Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review - When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? by Jennifer Grant

When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? is written by Jennifer Grant and is published by Herald Press.

Well, I hate to admit that I would even read a book like this. It's about old people and our own ascent into that category. The book is divided up into chapters with titles such as, Elton John Glasses, Death Flickering Like a Pilot Light, and Jury Duty. I think my favorite chapter is Two Truths and a Lie: Parents of Teens Edition. Grant tells it like it is, yet makes you forget that you are reading something that might give you a little bit of insight into yourself. Yes, I realize that I'm not alone. Interesting stuff.

Jennifer Grant is an author who reminds me a wee bit of Patsy Clairmont. If you don't know who she is, get on Google and find out. Grant's writing is humorous, yet somehow is filled with truth. I resonate with her.

The bottom line is that When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? is full of humor, truth, wisdom, and some good storytelling. It's one of those books that you get and put on your shelf to read again later, when you forget that life is hard at any age.

*I received a copy of When Did Everybody Get So Old? in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review - The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

The Space Between Words is written by Michele Phoenix and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I have been reading a lot of books lately. I am glad to report that all of them have been interesting and worth the time. The Space Between Words has been a special joy to read, as are all of the books by Michele Phoenix.

This is a novel addressing the Paris terrorist attack of 2015 when terrorists shot 137 people at a concert hall. The story is told in the first person by Jessica, who suffers a gunshot wound during the attack yet survives. After she physically heals (I say physically, not emotionally), she winds up in the country, still in France, at a cottage she rents from some Americans living there. After finding an antique sewing box at a flea market, Jessica enlists Grant's and Mona's help in tracing the box's original owner - a Huguenot girl living in the 17th Century! What happens later is nothing short of fantastic reading, and I enjoyed every minute of this interesting tale.

*I received a copy of The Space Between Words in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Review: Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

Ordering Your Private World is written by Gordon MacDonald and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I am so having fun reading new and varied books lately. This one, Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald, is a filled with words of wisdom from someone who knows what it is like to live in a chaotic, driven, spiritual world. He found order and helps others to find order for their own lives. He reminds me of a male version of Beth Moore.

The book is an updated version of the earlier edition, published in 1984. You know, the value of a peaceful, orderly life is one that never goes out of style. People are people. They deal with the same spiritual battles, no matter the times. MacDonald begins with what he battled as a younger pastor. He struggled with feelings of resentment from his father. He never seemed to measure up, so, as a grown man, he worked and worked to earn that elusive favor.

What he found is the basis of this book. I found it to be an interesting read as well as one that is bulging with practical information. It includes a study guide, which I plan to use. The questions are great ones that make you think and really reach in and out of yourself. And I love that there are blanks you can fill in right inside the book. It's something you can do on your own or do with others. Love it, and recommend this book to others.

*I received a copy of Ordering Your Private World in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, September 25, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - September 25

We are in the middle of a heat wave here in northern Michigan. The temperatures have been in the low 90's. Everyone is complaining because they are used to cooler weather, especially in the last days of September. I am not complaining, though. Just for the record, I love heat. Sadly, in a couple of days, the weather is supposed to please those crabby folks by sending readings near 60 degrees for a high. Brrr.

Here is my menu plan for the coming week:


Slow Cooker Parmesan Brown Rice and Turkey
Italian Breadsticks
Green Beans (last from the garden)
Boston Cream Cake


Steaks on the Grill
Baked Potatoes


Chicken Parmesan Pasta
Garlic Toast


Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Butternut Squash


Pizza & Pop


Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Deviled Eggs


On Your Own

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford with Andy Hardin

The Awakening of HK Derryberry is written by Jim Bradford with Andy Hardin and is published by Thomas Nelson.

HK Derryberry is a remarkable young man. He was born far too early when his mother was fatally injured in a car crash. He suffered many physical challenges that required surgeries and a three month hospital stay. Finally, his grandmother, Pearl, took him home to live with her. His father, Pearl's son, was not interested in his small son and one day left without returning.

Later, Jim Bradford felt the urge to stop at the local Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits for a cup of coffee. It ended up being a Spirit driven venture that led to an inspiring friendship between the older man and the young boy. Through the years, Bradford watched HK "awaken" from the child who sat alone at a fast food table all day to an outgoing, friendly guy who impressed everyone he met. Today, the duo is often found out and about touching lives and making a difference in the world.

The Awakening of HK Derryberry is a little hard to put down once you begin reading it. It starts out interesting and ends with a bang. I loved reading every page of the remarkable story. The center of the book is filled with pictures that enhance my understanding of HK and the people involved in his life. Great story that everyone should read. It certainly enriched my understanding of disabilities as well as God's power and purpose in life.

*I received a copy of The Awakening of HK Derryberry in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, September 18, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - September 18

I found an interesting cookbook this week. This one is filled with easy and quick gluten-free recipes. Last night I prepared the Waldorf Salad for my husband. He said he loves it and would I please save the recipe. Many of the meals on my menu plan this week include items made from this cookbook, 100 Best Quick Gluten-free Recipes by Carol Fenster. I have denoted these with an asterisk. If you find the recipe book at your library, please check it out and see if any of the recipes fit your lifestyle!

By the way, I made the zucchini butter on Saturday and it is wonderful!


Waldorf Salad*
Fresh Green Beans
Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins*


Pinto Bean Dip*
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes*


Muffin Pan Chicken Pot Pies
Baked Potatoes with Zucchini Butter


Spaghetti Carbonara*
Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts
Tossed Salads
Garlic Toast


Pizza & Pop (gluten-free dough)*


Burgers on the Grill
Deviled Eggs
Cherry Clafouti*


On Your Own

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Book Review: Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Portrait of Vengeance is written by Carrie Stuart Parks and is published by Thomas Nelson.

Before I gush on this book, I want to first give you a brief synopsis. Gwen Marcey is a forensic artist who practically begs to be given the assignment of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho because the location, and the details of the case, are something similar to her own experiences as a child. She ends up going out there to find that she is an outsider and, in fact, a target. The investigation goes very slowly while Gwen finds more and more similarities with this case and her own. In the meantime, her life is in danger.

The ending is probably one you won't see coming.

One I picked up this book, I had trouble putting it back down. I think I finished it in record time because it really is that suspenseful and well-written. Obviously, Parks is an accomplished author, but she is also a real life forensic artist. That said, I can confidently say that she knows her stuff. The writing is crisp and, at times, humorous. Parks' ability to keep the suspense going until the end is amazingly well done.

Now I have to go out and find the other books by Carrie Stuart Parks.

*I received a copy of Portrait of Vengeance in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*