Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 02

BookRising Strong.

Author: Dr. Brene' Brown

Info:  Copyright 2015: New York:  Random House Audio

Where acquired: Audio library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭ 1/2

What it's about:  In what I would call The Gifts of Imperfection:  Part 3, Dr. Brown dissects the negative effects of vulnerability, how to rise from the pain of being genuine and continue to emotionally mature through the process.

Favorite Quotes:

From the introduction:  "There are too many people today, who instead of feeling hurt, are acting out their hurt.  Instead of acknowledging pain, they're inflicting pain on others.  Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they're choosing to live disappointed."

From Chapter 1: "The problem is; when we stop caring about what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect.  But, when we're defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable.  Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives.  For me, if you're not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback."

From Chapter 6:  "What is the point?  I can't eat anything that will make me feel better.  What I really want is chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.  I need to drown my resentment and anger in cream gravy....But I knew cream gravy was only a short term fix and would break my tenuous commitment to not numb with food." I feel your pain, sister.

From Chapter 9:  "The difference between shame and guilt lies in the way we talk to ourselves.  Shame is a focus on self, while guilt is a focus on behavior."  "It's always helpful to remember that when perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun."

Also from Chapter 9: Her stories of "Hairy Toes" and "Sexy Rice"

What I Liked:
  • I appreciate her honesty about our propensity to "gold plate grit"--to acknowledge a failure or struggle, but failing to deal with the emotions surrounding the disappointment of unmet expectations. In other words, the "before and after" syndrome that doesn't explore the messy middle.
  • Dr. Brown was the narrator of her own audio book.  She's an academic from Texas, so her storytelling sounds like someone from my neck of the woods, instead of some snob trying to impress by talking over my head..
  • The genuineness of the author using stories from her own life were a welcome addition to the text.  However...
What I didn’t like: 
  • Some of her stories left me scratching my head.  For example, in chapter 2 (without spoiling it) Dr. Brown describes an argument / vulnerable moment she had with her husband.  Quite frankly, I didn't get it.  I realize that I don't understand the marriage dynamic, but I know manipulation and extreme emotional pressure when I see it.  It goes back to the whole, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" crock of bull.  The story didn't show me a story of rising strong, but of pouting to get what you want--even if you don't know what it is.
  • I was very angered by her diatribe on privilege, more accurately "white privilege."  When she started that line of bull, I rolled my eyes and practically screamed out loud (as if Dr. Brown could hear my ranting and raving on the Ladiga Trail all the way from Houston, Texas) "D--n it, Brene'!  You didn't get where you are because you are white.  You succeeded because you worked your a-- off and did what it took to get where you are. You aren't prosperous because you disenfranchised other races of humans and forced them into poverty so you could have more.  You did the work.  Be proud of who you are.  And for the LOVE, stop being ashamed of being white!"
  • Like all of her books I read, there's cussing in it.  I can't really complain since she brought out the cuss in me this time.
  • I didn't understand her contrast of broken heartedness versus disappointment.  Doesn't one feed the other?
Takeaway
Quite honestly, after my first reading of Rising Strong, I absolutely hated it.  I was ready to give it one of these...
...and move on.  However, I knew there was something deeper here.  I had discussions with my mentor and with my sister-in-blog, Annie (Yes it took both of them to talk me down from the ledge of dumping the book and saying "screw it").  What I gathered from their insights was that I was ready to dump the book because it brought out vulnerabilities that I didn't really want to deal with. So, what did I do?  Instead of dumping the book, I reread it two more times, plus, reading portions between other readings in a frantic attempt to get to the root of what I needed to learn.  I needed to learn to acknowledge and work through the pain of my own vulnerabilities.  Most importantly, I needed to learn that I could give myself permission to feel what I feel and deal with it.  But boy, the issues this book brought out were agonizing. 
It's no secret (or maybe it is) that I struggle with race, gender, and socioeconomic status.  I'm a black woman who refuses to use those as excuses for where I am (or am not).  I firmly believe that "privilege" --or the lack thereof--has nothing to do with my station.  I have my own personal demons to deal with; I don't have time to create haints that aren't there.  I'm a woman who struggles with being unmarried, childless, and over 40 in the midst of  Western and Judeo-Christian culture that dictates that the foundation of womanhood is built on marriage and family.  I'm on the low rung of the socioeconomic ladder, and I struggle with simple things others scoff at such as trying to eat healthy on a tight budget, getting out of debt, and trying to get a decent car before my old one gives up the ghost.  So, my definition of rising strong isn't going to look like what people think it should look like.    Reminds me of a quote from Craig Ferguson, "I don't want to be one of them; I want to be one of ME."

Friday, January 27, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Control"



What seems to make up leadership?  Control.

The ability to control the money.

The ability to control the underlings / direct reports (I've always hated those terms, but they're there).

The stamina to control his emotions...or at least look like he does anyway.

The privilege of controlling the rules.  Like any game, he who controls the rules always wins.  Why?  Because he can change them at will to suit his whims.

In my experience, it seems that a leader doesn't really have to exercise much self control.  As long as he can control those beneath him, he has no obligation to follow rules or have self discipline.

I bring this up because I'm in the midst of reading Gretchen Rubin's book Better than Before and I'm bothered by something.  In it, she mentions the four personality tendencies:  the obliger,  the questioner, the upholder, and the rebel.  The rebel, as scary as it seems, sounds like the typical leader; no rules to follow, no need for self control, no accountability, and they make the rules.


Is that really how this works?  Is this why I'll never be a leader?

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Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fantasy Island: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Come on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

 
"The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently? 
Tears--both in joy and sorrow--have been a healing balm to my soul.  For someone who's used food to stifle emotions their whole life, the benefits of allowing myself the freedom to cry and laugh until tears stream down my face is a new and scary vulnerability.  Sure, I have the God-given gift to make others laugh and present the depth of feeling that brings on the tears of others, but allowing those things for myself is still very unfamiliar and inconsistent.
What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all?
Popcorn.  I try not to go overboard with salt, but I do enjoy the flavor that a good dash of salt brings out in food.
Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 
"Draw a line in the sand."  I cannot tell the whys and wherefores, but let's just say, I've had enough of some things in my life and I'm dealing with them.
A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme?

Does this count?
 
Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so?
Oh gosh!  My days have been running me lately.  I'm going through an insomnia cycle complete with irritability, backache, and a good case of the mullygrubs!  Not cool, not cool at all.  Having a restless night once in a while is one thing, but this has been going on for nearly a week, and it's getting old.
You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran?
Why not some of all of it?  Part of the time spent parked in a beach chair soaking up rays, reading a book, and drinking a refreshing nonalcoholic beverage with one of those little umbrellas in it (served by a cute guy in a Speedo, of course).  Added to that short spells of shopping in town between books, umbrella drinks, and cute guys in Speedos.  Taking the time to learn how to snorkel and drive a jet ski sound like fun too. 
What do you think we humans most take for granted?
  • Each other.
  • Good eyesight.
  • Having clean water in abundance.
  • The ability to read.
  • Quiet
  • Warning signs
  • God's love
Insert your own random thought here.
For those so inclined, please pray that I get some consistent restful sleep soon NOW, or I'm going to have to run off to an island for a beach chair, umbrella drink, and a cute guy in a Speedo.  The sleep's cheaper.  Thanks, and see y'all next time.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Refine"


Malachi 3:3 - And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.


When I first saw the prompt, I had absolutely no inspiration, save the Scripture passage above.

I get that God wants us refined, but what does that really mean?  Whose standard are we to adhere to?  Christ, the head of the Church, has no issue with knowing and presenting the standard.  However, the problem comes when those who are to represent the church change the Lord's definition of "refined."  Instead of letting God's Word and the Holy Spirit truly transform the church from dross to fine gold, human pride and frailty get in the way.  In other words, when the Word of God is ignored and he/she who has the biggest wallet and/or worldly influence decides the next move of the church, we are in deep doo-doo.

Despite popular opinion, this is not a denominational specific problem. I've seen or heard of it in every type of church setting, whether evangelical or liturgical, large or small.  The problem is not the church; the problem is we have lost the spirit of the Refiner and lost His definition of what his family should look like.


Let's fix this, shall we?

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Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oh Bother: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Come on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?
"As sleepy as permissible." I've had to function that way lately.  It's no fun.  Fortunately, I'm taking a day off Friday, so maybe I can get some rest.
Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?
I am the first to have an idea, but the last to speak up in a group.  Usually, I'm in situations where I'm allowed to be with the group physically, but my input is not welcome.  So, it's best to keep quiet. 
What do you remember best about being 12? 
Not much--thank the Lord.  I remember it being my first year of high school, which wasn't a good memory.  Anyway, move on to the nostalgia question.  That's a good one.
January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 
I find this question interesting.  My mentor has a plethora of things on the conference table where we meet.  I'm not sure what they're actually for, but sometimes I use them to express my mood.  Unfortunately, I routinely pick the Eeyore figurine.  It's no secret that I struggle with depression; in that, I am like Eeyore.  However, I feel that I've broken away from persistent pessimism and the pain of an anhedonic existence.  So, I am working to be more like Pooh.  Only around children am I like Tigger.
What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 
Runkeeper.  I have a Garmin watch and a FitBit, but Runkeeper is my preferred tracker.
San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?
San Francisco.  I keep hearing that it is full of culture and fun touristy things to do.  Plus, I just have a heart for California.  I'd also like to do the river walk in San Antonio.
 Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 
 
Ah, the 80's.  Big hair, bright colors, people who actually sing and play musical instruments rather than put out music that sounds like it was written by an appliance (Thank Greg Proops for that one).  Makes me think of rushing from church on Sundays to listen to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show.  The 80's is where I started my own journey towards musicianship.  I took my first music lessons in the 80's and have played ever since. 
Insert your own random thought here. 
Have a great week, y'all.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 01

Book: Promise Me Tomorrow. (Rocky Mountain Memories #4).

Author: Lori Wick

Info:  Copyright 1997: Eugene, OR:  Harvest House Publishers

Where acquired: Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭

What it's about:  In this final volume of the Rocky Mountain Memories series, Wick picks up the story years after Book 3:  To Know Her By Name.  Catherine Taggart (known as "Rusty" by all), the oldest daughter of Clayton and Jacqueline Taggart (book 1), has a grand love of children.  She works with her Aunt and Uncle at an orphanage.  During a placement trip, Rusty meets Chase McCandles, a widower with a young son.  Through a set of mishaps, unrequited love, plus some divine intervention, Rusty and Chase end up at odds with each other with his child in the middle. 

Favorite Quotes:

The beauty of one phrase that Rusty prays struck me--but in a good way.  She prayed that God would "Remember me when You think of motherhood."  I thought it was simply beautiful.  She wasn't saying she would be a perfect mother or that she was better than anyone else, she simply knew that her life's call was to be a mother, and she wanted to have God's blessing as she fulfilled His purpose.  I know, usually I don't care for stuff like that, but I'd never heard a prayer for motherhood quite like that in any book, fiction or otherwise.

What I Liked:
  • This book is a great deal better than Book 3.
  • Rusty's interactions with children are fun to see.
  • Quite frankly, I like that way Rusty told off Chase about his treatment of his son.  By the time she let him have it, she was WARM!
  • This final volume does tie up some loose ends and bring in familiar characters from the prequels.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Like the lead female character in book 3, Rusty Taggart's character is written in a confusing manner.  During the opening chapters, she is presented as flighty, weak, and daft.  Later, her personality quickly changes to reveal a woman of strength and great passion, but with no outside precipitant to account for it.  It was almost as if her strength of character could only be revealed in the context of being around a male.
Takeaway
Good conclusion to the series.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Middle"

 
More than once this past year, I've heard the time period for working the process for change referred to as the "messy middle."   I'm in the process of reading Dr. Brene' Brown's book Rising Strong, in which she takes the reader through the process of the messy middle.  This is the part we hide.  This is the part that's left out of our testimonies.  This is the part of a fitness quest where the blood, sweat, tears, cussing, and vomit part of the before and after story are conspicuously missing.  The messy middle is lying in the floor in the fetal position asking God to give you a reason to live.  The messy middle is hanging on to the sides of a treadmill with a white-knuckled death grip because you're dead tired, but you'd rather die than fall off or quit in front of anyone.

No one likes the messy middle.  They just want to see a before picture of a fat, unhappy person, then applaud as that same person bursts through that image the picture of health, wealth, and happiness.  Here's AFTER!

Sorry, snowflake, it don't work that way.

The messy middle is where triumph is built. 

Like I read on Dave Ramsey's Twitter page:  Success is a pile of failure that you are standing on.

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Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

S is for Spaghetti Squash [A-Z Challenge 2015]

 
 
Experiments From Auntie's Test Kitchen
 
Intro  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

                                                                                                                    
 
S is for Spaghetti Squash
 
 
As a native Southerner, I'm no stranger to squash.  However, our idea of squash is the yellow crooknecked squash in casseroles and...well casseroles.  I tried growing zucchini once, but it cross-pollinated with a cucumber and cantaloupe plant.  The result was some "thing."  Some friends volunteered to eat it.  Though they said it was good, I've not had much contact with zucchini since.
 
I happened to be talking to my friend, Annie, during her dinner prep one day and she was cooking spaghetti squash.  Spaghetti squash?  I'd never heard of it.  She said it was a squash that when baked, flakes off in the consistency of spaghetti.  She even sent me a picture of it (sauce and all).  It looked yummy.   
 
Earlier this week, I was tooling around on the Nerd Fitness site and happened across a spaghetti squash recipe
 
Heck, why not?
 
I purchased a spaghetti squash and got started.  As a side note:  I usually buy groceries at Wal-Mart.  This, plus being in the South, I was pleasantly surprised to find spaghetti squash in the produce department.  Understand, I come from a very poor background where we bought basic staples and didn't hunt for anything exotic.
 
As for the sauce, the site has a pretty easy recipe to make your own.  However, I had a can of sauce in the pantry, so I browned some ground turkey and added the sauce to it. 
 
Preparing the squash is pretty simple:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Remove and discard the seeds and pulp (the gooey stuff) in the middle of the squash.
  • Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and lightly salt, if desired.  Allow the oil to soak into the vegetable for a couple of minutes.
  • Flip the squash, open sides down onto the cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and use a fork to flake out the inside of the squash.  I know I don't need to tell you this, but it's going to be HOT.  Use caution and the proper utensils.
  • Serve with sauce and/or side dishes (like my salad) and enjoy.

And enjoy it I did.  The most fun part was flaking it out the shell.  It really does come out looking like spaghetti.  I just keep saying, "This is so cool."  Anyway, after playing with it, I did get around to eating it.  It was fabulous.  It has a sweet flavor and has a slight crunch.  I will definitely be making this one again.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Connect"


Preamble:  I started not to do this prompt.  I had a meeting with my mentor on this very subject (among others) and it didn't go well.  So, warning, I'm not in the best of moods (and I've even had a nap).  This is going to be longer than 5 minutes of writing, but I need to get this out of my craw.  Thank you for your patience, and as always, for reading this mess.

At work today, I kept getting hang up calls from the same person.  I knew who it was, so I figured she was "butt dialing" and didn't know it.  So, I didn't think much of it until she continued to call.   When we finally connected, it didn't last long.  She would ask a question.  I would answer.  She would start hollering "Hello!"  I'd start hollering "Hello!"  **Click**  Dang!  It took several tries before we were finally able to have a conversation without becoming disconnected.

For me, connection in life is just as hard...only finally getting to consistent connection is rare, but it is happening more than it used to.

The great news is that I regularly connect with two good friends; one in my neck of the woods, one in the far away land called Colorado.  Barring extenuating circumstances, I connect one-on-one with each lady once a week, one in person, one via Skype.  The ironic thing is that both of these friends are married--one with two children--yet we have so much in common--a clear "line" for connection.  It's a true blessing.  I also meet weekly with a gracious mentor.  Though we don't always see eye to eye, we have a great "line" of connection.  Again, a true blessing.

The not-so-great news is that in my daily walking around life, connection is so sparse, and often futile:  people who ask me a question, then talk all over me so I never get to answer, customers who won't get off their phones long enough to have a courteous face to face exchange with a fellow human being, a church culture that is so "families and children" oriented that singles with no children (especially women) are either leaving angry and depressed or lost in obscure invisibility. My two friends keep me sane in the midst of this painful obscurity; my mentor is encouraging me to be the agent of change from this painful obscurity.

It takes two to begin connection.

It takes two on the same "line" to truly connect.

How does one connect in such a disconnected world?  Is the world disconnected, or is it just my world that's disconnected?

Sorry folks, social media isn't going to cut it.  I found that out the hard way. That, my friends, is the equivalent of "butt dialing."

-----
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Don't Believe Me? Just Watch: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Come on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

On Christmas Sunday, our Pastor preached a message called "Unwrapped" where he had the kids in the church join him for an unwrapping session.  As the children unwrapped each gift, he would explain what the gift meant.  Each gift (a clock, a pair of shoes, a wallet, etc) represented what we could give the Lord as a gift all year (our time, our talents, our resources, etc).  You have to understand, Pastor Staples has a serious, scholarly personality.  That all got thrown out the window when he dealt with this gaggle of children.  It was so stinking hilarious.  Experience with preschoolers teaches that there's always that ONE kid who's going to answer EVERY question you ask, whether they know the answer or not.  They will come up with something. There was one particular little boy who came up with some zingers.  Pastor's quote, "This isn't turning out exactly how I planned."  Yep, but it sure was funny.
What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
 
As I mentioned in a previous hodgepodge, I was considering going to Effina's and eating their Voodoo Pasta.  I vacillated back and forth about whether it was ostentatious or wasteful to buy myself an expensive meal.  It was neither...it was freaking delicious! 
What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?
 

The Ladiga Trail for my Christmas Day walk.  The weather was perfect.  The only thing that would have made it better is some friends to chat with.
What does fresh start mean to you?

It mean another chance to get things right.  It means another opportunity to learn.  A fresh start means all the false starts and mess ups won't be allowed.  It means a clean page to start writing a new chapter of life.  Yeah, I know it sounds like a cliché, but it's true. 
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain. 
A two, maybe.  I really didn't meet any goals.  The problem was, I set them, and then never looked at them again.  I couldn't tell you where I wrote them down.  I'm doing different this year.
Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.  Here's the 2017 list of banished words- You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption. Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?
First, who made these people the authority?  Second, I've not heard of many of these words so I don't have a dog in this fight.  Third, who cares?  If a word is being used properly what difference does it make.  Why don't we spend time getting rid of some really damaging words--racism, sexism, poverty, cancer, loneliness, depression, you know, stuff like that.  
Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 
Each year, the Anniston Runners Club (ARC) has a mileage reward program.  An average of a mile a day (365, well 366 for leap year) wins the participant a pair of ARC socks.  Two a day (730, or 732 for leap year) garners an ARC visor.  The ultimate is the 1200 club--a average of 100 miles a month.  Not only does that win you an ARC jacket, but elite status.  I've been a member of the club for 3 years and each time I've only managed to win the socks. This year, I'm going for the jacket.  Even if I don't make it (I believe I will), I'll have walked and run more miles that I ever have.
Insert your own random thought here.

This song isn't new, but I'm usually late to latch on to good music.  I've been walking to this song all week.  Enjoy.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Reading Quest: Introduction

2017 Reading Quest

Well, Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Reading Challenge has come to a close.  Time for a whole new one. 

Like last year's challenge, this one doesn't have any specific instructions or types of required books.  However, some books may be part of various categories.  Examples include:
  • Glorious rereads - books I enjoyed so much that I'm reading them again.
  • Everybody's Reading It - books that everybody and their grandma read that I'm just now getting to.
  • Nobody Admits to Reading It - books that others have said to stay away from (whether they've read it or not).
  • Impulse Reads - Books I bought or checked out of the library for no other reason than "hey, this looks interesting."
I plan to continue reviewing each book.  My rating system is:

✮✮✮ = Outstanding

✮✮✮ = Pretty good

✮✮ = Could have been better / could have been worse.

= Not so great



 = Who wrote this crap?!





Last year, I had the goal of reading 30 books.  I "only" read 26.  This year, I will go for 30 again.

Whether you read one book or 50 this year, I would enjoy y'all joining along.

So, what are your reading goals for 2017?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviews of this year's books:

Book 1     Book 11     Book 21 
Book 2     Book 12     Book 22
Book 3     Book 13     Book 23
Book 4     Book 14     Book 24
Book 5     Book 15     Book 25
Book 6     Book 16     Book 26
Book 7     Book 17     Book 27
Book 8     Book 18     Book 28
Book 9     Book 19     Book 29
Book 10   Book 20     Book 30


Read, but not Reviewed:
  1. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon:  A glorious reread.  (February, 2017)
  2. Saturday Night At the Dinosaur Stomp. by Carol Diggory Shields.  Read to kindergarten class for Read Across America.  (03/02/17)
  3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.  A new read, but there was just too much for me to try to review it.  I will say this, the book was very well written, but it was CREE-PY. (04/22/17)
  4. Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night. by Lewis Grizzard.  More of Grizzard's downhome nuttiness.  (04/30/17)
  5. Man's Search for Meaning.  by Dr. Viktor Frankl.  A reread (because of the subject matter, I wouldn't call it a "glorious" reread).  I didn't review it, but I did share my reaction to it here.
  6. The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke.  A glorious reread. June 2017
  7. The Winds of Autumn by Janette Oke.  A glorious reread.  June 2017
  8. Winter is not Forever by Janette Oke.  A glorious reread.  June 2017
  9. Spring's Gentle Promise by Janette Oke.  A glorious reread.  June 2017
  10. Whatever Tomorrow Brings by Lori Wick. (09/08/17)
  11. As Time Goes By by Lori Wick (09/09/17)
  12. Sean Donovan by Lori Wick (09/10/17)
  13. Donovan's Daughter by Lori Wick (09/19/17)
DNF's:  Books I didn't finish.
  1. Knitlandia:  A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes.  I did write a review for what I did read here.