November 2018 Goals

5 Nov

Happy second week of November, readers. I’m okay with what I got accomplished last month – even if it wasn’t everything on my list. With prepping for Nanowrimo, fighting stomach issues and strong chronic fatigue, a trip to Bend and trying to get out with Abby every day, I feel just fine about what I accomplished.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in checking off items on a list, but it’s always important to slow down and take a walk around the neighborhood. (Which is why I like to write ‘walk’ on my list, heh).

 

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography

Try a new recipe: I am still cooking from  Against All Grain cookbooks. I made Carne Asada burrito Bowls the other night (here’s a recipe inspired by AAG, to give you an idea)

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I’ve been slowly working my way through Constantine’s Sword

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I have plotted out a bit more and have even started (barely) the new first scene!!

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have now lost 6.4 lbs since I started getting more intentional in August. I have – reluctantly – added starch and corn back into my diet but I’m trying to keep it to a minimum.

Post Regularly -3 out of my 4 posts planned isn’t too bad.

 

October’s Goals:

Sketch out new scenes on ‘Amelia’

Make progress on crocheted doll dress – (buzzer sound) I got so stuck on this project that I put it away until at least January.

Crochet rag rug for laundry room

Complete Joann’s Crochet along – I’m so close to finishing this

Stain clean living room rug – nope nope nope

Clean Subaru –  I cleaned the windows and wiped it all down, now to get to vacuuming it

 

November’s Goals:

Best effort on NANOWRIMO

Complete Joann’s Crochet Along

Vacuum Subaru

Clean Floor Vents

A few Secret goals =)

 

Because of Nanowrimo (find out what it is here) I’m not having too many goals this month. I REALLY want to get a ton of writing done on ‘Amelia’. Also, if you’re doing nano, I’m ‘dreamingagain’ on the website!

~Laura

What are your goals for November?

October 2018 Book Reviews

1 Nov

It’s already time for the monthly book reviews! I will admit that these are always the posts that I enjoy writing the most. I am such a book nerd, folks. SUCH a book nerd. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out the best (read : least-shocking) way to tell my OH that I want to bring my collection of old books out of storage. My collection is, at minimum, 5 boxes of classics mostly printed in the early 1900’s and quite a few from the 1800’s. They’ve been in storage too long, my book-heart says. They need to come out to live in my office.

That’s not why you’re here though, is it? On to the reviews!

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Undetected by Dee Henderson – Mark Bishop is commander of the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, a job that he loves despite the responsibility that comes with it. The dangers abound under the waters, though Gina Grey is doing her best to diminish them. Ocean science research is about to get a breakthrough with her newest findings, but it’s one that, in the wrong hands, could open the U.S. to more dangers than ever before.

~ As usual, I did enjoy this novel by Henderson. But… I wasn’t completely in love with it like I normally am. There was too much repetition in some of the areas about both Mark and Gina. It was interesting reading about ocean science research – first for a novel for me! And I did overall like both of the main characters. All in all, a good novel to read by Henderson, but a bit bogged down for me to fall in love with.

Threads of Suspicion -Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2 by Dee Henderson – As part of the newly appointed Missing Persons Task Force, Evie is feeling eager to get started, just like the rest of the governor-appointed team. They’ll need to get solid resolutions to their cold cases, but as Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, dig deeper into their individual cases, the going gets slow. She is looking for a missing college student, and he’s searching for a missing private investigator – two cases that are completely unrelated. Or are they?

~ be still my heart- I’m now eagerly awaiting the next book in this series that I’m really hoping is in the works! I like Evie so much and as well as the characters that you see again (one example: Ann Silver) and the new characters! Sigh. Henderson shines in this series of cold case investigations. If you enjoy who-dun-it’s with a splash of faith and romance, check this series out!

The Eye of the World – Wheel of Time Series #1 by Robert Jordan – When memories become legend that turn to myth that then turn to something long forgotten, the Third Age is on the brink of destruction. The Shadow is covering all, and only a few know the Prophecies to try and fight it.

~My brother recommended this series to me, since I like Brandon Sanderson’s style so much. I was nervous as this is a hefty book (@800 pages) and the series is 14 books long (!!). I quickly got into the story though, it does remind me a bit of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in ways. Trollocs look like Orcs in my mind’s eye, Fades look like the Ringwraiths and so on – but I think it’s helping me follow the story better. Keeping track of all the different story lines is the biggest thing with this series I think! Highly recommend if you enjoy Tolkien! 

Shadowfell Series Review here just in case you missed it!

 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo (this is taking me ages to read but I’m absolutely enjoying it!)

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

Only the River Runs Free by Bodie Thoene

The Great Hunt – Wheel of Time Series #2 by Robert Jordan

 

To Read:

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

book #3 of the Jordan Series

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen

 

Series Review – Shadowfell

24 Oct

As promised, a review on a new favorite series of mine! I’ve read it twice now and it’s set onto my must-own-one-day-soon list. Juliet Marillier has written twenty (!) historical fantasy novels and has won many awards. If you’ve been following SGL for any length of time, you know that Wildwood Dancing is one of my all-time favorite novels. When I first found this at the library, I was interested but nervous as my experience with fantasy was still limited to Brandon Sanderson. But, almost immediately, I was sucked into this story and never wanted to put the books down! It’s a three book series and at the end of it, you want it to continue! I really enjoyed Marillier’s descriptions of the world of Alban – the different regions/topography. But, on to a synopsis of the series!

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Photo by Niilo Isotalo on Unsplash

Shadowfell:

Left on her own at sixteen, Neryn must put to use her knowledge of keeping hidden as she evades the king’s soldiers that are hunting her down. In the kingdom of Alban, anyone with canny skills is considered an enemy, and treated accordingly. Her ability to see the Good Folk – the wee fairy-like creatures behind that rock or in that tree – is something she’s always striven to ignore, knowing exactly what the consequences are for her ‘gift’.  After being rescued from certain death by the mysterious Flint, Neryn decides to set off for a place that she’s only heard of. Shadowfell. The only place left in all of Alban that is free of the evil of King Keldec – the only place that is planning on overthrowing him. Her journey is dangerous and her helpers are the Good Folk and Flint who tell her that she is the only one who can save Alban.

Raven Flight: 

Having reached Shadowfell, Neryn can finally rest. But too soon she learns that she must leave her new rebel friends and seek out each of the four Guardians to learn how to be a Caller. To learn how to use her canny gift to call the Good Folk to help them in their battle against Keldec. To do this is to risk compromising herself and the cause but remaining at Shadowfell is impossible because her skill will mean the failure or success of their venture. Her path will take her to the four corners of Alban, far away from Flint. Her companion is the warrior Tali, whose main allegiance is to the cause.

The Caller: 

Having journeyed to the mountains of the north and the isles of the west, Neryn has learned of water and of earth, but now she has to continue her training to learn of Air from the White Lady in the freezing winter. But when the White Lady isn’t what Neryn expected, plans must change and Neryn has to make a tough decision. Stay where it’s safe, or do what she knows she must. When another threat looms against the rebellion, she must enter into Keldec’s court and watch every step, for one wrong move will mean her death – as well as the death of the rebellion. She has to make it to the moment that she’s been training for, standing up against a stronger enemy than she ever imagined.

I tried not to give too much away ( I absolutely hate it when I learn too much about a series before even reading the first book, it makes me not want to read it at all. Anyone else have that reaction?), but to give enough info so that it intrigues you and makes you want to read it. Really, you should. Even if you’re not much into fantasy fiction. The romances are so lovely and sweet, although there is a bit of delicate sexual content in them. Marillier  wrote it well and mild but I do like to share with you that it’s there so you’re aware of it if you’re going to share it with a young reader – pre-read it first so you know if it’s appropriate!

I so appreciate the moral lessons woven through each of the books and the adventures that Neryn and her band of friends (fey and human) are so engrossing. I HIGHLY recommend this series!

~Laura

 

 

~ While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers. ~

 

Health Update Sept/Oct 2018

16 Oct

Well, folks, over a week ago I was thinking about the little improvements that have been happening and realized how nice it was to be able to see them! And then, if you saw my FB or IG posts, you know that last tuesday I crashed and burned harder than I have in months. OY, but isn’t that how it goes? It doesn’t take away (fully) from the improvements but it takes away some of the optimism. I do want to look at where I was at this time last year though to maybe get some of that optimism back…hopefully. So let’s get to it!

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Overall Health:  Flaring severity has decreased. Brain fog has eased. Fibromyalgia has increased. I’m still exhausted and completely tired of fighting for my health. I’m READY to move on to the next thing in my life to focus on – like becoming a published author maybe?

After a blood test last month, we learned that : my LDL’s are high, my adiponectin is high (dr wrote ‘fat burn’ next to it =) ), Omega-3s are low and that I most likely have SIBO. My doctor has thought that before but with the results of this test, we’ve decided to work on treating it.

I’ve started Resveratrol (2/day),  Bearberry (1/day), increased Iberogast to 14 drops/day.

Aug  16. Started DIM Detox, 1/day today only? Feel pretty good, tired. Napped. Worked on book! Low migraine late am. Fibropain shoulders down, minimal in wrists and hands. 
Aug 17- bodywork appt am. Migraine and fibromyalgia flared pretty badly in evening
Aug 20- energy in am, minimal pain until early afternoon. Migraine and fibromyalgia flared pretty bad in evening, as has been usual.
Aug 24- fatigue has eased and flaring in the evening has calmed down as well. Still some brain fog, fibromyalgia in joints/just all around aching that’s pretty painful and distracting. increased Iberogast to 14 drops/day last week. Am increasing liver, seeing if it helps with fatigue. 
THESE  above are ALL Sept dates!!!
Sept 28- migraine flared in evening with fibro                                                                             Oct 1- Increased Noni Fruit 3/day                                                                                                  Oct 2nd- decent fatigue all day went errand running and to the dog park. Fatigue kicked up late afternoon along with migraine. Fibro flaring later evening, especially in right hand. Day 17
Oct 4- fibro flaring last few days. Migraine  kicking up off and on all day. Back pain is pretty constant for a few weeks now. started resveratrol 1/day
Oct 5&6 upset stomach all day. Fatigue but still able to get up and do things. Brain fog gone
Oct 9 vision loss in am, avoided severe migraine. Slept most of the day, fatigue/recovery from the morning. Awful

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Migraine: These have been both marginally better, and much worse. — While I have had a slight decrease in severity some days, I also had a visual aura this past week so I feel like it evens out in the end.

Sleep: my doctor had me start taking 5Htp to help with my sleep (among other things) and it did help – a lot – I was waking less during the night, sleeping longer and feeling a wee bit more rested. The problem was that it was causing nightmares and messing up my stomach a lot. I have since gone off of it because the stomach stuff was just too rough. So, I’m back to seven hours tops of sleep with multiple wakings. With frequently needing an ice pack or heating pad.

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Memory/Brain fog: The answer is the same as last month – Neuroflam. It is a lifesaver. Not that I’m clear of either memory problems or brain fog but they aren’t so …debilitating now.

Vision: As I said, I had one vision loss this week, although it didn’t progress fully it was the worst I’ve had since June/July. I was able to halt the full nuclear migraine that follows though.

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Getting some editing done

TMJ: While it still isn’t popping too much, I would say this has increased lately because it aches SO OFTEN and my teeth just hurt frequently.

Fatigue: This has either been calm enough that I’ve been able to do minimal things (light cleaning, dog park, slow walks,etc) off and on thru the day or it has just hit me hard that I’ve been stuck on the couch for days on end.

Fibromyalgia: Once again, the biggest pain the past month. Well, along with the fatigue. There’s just a constant burning, tingling, throbbing in my limbs anymore, as well as occasional cramping. The cramping had disappeared for a few weeks but now it’s back occasionally. The overall aching has been keeping me up later at night, unable to relax enough to get to sleep. I’m still on ice at least once each day, but it’s typically a pretty fair bit of swapping out ice packs. I have been using the Tens Unit on my legs this past week and it helps so much! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

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Weight Loss: YES! It’s not much but I’m pleased with any.

Mood: Thankfully this has evened out again!

~Laura

October 2018 Goals

4 Oct

Happy October, friends! I’ve decided to start these monthly goal posts up again – at least til the end of the year and then we’ll see what happens! I like having some goals set up for the whole of the month – and then to have them posted where I see them regularly helps a lot.

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Photo by Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash

 

Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography

Try a new recipe: I am still cooking a lot from  Against All Grain cookbooks. I just tried this mashed cauliflower breakfast bowl (with some changes).

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I’ve been slowly working my way through Constantine’s Sword

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I finished filling out the plot board for the updated version of Amelia’s story! I am SO excited to have made this headway.

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have lost a bit of weight (!!!)  For the past month (?) I’ve avoided corn and starch for the most part. Sugar remains to be a BIG no-no, as I’m reminded when I cheat and have some.

Post Regularly – not really?

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So because it’s been since June that I last did this, I’m just going to start fresh and move onto October’s goals:

Sketch out new scenes on ‘Amelia’

Make progress on crocheted doll dress

Crochet rag rug for laundry room

Complete Joann’s Crochet along

Stain clean living room rug

Clean Subaru

~Laura

Do you do a monthly goals list? 

Aug/Sept 2018 Book Reviews

29 Sep

Looking at July’s review, I realized that I ended up reading exactly what I had planned to on my to-read list! That doesn’t normally happen, so I’m a little pleased with myself. My list of books is rather short for two months but most of the novels I’ve been reading have been LONG. The Shadowfell series are about 400 pages each, and the Robert Jordan one I’m currently enjoying is about 700 pages. . . I like the extra story development that is allowed in these longer books though! I’m not sure I could ever write that in-depth though.

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Shadowfell series by Juliet Marillier – separate review coming in the next few weeks

Gifts of the Spirit by FFOZ – as of right now, I’m going to just direct you to First Fruits of Zion’s website that gives great info into this well-written and informative book about the gifts of the Spirit and different perspectives on them.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson -Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~The first time I read this, I wasn’t sure if I would read it again but I decided to give it another shot. (I’m a sucker for Sanderson apparently). The way he weaves together a story is just incredible. The political and personal struggles of the different characters is engrossing. You can read my original review here.

Unspoken by Dee Henderson – Almost twenty years later, Charlotte Graham still hasn’t spoken about her past. A past that includes her being the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago’s history. A past that includes such pain and fear that she’s never risked telling anyone. Can she finally take that risk?

~You might notice that another Henderson kick is beginning… This one is ‘connected’ with Full Disclosure and Taken. While there was a lot of detail about coins, I appreciated how much she researched it out – it didn’t take away from the novel for me. As usual, some of the faith struggles of the characters hit a bit too close to home for me – but that is one reason I appreciate Henderson’s books. She writes not only good fiction, she gives real-life faith struggles to her characters. I highly recommend this book!

 

Trouble in Store by Carol Cox – When her prime governess position is abruptly ended, Melanie Ross sees no other choice but to travel to Idaho to the mercantile her cousin left her in his will. But someone else feels he has the same rights to the store, and Caleb Nelson isn’t about to just step aside and give up his new life to her. He sees her as the newest obstacle to the new life he’s carving out for himself, and he’ll try just about anything to get rid of her.

~ I borrowed this book from a friend as it is by a new-to-me author that I just read a book of hers earlier this year – Truth be Told.  I like Cox’s easy-to-read style and how she actually made me dislike Melanie for a little bit! I was so put off by her actions at one point that I had to keep reading to see how Caleb dealt with her. Brilliant move on Cox’s part. Highly recommend as a relaxing, faith-focused novel.

Traces of Guilt – An Evie Blackwell Cold Case by Dee Henderson – Watch for a separate review of this series! (I know, I said that about the Shadowfell books too but bear with me, the wait will be worth it!) 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Irving Stone

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World  book 1 of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Undetected by Dee Henderson

 

To Read:

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (book 2)

Traces of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

~Laura

~What have you been reading lately? I’d absolutely love to hear about it and add them to my to-read list!

Writing Prompt: Hesitant Fate

20 Sep

Writing Prompt : Pick up the book closest to you. Turn to page 55. Use the second sentence on the page as your prompt for today

” The lower middle classes, and a substantial swath of the more prosperous, did not have the servants to permit them to lie in bed for weeks (or even days).” –This was my first quote option, from the book Inside the Victorian Home, but since I couldn’t come up with anything I grabbed another book for a different quote.

“She was curled up, drooping and asleep on a cushioned shelf built out from a curved window; and for a moment pity struck him and he hesitated.”

Who was he to change the fate of her life? What right did he have to do this thing to her? But what choice did he have? The fate of those he loved hung in the balance – and was there really any wondering who he would choose in this moment? This stranger or those whom his heart beat for? He hovered over her, taking in everything about her. He wanted to remember this last innocent moment, for they were few and far between these days. He knew that soon her dreams would be haunted, just as his were. He took a deep breath and pulled on his beard, decidedly putting away his doubts. He reached out and woke her. His heart ached at the sudden fear in her eyes.  “Don’t make a sound. Come with me.” Her breath caught in her throat as she took in his threatening appearance. Two sword hilts showing above his right shoulder. The dagger on his belt. The gauntlets covering his forearms. She nodded shakily and he silently thanked her for it. He had no stomach for forcefully threatening such an innocent. They stealthily made their way from room to room, his large hand clamped around her wrist.  Eventually they made it to the relative freedom of the courtyard and he paused in the shadows. Patrols were making their quarter-hour trek around the ground and he pulled the girl close, clamping his hand over her mouth. They stood in the shadows and waited while the oblivious men walked their way. After they had passed, he turned the girl and looked at her. Her eyes were big as she stared back at him, but she remained still. He raised an eyebrow, impressed despite himself. Somehow, he suddenly knew she wouldn’t risk the lives of the men simply to chance an escape. He moved his hand away, feeling oddly ashamed, and continued leading her out of the courtyard. Out of any hope of someone seeing them and rescuing her. Out of any chance of his plan failing. 

~Laura

 

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Health Update: Aug/Sept 2018

14 Sep

Happy Fall! (I know, I’m a bit early, but with the rainstorm we had yesterday and the leaves starting to fall, I feel like I can get away with it.) I am feeling like some of my brain fog is starting to lift a little bit again, so I’m going to aim to get this update written fully! Here we go: fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health:  Fatigue, fibromaylgia and back pain are my main struggles this past month odd. After getting my IV with glutathione mid-month in August, everything started calming back down. Which means I’m never going without it again if I have my way.  I have had an upset stomach frequently lately, even with being more strict on my diet.

July 31- a little less fatigue in the am and was able to rest early afternoon, able to get up again mid afternoon. Two clonidine. Upset stomach this evening, the same as a few evenings ago
Started stretching and doing light workouts on Aug 14th
Aug 15- brain fog and tiredness. Ran errands and did some cleaning though. Fibro kicked up in evening again
Aug 16- still decent fatigue but cleaned in am. No clonidine up till 11am
Aug 21 – IV day!
have noticed an increase in energy and some decrease in brain fog from the 24th to 28th. Fibromyalgia still flaring/cramping in feet especially. Jaw still very tender and frequent pain/throbbing/teeth aching. Migraines down some possibly. Trying to pay attention if fatigue increases when I take clonidine. Still some struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed, even at home.

Aug 28 – increased H2PLX to 4/day to see if it helps with fatigue

Aug 29- migraine in am, might be due to pain in neck since yesterday morning. More fatigue today, took 2+ hr nap. Feeling overwhelmed late afternoon. Did work on book a little though 

Sept 4- upset stomach this morning. Two clonidine. Fatigue some today but not awful. Teeth aching, jaw pain.

Sept 6 – started Andrographis

Sept 10- woke up tired but ok. Went to Rosh Hashanah service (almost 2 hrs). napped for 3 hrs. still tired and groggy. 

Sept 11- IV today. didn’t sleep well last night. Decently bad fatigue. did pushes of vitamins and glutathione

20180821_110158  Migraine: On a scale of 1 -10 (10  being debilitating/nuclear) these were an 8 daily, but lately I’ve been hanging out at a 6/7. They do still ratchet up to an 8 come the evenings but they’ve mostly been responding to clonidine and ice.  Speaking of ice…. I have been laying on ice packs/ having them draped over my head for the past 5 odd weeks – it has helped so much to help calm the pain some days.

Sleep:  As long as I’ve got an ice pack – or a heating pad- to lay on, either for my head or my back, I’ve been able to sleep. There have been a few times that I’ve had to move out to the couch. As well as a few times that I had to take melatonin but overall this has stayed good.

Memory/Brain Fog: All Hail Neuroflam!!! I love this product you guys – along with the glutathione, it helps so much in helping clear the fog away so I can think of something other than… well, trying to remember what I was doing or saying. Brain fog is the PITS.

Vision: I might have had one time of sparkles/black spots but I am not sure. And that’s amazing.

TMJ: While it still isn’t popping too much, I would say this has increased lately because it aches SO OFTEN and my teeth just hurt frequently.

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Felt well enough a few weekends ago to go on a 3 mile hike!

Fatigue: As I said, this is still a big struggle for me. I can be feeling halfway decent and then it feels like I get hit by a truck. The other day, while walking in Costco, I got so tired that I could barely remember how to walk. My body just stopped – and forcing it to move was like walking through waist deep mud. Augh.

Fibromyalgia: (how has this not been a category?!)  This is the BIGGEST struggle I’ve been having. Cramping. Aching. Tingling. Joint pain. Driving me crazy, basically. It’s gotten bad enough that I wasn’t able to do anything fine motor-wise a few evenings. Ice helps a lot when it’s in my hip/lower back. My ankles have been popping more when it’s flaring. The best description I can come up with is two levels: 1) it’s a low throb like when your foot falls asleep (before the insanely painful needles) but it’s my whole body. 2) it’s trying to claw it’s way out of my bones. Descriptive enough? Yeah. Fun times.

Weight Loss: I cut starch and corn out of my diet a week and half ago and have been able to lose a smidge of weight. I started working out again earlier this month but fibro and fatigue hit and I couldn’t continue. I’m hoping to start up again soon.

Mood: This has been an issue again, just ask my OH (no, please don’t, actually. I don’t want to know what he says about it.) I did run out of Xiao Chai Hu Tang (warning about this link – I have gotten them before and have been fine, but my doctor said that you have to be careful about where you get chinese herbs from because they can be high in arsenic. So I buy them from my doctor’s office. I shared the link with you because that’s as close to the same ingredients as what I get from my doctor) okay, now that’s out of the way — XCHT is THE thing to take for me for my mood. I know it does a lot of other great things but for me , 4/day is all it takes for me to be my even-keeled self and that is wonderful.

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vitals from before my latest IV

WHEW! It’s been a very rough time lately (which is why it’s been so quiet here on SGL) but I am hoping and praying that I’m entering into a bit of a break, where all my symptoms chill out again.

If you want, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

~Laura 

Book Review – Literary Yarns

24 Aug

You Guys. If you are crocheters you simply must check this book out! I got it from the library to see if it was something that I’d want in my (tiny yet growing) collection of crochet books and it IS. These patterns are easy to follow and turn out so cute. I’ll admit to only doing one of them so far but that’ll soon change!

 

She was a little nervous about coming on here today because she doesn’t have any flowers on her hat – or even a tiny ribbon! (the horrors). But I convinced her that you all would love her anyway.

The cork is purely for size reference – she’s learned her lesson about raspberry cordial. And she felt kind of silly showing the back of her dress and pinafore.

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The only thing that I did differently from the pattern was that I had to make the pinafore piece wider than it said to. I’m not sure if my little Anne is wider than she’s supposed to be (it’s all that reading and snacking), or what. The back of the pinafore straps are also supposed to cross over but mine weren’t long enough for that. All in all, I think she’s rather cute. I’d like thicker braids perhaps but she’s still cute.

Have you done any crochet amigurumi?

~Laura

July 2018 Book Reviews

10 Aug

It’s finally time for some book reviews! I have decided that I’m just going to share a few of the books I’ve read in the past three odd months (my last review post was April’s) If you want to see everything I’ve read since then, go check out my Goodreads page!

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Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson – Ann Silver, cop, passes off a case to Luke Falcon, FBI. She’s relieved to have it off her desk, as she’s also the Midwest Homicide Investigator. He’s just been handed vital information that ties to a case he’s been working for years. But soon their lives will collide, getting far more personal than either had anticipated.

~ Whooeeee. I’d read this book years before but didn’t remember much of it. I appreciated how different of a lead female character Anne was – her end goal wasn’t marriage and kids and the white picket fence. This book has so many layers to it that I was sucked in very quickly and stayed that way. It is an intense story, as you follow along on a John Doe case. Perhaps a bit too quick of a wrap-up at the end for me, but thankfully, it didn’t ruin the whole thing. (you know what I’m talking about). 

 

Taken by Dee Henderson – Shannon’s escape was planned to the last detail, as is her plan to capture the ones who kidnapped her -the Jacoby family. Her choosing Matthew Dane, private investigator, as the one who helps her gain her freedom, wasn’t an accident. But the task of finding all the evidence, and what happened to the ransom that was paid all those years ago, is going to be harder than she thought.

~you might be noticing a theme here…. I was really on a Henderson kick! I do recommend that you read Full Disclosure before Taken though. You don’t have to, but you get background on several of the supporting characters in Taken that is helpful. I started Taken, but kept wondering why I felt like I should already know some of the characters..so I got Full Disclosure from the library! That aside, I did enjoy this book. It is intense and a bit slow moving but it’s theme was different than I’d read before – taking place AFTER the kidnapping. I liked the faith of Shannon and her coming to terms with the events of her life. The romance was a little odd but it grew on me. 

 

How To Be a Friend To a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin – Everybody knows someone who is suffering. But how to act is often so confusing and stressful. Pogrebin shares, partly from her own experiences, what to do, what not to do and that sometimes, just being present is all that is needed.

~THANK YOU Letty, for writing such a great book on this subject. I admit that while I was excited to read this, I was a bit nervous as to what her take would be on this. But I learned so much from it, as someone who’s Sick and just as a friend of someone who’s Sick. I recommend this for sure, although, if my memory serves (I read it back in May), there were a few sections in her personal story that were a little off-color to me. (? I’m not sure how to word that properly…)

 

California Passage Series by Elaine Schulte – Follow the adventures of the Talbot family in the 1800’s as they travel to California via the different routes – covered wagon, around the Horn, through Panama.

~I have grown up reading this series of four books. I believe they were my great-aunt’s at one time. The journeys they go through are interesting to read about, especially in this modern age of convenient travel. This is definitely a christian romance series – faith is a strong theme throughout each of them. A fun historical romance read.

 

Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles #1) by Colin Meloy  – When twelve- year old Prue’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows, she’ll stop at nothing to rescue him. Even entering the Impassable Wilderness.

~I picked this up at a used bookstore because one of my friends’ loves it – but I was still hesitant about whether I would like it. It took me a few months to finally pick it up but I’m glad I did! Her statement of “It’s weird, but I love it” is a perfect review for it. It is a middle-grade fantasy series

 

Uncommon Heroes Series by Dee Henderson – you can find my review here and here. I probably hadn’t read them since 2014, so it was fun to fall in love with this series again. Highly recommend.

 

The Finding of Jasper Holt by Grace Livingston Hill – Jean Grayson and Jasper Holt’s lives were intertwined the night of the train crash. She knows that her heart will never belong to anyone else. He knows that her family will forbid them to be together, so he makes her a promise that he will prove his virtue to all who keep them apart.

~I received this book from my aunt (along with a few other Hill books) and absolutely loved it. I read it in two days- and that’s because I made myself put it down and accomplish life things. Like eating. And sleeping. It was a sweet, heartfelt western romance with great imagery and life lessons. Does that sound cheesy? It wasn’t.  I never was sure what year it was set in but I quickly decided to quit trying to figure it out and just enjoy it. Lovely book. Highly recommend.

 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Gifts of the Spirit by Fruits of the Zion

 

To Read:

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (new author for me!)

The Shadowfell Trilogy by Juliet Marrillier

 

~Laura

Beneath the Raindrops

a journey within a state of grace

Life with Kaysie

Encourage, Motivate, Inspire! Living with Purpose!

Blissful Scribbles

Musings through the journey of writing my first novel

AlwaysShawna

CHRONICALLY BLESSED

Me Set Free

If Christ has set us free, why do we keep on picking up those chains