No thoughts on milkshakes

The Sunday Scribblings story prompt today was milkshakes. I think it was chocolate milkshake day but I could be wrong about that. I don’t dislike milkshakes but rarely order one. My drink of choice usually is coffee, second choice would be iced tea. But not sweet tea. I tried it once when travelling in the south, couldn’t do it. I would pick salty over sweet any day of the week.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the other hand, I do enjoy some desserts, especially if they lean toward the semi sweet side. Cheese cakes, tiramisu, tuxedo cake. I’m drooling already just thinking about them. Best change the subject.

I still don’t have a big appetite after the reaction to my second shot. My energy levels have not recovered either. I’m a little discouraged over that. Winter will soon be here and I need to get outside to do winter clean-up before the snow flies. One good thing about the snow – at least I don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting the yard.

Staying inside today produced a good chance to pay bills and respond to messages. That brightened my day considerably. The sad side of it, though, is knowing what my son and his wife and daughter are going through today. They will be putting their two oldest on a plane in a few hours to fly home to Canada. This isn’t a visit, they are moving home to see what comes next for them now that high school is nearly finished. I remember what it was like the first time my son flew off to a foreign country for who-knows how long. It was tough.

At the same time, I can relate to both sides. I have been the leaver and the left. It is much easier to be the one striking out on a new adventure. So many new things to experience. The left get to look at an emptier house every day and keenly feel the loss.

The adventurer doesn’t miss out on sadness though. Unfamiliar culture and languages can magnify homesickness. Even just a new and unfamiliar city brings it’s share of homesickness. No one gets away pain free.

On the other hand, sadness and homesickness means we loved. We can’t miss what we have never loved. What a blessing to have loved and been loved.

The three boys living here are excited to welcome their cousins. My daughter is left wondering how she is going to survive as the only woman with six guys. It will be an adventure, for sure. I tell her be glad it’s not girls, they would have to install another bathroom or two. Although if the girls were anything like the two of us, hogging shower and bathroom time would not be a big issue.

All that said, I enjoyed my kids when they were teens and I think she will enjoy these boys too. They are all loving kids.

Well, word is just in, the first leg of the flight was cancelled which means they will miss the connecting flight. At least they have a travel agent to take off some of the pressure. Arrival time will be affected, although this is not a total surprise.

Turns out the problem is a typhoon. 😦

I guess this is to be continued…

A sister about to miss her brothers.

They will be missing her too.

This and that September 10, 2021

A little of this and a little of that, again tonight… just because I feel like it.

My daughter asked me to check through family pictures this afternoon, she was in need of photos taken with a particular family member. It needed a big chunk of time to find anything after this many years.

I did find a few that fit her needs. But that’s not all I found. There was one I’ve been thinking of lately that always makes me smile. I think it represents my personality fairly well.

I would never have dreamed of taking such a picture but my son-in-law thought it was a great idea. Since I was oblivious to what he was up too, I couldn’t even change to a more lady-like position.

Fine tuning the stove installation.

I have no idea, anymore, what precisely was going on but whatever it was I was the only one small enough to reach. Now that it’s been awhile, this is one of my favorite pictures. Yup, that’s me, climbing on things.

So, this brings me to another favorite picture and I think it kind of goes with my picture. We are like two peas in a pod when it comes to one or two things. That’s my assessment anyway.

We were looking for evidence of her visit a few months after I moved here to Manitoba, back in 2013. At least I was looking through photos. My daughter is already in British Columbia ready for the memorial service tomorrow and needing memories.

Mabel aka Granny, was amazing. Facebook, Face time, emails, messages, all that good stuff right up until the end. This was 85 years young at the time.

Checking Facebook with her morning cup of tea.
Making memories with three of her many great-grandsons
Trusty stylus in hand, emailing someone in the family.

This is my favorite picture of her. The pose says it all.

My next favorite thing in this picture is the stuffed snowman on the hearth. It’s a wind up music box. It plays “Cold as Ice” while it swings around. Makes me laugh every time. I have no idea why I think it’s so funny but after a dozen years I still think it’s hilarious.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

I love my mother-in-law like a mother/friend. I’ve been separated from her step-son for 17 years and in spite of it all, she understands and the two of us are still close. She has room in her heart for all of us and I appreciate it more than I can tell. Not everyone can love without choosing sides. Actually, the whole family is good at loving this way. I feel truly blessed.

♥♥♥♥♥

Rest in Peace Mabel. You are a special lady and we all love you.

I can be at peace with her passing because I know I will see her again. Sooner than I might wish, the way time flies by.

My last email to her ended with the chorus from an old Rusty Goodman song about heaven.

Look for me, for I will be there too
I realize, when you arrive, there’ll be so much to view
After you’ve been there ten thousand years, a million, maybe two
Look for me, for I will be there too

Bargain books September 08, 2021

1531 Entertainment had a bargain suggestion. It seems this was on our list back in June and somehow I missed reading it. What a mistake. It is awesome, I love this book. In fact the next two in the series are also bargains and I’m about to buy them too. I have to know what comes next.

Exercise Is Murder: A classic whodunit mystery with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. (Smiley and McBlythe Mystery Series Book 1)

Found at the bottom of his exercise pool, police believe the death of Steve Smiley’s friend is an accident. Smiley doesn’t buy it.

There are a lot of things a blind man can do, but solve a murder alone isn’t one of them. He needs a partner… one who knows their way around a crime scene. In walks Heather McBlythe. She can help him solve the crime, but can she keep him out of danger? Steve doesn’t have a choice. Without her someone will get away with murder.

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Book 1 was awesome but can books 2 and 3 live up to the reputation? That’s what I want to know.

The Long Fall: A clean read whodunit with more twists and turns than a roller coaster! (Smiley and McBlythe Mystery Series Book 2) 

Four classmates in town for their twentieth high school class reunion. Now one of them is dead. Did he decide to end it all from the twelfth story? Or was it something more sinister?

Being blind sometimes had its advantages. Unhindered by how things look on the surface, private investigator Steve Smiley digs deep to think outside the box. Someone wanted it to look like suicide. He’s sure it was murder.

Blindsided by opposition from a surprising source, Smiley and his partner have to think fast. His reputation is on the line. Can they unmask the killer and bring justice? Or will this long fall prove to be the perfect murder?

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The Ice House Murder: A clean read whodunit mystery with more twists and turns than a roller coaster! (Smiley and McBlythe Mystery Series Book 3)

Who committed the murder in the ice house? A lawyer of questionable repute approaches PIs Smiley and McBlythe to find out. They agree on one condition: that truth will prevail. Even if that means the Russian cooling his heels in jail is guilty.

Smiley and McBlythe have ten days to name the killer before the lawyer, and the Russian mob, do things their way.

The rules change when Heather arrives home to find her beloved cat gone. The ultimatum: Solve the murder in three days or she’ll never see him again. Smiley has one last trick up his sleeve to ferret out the killer. If it doesn’t work, Max will be gone, and so will his partner.

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I love the humor and the way Mr. Hammack puts a story together. I love the characters too, especially the main characters. They are brilliant, quirky and fun.

I can hardly wait until I’m done posting for the night to get started on these two.

Happy reading to you.

Free book August 31, 2021

This looks like a fun read. Hilarious even. And it’s FREE.

Rodeo and Juliet: Sunny Ridge, Montana Book 1

Amazon quote:

Rodeo has never been closer to achieving his dream of buying his own ranch. But when his trick horse—his partner in every performance—falls for the lovely Juliet and refuses to leave her side, Rodeo’s plans go up in smoke. How can Rodeo persuade his stubborn horse to change his mind? Especially when Rodeo finds himself drawn to Jules, too…

Juliet is the careful twin, content to play it safe. She’s not interested in Rodeo—or his horse. But the more time she spends with the stubborn cowboy, the more she realizes there are hidden depths he doesn’t show anyone else. But feeling compassion for the man doesn’t mean she’s falling for him… does it?

Rodeo needs Jules’s help to convince his matchmaking horse to perform. Can these two put aside their pasts and embrace a future that fulfills dreams they won’t admit to?

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I’ve read the first chapter and I think I may have to cancel my afternoon plans to read the rest.

I’ve not read another story even remotely like this one. Crazy horse.

This and that August 24, 2021

This is another one of those days when I’ve got nothing. Nothing to write that is. Most of the stuff on my mind isn’t appropriate for this post.

I’ve been closely following the debacle that has stunned the world. It seems we have been content to close our eyes to things and just coast along hoping someone else would take care of us. It will take some major courage to get the world out of the tough spot we find ourselves in. Our guys had the courage in WWII, I’m not sure how it could happen exactly but I’m sure our guys and gals could successfully rise to the challenge this time too.

The other news type thing on my mind is the whole covid situation. A fourth wave seems to be showing up in the last few days. Just when restrictions loosen up the infection rate starts rising again.

Along with that concern, we have a family situation where we need to find a isolation spot for teenage boys coming home after a lifetime overseas. I want to have them with me but there is one difficult hurdle to overcome. Other options may work out but if they don’t I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work out well for them. We will have to wait and see how it all turns out.

In regard to books, I can’t find it again but I was reading a book collection that was a retelling of fairy tales. Red Riding Hood and Cinderella were the first two. From my point of view they were really bad. I couldn’t bring myself to even read them. I removed the book from my device without taking note of the title. I wanted to share it with you and thought I could easily find it again but … no such luck. Maybe it’s better that I couldn’t find it. Kinder.

The sky is a heavy grey all of a sudden, I think another storm is supposed to roll through tonight, dropping some more rain. It’s funny, we had been having drought conditions and they were predicting a long hot summer. The prediction has changed, we are supposed to have more rain with cooler temps for the rest of the season. Winter shows up here the end of October/early November usually.

It will be interesting for our newly home teenagers, they have not experienced real winter before. It will be all new. They are excited and looking forward to it, I do know that. I don’t think they have seen snow and if they have it would have been a brief thing. Both of their parents have experienced full on Canadian winters and the kids have grown up with the stories wishing they could visit us in the winter. Their time has come!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How could they not love it?

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old lady is not snoring.

She can’t snore, the rain is making way too much noise.

Crazy weather.

Yesterday was tank top, shorts, and sandals.

Today is t-shirt, heavy fleece jacket, jeans, and socks with slippers.

I took a video, the rain was so impressive. Only a half hour and the yard is flooding and I needed proof. It turns out, the video plays sideways and I have no idea what I did to cause that. It also turns out I have the shakes worse than I realized. No idea idea about the why for that either. I have not yet started drinking! lol

This isn’t NBC, as one of my favorite podcasters always says, so I will go ahead and post it here anyway.

Well, I guess maybe not. WordPress isn’t recognizing it for a reason I have not yet discovered but must explore.

I’ll share a picture instead. No I won’t, it looks like I figured something out. The video is uploading.

My flooding backyard/hear the rain

Not too bad for a first ever attempt at uploading a video on here.

You can’t tell from this angle but the flowerbed below the railing is flooded. The drainage trough at the back under the trees is flooded too. After an hour or so of pounding rain it has changed to a gentle rain. By the looks of it I won’t be watering the flower beds for a few days.

My lawn is a lovely green even after all the hot weather we’ve had. All because of mulching. This is the first year the summer lawn clippings have not been picked up and it looks better than it ever has in the eight years I’ve been here.

The weather guys promised the threat of a thunder storm for today. If a really good one comes through later today I’ll try another video. After the heavy rain that already passed through, though, I’m not holding my breath for an awesome storm.

Today has been a nothing new-books day so I’m grateful for the wild storm showing up to give me a little post material!

Some of the recently ordered new releases arrived in today’s Kindle mailbox so it’s been a good day afterall.

A good day to you too. I hope you ordered some of those new books.

Happy Reading

Free and bargain books August 2, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion for us. This was on my reading list in 2017 and I can still vividly remember this story. If I had time I would read it again. It was unpredictable, that was one of the things I loved the best about this book.

Stealthy Steps (Nanostealth Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

My name is Gemma Keyes. Other than my name, I am utterly forgettable—so those who never paid much attention to me in the first place haven’t exactly noticed that I’ve disappeared. Vanished. Oh, it’s much more complicated than it sounds. I’ve had to learn the hard way: Invisibility comes with its own set of problems.

I should tell you about Dr. Daniel Bickel, world-renowned nanophysicist. We used to work together, but I’ll be candid with you: He’s supposed to be dead. Well, he’s not. (Imagine my surprise.) Instead of the proverbial “six feet under,” he’s subsisting in an abandoned devolution cavern beneath the old Manzano Weapons Storage Facility on Kirtland Air Force Base here in Albuquerque.

“I need to show you what I’m protecting here, Gemma,” he insisted.

I stared into the clear glass case. I could hear . . . humming, clicking, buzzing. A faint haze inside the box shifted. Dissolved. Came back together. Reminded me of how mercury, when released on a plate, will flow and form new shapes. Only this, this thing was “flowing and forming” in midair.

“Do you see them?” Dr. Bickel asked.

“Them?” I was confused. My mouth opened to a stunned “o” as the silver haze resolved into blue letters.

H E L L O

Dr. Bickel hadn’t pressed any buttons. Hadn’t said anything to them. Hadn’t gestured.

He grinned. “Ah. They’ve noticed you. They know they haven’t seen you before.”

“Well, I wish they wouldn’t notice me!” I choked on the words, my eyes fixed on the glass case.

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1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us, It’s a four book collection, two of them are in my downloads and I’ve read one of them. I do enjoy this author.

The Complete Shepherd’s Heart Series: A Boxed Set Book Bundle Collection Volumes 1-4

Amazon quote:

1. Rocky Mountain Oasis:
Brooke Baker, sold as a mail-order bride, looks to her future with dread but firm resolve. If she survived Uncle Jackson, she can survive anyone.

When Sky Jordan hears that his nefarious cousin has sent for a mail-order bride, he knows he has to prevent the marriage. No woman deserves to be left to that fate. Still, he’s as surprised as anyone to find himself standing next to her before the minister.

Brooke’s new husband turns out to be kinder than any man has ever been. But then the unthinkable happens and she holds the key that might save innocent lives but destroy Sky all in one fell swoop. It’s a choice too unbearable to contemplate…but a choice that must be made.

2. High Desert Haven:
When her husband dies in a mysterious riding accident, Nicki Trent is left with a toddler and a rundown ranch. Determined to bring her ranch back from the brink of death, Nicki hires handsome Jason Jordan to help. But when William, her neighbor, starts pressing for her hand in marriage, the bank calls in a loan she didn’t even know about, bullets start flying, and a burlap dummy with a knife in its chest shows up on her doorstep, Nicki wonders if this ranch is worth all the trouble.

To make matters worse, terrible things keep happening to her neighbors. When her friend’s homestead is burned to the ground and William lays the blame at Jason’s feet, Nicki wonders how well she knows her new hand…and her own heart.

3. Fair Valley Refuge:
Victoria Snyder, adopted when she was only days old, pastes on a smile for her mama’s wedding day, but inside she’s all atremble. Lawman Rocky Jordan is back home. And this time he’s got a bullet hole in his shoulder and enough audacity to come calling. Since tragedy seems to strike those she cares for with uncanny frequency, she wants nothing to do with a man who could be killed in the line of duty like her father.

But when an orphan-train arrives at the Salem depot, Victoria is irresistibly drawn toward the three remaining “unlovable” children…and stunned by a proposal that will change all of their lives forever.

4. Spring Meadow Sanctuary:
Heart pounding in shock, Sharyah Jordan gapes at the outlaw staring down the barrel of his gun at her. Cascade Bennett shattered her dreams only last summer, and now he plans to kidnap her and haul her into the wilderness with a bunch of outlaws…for her own protection? She’d rather be locked in her classroom for a whole week with Brandon McBride and his arsenal of tricks, and that was saying something.

Cade Bennett’s heart nearly drops to his toes when he sees Sharyah standing by the desk. Sharyah Jordan was not supposed to be here. Blast if he didn’t hate complications, and Sharyah with her alluring brown eyes and silky blond hair was a walking, talking personification of complication.

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Browsing a little, I ran across a FREE book by anther favorite author. It’s non fiction, a book on prayer, but it looks like it will be a seriously fun read. Diane Moody has a gift for delivering stories laced with humor. I’m looking forward to this read.

Confessions of a Prayer Slacker (Second Edition) 

Let’s face it. Most of us are clueless when it comes to praying. Why is that? And how come we’ve never done anything about it? In Confessions of a Prayer Slacker, author Diane Moody traces her own personal prayer journey with a touch of humor and a healthy dose of transparency.

‘I want my readers to stop the merry-go-round of prayerlessness, quit acting like a bunch of spiritual babies, and get serious about this thing called prayer. Without it, we’ll never experience the warm, one-on-one relationship God desires to have with each one of us.

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I’m still deciding on a current read but I’m leaning toward another Mystery/Suspense of some sort.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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

as promised, Chautona Havig free and bargain books for this week

Author Chautona Havig has a FREE book-a-day happening this week in an effort to cool us off during this hot summer we are having. Each book is free for two days.

Here is yesterday and today. Both Free.

Next will be the bargain books

Hmmmm. I’ve checked them out and they are not showing up as bargains, yet.

I’ll check again tomorrow. Sometimes things don’t go through as requested. Hopefully it will be resolved.

In the meantime there is a popular collection on pre-order. There was a move on, trying to get the numbers up enough to be on a best sellers list. I’m not sure if it happened, maybe we can still help them out. I’ve done my part, ordering my copy back in December. Many of these authors are on my favorites list so I’m excited about it. Order your copy to help out too.

This was what the December version of the cover looked like.

This is the newest image, which is nice because you can gain a little inspiration by seeing the contributing authors.

Save The Date will be released on September 14, 2021

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That’s all I have for now

Happy reading y’all

Free and bargain books July 19, 2021 Chautona Havig

One of our regular authors had a brilliant thought in the middle of the hot spell. She was dreaming of snow, lots of it, enough to swim in. One thing led to another, in her mind, and she came up with book deals on her Christmas books.

Her name is Chautona Havig, and she has so much going on with this idea that I am going to quote the relevant parts of her email.

Here we go…

I set all my Christmas books either on sale or to go FREE this week.

No joke. Merry Christmas in July to me… and you. And honestly, I’m going to open up Liz Johnson’s Christmas at the Red Door Inn and read that one myself. A blizzard sounds pretty amazing right now.

So here’s the deal… or maybe I should say, here are the deals… 😉

Free books!

  • Monday (that’s today): 31 Kisses
  • Tuesday: The Second Noel
  • Wednesday: Carol and the Belles
  • Thursday: Advent
  • Friday: Merri’s Christmas Mission
  • Saturday: The Ghosts of New Cheltenham
  • Sunday: Silenced Knight

Each book is on sale for two days. So 31 Kisses will be free Monday and Tuesday, The Second Noel on Tuesday and Wednesday, and so forth.

This is Monday’s book

When one plus one equals thirty-one…

It happens every day.
Guy meets grandpa–and girl.
Guy knocks grandpa off ladder
Guy kisses girl to make it “all better.”
Every day.
For a month.
Just your normal, average, all-American romance…

Meet Chessie and Carson. She goes “all out” for Christmas (and every other holiday including Columbus Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Flag Day); he doesn’t own a single thing that could be considered decorative–unless you count the stickers he stuck to his dresser back when he was three.

Neither of them have ever had a serious relationship; both are opposed to frivolous expressions of affection. How on earth did they get tangled up in a “kiss-a-day-during-December” pact?

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Here are the bargain books… They won’t be on sale until Tuesday so I’ll mention them again tomorrow. Here we go again with her words …

AT THE SAME TIME…

The following books are on sale for just $0.99 starting tomorrow (#becauseKindleRules) and will be through next Thursday! SQUEE!

  • 12 Dates of Christmas
  • Christmas Party in a Box 1
  • Christmas Party in a Box 2
  • Christmas Party in a Box 3
  • Christmas Party in a box 4
  • Christmas Stalkings
  • Snow-Crossed Letters
  • Tarnished Silver
  • Sand & Mistletoe
  • The Matchmakers of Holly Circle

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May these seasonal books provide a little respite, at least the illusion of cool, on these hot days of summer.

It was predicted here as hot for today but so far it’s only in the low 20s Celsius. We have a cloud cover of smoke from nearby forest fires, maybe that’s a contributing factor to the lower temps.

Whatever it is we’ll take it.

Enjoy the deals.

Happy Reading.