Sunday Bookends: Recommending Silas Marner (regretting I mocked it), reading suspense and watching post office detectives

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 the comments.

What I’m Reading

I finished two books this week and there isn’t even a full moon. It’s some kind of miracle.

I finished Silas Marner early in the week and really enjoyed it (after making fun of it a few weeks ago). The book has romance, intrique, and a sweet storyline of redemption and forgiveness. For those who have never read it, here is a description:

In this heartwarming classic by George Eliot, a gentle linen weaver named Silas Marner is wrongly accused of a heinous theft actually committed by his best friend. Exiling himself to the rustic village of Raveloe, he becomes a lonely recluse. Ultimately, Marner finds redemption and spiritual rebirth through his unselfish love for an abandoned child who mysteriously appears one day in his isolated cottage.

My son and I will be watching the movie with Sir Ben Kingsley next week.

I also finished Expired Refuge, Last Chance County Book One by Lisa Phillips which was a Christian supense book without the heavy-handed Christian message. God is mentioned, yes. Forgiveness is talked about, yes. But it’s not all throughout the book and doesn’t distract from the action for those who aren’t interested in a Christian message. I had a hard time putting it down because of the non-stop action. I actually thought the action was a bit too non-stop at some points, but it was still a good, distracting read.

The book’s description:

She’ll never accept his help.

He’ll never stop trying to protect his town.

Mia Tathers is an ATF Special Agent. It’s not like she needs Conroy to protect her. However, when it becomes clear someone is recreating her biggest mistake, Mia has to face her own inability to forgive Conroy for what he took from her. It’s the only way she’ll stay alive.

In this town, Police Lieutenant Conroy Barnes is the one who fixes problems. When a blast from the past shows up, bringing danger with her, he vows to keep her safe. But the clock has expired on her refuge. Death is knocking, and Conroy is determined not to let it in.

This week I’m hoping to finish Charles Martin’s book The Dead Don’t Talk.

I also felt really bad about being so negative about Fannie Flagg’s book last week. I mean, what do I know? I’m no award winning author. And some people may prefer a story where it is just “told” to them instead of “shown.”

What I’m Watching

I’ve been watching Signed, Sealed, Delivered on the Hallmark app through Amazon.

There was only one season of the show, with ten episodes, and it was followed by eleven made for TV films.

Just a warning if you watch Episode 9 & 10 especially, get a box of tissues and settle in. I couldn’t handle episode 9 (warning, it deals with rape, but in a very different way and nothing is shown) and had to fast forward it. I cried like a baby through a good part of Episode 10.

What I’m Writing

I released Quarantined on Kindle last week. It is 99 cents until later this week.

I also shared a chapter of The Farmer’s Daughter for Friday Fiction.

What’s Been Occuring

Our weather suddenly warmed up this week, just to drop back down again by the weekend. We had temperatures in the 70s with high humidity and by Saturday we were wearing our winter coats. That’s Pennsylvania for you. Other than the weather, we really didn’t have anything too exciting happen this past week. I spent most of my days teaching the kids, walking up and down the street with my daughter and her little friend, and working on The Farmer’s Daughter (as well as finishing Silas Marner).

Photos of the week

Sunday Bookends: When ‘best selling’ authors are a total let down; taking the dog to the groomers; and the perils of living in a rural area

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 the comments.

What Has Been Occurring

Tuesday morning I woke about the time my husband was leaving for work and sent him a text instead of leaving my warm bed, to tell him I loved him and to have a good day. When I closed my eyes to try to go back to sleep (but never did), I thought about the winding road he drives on to get to work and how it’s made even more dangerous by the threat of deer running out in front of cars and large water trucks taking up more than half of the already narrow road. I prayed for his safety and dozed for a few more moments before starting my day.

Little Miss and I took Zooma the Wonderdog to a local groomers so at the end of the day, when Hubby pulled into the driveway, I let the dog out so he could see her new “do”. The kitten snuck out at the same time and I was chasing her when I noticed my husband was looking very annoyed at the front of his car, taking photos of it with his phone. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. When I saw the smashed in windshield I hugged him and told him I was glad he was alive. More than one fatal accident in our area has been caused by a deer going all the way through a front windshield so the fact he was still standing meant more to me than having to figure out how to pay to fix the damage. The deer hit the left fender, rolled up over the windshield and the top of the car and my husband thinks it kept going. All he knows is that he didn’t see if after that.

Our insurance claimed we had some huge deductible so they won’t cover any of the repairs. Par for the course in our life. We will deal with the repair somehow. I’m just glad we didn’t have hospital expenses or a funeral on top of the car damage.

Other than that, our week was fairly routine and very boring. It was so boring I didn’t even pick up my camera this week so the only photos you’ll have for this week are from the smashed windshield. I would share with you the photos of how awful our dog looks after going to the groomers but one, she looks awful, (little tiny head and huge body because it was the like the groomer only half did the job), and two, I haven’t been able to get her to sit still long enough to get it. My pups long hair I love was pretty much butchered and we’ve decided we will do her grooming from now on.

What I’m Reading

I read a Fannie Flagg book last week and to say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. I was totally shocked at how the entire book “told” a story but never “showed” anything. There were no character descriptions and the dialogue was like I was reading Fannie’s outline for the book. It was like reading a tenth grade book report instead of an actual book. It was just the oddest thing because she’s a New York Times best seller and I couldn’t figure out how based on this book. The story was good, but the telling of it was…well, just a “telling.”

The book was The All-Girls Filling Station Last Reunion. The premise was truly interesting, but the way she just stated the story instead of showing us what happened was so strange. I think maybe she sent her outline for the novel and the publisher accidentally published it and was too embarassed to admit their mistake and retract it.

Listen, I’m not the best writer either but this read like a teenager telling a blow-by-blow telling of their day. In fact, most teenagers could have added more feeling and description to this novel than Fannie did.. Fannie Flagg, as sweet as she seems in real life, should have hired someone to add descriptions and inflections to her novel to make the reader really feel like they were there instead of feel like tey were being presented an oral pesenation on how paint dries.

So, the bottom line? I agreed with this Amazon review: “Although the story was good, the writing was amateur, which is surprising. Fannie Flagg has been one of my favorite writers, but this book was a complete let down. In good writing, the reader gets lost in the story, with no sense of the fact that he or she is in a fictional world. As I read this novel, I was aware at all times of the writing. The character development was often trite and under developed. There was far too much telling of the story–and not nearly enough showing. The story had potential, and with more development, could have been fabulous. Unfortunately, it just fell short.

This doesn’t mean I’ll never try Fannie Flagg again, of course. She’s a good storyteller (She wrote the book that the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was based on) and maybe this book was just a fluke.

I’m still reading Silas Marner and guess what? Once I got over Elliot’s tendency to “over describe” (I know, first I complain about an author that never describes and then I complain about one that describes too much. I’m never happy), and the older language (the book was written in 1861), I got caught up in the story and have been enjoying it. Unfortunately, because the language is a little more of a challenge than the other books I’ve been reading, I can’t read it late at night or I fall asleep. I feel bad I complained about it last week, and the week before, as if I was suffering through reading it. The story really is interesting. There is something for everyone in this one — romance (of sorts), a sweet story about an outcast who wants to adopt a little girl, a traitourous brother, a family scandal and family secrets.

The Boy and I are reading this as part of his Economics/English curriculum (from Notgrass) and he has gotten so into the story he’s been reading ahead of what I assign to him, which is fine by me. I like to see him engaged in something other than Minecraft or Harry Potter (though I don’t mind either of them. I just like that he’s broadening his horizons.).

As if I don’t have enough to read I’m also finishing Charles Martin’s book, which I mentioned last week, and just started Expired Refuge (Last Chance County Book One) by Lisa Phillps.

What I’m Watching

My husband and I watched a couple more episodes of Shakespeare & Hathaway Season 3 on Britbox and last night we watched Death on the Nile, a Hercule Poirot movie from 2004 staring Emily Plunt and David Suchet (who is well known for playing Poirot from 1989 to 2013.). This version of Death on the Nile was a television movie. A remake is being released this year starring Gal Gadot and Kenneth Branagh. See it in a theater near — oh, never mind. See it on your TV later this year.

For those who don’t know, Shakespeare & Hathaway is a fairly light crime show about a private detective team. They became a team sort of by accident. The woman, Luella Shakespeare, came to PI Frank Hathaway, to find out if her fiance is cheating on her. After the investigation the two become a team as she goes into business with him. It’s a fairly formuliac show, but I still like it and the reporte between the two main characters. Sebastian, Frank’s assistant, makes the show even better.

I’m also watching some rather sappy Hallmark movies. I’d rather not talk about that, though.

What I’m Writing

I’m still working on The Farmer’s Daughter (even though I did not share a chapter on Friday, but instead lamented on how I’m hating the story right now) and on Tuesday Quarantined, the novella, will publish on Amazon. On the blog I published:

Faithfully Thinking: Keep Your Eyes Focused on Christ, Not on the Storm;

Randomly Thinking: Pets are Trying to Kill us and Are Cats Inherhently Evil? I Say Yes.

and I shared a guest blog post on Blessings by Me about ways to support your immunity.

As I mentioned above, I don’t have any Photos of the Week this week but will be sure to take some this week to share for next week.

How about you? What’s been happening in your life? What are you reading, watching, writing, listening to, etc.? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday Bookends: The new six year old, I need distractions, and suffering through – I mean, reading the classics

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 the comments.

This week, especially toward the end, I have needed distractions from real life. Lots of distractions. That’s where the reading and writing has come in.

What I’m Reading

I mixed my reading with both lighter and “more challenging” reading this past week.

For the “light reading” (you know, if you consider a book that starts with the death of the main characters’ best friend and sister “light reading”.), I’m reading Just Like Home by Courtney Walsh, which is her latest book.

Here is the Goodreads description:

Prima ballerina Charlotte Page has a life any dancer would envy, but the tragic loss of her best friend, Julianna, leaves her wanting more. Or maybe—less. In an effort to make her life about something other than accolades and applause, Charlotte leaves professional ballet to save Julianna’s small-town dance studio. This lands her directly in the path of cranky high school football coach and Julianna’s older brother, Cole Turner.

Fresh off a state win and a bitter divorce, the last thing Cole expects is for a prima ballerina to chip away at the wall he’s grown quite comfortable hiding behind.

Will their fledgling relationship be strong enough to weather the storm of old secrets and a haunting past? Or will Charlotte lose the new, simple life she’s given up everything to gain?

For my “more challenging” reading, my son and I are reading Silas Marner by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). I have never had to read George Eliot, so I never knew George Eliot was actually a woman and when I say I’ve never “had to read George Eliot” I think people probably only read her when they are forced to. My son and I are “forced to” for his Economics curriculum, which seconds as English. I had a feeling no one reads Eliot for fun based on two things: my brother asking if we were reading her on purpose and the first long-winded, run-on sentences-out-the-wazoof irst page of the book. Listening to the book being read out loud on Youtube (audio only) is helping us push through and we are already on Chapter 3. To be honest, the story itself is not that bad. It’s the old-fashioned language that is a bit hard to push through. In all seriousness, Evans really was a good writer for her time, if not a bit long-winded

In case your dying to read a book that is thought of as a classic, here is the description from Goodreads:

George Eliot’s tale of a solitary miser gradually redeemed by the joy of fatherhood, Silas Marner is edited with an introduction and notes by David Carroll in Penguin Classics.

Wrongly accused of theft and exiled from a religious community many years before, the embittered weaver Silas Marner lives alone in Raveloe, living only for work and his precious hoard of money. But when his money is stolen and an orphaned child finds her way into his house, Silas is given the chance to transform his life. His fate, and that of Eppie, the little girl he adopts, is entwined with Godfrey Cass, son of the village Squire, who, like Silas, is trapped by his past. Silas Marner, George Eliot’s favourite of her novels, combines humour, rich symbolism and pointed social criticism to create an unsentimental but affectionate portrait of rural life.

If you ever really want a crazy, trippy story about a slightly crazy, trippy lady, look up Evan’s story (if you haven’t already.) We watched a documentary on her this past week and I got a lot of weird looks from my son when they discussed the sex life of some of the people during the victorian age. That’s all I’ll say about that.

If we make it through this book we plan to watch the movie with Sir Ben Kingsley.

What I’m Watching

My husband and I started Murdoch Mysteries this week and my son and I watched Guarding Tess for something different. I’ve seen Guarding Tess before but thought my son should be exposed to movies other than Harry Potter and Star Wars. Sadly, the language in Guarding Tess isn’t the best, but the rest of it is still cleaner than a lot of movies.

The description of Murdoch Mysteries on the CBC website (yes, it is Canadian):

Set in Toronto at the dawn of the 20th century, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama series that explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective who pioneers innovative forensic techniques to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.

Murdoch’s circle of associates includes Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching), Murdoch’s eager and often naïve right-hand man; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Coronation Street), Murdoch’s skeptical yet reluctantly supportive boss; and the love of his life, pathologist-turned-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy, Durham County), a staunch ally who shares the detective’s fascination with forensic science and innovative ideas. All are valuable allies who help Murdoch solve his varied cases and traverse the many stratums of Victorian-turned-Edwardian society.

What I’ve Been Writing

I’m working on rewrites and corrections from my “editor” (husband) for Quarantined, the novella I shared here on the blog and plan to publish Oct. 20. I finally decided on a cover design for it.

I shared another chapter of The Farmer’s Daughter on Friday and on Thursday I shared some fall photos, a story of my dad burning one of his favorite hats, and a book review for Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner.

What’s Been Occurring

This week we celebrated Little Miss’ sixth birthday. I should probably write a separate blog post about that, but I’m not sure I can handle that emotionally. I’m amazed with how fast these six years have gone by.We spent her birthday going clothes shopping at a small second hand shop near us, buying her a treat of cupcakes and going to pick up her take-out dinner from a local diner down the street. Yesterday we held a small party for her with a little girl she’s befriended since we moved here and her grandparents.

Someone from our family finally saw the bear and cubs that have been wandering around the neighborhood. My son saw them out his window about 12:45 a.m. and texted me but oddly, I had actually fallen asleep early that night and didn’t get the message until the morning. He said he saw one of the cubs on our back porch and the mom and other cub out in the yard. In the morning my husband found our burn barrel shoved into the garden fence. Alas, it was too dark to try to get a photo of them. Last night we thought we heard them again and turned all the lights off to look, but whatever was moving out there wasn’t interested in letting us see it. Something ran into the woods when we let out our dog for her final “pee session” of the night, according to my son.

So what’s up with all of you? How was your week? Let me know in the comments!

Photos of the Week:

Sunday Bookends: Apple orchards, birthdays, and light reading

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 the comments.

What’s Been Occurring

We celebrated my birthday Saturday (yesterday) by traveling to Watkins Glen, N.Y and Lake Seneca, one of the seven Finger Lakes that run throughout New York, picking up some lunch and eating at a park next to the lake. We followed that with a trip to an apple orchard outside of town.

While at the park we were swarmed by some bullying seagulls who later stole our last two garlic knots while my son’s back was turned. He said one distracted him by tipping the container upside down while two others swooped down and stole the pieces of warm knotted bread drenched in garlic butter. I was in the car with Little Miss who had decided the 58 degree temperature, combined with the breeze blowing off the lake, was too cold for her and that she wanted to eat her lunch in the car.

After leaving the park, we walked along the marina, to the gazebo at the end of the dock (where I once met William Shatner, which I mention every time I say I visited Watkins Glen. Long story. I’ve probably already written about it here, somewhere anyhow.) before heading to the apple orchard. Both places were pretty packed with people, the orchard especially. We were able to pick from a couple of rows of apples only as the other rows weren’t ready. We, as a group of short people, had fun trying to pick the larger apples, which were all up high.

Besides being with my family all day, the highlight of the day was hearing from my youngest niece, who we haven’t heard from in about a year. Receiving a call from her out of the blue meant more than I can say but hearing her say she loved and missed me pretty much broke me into a blubbering mess. I cried. It was an awesome birthday gift because I’d been wanting to reach out to her and her sisters but the family situation there is sometimes hard to read so I’m never sure I should. Reading teenagers is hard enough but figuring it out when it comes to our odd little family who fails to communicate well makes it even harder.

Having my daughter hold my hand and tell her dad and brother, “I’m just going to stay back here with the birthday girl” was another weepy moment for me.

The next birthday is Little Miss’s in two weeks and she’s already making plans, or already telling me to do, in other words. She talks about it every day. I hate to think this way, but in the past we’ve tried to invite all the people she wanted and half the time they didn’t show so I dread inviting people and having her disappointed. I have a feeling that as long as family is there, she will be happy.

What I’m reading

I bought myself a paperback book last week for my birthday and when I flipped the pages and sniffed it, the smell of ink and paper immediately transported me to my bedroom at about the age of 11, long after I was supposed to be asleep, holding a flashlight, reading Little House on the Prairie. I mean immediately. I sniffed it and said “Little House on the Prairie.”

The memory was that clear.

The book I bought, Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner, has been a wonderful distraction from life lately, pulling me completely out of my own world and into Chef Hadley Beckett and Chef Max Cavanaught’s world.

Bethany has such an entertaining style to her storytelling. Her stories are full of humor, cultural references, and fun imagery and yet still remain clean.

One of my favorite descriptions of hers in this book so far is how Hadley describes how Max’s shirt fits him: The T-shirt sleeves strained just slightly to their resting point mid-way down his bicep, and with his arms crossed over his chest, as they were now, you could almost hear an audible sigh from the front of the shirt, as it was allowed a moment to relax from the tightness that Max’s well-toned chest and shoulders usually created.”

I finished Bethany’s book The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenback last week and also enjoyed that, even though it felt to me like she tried to shove too much into the final chapters. It was her first book, though, so that’s understandable. I know I haven’t got a clue about writing a book and try to shove too much into them when I do. Or I don’t explain enough in them. It’s a learning process.

I’m also reading The Cat Who liked Cheese by Lillian Jackson Braun but I’m not sure I’ll make it because it is terribly boring so far and I’m half way through.

What I’m Watching

I’ve been watching a lot of British comedies this week: Two’s Company (an old one from the 70s or 80s) about an American woman living in London who hires a British butler; Black Books about an Irish bookstore owner who is totally nuts and his two friend (who are also a bit nuts); and You, Me, & Them about a younger woman (33) in a relationship with an older man (59) and their crazy families.

You, Me, & Them deals with a lot of adult subjects but is still cleaner than some shows. However, I find it really odd that the parents of the teenage girl assume she’s having sex and drinking and just accept it and let the girl run all over them. I know it’s supposed to be a comedy and a little illogical, so I try to let it go, though. I wouldn’t let it go in my real life though.

What I’m Writing

I shared the second to last chapter of Quarantined on Thursday and another chapter of The Farmer’s Daughter on Friday.

What I’m Listening To

I have been listening and watching to a devotional with Chip Ingram on Living on the Edge Minstries, but I have also been listening to some of Living on the Edge’s podcasts on my phone.

At night I have been listening to At Home At Mitford from Focus on the Family’s radio theater, even though I’ve listened to it a few times before already.

Photos of the Week

Sunday Bookends: I probably won’t read one of those for a long time and WordPress! Gah! Knock it off already!

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 the comments

What I’ve Been Reading

I finished the Longmire book and I probably won’t read another one of those for a while, not because it wasn’t good, but because it was heavy. Heavy and dense and somewhat, no, a lot depressing. The writing is outstanding. Very detailed, very well done and I fell for the characters hard, but I fell too hard because it hurt too much to see Sheriff Longmire hurt. I won’t say I’ll never read one again but I am going to take a long break from those books, to cleanse my pallet, so to speak.

For lighter fare, I picked up The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenback by Bethany Turner again, forgetting I’d never finished it. I got distracted from it when I was reading a book to review for Christy Distler. I also have a Becky Wade book in the Kindle I need to read and a book by Chris Martin that has intrigued me. And for comfort reading, I have downloaded another “The Cat Who  . . .” book. 

I finished A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson a bit ago, but forgot to put the review here on the blog so this past week I shared that here and on my Instagram.

What’s Been Occurring

WordPress is driving me nuts with this block thing. I have been using it for a while now but it doesn’t work well in the mobile version on my phone, which I usually only use when I want to fix an error in a post. When I got to make the change the app freezes and often kicks me out or I’ll type a sentence and it won’t show up in the block for several seconds or even minutes so it looks like I didn’t type anything. Now, on the laptop version the entire screen is filled with my post instead of a small part like it was before which is distracting for me because I feel like I’m typing on a never-ending page. I just wish they would stop making changes and leave things the way they were. It’s extremely annoying and making me consider jumping to another platform. The one reason I don’t is that I have met more people on WordPress through the reader than I have on any other platform. I’m not willing to give up that community feel, which is the main reason I blog in the first place.

As I’m writing this post I am trying to italicize, bold, or link, and the pop-up thing that is supposed to do that isn’t showing up when I highlight. I also can’t use Grammarly with the new blocks and that means I have a lot more typos and missing commas (more about my comma problems below). You know what, WordPress, sometimes it is better just to keep things the way they are. For now, they are letting us switch to the old editor but I believe I read that is going to be fazed out soon.

We started homeschooling this week by easing into it. My son and I are both getting used to his new curriculum, which includes a Literature curriculum that could double as his history curriculum and his history curriculum, which could be used for writing and English and Bible all at the same time. We didn’t start Science yet and he’s only reviewing Math at this point. We will be doing some grammar this year but I prefer he learn grammar while he works on his writing instead of lessons on nominative nouns, whatever that is. Honestly, I don’t remember ever getting this detailed with grammar when I was in school and definitely not in eighth grade so we will save that for ninth and tenth. I guess I don’t get the whole idea of teaching all these terms for different parts of speech. When I write I don’t sit and ask myself if I used the right possessive noun (which I had never heard of before now) or prepositional phrase. I just write.

One thing I really need to work on is commas so I can see the purpose of learning where to put a comma. Other than that, I feel like some aspects of grammar are taught in school so students can show college professors they know it but in the real world, it really isn’t going to matter that much. Right now some grammar Nazi is ripping apart every word I’ve written and thinking, “Yeah, well, you definitely need some grammar lessons so I hope your kid gets some.”

Grammar Nazis drive me nuts because they focus so much on grammar, spelling, and punctuation they completely dismiss a person’s intent and who a person really is. I know a person like this and she judges people based on their grammar. Good at grammar? You’re worth her time. Awful at it? You are beneath her. It’s a shame because she’s missing out on some really awesome people with that snobby attitude.

What do you mean I overthink? No, I don’t. Do I?

What I’m Watching

We started watching Kobra Kai (the Karate Kid spin-off show that was first on YouTube and now on Netflix) as a family since I had watched it when I first came out, but apparently, I blocked out part of it because we stumbled into some really inappropriate material for even the almost 14-year old. We are going to decide if we will watch the rest of it together or not. Probably not. My husband and I will watch it alone because it is well done but *prude alert* some of the sex references really aren’t necessary in my
opinion. 

Prude-Woman-221x300

I watched the movie Finding Your Feet by myself because no one in my family would have liked this movie about an older, high-society British woman who finds out her husband has been having an affair and moves in with her poorer, less refined sister while she tries to get her feet back under her. The less-refined sister (Bif) reminded me of my former neighbor, but in a good way because she was a lot more fun than her uptight sister (Sandra). In Sandra’s defense, she was thrown for quite a loop when her husband of 40 some years was caught in a 5-year affair with her best friend.  My
favorite quote from the movie: “You know, it’s one thing to be afraid of dying, Sandra, but it’s another thing to be afraid of living.” Good advice for many of us these days, I’d say. 

What I’m Writing

On the blog this week I shared:

Random Thoughts

Faithfully Thinking: Press Into Him

Extra Fiction Thursday: Quarantined Chapters 6 and 7

Fiction Friday: The Farmer’s Daughter, Chapter 23 Part 1

Special Fiction Saturday: The Farmer’s Daughter Chapter 23 Part II

 

Photos of the Week

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Sunday Bookends: Missing libraries and suddenly changing leaves

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 the comments.

What’s Been Occuring (yes, this is a referrence to Gavin & Stacy if you’ve ever seen it. If not it is on BBC America, or Britbox on Amazon.)

What a shock to my system when I looked across our backyard at the beginning of last week and watched yellow leaves fall to the ground in a gentle breeze. It’s not even September and our leaves are already changing color. By the end of the week, the maple tree by the garden shed was transforming from green to a deadish looking orange, raising concern within me that we will have yet another dull autumn to make the world seem even more dark and morose this year. Who knows, though, nature has surprised me before.

This year has given us a lot of hits and one of those has been the closing of the libraries. This has sent me down a path of depression because I was so excited to be able to visit our local library once we moved here but instead we are told we can only call in and order books. If I want to order books, I can do that online. I like to visit the library so I can actually touch the books, read the descriptions, decide if I want them and simply enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by so many portals to other worlds on the shelves.

I paid our water bill the other day and as I pulled out of the street the borough hall is on I looked down at the library and thought about going in. Then I realized we aren’t allowed to just walk in and look at the shelves and I felt a catch in my throat about it all.

If you’ve noticed a lot of typos in my replies to your comments lately, it’s because I’m often holding a sleeping kitten on one arm while I’m trying to respond. I seem to be little Scout’s personal bed and she rarely takes in to account that I need to move for such things as cooking dinner, cleaning up messes, letting the dog out or using the toilet facilities. She looks quite shocked each time her bed moves for one of these, or any other reason. She’s definitely growing fast and I know that one day she might not want to cuddle with me so I need to enjoy it while I can. My other fear is that one day in the future she will want to still cuddle with me and she’ll be so large I’ll be suffocated under all her fur.

This past week didn’t leave a lot of time for reading mainly because my head and body hurt too much to read or I was taking care of children whose heads and bodies also hurt. We caught some sort of short-lived (thankfully) summer cold. Of course my mind immediately jumped to “the virus” when my daughter started coughing in the middle of the night after spending the day at her grandparents swimming and looking for frogs in their pond. My mind didn’t go there when her nose was running earlier in the day because I assumed she had walked into something she was allergic to in the filed. ‘Tis the season for ragweed after all. But when she started coughing and couldn’t sleep that night, keeping both her and me awake, and when she developed a fever in the morning, I started making plans for how to get her tested.

We called the pediatrician’s office at the end of the next day and the pediatrician on call answered our question about summer cold’s going around with an affirmative and said our daughter’s illness seemed to be following the pattern of the common cold and not “The Virus.” The particular virus everyone is talking about seems to develop first as the dry cough (which my daughter had in the middle of the night), a sore throat (which she also had), a headache and then a fever. For her, and then later my son and me, the illness developed first with feeling “off” and achy for a little while, but also with runny noses, nasal congestion and a low grade fever.

Her fever reached 102, inching toward 103, but came down easily with some children’s Motrin. The bottom line was that the pediatrician suggested to continue our at home treatments, keep an eye on her, see how she was in a few days and then call again if it seemed worse or to be more like the pattern of COVID. We never had to worry about that because the next day she was better and she’s only been left with the sniffles which are acting more like allergies than anything else.

My son and I are still sneezing and blowing our noses and I’ve been battling a sinus headache (which I’ve actually been battling off and on all summer because of the high humidity.) but we are on the mend and bracing ourselves more sinus issues when the temperatures begin to drop in preparation for Fall.

What I’m Reading

On the first night of Little Misses’ illness I didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 a.m. I had felt so good earlier that day and even felt pretty good while she was crying because she couldn’t breathe through her nose and waking me up every hour. After giving up on the sleep idea, I read some of The Cold Dish (the first in the Longmire series) by Craig Johnson. When I finally fell asleep in the wee-hours of the morning I dreamed of killers out in the snow somewhere in rural Wyoming.

This book is definitely not my normal read and maybe that’s why I like it. It’s not your run of the mill mystery. The characters are well developed, especially Sheriff Walt Longmire, the main character, and his friend Henry Standing Bear. There is even a bit of romance thrown in as Walt, still struggling to face the grief of his wife who passed away four years before, begins dating Vonnie, a woman he’s known for a few years. The book draws you into the various relationships and mysteries gradually, dropping hints here and there about relationships before fully revealing them. One of those relationships is with Longmire’s daughter, Cady, who so far is only mentioned once or twice in passing but you begin to realize something isn’t right with their relationship in the way he keeps trying to reach her by the phone but she isn’t picking up.

I have watched some of the show based on these books and there are definite differences. For one, in the show Henry is played by Lou Diamond Phillips (yummy) the Philapinno-American actor who seems to often be typecast as Native Americans because he looks like one. In the books, however, Henry is not really a dreamy 50-year old; he’s a larger, bigger and more complicated man who served in Vietnam with Walt.

I enjoy Johnson’s writing style, but of course, being a self-proclaimed prude, I could do without some of the more colorful language. Of course, if I was a real “prude” I probably wouldn’t be reading the book at all.

I haven’t tried starting or continuing any other books this week. Hopefully some of the sinus pressure will lift this next week and I can read a little more.

What I’m Watching

To avoid politics and try to deal with our summer cold, we’ve been watching a lot of comedy, including comedians from Drybar Comedy. I especially liked Zoltan Kaszas (would love to know the story behind that name) and Matt Falk. I’m sharing one of my favorite Matt Falk bits with you and will let you look Zoltan up because this blog post is getting a bit jumbled with links.

What I’m Listening To

My brother was nice enough to let me know that Needtobreathe had a new album out. I knew part of the album was out, but not that all of it had been released, so I’m going to be listening to more of that this week. So far, it’s pretty good, but I do miss Bo Reinhardt, one of the founding members who left earlier this year.

What I’m Writing

I’m deep in revisions of the novella Quarantined and am trying to write all the scenes that are in my head for The Farmer’s Daughter as fast as they pop up, which has been fast this week. I may go back during editing and delete half of those scenes I write anyhow. I’ve already eliminated one I really liked because I felt like it won’t work with the final draft of the story, but we’ll see. It might serve as my segway into book number two, The Librarian. I hope to have Quarantined ready for publication sometime at the end of September and The Farmer’s Daughter ready for the first part of January 2021.

Not that any of you probably care but in my head the books of the series will be The Farmer’s Daughter, a novella The Farmer’s Son, The Librarian, The Farmer, The Pastor’s Wife, and possibly The Editor.

Somewhere in there I have planned a novella or novel called Related by Blood, which will continue the story of Hank from A New Beginning and deal with his relationship with his son Jackson once Jackson is an adult. A friend told me I have to drop all my other books and write this one first because she wants to know what happened to Hank, but we will see what happens.I would love to also finish Fully Alive at some point but I’ve flipped that story on it’s head with a new idea so that may take a bit.

On the blog I shared some Random Thoughts, a new feature for the blog, wrote about missing members of my family (I‘m Seeing Ghosts Today) and lamented how I’m having a hard time lately pretending life is grand. I also shared chapters from Quarantined and The Farmer’s Daughter.

If you haven’t noticed, I am trying out a new design with a new header I designed on Canva.com.

Photos from our week

Sunday Bookends: cat routines, cat stories, and ‘chick shows’

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 the comments.


Our adult cat Pixel has a nightly routine where she jumps up on the edge of the bathroom counter and waits for one of us (me) to turn the faucet on for her so she can drink water out of it. She has been doing this for a couple of years now. Her routine has been thrown off, however, since we adopted the new kitten (Scout) about a month ago.

We close Scout in the bathroom at night to keep her from hurting herself and to protect her from Pixel, who likes to slap Scout around if she gets too close. I still tried to keep Pixel’s routine by letting her into the bathroom for a drink before we put Scout to bed, but instead of drinking Pixel would sit on the counter watching Scout play on the floor below and growl. I’d finally toss Pixel out and she’d swish her tail at me and then proceed to glare at me from the hallway while I slept.

This past week Pixel started walking in the bathroom before we closed the door for Scout, yowling at Scout but then jumping up on the counter to actually drink from the faucet, reclaiming some of the routine she had before Scout. Incidentally, the water has to be turned on to just the right flow for her to drink from it. If it is too fast or too slow she sits back and looks at me through narrowed green slits until I tap the handle and get the flow right.

Unfortunately Pixel doesn’t want to leave her spot when she’s done drinking now. She’d rather sit and watch Scout and growl warnings at her. But I need her to leave because otherwise she might eat Scout when we are asleep. So, I try to carry her out of the bathroom, which is hard lately because she’s gotten so fat that we are wondering if some of the other neighbors are feeding her when she’s outside pouting about the new addition to the family. Or maybe she ate one of the neighborhood cats. We don’t know but she’s gotten large.

For the first week we had Scout, Pixel wouldn’t even let me pet her and spent the majority of her days outside, scowling at us from the backporch like a teenager.

Now she at least comes into the house for part of the day and allows me to pet her again. She has even returned to sleeping at the bottom of the bed (an aside: she snores). Hopefully she will eventually accept Scout or at least stop slapping her in the head when Scout tries to sniff her.

What I’m Reading

I guess the theme for this week is cats because in addition to our “cat drama” I also noticed a paperback on my shelf that I had never read: The Cat Who Had 14 Tales by Lillian Jackson Braun. It is a collection of short stories about, well, cats, obviously.

Braun is the author of The Cat Who . . . mystery series so of course she would write a collection of short stories about cats. They are really entertaining and cute stories. I’m sure it is available at local libraries or on Kindle as well.

On the other side of the spectrum I am still reading the first book in the Longmire series by Craig Johnson and enjoying it so far. It’s a series about a slightly unconventional sheriff in a rural area of Wyoming. It’s also been made into a show on Netflix.

We are also still reading The Bottle Cap Lady by John Spier from My Life With Gracie each night before bed. Little Miss has been playing hard this week with the temperatures being so nice and mild so we haven’t gotten too far in the book. She’s been passing out in exhaustion about five minutes into the reading. We’re going to try to start earlier the rest of this week.

Up on the reading list next is some lighter fare with The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner. I started this one a couple of months ago but got distracted with a couple of other books, not because I didn’t like the book, but because I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes when it comes to books.

What I’m Watching

I asked my husband if we were going to go to a fish fry near our house Friday night and he said “Nah. I’d rather stay home and watch TV with you.” That’s when it hit me. I’d made him watch a couple episodes of Virigin River with me on Netflix and now, even though he’d made fun of it for using evey trope known to girly/CW shows, I had gotten him hooked on it.

Me: “I got you hooked on my girly show didn’t I?”

Him: “Sadly, yes.”

Ha! Love it. In all all honesty, though, we’ve spent most of the episodes making fun of some serious plot holes and the over use of romance novel-like tropes. I also had to confess to him that I fast forwarded a lot of the later episodes because they were a bit cringe-inducing and the main character was driving me crazy by telling another main character he needed counseling for his PTSD when it was clear she also needed counseling.

It was also hard for us to watch scenes with a character named Connie because she reminded us so much of a family member who has caused us all a lot of trauma over the years. We would both visibly shudder when she came on screen and my husband said he was certain he “smelled sulfur and ozone” at the sight of her. I took that to mean she had come from the depths of hell like the family member of ours clearly has.

I unfortunately watched Nights in Rodanthe one day this week. Yikes. When will I ever learn? I very rarely like Richard Gere movies but here I was, trying it again. Honestly, I don’t think playing an arrogant surgeon was a stretch for Mr. Gere. If anyone is reading this and is a fan of this movie, I’m sorry. It actually wasn’t a horrible movie but [SPOILER ALERT] I prefer happier endings for movies. That’s all I’ll say about that. I will say, however, that the acting, of course, was very good. Richard Gere is a very good actor, as is Diane Lane. And I do have to admit that the story was a good one as well. (I should probably insert here that I’m not a fan of Nicholas Sparks so that may be why I didn’t enjoy this movie .. even though I didn’t realize until later it was based on one of his books.

What I’m Writing:

I’m still sharing chapters from Quarantined: A novella (on Thursdays) and The Farmer’s Daughter (on Fridays).

I shared about homeschooling this week as well.

What I’m Listening To:

I’ve been listening to a few worship songs this week, but I really need to listen to more. Here is one my favorites:

For the past year or so I’ve fallen asleep listening to a podcast on Apple that features episodes of an old late 40s early 50s American radio/TV show called Our Miss Brooks. The show started on CBS radio in 1948. It was about a high school English teacher, Miss Connie Brooks, who somehow always seems to end up in a misadventure She’s in love with the biology teacher, Mr. Phillip Boyton, who is completely clueless. She rents a room from Mrs. Davis who is also clueless and absent-minded.

Her boss is Principal Osgood Conklin, who is obnoxious and gruff. Other characters are Walter Denton, a high school student who gives her a lift to school because her car is always broke down; Harriet Conklin, Mr. Conklin’s daughter and Walter’s girlfriend; Stretch Snodgrass, a space-cadet jock; and Daisy Enright, the other English teacher in the school who is Connie’s rival for Mr. Boyton.

I did see a clip of the show on YouTube one time and from what I could tell it was super, super low budget. The writing, however, is pretty good and while some of it doesn’t hold up all these years later, the majority of the humor remains on point. Listening to it takes my mind off the stresses of the day and keeps my brain from wandering to various topics about various issues that are usually completely out of my control.

What’s been happening besides cat drama

Our weather finally broke last week, or at least briefly. The cooler temperatures were such a welcome blessing. Not feeling sweaty and light headed from the humidity was certainly welcome. It’s odd but I’m actually looking forward to Fall and being able to curl up under the covers with a good book. I say it’s odd because I once dreaded Fall since I knew it meant winter was coming and I’m not a huge fan of the cold and clouds of winter.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve started to hate the heat. I can barely tolerate it, so I eagerly welcome Fall to get a little break from the hot weather.

We had two days in the mid-80s and during one of them I pulled the sprinkler out for my daughter while my son went on a camping trip at my parents’ with my dad and a friend. My daughter and I also pulled some carrots and tomatoes out of my slowly dying garden. This summer has been hot and dry for the most part and our gardens and backyards are showing the damage.

Photos of the week

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

Sunday Bookends: Going down south, in a book that is; the new kitten is crazy; and my garden was a failure but my dad’s wasn’t

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.

What I’m Reading

I’m savoring A Long Time Comin’ By Robin W. Pearson. The story takes place in North Carolina, which I am familiar with since my mom is originally from there. I’ve been reading from it all week but I have had to pause and have a good cry during part of it, not because it is depressing, but because much of it is touching.

I have mentioned this book before but I thought I’d share the description again:

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To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.

Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice’s doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother’s heart and home inside out. Evelyn’s meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide.

So far I can absolutely relate to Evelyn and somewhat to Granny B. Granny B can be a difficult character to like, in some ways, but I do like her and I am enjoying slowly learning about her, savoring a chapter or two a day. I’m also learning about her seven children, the husband who left the family, and the frayed ties that hold them all together.

Robin’s next book is due in February 2021 and it’s already on the hot new releases for Amazon. I guess that tells you a little about how much people like her first book.

Up next on my list to read:

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel and for a complete opposite of Rachel’s book, I’m going to try a Longmire book, The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson, since I’ve watched a few episodes of the show.



What I’m Watching

I’m still watching Father Brown and I’ve also been watching reruns of Benson (the old show with Robert Guillaume), which actually holds up pretty well (other than the keep call black people “the blacks.”). Benson is available on the Roku app on the . . . well, Roku.

What’s Been Happening:

The new kitten is fitting in fairly well, though our resident adult cat still hates her. Pixel, our adult cat, is spending a lot of time outside still, but did let me start petting her again. For the first few days she wanted nothing to do with me, glaring at me from under the table most days. She still glares some, but it’s better and her tail flares less now when she sees the kitten, but she still hisses and growls at her if the kitten dares to get within a few feet of her. We did finally choose Scout for the kittens name and I guess Little Miss has accepted that the kitten will not be called Mittens.

Scout climbs on my chest anytime she wants comfort or sleep which can be very inconvenient at times, like when I need to make dinner or type or well, do anything at all. It was cute at first and it’s sweet she sees me as her comfort but the other night I had to switch her to my husband so I could finish dinner.

This past week was also stock up on stock photography week. I took a bunch of new stock photos to submit to my stock agencies, including Lightstock, a Christian-based stock agency. During that upload I had to ask a question on their chat and Scout ran across the keyboard which led to a humorous exchange with the gentleman I was chatting with, mainly me apologizing for all the extra letters on the keyboard.

You will see some of the photos for stock in my photos of the week. The photos of my son doing school work were set up that way; we haven’t started school yet. We probably won’t start until after Labor Day.

I visited my Dad’s garden this week to grab some kale (he has tons and now I have tons waiting to be cooked) and not only took some photos of the garden, but the sun pouring through the clouds overlooking the property and some of the purple cone flowers at the front of the house.

I don’t know if I will be taking too many photos this upcoming week, at least the first half of it, because it is supposed to be very hot and I hate the heat, or my body does at least. Temps are supposed to decrease later in the week so maybe I will venture out then.

What I’m Listening To

Zach Williams and Toby Mac have been on my playlist lately. For Zach I have been listening to his Chain Breaker album and for Toby I’m listening to his Lost Demos album, which is what it sounds like – demos that he wrote but then never actually made the albums. The songs are very good and of course hold some memories for Toby since a couple were written about his son, who died last year.

Photos from the week: