Reads and Words

Recent reads:

A Poppy In Remembrance (Michelle Ule)

Loved this, and I’m not just saying it because she’s a friend of mine. I’ve read a number of her novellas, but this book had a completely different feel to me and so far it’s my favorite work of fiction from her. It’s so much more than a budding romance story, and I enjoyed her development of the settings. War is not pretty, and she communicated that wonderfully without getting into cringe-worthy nitty gritties. I was pleasantly surprised and had a hard time putting the book down. I read it right after reading Michelle’s biography on Biddy Chambers (Oswald Chambers’ wife, a fascinating read), which added a level of deepness to this novel since the Chambers are fairly prominent secondary characters.

Finn the Wolfhound (A.J. Dawson) — a free download from Amazon

I enjoyed the writing style a lot. The first few chapters are lighthearted and wonderful, then it gradually becomes sadder and darker here and there as the dog goes through life, somewhat Black Beauty-esque (but better, in my opinion, as I did not particularly care for Black Beauty). The adventure kept me involved. An Irish wolfhound moves from person to person, experience to experience, starting in an English countryside and ending in the Australian bush. There are some detailed fights with humans and other animals, some parts I almost skipped because I knew they were going to be sad. But I read on, and the ending was rewarding.

Recent words:

My keyboard has been preoccupied working on the Christmas newsletter. Timber (the dog) almost wrote it this year, but when I saw the draft he submitted I just couldn’t do it. I told him I’d put his version on the blog later, though, so there’s that.

(Which begs the question: Somewhat corny newsletters “written” by pets, yes or no?)


Image Source: Pixabay



A Turn through Coffey Park

I didn’t put it together until shortly before our trip to CA that our vacation weekend fell on the 1 year anniversary of the Sonoma County fires. It was instantly sobering, and it was clear when we arrived that it was on everyone’s mind.

I can’t pretend to understand the vastness of the destruction of that day, the deepness of the fear. I wasn’t there, and no amount of first-hand accounts, photos, or even videos can adequately communicate just how devastating the fires were. (Video is from the firefighters out of Berkeley arriving on scene. Brief language.)

I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it first hand, but the Dearliest was sure, which swayed me, so after church on Sunday, we drove to Coffey Park. Continue reading

A Tire in the Mud (and other anecdotes)

“Mom, can you sing A Tire in the Mud?”WP_20180929_10_57_24_resize

I looked at my beloved 5-year-old. He blinked slowly from his bed, blankets tucked around his chin. I blinked back at him. I know he’s tired, but…

“What?” I said.

“A Tire in the Mud. Can you sing it?”

“I don’t know that one, buddy.”

“Yes you do! You know, There’s a tire, tire, wonder-working tire. There’s a tiiiiiire in the muuuuuud.

“…you mean Power in the Blood?”

“Oh. Yeah. That one.”

One track mind, that child.

This one too.


Indy regularly aims for (and knocks down) magnets on the fridge. He stands on his own, takes a step here and there. His coordination is scary. He’s barely 9 months old.

Ever since raspberry picking, the neighbor Mr. F has employed LK on occasion to help him with yard work. I now have an inkling how my parents must have felt letting me work at the pony school. Where has the time gone?


One of the Dearliest’s customers wanted to trade him a boat for some work. Since the Dearliest has taken a recent and keen interest in fishing, he agreed. The boat is set up for fishing, with things like a live well, fish finder (an old school one from the 90s), and trolling motors. It’s a big step up from the little dinghy.



A couple days ago he took me out on it, and it was grand fun. Quiet and peaceful (except when we were “up on plane” i.e. cruising at 25+ mph, then it was just plain fun). I didn’t struggle with even a hint seasickness, which was a welcome surprise.


After the sun set, we passed a machine unloading a barge. It dropped sawdust into the hopper, where a conveyor dumped it into a semi trailer.


I was pleasantly surprised the camera on my phone was up to this shot.

We are nearing the end of grape season here. We have made raisins and juice and battled wasps and yellow jackets through it all. The kids have learned to not be intimidated by them, and they are all experts with the fly swatters now. Some of them are experts with whatever they can swat with–cardboard, shoes, hats, gloves. I’m grateful for so many dead wasps. I’m more grateful nobody has gotten stung, especially now when the wasps and yellow jackets become nastier in anticipation of colder weather.

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Ahead of us is walnut gathering time, and perhaps elderberry picking. We shall see what tomorrow brings!