The kernel of a thought October 12, 2021

Just start talking. That’s what I have to do tonight. Once again I do not have a post in mind.

I’m going to keep it short because I need sleep to be able to function tomorrow. I know if I don’t use restraint this could easily end up being really long, leaving me with a very short night.

This whole subject has been on my mind for a long time but it’s complex and not necessarily easily understood, especially when spoken about briefly. I think it would take a book for me to say everything I need to say on this subject.

I don’t even know how to begin and it’s already been a half hour. I think slow, trying to get it right enough to make sense, and I write even slower.

I’ll try to express the kernel of it in a sentence or two and expand on it another time. Or even more likely, it will take many times to get it all out.

I love God deeply, and at the same time I feel loved by him. We have loved each other for a very long time.

It’s killing me not to expand on this but I know I have to go.

In the meantime…

I love looking at the mountains, they remind me – our help comes from the creator, of heaven and earth. And what a creator he is.

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

Until tomorrow.

This and that October 11, 2021

This turned out better than I thought it would.

I’m writing to satisfy the need for a blog post, not because I feel like it or have anything appropriate to say at this moment. There are many things on my mind, all of them too heavy to be talked about today. If they are still there in a few days, we’ll see if they are still worth exploring further.

Today is a pretty day, filled with blue skies and sunshine streaming in the windows. It’s cooler outside than it has been so I won’t go out but the sunshine still cheers me even without touching my skin.

It is also a recovery day for this introvert. Recharging my emotional batteries after a wonderful day spent with family yesterday. The pretty day is a huge part of that recovery. The silence is healing too.

I usually check and listen to a fair number of followed podcasts each day but not today. I’ve looked through the notifications and watched a few but for the most part nothing really all that new is being talked about so it a perfect time to take a media break.

I did check the usual book suggestion emails as well but abandoned that when finding nothing interesting enough to mention. I thought about browsing for book ideas but…

Maybe tomorrow.

It is Thanksgiving weekend and I’m still grateful for the many blessings in my life. The biggest blessing today is the chance to get to know two of my grandsons in a way I’ve never had before, not with them living continents away from us. They seem to be glad for the chance to get to know me/us as well and that makes it even better.

Already my thoughts are turning to Christmas. It’s never too early to get started on shopping. With five teenage boys to think about this year I’ve enlisted the help of my daughter. I have to take advantage of every available resource to find likeable gifts. Lucky for me, she is into early shopping, and she knows what teenage boys are happy to wear these days.

While I’m recharging my emotional batteries I’m entertaining myself with reading, in between bouts of computer games.

My current read is a Regency Romance. To say the main character is prickly would be an understatement, but she is out of sorts with good reason. I’m 1/4 of the way through and enjoying the experience so far.

Dalton’s Challenge: A Regency Romance (The Harcourts Book 2) 

Having spent half her life in her younger brother’s shadow, Miss Winifred Thirley has tried so hard to be perfect in order to win back her parents’ love. Unfortunately for Winnie, her attempts at perfection have practically turned her to stone. Is it so wrong for Winnie to value responsibility, decorum, and a serious approach to life? According to the foolish and carefree Mr. Harcourt, it is.

In a cruel twist of fate, Winnie’s family is invited to spend the summer at Attwood Manor—Mr. Harcourt’s home. How will Winnie survive an entire summer living under the same roof as the gentleman she’s sworn to hate forever?

Mr. Dalton Harcourt will become a baron one day. Until then, he plans on having fun and living life to the fullest. That’s easier said than done when Miss Thirley glares daggers at him every time they cross paths. She’s hated him for the past two years after a very brief and disastrous courtship. 

At least Dalton doesn’t have to deal with her outside of London…until his mother invites the Thirley family to spend the summer with them in the country.

Will Winnie be able to forgive and see a brighter side to life in the process?

Can Dalton overcome his fears in order to face life’s challenges head on?

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Happy Reading on this beautiful day!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Tomorrow is technically Thanksgiving Day in Canada but today was the day that worked best for our family gathering.

We have so much to be thankful for. Most of all for the safe arrival of two family members who recently had to travel a great distance to be with us.

We are all presently healthy, happy, and well cared for.

The fellowship around the table was sweet, hilarious at times, and the turkey dinner was delicious.

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That’s about it for this post. Nothing to share for new books. The current historical read that I predicted wouldn’t be boring, kind of is. I was expecting story but it’s more like a history course. I’m skimming through it.

I like learning lots from a well crafted story but I’m not much for pages filled with facts, figures, and the names of many players who may or may not appear in the story itself. Personal preference, what can I say.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

In the meantime… Happy Reading!

I am feeling relieved October 04, 2021

It’s true. And unexpected. I would have done it long ago if I’d known it would make this big a difference in my anxiety levels.

By now, many of you have read my coming out in the open post. It can be found here if you’ve not read it. Basically it’s purpose was to admit that I am much older than pretty much all of my readers. I don’t feel like I’m older but pictures don’t lie.

I don’t really know what people think about my admission as there’s not been enough reaction to give me any hints. I’m OK with that though. I’ll just keep on being me, as authentically as I can, and see what happens. If I manage to write some things people like to read maybe they will forget to care about age.

One thing I’ve long understood, it’s easier to be real if you don’t care what people think. On some levels I care more than is healthy, on other levels I care very little. That’s how I made it through high school. Marching to the beat of my own drum, not worried if I was the only one.

Anyway, I feel more relaxed now that my secret is out there.

This is especially good since I have been thinking about possible new directions this blog could take in the near future. I love finding good deals and blogging about books but it seems to be getting a little tired, sticking to the same theme almost exclusively. Not everyone has the appetite for books that I do and their to-be-read pile fills up very quickly leaving them with little reason to come back.

The This and That posts have been attracting the most attention, I’m finding.

We will see how the future looks depending on the direction inspiration takes it.

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In the meantime, there were book suggestions today but I rejected them all. Mostly because we’ve seen them before, but also because I didn’t love them all that much. I prefer telling you about great stories if I can.

I will mention the one just finished tonight.

It’s hard to know sometimes, when we see the promotional blurb, whether it will be a bona fide story or something sappy. This story was anything but sappy. It was well written, well developed, and held my interest – beginning to end. I loved this book.

Marrying Mandy (Brides of Clearwater Book 1) 

A marriage of convenience might be crazy…or an answer to both of their prayers.

Mandy Hudson swore she’d never marry. Abandoned by her parents and raised by her grandparents, she has a hard time trusting that real love will last. When her grandmother dies, Mandy is shocked to discover a stipulation in the will. Considering marriage to her best friend may be the only way to keep her family’s beloved bed-and-breakfast.

The loss of his job threatens Preston Yarrow’s shaky financial stability. Besides, he can’t watch his best friend give up the only real home she’s ever known. Frustrated by Mandy’s stubborn refusal to let him help, he’s certain they are stronger together than they are apart.

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It’s still FREE if you are interested.

It will be exciting to see what is going to happen next. I feel like there is change coming but I have no idea what it will look like.

It will be a surprise.

In the meantime, keep reading.

Reading changes us, helps us grow.

Embrace it, learn to love it.

Read books that bring out the best in you and make you a better person.

That’s what I do and I like who I am becoming.

Join me in the march.

Another this and that kind of day September 28, 2021

I have nothing much in my head at the moment but I need to come up with a post to meet my daily goal commitment. Besides the discipline of putting something down on paper is actually good for me.

I guess it’s not really fair to say I have nothing in my head. I’ve been reading, trying to work my way through the burgeoning stack, and it has been disappointing. The just-finished read was a collection by an author I normally like, for the most part. The collection was disappointing because all three books were short on story and long on attraction. Lots and lots of time spent aware of each other. It’s boring listening to the same basic thoughts over and over again. A good story with some meat on it makes me happy. Anyway, I can’t even tell you the name of the collection because it’s been removed. The minute it was over.

Currently I’m reading a romance somewhat similar but at least it has a healthy story line running right through the middle of it. It isn’t a very long book either so there isn’t room for it to be plumped out with over the top attraction angst.

Courting Calla: A Christian Romance (Dixon Brothers Book 1)

CALLA VAUGHN has spent the last three years desperately trying to get her life in order so that she can go back to culinary school. No matter how hard she works, though, she feels like she is just treading water and can’t see any way out of the hole dug for her by a con artist who stole her identity.
When flowers she sends to her best friend with a dinner invitation accidentally get delivered to IAN JONES, she decides to cook him the best meal he’s ever had. By the time she admits that the flowers were never for him, he is as convinced as she is that God orchestrated the mistake in the first place.
All that’s left is to tell him the dark secret about her father’s widow. She waits a lit
tle too long, though, and is carted off to jail for questioning on felony charges before she gets a chance.
Will Ian understand her situation, or will the deception surrounding Calla destroy any trust he has in her?

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Work has been taking up a lot of my thinking time too. I won’t bore you with the details but a new software program on one of the sites I frequent is still under construction even though it is in full use. Navigation seemed impossible on one task. Today was a good day because the sticky issue has finally been resolved. Another file closed, at least it looks like it from my current point of view. Fingers crossed.

That’s mainly it for my day.

The weather was warm today, in the 30’s C and it should be like that again for several more days. I’m happy for the chance to experience a little more warmth before the bitterness of winter sets in. The illusion of summer is gone though, with darkness quickly falling hours earlier than it did on the longest days. The leaves are turning color and falling faster than I’d like. I’m sad to see the end of summer this year. It’s gone by much too quickly.

There have been bright spots, though, lately. Chatting with friends I haven’t talked to in a while.

There are always things I’m can be grateful for and they over-shadow the sadness whenever I let them. At this moment I’m choosing to see the good things in my life since it looks like I’m digging myself a bit of a hole with all this talk of melancholy over summer’s demise.

Tomorrow’s another day, and it’s looking better already since one dreaded work task has been successfully completed.

If I’m going to squeeze in a bit more reading before lights out I’d better get moving.

Happy Reading to you.

I love this awesome harmony. September 24, 2021

Mark Lowry is the author of Mary Did You Know , has had a long and popular singing career. He has an off-the-cuff let’s-sing show from his home “studio”, it’s on his YouTube channel and many other platforms. Tonight his special guests have just released a new project. The group’s name is SouthBound and the album is SouthBound.Live.

This in an impromptu concert and many people, including me, are loving it.

I enjoy this so much I must share. These energetic guys are singing many of the songs off their new project. I have to have this.

Mark has just hit a million subscribers on Facebook and he loves reminding us. Everyone of them love him too.

The upbeat songs in this concert touch hurting hearts in the most amazing way.

Enjoy.

I am enjoying for the second time tonight 🙂

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

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?

Story prompt – Angel

This story prompt is courtesy of Sunday Scribblings

Be an angel and bring me a coffee, will ya.

Thanks, you’re an angel.

It looks like angel is a word we use flippantly, much like the word love. In most cases the way we use it doesn’t really mean anything of any significance.

Wouldn’t we be shocked if there actually was such a thing as an angel?

Some of us must think they are real. There are movies, TV shows, sermons preached, and even books written about angels. With a little research into the ways they are portrayed I can tell I’m behind the times. I didn’t know there was a spin off of Buffy The Vampire Slayer called Angel. I wasn’t into a lot of TV back then and it looks like I was missing out.

There were other angel shows and movies I did notice, though, (Touched by an Angel, Twice in a Lifetime, Angels in the Outfield to name a few) and I have to say I enjoyed them immensely.

Then there are books, maybe movies too, where there are angels of both stripes, both good and evil, doing battle in heavenly places. This Present Darkness: A Novel by Frank Peretti is one of them.

Speaking of evil and angels, there is one story I’ve never been able to forget.

It happened in a primitive foreign country many years ago. A team of nurses and their helpers were accosted one night. They heard the war cry of a band of men who wanted to rob, torture, and kill them. They were terrified. Inexplicably, the band of men stopped, looked, and fled. They were faced with a circle of giants standing guard around the nurse’s compound.

It sounds hard to believe but I’ve heard stories similar to this more than once through the decades. Different time, different place, same story. I love to think that someone bigger than me could send his angel armies to protect me in drastic circumstances.

Again, we bandy about the idea of a guardian angel as liberally as we do the terms angel and love.

What if we really do have a guardian angel watching out for us?

If it is true, just think what life could have been like without them, without someone catching us all those times we should have crashed and burned.

I can think of a few times I should have crashed and burned but didn’t and I’m grateful beyond words.

There is a verse in the Bible …

Psalm 91 verse 11, it says “He shall give His angels charge over you. To keep you in all your ways

I believe and I’m grateful for my guardian angel.

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I couldn’t have planned it better. One of my daily emails had a book suggestion with a reference to angels. This saved me from having to find a picture for this post. I was having trouble finding one to do justice to my guardian angel. I will use this book cover to dress up the post instead.

I’m not sure how the angel angle works out in the Dead Man’s Journey story, not having read beyond the first few pages, but as the character in the opening paragraphs prepares to go for a run he senses an angel presence. Guardian angel.

On further thought: there is another book where I know for sure angels, both good and evil, are part of the story. Frank Peretti has written many books involving heavenly beings and this is one of them. This Present Darkness.

I’ll use a separate post to share more about this book.

They say the veil is thin between this world and the next. I believe that is true. We are not alone on our journey. God and his angels are looking out for us, more than we realize.

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I hope you like the books.

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!!