Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy

I am blessed to never know what it was like to be orphaned.  Especially at a time in our country when you were put on a train and hoped that someone would adopt you off the train.  I remember my roommate in college telling how her grandparent had been adopted off an orphan train.  It’s impossible to trace your family history at that point.  However, I believe those lucky enough to be adopted into families that loved them didn’t mind.  They were thankful.  I believe orphans today are thankful when adopted into families that love them and take them as one of their own.  

That being said, had I been an orphan in the 1800s and ended up at the last stop I’m not sure how I would have felt.  And how would I have reacted when a man in his late 20s showed up and took me and any other stragglers back to his ranch where I would be met with several other adopted brothers and sisters.  I’m not sure if the feeling would be that of gratitude or leeriness.  Especially when the new school teacher is not exactly thrilled with the arrangement.  

Come to Gingham Mountain and meet Grant Cooper and Hannah Cartwright who have more in common than either want to admit.  Will Hannah succeed in having the children removed from an unsafe environment?  Or will she discover secrets that cause her to evaluate her heart and what true love really is all about? 

This book was truly a pleasure to read as it did charge my mind to think about things and how my heart would have been hurt and the walls would have been put up in the situations that are described within the pages.  I hope you’ll pick up Gingham Mountain and think through these situations for yourself.  

To purchase this book for yourself, go to Amazon and grab a copy for yourself.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I have found a new love. Sidewalks. The areas around my house are all mapped out with sidwalks. Beginning a few weeks ago I decided that Murphy (the dog) and I should start taking longer walks. So we began circling the subdivision at least 2-3 times a week. Then last weekend I decided that we should begin taking longer walks. And we ventured out into the big world outside what we consider our own. My subdivision is a new development in the middle of older homes. It has been such a treat to set out each time we have the opportunity to stroll through the neighborhoods near here. To see the houses and people working the yards gives me a sense of community. I do not know the people but they always wave and say "hello." And today we came upon the cutest little old couple holding hands and walking down the sidewalk ahead of us. We quickly caught up with them, and as we passed they spoke. And it felt right. If I ever marry, I hope my husband will walk with me in our old age. And that as the younger folks pass, I hope we'll speak and they too will feel a sense of community.
*** Above image is from my subdivision.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


If you know me you know that I am not a frequent visitor of the local cinema. I mean seriously, $9.50 is quite a bit to drop on a movie. Especially since it'll sell for $9.99 when it comes out on DVD at the local Tar-jay. However, the last two weekends I have felt the need to go see an actual movie at the theater. (Oh, and I won't even tell you how it angers me that matinees stop at the 2:00 have to pay full price for anything later than that!) But anywho...

Last weekend my friend Liz and I ventured out to see New In Town. Super cute movie. I'm a big fan of Harry Connick Jr. In my opinion this movie is up there with Sweet Home Alabama, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and any other chick flick I will watch repeatedly either on DVD or every.single.time it is on TV. I'll tolerate the commercials to watch these movies.

This weekend I went with a couple of ladies from work to see He's Just Not That Into You. A few years ago, Arynda, Kelli O, and I had gone to Memphis and Betsy lent us the book to read on the way home. I don't think I have ever laughed so much with a group of girls as we laughed reading that book. There are so many truths in it of how girls behave and tell themselves what a guy thinks when we know deep down it isn't true. This movie had several things in it which were not of my beliefs (affairs, cohabitation) but the truths of how men and women believe were evident. The book is a must read if you are single or have single girlfriends as it is the truth.

I will probably eventually add each of these to my collection. Definitely New in Town and probably He's Just Not That Into You (even if it is only to point out to my girlfriends a specific situations which they are overthinking.)

Oh, and if you're one of those people who watch a movie and pay attention to the music in hopes of a great soundtrack, New In Town had very little music, but HJNTIY had some great music. I found myself singing along (in my head to save the ears of those around me) to several songs.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Word Gets Around

The second book I'd like to tell you about this week is Word Gets Around. This book by Lisa Wingate is a very easy read. It's the cute story of Lauren Eldridge who was raised in Daily, Texas, and on the rodeo circuit with her cowboy dad. When her father calls in a favor to Lauren to return to Daily to assist with training a horse that will be in a new Hollywood film, Lauren reluctantly leaves her home and heads toward Texas. Justin Shay is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and screenwriter Nate Heath helps him get there with his scripts. When Justin tricks Nate into joining him on the project, Nate fears the worse will happen because the script as he's been given it is not sellable to a director. Not only does Justin's career hang on this film being a success, but Lauren's family farm is also at stack. Will Lauren stick around to train the horse or head back to the life she has built for herself as a university professor? Will Nate make the screenplay a brilliant success or leave Justin hanging?

The above is my synopsis of the book to its storyline. I thought the story was cute, but one thing drove me crazy the whole time. The author, trying to emphasis the Southerness of the talk would often write out how the words would sound with a Southern accent or twang. Being from the South I found it offensive to read in that she did not believe the reader could read the accent in their head without her writing it out. For instance, rather than writing guarantee, she would write guar-own-tee. This quickly got annoying and did not lend itself to me wanting to read other books like this. I have not read any other books by this author so I do not know if this is something she does in every book, but if so I'm not sure I'd be keen on reading other books by her.

If things like that do not bother you, or you just want a cute book to read on your vacation or day off, then hop over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Things I Should Be Blogging About More Regularly

So, in my absence of real posts (like I ever write such a thing around here) I thought I'd try to catch you up on what's been happening in my life since I turned the big 3-oh.

1) I so did not have a conversation with my car this morning about how my car does not like the cold weather. Nope, not me. This would be a great post for Not Me Monday, but we all know I can never remember to do those types of posts on the days that I am supposed to.

2) Speaking of Not Me Monday, have you ever read MckMama's blog? If not, and you're female (guys I think you'll be less interested) you should. This woman is a riot. And her kids are so cute. She less off-the-wall random than Pioneer Woman.

3) I just found a nail in the screen of my window upstairs. The construction in the lot next to mine is responsible. I'm hoping the builder will replace my screen. We'll see. With all the contracts you have sign saying you are aware the neighborhood is under construction (which I think are due mostly to noise early in the AM as well as potential nails in the road) I'm not sure they will. But I'll be calling to ask.

4) Speaking of nails in the road, I think they just throw them out there on purpose. I picked up at least 20 in front of the house next door. And then noticed it appears they just dumped a bucket full of them right next to the road. Lovely.

5) I received Camp Cucamonga from NetFlix today. It's been years since I've seen this movie. Oh I love these types of movies.

6) New In Town was stinking hilarious if you like Chick Flicks. Or have ever worked with someone from Minnesota.

7) My friend Grace moved in and took over one of the upstairs bedrooms. Please say a prayer for her as she is currently looking for employment in this downward economy.

8) I got to watch the season premiere of LOST with a long-time friend. Like we went to elementary school together long-time friend. It was nice to be able to hang out with somone I've known for so long.

9) I hosted a "soup"er bowl party for a few of my friends. A good time was had by all but we ate so many appetizers there is still a huge bowl of broccoli cheese soup in my fridge. Good thing it's been cold this week. No snow for us this far South though. We just get snow.

10) My new addiction is House. Seriously, the man is my fictional-TV-character-hero. And I want to be just like him when I grow up to be a fictional-TV-character. Seriously.

Ok friends. That should be enough random things that I should have made whole blog posts about but have not. Thanks for sticking with me through the downtimes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Desires of Her Heart

Desires of Her Heart by Lyn Cote really tugged at my heart for the story and for society of then and of now.  This is the story of Dorritt and her family as they travel from their home in Louisiana to Stephen Austin's settlement in the Texas area.  On the trip Dorritt befriends Quinn, a frontier scout who is half-Indian, half-Anglo-Saxon.  Dorritt's stepfather quickly disapproves of their friendship, but soon realizes without Quinn they will never make it safely to Austin's settlement.  Will Dorritt continue to trust God to lead her and her family on their journey?  Will Quinn trust God not to let Him down and give him a future he is worthy of?  

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I like the style in which Lyn writes and look forward to reading more books by her.  I really felt drawn into her characters and my heart ached and rejoiced right along with them.  I would encourage you to pick up this book and read it for yourself.  It gives a different perspective to the wagon train lifestyle and makes you really think how we treat those who are different than us, even when we can learn so much from them.

To order a copy of the book for yourself, click here.