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

Health Update: May/June/July 2018

31 Jul

I am going to admit something to you right away – I’m starting this but have no idea when it’ll get finished and posted! With my OH’s graduation and party on Sunday, my parents coming into town today and donation boxes/a dog park run to do before they get here, I’m just not sure how much of this I’ll actually get written today. But, “Well begun is half done”.

**Update: It’s now July 30th and I am just now getting back to this post! The party has been thrown (along with a second one beginning of this month) the parents have come and gone, along with another couple of guests, many dog park runs have occurred and I’m woefully behind on so much that I’ve intended to do. But, this is step one in getting back on track!

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Overall Health: I have been a bit better this month. Fatigue has still been a major problem. My back seized up early one morning and it took almost two weeks before it stopped hurting. I’ve seen some improvement in my every-few-weeks flaring, which has been such a relief.

May 14 saw bodywork Dr. Worked on whole left side. 
May 15 saw main Dr. Going to start neuroflam. Also went major grocery shopping today. Was worn out in afternoon, dehydrated, some brain fog. Took detox bath in evening, wiped me out.
May 16- woke up with severe fatigue. Slept again until noon. Joints achy and a 7 migraine. Fatigue isn’t so severe this afternoon.
May 18- a better day. Was able to do some light cleaning, cooking, etc. Migraine didn’t hit till later afternoon and then harder in evening. First evening in at least a week that my hip hasn’t hurt and my calf hurts half as bad.  Fatigue isn’t near as bad but still underlying.
May 20- monthly started. Hungrier than normal. Not much fatigue. Went to the beach for the morning. Severe migraine early afternoon partly from lack of food. Some cramping/tingling in feet, calves and hands
May 23- took Abby to the park, went to get my hair cut and to two stores.. Worn out and a migraine trying to come in evening. Hip didn’t hurt though! 
May 24- woke up early with bad migraine and very hungry. Had a snack and slept again. Migraine was still bad when I woke up, but early afternoon it has eased some. Strong fatigue today. 
May 25- woke up feeling better enough that I drove to Eugene in the afternoon. Hit with 8 migraine in the evening, and Soo hungry but ice, clonidine and food kept it from increasing. Took a short nap around 8pm. 
May 30 – fibropain flaring all week. In hands especially tonight, maybe because I worked in yard this am. Migraine flaring up to an 8 but then stopping. Fatigue hit hard yesterday, easing off today. 
–have been ‘seeing’ things in the corner of my eye. A bit of heart pounding. Fingers hurting/have to focus to straighten all the way. 
June 3- severe migraine out of the blue in evening. Vision gone in left eye.  Debilitating. Day 15. 
June 4- recovery day and keeping the pain down. 
June 5 – fighting migraine down. Hit hard in evening. To a level 9. IV today, glutathione push.
June 6- pretty good today. Upset stomach in late am and late evening. Clonidine keeping migraine down. Some fibropain. 
June 11-fatigue hit hard all day. Migraine tried to flare throughout the day. Took 2 naps. June 13- decent fatigue but was able to get up and putter around the house as well. Took a long nap. detox bath in the evening.

Have been struggling with bad fatigue for a week and a half. One vision loss migraine. 
June 26th iron and nutrient IV. 
June 29- best I’ve felt in a long while. Energy, mental clarity, 
July 1- day 15, fatigue and some mood issues. Needed a nap in the afternoon. Fibropain pretty strong in joints in late evening. But such an improvement from this time last month
July 19- back feeling a little better in am. Took Abby to the park. Afternoon, fatigue hit hard. Fibro flared in evening. Slept on ice pack all night
July 20- back still hurting (a week and a half now) mainly on left side. Possible kidney moved down again?

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* I’ve been on the DIM Detox  since the end of May and I have slowly but steadily seen an improvement in my mid-month flaring like we were hoping! I did have to cut back to 1/day after increasing to 2/day and having a flare but it’s helping!!!

Migraine: These have slowly decreased from May to end of July. I haven’t had a ‘nuclear migraine’ (aka, vision loss/debilitating) since beginning of June. They are still daily, of course – finish?

Sleep: This hasn’t changed much other than, with the fatigue, I’m needing more naps. Not every day, thankfully, but a lot of times when I do nap, it’s a few hours before I wake up. Which then makes it hard to get to bed before midnight… I am glad that I still don’t need melatonin to get to sleep like I did for so long!

Memory/Brain Fog:  This was a big enough of a struggle that I started taking Neuroflam  (thankfully I can get it for about $30 cheaper than this amazon price). To experiment, I have been off of it for a few weeks…and I think it really was helping. OY. I was hoping to save that money but anything that helps with mental clarity is worth it. I’ve been so foggy that sitting down and writing (either on here or on my book) has been such a trial that I just haven’t done it. Sadly.

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It took at least half an hour to get the needle in to a good vein this time. Second try with the Iron push. Verdict? Doesn’t kick the fatigue.

Vision: Since the beginning of June, I haven’t had full vision loss but I have had some minor sparkles, spots or blurriness. I have been able to attribute them to exhaustion or hunger. When they have been tied to the oncoming of a severe migraine, I’ve been able to halt it from fully forming.

Fibromyalgia: Ahhh, joint aches. Self-cramping. Sporadic tingling. Pain that is trying to claw its way out of my body.  This has increased over the months and I’m thinking that it’s due to the fact that I’ve been having cane sugar occasionally. As well as starch. I am okay with never feeling the need to move just because the pain is so bad.

TMJ: This is one thing that has eased off and stayed down, mostly. My teeth will still ache and my jaw is almost always tender to the touch. It doesn’t pop too often.

Fatigue: This has been a doozy for a while now. My last two IV’s, we’ve gone without the glutathione and done Iron and nutrients but it’s not kicking the fatigue like the glutathione. OY.

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Weight Loss: I was doing good on this for about a month and then…I stopped working out and more lax on what I would eat. I’ve started working out again though so I’m hopeful I can start losing some again!

Mood: Overall, this has been good- even- calm. A few times a month (?) it goes more wacky than it normally would.

Bladder: since May, I haven’t had any other …strange behaviors in this quarter.

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I follow Aubrey on Instagram and just had to share this bit of humor.

If you want more frequent updates on my health journey – as well as Abby adventures, crochet projects and whatnot – follow me on Instagram!

*Disclaimer: I will say though, that I tend to share more…. real-life photos there than I do here. I only share a portion of them here on SGL. I have gotten some comments on my ‘death/zombie’ photos and such – if you don’t want to see pictures of someone in chronic, debilitating pain, I suggest you don’t follow me on IG. or Facebook, heh. I know it can be hard to see and read about, but this is my life and the life that so very many people are living. We didn’t ask for this. If you don’t like it, and there’s nothing wrong with that, please don’t make critical comments about our hard days – even if you mean them in jest. They still wound us. I appreciate each one of you that follows my blog, IG or Facebook. 

I caught Abby being a goof the other morning, here it is, just to make you smile,

24 Jul

I’m sharing this post – a Letter to Lyme Disease – that is especially fitting for me lately. I hope you’ll take the time to click over and read it as it speaks to what those of us with chronic pain go through emotionally as well as physically.

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“I’m getting very tired of having to lay on an ice pack all the time. It’s the main thing that has been keeping my migraine down these past weeks. But. It would be nice to not have to be switching them out all the time. I miss the softness of my pillows.”

~Laura

 

May Recap and June Goals 2018

1 Jun

I feel like I did pretty good on my goals this month considering how many days I spent stuck on the couch.  I do have several goals for this coming month,  but as a few of them are super easy/quick I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get most of them done!

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           (Abby’s first adventure to the beach! More pictures are on Instagram!)

Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I watched some of Gordon Buchanan’s Elephant Family and Me

Try a new recipe: I am still cooking a lot from  Against All Grain cookbooks. I did make these Stuffed Sweet Potatoes .

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I’ve started reading Gifts of the Spirit put out by First Fruits of Zion.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I finally picked up a tri-fold cardboard thing and have started putting together a plot board. I can tell already that it’s going to make such a difference.

Eat healthier/lose weight : I haven’t lost any weight, while being decently strict on eating…mostly

Post Regularly

Psalm 103:8

May’s Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic – every week I want to…

Crochet appliques for my aunt-  I’m having some difficulties with this project

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book – I’m getting so close to the end, it’s so good!

Visit Collett end of month 

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I really, truly did drive to and from Eugene this past weekend! I also sanded my Adirondack chair last week

~~~

June Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Transfer plant to Copper pot

Finish Adirondack Chair

Fix/Finish rag rug

Donate box of stuff

Plan Mike’s Graduation parties

 

~Laura

 

What are your goals for June?

Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

Health Update April/May 2018

8 May

Once again, I am so glad I do these updates! It helps so much in keeping track of where I’ve been – and where I am. While I have been frustrated lately on just how expensive all my treatment is – how come insurance just won’t cover lyme treatments?! – I have to admit that it is all worth it. Out of curiosity, I brought up last year’s update  and the difference is striking. I don’t take melatonin or theanine to sleep anymore – ever! While my fibromyalgia is still painful, I can crochet pretty much as long as I want and it doesn’t get to the point of making me cry/scream. I no longer have disassociation. I am able to keep up with housework better overall. The things that I started taking/increased are all some of my favorites now – St. John’s Wort, Butterbur/Petadolex, iron supplement, etc. I have decreased the ceanothus to once a week though because I react to it so strongly.

 

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Overall Health:  It’s a bit tricky to know how to summarize… The fatigue, fibro and migraines just seemed to hit and not want to ease for several weeks. Going to IV and bodywork didn’t help as much as they normally do. But the last few (?) weeks, I have noticed a bit of an improvement. Often, I see it in individual days rather than an increase over several days…

Mar 22- fatigue and migraine today. Crashing in evening with fibropain and migraine. Two or three clonidine. 
Seem to flare on days 15 and 22
Mar 24 – fuzzy brain and fatigue. Migraine hard to calm down throughout the day. 
April 4th – IV (push, not drip) yesterday. Woke up with a headache. Took 2 clonidine during the day to keep it down from a bad migraine. Felt pretty good otherwise. Had energy and ability to focus. Left calf tensed up quite a bit this evening – migraine flaring
April 5th – severe fatigue today. Migraine off and on. Hard time focusing. Left calf tight and foot tingling late evening. Three clonidine today
April 8th- a little fuzzy brained all weekend. Fatigue too. Some cramping. 
April 9- took one drop clonidine am. Mega fatigue hit late morning. Bad migraine early afternoon and most of rest of day. Started SAT.
April 13- increased SAT to 2/day. Some fatigue and migraine
April 16- bodywork Dr. 
April 17- calves cramping. Some fatigue. Nightmares
April 18- foggy brain and fatigue. Calves still cramping. Increased SAT to 3/day
Have mostly forgotten to take daily liver the past week. Haven’t noticed any difference? Fatigue has eased although it is still present. Brain fog is the same. Was busier this past week odd than have been in a while and have not CRASHED like I thought I would. Sensitive to smells and loud noises.
April 23rd- started Mineral complex again. Migraine off and on all day. Energy even though I’ve been tired and took two naps. Was a productive day.
April 24- was tired but not overwhelming. Took one nap, maybe two. Fibropain flaring in late evening, hip hurting too, going to bed a little early, hoping to sleep it away
April 26- fatigue hit today, even more so in the evening. Was hard to even eat dinner. Taking iron supplement didn’t help, like it normally does. Was also hungrier than normal. Front of neck has hurt a lot the past few days. Increase Mineral Complex to 2/day
April 28 – woke up feeling pretty good, fatigue eased. Front of neck still hurt but eased as day progressed. Took Abby to the park with start of migraine but eased by evening. Went to movie, took 3 clonidine before and during. Didn’t crash like I expected to afterward. 
April 29- woke up feeling even better today, still with some fatigue. No clonidine so far. April 30 – increase Complete Mineral Complex to 3/day.                                                           May 4th – start Molybdenum

Migraines: While I haven’t had any level 10’s (and just a few times of a hint of my vision going), these have been bad. And have often not responded to anything I do to get them down. And then other days, one clonidine is all I need. Very back and forth.

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Sleep: I am able to sleep longer than normal – up to 8 hours some nights! It’s been so nice. But. I have been waking up more often to use the bathroom.

Memory/Brain Fog: this has increased, frustratingly. Quite often, I won’t realize how bad it is until I leave the house.

Vision: Like I mentioned above, I had a few times of vision loss. But it was very minimal – the sparklers in my left eye that is the precursor to it, and then nothing else.

Fibromyalgia: This is just bad enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: The front of my neck has HURT so much these past weeks. Even going to the bodywork doctor didn’t help it like it normally does. My jaw isn’t popping quite as much but my teeth still ache frequently.

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Fatigue: This has eased….most days, thank goodness. I do think the H2PLX has helped a lot. I tried going off my iron supplement and while I didn’t think at first there was any difference, there was. (it got to the point that I’d fall asleep mid-project…or almost fall asleep in the checkout line at the grocery store.) I now am taking it most every day again.

Weight Loss: I have been able to lose a tiny bit!

Mood: This has calmed back down again and I am so very thankful for that.

Bladder: Ahhhh, this one. This one has me a bit baffled. All of a sudden last week, I was needing to use the bathroom about every 10 minutes. And I’d wake up about 5 times a night. GAH. I don’t know why either. Thankfully it’s calmed down but it’s still more…active than it should be.

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~ Check out It’s the Lyme Life – may 2017 and Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness (the start of a 4- part series) for more!

 

 

April Book Review 2018

4 May

As promised, April’s book reviews! I got a little excited while at the library one day and came home with a STACK of books of all different genres. It’s been fun bouncing around such different styles of writing these past few months. I have decided though, that I’ve got to stay away from the library for a few months at least to tackle my TBR list of books that I already own!

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby – Learn why God calls meat and dairy to be separated, hidden additives that contaminate food and practical ways to eat kosher.

~This was an easy-to-read book on eating kosher. I learned so much from it and it brought up many discussions between my OH and I about the topic. Definitely worth the read if you’re at all curious about the topic!

My Foolish Heart  (Deep Haven #4) by Susan May Warren – Unknown to her town, Isadora Presley is the voice behind Miss Foolish Heart, the talk show host guiding callers through finding  true love. When it seems that she’s falling in love with a caller, her ratings soar. What she doesn’t know is the the caller lives right next door, in the form of Caleb Knight. He has come to Deep Haven to start over after paying a steep price in Iraq. All he wants is to land the high school football coaching job and then he’ll reveal his disability. But he doesn’t count on moving in next door to a beautiful young woman. Desperate, he calls in to Miss Foolish Heart for advice.

~ As I have come to expect from Warren, this was a unique story line with endearing characters. It did take me a little bit to get fully into it though, as I felt there was so much longing for the past that it put me off. After a while, that eased and I just fell in love with Caleb, Issy and supporting characters.

The Shadow of Your Smile (Deep Haven #5) by Susan May Warren –  Noelle and Eli’s marriage is on the verge of divorce when an accident wipes Noelle’s memory of their life together. Not their life together, including their children and the tragedy that tore them apart. As she slowly finds her footing in this strange life that she’s built for herself, will their secrets tear them apart again or give them a second chance?

~Ahh, this one. What a heart-breaker. I’m learning that I have a hard time reading novels where the characters are struggling in their marriage. Aside from that, it was interesting how Warren wove the family’s restoration together after so much tragedy and ill-spoken words.

The Cozy Life : Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg – Learn how to slow down and enjoy each moment in every aspect of your life in this small treasure trove of inspiration and practical advice.

~This was a nice, easy read about Hygge – disconnecting from the fast-paced society (logging off social media, stepping off the rat race) and creating a life that we can enjoy and feel safe and content in. There’s even a 30 day challenge to Hygge.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – Adam Dunne’s life is perfect. Until his girlfriend doesn’t return from Barcelona. Until he receives her passport and a note “I’m Sorry – S”. He starts searching for her and ends up connecting her to a cruise ship called the Celebrate. And finds that another woman disappeared from the ship a year ago in eerily similar circumstances. To find out what happened, he has to make difficult decisions, do impossible things – like outsmart a predator on what seems like the perfect hunting grounds.

~You. Guys. Thrillers aren’t normally my thing. Well, if I do read them, they are Christian, aka ‘toned down’. But I’ve been following Howard online for years (hopefully that didn’t make me sound like a stalker…) I got this from the library and couldn’t. Put. It. Down. I read it in less than three days – all 368 pages of it. There was some cussing in it so beware if you decide to read it. The plot was incredible though. I was pretty much blindsided by the ending. Brilliant. I am still thinking about it, weeks later. If you enjoy a good thriller that will wake you up at night because the Killer just might be lurking in your bedroom, pick this one up.

As You Wish: Inconceivable tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – A first-person account of the making of the Cult Classic, this book is delightful. Elwes’ recounting of the whole process – from auditioning for the part of Wesley, to the 25th Reunion – will bring laughs, tears and add another level of enjoyment to watching Princess Bride

~Delightful. Absolutely Delightful. I am so glad I finally read this! If you’re a fan of Princess Bride, you have got to get your hands on a copy of this.

 

Currently Reading:

You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Taken by Dee Henderson

Gifts of the Spirit by First Fruits of Zion

 

To Read:

Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh by Irving Stone

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Whispers of the Moor series by Sarah Ladd

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

March Book Review – 2018

1 May

I know, you’re probably thinking, “Laura, you mean April’s book reviews, don’t you?”

No. No, I don’t. I read so many good books the past two months, I decided not to smoosh them into one long post. So later this week, a post will be up of what I read in April! With these two posts, I am hoping to jump back into blogging – at least once a week – regularly again. I have missed it and really want to keep up with it. Sometimes, these breaks are necessary, even if they are unplanned!

Also, remember, 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.

Let’s get to the books!

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

The BFG by Roald Dahl – When Sophie is carried off by a giant in the middle of the night, she isn’t sure what will become of her. She’s pretty sure she’ll be eaten by morning. And she would have been, if any of the other giants had snatched her – ones like The Bonecruncher or The Fleshlumpeater. But The BFG is not like them, he is kind and jumbly. So when she finds out what the other giants are doing, she comes up with a plan to stop them.

~ After thoroughly enjoying the movie, I knew I had to read this. I hadn’t read any of Roald Dahl before and had no clue how closely the movie had followed the book. When I found a copy at a second-hand bookstore, I snatched it up and read it right away. What a delight! It, of course, was different than the movie, but I simply loved it. The BFG himself is simply delightful and snozzcumbers are just as disgusting. I highly recommend this book!

 

Rose Daughter by Robin Mckinley- When Beauty joins the Beast in the castle, he tells her that the heart of the place is dying. And it’s true. So Beauty sets out to heal it, sure that that is the only reason that she’s there. Because growing roses is the only thing she’s good at. And the glasshouse is full of dying bushes – all prickly stems and brown leaves.

~I decided to pick this up again as I haven’t read it in years. Yes, Mckinley wrote two versions of Beauty and the Beast. The other one is Beauty , this one is a bit more…. fantasty (? I think that would be the word for it). It is still very enjoyable and fun to see how she takes a different route with the story. I enjoy how she has the animals come back to the castle lands – and the background story of the Beast! If you enjoy re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast, you must read this one.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas – A twenty-year battle to abolish slavery was the focus of Wilberforce’s life. But he did much more besides that, to better the lives of his fellow men. He is one of the few men of which it can truly be said ‘ he changed the world’. Victory came for him in 1833, just days before his death.

~I really intended to review this separately because it was just THAT GOOD. If you don’t know who Wilberforce is, or just want to know more about him, read this! I enjoyed it so much and was constantly telling my OH and mom (and basically anyone else who would listen) tidbits from the book. The history of how he and his friends fought slavery for so long is interesting and motivating and heartbreaking all at the same time. 

Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris – Finally on his way home again, Luke Sullivan doesn’t expect to rob a stagecoach. Much less kidnap a woman passenger. But he’s really rescuing her from having to marry his enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn’t see it as a rescue, though, as she is tossed over a stranger’s shoulder in the dead of night.

~This story had fun, unexpected twists throughout it, keeping me turning pages! I always enjoy a good western novel, but I was pleased with how Harris kept you guessing. My only disappointment was that the ending felt rushed and was slightly less satisfying because of that. I still recommend it though, it didn’t ruin the story at all for me.

Finished the O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson

Finished the Shadowfell Series by Juliet Marillier – upcoming separate review!

 

Have you read any of these? What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

March/April Recap and May Goals 2018

27 Apr

What with disappearing for the past month-ish, I didn’t do goals for April. But I want to get back on track with these, so let’s get started!

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I read Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas (review next week!). I’ve also been thinking about watching some of Gordon Buchanan’s shows again. Like this one

Try a new recipe: I have been trying a lot of new ones lately. I just haven’t been keeping track. Mostly they’ve been from Against All Grain cookbooks though.

Write one letter a month – I wrote one just the other day!

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I have finally finished Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I’ve finished filling out index cards for each scene and am prepping for re-writing scenes and writing new ones

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have gone back and forth on this. I am strict on my eating habits and then get fed up (or just really want pasta) and get off track for a while.

Post Regularly: well, we know this didn’t happen! Ha.

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March’s Goals:

Finish Index Cards/Move onto next step :  well, I’ve sort of moved on to the next step…

Finish Crocheting Vespa for Mom   

Finish Dusting Blinds

Finish 30 Day Declutter Challenge  still working on this….

Workout 2 days a week

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I washed and covered my VW Bug! Finally!

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May Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Visit Collett end of month

 

~Laura

What are your goals for this coming month? 

 

My Month in Photos – March 2018

31 Mar

While titling this post, I noticed that I didn’t do one of these last month! Ah well, I suppose every few months is okay. Oy vay to my memory.

Anyway,  while it was a pain-filled, frustrating month in so many ways, there were still many happy moments. Happy days. Enjoy.

 

  1. One of Abby’s best buds came over for a play date. 2) Feeling GOOD on a run to Joann’s 3) YUMMY protein bites    4) YES, this is happening. My OH is graduating with his bachelor’s in June!  5) Abby and her ball   6) A look at what several days this month have consisted of – video games, night guard (for necessary naps) and chocolate shakes.
  1. Just one of the times we got stuck in traffic on our way to Bend.  2 and 3) the beauty of the drive.  4) Abby and little Cocoa being sooo cute at my parent’s house 5) the ONLY photo I took while in Bend, that wasn’t of my dog.  6) Abby’s cuteness on the way home.
  1. Finally washing (and then covering) my ’68 Bug!! 2)Abby’s sadness that her and Cocoa were separated.  3) The beginnings of a yummy Detox Salad 4) PAIN people. Pain. 5) The stash I brought home from my Doctor’s appointment.  6) The weirdness I came out to the other day. . . .

 

1 and 2) Two of the crocheted stuffed animals I made. 3) I finally made it through filling out an index card for each scene in my book! 4) What my desk typically looks like while editing. 5) THIS QUOTE IS ME.

 

There should be a book review post up for you next week! For more frequent sightings of Abby and what I’m crocheting, follow me on Instagram (and of course, I can’t get the link because somethings going wrong…. but if you type in my blog name, you’ll find me!)

~Laura

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