October 6th – Write 31 Days – Hoppy

hopsIt’s that hoppy time of year, when the hops turn from bright lime green to a buttery brown. Sticky and smelling of, well, hops. After having IPA’s and more hoppy beer, I can smell that smell when I squish a hops flower and smell the resin. The hops that are used for sleeping in herbal medicine. Hops for flavoring beer. It’s an interesting plant. And this year, the ants took over.  Soon the plant will turn brown and be pulled down; the vine that I wound so it would be a shrub.


October 5th – Write 31 Days – Frost is on the Pumpkins


The frost is on the pumpkins and the hay is in the barn,
and the walking man walks….
James Taylor – Walking Man

Oh my gosh, James Taylor’s Walking Man has got to be one of my favorite songs. I just love it so and this song is the epitome of fall to me.  In fact, James Taylor’s Greatest Hits album, minus the Steamroller song, is my go-to Autumn album. I have not heard it enough this season. A second favorite album this time of year is Art Garfunkle‘s Breakaway album.

Pumpkin season is here….


October 4th – Write 31 Days – Misted Mountains


The first three days of October have been misted over and rainy and the perfect start to October. Wait, just wait till I get to the James Taylor feelings. The days are coming. I love the mountains misted over. What you can’t see is that it snowed yesterday and the day before high up on the tips. A dusting at 6000 feet. Oh fall, you are here.


The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A traveling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
Emily Dickinson

Side note…. I love Emily Dickinson. Like LOVE her. So finding this little one is so lovely and perfect for today.


October 1st – Write 31 Days – Autumn Crocus


Ah autumn crocus, I love you. This time of year, actually it’s more early September, is when out of the ground pops marvelous, huge, fantastic crocus. My father has planted them in groups every where. They are reddish pink in the evenings and glorious purple in the day. They last about three weeks then are gone for another year. Nothing says the start of fall is here like when the autumn crocus pops up its blooms.


One of the Few – A Review

I was given the opportunity to read One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd, when the author contacted me and asked me if I’d be willing to review his book. I snapped at the chance as I have never had an author ask me for a review.

One of the Few is Jason’s personal account of his life in the marines and his coming to faith. The book is divided into three parts,  Part One being Jason’s story of being a ‘military brat’ and going into the service and finally deciding to be a fighter pilot. We learn about some of his family life and his relationship with his wife who was a Christian, while Jason was not. Then one little question from Jason’s wife starts Jason on the path to discovery of Christ.  As he traverses the training of being a pilot, he also searches out what being a Christian is about. Part two takes a look at the concepts of certain versions of Christianity(I say this because it’s not a ‘this is the only way it is’ in my opinion depending on which area of Christianity you are in) and having a worldview and bouncing those beliefs off of what is going on in life.  Part three is supposed to be about using Jason’s background in peace, war and defense to prepare you for the spiritual warfare you will encounter in life and how to deal with if you are struggling.

The first part of the book captured my interest in the training Jason did in the military, along with little bits and pieces of how being a person of faith applies to life, but towards the  end of Part one, I started to not understand what Jason was getting at in regards to military training and applying it to faith. I also struggled with all of the military acronyms. In my opinion, if you are going to have that many acronyms, have an index of them at the end of the book or beginning or somewhere because, after only one explanation of what the acronym is, I forget it. Then when they are used over and over, I have no idea even what I’m reading. That happened a lot.

By the time I got to Part two, I struggled with what the core of the book was. I honestly am not even quite sure what part two was about except for segments on various Christian ideas. I wasn’t sure how it applied to anything except for feeling like it was a ‘do this, don’t do that’ rambling sort of narrative mixing in Jason’s continued research into being a Christian. While it’s supposed to be about putting your Christian faith up against what you see in the world, and is it right or wrong, I never got that impression.

By the time I got to Part three, I was entirely lost. You could take each segment withing each chapter on its own, possibly, but combined, I never quite figured out what was going on. Basically, the book is combined of a bunch of essays that don’t necessarily connect enough to understand what the total package is. Jason explains what the three parts of the book are about in the introduction, but I felt like he was unable to accomplish it in a concise manner where you understood how each point related to each other.   Roughly five pages into part three , I felt like Jason was not  accomplishing the third goal he had laid out  in his introduction. From this point, I struggled with finishing the book. I had already needed to skip ahead in Part two, hoping that the book would make more sense if I read Part three. Another problem for me was Jason takes an incredibly academic look at Christianity. For me, who grew up in the church, reading all of the more in-depth theological discussions left me feeling tired and bored and scrambling to figure out how it related to Jason coming to be a Christian. Jason also states his opinion about his specific beliefs as fact, a problem I’ve found with Christian authors. For a person who has not been a Christian for very long to state things that way, tends to turn me off a bit. Religions are made of opinions and my opinions are different than Jason’s so they cannot be stated as fact.  I actually felt like Jason had a great idea for this book, but then he jotted it out so quickly, it appeared to have lost its outline which he states in his introduction.

In the end, I’m not quite sure who would find this book helpful other than those questioning their faith and wanting to look at a more academical approach to faith, though at the same time, I felt like it was only barely scratching the surface and wasn’t quite helpful enough for even that.

Another little tick that I found frustrating was all of the notes at the end of each chapter. In most traditionally published books, the notes are at the end of the book, which I find, leaves a clean look to the book. Rarely do I read any of the footnotes or notes in a book, so having them contained at the end of the book leaves a more clean look to reading and gives less of a distraction.

Unfortunately, I find myself having to give this book only 2 out of 5 stars.


Kisses and Cigarettes

staticdesign-mart-scholliers-unsplashI dream about really good kisses as much as I dream about having a cigarette. I crave really good kisses as much as I crave that first drag on a cigarette. Funny thing; I’ve never smoked. Unless you call that one puff my father let me try  of one of his really good cigars. Trust me, it wasn’t that good. In fact, after swirling the smoke around my mouth, I wondered why anyone would want to do this.  And I didn’t even inhale.

But ever since then, I want a cigarette so bad. Not all the time, but after that dream where I can’t find my pack of them and I need a smoke, I’ll wake up wishing I could light one up. An insatiable desire for the forbidden.

After that dream with an incredible kiss, I swear I wake up , lips tingling, heart racing, wishing it had really happened and I’ll be getting another one soon. An insatiable desire for pure, unadulterated pleasure.

Neither have happened. I wake up, go about my day wishing for one or the other……… or both if the dream was so nice as to grant me with two cravings. Oddly, both cravings involve the lips. Weird, huh?

I’ve had one good kiss in my life. One so good I refer to it here and there. I dream about it, write about it, think about it. It’s kind of like that one taste of tobacco smoke. That kiss kine of opened my eyes to what a good kiss is like. Especially after two boyfriends and countless bad kisses from them. At the time, I didn’t know they were bad kisses. Now that I’ve had good bourbon, why would I go back to cheap crap?

How could two very simple things take control of my life? Currently I’m thinking about both cravings days after two very vivid dreams. Personally I think the only way to cure either is to go have a smoke then have a really good kiss. But then, would it cure the disease or make me need a fix that much more?

Signing off


31 Days of Autumn in the Mountains

31-days-of-autumnGetting this post up last minute, but life has been crazy. Like the two previous years, I will be participating in Write 31 Days which you can read about if you click that link. Or you can also check out my past years of of Write 31 Days.  Previous Write 31 Days in October

Basically it is a challenge to write every day for the month of October. Due to Writer’s Digest having their November Poem a Day chapbook challenge, I didn’t want to burn out my writing in October, so I am going to be doing photography of autumn/fall images for the next 31 days of October.  Anything that is autumn related here in the mountains. Be it the mountains engulfed in clouds or autumn crocus, or falling leaves, or anything else that strikes my fancy. I hope you enjoy the images and the quotes I hope to post with them. So far, there isn’t any theme to the month, unless I decide on one. Basically, what image I can take that day, or a couple previous ones, and how nature and life goes.

Looking forward to October. Do you plan to do the challenge? Let me know if you do!