Series Review – Tucker Mills Trilogy

30 Aug

You Guys. Seriously. I can’t tell you just how much I LOVED this trilogy. Yes I’ve read it before. Yes I read them all in about a week. Yes, it’s by Lori Wick. What can I say? She’s a favorite of mine.


Moonlight on the Millpond – As a newcomer to Tucker Mills, Massachusetts, Jace Randall learns the workings of his uncle’s farm and mill. When Maddie Shephard comes back to town, Jace is instantly smitten and decides that not even his sister, Eden, could find fault with her. What he didn’t count on was Eden’s need to control his life – or the lengths she’d go to to maintain it. Will Maddie and Jace be able to forgive her, and each other, after the betrayal and lies?

~First off, I love the name Maddie. Second, Jace just happens to be one of my favorite guy’s names. Third, this book sucks you in on the first page and you quickly fall in love with, well, pretty much everyone. Except Eden. (coughcough)

Just above a Whisper – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! And Conner’s patience…sigh.


Leave a Candle Burning – Dannan Mckay has taken over his uncle’s practice in Tucker Mills. While everyone loved Doc Mckay, Dannan has settled in and feels welcomed by the townspeople. When he has an unexpected meeting with a woman in the general store, he starts to dream of something more – a wife and family. But then he learns something that stops his dreams of love in an instant, and he focuses all his attention on his patients. Life once again gets turned upside down when he ends up taking guardianship of a young cousin. The new role of father makes Dannan think of how the young one needs a mother – but the one he loves is out of reach.

~I remembered very little of this one – happy sigh. A unique storyline, wonderful romance. 

If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I’m not kidding. I would. BUT, we’ll get back to reality now… I enjoy how Wick weaves faith into all of her books, I’m always left contemplating the focus in each novel (i.e. each of her novels tend to have one main point in faith that the main character is dealing with) and that normally inspires conversations with my OH.

As with most (if not all ) of Wick’s books, any age could read these – I probably started reading them when I was 13/14. You might have noticed I had to get the 1st and 3rd from the library! Such a tragedy I know, but so far I haven’t found them in used bookstores. One day though, One day.

I also love that since I’ve been reading them for…well, over a decade, I am picking up on different things. Now that I’m married, I pick up on the hurt or joy when it’s a marriage moment… did that even make sense? Maybe I’ll close now and say : This trilogy is delightful. READ IT.


Do you have a series you’ve been reading since you were a teen and still enjoy today?

Writing Shorts

26 Aug



Three months and four days. That’s how long it’s been since I felt normal. I could still feel the cold fear that had settled on me that first day when I realized something had changed. It used to consume me but by now it had settled down in my stomach like those dumplings I’d eaten from the street vendor last time I’d been downtown. I allowed my mind to wander as I remembered that evening, the shining stars had been reflected in my daughter’s eyes as she’d told me about her art class.

“I’m just going to replace the fluids and then the doctor will be in.”

My dreaming interrupted, I was pulled back to reality as I heard my mother respond to the nurse – it sounded like Linda – her gravely voice made me imagine her with a cigarette hanging from her lips. The swish of a page, the click of the fluid bag being hung and then I heard quick footsteps precede the doctor. I hadn’t been able to peg him yet, whether he loved his job or just drank copious amounts of coffee.

“Morningmorning. Let’sseehowshe’sdoingtoday, ifyoudon’tmindwaitingoutside, it’lljustbeaminute.”

Silence followed the shuffle of my mother’s feet. The cold fear had started to rise and I willed my hands to move up to my chest to rub at the spot. As every other time, I couldn’t. No matter how many signals I sent, they remained motionless at my side.

“This doesn’t look good. Her vitals aren’t changing as they should.” The doctor’s energy seemed to have vanished. Now his voice reminded me of an old haggard man faced with terrible news. “Go ahead and call her family back in, they need to know.”

I tried not to panic as I wondered at his ominous words, part of me refusing to understand what they truly meant. I had blocked so much of what I’d heard but now it threatened to come back and overtake me. I sent every signal I could think of to my legs, then to my arms, trying to move, trying to prove them wrong before he could further break my mother’s heart. And what about my daughter? What would she do without me?

In all my panicking, I missed the beginning of what the doctor said but one word broke through – the one word I’ d been hiding from since I first heard it.


The rest of their conversation flowed around me as I finally let the reason for the hard, cold fear settle around me. I was in a coma. For three months and four days now.

“It’s not looking good.”

“Please don’t go out tonight, the roads are icy.”

“Will she come out of it?”

“Just cancel, they’ll understand.”

“You need to prepare yourselves.”


The past and present seemed to meld into one, horrible and terrifying moment. The fear and pressure built so strong that I did the only thing I could.

I screamed.

And so did my mom. The doctor dropped his clipboard and the nurse looked like she might faint.  When the four of us had stared at each other for an interminable time, the doctor said, dryly,

“Welcome back.”




Health Update – 8/23/16

23 Aug

This past month has really tested me – I feel that my normal good-humor is starting to slip and as such, I’m quieter because I’d really rather not spew all this anger and frustration on those of you I’m around! (plus, there might be tears. and that’s not cool) Please don’t think I’m walking around depressed or eternally angry, okay? That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that chronic pain is wearying. Thanks in equal parts to my OH, parents, friends and dogs, I’m making it through but by golly, I’m heading to the store today to pick up the vitamins I need, whether I feel up to it or not!


Overall Health: Honestly, it’s the same as last month’s update. TIRED. EXHAUSTED. WORN OUT. that’s me. Leg/foot cramping has come back along with such severe, drive-me-crazy-body-pain that I’d rather just have a migraine, thank you very much. Weight is still slowly going up.

Treatment: I’m still taking the Xiao Chai Hu Tang but I don’t think (which means I know I’m not but I don’t want to admit it) that I’m taking the proper dosage. I am taking 2 a day and apparently I’m supposed to be taking 3 or 4 three times a day….Definitely need to up them!!

Migraines: They have been severe, long-lasting and daily this month. If I don’t catch them right away, nothing touches them. And sometimes, even if I do take everything, it doesn’t seem to touch it.

Digestion and TMJ: digestion has been iffy but I’ll admit it, I haven’t been super strict on my diet lately. So, that’s my own fault . TMJ seems to be even-ing out again after getting worse for a few weeks. I really need to get into the habit of wearing my night guard when I take naps so my jaw doesn’t ache like it is right now.

Mood: I have been more irritable these past weeks and I do. not. like. it. I sincerely apologize to anyone if I’ve been short or rude to you! I try not to let it out. oy. It is directly related to feeling so overwhelmingly awful for so many days in a row.

Sleep: As of a few weeks ago, I have been taking naps almost every day. Sometimes two naps. Yesterday I slept about 5 hours just napping and still was so tired. Still needing melatonin or theanine in order to sleep.

Memory: I don’t think it has improved any. If it has, I can’t tell.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – still averaging 2 a day probably.

I have recently run out of : Magnesium, Chaste tree berry, Olive Leaf Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Calcium, Fish Oil. ( some of these I’ve been taking less of to get them to last longer i.e. til I get to the store)

here’s my full list of vitamins!

Check out my other updates and info on Lyme!

Symptoms of my Lyme

update 7/27/16

the Big Health update

Thanks for stopping by, I feel so blessed that SGL reaches as many people as it does!




Book Review – The Little Prince

19 Aug

You will forgive me if I can’t wait til the monthly review to share this book with you!

My eldest brother introduced me to it years ago- and while I’ve loved it ever since I’m not sure I’ve read it again until just this week. Shocking, I know.



First written in 1943, the author reminisces when he met the Little Prince; he’d been forced to land his plane in the Sahara desert and out of nowhere a small boy appeared. The story the Little Prince then shared is full of adventure and lessons for anyone, even grown-ups, to learn.

I just HAVE to share a snippet from the book:

“So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to, until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six years ago. Something was broken in my engine…I set myself to attempt the difficult repairs all alone. It was a question of life or death for me : I had scarcely enough drinking water to last a week… I was more isolated than a shipwrecked sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Thus you can imagine my amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It said:

“If you please – draw me a sheep!”


“Draw me a sheep!”

I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard. I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness…”


(image from google)


I enjoyed the adventures of the Little Prince far more than I thought I would! Like I said, my brother gave me this book….erm, when I was an early teen probably, and haven’t read it since so I really didn’t remember much about it at all. But! I enjoyed the writing style, where the author talks to you, the reader. The pictures he drew, and subsequent explanations of them, are beautiful in their simplicity.

littleprincepic2 (image from google)

The different planets that he traveled to, and those he met there, are captivating. I do think I like the fox the best though.

I highly recommend this short novel for anyone. It was a quick, very fun read. As you can see, my copy is in very rough shape, over half the pages are falling out!  I’m going to have to get another one before I read it again. Which I will be doing!  Have you heard that a new adaptation is being made?! I am so excited for it, check out the trailer!

Happy Reading,


update 8/18/2016 – the movie is now on Netflix!! I enjoyed it so much. The way they weaved together the story of the Little Prince and the little girl, her mom and the old man i.e. the Pilot was so seamless and didn’t take away from the original story at all. I kept saying over and over ‘they did so good on this! I love it!’  so much that I think my OH was going crazy by the end of the evening. If you’re on the hunt for a great movie to watch with the whole family (or by yourself), give this one a try!!!

Little Britches Series Review

16 Aug

I was introduced to Little Britches by a friend of mine and I enjoyed it so much I grabbed as many books of the series from the library as I could. There are a few more, Shaking the Nickel Bush, The Dry Divide and Horse of a Different Color but I don’t think I’m going to get to them this go-round.



Little Britches – It was 1906 when Ralph Moody’s family moved from the east coast to Colorado. Ranching is full of challenges, ones that his father teaches him to think through and overcome. Through wind storms, water wars and family picnics, Ralph shares the hardships and pleasures of ranching. He was also being groomed to be a man, and to take his father’s place when the time came.

 Man of the Family – Ralph Moody has had to shoulder the responsibilities of a man at only 11 years old. The family is determined to stay together though, so Mother and Grace start baking and repairing lace curtains while Ralph builds frames, trades rabbits and delivers the baking.

The Home Ranch – At 12, Ralph goes to work on a cattle ranch for the summer, earning a grown man’s wage, a dollar a day. He soon loves the life of a rancher but has a lot to learn about cattle, horses and people. He teaches a new friend some trick-riding stunts and eats his weight in flapjacks.

Mary Emma  and Company- The family has moved to Massachusetts and now must struggle to become independent again. Through his job at the grocery store, Ralph (now 13) finds them a house they can afford. Mary Emma starts a laundry business and little by little, they win the war against poverty.

Fields of Home – Ralph is sent to his grandfather’s farm in Maine after some trouble in Boston. Ralph has always had a knack for making things so the job is easier but his grandfather doesn’t like machinery and farms the way his daddy taught him. Uncle Levi comes by and helps but both Ralph and Grandfather have to learn to give a little.

~What a fun series to read! I think I told my OH the general story for each one of these books as I read them – I just HAD to share them with someone! The only one I didn’t enjoy right off the bat was Fields of Home and that was just because the grandfather was so crotchety and always calling Ralph a ‘tarnal fool boy’ that I put it down for a week or so. I ended up really enjoying the last half though! These books would be great to read with your kiddos or for the older ones to read on their own!  Little Britches has a few ‘minor’ cuss words in it but there aren’t any in the other books.    The adventures that Ralph has are so fun and it’s just amazing to think that they all actually happened! I feel so silly saying that, but once you read the books, you’ll understand what I mean! What a life he had! 


Work in Progress – Amelia’s first caller

12 Aug
I am going to be sharing a scene from my current work in progress – that I am REALLY hoping to finish by the end of October! I realized the other day that it has been a long time since I’ve shared any of my writing – I do have a few short stories in my drafts folder but I just can’t seem to finish them!
Setting: East Coast, late 1890s. The Main Character, Amelia, is expecting Mr. Greenwahl any minute – it is their first “date”, also happens to be her very first caller. Grace is her lady’s maid and friend. I did shorten the scene here so if there’s some odd gaps, that’s probably the culprit, although I did try and smooth them out. I hope you enjoy!
“The length of the parlor wasn’t nearly enough to walk out any nervousness,
but Grace found Amelia pacing it when she entered to chaperone. As she settled
in one of the chairs set in the back of the room, she admired her friend; little 

remained of the girl that had shown up in a wrinkled traveling dress and braids.
The fine gown and fashionable angled hat highlighted her beauty. She wasn’t sure the long gloves would survive the evening though, as she watched Amelia crush them in her hands.
Catching a glimpse of Walter heading for the front door, Grace cleared her throat.
“You might want to stop strangling those gloves and put them on.”
Amelia was surprised at Grace’s words; she’d been so focused on remembering the proper etiquette for the evening that she’d not noticed nearly breaking one of the major rules:
A lady is never without her gloves.
She tried to calm her nerves as she worked one, then the other up her forearms, and then
straightened each finger. The familiarity of the movements helped to soothe her
and she moved near a chair, having heard Walter greet Mr. Greenwahl. Shooting a glance toward Grace, she tried to draw on her friend’s calm.
“Mr. Greenwahl is here to see you, Miss Hughes.”
The first thing she noticed about him was the way his suit fit him perfectly, showing off his broad shoulders and slim waist. Blushing slightly, she curtsied. When he neglected to say anything, she looked up at him, confused.
Her glance seemed to snap him out of a daze, for he jerked and quickly bowed, moving toward her before he had fully straightened.
I apologize, Miss Hughes. You ah…͟” He grasped her hand, kissing it. “You took my breath away.”
“It…it’s quite alright. Shall we sit?”
“I realize that it’s not quite proper to say so, but…͟” He paused as he sat.”I do seem to have gotten myself into a spot, haven’t I?”
At his disarming smile, Amelia found some of her nerves lessening.
“Thank you for allowing me to come this evening.” His deep voice still held a touch of embarrassment over his blunder.
“Thank you for asking.” Even to her ears, she sounded stiffer than she’d intended. Seeing his slight wince, she darted a glance at Grace again.
“I did notice your aunt wasn’t with us. There is nothing wrong, I trust?”
“She’s not feeling well this evening. My lady’s maid is here in her place.”
She was impressed when he nodded at Grace instead of merely ignoring her.
“I’m sorry to hear that. I first met Mrs. Barrington a few years ago through
a mutual friend, Mr. Smith, at a benefit. It was supposed to be the event of the
year…but I don’t think that handkerchief can handle much more.”
Shocked, Amelia’s eyes flew to her hands, to find that her handkerchief was
twisted and turned through her fingers. Her cheeks flushed and she clenched  her
hands, trying to hide it.
“Miss Hughes”.
His voice was soft but Amelia couldn’t bear to look at him.
She hadn’t known she was fidgeting with it, but she was so nervous that…
“Miss Hughes, may I interest you in a stroll in the garden?”
Realizing she would have to look at him eventually, Amelia raised her face and put her hand in his.
“I didn’t mean to bore or embarrass you. I apologize.”
“You weren’t boring me. I’m just…not used to this.
“It does bring out the nervousness, doesn’t it?”
They passed through to the garden, Grace several paces behind.
The smell of roses beckoned and calmed her……

And so the evening passed, walking arm in arm, around and around the
garden. When they grew tired of that, they went inside and sat just across from each other, eager to learn more about the other.”
I will add that I didn’t intend to have her court anyone, Mr. Greenwahl just showed up and I fell in love with his character instantly. Hopefully you did too =)

Symptoms of my Lyme Disease

9 Aug

Here is the ‘short’ list of symptoms I’ve been dealing with the past decade odd. I pulled this from the book Why Can’t I Get Better? by Richard Horowitz M.D. – and as such, each one has the different options that can happen. Like the second symptom down, I’ve only had weight gain, not loss. But either one can be a symptom so I put them down.


unexplained fevers, sweats, chills or flushing

unexplained weight gain or loss

fatigue, tiredness

unexplained menstrual irregularity

upset stomach

change in bowel function

chest pain or soreness

shortness of breath, cough

heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block

joint pain or swelling

stiffness of the joints, neck or back

muscle cramps or pain

twitching of the face or other muscles


neck cracks, neck stiffness

tingling or numbness, burning or stabbing sensations

eyes/vision: double, blurry, floaters

ears/hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain

increased motion sickness, vertigo

light-headedness, wooziness, poor balance, difficulty walking

confusion, difficulty thinking

difficulty with concentration or reading

forgetfulness, poor short-term memory

disorientation: getting lost, going wrong places

difficulty with speech or writing

mood swings, irritability, depression

disturbed sleep: too much or too little or early awakening


Many of these come and go. Nausea, legs or feet cramping, mood swings, heart palpitations for example. But the majority are on a daily basis, disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating, maintaining normal temperature and disorientation. It’s a fun thing, being in this body of mine. heh. So often, I feel like I’m looking at the world through a hazy, gauzy veil – so close to being a part of it, but not able to quite reach through and get there. At the grocery store, the coffee shop or out to dinner – there’s a shroud that makes it hard to fully connect unless I focus. And, sometimes I mean really focus. Whether it’s migraine, leg cramps, overstimulation or mentally testing how my body feels to decide if I need to take another pain pill, there’s always something there to make it that much harder to connect.

Anyway, if you realize you have several of these symptoms I URGE you to go get tested for Lyme Disease. Pay attention to what your body is doing, don’t just assume that some things are just ‘how you are’ or that everybody deals with it. If I had mentioned some of these symptoms to my Dr. years ago we might have been able to diagnose me a lot sooner.




6 Aug


I decided all you lovely readers needed to see some cute photos of my dogs. They are too cute and happy and what else do you need on a saturday morning?

I will point out that in the last picture she’s looking at her favorite toy (yes, it’s the sprinkler) all confused because she has started nudging it as she plays. well, she nudged too hard and turned it over… So confusing. Yet so cute.



Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you next week with a short story!


Book Review – July 2016

3 Aug

Ahem. Let’s just pretend that it’s  about 4 days ago, shall we?! What with traveling and trying to get through a monster of a book about Lyme Disease, I went for light reads last month.




Just Above a Whisper (book 2 Tucker Mills Trilogy) by Lori Wick – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat. And I always forget that this is smack dab in the middle of a trilogy, but it certainly works as a stand alone!  There is nothing in this novel that I don’t like! An absolute favorite. 

An Assembly Such as This bk 1 by Pamela Aidan – Darcy can’t believe the company he’s forced to keep when he follows his friend, Charles Bingley to Hertfordshire to check out an estate for sale. As he spends his days fending off Miss Bingley’s attentions and supervising Bingley, he finds himself falling for Elizabeth Bennett, quite unwillingly. When an old nemesis unexpectedly shows up in the form of George Wickham, Darcy is left dealing with old emotions, and growing concern about Elizabeth’s friendship with him.

~I found this novel while browsing a used bookstore years ago and am SO very glad I took a chance on it and grabbed it! To finally find a well-written novel from Darcy’s perspective (of Pride and Prejudice)  is like a literary dream come true. I enjoy the characters that Aidan creates in Darcy’s world. His butler, Fletcher, is one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, you simply MUst read this book! IF you’re a fan of the Regency Era, you must read it!! 

The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley – With rumors of her mother being a witch from the North, Aerin has never been accepted as rightful heir of Damar’s king.  It’s said in whispers that her mother entrapped her father into marrying her, and then died of despair after having a daughter instead of a son. And so, Aerin grew up as a bit of an uncomfortable oddity, not able to hide completely but not able to properly claim her place in court. No one knows the truth of her destiny, that she is to become the wielder of the Blue Sword.

~ This is another novel that I took a risk on in a bookshop, one in Cannon Beach Or! I’ve read it once before and enjoyed it just as much this second time. Aerin’s journey is exciting as she goes from awkward reminder to hero. And we all love a female hero who wonders at the calm in her voice and how she instinctively knows what to do. 


Come back for a review on Ralph Moody’s Little Britches series!

I never did finish the Trim Healthy Mama book or Captivating…. They just fell by the wayside with everything going on. You’ll see I’m still reading Why Can’t I get Better? , it’s a good book about Lyme disease and chronic pain but it’s so in-depth and also written for doctors that i’m getting bogged down by it all. I’m starting to think of returning it to the library early and finding another book about Lyme that maybe isn’t so hard to get through.


Currently Reading:

Why Can’t I get Better? by Richard Horowitz, M.D.

The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Duty and Desire bk 2 by Pamela Aidan


To-Read List:

Mary Emma and Company by Ralph Moody (bk 6)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The rest of the Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick


Health update – July 27th ’16

27 Jul

What with a trip to N.C. , my parents visiting this past weekend and a yard that’s been begging for TLC, writing here at SGL has been sadly neglected! I have also started two different posts, and have another one just waiting in the wings to be written, but it’s so infernal hard to concentrate today that this is all I can get down!


Overall Health: I’ve been very tired lately. Not sure if I can claim it’s adjusting back to this time zone anymore either. The first week and a half I only had one severe, long lasting migraine, this past half a week I’ve had two or three. My skin cleared up almost over night which was wonderful. My memory hasn’t improved yet but I must be getting more used to it….oy.I had to quit taking the Samento and have just started Xiao Chai Hu Tang. Focusing on anything for long is difficult right now as well. Still slowly gaining weight.

Treatment: I had to stop taking the Samento about 2 weeks ago because my reaction to it was just too strong. Once off of it, the achy weakness has disappeared and while I’m still tired it’s not anywhere near like it was before. I just picked up Xiao Chai Hu Tang yesterday and have started taking it. I have taken it previously and it helped with migraines, digestion etc, so I’m hopeful to notice a difference rather quickly. Plus, I don’t have to wait 30 min before eating like I did with the Samento!

Migraines: As long as I remember to take Pulsatilla and/or Belladonna and/or Clonidine when the pain starts, it doesn’t get so severe. When it does hit, most of the time it doesn’t stay bad for long. When it stays severe,  nothing I do seems to help.

Digestion and TMJ : No change to report. which is good!

Mood: I’ve finally evened out to feeling more like my old self, the one who notices the little things ( the fridge needing wiped down, for instance)

Sleep and Memory : nothing has changed here either. both are still iffy but not worse!

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – still averaging 2 a day probably.

Fish Oil – have upped to 2 a day every other day (1 on the other days)

and of course, the list from the first update!

I’m a little disheartened by such little progress but there really shouldn’t be any since I was off anything extra these past few weeks. If I could get better sleep and not be so ridiculously tired, that would help so much!

Here’s a link to the last update as well!

Thanks for stopping by, and I PROMISE to get some book reviews up soon!


Lyme Light Lady

shedding light on chronic lyme disease

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