A little of this, a little of that, October 20, 2021

I’m jealous. Some of my friends can produce well thought out pages and pages in a short time and it takes me for – ever.

Now that I said all that, I’ve forgotten what I was going to say.

It couldn’t have been all that important. Truth be know it probably wasn’t, either.

One very important thing happened this morning. The lawn care guys were here to do year end yard cleanup. Leaves and lawn. There were so many leaves this year I was entirely glad to let them do it.

The upside to doing it myself is the workout and resulting muscle tone. The downside to not doing it… well you can guess that. Maybe next year.

I had a good day at work today, it was productive. It’s amazing what can get done when there are few interruptions.

The other thing that was great about the day, I figured out some things. Working cold-call with an unfamiliar file can be daunting, and it was, in spades. Once their system became clear it wasn’t all that difficult, but for a while there…

Tomorrow will be better and I’m almost done. How sad is that? Hopefully I will remember what I learned when they are back again.

Anyway. There was no real point to this post, I just felt like writing a little.

I started another book tonight after finishing the 12 book Save the Date collection. This new one is fun. It’s full of feisty women at a time in history when they were not allowed to be that bold. Especially not where anyone could notice. The two ladies I’ve just met have hobbies that could get some poor underestimating guy killed. Hopefully the ladies will meet one or two of them. Not that I would want to see them killed or anything. Although, the way some guys behaved way back then, I’m sure they would have deserved it. lol

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I’m only on chapter two and I’m loving it.

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer: Christian Regency Romantic Suspense serial novel

She met him again by shooting him.

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

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This story is off to an excellent start, I hope it can last through the whole book. I need a good dose of irony and dry humor for a little change of pace.

OK, I’m gone.

Til next time.

This and that October 16, 2021

Zoom calls are the best. Any video call actually.

This is another one of those days where I need to just hang out awhile to make this post happen. New book suggestions have been non-existent today and there’s definitely been a shortage of enjoyed books read. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Despite that there have been bright spots though.

The sun was shining all day, that was appreciated after all the rain we’ve had lately. We are happy for the moisture as it is a good ending to a dry growing season. It will be helpful next year, to start the new season off with moisture sitting in the ground all winter.

A Colorado Low storm was predicted to come through last week, it often brings snow with it. Several winters ago, it dumped a huge pile, leaving us with no power for over a week in some places. Trees were brought down in very large numbers.

We were spared an early snow fall this year.

Another bright spot today was time spent, late morning/early afternoon, chatting with a fellow blogger. It’s a gift when such conversations line up just right for them to even happen.

From there I went outside to wash some windows, the ones I notice the most often, on sunny days. The water in our area leaves a white film on everything and it’s wonderful to have it gone. The day was perfect too, the direct sunshine made working outside on a cool day comfortable. Much longer and I would have had to take off my jacket.

I love the feeling of a job well done. Another chore no longer on the to-do list.

After a quick supper we were treated to the highlight of the day. Our monthly family Zoom call. I love seeing my kids and catching up on their lives.

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Now it’s time to relax with a book. I’ve just started a collection mentioned yesterday. I haven’t read far enough to know if it can carry the momentum of a strong start but hopefully. So far, I’m loving the first book.

Save the Date: A Limited-Time Christian Romance Collection

As our guest of honor, you’re cordially invited on a journey through twelve heartwarming and inspirational novellas that will take you from small-town America to romantic Paris, from the sunny shores of Hawaii to New Zealand. Office romances, friends-to-lovers, second chances, and more await you in these stories full of forgiveness, redemption, laughter, and love. Say “I do” and claim your copy of this limited-time anthology by your favorite USA Today and bestselling Christian romance authors!

January Hope by Kari Trumbo – Clothing historian Cleo goes on the hunt for an 1880s fashion magazine wedding dress. Discovering it’s part of a museum collection, her biggest obstacle is handsome curator Lowel. Unfortunately, his no-touch policy just might put a stop to her hunt and her heart.

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Until tomorrow,

Happy Reading!

I wonder… October 08, 2021

Have you ever wondered?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the craziness of the power struggle that seems to be going on in the world right now.

For my whole life (and you all know that’s been many decades long) I’ve heard loud voices talking about a power hungry leader that would rise up wanting to take over the whole world and rule it with a single government. Those loud voices also predicted terrible things were going to happen to everyone the new ruler viewed as enemies.

I’m not saying whether I do or don’t believe in that prediction, although the way things are happening right now, you have to wonder.

Tonight a thought occurred to me, one that has never entered my mind until now.

Are we supposed to stand and fight or just let it happen?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said in so many words but it seems to have been assumed to be inevitable. The world would be taken over and destruction would happen. We would mostly be killed and if not we would have to wait for a “prince” to ride in on a beautiful stallion, carrying a mighty sword to slay the wicked ruler and rescue us.

We’ve always assumed that but…

I was thinking about another proclamation I’ve heard all my life, also spoken by many voices. We were supposed to “grid up our loins” put on “our armor” and fight against the “rulers of the air.”

How does that fit with accepting the inevitable?

I’m not an academic. I haven’t studied all of these ideas and how they all fit together.

I’m just wondering; are we supposed to sit and wait to be rescued or are we supposed to stand up and do what we can to make a difference?

For a few weeks I’ve been wondering if things are happening like they are to push us out of our lethargy.

Maybe we are supposed to stand up and grow a spine?

As kids we used to sing “God’s got an army marching through the land…” Who are they? Where are they?

Maybe we’ve assumed wrongly?

Maybe we are supposed to join the “army?”

Just wondering.

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My “twin” brothers. You can see where my grandsons get their height.

My heroes. To me they look like they would each be saying “don’t mess with my sister.”

This and that, on the lighter side October 06, 2021

What to talk about, anyway? It looks like this will have to be a just-start-talking post since I have nothing in my head that I want to talk about and I do want to keep my daily post commitment. It needs to be on the lighter side though, to make up for the heavy duty posts of the last three days.

Maybe the weather seems like a good choice to start off with.

I feel sorry for my co-workers in northern British Columbia. It’s currently 1 C up there and they had their first snowfall of the season yesterday. That’s way too early. They weren’t all that happy with me when I shared it was 27 C here in southern Manitoba (I work remotely and mostly I’m grateful for that). It’s just as warm here again today. They were talking about us breaking records yesterday but I forgot to listen to see if it happened. I imagine there could have been snowfall records broken up there too.

I couldn’t tease my co-worker today about suffering in the cold as they were out of the office travelling, yesterday and today. They had to go to southern Alberta to a doggy dentist, that’s a ten hour drive. It will be interesting to hear what the roads were like.

It’s crazy how no two years ever seem to be alike when it comes to weather.

With it being such a nice day here today, I was out in the yard for a while trying to take care of weeds. It was impossible to accomplish though as there are piles of leaves everywhere covering things up. There are many trees in my backyard and a giant one next door, a prolific leaf producer.

Last year I raked and managed to keep ahead of them but this year I’m not even going to try. The lawn guys will clean up the leaves and cart them away for me. They do a much better job than I can do, anyway. When they are done the yard will be beautiful and I can easily tackle the last of the weed cleanup.

Working at my job so I can afford to pay for yard clean-up is a win-win situation for this old lady!

Today was not a good day for books. There were a few suggestions but I didn’t see anything I wanted to read.

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I’m not thrilled with my current read so I’ll pick out an up-next book to finish up with.

When Chelsea starts working for a stubborn cowboy, what seems like a dead end might really be a new beginning. 

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his mom hires is the last thing he needs and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave. 

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they might find joy beyond measure.

Happy Reading!

A little clarification October 05, 2021

A friend asked me for clarification on my Outing Myself post. I did consider the possibility in using the outing term that some minds would quickly go where her’s did. There are a few reasons why my friends minds would. Partly because of the most common usage for the term, but mostly because many of them know there are no men in my life and haven’t been for decades. I’m sure some people wonder.

If there were to be a romantic interest in my life it would be a man. Despite an abusive childhood and a not so great adulthood, it is still the choice I’d make.

On the other hand though, when thoughts of sharing my life with a man pass through my mind, the shadowy image that pops into my head is one I immediately run away from. I know, I know, there are good men out there somewhere. They are all taken. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Back to the original question. Aside from being “click bait” (made you look!) I felt like the term applied to my situation. I was hiding who I was, on my blog. On purpose. The decision to change that on the blog felt like a coming out. (everyone on Facebook already knew, no secret there)

Agree or disagree with my assessment, that’s how I felt.

I think secrets are like that. The longer we keep them the bigger they become in our minds. Going public with them, even if it’s only to one person, releases the power they have over us.

That’s why I felt relief. I’m an old lady, let the chips fall where they may.

Although, according to new information, with people living longer and all, I still have a few more years to refer to myself as middle-aged. Who’da thought! lol

Don’t tell anyone. I’m an over thinker. What can I say.

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My current read. I loved the first book with Pepper Basham, I’m starting book 2 with Cara Putman

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.

I’m outing myself.

The reason I haven’t done it sooner, preferring anonymity, is because I thought you wouldn’t like me anymore if you knew the truth.

At this point I don’t think it will be much of a surprise to anyone, as I’ve been leaving lots of hints. I’m sure you may have already guessed anyway.

I don’t know why, but age has never really meant a whole lot to me when it comes to relating to people. I’m attracted to who they are and what they are all about. Do we share common interests? Do we enjoy talking to each other?

Currently, the person I relate to best in the company I work for is the young thirty-and-a-bit gal on my team. We each have our part to play in the process we are responsible for and we support one other in whatever way is needed. We enjoy hanging out, especially if it involves ice cream.

You may suspect I am past retirement age and you would be right. I have no plans to quit anytime soon and some of my clients are counting on it. lol

I’m not taking a job away from a younger person. So far we haven’t found anyone who wants it, and I think it’s funny. It’s true, I might not want it either if I were new to it today. I’ve grown into the job as it’s changed hugely over the last nine years and it would be much a bigger challenge now, having to start from scratch.

On the other hand, challenges and learning new things keeps a person young.

Talking about young, there’s a meme out right now that makes me laugh, and it fits me perfectly.

It says: my mind thinks I’m 35. My body tells my mind it’s an idiot.

It’s easy to forget how old I am until I pass a mirror or try to attack the garden like I did a few years ago.

One thing is sure about getting old; it’s going to happen to everyone. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten to be the age I am, not everyone makes it this far.

I’m grateful I can still think like I’m 35 and some days I can even behave like it. Not everyone has the health to do it.

I’m grateful that I see people, not age. I love hanging out with the teenagers in my family, well not just my family, other people’s too. Not everyone does, but we won’t talk about them. I feel blessed.

I feel blessed by the smiles on our faces. We haven’t seen much of each other through the years, with their family living in China and all. These two are home now and we are going to have a good time.

These guys take after my brothers in the height department.

We took this picture at their father’s request. He wanted to see us together, missing us all.

It’s not easy letting your kids go.

We promise to do a better job of keeping them in the loop.

Josh, in the red shirt, likes to cook and he knows how to get great treats when he wants them. Zach, the tall one, is not used to baked goods as they are uncommon in China. Ingredients are not easy to find. This will be an adventure for him.

Not sure what he was thinking… probably, go way
By the looks of this it must have turned out OK

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.

This and that at the end of the day.

This is a time when I just start talking and see where it goes. Usually it starts with a thought, an undeveloped thought. That’s how this one went. A thought and need to stop the endless round and round. It helped. Not sure it makes sense. 🙂 Also, I’m trying hard to be careful, which is constricting, for a few reasons. I hope this gives you hope.

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There is so much going on these days, Scary stuff, if we look at it closely. It’s easy to automatically expect the worst because we don’t have the ability to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

I spent a lot of time tonight watching news clips from contributors who seem more interested in honest journalism than biased manipulation. It’s good to keep up with what’s going on in the world but there is a downside to it. It’s draining and discouraging.

In response to tonight’s viewing session I’m writing to let out some of the angst and negativity. Maybe it will help me gain a new perspective.

All of my life there have been regularly occurring dire predictions about what was going to happen to the world one day. Time lines were built and we lived in fear, differing degrees of it depending on the whether. Whether or not someone, or something, seemed like more or less of a threat at that particular moment.

It was easy to believe that there would be a moment in time when destruction would take over and we would be forced to live in apocalyptic desolation and torment. I think many of us still live with that dreadful expectation. We believe that one day evil will take over the world and we will be living in slavery and punishment. Life as we know it will be over.

Decades-long thinking have been acting as a foundation to the thought pattern that resulted in my discouragement tonight. Intentionally or not, we are programmed to think the way others decided that we should.

What if we are wrong about the predictions of how things are going to go? What if we have been looking at things from the wrong perspective?

You might call me a little crazy, thinking like this but I know these worries are real. Especially with the newest generation growing into adulthood. Their view of the world is serious and worried. They are regularly being presented with possible catastrophic events and for some of them the future of life looks hopeless. I can relate to what they are feeling. I remember as a middle teen lying in bed worrying about aircraft overhead, wondering if it was a Russian bomber coming to get us. After all, how many times had we been told the Russians are coming to take over the world, be ready.

Ok, we won’t keep going on with that thought pattern but worries are real, in our minds at least.

By the way; the Russians did not come, aggressive threats went away, and after awhile life went on and we forgot we were ever worried. Until now. When things seem to be heating up again.

In the normal scheme of life, never mind what’s gong on right now, we seem to grow the most when we experience hard and difficult places. I’ve heard more than one person say I would never want to go through cancer again but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’m different because of it.

What if – instead of punishment and destruction coming in our future, it’s something entirely different? What if – the purpose of these earth shaking events is not to defeat us, but to cause us to rise up and grow?

Globally, as a culture we have become weak, lethargic, and apathetic. Most of us have never had the chance or the need to stand up and fight for something.

What if the reason for the hard place we’re currently living in is to cause us to get up out of our soft chairs and become Olympic champions. What if we are being called to rise to a challenge, to become more than we ever thought possible.

Most of us will never be Olympic champions or Navy Seals but what if there is some need close to home that we could become passionate about filling?

I think that’s the secret right there. Passion.

Most of us think … but what could I do?

Paying attention to our surroundings will help us see needs we would normally miss.

So, I got a little off track with that train of thought.

What if – the purpose of these earth shaking events is not inevitable defeat but to strengthen us so that we are useful and evil doesn’t have to win?

I like this view for the future much better than the inevitable one of defeat.

This took much longer than expected, and my brain is fried.

I hope this makes sense to you the way it did in my head.

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I think – We are not meant to be overcome but to be over-comers.

Be encouraged.