Mystery Tree 2019

On our way home from the Coast this past Monday we stopped at the Home Depot in Spokane and picked out our wrapped Mystery Tree.

Dear did the honors of cutting off the string to reveal our tree.

We were pleased with what we saw.

The lights went on and then I added all the ornaments, or most of the ornaments.

Ninety Nine percent of the decorating is done at our country bungalow. I’ll share the rest of the decor in another post. We are happy once again to continue our tradition of the Mystery Tree.

I’m relieved to report our Christmas photo collage and letter were dropped off at the post office yesterday. “Fly away little letter make the heart of someone glad” Now I need to figure out where we stand on Christmas gifts and if anything needs to be added and then there’s the wrapping to tackle.

Our Colville kids are coming over for dinner tonight and it will be fun to have them all here and give Dan a hug after not seeing him for over thirty days.

We still have some snow on the ground as you can see but a lot of it has melted.

Hope all is cozy and bright in your corner of the world. Have a wonderful weekend!

Spring Reading Thing ~ 2008

Welcome to Spring and the Spring Reading Thing!


I participated last year in the Spring Reading Thing. It was my first blog carnival venture because I had just started my blog in March of 2007. Time flies when you’re blogging!

So many books to choose from to read.

Here are my choices so far. (subject to change at the whim of this reader)

Before Green Gables – The prequel to Anne of Green Gables ~ by Budge Wilson

I’m in the process of re-reading/reading for the first time some great classics. I finally just finished reading Anne of Green Gables so I’m excited to read this new book. It is also the 100 year anniversary of Anne so I thought it was a good time to read about her instead of just watching her story.

Scarlet ~ by Stephen R. Lawhead

This is the second book in the King Raven Trilogy. The first book was Hood which I read and enjoyed. Lawhead has an interesting and rich way of bringing you history in his fiction.

Inkspell ~ by Cornelia Funke

Again this is the second book in a series. I read Inkheart a while back and it kept me engaged. Funke has been compared to Rowling.

Gentian Hill ~ by Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite new/old writers. I am trying to get my hands on all her books. This will be my 5th book of hers I’ll have read. She is another author who develops her characters well. I compare her to George MacDonald in the way he brings a persons faith and relationship with God into the everyday.

Whose Body ~ by Dorothy Sayers

If you read mystery and haven’t read Sayers, you need to. Check out her Lord Peter Wimsey Series. This series was writtten from 1923-1935.

God is the Gospel ~ by John Piper

and right now I am finishing The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

This again is in my quest to read some classics that slipped by me…

Head over to Callapidder Days on thursday morning to see more Spring Reading Lists or to join in…

Fall Reading Wrap-up

So here we are at the end of Fall and it’s time for true confessions. I did read some of the books on my list.

Holy Bible ~ year long ~ I’m moving along in my yearly reading. I’m in Ephesians right now and I’m being blown away!

Hood ~ Stephen Lawhead ~ This is going on my Spring List

The Documents in the Case ~ Dorothy Sayers ~ Fabulous! I highly recommend it.

The Dean’s Watch~ Elizabeth Goudge ~ I thoroughly enjoyed this and Goudge is on my new favorite author list! Here’s something I wrote about it when I finished it.

“I just finished the last page of this book and I’m so sad that the story has come to an end. Elizabeth Goudge is fast becoming my new favorite author. She has a great descriptive style. The same appreciation I have for George MacDonald and how he weaves a true loving relationship with God contrasted against a cold religious relationship is growing as deep for Goudge’s fiction. I love MacDonald’s Scottish Countryside settings and I love Goudge’s English countryside settings”

Faithfulness and Holiness ~ J. I. Packer ~ Meaty and I will be reading this one again.

Peace Like a River~ Leif Enger ~ This is going on my Winter list…

Taste and See ~ John Piper ~ I’ve just started this…

The Tale of Beatrix Potter ~ Margaret Lane ~ As usual the real story is different from what you saw in the movie. I’m looking forward to going back to Lake Country in England to check out some of the inspirations for her stories.

Pierced by the Word ~ John Piper ~ I really have a huge appreciation for Piper but this one isn’t one of my favorites…

Books added along the way…

The Scent of Water~ Elizabeth Goudge ~ I’ll be trying to get my hands on more of Goudge’s books. I am thoroughly enthralled by her writing…

What I learned this time around is that there are authors out there that I still need to discover. I’m so happy that the bloggy world has introduced me to some of my new favorites.

Thank you so much Katrina for hosting this great challenge! To see more wrap ups head over to Callipidder Days on Friday.

A New Tradition ~ The Mystery Tree!

This year I decided to join my brother’s family in their tradition of the Mystery Tree. My SIL Kelly says it started because of their small Pastor’s salary that wouldn’t support an expensive tree. They would go to Target or Home Depot and get the biggest tree they could on their budget. They bought one that was still wrapped. No fair untying it and seeing if it’s a beauty. No walking around the tree lot for hours looking for the perfect tree. Throw it on top of the car, take it home, put it in its stand then unwrap it, stand back and enjoy the surprise! Sometimes you’ll get a Charlie Brown Tree (which some people prefer) but for the most part you get one that is great. So join me on my Mystery Tree Expedition…

Straight to Home Depot and to the garden department. Down the row of 5-6 ft. trees. I picked this one.

I really confused the Home Depot employee when I told him I was taking it just like it was. I told him I wanted to be surprised with our mystery tree and that I had faith it would be great. He sawed off a bit of the bottom for me so it would soak up water in the tree stand…

He was kind enough to put it in my car for me with a smile for the camera…

It fit in my car perfectly and home again, home again, jiggity jig…


Here it is in the house still in its mystery stage. Katie had the stand all ready when I got home. She got the honors of cutting the rope.


Voila! Mystery solved and oh what a beauty. The best part of this whole story is that the only man required for this adventure was the Home Depot guy. Ladies it is possible to get a tree from the lot to your home and up in the stand if your hubby is away on business or in the service, or if you are a single mom, etc. Maybe it’s more fun to do it together sometimes but don’t despair if you have to do it by yourself. Make it fun. Try the Mystery surprise tree method. From Home Depot to this stage it took me less than 1 hour!

I’ll let you see it again when we get the lights on and decorate it. Blesssings on all your activities this week….

Photobucket has blacked out all my photos I was storing on their site and they are holding them hostage. I am working on updating my more than 4000 posts.

First Time For Everything…

I arrived in Seattle at 6:00 P.M. Saturday night but woe is me my bag did not! I stood at that dreaded carousel for 1 hour but nothing… The little black Kirkland brand bag with my lavender ribbon tied to the handle was nowhere to be found.

My daughter was waiting patiently in the cell-phone waiting lot (yep we have a lot called the cell phone waiting lot for people who are picking up passengers!)

Finally I gave her the call to come get me. I went home without my bag, trying frantically to remember everything I had packed in that bag. Of the most concern for me was my trusty notebook/calendar that is always by my side, except when it’s in my suitcase. 🙂

 My computer power cord. My card reader. Two pairs of shoes. My favorite black pants, a couple tops, some other necessary items. Not going to list those items but trust me they are darn expensive to replace. There was also a pair of Dear’s shoes and 6 of his shirts. Yikes, what an empty feeling to leave the airport without that bag. This morning at 6 am I called the Alaska Property Irregularity Desk with my Property Irregularity Receipt and inquired about my bag. The sweet lady informed me my bag decided to fly to Vancouver, B.C. It would be on the 6:30 am flight from Vancouver back to Seattle and after it goes through customs they’d deliver it to my porch. Relief and rejoicing…I hope it’s really on my porch when I get home from church!

Spring Reading Challenge Wrap Up


  • What was the best book you read this spring? Fiction: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers , Non-Fiction: Seeing and Savoring Christ by John Piper
  • What book could you have done without? I didn’t have a long enough book list to have to have an answer to this one. They were all worth reading.
  • Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Yes, the new author I tried was Dorothy L. Sayers and I will definitely read her again.
  • If there were books you didn’t finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren’t worth it? I never got around to Harry Potter #6. I’ve read it before and wanted to read it before #7 came out…
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants’ lists that you’re planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?  Yes, Stepping Heavenward by Prentiss. I bought it and am reading it.
  • What did you learn — about anything — through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share! I learned that I can read a lot more than I have in the past. There is time to read. I’m a multi-book reader (more than one at a time). I’ve learned I’ll enjoy and digest non-fiction more if I only read a chapter at a time. I have a stack of 4-6 books on my nightstand and I try to read a little out of each in the evening instead of watching TV.
  • What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? Meeting other readers and seeing the hundreds of books I’ve never read.
  • Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. I like to take reading a step further by recording any sections of the book that stand out to me.
  • I will definitely participate in a fall reading challenge!
  • I’ll be posting a review of  When People Are Big and God is Small soon. 🙂

Thanks so much to Katrina at Callapidder days for hosting this event so magnificently and unselfishly…

Summer Reading Challenge 2007

Here are my list of books for the Summer Reading Challenge…better late than never. Still completing my Spring challenge books. So for the summer…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and these….

Hood by Stephen Lawhead

Ancient Christian Devotional (year long)

Linnets and Valerians by Goudge

The little White Horse by Goudge

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers

Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers

The Documents in the Case by Dorothy Sayers

Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul

Stepping Heavenward by Prentiss

Future Grace by John Piper

I’m also in the midst of my daily Bible reading. I’m reading every book 20 times starting with the shorter books in the New Testament. I’m on I Timothy right now and I’ll move to Philippians next. By the end of the summer I might have 3 more books of the Bible completed…

I might also add any good books I find at Goodwill during the summer…:)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I hope to join the fun at Seasonal Soundings….

Spring Reading Challenge Book Reviews


Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers

I need a dictionary close by when reading these mysteries. This story is set in the 1920’s in England. This particular mystery involves Peter’s brother, the accused murderer, whom Peter needs to clear of charges by finding out who really killed his sister’s fiance. Twisted plot, interesting characters, Old English style, and language give it a charming appeal.

This is one of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. I love the character that Sayers has developed in Peter Wimsey’s mother. Here are quotes from her in this book;

“I think there’s often a great deal in what one’s mother says.”…

“My dear child, you can give it a long name if you like, but I’m an old fashioned woman and I call it mother-wit, and it’s so rare for a man to have it that if he does you write a book about him and call him Sherlock Holmes.”

If you’d like to read more about Dorothy Sayers you can click here.