30 Days of Thankfulness – 11/9/17

For the month of November, I’m going to try to include gratitude in all my posts (and post every day.)


Today I’m thankful I have the new book from Lee Child – The Midnight Line. Since the weather has settled into its rainy, gloomy phase for the winter, it’s great to have a new book to curl up with in front of the fire.


Best Reads of 2013


I’ve neglected my yearly book pages this year, so I thought I do a summary of the best things I’ve read. Let me know if you agree/disagree with any of my choices.


A Church for Starving Artists

By Jan Edmiston, an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA, who helps churches and pastors discern their gifts in the Chicago area.

The Pioneer Woman

Award-winning blog by Ree Drummond who lives on a cattle ranch in eastern Oklahoma, and writes about cooking, homeschooling, photography, and life on a ranch.

Daughter on Duty

By Gretchen Staebler who has temporarily abandoned her life in North Carolina to live with and care for her 92-year-old mother as she struggles with Alzheimer’s and general decline.

Esther Emery

By Esther Emery who, along with her husband, gave up her city life and moved to the mountains in Idaho, to live in a yurt, and raise her three children “off the grid”.


By Jessica Hagy who brings eternal truths to me daily by way of minimalist diagrams that fit on an index card.

leaf and twig

Where observations and imagination meet nature in poetry. Good for my soul.

Penny Loafers at the Rodeo

By Dusty Thompson, “displaced Southern gentleman and aspiring author, has recently invited his Daddy, an authentic Southern Good Ol’ Boy, to live with him in California.”

Tregear Vean

By Jean Rolt, an 80-something vicar in a remote parish in the southwest of England. She and her husband are aging, but approach what is left of their lives with humor and faith.

Yarn Harlot

By Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, an avid knitter and writer about knitting.


You can read some very good synopses in the links I’ve provided. This is about 1/5th of the books I read this year (as the list of blogs is about 1/5th of the blogs I read regularly). Other books were either extremely light-weight, or ultimately forgettable.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home by Sue Halpern

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson

Pastrix by Nadia Boles-Weber Worth reading whether you are religious or not.

Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman Yes, Virginia, it is a Hillerman, and about the Navajos. Written by Tony’s daughter, it is true to his voice.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (Re-read for a book club.) I think I’ve said before that I would read the toilet paper roll if Barbara Kingsolver wrote it.


I’ve been pretty busy today. Thursday is my regular wash day, so I’ve had the washer and dryer running basically since I got out of bed.

I had Tai Chi right after lunch.


I really enjoy that class and I hope I’m getting stronger, more limber, and have better balance. I think it’s working.

Following Tai Chi I went to the Book Club. We read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley.


It was a fun read with an 11-year-old protagonist who thinks she knows everything (and often does). I liked it so much I’ve gotten all four of the other books about Flavia de Luce, and I’m better than half-way through the third one. There’s nothing particularly enlightening or spectacular about these books, but they’re fun to read. Some of the other people in the group had a hard time with Flavia knowing so much, but it’s one of those things that you need to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story.

I don’t think I ever said what I thought of “The Hobbit”. I was disappointed that it was only the first half of the story, and drawn-out and padded, at that. It could have been done in an hour and a half (instead of almost three hours), and would have been much more true to the book. This one suffered by my familiarity with the book, unlike the Lord of the Rings, that was true to what Tolkien wrote.

We got “Jack Reacher” from Netflix today, and we’ll see how that holds up.


Maybe Tom Cruise can pull it off, but that one I will definitely have to suspend disbelief for. The thing is – in the novels, Jack Reacher is 6’5″, and weighs 235 lbs, all muscle. It I had been casting it on looks I would have cast The Rock rather than Cruise, but then, what do I know. Anyway, I’m excited to see it, and I’ll let you know tomorrow what I thought.

All about ME!

(Those of you wanting pictures and warm fuzzies can quit reading right now. I didn’t make up these questions…)

What do you think are your three best qualities?

  1. Intelligence
  2. Forthrightness
  3. Honesty

What do you think are your three worst qualities?

  1. Pride
  2. Aggressiveness
  3. Bluntness

And when you think about it, it just depends on whether you like what I’m saying or dislike what I’m saying whether you think the same thing is Best or Worst!

What do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education, or persistence? I have the most intelligence.

How has it helped you in your life? – From the exalted age of 67 years, I’m not sure my intelligence has really helped me all that much. I never HAD to work at grades so I didn’t study. I know a lot of people think I’m a “know-it-all” because I usually DO know the answer to most questions, but that doesn’t necessarily endear me to others.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions? – Probably too many to list.

  1. When I agree with someone hoping for something, I say “From your mouth to God’s ears.”
  2. “Oh, please,” when I disagree or think someone is being overly sure of themselves.
  3. “Quack” when the Oregon Ducks score in football.

What’s your favorite book and why? – I’ve got so many favorites it’s hard to pick just one. I love “Gone with the Wind”  probably because it was the first “adult” novel I ever read. I also adore “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy  , partly because it’s a great story dealing with wonderful, eternal themes of courage, and perseverance, and friendship, and honor, and partly because Tolkien drew from the countryside around Oxford and it makes me homesick for the Cotswolds whenever I read it (how’s THAT for a sentence – parse THAT if you will). I also love the novels by Elizabeth Goudge, most of which are out of print now.  She treats her characters, with all their flaws, with love and compassion. And for light reading I love the mysteries of Tony Hillerman, and the novels and mysteries of Father Greeley. I always feel like I accidentally learn something from them in and around the edges of a great story.

What’s your favorite movie and why? – I love “Gone with the Wind”  (see above), and “The Lord of the Rings”   (again, see above). In a more current vein, I liked “The Help”  – I thought it was true to the book. The book made me uncomfortable – convicted me – but I appreciated the look at history. I know there are some people who disliked both the movie and the book because they felt like a white woman couldn’t tell the story of the black women in the 1960s, but I thought it rang true to what I knew in Arkansas during that time. I also love “The Blind Side”.  Probably the same people who disliked “The Help” disliked “The Blind Side” for the same reasons, but I appreciated the story of hope and redemption told there.