Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 3/28/17

This 2015 book by William Norwich is a true gem (photo takes you to its Amazon page). I write down book passages I especially like in my commonplace books. I've never ever tagged so many quotes in one book to write down! (I mark them with the little thin post-its "flags" and keep on reading; after I'm done I go back and reread the tagged bits; if they still move me, I copy them.)

I aspire to be Mrs. Brown: works hard, never complains, knows when not to speak, bears her burdens stoically, takes great pleasure in her cups of tea and her kitty, and loves God. 

But the 66-year-old Mrs. Brown is also compelled to save her money and travel to New York to purchase a dress by Oscar de la Renta.

My Mrs. Brown is not only similar to Paul Gallico's wonderful Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (1958), but his book plays a role in this one. Gallico wrote four Mrs. 'Arris books. Of course, most readers think the first is the best, but I found the others enjoyable as well, if only to see what Mrs. 'Arris and her neighbor would be up to next.

I read all these books via my library system, but they can be found on Amazon. Unfortunately, excepting My Mrs. Brown, I don't think they are available for Kindle as yet.

If you like gentle reads, please do yourself a favor and read My Mrs. Brown. (There is a bit of swearing, but not by our beloved heroine.)

If you're interested in Gallico's books, they are:

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Moscow

I won't do any other links for the Gallico books because being out-of-print, their availability changes often. But I'm sure a search will find them available via your library, Amazon, or your usual used book sources.

May your days be filled with books that lift your soul,

Friday, March 24, 2017

Violets and Cut Glass

Hi Friends! Don't fall over from the shock, but I took some new photos today to post. I put out the few items I have with violets on them in honor of Spring. 

Normally, I wouldn't have so many items displayed on one piece of furniture. Although, I did do that many years ago. But since the "extras" will be out just for a short while, I'm keeping my usuals out, too. I keep the front portion of the piano lid clear to allow for kitties. Now that Sweetie is gone, I haven't noticed the others up there, though. Obviously, my piano has a high gloss finish. I believe the wood is walnut. I so need to be playing it, but would you believe I haven't touched it since before Christmas?!

Below is an antique hair receiver that always sits on my piano. Next to it is an ornament from Russia that I hang from my piano lamp. Both of those items belonged to a deceased friend.

The painting was done by my maternal grandfather.
This angle "crunches up" the pretties, but they are spaced evenly.

Then I set out some dainty ashtrays with violets on them. I assume they were used for bridge games? I also have a teacup with violets. It says "Elizabethan Bone China" and is from England.

Sorry that photo didn't turn out in better focus. The relish dish in front is pressed glass, but I think the rest are cut glass. I believe the Singer sewing machine is from 1908. It doesn't have its treadle because my great aunt had it "electrified"!

The above is my mother's fruit bowl; probably a wedding present (1948).

Some vintage books. On top is Cranford. I bought Miss Nonentity by LT Meade, but the rest belonged to family. The green book is Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott. Right below it is a thin book of hymns in Swedish. The blue book is a book of hymns in English. At the bottom is a book called The Dickens Birthday Book for keeping track of birthdays for friends and family, and also a late 1800s autograph book I have shared before. The only book I haven't read is the Scott. Come to think of it, I think years ago I bought this Pilgrim's Progress, too.

The Scott book had the card on the left tucked inside it. The book and card were a graduation gift for my great aunt from a friend (1914). On the right is a cellophane-wrapped card that says "Flowers from the Mount of Olives" and has a pressed flower. It is framed in leather but doesn't stand on its own. The two books on the left are And Ladies of the Club (I've never read this but aim to someday), and a book of the love stories of famous composers entitled Like Softest Music. I think it's from 1936. It says it's based on fact but written in the guise of fiction. Haven't read it either, but hope it will float to the top of my reading list someday!

And finally, if one throws a clean blanket on a chair and then gets distracted, well ... cuteness ensues. Oh well! That's what washing machines are for:


Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 3/21/17

The Dandelion Cottage novels, written by Carroll Watson Rankin, are a sweet bunch of books about a sweet bunch of preteen and early teenage girls. Clicking on the photos will take you to the Amazon page for that book. I believe they are each available for free or 99 cents for Kindle on Amazon, which is how I read them (using Amazon's free app for Kindle for PC). They aren't quite the superb writing of LM Montgomery, but if you enjoyed the Betsy-Tacy books, you very likely will enjoy these. Also, if you like housekeeping, you'll want to see how the girls go about setting up house in their little cottage summer playhouse. 

Caveat: These are not short-short books; if a Kindle version says one of the books contains, e.g., 50 pages, don't pay money for it. Something is amiss. (However the link above shows only 106 pages on my Kindle, and it appears complete. I believe the others in the series are longer.)

Dandelion Cottage was/is a real cottage located in Marquette, Michigan (Lakeville in the books). The four books in this series are 1. Dandelion Cottage; 2. The Adopting of Rosa Marie; 3. The Castaways of Pete's Patch; and 4. Girls of Highland Hall Further Adventures of the Dandelion Cottagers. Books 1 and 3 were my favorites. Be advised that by their being written in the early 1900s, the books are not always politically correct. Rankin wrote other books as well. I don't know at this time if any of them are part of this series.

Don't let the title of The Castaways of Pete's Patch turn you off. Pete's Patch is the name given some land along Lake Superior. The girls and friends go there for a vacation, but wind up spending quite some time there.

These are children's books. But I hope you will enjoy these books as much as I have as an adult.

Many blessings,
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 buy anything from Amazon 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, March 19, 2017

Another Encouraging Word

He will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
He will not reject their pleas.
Psalm 102:17 NLT

I will provide for their needs before they ask,
and I will help them while they are still asking for help.
Isaiah 65:24 NCV


Enjoy your Sunday, and have a great start to your week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 3/15/17


  How to Be a Wildflower: A Field Guide by Katie Daisy

This is a lighthearted, artsy nature book that perks up a mood and just might motivate one to get up and go (out and about, or around the house). Cute and inspiring (although I would do very little of the travelling and camping suggestions at this stage of my life). More folksy art than prose, it is a quick read. Lots of things to ponder. Brief reference to crystals, to which I personally don't ascribe any power other than as God's awesome creations. 

Patricia Brent, Spinster by Herbert George Jenkins

The link is to the free ebook. Not quite finished reading it, but I am enjoying it. You'll want to enjoy reading older books (this is from 1918), and the heroine is "angry" a bit too much, but otherwise it's a cute romance. The heroine lives in a boarding house in London, overhears disparaging remarks about herself, and on a whim sets off a series of events that will change her life. (We must remember that the term "making love" basically meant "flirting" in these old books.)

The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Available for Kindle or paperback, this is a contemporary, clean romance that takes place in Suffolk, England. The heroine writes children's books, is about to be divorced from a very unsatisfactory husband, and escapes to her newly purchased cottage in Suffolk. She swears off men, but naturally meets not one, but two to give her pause to think. There is a second book in the series that I haven't read yet.

This was a fun post to do, so being an avid reader, I might do a similar post once a week or so. Let me know if you read or have read any of these suggestions and how you liked the book!

Photos are links to the books on Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate, and I thank you for looking! (You can always check with your local library system as well.)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My Saturday

I've checked off my to-do list for today, plus have done a few extras. I'm not manic, though. My energy comes and goes, but unfortunately it doesn't rev up to an extreme. Wish it did, but then I'd probably have a heart attack from the overexertion! 

I retrieved this little planter from my garage today, washed it, and will use it for my desk pencil holder during the warmer seasons. Works a treat! (I do so love British books and blogs.)

So I'm having some time at my desk, reading blogs and reading from my Kindle for PC (currently reading Patricia Brent, Spinster; from 1918; it's somewhat cute so far). In case anyone isn't aware, Amazon has a free app to put Kindle on your computer. This has worked very well for me because I'm at my computer almost everyday anyway, and I just spend another 10-15 minutes reading a Kindle book I've downloaded (146 downloaded, but not all read, so far! Delightfully shameful!) There are so many out-of-print books being made available on Kindle now. I think it's wonderful! 

I didn't want a Kindle reader for the longest time, but just reading a bit each day allows me to read many books I wouldn't be able to otherwise. I've made one or two splurges, but for the most part the books I choose are free or 99 cents. Then in the evenings I read my library books. It truly is the best of both worlds.

It is snowing lightly here. Probably won't last long, but it's nice to watch. I doubt any of it will stick. I've enjoyed a cup of coffee and a cookie while I read and listen to the Amelie soundtrack at the same time. Bliss.

My romance novel rewriting awaits, but tonight I'm going to read a chapter ahead to remind myself where it's going. It is requiring a lot of updating and just plain work, which sometimes leaves me stumped. I hope to become inspired. Maybe?

Well, that's my Saturday. Will get a call from my son today (or if not, tomorrow), and then this evening my brother and I will have leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Perfect comfort food for our brief taste of winter weather.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10,11  KJV

Many blessings and enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Pleasant Day

I'm sitting in front of my computer ... surfing when I should be inputting the Christian romance novel I wrote years ago. But after completing several extra household chores today, I feel I've earned some relaxation. 

I'm listening to the wonderful music from Amelie (I don't own it) while bouncing around Pinterest a bit and then decided a short post is in order.

Today is pleasant mostly because I've decided it will be (and the music definitely helps, along with the soft caramel I'm about to eat because I gave up chocolate for Lent) and also because I decided not to go out in the 45-50mph wind gusts we've been having. The errands will wait until tomorrow.

But I have had something on my heart today. I have been viewing photos of the beautiful churches in England (I also enjoy reading books that have a thread about the Church of England), and I have wondered how many are used for worship still. I hope most of them. 

And that's the prayer of my heart today: That the churches of America, Britain, Europe, and all around the world will begin to be filled to capacity once again by sincere and seeking worshipers. Without a World War III or some other disaster to move God's children to attend. A great return by God's Church to God and His churches, and to the joys and sorrows and tasks, and salvation and enrichment in Jesus, that await us there. And I need to be among the attendees, although that may be awhile yet.

I'm probably also thinking about this matter because I'm doing a Bible study from the book Attending the Bride of Christ: Preparing for His Return by Martha Lawley. I'm going slowly, but learning much (I hope) and enjoying her insight. My s-i-l recommended this book. Wish I could be in the class she teaches on it, but she's too far away!

Silly prayer? Silly me? But a very pleasant day. I think I'll make a cup of tea.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25

Be blessed,
PS: To clarify, I don't happen to be Catholic or C of E or Episcopalian or ??? Just a Protestant who happens to own two rosaries and likes them.