Photos of the Week And When you Feel Like You’re The Lorax

Snow has been the name of the game for the last two weeks in our neck of the woods.

First, we were hit with 22 to 24 inches a few days before Christmas.

Then it rained for 40 days and 40 nights — wait, no – it only rained for a full day and night on Christmas Eve. It just felt like 40 days. We had threats of flash floods, but in the end there was no significant flooding.

On Christmas morning we had a dusting of snow so we got our white Christmas and that night we had a flash freeze with some more snow.

Then we had an ice storm on New Year’s Day. The ice encased the trees and roads and everything in its path but I didn’t take any photos of it because I didn’t want to fall on my rear trying to get the photos.

Two days after the ice storm, we had a wet, heavy snowfall that was only supposed to bring us about four inches but ended up dumping up to 14 inches on part of our area, but not at our house. We got hit with about six inches that piled mainly on our trees and electric lines.

The snow that came on Sunday was wet and heavy and clung to the lines and trees. We were certain the lights would go out and they flickered and went off for less than 30 seconds in spurts a couple of times, but never went all the way out.

When it started the snow flakes that fell were as big as fifty cent pieces and my cat tried to catch them through the window, which was pretty funny to watch.

After we were originally told 2-4 inches, the storm stalled over our neighboring county, where my parents live. The next county’s border is literally a mile from our house, but somehow we ended up with less, which was the same with the bigger storm the week of Christmas. My parents received about eight inches when all was said and done and we probably had about six.

Apparently I have become The Lorax this winter.

During the heavier snow this past weekend and the Christmas week storm I became worried about the trees around our house because the snow was so heavy on their limbs.

On the week of Christmas the lower limbs of the pine tree that is on our neighbor’s property but is right by our driveway looked like they were about to break off.

“Should I go out there and clean that snow off?” I asked no one in particular.

And no one in particular answered me either.

“I think that snow is breaking the lower limbs.”

“Hey, Mom, look at this meme,” my son said.

So Sunday night before bed I saw ten inches of heavy snow on my little cherry tree (I actually don’t know what it is), bending it’s branches over and I said “Oh my gosh! Should I go out there and clean that off? It’s going to break it’s little branches.”

“Mom,” my son said. “It’s a tree. It’ll be fine.”

So while I felt the need to rescue the trees I didn’t (it was cold and wet, okay?) and the morning after the storm I saw one of the branches on the cherry tree had broke. I felt like I had failed my little tree. The Lorax – I mean — I, was sad, but I think the tree will make it. I think the lower limbs of the pine tree might make it as well, luckily.

On Monday morning the snow fell off the tree limbs in clumps that dissipated into a fine mist on the way down and some of that mist fell down on me when I was taking photos.

I made myself get up earlier than I might would have to try to capture photographs of the snow still on the limbs and lines, but a lot of it had fallen off already.

Luckily my husband grabbed a few photos on the way to work.

I was still able to grab a few shots before all the snow fell off.

Zooma The Wonder Dog enjoyed running along behind me as I took photos. She loves the snow and sleeps hard after a day of playing in it.

The kids also enjoyed building a snowman and a snow fort with the wet snow since the snow from two weeks ago was more like fluff.

I honestly didn’t take very many photos at all on Christmas Day, instead just enjoying the moments of our first Christmas in our new house and with my parents.

By the way, the photo below is the real life photo of the above capture of my dad reading a Christmas story about the making of ‘Silent Night’ to Little Miss. The first photo is the cute, sweet, “blog worthy” photo. The one below is the real photo of how my daughter looked much of the time during the reading because she had been too excited to sleep the night before and was super tired Christmas morning.

Photos of the Week: Now, That’s a lot of Snow

When the forecasters said we could get anywhere from 8 to 20 inches (the huge gap was because they apparently had no confidence in their forecasting skills. I can’t blame them.) our area hoped to see that prediction at the lower end of the scale. Sadly, the actual number was not only at the higher end, but four inches over the worst case scenerio.

So, Thursday morning the people in most of our county, and the counties surrounding us, woke up to two feet of snow. This left a lot of people stuck in their homes or digging out. It left my children excited to sled down the hill behind our house. Sadly, the snow was too soft so the sled sank in the snow. That didn’t stop my son. He decided to use the driveway instead. The sled went into the street, but no one was driving on the road anyhow and we were out with him to watch for cars.

Our animals decided they would all try going out in it. Even though, they disappeared in the drifts. We had to rescue the kitten about six times. Watching my son chase a six month kitten through the snow while I watched from the window in the kitchen was entertaining. It was less entertaining the four other times I had to chase after her, three times without a coat or shoes.

The Boy didn’t only sled. He also helped his dad dig out the car to get to work the next morning, considering the only thing visible of the car in the morning was the passenger side mirror. I have a feeling we will still be digging out over the weekend. I told the kids that this snow fall might have to count for our white Christmas, even though it came a week early.

Photos of the week and a few extras

It was so cold and dreary here last week that we didn’t really leave the house much, which means I didn’t take a lot of photographs.
I took a few, though, and thought I would share them. Hopefully I’ll have more next week.

I decided to also add some photos I found in my Lightroom that I hadn’t edited yet. I guess you would call them some “lost gems” from the last six months. I also seem to have a black and white theme going on this week. Sometimes black and white helps me to focus on moments, as well as light and dark, more than other aspects of photography.

Also, from these photos it looks like I only have one child. I assure you that I have two, but one is 14. I think that’s all I need to say about that.

Photos from This Week


Old/New Photos

Sunday Bookends on Monday: Fannie Flagg, Hallmark movie distractions, and playing in 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.

The plan to walk among books, touching them, looking at them, choosing some to take home was thwarted Saturday by the memorial service of a sweet 90-year old man who had attended the church I grew up in. He and his tough-talking Bronx-born wife were both piano players who often performed together for local senior groups and others. I last saw them play together about a year ago at my husband’s great-aunt’s 90th birthday party.

It was delightful and mesmorizing to watch them perform, no music in front of them, playing by memory and for Ernie, the husband, by ear. Saying ‘good-bye’ to Ernie here on earth was more important than going to the local library’s fundraising book sale and I’ll have to wait for another time when I can walk among books again. (As we all know, that could be a very long time.)

The memorial service, combined with a week where I didn’t feel particularly motivated to write blog posts, kept me from drafting a Sunday Bookends post for yesterday.

It seemed like every time my mom would call the last couple of weeks, she would tell me someone had died. As soon as she would deliver the bad news, my husband would deliver more bad news with some tragedy or one night the death of a man who was a cornerstone of the community we lived in for 18 years. It’s gotten to the point I’m almost afraid to answer the phone because I figure it’s Mom telling me about someone else’s death.

Despite the depressing news, I was able to drag myself out of depression most days by working on The Farmer’s Daughter, reading a couple of different books, and watching and making fun of some really stupid Hallmark movies.

What I’m Reading

I finished Courtney Walsh’s Just Like Home. So, yeah. I finished it. I should stop there, but I’ll share a couple thoughts instead. First, Courtney is a really good writer, but second, I’ve never seen one romance book use every single romance book trope imaginable not only throughout the entire book, but especially in the last five chapters. Despite not enjoying the use of all those tropes and what felt like a very predictable, rushed ending, the book was a nice distraction from, well, life.

I have not yet finished Silas Marner — again, I should keep my mouth shut, but I won’t because I seriously am baffled how George Elliott is considered an amazing writer. Her run-on sentences make me have vivid flashbacks to the year I had to reach John Steinbeck in high school.

This week I continued reading Down Where My Love Lives, which includes two books (The Dead Don’t Dance and Maggie) by Charles Martin. I’m curious who published this collection because on Kindle the book cover reads The Dead Don’t Dance, but the index reads “The Death Don’t Dance.” It was the second typo I’d seen in a book published by a big name publisher in a week. Despite that odd typo, the book is very good, although slightly depressing and heavy at this point.

Here is a description of the first for those who might be interested:

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

The Dead Don’t Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope.

Maggie, is the sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance, but I won’t add the description because it’s a major spoiler for the first book. These are Charles Martin’s first two books and he is now a multiple-time New York Times Bestselling author (which my husband says really doesn’t matter anymore considering how far down the NYT has fallen in the journalism world.).

I’m also reading a hardcover of Fannie Flagg’s The All Girl’s Filling Station’s Last Reunion that I reserved at the library, and am enjoying it so far. My mom warned me the book might be “dirty” because she said one she’d read by her before had had something “dirty” in it, but so far the book has had no dirt and only one swear word and I’m half way through it. I did find a typo in it, which made me feel better about my typos, considering this was edited was by a large publishing firm.

For those who might be interested, here is a description:

The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are.

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.

What I’ve Been Watching

Last week I watched The Outsider with Tim Daly and Naomi Watts. It’s classified as a Western/Romance by Google. Filmed in 2002, it was fairly clean but also pretty unbelievable in some parts. It’s a movie, though, so we’ll let those parts slide. Daly was — quite honestly — hot in this movie. It completely erased my memories of him on Wings and made me wonder why he didn’t do more acting in movies. After I saw some clips about it YouTube, I discovered Hallmark had edited the sex scene out on the Amazon app. Yes, I signed up for the Hallmark channel on Amazon for a month and I’m somewhat regretting it at his point. I regret it when I watch movies made from about 2010 on because they are so cheesy, predictable and horribly acted. Luckily The Outsider featured some strong acting and I was able to stomach it enough to not fast forward the majority of it.

My husband and I are continuing to watch Murdoch Mysteries and we were also thrilled they are adding episodes of Shakespeare and Hathaway’s third season on Britbox (another Amazon offer). There are two up and they are apparently adding a new one every Tuesday. Both of these shows are fairly clean, simple, formulaic mystery/crime shows. We’ve been finding these types of shows are about all our brains can handle with all the weirdness of the world going on around us.

What I’ve Been Writing

I finished making changes in Quarantined so that I can publish it on Kindle on October 20 and continued writing The Farmer’s Daughter, sharing another chapter on the blog this week. Thursday I answered a question if Quarantined was a horror book or a romance.

So what have you been doing, reading, or watching? Let me know in the comments.

Photos of the Week:

I have less photos this week. I didn’t take as many. There is one in here of a chipmunk that was watching us from a hole in a tree in my parent’s yard while we played in the leaves Sunday. It cracked me up how he just sat there, acting like we couldn’t see him while he hid from our dog and watched us. He eventually escaped to hide under a storage shed.

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


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



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

Photos from our week

Sunday Bookends: What I’m reading, the week in photos, and mysteries seem to be a theme for me this week

What I’m Reading

I finished two books this week and they couldn’t have been more different from each other.

The Knife Slipped by Earle Stanley Gardner was a noire crime novel, of sorts, while Wooing Cadie Mccaffey by Bethany Turner was a well written, humorous and light romance with light Christian undertones. Even if you’re not a Christian you would enjoy Cadie and Will’s story of love, break up and maybe love again. It was extremely entertaining and not preachy at all.

I don’t usually write book reviews but I might try to do a couple on these this week, just for fun and to distract myself from the weirdness of the world.

Gardener is the author of the Perry Mason books, of which the show and movies are based. Speaking of Perry Mason movies, my husband made me watch a couple of those this past week on his vacation. We enjoyed them, since they hold sentimental value for him (he used to watch them as a kid) but we also made a lot of fun of them. We especially made fun of the one actor’s hair because each movie it became more and more “flock of seagulls.”

Books I started this week include:

By Nook or By Crook by Eva Gates, which I am really enjoying so far (I’m up to chapter 2); a Lady Hardcastle Mystery, Death Beside the Seaside by T.E. Kinsey; and A Long Time Coming by Robin W. Pearson.

Up for later are Top of the Heap by Earle Stanley Gardener, another Cool and Lamm mystery; a Perry Mason book and Dreamwalker by a self-published author, Carrie Cotton.

What I’m Wrote/writing

Last weeks blog posts included:

The Little Garden That Might Grow. Maybe. We’ll See.

Serial Fiction: Rekindle Parts 3 and 4 (a sequel to Quarantined)

Fiction Friday: Catching Up

Upcoming this week I am planning a post entitled: Our Cat Has No Consideration For My Mental Health, possibly a book review or two, and at least one installment of fiction. I also hope to share a post about the stone railroad bridge we visited this week, including its history and photos from our visit there.

I am working on some upcoming installments for The Farmer’s Daughter and would love to get back into working on Fully Alive this week. I also hope to finish Rekindle, which I want to combine with Quarantined as a novella at some point, which will probably mean adding a little more background and developing the characters more.

What I’m Watching

I already mentioned we watched some Perry Mason episodes and movies on my husband’s vacation this week.

We also watched Knives Out with Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis and many others. I didn’t think it would be my type of movie but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was definitely not what I expected but I did predict the “who done it” in some ways at the end. Daniel Craig was great but his Louisiana accent was really throwing me off since I’m used to him as James Bond. If you don’t like hard language I would skip this one (even though the big F-word is only said once) but one thing you won’t have to worry about it too much gore.

I gave up on Hart of Dixie this week. I know that I am going to sound like a super, super prude in a moment but I gave up on it because some of the characters jumped in and out of beds like they were eating candy instead of having sex. I mean I get that the show is meant to be a bit silly at times but I had a feeling if I kept going I was going to lose track of Dr. Hart’s bed partners. Plus my husband made fun of me for watching it so I bailed out.

I did start Frankie Drake Mysteries on Amazon and so far I like it but I am only on the second episode. It’s about a female detective group in the 1920s. Frankie Drake is the lead detective. I love the 20s swing music featured throughout the show, but could do without them playing it in the background during some scenes where I think it is out of place. I don’t mind music during scene switches or beginnings but I don’t like when it’s played behind dialogue. Also, it’s a wee-bit preachy about feminism and their Hollywood is showing because they are sort of pushing socialism and communism. I still like the simple story lines, so far, however. And no, I’m not a tv critic but I play one on my blog.

What I’m Listening To

I’m actually not listening to a ton of music because my son has been playing music around us a lot and he has very eclectic tastes — like his dad and me and his uncle (my brother). I’m not really a fan of the 80s rock he’s been listening to or metal or whatever it is — Aerosmith, Guns and Roses and AC/DC but I’m good with Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and Bill Monroe and Bruce Springsteen. If he Rick Rolls me one more time, though, I am going to pop him one (I don’t hit me kids so this is a total joke. I may shut off the WiFi on him, however.

My daughter and I listen to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, or Dean Martin before bed on nights she’s super tired and wants music instead of a book. I often keep listening to whichever one we’ve chosen even after she is asleep.

I am also trying to listen to more sermons lately. I listened to one by Steven Furtick called Why Am I Anxious (I listen to this one a lot) and I also listened to one by Chip Ingram, but I fell asleep (sorry Chip! It wasn’t boring. I was just tired.

What’s Been Going On Otherwise

I mentioned I’ve been watching my garden grow, and in some cases die, in a post earlier this week.

We also watched all our lovely flowers leave us and I will miss them. Luckily my parents and neighbors had some day lilies pop up to perk up the greenery a bit.

My husband was on vacation this past week and we didn’t really go anywhere other than a day trip to the Nicholson Viaduct, which is the largest stone railroad bridge in the world, or at least the country. Like I said, I’m planning another post on this later this week.

We spent all day Friday at my parents and the kids went swimming there and we had chicken and vegetables on the grill. We celebrated the Fourth with a hot dog and marshmallow roast and my dad shot off some fireworks for us. We invited one of The Boy’s friends to join us. After the fireworks we stood in my parents’ field and watched the fireflies (lightening bugs to some). I thought that they were something fading out of existence because I don’t usually see as many as I did as a kid but last night there were hundreds of them in the fields and the trees and it was so cool to watch them.

Now that we live more in the country our drive home includes a lot more wildlife sightings. This time it was mainly deer jumping out in front of us.

We still haven’t seen the bear everyone has told us about and we are starting to wonder if our neighbors are playing a joke on us and there really isn’t a bear and her cubs in our neighborhood. I joked with my son that they meet behind our backs and say “I told them I saw the mom and cubs in the backyard this morning” and laugh. The other one then says “So funny! I told the wife yesterday that I stepped out by our backdoor and the bear was right there and turned and ran away.” Then the other one says, “And then I told her that there is a huge male bear down the road too!” Then they laugh together at us and how naive we are.

Of course I am kidding about the neighbors. I really do think there is a mama bear and cubs out there and while part of me would like to see them (from the window of my home only), I’m okay with not seeing them, especially after someone about five miles down the road said they walked into their backyard and found a bear with it’s mouth around their dog’s throat. Yikes!

My son is so determined to catch sight of the bear he now goes out with our dog at night and sits on the back porch with his BB gun across his lap like a real redneck. He seems to have decided that if that bear tries to mess with our dog he’ll fill it with some BBs.

So, how did last week go for you? What are you reading, watching, listening to or up to? Let me know in the comments.

Some photos from the week