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Lovely!

When food is good AND pretty, it's hard not to feel inspired.

And if you catch these freshly picked, early in the morning at the market, it's impossible to resist picking them up. I'm just sorry I didn't have the chance to snap a pic of the gorgeous girl selling them. I see her everyday, and most days she's just a regular girl with too much makeup and too "notice me" clothes.

Today? Her curly dark hair was gathered in a loose bun at the top of her head. She wore a red tee and faded jeans, no makeup and a white bandanna in her hair, tied up next to her bun.

Today you could notice her creamy dark skin, her black eyes and full lips. She smelled of the flowers she had been tying in bundles, and I wanted to tell her how nice she looked, but she was obviously mortified about her look, and she barely looked anyone in the eye.

Are we all as self conscious and insecure at 17? Yes, I think most of us are. I was the girl who wore wacky, almost costumey. I still was that girl in college.


I wish I could say I still am. I keep in touch with a friend of mine who I went to high School with and who now is a priest. We talk maybe once a month, but we are still very good friends.
He asked me when had I started becoming so normal. When had I stopped being the girl who did not care what others thought and dressed to please herself, the girl who danced to her own beat.

I don't know. I think she's in here, somewhere. Maybe she's trapped by the "love handles". Maybe she's hiding. I don't think she went anywhere.

I hope she hasn't gone.

How did I get here from eating some flowers???


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BOOK REVIEW: Something old

Something old 
By Diane Christner


Katie Yoder is certain about some things:  Who her friends are; how things should be done. And she is happy to start living the dream of her childhood, hers and her friends’. Trouble is, life keeps getting in the way, making things happen the way they shouldn’t and setting her simple life in turmoil, making her doubt many things she was convinced of. Things are suddenly not black and white, but she begins to see the subtle shades of gray.

This is the first time I’ve read Mennonite fiction, since I usually veer towards Amish, and I was a bit disconcerted at first. I really liked getting to know a bit more about these hard working people,  opening my mind to other ways of thinking that are different to my own Catholic upbringing.  
Talk about opening one’s mind! Katie comes off at first as too judgmental, and a bit “holier than thou” even towards her friends, but everything that happens to her makes her start to painfully accept that there is room redemption, and that differences can divide or strengthen a friendship. The characters are nicely developed and the situations are believable, and the author succeeds in making the reader step into Katie’s mind (and shoes!)



A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for reviewing purposes. They opinions here stated are my own, and have not been influenced in any way. 

Rest in peace.

Today, the great Facundo Cabral was shot to death on his way to the airport. He had just finished a tour in Guatemala when he was ambushed.

His last words on his last concert were "may God's will be done. He knows what he does"

You will be missed, dearest Facundo. May God receive your soul and may your killers know repentance and find salvation.

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BOOK REVIEW: A Bride's portrait of Dodge City, Kansas

A Bride’s  portrait of Dodge City, Kansas
Erica Vetsch

Addie needs to make a fresh start. With her uncle dead and the weight of establishing her photography on her shoulders, plus the obligations with the bank and the dangers of being a single woman in a city like Dodge City she is still decided and optimistic about making a new life for herself. Then a face from her past turns up in Dodge City, and all at once her secrets seem to be about to catch up to her and send her hopes and dreams crashing to the mud.

Miles is trying to distance himself from his past as much as he can. He is the new appointed deputy of Dodge City, and he can’t help but feel drawn to the lovely new photographer in town.

Then tragedy starts to happen. And it might just mean their pasts will collide and destroy them.

This novel is so well written you feel you are smack in the middle of a Western town, in a time when honor was defended with a gun. The main characters are really endearing, and the plot is very pulling.  I kept wondering and changing my mind about who was the perpetrator of the crimes.  I enjoyed reading this novel  so much that I’m looking forward to further installments!

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for reviewing purposes. They opinions here stated are my own, and have not been influenced in any way. 

BOOK REVIEW: The Nanny's Homecoming

The Nanny’s Homecoming

Linda Goodnight

Brooke Clayton has a broken heart. Not only that but her grandfather’s will has a surprise that has the potential of making her face her worst memory, not to mention having to live in the same small town as her not-so-loving, not-distant-enough relatives.

Gabe Wesson is used to challenges. A shrewd businessman, he is also a loving father in serious need of a nanny for his little son, A.J. Now that his new neighbor seems to be coming back to her home for good, it seems like his prayers have been answered.

If only there was not someone looking to make trouble for both of them.

The story of Gabe and Brooke is captivating. Gabe is manly and gentlemanly, and Brooke is just frail enough to be endearing, but also spunky enough in other aspects to make her likeable. Their story develops quite believably, and the twists and turns are nicely timed. Overall, this story is a very nice way to start a series, which is what this is going to be. You have enough mystery to have you wondering and hooked, and enough information to feel like you get to know the characters and care for them. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series!



A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for reviewing purposes. They opinions here stated are my own, and have not been influenced in any way. 

Done!

... And starting another one. This next one will be an image to frame...

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. :D our family is devout of her, so I'm doubly enjoying this work. While working, I can't help but meditate on Mary's role in the education of Jesus, and wonder if she sat embroidering his little shirts and tunics when he was small.


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Starting on the border

I'm crocheting the base for my border. And my brain is abuzz with so many things...

I worry about a friend whom I may have let down... You know who you are, and I know you will read this. Honey, I wish I had been right next to you to hold whoever made you mad so you could hit them. Seriously. Or better yet, I'd hit them. Hard. I'd put those boxing lessons from a decade ago to good use, I'd use every dirty trick I know and I'd go ballistic. If you knew me in college, you'd know I'd seriously do it. Just promise you'll pay my bail. Which brings me to the next item...

I try to plan a way to get out of debt... Ugh. Do you know anyone who is willing to donate $10 k to a third world mom so she can get out of the sinkhole? Oh, didn't think so, never mind...

At the same time, I'm considering how happy I feel about the way the choir has grown and thinking of stepping down as their director, because they need someone more capable and better prepared than yours truly. It's been a good two years. Yep. It has.

And I have the craziest feeling I'm at a major turning point in my life. Too bad these "bends in the road" - you darling Anne Shirley! - sometimes are freaking scary.

So I stop to say a prayer, then I sit down, thank my husband for reading my mood perfectly and putting the girls to bed after pouring me a beer, and in the quiet, I grab my hook and start doing something I CAN control... Sort of.

I'm winding down.


And I add everything up and you know what? My life is good. Really good. Thank God for it, and for all of you reading this, and for all the ones around me.

Life's really good. Even when it's not. Except if there's a zombie Apocalypse. Then it will suck unless Milla comes and kicks everyone's green decaying tushie and saves our hides.




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WIP progress

I'm almost done with this, one more side to go and then only the crochet border to go. Can you see the light drizzle of rain out the door? My favorite kind of day


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On the hoop!

How do you do? Thanks for all your kind comments! The family I made the cake for was delighted and the girl loved all the flowers.

I have several WIPs and this one had my attention this weekend. It needs two leaves and a forget-me-not blue detail and then I'll crochet a lacy border to go all around. :D

What are you up to?


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Cake, detail

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Cake for a First Communion

The request? Lots of flowers... I think that should be enough!


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If I could bottle this scent!

I bet I'd make millions! Wish you could smell it! It's homey and warm and it reminds me so much of Christmas!

And it's a looker too! Can hardly wait to serve it tonight!


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Early Father's Day celebration

Our family is getting together tonight for an early Father's day celebration. I am bringing this "cobbler" to the party: it has peach, plums, apples and cranberries, and I kind of cheated because the batter is pancake flour (aunt jemima) with extra eggs, vanilla and butter. Right now it's about to go into the oven!

Doesn't it look good? Do you take other shortcuts when making dishes like this?



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Teaser...

Care to guess what will this become? I'm happy as a kid designing these motifs!


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BOOK REVIEW: The Skin Map

Hello friends! I'm back for a book review... I've been reading a lot of books, and I'm about five reviews behind, so here goes the first...



The Skin Map

by Stephen R. Lawhead

Have you ever taken up a book that later you couldn’t put down? a  book with a story so strong it pulled you immediately and with characters so well developed you could really believe they were real?

Well, that is The Skin Map. It tells the story of Kit Livingstone, who lives an absolutely humdrum life. Even his relationship with his girlfriend Wilhelmina is dull. Then everything around his life gives a somersault and he is immersed in an incredible alternate reality that has him gasping and doubting. 

The Skin Map has a Sci-Fi /Fantasy feeling that feels like it’s tethering on steampunk but isn’t. I enjoyed all the details the author went into so much that I almost  didn’t write this review, just so I did not ruin the surprises in it for you.  

I almost cried out loud when it ended because I really wanted to keep on reading the story, to know what happens next (and having read it in my Kindle and paying no attention to the percentage of the book that had elapsed the ending came as quite a surprise) and it’s written as the first book of a series. I really want to read book number  two! Where will the twists take our heroes – and our villains? 


* A copy of this book was submited to me by Booksneeze for reviewing purposes only. The opinions here expressed are my own and not influenced in any way

Jasmine in my patio

I have only potted plants, and this jasmine is one of the first we got when we got married almost 6 years ago. This year it's blooming like crazy, the little thing!

Good morning everyone! Hope your day is full of good things and love!


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Chocolate cranberry cookies

From cake mix! I really love my Taste of Home Cookie Book! It has lots of ideas and wonderful recipes, and right now my house smells heavenly of these warm, gooey chocolate cookies!

Now I need a cup of coffee.


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Cake

Pale green on white, for a First Communion. Mocha flavored cake ;D


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Progress in my embroidery

Hello peeps!

Well, I've not only been reading. I've been crocheting a bit, beading some more, and embroidering. Here's what I've done so far. I'm about 75% done in this piece, and then I'm hemming it and doing a crochet border and framing it, because it's going to be a present!

See you around!





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BOOK REVIEW: Spring for Susanah



Spring for Susannah
by Catherine Richmond

Susannah Underhill has become a mail order bride shortly after both her parents passing away.  As she arrives at the station where her husband is supposed to meet her, this timid woman is everything but hopeful.  Enter Jesse Mason, her joyful, hardworking husband, who takes her into his home and his heart without hesitation.

This is a story of spiritual growth, of releasing doubt and trusting in the love of God and man, not to be confused by ingenuity. While the story develops, we can see the gradual and sometimes painful growth of Susannah, in her spiritual life, in her marriage, in her self-respect. The story is sad at points without being melodramatic, and is very nicely written. I enjoyed it, and was sad to see it come to an end. 

Then there’s story of the families around them and their impact in each other’s lives. Several nationalities show a different approach to the common troubles, and the characters are very believable and their struggles with the basic necessities are so well portrayed you feel you are right there with them, plowing away and holding on to each other.

I recommend this book to any who is interested in the era as well as the ones who struggle to believe that He has ordained every step we take in this world. Looking forward to reading more work by Catherine Richmond.

This book was provided to me by Booksneeze for reviewing purposes, and in no way I am obliged to give a positive review. The opinions here expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 

BOOK REVIEW: The Promise of an Angel

hello peeps!  how are you?

I'm fine, with a lot of adventures from the beach to tell but I will tell you a bit at a time. We had loads of fun! 

You must have noticed I've been posting book reviews. I really like doing this, because I rarely have friends here with whom to discuss books (well, my brother reads a lot too, but sometimes we don't read the same genre - he's into politics, I'm so definitely not!) So I'm taking advantage of Booksneeze and reading books for a review. This is fun and I am very glad that I'm left to my own devices in regards to the contents of my reviews, so if I really don't like  a book I don't have to write a possitive review! Anyhoyw, here's another book I got from Booksneeze




The Promise of an Angel

Following an accident at a barn raise, Judith sees and talks to whom she is convinced is an angel.  Soon that visit begins to bring trouble to Judith, who sees her credibility shattered, the man she hopes to marry drift away from her and towards her younger (and not as sensible) sister, and herself all but shunned from her Amish community. Still, Judith is certain that the promise he made will be fulfilled and will not go back on what she said just for the sake of getting along with her peers. She will find support in a very unlikely source: serious, hardworking Andrew.

I have to be honest. I found the first chapter a bit jarring, with everything happening all at once even before we had a chance to get to know our heroine. Then again, what she expects her family and friends to believe is nothing short of shocking, so I guess it is a good way to really get into the feeling of the story. Andrew and Judith are very well developed, Levi and Martha are more of a caricature of sorts. The rest of the characters (save the “Englischer” and Samuel) are more in the background. I’d like to have known Andrew’s parents better, and I hope I get to in further books. Overall, a very nice story that makes you care for Judith and Andrew. I’d recommend it.

This book was provided by Booksneeze for reviewing purposes. The opinions and commentaries are my own and in no way influenced by anyone

See you around!

Cougar Crossing

Hello there!

Isn't this sign peculiar? Well, for me it was. I'm used to the "cattle crossing" and "people crossing" signs, but it is unusual for me to be in cougar territory. Despite living in a very small town, in what constitutes the continuation of the Rockies (we call it Sierra Madre) there really is too much traffic for these magnificent -and terrifying- creatures to prowl around at ease. The road in which I saw this sign is also peppered with wild boar, armadillo, snake, coyote and badger crossing signs. It is a brand new road, not a year old yet and hunting is not permitted in the region, so there you go.

There are a lot more cougar signs than any other, and I only saw one Cattle sign. Do you suppose that's the reason they advice you against taking this road after dusk?

The beach on the other end of the road is fantastic, by the way!


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Beyond all measure


BOOK REVIEW


Beyond all measure
 by Dorothy Love

Sometimes, all you need in the middle of turmoil is to trust.  Ada Wentworth had her whole world upended: a broken engagement, his father’s business failing and then his death force her to leave her home and seek a future first taking a position looking after an  elderly lady, and with plans to establish a millinery business to support herself. Things rarely work out as we planned them. 

I really liked this book. It carries the several threads evenly throughout the story, so the events happening later in the book don’t seem forced but rather a natural consequence.  The pacing is even;  the characters have depth  and seem real – enough faults to make them believable but not so as to be caricatures.  I rather liked the role of Bea, but I don’t want to give out any spoilers!

It is always nice to know more about how the major historical events affect the everyday aspects of a community. You know Dorothy Love pays attention to accuracy (even when she takes minor liberties for the sake of the story) and that is something I really appreciate when reading.

Wyatt’s  and Ada’s  relationship with God and with each other developed nicely. She’s sweet and  afraid but you have to admire her determination. Wyatt is just the kind of hero I like, a wholesome man with lots of character!

Overall, this is one of those books that inspire and leave you with a good feeling once you finish reading them, and make you want to read more about the people and the town of Hickory Ridge.

I was provided with a copy of this book by Booksneeze.com for reviewing purposes. The opinions here expressed are my own.

Of Jules Verne and childhood memories

Greetings, my esteemed friends

how fare thee?

No, peeps, I've not gone crazy. (well, some would say that is debatable but let's not listen to them, shall we?) I just had a long chat with one of my brothers about steampunk. Which led inevitably to Jules Verne.

I love all Jules Verne's books. I guess I was the only kid in fourth grade who had already read Around the world in 80 days and 20,000 leagues under the sea.

I was the only kid who read during recess too, so...

Daydreaming about being a character  in the books was a favourite kind of game for me. I was always a new character, interacting and altering the scenes, and The Misterious Island was the one I liked most for play. It had it all! (spoiler  alert! If you haven't read it - and why haven't you? - please ignore the next paragraph)

Isn't this cover thrilling???


Ayrton and Cyrus and the gang were wholesome men (and woman), despite their flaws, and Captain Nemo was a figure of mythical proportions in my childish eyes. The events leading to their escape and consecuent stranding in the island bore no interest to me then, but as I've grown to understand them better, it speaks volumes of the character of the men involved.

I was a fan of Jules Verne before I even read L. M. Montgomery or Jane Austen, or even my beloved JRR Tolkien , and the love of his inventive and narrative has remained  with me.

Now excuse me if I go read one of his books. It's been too long.

I'm so proud!!!

Five schools in Mexico participated in Kid Witness News, only five in the whole country!  two of them from Mexico DF (largest city in the country) two from Monterrey (third largest in the country) and one from my hometown. Little, 25,000 population. Way far behind Monterrey (3.7 million inhabitants) and not even close to DF  (107 million plus inhabitants).

I'm so proud of these kids! I went to the school they study at!

Check out the video here! it has subtitles in English

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l53-Dyp_PKs

It won first place in Universal Vision. :D


Oh, and the nervous woman in black who won't look at the camera? the one at the café?

That's yours truly

teee-hee!

Ask Sister Mary Martha: Via de Pope

Ask Sister Mary Martha: Via de Pope

Rejoice in the Lord is what I think when I read Sister Mary Martha!

;D

A brief note and a shop I discovered!

Hello peeps! how are you?

How am I, you say? well, I'm a bundle of nerves! Many of you know I'm Catholic, and a few know I  am a choir director in our local Church. (there are several choirs per church here!) But now I've had to add another title to that. As of tomorrow, I'll be a lecturer in the Lent Meditation excersices in our Church.

THAT's why I'm a bunde of nerves.

I have my meditation printed, backup-ed, revised and studied. Still, I cannot shake the anticipation and the headaches and the nerves. If you are so kind, please pray tomorrow for me and for the poor youth who will be subject of my efforts! I am praying with all I have in my so that the Holy Spirit takes over me and acts, because if I'm left to my own devices, I'm sure to panic and run! LOL!

oh and while I was researching a bit I ran across a blog and the blog owner's Etsy shop... and I loved it!!!! please go visit it! and recomend it  to your catholic friends!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/heavenhelpus?ref=pr_shop_more

and the shop owners blog: http://asksistermarymartha.blogspot.com/

Mexican Conchitas

Behold the finished product!!! Right now they are warm from the oven and the aromas of cinnamon and almonds are mouthwatering! Tonight we will have some with coffee or hot cocoa!

Have any of you tasted this bread?

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Baking with fresh eggs

Makes all the difference in the world! I'm gonna make some mexican bread called "conchitas" (seashells) with these little plump suns! Show you photos later, ok?

Oh and HI EVERYONE!!!!

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