Tuesday, August 15, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/15/17



In the past year or two I've been getting acquainted with books by Elizabeth Cadell. I have only read five so far, but my library has several (I'll look: 15, with 11 more in its system of 50+ libraries; yea!), and she wrote over fifty books.

My favorite of her books so far has been The Lark Shall Sing. It is the first of three books that tell about the Wayne Family. I got such a kick out of the six Wayne children and their shenanigans and the people they bring home who wind up being a part of the mix. It really could be a movie in the same vein has Cheaper by the Dozen or With Six You Get Eggroll, etc. Lots of fun craziness.

What is odd is that I can't remember the second Wayne book at all, although I have read it: The Blue Sky of Spring. I think it was more romance and fewer shenanigans.

I've had a request in for the last of the three, Six Impossible Things, for ages, but my library hasn't tracked it down as yet- one of their very few failures to do so. I was putting off a post on Cadell until I read this final Wayne installment, but decided to go ahead.

Some of Cadell's books are available for Kindle or in paperback, so I will have to splurge sometime on the final Wayne Family book that way. (Or her books can be found via third parties.)

Cadell's books, I believe, are mostly romances (see this site). (Evidently, she also wrote a few of what we'd call cozy mysteries.) Some are more fun, though, than others. Mrs. Westerby Changes Course was fun, whereas Any Two Can Play (but even it had its moments) and Remains to Be Seen were more typical, imho.

If you enjoy light, clean romance and quirky books, you may very well enjoy books by Elizabeth Cadell. I'd say her writing is between D E Stevenson and M C Beaton as to depth and style, for whatever that's worth. :O)  

If you've read some Cadell and have particular recommendations, let me know so that I can read your suggestions sooner rather than later in the queue!

Blessings on your reading,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Word for Us on 8/13/17


For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it.
But that doesn't mean we should eat more than we need ...
1 Corinthians 6:13  TLB

This is a tough one (and food isn't the main topic of this verse, but I'll leave it to you to look it up if you're interested).

It has taken me many years to accept the fact that I can't eat as much as I want to and be slender. My life is a far cry from my twenties when it seemed I could eat all I wanted of anything and stay a healthy weight (there were brief exceptions when I did gain, though, I'll admit).

These days I am older and sedentary enough that it just doesn't take much food to keep me going. And the lighter amount I do eat (I shoot for 1200 to 1400 calories most days) still maintains far more weight than I'd like. (I eat a little more some days, which I need to amend. But honestly, sometimes I fear that to weigh 130 lbs I'd have to live off 800 calories a day and two hours of daily exercise!)

And if I want to feel well, I need to get all the nutrition I can out of my calorie intake. That's sort of hard for me to accept, too!

But I hereby resolve to do my best, with God's help, to make better choices, including getting more exercise. However, I'll still have the occasional treat because I want to do that for myself just as much as I want to make better choices on the whole. A gal can only take so much deprivation. ;^]

Have a great start to your week!
Bess
PS: The photo is from 2014.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Another Quote Friday



To get away to myself, where I was sure no one could hear me, and sing and sing till I made the echoes ring, was one of the chief joys of my existence, but I had never made a success in singing to company.
From My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (1901)

Fits my early life exactly! Now I just plain can't sing out loud, though. I've gone all croaky. (Although I do seem to be less inhibited while driving and sometimes croak away in the car.)

These sometimes ring when I walk by the cabinet; then I have to move them a little.

Enjoy your weekend!
Bess

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/9/17




Before recommending a series, I like to have read at least its first three books. If there isn't anything too offensive within the first three books, I can have hope the rest of the series will be likewise.

But today I'm sharing after having only read the first book in a series of 27 or 28 books so far: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton.

First, however, you might have noticed I usually am reading older books. And mostly, I'm sure, I will continue to do that for the rest of my reading days. I simply have too much catching up to do when it comes to books. My lists of reading possibilities are very lengthy, so I must keep my nose to the grindstone! In fact, sometimes I get too enthusiastic and borrow too many books from the library. That's the way it's been going this summer: It seems every few days I've put another book on hold, along with checking out other library books.

Back to our heroine, Agatha Raisin. She is the protagonist in this series of cozy mysteries. The first book came out in 1992, and Beaton is still writing them. Agatha is 53 (plain and stocky), and takes early retirement by selling her small but successful PR firm and moving into a cottage in the Cotswolds. Having been a ruthless career woman, Agatha has never learned to cook, never done her own decor, and doesn't do her own housecleaning.

The villagers aren't overly welcoming, and she soon learns that as an "incomer," one is forever an incomer. But in her "get things done" fashion, she enters a quiche-baking contest, hoping to win and to win friends. Naturally, things do not go as planned.

I read the first chapter of the book the day I picked it up, and loved it, even though there was the inevitable use of the occasional swear word. But then I wanted to finish another book or two, so a few days later, when I came back to this book I was disappointed in the next chapters.

What?! The writing seemed terse, with short, "clippy" sentences. There was a glaring error with a major character's name, a timing error, and typos. It ran through my mind not to finish it. (This edition, shown above, needed better editing, but perhaps newer editions have improved.)

But the next night, my mood must have been better because I once again was enjoying the book. Beaton, a pen name for Marion Chesney (which is a pen name for Marion McChesney) does write in rather short, choppy sentences, and I reminded myself she wrote that way in the seven Regency Romances of hers I've read. In all, I believe since 1979(?), Beaton/Chesney has written almost 150 books!

But here's what I liked: The story moves fast. Something new is always happening almost from page to page, which as I got farther into the book, really held my interest. I also liked the fact that the series revolves around the character of Agatha Raisin. (I liked Chesney's Travelling Matchmaker series for Hannah Pym; but after reading the first Six Sisters book, I knew I didn't care about each of the other sisters and their separate stories.)

The clincher: I was sorry when the book ended. Fortunately, my own local library has the next in the series, so I will pick up The Vicious Vet soon.

Have you read this series? Or any others by the same author?

Blessings for a well-read week!
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.





Monday, August 7, 2017

Another Quote


Hello there! My usual book post will be later this week because I have to finish the book first! I like the book so far, but I'm only halfway through. I looked over my previously read books on my shelves for inspiration for a post, but no such luck this time.

Today I'll share with you a quote from Joyce Meyer that I thought was good. I think it was from a recent Enjoying Everyday Life program. Her theme this month is Summer Makeover with teachings on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Joyce said:

"Even if you feel lousy, every good decision you make helps undo the results of bad decisions that you've made in the past."

Thinking like that should fill a person with hope. As I recall, she was referring to physical health, but those words apply in any area. It's never too late to change because at the very least, we can change our thinking. And that's not "the very least," that's major!

Enjoy your days, and maybe there's one small, but good decision each of us can act on this week.

Back soon,
Bess

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Word for Us on 8/6/17



You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

This psalm was written by King David, referring to himself, and in parts apparently prophetically referring to Jesus.

We can rightly believe David's words apply to us, as well. God helps us in life; we can have joy whenever we think of Him; and we confidently look forward to indescribable pleasures forevermore once we soar to Heaven.

It's going to be awesome.

For now, have an awesome start to your week!
Bess

Friday, August 4, 2017

Healthy Girlish Vanity



Aunt Helen's treatment for making me presentable was the wearing of gloves and a shady hat every time I went outside; and she insisted upon me spending a proper time over my toilet, and would not allow me to encroach upon it with the contents of my bookshelf.

"Rub off some of your gloomy pessimism and cultivate a little more healthy girlish vanity, and you will do very well, " she would say.

From My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin



I suspect even we women of a certain age, especially we retirees, could use a little more "healthy girlish vanity." I do notice the temptation to let different little things within "my toilet," aka beauty routine or regimen, slide.

When I was maybe thirteen or fourteen I begged my mother to let me shave my legs. "Once you start, you'll have to do it every day," she warned. Still I wanted to do it, and eagerly did.

By the end of high school, I was keeping my nails polished at all times and loved that whole process.

Well, since now I never show my legs, I don't shave them except before a doctor's appointment, and I polish my nails about once a year! There are other things that I'm "hit or miss" with as well. 

Where is my self-respect?! 

Lately, my pierced ears have become a conundrum for me. I no longer want to wear earrings at home, or even to run casual errands. But on the other hand, I don't want the "holes" to grow over, or whatever they do, because I might want to wear my earrings sometime in the future. (I have oodles of earrings, but no reason to wear them.)

But I make myself put in my most casual pair of earrings, the tiny gold balls I've had since I had my ears pierced (in a doctor's office, by a nurse) the summer of 1972. And they don't look casual enough to me. Yet I'm not sure what style of earrings would look casual enough for spending every day in jeans and a t-shirt. I used to like my earrings to be noticed; now I want them to be nearly imperceptible. Well, much ado about nothing, and no doubt time will bring a resolution.

I so envy French girls whose first beauty regimens were/are taught them by their mothers and who were/are even taken to aestheticians to learn more about skincare, soaps, and makeup specific to their needs. My mother didn't seem to be inclined that way. Perhaps she thought I'd figure it out on my own. (I know she sometimes would say, "Dr. Spock says ...", which studying his 1946 book may have contributed to her largely letting me raise myself.)



But going back to today's quote, I do think a little healthy vanity might be just what I need these days. I'll have to see if I can do better in that regard: a little less reading, a little more pampering!

Blessings,
Bess
PS: If you'd like to see more of this vintage beauty publication, click here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/1/17




Fairly recently I discovered another new-to-me series of novels while searching for something else on my library's website.




I am now almost through the third book, The Wedding Circle, of The Cherry Cola Book Club series, and although definitely not great literature, the series is light reading that holds my interest. Photos are Amazon links.




The book is about a young librarian, Maura Beth Mayhew, in the small town of Cherico, Mississippi. The early books are about her fight to keep the City Council from defunding and closing down the rather pathetic-sounding library in the town of 5,000. The town's main players are introduced, and I soon became interested in the various story threads.

One of Maura Beth's strategies is to begin a book club that meets at the library. One wouldn't see how that could help circulation, but as the group meets to eat a meal together and discuss books, they formulate and carry out other plans to help the library survive. (Recipes appear at the back of each book.)



 
This series is written by a man, Ashton Lee (a pseudonym I think). He does fairly well with the female roles (and male), although some of the humor that he has the characters laughing over just fell flat with me. But then I rarely read books expecting much humor, and for some reason I don't often laugh at books or movies or tv shows. It doesn't mean I don't like them, though!

There is a little swearing, but nothing vulgar, and intimacy is left to the imagination. So I would call these "clean" books, and I am always grateful for such as these.




If you are interested in libraries, small towns, books, book clubs, or Southern cooking, you might want to give this series a try. And of course, there is romance and the inevitable problems that afflict new and old relationships.

To date there are five books in the series, with the sixth slated for release this November. Let me know if you've read any of these books, and what you thought of them. Or you can always leave a suggestion for other books for our reading enjoyment.




I'm grateful for each and every one of you that visits my blog,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Word for Us on 7/30/17



May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17

God gives us the strength to perform good deeds and say good words, and as we do so, our hearts are encouraged!

In addition to making others happy by our good deeds, I know that for myself, doing nice things for others, especially "clear out of the blue," makes me happy. Joyce Meyer has said that doing for others makes her happy.

Recently I also heard her say, "Happy thoughts make a happy life." I like that and I once did a post on "think happy, be happy": here.)

Of course, being human, I don't succeed 100% of the time. But I keep coming back to happy thoughts, and do so often, and that helps me to not only function and keep going, but to mostly enjoy my days.

What are my happy thoughts? Well, I've written many times on the subject, but when I realize I'm being negative, I then silently sing hymns and praises to God, silently confess empowering Bible verses, and silently tell God what I thank Him for. Of course, if I get the chance to do these things out loud, I do that, too. Next thing I know, my mind is engaged, but not with negative thoughts.

Have a decidedly blessed week,
Bess

Friday, July 28, 2017

Taming the Tongue


Life in a village demands a guard on the tongue ...
(from Village School by Miss Read)

This is so true. In a small town, everyone is related to, or friends with, everyone else. When I read the obituaries I often am surprised to learn that so and so was so and so's sister, daughter, etc.

It is truly wise to be careful what we say. Especially in a village. And it seems to me, it's all a village: the church village, the school village, the office village, the family village, the neighborhood village, the Twitter village, the blogland village.


Not that it's easy. This is an area I struggle with. I'm getting better, but I know I still say things I later wish I had not. It's not that I intend to gossip or be hurtful, but rather that it's my natural inclination to share my thoughts. I'm too open.

In fact, my brother tells me that when we were teenagers, my mother told him that if he didn't want something to be repeated or made known, to not say it in front of Bess! Aargh! So you can see this has been a longtime thing with me.


These days I do try to think before I speak (or write). Sometimes I say a prayer before I speak.

Because once the words are out, they cannot be withdrawn. (Well, fortunately we bloggers can edit our posts, which helps a little.)

Transparency is a buzz word these days. I was transparent way before it was a thing!!! But I don't think we're to be transparent (used as being open and honest) at someone else's expense.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as "just making conversation" in which one has no idea she might be saying something that is hurtful or offensive to her "audience." In that case, we can certainly apologize upon learning of our offense, but then I think we can let it go without beating ourselves up over it. (However, I'm not very good at that second part either. I don't like to hurt people.)

Still, as they say, it pays to be cautious. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." (Attributed to both Abe Lincoln and Mark Twain?)

And then there is this adage my mother often said, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all."

Lord, help us all! Right?! (Read the book of James in the Bible for more on taming the tongue.)


Enjoy your weekend!
Bess
(I think all the photos are from 2015.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 7/25/17


A post today re Alexandra Stoddard's books. As most of you probably know, she is a longtime, successful interior designer who also writes books on living and enjoying a happy life. A philosopher on the art of living. 

Some people have complained she's out of touch with the common woman, and I will say that I do have to be in the mood to read her enthusiastic, bubbly writing style. She also apparently holds to a mixed bag of spiritual beliefs, but I glean what I can use and run everything through the filter of God's Word.

I happen to have seventeen of her books (plus one duplicate that was my mother's), but to be honest, I haven't looked at or reread them for a long time, with the exception of Alexandra Stoddard's Book of Color.




So it ran through my mind once or twice to donate them to my library. But then I told myself I wouldn't want to part with her book Tea Celebrations ... or Gift of a Letter ... or Grace Notes ... and definitely not Living a Beautiful Life and ... ! So I decided to keep them all and will begin to rotate them into my reading queue before too long.

Ms. Stoddard is working on completing her twenty-ninth book: Joyful Living in the Real World, which I look forward to reading. I'd also like to own her first book, Style for Living. Her monthly newsletter can be found here. I haven't found any archives, so the old ones disappear when she publishes a new newsletter. Some parts of her website need to be updated (her husband is now deceased, etc.).



Do you like her books? I hope she is able to complete her latest project. I think in recent years she's had publisher problems. I wonder if she knows about publishing on Amazon?  ;-}

Enjoy your reading and many blessings to you,
Bess
PS: No Amazon links today. The heat and moving water hoses has made me fatigued this week!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Word for Us on 7/23/17


Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali- to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
Matthew 4:13-16

Can we imagine what it would be like to have Jesus move into the neighborhood? Why, yes, we can! Because when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He seals our new relationship with His Holy Spirit coming to live in us. He is as near as our breath, and we can truly say "God in us; Jesus in us." A great mystery, but true nevertheless.


From that time forward, we have His light to live by, to guide us in this life and then to guide us home. And it's a "great light." The Greatest Light.

During the dog days of summer, in order to cope with the extreme heat, we become rather like moles around here. For the better part of the day the shades are drawn and thermal curtains closed. We can't tell if it's sunny out or not (which it is). We are literally living in a form of darkness.

But when I do step outside to run an errand, I exclaim, "Bright light!!!" The difference is remarkable, and the light dazzling.

"The people living in darkness have seen a great light."


Come to Jesus, Friends. He'll positively dazzle you.

Blessings,
Bess



Friday, July 21, 2017

Hope


From At Home in Thrush Green by Miss Read, Anthony Bull says to Charles Henstock, when the latter was lamenting his old rectory that had burned down:

"Well," said Anthony at last, "it's no good harking back, Charles. We have to go forward, you know. And with hope."

Amen to that!

Have a fantastic weekend,
Bess
PS: If you want to read some of my thoughts on hope, my devotional memoir is available via Amazon, only 99 cents for the Kindle version, $6.99 for a pretty, ecru paper, matte softcover book. (I also explain my deliberately grammatically incorrect title in my introduction!) See the top of my sidebar if interested.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 7/18/17



I frequently search my library's website to see if any libraries in their system have whatever book I might be looking for. I look at the book on Amazon first, but then always check to see if it's available through the library.

Anyway, sometimes they have the book, and sometimes not. But the searches usually bring up anywhere from a few to a bunch of other books. Sometimes the results are pretty far out, but I suppose somewhere they share a name in common with the book for which I'm looking. (Amazon does somewhat the same thing, but the suggestions don't seem to include older books.)

I scan through the results, however, and every now and then a title leaps out at me and I click on it. And so that's how I wind up placing books on hold that I've never heard of before, and I've read some pretty obscure ones that way. 

Recently a search suggested a 1963 Avalon book entitled Betty Pritchard, Train Hostess by Elizabeth Beatty. Train hostess? I had never thought about that before, but evidently trains used to have them with duties similar to airline stewardesses (I don't suppose they are called that anymore), and my little bit of research showed that train hostesses are still used in some foreign countries. 

In this book, the train hostesses are nurses, but their main duties are customer service oriented. Betty is hired for the New York to Miami run, and winds up involved in adventure her first time out. The style of the book is reminiscent of a Nancy Drew, and after a somewhat slow start, the book became more interesting to me once Betty was on the train. There is excitement on the train, problems at home to worry about, and also a low-key romance. 

If my research is correct, Elizabeth Beatty is a pen name for Teresa Holloway (1906-1989), who wrote mostly career romance books, many but not all with nurse protagonists. I suspect they are somewhat hard to find, but here is a good list of the books. Your local library system might have a few, as mine does.

I enjoyed Betty Pritchard, Train Hostess. Betty is 24, conscientious, loyal, but also somewhat clumsy and forgetful. What was most interesting to me, however, were the scenarios and descriptions of train travel in the early 1960s (I assume), and the plentiful job positions available with the railroad at the time. 

There was some terminology not often used today. For example, a crack train is an express train given priority so that it has the fastest travel time.

I can recall traveling by train at least three times when I was a girl. Once with my family on an overnight from the Michigan UP to Chicago (I suppose we returned by train as well?), and with my brother, from Iowa to Chicago, along with the return trip. I thought it all truly wonderful.

Well, no links today except for My Amazon Picks as usual. But should you track down and read one of the Holloway/Beatty books, or a career romance by another author, let me know if you enjoyed it! 

Getting a new roof today (hail damage), but it's gone quiet so it must be lunch break as I write this. Ah ... lunch is over. :O) Guess I'll go have mine!

Be blessed,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Word for Us on 7/16/17


A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45  NKJV

What's in our hearts?

Negativity was my default setting. But slowly, over the years, I've been reprogramming my default to encompass worship and singing, continual prayer, praise and singing, thanksgiving, confessing scripture, and singing. (Mostly I sing silently, in my head.)

I'm not always successful, and I sometimes cycle through various stages between negativity and positivity. I have made negative statements or at times said just downright odd things that my filter didn't catch, and I've been embarrassed by what I've uttered.

But I know that I keep improving as I remind myself to partake of the good practices above, along with studying God's Word, reading inspiring books, and listening to uplifting music. Oh, enjoying His creation (nature) and loving on kitties helps, too!



May God lift you up today and every day,
Bess

Friday, July 14, 2017

Time









Time had lost its importance. That was one of the good things about getting old: you weren't perpetually in a hurry.
From The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

This quote fits my day-to-day living quite well. Now that I'm apparently retired, although still a caregiver, I love how my days may be routine, but yet are not regimented. Usually there is no set order in which I have to do my daily or even weekly chores. Once in a while I just don't do them at all!

After being at home for over two years, I now tell myself the day of the week and date upon waking each morning. Because one ceases to have to even know that information for long stretches. (Oftentimes, days seem as if they should be a different day to me. My brother will mention that, too.)

My busiest days are when trips to the pharmacy(ies), grocery store, and library all fall on the same day. I know! You wish you had it so rough! :O)

Somehow, what I used to get accomplished over my lunch hour, or the hour before or after work, now can take all day. 

My mother used to lament not being more productive in her older years. She would look at me, shrug her shoulders, and say, "The day just goes!" Not that I ever said anything to her; goodness, her time was hers to do with as she wished.

But now I know just what she means. And for the most part, I like it! I like putting my feet up almost whenever the urge strikes. I like saying, "I should go to the store, but I think I'll go tomorrow instead." I like being able to stay up until three in the morning to finish a good book, and then making up for it a little bit the next day. I like preparing an evening meal in the morning and getting that out of the way.

I do make my daily lists of things to do so that I won't fall into being a total sluggard! Tasks on the lists are over and beyond my caregiving duties and everyday housekeeping. Sometimes I don't do all of my three or four extra things, yet often I do more.

That's what is so nice about retirement: it's so much easier to simply "go with the flow."

However, I do intend to keep telling myself the date each morning. As we age, when we go to the hospital, that's one of the first things the doctor asks! I'd be embarrassed not to know. ;-]



An aside: You may have noticed that I've been sharing about books on Tuesdays and sharing Bible verses on Sundays. So it came to me that on Fridays I could share one of the quotes I've written in my commonplace books over the years. They may speak only to me, but I hope you'll also enjoy the quotes. I've done that many times in my older posts, but on those the topic came first and then I threw in an appropriate quote. Now I'll choose a quote, and if I have anything to say about it, I will! Anyway, that's what I'm up to now, posting on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, for however long. And perhaps an extra post every now and then.

Have a truly lovely weekend!
Bess

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 7/11/17


I'm about one-third of the way through a reread of a book entitled Gardening Mercies: Finding God in Your Garden by Laurie Ostby Kehler. I have the original 2001 hardback version, but it is available new as a paperback (2016; link at bottom of this post).

Kehler, an avid gardener, shares stories about her garden and then gives each story a helpful and encouraging devotional/spiritual/Christian application. (I use the same method in my own devotional memoir.) Her essays are often several pages long, so allow plenty of time to enjoy each one. The back cover says this book "creatively combines gardening observations and tips with devotional lessons."



The original book is printed on lovely ecru paper, like fine letterhead stationery, and contains pretty, monochrome illustrations throughout. I don't know if the paperback is the same quality, but I hope so. The print is on the small side for my extremely poor eyesight, but still I am able to read it.

Gardening season is moving along, but it's not too late to enjoy these wonderful stories/devotions about all aspects of gardening. Or the book could be read for a breath of fresh air in wintertime. Whatever the season, Ms. Kehler's book is sure to make you want to put it down and walk about your garden!



I currently don't have a garden, but I have a sizable backyard with trees and critters, and I do enjoy strolling about to see the interesting little things that I haven't noticed before: broken glass, rocks, nuts, tiny little flowers/weeds, feathers, the impressions left by bunnies under my porch and spirea bush. Besides, the English call a yard "the garden," which I love that they do! (When I learned that from watching Keeping Up Appearances years ago, it greatly increased my esteem for my humble yard.)



Well, Dear Readers, it may be 100 degrees out as I write this, but I'm going to go have another bowl of the soup I made yesterday (chicken & rice with onion, carrots, & seasoned with a small amount of Montreal Steak Seasoning, black pepper, & garlic powder).



Hope this week you'll enjoy a good book and your garden!
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Word for Us on 7/9/17






Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
AMPC 18:21

This verse shows that what we think and speak is very important to the quality of our lives. There are consequences for walking around all glum and negative. For one thing, we then are walking around all glum and negative. That isn't good for those around us, and it definitely isn't good for us!

Let's listen to our thoughts and comments this week. Are they whittling away at our very souls, destroying the joy and contentment that are rightfully ours in Christ? Or are they life-affirming, carrying our days in a positive direction? 

Over the years, little by little, are we becoming more Christ-like?

We are what we think. The Bible says so more than once. If positive, wholesome, loving thoughts won't come, meditate on scripture verses you've memorized. Confess them out loud or silently. Or sing hymns or wholesome songs, out loud or silently. (I sometimes sing old Broadway music.) Or begin to thank God for every little thing you can think of. Be specific and tell Him the small details that mean so much to you.

Eventually our beautiful thoughts will spill forth from us as beautiful words.

Many blessings,
Bess
PS: For more on this topic, scroll down my sidebar. As always, if we are in a time of grief and mourning, we go through, with God's help, as best we can. He's not expecting us to be phony or turn cartwheels at such times. But when we're ready, we go forward.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Windows

This purrbaby is now buried in my backyard. Still miss her!

As long as you have a window, life is exciting.
From Country Chronicle by Gladys Taber


This is so true, especially for aging folks like myself who no longer travel. (Well, I won't say I never will, but I haven't for a long time.)


Of course, indoor kitties like nothing better than a window, unless it's a screened window with a breeze flowing in, thereby adding tantalizing aromas to the mix.


Would you believe my little 760 sq ft house has twenty-three windows?! Ten are on the utility porch, but still! :O)


These days, however, for privacy's sake (the living room acts as a bedroom, etc.), we keep the curtains pulled on most of them. Also, it helps the utility bills. (I do miss the light, but it's not good in the summer anyway.)


Kallie often has a thick "whisker" growing out of her eyebrow. She also has a rather unique "blaze" for a kitty, I think.

Have a great beginning to your weekend!
Bess