Christmas with Hallmark

Watch out folks, its started. Friday evening with much heralding came Hallmarks Open House. Back-to-back Christmas movies to run all weekend. Constant reminder commercials of the newest additions. What craziness! We have just barely survived The Great Pumpkin.

I find myself feeling the overload already. I find I am accomplishing nothing on this dreary Saturday but sitting under a blanket and watching the drivel. So whats the problem right? Just shut off the set. The problem with that is that then you hear the drizzle and feel the dampness in the air and just burrow further under your blanket. Not a bad way to spend your Saturday if you have a cup of tea and a good book but alas I have neither.

I call a friend, just to hear her voice. We are both of the ‘wake me after Christmas’ group and are thankful that for Christmas shopping, our grown kids like gift cards to do thier own shopping. Just online shopping for a few things for ourselves, right?

Wait!! My husband is going for his walk and volunteering to walk to the library to pick up the book I have on hold. Wheres those hot apple cider packets I saw in the cupboard and my favorite mug. Just enough time to read a couple chapters and have dinner before that new Hallmark Christmas movie comes on at 8. I might even bake cookies this year like the ones on the commerial. Life is good. And how was your Saturday?

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A Book Review: The Baker’s Wife by Erin Healy

We have a scandal that ruins a pastor’s career and turns him
into a bakery owner. We have an accident that involves the pastor’s wife, lots
of blood and a scooter, but no body. The man that brings about the pastor’s
downfall is the husband of the owner of the scooter. What happened to his wife?
Is the pastor’s wife responsible for her disappearance? Throw into the mix an
ex-con with a secret that comes to town that very morning looking for
something. Sounds like a mystery to me.

I found the characters to be very believable and fairly well
developed. Only the part about the pastor’s wife’s ability to physically “feel
others pain” seems a little bit science fiction. I had already tied some of the
loose threads together before the story revealed them but it in no way lessened
the intensity of the story. I love that the pastor and his wife never lost
their faith as their lives were so drastically changed from leaders of the
church to bakery owners. As accusations of hypocrisy are thrown around, the
preacher and his wife remain steadfast. The story is a believable telling of
God watching over us all and working in our lives.

I received this book free frm the publisher through book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a
positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont

This was my first experience with this author but I was intrigued by the phrase on the cover,”Seeing Life from a Broken Perspective.” If you are looking for a self-help book, you will be disappointed. It lacks the depth for that kind of reading. What is does offer is a light-hearted, easy-to-read, “perspective” from the author of taking our hard broken moments in life and turning them into jumpstarts to finding the work of art the pieces become. The chapters are likened to the broken pieces of a stained glass window becoming a beautiful piece of art. The power of God to redeem and restore us from a devastating experience.

As for me, I liked the book. Finding time to read while living with everyday life, I enjoyed the relatively short chapters and the authors wit and humor. It was easy to pick up and thought provoking enough to put down and ponder the words. Each chapter ends with a suggestion to look up a scripture, painting, book, poem or song. I found myself reading near my laptop so I could quickly look up the references to understand what she was talking about. With each chapter I was able to reference my own life and adapt some point she was making to my own life. I will be watching for some of Ms. Clairmont’s other works.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own and only opinions.

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Chores: How often??

I am a procrastinator!! I am not proud of it, but it is one thing I am very good at. I am particularly adept at it when it comes to household chores. I know all the arguments against it, and I have all the best of good intentions. Todays endeavor made me happy and mad at the same time. It was the REFRIGERATOR. It hadn’t been completely emptied and cleaned since I got it two years ago. Only one “science experiment” found but many “out of date” items. The ‘made me mad’ part was that I didn’t do it yesterday before the garbage man came. It is gleaming now.

I can’t help but wonder why I let it go so long. It is such a good feeling to know where things are and what I have. I hope that I can become inspired to do the rest of my ‘to do’ list. It does feel good.

So what is my next project? My ‘office’. I am quite the packrat and it has become the dumping ground. I have piles that need to be sorted, filed, shredded and more. All I have to do is start.

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Mothers Day

To those that wonder what I did with my wonderful fat quarters, this is it. Tissue box covers with pockets for pens, pencils, remotes etc. They were the gifts for the mothers at our get-together today. I still have a few more to make but I ran out of time. What a glorious Mothers Day. We had a wonderful lunch out at North Fork Resevoir with my sis-in-laws family. It was chilly in the outdoor shelter but we had plenty of good food and a big fire in the fireplace. After dinner we played minute-to-win-it and got a good laugh out of folks trying to perform crazy tasks. All the while I kept thinking of my own mother and all she had done for me, including giving me life. As all us moms know, there is no such thing as a non-working mother. But if you ask most of us, we wouldn’t have traded it for anything. My son tried to call twice while I was gone and finally got hold of me an hour ago. He has been such a blessing to me and talking with him always makes me smile. I can’t help wondering if my mother is looking down on me from heaven and saying the same about me. I hope so.

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Mother’s Day project

Well here they are. It’s five o’clock on Friday night and these are the lovely peices for my Mother’s Day project. As usual I waited until the last minute to start.

I am like a kid in a candy store when I enter a fabric store. “I’ll take one cup of…er fat quarter of this and a pound…umm yard of that”. I have several totes of good project intentions. I have material for tops, totes, purses, quilts, doll clothes and of course several totes of patterns in assorted sizes. While the name for folks like me varies from hoarder to sewing diva, it is just a lack of self-control and good intentions. The worse part is Sewing has never been a love of mine and my ideas never seem to come to fruitation. Whats the project this time? Stay tuned.

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Day 28- Furry Friends

My “furry friend” is again my friend’s Cavalier King Charles, Lil’ Bit. Her name is really Callie but my friend has called her Lil’ Bit since she got her. It is a meeting of the mutual admiration society when they are together. And that is most of the time. Lil’ Bit cries if Connie is not in site. Lil’ Bit is at the teething stage and loves to chew on her toys, that is if she can’t chew on Connie’s hair. She did let me take several pictures before she raced down the hall to Connies office.

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Day 27- Abandoned

Long abandoned here in Gladstone is the old trestle that connected Oregon City and Gladstone. I believe it was for the streetcar that went between Oregon City and Portland but I could be wrong. I just know to us Gladstone folk, Oregon City was the “other side of the tracks”. It was already abandoned as I grew up in the 60’s. Our parents all warned us to stay away from it as there were many missing boards even then. Walking the rails of the trestle was almost as big a rite of passage as jumping off the High Rocks bridge. I have to confess I only made it halfway across before I got scared and went back. (I never jumped off the bridge either but my brother did).

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Day 26-Looking Up

One of my favorite drives is my fall leaf trip around Mt. Hood. Every year, armed with my camera, we drive around Mt. Hood to shoot pictures of the turning leaves. Last year it was a little difficult to catch the colors before the rain knocked the leaves off the trees. We caught couple nice days, one in October and one in early November. I shot the photo at the left, shooting upward to catch the sunlight shining through. We missed most of the reds but caught lots of yellow and browns.

Then there was an October a couple years ago, that I was shooting up at an entirely different tree…from Waikiki Beach.

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Day 25- Rocks, Stones, Pebbles

As a child I was always collecting rocks, agates and shells. We vacationed every summer for a week at Cannon Beach. I thought about my photo of Haystack Rock in that location, but didn’t find one that I was excited about. I also considered going back to my “toy” photo with my Pebbles Flintstone doll. Then I looked for a picture of my grandpa’s gravel truck that I nicknamed Pebbles as a child. I could also have gone back to day 21 and used that photo of a stone. I finally chose my newly started collection of rocks and gemstones. Whenever I wander into a shop I touch all the polished stones and buy the one or two that “feel” right. Its never the one I like the best, but I just go on gut instinct in my choosing. I also tossed in a few inspiration stones that I am also collecting.

All these are housed in a pretty bowl my friend Kathy made, and rejected, that I quickly latched onto. Plain ol’ rocks? Yeah, I like them too, but those are in another bowl.

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