Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Living in Harmony -- A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Living in Harmony
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)
Mary Ellis

Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed this book!  I have always enjoyed Amish fiction, but this book took a new twist on it that push it to the top of the list of my favorite Amish books.  I enjoyed how Mary Ellis made it very realistic to the current environment an Amish person might experience and placed a lot more emphasis on actual thoughts and inner battles that a young person would have rather than making it all sugar coated and predictable.  Not to say the book isn't predictable, but I enjoyed the various twists and turns more than the normal cookie cutter approach.


Living in Harmony is the first book in bestselling author Mary Ellis's New Beginnings series. It's about fresh starts and love...and how faith in God and His perfect plan for our lives provides us with the peace and joy we desire.

Amy King--young, engaged, and Amish--faces difficult challenges in her life when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancé, John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives who can help the women in their time of need.

John's brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sally readily open their home to the three newcomers. Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting instead a period of adjustment and counseling.

During this time Amy discovers an aunt who was shunned. She wishes to reconnect with her, but this puts a strain on her relationship with John.

Can John and Amy find a way to live in happily in Harmony before making a lifetime commitment to one another?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Living in Harmony, go HERE.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mt. Rainier and the Gondola Ride

It's quite the big deal around these parts of the Pacific Northwest when the sky around Mount Rainier (14,411') is clear and she makes her grand debut.  Last week I told the future Mr. that if it were pretty on Saturday we should drive down to Crystal Mountain Resort and ride the gondola to the top to see the mountain even closer.  My dear friend Abi is visiting from the Charleston area and I thought it would be a fun day trip.  It turned out even  better than I could have imagined.  If you're ever in this area and the day is crystal clear, I suggest this for an outing.

Getting ready to board the gondola for the ride up.

 As you step off the gondola, this is the view you are greeted with.  They have chairs, but the gentleman in the lower right corner brought his own.  He sat there the whole time we were there.  Breathtaking views for an afternoon sit.

The view looking back down at Crystal Mountain Resort.  The gondola path is on the right.

 While there, you can dine at Summit House Restaurant.  We were lucky enough to score a table on the patio and this was our view.  This is the highest restaurant in Washington State.  The food was very good.  Abi got a homemade ginger-ale and it was amazing!

 After lunch we hiked to the top of Grubstake Point (6877') and I got this shot of Mt. Rainier peaking out between the trees.  P.S. and by hiked, I mean it was about a 30' hike up to this point, but is was a higher elevation than the Summit House (6872').

And if you're on top of a mountain looking over at another pretty mountain, you might as well have some fun with the 'rock' you wear every day.  :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take me out to the crowds. 
Seriously, it's one of the few times I like crowded places.
Buy me some take-out Chinese food and garlic fries.
Love me some bbq pork, duck, and fries topped with so much garlic the apple slices at the end are so refreshing.
Picture some yummy food here...I was too hungry to consider taking a picture.
I don't care if I never get back
Really, I could do this every day.  Except I'd need a more comfortable seat.

For it's root, root, root for the home team
The Mariners are the team to cheer for out here.  I'll always be a Braves fan at heart.

If they don't win it's a shame (They won!)
We missed the perfect game by a few days, but I'll always remember where I was when I heard the news.  Cake tasting...yum!

For it's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out at the old ball game.
After the game, the kids (future nephews) got to run around the bases.  A highlight for them!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Weather

So, yeah, it's come down to me having to talk about the weather to have blog material.  Just kidding!  However, I do want to address the weather I've experienced for the last week.  90 degrees.  Seattle (I mean Renton) what the heck?  I thought we had an agreement.  I love you in your upper 70s... and even into your lower 80s.  But twice this month you've been over 90.  Enough!  Let's just hang out in the upper 70s and lower 80s and be friends.  OK?  On a high note, at least the future Mr. put in air conditioning a couple of years ago so we have it better than some. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Over the Edge - A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over The Edge
Bethany House (August 1, 2012)
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Over The Edge, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Conference Call: A True Story

If you work in corporate America and participate in conference calls ever, this will apply to you.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Brain Dump

  • The Olympics.  I love them.  I loathe NBC's coverage, CNNs insistence on putting spoilers on the home page as breaking news, and the lack of attention to the actual games and more on jumping around and showing stupid commercials for Fall programming.
  • However, I am looking forward to Fall shows coming back on.  Revenge, you are a dish best served in my living room on a weekly basis and not just during the regular season.  I miss you.
  • I have been watching the new Dallas.  I remember watching the original Dallas at my babysitter's house.  I remember loving JR back then.  Some things never change.
  • Amazon Prime instant movie and tv show viewing on my ipad.  Yes, Please, and Thank You!  I had just lamented to my friend Adam the other day that it was the thing I missed the most on the ipad versus an Android tablet.  Complain and Amazon delivers apparently.  I'll take it!  I highly recommend Downton Abbey and The West Wing.  Fine dramas at my fingertips.  Love!
  • Speaking of my love of Amazon, a few weeks ago I realized all my socks were wearing out, the elastic wouldn't keep them above my shoes, and I now live in the country which means no specialty running stores.  Naturally I panicked and then tried some from Wal-Mart.  Yeah, not so much.  Then I remembered I have Amazon Prime so online I went.  New socks in two days.  Score!  
  • Speaking of geek toys, I now own an iphone and a Droid.  I'm leaning toward loving the Droid more. It has a keyboard.  Call me old, but I like the keyboard.  Typing on a screen just leaves me frazzled and stressed and something that is supposed to help my life should not stress me out.  Oh and I'm still on unlimited data so I can create a wireless hotspot at any time and not worry about my bill.  Yeah, I kinda like that feature as well.  
  • Two Thursday ago I was able to change my plane tickets and fly to Seattle a day early and surprise the future Mr.  It was fun.  Especially watching him try to figure out how I was texting him a picture of the event he was at real time.  Our whole relationship has been while dating long distance so surprises are hard since it's all planned around plane schedules.  Quite possibly one of my favorite moments of our relationship ever. 
  • Moving...it's expensive.  Especially when it's cross country and involves transporting a vehicle.  Forget a registry, donations to U-Haul would be more appropriate.  Kidding.  Sort of.
  • I miss my juicer.  Kind of wishing I had made room for it in my suitcase.  Or shipped it seperately.  Call me crazy, but I love juicing vegetables and fruits (beet + carrot + apple + spinach = really tasty) and drinking them for breakfast and lunch.  My waistline sure appreciated them too.