The Loving Kitchen – A Review


The Loving Kitchen Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends, and Neighbors  By LeAnn Rice…… David Venable, come on down, you’d love this book! Hearty, healthy cooking with a touch of southern love, LeAnn Rice’s book is a joy to read and drool over.  Seven chapters of food groups: breakfast, sandwiches, salads, desserts….etc. and all with clear and concise recipes. Charming with marvelous pictures, this is definitely a nice book to have on the shelf. I really enjoy how there is healthy and decadent recipes, like Almond Coconut Granola and Baked Oatmeal then it goes to Peanut Butter and Jelly French toast and Sugared Bacon (how can you go wrong with that?!!!) Or Brown Rice Pilaf trading into Cheesy Corn Pudding, with cream cheese, mind you. Cream cheese just happens to be LeAnn’s favorite thing. Things that just make you go Oooh and Ahhh. Then, more please.

I can honestly say that I LOVE this book and when I say it is David Venable good, I mean, ‘Happy Dance, Happy Dance’ David.  The food is rich and heart, sweet, savory and healthy. I want to eat everything and then some.  On a side note, this book is not for diabetics or gluten free fans.  Far from it actually when LeAnn’s favorite ingredient is cream cheese! But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun book to look at. I love cookbooks that you can just sit down and read like any other book, and this one is exactly like that. I love too that LeAnn is a west coaster that moved south, so she still does things like us Westerners do.  The pictures are marvelous and the feel of the book is homey but so nice. I want to cook everything in this book, and probably will over time. I think it would be a marvelous edition to any kitchen. But that’s just my two cents.

Signing off


Book Post

There is nothing more fun than getting a book in the mail.  Or at least for me there isn’t.  And this isn’t to mock the lovely letters I get from my friend, but oh books…

savage beautyToday was Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford.  I’d been reading the large type hardback from the library for over six weeks when this finally popped up into my bookmooch account. I had to have it. And now I have a slimmer paperback. Yes!

And later this week or this month I am getting a new bible to review. Very cool.  And I have to finish a review to order a new book…. Books, books books. Oh how I love books.


Signing off


The Nesting Place – A Review

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful By Myquillyn Smith.  Have you ever wanted to put your stamp on a home? Wanted it to be ‘yours’ entirely, but just didn’t know how to go about getting there? Well then, this just might be the book for you. With insightful ideas about how to avoid ‘help’ from everyone out there and knowing what you like to just tackling some of the basics, Myquillyn Smith gently guides you through the ups and downs of designing your own home without having it be that show home that you are afraid to sit down on the sofas.  With elegant images and a very beachy glamor vibe, you feel like you are getting advice from a best friend.  Simple and charming to look at, this book is also packed with valuable information on what to do.

My opinion? It is a very nice book, though I happen to not be a huge fan of all the grays and more neutral colors. I like the bio Myquillyn writes about trying to find her perfect home despite having some upheavals that made the perfect home a bit further out than she thought. Yes, we’ve all been there where we want the perfect home and we want it right now. Sometimes it takes time and patience. (my parents still don’t have even close to their dream home) She has some really simple, cute, smart, classy, and just downright cool ideas for perking up a home and putting your stamp on it and I am a big fan of things like that. The ‘oh let’s look at Pinterest for ideas’ feel.

To be honest, I’ve not finished the book entirely, but it’s one that I will refer back to when I need to work on trying desperately to make my space my own. Now if only I could just declutter.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson and BookLookBloggers for my honest opinion and review.

Signing off


Panini Press – Flash Fiction

“I feel like a I’m in a panini press,” she said as she slumped into the ironwork chair at the local brewery.

“How so?” her friend asked and twirled his finger to catch the waitresses attention.

“The sun above, baking. The asphalt below burning. I’m the sandwich bread and my insides are turning gooey, but not in a good way.”

He laughed. “What you need is a beer.  Sandra, we’ll take a round of the IPA and bring out some of the double fudge ice cream,” he ordered.

“You think that’ll help?” she asked as the waitress walked away.

“Babe, beer and ice cream always help.”


So, it’s one of those California bake everything in sight days. 102F on the thermometer. YUCK is all I can say. I was writing a bit of poetry and the idea of being in a panini press made me laugh. Except for the fact that my shoulders are burnt. Bleh.

Signing off


Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.


Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off


My Sister Get’s Austen

My sister, whom I may have mentioned from time to time here, was born with Down Syndrome. She’s a year older than I am, but about 10 inches shorter and a much more simple mind. We fight, we don’t get along, we are best friends, she’s kept me young, I’ve made her old, we didn’t pick each other, we want each other’s space, we want each other to move out, it’s complicated, we are sisters. Oh and she’s a year older than I am, but about fifteen years younger in mental capacity. So sometimes I don’t always give her credit.

Cover of "Sense & Sensibility (Special Ed...

Cover of Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)

Yesterday, she delighted the heck out of me.  Wednesday is Her movie day. We do not miss it, and if we do, it ends up on Thursday. Well, this week she decided she was going to watch Sense and Sensibility for the first time.  The really good one with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman…… (pardon while I drool)  The reason she chose this was because of the Jane Austen set of books I brought home last week. See here. She saw the covers and loved them, and said she had to read one. She picked Sense and Sensibility to read first. (I’m thinking to myself, okay, right, she is going to read a book I can’t understand half the time, but fine, whatever.)

Then she decided she needed to see the movie first. Personally I thought this wise, because hey, then you have a basis and well, I’m sorry but Jane did not describe her characters quite like we see them in the movie. Thank god for Alan Rickman… and Hugh Grant….

So she’s watching the movie and I ask her how it’s going.

“I love Willoughby,” she gushes. “He’s so cute!”

I just nod my head and inwardly laugh, hoping she will get what’s going to come.

Greg Wise as Willoughby

Then I come in and ask her again, about two thirds of the way through.

“Do you still like Willoughby?” I ask

“NO!” she says, emphatically. “I don’t like him at all! He’s not nice. I like Colonel Brandon.”

“So do I,” I grin. How does this girl, who doesn’t get the plot of a lot of things, read through all the mess of Jane Austen and figure this out? But clearly, she has it down. Especially when the film ends she comes to me and says, ” I love Colonel Brandon. He’s so handsome. If I could pick any man, I would want him.”

Sigh. Oh she is so right. (this might because she love’s Alan Rickman in general [she loves Prof. Snape] but still) Though she hasn’t seen Persuasion. (Wentworth) Or Emma. (Knightley) And I don’t think she’s paid that much attention to Mr. Darcy. Just wait till I show her those.

So, tell me then. Why don’t men get Jane Austen? If my sister can get why we all love Jane Austen, why can’t a man get it?

Men! I ask you this. What don’t you get about women loving Jane Austen? Or have you read something of hers? Or do you disagree and actually like Jane Austen? I want to know what you think.

Signing off


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Book Excitement

It’s not often I come home from a jaunt into town super excited about a book or books. Yeah, I go to the library every week, and by every, I mean EVERY week, and sometimes even more.  The last time I think I got excited was several months ago when I found The Tale of Gengi and The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby, author of East Wind Melts the Ice. I love Liza Dalby’s East Wind book and in it she mentioned both of the aforementioned books.  That was a really exciting day because I have been wanting to read both of those books quite a lot.

Well, I think today topped the list of exciting days. (gifts of books don’t count)

I walked into my second hand store for cardstock and a pair of jeans, and instead, I walked out with a set of Jane Austen books sans P&P.  (I can handle the lack of P&P because my father has a super fancy copy that is now ‘mine’)  And here they are.Jane AustenJane StackPretty, pretty books.  Now which one to read first!  I think I’ll start with Emma because that’s been one I’ve wanted to read for ages.

So, one of the best book shopping days ever!

Signing off


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Should I or Not? — Flash Fiction

Have you ever wanted to kiss someone that you really didn’t want to date? Someone that who is not in your league or inappropriate? Someone that you’ve watched for years and just sort of wondered what it would be like to kiss them? I have. For years I’ve watched Jace as he’s flirted with me despite my less than enthusiastic response; watched him as he worked; watched him as he dated woman after woman, slightly jealous of those women, but not really wanting to date Jace himself. But, oh! There is part of me that really want’s to know what his kisses taste like.

I’ve kissed several men in my life. Boyfriends, whom all I could say did not know how to kiss, and a couple spur of the moment times where the kiss was good, I liked the guy, but it never went anywhere. But there are a couple men I’ve fantasized about just sampling a kiss.

Jace has probably been the one that sticks in my mind, and it’s there right now as I watch him walk across the street to get into his truck. He’s been logging so he’s covered in dust and dirt and probably sawdust. I’m sure he smells like chainsaw oil or gas and that all guy smell of work.  You know: sweat.  But here I sit wondering like I have for quite a while, what it would be like to have him wrap his long arms around me, tip me back and kiss me.  One of those romance fantasies, you know?

The wishing has gotten out of hand. I’ve been dreaming about him as well.  Long vivid dreams where it’s just us. Where I finally relent and decide we should be a couple. Where he wears me down with flirting and teasing and kissing.  Because, oh yes, there is always kissing involved. Clearly I have an over active imagination because those dreams are vivid. I wake up befuddled and practically giddy, reveling in really good kissing. I flush when I think about how unashamedly bold I am and half the time I remember I initiate the kisses.

What is wrong with me? Should I just walk up to Jace one day and grab him around the back of the neck and pull him down for a kiss? I know it would surprise the heck out of him. I mean, I have turned him down every single time. And I don’t want to date him. I don’t. You believe me, right? Consequences. There are always consequences for impulsively jumping in to something so intimate as a kiss.

My coffee’s cold, and Jace has driven off. Well, there’s always tonight for another dream……



Isn’t it funny how real life is what makes fiction come alive? Or it is what makes stories to write about. Or it makes you wake up wondering about a dream you had.

Semi autobiographical, I hope you enjoy this nameless girl’s musing about a guy named Jace….. who is very similar to someone I know, and well, let’s leave it at that.

Writing on


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Daisies Are Forever – A Review

_240_360_Book.1200.coverDaisies Are Forever  By Liz Tolsma.

It’s 1945 and the Russians are invading Prussia and east Germany. Gisella is living with her Opa and cousin after being sent east to avoid the bombings in Berlin, but now a new danger is hovering on the horizon. For the Russians are brutal as they slowly encroach on German occupied areas. They take no prisoners, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Gisella is tasked with the difficult challenge of taking her cousin’s two young daughters to Berlin to escape the Russians. She doesn’t want to leave her cousin and grandfather, knowing that she may never see them again, but she must go.

Along the way she travels with family friends, to senile old ladies who are actually quite hilarious because they are constantly thinking that they are in Barcelona or Paris instead of war torn Germany. There is also an injured German soldier who becomes entranced with Gisella and the ‘music’ she creates in his head; two British POW’s who are disguising themselves as SS officers, and a young woman stuck on getting to Hollywood.

From avoiding capture, to Russian pilots shooting at the travelers, to broken down trains, the mismatched band of people make their way to Berlin, all the while, Gisella and one of the British POW’s, Mitch, pretend to be husband and wife as Mitch can’t speak German worth a darn and is bound to be found out.

Once in Berlin, where Gisella is reunited with her Mother, then comes the terror of the day and nightly bombings from the British and the Americans. Mitch and Gisella are slowly falling for each other while the German soldier and the other young woman are bound and determined to break them apart.

Redemption, betrayal and trust are all thrown together as these people await the Russian invasion, which in turn becomes a terror of it’s own.

Will Gisella and Mitch make it? Will they live through the horrors of a bombed out Berlin?

Oh my gosh!  This book was incredible. I was so fearful for Gisella and all the terror of getting out of the Russians path. Then I was just on pins and needles while Kurt, the German soldier was trying to get Gisella for himself. I wanted to jump in and pick a fight with him for Mitch’s sake! The terror of the Russian army was fresh in my mind after watching a special on Berlin and what the aftermath of the Russians in Berlin did to the people. Liz Tolsma captured the fear and the true events that happened during those last days of fierce bombing and Russian invasion.

This is a fast paced book with sweet moments between Mitch and Gisella and moments of anger between Kurt, Gisella and Mitch.  I was so happy with the ending and I am defnitely going to be looking to read Liz Tolsma’s first book.  She took true facts and shaped them into a marvelous story that I highly recommend to anyone who likes a good WWII story.

Five out of five stars.

Signing off


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Loveology – Book Review

Loveology – God. Love. Marriage. Sex. And the Never-Ending Story of Male and Female By John Mark Comer

Let me start off by saying, any book that has a grey cover with bright pink writing, and the words, love, sex, marriage, and God, is going to catch my attention.  Not to mention pink font inside, bright pink bubbles and just an all around really girly pretty book.  The cover alone makes me want to ‘swoon’ a bit it’s so nice.

Loveology is the theology of love by the pastor of Portland’s A Jesus Church -Bridgetown.  It’s relatively basic biblical theology on the relationships we have with our partner/lover/spouse written in a very comfortable easy, and almost watered down manner.  With background on the original Greek translations, in John Mark Comer’s style (if you ever listen to any of his sermons, you will understand what I mean). Five chapters on Love, Marriage, Sex, Romance, and Male and Female, including a Q and A section, the book is a fast read geared towards young marrieds, singles and dating couples.

Okay, now the gushing will ensue.  I LOVED/LOVE this book.  When I got it after waiting almost three weeks, I just could not put it down because it was so pretty. I mean, this guy, really knew how to appeal to women. This book is just marvelous to hold and run your hand over. It is a really nice size to slip in a bag and you just want to keep reading it.  John Mark Comer is brilliant in getting a more conservative Christian theology across. Without sounding preachy, he really gets you laughing at some of the funnier aspects of love. That being said, you are a Christian and you don’t already know this, then this book won’t help.  It’s a fun thing to read if you already know the theology, but you should already know it if you are reading this. But that’s my own take.

I enjoyed the book immensely, but that being said, I don’t always agree with the ‘watered-down’ take on the bible.  I find John Mark Comer has a great sense of humor and makes you want to read more, but it’s almost incredibly basic.  Maybe it’s because I was raised in a Conservative Baptist church, but this is much more moderate in style.  But on a scale of one to five, I’d give this a five star rating.

This book was provided to me through Harper Collins  for my honest review.

Signing off


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