A look back at October as November Slipped In


November seems to have arrived for me quicker than usual. The holidays are just around the corner and I’m still trying to recuperate from the month long writing challenge. If you missed the posts from my #write31days writing challenge on Wisdom From the Animals, you can find all of them here.

October was filled with writing, reading, and teaching. I think, at last count, I was participating in four Bible studies. Obviously, God is working on me and knows I need constant surveillance!

On books, I’d recommend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I reread and  For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. I really enjoyed both of these books.

For movies, my recommendations for old releases are The Good Lie about the lost boys of the Sudan starring Reese Witherspoon and The Big Year which is a comedy about amateur bird watchers and the competition to count the most species in a year starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. The best new release that we saw was The Martian starring Matt Damon and based on the book by Andy Weir. So excellent!

In the music category for October, I downloaded a lot of Andrew Peterson. I particularly like The Burning Edge of Dawn CD and Behold The Lamb of God CD. I’m pretty excited about Adele’s new music too.

We went to see our son at the end of the month. I was so glad to see my boy. I missed him. He is doing great and school is jam packed with study. He is pursuing his doctorate in Geographical Information Science from the University of Illinois. I have no idea what he does but I’m proud. His advisor is tops in the world in this field so I think he is getting the education he needs as well as an introduction to Chinese since his advisor and most of his doctoral candidate group is Chinese. We ate at some great restaurants in the Champaign/Urbana area and learned a lesson: Never-ever-under-any-circumstance book a hotel room just off campus on a Halloween weekend. Bad idea. 4am. Two nights in a row. Enough said.

Jack got his undergraduate degree from U of I so he was pretty excited to be on campus again. We took the Amtrak train with a sleeper car. An excellent way to travel. You do need earplugs since the train whistle blows at every intersection.

austin and jack

Delta spent almost 2 weeks with my parents in Arkansas. We affectionately refer to her time with them as doggie boot camp.

daddy and delta

That rundown concludes the days of October that fell like fall’s leaves and ushered in November so quickly I barely got a chance to notice.



“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV Bible

Fun For Days Inside


Is it cold at your house?  The temperature is frigid here.  I found this sentiment on Facebook which totally sums up my thoughts for the week.

Since going outside is a bust, how about a few suggestions for this weekend?

We’ve been captivated and enchanted by the lovely Essie Davis in her role as Phrynie Fisher in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  Produced by an Australian company, the show is set in the 1920s.  We’ve been watching via dvds from Netflix since its not available in our market.  Please PBS pick it up!  If you love Downton Abbey, I think you’d love this series.

For those of you who would prefer to read than spend your time watching TV, Modern Mrs. Darcy has issued a reading challenge for 2015 that you might like to join.  Just click this link for more details.

Or maybe this weekend, you’d rather travel the world from your computer.

Stay warm and have fun!



“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”  Psalm 16:5,6  NIV Bible

Top 12 Favorite Christmas Movies


Our family loves to watch movies and holiday time seems to bring on the urge for some serious movie bingeing.  In fact, movies invade our everyday speak. We will weave a quote in while talking with one another.  I don’t think a week goes by that someone doesn’t use a quote or reference.  Obscure ones are like extra points.  Quotes range from the common like “Wove, twue wove” from The Princess Bride to “Almost there” from Star Wars IV.  ( If you can tell me the scene of that obscure quote, I’ll ask Santa to send you extra candy!!)

Here are our Top 12 favorites to watch over the Christmas holiday.

1. A Muppet Christmas Carol

2. It’s A Wonderful Life

3. White Christmas

4. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas ! : Animated

5. A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott

6. Elf

7. The Santa Clause

8. The Polar Express

9. The Mrs. Miracle movies

10. The Holiday

These movies aren’t Christmas movies but we love watching them during the holidays.

11. The Harry Potter series

12. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series


We are also really enjoying these two new movies on Hallmark Channel.

The Nine Lives of Christmas


A Royal Christmas

 Happy viewing this Christmas season!



“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NIV Bible

March 2014 Viewpoint


During the month of March, I took a spring blogcation for a couple of weeks.  Spring fever hit hard this year and my daughter and I decided we needed a road trip and shopping to chase away the winter doldrums.  We spent several days in Atlanta and had a great time.

lenox square


The posts I did write this month were varied.  I shared my writing story and the struggle with not having the right picture when you need it.  I also shared my newest granddog, London.


I read more duds than treasures this month.  I would recommend these three.

The Lion in the Lei Shop by Kaye Starbird : Historical fiction.  This story is set in Oahu during the bombing of Pearl Harbor and is told through alternating viewpoints of a young woman and her daughter.  At first, I wasn’t sold on this book but I’ve found myself thinking about it.  The issues and events that the characters experienced are thought provoking and made for a wonderful book club discussion.

Bless Your Heart, Tramp by Celia Rivenbark:  I like her sassy writing style and find her stories about the South humorous.  I read this book to my daughter at night on our road trip.  We couldn’t help but laugh at this quote.

“…we understand that y’all is nature’s most perfect- and versatile- contraction.  As in “Do y’all want to keep y’alls forks for y’allses peach cobbler?”

And this one is oh so true…

“Northerners love to poke fun at how Southerners immediately start buying up all the bread at the grocery store at the first weather report mentioning the s-word.  We can’t help ourselves.  It is what our parents did and it is what their parents did, and their parents before them.  To a Southerner the threat of snow is profoundly unsettling and our minds turn only to bread and lots of it.”

Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg: This Bible study was about awakening to the wonders and nearness of God all around you.  For 6 weeks, we focused on the wonder of God in prayer, friendships, rest, His presence, divine expectation, and forgiveness.  Very good.



This month, I downloaded old jazz favorites from Al Jarreau, Chuck Mangione, and Bob James and David Sanborn.  I also added Sting’s album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles and a few tunes of Renaissance and to really make things interesting, I got the original Broadway cast recording of Annie.  What can I say — I like variety.

wild violet

Movies and TV:

My husband and I have enjoyed our Saturday nights watching Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart and always look forward to new episodes of Elementary, Castle, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. .   We saw Catching Fire which was awesome and Divergent was good but I was disappointed with Noah. The acting was decent, the biblical differences didn’t particularly bother me but I wanted so much more and the movie just lacked.

House and Yard:

Flowers and trees are blooming and the pine pollen is dusting everything yellow.  Projects in the house are progressing.  I’ve been busy with spray paint when the weather has permitted and I’ll be sharing some of those projects soon.

How about you?  What did you do in March?



“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.”  Psalm 84:4 NIV Bible




A Book and a Movie: Ender’s Game


Orson Scott Card won the Nebula {1985} and the Hugo {1986} which are top awards in the science fiction/fantasy genre for Ender’s Game.  He is the only author to win both these awards again the following year for the Ender’s Game sequel, Speaker of the Dead.

Ender Wiggin is a young boy living in a time on Earth during the aftermath of an alien invasion.  Children are recruited to serve as soldiers to fight the ‘buggers’.  Military command believes that children think and respond in ways that adults can not and therefore, they would be the perfect soldier in the war to save mankind.  Ender says,

““In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”

This book was also adapted to the big screen and released as a movie this fall.  The movie version, while not following the book, word for word, does a fair job of bringing the story to life.  The action is fast paced and the special effects are stunning.

This book would be wonderful for discussion.  So many topics could be discussed ranging from bullying, child soldiers, the possibilities of space living or alien races, government imposed child restrictions, and, without giving too much away, the failure to communicate.  If you loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or enjoy science fiction/fantasy, this story would be well worth your reading time.  Ender’s Game is considered a ‘classic’ in its genre.

“Remember, the enemy’s gate is down.”

What are you watching or reading this weekend?



“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”  Matthew 5:44 NIV Bible

Friday is Movie Night

Hey!  I’m glad you’re here!  This post is part of a 31 Day writing challenge hosted by The Nester.  During the month of October, I’m writing on Southern A Way of Life.  I will be back to my ‘regular’ posts in November.  Consider pushing that follow button to the right for all my latest posts.  Thanks y’all!

31 Day Button 2013.001Day 25

It’s Friday!   At our house that means movie night and ‘fun’ food.  I don’t know when the tradition started but my family gathers together, we watch a movie and have a feast.   We watch a variety of movies but I think, by far, the type all of us enjoy are action/adventure movies.

In November, a biopic about the life of James Brown will begin filming in my state.  Tate Taylor, a Mississippi native, who directed The Help will be making this film.  The entire movie will be made in Mississippi including the Paris and Vietnam scenes — that should be interesting.

Grab your popcorn, Doodlebug and I are talking about southern movies.

To view a list of movies set in the South, click here.

To view all of the posts in this series, click here

What is your favorite southern movie?



“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”  1 Peter 1:16  NIV Bible

Alligator Hunting and an August Recap


Down here in the Deep South, August is typically a steamy month and this year hasn’t disappointed.  Over the Labor Day weekend, some decided to beat the heat by going alligator hunting.   Apparently, the season has opened.  This alligator weighed in at a whopping 723.5 pounds only to be ousted out of the state record, an hour later, by a gator weighing in at 727 pounds and 13 feet 4-1/2 inches long.  Incredible!  To read more, click on the picture.

Rob Trammell, from left, Parker Coleman and Beth Trammell, all of Madison, and Amanda Jackson, Tommy Jackson and Sean King, all of Yazoo City, stand by their 723.5-pound alligator, which set a Mississippi record that lasted about an hour.

I hate to disappoint you… My weekend was not filled with gator hunting.  I did, however, finish Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear which has Maisie remembering the words of her mother about slaying your dragons.   I don’t think an alligator is what she had in mind.

 What I’ve read for August:

  • The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clarke
  • The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell
  • Metamorposes by Ovid
  • Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
  • Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

A strange mix of books, isn’t it?!   In my defense, some were for book club.   Pardonable Lies was my favorite for the month.


What I’ve watched:

The month of August, Honey Do and I caught the Downton Abbey fever and devoured seasons 1-3.  We have also been glued on Tuesday nights watching  So You Think You Can Dance.  I never cease to be amazed by the talent people possess.  The last couple of weeks have had particularly good routines.
We saw Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.  In our estimation, neither will win major awards but they were entertaining.

By far the biggest projects this month:

I wonder, what September will have in store??



“Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?”  
Ecclesiastes 8:7  NIV Bible