November 23 2017

Book Review: Life-Changing Miracles

I was very excited to be able to read and review this book. The cover and title grabbed me from the start. I am always a sucker for hearing stories of how God works in other people’s lives.

I didn’t mean to start reading it yet. But somehow I just couldn’t stop myself. Just one story, to see what it’s like. So I opened the book telling myself I wasn’t going to read the stories yet, just the front matter and maybe the introduction. Then as I finished reading the introduction, my eyes quickly glanced at the right-hand page and spotted the title of the first story, Truck Driver Betty by Patti Ann Thompson.

You don’t have time to start reading now, there are other things you need to be doing now I told myself in the stern voice often used to get children to do as they are told without argument. I know that voice, but it doesn’t affect me, it is, after all, my voice. So I flipped through to see how long the first story was because I really wanted to read about the truck driver named Betty. Only 6 pages and the first and last weren’t quite full pages, more like two-thirds pages, it would be a fast read. Just to see what it is like, the cover is so inviting, and it does promise Life-Changing right there in the title. One story wouldn’t hurt.

So I quickly lost myself in the story about the truck driver named Betty. When it ended I realized my eyes we full of unshed tears. It was beautiful. As much as I wanted to read more, I knew I would put it away and get back to the other tasks awaiting my attention all while saying a quick prayer of thanks for that first story being such a good one. I just know that book will get read almost without me knowing I’m reading over the next few days. I appreciate the fact that the stories are short and easy to read in small bites of time. Sometimes small bites are all we can grab to read in, so this book is already a winner to me.

A few hours later, I realized I had accidentally picked up the book and read five more stories. They were all good, but none affected me quite like the first one. There are only 37 stories in the book and somehow on the very day, the book landed in my mailbox I had read 46 of the 235 pages in the book. Now I am wondering if maybe I need to ration the stories to make them last longer because you only get one chance for a first read. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

I hid the book away as I got ready to go on a trip with my husband wanting to save these stories to read on the plane or in the airport. I read several more stories one after the other. They are such quick easy reads that you can’t read just one at a time.

I especially read the one called Taking Away the Desire by Carol Nash Smith with interest. Her story was about alcohol addiction but I wondered as I read if this might help me keep from overeating and thus lose some of the excess weight I seem to always carry with me. As I finished reading this one it was like someone had read my mind. The next story is My Weight Destination by Michelle J. Welcome. As I eagerly read that story, I found myself wishing I too would hear God speak to me as many of the stories talk about.

It didn’t take me long to finish this book after I allowed myself to continue reading it. It was a great book to take along on our trip. Perfect for reading in the airport and on the plane. This book was a very enjoyable read. I especially appreciated the short length of the chapters/stories as this made them very easy to pick up and read one or two at a time. If you are looking for an uplifting book to read, I would highly recommend it.

If you are interested in buying this book, please consider using the affiliate link below. It won’t cost you more and I might make a few cents because you did.

Life-Changing Miracles: Real-Life Stories of Unforgettable Encounters With God

I was sent this book by the publisher to review. I will always give honest reviews on my blog. My opinion cannot be bought.

(This book arrived in my mailbox Saturday, 9/30/17)

October 5 2017

My New Helper is a Keeper

The image and title above may have already clued you in to what I am going to tell you about today. A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of Ann Kroeker’s Podcasts. She mentioned something I hadn’t yet heard of, Google Keep. Since I had no idea what it was, I asked Google, “Ok Google, What is Google Keep?” I got the following answer from Google:

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available on the web, and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.”

Thank you, Google. I went to YouTube and typed in Google Keep and watched a couple of tutorials and was immediately blown away by how powerful a tool this could be. I had to have it! Now! How had I not known about this? Thank you, Ann Kroeker, writing coach for sharing this tidbit! My life is forever changed because I listened to your podcast!

You can listen to it here in about ten minutes start to finish. If you’d rather read than listen, you can find the blog post here: Ep 112: My Best Writing Tools to Get More Done (at Home and on the Go)

I was very excited about all the possibilities, so I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded the Android version right away. I played with it some on my phone and couldn’t wait to get home and see the desktop version of it. It is very easy to use. The only problem I had was accidentally archiving a post when I didn’t mean to, but even that is easily undone.

In the few weeks since I began using the app on my Android phone and the online version on both my desktop and my Surface Pro 2, I have found it to be the one app I would not give up on my phone. Yes, it is that awesome! Did I mention it is FREE?

Continue reading

June 29 2017

Learn to Crochet Edging on Fleece Blankets

Rotary Cutter with Skip-Stitch Blade

Crochet edging is a great way to add a personal touch to a fleece blanket. There are so many options for fleece available. Here are two I have bought to edge as gifts for specific people. Both of these team prints were bought at Hancock Fabrics. I used black yarn to add trim to both. When making a blanket for an adult, I usually get 2 yards (60 x 72 inches)  or if the person is particularly tall, 2-1/4 yards (60 x 81 inches). These blankets are very snuggly and washable, perfect for car trips or watching TV under on a chilly night.

University of Cincinnati Bearcats Fleece Fabric
University of Alabama Crimson Tide Fleece Fabric

Shark Baby BlanketNote the stitches on this one mimic the teeth and gums on the sharks.

Learn to make these easy blankets yourself. Continue reading

June 22 2017

Crochet for Better Mental Health

Have you ever considered learning to knit or crochet? Perhaps you should. It could help your all around mental health.

I have discovered that I like the mind-numbing meditative comfort of knowing I can make the hat pattern I make all the time. I have to focus a bit at the beginning of each hat and count the stitches in each row before moving on, but then I can just crochet and talk to those around me without fear of messing up. It is very relaxing and enjoyable as long as my carpel tunnel doesn’t act up too much.

The fact that most of the hats I make will be given to the homeless and help make them warmer and let them know that someone cares about them only makes it that much better.

I can carry the things I need to make each hat in either a quart or gallon sized slider plastic storage bag. Easy enough to tuck into my tote bag or toss in the trunk so I can always have something constructive to do. Much of the yarn I use to make the hats has been donated to me for this purpose. It is my pleasure to find ways to make almost every hat unique and beautiful. I especially enjoy using variegated yarns because you never know what sort of pattern you will end up with. Note the diagonal striping in the brown hat shown below. I have fun putting different yarns together to see how they will turn out. See some of the photos below to see how pair different solid color yarns with the same variegated yarn can drastically change the way it looks. Here are some of my latest creations. So far, I have made 24 hats in 2017.

Continue reading