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

What I’m Into: January – March

jonquil 2Welcome Spring! I’ve missed you!

I’m so ready to put the winter behind me. In our small corner of the world, we’ve spent most of the past 3 months battling various pesky germs that produced flu, upper respiratory troubles, and bronchitis. We’re all finally healthy!

During those months, any renovation on the house took a backseat. The only contributions have been hanging a tree trunk in the living room to serve as a curtain rod and cleaning the carpets. We couldn’t work outside either. Even on the days that the temperature was warm enough, the yard was a mucky, muddy mess and with the type of clay that we have here, in combination with the moles that have done a number on my yard, you could seriously be stuck up to your knees for days unless you have a buddy to pull you out or you want to pull out of your boots and walk barefoot through it.

I did, however, manage a trip to Austin, Tx in February for If Gathering 2015. Had a GREAT time! In the middle of all that January – March brought, I also stage managed two local pageants with my steadfast backstage crew (thanks, family!) and now, the fun begins preparing the local winners for their respective state pageants in interview.

Best books I read during January thru March:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle — A re-read for me. I enjoyed it as much as I did when I was a kid.
  2. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon — I recommend this book if you’re a fan of Mitford. I enjoyed getting back to Mitford and the town’s endearing citizens.
  3. Light Through An Eastern Window by K.C. Pillai — A unique perspective on portions of scripture.
  4. Serena by Ron Rash — She is some kind of woman.
  5. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler — I gleaned more from the book than I did from the workbook study.
  6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — By far, this book is the best of the bunch. I wrote a review last week. Click here for it.

Musically, I’ve listened to a mix of songs but these pieces are some of my new favorites.

Balmorhea “Lament”; Sleeping At Last “In the Embers”; Olafur Arnalds “This Place is a Shelter”; Marc Broussard “The Wanderer”; Mezzoforte “Cruising”; Zach Sobiech “Clouds”

Current favorites in TV and film:

  • Cinderella
  • Insurgent
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Fixer Upper
  • Elementary
  • Dinner at Tiffani’s

Most Viewed Blog Posts:

For January, my post about using a personal stylist was the overwhelming winner. My most popular post for February and March was the same: If Gathering 2015.

Other Posts around the web that I loved:

What Reader Species Are You from Laura Kelly

Mind Maps: What They Are and How to Use Them from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Mundane Faithfulness Kara Tippetts — Any post really is a blessing but this one, “Letters to my readers upon my death,” is recent and displays her incredible spirit.



I’m linking up with What I’m Into at Leigh Kramer.



“…stop and consider God’s wonders.” Job 37:14 NIV Bible

Friday Finds #3


Friday finds are here again!

  • Best explanation of what it’s like to live with a chronic illness or disability, “The Spoon Theory”, click here.
  • Literary Tourism: Oxford, England from BookRiot, click the picture for more.

Radcliffe Camera Oxford England

  • I’m always amazed by the creativity of Mandi at Vintage Revivals and she has a way with words that always leaves me smiling.  Her project of turning an old leather sofa into a bench just blew me away.  Check it out here.
  • Found this great idea for DIY Mason Jar Solar Lights by Thriftdee, click here.
  • Love this piece by Lindsey Stirling, “Beyond the Veil”    

Happy Weekend!



“Shout with joy to God, all the earth!”  Psalm 66:1  NIV Bible


Friday Finds #2


Latest Friday Finds, enjoy!

These pictures of Tybee Island caught my attention by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.  The whole post is filled with gorgeousness.  Check out her post by clicking the picture.

Tybee Collagevia Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

  • The 20 Most Beloved Books list according to Facebook users’ postings of their 10 favorite books, click here.  Did your favorite make the list?
  • Check out this precious daddy and daughter dance to Taylor Swift’s new song.
  • This post is snort-laugh-out-loud worthy, click here.

A jazzy rendition of Chim Chim Cheree by Esperanza Spalding



“Freely you have received, freely give.”  Matthew 10:8b 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 Look Now: 2014


As promised, a look at what’s happening in my world now.

I’ve used a point and shoot camera for years and it worked fine. I’ve had a desire though to improve my photography skills and my little camera wasn’t up to the task of taking the types of pictures I wanted.  For Christmas, Honey Do gave me a Canon Rebel. I’m so excited to use it.  I’m on a learning curve though.  This shot is the kind that you get when you’re not used to such a fast camera.  Keeping it real.  : )IMG_0050

The stack I’m currently reading includes Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Search For The Twelve Apostles by Dr. William McBirnie, Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, The Lost Books of the Bible  published by Gramercy Books and I pulled out my old textbook to read “Hamlet” in The Riverside Shakespeare.

I finished The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead and The Violets of March by Sarah Jio {book club read} this week and I liked both.

Recent downloads:

Hibernation Day” by Jars of Clay

Let it go” by Idina Menzel from the movie, Frozen

I also love these two songs from the movie: “Fixer Upper”  by Maia Wilson & cast and
For the First Time in Forever” by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.

Step Out” by Jose Gonzalez from the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I like this one, too: “Stay Alive” by Jose Gonzalez

We really enjoyed the Sing Off before Christmas.  I really liked Ten’s rendition of “Skyfall.”  I love the blonde’s curly hair do but I’m not sure I can pull it off.  What do you think? I also want to sing like that too but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  I wasn’t blessed with the same vocal chords so I’ll have to close my eyes and pretend in my dreams.

We also have gotten hooked on Person of Interest. We’re almost done with Season 1 and it’s so good.  Obviously, a theme is emerging in our house because we’re enjoying Elementary, Almost Human and Agents of Shield, too.

I wish HGTV would quit with all of the House Hunter shows.  I miss all of the old design shows.  Where did they go??  And what about the “G” in HGTV?  It’s been forever since a garden focused show was on.  Anybody else feel the same way?

Favorite Blog Post of the Week
I loved this post.   Actually, the post was written some time ago but I just found it.  I love the collaboration and insight this mother shares about her experience drawing with her daughter.  Truly lovely art.

I’ve been searching and searching for tops that I can wear with leggings or tights that are LONG ENOUGH.  I’m modest.  I like my tops to come down past my fanny and down in the front.  I think the problem is I’m not very tall {5’4.5”} but I’m long-waisted.  Can anybody else relate??  I ordered some tops from J.Jill and thank you, thank you, they’re long enough.  Honey Do liked this one the best, here.  I also bought this great jacket at Dick’s that I’m loving.

Enough about what I’m into these days —- What about you?



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