Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 09: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
BTW--I love Mrs. Joyce's new Hodgepodge Logo!

What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Let's just say I have perfectionistic tendencies.  No, they're not good.  I worry excessively about getting things right for fear of repercussions.  I apologize too much, even for things I didn't even do.  I never feel like anything is good enough.  I hate it.

What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Don't get me started.  I'll list a few:
  • Arguments about the left lane. Since when did the left lane become a magical side of the road where there's no speed limit?  I do believe that police officers give tickets for speeding in that lane also--at least that's what my driver's manual told me.
  • People who put their child/grandchild's report card on social media.  Sorry, but that's just plain tacky.  I put that right up there with Elite Night
  • Select-a-size paper towels.  The person who invented these monstrosities should be hung by his feet and used as a piñata.  I think they are designed to always tear bigger or smaller than you intended, so you'll waste a bunch and buy more.
  • Politics.  'Nuf said.
What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, "practice makes perfect"?

Playing musical instruments.

What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?

One that I don't have to cook myself that comes from Cracker Barrel, Ihop, or my Mama's kitchen.

What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

I was blessed with the gift of spending Christmas Eve night at the Hampton Inn in JackVegas.  It was glorious:  the quiet aloneness garnered me more than 12 straight hours of sleep.  I woke up refreshed and rested for the first time in a while.  I worked out, got ready for services, and had a lovely complementary breakfast.  Wish I could do the same thing for Easter.

What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?

"O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!" - Habakkuk 1:2

How would you spend $300 today?

$30 tithe
$10 offering
$100 savings
$50 car maintenance
$75 groceries and toiletries
$25 Cell phone minutes
$10 Fun bucks

Insert your own random thought here.

As an avid reader, I like to share what I read with others.  I don't believe I've ever shared one of my book reviews with the Hodgepodge crowd before.  So, here's the review of a book I recently completed.  To understand the quest and the scoring system, or to view more of my latest reviews, read here.

BookThe Proposal. (English Garden Series #1)

Author: Lori Wick

Info:  Copyright 2003:  Waterville ME:  Thorndike Press (Large Print Edition)

Where acquired: Library check out.

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

What it's about:  The setting is upper class Georgian-Era England. William Jennings, too young to be so set in his ways and too logical for his own good, inherits three children--two preteen boys and a young girl--from a deceased cousin.  At the joy getting to be a parent without the bother of a wife, his first thoughts were to groom the young men and cast off the little girl to a nanny.  After this arrangement turns tragic, he must learn how to truly love these children, rather than selfishly "provide" for them.  Along the way, he gets help and direction from his sister Lydia, her family, and Marianne, a friend of Lydia's.   Even with this circle of accountability, will Jennings learn what love is, or most importantly Who love is?

Favorite Quotes:

Exchange between Thomas and Mr. Jennings
     "They're not as frightening as you first thought, are they, sir?"  the young man asked.
     "What aren't, Thomas?"
     "Little girls." - p. 76

Exchange between Mr. Jennings and Thomas
     "Do you attend church to please your father?"
     "My heavenly Father or Goodwin Jennings?"
     "That's not why I go, sir, although I know he would be pleased."
     "Why do you go?"
     "The life of one who chooses to follow Christ is very challenging, sir.  I can rest knowing that God is in control at all times, but I can't stop changing and growing.  And to change and grow, I have to keep learning." - p. 202

Exchange between Marianne and her mother
     "You don't think I should have said yes?"
     "At one time I would have, but not when I think about his not loving you.  I want you to be cherished, and unless you are going to be, you can just stay right here where I know it will happen."
     They were words that Marianne would cling to in the time to come.  Even as she recounted the story to her mother, she had doubts about refusing Mr. Jennings.  However, she would not settle for anything less than love.  Marianne knew this deep in her heart, but unless she worked to keep it at the forefront of her mind, she might be tempted to doubt her own sanity. - p. 362

What I Liked:
  • Although William Jennings was a turd in the beginning of the novel, I am pleased that human compassion took over to make him less turd-like.
  • Yes, the outcome of the story is predictable, but how they got there wasn't.  Not to spoil it for anyone, but this book should have been called The Proposals.  It was a mess.
  • Unlike the last Lori Wick series I read, none of the main female characters in this novel were airheads.  Quite refreshing after my last experience.
  • Plain and simple, I loved the children in this story.  No, they were not perfect by any stretch, but their interactions were a delight.
  • Though all the characters were well-to-do, there was no ostentation presented.  Yes, they were wealthy, but the extravagance wasn't the focus.  The female who marries in the novel didn't have to for financial reasons; her family was very well off.  She found real love, not convenient love.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The jump from curiosity to love was a little forced.  It didn't seem that the characters knew enough about each other to fall in love so quickly.  It went from "I need someone to take my last name and nanny my children." to "I love you and can't live without you." way too abruptly.
  • Lydia didn't have her baby, so we don't know what it is.  The poor woman is left pregnant until I have time to start the second novel.
  • It was confusing to have some of the male characters referred to by their last names. 
  • How many times is Penny going to have to pee to get through a chapter?  I know she's little, but good grief.  It was funny the first couple of times, but come on...
  • It bothered me that the story depicted a single woman accompanying a single man on an extended trip.  In that time frame, would that have not been thought of as scandalous?  Yet, her parents readily agreed.  That doesn't seem to fit, Christians or not, separate rooms or not.
Takeaway:  A splendid start to another series.  I hope the rest are just as good, if not better.


  1. My dad and I used to go to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast once/month before school. I loved it so much. time to connect and feel seen & heard.

    1. It been a coon's age since I've been to Cracker Barrel. I need to take myself out to breakfast.

      AS far as feeling seen and heard, yeah, it would be nice to feel that way somewhere other than the internet.