Hi everyone! Day 9 of official NZ lockdown, day 14 for us and things are pretty level. We are allowing the kids to do whatever today, although Si is now out with a drop saw, so good luck with the “sleep all day” goal that one of them set!
This morning I have been listening to Laura Tremaine. I’ve talked about her work in the past and I’m sure I’ll talk about her in the future – I find her to be real, to show empathy, humorous and good-natured, and I think she’s probably a pretty awesome wife & mum too. This last episode was aptly titled : Marry The Person You Could Quarantine With & I think too, I’m fortunate in my choice.
Laura’s intro is:
I’m Laura Tremaine.
I live in Los Angeles. I’m a reader, a podcaster, a wife, and a mom.
At all times, I have (at least) 10 Things To Tell You. And I know that YOU have 10 Things To Tell.
This place is about connection, with each other and with ourselves. We can only do this by opening our eyes and seeing others and (even harder) by letting ourselves be seen.
Hey everyone! Hope lockdown is going okay, that you’re not going too crazy & that you’re getting contact with your nearest & dearest.
Right now one of my dearest is Libby, Mase’s Hospice counselor. She rang this morning then they had a Zoom session this afternoon. There’s one scheduled for next week & I’m so grateful.Today’s review isn’t a book. It’s Brene’s new podcast. No surprise that I lurve her work. Research plus stories? Yes please! Her first episode isn’t the initial planned, but it’s about FFT. That first F stands for a bad word, but it’s minimally used during the episode and I’m sure you’ll find something to resonate with, especially in this “new normal” (I’m beginning to hate that phrase).
For 2020, part of my “reset” is to read a decent (i.e. interesting, thought provoking) book a week. Any links will be non-affiliate, as always, and any thoughts are my own. If you’ve got a recommend, send it my way!
BLURB: For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
MY THOUGHTS: This is one that got a lot of hype when it first released, and was on several influencer’s book lists, including Reese Whitherspoon and my fav, Ali Edwards. I should have read it then, but last year I was going for escapism and easy reads. There are some unrealistic aspects to this tale but it is beautifully written and the characters are well thought out and come alive on the page. I was gripped during the middle portion and blown away at the end – it wasn’t what I expected. 5 stars.
If you are thinking about picking this one up, Amazon have an extract on their US page HERE:
Recently I’ve been reading an ARC of Kristen Strong’s latest, which released yesterday. It’s a worthy follow on from Girl Meets Change & I love it. Parts are like I’m actually sitting down with a girlfriend, it feels that personal.
Anyways, I encourage you to pick it up and review. There are always parts of our life where we feel like an outsider & this is about how that’s kind of normal. We aren’t all the same square peg.
There’s a lovely article on Ann Voskamp’s site today. Again, I encourage you to take a read.
Last year in September I took part in Laura Tremaine’s Instagram challenge about 10 Things to Tell You. She’s now expanded this to a podcast (iTunes or if you’re on an android phone, I recommend the Podcast Addict app) and each week, there will be a mini challenge. This week it’s about being Lonely.
Her prompts are ARE YOU LONELY or WHEN WERE YOU LONELY? I’m not ready to talk yet about the low portions of my loneliness except to say – it passes. It has always passed. Life has always gotten better.
I HAVE told myself a false narrative. As in, no one possibly understands what I’m going through. No one loves me. No one will miss me. This is of course a load of bollocks, but remember its ok to go thru a period of wallowing in self-pity – but also remember that you will feel better once you contact with other people. Even if it’s a smile and a thank you at the supermarket checkout.
Laura says a key to connection is having a regularly scheduled thing to look forward to. I totally agree – Saturday morning bootcamp walks are always a highlight.
Are online connections real? Laura’s question and my answer is YES. Totally. There will always be people who are a shadow of themselves, but there will conversely always be people who are real. Supportive.
It’s about belonging. (See further reading: Brene Brown) It’s essential in relationship not only to feel loved, but to feel liked. Much. Truth.
If you want to talk or reach out, I’m here. Note that comments on this post won’t be “public” unless you specifically state that you want your comments out there. X
I could quite easily copy/paste the same info as last time we met.
Still plodding away on the reno at MIL’s (deck done, but the weather isn’t conducive to concreting so Mase & I have been planting like mad things)…he took the photos from this last batch. It’s cool to have a gardening buddy. We knew the tags are unlikely to stay with the plants, so at least we have a rough idea of what we planted in this batch. His fav is the Fireworks.
Still radio silence from the SIL (I’m about ready to tell her not to come up, but that would hurt the MIL & actually, I need a break)…
Still working slowly on Fairy Idyll…mostly hour chunks when I can get control of the TV remote from Mum! We watched The Great NZ Bake Off last night, and the guy in the photo was eliminated. GF sponge cake is hard, y’all.
I did start and finish CloudsFactory’s The Princess Bride, as a tribute to William Goldman. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’re in for a treat. And it’s PG, so family safe. I think I want to add his name and dates to the bottom tho. Appropriately, this is on Cloudburst 28ct Lugana from Countrystitch.
Now, because the stitchy bug has been gone, or superseded with all the other things, I didn’t post in either the Oct or Nov WIPocalypse pages. I’ve given up on Stitch From Stash, as I have been buying ALL THE THINGS and really gone ridiculous (for me. Maybe not if you’re Katy the Stash Queen). I am daily anticipating the first parcel from 123…and the fabric from Catherine at Countrystitch. I went for Urewera Mist (that mottle one). I’m going to return Gail’s Fairy Idyll chart as I have my working copy & will hunt out an original for myself. I really, really want to work on Shakespeare’s Fairies so I will, once the fabric arrives. Stitching & guilt shouldn’t go together IMO, & I also know that if I do park a Mira for a while, I will always return to it.
So – here’s the Q&A I missed from the last two episodes.
October 28 – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? I’ve tried rotation and it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to leave a project out on the bars rather than pop on or off…& I usually have a car project with me to break up the monotony of being monogamous.
November 25 – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? Eh – nothing. I brought back some embroidery (two hoops, whoop-de-woo) & perfected my pin stitch, but that’s about it.
I re-discovered an author last week. Turns out I’d read the prequel, A Handful of Flowers, a few years ago but for some reason I never moved into the series. I can tell you I’ve certainly fixed that error now!
Blurb Book 1: This Christian romance novel of 80,000 words is the second book in The Callaghans & McFaddens series from author Kimberly Rae Jordan. A HANDFUL OF FLOWERS (ASIN: B01APAIXM6) is the prequel to this series.
Makayla McFadden has been part of her family’s business since it started. At sixteen, she’d helped her dad by answering phones and doing the filing when she wasn’t in school, and now she’s the office manager for C&M Builders. As the company has grown, they’ve had to hire new people, but the core of the company has always stayed the same. When her father announces his plan to retire, Makayla knows change is coming. Hiring from outside the family will disrupt the way they’ve run their business, and she’s not happy about it.
Upon learning that his father and step-mother plan to move to a new city with his younger sister, Ethan Collins knows he needs to move there as well. The day he gets a call from his first choice for a job, he figures God has answered his prayers. But then he meets Makayla McFadden and realizes that she doesn’t want him there. After they offer him a job on a three month probationary basis, Ethan knows he not only has to convince them he can do the job, he has to somehow convince Makayla that he is a good fit for her family’s company.
When he finds himself falling for Makayla, Ethan tries to fight it since he refuses to do anything that might jeopardize his job and his sister’s future. But when the heart can’t be denied, will Ethan take the risk for love? Or will Makayla be reluctant to embrace change on a personal level and leave him without love or a job?
My thoughts: There’s little risk in trying these books – they are available on Kindle Unlimited (and from memory, book one was free on a lot of platforms). I enjoyed getting to know the characters in depth, from children to adults, and the way the books overlap opens up a realism that often isn’t in a saga. If you like interconnecting books, I can recommend you give this series a try.
Books in The Callaghans & McFaddens series by Kimberly Rae Jordan:
Long-time readers might remember I raved about a book waaaay back in November 2016. Today’s title is connected to this series and is just as good! It released state-side today, so pop into your local retailer and buy it.
SYNOPSIS: Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she’s spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her.
When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.
MY THOUGHTS: It’s no wonder RT Book Reviews have given this 4 ½ stars – it’s detailed, well-written, empathetic and good. I devoured most of this while at the A&E with my eldest son, & it was hard to put down.
Moriyah as a character is well rounded but as we met her, cloistered within her own shame and closed off to the voice of Yahweh, even tho she heard Him as a child. Her scarring means she is the focus of mean comments and she does allow this to influence her daily actions. Things change when her friend urges her to dance; then she meets someone who will influence the remainder of her life.
At one point so much happened to Moriyah that it was a bit rollercoaster, but on a re-read this might well smooth out.
I am in awe of the amount of research that went into this book. The background is so rich and colourful and seamlessly enhances the story. The theme of redemption thru sacrifice resonates.
I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review – but I’m buying it anyway! Book 2 is scheduled for this year; book 3 for 2019.
SYNOPSIS: The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business. But with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?
As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?
I have a book recommend (well, two now as she published the second in Dec 2017) – Julie Klassen’s The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill & follow-up, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. Set in the same era as Jane Austen’s writing, and very, very well done.
I recognised characterisations & phrasing from the more popular Austen Pride & Prejudice but rather than thinking “plagiarism” I felt like I was re-reading an old friend. There’s nothing blatant, but there is definitely a Lady Catherine character! Plus, easy to recommend to secular people who like a good regency, as the romance and Christian themes are subtle, and it’s all about how the characters grow and develop. Even secondary characters are rich in detail and the way she describes the customs & environment of the village are spot on. I loved it.
My copies were purchased on Amazon Kindle; the second volume is on sale as I write this.
Life at times can be tricky. It can feel tough and brutal. Life feels hard sometimes. Life can be very loud. It seems as though for the big huge troubles, we pause, pull up our bootstraps and face it head-on. Not pleasant, however, we all have the ability to rise up and fight something big. […]