Some Great Books


I’ve read some excellent books recently that are worth mentioning.

Leaving Yesterday by Katie Cushman is a winner. I love how Katie can take two sides of an issue with different outcomes. One is good for one character and means defeat for the other. The second outcome is good for the other and not-so-good for the first person.  And the reader is hoping for both to come true.

In Leaving Yesterday, Katie takes a different approach and we see both sides of the problem through one character with a choice to make.

Alisa Stewart’s prodigal son has finally come home, clean and sober after checking himself into rehab. Soon though, Alisa finds evidence incriminating Kurt in a horrible crime. If she keeps quiet, Kurt gets his second chance at a new life. If she speaks up, he’ll go to prison.

Loved this one!


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  I may have mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s about how the usual qualifications for success such as talent, hard work, determination, and perseverance, may not be as important as the year you were born and where your grandparents came from.

It’s an intriguing viewpoint and the book blew me away. I’m currently reading an earlier work by Gladwell, Blink, about how the unconscious mind can make snap judgments and be right.


Nothing But Trouble, by Susan May Warren. I get why chick lit is over. I’m over it myself. Warren’s book is a welcome example of how the genre has grown up.

PJ Sugar has tried to outrun trouble all her adult life and all it’s gotten her is back home with all the problems and presumptions she fled after high school. With an allergic nephew to care for, a friend accused of murder to help, and an old boyfriend to confuse her, PJ tries to earn herself back into the good graces of the town.

There’s humor, heart, and happy reading in this one. I loved it!


Today I prayed for: Diane Sawyer, Amy, Maureen, Fresh Start.

Currently reading: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Last movie: Taken – wow!


The Rest of the Story

Continuing my last post about my refusal to plant my seed:

After much sobbing and refusing on my part, and God’s firm and gentle reassurance, I finally planted my seed.  About six inches deep. And I packed more dirt on top, watered it down and packed it on, making sure that seed would never sprout.

What’s up with that? What kind of sick (in the hurting sense of that word) purposely sabotages herself, with GOD standing right there??

Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

So, every day now, I’m asking myself: What am I doing with my seed? Am I planting it? Watering and weeding to help it grow? Or am I standing on it, refusing to let it see sunlight? 


Plant a seed

I recently listened to a writing seminar on MP3 about the spiritual life of a writer. The speaker had the attendees do an imagery exercise she had done a few years ago. It sounds like some New Age/meditative hocus pocus but she said it had been a powerful experience for her and led to an examined encounter with God.

I played along.

We were to imagine ourselves planting a seed.

That’s it. There were no further suggestions.

I was driving so I didn’t close my eyes, but I did look at the movie screen on the inside of my forehead to see me standing near a tree with God.

He kind of looked liked Gandalf, or Dumbledore.

He handed me a seed and said to plant it.

I refused.

I stood there next to my Father, the Creator of the World, and I shook my head, and clutched my seed in my hot fist and all but stomped my foot in my refusal.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a psychologist to figure that one out.

The question is why won’t I plant it? What good is the seed doing in my hand? None. Why won’t I let it do what it was created to do, sprout and grow and generate shade and new life?

Because I’m scared.

That’s a pathetic reason.

I’ve written a reminder and posted it on my monitor: Live Fearlessly. Love whole-heartedly.


Today I prayed for: Pastor George and his family, Mom, Lois, and Dave H.

Last movie: … I have no idea

Currently reading: On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Lovely and lyrical and funny.


A Time to Clean, A Time to Refrain From Cleaning


I was cleaning house last week and noticed something.

I used to clean pretty thoroughly every week. Then it was every other week. Then when we were having company. We live in the country and hardly ever have company any more.

Now, I clean before we go away overnight.

I hate to come home to a dirty or cluttered house. So I pretty much only clean before we go somewhere. 

Good thing we travel fairly often or we’d be living in squalor.

Years ago I shared housecleaning with a girlfriend. One week we’d clean her house, the next week my house. This way we each got a clean home about twice a month.

Sadly, I moved away. And my house still misses her.

My standards have changed. When I get around to cleaning, I actually clean deeper and better than I used to. I just don’t get around to it very often. So maybe it all averages out.


Today I prayed for: Taryn, Dee, our country, Hugh.

Currently reading: Just Friends by Robyn Sisman


Modern Life Sucks… Er… is Hard

The more things are supposed to be easy and convenient, the more they aren’t.

We pay bills online through the bank. We like the convenience, the low postage costs, and the time saved not writing checks.

It works great. Except when it doesn’t.

My trash didn’t get picked up this week. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I called the disposal company to ask that very question. They say my payment hasn’t arrived. The bank says they sent it.

The disposal company will gladly pick up my trash next week, if I pay them again. Pay them the money that already left my account.

The bill coupon specifies an address to send the payment to. The live person I talked to locally said to mail it direct to the local office.

Is it just me, or is there a problem here? And I’m the one with the stinky, backed up trash to prove it.



Today I prayed for: Kim, Brittany’s family, McKenzie, Amber, Max Lucado, me.

Last book read: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Last movie: Mamma Mia!