Tuesday, March 31, 2020

{ Day 9 of Quarantine/Day 4 of Shelter in Place - More rain }

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"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
- Deuteronomy 31:8 -

My allergies are so angry at the moment  LOL

No really, they are super annoyed and therefore taking their anger out on me, or more specifically, my sinus.  I've had a sinus/allergy headache for 2 days and the whole congestion, sneeze fits going on.

Usually I wouldn't even think twice, but nowadays, I sneeze or get a headache and immediately think "oh no, could it be?".  How strange that we have reached this point in our lives, isn't it?

Anyway, the headaches and the general unwell feeling from the allergies, have left me with very little motivation to do anything.  I've allowed myself to just go with the flow, allow myself to feel however and have not really done much at all the past two days.

However, tomorrow?  I'm kicking myself in the behind, and getting back on the wagon.  I have projects I want go start, others I want to finish, gardening to get going, cleaning and baking etc.

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Contributing to my non existent motivation and the allergies, was the fact that as much as I love a good rain storm, I can't really get outdoors and do anything when it's raining.  And it's been raining on and off for the past week.   We are approaching that time of the year.

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So what exactly have I been doing the past two days?

The minimal needed to keep us going.  Dishes, and meals.  The house thankfully is clean so I don't have to do much, but still, it bothers me to not do anything.  I've been laying around, nursing this sinus/allergy headache, reading, watching tv and crocheting a little.

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It's been just a bunch of slowness, interspersed with a few moments of confusion at what is actually happening around us.

I think you can all relate to that right now.

So, I guess not much to share at all today, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be a new day, and I'll actually have something interesting to share.

Until then, I'm sending you all prayers and love.

Monday, March 30, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/20/2020 }

Good morning sweet friends, I hope you woke up feeling well and ready to battle another week of this unknown world around us.

We are starting day 3 of our shelter in place.  I honestly can't wait for this virus to disappear once and for all.  My heart breaks for all those affected, the lives lost and the doctors, nurses and first responders who are fighting this invisible war for us.  Prayers for them all.

We are doing ok, feeling a bit of the cabin fever creeping in.  It's so strange because I'm a homebody and love being home, but I think it's human nature to feel stuck when you're told not to go somewhere or do something.

But, this too shall pass.

My wish for you all is that you continue staying safe and healthy. 

I'm adding a little category to our Happy Homemaker Monday, just for the duration of this virus situation, since we're all pretty much stuck at home.  If you don't add it to yours today, that's ok, you can just start next week :)

Happy Homemaker Monday


♥♥The Weather♥♥
It is 57 degrees right now, so much cooler than last week.  We are expecting rain today and our high is only reaching 59.  The rest of the week seems pretty mild as well.      

Monday - Rain,59
Tuesday - Partly cloudy,66
Wednesday - Mostly cloudy,73
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 78
Friday - AM showers, 61
Saturday -  Partly cloudy, 67
Sunday - Showers, 69


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
My allergies have been at an all time high, and after being outdoors all afternoon yesterday, I have a lingering headache going on.  Aside from that, I am feeling quite well.  My woman issues have cleared up and seem to be back on track, thank goodness.


♥♥On my mind♥♥
If I say anything other than the Coronavirus, I would be lying.  I'm not worrying, I am not afraid, but obviously this whole situation is not easy to go through.  I think for myself the hardest part of it all, is keeping my kids from being fearful or worrying.  They both suffer with anxiety so it's not an easy task to do, but we are getting by.             


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
I've had a cup of coffee with peppermint mocha, and after this post is up, I'll finally have something to eat.  This morning I'm actually going to have one of my absolutely FAVORITE cereals ever.  I ate it when I was growing up, in Portugal, and didn't realize that my local Walmart carried it.  Now that I've found it again, I'm in heaven lol
What cereal is it?  Well, don't laugh, but here it is.........  



♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
The Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. 


♥♥On my tv♥♥
Youtube vlogs, some movies and very minimal news.       


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

Monday - Ajo chicken, butter rice, steamed broccoli
Tuesday - Beef S.O.S, Salad
Wednesday - Cheesy onion mushroom chicken, roast potatoes
Thursday -  Teeny's Mexican Casserole, Sauteed Squash
Friday - Chicago Style Hotdogs
Saturday - Chicago style hotdogs
Sunday - Spaghetti, Pull apart pepperoni garlic knots


♥♥From the camera♥♥
Spring around my property.  Love it.   




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥
The rain has just started outside, so it's quite dark in the house. 


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
I kind of want to start spring cleaning, especially since we're stuck indoors but not sure if I'll get to it.  Aside from that the house is clean and tidy, so I don't have much to do or any specific chores I'm not looking forward to.                     


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Crochet, read, and just taking it easy. 


♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
* The President, our country.
* The current pandemic, for all those affected, for those in the hospital, for all those at home in fear.  May the Lord cover them all with the white light of protection.   


♥♥Devotional/Bible Verse♥♥
"He was numbered with the transgressors."
Isaiah 53:12

Why did Jesus suffer himself to be enrolled amongst sinners? This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful reasons. In such a character he could the better become their advocate. In some trials there is an identification of the counsellor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the eye of the law as apart from one another.

Now, when the sinner is brought to the bar, Jesus appears there himself. He stands to answer the accusation. He points to his side, his hands, his feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the sinners whom he represents; he pleads his blood, and pleads so triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with them, that the Judge proclaims, "Let them go their way; deliver them from going down into the pit, for he hath found a ransom." Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transgressors in order that they might feel their hearts drawn towards him.

Who can be afraid of one who is written in the same list with us? Surely we may come boldly to him, and confess our guilt. He who is numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was he not put down in the transgressor's list that we might be written in the red roll of the saints? He was holy, and written among the holy; we were guilty, and numbered among the guilty; he transfers his name from yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are taken from the indictment and written in the roll of acceptance, for there is a complete transfer made between Jesus and his people.

All our estate of misery and sin Jesus has taken; and all that Jesus has comes to us. His righteousness, his blood, and everything that he hath he gives us as our dowry. Rejoice, believer, in your union to him who was numbered among the transgressors; and prove that you are truly saved by being manifestly numbered with those who are new creatures in him.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

{ Day 7 of Quarantine/Day 2 of Shelter in Place - Spending Sunday outside }

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"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:6-7 -

Good afternoon :)

It is another beautiful day here in Texas.  Not as warm as it's been but just the perfect temperature to be outside in the yard.

Curt and I always try to do yard work, either early morning (mid summer), or during cooler days in early Spring.  Without being able to go to the stores or anywhere public, we have turned towards our property and yard work.

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My Sunday started much like last week, sitting in bed, with a cup of coffee and attending online church.

Today's sermon was wonderful, as always. and reiterated a lot of what I've been saying from the beginning of this pandemic.

Aware but not Afraid!!!!   Amen!!!!

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We are counting our blessings for being able to live surrounded by nature, which means we don't even have to leave our property and still manage to get a good walk in, see pretty things and enjoy the calmness around us.

For that moment in time, nothing matters, there are no fears, no scary news looming in the background and no thought of a virus anywhere around us. 

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As we did yard work today, I snapped pictures here and there.  I also used my phone app to identify plants or trees we had not seen before, or didn't know what they were.

What a plethora of beauty we already have on our hands.  Whoever lived here previously, did a lot of work planting and surrounding the property line with a variety of plants, trees and flowers.

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We have 2 Juniper trees on our property and I love them so much, but unfortunately it is one of the trees that I'm allergic too, so I try not to be around them for very long.  Still, I can admire their beauty through the camera lens.

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I was quite surprised by this one.  Never noticed it before and it wasn't even hidden in an inconspicuous place.  It is in fact right along the front fence line of the house.  What caught my eye were the beautiful blossoms on the young tree.  I used my Plant identifying app and it told me that it is a Japanese Quince Tree.

Oh the joy I felt knowing that.  Although the Japanese Quince Tree is not as popular as the regular Quince tree, you can still eat the fruit and use it in jams and jellies.  Do you know that one of my favorite things on earth is our Portuguese Marmelada which is made from Quince fruit?  I can never find it anywhere, and can only really buy it online, but I'm definitely not doing that anytime soon.

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Will be wonderful to see it actually start producing fruit.  We've been here for 5 years and it's never produced any, and research says that it produces the quince fruit between 2 to 5 years of being planted.  We will see!!!

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I believe this one is Hawthorn but I'm not entirely sure.  For those of you more familiar with plants and able to identify them, if you recognize any of these, please let me know below in the comments.

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We also have a Downy Oak tree which is so pretty when it starts turning green.

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There is so much to see outdoors.  I love, just really and I mean really love being out in the fresh air.  We have a specific area in our property that is just surrounded by trees and bushes, and I often tell Curt that I feel like I'm walking through a Secret Garden. 

It is so peaceful, if you can just stand there for a few minutes, listening to the birds, watching the wind rustling through the leaves.  Pure peace!

I forgot to take photos on my camera, but we also found some Irises, about 10 of them in a cluster, growing behind some overgrown brush, right up against the fence line.

We immediately dug up around their roots, carefully removed them and some of their soil, and have moved them to the front of the house.  I can't wait to see them flowering. 

Slowly we will get this house looking the way we want it too.  It is a lot of work, but we both enjoy being outdoors and gardening, and right now, we have a lot of time on our hands, don't we?

I'll keep you all updated and will show you the progress as we go.

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I finally managed to get a slot in for a Walmart pick up.  It's been near impossible, but I got a small order in, just a few things that we were running low on.  Milk, bread, potatoes, lettuce and then some chips, drinks, laundry pods and softener. 

As we brought the items in, we placed them directly on the chest freezer and I took every single one out of the bags, and using lysol wipes, wiped them all down, sprayed the bags with disinfecting spray before putting them away and then wiped the freezer down well, washed my hands and used hand sanitizer too.

Just can't be too careful nowadays, but I tell you, it's all so strange to me, this new normal.  I never in my life even thought of doing this, we would just grab the groceries, bring them in and move on with our lives.

Crazy!!!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy a little visual tour around my yard.  I am now off to make some cheese tortellini for dinner, then grab a good shower, wash my hair and all that fun stuff.

Tomorrow is another day, another week of quarantine and shelter in place.   I am probably going to get all my seedlings in the ground, if the weather is not too hot or raining.  If I do I will definitely show you.

Until then, stay safe friends, blessings to you all.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

{ Day 6 of Quarantine/Day 1 of Shelter in Place - Chinese Wisteria }

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"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10 -

I am sitting on my bed, trying to get this post typed up, and struggling to keep my eyes open.

It's been a busy day, a lot of homemaking with multiple loads of laundry, a lot of ironing, gardening, dish washing, cleaning, and organizing.

To say that by 6pm I was exhausted, would have been an understatement.  My feet hurt and so does my lower back, so it's definitely time to get under the covers and go to sleep.

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There's something about a beautiful warm day, the sun shining, windows and doors open, and a clean and tidy house.

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I worked inside the house, while Curt got busy doing outside jobs.  The temperatures were only about 60 degrees in the morning, so he opted to get all the outside work done before the sun came out and the heat took over.

He mowed all 3 acres, chopped down some dead trees, trimmed and used the weed eater around the front of the house and so one.

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Inside I did all of our laundry, including bedding, and changed out all the sheets and comforters/quilts.  I love a freshly made bed, don't you?

Half of the laundry I dried outside, since we had beautiful weather and a slight breeze that helped everything dry in no time at all.

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The only thing with drying clothes outside is that they need to be ironed, which I don't mind doing.  Although I had such a huge pile today, it took me quite a while to get through, which I think contributed to my aching lower back and feet.

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I made lunch for us today instead of dinner.  We were all up, walking around and I figured that it really doesn't matter whether it was dinner or lunch, our schedules are all over the place at the moment.

Potato salad and some delicious butcher shop bratwurst.

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As the quarantines stretch into weeks, it can be easy to start feeling a bit like an animal in a cage, but I urge you to step outside.  You don't have to go beyond your own back yard to get some fresh air, and enjoy spring popping to life around you.

When we moved into this house 5 years ago, we had no clue that it would one day become ours.  Our home, our little corner, a place where we can finally put down roots for our children and grandchildren.

We also weren't aware of the array of plants, fruit trees and flowers we have on the property.  It's 3 acres, 3 acres that to this days we are yet to completely explore.

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Every corner we get to, we are met by something new, like these gorgeous Chinese Wisterias.  We have white ones too.  Never noticed them the past few years, so when they started flowering this past week, both Curt and I were shocked.

We took a walk around the property yesterday afternoon, just looking, exploring and it was so absolutely good for our soul. 

How gorgeous is that purple color?  And their aroma?  Wish I could bottle it up.

As we were walking around I was telling Curt that I wish I had these Chinese Wisteria lining my fenced in back yard.  Little did we know that there are already dozens of baby Wisteria trees all along the back fence.  Thank you Jesus!!!

So, again, do yourself a favor, don't be cooped up in your house.  Go into your backyard, read a book, share a meal with your family as the temperatures warm up, or just explore with your children.  Start a veggie garden, plant some flowers, or take photographs.  That fresh air is going to do wonders for your soul.

Friday, March 27, 2020

{ Day 5 of Quarantine - Coffee and Crochet }

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As we entered day 5 of this quarantine, we received the news from the city mayor that we are now in a Shelter in Place order, until the 8th of April.

There are currently 15 cases in our county, 4 of those hospitalized, so drastic measures have been taken.  It is all so incredibly sad to see.  I pray that all of this will be over soon and that we will all be able to go back to our normal lives.

However, I am still saying positive and not worrying or panicking.  I've done a lot of praying, a lot of bible reading and devotional reading.  I start my day thanking God for everything, even for this difficult phase we are in, because we need to remember to be thankful through everything, and that includes the tough patches we go through as well.

Everything that we face in life, is filled with lessons, and it's through those trials and tribulations, that the Lord works within us.  Is it fun?  Not really, no one likes to be put on the spot, to be vulnerable, to be made to dig deep and face certain aspects of ourselves that we may not be quite comfortable or happy with.

So, my advice to you at the moment, for whatever it may be worth, is to take note of what is going on, but stay strong, stay in prayer and always, always be thankful.

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The thing with being home 24/7 and not leaving for anything at all, is that your house is soon completely clean and tidy, and you find yourself actually looking around wondering what to do you pass the time.

Today was one of those for me.  It started slow, it seemed to drag and then drag a little more.

In moment's like these, I like to take a little more time with certain things, like for example breakfast.  Instead of a quick cup of instant coffee while standing at the kitchen island, and munching on a piece of toast, take the time to brew some coffee in a carafe.

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Yes I'm using a funnel because I lost my pour over filter, a long time ago and keep meaning to get another and just get around to it.  But a funnel works just as well.  I take a coffee filter and squeeze it down into the funnel itself, just to make the opening a bit smaller and therefore not having the coffee filter too fast.

I then place another coffee filter  over that one, add the ground machine coffee, boil some water and then pour over the coffee and sit back and listen to that delicious brew dripping down into the carafe.

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I set a spot at the table, a slice of the Churros Cake and sat down to enjoy my coffee and cake, while reading the Bible.  I'm reading in Romans right now and loving it.

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The house was quiet, the kids were asleep, Curt was at work and it was just me and Marley.  I sipped the hot coffee not feeling rushed, ate the cake, refilled the cup again and just enjoyed my time with God.

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There is nothing wrong with enjoying some self care, even if it means just a quite moment with God, a little table setting for yourself and the light of a gorgeous candle.

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After breakfast, I did my usual housework and then grabbed my crochet and tried to watch the newest adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma.

Tried......like for 30 minutes before I turned it off and gave up.

I am not a huge fan of remakes, I don't understand why the need to keep remaking a movie and especially when that remake is nowhere near as good as the original.  Such is the case with Emma.

Though there are a few moments in Jane Austen's books and movies that we may find comical, it is not a comedy, and the fact that this new remake approaches it as such, is quite frustrating and annoying to be honest.  The quirky weird music, the whole comedic vibe to it just ruined the story itself for me.

If any of you have watched it and enjoyed it, let me know.  Me, being the huge Janeite that I am, I was not only disappointed but super annoyed with it.

I ended up turning the TV off, putting down the crochet, and laying on the couch with Marley, which of course resulted in a 30 minute unintentional nap.  Oh well!!!

For dinner I made a Sheet Pan Pizza and that was our Friday.  Very quiet, very slow.

How are you holding up in your quarantine, self isolation, social distancing and shelter in place?  So many terms aren't there?

We went from a quarantine and social distancing to now being told to Shelter in Place and only allowed out for groceries, or get fined $1000, or get thrown in jail for 180 days.  *sigh*

Never thought I would live through something like this and truly hope I never do again.

Stay safe my friends, praying for you all.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

{ Day 4 of Quarantine - Finished one book and started another }

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 
- Exodus 14:14 -

We have been blessed with the most gorgeous weather, the past two days.

90 degrees, blue skies and a taste of summer.

In these uncertain days we're all facing, it is like a sign from God that everything will be ok.  It motivates us to get outside, get fresh air, enjoy the sun and the nature around us.

I have enjoyed the slow mornings, no rush to get out the door, staying in my nightie until 8am before starting my day.  But what I've been enjoying the most of all, has been the extra reading time I've got on my hands.

I've read in bed, I've read on the couch, and I've read outside, in the fresh air.

I've managed to finish my book, The Spanish Princess, and have even started the next on the list.



Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs.

It is pure joy being able to get back into reading, I had actually forgotten just how much I loved opening a book and drowning out the world, traveling to distant lands or back in time.

If I keep on going at this rate, I think I may read through my book pile.  That will be quite a feat.

Crochet is something else that I love but haven't really been into the past year, I don't know why, maybe I lost my mojo?  I hope, really really hope that I get it back.  That's something else I miss doing, picking up my yarn, my hooks and making something beautiful for my house.

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The days are slow, quiet, at times invaded by thoughts or news about the current situation, what is happening overseas, what is happening here at home. 

I try very hard not to let any of it influence my mood because it's far to easy to let that negativity and fear creep right in.  We need to stand firm, stay strong, and above all stay hopeful.

Don't know how long any of this is going to last.  My family in South Africa, today, started a 21 day quarantine/lockdown.

I still find it hard to believe that all over the world, people of all cultures and upbringings are going through the exact same thing, at the exact same time.  If this is not a wake up call to us all, I don't know what is.

Just imagine how wonderful it is going to be to finally see family, to get that hug, to be able to share a meal, go to the store, have get togethers and not have to worry about empty store shelves or tracking down toilet paper.

Did I tell you that we were able to find some toilet paper the other day, and paid 8 dollars for 4 rolls?  8 dollars!!!!  For 4 rolls!!!!   Unbelievable!

Anyway, we will soon look back on this and appreciate it for the huge lesson it is.  No doubt we will all come out of these quarantines with a new appreciation for life.

In the meantime, we will read, bake and I guess sleep?  Hahahah

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

{ Day 3 of Quarantine - Let's catch up on our reading }

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"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27


Day 3 of Quarantine.

How are you all feeling friends?  I know it may sound like a ridiculous question, considering the circumstances, but I hope you are all hanging in there and not letting the anxiety and fear overcome you.

It is a sticky situation to say the least.

We now have 8 cases of the COVID-19 in our city, all of them from people who have continued to fly around the country, going from state to state.  I don't understand why this is still being allowed, but it's not my place to understand I guess.

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But, since we are all stuck indoors, I am getting back into my reading and trying to get through the To Be Read pile, that has been growing for years now.

See I love books and even if I have shelves full, and get sent books to review, I can't help myself from picking a new one up anytime I'm near a book store.

There's something about books that I can't resist.  I'm not even going to talk about smelling the new pages, because when you know, you know.

As I was going through my bookshelf today, I thought that it would be the perfect time to put a few aside and set it as goal to read during the next 2 weeks, or 3 or 4, depending on how long we are hunkered down.

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This is my little corner of the shelf with the books I'm hoping to read.  Now that I look at it I want to laugh because I don't think I'll be able to read them all.  It seems like a lot doesn't it?

We will see.  I'm the type of reader that if I get into a specific book, I struggle putting it down and can sometimes read it all in a few hours.  So, maybe that pile is not as big as I think?

Let's see what is on that shelf:

Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs
With All My Heart - Five Novellas of living love to the fullest by Karen Witemeyer, Jody Hedlund, Melissa Jagears, Sarah Loudin Thomas and Jen Turano
A Sister's Secret by Wanda Brunstetter (Sister's of Holmes County Book 1)
A Sister's Test by Wanda Brunstetter (Sister's of Holmes County Book 2)
A Sister's Hope by Wanda Brunstetter (Sister's of Holmes County Book 3)
Looking for a Miracle by Wanda Brunstetter (Brides of Lancaster County Book 2)
Plain and Fancy by Wanda Brunstetter (Brides of Lancaster County Book 3)
From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling
The Favored Queen by Carolly Erickson
The Unfaithful Queen by Carolly Erickson
The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger
The Last Tudor by Phillipa Gregory

Finishing up The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson

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I also have a spot on my bookshelf for crafting books and magazines which I haven't yet had a time to go over, so that will also provide some reading material for me.  That first book on the left though, I have been dying to read it since I found it a thrift store, about 2 years ago.

Just haven't had the time, but I'm hoping that I can go ahead and finally sit down with it.  It is called The Women of the Old West.  Just the kind of subject matter that I find fascinating.

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So yes we may be stuck indoors but why not take the time right now to get our reading done.  I don't know about you but for me, recently I was feeling guilty to sit and read, because I felt like I should be doing something else with my time.

Since that is not the case right now, I don't have to feel guilty, and so I'm going to dive right in, and get as much reading as possible done.

Who is with me?

Are you catching up on reading too?  Do you have a list of books you want to read through the quarantine or are you just picking up whatever is on hand?

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