Thursday, March 26, 2015

Without the Presence of God, what do you have?

“When the manifest presence of Jesus is absent, 
we turn instead to programs, methods, organizations,
 and an assortment of activities to occupy our time and attention. 
Our programs, events and activities have become 
substitutes for his Presence.”


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Love these Braids (on Book Cover)

My Mr. Rochester 1 (Jane Eyre Retold, #1)

Italian Wedding Soup recipe from a friend

Joyce K.  1/30/13
This is the Italian Wedding Soup recipe that many of you asked for:

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tbls. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls. snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef ( I use ground turkey 7% fat)
1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large bowl combine all of the above ingredients and shape into small 1" meatballs. I bake them for 30 min. @350 degrees on a cookie sheet or you can cook them in a large skillet with 1 Tblsp. oil until browned on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.

8 cups reduced sodium Swanson chicken broth (2-32oz. boxes)
(I usually add 3-4 boxes)
3-5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbls. snipped fresh oregano or 11/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
3-4 large curly kale leaves, cut off the stem and chopped into 1/2" strips
1 cup dried acini di pepe pasta
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper

In a large soup pan combine broth, carrots, oregano, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are tender. Add add pasta, meatballs and kale and simmer until pasta is cooked about 20 minutes.

Walmart Funny Letter- to fictional person

Something I found somewhere (can't remember where).
But it's funny!  

Dear Mrs. Woolf, 
Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Woolf, are listed below and are "documented by our video surveillance cameras": 

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5- minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted in management getting involved causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of chips.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department - to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' Emergency Medics were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose. 10. September

10: While handling guns in the Sports department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 22: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!

15. Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where the fitting room was. And last, but not least:

16. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the Staff passed out.


Book- Rasmus and the Vagabond- 
After running away from an orphanage, nine-year-old Rasmus finds the world a cold and unfriendly place until he meets an extraordinary tramp called "Paradise Oscar."  Together they meet more adventure than they ever imagined,  .  All Rasmus really wants is a family; a mother and father who will love him.. Astrid Lindgren, who gave the world Pippi Longstocking, sets this action-packed classic of children’s literature in the Swedish countryside before the age of automobiles. AMAZON LINK

Oh boy, this was another story that I wasn't sure I was going to like.  I found before too long, that wasn't the case.  It was such a sweet, charming story with more than one subtle character building points.  Rasmus is tired of being passed over for girls with curly hair.  He has two strikes against him when it comes to getting a family.  He's a boy.  AND he has straight hair.   So when he innocently gets in trouble several times in one day, he hightails it out of the orphanage.  He tries to be brave, but he is cold, hungry and just a tiny bit afraid (okay, maybe more afraid at times than he wants to admit.)  That is until he meeets, Paradise Oscar.   Oscar becomes a buddy over time, someone who helps him, while still helping Rasmus keep his dignity.   That part is so well done, that it made me smile every time it happened.   That and the fact that Rasmus so often found himself less acceptable because he had straight hair.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't smiling because he felt somehow flawed but I smiled at the many times, in innocence he wove it into different conversations.  
The crooks in the story, give both Rasmus and Oscar a lot of grief but in the end, justice is served.  But the mystery of the chase is enjoyable.    There is a lazy day kind of wandering that Oscar and Rasmus did, that gave it a warm feeling but it also had adventure, and some challenges.  Just in case anyone thinks its a snoozer, its not. 
Oh and brace yourself, you might not see the end coming the way it does.  I like that a lot too!

The cover is a bit old world style and I didn't really care for it at first but I found it grew on me.  The same could also be said of the black and white sketches that are inside the book.  This kind of illustration is not normally a favorite with me.  Its probably because I've gotten spoiled with the more elaborate ones we see in most books.    BUT, not only did this style grow on me, it seemed to fit with the fresh, innocent simplicity of the story.  This story really surprised me.  I went from doubting I'd like it,  to loving it and wanting to put it into my Keeper Library.     

I received the book in this post compliments of Plough Publishing via Handlebar Marketing for purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



BOOK- My Highland Lover-
As the proprietor of a homeopathic store in rural Kentucky, Trulie Sinclair knows that her neighbors think she’s strange. And she is. Trulie was born in Scotland in the thirteenth century to a line of time-traveling Highlanders. When Trulie’s grandmother convinces her to return to their homeland, Trulie jumps back in time, right onto the powerful chest of Gray MacKenna.

After his parents are murdered, Gray is consumed by thoughts of revenge.He is not the new chieftain of the MacKenna clan, he has reason to believe that there’s a traitor in his midst, and nothing—not even the bonny lass who suddenly drops from the sky—can distract him from his single-minded pursuit of the culprit. But when Gray learns that this sassy beauty possesses gifts beyond her spunk and beauty, he is interested just the same.  While he hunts for the murderer, Gray finds he wants to keep Trulie with him always.  Even though she is drawn to Gray,  she's not sure she wants to stay in his time.      Amazon Link 

Action right out of the gate; I liked that.  Both of the meetings (in the beginning,) between Trulie and Gray were memorable and dramatic. In the first meeting, I was saying right along with Trulie, "What the heck just happened?" I really love time travel stories.  When they are well written that is.  And I found that to me, this one was.     
Granny the matriarch of the family, was quite a hoot with all of her scheming and plotting for Trulie's good of course. After all Trulie is the oldest daughter of Time Runners.  That position has with it even more gifts than just being a regular time runner and more responsibility. Something that Trulie isn't so sure she wants. Granny also has plans for the good of Gray and the MacKenna clan too.  Yes, Gray MacKenna believes there is a traitor in their midst.  I don't want to spoil it for other readers so I will only say this.  There is more than one evil person in the castle and it sure kept things hopping.       

I have to admit there was more than one time, the story made me laugh out loud.       

The story had a good ending with the opening of more adventures for the family.  Trulie does have more sisters and Trulie starts plotting something similar to her granny. The thoughts of Kenna and Colum brought a matchmaking smile to her face.  Colum has been Gray's faithful friend, confidant and guard.  Hmmmm. 

ARC generously provided for an honest review by Random House Publishing Group- Loveswept via NetGalley.