Sunday, June 30, 2019

Window Shopping with my Little Dog Penny

Hello everyone!

When we adopted our little pound puppy, Penny, she was 8 weeks old. Her mama was a Dachshund, and her papa was a ramblin' man. ~grin~ I had been looking for a Dachshund for months, but I just couldn't find one. I found little Penny along with her sisters and brothers at the local animal shelter. They had been born in the shelter and not handled very much prior to adoption. Although she was not a pure bred like I wanted, I decided that she was God's thrifty option for our family. 

At the time, I was working part-time with my husband at our restaurant...meaning I was on-call at a moment's notice, I was driving the family everywhere they needed to go in a three town triangle (only 1 vehicle), and I was homeschooling. Penny went along with me in the van sometimes and became very well-behaved in the van on the go. She did not have much contact with strangers except through the window.

She's five now, and I'm trying to get her used to walking in public without pulling or being unmannerly. We live in a little town with a lovely historic square and a breathtakingly beautiful courthouse. Some of the shops have store windows that surround a recessed entrance. When we come to one of these shops, I tell Penny we are going to window shop. We slow down, walk into the recess, and look at everything in the shop windows. Sometimes a shopkeeper will come to the door to chat. Penny's part is to walk slowly with me or sit by me until I'm ready to go on. 

I'd like to get her so accustomed to going downtown that she will sit by me patiently while I sit on a bench and knit a bit. I think it would add a bit of nostalgia for visitors to our little town. There's even a little coffee shop on the square. I might sit on a bench outside, call in my order, and ask the barista to bring it to the door! It is a bit pricey, but a chai tea latte is nice once in awhile.

Be blessed!
Living my slightly old-fashioned life
in my own little happy world 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart

Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart
A book to get lost in with a good cup of tea...
the British answer to everything!

  Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart is billed as a kids' book. Yes and no. Yes, it is an exciting read for kids, but no you don't want to miss it just because you're an older teen or adult!

 Britfield sounded thrilling to me. I like juvenile fiction. It's usually clean (this is) and if it's good, has a great storyline that draws you through the book. This is an excellent book for young and old. C.S. Lewis said, "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." He also said, "No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally—and often far more—worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond."

 This is just such a book. Don't let the first few chapters scare you away. Yes, it does begin in a rather cliche way. A couple of children living in an orphanage where the conditions and treatment are deplorable and horrific. Mr. Stewart is setting the stage for a larger than life escape plan. The escape is just the beginning as the brilliant Detective Gowerstone begins the chase. Each character and setting is portrayed with attention to detail which illuminated my imagination with sounds and images.

  As the youngsters flee across the country, they find themselves in one precarious and dangerous situation after another. I wonder if they could even take a calm breath through the whole of the journey. They desperately need to avoid police, Detective Gowerstone, and someone else whom they don't even know is an enemy yet. 

  This book begs to be read, but I was glad to know that it is Book 1 of a series. Britfield & the Lost Crown can be read alone with a satisfying ending. However, like Paul Harvey, I want to know The Rest of the Story! Alas, it won't be released until Fall of 2020. You can bet I'll be watching for it!

  Who will enjoy this book? Anyone who enjoys adventure stories and mysteries. If a child is old enough to listen to a chapter book, they're old enough. This is a great book for homeschool families and for any kids interested in geography.  It's also a fast paced read for teens and adults who want a few hours of relaxing entertainment.
  Can you tell I liked this book?

  Read the publisher's description below, then enter at the link below for a chance to win a copy for yourself. If you don't win, you can get your own copy when it's released on August 15th.

Publisher's description:  Tom has spent most of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, but when he learns that his parents might still be alive, Tom knows he must do what he can to find them. He can’t leave Weatherly without his best friend Sarah, so armed with a single clue to his past, the word Britfield, the two make a daring escape by commandeering a hot air balloon. Now they’re on the run from a famous Scotland Yard detective and what looks like half the police officers in England. Tom and Sarah’s journey takes them from Oxford University to Windsor Castle, through London, and finally to Canterbury. Along the way, they discover that Tom may be the true heir to the British throne, but even with the help of two brilliant professors, it looks like Tom and Sarah will be captured and sent back to the orphanage before they have a chance to solve Tom’s Royal mystery.

Release Date: August 15, 2019 
Juvenile Fiction/Action & Adventure/General
US $16.99

I received this book at no cost from the publisher for review. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage #140

Hey y'all!

I hope you're starting your summer well. I've dear friends visiting from out of town this week. It's so good to relax and enjoy time together as we catch up. We try to visit a couple times a year. We love you Smith ladies!

Let's catch up a bit shall we? Here are some of the thrifty things we've done lately.


🔸Our kids, 17-28, helped us move. Thanks kids!

🔸We borrowed a trailer to move. Thanks Ray!

🔸Free boxes from Wal-Mart for packing.

🔸Hubby fixed headlights on two vehicles! He saved over $100 by doing it himself. Thanks YouTube!

🔸He bought several loaves of bread 🍞on sale.

🔸We made French bread pizzas with the bread for Sunday night family dinner.

🔸We sold several household items on Facebook Marketplace.

🔸We had a sale at our old house.

🔸We donated nearly everything that didn't sell.

🔸Lowell and I shared a single meal for our date.

🔸I received a free muffin for signing up for Panera reward program.

🔸A friend bought me queso and iced tea at my knit night. Thanks Jill!

🔸I finished my Hitchhiker Shawl. I used sock blank yarn my friend Laura gave me for Christmas. My friend Missy is going to block it for me. Thanks Laura and Missy!

🔸Lots of PBJ sandwiches.

🔸A friend took me out to lunch and bought me has and groceries. Thanks Laura!

🔸We found a free piano on Facebook Marketplace. It was in better condition than our old piano.

🔸Dollar Tree had Cascade Platinum pods 4 to a package for $1.

🔸We gave away the piano that my friend, Deb, have to us back when my girls were little. They've both embraced music 🎶and sing and play. Emily teaches private lessons and Amy performs at residential care facilities. Thanks Deb! That was real estate investing.


As you can see, we've had many blessings lately. God is so good.My friends and children have been so kind to us. 
Praise God!

Blessed to be a blessing

Sunday, June 16, 2019

My Summer Bucket List 2019

Hello ladies,
 It's summer bucket list time again! I know y'all probably think of Memorial Day as the beginning of summer, and I suppose it is. I like to publish my list between the end of May and the first day of summer in June. However you count summer, it's definitely here now with the sunshine and warm weather. Actually, we're still having a lot of rain. Have you had any flooding troubles where you live?

 My Lowell put up my computer for me last night. Yay! It won't connect to the internet. Boo! For now, I will have to continue my little chatty posts on my phone or borrow a computer. Either way, I'm going to get back to writing at least once or twice a week. After all, that's what bloggers do, blog!

  Have you made your summer bucket list? It's just for fun. I've done it for a few years now. I even did it the year I was taking chemo. It gave me something positive to look forward to. Even in the hardest times, we can find little bits of joy and fun if we try. Please write back to me and tell me something you want to do this summer. 

  Once I've done something, I'll change it to italics. That way, you can see I've done it, and you can decide if you want to do it, too.

My Summer Bucket List 2019
  • Write my Summer Bucket List
  • Write my Summer Reading List
  • Frozen lemonade run to Sonic
  • Pedicure
  • Go to the drive in
  • Finish up school records for the year
  • Enjoy fireworks
  • Invite neighbors over for pie
  • Invite friends over for pie
  • Invite friends over for dinner
  • Enjoy a visit from dear friends Laura and Julia
  • Catch fireflies
  • Tea party
  • Start working on school plans for next year
  • Finish school plans for Amy
  • Enroll Amy in dual enrollment classes
  • Worship Jesus under the stars
  • Real Estate Investing (Decluttering)
  • Picnic in the park
  • Enjoy homemade lemonade on the porch
  • Ice cream run with the Amy
  • Sit by a fire and worship Jesus
  • Sew a new apron
  • Sew a new skirt or remake an old dress
  • Enjoy flowers throughout the house
  • Talk to strangers
  • Blow bubbles
  • Read a book, or two, or three...or four or five or six!
  • Sit by water and worship Jesus
  • Sonic run for half-price shakes after 8 p.m. 
  • Destination unknown picnic 
  • Eat icy cold watermelon

I may add or subtract as I go, but it's a start!  My bucket lists inspire me and help me to enjoy life and get things done. I hope this list will inspire you to make your own list! I know some items will be passed on to my fall bucket list, but it is motivating!
What will you put on your bucket list?

Be blessed!

Shared at The Homemaking Party

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A Chatty Little Hello From the New Cottage


Hi everyone. I'm trying something different. My computer is still not set up. Therefore, I have not yet been able to write a blog post. So, I thought I would see if I could do this on my telephone. So far, it is writing down what I say. I notice, however, that the print is really large. I don't know if I can fix that or not.

We lived at our last house for nearly 10 years. It was a great blessing. However, I do find that we accumulated far more things than I realized. We have been busy just sorting and deep cleaning. You can't imagine how dirty a house can get when you have been recovering from a major illness for two years. It's scary. Living in the country, I think we grew dust in our house.

I've truly been enjoying central air and the laundry room on the main floor in our new home. I'm trying to find places for the things that we have brought here. The garage is still half full of boxes. I have found that we have more dishes than we can probably use in a long time. I have more books then I can probably read in a year, even if I do nothing else! We had one garage sale yesterday at the old house. We will probably have another garage sale in a couple of months at the new house.

We've met some of the neighbors. It's been nice that when we're outside, some of them have said hello to us first. I know you find this hard to believe, but I'm usually the first person to say hello to people that I don't know. We live in what I call a small town. There are, I don't know, fourteen or fifteen thousand people here. But we used to live in Topeka, which at the time had 150 thousand residents. And we also lived in Oklahoma City with who knows how many residents. So this town we live in now seems little to me. My apologies to those of you who live in real little towns. Anyhow, it's been a long time since I've had people greet me first. My thought is if I want small-town friendly, then I have to be the initiator of it. I also feel like I am an ambassador for Jesus. I like to spread the love of Jesus wherever I can. It's just nice to live now in a place where it feels like a neighborhood. I feel like God sent us here, and I think we'll be happy here.

Anyhow, I just wanted to drop in and say hello, and let you all know that I'm still here. I just don't have my computer set up yet, and I haven't been able to write. Now that I know this works, you may get a few more little chatty posts just like this one. I can certainly talk faster than I can write.

Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers.

It is my hope that I'll be back to writing soon. I value the friendships that I have made here on the blog. And I thank you for joining me in this life, even if it is the miles.

God bless you all!

Laura of the new Harvest Lane Cottage