadly, nothing is in the same order.

It has been a good chance though to reassess what’s read and what’s not. Many have been read but appear as not for some reason.

It’s also turned out to be a good paring down. There were 275 books on the current device but a fraction of those have ended up on the new one. It’s not a bad thing, I have to say.

The new long term goal is to have every book properly flagged.

The other thing I learned? The insane length of time the battery is supposed to last between charges, does not apply to me.

My current read is a book I don’t even remember downloading.

Ghost of a Girl: A Novelette in The Good Shadows Series

Out of time, must go.

I’ll say more about all this later.

Happy Reading

P.S. I had to write something, anything, to keep from breaking my posting streak 🙂

Thanks for your patience!

Isn’t the update feature great?!

P.P.S. the book I was reading is YA and was much better than I thought at first. There aren’t actually any ghosts, the whole idea is the figment of a teenage imagination.

Pretty cover.