daily snaps…

It’s been a very busy week… or maybe I should say month. Keeping me on the run from morning till night! My German classes are trying to stress me out… but you know, “He giveth more grace…” I keep praying for the mercies that are renewed every morning, and God never fails.

Just thought I’d share some snaps from the last few weeks. 🙂 I know, I know, I can do so much better, but haven’t found the time! I’ve even been wanting to write, in my spare moments… but it can also turn into an avoidance tactic. If I’m writing for any length of time, I’m probably shirking at something else.

So, now I need to get moving and read some chapters in my schoolbook before heading to class. Have a great week!

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a pictured pause…

The paper for my UK class is finally starting to take shape… and by that, I mean a shape that doesn’t make me want to throw the laptop out the window. It’s quite normal for me to hate my research papers, because I can’t get them to say what I want them to say. Until about 24 hours after I’ve written them, I decide they weren’t so bad, after all. So, now that I know I have all day tomorrow to finish it, and I’m well into the fourth page, I can breathe more easily. 12287557_10153686755089976_285132929_o 12295085_10153686751844976_1654943065_oSo, before I go see how the Christmas tree decorating is going, I thought the least I could do is share a few of my latest pictures. Mostly taken at Thanksgiving, I can assure you that we dined most deliciously on all the food that you could desire. Oh, right, the cake pictures were taken before Thanksgiving, because my mom tends to bake cakes for parties at work. They’re addicted to her cooking and baking (as are we). And I was feeling all artistic after taking some of these.  : )12290528_10153693025334976_102409055_o12281770_10153697314914976_836887180_oMost of my brothers made it to town, along with my youngest bro’s dog. Bullet has been part of the family for almost a year now, I think, and we occasionally get “custody” of him when my brother has to go do military stuff. Now that my brother is MARRIED, then Bullet stays with my sister-in-law instead. However, Bullet’s a really nice dog, and we love having him to visit, too. This picture I included was taken after he realized that he WAS going home with Joe and Amanda, instead of staying with us. Or rather, he leaped into his bed in the car, and couldn’t be shifted, as if he was afraid he might get left behind after all. So, for a rescue dog that lucked into being adopted by a young man in the Air Force… life is good for him, and he just LOVES my brother and his wife.12318272_10153697411134976_1543031468_oAnd now, away I go, and by tomorrow, I should be ONE research paper closer to being done with this semester! Hooray!

havin’ some slow days…

I suppose I could cheat and just post lots of pictures from my phone, for Wordless Wednesday… but WW is only fun when there are one or two really quality pics to show off. It’s much more fun to explain what’s in them, when possible. For now, I just caught up on emptying last month’s photos off of my phone… even my Seabrook phone photos (with a few small exceptions) hadn’t been pulled for those posts. I had to go and review what pictures I had posted last… and it was all dessert and Seabrook and Asheville! Wow, those were some time ago… IMG_20140516_200126IMG_20140517_223833IMG_20140518_181259Well, since my time at Seabrook and in Charleston, I’ve been doing a few things around the house, searching for a part-time job, and enjoyed having my brother’s best friends over with their new baby. Not necessarily in that order. As you’ll see, I’ve included a few of my Instagram pics from my weekend in May…IMG_20140519_141438IMG_20140519_141541IMG_20140520_091511And then Jon’s friends came over with their little A, and isn’t she a beauty? My mom and I, of course, volunteered to hold her as often as needed, so that our friends could chow down on the homemade spaghetti and Italian bread (yes, homemade pasta, as well as sauce and bread). IMG_20140528_205044IMG_20140528_190953IMG_20140528_220747While at home, and in-between trying to remember that the pool is open, and I can also go to the gym again, I’ve been working on my spare room, rearranging things, and emptying more boxes. I found my old Barbie clothes (handmade, by my grandma, mostly) and took the time to wash them all. Then I discovered a past water leak had warped one of my shelves… and I had to empty them! Trashed the room again, in order to move the shelves around, but finally got that done. Some paint and plastic sheeting, and finally they were ready to go up again, which is what I spent some of today working on. But I either got a charley horse the other day, or pulled a muscle, so I’ve been moving slow for the last few days, and trying to get things back to normal. IMG_20140601_205827

IMG_20140603_220831IMG_20140605_191530Oh, and before I had to take the big shelves apart, I did manage to get another desk set up in the corner, with my Temeraire picture and Gandalf set up, as well as hanging another shelf in my bedroom. Trying to be good about getting rid of things I really don’t need, and find a place for everything that I keep. It’s not easy, is it?IMG_20140617_200257IMG_20140618_140623IMG_20140618_225150Hope you like the photos… I really enjoy how some of my Instagram pics look, so I’ve included them here, since I used camera photos for my last few posts. I hope you are having a wonderful summer! (Ok, if you’re in Australia, I hope you’re having a great winter!)IMG_20140624_203219Now, I’m going to get another cuppa, and go back to reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (again).  : )IMG_20140528_183319IMG_20140622_124812

congrats to the blues…

When I woke up this morning, I discovered that the large number of views from Australia mean there was another State of Origin game happening (or actually, had already happened). So, I skipped over to FB and discovered my one Aussie friend that cheers for the NSW Blues… well, she was yelling her head off, let’s say. And googling the subject confirmed my suspicions. So, congratulations to New South Wales for ending the Queensland Maroons’ 8 year winning streak! It must have been quite a game, and I’m sure a few of my friends screamed themselves hoarse over that game. Yes, I can be generous because I wasn’t there watching, even I’ll always cheer for the Maroons.  ; )  But honestly, from what little of rugby league and State of Origin that I saw… those players are ALL just phenomenal, so all props to the winners, and I know that QLD will be just as determined to take back the title, next year.

On a totally different note, for anyone keeping up with my book posts, I promise I’ve been working on the other half of my “best of books” list, and should have that up in another day or so. And now, I better go sit down and relax after that meal I just ate. I had some curry fried rice at the Thai-ger Cafe in Clemson, and it was pretty yummy. And filling. 10471395_10152482293854976_1946647377_o

to eat or not to… no, wait, definitely to eat!

I’m so behind on sharing photos and recent happenings! But with several birthdays within the last month and a few other holidays or office shindigs that require baking, as well as having one brother come home from being based in England… we’ve been in food heaven! So, here I am, trying to share some of the wonderfulness of all the food, while I run away for the weekend. Let’s see if I can pull it together in time.DSC_0441

DSC_0452DSC_0453This all started back in April, but what with all my school papers and things, I just took the pictures and kept going with school. Soon, all the pictures of deliciousness began to pile up… I took the time to make my FB and Instagram friends drool, but I can’t make myself just post a million pictures of cake on here without saying at least something, you know.DSC_0455DSC_0459DSC_0477So, for Easter, my mom wanted to try out a new cake recipe… I can’t remember the exact name of it, but she bought special black cherry and black raspberry preserves to put between the layers and I think there’s some kind of cordial or liqueur in the icing… I’ll remember the more recent ones better, I promise! So, along with our wonderful Easter lunch of ham and all the trimmings (including pretzel jello), we finished off with that wonderful cake.DSC_0483DSC_0487DSC_0493And then, with the onset of May, not only did my brother arrive home from England, but several birthdays hit (including mine), followed by Mother’s Day, and we were just eating, eating, eating! At that point, I forgot to take pictures of our dinner meals because there were just too many amazing meals. And I know I have a picture of Joe’s birthday cake somewhere, but I seem to have misplaced it. It was our favorite chocolate birthday cake, though.DSC_0504 DSC_0512DSC_0519With the arrival of summer, a work shindig was arranged at my mom’s workplace, and she decided to make several cakes from new recipes. There was a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, a lemon blackberry, and a chocolate one. Each was in layers, and at least one had a special compote/jam to go in the middle. Actually, she had to simmer blackberries and lemon zest on the stove for a long time, in order to turn it into that jam layer. I tried very hard to be around for all the icing procedures, etc.., but I missed the carrot cake going together. So, seeing them after they were cut sometimes had to suffice.In the midst of this, she managed to make some no-bake chocolate cookies for church, and the rest of us waited hopefully to see if leftovers would come home from work. They did, and we went on sugar overload.DSC_0484DSC_0524DSC_0529On the heels of all that baking, my birthday arrived. I knew that we had just had a whole chocolate cake for Joe’s birthday, plus leftovers from all the cakes for the work party. So, just like last year, I decided to make my own cake…. an Aussie pavlova. I don’t remember if I’ve made it since last year, so it was a little bit like starting from scratch. But it came together, though I was certain it was on the soft side, and I still mustn’t have baked it long enough. The whipped cream really weighed down the soft center, but it was still lovely.DSC_0532DSC_0538Because I was already on a roll and because I had one or two places I might possibly take that pavlova to get help eating it, I decided to make another one, the following day. Good to get some practice in, before I forgot what I’d done before. So, this time, I whipped the egg whites much better and I could tell the batch was better. Not sure to explain how, but it looked right. It baked beautifully, and I baked it much longer than before… the whole 1.5 hours. Different recipes call for different times, so I’ve been experimenting. The goal of an Aussie pavlova is to get it crunchy on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside. Thus far, the outside edge was always extremely sticky and soft… it never cut well and was difficult to get off the knife or spatula.DSC_0629DSC_0635DSC_0639I took the second pavlova to a graduation party for someone at church that Saturday, and it was a hit. When I cut it, it cut so easily that I was stunned and went shrieking to my mom about it. It was definitely crispy on the outside, and I got some really nice compliments on it.From there, it was the day before Mother’s Day, and I was planning to make my mom a pound cake to eat with strawberries. So, that evening, I followed that recipe and double-checked with her to make sure I didn’t pull it out too soon. I’m not as experienced with cake as I am with baking cookies, so I was being careful. But it came out really well (if a bit dry, to my taste). DSC_0652IMG_20140509_194145276IMG_20140510_125837025And with that, and very few details in between, I have finally caught you up on all the baking that our family has done over the last month or two. Hope you enjoy the pics, and yes, I probably can find links to recipes or at least tell you what books we got the recipes out of, if necessary.  : )IMG_20140510_230746588 IMG_20140511_125948130

recent snippets…

Now that I have finished my paper for History 299 (hooray!), I should finally be able to download the rest of my latest pictures onto the computer. Not from my camera, of course, but from my phone. Somehow, when I was in PA during spring break, I took most of my pictures with the phone. I’ll doublecheck to make sure I don’t post any duplicates. But here are a few from that trip and from recently, until the next downloads come through.

And yes, I did see a lot of babies over Spring Break, why do you ask?  ; )  My trip was a hodge-podge of visits with friends and their babies, eating, snow, and lots of other things… and there aren’t even any snow pictures here! Yes, all on the phone, with no time or energy to get them. Later, later. Also, still having issues with the new WordPress photo editing tools, which makes this the second time I’ve attempted to put this post together. Frustrating. But I hope you enjoy the pictures just the same, and maybe I’ll have time to do some real blogging, soon!    DSC_0402IMG_20140316_144811046IMG_20140316_140409361_HDRIMG_20140315_142233163IMG_20140315_113948274     DSC_0384 DSC_0382IMG_20140314_090545434 DSC_0360IMG_20140314_091159935 DSC_0346IMG_20140314_13594560810006600_10152272624424976_822995298_o

baking baby bundts…

Oh, come on, I couldn’t resist the alliterative opportunity in that title. But since my mom made these not long after Christmas, it was about time I posted some of the pictures.DSC_0999

DSC_1002Some time ago, my mom saw a particular recipe in Southern Living, called Rum-Glazed Sweet Potato Cakes, and not only did they sound delicious, she loved the little bundt shapes they came in. So, somebody got her the bundt pans for Christmas. And since we always have sweet potato for Christmas dinner, she was able to put some aside for the cakes, for a later date.DSC_1009

DSC_1023That day came a day or two after Christmas, since my brothers were still in town and my aunt and uncle were coming to visit. I don’t have the recipe here for you, just the pictures. But I can tell you that pureed sweet potato was added to the mixture, and there were golden raisins soaked in rum, also. After the raisins were removed from the rum, the leftover rum was used to make the glaze.DSC_1029

DSC_1031Of course, if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, then you’ll know my family has made their own vanilla, some time back. We have several varieties, made from two different types of vanilla beans and three types of alcohol (bourbon, rum, vodka). So, our recipes are all even yummier than ever, with homemade vanilla to add to the mixtures. Obviously, since these were rum-glazed cakes, we used the Tahitian Rum Vanilla.DSC_1036

DSC_1037Since we’re familiar with making pumpkin bread or banana bread, most of our family were expecting these cakes to be heavier, but they were really quite light and moist. They were a big hit with the entire family. Deliciousness!DSC_1046

DSC_1048P.S. Remembering to check back, the recipe came out of the November 2012 issue of Southern Living.DSC_1050DSC_1058

pasta doings…

Pasta is in the works, once more. Two times in a week is exciting! Well, at least to us “kids” that don’t see pasta get made very often, and don’t remember it much from when we were little.DSC_1076

DSC_1083DSC_1079But we had leftover chicken cacciatore from earlier this week, so more homemade Italian bread and pasta was made to go with it, and we have some friends coming over to share it.DSC_1092

DSC_1093DSC_1095This time around, Jon and I both gave a hand in holding the dough and occasionally threading it through the machine, but mostly, Dad’s in charge of this process. But when you have a loooonnng piece of flat dough that you’ve just run through the machine, you don’t always have a free hand to switch to the pasta cutter machine. And no, I don’t know if there’s a snazzier name for the attachments.DSC_1089

DSC_1085DSC_1100When we were growing up, my parents cranked the noodles through by hand, with a different attachment, but Kitchen Aid makes a great set to attach right to the mixer. But the pasta drying tree is from the old set. We either need a taller one or another one, though, because we ran out of space to hang the pasta, this time around!DSC_1113

DSC_1115DSC_1125So, we cooked up all the fresh pasta, and it was awesome! In case you’re wondering, we make egg noodles, but I don’t really know much about the recipe used to make it. If anyone wants to know more about it, though, I can find out.DSC_1137DSC_1141DSC_1142

pennsylvania good-times…

I know, I know, I’m behind! So sorry. I don’t really think I’ve been TOO busy since returning from PA, but between laundry loads, catching up on odds and ends, and unloading boxes… let’s say I’ve kept myself occupied.DSC_0912

DSC_0958As some of you may know, I left over a week ago for Pennsylvania, to meet up with some old friends and old stomping grounds, as well as to sort through my storage unit. The original plan had been to go rent a U-haul and get my storage unit stuff, but that’s been delayed for a few weeks, because of a better option. So, I’ll have it all soon, but not quite yet.DSC_0048

DSC_0060This visit allowed me to not be so pressured for time, while visiting people, and to leisurely do some sorting, in order to help out with the future move.DSC_0063

DSC_0107So, after my usual 9-10 hour drive to Chambersburg, I arrived at GWH. I lived there for almost five years, working as the full-time housekeeper, and occupied two different houses while there. My summers were spent chasing summer staffers and cleaning up between large groups of campers, while the off-season was spent doing all that on my own, during the weeks… but for smaller groups, usually. I knew all the camp buildings from top to bottom, and got to drive a golf cart year-round. What could be better?DSC_0924

DSC_0915Arriving right before a session of family camp allowed me get in some good local food with friends, at Benny’s Italian Restaurant, before seeing more friends. I love Benny’s, and I always have to get a calzone when I’m there. Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza or pasta… I just love all that ham, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese, packed into fresh baked bread.DSC_0963

DSC_0015Also, I tried bruschetta for the second time. I really do not like raw tomatoes, and I’m not a big fan of excessive amounts of tomato sauce, either, but I still eat that. 🙂  But in recent years, I’ve discovered a liking for fish tacos, which include raw onions and tomatoes, mixed into the fresh salsa. So, with that in mind, I chowed down on bruschetta… and liked it. Soaking those tomatoes in oil and spices really did them good.DSC_0941

DSC_0949And for the record, when we were at Olive Garden, the next day (we really weren’t intending to binge on Italian!), I ate a tomato in my salad. So there. But not the olives. I have a vivid memory of trying an olive, again, at a Greek restaurant, a few year ago. That didn’t go down well.DSC_0007

DSC_0990Enough with the food, for the moment. One of my first stops on Saturday morning was to go check out the new swings that they built during Boys Camp. The circle of swings was supposed to be a new hangout area for people, especially during family camps. Just a nice place to get cozy and catch up with old friends. I think it was a great idea, whoever came up with it.DSC_0974

DSC_0982Ok, we couldn’t really completely escape from food. I had Moose Tracks at the Chatterbox (snack shop) almost every evening, after the evening meetings. Usually while catching up with friends, or enjoying their kids’ gyrations on the table top. This particular charmer had just gotten her second wind, and I still think that photo is perfect for adding some hilarious captions.DSC_0202

DSC_0073One afternoon, I got in an awesome game of Ultimate Frisbee, though that game also proved that I needed to completely retire my old sneakers in favor of the ones that just arrived in the mail, this week. Aren’t they fantastic? And I couldn’t resist the urge to wander around and take a look at some of the main buildings on the grounds.DSC_0090

DSC_0100When my time with the friends and kiddos was finally done, it was Wednesday morning, and I got up at the crack of early to a very cool Pennsylvania morning. Which was great, because it had been pretty hot, for most of the week. I had planned to try and get some photos of the local views, so I made a stop at Norlo Park to check out the barn and the surrounding area. As always, I wished I could get up higher in the air, in order to show off the rolling hills of PA, in a much better form.DSC_0116

DSC_0125Then, at the storage unit, I loaded my car to the brim, and made one last short stop at the Goodwill store. These scary mannequins are what greets you at the back door. Don’t let the kids see them, they might have nightmares.DSC_0187

DSC_0155I drove over a couple more hills to arrive at Windy Knoll Creamery, but well before they were open. Besides, I was still going out to breakfast with someone, so it wasn’t really time for ice cream, yet. But that area is full of rolling hills to walk up, as well as a spot for me to park my car. The trick is that for all the beautiful views, you can’t always find a shoulder of the road to park on. So, a friendly neighborhood dog followed me up the hill, while I took some pics.DSC_0157

DSC_0166Then, I got back in the car, and proceeded to drive somewhat slowly, and take pictures through the windshield or out the open window (with my camera strapped wrapped around my wrist). Don’t worry, I made sure no one was behind me, so I wouldn’t hold up traffic. Some pics came out well, and some did not. But it’s truly beautiful countryside.DSC_0167

After that, I had some coffee at Starbucks, and a great breakfast at Perkins, and then hit the road for South Carolina. It was a great way to finish out the summer, right before starting school. Which starts in several days, by the way. We’ll see what happens on the blog, after things get going. 🙂DSC_0175

a bit of a hodge-podge…

Who’s up for a bit of randomness? Me, that’s for sure. None of these items seem to be enough for an entire post, but if I turn on the faucet of hodge-podgey rambling, then I can get some of it out of my system. Ready?

You may remember that I recently moved out of my old bedroom, into the basement. Since then, I’ve settled in nicely, and it doesn’t even seem odd to me. I think that may have something to do with the joy of not sleeping in a bunk bed anymore. I don’t know about you, but I almost managed to bash my knuckles on the upper bunk’s springs, ever night or so. And for someone that loves to spend a Saturday afternoon, curled up on her comforter, propped against the pillows, reading a book… you can’t do that from the bottom bunk! You can read a Kindle, but it’s too dark for reading an actual book. And don’t talk to me about those clip-on bed lamps, I’ve never liked ’em.DSC_0663

Now, my tropical comforter (or duvet, if you prefer) shows up nicely against the white walls and dresser, and I have a carpet again! Wooden floors are all well and good, but I’ve always thought that a bedroom should have a carpet, to feel all soft and cozy against my bare feet. Who needs socks in winter, if your floor isn’t cold?

While I put more of my stuff away, bit by bit, my parents get the fun of deciding what color to paint the walls of my old room. I was working away on that baby blanket, promising to help strip wallpaper, when it was finished. But they were finished before it was complete. So, I’ll be in on the painting, eventually.

My week began with getting my new Kindle Fire in the mail, as the last one suddenly stopped charging. Having had it for just over a year, if I’d only had the warranty it came with, I’d be sunk. But when my first Kindle was busted, on the way home from Australia, I was so annoyed over it that I bought a TWO year warranty on the new one. And so, my replacement Kindle was still covered. Now, it’s loaded up with all my favorite apps and books. The only “problem” is my favorite game wants me to start over, rather than allow me to sign into my old game. So, I’m waiting for the company to get it sent over to my new Kindle. Yes, it’s a VERY silly game, but when you’ve been playing it for a year, who wants to have to start over? Not me.DSC_0662

My mom’s week began with starting her new job at the university, and while she got to deal with the nerves and learning the ropes, I got to enjoy the exciting side of it. Because I heard about this job through a friend of mind, and from there, she’s now working in a building where I have a lot of friends! So, I have a good reason to go visit them, in the department right across the street from where I work. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy dropping in on my mom, every day after work, until she either tells me to go away because she’s busy, or because I suddenly get busy in the fall.

But the fun stuff also bleeds over to where I work, because I can bother the grad students, asking if they met her yet, and learning even more of their names. I’ve finally begun to learn the names of the professors and staff, rather than just sticking with calling them Sir and Ma’am. You see, when the “grown-ups” come over, I never know what to call them! I’m not a student, so do I call them Doctor, Professor, or by their first name? A few of them have given me permission to use their first names, but otherwise, I’m as polite as can be, with “Yes-Sir-Ma’am-Sir-Ma’am!”.

Of course, I totally surprised her with the photos on her desk, and having her co-workers tell me about her reaction was very fun. I still do my mental victory dance, when I think about it. But I think that having those pictures will not only make her feel at home, but it surely gives people something to talk about, if they didn’t already!

As for me, and my job, nothing much has changed, aside from having even more to talk to the regulars about. Summer is very slow, so some days can be pretty dull, and we work at finding things to clean and organize. Eating lunch at 10:30am is very odd, and it usually leaves me starving, when I get home at 2:30pm. So, I’ve been experimenting not only with eating better in general, but making myself a salad after work, instead of eating dinner early.

If I eat dinner early, I’ll end up having four meals in one day… which is fine, if they’re small. But since I’ve found that I like cucumbers in salad (no one in my family likes cucumbers, except me) and I also like avocados (only 2 people in our house like those), I’ve been playing around with different salad combinations.DSC_0627

I’ve started trying a lettuce and spinach mixture, with shredded sharp cheese, avocado, cucumber, and then a bit of ranch dressing on top. I’ve never been a big fan of ranch, but I’m starting to like it with certain things, and since I’m eating a little more on the low-carb side, I can have it (everything in moderation!). I even planned to put some mini shrimps on top of it, tonight, until I realized we were out of greens. So, I’ll try it out tomorrow, and let you know if I come up with any other marvelous combinations.

Another thing that usually occurs when I get home from work is that I’m really tired and sleepy. Those two don’t always go hand-in-hand, because I know you can be tired, but not be sleepy. But lately, they just smack me upside the head, when I get home from work. That’s one reason I hadn’t been going to the gym so much lately, which I told myself wasn’t a bad thing, because I needed to rest up my foot. Which is better, by the way!

But whenever I start getting extra tired, with no good excuse, I get a little worried. I say no good excuse, because I know grad students and full-time employees that work from morning until night and they aren’t exhausted. I’m working from 8-2, and I shouldn’t be. Even with the hot weather, I should be living in the air-conditioning, and not bothered by it.

When I start getting tired like this, I worry that I’m having one of my mini mono relapses. I’m not complaining, because I’ve never had a bout with mono like some others do, where they’re flat on their back and unable to do anything. I’ve always been able to work and get about, it just makes me too tired to think or do anything, when I get home from work. Which can be frustrating, if you already think you have no life. However, I’m probably just being paranoid, and I’m not going to the doctor just to have them say I’m not sleeping enough. This too shall pass.

Bored already? I’ll skip to something else, much more interesting than me begin tired, shall I?

If you haven’t been checking my Books ’13 page lately, I’ve still been keeping up the reading pace. After readingDSC_1017-001 the entire Pellinor series, by Alison Croggon, I abandoned the fantasy books in order to read Glenn Beck’s Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns. Short and to-the-point, I had never heard of that book (and I’m not buying them this year, remember?), until my dad bought me a copy. It’s a great book, and as I’m a big fan of the 2nd amendment and have no interest in gun control, whatsoever, I think everyone should read it. But one of my co-workers DID almost have a heart attack when he saw me reading it.  : )

From there, I began to re-read one of my favorite books by L. M. Montgomery, Pat of Silver Bush. If you ever read my book posts, I won’t go onto a rant over it this time, I’ll just tell you that you NEED to read it. You may love thepat-of-silver-bush Anne series, but Judy Plum of the Pat books is probably one of the best characters that Montgomery ever wrote. She is REAL and she’s wonderful.

For some reason, when I had finished that one, rather than read the sequel, I started an e-book that had been sitting on my Kindle for forever. It was Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line, by Abby Johnson. And then my Kindle Fire began to act up, and I had to stop mid-book, and wait for my new one to arrive in the mail. So, I read the sequel to my previous read, Mistress Pat, until my new Kindle arrived in the mail. Then I finished Unplanned.

I’ll admit it, once I started, I wasn’t looking forward to reading the part of the story that involved Abby Johnson’s time with Planned Parenthood. But you become caught up in all the good motives and reasons behind her joining them, and how she really wanted to help women. You could see it and feel it, on every page of the book. But more and more, she began to get her eyes opened, and realize some hard truths. However, I especially liked reading about her husband, Doug, who cared for her as a friend while she was in college, and whom she later married. Even when they disagreed on the subject of abortion, he continued to love her and stand by her, until the Lord brought her around. It’s a beautiful story.unplanned-cover1

On the musical side of things, I’ve still held to my intent of not buying any music, either. So, when I want to listen to some new music, I enjoy it on YouTube. I continue to listen to my favorite new artists from this year’s The Voice Australia, as well as a few from last year. I never get tired of hearing Karise Eden’s version of “Stay With Me Baby”, or her newest hit, “Threads of Silence”. And when I’m not listening to Kiyomi Vella or Celia Pavey, I admit to loving Robin Thicke’s performance of “Blurred Lines”, at the Voice Australia finale. He’s a bit full of himself, so I prefer to listen, rather than watch.

I think I’ll stop there for now. What have you been reading or listening to, lately? Any new changes in your life? Perhaps you have some hodge-podgey bits of your own happening? I hope everyone is well and happy in all that they’re doing! Thanks for reading along.