21 February 2010

Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron

It is my opinion that this fictional work by Ian Morgan Cron goes hand in hand with the theme of the Life Recovery Bible and to be sure, a good addition to any family library.

I laughed and wept as each chapter unfolded. This is truly a book about life's lessons.

A successful minister suddenly finds himself questioning life and the resulting confrontation between the Elders of the church and his congregation ends in a leave of absence which sends him on a journey of recovery.
He meets wonderful people including a life long lost Uncle whilst following the trails of St Francis of Assisi thus the title.

Albeit a work of fiction it includes many actual events as well as historical facts.
I was however surprised by the ending and therefore give it a 4 1/2 star rating.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The New Life Recovery Bible

I recently chose the NLT Bible to review and thought to share here my thoughts.

Featuring the Serenity prayer as its introduction, one of my all time favourites, it includes a twelve step devotionals, in fact a reading chain of 84 Bible-based devotionals tied to the Twelve steps of Recovery and many life changing features such as Recovery profiles, notes, reflections and themes.

I especially liked the Serenity Prayer devotionals placed next to the verses they originated from, to be sure a meaningful 29-day reading program.

Additional features includes book outlines, great topical and devotional indexes as well as an excellent user guide for any troubled families or individuals on the road to recovery.

In our challenging times, you will find yourself reaching out for this Bible time and time again and I gladly give it a 5 star rating.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please note as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

19 February 2010

Spring, daffodils and cherished babies


Spring must be in the air as irises are coming up, daffodils are blooming as well as snowdrops and hyacinths and yes, it is sunny! Albeit still a tad chilly in the am, I could not resist and opened the windows! Fresh air, and I can hang the laundry out! Bliss!

Browsing for new ideas for tiny hats and clothing for babies I came across the above title. I had not idea who Erika Knight was but checking her website I discovered she is a fellow knitter and very talented too. I just love the photos above! I think my next pennies will have to be spend on these books!

P.S. I was lucky to locate the first book at our local library and I can attest it is just as good as I hoped! Guess who is knitting and of course dreaming?

Please note this post reflect my opinion only and I was not remunerated in any way for it!

13 February 2010

Puppy love: Meet MacInstosh

As I look online for most things these days like everyone such as recipes, books, historical facts, movies etc... I find myself seeing all sorts of things I am drooling over as my daughter would say!
I am amazed at the many talents displayed in blogs for one thing. Since I struggle to accomplish most things these days I cannot but admire the energy and skills I have seen!

I thought I would take a moment and see what I do, sort of a test if you like.

I love to read, no doubt about that and I have a good memory for facts. I love to knit and I enjoy it very much. That is in fact a ministry in my case according to my husband. If I am going to knit something it is always for someone who needs it. It must explain why the sweater and scarf I started 2 years ago for myself is still in the basket...

I love to cook albeit this has become more of a chore these days...I am often tempted to just grab anything! Still, I just baked some Madeleines...

I am however in love with Corgis! Life without McIntosh (or chocolates!) would just not be the same! Corgi antics is what makes life sweeter! They love us with no reservation, a ball, a frisbee, a treat here and there and they are the best of companions!

And look below who is dreaming now?

To the doggie park we go! Mac and I will share more of those dreams later... You never know what we might teach each other...

Remembering and Lily of the Valley

Perhaps due to the very mild winter our daffodils have not only shown but I notice a bloom soon to open! As a small child our little walled garden yield first crocuses and hyacinths followed by one of my favourite, Lily of the Valley.

As I recall on May 1st traditionally a sprig of lily of the valley was given to family members and friends alike.
I miss this tradition ! Granny spoke of our Grand Pa hiding a small sprig in his overcoat to bring her on that special day. A little on the shy side and at 6ft3" he probably did not want the whole world to know how much she meant to him! He never forgot and
she always remember it!

I cannot think of something sweeter! Dreaming again...

11 February 2010

Love and Fireworks

Fireworks over Toccoa is the title of the book I just finished reading last night. An Advance Readers' Edition, the book was loaned to me by a thoughtful friend and I could not put it down.

A debut novel written by Jeffrey Stepakoff, this was truly a moving story filled with surprises. Like many people I am sure, I have marveled at fireworks in the past not realizing how much skills, even traditions are tied into it.

This book speaks of all of this, family values, passionate love, pyrotechnics, war effects on the ones in the front lines as well as the home front and of course as in all things in life, decisions that ultimately changes our lives.
Albeit unknown to me this author is credited with many play writings such as The Wonder Years, Sisters, Major Dad, Dawson's Creek etc...I am however very much looking forward to his next novel!

Please note this is my opinion and I received no compensation for adding it to my blog.

10 February 2010

Bible Review

My family and I have recently been given the opportunity to review the "Word of Promise New Testament" audio bible.

This 20 CD set including 1 DVD brings to life the teachings of Christ and his disciples through the voices of an incredible cast of actors, audio effects and most uplifting music.

A wonderful teaching tool, it is not only entertaining but I guarantee you will want to hear it over and over. This is definitively the best way a parent or Sunday school teacher can use to teach young and old alike what is after all the most beautiful story ever written.

Headed by Jim Caviezel as Jesus and Terence Stamp as the voice of God the 120 international cast of award winning actors will reach out to you as never before. You will never forget it!

Produced by Carl Amari, directed by Jobe Cerny and including the composer Stefano Mainetti incredible music rendition, this is a wonderful gift for anyone!
This family gives it a 5 star rating!

Note: I received this free Bible from BOOKSNEEZE to review. All views expressed are my opinion only.

07 February 2010

Women and Scriptures


Perhaps it is our trouble times but I have seen a return to simpler things and faith such as we were taught as little children. It seemed then we took things for grant and we were not trying very hard.

As women we know now that our very beliefs helps us to grow as wives, mothers and friends. It is the cornerstone of our family values. It helps us to understand whom we are and what we hope to leave behind us ever so humbly.

Love and trust are such precious feelings and we cannot help but feel betrayed when someone tramples on what we offer with all our heart. A kind word or gesture does not cost much and means so much especially when you are down.

The Scriptures gives us so many examples of forgiveness. At times we struggle to remember we are not alone and do the right thing. No man is an island and I am learning this! One cannot have too many dreams though so I keep trying... Better times are yet to come.... I have signed up for newsletters that I hope will help me to understand better what I can change about myself and accept the things I cannot.

A good friend introduced me to the work of Elspeth Young, a wonderful artist. She brings to life the Scriptures. I find myself again and again checking the details in her paintings and never tire of it!


You will enjoy checking the following gallery with her paintings I am sure. Please note I received no compensation for my opinion. It is just that, my opinion! Enjoy!

Woodland and long walks


I was taught from an early age walking was good for me, my Granny walked everywhere and took us along on wonderful jaunts. Since we lived nearby the Colonial Park, the Royal Palace and a lovely duck pond (yes we fed the ducks all the day old bread they could eat) we could not but enjoy such outings. I remember a particular avenue we walked lined with Japanese cherry trees. What a canopy in the Spring!

Granny loved walking and I recall some of those walks were particular long. She also had a knack for meeting people. I remember one wet Autumn afternoon near the Belvedere she met a Pole. This man described his youth holidays including summers in the Polish countryside in a lovely old farmhouse. But what I remember the most was his tale of the wolves crying during the long winter nights! Wolves!

We never saw this man after that afternoon but we spoke of him sometime and remembered how lonely he sounded when he spoke of his childhood.

Granny reminded us often there are so many interesting people in the world and so many things to learn.

She never stopped doing so until her death at 93. She lived well and dreamed...

Bluebells, Faeries and knitting


I remember coming home in tears when I was 8 years old because our Teacher had assigned us knitting 10 centimeters on a little blue hat! My Mum was in hospital and I just knew I could never do that! My Dad said no worries, he would help.
To my surprise he picked up the needles and started showing me how to pick up stitches (yes, by then I had already dropped a few) and then proceeded to knit a couple of lines whilst telling me his 3 older sisters had taught him.

An hour later and emotionally exhausted, I went to bed still trying to knit! In the wee morning however, it appeared the "Knitting Faerie" had visited because my 10 centimeters were all done!
I do not remember much of that morning in class but I do not know I did not ended up with a negative grade in knitting and I have learned to love to knit.

To this date I still credit my Dad with my knitting skills. I have come some way to be sure and I love knitting for tiny Angels that might not otherwise have something to themselves!

This is my little Snow Girl hat:


This hat reminds me of a Lion's mane. I made the booties to match.


This Preemie blanket was a tad of a challenge but I love the result:


Spring will soon be here and with it, bluebells! I love their colour and I would knit in that shade always if I could!

Tasha Tudor, Corgi love and little girls

When she was just a little girl my daughter came home one day to tell me about Tasha Tudor and her beloved corgis. I had myself never heard of her and her canine friends but once I saw her books and looked at the quirky little dogs, I never forgot.

A few years later an acquaintance brought one of her corgis over and I lost my heart! The next thing I knew, I was offered to "dog sit" for a whole week and yes, you guessed it, this little girl became part of our family. She stayed with us until she crossed the Rainbow Bridge one very cold February. We buried her under a beautiful Dogwood next to the pond and it broke my heart. I never forgot her!

I took an early retirement from the work force a while back and I was convinced by my daughter (There she goes again) to check on the Net for another Corgi. This beautiful one year old Corgi came in our life and we renamed him MacIntosh.

A tad shy (was I dreaming??) he was just what I needed!
Mac loves his ball first and foremost! You can throw it all day long. Try the freesbie and he flies! His meals requires a little dance around and around. The tele gets his attention all the time, he likes classical music not rap (oops, sorry) and abhors bells of any kind. His big ears will let you know of any impending invasion by the Natives and I always know when my neighbour and friend is on her way by the big grin he wears!

My one regret is that MacIntosh was not with us as a puppy. I will always wonder what he looked like and I am even looking online for a photo and imagine him as a pup. He has become much part of our life and like every corgi he rules the house!

As to Tasha Tudor and her many books about Corgis I have too many favourites to list but I definitively wish to add to my collection her cookbook! I discovered this one only last week and hum, yes, at my daughter's home. Who could have guessed?!

The selection in the book reflects all my usual staples for our family thus it would be an excellent addition to our library. (Hint anyone? )

Note: this post reflects my opinion only. I received no compensation for this!

Sweet dreams


Every time I look at this photo, I somehow expect the door to soon open yet I am not sure what exactly the inside will reveal. Needless to say if I think of it deeply I probably will have to admit I like the mystery! I prefer to dream...
I have always liked the following song so I thought it was time to include it in this post. I must admit the lyrics are not easily forgotten and it inspired me to start this blog after all.

Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper, "I love you".
Birds singing in the sycamore tree, "Dream a little dream of me".
Say "nighty-night" and kiss me. Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me.
While I'm alone and blue as can be, dream a little dream of me.

Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.

Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.

This song was very popular a few years back and a movie was also made but as for me, I just like it!

02 February 2010

Chocolate, Jane Austen and books


I love food, no surprise there. I like to experiment but like everyone else I am sure, there are certain recipes which along the years have become a mainstay. I will eat anything that is not too spicy or greasy and no liver and onions or shellfish!

So is chocolate actually food? If so it is my favourite! This being the month of February I have the perfect excuse for preparing chocolate mousse (Valentine's Day), Black Forest Cake or perhaps chocolate cheese cake (someone's birthday and so decadent) and I even found a good reason to make truffles (in this case I met an octogenarian who loves chocolate more than I do if this is possible!)

Along with many others I am sure I have followed the new installments of Emma on the BBC. This latest version shows none of the traditional reserve we have seen in previous shows and I have enjoyed discovering the human side of Jane Austen "Emma". My favourite version is in fact with Gwyneth Paltrow whilst my husband favours Kate Beckinsale.


The one thing we agree in this house is that no matter how often we see a movie adapted from one of Jane Austen's books we never tire of it! Any screenplay written by Andrew Davies wins over any other also for like a box of chocolate, you never know what you will get and what a delight!

Cheers to the month of February, Jane Austen and her wonderful stories of Love and of course to Chocolate however decadent it might sound... Dream a little dream of...

I received no compensation for this post. I just enjoy sharing my thoughts/dreams!