Current read June 25, 2022, finished – 26th

I’ve figured some things out. Charles Martin is one of my top five favorite authors. There is such depth to his stories. They are real, emotional, and complex. Pretty much like real life. It’s impossible to walk away unchanged after reading one of his books. But…

Despite loving his characters and the life they live there were often uncomfortable moments in the reading that puzzled me. I figured it was something about his style, or the fact that he is a male and I’m not. Everyone knows men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We hear the same words while receiving different messages.

Charles would craft intricately detailed descriptions and explanations that left me confused. Frustrating.

Today an enlightening new thought occurred to me. With further consideration I’ve decided maybe his writing style is not the problem. Maybe it’s my reading style. I’ve gotten used to reading books at 60 miles an hour (figuratively speaking) without missing anything important. Sometimes even skipping whole paragraphs, pages, or even chapters without losing much of the story.

That’s the problem. Speed without much effort. Many of his paragraphs need to have a slow-to-20 sign posted at the entrance.

As I continued through the book I had to admit there was still truth in other contributing issues like male/female thought patterns and lack of subject knowledge on things like places (Florida Everglades) and technical discussions (machines and fishing flies.) Still, the bulk of my confusion would probably be eliminated with slow down.

Sadly, It’s finished.

There is always a sense of loss when such a great story comes to an end.

It has been a few years since I first read this book and it was a shock to discover how little I remembered of the story.

It probably seemed to me like I should remember more because the title has appeared often through the years and since it was marked as read…

The upside of not remembering is the chance for the joy of a first time experience all over again.

I have to say it brightened my weekend.

If you’ve not read Charles Martin, you should. It is always an amazing experience.

I should have posted this on the 25th but I was reading, not paying attention to time, midnight came and went before I noticed. Since it was already the 26th I figured I may as well finish the book first, I was hoping for a good quote to demonstrate my confusion point. There was a perfect one early on but I had read past it, losing sight of it’s location. I was hoping to come across another good one but I guess the new awareness worked against that happening.

Anyway, on to a new story. Haven’t decided what that should be yet. It’ll be a surprise.

Bargain Book June 22, 2022

An awesome book from an awesome author is on sale at a bargain price again. Charles Martin brings some of his books back every year or two for a few days. The first time I noticed this book was 2016 and every time after I remember how much I loved it.

Wrapped in Rain: A Novel

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker can’t see is how to let go of his traumatic childhood and forgive his father.

On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their abusive and alcoholic father ever did.

When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tucker can still hear her voice—and her prayers. “Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.” But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

Wrapped in Rain follows Tucker’s journey from brokenness to healing through the everlasting power of love.

**********************

As a general rule, we have a tendency to underestimate the power of love.

As I read this synopsis, I can see I need to read this book again too.

The new cover is beautiful.

Current read June 21, 2022

I have a new current read that is shaping up quite nicely so far. This author is new to me and I’m enjoying the experience.

A Strike to the Heart

She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.

Wisconsin, 1933When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.

Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.

******************

This author also has a new book coming out in September and it’s on pre-order at a bargain price.

As Silent as the Night (Strike to the Heart Series) 

He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.

Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.

Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.

Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love.
As Silent as the Night is the Christmas novella to To Stand in the Breach and A Strike to the Heart.

*******************

This series is definitely set in an interesting era we don’t see too often.

Check it out with me.

This and that June 20, 2022

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

It’s hard to think when it’s hot. Which means it’s not easy stringing words together for a coherent blog post. Thank goodness for air conditioning or it would be even worse. This is going to have to be one of those just start talking posts.

I can’t imagine that I have anything to say that anyone wants to hear. I feel like writing but that thought alone is enough to keep me from it. I think I will press ahead anyway. I’m curious to see what will come out of my mouth if I do. I can always delete it if it’s too terrible.

There are a couple of things I’m feeling excited about. We are planning a family camping trip in July, that is exciting. It has been a very long time since the last one. It will be a family reunion of sorts. We are widely scattered these days, some of us more than others, and this time together has been a long time coming, especially due to the events of the last two years.

The campground reservations are made and paid for and serious planning is underway to make sure we have enough equipment and food to keep everyone happy. The best thing about camping is, it is “days off” for the whole time. No work (job), no phone, no internet. It’s like hiding out from the world playing all day every day without feeling guilty.

There will be water and fishing, maybe swimming, although I’m sure the water will still be pretty cold. Definitely a boat. Time to sit and visit, read, soak up a few rays of sunshine. Informal meals around the campfire. wiener roasts, marshmallow roast and s’mores. (a hot melted marshmallow squished with a piece of chocolate bar between two cookies. Hot coffee and pancakes on a cool morning and hot chocolate around the campfire in the cool of the evening. And games, lots of games.

Our family has a long history of camping. We started before the kids were born and that was our holiday of choice every year until summer jobs got in the way. This year will be special because we are beginning to lose the next generation to jobs and summer jobs.

Life flies by at an alarming rate. One more reason to savor every moment we have together as a family.

I said I was excited about a couple of things. I’ll save the next thing for another time. I want to camp on this nostalgic thought spot for awhile.

Photo by Jens Mahnke on Pexels.com

If you have never tried camping you should. Especially if you can handle a simpler life. There is nothing like it to recharge the batteries.

I will admit, it is not a five star experience. But for those who don’t care about those kinds of stars, it is wonderful.

This and that May 13, 2022

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

Not quite this far yet, but soon.

This is a just-start-talking kind of day. I have nothing earth shattering in mind to talk about so this will be a whole lot of not much.

It has been crazy windy here all day. It sounds like a wind tunnel running between the houses and it’s loud. I was wishing I had the data capacity on my phone to record a couple of hours of it, sound and all. The sky looked like it should be stormy but hadn’t rained. Yet. I’d put off running errands until the last minute, glad it was still dry out there.

A good tail wind helps a person get to the store faster. That was the first observation. But the funniest thing about it all, the rain waited all day to pour down just as I reached the car with my purchases. A shopping trip cut short. It waited all day to soak me at the last possible moment. Even funnier was that in the five minute drive home it stopped raining altogether. Oh well, I had my new furnace filters.

I change them regularly and usually they are lightly dirty. I forgot that this time of year between heavy wind and the blowing sand left from winter streets, things change. This time it was colored like charcoal. No wonder I’m having coughing fits.

This has been a week for family birthdays, can’t forget that, and the post office has been delivering heavy boxes belonging to some family members moving back home from a foreign country. It has taken months for them to arrive by ground and it’s awesome to see most of them finally here and in good shape.

Several days earlier in the week the weather was beautiful and it was good to get out in the yard for post winter cleanup. One never knows how out of shape they are until they try vigorously raking leaves for a couple of hours. It took several days for the muscle stiffness to disappear but after that first time it was much easier.

I always dread the brownness of the world once the snow disappears but then with good weather green starts popping up everywhere and the yard looks fresh and beautiful.

There are lots of things on my mind these days but the owners of the recently arrived boxes will be here soon, for a number of weeks, and I need to be ready for a full house. I can hardly wait.

Read and enjoyed May 12, 2022

These first two books were a fun read. The first impression at the thought of Obituaries would not be fun but when you consider people want the chance to tell the real truth, anything can happen. It has to be said that these people led quite the lives. It’s amazing they were never found out.

These next two were not as light-hearted and fun as the first books but they were definitely good reads.

One last one showed up at the discovery time for the Sisters by Design. It was a nice extension of my time with author Sharon Srock.

My current read is a complete change of pace but it deserves a place here anyway. This author is always enjoyable.

The weekend is coming soon, more reading time.Yes!

Happy Reading y’all

It’s Mother’s Day May 08, 2022

Photo by George Dolgikh @ Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

I’m thinking gratefully about all the women in my life who have been mothers to me over the years. Some by blood, some by marriage, and some evolving out of friendships. All of them hold a special place in my heart and I’m grateful for having had them in my life.

I’m also thinking about the girls/women in my life who are mothers to my grandchildren. I couldn’t be prouder of all three of them, they have done such an awesome job of being moms. We all know, one way or another, that raising kids is a daunting task at times. Kudos to them for allowing their kids to survive. lol I raised a strong willed child and he survived, now it’s his turn. Pay back is so much fun.

God created mothers with a strong love and protective instinct for their children. Think mama bear. Thank goodness he did.

Thank you to women everywhere who have loved their children well.

If your children are young and you are exhausted you are probably having serious doubts about the well part right about now. One day before you know it they will be grown and you will see things in a different light.

Some of you may be brokenhearted over your adult children. We can do everything right and things still turn out wrong. Our grown children can make terrible choices even when we have loved them well.

Think of the moms you love and along with me, take a moment to be grateful for each and every one them.

This and that May 05, 2022

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

It has been a record breaking year. Before I get into that I have to say it has been another no book day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

And I have to say it was a busy day. I work as an administrative contractor and everything is based on work load and billable hours. All of a sudden things are picking up. People are needing things done. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m probably more excited about the jobs coming in than I am about the record breaking.

This week is the 15th anniversary of my job. That’s longer than any other employment I’ve ever had. The last longest was 10 years and I thought that was amazing. It isn’t that I was a job hopper, it was just life getting in the way. Mind you I can’t say I minded moving on, mainly because there were life changes behind all of them and I am always up for an adventure. That was then and this is now though. I am more settled and I am in this job for the long haul.

And for the second record broken; this will be the 10th anniversary in this house. They say we are molded by the circumstances of our childhoods. By the time I was six we had lived in five difference houses. One of them was twice but to a young kid it was still a move and felt different, a strange place. Although my memories of those years are pretty sketchy and maybe my assumptions about all this are off base. However it was, a nomad existence seemes to be in my blood, which made all the adult moves feel like no big deal.

My oldest son does not share my love of adventure (aided by my lack of roots anywhere) and he has his feet firmly planted with no plans to leave, maybe ever. It’s funny how differently we react to things. Mind you, the other circumstances of our childhoods were as different as night and day. That was probably a bigger influence. Of the three he is most like me, which is why I can’t understand his dislike of travel.

I should have started this earlier, now I’ve run out of time.

Until next time, have a good night, or day

A whole lot of nothing April 21, 2022

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

That’s what I have today, nothing earth shattering that’s for sure.

I’ve been working more hours lately. The exciting thing about all this is that we have started making progress on older projects that have been on the back burner, forever it seems. All of them for one reason or another. We are finally getting some things done and off the list, which is mood altering in a good way.

Of course, working on these projects means more time spent with clients. It has been awhile since we’ve had reason for more than a brief how-are-things email. I’m blessed with such a great bunch of people to work with. It is a pleasure to hear their voices again and spend time with them sorting things out.

Personal activities have suffered some in the last few weeks, with less attention coming their way. Not that they have been totally forgotten. I’m still reading, although live streamers and podcasts are cutting into book and blog times. Maybe that is partly because the river of life moves on and interests shift. That’s not a bad thing, it’s hard to keep moving and growing if we find ourselves stuck in one spot.

My daughter has branched out into a new area of interest. I’ve been the crafter in the family but it didn’t rub off on her, she’s never showed much interest until now. Some of her friends are crocheting baby outfits and blankets to be given to new mothers and she wants to be involved. It made my heart smile to get the call asking if I had crochet hooks and a ball of yarn she could practice with. Do I have hooks and yarn? Does the sun rise every morning? I am a collector of yarn and hooks. I’ll be excited to share a bunch with my grand daughter too, when she and her family visits soon. I sure haven’t been using it much and since my grand daughter has become quite the little crochet artist she is excited to have new supplies. She’s looking forward to making more memories together too. It all began for her at my house.

Family time over Easter was a special treat, like always. Although toward the end of the evening it was becoming a challenge to stay awake. With everyone bringing something for the meal there is always so much food. The teenagers were fine, it was the rest of us who couldn’t eat like we used to. The upside to all this food is that mom, or dad won’t be cooking for a few days and the teenagers will still be fed. Who is going to complain about that.

Well, for not having much to say this has gone on longer than expected. I don’t know about you but I always enjoy times like this spent with you.

So what kind of nothings are happening in your life? We would like to get to know you too. Leave a comment for us. Looking forward to it.

Night guys.

Current read April 05, 2022

Today’s new read has a fresh slant to the family-secrets scenario. Besides that, the author is stingy with clues. At nine chapters in the main thing we know is that we don’t know anything. Who was this man? Famous author, awesomely wealthy, loving husband-father-grand father, frustratingly private. Where did he, or his wife, come from? Why is the first picture in the album their wedding picture? What happened to their childhood?

I’m intrigued with the story but admit to unexplained frustration. Sometimes it’s the writing style that leaves me on edge. That could be it.

There is an abundance of scene description and I’m wondering what importance this has to the story. Admittedly, it is a beautiful house and many will appreciate the word pictures. I guess I just don’t want to spend time figuring out what matters and what doesn’t. Especially when it comes to clothes and furniture.

There are a number of threads in the family dynamics that may or may not matter, as well.

Each member of the family (and their spouses by association) has become wealthy overnight. How will this change their lives and will the changes matter to the story.

Or:

Maybe the secrets once uncovered (if uncovered) will affect their lives more than their sudden wealth.

I’ll have to go back and read the blurb to see if I’m on track with my observations and projections.

The Discovery

Gerard Warner was not only a literary giant but a devoted family man. When he dies he leaves his Charleston estate to his grandson, Michael, an aspiring writer. Michael soon discovers an unpublished manuscript his grandfather had written, hidden from everyone but clearly intended for Michael to find. Michael reads an exciting tale of Nazi spies and sabotage, but this story is very different from all of Gerard Warner’s other books. It’s a love story.

As Michael delves deeper in, he discovers something that has the power to change not only his future but his past as well. Laced with suspense and intrigue, The Discovery is a richly woven novel that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime.

*********************

Yup. Big changes coming!