My other new baby girl, Isadora!!  :)

Gracie…my newest little girl!!  I’m in love :) <3

Gracie…my newest little girl!!  I’m in love :) <3

Can&#8217;t stop smiling!! :)

Can’t stop smiling!! :)

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

Such a great and fun read!  I loved the heroine, Arabella, in this book.  She was feisty and a bit tomboyish but at the same time she was such a girly girl who loved the color pink, frilly clothes and she was a big romantic at heart.  Theodore is a sweetheart of a guy, and you’ll completely fall for him!  I love how their different personalities seemed to compliment each other and I loved how devoted Theodore was to protecting Arabella.  Jen Turano is a great author!  I’ve read a couple of her books and this just might be my favorite! 

                           

Annabelle gives hugs :)

Annabelle gives hugs :)

Tractors and summer time = happiness!! :)

Tractors and summer time = happiness!! :)

Getting ready for hay bale races! :)

Getting ready for hay bale races! :)

Best Romantic Author EVER!! :)

I have discovered an author that is now hand’s down my all-time favorite modern day romance author!  She is none other than Marcia Lynn McClure.  How it is possible to use up four pages to describe a passionate kiss is something only Mrs. McClure can do, and well she does it (and why not..kisses are the absolute best thing in the world)! 

I read her first book at the beginning of May and by the beginning of June I had read over 30 of her books!  Not hard to do when it’s impossible to put down anything written by her.  If I had to pick my favorites of hers, they would be The Highway Man of Tanglewood, The Visions of Ransom Lake, The Whispered Kiss, Shackles of Honor, and EVERYTHING she’s ever written.  Honestly, I now find it difficult to read any other author.  It seems like they all come up a bit short.  She didn’t earn the title “Queen of Kissing” for nothing!! It is impossible to read one of her books and not be happy and think that love is the best thing in the world. Sigh… :)

Sweet Mercy Book Review

                                 

Sweet Mercy is a fun and whimsical novel by Ann Tatlock that I was given to review for Bethany House.  I thought it was a great read and offered a lot of insight in to what it was like to live during the days of prohibition.  The characters were very interesting and enjoyable.  My only wish is that there would have been a little more romance.  Link seems like such an interesting and really sweet guy!!  I would have loved to have seen and heard more from him in the book.  Other than that, this is a fun and easy read for the summer! :)

The synopsis of the book is as follows.  When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?

Farm Lesson #54- Cutting the Apron Strings is Tricky Business

So I finally got the nerve to cut loose the apron strings and send Annabelle out into the “big girl” field.  Having just put my little chicken, Ellie, in the coop and watched her get badly pecked and messed with by 15 grown chickens, I should have known this wasn’t going to be easy. 

Annabelle’s first 15 minutes in the big field were great!  The last 30 minutes…not so much. First of all, I hadn’t planned on today being the day I would let her loose.  But I was hanging out at the barn this morning and started thinking about it and figured why not!  So I opened the gate and walked her out.  It took her a minute to realize what was happening but once she did she was so excited!  After she ran around a bit, mooed a lot and kicked up her heels (literally), she settled in and immediately started grazing on lots of clover.  Just as she was starting to get comfortable though, the big girls moved in.

image

Initially, the girls sniffed Annabelle out and tried to make sense of why she was in their field and not on the other side of the fence like she’d always been.  But apparently, smelling her wasn’t enough to satisfy the old ladies’ curiosity.  Oh no.  The next thing I knew, Clover and 300 were taking turns head-butting Annabelle.  Being the little fighter that she is, she quickly head-butted right back and held her own!  I could have lived with that. 

It wasn’t until Clover and 300 started ramming her hard in her gut that the fierce, protective mother inside of me came out!! 

Before I could cut her out of the group, Annabelle started running across the field to get away from the beating she was taking, which only fueled the big girls even more. Needless to say, it all went south from there.. Annabelle was leading in front, four large, very territorial cows chasing behind her in the middle, and one extremely protective and maternal blonde bringing up the rear of the pursuit. 

Ah yes, there I was..running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth across 8 acres of manure infested field in the hot sun, chasing five cows and threatening to turn four of them into hamburger meat and steaks if they didn’t leave Annabelle alone. I guess they called my bluff because not once did they ever slow down or let up on her. 

At some point, I thanked my lucky stars that: a) I hadn’t yet been trampled, b) I hadn’t yet fallen into a cow pie, c) I didn’t have an audience, and d) no hot air balloons were flying overhead to witness such a scene.  As much as I enjoy being the source of such humor at times, in this particular instance I found nothing about which to laugh. It was one of the longest, craziest, most chaotic situations I’ve yet to find myself in on the farm! 

Who knew you could be outrun by a 1,000lb cow if they had their mind set on it!

image

It took a good half hour of chasing them before I was finally able to separate Annabelle from the others (farm lesson #5- never underestimate the power of food with farm animals!). When I caught up to her and was able to lead her back to her lot, she was scared, out of breath and looked like a poor little kid who had been roughed up in the schoolyard.  I knew the big girls weren’t going to send out the welcoming committee for Annabelle, but gracious!  I had no idea they were going to incite some sort of ritualistic bovine hazing methods on her.  Well, now I know.  And Annabelle won’t be stepping another hoof in that field until she’s got at least a hundred pounds or more on them.  Little do the big girls know, Annabelle is going to be much taller and outweigh them by a good 400 or 500 pounds one day! 

Oh yes. Revenge in the cow pastures can be sweet.. :)

Somewhere down the road I’ll try and cut the apron strings again, but for now they’ve happily been sewn back on, and I still have my sweet Annabelle in her lot with the boys where I can visit and play with her anytime I want. Life on the farm is now quiet and back to its normal pace..at least for another day or two.

image

New Favorite Author!

For anyone who enjoys Jane Austen novels, you will absolutely LOVE all of Sarah M. Eden’s books.  They are all Regency romance novels, taking place in England, and have the most witty, sweet, romantic and captivating characters. You can’t help but fall in love with the men in these books!  While Eden herself is the biggest Jane Austen fan, you can see the similarities in her plots and characters.  I was never a big fan of fiction, but somehow, someway that all changed.  If I had to choose a particular time era for a book to read, it would be Regency England- when propriety and decorum were at their height, ball gowns were works of art and the language was heart-stoppingly romantic. If you read only one of her books, The Kiss of a Stranger should be it.  I’m not usually one to read a book a second time, but this one I could read over and over again.  If only a Lord Cavratt truly existed..sighhh.. :)

                     image

Drops Of Gold is another great read, but make sure you read Friends and Foes first :)

                             image

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I received this book for review and loved it!  It takes place in New York City during the 1940’s.  Lydia Eldridge is trying to provide a good life for the son of her best friend who died after having her son.  Lydia’s father ends up involving an old friend of Lydia’s, Dr. Micah Hatcher, for whom she’s always had a fond attachment.  While Dr. Hatcher tries to help Lydia find a way to legally adopt her son, Nicky, he also faces some issues of his own.  Not only does he run a clinic for immigrants who are unable to pay for medical services, he also is assisting his brother in a very dangerous mission that could cost him everything.  The plot develops with many twists and turns and has a good element of faith and shows the reader how trusting in God can turn the most hopeless situations into something far more beautiful than anyone ever could have imagined.  Most definitely a great summer read!

            image

Thank goodness for amazing books! :) My love for being outdoors would be a real burden during the winter months if it weren’t for my new found addiction to romantic, happily-ever-after novels that keep me awake til all hours of the night. Life is so beautiful! :) <3