Friday, June 21, 2013

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel -- A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel
B&H Publishing Group (April 30, 2013)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


With high hopes, Dorothy Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it's not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Dorothy only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt's very specific posthumous terms -- personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dot’s cats.

And if Dorothy thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dot's life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God's perfect timing.

If you would liketo read the first chapter of Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel, go HERE.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When Technology Makes the Connections Real

Growing up I lived on the same 20 acre plot of land from birth through HS graduation.  My parents still live there.  My sister, she grew up and well, built a house on the original corner of that plot we first lived on.  Me, I always wanted to move.  I wanted to have adventure, see the world.  I moved out when I went to college, came home one Summer and babysat, and that was it.  I was on my own.  I've lived in bug infested apartments, condos with amazing landlords, owned two houses, and followed my love from one coast to the other.  But I've left one thing behind in every move: dear friends.  And as I get older the more I realize just how dear those friendships are to me.  This week has been a constant reminder of those whom my heart adores on that other coast.  I've been reminded that though 3,000 miles separate us physically, part of my heart is still with these people.  I love that technology allows random phone calls from Autumn, chats with Davida, read Annette's blog, send text messages of laughter and encouragement, and cry and laugh and rejoice with each of them (and more!) in their seasons.  And though I may not be as connected to as many people because I don't embrace Facebook, I do know that the connections I have with my friends are intentional and meaningful.  And that is really what it's all about.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Garden Update

If you'll remember back to the beginning of the year, one of my goals was to plan a garden that would feed us beyond the growing season.  Well, it's June and the garden is in full force.  Right now we are enjoying salads every day or so with fresh spinach, arugula, and lettuce.  The peas are starting to pod out and the raspberries have made lovely snacks, salad additions, and pancakes.  Here are some shots of what's in store for the rest of the Summer.

 Broccoli before I replanted it for better spacing.

The pea trellis with netting hung.

Peas ready to grow up the netting.

The broccoli is growing and has been spaced appropriately.  We square bed garden (to an extent) and so one plant per square is more appropriate for growth.

 Spinach, perfect for a salad, pesto, or lightly sauteed with some pasta

View from the deck looking over the garden area.  Broccoli plants are the large ones on the left.  Cauliflower goes in a row next to the tall bed.  The tall bed will house carrots.  YUM!

The first pea pod!

The tomatoes are staked.  With the cooler weather here, I might see ripe tomatoes by then end of August.  Thank goodness for the weekly farmer's market!