Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #380

Welcome everyone!  I don't know about you but the days just seem to be flying by lately and here we are at Friday once again.  Join me in taking a much needed pause to think back over the week and find those things that were a blessing in my everyday, normal life.  Looking for blessings and taking the time to whisper a prayer of thankfulness to God makes the days lighter and brighter and helps when the harder times come because you've already developed a habit of searching for the good.  

~ good real property report ~ We were a bit worried to receive this mandatory report prior to finalizing sale on Mom's house.  We were a bit uneasy that the garage eavestrough might be encroaching too close to the property line but the report came back good.  Only the shed was an issue and that will be a fairly easy (we think) fix. 

~ rain ~ a bit of rainfall touched our parched area the last week.  Not enough to really do anything of significance but it stilled smelled nice.

~ comfy throws ~ with the evenings cooling off it's so nice to cozy up with some comfy throws while reading or watching tv.  I love how they make a room look too thrown over the backs of chairs and couches.

~ fall smelling candles ~ these are always my favorites with names like Apples and Oats, Autumn, Autumn Harvest, Leaves.  You get the idea.  

~ grocery shopping done ~ and not by me!  I looked up at my fridge yesterday morning and noticed my costco list was missing.  Turns out my sweet husband wanted to surprise me and went and did all the grocery shopping and then came home and put it all away too!  What a generous, loving thing he did for me saving me all that time and effort!  Acts of service is definitely one of love languages and I sure appreciated his very kind and thoughtful service to me this week!

What were your favorite moments or happening or things of the past week that you are thankful for?

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin ~ Book Review

In the continuing story of Murphy Shepard, Murphy is still living by his life principle of leaving the 99 to go after the 1.  It has been the compass for his whole adult life.  After the devastating personal news he received in the previous book "The Water Keeper", how will he ever be able to trust his partner again?  But their work must continue so Murphy has to come to some kind of terms with his broken heart.  As Murphy and Summer try to keep their personal lives on an even keel the call of the one in trouble still pulls at Murphy and with Summer's support he will still go to find the person in need of rescuing from the sex slave trade.  When their compound is infiltrated and Summer and his daughter along with two other teens go missing, the mission has become much more personal and Murphy will stop at nothing to find them.  With no clues turning up and Murphy seemingly taking one wrong step after another, everything is stripped from Murphy except his love for his family to drive him on.

This is the 2nd installment of the Murphy Shepard series about the human sex trade slavery.  It is a page turner for sure with lots of action and mystery.  But it also has so many moments of humanity and themes of love and self-sacrifice and healing.  The reader goes back and forth between lots of heart pumping action and moments of tenderness and soul searching and heart wrenching times.  Not only do we get to know Murphy better but we get to know one of the girls he rescued and the details of the immense work it takes to heal body and soul from being involved in the sex trade.  I liked this part 2 much better than the 1st book.  It continues Murphy's story and goes more into how he got involved in rescuing those caught in the sex trade and how their ranch for those healing and hiding came to be.  Get ready for your emotions to swing from one end to the other.  There were lots of characters but each is integral to the story.  Occasionally it was quite descriptive of land areas which I find kinda bogs me down.  I loved the little hidden Easter egg referring to my favorite book from this author "Water From My Heart".   Can't wait to see how the story wraps up in the next installment coming in June of 2022.

I gave this a 9.5/10.
Reading Goal Challenge met:  Read Your Shelf Challenge for August:  A book in a series
                                                        A book purchased in 2019 - 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #379

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  It's our small space here to intentionally join as a group and find some things to be thankful for in our last week, to make sure we pause our busy lives for a moment and find those blessings.  If you are new you can pop over to the guidelines linked in the sidebar and then just feel free to hop right in!  

~beautiful weather to take mom out and for a nice walk around a neighborhood "lake"~ We've been having absolutely beautiful fall days so Sunday we took Mom out into the neighborhood where her supportive living home is and enjoyed some sunshine.  A few blocks away is a lovely neighborhood "lake" and it was filled with geese who had come to cool off which she really enjoyed.  I'm glad this little piece of nature is nice and close to where she lives and we can take her to enjoy it.

~HOT coffee~ Saturday I got to enjoy a full cup of coffee that was actually hot.  It seems I rarely have that.  A sip or two, yes, but a full cup, not very often.  I'm notorious for pouring a cup and then getting distracted, which is not hard to do when you work with kids, so I'm always sipping on a lukewarm or room temp coffee.  May I say hot coffee is wonderful?!

~cool mountain weather mornings and scents~ the days may be warm but the nights have been cooling off and we are waking up to what I call mountain weather.  It's cool and crisp and just smells so nice.   I love it outside first thing in the morning when I wake up and let the dog out.  It goes well with that first sip of hot coffee.

~nap times to myself~ My childcare has had a big turnover with 5 of my 6 kids changing up.  My new group ALL still take naps, which hasn't happened in a few years.  I actually get about a 2 hour time slot of peace and quiet, where I can pick up, clean up after lunch, prep, throw in a load of laundry or even have an actual lunch hour like most working folk.  It is glorious and I'm enjoying it each day as I know at some point it will change.

~my dishwasher~ I was thinking this week how much I am thankful for my dishwasher.  It's a hard worker serving my childcare dayhome and my family.  If I didn't have one I would be doing lots of dishes every single day.  

What are you thankful for this week?

Sunday, September 05, 2021

September Reading Possibilities

Oh my goodness, I am soooo behind on my reading goals for this year.  But who can predict what life is going to throw at you to take chunks out of your time you would rather spend reading?  I had such great plans to knock off at least 3 books from the August challenge of reading books from a series.  But alas, I didn't even finish one, it will have to carry on into September.  I am now 8 books behind on my Goodreads goal of 50 books for 2021 but I will not sweat it, it is what it is, but will... 

So for September the Read Your Shelf Challenge is "A Translated Book".

Here are  my choices for September's reading possibilities:


          ~Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (carry over from August)
          ~Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart 
          ~The Best is Yet to Come by Katy Collins
          ~Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst
          ~After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore
          ~Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini


           ~Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
           ~The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg


          ~ As the Light Fades by Catherine West
          ~The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
          ~Doing Life With Your Adult Children: Keep your mouth shut & the welcome mat out by              Jim Burns  (finished)

What are you reading this September?  How was your month of August for reading?

Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #378

Happy Friday, everyone and welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  Intentionally taking time to look back over the week and find blessings in our everyday.  Sometimes they are big and obvious, sometimes unless you think about it they might pass you right by.  But we are sharing 5 of our favorites.  Please join  us in developing thankful lives.

~ bittersweet goodbyes ~ in some ways this last week was very difficult.  I lost 3 dayhome kids to school. I will miss everyone of them.  They were all special and unique and a pleasure to have in my dayhome.  One of the little girls was one of those kids that a child care provider only finds a few of in her career, the one that you really, really connect with and share a very special bond with.  It was most difficult and I spent a lot of last weekend crying knowing the day was coming.  She's been with me since she was 1.  Her mom gave me a beautiful bouquet and a card with a very special personal note in it that made me cry and her Dad sent me a really nice text thanking me too.  I was blessed to have this little one and her family as a part of my life over the last 4 years.  I will miss all 3 kids greatly.

~ mint tea ~ it definitely feels like fall is starting to make itself known around here.  The evenings have cooled off and with that I start to crave tea to relax after supper.  I've pulled out the stash of mint teas to enjoy and wind down the day with.

~ light at the end of the tunnel ~ we are seeing the end of the selling of Mom's house.  It has been a ton of work but we've just got a few more things left to sell or donate, a couple of dump runs, then the final clean.  It also has been bittersweet.  My sis and I grew up there, moved there when I was almost 5 and my sister almost 3.  Lots of memories in that house.

~ helpful neighbors ~ the neighbor beside my mom's house, who has been her neighbor for many, many years has lent a hand with different things around the house and it has been a real blessing.  We sure didn't expect it of him but he just stepped up and it really did lighten the load on us in a lot of ways.  Very thankful for his generosity of time and effort.

~peaceful, no noise later evenings ~ This last couple of weeks has been especially noisy during the day with new dayhome kids and the crying and the extra chaos that goes with that, some of the kids birthdays being celebrated which always generates more excitement and therefore more noise, and having family home.  I've been intentionally turning off any noise making things such as tv or youtube and just enjoying some silence.  It is such a blessing to just think and actually hear my own thoughts, read without competing shows or talking in the background and just generally find peace in the stillness. 

What have been your favorite blessings?

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Emmaline lives on a remote island with her father.  He teaches her survival, about the land around her and how to navigate the world through scents.  Lining their small cabin are colored jars filled with papers that contain all sorts of scents.  On rare occasions her father allows her to open a jar and smell the paper inside.  Each jar evokes different memories.  He is, however, very tight lipped about these jars  but Emmaline knows there is a machine in the closet that puts the scents onto the paper.  At the very top of the rows of jars is a bottle that no one is allowed to touch and which her father will not talk about at all, the same way he won't talk about her mother.  While small her world is quite content filled with learning through her senses and the mysterious mermaid who delivers special things to the island just for her,  as she grows older more and more questions arise.  When tragedy strikes and shakes Emmaline's whole world she must now, as a teenager, learn to navigate a whole new world, the "real" world  that she has never been a part of and is totally unprepared for.   In the midst of her struggles, Emmaline knows that she must somehow learn more about the mother she never knew.  But in learning about her mother will she still feel the same about her father?

This was an absolutely unique story.  It's a coming of age story that deals family, secrets, mental health, ambition, betrayal, guilt, and love.  I was drawn to it because it is a story that had scent as a main theme.  Though it took me a while to get into it, I am so glad I stuck with it, though it was not without it's flaws.  The characters draw you in and my heart was taken with Emmaline's struggles to fit in and find herself and understand the world in which she in a moment's notice found herself.   The writing is lyrical and has lovely imagery but because of that it also contains imagery that is hard to read.   I'm never a fan of teenage sexual experiences in stories and this did contain some of that though it wasn't overly detailed.  The story is heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time.  I liked learning about scent and memories and how scent is used in commercial applications to make people feel a certain way.  How Emmaline navigated her world through scent was very well written.  Though there have been some negative comments about the ending, I liked it. 

I gave it a 9.5/10

Reading Challenge Goal Met:  A book purchased in 2019-2021 and Read Your Shelf Challenge for July:  A title that starts with the first letter of your first name

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #377

Good morning, everyone!  It's Friday and boy did that come around fast.  I hope you all had a wonderful week and you were still able to intentionally make note of your blessings from the week in spite of not having the FFF officially up.  I had a crazy day yesterday that went till late evening so was unable to get a post done but I'll put the the Linky up and join in as soon as I can.  Happy Friday!


Whoo boy, what a day, what a week.  So much happening that it is 9:30 mst and I'm just getting to my FFF post.  But get to it I am.  So glad you have already joined along.

~ visit with the family ~ last week all my kids made it down at one time or another.  It was so nice to have us all under the same roof though it was a bit of a come and go with some of the kids because of work obligations.  We visited, caught up, laughed, hiked and ate lots.  It was absolutely wonderful.  

Going up

top of Bear's Hump

Going down

Unfortunately, our youngest couldn't be with us for this hike.  

~ dogs getting along ~ this was a great worry for me.  Our daughter's dog came with them and I was unsure how my pup would react to the bigger dog in his domain.  It was a bit nerve wracking for me but they ended up getting along wonderfully.  Almost too wonderfully.  They wouldn't stop playing together even inside.

~ sleep ~ with this being a very busy week I am very thankful for sleep and a good night's rest. 

~ Starbucks dirty chai tea lattes ~ getting me through the sorting, cleaning, moving, packing and selling at my Mom's house.  

~ breakfast out ~  I love breakfast out and my daughter and her hubby took us out as a belated Mother's Day/Father's Day while they were here.  So delicious and so much fun!

 Well 11 o'clock and my FFF is finally done!  Hope you all have a great weekend!