Sunday Bookends: Holy drama and bad Southern accents, blooming flowers, and cozy mysteries

What’s Been Going On

Since moving to our new house we’ve watched various plants around the property bloom and it has been fun waiting to see what shows up. Last week, I mentioned being excited because peonies were blooming next to our house. I was excited because we had peonies outside our house when I was growing up and I haven’t really seen them since. Last week I counted four of the bushes, two on the side of the house, one on each front corner, but then I discovered there is a fifth near the neighbor’s property and Friday I discovered a sixth on the other side of our garage.

My mom told me that the blooms usually open by my brother’s birthday so I waited and the first blooms did indeed open on my brother’s birthday. He came to the house for a visit that day (he lives 90 minutes away) and had to leave before we went to see if the blooms had opened (he had work the next day) but later I checked and there they were – opened, or at least part of them.

Now we are waiting for the purple/pink ones to open fully.

The white ones were slightly damaged during heavy rains one night. Either that or the resident bear laid in the middle of them. I did mention our neighbor saw the resident bear in the backyard two weeks ago right? If I didn’t, then I’m telling all of my readers now. The bear is real and he/she was about 50 yards from our house at 5 a.m. one morning.

We missed him/her but have seen a lot of other wildlife, including rabbits, blue herons and our neighbor let us know her daughter saw a rattlesnake. My husband says if he sees the snake it will be dead within seconds. He’s not a fan of snakes. At all.

Anyhow, I digress; back to the blooming flowers. After discovering the peonies I also woke up one morning to find pink roses blooming outside behind our garage, near the lilac bush (which barely bloomed this year). I knew my daughter, who loves flowers, would be excited so we walked up the hill to see them together. We then discovered another rose bush next to the peonies bush near the neighbor’s fence.

There are also these purple/blue flowers, but I have no idea what they are. I really am ignorant about plants and flowers.

I’ve stayed away from social media, for the most part, but did jump on quick this past week. That was a huge mistake. The atmosphere there was even more toxic than it was about a week or so ago when I decided to step away. Everyone is angry, offended, and calling each other racists if they ask a question. Quite frankly, I don’t have the energy for it all so I’m back off social media. I can’t live my life offended 24/7 like the rest of the world. It’s just not healthy.

It seems like a lot of the pastors are out there trying to tell people they need to feel offended 24/7 too so I’m not even listening to well-known pastors right now. Honestly, I need to get back into the Bible and stop listening to pastors anyhow. They seem to be led by the world lately and when I listen to them I feel further away from God and my faith than ever.

What I’m Reading

I am finishing up two books, A Light in the Window by Jan Karon and The Knife Slipped by Earl Stanley Gardner and I am also hoping to dive into a couple of cozy mysteries this week, including By Book or By Crook (A Lighthouse Mystery No. 1) by Eva Gates. I’ve peaked into this book and after reading the first page, I’m not sure this is going to be my type of book, but I’m going to try anyhow because I may be totally wrong!

What I’m Watching

Sweet Magnolias

I binged watched the first season of Sweet Magnolias on Netflix this week (we have a trial month of Netflix because I’m not a big fan of them, for various reasons) and I have a lot of opinions on it, but will try to keep my “review” short.

First of all, for the writers of the show: thanks for the parenting lessons on how NOT to be a parent. None of these parents actually talk to their children or ask them what’s really wrong. They just assume and then act on what they assume and then the kids get upset and the parents get upset because the kids get upset. It’s a really strange cycle to watch and I suppose it is slightly realistic but a little overblown.

Then there is the little girl the husband hooked up with and got pregnant and the fact she’s an idiot and doesn’t understand she is only a few years older than her new boyfriend’s oldest child so she shouldn’t be acting like she’s going to be the new mom of these children.

Then there is the whole “lifetime friends” baloney. Three women who always remained friends. What is that even like? You know it’s fiction when there is a story line like that — with friends who actually talk to each other after high school.

They meet once a week or so for margaritas and seem pretty wound up in their own lives and not their kids’, but the show is primarily about them so they can’t pause it every five seconds for a heart-to-heart with the kids.

The show is supposed to take place in a tiny town named Serenity in South Carolina. The one problem is that only half the members of the town have Southern accents and the actors who do try the accents (especially Chris Kline who plays Bill) are pretty bad at it. They are some of the oddest southern accents I’ve ever heard.

I did binge-watch the show in two days but that’s partially because I fast forwarded a good portion of the last three or four episodes because the drama had gotten to be a bit too much and I really wanted to run over Bill. If you watch the show you will realize very quickly why I want to run over Bill and then back over him again. Then later I wanted to run over Maddie, but again, you’ll have to watch the show to figure out why.

I talked to the screen a lot with this one. I said things like “Hey, maybe you should have been paying attention to your kids and that wouldn’t have happened.” Then I looked up and my 5-year old was missing. Luckily she’d just gone to get a piece of bread and was still in the house, but still . . . I learned to be less judgmental of these fictional parents in that moment.

Virgin River

After fast forwarding through part of the last episodes of Sweet Magnolias, I started Virgin River, which is a fairly feel-good show that has a very similar storyline to Hart of Dixie, (which I watched a couple of episodes of this week as well.) in that a woman comes to a small town to work with a much older doctor. Oddly, the actor (Tim Matheson) playing the doctor in Virgin River also played the doctor on Hart of Dixie. Typecast much?

The difference is that in Hart of Dixie, the woman is a doctor who needs to earn more experience before she can become a heart surgeon and in Virgin River the woman is a nurse practitioner who is looking to escape her past. On Virgin River we learn about the main character’s (Mel’s) past through flashbacks throughout each show. Trigger warning: so far the show does deal with the topic of infant loss. By the way, Virgin River is the name of the town.

I much prefer Virgin River and it’s acting and story line to Hart of Dixie and Sweet Magnolias (so far anyhow). I’d have to say my favorite character in Virgin River is the mayor, Helen. She’s a pistol and I used to know a small town mayor just like her. The mayor I knew dragged an oxygen tank behind her while also smoking a cigarette, just to give a sneak peek into her personality.

What I’m Listening To

I haven’t been listening to a lot and that may be why I’ve felt off some days. I have still been listening to some of the Dead South and this week I listened to Unchained Melody by Marc Martel because his voice soothes me. I haven’t been listening to some of the worship music I used to listen to because it just seems like a big money-making machine at times since every big church sings the same songs over and over again. When I do listen to it, I listen to Michael W. Smith’s Awaken album.

I enjoy Unchained Melody by Marc Martel because the beauty of his voice makes the world seem less ugly.

What I’m Writing

I’m still in the middle of The Farmer’s Daughter and I’m also plugging away on my novella Fully Alive. I haven’t had much time to finish the short story I started — Rekindle —- which is the sequel to Quarantined.

My first two books A Story to Tell and A New Beginning are both on Kindle Unlimited, at least for the next months.

So, what have you all been up to this past week? Reading? Watching? Doing? Listening to? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from our week:

6 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Holy drama and bad Southern accents, blooming flowers, and cozy mysteries

  1. It’s so green and pretty where you live. I want some flowers like that, too hot here though. I watched Virgin river, it was a nice safe series. Some of those shows on Netflix are just too much but I did find one I think you may like as well called The healer. It is a happy movie with a good message at the end. At first I was thinking it was one of those movies that is political in a way about certain subjects out there but no it was really just a regular old movie. You will love it…I think, but I believe I mention that movie in an older comment. We will be canceling Netflix at the end of this month after our discount trial. It is just not my cup of tea I guess. also Showtime is going. My daughter gets bargain deals because she is a college kid and well…you know…indoctrination of the college and university kids. For some reason that word makes me think of that song by Rod Stewart called infatuation, great, now that song is stuck in my head. Anyway, love your photos as always. Keep having fun out there, stay safe and have a great Father’s Day tomorrow jumping in puddles.


  2. I love your flowers! How lucky that you moved into a home with such beauty right outside. But that bear, though! There’s been one spotted near our house several times and we live close to town. Last year they spotted one in the city nearby and scared it into a tree. I guess the poor things have nowhere to go now that everything is building up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they are getting crowded out, yes. I really don’t need to see him/her. The flowers are nice to look at but I have discovered I am developing worse allergies this year and I guess they are why. Oh well. I just switched allergy meds so we will see if it helps or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love all of your photos of your outdoor space and little one playing outside!! And you dog is still the most adorable dog ever.

    The bear was so close!!!!

    Lol at your review of Sweet Magnolias. I watched it too, and I liked it but yeah, it was um a throwaway show as I call it. My husband was like what the heck are you watching and I had to tell him. I liked it but was slightly embarrassed by that fact. It was so over the top, dramarama, and definitely some terrible southern accents. I was intrigued by Cece’s storyline and also Isaac’s though. And I like Erik too. But phew yeah, those ladies are self-involved. I have been friends with one of my best friends since we were 17 though, so it does happen sometimes! We have actually grown much closer in the past 5 years then we ever were.

    I also loved Hart of Dixie and Virgin River. I don’t think I am super discerning when it comes to television though, so.. there is that.

    Enjoy your beautiful peonies and playing outside! I did such a good job staying away from FB. It’s done wonders.


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