More this and that May 06, 2022

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

It’s hard to know which is worse.

Watching the news, any and every news, sounds like a good idea so as not to be caught unaware. After awhile, though, this activity seems toxic and downright depressing.

Unbelievable too. Did he really just say that? Is he aware how his attitude is not helping his public image? Maybe he’s not worried about future re-elections.

It’s often said don’t believe what they say, watch what they do. When I first heard this piece of wisdom it was in relation to abusive men who would say all manner of things to get what they wanted, all the while not meaning any of it. Paying attention to what they do, to steer clear of manipulators, is sound advice.

It takes a lot of practice to go by actions rather than words, though. These people are highly gifted at sounding believable, especially if they put a lot of emotion in it. It’s very easy to believe they are for real. That’s why video footage, especially the unedited kind, exposes the truth. There are lots of undeniable eye opening caught on tape moments that leave us with our jaws dropping on the floor. Some of them are scenes that we can never unsee.

On one hand the state of our countries, Canada and the US, is highly depressing but on the other hand, some bleak looking situations are beginning to change. For awhile it appeared that the corporate and political world was jumping on the new ideas band wagon which did not bode well for many of us.

I think most of us have forgotten how loudly the bottom line speaks into their world. Many of their recent changes and positions were not in the best interest of average shoppers and when we began to change our spending habits they sat up and took notice.

Making changes in who we work for, where we shop, and a multitude of other areas, will surprise us with unexpected positive side effects. We may even find we are happier than we’ve ever been.

It’s hard to believe any of this will change bullies’ behavior but hey, you just never know. Maybe one day they will wake up and discover people’s opinion of them matters a great deal. Especially if they are running for office or working to become richer.

Oh, right, the question which is worse?

The political situation in Canada or the US.

So far, from what I can see listening to facts and opinions, Canada is winning. Not something to feel the least bit happy about.

Free books May 02, 2022

LPC Free books has two suggestions for us, both read and enjoyed several years ago. Stories with substance.

All The Way Home – Ann Tatlock

“Tatlock’s rich descriptions and characterizations are unusually fresh and inventive.”~Publishers Weekly

From a rough section of Los Angeles during the late Depression years, to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the South, this novel is a searing portrayal of one family trapped by alcoholism and another living the typical middle class life. A true American story told through the eyes of two girls, best friends, separated by the internment camps of World War II.

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

Somewhere a Rainbow (Finding Love in the Low Country Book 4)

Brooke Haddon’s future looks gray… After her unfaithful husband is killed in an auto accident, she faces the challenge of rebuilding her life. With most of her money gone, she takes her five-year-old son to the honeymoon cottage on Hilton Head Island where her marriage began. As a single parent, she wonders how she will manage, and once she arrives on the island, she can’t imagine how she’ll be able to repair a cottage as broken down as her life.

When local carpenter Jake Randolph offers to help, Brooke immediately distrusts him. But as the months pass, she begins to think he may be different from the other men she has known. He begins to melt the emotional ice around her heart. Then Jake admits he’s concealing a secret past. Are Brooke’s hopes of a brighter future about to be destroyed. Or is there a rainbow beyond the storms of heartbreak?

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

Two worthwhile reads. Awesome.

Happy Reading!

Love, love, love the harmony May 02, 2022

Have to share.

The Sound musical group has come out with a new album and Mark Lowry is giving us nearly an hour long taste of their awesome sound. Amazing voices and memorable melodies. Connect with them at thesound.org

Fun fact:

Mark’s show is called Just Whenever and that’s because he goes live just whenever he feels like it. Which is pretty much everyday when he is home. He’s been on the road doing concerts the last couple of weeks and we all missed him. Tonight’s live made up for it, in spades.

Enjoy this toe tapping, can’t bear to sit still music.

I’m Not Gonna Worry – April 27, 2022

A fellow blogger shared some tried and true rules for a good life. There were ten and one of them was Never worry.

I have been doing some of that this last while. Fussing over some possible changes coming in my life. Worrying because I don’t know if it will work out, how it will work out, should it work out. If it doesn’t what will I do.

I want to take on a challenge that will require more from me than I have ever put into anything I’ve ever done before. There is always a hurry up and wait time with these things. Maybe that isn’t a bad thing. My vision is being refined as the days go by. Maybe things won’t move until I have worked through all of the details just right.

I try not to indulge in worry because it doesn’t accomplish anything except to make me feel dejected and discouraged. Discouraged is a good word for the way I’ve felt the last week or two. Today’s beautiful sunny day following on the heels of a week or two of a winter storm helped significantly. There is nothing as cheerful as blue skies.

The thought of not worrying reminded me of a song that always lifts my sagging spirits.

I need to listen to it another time or two yet before lights out tonight.

Maybe this will help with end of winter sagging spirits for you too.

I hope it will.

Enjoy

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

An excellent, insightful, helpful article. A Must share. — For the Love of Books

Today’s guest post is a Q&A by Andrea A. Firth (@AndreaAFirth), a writer, editor, and teacher and cofounder of Diablo Writers’ Workshop. Getting published in literary journals is hard—still. Editors routinely say that they often have to turn down good writing. The submission cycle takes months, and months. But some things have changed. No more…

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

Free books April 23, 2022

Grace Livingston Hill was one of my favorite authors in my twenties. She was a prolific author, I was a prolific reader, and I still have fond memories of those days. Most of the books came from the library, the main source of reading material back then. I can’t remember who but someone loaned me a whole grocery bag full once and I was in heaven.

Here is a short bio:

Grace Livingston Hill (April 16, 1865 – 1947) was an early 20th-century novelist and wrote both under her real name and the pseudonym Marcia Macdonald. She wrote over 100 novels and numerous short stories. Her characters were most often young female Christian women or those who become so within the confines of the story.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Two free books appeared for us this morning and further investigation has revealed a lot more. Also, there are a boatload of bargain books available too. You will find them if you select the author’s name, it will make all of her books come up.

The Witness

“The Witness” deals with the fate of Paul Courtland, a successful student, star athlete, and fraternity president.

After he witness a tragedy when his classmate dies Paul starts seeking for a solace. Ultimately, Paul meets a girl who is going to get him into trouble and he will be put in a position to choose between his emotions and faith.

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

Here is the next one

Bright Arrows

Eden’s life turns upside down when her beloved father dies. She feels completely lost and broken. The only comfort in Eden’s life are the letters written by her mother when she was just a child, that her father gave to her prior to his death.

Eden’s faith is being restored when she meets a handsome lawyer who comes to execute her father’s will.

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

An Unwilling Guest

Evelyn Rutherford, a New York society beauty, decides to visits her aunt, who lives in the country, for the summer. When her aunt falls ill, Evelyn becomes the unwilling guest of a neighbouring family.

What Evelyn thought will be a boring summer turned up to be a spiritual journey where she discovered the truth about herself and God.

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

Crimson Roses 

Alone in the city without money and friends. Mother and father gone, her home sold over her head, deserted by her only brother – for Marion Warren the world seemed to stop. But her long years of nursing an uncomplaining father had taught her a great lesson.

And she stepped bravely into a new life. Things seemed pretty black until the roses came…

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

Astra

Astra Everson, travels alone on a train thinking of everything that went wrong in her life. What Astra is not aware is that a Christmas miracle is about to happen when she meets a handsome Charles…

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

I’ve added links this time. Often one word titles are not easy to successfully search and links will help.

This will be nostalgic, a blast from the past for me. I’m anxious to see if these stories hold as much interest now as they did decades ago. The fact they are still around more than seventy years after her death is a positive indicator of their present day appeal.

Check out the rest of the books not mentioned too. The more popular stories may have prices on them.

Enjoy…

and Happy Reading

Reminiscing here: I think the appeal for me back then was the strong woman role model. Hard times fell on these characters and somehow they stiffened their spines and looked for ways to live through their tough circumstances. It was a message I needed to hear back then. Not that I was consciously aware of it. I remember thinking – if they can suck-it-up and keep on going then I can too. It’s an influence I’ve never forgotten. I’ve always wanted to be that woman. I still do.

This and that March 22, 2022

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I almost forgot! My daily post to keep the numbers rising for days in a row. Story of my life. Forgetting.

The reason I wasn’t paying attention is from wanting to know what is going on in the world. Podcasts. Some encouraging and some not so much. My favorites are the live streamers who film what is going on without adding commentary or opinion.

I think You Tube and their rules on content actually do us a favor. Actions speak louder than words. Simply watching is enlightening.

Peaceful, in the truest sense of the word, has more effect than any of us realized. We have been able to watch it happen.

More to say but must go. It’s almost tomorrow.

This and that March 18, 2022

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

This is one of those days when I have nothing on my mind to say so I’ll just start talking and see what happens.

I know I mentioned this yesterday but I can’t get over how quickly the snow melts when the temperature rises to zero and the hot sun shines brightly. The sun really is hot here. It’s crazy. It can be freezing and short sleeves still work when you are standing in the sun.

With these bright days the furnace has hardly been on and at one point today the inside temp was 74 F. At the moment (9:45) it is still 71.

Another thing that is crazy? I measure inside temps and fever temps in Fahrenheit and outside temps in Celsius. I measure mileage in kilometers and fuel in litres, fabric and everything else in inches and yards, and food in pounds and ounces – sort of. It seems like I have an identity crisis. I probably do but I’m not planning on resolving it anytime soon. I’m happy just the way I am. Probably because I wasn’t thrilled with the whole change to metric in the first place. This mixed up system is my mini rebellion.

On to another favorite topic – books. I haven’t been doing well with my book a day goal. Two reasons, mainly. I’ve been busier at work as my workload has increased. I’ve very happy about this for multiple reasons. On top of that, I’ve once again been spending time watching live streams of the people’s convoy, this time in Maryland USA.

I’ve been following ZOT You Tube channel, Charlotte is the host and she does an amazing job. Everyone LOVES her. She loves people, and she is fearless. This causes a great deal of anxiety among her viewers, as well as the people she hangs out with on the ground. Everyone is looking out for her and they let her know. They pay attention to where she is, who she’s with, and what she does or doesn’t eat. This probably makes her even safer. Today she streamed for over twelve hours. From the time she left her hotel until she closed her car door to go back.

This beautiful girl is amazing and, she has publicly shared – she is nineteen.

I tune in, leave it on in the back ground all day, and stop by to watch when ever I have a few moments, or hours. They have been doing a peaceful protest for about three weeks. Everyday they drive what is called the beltway, around the capital. That’s it. Drive the route and then back to the speedway in Hagerstown MD. The authorities know the plan every day and they stick to it, no surprises. There are a few counter protesters who try to provoke a fight but it hasn’t worked. Today there were people in a field throwing large bricks of some sort on the road, One of the trucks was hit and suffered radiator damage. The big trucks with him all stopped for support. Live streamers caught it all on video and they were able to identify the perpetrators. These guys couldn’t have gone far (which doesn’t seem all that smart) because the police were able to arrest them easily. Charlotte was in one of the lead trucks so we got to see this happening.

It was a long day.

They arrived back to a noisy speedway. There were time trials going on for the big race coming up next weekend. The guys in her chat were urging her to go see the cars, her welfare in mind-caregivers were saying go eat first. She opted for food first but it was challenging because there are always people at every turn waiting to talk to her. It’s a bad thing and a good thing. She is very gracious to everyone.

Charlotte was a newbie at live streaming when she started taking daily shifts with the convoy in Ottawa Her progress has been amazing. She has a gift for relating to people and drawing out their stories. I can see a future for her in journalism if she ever decides to go that route.

The protests have been peaceful in both places and the amazing thing out of it is – love wins. A soft answer turns away wrath is really true. Hatred is confused by love. We watched this happen in both places and it was encouraging.

The other awesome thing coming out of this is the changing relationship between the US and Canada. On a grass roots level.

On a personal/individual level we’ve had good relationships across the border. As a body/country, in general, we were neighbors with a passing acquaintance. With all of the events over the last four months we are becoming neighbors with a strong friendship. It’s amazing to watch it unfold. To hear people expressing such love and appreciation is a very emotional experience. Watching ZOT for hours we get to see these expressions over and over.

How can you tell I am just a little bit wound up by all of this.

I watched the goings-on in Ottawa til the end (hoping there will be more) and I will watch Hagerstown to the end too. It gives me, and others, hope in this crazy time.

Well, it seems I could go on and on but…

I’ll save some for next time.

There are many live streamers out there, start with ZOT and you will see others pop up too. Check them all out.

Happy reading, and viewing.

This and that … Saturday March 05, 2022

Click Bait. A skill I have not mastered but really should. It would help draw in unsuspecting new people, or even lure back some I haven’t seen in a while. Click bait has a good reputation for attracting attention. On the other hand, it has a bigger reputation for being a total liar. I have first hand experience so fact checking will not be necessary. All those times I took the bait, listened to the very end only to realize I’d been had. If any attention was given to the person or subject promised, it was but a blink of the eye and I missed it entirely. While I wouldn’t mind grabbing more attention myself, my guilty conscience for lying to make things seem special would be a killer.

So what is taking up thinking space in my head this week? Ukraine is on the minds of the whole world. I like keeping track of what is going on. Click bait stuff has been going on. People in a hurry to put something out when they had nothing were forced to improvise. Oops. Who knew someone would recognize those pictures from another place in another time.

I’m not so sure anyone has really figured out the truth of what is going on with this situation. I’m hearing many voices with as many “expert” opinions but I’m not hearing consensus, even on a small scale. When the truth finally comes out, if it ever does, there will be more than a few people saying the same thing. So far we are not hearing it.

When I ponder this for a while, it seems there are a whole lot of things going on, most of them under the table. I’m sure we would be shocked if we learned who the real players and influencers were in all of this.

It’s easy to worry about where the world is going but when it comes right down to it there is nothing in my power to do that would make any difference to the outcome. Worry will do nothing but destroy my life. We need to care, pay attention, and pray earnestly for the innocent people caught up in the flying debris, but we can’t let worry consume us. What good would we then be if trouble ever did come knocking on our door?

I have to give myself this lecture on a regular basis as I walk away from one more podcast on the whole scenario.

I’m focusing, briefly anyway, on my everyday life and I’m finding it gives me a mental boost in the right direction.

My frig, after many months, is now free of the long haired residents I was loath to deal with. (my grandsons will be impressed.) (procrastination is my middle name) A few closets and shelves have been sorted through and are looking better once I tossed some things I haven’t used in years. (I’ve found expiry dates as old as 2014!)

There is something about accomplishing tasks I have been avoiding forever that makes life suddenly seem good, very good in fact.

Who knew such mundane and inconsequential things could be an outlook changer?

Another of my current fixations. My first time ever growing an amaryllis.

A little beauty is another unexpected game changer.

I’m wishing some unexpected game changers for you too in these turbulent times.