Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love on a Dime

Love on a Dime is the first of the Ladies of Summerhill series by Cara Lynn James.  Set in Newport in 1899, Love on a Dime is the story of a young women from a wealthy family who has found joy writing inspirational dime novels.  Worried about the stigma of dime novels, at the time seen as frivolous trash, and of being a 'working woman,' Lilly Westbrook hides her writing from her wealthy family and friends, writing under the pseudonym Fannie Cole. 

Because of their positive message, Fannie Cole becomes a well-known author with a wide following, and becomes the object of a devious man's pursuit of gossip.  He will stop at nothing to expose Lilly and ruin her family. 

In the meantime, both Fannie and Lilly are being pursued by a gentleman of quite another sort--a former beau who is still in love with her, and who happens to be the new owner of her publishing company. 

This historical novel is a fun and inspirational read about Lilly's journey towards truth and becoming the woman God created her to be.  Some of Lilly's determination to hide her identity from the one person who can help her seems a bit unbelievable, and some of the plot twists at the end seem a little contrived.  However, as a whole the story is a great read, one that encourages the reader to think about what it means to truly trust God and His plans for her life.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Rayovac Powers Our Summer

I am entering the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion!  Even though we aren't in our house yet, I'm sure we'll be looking for lots of fun things to do this summer.  I'm thinking remote control cars, backyard camping trips, and nighttime walks home from the park.  :-)   

Disclosure: "The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion won a prize package from Rayovac." Then provide a link back to the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion located at www.rayovac.com/PowersYourSummer.

You can enter, too!  Hurry!

Follow Rayovac on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/rayovac

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moving Update

Well, we finally made it to Texas!  We are staying with the Embrys, who are friends of Ryan's parents.  They have a beautiful home with a casita they are graciously allowing us to occupy for the time being. 

We found a cute little house in downtown New Braunfels yesterday.  It's about 1/2 mile away from the Children's museum, the farmer's markets, and only about a mile from Landa Park.  The downtown area of NB is in high demand, so we were really fortunate to get into this house.  Especially since the flood from last week put 100 families out of their homes!  Our wonderful real estate agent, Carrie Evans, outdid herself following every lead--but as soon as we'd look at a house, it was leased!  The house we have is one that she found by chance.  When she called, she found out that the app on the house had been rejected just 5 MINUTES before she called!  It was meant to be!  ;-)

The house, unfortunately isn't available until the 1st, but we're hoping that we'll be able to get in earlier.  In the meantime, I'll be on the lookout for 1950s furniture.  ;-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've got a feeling...

...tonight's gonna be a good, good night!  We are on our way to Phoenix to pick up our new vehicle--one that will actually get us to TX without spinning a rod 20 miles out of town.  This decision was a difficult one--do we spend the money fixing the other truck, with no guarantee that it will be reliable and delay our move a few more weeks?  Do we just rent a uhaul & arrive in TX with no truck?  Do we put money down on a new (to us) vehicle that will get us there so Ryan can find work and we can get our lives on track again?  Obviously, we went with option #3. 

If you're in AZ right now, particularly in our little town of CV, you know how hard things are out here.  The only bar in town, the one that's been around for 70+ years, closed a few months ago.  That can't be good!  Main street is becoming a ghost town as folks who have lived and worked in Camp Verde their entire lives are losing everything.  The media may talk about recovery, but at least in CV that recovery is a long way off.  In the meantime, good, hard-working people are losing their homes.  Or walking away out of frustration--when your house is valued $100,000 under your mortgage and the bank won't work with you because omgoodness you make your payments on time, what else are you to do? 

At any rate, we hope that the outlook is brighter for our family "deep in the heart of Texas."  Looking forward to actually getting on the road tomorrow!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Palmer Moving Saga

I thought that I'd update the world on our moving status. Seriously, a comedy of errors here.

One week ago today, we were blessed to have great friends & family help us clean up and move out of our house here in Camp Verde.

On Tuesday, Ryan left first thing in the morning to load up his trailer...not enough room. He spent the rest of the day moving in the renters & moving the remainder of our 'stuff' to his mom's house bit by bit. In light of the fact that we couldn't take our trailer, we took a family trip to the dump to unload Ryan's Dad's trailer, then we repacked our stuff onto that trailer.

Wednesday, while Ryan installed chicken wire on the fence so the renter's little poodle would not escape and arranged for someone to mow our lawn & irrigate, Megan, Josyan, and I got our hair cut at Simplicity. Megan got the whole treatment--style & all, very cute!  Josyan hasn't had his hair cut since he was one--I couldn't risk losing the blond curls!  As you can see, they are still there, albeit a little less crazy.  ;-)  And Megan & I got our nails done--pedicures are seriously amazingly relaxing. One last lunch at Sweet Grace, and we were ready to go.

Thursday morning, we woke up bright and early, packed up the kids, and got on the road. Right after the Prescott exit, Ryan's emergency blinkers came on and I followed him as he pulled to the side of I-17...deciding that was a tad dangerous, we made it to the next exit, yes, just 20 miles out of town, where we called a tow truck and made our way back to Ryan's parents' house.

Thursday and Friday...Ryan and Dusty valiantly work to save the truck while I grade papers and build courses.

Saturday, the kids and I drive to Flagstaff to get a $5 part that no one in the Verde Valley had. We left at noon--the dealership with the part closes at 1.  Playing WOW 2010 at full blast, I realize I'm going 80 in a 65 right as we pass a cop--by some miracle he either doesn't see me or decides not to bother.  Thankfully, my brother, Tim (who was shopping with his family & my Mom) came to the rescue by going to pick up the part at Tyrell Marxen before they closed at 1pm. Fed a homeless lady sitting under the tree at Wal-mart, watched a chain reaction of kindness, then brought the part home to Ryan. The truck starts, the truck breaks again. Thinking he's lost the starter, the rotor, and the motor, Ryan gives up.  We contemplate trading vehicles with Ryan's Mom (she has a '98 Expedition that could pull our trailer, I have a Toyota Corolla that CANNOT!) or buying a new vehicle.  Ryan is pretty much in despair. 

Sunday...It's a new day, so Ryan decides to have a little more hope and checks out the truck.  He realizes that it's only the starter that's blown up. Replaces the starter. Engine is still knocking, so he checks all the rods and in the process breaks a bolt off in the engine. The kids and I go to Target to get Ryan new clothes because he has ruined all the clothes he owns fixing the truck while he continues to work on the truck. 

Monday...I get to watch my husband in hill-billy mode working on the truck in his underwear because he was getting oil on his new shorts. A trip to Phoenix (Courtesy Chevrolet) for Ryan to get the bolt  & some part for the exhaust system that has disintegrated. The bolt is extracted and replaced...the engine still knocks. The exhaust thing doesn't fit, but then does. I spend the day reading the Pioneer Woman's love story, wondering if we will ever get out of Camp Verde.  Call Delbert, the traveling truck expert, and make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. Could be a valve, could be a piston.   Lay down with Josyan, fall asleep, and wake up realizing that we've just stood up my Mom & Rod for dinner.

To quote Vanilla Ice, "Will it ever stop? I don't know." LOL  Hopefully we'll know tomorrow what we're doing!  In the meantime, our mail is piling up in New Braunfels general delivery.  At least I HOPE it is!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Anatomy of the Soul

Anatomy of the Soul, by Curt Thompson, MD, gives readers a compelling look at the connection between the structures of our brains and our relationships—with each other and with God.  Thompson provides readers with an interesting scriptural and scientific perspective based upon his role as a practicing psychiatrist and his faith as a Christian.

In the book, Thompson explains the structure of our brains and how that structure impacts our relationships and our faith in God.  Though the book is scientific, it is written in an engaging style that seeks to educate readers in a compassionate way.  The book moves from a look at how our brains impact our own views of life, to how it impacts our relationships, to how it impacts our faith, and, finally, to how we can use this information in our professions.   Each chapter builds upon the information in previous chapters, making the book easier to comprehend than one might think.  In addition, Thompson frequently incorporates stories to illustrate his points, which both creates a connection to readers and helps us relate the science to our own life circumstances. 

Explaining how our culture tends to value right-brained, logical thinking over emotion, Thompson exposes the flaws in this viewpoint and illustrates how not paying attention to our emotions can cause ruptures in our relationships with others and with God.  Using Scripture and case studies, Thompson shows how paying attention to our emotions and really seeking to know and be known by others can open up doors of communication and drastically change our lives.  His research and experience can have a life-changing impact on all readers, but, as a parent, I found his book particularly convicting, as he frequently references the impact our own stories and understanding of the world can impact our children.  

This is a book you will want to read more than once.  It will make you think, stimulate conversations, and, hopefully, help you to repair relationships and move into a deeper understanding of the life God intends for you to lead.  

Note:  Tyndale House provided a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trash, lots of trash...

One of the least pleasant parts of our move was a mandatory trip to the landfill. (We didn't have enough room on Ryan's trailer, so we had to dump the trash in his Dad's before we could load our boxes.) YUCK! This was not just stinky, but an all-out disgusting experience.

We drove up on top of the mountain (literally) of trash to wait in line behind other trucks dumping garbage. The person right before us dumped the remains of last week's yard sale (an old green recliner, a vacuum, a huge wooden sign), while a trucker used a 2x4 to scrape goop out of his truck. Trash blew everywhere--cardboard boxes, plastic milk bottles, scraps of paper. And, while bemoaning the smell and the waste, we threw our own scraps of wood and bags of moving trash over the sides of the trailer.

Most of the trash we saw blowing around could have been recycled. Staring at the mountains of trash really brought home the reality of waste disposal. As a consumer society, we have way too much trash. If we ate natural foods, we'd cut down on packaging waste. Recycling reduced our trash by at least half. The new compostable plastics (sun chips bags are compostable now) are great, but we can do more. Ryan & I talked about composting for several years, but we never did it. 

I think that we like to throw our trash away, happily leaving it up to the garbage man to make it 'disappear' like the "Vapoorize" product in Envy. But, as the people in the movie said--it has to go somewhere! All that trash goes somewhere--to create huge mountains made of trash. Seeing it in person makes us want to reduce the amount of trash produced by our family.

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