Wednesday, October 30, 2019

{ Pumpkin Carving and a wrench thrown our way }


Hello everyone, it's been a few days since I've posted.  Let's just say that we have been in a bit of a haze with certain things that have transpired.

You know, Curt and I have always prided ourselves in being good people, helping those we can, minding our own business and always thinking of other's feelings before we make any decision.  It is the way we have chosen to live our lives and honestly, we wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

Well, with that kind of living comes the realization that there are a lot of people out there that take advantage, and quite literally pull the rug out from under you.


I'm not going to talk about all the details, but I will say that we have been in this house for 4 years, with the full intent of buying it, the owner knows it, the landlord knows it and we have just been working super hard the past few years to pay off all our debt.

Just this Monday we received a phone call from the landlord informing us that the lease we signed back in May, for another 2 years, was never signed by the owner and therefore on the 1st of November, they are putting the house on the market for sale and we either try to buy it or then we need to move.

We also were informed that we have been on a month to month basis since May.

To say that we were shocked, would be an understatement.  I have never in my life felt so disappointed, so shocked at the nerve of these people to pull something like that on us.  It's just not right.


After a half a day of some crying, some panicking and dropping to my knees in prayer, my husband and I put it in God's hands and just let it go completely.  Much as we would like to stay in this house  and buy it, it is not a MUST for us, and if the Lord feels that it is not our forever home, then that is ok too.

We are now waiting to see what comes of this.  We've done our part, we've applied for a loan, whatever else happens, which ever way we go from here is up to the Lord.

So, if you would be so kind to throw some prayers our way, for the Lord's will to be done, one way or the other.  The way we see it and feel at the moment, is that no matter what, we will be fine and we win.

If we stay in this house that we love, great.  If we end up moving or buying another house, great.  Either way it is something to be thankful for and not panic about.





In the middle of this storm, we still managed to come together as a family, gather around the table and carve some pumpkins.  It was  lot of fun and I'm so glad that we did it this year, it reminded us of years gone by when the kids were little.


I've also received some kitchen products to test out and review, and I am so excited to share them with you all.  It will probably be on Friday, so keep an eye out for that.



The weather has been crazy.  We are under  freeze watch, which is insane for this time of the year.  There's also been a ton of rain and wind, which means the fire has been going, but unfortunately today, I had to turn on the central heating because the temps dropped down to 30 and it was just incredibly cold in the house.

I'll be turning it off here in an hour or so because I don't want to have it running constantly.

So, there you have it, you are all caught up on what has been happening here.  As always, you know that I share my life, the ups and downs, and I don't want anyone thinking that it's all rainbows and puppies over here, though that would have been nice wouldn't it?  Haha

No, it's ups and downs and lefts and rights, rugs pulled out from under feet, falling flat on our faces, being attacked from one side and the other, but always and I mean always doing it with a smile on our faces and holding the Lord's hand.

I don't know if maybe one of you is going through a rough patch and feeling lost and hopeless, and maybe hearing my words will help you remember that we are not alone, even when we think we are.  Sometimes what seems like a bad thing is a blessing, we just have to let it go and let God do His work.

Right, I am going to snuggle under the covers and try to warm up.  Hope you're all staying warm, and if you're one of the few with snow already, I am so sorry and do hope you are able to get a little warmth soon.

Have a blessed day friends.

Monday, October 28, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/28/2019 }

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was good but as always, what was supposed to be a relaxing, do nothing kind of weekend, turned into rearranging and cleaning out the garage and office.  It always goes like that doesn't it?

Both Curt and I woke up feeling like we needed another weekend.

We carved pumpkins last night and I managed to get a few photos, I'll take some of the finished pumpkins later.  Curt and I finished ours, the kids, not so much, they ended up losing steam and setting them aside to finish today.  Some things never change LOL

I have some cleaning to do today, and a ton of pumpkin and seeds to get through, roast, pack away in the freezer and so on.  I think it may turn into a kitchen day for me , and I couldn't be happier.

Hope you all have a blessed week ahead.  I wanted to quickly welcome all my new followers, there have been a few of you this past week, which makes me so incredibly happy.

Right, let's get going with our Happy Homemaker Monday. 

The weather outside is::::
Currently 39 degrees outside.  It is cold friends, not that I'm complaining because I've been waiting for these temperatures to drop for a while now.  We are only looking at a high of 57 today.  Woohoo!

Rest of the week we are staying pretty low, a few rainy days and the highest this coming week?  61. 

Monday - Partly cloudy,  57
Tuesday - Rain, 44
Wednesday - AM showers, wind, 43
Thursday - Sunny, 49
Friday - Sunny, 59
Saturday - Sunny, 57
Sunday - Mostly Sunny,61

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Coffee with Butter Cookie Creamer and a bowl of hot porridge with cinnamon, dates and crunchy pecans.     

As I look outside my window:::
The sun hasn't been up too long so it's shining through the trees, giving the whole house and yard an orange glow.  I think early morning and sunset are the most beautiful times of the day.     

Right now I am::::
Typing up this post, listening to a podcast and trying to stay warm.  I'm so cold right now that not even my bed covers are keeping me warm.     

As I look around the house::::
It needs a good clean today and that's exactly what I plan on giving it.  Last night we carved pumpkins and since Curt was the first to be done, he went out to the garage and found the Halloween decorations.  We haven't really decorated for Halloween in quite a few years, the kids are not little anymore, they don't trick or treat and we are also out in the country so no one really sees the house so I guess we figured, why bother?
But my husband got into the spirit of the holiday and just decked out the whole living room, especially the fireplace.

I need to clean the area up, vacuum and put things away and so on.  You know how it goes.   

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....I have one comforter I want to wash, dry and pack away in the linen closet.  Other than that, no washing to be done.   
Cleaning....basic house chores. 
Homeschooling....Livelesson for Nick.  He also has a Chemistry and Algebra project to do so I need to sit with him and get that going.  
Crocheting....Hoping to start part 3 of the Rozeta CAL.  Also, pulled out some yarn because I'm determined to crochet myself some socks this winter.
Cooking.....For lunch I will probably do a tuna salad.  I don't often make lunch anymore, not since the kids have grown.  Jasmine is usually at work and Nick just does his own thing, like most 16 year olds do.  But when they're both home, they like it when I fix lunch and since Jasmine is off until Friday, I see some lunches in my future.  Dinner is Roast chicken thighs with some Garlic Butter potatoes.     

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Roast Chicken Thighs, Garlic Butter Potatoes
Tuesday - Panda Express Chow Mein and Pork
Wednesday - Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza  (using pepperoni instead of sausage)
Thursday - Fettucine Alfredo with Ham, Salad
Friday -  Out to dinner
Saturday -
Sunday -

I will be meal planning this week and shopping on Friday, so I'm not sure what is on the menu.  I have meals until Thursday night.  

Currently reading::::
It would be night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo.

On the TV today::::
My TV doesn't really change, I pretty much watch the same things and so I feel like I keep giving you the same list every week.  Apologies for that, but here is what I'm kind of planning on watching.

Vlogtober Vlogs
Catherine the Great
Christmas movies 

What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Nothing new last week, maybe something new this week?  I'm not entirely sure. I do plan on making my Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze.     

Pumpkin Donuts

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Friday, October 25, 2019

{ First fire of the season and hibernating }


It is downright nippy here.

The temperatures plummeted yesterday morning, right down to 30 degrees and then rose to 47, that's it, 47 for the day.  Throw in wind and storms, and I actually found myself shivering as I climbed into bed.

The same rain, strong wings and chill temps have continued through today.  I've been eagerly awaiting the first real cool days, and here they are in all their glory.



I donned on my first sweater and boots of the season too and braved the cold rainy weather to take my daughter to work.  If there's one thing I highly dislike, is driving in the rain, it makes me quite anxious.

Upon returning home, I immediately got the fire going.  There's nothing quite like the first fire.

The smell of the wood burning, the crackling sounds and the popping flickers of fire flying up from the flames.



I sat for a few minutes, just listening to the fire and the high wind blowing outside, but I can't sit in my jeans and boots, I'm the kind of girl that needs to immediately change into some comfy sweat or pajama pants and warm slippers.

I quickly set the house to order, got the kitchen cleaned up, why is that the one room in the house that is constant disarray?  No matter how many dishes I wash, how many counters I clean, there is always and I mean always a dish here, a cup there, a wrapper on the counter.  Never ending job.

But as I sat washing the dishes and looking out into the trees outside the window, I began thinking and planning, and a word came to mind, hibernate.

I'm not a bear but I do tend to hibernate during the cold winter days.  I wish I could say that I fill my tummy and sleep for 3 or so months, but that is not the case.

I hibernate in the sense that I plan, and prepare and gather all I need for the winter months ahead.

Summer months mean gardening, swimming, barbecues and constant on the go moments, and as Fall starts swinging around, I start slowing down and looking forward to the dark nights, the stews and soups, hot chocolate and crackling fires, and nights spent on the recliner with a warm crochet blanket draped across my lap.

October 12, 2017

It's not a question of if we will need firewood or if cold days will come, it is a question of when, and so we start gathering, chopping and piling wood months before.  We started back in July and still have quite a lot to get through.

October 14, 2017

Our pecan trees are full, their branches littered with big pecans ready to be harvested to or knocked off by a gust of wind.  In the next two weeks we will harvest them all, big buckets of beautiful pecans that will then need to be shelled, bagged for pie for the holidays and pecan milk for the fridge, the rest will be frozen to use as needed.


This is also the time of the year that I pull out my knitting needles and crochet hooks and work on new hats, scarves and blankets.  Of course you can buy these at the store, but there is something knitting or crocheting each item, putting your love into each row, not to mention that something homemade seems to be a lot warmer than the store bought ones.


Stocking of candles, long tapered ones and small tea lights for nights where the power goes out.

Making of apple butter

I take this time of the year to also can jam, applesauce, salsa, tomato sauce and anything else I can think of.

Honey, Ginger and Lemon

Cold weather also means colds and flus.  Every year I like to prepare for those with some store bought items but mainly homemade remedies that are sure to keep those sore throats and coughs at bay.  If you've followed me for a while you will no doubt have seen me talk about my Honey, Ginger and Lemon Syrup.  I make it every.single.year and make sure to refresh it and make a new batch as soon as October comes around.

This year I'll also be making a Ginger shot sure to pack a punch.  One shot of it each day will keep those nasty bugs away.

June 6, 2019

The garden will be put to bed, plants will be moved indoors for the freezing weather and plans for Spring gardening will be drawn up.

I find the cooler months to be probably my favorite time of year, we have all the holidays to look forward to, time with family and delicious food to be consumed. 

We also have dark cozy nights with candle light, snowy storms outside and holiday movies on the TV.

So I'm preparing and prepping and getting ready to hibernate into the cooler months.  Tell me, do you hibernate as well?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

{ A very Fall day in the life }


Good morning friends, come on in out of the cold.  It is a mere 50 degrees here this morning, and quite nippy outside.  I have some hot coffee with homemade vanilla syrup, just waiting for you, so grab a cuppa and sit with me for a little.

It's been a while since I've done a proper sit down chat and a day in the life. 


The days are getting shorter, the mornings are still pitch black and we've dipped down in the temperatures.  I think it's safe to say that we are finally in Fall.  There are a few days here and there with some hotter days, but nothing beyond 80 degrees, and that is quite alright with me.


I've had a pretty slow week has contributed immensely to my well being and rested state of mind.  Not having to rush about every day, has recharged my batteries, and given me the opportunity to go back to doing what I love more than anything in this world.  Being a homemaker.


I've pottered around, caught up on projects that needed tending to, fluffed pillows, rearranged and reorganized, enjoyed copious cups of coffee and chai tea, indulged in fat slices of yummy homemade cake, read books, watched documentaries and prepared even more comfort home cooked meals.

In short, I've been thrown back into homemaker heaven.


I'm not quite yet ready to give up my clothes drying outside, so even though it's been a bit cooler, I still make full use of nature and its warm sun. 

I'm loving the new washer, though it's been a bit of a learning curve as it doesn't have the agitator that I'm so used to, but nonetheless the fact that I can wash a king size comforter with no problem, or two queen size comforters at the same time, is well worth the non agitator issue.

Does it wash as well as the older models?  To be honest, I don't think it does, but it may also be the fact that I'm learning how to use it, which settings are best and so on. 


I've been meaning to set up my coffee corner for a while, but never could figure out how to arrange it, what to put where and so forth.  I sat for what seemed like an eternity, although in reality it was 40 minutes, shuffling things back and forth, moving them from one counter to the other, until I could come up with a set up that was functional and pretty too.  Well, pretty is totally subjective to each person isn't it?

Pretty to me, that's better.




In this little basket I have my coffee and tea in the white canisters, in the little green bottle is the sugar which actually works perfectly to pour out either straight onto your coffee, or onto a spoon, and then a little milk jug with my sweet n low.


Next to it are my Keurig pods, the Keurig and the water kettle.  It is so much easier to prepare myself a cup when I have everything in hand, instead of opening cabinets and pulling things out.

In the winter I plan on adding a hot chocolate station too, but don't ask me how or where, I have no clue and no doubt will once again sit staring at the counters for another 40 minutes.


My mother in law asked if I wanted these two old cast iron pans that had been sitting at her old house.  Looking at them you would think that the best decision would be to pop them in the trash, but really, it's not.  They are very easy to bring back to life.  It will take some time and a lot of elbow grease but we will get there.

The first day I left them sitting overnight in a bath of vinegar and baking soda.  It removed quite a bit of the rust and in the morning I was able to use a steel wool pad to scrub off more of the rust and caked on pieces.

I would love to say that it all came out and they are pristine looking, but they're not.  It will take me quite a while longer to fix them, but I did go ahead and rub some coconut oil on, and season them.  I didn't want them sitting around rusting again until I had time to put some more hard work into them.


I've made more homemade vanilla syrup, I do have a recipe over on the food blog if it's something you're interested in trying.

Between all this, I've been working with Nick on homeschooling, and planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

We still have our pumpkins to carve and I'm hoping we can go ahead and do that tomorrow, because then Jasmine is back to work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Although, if not tomorrow we can do it Sunday afternoon once she's home from work.  We will see, I may just carve mine on my own when I get a chance and then let the others do theirs in their own time.

I've been watching a lot of homemaking documentaries, vlogs, reading blogs and so on.

I do miss the old blogging kind of ways, everything has changed so much and it's hard to find as many homemaking blogs as there were back in the day.  Blogs are more commercialized lately, more about business and how to blog (I have never understood these articles, I thought blogging was just about being ourselves and writing about our lives).

We used to share our lives, our homemaking ways, tips and tricks and encourage each other through the blogs, but that seems to be a way of the past and there are very few of us out here still sticking to that kind blogging.

I have been lucky to find quite a few like minded blogs still out there and it's such a joy reading through them.  They not only continue the same style of writing, but even the blog templates and way of blogging is the same as it was when I first started in 2006.

You can find a lot of these blogs on my sidebar, right under my favorite reads and inspiration.  I need to give those lists a quick clean up though, some of the links on there are for blogs no longer updating.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to, enjoying Fall and all my days at home with nowhere to go.

I'll leave you with my plans for the rest of today.  Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday and thank you, again, for stopping by and sharing a cup of coffee with me.


I am about to go have some toast with cottage cheese for breakfast.  For lunch I have leftover roasted brussells sprouts and squash that I'm going to warm up, and I also think I may have a sardine sandwich.  I'm pretty sure a bunch of you just crinkled your noses but I love sardine sandwiches, it's something I grew up eating and it always reminds me of home.  For dinner we are having a good ol' Spaghetti with some Salad. 


General Hospital
Catherine the Great
Homemaking and Vlogtober vlogs on Youtube


Daily cleaning chores
Making Chelsea Buns
Reorganizing our closet

Monday, October 21, 2019

{ One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker - TLC Book Tour }

Hardcover: 496 Pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 8, 2019)

From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.

Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About Olivia Hawker

Through unexpected characters and vivid prose, Olivia Hawker explores the varied landscape of the human spirit. Olivia’s interest in geneal­ogy often informs her writing: her two novels, The Ragged Edge of Night and One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, are based on true stories found within her own family tree. She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, where she homesteads at Longlight, a one-acre microfarm dedicated to sustainable permaculture practices. For more information, visit

Connect with Olivia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

My thoughts:


It is not very often that I pick up a book and fall in love with it, from the very first page.  That is exactly what happened with One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.  

You know those amazing books that make you get annoyed with real life, because it interferes with your reading time?  Yeah, like that.

Where to even begin with this one?

Well let's go right to the setting which takes place in Wyoming in 1876.  It is a harsh time for everyone living on the land, homesteading was difficult, they didn't have all the amenities that we do nowadays and families and neighbors, had to pull together to survive, especially during the long brutal winter months.

We first meet the Bemis family which consists of the dad, mom, Beulah and two younger siblings.

Across the field live the Webbers, dad, mom and son Clyde who is around Beulah's age.  

All seems pretty normal for a prairie community.

But not all is as it seems.  

The story kicks off with a gunshot rippling through the air.  Pretty quickly we become aware that Ernest Bemis has shot and killed his neighbor.  It doesn't take long to confirm the motive as we realize that he has caught his wife Nora in an compromising position with the neighbor.  That one single decision to pull the trigger creates ripples that will forever affect the families.

Of course Ernest is arrested and sent to prison for two years, and left behind is his regretful wife who is full of remorse for ever getting involved with the neighbor and setting this whole situation into motion, her daughter Beulah who is just 14 and must now step up and take care of the house, the chores, the animals, her siblings and her frail mother.

Beulah is a bit of a strange girl, she is not the typical 14 year old girl in the prairie, she looks fragile but she pulls her weight, gets her hands dirty and does what needs doing.  But she also seems to have a bit of a sixth sense or ability to communicate with those who have passed on.

Across the field is Nettie Mae, recently widowed, full of rage and anger and feelings of betrayal.  She is now saddled with a homestead and must pull together to take care of the land she owns and her son Clyde.  Clyde is a teenage boy, quiet but a good strong worker and he much like Beulah just gets right into taking care of business.

With the winter months approaching, both families quickly realize that they do not have the means to survive on their own.  In a perfect setting, the neighbors would pull together, divide chores and help each other, but how do you do that with so much baggage and hatred between them?

Nora is determined to apologize and make up for her wrong doings, but Nettie Mae is having none of it.   She has a bone to pick with this woman, this hussy who threw herself at her husband and is ultimately to blame for his death.  She can't even bear to look at her face without wanting to smack her around, and there's no way in hell she will accept any help from her or offer any in return.

Clyde and Beulah decide that it is best for the families to set aside their differences and work together or none of them will survive.

So what ends up hapening???  Nora, Beulah and her young siblings move in with Nettie Mae and Clyde and what transpires from that moment on is a story of redemption, love, friendship, hardship and really digging deep to put aside anger and hurt.

In the middle of all this going on, a budding romance begins between Clyde and Beulah which throws a whole other wrench into the already volatile situation.

I'm sorry this review is quite long already, but I loved the book so very much that I couldn't do it justice with merely telling you that it was a great read.  

Olivia Hawker did a phenomenal job of tapping into the hard life on the prairie and really painting a picture for us of not only the harsh living conditions, but also the fragility of the families trying to survive in these times.

If you read no other book this year, you have to read this one.  It deserves a spot on your book shelf.  I'll be honest and tell you that I have about 6 books on my favorites spot, and this one is now a part of that collection.  It is not a huge one but it is my most treasured books that will absolutely never be given away.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/21/2019 }

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.

My last week has been a bit of a blur, it's just been so incredibly busy that I haven't had much down time and when I finally do get to sit down, I'm usually fast asleep.  Blogtober has completely fallen to the wayside.  I'm hoping to get a few more posts in here and there but I am not promising myself to do that because yeah, it's been just crazy.

Anyway, I hope you all have a blessed week, let's see what we have going on in our Happy Homemaker Monday today. 

The weather outside is::::
We have still hit upper 90's a couple of times, can't say I'm too thrilled with that, but at least our mornings are chilly and we seem to be heading for cooler temps.  Last night around 8:30 PM, we had a storm just come out of nowhere, weather app didn't even forecast it.  Didn't last but an hour, but it was pretty strong.  It is currently 47 degrees. 

Monday - Sunny,  74
Tuesday - Sunny, 76
Wednesday - Sunny/Wind, 82
Thursday - Rain/Wind,58
Friday - Partly cloudy,61
Saturday - AM showers, 66
Sunday - Sunny,74

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I've had coffee but nothing else yet, will probably have some toast later.   

As I look outside my window:::
It is after 7AM and still pitch black outside, so I can't see anything but I CAN hear the owls hooting.   

Right now I am::::
Working on this post and watching some Youtube videos on the TV.  If find it easier to just pop one on and keep going with the task at hand, so I get more done and catch up with my viewing at the same time.   

As I look around the house::::
I was just thinking that maybe I need to start doing this post later in the morning because again, I can't see anything, the house is pitch black.  LOL
But we do have a big ol 65 inch TV just standing in our living room, it belongs to my brother in law and we are storing it for him while he is in Korea.  This weekend we helped my mother in law clear out their childhood home (she sold it), and we have a ton of things that have been brought over to our house to store.  I'm thankful for a huge garage that is able to take all this in.  But, as I was saying, we have things all over the house at the moment, and I'll working on clearing those up today.   

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Washing couch pillow and cushion covers for a pull out bed couch that my mother in law gave us.  It's been sitting in their garage for a long time so it needs a good cleaning, but it's in great shape and will go in the office for extra bedding when we have guests.  Also have a couple comforters to go in.  We have a new washer (new to us, my brother in law gifted it to us and it's one without an agitator so it fits a lot more in there.  Can't wait to wash the comforters without them being squashed around the agitator like it was in the old washer. 
Cleaning....need to do some basic house cleaning. 
In the living room....tidy up and need to vacuum.
Homeschooling....Nick has a Game Design portfolio he needs help with.  He is taking Chemistry and Algebra 2 this year, and it's doing my head in.  LOL 
Crocheting....working on Part 2 of the Rozeta CAL.   
Cooking.....I have put on 12 pounds the past year, part in due to not watching what I'm eating, and mostly because of the hormonal changes.  Starting today I am back to intermittent fasting and being more careful with my food choices.  Will have a salad for lunch, and dinner is Ham steaks, Mashed potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.   

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Ham steaks, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts
Tuesday - Green Chile Stew, Honey Cornbread Muffins
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Salad
Thursday - Oven Chili Dogs, Homemade Fries
Friday - Crockpot Sausage Rigatoni
Saturday - Grilled Cheese and Ham, Chili Fries
Sunday - Sausage and Potatoes Skillet

Currently reading::::
One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.

On the TV today::::
Vlogtober Vlogs
Catherine the Great 

What I am creating at the moment::::
Working on Part 2 of the Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
I tried the cheesecake and it was delicious, so definitely will be making that for Thanksgiving.  I also have a review for Clifty Farms coming up and need to come up with at least 2 recipes for that, so looking forward to it.   

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

** For my mother in law's cancer.
**  I wanted to ask you all for some prayers for Curt and I.  I don't want to go into details quite yet, but we have something coming up this week that would be just life changing for us, if it goes through.  I'm praying so hard that it does, but I know that it is all in the Lord's hands. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

{ The Lost Child by Torey Hayden - TLC Book Tour }

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 24, 2019)

The first new book from beloved therapist and writer Torey Hayden in almost fifteen years—an inspiring, uplifting tale of a troubled child and the remarkable woman who made a difference.

In a forgotten corner of Wales, a young girl languishes in a home for troubled children. Abandoned by her parents because of her violent streak, Jessie—at the age of ten—is at risk of becoming just another lost soul in the foster system.

Precocious and bold, Jessie is convinced she is possessed by the devil and utterly unprepared for the arrival of therapist Torey Hayden. Armed with patience, compassion, and unconditional love, Hayden begins working with Jessie once a week. But when Jessie makes a stunning accusation against one of Hayden’s colleagues – a man Hayden implicitly trusts – Hayden’s work doubles: now she must not only get to the root of Jessie’s troubles, but also find out if what the girl alleges is true.

A moving, compelling, and inspiring account, Lost Child is a powerful testament once again of Torey Hayden’s extraordinary ability to reach children who many have given up on—and a reminder of how patience and love can ultimately prevail.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Torey Hayden

Born in Montana, USA, Torey Hayden has spent most of her adult life working with children in distress. Now living in Great Britain, she divides her time between writing and volunteer work with several British charities. Torey is author of numerous internationally best-selling books about her experiences as a special education teacher and therapist. She has also written two novels and two children’s books.
Find her at and connect with her on Facebook.

My Thoughts:

Oh wow, just wow!

I have said recently that I've been extremely lucky in the books I've been sent to review, and this one was just, in a level all it's own.

It is written by Torey Haden who is a child psychologist.

I will preface this review by telling you that if you are easily upset by certain subject matters or anything relating to young children being abused or living harsh lives, you may find this one hard to get through.

I am usually affected by these kind of stories, but I also find them fascinating and as hard as some of it may be to read, I think it's important to spotlight these issues and give them a voice.

With that said, this was a difficult book to get through, not because it wasn't good, not because the author wasn't clear or didn't write it in an easy to follow way.  It was difficult because my heart hurt so much or this little girl and I wanted to reach into the pages and snatch her up, give her love, and show her that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The review for this book should have been up on Friday but I couldn't get the words down until today.  It was so fresh in my mind, so deeply taken in by my heart that I just had to take a few days to figure out how to even talk about it with you all.

Ok, so just to let you know from the get go that Torey Hayden has helped hundreds of children in all sorts of situations, some more serious than others and this is the case of one such girl who will push Hayden to the limits because of the severity of the situation.

Jessie is 9 years old and has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I had never in my life even heard the term, much less what it is.  For those who don't know:

RAD is a condition in which an infant or young child does not form a secure, healthy emotional bond with his or her primary caretakers (parental figures). Children with RAD often have trouble managing their emotions. They struggle to form meaningful connections with other people.

What this has created is a child who has never formed an attachment to anyone, she struggles, she doesn't know how to deal with her emotions and in turn lashes out, sets fire to things when she doesn't get what she wants, and is being moved from foster home to foster home.  No one can handle her, the foster families can't deal with her outbursts, her parents are ready to sign her over and want nothing to do with her.

It is a sad, heart wrenching situation. 

Hayden is asked to step in and help but she really only has one hour a week with Jessie. 

It is amazing watching or rather reading, how Torey Hayden creates a bond with this little girl, and helps her through her most difficult moments.  In the middle of all this, Jessie accuses someone Hayden works with, one of her colleagues, of something unbelievable which of course puts the therapist in an impossible situation.  Believe the little girl who is known to lie and make up stories, or believe the colleague she trusts and knows?

To get to the bottom of this accusation, Hayden will take us through the process of helping a child with this disorder, tapping into the whole family background and trying more than anything to make Jessie realize that she is loved and worthy.

This book was so difficult for me to get through, as a mother I couldn't even begin to understand how this young girl has no bond or feelings whatsoever for her parents.  I think it would break my heart if this were the case with my own children.

This is not, I repeat, not an easy book to get through, but I'm so glad that I did.  It not only gave me an inside look into mental illness and just how intricate our minds are, but it also gave me a deeper understanding of the work that psychologists and therapists do, the process they follow and how it affects them on a personal level.

Brilliant book, brilliant story, a definite must read.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

{ How Fires End by Marco Rafala - TLC Book Tour }

• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: Little A (October 15, 2019)

A dark secret born out of World War II lies at the heart of a Sicilian American family in this emotional and sweeping saga of guilt, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption.

After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another.

Desperate to escape this haunting legacy, Salvatore accepts the help of an Italian soldier with fascist ties who ushers him and his sister, Nella, into a new beginning in America. In Middletown, Connecticut, in the immigrant neighborhood known as Little Melilli, these three struggle to build new lives for themselves. But a dangerous choice to keep their secrets hidden erupts in violence decades later. When Salvatore loses his inquisitive American-born son, David, they all learn too late the price sons pay for their fathers’ wars.

Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jeffrey Mosier Photography

About Marco Rafalà

Marco Rafalà is a first-generation Sicilian American, novelist, musician, and writer for award-winning tabletop role-playing games. He earned his MFA in fiction from The New School and is a cocurator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in New York City. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. How Fires End is his debut novel. For more information, visit
Follow Marco on Twitter and Instagram.

My thoughts:
Not sure where to start, but I guess I can say that this book was quite brilliantly written.

It is told through the eyes of one person, but it does span three generations so it does quite a bit of popping back and forth.  Usually I don't much care for that kind of story telling, but in this instance it worked, and it worked because it needed to be told in such a fashion in order to make you really take note of what was happening between the three characters.

It is an historical fiction focusing on WWII, a pivotal moment for the Vassallo family, a move across the oceans and the repercussions that are felt generations later.

It touches on religion, it touches on the fragility of life, it touches on guilt and betrayal, old vendettas and love and anything else you could think of.

I don't think that I can quite go into detail as that would spoil the book, but it definitely deserves a spot on the shelf and on the list of books that are a must for 2019.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.