Tag Archives: trees

Review of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Books, and Trees Update

I started to share about my sourdough adventure but it turned into a post all its own and I’ll share that on Tuesday next week. Suffice it to say, I will definitely be making the honey oat sourdough bread again. :)

I read Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan MacNeal this week. Hmmm, what to say about it . . . okay, I liked the idea of cryptography and mathematics and a historical fiction book; I haven’t read historical fiction in ages and so this seemed like it would be good.

I loved this bit about a ballet . . .

I’ve never been one to get ballet but this one sounds interesting to me; I might even see if there is some recording of it that I can watch online. ;)

I liked that this seemed to be a stand-alone book, as I’ve got way too many books in series that I’m reading. It felt good to have a one and done. And then I got near the end of the book and realized that it is the first book in a series. Boy! I’m glad I picked up the first one in the series, since it ended up being a series. It looks like there are currently about six books in the series. ;)

The story was okay. There were some things I didn’t prefer and it seemed a bit slow to me. However, I am tempted to continue on with the series. I did not pick it up on this trip to the library though and I returned the other books I had that I didn’t read. The fifth one in the series is the one that is really pulling at me, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante.

This is about a girl born in London and raised in the United States that inherits her grandmother’s house in London. She goes to London, postponing beginning graduate school, to sell the house and ends up having to stay an extended period of time to make the repairs in order to sell the house but without sufficient funds, must get a job first. She gets some boarders and gets a job as Mr. Churchill’s secretary.

The story is about her learning who her parents were and stopping a plot of destruction. ;) I enjoyed the cryptic bits but they were minor in the story, so don’t let that stop you from reading it. However, if you don’t like to read any cursing or mentions of homosexuality (non-explicit) then this is not the book for you as there were several of both. This is not a book I need to own but it was an okay read.

Oh, I know why this series thing is bugging me now. Last month at the library I picked up a Robert Ludlum book (the first in a series), a Clive Cussler book (the first in a series), the third in the Puzzle Lady series, and the next one in the Hannah Swensen series. Ugh! Too many series!

On this trip to the library I returned all the books I had and got out three juvenile fiction books and two books by Dee Henderson. :) Here are two of the books I got:

These along with Caterpillar Summer are about siblings that get along, and appear to like each other. I saw them last month and knew I needed to check them out. I’ll let you know how they go. :p

Tiffany has a lot of Ted Dekker books and I’ve been wanting to read his Circle series. I also had started Rematch by Erynn Mangum and want to finish it. We have a lot of books on our shelves that I want to read. Oh, and then there is the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson that Tiffany owns and I want to read as well.

I got Unspoken by Dee Henderson. I think it follows Full Disclosure with new characters but I don’t know. I just know I enjoyed Full Disclosure and wanted to read another of her books. I love her O’Malley series and saw the library had Jennifer’s story. It is small; I guess you’d call it a novella. I know it will be a tear jerker so I’m not sure when I’ll read it. ;)

Tiffany and I checked on the fruit trees in the side yard this week. Turns out that the tree I thought was plums is my nectarine tree! I thought that baby died. I guess it was my other plum tree that didn’t make it.

The nectarines look yummy. The peaches on this tree, not so much. :D I haven’t looked at the peaches on the tree in the chicken yard but suspect they are nearly ready too. :)

I’m excited about the pears and also sad that there are only three. I’m just happy to have any. :D

All the apple trees are alive in some stage but I doubt they’ll produce apples this year either. We really need to fertilize them and mulch them and hope next year is better. ;)

Well, I’m going to run for now. Hope you have a great weekend. The guys have a men’s breakfast tomorrow. Tiffany and I are helping serve the pancakes and sausage. I’m taking some low carb/keto pancakes and have been asked to sing a song too. So it will be a busy morning but a good one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Spring, Books, and Motivation

Motivation ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve had a hard time with motivation this week. Some weeks are easier than others. I really like it when I get most of the week’s blog posts done on one day. I tend to have a better week when I don’t have the post to do every day.

I’ve not been drawing every day either. I’ve been doing the Festina Lente all in one or two days too. That’s the biggest reason I’ve been doing all week’s prompts in one piece. (You can see them on m Wonder Wednesday posts.)

This is what the Bradford Pear trees and the daffodils look just a week after the last pictures I posted of them.

Bradford Pear Trees full bloom ~ Lifeofjoy.me Daffodils in full bloom ~ Lifeofjoy.me Bradford Pear tree flowers ~ lifeofjoy.meIt’s so pretty. I love the springtime. :)

Books~ Lifeofjoy.meI started a new book this week. Most of the time when I read descriptions they are lost on me. I don’t enjoy them and I glaze over a lot of the time and have to re-read the important bits. However this new book, Delicious!, is different. In the beginning, it is about a gal who gets a job with a food magazine and has that ability to name the ingredients in the foods.

In this book, I love the descriptions. :D I guess because they are food based, generally. I have no idea how it is going to progress, other than what the summary said, and hope that it stays as engaging for me as it has started out to be. If it does, I’ll have to look for more books with food in the forefront. ;)

We should have gone to the library for our monthly visit this week but we renewed our books for a second time and will go in a couple weeks when they are due again. Of the six books I checked out, I’ve now completed three.

I read the crossword puzzle one, A Clue for the Puzzle Lady, this week. I didn’t really care for the main character and have no idea how they can make a series out of this but the eighteenth, yes 18th, one came out last year. I’ll probably get the next on our next trip to the library, to see where it goes.

I’ll probably finish this one before the weekend is over and Tamar is so short it won’t take long at all to get through it. Then all I have left from the library is Anathem, which is a very large book. I started it last week but struggled with it–the descriptions really had me struggling–then I put it down and picked up the crossword one. So, we’ll see if I can get into it after I finish Delicious!

Tiffany, Lauren and I are going to buddy read Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. None of us has started it yet and I hesitate to start it before re-attempting Anathem because I know I’ll love it and that may make Anathem difficult to read. ;) But we shall see.

Books Cookies and Motivation ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think I figured out how to make the Resurrection Rolls low-carb/keto/THM-compliant and am looking forward to making them when the kids come up in a couple weeks. I’m also planning to make the Easter Cookies next week. (I shared links to both of these yesterday.)

I’m very excited about this even though nobody else in the family is sharing my excitement. I’ve already got my ham for Easter dinner, although I will have to get my turkey ham for Michael next week. I’ve been looking for one for months because Michael cannot currently eat ham without breaking out in a rash. The last two times I made ham, I got him turkey pastrami from the deli. It works just as well although a bit smaller. I really hope I can find the turkey ham but will get a hunk of the turkey pastrami if need be.

Well, that is enough rambling for today. If I work out a good tasting low carb alternative to those Easter treats, I’ll share on a Tuesday.

Until next time, God Bless,

Michele ºÜº

Spring has Sprung

It amazes me how different things can be in just a day or two or three. The day the kids got here Tiffany and I took these first pictures.

Here you can see  the Bradford pear tree with it’s leaves unfurling.Bradford Pear tree ~ Lifeofjoy.me

And here is a close up of the blossoms budding.Buds on Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe daffodils are budding. It’s odd because these are in full sun, very similar conditions to the ones across the street but those are open already.  :D Oh well, it doesn’t matter because these will bloom too. :)Daffodil Buds ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere are some blossoms on the free peach tree. By that I mean that we did not plant this and it wasn’t here when we moved out here either. We can only assume that it grew from some peach pit that we put out with the stuff for our first set of chickens and eventually grew from either being processed through the chicken or was never eaten and managed to grow unaided. It is quite sturdy and strong looking and has MANY blossoms on it. Budding Free Peach Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.me Peach Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is some of the blossoms on the peach tree we purchased from Walmart several years ago. You may remember that we had lots of blossoms on it one year (last year?) but then got several late freezes and we were unprepared to protect it. Consequently, I’m praying that the weather stays nice and we don’t get any of that mess this year because we are still unprepared and I’d really love to get some peaches.

However, a teacher at our church tells a story of a peach tree he remembers from his youth, that the first peaches from the tree were not very tasty. I hope these will be. Only time will tell. :)Budding little Peach tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis one is the plum tree we got from Walmart the same year as the peach tree. It is covered in little white blossoms. I really hope that means we will be getting a lot of yummy sweet plums this year. :) (I’m cautious with my expectations because of said peach story though.) Plum tree budding ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is just two days later.Spring Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.e Daffodils are blooming ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd on day 3 you can see it’s in full bloom and so are my daffodils. It’s odd, they are ALL the light yellow with the long orange trumpets. I planted a variety mix and have had a few other varieties in the past but they are all like this now. I may go gather some from the ditch line across the street where my neighbor has not planted them (he’s been gone for a long time, so I cannot ask permission ;) ) and plant them amongst these. Those are all the bright yellow ones. I think it’d be pretty to have some of those interspersed with these.Full view of Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the purchased peach tree the two days later. Buds have blossomed. :) And there are more buds there.  Blossoming Tiny Peach Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the plum tree the couple of days later. Looking good. First blossoms on Plum Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, that’s our plant life update for this week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº