Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekend Reflections 2/18

Looking outside...it's cloudy and rainy. But, it's not snowing. And we had sunshine this week. One day the sun was shining and it was 37°. I actually had my back door open. It was lovely.

Listening...to peace and quiet. The fireplace is going. 

Loving...that The Artist has a fantastic youth group at church. He's on a campout this weekend. 

Thinking...has the writing of thank you notes and acknowledging wedding or shower gifts gone the way of manners and kindness? I have a list of wedding and shower gifts that I have given over the last two years. I am not even at 50% for having those gifts acknowledged.

The Doctor says that you give a gift from your heart, not to be praised for it and I agree. But, I would like to know that my wedding or shower gift was received. Sometimes I have taken the gift to the reception or shower. Sometimes I have mailed it and have delivery confirmation to tell me that it arrived somewhere, but I'd like to know that the recipients received it as well.

I will concede that gifts or cards can be lost in the mail, because, if it wasn't for the fact that my list includes 6 specific instances, I'd assume that every one of those gifts was lost and not received by the bride and groom. However, the odds of 6 separate gifts going astray is not likely.

So, do I just sit and stew? Or do I ask? And who do I ask? The bride and groom directly or one of their parents? The parents I have asked (and it has been several) just tell me how frustrated they are about it as well and then make excuses that they can't control their children once they're adults, which is true. But by asking, at least I know the gift was received or if it was misdelivered.

And for the record? The gifts that cause the most problems? Amazon registries. Even if you include a personal note, the recipient doesn't always know who the gift was from. I won't give gifts that way any more.

Bridal and baby showers are given for the sole purpose of receiving gifts. Sure, you can say they're given to celebrate the wedding or birth, but we all know it's so the bride or mother-to-be can get gifts.

Wedding invitations are sent to announce a marriage and/or invite people to celebrate with the bride and groom. It is anticipated that invitees will bring/send a gift.

Since you've all pretty much asked for gifts (when the registry or gift preferences are on the invitation/announcement, that's exactly what you've done), the least you can do is send thank you notes.

The Boy wrote out thank you notes for every graduation gift he received. I had the thank you notes from my bridal showers and wedding written within two weeks after our wedding. I had the baby shower thank you notes written within a week, while caring for a newborn, since I was given a baby shower after The Boy was born. I did not get thank you notes sent to everyone who brought us a meal while he was in the hospital after his open-heart surgery and I do regret that. I did send notes on my family's behalf to everyone who brought a meal, sent flowers or made a donation after my dad died. I didn't want my mom to have to worry about doing it.

I'd even accept an email or text. I don't need formal, although hand written notes are lovely to receive.

I'm turning into a grumpy old woman.

In my kitchen...Dinner with friends. Hot chocolate at the moment.

Wearing...black skirt, black tights, black pumps, dark purple turtleneck and black sweater.

Hoping...that the sun comes out.

Reading...Finished The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate. Review goes up next week.

Today...went to the temple this morning with The Doctor. The Boy is at work. The Artist is on a scout campout. Dinner with good friends tonight.

Quoting..."No matter what you have, where you're at, you can accomplish any damn thing you want. Use what you have, and take those steps each and every day to get where you want to be. What ever happens along the way, failures, set-backs, injuries, seemingly wasted time, it is what it is! It's all in how we react." -- Steven Conner, Forge Your Potential

Feeling...So energized from this week. I'm not doing the ketogenic weight loss like The Doctor is, but I'm finding what works for me and I'm seeing success. He's had a good week professionally and it's so wonderful to feel hope. Life has its ups and downs, but it really is good.

Planning...the week, looking at appointments and obligations.

Gratitude...for opportunities. The Doctor had the opportunity to do a podcast with a couple of awesome guys from Forge Your Potential. He was able to talk about his weight loss, his experiences, his goals. I loved watching him and even participating a bit. I am grateful that he desires to use his experience and his talents to help other people. He wants to encourage and inspire people to become more than they are, to reach their potential and discover that life is worth living. 

I am grateful for people like Conner and Dustyn who have created an organization to do just that and who provide people opportunities to share their experiences and teach others.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can do so at Forge Your Potential. I'm a bit biased, but I believe it's worth a listen and I promise that you'll come away inspired and thoughtful.

From my world... 

My Valentine's Day flowers from The Doctor. Still looking pretty.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Childhood Favorites...Summer Pony

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

I loved the Scholastic Book Orders that we used to bring home from school. I would mark them up and choose which book I absolutely needed to have. My mother was fairly indulgent when it came to books and I was always able to get one or two.

Summer Pony was one I got from the book order. Ginny always wanted her own horse and one summer, her parents took her to this run down horse ranch to choose a horse that she would be able to keep for the summer. The pony she chose was neglected, shaggy and unkempt with two different color eyes. But Ginny fell in love and named the pony Mokey.

That summer, she learned to care for Mokey and even eventually showed her. But, when the summer ended, Ginny didn't want to return Mokey to that old rundown ranch.

I loved Ginny. My grandfather raised quarter horses and every summer we would visit his ranch and I would get to ride horses. It is one of my fondest memories and to read a book about a girl who was my age, who had a horse, was pretty neat.

I still have Summer Pony. It stands up to time.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cover Crush...Life is Sweet

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.

Cupcakes. Who doesn't love cupcakes? Seriously. Little morsels of cake goodness. How do cupcakes fit into the story? Do they or is it baking in general? The polka-dotted dress is sweet and innocent, the cupcake looks delicious. This cover is happy. It makes me smile. I have no idea what it's actually about. 

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Between a Rock and a Hard Place...Review

About the book:
Perfect for fans of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, Marty Wingate’s enchanting Potting Shed Mystery series heads to Scotland as Pru Parke plans her wedding...all while a vengeful murderer is poised to strike again.

After her romantic idyll with the debonair Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse culminates in a marriage proposal, Pru Parke sets about arranging their nuptials while diving into a short-term gig at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. At hand is the authentication of a journal purportedly penned by eighteenth-century botanist and explorer Archibald Menzies. Compared to the chaos of wedding planning, studying the journal is an agreeable task...that is, until a search for a missing cat leads to the discovery of a dead body: one of Pru’s colleagues has been conked on the head with a rock and dumped from a bridge into the Water of Leith.

Pru can’t help wondering if the murder has something to do with the Menzies diary. Is the killer covering up a forgery? Among the police’s many suspects are a fallen aristocrat turned furniture maker, Pru’s overly solicitous assistant, even Pru herself. Now, in the midst of sheer torture by the likes of flamboyant wedding dress designers and eccentric church organists, Pru must also uncover the work of a sly murderer—unless this bride wants to walk down the aisle in handcuffs.

It was so fun to visit Pru and Christopher again, in another installment of the Potting Shed Mystery series. Christopher has proposed and Pru has been offered a short-term job in Scotland authenticating the journal of a famed botanist. Pru sees it as a fantastic opportunity while she is planning the wedding.

As nothing ever quite goes as planned for her though, Pru finds herself working with a disgruntled colleague, questions as to why she even has the job and ultimately, the mystery of a dead body. Always curious, Pru can't help but get involved in the investigation.

Pru Parke is just one of my favorite heroines. Partly because she's mature in age, partly because she's just a lot of fun. The secondary characters bring a humor and depth to the story that goes beyond entertaining. It's just good storytelling.

Third in the Potting Shed Mystery series, the book stands alone just fine, although I always recommend reading a series in its entirety for depth and character development.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Marty Wingate on her website as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Read 2/17

* * * *
4/5 Stars