Friday, October 23, 2020

{ National Geographic's America The Beautiful - TLC Book Tours )

 


• Hardcover : 400 pages
• Publisher : National Geographic (October 20, 2020)

This glorious book of photography, featuring more than 200 magnificent National Geographic images of all 50 states, is a gift-worthy celebration of America’s unique natural and cultural treasures.

America the Beautiful showcases the stunning spaces closest to our nation’s heart–from the woods in the Great Appalachian Valley that Davy Crockett once called home to the breathtaking sweep of California’s Big Sur coast to the wilds of Alaska. It also celebrates the people who have made this country what it is, featuring a wide range of images including the Arikara Nation in the early 1900s and scientists preparing for travel to Mars on a Hawaiian island. Culled from more than 130 years of National Geographic’s vaunted archives, this provocative collection depicts the splendor of this great nation as only National Geographic can, with a dramatic combination of modern and historical imagery–from the creation of architectural icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and Lady Liberty to the last of the country’s wild places currently preserved in our national parks.

Organized by chapters focused on region (west coast and the Pacific, east coast, the south, and the Midwest) that are themselves inspired by verses of the original poem America the Beautiful, this book also features a moving introduction offering perspective on the country’s unique journey. You’ll also find behind-the-scenes commentary from the world-renowned photographers who captured this unforgettable imagery, and observations from the conservationists, activists, and historians who help keep America beautiful today. Profound and inspiring, this is a book for everyone who has ever marveled at the beauty of the United States.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

REVIEW: 

I have always thought America was one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but my goodness, National Geographic does a phenomenal job of showcasing just how gorgeous this nation really is.
 
Have you ever just wanted to sit on a couch, and flip through endless stunning photos of all the different regions in the US?  It is like taking a virtual tour while never leaving your home.
 
The book is divided into 4 chapters, highlighting the North, South, East and West.  But it doesn't just show us what the areas look like, it is filled to the brim with fascinating facts, and even comment from local residents.
 
If you've ever wanted to do a road trip across the country, this book will help you plan one, no doubt.
 
I spent a few hours just paging through, coffee cup in hand.  I saw areas I had traveled through, and others that I have only dreamed of visiting.
 
America The Beautiful would make a gorgeous coffee table book, that your family and friends would surely enjoy.
 
 


Monday, October 19, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/19/2020 }

Good morning everyone, welcome back.
 
It is  a pretty chilly Monday morning, well, chilly for us here in the South.  It is 46 with a high of only 65 today.  I'm ok with that.

I hope you've all had a good weekend, hope you got plenty of rest and are ready for the new week ahead.  
 
I need to get dressed and get Jasmine off to work, so I'm not going to blabber on about anything, but rather get right into our Happy Homemaker Monday.
 

♥♥The Weather♥♥ 

It is just 60 degrees so it feels amazing outside.  The rest of the week we are staying in the 60s and 70s, which means I no longer have to walk around feeling like I'm melting.   

Monday - 65
Tuesday - 79
Wednesday - 85
Thursday -  87
Friday - 62
Saturday -  62
Sunday - 78

♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

I am a bit tired, but feeling good considering yesterday I was sick in bed with some sort of a stomach bug going on. 
 

♥♥On my mind♥♥ 

I am starting a list of all the projects we want to do around the house.  I'm going to do it room by room so that it will be easier to check off the list as we go.
 

 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥

Cup of coffee with Sugar Cookie Creamer, that's all for now.

♥♥Right now I am♥♥

Sitting on my bed, watching some Vlogtober videos on Youtube, and working on this post.
 

♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 

Currently reading The Divine Revelation of Heaven and Hell and Trump's Pro Christian Accomplishments.
 

♥♥On today's to do list♥♥

Homemaking.....Vacuum and mop the kitchen.  Laundry to put away and the usual tidying up.
Homeschooling.....American Government Unit Test, Earth Science

 ♥♥On my tv♥♥

My Portuguese Soap *Quer o Destino*.

Vlogtober videos on Youtube.
 

♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

Monday - Onion Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Cauliflower
Tuesday - Taco Pan, Salad
Wednesday - Cheesy Baked Tortellini, Garlic Knots
Thursday - Beef Stew, Veggies
Friday - Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Saturday - Southwestern Corn Skillet
Sunday - Hearty Breakfast Casserole

♥♥From the camera♥♥

Wrapping up a book to mail off for Paperbackswap.  Love using this website to trade my used books for ones I want.
 



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

It is still dark, both kids are asleep though Jasmine will be off very soon to get ready for work.  Curt is off to work already, and both Marley and Elliott are asleep as well.  

I love Fall mornings, crisp air, slow start, and the smell of coffee permeating the air.  


♥♥New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed♥♥

Nothing new last week.  Have a few coming up from one of my new Gooseberry Patch books. 
 

♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

Read, read and read.  Really enjoying reading again and my new books should be coming in.  I had a few credits left on Paperbackswap so used them to order 4 books. 

 ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥ 

I bring you a shorter video today, but really interesting nonetheless.  Pringle of Scotland: Short Film: The History of Hand Knitting. 

 

 ♥♥On my prayer list♥♥

My nephews broken leg.
My brother's dog Jax, he has a pulled muscle on his back.
My other brother's dog Dexter who is fighting cancer.
Praying for our President, for protection over him always but especially the next few weeks. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

{ Breathe Again by Stacy Henagan - TLC Book Tour }


 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 22, 2020)

What Do You Do When It Seems God Hasn’t Come Through for You?

When the miracle-working God whom Pastor Stacy Henagan loved and served did not answer the prayers on behalf of her terminally ill one-year-old daughter as expected, she was left crushed with grief and struggling to understand.

  • How could a loving God allow this to happen?
  • What do you do when it seems God has let you down?
  • Is God trustworthy?

Rather than choosing to remain in overwhelming pain and doubt, Stacy emerged with a much greater belief that God is good and trustworthy, even when we don’t think His plans make sense.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Stacy Henagan

 

Stacy Henagan is copastor of Keypoint Church in northwest Arkansas, a multicampus church she founded with her husband, Casey. Stacy also hosts an annual women’s conference and speaks at other events in the United States and overseas. Stacy and Casey have four children: Haven, who is waiting for them in heaven, and Holland, Hayes, and Hudson.

Connect with Stacy

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

REVIEW: 

I received this book, a few weeks before my mother in law passed away.
 
I knew it would be good, but I had no idea just who much it would come to help me, especially in the moments where the grief felt overwhelming.
 
Stacy and her husband Casey were over the moon happy, with their little girl Haven.  She was everything they had ever dreamed of.  And then one day, just out of nowhere, their little girl becomes ill.  They take her to doctors who don't seem to think anything is serious and they are sent home with their little girl, only to continue watching her deteriorate.
 
Stacy makes the decision to trust her instinct and take her baby back in.
 
Haven is just a year old, this shouldn't be happening.  But one doctor delivers the shocking news.  Their little one has a brain tumor, and worse than that, it is cancer and the diagnosis is grave.  Haven is terminally ill.
 
Stacy and Casey are pastors, they preach about faith, about trusting God's plan, about staying focused, not worrying and leaving it all in His hands.  But now they are facing their worst nightmare, so how do they reconcile the news they receive with the loving God they follow?
 
There is a very poignant moment in their journey, right in the beginning, when they are in the hospital room with Haven before surgery.  Stacy is holding a sleeping Haven, and her husband Casey is across the room.  He turns to her and says that no matter what happens, they will trust God and not turn their backs on Him.  He asks Stacy if she is in agreement.
 
At that moment, her flesh speaks louder than her spirit and all she can do is cry.
 
It is that battle between handing over control to the God we know will take care of us, or staying stuck in the horrifying fear of what is happening to them, that I found so relatable.
 
My mother in law got a stage 4 diagnosis.  My heart and soul told me to give it to God and let it go, no matter what the outcome was.
 
My human side fought it and felt selfish, not wanting to let her go, not wanting to accept the possibility that what we were praying for, full healing and a miracle, would culminate in her passing instead.
 
Stacy does a brilliant job of taking us through her grief journey and teaching us how NOT to turn from God but rather turn towards Him when circumstances get tough.
 
I can not relate fully to Stacy and Casey because I have not gone through their situation, but I have lost family members and know full well the process, the inner struggle, the fear and the anger and the what if's.
 
This was such a beautiful book and it helped me immensely through my mother in law's passing.  Sunday will be a month since she left us, and yet it feels like it just happened yesterday.  
 
Accepting life's hard lessons and losses, is not something any of us want to go through and as hard as it is to go through them, they have a way of making us stronger and growing our faith.   Faith in the midst of disappointment, of what seem like unanswered prayers, that kind of faith that tears you apart and builds you back up, stronger than ever before and closer to God.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

{ Daughter of Black Lake by Cathie Marie Buchanan - TLC Book Tours }

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books (October 6, 2020)

In a world of pagan traditions and deeply rooted love, a girl in jeopardy must save her family and community. A transporting historical novel by New York Times-bestselling author Cathy Marie Buchanan.

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.

Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial.

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #daughterofblacklake, and tag @tlcbooktours, @riverheadbooks, and @cathymbuchanan.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo credit Heather Pollack

About Cathy Marie Buchanan

Cathy Marie Buchanan’s previous novels, The Painted Girls and The Day the Falls Stood Still, were both New York Times bestsellers, with The Painted Girls named a best book of the year by NPR, Good Housekeeping, and Goodreads. Buchanan’s work has been translated into nine languages. She lives in Toronto.

Find out more about Cathy at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

For the previous excerpts:
 
Savvy Verse & Wit - Excerpt #1
Lit and Life - Excerpt #2
The Lit Bitch - Excerpt #3
Reading Reality - Excerpt #4

EXCERPT #6:

The loop of gut was doubled in such a way that by sliding the knots, it could be expanded to twice its size. He slipped the loop over her head and adjusted the knots so that the amulet hung at her throat.

She imagined going from roundhouse to roundhouse as she col‑ lected for the evening’s feast, the amulet in plain view on her neck. At each door, eyes would fall to the gleaming silver, and then a little smile would show what the matriarch handing over a clay flagon of wheaten beer had figured out. Devout—a hand—had drawn the attentions of Young Smith. He had recognized her piety, her skill, her place as apprentice healer and chosen her above any other maiden at Black Lake.

As Devout and Young Smith intruded on the woodland’s quiet with idle talk—the feast, the boar Young Hunter had speared, the late‑night merriment to come—she felt moisture collect at her hair‑ line. This, when in his absence, she had pulled her skin cape tighter against the woodland’s chill. When he wiped his brow, she saw that it glistened, no different from her own, and her heart fluttered. Oh, but he was humble as stone. And handsome, too—warm eyed, full lipped, broad shouldered—this boy she had never dared consider, this boy who had singled her out.

Eventually he said, “I should go,” but his feet remained rooted. Itll be my first Feast of Purification.

“Yes,” he said.

“Your second,” she said and thought herself daft. Boys attended the feast from the age of thirteen, and girls only after they began to bleed with the new moon.

He nodded, and her eyes fell to the woodland floor. “Tonight, then?” he said.

She forced herself to look up, but his warm eyes were on her and her gaze flitted to beyond his shoulder. “Tonight,” she said and lifted a hand to touch his arm, but too late. He had turned away.

When she could no longer make out his retreating back, she again put her fingertips to her lips and then the woodland floor. Before she had fully straightened, she heard the song of a bullfinch— a string of quick chirps broken by a longer, lower one. It was Arc— a boy, just her age, whom she had sowed and reaped alongside since childhood—calling to her. Should she answer, repeating the song, as was their custom?

 

Want to read more?  

Into the Hall of Books for Excerpt #7 (October 19th)
She just loves books - Excerpt #8 (October 20th)
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile - Excerpt #9 (October 21st)
Kahakai Kitchen - Excerpt #10 (October 22nd)


 

REVIEW:
 
What a fun wonderful read this was.
 
Cathie Buchanan takes us into a magical world during the era of iron, just think Britannia and somewhere along there.  Historical fiction, that pretty much sealed it for me, and I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on this book.

Imagine if you will a bog, a small settlement of simple nature loving people who just want to go about their days, do their chores and live life as simply as they can.  Unfortunately there is the constant looming threat of the Roman invasion.

The Romans have been inching their way across the land, taking everything within their sight.  Other authors would have ran with that, the Romans and their conquests.  Cathie chose to go the opposite direction and focus more on the Druid side and the dwellers themselves, and boy am I glad she did.

From the moment I read the first page, I was hooked, and I'm not just saying that to try and convince anyone that they need to read this book, I am saying that because I picked it up about an hour before my bedtime thinking I would read just a page or so.

2 hours later I was still engrossed in the story and quite frustrated that I had to force myself to set it aside for the night.

If you love historical fiction and fantasy and druids and so forth, then yes, this books is absolutely for you.

The characters are lovable, they're the kind that you root for and just want to jump into the pages and walk along for a chat.  The story itself is fascinating, a young girl with visions of the future, the bog dwellers way of life, a time in history that isn't talked about ad nauseum like others are.

The vivid imagery painted by Buchanan is like none other.  You can almost see, feel and even smell the area around you.

So who exactly are we following along the story?

Smith, Devout his wife and their daughter Hobble.  Hobble is a seeress with an incredible gift, and pretty soon she has a vision of the Roman invasion coming to their bog.  

The story shifts back and forth between Devout the mom, and Hobble her daughter, both women devoted to Mother Earth and their family.  What I love is that we get to see the daily going ons inside a an iron age bog, and we get to be privvy to their innermost thoughts and desires.

A story of coming of age for both mother and daughter, choices that were made, a bond between family and insight into a fascinating time and era.  It has it all.  

Daughter of Black Lake is by far, one of the best books I have read.  

Thank you to TLC Book tours and Riverhead Books  for providing me with a review copy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

{ Fall/Winter Books on the shelf }

_MG_9249 

The mail man has been quite busy, dropping off books, almost on a daily basis. That means my bookshelf is slowly filling up with the Fall and Winter tours. I am so blessed.
 
_MG_9250 
 
So I thought I would post the latest arrivals here, and when the others come in the mail, I'll show them to you. The first one on the list is America The Beautiful. 
 
An absolutely gorgeous book from National Geographic. I just quickly browsed through it but can't wait to actually sit down and take in every page.
 
_MG_9251 
 
The next one is also from National Geographic and one that my husband will be taking over from me, once I'm done with it. We both love anything to do with the Cosmos and space. 
 
_MG_9252 
 
Daughter of Black Lake I have started, just yesterday and already really enjoying it. 
 
_MG_9253 
 
Another great one that I find quite fitting for the moment in time we are living in our nation. The Patriots focuses on Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. 
 
_MG_9254 
 
Hell and High Water, not exactly sure what this one is about, I can't remember the synopsis. 
 
_MG_9255 
 
This one I already read through and not sure how I feel about it. It's written a bit strangely, to tell the truth.
 
 _MG_9256 
 
 And lastly, Sisters of War, which I have already read and it was so good. 
 
I have one more book coming in, but aside from that one, this is my reading list for the next two months or so.
 
What's on your list?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

{ Finished crochet slippers and a new review book }

_MG_9234 
 
I almost didn't make it in to post, I figured I didn't do much of anything today, or at least anything worth blogging about.  
 
Then I reminded myself that the point is not to have anything exciting, but rather to keep a daily journal of what I am doing.  So here I am, bringing just a few pictures of my day, starting with the finished crochet slippers.  
 
These were by far the quickest and easiest pattern I have ever found for crochet slippers.  I looked on Youtube for various tutorials and this one caught my eye.

_MG_9228 

How adorable are these? I can't believe how comfy and warm they are, which means, I can't quite wear them yet as we are not down to cold enough temperatures to sport these throughout the day. 
 
I do plan to make a few more, and I am also looking for some tutorials for crochet socks. Fingers
 crossed!
 
 _MG_9223 _MG_9224 _MG_9227

I gave my bedroom a really good clean and sprayed all the linens, curtains and even carpets with this lovely spray. 

Lavender and Sage!

It's a beautiful scent combination.  While I was working in the bedroom, both Marley and Elliott laid about at my feet, just laying there enjoying the sun shining in through the windows.

I am thrilled that they are finally at a stage where they lay together, nap together and leave each other alone, though the main culprit was Elliott, he was constantly trying to attack Marley  LOL

_MG_9229 

The UPS driver has been at my house every day, dropping off books. 
 
My Fall/Winter review tour books are all coming in and there's really nothing better than book mail, is there? 
 
I received the one below just this afternoon. Looks so good, but then so do all the others. Blessed to be a part of this book review blog community, it's been a blessing for sure. 
 
_MG_9238 
 
And speaking of books, I had someone request one of my books on Paperbackswap, so while I was over on the sight taking care of that, I went ahead and order 4 books for myself. 
 
I had the credits and hey, I am obsessed with books and just never seem to have enough on the shelf.
 
I will show you the books the minute they come in, but just in case you're curious, I got:
 
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story by Lila Perl, Marion Blumenthal Lazan
I Have Lived a Thousand years:  Growing up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson

I am currently obsessed with anything and everything to do with the Holocaust.  As a History buff I go through stages, sometimes I live and breathe The Tudor Era, or the Vikings, now it's Holocaust, and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

So there you have it, my day in a nutshell.  Not much happening, I did take Jasmine to work and picked her up with hubby.  Also made dinner and meal planned.

Typical homemaker day.

Monday, October 12, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/12/2020 }

Good morning sweet friends.
 
It is a beautiful morning here in Texas, 60 degrees of pure bliss.  I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for this work/school week ahead.
 
I have quite a bit of school to catch up on with Nick.  Since my mother in law passed, he hasn't been feeling very well and just can't seem to concentrate on anything, so we are working on that and using this week that he will be on Fall break, to really get caught up.
 
I've been busy with crochet, knitting, reading and blogging.  If you haven't noticed, which I'm sure you have, I have managed to crank out quite a few posts this week.  Feels so good to be back on track, and I'm hoping I can continue through the end of the year and into next.

Right, let's see what is happening in our households, with another Happy Homemaker Monday.
 



♥♥The Weather♥♥ 

It is just 60 degrees so it feels amazing outside.  The rest of the week we are staying in the 60s and 70s, which means I no longer have to walk around feeling like I'm melting.   

Monday - 79
Tuesday - 83
Wednesday - 93
Thursday -  71
Friday - 68
Saturday -  78
Sunday - 79

♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

I am feeling quite good.  Managed to sleep well, have had my coffee and am just ready to get on with my day.
 

♥♥On my mind♥♥ 

Just homeschooling, some projects I want to get done and trying to keep a running list of my to dos, so I don't forget them. 
 

 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥

Just had a cup of coffee with sugar cookie creamer, so good.    

♥♥Right now I am♥♥

Sitting on my bed, watching some Vlogtober videos on Youtube, and working on this post.
 

♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 

I have so many books going at the moment.  I am still getting through Psalms in my Bible.

I am also reading Sisters of War, The Divine Revelation of Heaven and Hell and Trump's Pro Christian Accomplishments.
 
Am I the only one who reads multiple books at once? 
 

♥♥On today's to do list♥♥

Homemaking.....Kitchen, vacuuming and dusting.  Might switch my living room around again.
Homeschooling.....American Government Unit Test, English Discussion, Earth Science
Garden.....check for tomatoes ready to harvest, put bamboo sticks in with the peas so they can climb 

 ♥♥On my tv♥♥

My Portuguese Soap *Quer o Destino*.

Vlogtober videos on Youtube. (During Vlogtober and Vlogmas I switch to crochet and knitting vlogs, which are some of the most beautifully made ones.  In my opinion) 
 

♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

Monday - Sweet Heat 7 Up Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes
Tuesday - Sweet and Sour Pork,  Basmati Rice
Wednesday - Smoked Sausage Cajun Alfredo, Salad
Thursday - Saucy Pork Country Ribs, Rice, Beans
Friday - *Grocery Shopping*
Saturday -
Sunday -

♥♥From the camera♥♥

Hot coffee on a chilly morning.  I took this one last week, on a particularly chill morning of 39 degrees. 

_MG_9193


♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

Both kids are still asleep, Jasmine is off today so she is making the best of it.  Curt is also off work today, so I have the whole family home.  Nothing I love more.

My bedroom curtains and windows are open, letting in the loveliest of breezes.  It is almost 8am and the sun is still working it's way up over the horizon. 

♥♥New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed♥♥

I actually tried 2 new recipes from Plain Chicken and I've added them to the food blog, go on over and take a look.

_MG_9176

_MG_9144

♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

Read and crochet.  I made myself a crochet slipper last night and want to make the second one today, then go through my yarn and pick out some more for others. 


 ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥ 

One of my favorite youtube channels to watch, is Fairyland Cottage.  She puts out such gorgeous videos and always has great tips and tricks.  As you can tell from the title of her channel, she lives in a cottage in Ireland, and oh my goodness, how pretty it is.

She did a tour of her cottage a few days ago, so I'm sharing that here with you all.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

 ♥♥On my prayer list♥♥

My nephew is going to see the doctor today, to hopefully remove the cast he has on his broken leg and put a boot.  Praying for fast healing for his leg. 

Praying over our country, over our President and over the elections coming up.  No matter what happens, just remember that we are all human, and that we have to co habitate on this planet, so let's be kind to one another. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

{ Spotted the first deer, for this season }

You know what I love every year?

Spotting the first deer running through our property.  The minute I see one, I know that Fall is definitely in full motion and that soon, the deer will be making their trek through my property and across the field.

_MG_9217 

It is Sunday morning, just after 8am. The sun hasn't been up for very long, the mornings are darker and take longer to brighten up.  Not everyone enjoys the colder months but I love them, just as much as I love the warm weather too.

I think I'm just one of those people that embrace every season, and enjoys what each brings.
 
I was standing near my bedroom window when I saw something moving in the brush.  It was the first deer of the season.  I always sit in awe at how beautiful they are.  The way they move, the way they run, and how they leap over what seem like the tallest fences.  Such grace in their movement.  Guess I need to have my camera ready and waiting for more sightings.

The mornings have been pretty chilly, getting down to the 40s.  For some of you in colder areas that may not seem like a lot, but for us folks in Texas who are used to warmer weather, that means it's time to pull out the sweaters.
 
We are nowhere near ready with firewood, it's been a crazy year and usually by now we have a huge stack ready to go.  Not this year.  We have a tiny pile, which means next weekend we have got to get our butts in gear and start chopping.

Living in the country means quite a bit of work, there is always something needing attention, but we love it and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I've had a pretty good week, though I wasn't feeling too great, but that's the usual monthly stuff packed with a perimenopause punch. 

Nonetheless, here's what I got up to: 

♥♥THURSDAY ♥♥

Mornings for me mean starting with putting the clean dishes away, washing anything that has been placed in the sink overnight, and giving the kitchen a quick clean and tidy up.

_MG_9180 

The next thing on the list is coffee, always coffee. Though, yes, I've had a cup around 6am when I get up with Curt to get him off to work. 
 
Usually when I make this second cup of coffee, I like to take a little more time with it. Pour over coffee is one of my favorite ways of enjoying a cup, there is just something about the whole process that I find relaxing.  
 
Maybe it's the way it connects me to simpler times, I often think about how many people prepared their coffee this way, long before coffee machines were invented or even though of.
 
_MG_9185
 
It's that connection to older, simpler times, that keep me grounded. Life today is too busy, too filled with materialistic things, too easy if that can even be a bad thing. By that I mean that things are all done in a way to make even the simplest of tasks, even easier to do. I get that we lead busy lives, but where is the joy in that?
 
_MG_9188 
 
Where is the joy in homemaking, in taking care and pleasure in doing those home chores, if everything is practically done for us? 
 
Think about that a little. 
 
I am not saying that we shouldn't evolve as the years go by, of course that is something that is going to happen no matter what we feel about it. I am just saying that for myself, I like to feel like I am actually making a difference, trying, doing, accomplishing things on my own. 
 
So yes, making a cup of coffee would be quicker if I just popped a pod in the machine, but this makes me appreciate the coffee even more, and quite frankly, pour over coffee is much tastier too.
 
  _MG_9193 
 
 

♥♥FRIDAY♥♥

Started the morning with dense fog.  I don't like driving in it, but I have to say, there is something so hauntingly beautiful about foggy mornings. 
 
_MG_9216 _MG_9218  
 
Of course foggy mornings mean beautiful drops on the window screens.  It also means the garden getting watered without rain or having to turn on a sprinkler.  
 
Isn't it wonderful how God provides in every situation?  It's just incredible.
 
  _MG_9205 _MG_9196 
 
_MG_9197 
 
Laundry day. There are always loads of laundry to wash, and when you change bedding, there is even more. That's ok though, I like doing laundry. 
 
Maybe not the actual act of putting it all away, I think I could do without that, but washing, folding? Yes, and even ironing I'm good with. 
 
_MG_9208 _MG_9212 _MG_9214

Reading has been a top priority for me lately, I am just loving getting back into my books. Actual, real books, with that wonderful scent that comes from turning the pages. 

Aside from reading, knitting and crochet have also been high on the list. Ahhhhh it feels amazing to get back to doing what I love and not let life interfere. 

 I always feel like life is hard enough on it's own, and if we start letting interfere with our joy and the things we love, then what is the point? So I'm making a conscious effort to be more mindful of my days, of what I'm filling them with. That means, turning the news off, and turning more to time with God, praying, talking to Him throughout the day. 

Reading, crocheting, or even watching some old period drama pieces. There are quite a few new ones that I have my eye on, and I will be sharing with you all in a separate post. Gosh it feels like forever since I've done one of those showing you what I'm watching or what is coming up. Hands up if you miss those period drama filled posts. 

There will be more cooking and recipe sharing, especially as we move into the holiday season. More period dramas, more daily life, and deer, and fall and winter stuff. I am just excited to get back to normal blogging and sharing my days on here. I've failed guys, failed miserably at this blogger stuff. 

But then, this year has been insane and August and September a complete blur for me. Maybe for you too. 

Anyway, I have babbled enough, my coffee is finished, the dog and cat are running wild and I have breakfast to go fix. Curt is outside mowing the yard, so I'm going to make some biscuits and gravy, some sausage and maybe some scrambled eggs. We will see. 

I hope you have a blessed restful Sunday, and I will see you back here in the morning for our Happy Homemaker Monday!

Thursday, October 08, 2020

{ The Outlook for Earthlings by Joan Frank - TLC Book Tours }

 


  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Regal House Publishing (October 2, 2020)

The Outlook For Earthlings traces a difficult friendship across a lifetime. Melanie Taper is rule-bound, timid, self-erasing. Yet in unguarded moments she demonstrates such deadly insight into human foibles as to suggest a strength that has, for dark reasons, deliberately hidden itself lifelong. Scarlet Rand is rash, willful, abrasive—vexed by “demure” traits and “small fussing motions.” Shocked by Mel’s passivity and near-archaic saintliness, Scarlet disbelieves it. Their friendship suggests to each a final frontier, a saving sanctuary. Yet at its core each woman takes a secret, moral offense at the other’s inmost nature—and her choices. Against the deadline of the illness which is slowly destroying one of them, a reckoning must occur.

The Outlook for Earthlings considers the limits of friendship—and of witnessing. It asks how we may finally measure a life—and who should do the measuring.

Purchase Links

Regal House Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Joan Frank

Joan Frank is the author of ten books: eight of literary fiction and two essay collections. Her recent books are WHERE YOU’RE ALL GOING: FOUR NOVELLAS and TRY TO GET LOST: ESSAYS ON TRAVEL AND PLACE. A MacDowell Fellow and recipient of many honors and awards, Joan also reviews literary fiction and nonfiction for the Washington Post.

Find out more about Joan at her website.

 

REVIEW:

The story follows Melanie and Scarlet.  Two young girls born in the 60s who meet on a school bus and forge a friendship and bond that will take them through their childhood, all the way to adulthood.While they do have similarities in that they both came from pretty dysfunctional upbringings, their way of being and their personalities themselves are pretty different.Joan Frank explores the ins and outs and innermost thoughts and feelings, tied to female friendships. 
 
Though they remain friends, each takes a different path in life.  One goes the traditional route and marries, has children, while the other takes to the road and travels as a journalist.20 years later they come together again, and though happy to see each other, each can't help but look a bit sideways at the choices the other one made.  
 
Whether we admit it or not, as we grow, the people we were in our teenage years, become different people as we experience life and all it's ups and downs.The trick is to be respectful and to understand that not everyone will act and react the same way we do, or the way we expect them too.
 
Outlook for Earthlings takes a brilliant deeper look into what it means to be a friend, to set aside whatever judgement we may feel we need to pass on their life choices, and rather focus on being supportive and understanding.If you enjoy books about friendship, then this one needs to go on your shelf.