Kid Pics


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Baby Toes!!

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Uncle is not the only one who likes to hold the new baby.

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Below: We took advantage of the glorious fall weather to go on a golf cart ride:

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Uncle with his youngest 조카, joka, Korean for sibling’s child, basically, so it works for niece or nephew.  As it happens, this is a niece.  But there aren’t any nephews younger than she, either.  She is the current macknae or youngest of all the grands.

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Lost Another Hen

A raccoon got another hen today.  Raccoons, as I have said before, are the orcs of the animal kingdom. They take off the chicken’s head, and leave the body behind.  I don’t know why.  I don’t really care why.  I just hate it.

This brings the boy’s original flock of sixty down to 20 in the course of about six months.

It makes me sick.

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Single customer wins shoot-out against four armed robbers.

The real banned books:

After the US entered a military alliance with the Soviet dictatorship in December 1941, Harper & Brothers’ Cass Canfield (left) called back already distributed review copies of Trotsky’s biography of Stalin and later withdrew My Year in the USSR by New York Times correspondent G. E. R. Gedye. Doubleday, Doran canceled the spring 1942 publication of One Who Survived, the reminiscences of ex-Soviet diplomat and military officer Alexander Barmine. Random House’s Bennett Cerf (right) proposed that the American publishing industry withdraw from sale all books critical of the Soviet Union. None were published until after the war ended.

It is curious feature of Banned Books Week, which came and went at the end of September, that its focus is exclusively fiction, and that much of what is protested are challenges, not actual bans, to “educators” who assign sexually explicit ephemera to high school students instead of English literature.

Read it all.  It’s pretty shocking.

Declining to hear same-sex marriage cases, the Surpreme Court made it legal in five new states.

Another school-board bails on Michelle Obama’s weird and unappetizing food rules (no salt on pretzels?), comparing the rules she wrote for the nation’s children- even though she has zero education in nutrition- with the food her kids get at their private school (cheese tortellini with marina and pesto sauce).

An investigative reporter whose private files were illegally seized during a raid on her home will receive $50,000 as part of a settlement with the Department of Homeland Security.

Explosion at a nuclear site in Iran.

Researcher who discovered Ebola fears a terrible tragedy is in our future.

A nurse in Madrid is the first known case of Ebola transmission outside of AFrica.

House oversight committee looks at jail time for Holder.


U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is lying about her support for the state’s coal industry according to Kentucky Democrats, including members of her campaign team, who were captured on a hidden camera video.

ISIS in Syrian town, faces off with Turkish tanks at the border.

British woman has been held in an Iranian prison for 100 days- her crime was trying to watch a men’s volleyball game.

NHS chief warns of 75 pounds a night fees for hospital beds.

28 bodies found in secret grave in Mexico- the Mexican police are suspected, as they recently clashed with student protestors in the area.

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Apple Almond Butter ‘Sandwich’

So on Pinterest I found this cute idea for a ‘sandwich’ made by slicing the top and bottom of a cored apple and then spreading almond butter between the two slices and voila. Cute.
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I got out my apple corer and a good honeycrisp apple.  I made myself a ‘sandwich.’

And then I decided it was twice as simple to just slice my apple into wedges and dip them in almond butter.


My plate?  Courtesy Doug and Melissa (we have an affiliate link for them over in the right sidebar). It’s very popular with the grandkids, as is the butterfly plate in a similar set.

SunButter Organic Sunflower Seed Spread, 16-Ounce Plastic Jars (Pack of 6)

You can also use SunButter Organic Sunflower Seed Spread, which has no other additives or sweeteners

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Free4Kindle; Books galore

I hit publish before I was done with this post, but decided to leave it up anyway. Check back later to see what other books I find to add!

These are all affiliate links, yo.


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Organization The Simple Way: The Minimalist Guide to Home Organization and Stress Management (Stress Relief, minimalism, Organization, Minimalist Living, … the Home, stress, stress management)

Reader Review: As a reader, I so enjoyed the simplicity and economy of words that Victory uses to describe a lifestyle that will provide relief from stress and organization to your home and life overall.

I personally know this author and can attest to his adherence to “what he preaches”, Mr. Victory lives his life practicing the tools he shares with his readers.

Take the time to read his guide and be assured that you will see results, relief from daily stresses and enjoy a simpler lifestyle.
–D.G. Smeall, author of Com-PEN-Di-Um

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Janette Oke’s Once Upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart Book #1)

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Natural Green Cleaning: How To Organize, Clean, And Keep Your Home Spotless Without Toxic Cleaners

Reader Review: I have been experimenting with homemade cleaners for a while, so this looked like a fun book that could expand my knowledge. Wow. The number of recipes in this book for cleaning is staggering! I’ve already tried a bunch of them and I love them. As with all the homemade cleaners I use, these are non-toxic, inexpensive, safe, and totally effective. But this book goes much further. The book actually provides a cleaning “plan,” so to speak, including which areas of your home to focus on daily, weekly, monthly, and so forth. The plan makes a lot of sense, and I can see how it will make my cleaning much more efficient! Highly recommended for the busy person who is looking for DIY safe solutions.

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Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us

“We often think that grace enters the Bible when Jesus appeared. However, Preston shows us that within the pages of the confusing, sometimes bizarre, and often war-filled pages of the Old Testament, there is heaps and heaps of grace. And the more we look, the more grace we see—grace that melts our hearts in worship of our God who shows His overwhelming, mind-blowing, over-the-top amazing grace from Eden to the New Jerusalem.”
Dan Kimball, Leadership, Mission and Teaching at Vintage Faith Church, and author of Adventures in Churchland

“A book on grace with the power to liberate us from the weight of works and requirements and do-goodisms that have plagued Christians for far too long. Every page is bursting with freedom. Finally, a grace-filled book on grace!”
Jonathan Merritt, author of Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined

“Preston Sprinkle writes a book on grace that is long overdue. Christians love to talk about grace and we name our churches Grace, but grace like God’s is in desperately short supply. Sprinkle frees us to live in God’s grace as Jesus embodied it. That kind of grace is unnerving, and for the most part, unprecedented in the Christianity most of us know. Charis is a must-read for every pastor, student, leader … and anyone who has walked through the doors of a church and felt inadequate, judged, unworthy, or unspiritual. Preston brilliantly reminds us that God no longer sees you as the failed one, the messed up one. Because the kind of grace Sprinkle writes about changes it all, and God only sees you as precious and priceless. So much so that like a tattoo, your name is written on the hands of God. This is what makes Charis a game changer for all of us.”
Palmer Chinchen, PhD, cultural artist and author of True Religion and The Barefoot Tribe
A Look at Grace from a Most Surprising Perspective – The Old Testament

Grace. We want to domesticate it, calm it down, and stuff it into a blue blazer and a pair of khakis. But biblical grace – or charis – doesn’t like to settle down. Grace is a dangerous topic because the Bible is a dangerous book.

Charis flows from the Preston Sprinkle’s half dozen years teaching the Old Testament to college students. You might think that would produce a book about judgment – but no way. He shows how every character, every event, every single page from the Old Testament bleeds with grace.

Take a journey into Charis – where harlots are hugged, enemies are enjoyed, and really bad people receive really good things from a Creator who stubbornly delights in undelightful people … like us.

Preston Sprinkle (PhD, MDiv) is the director of Eternity Bible College’s extension site in Boise, Idaho. He co-authored the New York Times bestselling Erasing Hell with Francis Chan and is the author of the recently published Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence. He resides in Idaho with his wife and four children.

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Startup Stories: Lessons Learned from a Startup’s Launch, Grind, and Growth

Blurb: This book is for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting something. Thinking about starting your own company? Curious about what startup life is really like? Looking to commiserate over the brutality that is the road called entrepreneurship? This book is for you.

In Startup Stories, serial entrepreneur Jordan Raynor gives an honest look at what it takes to launch a company, grind through startup life, and grow a business from the ground up. Using stories from his most recent endeavor (Citizinvestor – the largest crowdfunding platform for government projects in the U.S., currently valued at $3,500,000), Jordan shares a series of lessons that are critical for any entrepreneur to learn. In this short book, you’ll hear Jordan share stories about:

How he met his “startup spouse” and learned what makes a great business partnership

Why his team wrote stories about their product before registering a domain name or hiring a developer

Raising capital from Silicon Valley and friends and family

The wild emotional roller coaster ride startups put you through

How he gets meetings with amazing people simply by having the audacity to ask

How to be content regardless of the success or failure of your startup

This won’t feel like another “how to” book. Raynor’s casual style will make you feel as if the two of you are swapping stories over your favorite cup of coffee. If you’ve ever been interested in starting something, you’ll want to start reading Startup Stories today.

An excerpt from Startup Stories:

In a few minutes, I was to take the stage following an amazing “fireside chat” with Chris Hughes, a Co-founder of Facebook and the leader of the Obama campaign’s historic “My Barack Obama” social network. If that wasn’t cool enough, the rest of the lineup of speakers at the event included the CEOs of The New York Times, The Guardian, and Tumblr; the CTO of; a General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz, and a former United States Senator.

And then there was me, Jordan Raynor, a Co- founder of a company no one could properly pronounce. To say I was out of my league would be an epic understatement. As a friend of mine said to me a few days before the speech, “Dude, I think you’re great and all, but you have no business being on that stage.”

My friend was right. So how did this happen?

Mostly through grace. In my short career as an entrepreneur, I have been blessed immeasurably with amazing opportunities I did not earn or deserve. But as I inched closer to the edge of my seat, ready to charge the podium, I couldn’t help but think that one of the reasons I was there was because the team at our young startup had decided to solve a real problem.

By focusing on a problem of such great importance, we have gained access to more amazing people and opportunities in two years than most people get in a lifetime. We have been invited to The White House to talk about what implications crowdfunding might have on the federal government; we were featured alongside a movie with Matt Damon; we were flown to France to address the Council of Europe; we had tea with the Lieutenant Governor of California. Even if Citizinvestor were to fail, the experiences we have had along the way would have made it all worthwhile. I believe these experiences are a direct result of us tackling a significant problem.

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How to Sell on Etsy With Pinterest – Selling on Etsy Made Ridiculously Easy

Blurb: “How to Sell on Etsy With Pinterest – Selling on Etsy Made Ridiculously Easy” is a no-nonsense guide to help Etsy sellers navigate this popular, but somewhat confusing social network.

Are you an Etsy seller?

Have you been told like a bazillion times that you SHOULD be on Pinterest…but have no idea how to market your creations on this super-popular social network?

Don’t know your pinboard from your pins?

Well…worry not, intrepid Etsian! Because Charles Huff is to the rescue with this new tome chock-full of Etsy Pinterest marketing awesomeness.

In “How to Sell on Etsy With Pinterest,” you’ll learn:

Chapter 1 – A Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest – here’s where we go over the nuts-and-bolts of Pinterest. (And how to put it to work for your Etsy marketing efforts.)

Chapter 2 – Creating a Cool Pinterest Account – This is where we soup up your Pinterest profile full of SEO keywords, and attractive profile pics, to make it attractive, enticing and highly visible to them good old search engines.

Chapter 3 – The Ultimate Pinterest Content Toolbox – Here’s where I pull back the curtain on the (mostly) free tools I use to create delicious pin-worthy content to put on your boards.

Chapter 4 – How to Become a PinBoard Expert – Here’s where it all comes together. We map out a strategy for your pinboards, and how to use them to maximum effect to attract new customers.

Chapter 5 – How, What, Where and When of Pinterest Pinning – Ah, yes..the pin. This is where we go over the nitty-gritty of the perfectly optimized pin.

Chapter 6 – 5 Ways to Hundreds of Follwers in No Time – There’s an art to getting tons of Pinterest followers and in this chapter we show you the techniques behind adding members of the Pinterest community to your customer base.

Chapter 7 – Zen and the Art of the Pinterest Contest – In this chapter we talk about that most effective, but somewhat confusing, marketing technique called the Pinterest contest. (And how best to use it to boost your bottom line.)

So, no matter your experience level — or technical know-how — grab a copy of How to Sell on Etsy With Pinterest – Selling on Etsy Made Ridiculously Easy Vol.2 and turn those pins into actual sales…today!

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The Movement: A Children’s Story for Grown-ups

Blurb: “We were made… then we were left.” – The Other

The Movement: A Children’s Story for Grown-ups is the tale of a little clockwork man and his search for the Maker and the cruel joke. Told by the narrator in a ‘sitting around the fireplace enjoying a warm cup of cocoa’ sort of way, the reader embarks on a journey through a wondrous land inhabited by wondrous creatures. Yet, the reader soon discovers that the wonder of these creatures is blanketed in a thick comforter of despair brought on by the cruelty of the joke.

Curl up in a comfy chair. dear Reader – cocoa and cookies at the ready – and embark on this whimsical tale of discovery. And – if I may dare to speak? – who knows what you may discover…

For the child in all of us
- D

Compared to:
C.S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia
Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress
The Wizard of Oz and Disney

Reader REview: This book was truly Inspired. You know the story but you haven’t heard it this way before. When you come to it with the perspective of a child, it makes more sense. If you ever wondered what would happen if C.S. Lewis met Lewis Carroll, or even if you haven’t, then you’ll want to pick up this book.

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Lose The Wheat Belly: Wheat/Gluten Free Recipes To Achieve Optimal Health

Reader review: With a son allergic to gluten, I am always looking for new recipes to make. This book has many creative and original recipes like the baked egg in portobello mushroom or ricotta kale sweet potatoes and the snow pudding. Each recipe has a picture and are easy to make. I made the putanesca in the oven recipe and it was simply delicious.

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30 Delicious Dump Cake Recipes

Blurb: Dump Cakes are amazing cobbler desserts. In fact Dump Cakes combine the four qualities of the perfect dessert: Simple, Quick, Incredibly Delicious and Fun.

They are really simple to make and use fruit, spices, cake mix and butter. They are quick to make. The preparation time for a Dump Cake is 5 to 10 minutes. Baking is an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour. Delicious? A warm piece of Dump Cake cobbler with a scoop of ice cream melting over a buttery cake and mingling with vanilla and cinnamon and other spices is one of the most delicious desserts you can eat.

Finally making a Dump Cake is fun for both adults and kids. You dump fruit, spices, a layer of dry cake mix and pats of butter. Baking one of these wonderful cakes is a great project for the entire family.
Pick up a copy of this book and enjoy the wonderful world of Dump Cake cobbler desserts. You won’t regret it.

Here are just a few of the Dump Cake recipes you’ll find in this book:
• Apple Dump Cake
• Apple Blueberry Dump Cake
• Apple Peach Dump Cake
• Black Forest Dump Cake
• Blueberry Dump Cake
• Blueberry Peach Dump Cake
• Cherry Dump Cake
• Cherry Peach Dump Cake
• Chocolate Berry Dump Cake
• Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake
• Granny’s Apple Dump Cake
• Holiday Dump Cake
• Lemon Blueberry Dump Cake
• Lemon Raspberry Dump Cake
• Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake
• Raspberry Dump Cake
• Rhubarb Dump Cake
• Spicy Apple Dump Cake
• Strawberry Devil’s Food Dump Cake
• Sweet Peach Dump Cake

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Nature’s Patterns – Nature Photo Essay (Nature Book for Children and Adults)

Best with color device.

4 star review: The Kindle book has a fully interactive table of contents, which links to each image. Some images are spectacular, while the rest are of acceptable reasonably high quality. There are only a couple of images that don’t look as good as they should on my HD screen. Considering the quality of most similar offerings, this is a ringing endorsement.

The commentary ranges from nearly poetic imagery, to insightful observations, to a couple of instances of merely stating the obvious. Aside from a handful of minor errors (mostly to do with verb agreement), the text is well written and grammatically correct. Again, compared to other Kindle books I’ve seen, this one is well above the rest.

Overall, this is quite a nice compilation of images, which will likely start your child exploring nature to observe patterns for themselves. It’s also a very pretty book to simply leaf through, for adults as well as kids. If this type of book is of interest, I highly recommend it.

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Tea at Downton – Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey (Downton Abbey Tea Books)

Blurb; *** #1 Best Seller in Brunch & Tea as well as Coffee & Tea ***

Come rain or shine in Edwardian England, everything stopped for tea. Downton Abbey was no different.

But what would our beloved Crawley household have eaten at their sacred 4 o’clock institution?

In “Tea at Downton – Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey” we share some recipes from the golden age of England. At the height of the power of the British Empire, Mrs Patmore would have every possible kind of delicious ingredients to draw from.

In this concise book you’ll learn:

• Step by step through how to throw the perfect tea party – Downton Style. From the etiquette behind how to hold one’s tea cup correctly to the recipe for the favourite sandwich of Queen Alexandra of the time.
• Wow all of your friends with these simple to follow authentic recipes, and be sure even the Dowager Duchess would be impressed by your social graces.
• From the bottom tier sandwiches to the elegant cakes of the top tier, we cover it all. Not forgetting of course the perfect scone recipe and its accompanying jams.
• Follow the ways Mrs Patmore would have planned her menus to keep spending to minimum and you too can enjoy a most delightful repast for just a few shilling!

So, what are you waiting for? Carson has opened the door to let you in. Let’s see what’s for tea….

Scroll up and get your copy of “Tea at Downton – Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey”. You’ll be glad you did!

Reader Review: Another Downton Abbeysplotation or a really good tea recipe book? July 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So, which is it? Eh, it may be a bit of both. Yes. Of COURSE I clicked on it because I couldn’t resist Downton Abbey in all its drama, costumey goodness and British miniseries excellence. So I came for the Brit costume drama and I stayed for the food. But is it all that?

This book has a section on the history of the tea custom (The Duchess of Bedford, who in my opinion should be canonized, couldn’t make it to the 10 o’clock formal dinner and ordered tea and little bits of things sent up to her chambers to tide her over the long fast between luncheon and dinner.) The tea section is unfortunately too abbreviated. Yes, there is a discussion of “orange pekoe” –the entire top two leaves of the tea plant, and a brief mention of China, but to be accurate, you should learn about “India or China” meaning being asked if you want Chinese tea, like Keemun or Prince of Wales, or if you want Indian tea (Assam, Darjeeling.) A short discussion of CTC tea (the coarser type of tea you serve to the staff below and frankly, enjoy yourself on a miserable wet day.) I won’t knock off a star because there are plenty of tea books but I thought it was a bit skimpy of the author to omit this because it was customary to ask the preference of the guests.

The real value of this book is in the recipes for the things-to-go-with-tea, such as several kinds of salmon sandwiches (I like the smoked salmon and dill) and some great chicken sandwiches, one with poached chicken and flavored butter that is like eating Liberty velvet. Surprisingly, no tomato sandwich or cucumber or watercress. These are classic. I like tomato sandwiches. You butter and slice your homemade white loaf very thinly, adding a lashing of Marmite if you are of that ilk, and then layer thin, thin slices of peeled fresh tomato, very lightly salted with a pinch of Celtic grey salt. Butter (and Marmite) the bread loaf and slice your second slice. Press it down on the tomato and cut off the crust and cut into triangles. Trust me on this one. This is frequently a default winter dinner with a cup of very strong Assam tea when I just don’t feel like making a dinner but want something soothing with a hot cup of tea.

The sweets include some traditional things, scones, Eccles cakes, Parkin, rock cakes, Chelsea buns. Good instructions on making pate brisee, which is useful for any sort of sweet tart–it’s like a sugar cookie crust. However, there is no seed cake (a pound cake with caraway, very commonly served), Dundee Cake (raisin and currant-filled fruit cake topped with royal icing and almond paste) nor pink sugar cakes. And no discussion of toast, though there are jam recipes.

Summary: spotty and incomplete book on the art of British tea, but has some good recipes.

DHM: This is my personal favorite from my own collection: The Afternoon Tea Book

I bought it ages ago, and we’ve made a few of the sandwiches over the years, as well as the scones. Mmm.

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Organic Square Foot Gardening: Learn The Secrets of Growing Organic Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Less Space (Square Foot Gardening – Your Beginners Guide to Building the Perfect Garden Oasis)



With this book you will learn all about organic square foot gardening! Rapidly becoming one of the more popular methods of gardening not only in America but in the world, organic square foot gardening allows you to keep a supply of crops and vegetables in your home, takes up much less space and maintenance time than a larger, more traditional garden.

In this book, you will learn:

1. What is organic square foot gardening? That’s the very first question answered in this book!

2. How can you build a square foot garden in your home or property with your own resources? An entire chapter in this book is dedicated just to the specifics of that!

3. How big is an organic square foot garden and how can I take care of it? There are many different sizes of square foot gardens and they’re all answered within this book!

4. What are all of the different types of plants that you can put in a square foot garden? As you’ll find out, the different types of plants and crops that you can put in a square foot garden vary entirely by season, and we’ll go exactly into the reasons why.

5. Seeds? Of course, planting seeds is the most vital element of any garden. This book will go into how you can properly care and store for seeds, as well as how to properly plant them in an organic square foot garden for the most beautiful plants.

6. Is organic square foot gardening the right option for me? If you are worried about the cons of organic square foot gardening, an entire chapter of this book will weigh the advantages vs. the disadvantages and discuss them in detail.

7. What are some less known tips about organic square foot gardening? We’ve got that covered as well!

Reader review: This is an excellent book that gives great tips on how to put up an organic vegetable garden in a small area. It shows how different plants are cultivated and optimal conditions for best results. I have read the book and found it very useful. I have already put up a garden in my backyard and planted flowers which are doing very well.

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Warren Wiersbe’s Be Patient (Job): Waiting On God in Difficult Times (The BE Series Commentary)

I first read one of his commentaries in college. It was the one on James, called Be Mature (James): Growing Up in Christ (The BE Series Commentary)

Changed my life, I think. That may just be because of where I was and who I was at that time, and maybe it wouldn’t be the same if I read it today, but I gained a lot from it.

Blurb; Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Warren W. Wiersbe tackles this question as he explores the life of Job in his commentary Be Patient. Through Job’s story, we are reminded of God’s sovereignty and encouraged to endure the suffering in our own lives.

In a single day, Job’s wealth was plundered, his ten children were killed, and his health was taken. His friends judged him and his wife did not stand by her man. But Job held on to his trust in Almighty God—a Father who is always good and always faithful. In addition to restoring his wealth and relationships, God gave Job a much greater blessing: a deeper knowledge of Himself and His ways.

reader revirew:”Be Patient” is another title in the “Be” series by Warren Wiersbe. This particular title focuses on the Book of Job and the main characters (besides God and the devil) are: Job, four men who attempted to comfort him at first but ended up rebuking him (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu).

Job’s “comforters” attempted to label his circumstances (bad health, losing his kids and property, etc.) as a result of his sin. Those who read the Book of Job know otherwise – sometimes we suffer because of life in general and not because of our own sin. In the end, God vindicates Job and is critical of his “comforters”.

Wiersbe summarizes the Book of Job for the reader and offers his explanations which seem to be biblically-based. The book is a good read and the narrrative flows smoothly. Contrary to an earlier reveiwer, I did not get the impression that Wiersbe was giving “pat” answers to Job’s situation without any sympathy. Quite the contrary, Wiersbe has served in the ministry in various roles and I imagine he has sympathized with and supported people during their own personal trials.

Read, enjoy, and be encouraged! Recommended.

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My husband’s lunch: Cabbage Rolls

2014-10-02 21.21.58To the left is a recent lunch my husband had, created anew from dinner’s leftovers.

The other night we had spaghetti and sausage (grassfed, delicious sausage from Tropical Traditions) for dinner, along with some rolls (not for me). Since I’m doing Whole30, I had mine over some cabbage cut into strips and then sauteed with mushrooms.

The sauce was pretty basic-  a can of fireroasted tomatoes with no strange ingredients, a can of tomato paste, basil, oregano, and some tomatoes from my eldest daughter’s garden tossed in at the last minute.  I used my immersion or stick blender to give it all a good whirl.  Added some garlic.  Stirred in the already browned sausage.  The others had Parmesan cheese over theirs.  I had sesame seeds and celtic sea salt.
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So I was cleaning the kitchen and noticed that there was not enough spaghetti for him to have it for lunch again.  But I had cabbage and mushrooms already out, and there was that sauce.

I boiled some couscous in the same pan I’d cooked my cabbage and mushrooms in (which was hte same pan I cooked the spaghetti in).  I put a steamer basket on top and put three or four large cabbage leaves in the top so they were softening while the couscous cooked.

Couscous is a pasta, tiny, tiny nibbins of pasta, and it cooks in five minutes.  While it cooked I grated some raw cheddar cheese and mixed it up with the leftover cabbage and mushrooms, added some pepper flakes and paprika and a spoonful of the spaghetti sauce to moisten.  I stirred in the couscous.  Then I spooned the couscous mixture down the center of the cabbage leaves, rolled them, and put them in his lunch container, repeating until the maindish portion was full.  Then I ladeled the rest of the sauce over the top.  I also sprinkled it with more red pepper flakes, but that picture did not turn out:

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Also served: baby spinach and kale salad with cherry tomatoes, dressing.

Two rolls (the container they are in a styrofoam cup I cut down to fit in the lunch container)

Frozen mango cubes.

He pronounced it good, but filling and said he could probably have eaten half the number of cabbage rolls I put in there.

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Kindle Titles: Deals and Freebies


Housekeeping and disclosures:


  • Books are free or marked down as listed at time of listing, but this can change without notice. Doublecheck.
  • If you click a link and it doesn’t finish loading, just hit refresh. Sometimes the page just kind of hangs for some reason, I am not sure why.
  • If I don’t say, “I loved this book” or “I read this,” Or something along those lines, I haven’t read the book. I haven’t read most of these. I’m just your book bird-dog, sniffing up potential good reads.
  • I use various search methods to come up with titles. Then I read the blurbs, a couple of the best and worst of the reviews, and sometimes scan the free pages.
  • I end up *not* posting more books than I post because I screen out so many this way.
  • Affiliate links: If you click on one of the links and buy something else while you are at Amazon, I will get somewhere between 4 and 7.5 percent of what you spend, unless you are buying penny books. I don’t get anything for those for obvious reasons.
  • You don’t need a Kindle to download and read these.  Scroll down to the bottom of the post for more information on ways and means of filling up your life with more Kindle books than you can shake a stick at.  Why you would want to shake a stick at them, I don’t know, that’s just what Grandma G used to say.

books border black and white1.99: Pearl S. Buck’s Peony: A Novel of China Buck is one of the best authors of stories about China that you will find anywhere.

1.99, Jack Finney’s novel Time and Again Delightful story of time travel, one of the best.

1.99 Leon Uris’s – Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin

1.99 for Dorothy Sayer’s Gaudy Night (The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries Book 12)- Lord Peter, need I saw more?

1.99, James Grady, Six Days of the Condor- espionage, suspense.

1.99, Donald Westlake- The Hot Rock: A Dortmunder Novel (Book One) (The Dortmunder Novels 1) American whodunnit, Westlake is always funny, often irreverent, classic big caper fiction with panache and grins.

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Healthy Habits: 9 Biblical Principles to Help You Lose Weight and Get Rid of Debt

Just 40 pages

Reader Review: Full disclosure: Amy is my mother-in-law

I enjoyed this short book and found it to be full of biblical truth and helpful illustrations and stories. Given the relatively short length it didn’t go into great detail. However, it’s full of practical applications and challenges to help you own up to your own sin and repent and change your life. She does a good job connecting overeating with overspending and this book would be helpful for the many, many people that struggle in those areas.

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Kill The Clutter 2 Pack: Includes Kill the Clutter and How to Organize Small Spaces

Contains Amazon Bestselling Home Organization Books

Kill the Clutter 2-Pack is a combo pack that will help you organize your home and keep it that way.

Kill the Clutter and How to Organize Small Spaces by Heather Lane are practical step-by-step guides that focuses from room to room to help you to develop efficient methods to declutter your home and keep it clean without feeling overwhelmed, even in small spaces.

If you would like to organize your home and life without feeling completely overwhelmed with where to start, this combo book pack is for you.

Every page in these books are right to the point to help you take action and make a difference you and your family and friends can immediately see.

Don’t let a smaller area make you feel cramped.

You can make a difference today.


Kill the Clutter: Organize Your Home and Keep it That Way

How to Organize Small Spaces: Decluttering Tips and Organization Ideas

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RC Sproul’s Can I Have Joy in My Life (Crucial Questions Series Book 12)

Blurb: Joy is a popular topic in Western culture today. Books explain how to find joy in a wide variety of activities. We speak of “joyous” occasions such as weddings and births. We sing about “Joy to the World” at Christmas. “Joy” remains a popular name for girls. But given the extent to which joy seems to be on our minds, few people seem to have it or even know what it is.

In this Crucial Questions booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul cuts through the confusion surrounding this popular but misunderstood attribute, showing the one sure path to deep, lasting joy—a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. By abiding in Christ, Dr. Sproul shows, we may experience fullness of joy—a joy that transcends unhappy circumstances and even permits us to rejoice with others because of the blessed hope Christ provides.

There are many other free booklets by Sproul.

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Paul’s Letter to Titus: Bible Trivia Quiz & Study Guide (BibleEye Bible Trivia Quizzes & Study Guides Book 17)

I like this series. Chapter by chapter, each chapter followed by multiple choice questions, with the answer and the part of the text that has the answer given on the next page. We wouldn’t do the entire series, because there are other Bible study approaches I want to use as well, but these have been a welcome change of pace once in a while.

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The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block

Blurb: You are not lazy, undisciplined, or uncommitted!

Procrastination, perfectionism, and writer’s block are habits rooted in scarcity and fear. If you know the seven secrets of the prolific, you can “magically” recover all the energy, discipline, and commitment you thought you had lost.

Author, coach and workshop leader Hillary Rettig characterizes, in great detail and depth, the major causes of underproductivity, including: procrastination, perfectionism, resource scarcity, time scarcity, an ineffective writing process, bias, ambivalence, internalized oppression, traumatic rejection, and exploitative career paths.

Then she tells you how to conquer each. The solutions are:

1. Identify and Overcome Perfectionism
2. Abundantly Resource Yourself
3. Manage Your Time
4. Optimize Your Writing Process
5. Understand and Claim Your Identity as a Writer
6. Cultivate Resilience in the Face of Rejection and Harsh Criticism, and
7. Create a Liberated Career.

Those are the 7 Secrets of the Prolific! And whether you write fiction or nonfiction, or poetry, screenplays or something else – or whether you write for business or school – those secrets will help you speed your output, lower your stress, and bring you joy and fulfillment.

Special sections include:

*writing on the Internet (and how to withstand the Internet’s harsh culture)
*coping with the many clueless and/or challenging comments and questions people direct to writers (e.g., “When will you get that thing done?”) and,
*Publishing Without Perishing, a special Appendix just for graduate students and other academic writers.

The 7 Secrets of the Prolific is published without DRM so that you may enjoy it on any device you own.

132 reader reviews, the average is five stars.

Here’s one: This is the first review I have ever written in all the years I’ve used Amazon.

Simply put if you find yourself mysteriously never completing your personal work, never starting that project, never finishing things you are passionate about, and can’t figure out why, I would recommend you read this short book. The insights that the author offers will cut right to the heart of what is preventing you from doing what’s in your heart and head. No surprise, you already have the key to unblocking yourself.

One thing this book is not. is crazy New Age motivational shlock. Although I found the book very motivating, it wasn’t because the author was acting as cheerleader, just telling me I can do. She seems to have more respect for the reader than someone who is simply trying to motivate you. What the book is really trying to do is teach you. Teach you how to see the reasons and patterns that all add up to sabotaging your best creative or productive instincts. Once you see these things, you will certainly wonder how you could let so much time go by without seeing them. I guess that’s true of any great wisdom. It was there all the time. But this book lays it out with humor and a compassionate clarity.

The author does not expect you to change your whole life and thinking to overcome your blocks. I think it’s the opposite. Once you can make progress on overcoming your blocks, your whole life could change. For me, reading this book and listening to the author on some videos that are out there, helped tremendously on a struggle I’ve had for years. It almost sounds too good to be true.

It’s an easy read, but very powerful. I would suggest getting the book if you’re just tired of not living up to your own potential

Me: I downloaded this one.

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Paleo Appetizers: 90 Illustrated Paleo Appetizer Recipes and Delicious Paleo Snacks Cookbook. Quick & Simple Gluten Free Party Foods (Paleo Recipes: Paleo … Dinner & Desserts Recipe Book Book 10)

Blurb: ”Paleo Appetizers” by Jane Burton a #1 Best Selling author, is an Illustrated cookbook with easy, delicious Paleo appetizers and snack recipes. It includes over 90 illustrated party appetizers to tempt and treat your guests. You will also discover quick and easy favorite entertainers and 30 top tips for holding a successful party.

An integral part of any party or special occasion is the appetizers or finger foods. If you are new to the Paleo diet and lifestyle, you may struggle with understanding what you can serve to your guests and what you can’t. Many of the traditional and bought party foods can be loaded with fats, wheat flour, preservatives and sugars. Drinking alcohol at parties is also common and although some alcohols are Paleo friendly, most of them aren’t. Don’t let this discourage you. It’s still easy to throw a Paleo party with plenty of delicious appetizers and snacks that will keep your guests happy as well as intrigued.

So what kind of snacks and finger foods are Paleo friendly and at the same time delicious? A general guide is – if it’s processed its out. This includes wheat breads, sugars and dairy products which are all known to give many people allergy problems. Gluten free, dairy free recipes aren’t that difficult to make it just requires planning. Healthy, natural foods will take center stage. For starters, a lot of easy snacks can be just simple ingredients. Nuts can be eaten as they are. When vegetables, fruits and cooked meats are cut into bite-size pieces, they can make fine appetizers with a little imagination. They can be put together in layers, perhaps with a flatbread or crackers, or be served with a variety of dipping sauces like salsa, guacamole, Paleo mayonnaise and homemade ketchup. Arrange the food on a plate or platter so that it looks attractive. The finishing touches such as garnish and other décor coloring can give that final visual look of perfection.

There are plenty of cooked Paleo snacks that you can serve. The options are limited only by your imagination. Salads, skewers, vegetable chips, assorted natural cold meat snacks are just a few of the foods you can offer to your guests. Cooked appetizers that will delight the taste buds include grain-free dishes, savory bites and sweet treats too.

Reader Review: Great recipe book with lots of photos. Recipes and directions are easy to follow. You’ll get great tips on how to prepare for a party with family and friends.

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The Viking

At not quite fifteen, Stefan’s father finally let him board the longship Sja Vinna to take part in his first Viking raid. Yet, the battle was not at all what he expected and he soon found himself alone and stranded in Scotland.

Thirteen-year-old Kannak’s problem was just as grave. Her father deserted them and the only way to survive, she decided, was to take a husband over her mother‘s objections. Suddenly she was helping a hated Viking escape. Could Kannak successfully hide a Viking in the middle of a Scottish Clan? And why was someone plotting to kill the clan’s beloved laird?
This book is a prequel to Marti Talbott’s Highlander Series. Suitable for ages 14 and above.

Reader Reviews: There are over a hundred five star reviews, and only a total of 15 1 and 2 star reviews.  Most of the low reviews merely complain that they were bored, a few complain that it seems to be for teenagers (duh),  but I couldn’t resist this particular 2 star review, titled “Gin a body meet a Viking, comin frae the sea”:

Young Viking sails to Scotland on to his first raid. The wee laddie (Yes, Vikings sound like Vaudeville Scots, dae ye not ken that ?) dreams of glory and loot, but as he spends some quality time with Dad on board, he discovers his genitor has more in mind. Daddy longs for a peaceful life, having promised his late wife, a Scottish lassie he kidnapped and infected with the Stockholm syndrome, that her bairn would go back to Scotland and strike his roots there.

The Vikings take an unexpected bashing at the hands of local crofters led by their doughty Laird. Dad is skilled and Sonny barely escapes unharmed. There are three seconds of agonizing suspense before Sonny (sorry, the Laddie) runs into the Little House on the Prairie, or, as the Vikings will have it, the Wee House on the Muir. Enthusiastically adopted by a deserted woman and her lassie, the Laddie turns out to be a handy man about the house. As he settles down, he learns about his adopted family’s sad story : Mum was betrothed to the Laird, but for mysterious reasons her fiancé defaulted at the altar to marry a woman he did not love. Mum was then married to another, unwilling swain, whose own fiancée was so unhinged that she hanged herself from a tree across the lane. Years went by and nothing much happened, except once the Laird got drunk enough to beget twins on his mean, ugly wife. The twins are in the process of growing into sociopaths. Lots of men want to marry Mum, but a) she’s still married to her runaway husband and b) the Laird still loves her and he’s the one who says who gets married to whom. One day the Laddie and the Lassie realize what has been painfully obvious to the reader for the last hundred pages and fall into each other’s arms. Vows ensue.

The mean Laird’s wife tries to kidnap the Lassie whom she suspects of being her husband’s bastard daughter. The Lassie is saved by a black stallion who keeps popping into the story and immediately disappearing, possibly because he gets bored with the plotline. The Laddie is sold into slavery. On the downside he misses the Lassie, on the upside he learns how to build a bridge, which may boost his resume. Seasons pass, years pass. The bridge gets done. A spare diet and a lot of outdoor exercise have done wonders for the Laddie who now looks like Ragnar Lothbrok with hygiene problems. He and his crew are sent to work for another Laird. The Laddie realizes that the master builder knows nothing about his craft, but who listen to slaves anyway ? The situation irritates him enough to make him restless and bring him before the Laird for disciplining. But lo and behold, what is this the Laird spies, carved on the laddie’s cherished medallion ? A portrait of his beloved daughter who was kidnapped by Vikings years ago. “Grand Father !” “Grand son!” “Into my arms !” “Abolish slavery first and then we’ll talk about it” “Ok. I always thought it was a bit gross anyway.” Finding a grand father is a boon, because the laddie now gets a much needed bath and a free kilt. “This Laird thing is a gas,” the Laddie thinks, “I will create my own clan. But first, let’s retrieve the Lassie.” The Lassie is standing at the top of a cliff, her long hair blowing like an answer in the wind, her eyes staring at the empty sea. “Peek-a-boo !” “You !” “Me !” Kisses ensue. The mean Laird’s wife gets kicked out on a trumped up charge of adultery, the Laird jumps the Lassie’s mum who has been eagerly expecting this moment for the past seventeen years. The village goes all Brigadoon around them. The Lassie and the Laddie move into a castle with low real estate value because it is haunted and they form a new clan. One supposes they also have satisfying sex because a next novel called “Viking’s daughter “ is on the way.
O, I forgot. The laddie is called Stefan Rosetti. a proud Viking name obviously. But then the writer could have gone the whole hog and named him Gabriel Dante, so one must be thankful for small mercies.

Me: Regarding the Scotland/Viking issue, another reviewer says “This amazing book can provide some very interesting details regarding the historical connections between Scotland and the Vikings: Caledonication

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House Cleaning Made Easy: How to Clean your House Fast, Easy and Clutter Free (House Cleaning, House Organizing, Organized House, Easy Cleaning, Home Organizing, Home Cleaning, Minimalism, Cleaning)

Blurb: You are about to discover how to take care of your house while saving enormous amounts of time and effort! You can drastically improve your daily life by learning how to clean and organize your home. This really important task that we all need to do may seem like a fairly easy task but in reality it’s way more than that. There are both right and wrong strategies; strategies that save you time, and those that kill your time. The difference is subtle, yet immensely powerful. That’s precisely what we will learn together throughout this book.

This book will help you build the right cleaning and organizing skills to make a real impact in your life.
Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Learn…
How to de-clutter your home
How to clean each room of the home
Cleaning all your appliances
Making your windows spotless
Getting rid of stains in your bedroom and kitchen
Keeping your floors spotless
Much, much more!

Reader Review: This is an amazing house cleaning guide! After reading this book I realize how I have been doing it all wrong for years. This book not only gives you the most efficient and easy way to clean every part of the house and it also advice you on the proper cleaning supplies to use. I really like how the author included a lot of natural cleaners instead of store brought ones. The tips on how to clean windows well has help me the most! I have always dread cleaning windows but not anymore as now I’m aware of the proper techniques and steps to get the job done.

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Fall and Winter Gardening: 25 Organic Vegetables to Plant and Grow for Late Season Food

blurb: Complete guide to growing organic vegetables for a fall and winter garden. This book explains which vegetables can survive in cold weather and how to grow them. Recommended for backyard gardeners and container gardeners who want to grow food for fresh eating all year round. Written by the author of the best-selling Fresh Food From Small Spaces gardening book, a former columnist for Urban Farm magazine.

Topics Include
● Introduction to Late Season Vegetable Gardening
● 25 Vegetables for Cool Seasons
● Starting Vegetables From Seed
● When to Plant in Your Area
● Preparing the Soil and Fertilizing
● Garden Rows, Raised Beds, and Containers
● Extending Your Season
● Harvesting and Storing Your Produce
● Resources: More Information

Grow Food from Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden This Fall
Those summer tomatoes sure were good. Now that the harvest is in and the summer is nearly gone, what’s left to do? Plant a fall garden! Yes, you can, even in a cold climate. This book covers short season varieties of many organic vegetables. Learn which vegetables can survive the cold weather and how to provide them some simple protection from the elements. Grow food for your family, eat healthy, and save some money by vegetable gardening this fall.

This book describes 25 varieties of vegetables you can plant late and grow deep into the year for harvest in late fall, winter, and early spring. All the vegetables covered here are hardy in cool temperatures. They will thrive in cool fall weather and they can handle an early frost. Some of them can handle a hard frost and keep on trucking, particularly when they are protected using one of the techniques covered in this book. This is organic vegetable gardening for everyone, almost any time, any place.

The Secrets to Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening

Many of these vegetables can be stored during the winter and kept until you need them. A few of them can even be left in the ground and covered with a thick mulch blanket over the winter for the first harvest of the new year in early spring. All of them are delicious and can be eaten fresh or preserved by freezing, drying, canning, or pickling them for later use.

Winter is Coming and You’ll Be Prepared

Save money this year. Eat healthy. Plant vegetables for your fall garden and harvest them this winter. You will also learn how to extend your season and grow vegetables right into the winter for fresh eating all year long. Imagine harvesting your own potatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, and much more!

Reader review: I found this book very helpful. I wish I had it earlier, in late summer so I could plan ahead. I found it very informative, but I couldn’t find a lot of the seeds in local stores. It may have been too late. If I had looked in August, or if I ordered from seed catalogs I could find more variety. I did try growing cabbage, broccoli and carrots this summer and it was a total fail. Maybe that was because they are not ment to grow in Tennessee in 100 degree weather. This book will come in handy next year and many years to come. I learned my love of gardening from my 93 year old father. He grew the standard garden produce, but I do know he grew trunips in the fall and I never got into that. I may try that next year. Last year was the first time I grew lettuce in the spring, and I had amazing success with that. I love this book, and will use it often for refference. I hope I can pass my love of growing my own food down to my two girls, who now have daughters of their own. May even order them the hard copy of this book as gifts.

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Grow thy Own: A Simple Guide to Organic Gardening. (How to Grow Healthy Organic Plants)

blurb: Organic farming produces the most delectable, nutritionally dense foods on the planet! Even if you use the methods described to grow flowers, it will help the planet because no man made chemicals are used when growing organically. Gardening started out as a hobby of mine, but now it has quickly become a way of life in which I have found to be very peaceful. Practicing organic methods creates healthier plants, in turn this health transfers to the planet as well as your body if you consume what you grow. Some of the topics discussed include: seed choice, watering, composting, bacteria, fungus, macronutrients, micronutrients, pest control, and fertilizers. Happy Gardening!

Reader Review: Do not – and I repeat – do not let the size of this book fool you! It may look short to the naked eye, but there is a wealth of invaluable information between its covers.

I’ve always had a strong interest in growing my own garden but I’ve never really taken it any further than that. Having said that, I’m so glad I decided to get this book. This is precisely what I needed to get me started and put on the right track. The author does a splendid job of describing in detail the various topics that an organic-gardener-to be needs to know. I learned a great deal that I didn’t know before, especially about pest control and fertilizers. I’ll be sure to apply this information to my own endeavors and if you’re anything like me, I highly suggest you do the same.

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The DIY Kitchen Cookbook: How to Make Your Own Clean & Healthy Make-Ahead Mixes, Seasoning Blends, Snacks, Breakfasts, Condiments, Dressings & Drinks

Blurb:Do-it-yourself recipes are healthier, cleaner versions of what you’d normally buy in a grocery store. This ebook contains 62 recipes to make your own make-ahead mixes, seasoning blends, snacks, breakfasts, condiments, dressing & drinks.

And they’re easier than you think! So why DIY?

When you do-it-yourself, YOU are in control. You know exactly what’s going into your food. No preservatives, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, etc. Just whole, clean, healthy foods instead of processed foods that are full of unnecessary additives.

You can use these recipes as guidelines. Try them out, then make them your own! Tweak them to fit your family preferences or swap out ingredients to make them allergy-friendly. You’ll see I’ve provided a lot of tips and variations for many of the recipes.

Pack in the extra nutrition. I’ve taken the nutrition guesswork out of these recipes by adding whole food ingredients with extra vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s, etc.

You’ll save time and money, as well as space in your pantry and refrigerator. Once you stock-up on the some of the ingredients you’ll need for a DIY kitchen, you won’t have to buy as many premade staples, and you can also save yourself the extra errands. Spend some time making some of the make-ahead mixes and you’re done.

It’s green. You can skip the excess packaging of premade, processed foods.

Reader REview: This book is a must-have! It is so easy to follow and relate to, especially because I am easily intimidated by recipes with obscure ingredients and long preparation times. With two small children and a busy schedule, this book is my lifesaver for saving time with meal prep and the amount of timing standing in the kitchen. My trips to the grocery store are shorter because I am not wasting time reading all the labels now that I make my own delicious food from this book. I might also mention that my grocery bills are cheaper! Using ingredients that I can pronounce is extremely important to me and I hope to pass this clean way of eating and thinking about food onto my children. My 5 year old has a severe egg allergy so I also love this book because I know for certain there are no allergens when I make the recipes myself. Great find!

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Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results

Reader Review: “The Fred Factor” is a delightful little volume, just over 100 pages, with inspiring examples and wisdom of how you can become a “Fred” – a person who takes pride in their work and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. I received a copy from a colleague with an inscription “Thanks for all you do – you’re truly a Fred!” I was curious to find out who this Fred character was, and I read it from cover-to-cover immediately and have kept it on my bookshelf for occasional re-readings since then. The phrase “You’re a Fred” became a catchphrase in our organization to compliment someone who you felt had offered superior service.

Fred was a postman who went out of his way to satisfy the customers on his route. It seems like a relatively simple job to do, but Fred’s passion to know the patterns of each of his customers and make sure their mail was safely delivered made him extraordinary. The author cites many other Fred examples he has come to know.

The Fred Principles are few and simple: 1) everyone makes a difference; 2) success is built on relationships; 3) You must continually create value for others, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny; and 4) you can reinvent yourself regularly.

My copy of the book has highlights, underlining, and dog-eared pages, such as “convert your job into one you love, not by doing a different job, but by doing the one you have differently.” Also, “if you go about doing the right thing, knowing that the doing is its own reward, you’ll be fulfilled whether or not you get recognition from others.”

The message and the lessons in “The Fred Factor” are straightforward and easy to comprehend and can be applied to any organization, large or small.




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Maggie’s Insanely Yummy Ketogenic Crock-Pot: 33 TERRIFIC Slow Cooker Ketogenic Recipes for Weight Loss!

From the blurb: 33 Easy, Delicious, Keto Friendly recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You’ll get to enjoy these exotic Crock-Pot recipes…and many more!
Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Crockpot Creamy Zucchini Soup
Crockpot Chicken Casserole
Crockpot Sweet and Sour Trout
Crockpot Pizza

Being a cookbook, you will also get:
Nutritional Value of each recipe.
Step-Step detailed instructions on how to prepare your own dish.
Time required to prepare and cook.
Number of Servings.

Reader Review: “I’ve been looking for a low carbohydrate, high fat diet for quite some time now, and fortunately got this book just when I needed it most. My husband is diabetic, and because both of us are so much busy in our office and meetings, we barely had time to make food ourselves. Just when his condition got worse, we decided to opt for a Ketogenic Diet, as suggested by our doc.

And boy am I glad to have this book! The slow cooking is perfect for any busy couple, and with low carb, you can just eat as much. 33 of these recipes are so much unique and equally tasty (I managed to make 3 of them by now).

The fat to carb ratio looks great, the ingredients are easy to find, there is prep time, cook time, number of servings. I was kind of skeptical about the nutritional value at first but then I checked out the value myself in a website and found it to be fairly correct. But the best part? The directions! Many other cookbooks are kinda lazy, and end the procedures in two or three steps. But this does not. The step by step detailed procedure is just great! Huge thanks to the Author!

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What would happen if some modern kids were forced to live without their modern devices?
The teens enrolled in ‘The Natural Path’–a school for device-addicted kids run by the smooth but vaguely sinister Dr. Zarkov–quickly find out when the school turns out to be nothing but a front for an elaborate kidnapping plot. Trapped on a remote tropical island and facing what looks like certain death, they will have to band together if they hope to defeat their ruthless captors. But it will still take all their ingenuity just to survive…
A realistically detailed and thrilling story by novelist P.D. Quaver which will appeal to young adults (13 and over).

Reader Review: As a parent, I found this premise intriguing–kids forced to give up their electronic devices and survive. Yes, this would be a battle even for most adults. But this story isn’t really about whether or not the kids can handle life without technology as much as it’s a thriller about kids literally fighting for their lives.

The story starts with a group of teens being dropped off for a special summer camp, which doesn’t allow any electronic devices in hopes of bringing the youth closer to nature. They are all rich, except for the MC, Max, whose father lied to get him there. The author does a fantastic job in bringing across characters with a wide variety of personalities. Each one is believable and well done. He also does an amazing job giving each their own voice. Even in the dialogue itself, it’s easy to recognize the characters through their speech patterns.

The kids are for the most part authentic and likable. It’s easy to sympathize with them and fever for them as they fight their way through the adventure. It’s fun to watch their ingenuity and how they pull together despite the differences. Each one brings their own strengths, none which is less valuable than another. It was nice to see this.

The plot is fast paced. The story itself well written. The reader falls into the world and does not want to come out. Although recommended for kids 13 and up, I found the writing more fitting for reluctant readers in this age group or middle graders (older). But unfortunately, the violence is too vivid to recommend this to the second of these reading groups. However, reluctant YA readers will love the fast paced action and devour the book to the very end.
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Ancient Guardians: The Legacy of the Key (Ancient Guardian Series, Book 1) (Volume 1)

REader Review: I would give The Legacy of the Key a 3.5. As far as debut novels go, it was pretty good. It’s a weird combo of contemporary but historical at the same time (you’ll see) and sci-fi, if that makes any sense, and it actually works.

I loved the world building in this. The author creates an alternate dimension called Pemdas and I really liked the way she makes it come alive with vivid, detailed descriptions, I could almost see it before my eyes. Great imagination.

Reece was a good heroine. She’s smart and she can hold her own, she doesn’t let anyone put her down. I was waiting for her to become a weak damsel in distress, but it never really happens, she doesn’t need saving and she pretty much deals with everything thrown her way. I liked the way she handled the girls in the palace. At the same time, she’s a typical girl, swooning over pretty boys, loving big bathrooms, grooming products and big closets.

Levi (love that name!) was a good hero – none of that possessive, controlling stuff we so often see in romance these days. He also had that air of nobility about him, but it definitely doesn’t define him and he’s just a normal, good guy. I must say that I really liked him, he was just the right amount of cocky, even though at times he was too sappy for my liking.

I thought Reece had better chemistry with Harrison than Levi. It’s not really a love triangle although I expected it to be, the blurb definitely implies it. Yes, the romance is very sweet, but maybe a little too perfect and a tad cheesy. It’s a slow build up to them admitting to their feelings, and I liked how subtle it was.

While I generally liked the writing, I’d say it still reads like a debut novel – the author barely ever uses contractions, even in dialogue, which just seemed completely unnatural. At first I thought maybe it’s just the Pemdai that talk like that, but no, the heroine does as well. And there is an abundance of improper use of commas (punctuation in general, but commas especially) – it messes up the flow of the story. I was constantly making pauses in my head wherever a comma was even though I knew I shouldn’t, and it took me longer than it normally would to read a book this long.
That being said, I loved the characters and the plot. I must admit, I was really surprised at where the story went. I didn’t expect it. All the people in the palace – the spiteful trio (I always think that if I want to slap someone from a book, it’s a good character), and the lovely Elisabeth, the Emperor and Empress, Jasmeen and my favorite, Harrison, they were great and they all add something to the story. It was a little slow at times, but seeing as the author took her time to introduce you to Pemdas and all the back story it made sense. It was really interesting so I wasn’t bored.

It’s a very clean read, for those who care about those things.

Overall, if you want to read a light story set in a different dimension with a sweet love story and a bit of a thrill at the right times, I definitely recommend it. It’s a good escapist read because it takes you to a whole different world and makes you want to visit Pemdas yourself. The story ties up nicely in the end, but at the same time the author creates a good introduction for the sequel. Will I read the next book? I think I probably will. I kind of want to know what else is out there, you know?

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Grandpa, When Do We Say Me, Myself, or I?: Let’s Stamp Out Grammar Demons!

Every day, we hear things like “Myself and Fred went to the game” or “Me and Joe sold the tickets”. Or “Please join my wife and myself for dinner”. Yikes.

Confusion over the words “I” and “me” usually result in the horrible misuse of the word “myself”. It’s not that hard! Get it right! Don’t sound uneducated in an interview! Or on the air!

News broadcasters with millions of viewers get it wrong all the time.

In this Grandpa book, he helps the grandkids learn some easy-to-remember tips for these and other common Grammar Demons. “Lie” and “Lay”? “Who” and “Whom”? All these and more Grammar Demons are covered, along with simple quizzes and answers.

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More book-keeping type stuff: Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled.

If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

Lately, though, since I got my tricky little new phone that does all kinds of magical things and is smarter than me, I have downloaded some books with color illustrations, and downloaded other books direct from Gutenberg, and I have to admit, I like it very much indeed.  You can set up a Kindle account to download to your phone, and download a kindle app for the phone as well.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.  Now that I have my tricksy little new phone, I have added it to my list of devices to which I can download devices.  Woot!

Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

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Easier Tropical Meatloaf

Based on this recipe.

Except ten times easier, and slightly different ingredients (and now an exciting update: I made this without the eggs, and it still worked!!  These worked better as patties, and they were a little more fragile, but the Cherub and one of our grand-daughters can eat them now!)

I started by putting 8-10 potatoes in the oven at 375.


Then combine:

One pound of grassfed bison sausage from Tropical Traditions

1 cup of frozen mango chunks, slightly defrosted

1/2 cup of coconut

about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of jalapeno peppers from a jar, already sliced.

About 1/3 of a red onion, carelessly sliced into three or four chunks

2 eggs

Chili powder or red pepper flakes to taste, which might be anywhere from none to a tablespoon.

Here’s the cool part- just put all ingredients into your food processor with s-blades and whirl it away until blended:


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Once it’s all well mixed, use a paper towel or napkin and a bit of oil and grease the cups of two muffin tins.  Spoon the meat mixture into the cups- I made small ones because I wanted them to cook quickly, and I managed to make about 23 of them:

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Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes.

The potatoes are small and they started cooking before the meat was mixed.  I put one bag of frozen cauliflower in a pie pan and dotted it with ghee.  I put another bag of frozen brussels sprouts in another pie tin and dotted that with ghee.  Salt and pepper to taste. Put in the oven to roast while the potatoes and meatloaves are cooking.

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Simple, fast, and we had no leftovers, other than an extra couple of potatoes (I didn’t eat any potatoes. I mainly included them to fill up my husband and teen son).

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News and Views

Barbaric thugs behead another human being, British Hostage Alan Henning, a British aid worker. They are threatening to behead another British hostage, Peter Hassig, who founded an organization to help Syrian refugees.

So in the United States, Gay men make up only 2% of  the population.  However, they account for 52 % of US HIV cases.  Reality is such a bigot.

So is biology, but politicians are going to equalize that: the Secret Service has lower physical strength requirements for female applicants than for males.

I remember when the local fire department did this in our county in California.   What that meant was that pencil pushers and social engineers decided that the lives of anybody weighing over 200 pounds were expendable, sacrifices on the alter of egalitarianism.

Read this.  Excerpt:

95 percent of models overestimated actual temperatures. Nothing says Science™ like predicting stuff incorrectly over and over and over again.

Also noted that regardless of state of climate science, whether it was global cooling in the seventies or global warming apocalypses in the 80s, or any of the many varieties of climate alarmism, the policy recommendations are always the same, predictably controlling, predictably favoring big government and the corporate friends of leftists.  This one size fits all ‘solution’ indicates it’s not science driving the bus.

I have a simple rule when it comes to people who want me to invest obscene sums of money in their forecasts of discrete future events: just be accurate. If you come to me and tell me you can predict future stock market performance based on these five factors, then you had better predict future stock market performance based on those five factors. All you have to do is be correct, over and over again. But if your predictive model is wrong, I’m not going to give you any money, and I’m certainly not going to pretend that what you just did is science. Any idiot can make incorrect guesses about the future.

Climate alarmists consistently fail this test, but they never seem to notice or to learn anything from those failures.

What is really going on in North Korea?  Was Kim Jong Un already overthrown?

Patient with ebola like symptoms treated in the D. C. area

Meanwhile, the mysterious entovirus is still out there, and some kids end up paralyzed.

Well, that’s weird. Democrats and Republican politicians equally slimy.

COURT RULES that: IRS Changes to Obamacare ‘Arbitrary, Capricious and Abuse of Discretion’…

A public school that initially agreed to permit an after hours lecture and discussion on the dangers of sharia law in America caved to pressure from CAIR and withdrew permission.  Faced with a lawsuit they backed down and paid all legal costs.

Sometimes the media is too lazy to even bother making up new lies, so they just recycle the old, long debunked hoaxes.  Read some of them here.  And this is a freebie:

In fact, the historical record shows that, apart from the occasional random nut, the people most likely to assassinate a president are leftists, socialists, communists, Palestinian activists, crazed environmentalists and communitarians, who have been responsible for every politically motivated presidential assassination attempt since at least 1900. (See “Mugged,” Chapter 14.)

Reagan took an assassin’s bullet to the chest within two months of becoming president. Jerry Ford was shot at twice within 13 months of assuming the presidency. But we still have to hear about angry right-wingers terrorizing President Obama.

How desperate are the leftist mouthpieces at MSNBC to avoid holding the CDC responsible for its clumsy and dangerous response to the Ebola case in Texas?  This desperate.  It’s the NRA’s fault.


An Army intelligence bulletin is warning U.S. military personnel to be vigilant after Islamic State militants called on supporters to scour social media for addresses of their family members – and to “show up [at their homes] and slaughter them.”

The assessment, obtained by Fox News, came from the Army Threat Integration Center which issues early warnings of criminal and terrorist threats to Army posts worldwide.

The advisory warns military personnel and their families about the Islamic State, or ISIS, calling on supporters to target their homes.

While there is no independent intelligence to corroborate the ISIS threats, the bulletin recommends more than a dozen precautions to military personnel to protect their homes — and their online profiles

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Asian Rolled Egg (tamagoyaki or gyeran mali)

2014-10-03 09.33.22My version of a combination of nori tamagoyaki (Japanese) and gyeran mali (계란말이, Korean), my ‘recipe’ at the bottom of the post.

Clearly, I need to perfect the rolling technique, but otherwise, I think it made a tasty breakfast. (My son didn’t. His face was. well, less than complimentary).

I have also made these once before, without the carrots I think, as a travel snack for the Equuschick’s oldest two.  The Equuschick is always looking for high protein, low glycemic index snacks and foods for her crew.

I made them from memory, and then after I finished, I looked for recipes on the internet to see what I did wrong and to find better pictures of the rolling technique.
nori tamagoyaki: I omitted the sugar, because, gag. Maybe my son comes by that face he made naturally.

gyeran mali (계란말이):

Both of these sites have a prettier final version. I think I let the top cook just a little too long- it wasn’t overdone, it just wasn’t quite moist enough for the layers to bond together seamlessly. Plus, the seaweed kind of makes that harder anyway.

I used home-made mayonnaise instead of the milk because whole30 doesn’t permit dairy other than ghee, and because I always add a little bit of mayo to my omelettes.

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I used this tool to make tiny little carrot pieces. It’s a pampered chef thing, and when you slide it down your carrot (or any other harder vegetable), it makes shoestring style slices. Then I sliced them againinto tiny, confetti style bits.

Traditionally, a rectangular frying pan is used, but I don’t have one. This Kotobuki Tamagoyaki Japanese Omelette Pan is 7 1/2 inches and has a nonstick coating, and it’s less expensive than most.

Oh, my: I bet this is the truly traditional version. 85 dollars, and it’s lovely: Egg Pan Tamagoyaki Made in Japan Professinal Model Copper W/wooden Handle,wooden Lid

But what I’m really interested in is this 5 inch square, cast-iron ” Wonder Skillet”

Meanwhile, I just make mine in my regular round skillet. I pour in some of the egg/carrot mixture and then pick up the skillet and give it a gentle ride on a tilt-a-whirl so the eggs can spread as thinly as possible.

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When the bottom is set, I cheated a bit and put the skillet under the broiler for about a minute.  This was probably the main reason mine didn’t roll up as prettily as the ones at the gyerean mali version linked above.

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While the skillet was in the oven, I quickly toasted my nori, or seaweed laver, over the open flame of my gas stovetop.  You don’t, strictly speaking, have to do this, but I do think it enhances the flavor. Don’t set it on fire. Or rather, when you do, blow it out quickly. You can still eat it.=)

Then I return the pan to the stovetop, put the seaweed laver over the top of the egg, give it a second  or three to really nestle down and get cozy with the egg (it helps to put a lid on the skillet for a just a few seconds).

Now the rolling begins:

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Experienced gyeran mali/tomogoyaki makers use chopsticks for this.  Ha. I use one tool to scrape up and roll from the right, while with the tool on the left, I push down and in a bit along the edges, rolling and tucking, rolling and tucking, until:

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Put your roll on a plate (a warm plate would be ideal), and then repeat the process.

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Authentically speaking, they shouldn’t have those brown bits, but should be a uniform light yellow in color.

Now you slice them.  I used kitchen shears.  If you don’t have kitchen shears use a well washed pair of regular scissors.  Seriously.  It’s much better with scissors.

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3 eggs

about a tablespoon or a little less of home-made mayonnaise

1 1/2 medium carrots, minced

1/2 an onion, diced small

Coconut aminos- 2 teaspoons (optional.  You could use fish sauce, or milk, or soy sauce, or water).

salt and pepper to taste

ghee or other fat for cooking


Set out all your ingredients.

Heat a teaspoon or so of oil or other fat in the skillet.  Dice the onion and start browning it.

mince your carrots

Whisk the eggs, mayo, and amino acids (if using) in a bowl.  Stir in the carrots. Add the eggs.

Add more oil to the skillet if necessary.  Pour a third of the mixture into the pan, tilting and turning the pan as you do so to help the egg mixture spread across the pan in a thin layer.  Cook over low flame just until set.  The top should still be shiny, but not completely liquid.

Now, either put the seaweed on top and begin rolling, OR put the pan under the broiler for a minute while you toast the seaweed over the burner, and then put the seaweed on top and start rolling.


The seaweed is optional, too.  You don’t have to use it. Then this would just be  tamagoyaki, not nori tamagoyaki.

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