Fighting Lyme and Chronic Migraines

8 Jul

well, these two weeks have FLOWN by and now it’s time to update on how fabulously I’ve been feeling. Ha! Not fabulous, let me tell you that first off. Oy. But we were able to have a lot of fun over the 4th of July weekend! Thank you to everyone that came to our first BBQ! It was SO much fun and we had such a great turnout! OH (other half) and I look forward to hosting another one. We also got down to Bend to see family and friends for a few days and had an absolute blast. Family barbeque where the kids just couldn’t get any cuter. Abby learning to swim in the pond. Holding a sweet little baby. Line dancing at midnight. Dinner with my parents and Auntie and Uncle.  The fun continued right until we left!

 

Ok, I’ll quit playing with pictures and get to the update…. if you missed the first update, check it out!!

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Overall Health: I seem to feel either really good or really awful, there hasn’t been much of an in between these last few weeks. My memory hasn’t improved, which makes remembering to take the treatment hard! Sleep hasn’t improved either. My skin has slowly started to clear up, thank heavens! The house is staying in pretty good shape , now I’m dreaming of working in the yard and cleaning my car!

Treatment: I’ve been back on the Samento for 10 days now and good grief, it’d be nice if I could remember to take all 3 drops each day. I’m doing good if I take 2. I’m thinking I’m gonna have to set alarms on my phone… Remember, I have to wait half an hr after taking it , to eat. AHEM. Not cool, because I tend to remember when I’m sitting down to eat. sigh. I Will get the hang of this because I’m not reacting near as strong as before. I have run out of Riboflavin though, so I’ve Got to get some today, remind me of that will you? hehe.

Migraines: This might be TMI for some of you reading this and I’m sorry… Due to it being that wonderful time of the month, my migraines have been predictably severe. This morning I don’t have one but that hasn’t been the norm the past week and a half. The pain has been severe, and stayed so most of the day this past week especially.

Digestion: This past week I seem to have gotten past my stomach freaking out at almost every meal I eat. Which is a wonderful change.

TMJ: I don’t seem to be clenching my jaw during the day as much – at least I haven’t caught myself doing it like I was. It’s been popping more the last few days, and is super tender in the mornings. Hard to chew harder foods sometimes.

Mood: I feel more myself although I still tend to overreact to the littlest things.

Sleep: hasn’t changed at all – still have to take Melatonin or Theanine every night. Still wake up at least twice. I’ve been taking a  lot more naps since I got back on the Samento.

Brain Fog/Memory : Fog hasn’t been as bad as in the past but memory is deplorable. I’m still struggling to remember things I’ve always known, and to find the right word. Still haven’t been able to write much on my novel. Focus has been a little better in some situations, (able to watch movies now)

Daily Vitamins :

Still averaging 2 Clonidine a day (it’s been 3 a day these past several days though)

I’ve been trying to up my intake of Fish oil to 2 a day without reaction.

I’ve run out of Riboflavin, getting more today! Need to up my intake though

Seem to be doing fine off the Cordyceps

And that’s it! I’m gonna start working on the list of symptoms, I want to get it up before I go on vacation next week. This blog has wonderful info on Lyme disease, I’ve been following her for a few years now.

Do you have any tips on remembering to take the Samento? Or do you have direct experience with Samento? I’d love any advice!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Laura

June 2016 Book Reviews

1 Jul

Happy Fourth of July weekend friends! Due to a long writer’s block, I have been reading a lot this month. A migraine is kicking up it’s heels inside my head so I’m going to finish this off quick (yes, I write my intro dead last every book review post…doesn’t everyone?) But I have to tell you the book I scored at the book sale at the Happy Valley Library a few weeks ago. “A History of the Twentieth Century – Volume one : 1900-1933” by Martin Gilbert. It weighs probably ten pounds and I’m SO excited about it. With plans of of more novels written in the early 1900’s I’m expecting this to be very helpful. Did I mention that it was 50cents?? Oh yes. SCORE.

Ahem. Alrighty, I hope you find something in this list of books to check out! Happy Weekend!

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Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter – New widow, Lydia King and her son move to Charm, Ohio to help her mother with her grandfather. But when gifts are left on her front porch, is she ready for the chance at love?  ~A father of four boys, Menno Troyer is also recently widowed and has come to realize his boys need a mother. While he doesn’t think he’s ready to love again, he has to think of his boys first. ~Levi Stutzman has dedicated his life to caring for his family, all handicapped by dwarfism. He decided long ago that he would never marry, but his heart is big as he helps anyone that needs a hand. ~ When tragedy strikes Lydia again, will the mysterious gift giver be there to help her through?

~ I have to be honest, I wasn’t very excited about this book. I’d picked it up several times this past year but never made it past the first few pages. But I’m trying to go through the books I own and have never read, so I persevered. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a fun twist on an Amish romance, although I did get mad when a certain tragedy struck. I am pretty sure I yelled at the book, which prompted concern from the OH and the puppy….yeah. It was that upsetting. BUT! Brunstetter delivered yet again with a very enjoyable story. This one is staying on my shelf, I’m happy to say!

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle – A charming description of life in Provence, as can only be told by someone who lives there – stories of finding gold in the garden, pig-hunting truffles, a stray dog named “Boy”, and decadent feasts and wine.

~This is a book that I’ve owned for several years and never read, although I am pretty sure I’ve read Mayle’s  ‘A Year in Provence’  that precedes this book. While this was a fun book to read, it’s not captivating enough for me to read again. Each chapter is a different story of Mayle’s adventures so it’s an easy, light read. Hearing about the different customs and superstitions of some of the characters was delightful. But, whether it’s due to eating kosher and the French most definitely do not (hehe), I think I’ll be passing this book along to a new owner.

Little Britches by Ralph Moody – 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.

~I had never heard of this book until a few months ago when a friend lent it to me. And now, I can’t believe I didn’t read these growing up! The writing is so good, you get quickly sucked into the early twentieth century as Ralph learns how to fit in at school, be a cowhand and to be honest no matter what. I absolutely LOVED how his father taught him, if I can be such a parent! This was a completely delightful story and I was so excited to find out that Ralph wrote more than just this one! I am now on the third book and still loving them. 

Man of the Family by Ralph Moody – 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.

~you know what , I’m going to just wait on reviewing these for a series review!!! Come back and check it out!

Beware the Ticking Lyme Bomb by Craigger Creed – BEWARE! Lyme disease-infected ticks can be picked up anywhere outside – in your yard, the woods or a park. Learn about this complex ailment before it comes knocking on your door, in an easy-to- read book which includes some personal experiences  and comparison spreadsheets to show you how the symptoms and treatments vary between the patients.

~This was a great book to start off learning more about Lyme disease. It’s lighthearted but the warning is often repeated – Beware! Don’t wait! Pay attention to symptoms and go to a doctor now! Take charge!     I’m so glad I grabbed this off the library shelves and highly recommend it to others who want to learn more without getting overwhelmed with in-depth information. 

Currently Reading:

Why Can’t I Get Better? : solving the mystery of Lyme and Chronic Illness by   Richard  Horowitz, MD

Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Trim Healthy Mama plan by Pearl Bennett and Serene Allison

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

 

Lord of the Rings Series Review

27 Jun

 

The Lord of the Rings series is a high-fantasy novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien and first published in 1954/55. I never understood what all the hype was about this series until my OH got it for me and finally read it. I will admit to it taking far longer than I wanted, to get through all three volumes but that can be blamed on life and not wanting to eat and read at the same time (i mean, the book is gorgeous, I didn’t want to get anything on it!) I finally caved though when I couldn’t put it down. Hefting that through the house as I took care of the dogs, made meals, etc was interesting but the world of Middle Earth and the amount of details he put into backstories, languages, etc, was fantastic.

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I had already seen the movies (totally did it backward) but I think it helped me, having an idea of who these characters were. Normally I don’t like that, it shapes what you think about them to the degree that when they are different in the book (as they inevitably are, movies tend to take SO much license…….) but, for some reason, it helped.

I also read some about Tolkien and the parallels of himself and others in his life in some of his characters, which added a whole other layer to it.

Yes, it’s violent (it’s a WAR, man!) so I wouldn’t recommend this for young readers – unless you’re reading aloud to them and then you could skip over those bits! Other than the violence ( in the mood for some head-lopping? Gimli and Legolas keep count.), this series is CLEAN.  Why can’t more writers keep it that way?

I was watching an interview of Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachan, two of Bollywood’s biggest stars recently and loved their answer when asked why they don’t kiss in their movies. “you have this intimate moment and then suddenly, snap, cut, you’re in the mountains singing and dancing. It’s a lot more interesting…I’d much rather that.”   I got so excited when he said that! People can fall in love – and express that love – without getting all physical and mucking up the whole story.

ahem. Sorry…. Stepping down off my soapbox…..

So. I so appreciate the little bit of love and romance in these stories, it’s romantic, sweet, honoring and respectful. And isn’t that the love we all dream of?

The Fellowship of the Ring – book 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien – Frodo Baggins had no idea just what he was inheriting from Bilbo that night. But soon he knew that the Ring Wraiths were hunting him and the Ring of Power that he had. The Ring that could change the future of Middle Earth. Sauron wanted it to spread his evil through the land. So Frodo, Sam and those who would help him, must destroy the Ring in Mordor – the dark land where Sauron reigned.

 

The Two Towers – book 2  by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with treacherous Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war against Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor. Their guide through the dangerous lands is Gollum, the sneaky creature whose mind is filled with the Ring.

 

The Return of the King -book 3 by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin, having escaped the Orcs,  meet the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their perilous journey into Mordor guided by Gollum. Through it all, the armies of Sauron are massing.

Gah! Just writing the synopsis’ (or is that synopsi?) makes me want to read them all over again. I also highly recommend The Hobbit, which is the prequel. I am going to give The Silmarillion a try although I’ve been warned it’s pretty much a history book of Middle Earth.

These books are very easily attainable, I’d bet you could get them at almost any used bookstore you wander into. Or Amazon is always a great option!

Have you read LOTR? What did you think?

~Laura

 

 

 

 

The Big Health Update

21 Jun

Well friends, I have been trying to sit down and do a COMPLETE AND AWESOME review of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I’ve decided today to give you all some news and start a regular health update. That way I’ll be able to see if I’ve made any progress as time goes on – I try keeping track in a little notebook but this will be more detailed =) Warning, this is going to be a long post but future updates won’t be quite so in depth!

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3 weeks ago today I found out that I have Lyme Disease. I’ll share the definition of Lyme from a great little book I picked up at the library “Beware the Ticking Lyme Bomb” by Craigger Creed.

“The standard, quick explanation goes something like ‘ Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by deer ticks, produces a bull’s eye rash, and is usually cleared up quickly with antibiotics’. But this barely scratches the surface of the tip of the iceberg…often there are additional bacteria, protozoa, etc involved … and have been implicated in Lyme-induced skin and neurological disorders.”

The problem is, a high percentage of people do not have the bull’s eye rash, or any of the other rashes that indicate they have recently been bitten by a tick that is sharing Lyme with you.

Lyme has earned the nickname “The great Imitator” because it acts like so many other medical conditions. The bacteria, Borrelia, are spiral shaped spirochetes that are marvelous at hiding and disguising themselves, making it even harder to diagnose. The symptoms are many, and seemingly unconnected to each other.

Lyme is very complex, and I don’t have the ability, or the knowledge, to delve deep into it here for you. I recommend the above book for a quick, light read as well as the book that I have just started, “Why Can’t I Get Better?” by Richard I. Horowitz, MD. for a more in-depth look. Let’s suffice it to say that when I go down the list of symptoms I have most of them. Which puts me squarely in the ‘chronic Lyme or Late-Disseminated Lyme stage.

Overall health: I am thankful to finally have a diagnosis (!!) although I am still trying to wrap my head around that fact. strong reaction to new treatment (more on that in a minute). Memory has gotten worse the last month-odd.Skin has broken out and stayed bad past 2 1/2 weeks. Sleep is still spotty. Am able to keep the house decently clean, huzzah! and able to walk the dogs/play with them every so often.

Treatment: my naturopath has me taking Samento (aka Cat’s Claw). I have been on it 10 days and right from the start, this stuff is POWERFUL. you start at one drop a day, for 3 days. then 2 drops a day for 3 days and so on til you get to 30 drops a day. I wasn’t too concerned about it, totally do-able.  But this stuff hit me hard about 2 hrs after taking it – made me feel like I had the flu, all achy and tired and stuck on the couch. Yesterday I called my dr, and I’m stopping taking it for a week. Should take that long for the reaction to go away. Then i’ll start it up again and take it for a few days (3 drops a day), and hope the reaction doesn’t come back. if it does, I’ll have to take something else to kill the infection. A list of everything I’m currently taking will be at the end of this post.

Migraines: Except for last night when it hit a 9, they haven’t reached an 8 in a few weeks. When they do get severe, they don’t typically last longer than a few hours. Still pain daily that tends to stay around a 6. Gets worse in evenings/weekends (poor OH!). Still get worse when in a busy/loud/bright environment.

(sorry the picture is blurry but to give you an idea.. 8 =intense, pain is severe. talking and listening are difficult. 6= distressing. think about pain all the time. give up many activities because of it)

letter to the weary

Digestion: Hasn’t been that great lately. It does better when I stay away from heavy foods (aka bread!) and of course, any of my allergens. (gluten, dairy, eggs, beef, cranberries, sugar)

TMJ:  Is in direct proportion to pain level of migraines. Hasn’t been popping as much lately although I have started clenching my jaw during the day as well, causing teeth and jaw to ache frequently.

Mood: Has stayed good, even after going off of chinese herbs for it (cannot remember the name right now). Sometimes i get very irritated/angry for the dumbest thing (past what is normal for me). So, still some room for improvement.

Brain fog/Memory: has gotten worse this past month. Struggling to remember names/titles/things I’ve always known. Not able to focus for very long (example: can watch a tv show but movies are too long) Haven’t been able to get my brain to ‘work’ so haven’t written very much on novel.

Sleep: Have to take either a melatonin or Theanine every night in order to sleep. Do have to rotate them every few nights for them to work. Wake up at least twice in the night. When on Samento, was taking naps that were a few hrs long most days.

Daily Vitamins/Pills

Prescription: Clonidine. Averaging 2 a day.

Magnesium. Calcium. D3. Olive Leaf Extract. Basic B Complex. Fish oil. = 1 a day

Ribofalvin, 2 a day. Evening Primrose Oil, 3 a day.

2 weeks every month – 1 each – Horse Chestnut Extract and Chaste Tree Berry

Have gone off of Cordyceps to see if energy drops.

There you have it. The fact that I am vastly better than maybe 3 months ago is encouraging but pain is still a daily, severe fact of life in this household. I want to go through a list of Lyme symptoms and share them with you soon, as some of them I never realized were symptoms and not just something that my body did. Who knows, if I had told my doctor about them 10 years ago, maybe we would have been able to diagnose this and i wouldn’t have progressed to this point.

Thanks for stopping by and getting all the way through this post!

*I promise, promise, promise, LOTR review will get up by the end of the month!*

~Laura

Book Review – May 2016

1 Jun

Happy June 1st! May was an interesting month – doctor visits, a wedding, tons of birthdays and my parents came for a visit! I also wrote a LOT more than I have in the past few months so I am proud of that and am planning on keeping the momentum up! My first draft is getting closer to being finished! eeek! I’m so very excited.

bkrvwmay2016 Because of the excess writing, I haven’t been here on SGL as much and I’m sorry! I’ve missed it but if I hope to get published….. priorities! It’s also why I haven’t read as many books as normal either, I’ve started taking my book (mainly the 10-lb Tolkien one) to bed with me and reading until I just can’t stay awake any longer!!

To Be a Jew – by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – Donin did what no one else had at the time, he put together a book, simply stated, on how to daily live the Jewish life. Including the blessings to be read, why certain things are done etc, it’s a stand-alone book to guide you in following the Torah.

~I Finally finished this book! It’s absurd how long it took me to get through it, especially as it’s  easily understandable. I do plan on reading it again, and it is one of the main books we pull out when we have a question on specific blessings, or what the traditions for a festvial are. A must have in your Jewish library.

The English Garden – Gail Gaymer Martin, Diann Mills,  Jill Stengl and Kathleen Y’barbo  – In these four short stories, we see how the garden can hold the key to peace, quiet and sometimes even love.

~A Woman of Valor – Marston Hall was to be Helen’s new home in 1631. She was to take care of three children who would test every bit of patience she had. But she found that being around the horseman unsettled her every bit as much as the children did. Will time in the garden help each see the beauty in each other?

~Apple of His Eye -Sarah’s only escape from social demands is the Victorian garden behind her parents’ home. But when she meets and falls in love with the orchard keeper, more than the flowers keep her coming back. How will these two find a future together ?

~A Flower Amidst the Ashes – During World War 2,Corporal Margaret Walker meets a handsome Royal Air Force pilot who slips past her defenses with beautiful drawings of gardens. Will she allow love to grow when she’s already lost so much?

~Robyn’s Garden – Robyn regularly has a group of disabled children over to learn about nature as they help tend the garden. But then a handsome American arrives, and takes something she can’t afford to lose. Will she be able to learn the hard lesson of trust, before it’s too late?

~These stories are well-written and heartwarming. As usual, I wold love them to be longer and more in depth. The first one is probably my favorite, perhaps because of my experience with working with children. It’s also fun that they progress through time, starting in 1631 and ending in modern times. 

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge – Your heart matters! It has gotten pushed aside and wounded through the years, but the longings of being in a great adventure, being the Beauty in a tale and part of a wonderful romance, were all put there by God. He is the Hero our hearts are longing for and will help us be the woman we long to be – a woman that is captivating.

~I read this right out of high school with a group of friends and learned so much from it. It’s only taken me YEARS to pick it up again but it’s fun to see the same things standing out to me and hitting home as I’m in a completely different place in life. I highly recommend this for any woman!

Lights of the Veil by Patty Metzer – Mere hours after meeting her nephew, her late sister’s son, both Erica and Betul are kidnapped and taken to India. Back in the place of her birth, Erica meets Prince Ajari who helps her, and then tells her he is Betul’s uncle. Desperate to not let Betul be taught to be Hindi, but raised in faith of Christ, as her sister wanted, Erica is caught between the charisma of Prince Ajari and keeping Betul safe. Will the light of Christ pierce the blackness, and free both Erica and the Prince?

~This is an absolute favorite of mine! I know for sure that I’ve reviewed it here before but one can never get enough of this novel! I am currently halfway through it – which means I want to read it all the time to get to the end but I don’t want to get to the end!! It’s a real problem folks. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery – I reviewed this HERE, check it out!!

The Two Towers book 2 of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war with Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor.

Return of the King– book 3 of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin have met the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their journey into Mordor

~Okay, if you’ve read, or know anything about this series you know this is the shortest synopsis of each book. But, I am planning on reviewing the series as a whole once I finish Return of the King. So, this is only to whet your appetite! 

What are you reading lately?

~Laura 

Book Review – The Little Prince

22 May

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.

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Synopsis:

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!”

“What!”

“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…”

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(image from google)

Review:

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,

Laura

Series Review – Rocky Mtn. Memories

13 May

Hello readers!

It’s been fun going through my shelves and deciding what series to read next to share with you guys! Trust me, I’ve got several series just begging to be shared here!

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As with most Lori Wick books, I grew up reading this series and will admit that the first one is still my favorite. It just might be my favorite of all her books, honestly. I also had a few ‘writer aha’s ‘ while reading this series this time around – you don’t have to write a complex story ( i’m looking at you Tolkien) and move your story along with the dialogue. These are pretty basic writing things here of course but I tend to get so focused on the one conversation that I don’t look ahead and tie in what I want to happen, in the conversation. And, when reading Tolkien, it’s been easy to compare the complexities of Middle Earth with my little universe, but it’s ok! Wick is a hugely popular author who’s been getting published since 1989 (!! for more info on her, check it out!). Just imagine that. 27 years! I’m in awe now that I looked it up.

Ahem.

Anyway, let’s get to it, shall we?

Where The Wild Rose Blooms – book 1 – Clayton Taggart loves his home in the high mountains of Colorado where he mines with his father.  But he dreams of one day becoming a teacher and getting out of the dark, dangerous mines. When he meets Jackie Fontaine, a beautiful, strong-willed beauty from the east, he only wants to tease her. But as time passes, they fall for each other.  Then an accident happens and Jackie keeps it a secret from Clay – will she be able to move past her fear and let Clay back in?

 

~ Sigh. This is a tender romance full of faith in love and Christ. I have loved the name Clayton ever since I first read this book and am in the sloooow process of convincing my OH that we should name our (very) future son that. =) 

 

Whispers of Moonlight- book 2 – Rebecca runs away after rumors reach her ears that her husband only married her for her father’s ranch. She’s confused and hurt but can’t believe Travis could love her. She starts a new life for herself but struggles through each tiring day.   Travis can’t believe Rebecca would leave him, hadn’t they had a good marriage, short though it was? His anger carries him for years but then his whole outlook changes and he starts praying for his wife. When she contacts him, he sets off to find her and bring her home.      Rebecca finds herself back at the ranch with Travis but he’s changed since she left and she struggles to make sense of everything that happened. Can she really let go of her fear and pride and let him love her?

~Ah! This book. This. Book. 

To Know Her by Name – book 3 – Mckay Harrington isn’t sure what to make of the woman taking care of him up in the Colorado hills. He’d tracked and killed an outlaw, but in the process he’d gotten shot as well. Now he was laid up with only this mysterious woman. When he’s finally healed enough to get back to work, he’s sure he’ll never see her again. But an unexpected encounter leads to intrigue, faith and love.

~I love reading about women who push the boundaries of what is expected/allowed, mainly in western days! 

I enjoy how each one of these books focus on  different aspects of faith – forgiveness, letting go of pride and fear and relying on Him. It even prompted a good conversation with my OH. And if a christian romance novel sparks theological discussion, it’s a keeper in my book.

These can be read separately but  you do get to see the previous characters in the next books, which is always fun. I highly recommend this series, it is delightful and honestly, I got through each book in two or three days probably, I just couldn’t put them down!

*there was no slight meant on Tolkien, I am amazed at his writing skill. I mean, it’s hard to put down The Two Towers! My revelation is that I DON’T have to write like that, which is good, because if I did, I’d give up now. *

*you might notice that I had to get book number 2 from the library! I couldn’t believe it when I realized I only had 1 and 3!!*

*UPDATE: This series has 4 books! I can’t believe I forgot that! From what I remember when I read it years ago it is just as enjoyable as the other 3! It’s called Promise me Tomorrow. 

Book Review – My Little Night Light

5 May

I have a slight obsession with children’s books. I will get completely side tracked when I see a picture book….and then get so absorbed in it that I lose whoever I was with. Which equals lots of time looking for them again. Like I said, only a slight obsession.

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I am decently picky about what ones I love though. The pictures have to fit into one of the few categories I enjoy. The story has to make sense, be interesting enough for me to want to read a few hundred times, and/or rhyme.

My Little Night Light is a rhyming picture book that encourages kids to not be scared of the dark.

I am excited to say that this book is SO CUTE.  Here are the things I love about it:

  • reads well out loud for those multiple bedtime readings
  • is a good length for bedtime  – you know those books that are essentially novels that your little sweetheart wants you to read? this isn’t that. you’ll actually smile and agree when they ask for this one!
  • There are verses before and after the story, memory verse time anyone??
  • There is a page of vocabulary words at the end, for those awesome words throughout  that your little one might not know , like ‘ knight’ ‘looming’ ‘bloom’ and ‘dusk’
  • The pictures are simple, and if it doesn’t sound strange to say, calming. They remind me a little bit of the pictures in ‘good-night moon’.

 

You can get your own copy, on kindle or paperback,  here on Amazon. You won’t be disappointed!

Keep up with Felecia on twitter, instagram and facebook. I received this book for free from Felecia in exchange for my personal review.

~Laura

Book Review – April 2016

3 May

This post has been sitting in ‘drafts’ for about 3 weeks now… leave it to me to wait until past the last minute to get it finished and published!

I didn’t read near as much this past month, having finally hit a writing streak, I was here at my desk scribbling as fast as I could instead of reading. But, because of that, I’m feeling a little more confident that I’ll actually finish the first draft by my deadline! woohoo! bkrvwapril2016

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi – As rumblings of a Revolution spread, the same is taking place in the Emerson house. Jemima can’t stand that her tutor is a known Tory, a man who opposes American freedom. She doesn’t understand her parents friendship with him, and does all she can to defy him. But when the revolution starts in earnest and her whole family does whatever they can, she finds out that there is more to her tutor than she ever thought possible.

~As is often the case with a favorite book of mine, this came from a friend, let’s call her V😉 . It’s always SO exciting when she sends me books. I enjoy this one for several reasons, I’ve read very few American Revolution stories ; while Jem is growing up it encourages you to think about your own behavior/motives; it’s a story full of adventure, faith, romance and standing up for what you think is right. It is a young adult novel so it can be fully enjoyed from young teens on up.

Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann – Rese Barrett had one last renovation job planned – turning the old villa into a bed and breakfast. Lance Michelli was on a mission for his grandmother, finding the secrets of the old place that calls to him. Before long though, love  intervenes and makes their plans a whole lot more complicated.

~I completely forgot that this is the first of a trilogy. It ends pretty satisfactorily to read it on its own, which is always nice. I get frustrated when the author leaves it hanging so open ended that you lose some of the enjoyment of it. You probably know by now that I’m a sucker for books that include food and old houses (Chateau of Echoes, anyone?)  and Heitzmann does it splendidly. The frittatas, crepes and lasagna that Lance creates, makes me want to forget about my food allergies…. 

 

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (book 2 of Lord of the Rings) – Danger has followed the Company ever since they set out.  Gandalf and Boromir have been lost. Frodo and Sam are on their own as they keep on their journey to Mount Doom. Sauron’s power grows stronger as the days pass, spreading evil across Middle Earth.

~You will receive a series review when I’m done with this trilogy but i’m moving through it slowly for one reason : It’s such a gorgeous book I won’t read it while I’m eating. And let’s face it, that’s when I do most of my reading. Sigh. It’s a fantastic story and right now they are under attack in Helm’s Deep. Aaauuugghhhhh

I am even crazier about The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800’s than I was when I got it. I am pulling it out frequently while working on my novel.

I am still, oh so slowly, getting through To be a Jew. It is well worth the read though!

On my to-read-next list:

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

You Can’t go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe (I started it end of March but it’s been abandoned ever since)

 

And now, I do believe it’s time for a nap. And after that, I’ve gotta get to writing my novel! I’d planned on it this morning but puppy was feeling the need for attention.

Oh! Check in for a children’s book review  coming soon!

~Laura

What have you been reading lately??

 

Our Weekend in Bend

18 Apr leaving the dog park

 

The OH, the puppies and I headed home for a short weekend full of fun. Which, in most cases, means lots of hanging out with awesome friends and family and lots of NOT sleeping!  We got home mid-Saturday and sleptsleptslept most of the next day and a half away. Much needed, wonderful sleep – but it doesn’t leave you feeling very productive! All well, trips home to Bend are always worth it.

We started off the fun with going out to a fun lunch with my parents and OH’s mom. Then OH did his thing while my parents and I visited my almost-11-years-old nephew who fell from a tree and broke both his wrists! Poor kid! It was good to see that he was all right, even though it broke my heart to see him laid up like that. He’s a trooper though being so inactive for the next several weeks is what’s going to be the hardest I think!

20160414_185838

Out for our Anniversary!

Then my parents were simply awesome and watched the dogs for us while we went out to Greg’s Grill to celebrate our anniversary.  (why does he always look good in photos? I mean, seriously. it’s just not fair) Then it was off to our friends’ house where we were staying. The dogs are getting to know their house rules and simply looove wandering their property.

Friday morning mom came and got me and the dogs (OH once again had his own thing planned) and we went to the dog park. Due to the extremely high tailgate and Lady’s propensity to be scared (i’m not kidding) mom and I had to lift her into the truck the first time! We were glad of the weight that she’s recently lost! Then we got to just enjoy being out at mom and dad’s, getting to see some more family and then off to dinner with some friends/parents (which, once again, meant my parents were amazing and watched the dogs) then some more fun, food, laughter and heart-to-heart talks with our friends. I got the girl time I was needing there, let me tell you! It is such a blessing to have those three sisters as friends.

Saturday morning meant a walk around their property and the meeting of a new friend! Last time we stayed there, Abby was too scared to get that close to the horse so I was glad to see she went straight up and immediately cowered, hehe. At least she’s smart enough! She did get a good lick in through the fence onto his nose though so I think they are friends for life.

The mountains were stunning , as usual, and I’m sad my photo didn’t turn out! I miss seeing that majestic beauty every day.

And now, back to real life – which for today means shopping for puppy food and toys, taking Lady to the vet to have her teeth checked out and hopefully getting some writing time in.

Happy Monday and  I hope you noticed that there are only 3 photos from the WHOLE weekend that do not include the dogs…… my priorities are apparently where they should be. HA!

~Laura

 

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