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Christmas is Coming

As we near Christmas Day, I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Whether you celebrate the Birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, or the secular side of Christmas, I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful day full of memories.

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Human Strength and Resilience

I don’t usually post personal things, but today is my 60th birthday. I have had so many changes over the last year and I have learned many things.

Image may contain: 2 peopleMy husband died November 20, 2016. He was only 68, but cancer doesn’t care how old you are or how much you are loved. Earlier this month, I almost had to put my dog down (he is almost 16) because he wasn’t eating and he was getting very weak. It turns out that he had a terrible infection in his mouth. He had dental surgery yesterday, 10 teeth removed and his teeth cleaned, and he is doing pretty good. Of course he now loves his Ceasar’s slices that he has been eating. I have a 5 bedroom home and half an acre of property that I am suddenly taking care of on my own and not doing too badly. I gained back all the weight I lost 4 years ago and am now having some minor health issues.

I did not write this post for your sympathy, but to share what I have learned over the past year.

Do not be afraid to ask family and friends for help when you need it. I wanted to be strong and do everything, but I can’t. My family and friends wanted me to ask for their help and they gave it willingly. they didn’t know what I needed until I finally asked.

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Get out and enjoy life when you can, dinner or coffee with a friend are so invigorating. 

Having a social life is so important. Talking and laughing with them gives my spirit such a life. Everyone needs the power of laughter.

Prayer is a powerful thing. Image result for praying hands I meet once a week with some ladies from my church for dinner and a devotional, and this has helped me deal with my grief so much. I did not go to any bereavement meetings, but this group of ladies was my support group. They knew my husband, but not well. They hugged me physically and emotionally and have come to mean so much to me. Praying with them has given me strength.

Pets are a God send. Cuddling my dog at night has helped so much. I was devastated when I though I was going to have to put my dog to sleep, especially in November. He knows when I am sad and need his closeness. Sitting on my lap watching the Toronto Maple Leafs play hockey just like when Ray was here gives me comfort. I don’t know if I will get another dog when he is gone, but having him has made a big difference over the last year.

We are capable of so much more than we ever imagined. I was worried about whether I would be able to take care of the house. I love living here, it has so many memories and I am not ready to move on. I had to make decisions about what I could and could not do, but I did it. I hired some people to do things (paint, open and close the pool) and chose not to do some (no garden this year, but I will have one next summer) but I surprised myself at what I could do, I have been able to take care of the yard and house (although not to the same level as Ray did) and I even learned how to use some of his tools.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, plant, flower, closeup and outdoorSpend time with your family! I never thought my daughter and I would be able to spend a lot of time together, let alone 2 weeks on vacation, but we did and had a great time. We are closer now than ever! I love spending time with my children and grandchildren and cherish the time we spend together.

Overall, it has been a year of firsts for me and I know there will be more. I can do it with the help of my family, friends, neighbours, church family and God’s presence in my life. I have found comforts such as reading more, watching Hallmark movies on television and enjoying theater performances. We can do so much more than we ever thought we could and this year I proved it.

Jessica and Carla have an Excellent Adventure

Well, I finally had time to go through all the pictures we took and reflect on the vacation my daughter, Jessica and I took to Ireland and Scotland. I will post some of the pictures and share by thoughts and what I learned on this vacation. We hit the airport with our Itinerary and our plane was promptly delayed by almost three hours. What did I learn? Do not set the itinerary as if everything will run on time. We missed two of our planned outings the first day.


We did get to the Cliffs of Mohr which were amazing. Make sure you stay on the path as there have been people who have fallen and been blown off the cliffs. The only Puffin we saw was this one in the Visitor’s Centre though.

Dublin was amazing. There was so much to see and do. Of course a lot had to do with drinking and touring whiskey or beef facilities. The Hop On, Hop Off tours are great but again scheduling is a problem. What I learned: Give yourself lots of time to get from one place to another and if you want to tour some of the more well known attractions, make sure you get tickets in advance. The other thing I learned is that if you tour all the distilleries and Guinness on the same day, you might have trouble walking on the cobblestone streets. Continue reading “Jessica and Carla have an Excellent Adventure”

I’m Going on Vacation

Hello all. For those of you who read my blog and/or follow me, I wanted to give you a heads up. I will not be posting or commenting on other blogs until after Canadian Thanksgiving. My daughter and I are going to Ireland and Scotland for a holiday. I do not want this to get sad or sound like a pity party, but this was a trip my husband and I wanted to take. We kept putting it off until we saved more money. After he passed away last November, I was lamenting to a friend that we had never taken our trip to Scotland. She said I should do it for him, so my daughter and I made plans. I am looking forward to this trip for a couple of reasons: 1. To spend time with my daughter and 2. to complete the trip Ray never had a chance to go on. I will post some pics when I get back.

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20 Books of Summer 2017 Update

Update on September 4th. I stayed up last night to finish my last book. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed it. I will link my reviews to the covers of each book. Some of these reviews are on Goodreads, for some reason they never got posted to my blog.

Thanks to Cathy at 746 Books and Fictionophile for this challenge. It was what I needed to get these summer books finally read. I enjoyed them all and it was a rather romantic summer reading season for me.

So, here is my list. I read 20 books that take place in the summer. All of them were on my TBR list. Here goes: Continue reading “20 Books of Summer 2017 Update”

Welcome to September

Well, September is here and I have decided that I am not going to let challenges rule what I read this month. I have some favourite authors that I need to catch up on and some series that I want to finish. Here is what I have decided on for September, and then, I will add others during the month as I hear them calling to me. Continue reading “Welcome to September”


100 Follows!My blog has reached a milestone. Thank you to all the people out there who are following my blog. I love to read and started this blog to share the books I have enjoyed. I am trying to diversify a bit, but it will still be a book blog. I can not believe there are over 100 people that care about what I have to say. Thanks again.

SPOTLIGHT on The Light In Summer (Butternut Lake #5)

The Light In Summer by Mary McNear

THE LIGHT IN SUMMER by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear on sale today, June 20th. This novel takes place in the fictional town of Butternut, Minnesota, a place Susan Wiggs says is “so beautifully rendered, you’ll wish it was real.”

This novel makes the perfect summer read, and reads true to the feelings of a small lake town in the summer (not to mention, the cover is fabulous). As an adult, summer is often spent in the office, pining for the days of a carefree summer spent outside, by the water, or at a favorite restaurant with friends. THE LIGHT IN SUMMER allows you to transport to that town you wish you were in, that waterfront you want to be sitting next to, and that summer romance that makes you feel like a teenager again.


“McNear’s latest Butternut Lake novel features small-town living at its best, teenaged angst and family dysfunction… The fast-paced, quick-witted dialogue is entertaining and imaginative. The perfect summer read that also works as a standalone novel.”

RT Book Reviews

“Mary McNear has mastered the art of the quiet romance. With funny characters, a charming Minnesotan setting…The Space Between Sisters will appeal to fans of Kristin Hannah or Susan Wiggs. Those familiar with McNear’s Butternut Lake trilogy are sure to be happy revisiting the town’s memorable faces and places.”

Shelf Awareness

“THE SPACE BETWEEN SISTERS explores the complex relationship between sisters, their differences, their mirrored history, their love and support of one another.  This triumphant story had me reading until the wee hours of the morning.”

— Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Butternut Lake is so beautifully rendered, you’ll wish it was real. Mary McNear takes the reader on an emotional journey with this story of second chances, starting over, and the healing power of love. A book to relax, enjoy and savor any time of year, but especially during the long, lazy days of summer.”
— Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A delicious setting and a heroine to cheer for, Moonlight on Butternut Lake is my favorite kind of book, one that treads that pleasurable line between romance and women’s fiction. Enjoy! ”
  — Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

“A great, emotional read for every woman who must face the past before moving forward.”
— Sherryl Woods, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Cozy Mystery Series Giveaway


Are you looking for a new author of a Cozy Mystery series? Look no further. Aysia Amery has generously donated a set of her 4-book series, “Maui Mayhem” to use as a Giveaway. These books are in mobi format (kindle, mobi apps) so if you can not read that format, please do not enter this giveaway. To enter is simple, just leave a comment in the comment section of this blog. That is it. On Friday, February 17th, I will draw a winning name. 

Something's Rotten in Paradise (Maui Mayhem Cozy Mystery Book 1) A Killing in Kula (Maui Mayhem Cozy Mystery Book 2) Mayhem on the Orchid Isle (Maui Mayhem Cozy Mystery Book 3) Hibiscus Homicide (Maui Mayhem Cozy Mystery Book 4)

Aysia Amery writes light cozy mysteries with a dash of humor. Need a stress-relieving read while trying to guess whodunit? Let Aysia’s cozies take you on an entertaining vacation to the exotic islands of Hawai‘i where she was born and raised and still resides with her hubby.. Come wiggle your toes in the sand with me on my Facebook page:

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