This and that November 26, 2022

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Do you ever wonder why some people are thinking that the world will soon be over populated and it will be a bad thing.

I think about it often and even more so lately. The other day someone, I think it was Bill Gates but I could be wrong, was talking about the current world population of 80 billion or so and how it’s imperative we get that down below that threshold if we want our world to survive.

I’m perplexed hearing people talk like this.

It doesn’t sound like we live in the same world. (Bill Gates and I)

The only reason I can see for someone thinking that way is if their only experience is big city living. Very big city living. If that’s the case they have a very narrow way of looking at things.

It’s true that cities in Asia and other similar parts of the world are greatly congested. It’s a challenge, driving erratically, bumper to bumper, taking your life in your hands every time you venture out.

Walking is not much better as everyone scurries about, shoulder to shoulder, narrowly missing collisions.

We hear stories of culture shock, experiencing Canada for the first time. Wide open lonely spaces everywhere. They miss the jostling crowds.

Yes, there are moments of great congestion and traffic jams here in our handful of big cities but that’s all they are, moments, not a way of life.

In Canada there are thousands of miles of lonely roads. Small towns (never mind big cities) are few and far between.

This big city (in the US is my guess) is not crazy.

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Travelling the lonely miles across Canada, gazing across acres and acres of uninhabited land it is impossible to fathom ever being over populated. With an abundance of flat empty land that could be turned into farm land it’s unfathomable to think there would ever be a day we couldn’t feed ourselves and other parts of the world too.

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And Canada is not the only country with vast uninhabited areas. It’s a surprise to note that the USA has vast poorly populated areas too.

When we look closely we find that every single continent is the same. Vast underpopulated areas.

Even with the uninhabitable mountainous areas taken into account, there are still huge areas that could sustain thousand if not millions of new residents.

I think these people with wild ideas need to get out and experience the myriad of wide open spaces across the world and then try to tell us our world is in danger of being overpopulated. Not going to happen anytime soon, if they are honest.

This and that November 25, 2022

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It’s Friday night and all is quiet on the western front, as they used to say. Probably because it is a holiday weekend in the US. There are reruns on the news videos, and not much showing up for books, or even blog posts for that matter.

Canada’s Thanksgiving was earlier in October so this is just a normal week for us.

It has been busy in my work space. There were government red-tape filing deadlines happening this month so the push was on to get it done. My part is finished and now there is just the paperwork cleanup, that will be a chore. It will be wonderful to have it done though.

So, I should have been here typing but I ended up finishing a book. It never fails, what was supposed to be a brief look always turns into so much more. Not that I’m sad about it or anything.

While I enjoyed the time spent reading, in some ways this book was hard to handle, especially in places, I’m never sure why that is exactly. Maybe it’s the voice of the story. Some books do that to me. I have to walk away at times, long enough for the emotions to even out so I can go back to it.

On the plus side though, what I loved most about the book was the construct of the story. I have not read another story that was framed the way this one was. It more than made up for the distressing tense moments.

There were red herrings and the ending was definitely a surprise. But not a shock. Between that and the great characters it was a good read.

I would happily recommend this to mystery lovers anywhere.

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Sarah: Cold Case Murder Mystery Series

Investigating cold case murders comes with a deadly price…

After a life-threatening home invasion, Ava Montgomery refuses to let her fear stop her from investigating cold case murders and she throws herself back into work.

Her next case: the murder of fifteen-year-old, Sarah Lewis.

This time, Ava has a connection to the case, a boy she grew up with: Elite performer and Olympic athlete, Jaxson Wells. Handsome, successful, and currently the lead suspect.

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Book two in this series is next on the list (latest download) but I think for a new read I will start a book that was suggested several days ago and I noticed it came up again today. I think it is still a bargain too if you are interested.

Turbulence (A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Book 5)

Facing doubts and terror at forty thousand feet …

Kennedy can’t wait to spend winter break in Alaska. Unfortunately, her vacation might end up cut short before her plane ever lands. As terror unfolds in the air, Kennedy stops worrying about reaching her destination. For now, her biggest challenge is just to stay alive

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I’m ready to flop on the couch and check out this new read. If I can manage to stay awake long enough. Relaxed and warm is a recipe for sleep.

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I stared to say. . .

Have a good weekend.

Then I wanted to say remember even crappy weekends have bright spots in them but I thought I should find a less offensive word to use. I figured I would google the word looking for better sounding synonyms. I had to laugh at what instantly came up.

Crappy Tire. That’s what we loving use referring to Canadian Tire. An everything kind of hardware store that we love to mock. It was a shock to see it at # 1 spot in the search engine. Too funny.

A fun way to end the post. A good laugh.

Happy Reading y’all.

PTSD Conversation. November 21, 2022

Our body remembers and keeps track. This is a recently acquired piece of information that explains a whole lot of things for me.

Memory suppression is a coping mechanism our minds will use to help us survive life. That has been the truth of my formative years. I have to be intentional about allowing snippets of information to settle in my mind long enough to consider what they might mean. Doing this has been an enlightening experience and explained may things, but it didn’t start happening until I was willing to allow my mind to dwell on the visiting thoughts.

For many decades I refused to entertain the idea of abuse precisely because I had no concrete memories. I suspected but wouldn’t make an accusation I couldn’t prove. A decade or so ago my brother forced me to admit it was true. He used persuasive force so it was all good. I think he remembers more than he was willing to admit. His assertion came out of nowhere although I think he must have been thinking about it for quite some time. It was like he was on a mission to finally talk about it and now was the time.

So back to the body remembering thought. . . It’s kind of funny when I think about it because I have been on a quest for emotional healing for many decades. That would be proof of the body remembers where my mind doesn’t. Subconsciously I knew I had a deep need for healing in my life and over the years I’ve been driven to pursue it relentlessly. The motivation was I want to be well.

It’s something how books, conversations, lectures, stories, all sorts of things, cross my path just when I need them.

Like I said the body remembers concept showed up in the last year or so and it was so helpful. I had been paying attention before but now I was more intentional. Besides noticing physical responses, fight or flight, I started thinking more deeply about the reasons and implications of those reactions. I’ve known forever than I don’t have normal reactions or even interpretations to words or situations, but I want to.

The latest idea for me to explore builds on the last one. Your body remembers and is convinced that danger still exists and raises the alarm to protect you. That’s why we are triggered by anything remotely resembling past dangerous situations. I have many triggers and have yet to figure out what is behind most of them. There are so many because the worst of the abuse stretched over a decade and on top of that there were multiple people involved as well as multiple types of abuse. Both emotional and physical. Then there is the complication that the emotional abuse continued on much longer than a decade.

The idea today was that, to get past these reactions we have to face our triggers/fears, convince our internal memory that all is well and the danger is past. And mostly it is, that’s true.

For a while I have been thinking about changing thought patterns by laying down new memories over the old. Creating new neural pathways. I’ve been thinking about facing and figuring out what caused the triggers in order to understand the why of the triggers, by knowing what happened to me. Understanding what is behind the triggers helps us chase away the proverbial bogey man hiding under the bed or in the closet.

I can see now that finding a way to convince my body that the danger is past and I’m safe, is badly needed.

Easier said than done. But worth a try.

Today’s moment of revelation came in the form of a podcast. It was a valuable conversation between professionals, a clinical psychologist and a popular guest with several degrees in the mental health field. These two come at the conversation from different perspectives and it has given me food for thought that will be around for some time to come.

One more much needed building block on the journey.

Here is the link. They had so much more to say that is worth hearing.

https://youtu.be/B_373YVlnDA

Among many others they talked about answering the question – What do you want? a serious question that most of us cannot articulate. Possibly because no one has ever asked us that question. At least not in a serious, really wanting to know, kind of way. It’s usually more like – what do You want? That’s the first thought that popped into my head as I wrote the first question. Sad. Probably heard that version a lot as a kid.

I have to say they covered a lot of ground in the hour long podcast.

Anyway, their enlightening conversation was definitely worth the time.

Until next time

Hope this makes sense, didn’t leave enough time for needed rewrites.

A little of this, a little of that November 13, 2022

This is one of those days when I have nothing.

Although, it’s not strictly true in that while there is nothing structured, and filled with good content, there are still a few things on my mind.

Like how insanely frustrated I am with the recent changes to the stats page. I am sure someone loves the new feature but it’s not me. There are three little pieces of information that could fit in 1/2 inch horizontal space but no, it has to take up 3 inches, at least, meaning I have to scroll back and forth to see the information pertinent to me.

The irony in all of this is my recent decision to share only positive rather than negative thoughts and opinions. It didn’t take long for that good intention to fly out the window.

The whole negative-thoughts decision was related to my less than glowing assessment on several recently read books. My insecure mindset viewed the weak response to the post as a good indicator that I should stick to compliments. The old adage, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

The thing is – not all books are created equal. In truth, there are probably fewer well written books than there are not-so-well written. Like anything else in life some of us find certain tasks easier than others do. There is nothing wrong with that. In the end though, talent is one thing but willingness to do the hard work is the magic key. So, while not all books are great, I don’t need to comment on them. I’ll just keep quietly removing them before sharing a recently read and enjoyed post. Besides it not like I have a large audience and my opinion matters to the masses.

I am envious of one blogger I follow, she can, and often does, declare loudly about hating a book. She says it and we smile. I don’t have that gift, wish I did (big smile.)

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So, on to read and enjoyed.

Last night I finished Book 1 in a series and loved it. Kindle has a new feature that groups series together. It turns out, using this feature, I have Book 2 as well. I do remember starting it but having trouble making a solid connection. Now that I’ve read book one the beginning of book two is making more sense to me. Hopefully it will turn out to be as good as book one.

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Final thoughts on the rant we started out with.

Years ago we lived near a talented friend with an amazing voice. He loved to participate in community events singing solos of all kinds. We all thought he could have made it in the music industry if he wanted. He could have but he didn’t have the want to or the drive and dedication needed to make it happen. We’ve seen others with less talent who did make something special out of their gift.

We’ve seen it happen in other areas of life too, where the most talented weren’t the most successful.

It’s amazing how much of our success depends on the way we think and the way we act. A revolutionary thought.

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Tomorrow is Monday. Up and at’em

In the meantime. . .

Happy Reading

This and that October 20, 2022

Not a lot going on in my mind tonight. There were a few book suggestions in the mailbox today but there was nothing new or interesting. No must haves, which was too bad because they are the best ones. I have worked my way quickly through several books but they weren’t the kind I was excited to talk about. They were OK but not that exciting.

That’s just how life goes sometimes. Nothing is great all the time. There are highs and lows flowing through every area of our lives on a regular basis. The best thing about the lows, they make the highs seem that much sweeter.

So, I wanted to post something tonight but there was no enthusiasm about figuring out what to say. That got me thinking about other bloggers, especially the ones we never see anymore. Maybe that’s what’s happened with them . . . they were discouraged and lost interest. Maybe life overshadowed the importance of keeping up with posting. I can think of many reasons why blogging could cease to be. It makes me sad though. I have a feeling that the reasons most have faded away were because of discouragement of one kind or another.

Anyway, the longer I dwell on the subject the longer the list grows for missing faces, figuratively speaking of course. Not everyone uses self-portraits. I always kind of envy those secure enough to post their picture.

Well, I think it’s time to go, I’ve run out of things to talk about.

Tomorrow is another work day and it’s Friday. The days and weeks are flying by much too quickly.

I need a picture of some sort on here so I will leave you with the cover of my current read. It isn’t riveting but it is interesting.

The past is all she has… Since her husband’s death three years ago, Violet has struggled to keep their antique store afloat and her grief at bay. She knows it’s time to move on, but she’s not sure she wants to. So when Nate moves in next door, she tries to ignore the feelings he stirs in her—feelings that were supposed to have died with her husband.

The past haunts him… Nate’s star was rising in the world of Christian music. But all that was erased with a single, life-shattering mistake. One he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven for. One that means he doesn’t deserve a future—and definitely not with his beautiful new neighbor.

Can they have a future? As the two work together to save her store, neither can deny the feelings that are starting to develop. But when Nate’s secret is exposed, they have to decide if they should walk away—or trust that the God of second chances has a plan for their future.

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Until tomorrow.

Happy Reading!

This and that follow-up. October 09, 2022

Photo by Esranur Kalay on Pexels.com Precious Memories

Last post (October 8th) ended with the promise to-be-continued. I was attempting to publish before midnight to avoid breaking the daily posting chain, that was the reason for the abrupt ending. Needless to say I was too late and we are back to the beginning, again. It was a valiant try, I have to say.

So, I was part way through telling the story of my trip to the grocery store for my contribution to our turkey dinner today. I was working through my list and was having trouble finding the canned cranberry sauce that goes so well with turkey. It’s tart and makes for a nice pairing.

Anyway, here’s the part that was unusual and unforgettable. I spied a young woman stopped in the middle of the aisle looking over her grocery list and I decided to ask her if she knew where the cranberry sauce was. (they keep changing things around just about the time you figure out where things are) It appeared that her family didn’t have cranberry sauce as a tradition because she didn’t really know what I was talking about. I was at a loss as to how to describe it. In a way it is in a category all it’s own. Cranberry is a fruit that it is cooked up like the jam you would put on toast but it is used more like the mustard and ketchup you would add to a sandwich or spread on a hot dog bun. How in the world do you describe that to someone?

We were in the canned fruit aisle and after a complex discussion she thought it was at the end on the top shelf. I said I would check it out but continued on down the aisle away from the section she was describing. I was thinking that sometimes they have racks of seasonal things like cranberry sauce closer to the meat department and thought I would look there first. The cream cheese was on my way there and I was stopped, looking it over, when someone approached me from behind.

It was the young woman with a jar in her hand. She had gone back to look over the section she had in mind and found what she thought I was looking for. It was cranberries alright. A fancy version I had never seen before but it looked like it would work.

As I think back, the memorable thing about the encounter was her kindness. She took the time to look for the item I needed and then made the effort to find me and make sure this was what I wanted. What I expected was the usual response where people consider the discussion closed and continue on with their shopping. To have someone go to these lengths for a stranger and to fully engage like she cared was truly amazing. And deeply touching. I think there was a connection we both felt in that moment.

There were clues that we moved in different circles and probably had different life experiences. I knew that when I approached her. But it didn’t matter to me. I looked her in the eyes when we talked and it was a comfortable discussion, it didn’t matter to her either and we were contributing equally.

These encounters don’t happen nearly often enough but when they do they are unforgettable. Something significant passes between us and I, for one, will remember.

Sometimes it’s as little as catching someone’s eyes and smiling. This doesn’t seem like much but a smile can make our day.

It’s true that we all have a need to be seen. Not for show sake but for the deep need in our lonely or hurting hearts.

I will never forget a shopping trip where a father and son came around the end of an aisle I was waiting to go down. The encounter was seconds long and as they passed me I looked into the eyes of the man in the wheelchair and then into the eyes of the older man I assumed was his father pushing it. It shook me to my core. The meeting felt like it was meant to be. I can’t express what I saw in their eyes. I just knew they needed someone to look in their eyes and see them. To see their pain. I had no idea who they were or anything about them but I don’t think I will ever forget.

Looking into strangers eyes is not something I do often. I’m an introvert and making eye contact is not always easy or comfortable. I am open to the possibility though and as a result all of the memorable encounters have been spontaneous. Maybe my radar is set to recognize hurting people, I don’t know, but when I feel an inner urge to look up I go for it.

I mention this doesn’t come naturally because it would be easy to assume this is just an everyday part of who I am, and that not everyone is like me. Contrary to these impressions it isn’t easy for me. Anyone can do it if they are aware of people around them and are willing to be there for them in some small way. It’s worth it when you make contact with someone needing a smile and maybe a hello. I have many spontaneous encounters I could share and I’ve even joked about writing a book about what, in the moment, feels like a divine encounter.

In another setting I have discovered the importance of thoughtful eye contact.

I think it started out for me as self-protection, looking people in the eye to gauge their intentions for good or evil. To this day there continues to be some element of protectiveness in place when speaking to people I don’t know well. This is where the contact starts, but then it continues to a different level because now I’m interested in what they are saying, or not saying, and I want to know who they are. Some folks are uncomfortable with the intensity of such contact but most of the time it is welcomed and the response often turns into lengthy conversations. The truth is that most people are starving for meaningful contact. We all have a deep need to be seen, heard, and understood.

It still shocks me how deep the needs are out there.

Maybe this recognition of need comes easily to me because I have my own life’s deep unmet need. It takes one to know one as the old saying goes. Multiple interactions have also reinforced the certainty in my mind and heart.

Years ago there was a man who was convinced I was in love with him. I asked him why he would think that. He said it was because I treated him like he was a human being. He felt seen, heard, and worth something. I’m convinced he wouldn’t have thought that way if he was without an unmet need.

I think that was the beginning of the starvation awareness for me. I wish more of us would catch this vision, especially in everyday relationships. Just think of the positive revolution that could happen and what it would mean if we felt secure and valued and offered the same to others.

Have you noticed the deep need phenomenon in people around you?

They say it is more blessed to give than receive. It’s true.

There is something magical that happens inside of us when we set aside our own needs and step up to be there for others.

So this is the rest of the cranberry story. Like other past encounters I’m sure I will have a hard time forgetting this sweet young lady. I don’t even want to. I’m sure our few minutes together will reside in my precious memories box forever.

Try it, you will see I’m right.

This and that October 02, 2022

For a Monday morning things were not going well. Last week I missed garbage pick-up, not an uncommon occurrence since I don’t put it out every week, and I needed to get it done this week. Pick up days move ahead one day every time we have another statutory holiday. That messes me up so much that I’ve stared leaving a note in a prominent place to jog my memory. I remembered this time. As a double check I even remembered to look out to see what the neighbors had done.

The street was clear, not a single garbage can to be seen anywhere. Maybe it’s too early. I checked the time. This was very strange, someone always get their stuff out early before anyone else. Nothing. I checked back a few more times, still nothing.

Maybe I’m wrong about the day. I’ll check the online garbage schedule just to be sure Monday is October pick-up day. Nope, not wrong, Monday is the right day. This is so bizarre, what is going on? I think I’m going out of my mind. Maybe everyone slept in, give it some time..

Still nothing. People in this neighborhood are dependable. Some of them can be counted on to be first out every time. What am I missing? There has to be an explanation. Maybe I have the date wrong or something. The date looks right. Doesn’t it? Maybe I need to look closer, the font it so small it’s hard to tell for sure. Hover over the date, bend down and squint, look closer. It’s SUNDAY.

I was positive it was Monday. It’s month end and I have been burning the midnight oil to beat a work deadline (because I left it to the last minute) and was feeling good to be all ready to roll first thing this morning. Finding out it was only Sunday still seems unbelievable. One the other hand it’s a huge relief.

Reading until 4 AM does not make for a good start on a Monday morning. What was I thinking?

All bets are on me forgetting it’s garbage day tomorrow. Remember the day before, forget on the day. I have to find a new way to keep from messing this up. A boxing glove that flies out and hits me upside the head would work.

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Here is the book I lost sleep over. Such a good read. I loved it. And laughed, The sense of humor was awesome.

To Disguise the Truth (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency)

When a man arrives at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire them to find a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her . . . and that she may no longer be able to hide under the disguise that has kept her safe for so long.

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I think I’ll stop fighting sleep and go back to bed. At least that’s the plan. Unless something sidetracks me.

Happy Reading.

Been needing to say that for a while. September 29, 2022

First, I have to say it’s a bookless day, So sorry about that. And, I probably should have called this a This and That day because it may turn into that, you just never know.

It all started with a knock on the door. For the second day in a row.

Unexpected knocks on the door usually end up with people selling something or other that I don’t want or need and knowing that, I don’t care to answer. Maybe the reluctance is not liking to say no, even though I want to.

That’s what happened on the first day. I’ve never had someone be as persistent as this lady. She obviously knew I was here because she looked in the side window and could see me sitting at the table, typing away. After the fourth knock I went to the door and opened it a crack. She asked me a question. It was not a conversation I wanted to have so I slowly closed and locked the door walking away. I couldn’t believe did it. I still can’t. But I’m glad I did. It was better for both of us, at least from my perspective.

The next day there was a knock again. This is an unusual experience at my house y’all. And when it does happen I try to peek to see if it’s someone I know. I rarely answer the door so to do it two days in a row is unheard of.

This time there was man standing at a respectful distance from the door. He was holding something in his hand that looked suspiciously like election handouts. Sure enough they were. This confident professional man was running for school board and wanted to know if he could leave a brochure.

It’s kind of hard to say how the conversation veered from school board into a broader political conversation but it did. I’m not even sure how I had the audacity half way through to ask him what his political affiliation was, but I did. I couldn’t believe I did it and I don’t think he could either. To his credit he did answer carefully. Maybe he was trying to avoid being trapped in a negative situation.

It was good, we covered a wide range of subjects relating to politics in Canada and other places. I’m sure we don’t see eye to eye on everything but it was a positive experience. Several times before he left he commented on enjoying the experience. I did too. It isn’t often I get to have a conversation with someone that invested in the topic.

The coolest thing of all though, as I thought about it later, was that I got to say, spontaneously, things I’ve wanted to say to a politician for a very long time. I realize he is at the school board level but our city isn’t that big and I’m sure he has opportunities to meet up with our federal member of parliament now and then. He may even remember some of our conversation and things I was hoping he would pass on. Like be brave and stand up to people with crazy ideas. Say no when no needs to be said.

This was one time I was glad I answered the door.

I am learning to say no more often too. This usually generates even more I can’t believe I just said that moments. Love it.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Happy Birthday to me. September 04, 2022

It’s my birthday today. It has been a good day and I don’t even care that we don’t have any book suggestions today.

Four family members were available to spend some time with me and we had fun. Three of us have birthdays within 5 days and we were all here today. Bonus. We get to celebrate at least twice, some of us even more. How could we be sad about that?

We will party officially another day when everyone else is available. We aren’t given to formal occasions, just a chance to be together and express our appreciation and love for one another.

I should have taken pictures but sadly, I didn’t.

I did try to do a sell job on my last read, though. I’m pretty sure they would enjoy it but it doesn’t appear I’m much of a salesman, no one took the bait. The most avid reader in the group has a good excuse – her last visit to the public library netted her 10 new books. I remember those days so I can’t fault her, she has deadlines after all.

My daughter prefers hard copy while I favor e-copy. There are many conveniences about my e-reader that I can’t live without.

I’m just happy for all the readers we have in the family no matter how they read.

So, I was going to move on to book two in the series I was reading and loved. It was not working for me. The main characters are so different it was hard for me to change lanes. I think a bigger break will make for a smoother transition.

During the break I’m reading the third book in another series I follow. These people are running for their life at the moment.

Risky Ambition (Vanishing Ranch Book 3)

Former Navy fighter pilot Nate Casper, also known as Ghost, splits his time between flying jet-setting celebrities around the world and volunteering to help with rescues at Vanishing Ranch. When movie star Chesney Blake books a trip with him, Ghost sets aside his attraction to her in order to remain professional.

But when his flight plan gets waylaid by a barrage of bullets, putting Chesney in danger, his intention of keeping his distance takes a nosedive.

Chesney Blake needs a break before filming her next movie. But when her getaway erupts into nothing short of chaos and her pilot transforms into her protector, her vacation plans are forgotten. Does someone really want her dead? Or was she even the intended target?

As more incidents threaten their safety, Chesney and Ghost set out to uncover the truth. But as they get closer to finding answers, Chesney is faced with a fate worse than she ever imagined—even worse than death itself.

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Happy reading y’all

Not much to be had today. August 17, 2022

I did browse Amazon today looking for books but still have nothing new. Tomorrow is another day and there is every chance it could be better.

Today was a good day for one thing though and that was mosquito bites. Something we all could do without. It’s tough working outside while being eaten alive.

That’s my big complaint for the day.

Other than that things went well and we got lots done.

Photo by Mau00ebl BALLAND on Pexels.com

I can hear a book calling my name too. I had best answer.

Happy reading y’all.