History, Mystery, and Romance Your Way into May

History: Together Forever Jody Hedlund, Bethany House Publishers, 352 pages, May 1, 2018 The second book in Judy Hedlund’s Orphan Train series features Marianne, the middle Neumann sister. Marianne, impetuous and big-hearted, struggles to find her way in life outside of her big sister Elise’s capable shadow. Elise, featured in With You Always, splits her time between Quincy, her husband’s town, and New York City. Marianne, newly employed (with the help of her influential brother-in-law) as a placing-out agent with…

Read More

The Power of Encouragement to Change Relationships

The week’s edition of Self-Care Sunday focuses on spirituality (don’t confuse it with religion). Part of my spiritual walk involves growing in areas where I demonstrate weakness. I confess to not having a natural talent for encouraging others. I’ll share a lesson I learned about troubled relationships and encouragement. Trouble “Can I borrow your cell phone?” she asked me the first week of school when I stood outside on playground duty. “What grade are you in?” I asked. “Fourth. I…

Read More

When I’m Stuck at a Genius Bar Miles From Home

Stuck at the Bar I’m stuck at a Genius Bar waiting for my scheduled 6:15 Genius to show up and magically solve my problems. He shows up at 6:50. I struggle to remain patient and civil when he informs me that he can’t fix my computer tonight. They don’t have batteries for my computer in stock. Replacing it takes time. I did not have time. A visit to the Apple store requires a 3 1/2 hour drive, a personal day…

Read More

Brighty of the Grand Canyon Seen Through Today’s Lens

Book Talk Tuesdays: Children’s Classics I still remember baking and selling bread as a nine-year-old so that I could buy Marguerite Henry’s book Justin Morgan Had a Horse. When I entered the musty, high-ceiled bookstore on the main street of Clarksburg, WVA, I felt small and insignificant, but determined to buy a book. After frantically searching the shelves in vain, I mustered up my courage and asked a lady at a towering check-out counter where I could find the book.…

Read More

Tips and Tricks for Your Next Extreme Hike

This edition of Self-Care Sunday focuses on physical wholeness. One of my favorite things to do is set a goal for an extreme event so that I have a reason to get up and exercise every morning. I’ll share what I’ve learned about extreme hiking. Two Days After As I crawled to the bathroom on Tuesday morning, my husband’s words mocked me, “Are you sure you aren’t having a mid-life crisis?” My ankles and calves hurt so much, that crawling…

Read More

How to Turn a Burden into Blessing

A Turn in the Trail The trail twists and makes another turn, I lift my eyes, hoping to see the narrow, wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff. Three-mile Resthouse seems further away than the sign had promised when I left Indian Garden. I leaned on my hiking poles, hoping to ease the load on my legs by doing some of the work with my arms. When the building came into view, I heaved a sigh of relief…

Read More

Photography, the Other Art

Not Everyone Can Draw Not every month has five Sundays, so I’ll take the opportunity to explore the other A in MAPS (you can find more about this series here). Last week, I shared how having a learning mindset helps us conquer things we thought we couldn’t do in our younger years. Today I’ll share some tips for upping your artistic quotient with photography. Next week, I’ll tell you about my latest physical challenge. Artistic expression baffles me at time.…

Read More

Lifelong Learning—Math Hacks for the Kitchen

Lava Cake Lessons in Math You might wonder what lava cake has to do with math. I’ll explain, but first you need to know about my tumultuous relationship with numbers. I confess that I didn’t do well in math as a youngster. In fact, even though I scored in the 13th percentile in math on my ACT (or maybe the SAT), my university somehow overlooked that fact (maybe because I scored in the 98th percentile in English?). My second quarter…

Read More

How to Release Racism From Your Life

Release. Relinquish. Give up. A furor on the campus of a small Christian university has brought home, once again, the power of ignorance to hurt and shame others. The scenario? Five students with facial masks (apparently charcoal masks), had their photo snapped. The owner of the phone posted the photo on Snapchat and added the university’s logo filter and the hashtag #PrettyHurts as well as the word Wakanda. Racist or ignorant? Overt racism or an innocent moment wrongly interpreted by…

Read More

Historical Romance, Revisited

Historical Romance, Anyone? I confess I had a small addiction to fluffy romance novels as a teenager. We didn’t go to movies, nor watch much television. My romantic heart reveled in the…novels of…Barbara Cartland…(if you’ve ever read one of her novels, you’ll understand the ellipses). A chance encounter with a Georgette Heyer book at my local library helped me move on to less…insipid…entertainment. (Ok, please tell me I’m not the only one who read Barbara Cartland novels.) I can’t say…

Read More
Affiliate Disclosure

If you purchase a product or service I reference on this site, I may receive an “affiliate commission.” This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. It takes money to run a website, so I occasionally endorse products of services that I believe in so that I can help subsidize the expenses.

%d bloggers like this: