Books, camping, Things I Love


It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I couldn’t remember how to log in. After months of saying to myself, “Just write something!” I am finally, literally just writing something, hoping to get the ball rolling.

What I’ve Been Reading:

Surprise! I love to read. As the first quarter of 2017 comes to a close, here are a few notable books I’ve logged in my Read List (I post reviews on Goodreads, if you want to follow along):

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequiest – This book came with mixed reviews, and I understand that it’s not for everyone. But the message I walked away with was: 1)be you, really you, not who you think other people want you to be and 2) be intentional with your time. I don’t think it has ever been easier to be distracted than in our current day and age; we let minutes and hours evaporate as we scroll through the morass that is the internet. I’m not saying get off your phone and go do a bunch of chores (though maybe some of us should); I’m just saying BE…be who you were made to be, be fully present in the lives of those around you. Shauna’s book was a reaction against her overly busy schedule, a quest to take back her life. Maybe you and I are not hard-pressed by speaking engagements and editor’s deadlines, but a close scrutiny of how we are spending our time and what we are letting dictate our daily agendas is sometimes hard but always helpful.

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny – This is the twelfth book in Penny’s murder mystery series featuring protagonist Inspector Armand Gamache, and it did not disappoint. A great fiction book balances robust character development with inescapable plot movement. A great series features a cast of characters who take on a life of their own. This series of books has both attributes in spades. While some might be taken aback by the strong language and rather ribald repartee, it didn’t bother me excessively, though I may have cringed a bit if I had listened to the audio with my family on a car trip. Try the first one (Still Lifeand see what you think. I can’t believe I’ve finally caught up with the series! The thirteenth installment is due out sometime later in 2017.

I’m currently reading four books, and my favorite of the four so far is The Fellowship by Philip and Carol Zaleski. It’s about the Inklings, a literary club which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien among others. Slow going at 500-plus pages, but a worthy journey.

What I’m Enjoying:

Learning how to use my Instant Pot. Is it magic? Nope, just a suped-up pressure cooker that comes with its own huge Facebook community. So far, I’ve fixed ribs, pork loin, rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and more hard-boiled eggs than you can shake a stick at.  I am looking forward to trying Greek yogurt, cheesecake, and all of these recipes.

What I’m Looking Forward To:

  • Full on, unabashed 80 degree plus Spring days. May they hurry in.
  • Finding the perfect, slightly used but well-kept pop up camper. I stalk Craigslist all the time. So far we’ve looked at three. The good ones are literally gone within hours of being posted. My hope fails, but the quest must not be abandoned. It feels like a personal challenge now.



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