Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best Memoir I've Read in a Long Time

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber.
This good natured and upbeat author’s memoir of an academic year spent studying at Oxford University in England is a high point of my reading this year.
As I read this outstanding memoir I also read a different memoir by a well known restaurant owner and chef, and found that I read the chef's tale of nasty vignettes quickly, longing to escape, and in contrast I carefully and happily read the spiritual memoir "Surprised by Oxford." The chef's tale was riveting and repugnant yet this other story, written by Carolyn Meyer, of her upward climb toward a joyful relationship with God and church members made my days brighter as I read it.
Wow! The author shares her unexpected journey toward becoming a Christian while what she was seeking at Oxford was a more comfortable year of academic learning. Weber meets many people, some of them Christians, who all play a part in her transformation. The most intriguing of these people she calls TDH in her memoir, which stands for Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Read this book to find out what the delightful “fish walk” in Oxford is.
Weber includes snippets of poetry and Scripture which I added to my list of favorite quotations.
One quote she includes here that is new to me that I love is by Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. “I pray, O master, that the flames of hell may not touch me or any of those whom I love. And even that they may never touch anyone. (And I know, my God, that you will forgive this bold prayer).”
Weber’s friend Rachel explained to her that she chose her home church because the gospel was taught with all due respect and it was apparent that the congregation was having fun. Those are two criteria I use myself.
Reading this memoir is like inhaling a fresh breeze; I inhaled it deeply and felt it is cleansing.
Thank you to Booksneeze for provide this book to review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sadie Mae travels the USA

Yes, Sadie Mae, the Traveling Friendship Bag, is traveling across the USA and having adventures galore. As you can see from the photo she is right purty.
Janelle at is allowing me to use the photo she used on her blog, so you can see Sadie Mae.

While here in California with me, she went on a walk along the Pacific Ocean and saw waves crashing on shore, pelicans flying along the coast, sea otters floating on their backs in the kelp beds and a statue of a surfer that looks out toward Hawaii.
She has been in Florida, Michigan, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Ohio and California thus far, and has been sight seeing in more states than many people have, I am sure. I read on one blog that Sadie was dangerously close to an alligator!
The blog friend who started this Sadie Mae fun is Cindy at

Saturday, September 10, 2011

new review of Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts

Susanne Lakin posted this insightful review of my book on Amazon, and I want to share it with you here. Susanne writes Christian fairy tales / fantasy under the name C.S. Lakin.
Here is the review of "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts" she wrote and published on Amazon today.

"This delightful, creative gift book is chock full of personal memories, thoughts about Christmas, recipes, anecdotes, traditions, and Scripture. Some of the simple stories and verses brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. I read this book in August--as far from the Christmas holiday as could be, yet I found it worked a wonderful magic in my heart, centering me in reminder that the spirit of Christ is something we need to consider and let live in us each day of the year.

This is a terrific book to give as a gift to just about anyone. The scrapbook theme and layout makes it perfect for picking up and reading just a few pages at a time. Every home should have a copy sitting out on their coffee table year-round!"

Monday, September 5, 2011

This and That at our house

Originally uploaded by lauren michell

This and That

Some odds and ends from what’s going on at my house.
I am writing a book full of mom tips – soon to be published, I hope. More later when I have the contract in my hot little hands.

The marauding squirrel has returned, sorry to report. He (she?) dug up a pepper plant from our garden and it looked pretty dead, but I replanted it and watered it. The squirrel again dug up the pepper plant and left it a foot away in the dirt. Tis truly dead this time.

I feel like a pioneer woman when I harvest potatoes from our garden. This final batch of Yellow Finn organic heirloom potatoes was grown in a five gallon pail, in the “pail method” which I describe in an earlier post. My husband grilled steak outside and I dug up some taters. These are good boiled or thick sliced and cooked in olive oil.

My hubby and I watched a movie “The Conspirator” and found it fascinating, as Mary Surratt is on trial in a military court for involvement in the assassination of President Lincoln. Will she hang? I won’t say here, but wow, her lawyer was a brave man to defend her.