Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review

A Glimpse into What Ruth Graham Learned as a Child of God


For a long time I thought of Ruth Bell Graham simply as Billy Graham's wife. I knew she was the daughter of medical missionaries and had spent her childhood in China. Other than that I didn't know much about her until I started to read her books. I'd like to share one of them with you here: Legacy of a Pack Rat.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image Courtesy of Pixabay, edited in PicMonkey


Those of you who know me probably know why I had to open and read this book. I'm a pack rat. This was one of the books that I've had around the house I'd been waiting to read. I'm trying to read through these piles of books now so that I can pass them on. I won't be passing this one on just yet. It's a keeper.

If you've ever kept a journal or made a scrapbook, you know that only what is significant to you goes into it. Much of this book is treasured memories. Some of it is Ruth's original poetry. You will also find quotes from others which she wanted to preserve and keep handy to read over and over. As I read the results of Ruth's collation, I got a great deal of insight into who she was.

One portion I especially appreciated was Chapter 42: "Bible Study for Tough Times." These are suggested passages to read followed by some of Ruth's thoughts on persecution, affliction, and God's sovereignty and sufficiency.

Some anecdotes in the book are humorous. Some thoughts she shares are inspired by her Bible reading. Many stories are about her interactions with her husband, children, and parents. All of the stories, meditations and poems leave me with something to ponder after I read them.  One example from Chapter 43 shows how a barracuda gave Billy Graham more energy than he knew he had.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image of Barracuda Courtesy of Pixabay. TExt added with PicMonkey


The Perfect Book for Small Bits of Time


This book offers inspiration in short doses at times when you may need it most. Only a few minutes for a morning quiet time when you're still too tired for real Bible study? Reading a bit of this book will speak to your spirit and keep you going until you have more time and energy.

Are you sick in bed or in the hospital and can't read anything heavy for encouragement? This book is just right. It's also good to have beside your hospital bed for family who are keeping vigil when you are sleeping after surgery. It's perfect for reading while you are in the ICU waiting room awaiting your next visit with a family member who is in critical condition. You can also take it to a friend who is in the hospital for surgery or to recover from an illness.

Keep it by your own bedside and read a short chapter before you close your eyes. That can help focus your mind away from problems or pain that may be keeping you from falling asleep immediately.

I carry it with me now when I know I may spend time waiting anywhere. It doesn't require long periods to finish a section, since chapters can be less than a page to five pages in length. Most chapters are a page or two. I used to keep my Kindle in my purse for these waiting times, but then I often find I don't want to put my book down and tackle my to-do list when I get home. Instead I want to finish my book. Legacy of a Pack Rat is easy to pick up, read, and put down when you need to do something else.

Who Will Get Most Out of This Book?


I would say that Christians or those who believe in God will benefit most by reading this book. Ruth Graham knew what it's like to be a young mother with several young children and a husband who is gone frequently for long periods of time. So she understands the pressures of other young mothers. She also understands what missionaries face as they work in other countries and cultures. She understands what it means to be very busy and very tired. She understands being under pressure. Her book speaks to those at any stage of life from teen to old age.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Photo  ©Barbara Radisavljevic, Poem  © Ruth Bell Graham


This book offers food for thought in the form of humor, poetry, inspirational quotations, stories from the mission field, stories of returning prodigals, and more. She deals with hard topics like death, persecution, church problems, suffering, and forgiveness, interspersed with humorous anecdotes, reflections on prayer, original poems, and inspiring family stories.

Many of these stories may also be interesting to those who are not yet believers. Some may help a seeker move closer to faith. But I recommend the book most to those who already desire to walk closely with the Lord and lead lives that are very busy and/or who struggle with physical or emotional pain. 

The other two books you see below offer more insight into the life of Ruth Graham. Two of her children, including Franklin, were prodigals at one time. In Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, she reveals her heart as she waited for them to come home spiritually and explains how the experience helped her learn to rest in God's sovereignty. In Footsteps of a Pilgrim, Ruth reflects on her life both as a child in China and as a wife, mother and grandmother in the United States.

You can buy Legacy of a Packrat and the other books by Ruth Bell Graham at Amazon by clicking a link below or you may find them on eBay for less. 





You may also want to read my review of Billy Graham's book, Facing Death and the Life After.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hazel Martin Series Reviewed

Historical English Setting 

Twenties Style image from pixabay.com
The Hazel Martin series of mysteries really fits my favorite genres with a capital B for books! First of all, they are mysteries which I love to read. Secondly, they take place in 1920s England which I also love. And thirdly, the plots are interesting and different.

I love the premise that Hazel Martin is a mystery writer who gets called in to investigations of a real murder from time to time. She is quite a lovable character who I think most women can identify with. She has recently been widowed so she is learning to do things on her own. Her station in life isn't exactly aristocratic but she does live in a Manor House and has a staff of servants. Unlike many of the  wealthier folks of her time, she treats her staff more like family than servants and I love that about her. 

Hazel also has a wonderful Siamese cat whose name is Dickens. He is quite the clever cat who often helps her sort out clues in the process of figuring out who did the dirty deed and why. 

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed this short little series of mystery books by Leighann Dobbs. 

The books are easy to read without too much unnecessary babble that has nothing to do with the plot. There are a few little twists that keep the reader guessing and most of all they are well written little pieces of mysteries with an historical theme.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hazel facing the changes of her circumstances and deciding that perhaps she should try to be a little more modern with her fashion sense and ways of looking at life in general. She is independent, smart and interesting to follow.

If you love a nice little mystery with not much in the way of gory styles of murder, a cozy little mystery; then I think you will enjoy the Hazel Martin Series. There is a bit of the intriguing life of the upstairs gentry with the downstairs servants that I love to read about and watch in movies. The 1920s were a time of change around the world and I think the author touches nicely on those changes. I don't think you will be disappointed if you choose to begin reading this wonderful little series of books. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Furemover the Pet Hair Removal Solution

FURemver: removes dog hair from the Jeep seats
Are you tired of fighting the never-ending battle with pet hair in your house and car? With two dogs and a cat, I had given up trying to keep pet hair at bay. Then my son showed me a miraculous product - The Furemover broom. Had I not not watched him sweep up a pile of dog-hair-dust-bunny in a matter of moments, I would have NEVER believed it. As soon as I returned home I ordered my own Furemover broom and brushes. 


Low Pile Rugs and Floofy Dogs


Recently, while visiting my son and family, my son pulled out a broom-like device and quickly swept the carpet with it. I had seen that their puppy (an adorable Lab, Great Pyr, Akita, Chow mix) had left a couple of small furry fluffs of hair in the spot where he lays.  But to me, the rest of the rug looked perfectly clean.

After a very quick brushing of the carpet a sizable pile of dog hair was gathered and thrown away. I was amazed! I wanted to fall to the floor and start taking close-up photos of that pile of hair but it was my first visit in their home as a family and I thought that might look too weird, even for me.

After I returned home, I was so sure that I wanted to review this product that I asked my son to take a photo of a pile of hair for use on in my review. He happily obliged. 
My grandpup and the Furemover broom at work

The Furemover broom clearly works extremely well on low pile rugs and to remove floofy dog hair.

Unfortunately, the Furemover broom did not work as well on my el-cheapo, high pile, apartment carpet (shag) to remove Daisy's prickly, short, white hairs.

BUT .... even though the Furemover broom can't seem to gather the plague of short, prickly dog hairs from my shag carpet the Furemover cleaned my welcome mat with just a minute or two of sweeping.  



Also, I bought the Furemover duo brush. I highly, highly recommend the duo brush. This 2-sided brush has at least two fans in my home. Daisy loves me to brush her with it (and she's never really allowed me to brush her previously) and it is perfect for getting her pokey little hairs out of the Jeep seats!


Furemover Duo Brush for Car Seats


I had completely given up on cleaning the Jeep interior. With some work, Willy's softer hair can be vacuumed out. Daisy's hair just burrows into the seat fabric and is nearly impossible to remove. Just before my visit with my son, I paid several dollars for the public vacuum and worked up a sweat trying to remove the white prickley pestilence from the seats - only to resort to hand picking each little hair from the areas of the seat where he'd be sitting.

This Furemover Duo brushes nearly all of the embedded hairs from the seat as though they are laying on top of the surface.




When the broom arrived it required assembly - which was screwing the handle into the broom. The broom head is a very soft rubber so cross-threading would have occurred easily. But with a little attention to making sure I didn't cross-thread it the broom screwed on to the handle easily.

I'm very happy to own these brooms and brushes. These inexpensive items are excellent solutions for fluffy pet hair on low-pile rugs and all sorts of pet hair (including the short, prickley hairs like Daisy sheds) on your car seats. 


Additional note: That beautiful grandpup of mine is a rescue. Please consider adopting a dog or cat that needs a home.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

3 Easy Ways to Cover Wall Imperfections Without Painting

Real or Faux - Brick and Wood Looks
Imperfect walls can be frustrating. We see them, where others may not, and they drive us crazy!

When painting isn't an option, or something you feel like doing, there are several other techniques you can employ to solve your flawed wall issues.

Wall Murals & Decals

Today's wall murals come in many materials; most commonly you'll find vinyl and paper.

You can get full wall coverage with a vinyl wall decal, however, it can be a bit expensive to cover a large wall. In fact, most of the large wall decals approach the five hundred dollar mark. But remember the advantage of a vinyl decal is being able to easily remove it.

If you're renting, vinyl decals are much easier to take down when the rental period is up. Depending upon the quality of vinyl you choose, you may or may not have to repair the paint underneath after removing it. However, higher quality decals tend to be removable without the worry of wall or paint damage.

If you have an overly flawed wall, another tip is to choose a geometric design in either paper or vinyl. The three dimensional look helps to hide any obvious boo-boos that might otherwise peek through a plain or solid design.

Faux Brick Wall Treatments
If a wall has quite a few flaws, wallpaper (not vinyl) may be the wiser choice.

In fact, if the walls have obvious marks or flaws to cover, then a durable wallpaper, like Grass Cloth should be considered.

You can essentially get any pattern, scenery, or design in vinyl or paper, making it possible to create virtually any artistic look you want.

Faux Wall Treatments - Faux Brick, Faux Wood

You don't have to spend a fortune to cover an unattractive wall. Faux vinyl materials exist in various styles including faux brick and wood. Or if you're willing, you can put up actual wood panels. Today's decorating choices essentially give you any design, look or color in faux or real wood.

Creating a feature wall can change the look of a room. A flawed wall gives you the chance to put your inner artist to the test. The wall that was once painful to look at, can be become your home's Picasso.

Getting started is the hardest part. Look around your room and decide what design would look best on your wall; geometric, bricks, or wood ... and then find the look you want in easy to install faux art.

3D Green Fields and Peaceful River Curtains3D Green Fields and Peaceful River Curtains
Use Three Dimensional Drapes to Cover a Flawed Wall

When you're not into painting, and you're not into vinyl decals, and you're absolutely not into wallpaper, but you need to do something to fix that eye-sore, then three dimensional drapes are the way to go. 

You don't need a window to put up drapes!

Put up the drapery rod and add the artistic scenery drapes to cover your wall, floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and you've solved your problem! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Oh, and the best part, get two or three designs in three dimensional draperies, and switch them up when you get tired of them! Go seasonal in your designs; spring, summer, fall and winter. 

There you have it, three easy ways to fix up your walls without painting; have fun!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Reviewing uses for tea tree oil
Click here to buy some Tea Tree Oil
I was first introduced to Tea Tree oil over 20 years ago and absolutely love it.  At the time that I was introduced to it I was managing a health food store in New Zealand and the brand I used was Thursday Plantation.  Thursday Plantation was the first company to make tea tree oil commercially, but over the years many other companies have followed suit.

I was really excited when Arbonne released their new products for the year and tea tree oil was one of them.  As a company I love the ethics of Arbonne, the fact that all of their products are of high quality, PETA approved, vegan and so much more means that I will be using their tea tree oil.

How Do I Use Tea Tree OIl

Treating Things with Tea Tree Oil


Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried.

Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide, in fact according to Valerie Ann Worwood (The Fragrant Pharmacy) it's antiseptic properties are thought to be 100 x more powerful than carbolic acid.

I have used it in a diffuser or burner when I've been sick (although to be honest I prefer lemon oil as it doesn't make the house smell like a hospital!).

My husband used to get a recurring fungal infection on his toe nail and was constantly using a cream from the doctor which would help it, but it would never go away completely.  I decided that we should use tea tree oil (much to the dismay of my sceptical husband!)  I put one drop of tea tree oil onto a dampened cotton bud and wiped it over the nail twice a day.  Much to my husband's disbelief it actually worked and the fungal nail infection went away completely.

The owner of the health food store I managed used to get dandruff and he found that once he used a tea tree shampoo and conditioner it cleared up.  Well to be honest I didn't think my husband would like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner and I already had the oil so I told him to put the shampoo onto his hand and then add one drop of tea tree oil, mixed it together and then use it on his head.  Lo and behold his dandruff disappeared.

It's amazing how over the years my husband has been much less of a sceptic!

Beauty Uses for Tea Tree Oil


When I worked at the health food shop there were a few products for acne that were based on tea tree oil that were very successful for our customers, but I heard of a couple of cool ideas on a training I recently attended.

Tea Tree Skin Tonic

2 drops of tea tree oil
40 drops of witch hazel

Use this on your skin in place of a toner.  I think this is awesome as I know a couple of years ago I worked with a young lady and she used straight witch hazel to clear up her problem skin, coupled with my previous customer's experience with tea tree I think this is a winning combination.

If you have blemishes anywhere on your body you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin.

You can add 1-2 drops to your existing masks, scrubs or face creams.  The only thing you can NOT do is add it straight onto your skin.  This is a pure essential oil which means it's highly concentrated and should always be diluted before using.

Steam Bath for Acne

Of course you can always add hot water to a bowl with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil and then pop a towel over your head and the bowl and let the combination of steam and tea tree work it's magic.  As a disclaimer although I remember my friends steaming their face as an 'acne cure' as a teen I didn't suffer from acne so I'm not sure if it worked.  My daughter tried it a couple of times, but didn't like the smell as it reminded her that I used tea tree on her when she had nits!  (I can't remember the ratio I used for that).  As she wouldn't give it a chance it didn't work.

Arbonne Essential Oils
Purchase Arbonne Essential Oils here

Household Uses for Tea Tree Oil

My favorite way to use tea tree oil around the house was in the toilet!  I would lift the cistern up and pop a dozen drops of tea tree oil to the water in there.  Every time you flush you get a very faint odour of the tea tree oil, when I couldn't smell it anymore (or a week had passed) I would add more drops.

Now I wasn't doing it for that fragrance by the way, I did it because it really helped to keep the toilet bowl cleaner.  I haven't done this in a while because with our last toilet I couldn't easily access the cistern, but with our newer toilet and Arbonne releasing their tea tree oil I will start this again!

I have also used tea tree oil for removing scuff marks off of lino floors (add a drop to a damp cloth and wipe).  Talking of floors you can also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 1/5 gallons of water and use that to wash your floors.  My husband's response was that it smelt like a hospital, so the next time I also added a couple of drops of lavender to try and mask the smell.  I no longer do this because my husband really didn't like the smell and sometimes you just accept defeat in some areas!

If you like the smell of tea tree oil you can also add it to your vacuum bag when vacuuming - I tended to only use lavender essential oil (see above re husband's complaint!), but I now have a bagless vacuum so I don't get the lovely smell as I'm cleaning the house!

Dogs & Tea Tree Oil

Now dog's have very sensitive skin so do NOT put tea tree oil directly onto a dog's skin, but it can help if they have sores or are itchy, it just must be diluted.  If your dog is itching a bit then simply pop 1 drop into the shampoo before washing him/her. 

My late dog got a nasty sore on his tummy so I diluted a drop of tea tree oil in a natural base cream (I can't remember the name of it) and rubbed that on it.  It worked really well.  For my current dog I've always used pawpaw ointment (no need to mix anything).

Have You Used Tea Tree Oil?


There are lots of uses for tea tree oil which I haven't even touched on, I'd love to know if you've used it and what your experiences of it have been.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Reality of Love Movie Review

The Reality of Love Movie Review - I Want to Marry Ryan Banks
If you are seeking a really cute love story with a fairy-tale ending, then allow me to recommend The Reality of Love.  Not only is it a sweet love story, but it is a testament to true and devoted friendship.   

I'm not really a big fan of reality television shows, but I am a huge fan of the Hallmark channel movies.  Therefore, I found myself watching this movie a few days ago and I loved it.  If the real reality shows were more like this movie's reality show, then I would probably be more inclined to watch them.  One thing I suspect they both have in common is that the editors of the program cut, edit and alter the participants to appear the way they want them to in the show.  But, things aren't always as they seem on screen.


The Reality of Love Movie Synopsis


 When Todd (Bradley Cooper) and Ryan (Jason Priestley) graduate from college, they drive almost 3000 miles from Boston to Hollywood to celebrate.   While trying to impress a couple of girls in a bar, Ryan claims to be an actor.  He is immediately approached by a casting director who is looking for just the right guy for a movie.  She requests his manager's name and Ryan responds by introducing Todd as his manager.  

The movie fast forwards to 10 years later when Ryan has become a huge success and Todd has in fact worked as his manager.   However, Ryan's last film was a failure and his career is sinking fast.  Todd comes up with the idea of featuring Ryan on a reality television show named "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" and letting America pick a wife for Ryan.  

The applicants flood in for the show.  It seems everyone wants to marry Ryan Banks.  Todd and Ryan pick 30 girls from the submitted videos which will be interviewed in person and 15 will be selected for the show.  

From the very beginning, Charley (Emma Caulfield Ford) is America's top choice to be Ryan's wife.  Because Ryan wants to maintain his popularity with the public, he is willing to romance and select Charley as his bride.  However, there is just one big problem.  His best friend and manager, Todd, has fallen head over heels in love with Charley during the filming and production of the show. 

One friend has to make a sacrifice that will affect the rest of his life for his best friend. 



Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer - Review

Finn's New Adventure Mobile
Let's go!  These are the magic words that make my dog's heart sing.  Finn is always thrilled when we head out for an adventure, but his disability requires thoughtful solutions that enable him to enjoy rigorous outdoor activities.  This is why I bought Finn the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Stroller/Trailer this week. Now he can go on extended hikes and bike rides without hurting or overly stressing his body.

When I adopted Finn a few months ago, the first thing I acquired for him was a standard dog stroller.  That stroller has been an important mobility aid given Finn's limited use of his rear legs, but it has significant issues.  The stroller is tippy and its small wheels can only handle paved surfaces.  Given the rugged terrain where we live and play, it quickly became apparent that we needed a different style of dog stroller.

As I initiated a search for Finn's next adventure mobile, my wish list included the following features: lower center of gravity (closer to the ground); bigger wheels; dual use features (bike trailer option in addition to stroller function); and affordability (many dog trailers cost several hundred dollars).

After considering several products, I found one that offered more than I was seeking.  The price was right (two to three hundred dollars less than other models offering fewer features) and the shipping was fast and free.  Everything arrived carefully packed.

Here's what I received in the box (clockwise from bottom center): tool kit; instructions; front swivel wheel and fork; safety flag; handlebars with brake; rear wheels; and trailer body.



In addition to getting the larger wheels (19-inch) on my wish list, I was especially happy to receive the bonus of a suspension system that will provide shock absorption.  I want Finn to have as smooth a ride as possible.  This is one of the more important features for a dog that cannot balance on all four legs.






I was ready to purchase another trailer model until I read complaints about the front wheel being stationary.  Because the wheel did not swivel, turning was tedious.  I now realize what a mistake it would have been to go with a stroller that was hard to maneuver around curves and corners.  The front wheel on this model can swivel 360 degrees and is 9.5 inches high.











Another complaint about some of the other dog strollers that I initially considered was that they lacked any storage options.  This model has two pockets, one on each side of the trailer body, that are just perfect for storing a cell phone, keys, or a wallet.













Though the trailer can be compacted for travel, I find it is easiest to just leave it fully assembled and use the bed of my truck for moving it around.  Even though I have a short bed on my Sport Trac, it is large enough to haul this trailer.  Anyone with a van, SUV, or truck will have plenty of room to easily transport this dog trailer.  The external dimensions are: 30" wide x 46" long x 38" high.  At 37 pounds, I can easily lift and load this stroller/trailer by myself.


Let's move on to what Finn likes about his new ride.  When I asked him, he wanted to make sure I mentioned his awesome sunroof.  That's pretty much his favorite feature.  I've been keeping the roof open while we're cruising so Finn can keep an eye on my driving.  The sunroof does have a screen and rain guard.  Given that the weather can change every five minutes in Colorado, I'm sure that hatch cover will be put to use.




Finn also likes the roomy interior of his carriage.  There is plenty of space to lie down comfortably.  The internal dimensions are: 23" wide x 28" long x 22" high.  He also enjoys all of the screened in picture windows.  This is one fabulous room with a view.








Most of all, Finn and I love the anticipation of all the places we will now be able to go.  We highly recommend the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer.  It's not just for disabled dogs.  Most dogs could benefit from this mobility aid during some season in their lives.  Young pups and senior dogs often tire easily on long walks.  Also, many dogs have periods of time when they are recovering from something that limits their capacity to get around (a surgical procedure, injury, etc.).  It is so hard for a dog to be grounded.  Anything that keeps a dog's spirits up and is good for his overall well-being is so worth the investment.

Stay tuned for updates as we test the bicycle trailer option and take our first road trip.
















Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Outstanding Gifts for First Communions and Confirmations

April and May are the typical months for many "spiritual" exercises in the Roman Catholic Church, so let's review some appropriate and outstanding gifts for these special occasions!

gifts for religious occasions, Holy Communion, Confirmation,
Spring is that time of renewal and rebirth!  Everything seems to be coming to life again and so with Easter behind us, it's time to help our youngsters grow in their faith too!

Along with the profession of their First Communions and/or Confirmations, many families opt to host a small party for the child who is taking this big step.  Often times if you are invited to this kind of celebration, it is difficult to know what an appropriate gift would be for the child. As the parent and grandparent of a few children that have made this testament to their faith,  I can help you out!

Holy Communions and Confirmations are religious events,  unlike birthdays or other celebrations.  Gifts should be in keeping with the tone of the event.  For parents and grandparents, they may choose to give the child a Prayer Book and/or Rosary.  A nice cross on a chain for them to wear would also be appropriate.  Other invited guests may choose monetary gifts because they have no idea what an appropriate gift would be.

I like to give books and believe firmly that a child will enjoy a book given for a special occasion and maybe even treasure that book well into their adult life.  To that end, I'm going to suggest a  book that I really like and would be lovely for either First Communion or Confirmation


Brother Sun and Sister Moon is an adaptation from St. Francis of Assisi's song to God, by Katherine Paterson!  The original version was written in 1227!  This particular book has beautiful illustrations that are actually hand cut outs of paper by Pamela Dalton.  Each picture is a marvel in and of itself. This book is wonderful in both content and design.  The gorgeous pictures and beautiful words,  will be a nice reminder for any child of that special day in their lives. The illustrations are just so well done and an art form that we don't see too much of.  I had seen this book at the library, and I was taken by surprise at the beauty of the illustrations.  Mind you, I also happen to love St. Francis of Assisi!  He is the patron saint of gardeners (my other passion) and naturalists. 

The Bible Made Easy - for Kids,  is a great starting point for dialogue about faith.  When the children read what is happening in the Bible stories,  in language that they understand, discussion about faith topics is so much easier!  The Bible (while wonderful in its original form) is not a book that is easily understood.  Giving children the opportunity to read the stories and understand their meanings is a great way to start some interesting discussions about the life and faith lessons that we need to learn.

Encouraging children to read and ask questions makes their faith life come alive.  It's not just something they do on Sundays anymore. 

So let me see if I can make it even easier for you to decide on the appropriate gift!  Here's a list that works for me:

Holy Communion or Confirmation Gifts:

1.  Faith based books! (Geared to the age of the child)
2.  Cross for Child's room
3.  Bookmarks with spiritual sayings
4.  Picture frame for the "Special Day Photo"
5.  Rosary (if they are Catholics, you can never have just one!)
6.  Necklace or charm with a religious tone (angels, wings, crosses etc.)
7.  Small statue of their favorite saint or namesake.
8.  Donation to a favorite charity in the name of the child.
9.  Child friendly Bible
10.Gratitude Journal

These are just my suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with more! Teaching and passing on the faith we believe in is part of our duty as parents.  Milestones in that faith formation should be celebrated with loved ones.  Truly, it is home where our sense of faith begins and it is home where milestones should be celebrated too.
Holy Communion gifts, religious gifts, faith based gifts from family

You can read more about these sacraments and appropriate gifts in another review I did a few years ago.  Click Right Here and read some more if you feel so inclined!  Bless you all!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Probable Paws Mystic Notch Series Reviewed

Revisiting A Favored Cozy Mystery Series

A guardian of magic, perhaps?
A few years ago, I reviewed the Mystic Notch series of cozy mysteries here on Review This. At the time of that article there were only four books in this delightful series. While looking for something new to read, I discovered that more books have been written since then. 

I had forgotten just how delightful the humans and cats were in this entertaining series of mysteries! Willa and her cat Pandora are still as fun to read about as in the other books of this Cozy Mystery Series. 

If you recall, Willa has inherited a bookstore from her Grandmother in the quaint and magical little town of Mystic Notch. Along with the shop, she also inherited her grandmother's Victorian house and of course the very intelligent cat, Pandora. In the 5th book, Willa is beginning to realize that there just might be something very special about her cat. Of course, Pandora is trying to be patient with this human of hers while trying to teach her the ways of communication. 

Willa still sees ghosts which is an ability that she acquired after a terrible accident a few years ago. The ghosts aren't anything to fear, they are actually pretty friendly. Willa would say they are more annoying than frightening. In Probable Paws, the visiting spirit is Adelaide Hamilton who doesn't ask Willa to find the person who took her life as most of the ghosts do. Adelaide is more concerned that Willa find a certain recipe book and make sure that it gets to Elspeth. Willa remembers that her Grandmother had mentioned this same book in her will and also wanted to make sure that Elspeth got it. What could be so special about a cookbook? Well, perhaps the recipes contained it might be a clue but I won't spoil it for you.

I will tell you that Willa is not the only person in town who is searching for that book. If you remember there has been a struggle in the little town for generations between the people who know good magic and the dark ones who want to exert their evil magic into the town. So, obviously some bad people are also looking for the book known as Betty's Recipes. There is another searcher for the book that Willa is unaware of. Are they one of the good ones or a bad one? Well, you will have to read the book to find out. Will the cats of Mystic Notch be able to help the humans?

If you read the other books in this series, I think you will want to read the fifth book. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have not read any of these books, I highly recommend that you get started. You will not be disappointed if you are a cozy mystery fan, a lover of cats and don't mind a friendly ghost or two.





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Monday, April 16, 2018

Reviewing Poo-Pourri for the Bathroom

Writing publicly about bathroom habits is a strange thing
Poo-Pourri - Deja Poo scent.
for me - I'm not sure whether to be very concise with only scientific lingo or whether to start cracking off with potty humor. I think I'll try to keep the potty humor dialed back while I review an awesome product called Poo-Pourri. If you have ever been concerned about the unpleasant and embarrassing smells that are created while using the bathroom you might be interested in this bathroom smell eliminator.


Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray


Poo-Pourri is advertised as the "before you go" bathroom smell barrier. Spray a bit of this fragrance on the water in the bowl before having a seat to do your business. The advertising goes on to promise that the spray traps the smell under the water and all you (and more importantly OTHERS) smell is "a refreshing bouquet of natural essential oils" with no harsh chemicals - 

  • No synthetic fragrance
  • No alcohol
  • No aerosol
  • No parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No formaldehyde

The makers of Poo-Pourri advertise it as "safe to breathe and safe to flush".  

When I had the opportunity to use it over several days, it did work every time. It eliminated or covered any smells that I didn't want to share with others.

My Skepticism


I was introduced to this product during a recent trip to visit my son and family. When they mentioned the spray, I was very skeptical. After all... doesn't the smell happen on the way to the toilet water? Isn't spraying the toilet water a little like closing the barn door when the horse has been running around the field?

And... the Poo-Pourri was so STRONG! I took a sniff and thought about my migraines. I thought the spray would certainly trigger a migraine.

Despite my negative thoughts, I tried it. And it did work. After flushing, all I smelled was the Poo-Pourri. The scent did not trigger a migraine - despite being very strong.

I am purchasing some Poo-Pourri of my own. I really like the "in a pinch" sized bottles. I can carry them with me into public restrooms.  I have to admit that when I travel (and when I've been fighting migraines) my schedule is off and I end up using public bathrooms. I don't like feeling like I have to wait until the sink area of a public bathroom has to clear before I dart out of a stall... pretending as though "that wasn't me!"

Now I can exit a public bathroom stall smelling as fresh as a flower garden.

Poo-Pourri "in a pinch pack"


There is a variety of Poo-Pourri scents to choose from.  Deja Poo, Original Citrus, Secret Santa Claus Christmas, Royal Flush, Tropical Hibiscus, and more. You can shop the Poo-Pourri store on Amazon or you can check out the Poo-Pourri website for more information. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.