Sunday Bookends: Zac Efron, country music, a story about chickens, and cowboy mysteries

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in review in the comments.

The best thing about taking a news and social media break (with little peeks here and there) is that there is more time to read, write, and watch documentaries about country music superstars. This week I finished a book, started three more, watched two movies, a half of another and finished a documentary about Garth Brooks.

What I’m Reading

I finished A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson this week and really enjoyed it. I’ll have a review of it later in the week.

I’m reading The Bottle Cap Lady by John Spiers of My Life With Gracie with my daughter, who is also a Gracie (but a human one, not a chicken one.). She must be enjoying it because on our second night of reading she asked for it instead of Paddington. I know I am enjoying it and the subtle little life lessons in the stories about chickens.

The description of The Bottle Cap Lady:

The mysteriously troubled Bottle Cap Lady had proudly held the record for serving up more Deluxe Chicken Dinners than anyone else in a single evening as a waitress at The Chicken Place until she lost her job for coming to work drunk. After failing at one part-time job after another, she turns her attention towards Pearl, a small and curious white hen who resembles the chicken statue on top of The Chicken Place Restaurant. The Bottle Cap Lady does not realize there is a Christmas gift only Pearl can give her, but will The Bottle Cap Lady let her give that gift or will she turn Pearl into a Christmas dinner before she even has a chance?

“The Bottle Cap Lady” is the unillustrated version of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.” (The author considers this version to be a work of children’s fiction pretending to be adult fiction.) The story text is the same for both novels. Only the preface, introduction, and epilogue are slightly different.

For something completely different I am reading a Longmire novel by Craig Johnson. I was going to read The Dark Horse but my husband suggested I go back to the first book in the series, The Cold Dish. The Netflix show Longmire is based on Johnson’s series of books about Sheriff Walt Longmire in Wyoming. (Warning: These books are not Christian and not for anyone who prefers clean, romantic fiction.) It remains to be seen if I make it through this one, but so far I do like the writing style.

For nonfiction, I hope to start Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias this week.

What I’m Watching

My husband and I watched a two part (90 minutes each) mini-series about Garth Brooks on Netflix this past week. I think it was originally made for CMT to promote his last album. It was an interesting look at a singer we’ve both followed for almost his entire career, although my husband discovered him first because he’s been a country music fan longer than me. Still, I watched Garth when I was in high school, well before I met my husband. It was interesting to see how his career developed, to learn about his divorce from his first wife and leaving his career to raise his three girls and then his marriage to Trisha Yearwood. One thing we knew but learned even more during the documentary was that Garth is very emotional. He must have broke down ten times during this thing as he remembered his career and rise to fame. That’s not a bad thing so don’t get me wrong, it was just something we noticed.

I also watched a movie on Netflix called The Lost Husband with Josh Duhamel this past week. The movie is about a woman who is widowed, loses her house, and moves her and her children in with her great aunt until she can get back on her feet. Her great aunt runs a goat farm and expects her to work on the farm when she gets there, which is a huge culture shock for a city girl like her.

The movie is a little bit of a romance, yes, but it’s not the main focus of the story. The main focus is on the woman not only trying to rebuild her life, but deal with her grief over the loss of her husband and with the unraveling of a family secret. It’s not super dark, not overly cheesy and I enjoyed the story line.

Duhamel was perfect in his role. I liked the subtly of the story, for lack of a better description.

I didn’t mean to pick another Josh Duhamel movie, but somehow did when I watched Life As We Know It, which also stars Katherine Heigel. My husband said the movie was probably awful, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It did drag in some places and was a little too cheesy, but I have definitely seen worse.

My son and I have been watching Zac Efron’s travel show on Netflix aptly titled “Down to Earth with Zac Efron. It’s an interesting show that has shown me Zac is much more than a guy who spells his name weird, has amazing eyes, and often plays the doe eyed love interest in movies. He’s a combination of down to earth and Hollywood sheltered in this show.

The show focuses on natural ways to sustain our life, including how we eat, how we get our energy and our mental health. Efron shows that he really understands the need for a healthy life all around and it’s interesting to see him looking less like an actor and more like an every day person with his beard and chilled out personality. Apparently the internet even made fun of his “dad bod” because he didn’t work out for this show, he was just a normal guy and guess what? He looked healthy and like a normal guy enjoying himself and my husband said he’d love to have Zac’s “dad bod” any day. In other words, we live in a superficial world and the fact comments about the show were more about his looks than the substance of the show just shows how shallow our society can be. The bottom line is that the show is a combination of education and entertainment.

What I’m Writing:

I shared a chapter from Quarantined: A Novella last week and a chapter from The Farmer’s Daughter.

I also shared a post about the music of TobyMac being a soundtrack to my life and a photo featuring images from our summer so far.

What I’m Listening To

This sermon:

Favorite quotes from this one:

Sometimes we are so busy trying to figure out how to get out of them that we expend all the energy that we could have spent trying to learn what God wants us to learn through the storm.

God’s timing is not designed to give us relief. So what is it designed to give you? REVELATION.

Is it harder to give faith to the what if than it is to give FEAR to the what if?

Fear is just faith in the wrong what if.

This podcast:

Laughter for All with Comedian Nazareth

This album:

What’s Been Happening

Not much has been happening here honestly. We are gearing up for homeschooling to start the first week in September, I had some bloodwork done and had an autoimmune disease and diabetes ruled out for causing some of my health issues, which is good, and the kitten is growing fast.

Yesterday there were twin fawns in our backyard so I thought I’d share some photos from their visit in our photos from the week. These are a combination of photos I took and my husband took. The camera and lens are not the one I regularly use and I really didn’t like the quality of the shots but it was still neat to see the twins again and grab some photos of them.

I’m also sharing some photos of the kids’ swimming and the view of our “Endless Mountains” as well as some scenes from a recent political rally we went to for my husband’s job.

Photos from The Week

13 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Zac Efron, country music, a story about chickens, and cowboy mysteries

  1. I’m glad to hear those 2 things were ruled out in your tests! That’s great! But still no answers?
    We went ahead and started homeschool Monday and I’m already tired! Haha!!


    • Still no answers to why I have to pee so much at night but I’m starting to wonder if when I started increasing my water to lose weight I damaged my bladder and then trained myself to wake up and go every two hours. Sigh. I really am tired of doctors, to be honest. They seem to make things worse a lot. But regardless of what is causing my issues I need to lose weight. About 100 pounds at this point. I’m game to try it and have already starte trying to lose it. I do have high blood pressure that will need to be addressed and I really hope to avoid medication.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re in my prayers. I know what you mean about doctors. They seem to bounce around a lot and do a bunch of tests or try meds which end up requiring more meds for the side effects.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to hear the good news from your tests! At least you know those two things are ruled out! I will have to check out Down to Earth. I loved Zac Efron in the Ted Bundy movie Shockingly Vile or whatever it was called. That movie was actually really good, more about Ted Bundy after he was arrested.

    Your photos are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your “Endless Mountains.” Wow! Your photos are always so beautiful, and such a refreshing break for my days. I am glad to hear that your tests ruled out those diseases. I will keep you in my prayers, to find some relief! Blessings as you prepare to begin homeschooling also!

    Liked by 1 person

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