Monday, August 19, 2013

On Distant Shores - review

I have thoroughly been enjoying the World War II romances by Sarah Sundin. Her most recent book is On Distant Shores which is the second book in her Wings of the Nightingale series.

The main characters of On Distant Shores are Georgie and Hutch, a flight nurse and a pharmacist, both working on the front lines of the war. It has been interesting to learn more about the World War II flight nursing program in this series, and this particular book focuses on the challenges of war-time pharmacists as well. The other "educational" element of the story had to do with astronomy.

In addition to the "I didn't know that!" moments throughout the book, I also appreciated the real-to-life struggles that Georgie and Hutch each had to deal with. In reading novels, I like to see the [fictional] characters overcome challenges in a believable way that can translate to similar situations or trials in my own life.

A well-written story makes me think, and hopefully, grow.

And if it broadens my education, so much the better.

Thank you to LitFuse Publicity for providing me with a review copy.

 Sarah Sundin On Distant Shores

Friday, August 16, 2013

Parmesan Crisps

Two weeks ago, on our trip to the coast, we stopped at Whole Foods on our way through Portland. There's not a Whole Foods store in Spokane (our local "big city"), so I wanted to see what they might have in the way of crackers or snacks that fit in with the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.

My favorite find was a container of Parmesan Crisps. Lyle wasn't sure he would like them, but I was pretty sure I would. They were pretty spendy at $6.00 for a 3.5-ounce package, but I went ahead and got them. We tried them as soon as we got back in the car. I love them because they are crisp and salty like a chip, but high protein instead of carbs. And they have a very rich flavor so I usually only want 1 or 2 at a time. It turned out that Lyle likes them, too, but we didn't go back and get more because they were so expensive.

Guess what? I figured out how to make them myself! 
This may be the easiest "recipe" ever... and they taste just like the ones we bought. I promise.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Put a square of parchment paper on a plate.
  2. Make four little piles of parmesan on the paper (about a tablespoonful in each pile).
  3. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  4. Let cool.
 Can you believe how easy that is?

And a huge savings!
This container that cost $6.00? I was able to refill it with the same amount of product for 80 cents.


I should go into business.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quiet Times

During the summer months I look forward to having my morning quiet times on the deck just outside the kitchen. It is shady and cool there early in the morning. The breeze rustles the aspen and fir trees along the fence. The chickens cluck contentedly. The dog sniffs around the yard to see if anything has changed overnight. The cat is happy for the company and winds herself around my legs purring. I sip my coffee and open my Bible.

A few weeks ago, at a homeschool convention, I noticed a series of Bible journals offered for sale at another booth. They were handsome volumes with the name of a book of the Bible stamped on the cover. On the inside, the pages were essentially blank with space to write each verse. It was designed so that you would hand-copy that book of the Bible into the journal as a special keepsake. I liked that idea. Notebooks and journals have always "called out" to me, with all the lovely blank pages waiting to be filled. However, each book was something like $15 and truly, I didn't need a handwritten copy of the Bible to take up space on my shelf or to pass along to my children as an heirloom. So I didn't buy a journal that day.

I decided, though, that I would enjoy the exercise of copying scripture as part of my personal study. So I picked up a pretty notebook I had on hand and started out with the book of Matthew. I use a red pen for the words of Jesus (just like a red-letter edition of the Bible). So I've been in Matthew for about a month now. I'm currently in the middle of Chapter 13. It's a slow process. Some days I am able to copy more verses than other days, but I'm just taking it as it comes. I have been amazed at how much more I am getting out the scripture just by slowing myself down enough to copy each word. In general, I am a fast reader and it's hard to force myself to slow down when I'm reading the Bible. This method works for me... and I love it!

I am also still reading One Thousand Gifts. That's another book I have to force myself to slow down to read. In conjunction with that, I'm also continuing to add to my list of gifts on my Joy Dare page.

Life is challenging and stressful at times. That's when finding a few minutes each day to spend with the Lord is vitally important to me. I'm grateful that He's always there.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mount St. Helens

After our thwarted attempt to visit Mount St. Helens last fall, we decided she would be more likely to be receiving visitors in August. We took a detour yesterday on our way home from the coast to see. (Understand, Mount St. Helens is a destination. It's not "on the way" to anywhere else. Approximately 50 miles in, and then 50 miles back out.)
The clouds cast a shade on her during our visit, so pristine pictures were not possible, but at least we could see the mountain this time. We could have taken a 14-mile hike to get a little closer, but we didn't have that kind of time.
Pictures and stories in the visitors' center were fascinating. One interesting tidbit we learned was that on the day the volcano erupted, people 20 miles away heard nothing, but people 500 miles away heard the eruption.
Even 30+ years later it's obvious that "something" happened to the landscape.
Scrubby bushes, young trees, and wildflowers grew up through the ash around the remains of the ancient trees that lived there previously.

Do you remember when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980? I was in 8th grade and we lived in Louisiana at the time. Friends who lived in this area at the time tell me that ash covered the ground around here (300+ miles away) for weeks or months afterwards.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Oregon Coast Sunset

So relaxing to watch the sunset from our room last night. It's been a lovely much-too-short get-away. Headed home today via the scenic route.

(Hoping it works ok to post 2 pics at a time from my phone. We'll see.)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Columbia River

On our way to coast for a quick weekend getaway for Lyle's birthday. This is our second year in a row to do this. Does that make it a tradition?

This picture was taken at a rest area not far past Lyle, Washington. I overheard some lady say to her husband, "There's Lyle." I was startled. How did she know my husband? Then I realized she was talking about the little town around the bend of the river! :-)