Showing posts with label Dawn Rae. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dawn Rae. Show all posts

Monday, February 19, 2024

Reviewing Burt's Bees Hand and Body Butter - Great Gift Idea

Burt's Bees makes a lip balm that is familiar and the first choice of many.  I realized they had a product line of lotions but I did not realize that they also offer a hand and body butter. Burt's Bees Shea and Mango Luxurious Hand & Body Butter is a wonderful way to care for your skin and a great gift to pamper someone you love.

photo of a jar of body butter cream
Burt's Bees Body Butter


The store I used to frequent for lotions, creams, and body butters is a long distance from here. But I had considered making the drive as I have been feeling so dry and in need of a moisturizer that is stronger than lotion. The trouble is, over the year I have become increasingly more sensitive to chemicals and strong scents. And I assumed that being inside the store would be over-powering.  But ordering an unfamiliar body butter scent by mail seemed risky.  So I delayed that drive and shopping trip.

In my local pharmacy, there is a Burt's Bees display and I stopped to browse one day. I was so excited when I realized they body butter!

As I write, I am realizing that perhaps not everyone is familiar with body butter. I generally think of body butter as a very thick and condensed lotion. It is sold in squat jars with a screw-on lid because it is far to thick to pump out of a bottle. 

In looking for a definition, I am finding that body butter is not only more concentrated but is often made of a "blend of natural butters and oils, such as cocoa butter or shea butter". And because of these factors, it is often much better for very cracked, dry, or sensitive skin. I am finding that because lotion is thinner it likely absorbs into the skin faster. And body butter is especially good to use following a bath or shower as it helps to retain that moisture.

I encourage you to do your own research as I do not know all of the technical aspects of lotions and butters. What I do know is that I love how body butter makes me feel. I feel as though I am being pampered when I use body butter.

Burt's Bees Shea & Mango Hand & Body Butter

This body butter is advertised as "luxurious" on the label. I whole-heartedly agree with that. Also on the label are statements such as:

"with responsibly sourced shea"

"supporting women-led communities for over 10 years"

This body butter does not leave a wet or greasy feeling. It immediately feels smooth and silky. I apply it before bed and wake in the morning still feeling smooth.

The scent is a soft fruity smell. I saw a review online where the person wrote that it smelled like a fresh, marshmallow fruit salad. I can't say that I disagree with that. I am sensitive to chemical smells and I can say that this scent does not bother me as so many lotion scents do. In fact, I enjoy this scent very much.

Burt's Bees is a company with a large fan base so I may be the last to know about their body butter. But I still wanted to spread the word.

I think this would make an excellent gift! I do not regularly buy body butter because I typically have thought of it as a splurge item. It is likely that others have the same thought. What a wonderful way to pamper someone who might not pamper themselves. 

Related Links:

Burt's Bees Shea & Tropical Fruit Body Butter on Amazon

Burt's Bees official website





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 29, 2024

Reviewing My Love of Polish Pottery and Where I Shop

Polish Pottery is a type of folk art stoneware that originated in the early 1800s and was believed to be inspired by a peacock feather. It is made of the clay that is unique to that region in Boleslawiec and hand-painted using brushes and sponges. The firing temperatures result in a stoneware that is durable and resistant to chipping, cracking, and fading. I absolutely love Polish Pottery.

hand-painted Polish Pottery bowl
my new soup bowl #C38

My desire to collect Polish Pottery began decades ago.  I first saw the stoneware at a festival; I believe at the National Apple Harvest Festival in Pennsylvania. I fell in love with the bright colors instantly. The pieces are pricey (especially related to my budget back then) but I was able to purchase a small blue, white, and yellow bowl that I thought I would use for trinkets on my dresser top.  I treated that little ceramic bowl with care as I did not yet understand how incredibly durable polish pottery is. Over the years that bowl has stored trinkets, served dipping sauces, and has been a water bowl for my little quail in the winter time when it is so cold that their regular water bottles have frozen and they need a drink while I'm defrosting their bottles. The shine and paint on this first bowl is as bright and beautiful as the day I purchased it all those years ago.

hand-painted polish pottery small bowls
two of my small ice cream bowls

Previously, I thought the only way that I could buy my annual piece of Polish Pottery was to either attend festivals that included handcrafted items booths and Polish Pottery vendors. This past year at the National Apple Harvest Festival I sought out that booth, Gettysburg Polish Pottery, and was thrilled to be able to buy a large bowl. I believe it is listed as a cereal bowl but I feel that it is larger than what I usually think of as cereal bowls. To me, it is a large pasta bowl. Or a bowl for a large serving of chili on a cold winter day.

I was planning to buy another bowl of that size soon. So I reached out to Gettysburg Polish Pottery on their social media sites. I did not know how to determine the correct number or name of my bowl. I received an immediate answer and help finding the item number of my bowl. My bowl is a "C38". I was equipped to order another bowl that is the same size. 

The wonderful thing about Polish Pottery is that you can order all of your items in the same paint style. You can build an entire serving set that matches. OR you can do as I do, and order single pieces in the colors and prints that appeal to you in any given moment. 

I believe that Gettysburg Polish Pottery does mail orders. But I had planned to drive up to their store or mail order my next piece. Then one day, while randomly browsing Amazon, I found a Polish Pottery C38 bowl in the same design as that very first bowl I purchased. 

Honestly, I was a bit concerned with ordering a popular, handcrafted item from Amazon. I once thought I was ordering two boxes of authentic Mason Jars and instead received two single jars, of thin glass, from China. But even with that adventure in the back of my mind, I ordered a Polish Pottery bowl from the Polish Pottery Gallery Amazon Store

I am THRILLED with my purchase. The bowl was packed (stuffed with paper to pad it - not styrofoam) and boxed in a way that prevented breaking. It is (as far as I can tell) an authentic Polish Pottery item.  They advertise their pieces as "certified Quality 1". And best of all, it is hand-painted in that design that I first fell in love with. 

Searching the Polish Pottery Gallery on Amazon

If you know the number of the piece you are looking for, you can search for that on the Polish Pottery Gallery Amazon store. When I searched for my bowl, using just it's number "C38", this is the variety of  my bowls they currently have available

package insert from Polish Pottery Gallery
insert included with my order





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 15, 2024

Reviewing Mandala Yarn and a Brick Stitch Crochet Pattern

During a recent shopping trip I spotted a beautifully colored yarn cake. It was the Mandala Bonus Bundle in the colorway called Sasquatch. I had not planned on picking up any yarn but with the holidays coming up, as well as possible snow days, I thought I might have time to relax with project. Besides, the yarn color was too pretty to pass up. 

brightly colored yarn by Lion Brand
Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn Cake 


Lion Brand Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn

I have used a variety of Lion Brand yarns over the years and I have liked the quality of yarn. So when I saw this beautifully colored yarn cake, I had no problem with choosing it for a project. 

What is a yarn cake? Historically, there are skeins, hanks, and balls of yarn. Most people are familiar with skeins of yarn. Yarn cakes are different because they are flat on the top and bottom, The starting end of the yarn comes from the center of the cake. I find that yarn cakes are becoming my preferred yarns. I don't find that they tangle or snag as easily as they do with a skein. If it is a multi-colored yarn I am able to see all of the colors when it is in a cake. And best of all, yarn cakes don't roll away like a ball of yarn does. Maybe I'm the only one who has dropped a ball of yarn and watched it unwind as it rolls across the room. Let me tell you that it is quite annoying when it happens. 

The Mandala Bonus Bundle I chose is the Sasquatch colorway. At first glance, I thought that it looked like natural, outdoor colors. Greens and blues, the colors of earth and sky, followed by yellow, orange, and a magenta, the colors of a sunset. Then I decided that it reminded me of the colors of rainbow sherbert; green, orange, and raspberry!  I still haven't decided what colors I think this self-striping yarn is but I haven't changed my mind that it is beautiful.

Mandala Bonus Bundle cake is a size 3 yarn. This is a lighter weight than worsted weight. But in my opinion it is thicker than a baby yarn. The Bonus Bundle is 1,181 yards in length and it seems that just these 2 cakes are making a decent sized afghan.  The yarn is acrylic which makes it machine washable and dryable. 

crochet

I love to crochet. Especially in the wintertime. I consider myself an intermediate level crocheter. I need patterns that do not require intense concentration, counting, or intricate patterns. However, I want something pretty. Yes. I want the best of both worlds! I want super easy/fast and an interesting pattern. 

The Brick Crochet Pattern - Jayda Institches Tutorial

I can read written crochet patterns but these days I prefer to watch a good video tutorial. I have my favorite crochet channels and usually go directly to them. Fortunately, I stumbled across a wonderful Brick Stitch Baby Blanket tutorial using Mandala yarn (Sasquatch) by Jayda Institches.

She gives very clear directions, crochets slowly so I could follow along, and uses close-up shots that show exactly where she is placing her crochet hook. It was very easy for me to create an adult-sized afghan following her directions.

If you are looking for an easy and pretty crochet blanket pattern I recommend that you check out Lion Brand's Mandala yarn cake and this Brick Stitch pattern.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 1, 2024

Book Review: Saga of the Mountain Sage: A Classic Historical Western Series by W. Michael Gear

This historical fiction western begins in 1825, when Richard is a young Boston gentleman attending Harvard. He is a talented and bright student studying philosophy. Richard can quote all of the greatest philosophers and he knows what is real and what is right. He is the only son of wealthy businessman Phillip Hamilton. His mother is deceased, having died during childbirth and Richard has essentially been raised by their servant, Jeffry. How is a story set in the city of Boston able to become a historical western? It begins when Phillip decides that it is time for Richard to take some responsibility, ends his financial support for the Harvard education, and sends Richard on a business trip to St. Louis - the edge of the wild frontier.

Book Cover of Saga of the Mountain Sage Book 1

The Morning River: Sage of the Mountain Sage, Book One: A Classic Historical Western Series 

Thank goodness I was on vacation when I started this book (this series of four books)! I read the series across a handful of days; including the one day that I forced myself to finally close my kindle at 3:30 am. I resumed reading immediately after breakfast the following day.

Richard begins his trip west to St. Louis with his father's bag of bank notes. He expects to make the long journey to St. Louis, make the business transaction, and return to Boston. 

The chapters take us from Richard's journey to Heals Like A Willow. Her people are the Dukurika (Shoshone), the sheepeaters of the high mountains. She had married her husband, a Ku'chendikani, and lived with their tribe. We meet her as she is burying and mourning her husband and son high on a rocky slope, during a blowing snow. We later learn that she is a very powerful woman, a medicine woman, and breaks some of her People's important traditions and expectations about a woman's role in their society. However, she continues searching for what is real and what is right.

While Phillip is right, and Richard's entire world has been limited to their home, the city, and the university I was immediately concerned that sending Richard on such a journey with such a large amount of money was a very risky idea. During Richard's long journey on the river, he is aloof and stand-offish. He is not impressed by the cities and towns along the way. He looks down his nose at the people he sees in boats, on the riverbanks, and on the farms along the way. Richard was amazed at the river he traveled on but uncomfortable when he stared into the deep forests.

"... he'd watched the forest as it passed, uneasy at what might lurk in those dim shadows. Like a child hearing the ghouls in the winter wind."

During brief conversations with another gentleman, Mr. Eckhart, on the steamboat, we begin to see Richard's thoughts. When Mr. Eckhart observes that Richard may not have the ambition and character needed for frontier life, Richard responds:

"My duty, sir, is to go to Saint Louis, see to some arrangements, and return to Boston with the greatest dispatch. Thereafter, I shall retire to the university and never again endure such bad food... ill company, or the human dregs such as you see floating along on flatboats"

It is a wonder that Richard doesn't make enemies when he repeatedly and snobbishly refers to others as "animals". Oh wait, he does make enemies.

Richard arrives in St. Louis with plans of finishing this errand for his father then returning to Boston to begin courting the beautiful Laura Templeton. He has written letters to her along the journey. 

But there is trouble in St. Louis. Big trouble. Life-threatening and life-changing trouble that irrevocably changes Richards life. If he survives, it is very unlikely that he will ever return to Boston.

Travis Hartman, a rugged frontiersman who is disfigured from a bear attack has partnered with long-time friend Dave Green in a business plan. They are planning an illegal trip up the Missouri River, in a keelboat, to the Upper Yellowstone River to open a trading post. During this time of unrest between the Indian tribes and each other, and the tribes and whites, permits are required to do such a thing. But Dave Green has a dream and a plan.

It is up this river and on the frontier that the lives of Richard and Heals Like A Willow, surrounded by the likes of Hartman and Green, converge. Will they collide and self-destruct or join forces and survive.


This series kept me engrossed. It was not only entertaining but educational (I had no idea how Keelboats were moved upriver) it was also thought-provoking. How do we decide what is right and wrong? And who is right? Who are the animals and who are civilized? 

While many descriptions in the book are beautiful (descriptions of the people, the land, the settings) and took me to those places, it was also a time period set during a great deal of violence. There are plenty of "mature" and difficult scenes, words, and themes in this book. However, it was the reality of those times.

If you begin The Morning River, book 1 in the series, and have any inkling that you like the story, I highly recommend buying the next 3 books. I do not recommend jumping into the series somewhere in the middle or end. I wish that these 4 books had been kept in one single book (I read somewhere that the series began as either one or two books - I don't recall which - but had been separated out into 4 somewhere along the way. I would have preferred it to be one volume).

I would like to tell you more about the characters. And about the parts of the story that made me laugh and made me cry. I would like to discuss the "right", the "wrong", and how God does or doesn't work in our lives, based on the story. But telling any of those things would create spoilers and I don't want to do that.  I can say that this story and these characters (and the people the characters represent from our history) will be with me for a very long time. 

Thank you W. Michael Gear for writing this bit of history in this way.


You can find there series here: The Morning River: Sage of the Mountain Sage, Book One: A Classic Historical Western Series 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, December 18, 2023

Reviewing The Republic of Tea Ginger Peach

I recently purchased Ginger Peach full-leaf loose tea from The Republic of Tea and enjoy it so much that I had to make sure to share a review with you. As I am trying to make the move away from soda and toward more natural drinks, I have purchased several different teas and this, by far, is my favorite new tea.

Package of tea
Delicious Ginger Peach Tea


I am not a tea connoisseur. Far from it. However, I know what I like and what I don't like. I do not like sugary, syrupy teas or teas that have what seems like an artifical flavor. Most of the bottled teas that I have tried seem to fall into those categories. So I have been experimenting with herbal teas, such as Mullein, that I have harvested from my yard. I also enjoy Chamomile and plan to grow and harvest my own. In the meantime, I've purchased a large tea cup with a lid and infuser and have begun ordering small amounts of loose leaf tea. 

The Republic of Tea -- Ginger Peach

I purchased a 3.5 oz bag (steeps 50 cups) of full-leaf loose Ginger Peach Black Tea. The packaging describes it as:

"This full-leaf tea offers the natural flavors of a lush, juicy peach seasoned with the tingle of spicy ginger, creating a fresh and flavorful cup" 

I believe that description to be accurate. The peach flavor is wonderful, much like eating a fresh peach on a late summer day balanced with the earthy, spicy flavor of the ginger.

The ingredients list is: Black tea leaves, natural flavor, and ginger.

The packaging is a waxy-like, foil-lined, recloseble envelope. This envelope has kept my tea fresh and at my fingertips on the shelf. 

I chose the Ginger Peach for the possible health benefits and flavor of Ginger.  Because I am not a medical professional I will not repeat the alleged benefits of Ginger, Turmeric, and other herbs and roots. You may have already heard some of the reported health benefits. If not, there is a ton of opinions to be found with an internet search.  I do believe that there are likely some health benefits and if not, I do enjoy the spicy, earthy, or peppery flavors that these herbs and roots provide. I especially like the sweet peach and peppery ginger flavor combination.

Making Loose Left Tea for One

I use my Mueller electric pot to boil the water quickly (and without fear of leaving the stove on as I leave for work in the mornings) and my new tea mug with infuser to steep the tea. Because I prefer iced tea, I then pour my tea into a mason jar filled with ice with top with one of my mason jar lids and a straw. The Ginger Peach tea is delicious warm or iced. I just prefer iced tea. 

I ordered my Ginger Peach tea from Amazon. But the Republic of Tea website is great place to shop also. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a gift from someone else, there is a large variety of teas, sweeteners, mugs, and brewing accessories to choose from 

Additional Links:

I bought my Mueller Electric Kettle in January 2021 and I still use it on a frequent basis. This Kettle is a quality small appliance and hasn't given me a bit of trouble. If you'd like more information you can see my review here. 

I have tried a variety of infusers off and on over the years. My new mug is my favorite by far. I chose the Sweese ceramic 20 oz mug with lid and infuser. The infuser is durable with very small holes; not allowing the tea leaves to end up in my drink. The 20 oz size is great for making my single cup of iced tea. This mug would make a great gift.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, November 20, 2023

Book Review: October in the Earth: A Novel by Olivia Hawker

Mrs. Wensley is a proper preacher's wife living in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1931. Life has always been hard in coal country but it became even more difficult after the Great Crash of 1929. Is it blasphemy that Adella questions her life in the largest home with 100 miles in any direction, her difficulty becoming pregnant after 8 years of marriage, and her role as the preacher's wife? Is it wrong that she disagrees with him in how to respond to the homeless folks passing through? 

book cover photo of October In The Earth


While she ministered to the women of the county tirelessly and she felt as though she were failing. Something did not feel right to Adella. 

"That afternoon, I came up the last shaded rise of the old road with that loaf of bread tucked under my arm, and I rounded the bend, and there before me was home - the only place that had ever felt like home to me, even after I'd settled with my eminent husband in the finest house in the whole danged valley. My parents' place could scarcely be called a house at all." - October in the Earth

Adella was visiting her family's shack when her brother pulled up; pale and shaken. Miners were in the midst of strikes after the mining companies had slashed wages due to the economy. Violence was breaking out, men killed during a shooting related to a mining company. 

"A couple of fellas pulled up in a truck that was all painted with the sign of the Evarts company". "They jumped out of the cab" Benjamin went on, "hollering and wringing their hands about a full-on war."  - October in the Earth

Benjamin drove Adella back to her home so that she could share the news with her husband and they could minister to the local families involved. 

As the plans to help defuse the situation were made, Adella found herself questioning the responses. Internally questioning what should and shouldn't be done - what is a sin and what isn't. Adella finds her husband in the midst of what is clearly a sin and yet she cannot openly address it. She cannot bring herself to question things aloud. 

"It's the baby. My thoughts tripped over one another, tangling themselves. No baby. I haven't given him a family. No wonder he's losing interest." - October in the Earth

Adella visits the Granny Woman, as her mom has advised. The Granny Woman who can help women with their health problems. But it wasn't fertility help that Adella finds during that visit. She finds a woman willing to speak truth aloud. The shocking truth.

In her desperation, she prepares to flee. Adella follows the hobos that she has secretly fed - against her husband's wishes - during their trip through town looking for work. The proper preacher's wife dresses as a man, takes the few belongings she is able to carry, and hops a train away from it all.  The remainder of the story is a peek into the life of hobos on the rails. Riding from one town to the next, in a desperate search for work and food during the great depression. If the hobos are barely able to survive, will Adella be able to transform from a proper preachers wife living in plush comfort - thanks to the collection plate - to a lone woman traveling from town to town to find work? 


October in the Earth by Olivia Hawker


Unfortunately, I am not doing this story justice. I have clearly become an Olivia Hawker fan and find myself drawn into the stories of people living lives very different than mine. Olivia Hawker writes about believable characters with descriptions that immerse me into the story. 

I previously read and reviewed One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker. You can read my review here. 





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, November 6, 2023

Reviewing What Makes a Great Bowl Cozy

Over the years I've often had a Bowl Cozy in my kitchen. Some I've loved and some were so annoying that they simply weren't used. Bowl Cozies are similar to a hot pad and are used to help you safely handle your bowl of soup, chili, or other hot items. They are quilted pieces of fabric and feel as though they have at least three layers - similar to a hot pad or a quilt. Whether you've ladled your meal from the pot on the stove or are removing your re-heated leftovers from the microwave, you know that those bowls can become uncomfortably hot to the touch. Sometimes, dangerously too hot to handle.

Hot bowl of food and a colorful printed cloth Bowl Cozy


As autumn erases the last chance of warm summer weather, I knew it wouldn't be much longer until I wouldn't be eating meals on deck. So I grabbed my new Bowl Cozy from LoudBrightandHappy, scooped up some steaming hot Impossibly Easy Beef Pot Pie and headed out to the deck.  I am so pleased with my new Bowl Cozy set that I decided to tell you about them.

While I use my Bowl Cozy for hot dishes, my friend has also used his favorite bowl cozy for his daily serving of ice cream. He loves ice cream but does not like to feel the cold bowl. So he keeps his hands warm with the bowl cozy. And I never thought to ask, but I wonder if the bowl cozy also slows the melting of the ice cream since the cozies add some insulation to the bowl. 

My new set of Bowl Cozies came from a shop on Etsy called LoudBrightandHappy. While you can find a Bowl Cozy at many places online, in brick-and-mortar stores, and at craft festivals there are many different versions and I'm just not happy with some of them.

I do not want a Bowl Cozy that is too flat. If it is, I might as well use a regular, square hot pad. I want my Bowl Cozy to hug the bowl.  I want my Bowl Cozy to wrap around my bowl - whether my bowl is a small bowl that comes with most tableware or one of my larger ceramic or polish pottery bowls (think larger spaghetti or salad bowl). However, I don't want my Bowl Cozy to be so large that it flops over into the bowl. And speaking of flopping, I want my Bowl Cozy to have some structure to it: I like when a Bowl Cozy is able to stand on it's own. You'll see that my new Bowl Cozy is made in such a way that the corners automatically tip out and away from my food. 


All of those boxes are checked with my new Bowl Cozies from LoudBrightandHappy Etsy store.

  • well-made with evenly stitched/quilting lines
  • a variety of beautiful colors and patterns to choose from
  • large enough to cover my larger bowls
  • Structured and solid; does not flop down into my bowl


And best of all, excellent customer service. I ordered hand-made Bowl Cozies that were already created. They arrived quickly and with a receipt that included the photo of the item I ordered. 

I couldn't be more thrilled with my new Bowl Cozies. If you've never heard of a Bowl Cozy, you may want to see what they are all about. If you already know and love them, I highly recommend the Bowl Cozy Selection at LoudBrightandHappy

colorful fabric prints
photo taken from above - looking down into the "bowl"


If you prefer shopping on Amazon as opposed to Etsy, you can see some Bowl Cozies here. I have not purchased any from Amazon so you'll have to check the reviews there.

PS. With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays fast approaching, I want to add that a Bowl Cozy makes a GREAT gift. The variety of patterns can make a Bowl Cozy a more personal gift. 





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, October 30, 2023

Cookbook Review: Betty Crocker Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies

Imagine, "Pies That Magically Bake Their Own Crust". The Betty Crocker Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies cookbook has been a very welcomed addition to my kitchen. With just several ingredients, Bisquick, an egg, and milk I have been able to make savory and sweet pies and have over 130 pages of recipes to try.

Homemade chicken pot pie


As someone who isn't incredibly talented in the kitchen but likes good food, I have tried baking pies in the past. (Sams recipe?). Combining my lack of experience with my lack of time and energy, I am always looking for hardy - but extremely easy - meal ideas. These Impossibly Easy Pies hit the mark perfectly. I can whip one together very quickly after work, pop it into the oven, and dinner is ready by the time I walk the dogs and feed the chickens.

My favorite so far is the chicken pot pie.

Stir together these ingredients and place in a pie plate:

  • 2 cups of chunks of cooked chicken (I used canned chicken)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots (I used a frozen vegetable mix that also included green beans)
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

Stir together the Bisquick, egg, and milk. Pour this mixture over the vegetable mixture. Bake.

The final product is a hot, filling, delicious, comfort food. In my household, as a single person, I am left with extra portions to use for my lunches at work. 

Betty Crocker Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies 

I have begun to use a can of cream of chicken soup, the frozen vegetables, and the cooked chicken chunks routinely. Making a creamier version of the meal. 

I did find that my cookbook recommends one part Bisquick to two parts milk. This makes a thin crust that forms more evenly over the top of the dish. The recipes on the internet reverse that to two parts Bisquick and one part milk. I prefer that amount as it makes more of a thick biscuit or dumpling topping (as seen in the my photo). 

homemade chicken pot pie

This week I am going to make a beef pot pie - with a can of vegetable beef soup, frozen vegetables, and grilled chunks of steak.

Additional Tips:

I found my copy of Betty Crocker Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies cookbook at a store called Ollies for only $3.99. If thrifting is your thing, have a look at the discount stores.

Similar recipes can be found on the internet. I usually refrain from the expense of the cookbook purchase by using the internet. However, in this case, having the book with all of the different menus in one place is easy and inspiring. In this case, having the printed version is helpful to consider the varieties of pies that could be made.

The cookbook has a contents section that lists the pies into chapter based on the ingredients. Such as Beef, Chicken and Turkey, Ham/Sausage/Bacon, Fish and Seafood, Meatless, Fruity, and Sweet-Tooth Temptations. They also list some of the pies into these helpful categories:

  • All-American Supper
  • Summer Dinner on the Deck
  • Mexi-Meal
  • Sunday Brunch
  • Kids' Choice
  • Thanksgiving
  • Special Occasion Dinner
  • Appetizer Party





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, October 16, 2023

Book Review: The Girl Behind the Gates by Brenda Davies

Nora Jennings is a 17 year old in England during the 1930's which is a time of war and a time of mental asylums. While Nora is a privileged young lady, she is also found to be a "moral defective" and as such she is moved to an asylum. Based on a true story The Girl Behind the Gates is a harrowing, moving, and hopeful account of a young lady trying to survive her mental health treatment the best she can and the few people who are kind to her and help her stay alive.

photograph of the book cover for The Girl Behind the Gates
The Girl Behind the Gates


The Girl Behind the Gates by Brenda Davies

The book begins with the Author's note that ensured I would tear through this story in every free moment. The author is a medical practitioner, who came to work in the asylum when Nora had been held for decades. 

"Over the years I tried to encourage Nora to tell her story, but she always backed away from doing so. However, several times she asked me if I would write it for her. I always refused. Then following her death in 1995, one of her friends sent me a note and included a letter from Nora reminding me of her request. So, at long last, this is a true yet fictionalised account of Nora's story."

At 17, Nora made two life-changing decisions that began with falling in love. Those decisions were deemed by her parents, The local religious and governmental folks  in charge, and by the mental health practitioners of the day as morally defective. A person that needed to be kept out of the public in order to protect society. 

Little to no patient records were kept, many who worked in the asylum were abusive, and it was acceptable to slap a patient into line. It was extremely easy to find yourself placed in an asylum and impossible to find your way out while still alive. 

Some staff were kind, but those staff had little to no power in the hierarchy. Kind staff were reprimanded and/or did not remain employed at the facility. The treatments of the day included sedation, ice baths, removal of personal belongings, and electric shock therapy. Nora experienced all of those treatments.

The Girl Behind the Gates by Brenda Davies

Forty-two years later, in 1981, Dr. Janet is newly employed at the Hillinghurst Hospital and is working in the acute ward when she is directed to do a review of the patients on the back wards. Dr. Janet begins with reviewing the files before entering the back wards and meeting the staff and patients.

"She's been at it for hours and feels pretty over-whelmed. No real patient notes, just individual sentences, often separated by bald patches where nothing at all was recorded, as though the patient simply stopped existing for months at a time."

It is in those back wards that she meets the woman who has been kept there since age 17. A woman who has learned to survive the abuse, neglect, and psychological trauma. A woman who inspires Dr. Janet to re-examine her own life and eventually write a book to tell the story.

A Personal Note

Having worked in mental health for decades, this story was profoundly meaningful to me. Dr. Janet's thoughts and approaches rang true. So many "patients" (then and now) have exceedingly important stories to be told yet go unheard due to the issues of confidentiality, difficulty with timelines, and hazy details. Yet, they are stories that should be shared. 

I am thankful that Brenda Davies found a way to share this story to not only educate about the common treatments used decades ago but also the personal story of a woman who survived it all. 

Nora Jennings survived. But how? And did she thrive or remain merely the shell of a person? You'll have to read the story to find out.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, October 2, 2023

Reviewing the Keychain LED Flashlight by Olight

Recently, I've spent some time with folks who require high quality, everyday tools and I noticed that many of them were referring to their Olight brand flashlights. I started paying attention to what they were saying about the brand. I'm so glad I did. My recent Olight order included the i3E EOS Keychain LED Flashlight as a free gift and I couldn't be happier.

Bright Orange Mini Keychain Flashlight


The i3E EOS Mono-Output Keychain LED Flashlight by  Olight

This small and convenient flashlight is great for hiking, camping, fishing, walking in unlit areas, sudden power outages, dark areas of parking garages, lighting locks instead of fumbling to insert your key in the dark, and much more.

The specifications are listed as:

  • LED Light Source Type
  • Powered by one AAA battery
  • Twist to turn off and on
  • 90 lumens and 44 meters/144 feet beam distance
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminium and anti-scratch anodizing
  • Waterproof rating: IPX8
  • Run Time: 70 minutes (NiMh battery) and 45 minutes (akaline battery)
  • Currently offered in 7 different colors


To be honest, I had to look up the definition of the IPX8 waterproof rating. I learned that:
"IPX7 and IPX8 are specific levels of Ingress Protection (IP) ratings that define the water resistance of electronic devices. IPX7 denotes protection against immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, while IPX8 indicates protection against continuous immersion beyond 1 meter depth." - Keystone Compliance

My Personal Thoughts about the Olight Keychain LED Flashlight

In the distant past, I often purchased flashlights based on their price tag. Those flashlights were often made with plastic parts and would chip or break. They quickly ate through batteries.  Or would stop working from some internal malfunction.  More recently, I've started to purchase flashlights that are more durable but are still at the lower end of pricing as far as flashlights go. I've been very happy with my two flashlights that I currently use around the house and for chores. I keep one of those flashlights in my bedroom and one near the front door. 

As the days are growing shorter, I am leaving the house in the pitch dark. I am determined to not leave my porch light on all day just so I can see my way to the truck in the morning. That leaves two options, use a flashlight or stumble to the truck in the dark. If I use my chores flashlight, I have been forgetting it in the truck and then don't have it available the next morning. Having a mini flashlight attached to my keychair is a PERFECT solution.

I imagine I won't only use this handy flashlight in the mornings to get to my truck. If I am driving in the dark and pull over to check something (e.g. it sounds like something is happening with my tire) I have a quick source of light. 

Recently, my office building has been experiencing multiple, but brief so far, power outages. I have quickly learned that when the power goes out my office is pitch black. Fortunately, I have just had to sit still for a few minutes until the power flickers back on. But now I am prepared for a lengthier period of darkness if need be. 

This light is not meant for hours of hiking in the dark as there is only one level of light (not a choice between high and low beam) and the battery life is 45 to 60 minutes. But it is perfect for brief situations in which you need light. 

Best of all, I received this little flashlight as a free gift. I have heard that Olight runs specials and giveaways from time to time. And in this case, existing customers only needed to log in and add this flashlight to the shopping cart to secure a free light. How fun is that? I had already been planning on ordering some of their small flashlights for the reasons I mentioned above. A free light and bonus points that they offered one in orange!

This tiny light, not much larger than my post office box key, is perfect in size and accessibility. It would make an awesome gift and is the perfect size for a stocking stuffer. It comes in nice packaging and with a "Quality 5 Year Warranty Promise". 

This tiny flashlight can be found on the Olight Website and is also currently listed on Amazon

Related Links: 

I recently reviewed the two flashlights that I've been using for chores and around the house. If you want to read what I think about the JobSmart and Diehard flashlights you can see that here.

Sylvestermouse Cynthia reviewed the Coleman LED lantern and you can read that review here

Sam Monaco reviewed a way to keep all of those batteries organized with the Battery Daddy Organizer. You can read that review here

Tracey Boyer reminds us of the importance of having a Safety Kit with you for emergencies. She includes a flashlight in hers. You can read about that here




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, September 18, 2023

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon Book Review

A newborn was abandoned in a small town laundry. He was left in a basket and found on the verge of death. His story made the news and he was named Moses. Unlike the biblical babe left in the basket and placed in the river, this Moses was a crack baby. Crack babies, due to being exposed to drugs before their birth, are expected to have many physical and mental difficulties. In some ways, Moses followed a similar trajectory as many children born with drug exposure and with absent parents.  He was passed from home to home, had difficulty in school, and was thought to have seizures and hallucinations. However, he is also very different than those similar children in a way that can either be considered a blessing or a curse - depending on how you look at it. 

The Book of Moses written by Amy Harmon


"People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids. Nobody really wants messed up kids."

I was lost in Amy Harmon's The Law of Moses. From the prologue that warned of heart-breaking loss to the last few words I was hooked. I fell in love with Georgia and Moses. We join their lives as they are in their senior year of high school. 

Moses eventually comes to live with Kathleen, his great-grandmother. He is turning 18 and will be aging out of the system. He is a very talented mural painter, painting his graffiti where he shouldn't and he sometimes knows people he shouldn't.  Kathleen lives next door to Georgia's family and has made arrangements for Moses to work on their farm. 

Georgia was the youngest child, born years after her own siblings. But she had grown up with many children as her parents were foster parents. As the story begins, her family is running an equine therapy program. While Georgia has seen Moses previously, during his visits with Kathleen when he was younger, this is the first time she's getting to know him. Or trying to get to know him. While most everyone else is suspicious or afraid of Moses, Georgia is drawn to him. But he's one of those "troubled" kids that most people avoid. Even the horses want to remain far from him. But Georgia can't stop herself. 

"Whatever it was, when Moses came to Levan, he was like water-cold, deep, unpredictable, and, like the pond up the canyon, dangerous because you could never see what was beneath the surface. And just like I'd done all my life, I jumped in head first, even though I'd been forbidden. But this time, I drowned."

The story continues over the next several years as Georgia and Moses go through some very difficult times, with and without each other, moving into adulthood. They are faced with adult problems and adult decisions.

My review does not do this story justice. I almost didn't write a review because I cannot describe it adequately without spoilers. Amy Harmon's writing is beautifully descriptive. It is easy to imagine the horses, scenery, and breath-taking murals. The characters are unique. Georgia and Moses are independent, strong, very different from each other, and both are very stubborn. This is described as a young adult and/or a coming of age romance but it is far from being confined to those genres.  It includes the mysterious disappearances of young ladies, beautiful murals being painted on buildings and overpasses of people who are missing or passed away, and a "different" young man who everyone blames for some of the bad things that happen. This story also has a paranormal aspect. I hadn't known that before I chose to add this book to my Kindle. If I had known, I probably would have passed the book by. I feel that most books with a paranormal bend seem contrived and difficult to believe. But Amy Harmon introduces and proves Moses' special abilities in a way that seems possible. Georgia and Moses are flawed characters who might not be easily likable but who won't be easily forgotten. 






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, September 4, 2023

Reviewing Captain Jack's Bt and Controlling Garden Pests Organically

As a new gardener, I was thrilled when I had a group of beautiful and perfectly formed cabbage heads growing and approaching harvest. I was so proud. Then I went away for 3 days. When I returned, the leaves were full of holes and the plants were covered in slimy spots. My cabbage was no longer perfect and I was concerned that it wasn't edible. Honestly, the mysterious damage caused me to lose my appetite.

Cabbage covered in cabbage worms

I immediately  turned to my gardening mentors on the internet and they informed me that I had severe insect damage. Some folks called them cabbage worms and some folks called them cabbage moths. The slimey black dots were the droppings. I did wonder which it was... the worms or the moths. Turns out, it was both. The life cycle of this destructive thing includes moth and worm. 

The moths are white. The type I recall seeing since childhood in pastures and gathered on the edge of mud puddles. The worms are green... almost the color of my cabbage and very difficult to see. Once I knew what to look for I found that I did have a severe (and sudden) infestation.

Some friends stated they use insecticides that most consider to be chemicals. Others stated they use an oil in order to remain organic.  I opted for Captain Jack's Bt spray as it is advertised as organic. And I ordered the chemical powder as a back-up because I didn't trust that something organic, after this much damage, would take care of the problem.

One heavy spray of Captain Jack's Bt took care of the worms and the moths! 

Ultimately, I was disgusted by the amount of droppings I had observed on the cabbage so I didn't end up eating any myself. But the chickens loved the heads of cabbage for snacks.

Captain Jack's Bt Organic Spray

Please do your own research. I am a very new gardener. So I am only passing along what I have been told and what I observed. I do not feel that I can personally confirm that Captain Jack's Bt is fully organic. But it was so strongly recommended as an organic treatment that I feel I must share the information. 

The active ingredient of Captain Jack's Bt is "bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis". This is a naturally occuring bacteria in the soil. When eaten by certain insects, it damages the gut health of the insect and kills the insect. 

When you spray the Captain Jack's Bt on the cabbage, the moths and the worms ingest it.  I found that this works very quickly (a matter of days) and my cabbage moth/worm problem was solved.

It is reported that bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) does not harm beneficial insects as the normal chemcial balances in their guts are not impacted by the Bt. Same with humans.

Captain Jack's Bt is useful for the following insects:

  • cabbage looper
  • hornworms
  • tent caterpillar
  • gypsy moth
  • bagworm 
  • and many more

In addition to cabbage plants, it is useful for the following:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • eggplant
  • pepper
  • melons
  • tomatoes
  • shade trees
  • ornamentals

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or as new as I am, you may find that Captain Jack's Bt is a great choice for you. I know I'll be ready next year and treat my cabbage before I lose all of those beautiful heads to pests.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, August 21, 2023

Reviewing iLIDS - Mason Jar Lids (Not for Canning Use)

I  have used iLIDS for Mason Jars for several years now and have noticed that when I go to the cupboard for a drink container, I am reaching for a glass jar and an iLID the vast majority of the time.  I find that making my drinks in a jar is cost-saving, environmentally friendlier, and visually pleasing.

 

Colorful iLIDS for Mason Jars on Amazon

 

iLIDS Mason Jar Drink Lids

Mason jars are a glass jar that are most known for canning. Households over the generations have depended on these jars for food storage. The jars are durable and withstand boiling temperatures in the canner, are dishwasher safe, and store food in the refrigerator after opening. While I have not tried it myself, I am aware that some people use their jars in the freezer. 

Many kitchens, including mine, have a supply of these jars. So it is not a stretch to begin using jars for drinks and the storage of drinks. I began making teas and ice coffee in the jars, then pouring the drinks into a glass. Before too long, I discovered iLIDS drink lids and began drinking right from the jar.  Insulated steel tumblers have many benefits, but I have found that I prefer the versatility of canning jars with iLIDS.

iLIDS drinking lids come in many colors. The underside has a gasket which creates a good seal when screwed on to the jar and helps prevent the lid from becoming hard to unscrew. The drinking lid has a sliding closure to protect your drink from unwanted items. When the slider is opened, you can drink directly from the lid or insert a straw. 

Note: the slider is not sealed and will allow a small spill when the jar is knocked over. It is not leak-proof.

While quart jars are large and bulky, I find that my liquid intake is higher when using a quart jar. I can visually see how much (or how little) I've drank.  Glass jars are not insulated. But I find that I enjoy the visual aspect of infused waters or iced coffee. 

Quart jars and iLIDS are perfect for making sun tea. When finished steeping, the jar and lid can move to the refrigerator and be used for storing and pouring out one glass at a time. Or, once chilled, insert a straw and voila a super-sized ice tea for those hot days.

iLIDS come in wide mouth and regular mouth sizes. I prefer the wide mouth because it's so much easier to drop in ice cubes or fruit. I have also found that these lids fit on many of the spaghetti jars that can be purchased at the grocery. The taller, thinner Classico jars are a great size for drink jars. 

While preparing to write this review, I have learned that in addition to the drink lids with the sliding opening, iLIDS offer storage lids and sports drink lids! 

I began using jars for drinks around the time I began making my own iced coffee to reduce the cost of buying my daily ice coffee at a drive-thru. I also prefer to reduce trash waste by avoiding the use of single-serving items (such as Kcups) when I can.


To recap:

downside of iLIDS and Mason Jars for drinks

  • not insulated
  • bulky; they don't fit in car cup carriers
  • glass is breakable (although I've not broken one yet)


upside of iLIDS and Mason Jars for drinks

  • easy to screw on and off jars
  • wide mouth and regular mouth size
  • visually pleasing; for iced drinks, fruit-infused drinks, and coffees
  • monitor liquid intake; can see how much you've drank (or still need to drink)
  • making sun tea
  • resistant to staining (I'm not sure how but my oldest iLIDS have zero tea, coffee, or berry juice stains)
  • reduces costs of buying drinks outside the home and reducing waste of single serving drinks
  • many colors to choose from
  • different styles of iLIDS to choose from (drink, storage, and sports drink)




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, August 7, 2023

Reviewing the DeWalt 20v Max Cordless Pruner

Some time ago I bought my first cordless DeWalt tools. They have been reliable and durable for all these years. Imagine my delight when my son gifted me with two more Dewalt tools (a cordless chainsaw and pruner) for Mother's Day. The DeWalt Pruner has been far more useful than I had imagined and I highly recommend it.

the powerful DeWALT cordless pruner


DeWalt 20v Max Cordless Pruner

In just a few short months, I have put this pruner to good use in my yard and my woods. The blades are a really good size for trimming woody stems and small branches. I have not noticed any dulling of the blades.

My Pruner was the "tool only" option which did not include the battery or the battery charger. It does include a blade sheath and the wrench/tool that would be useful if I ever need to replace the blades. There are options with the pruner, battery, and battery charger included for folks who would need the set.

Some specifications:

  • non-stick coated blades
  • blade gap of 1.5 inches (Maximum cut diameter 1.5 inches)
  • 60 cut strokes per minute - 1 cut per second
  • powered by the DeWalt 20V battery (may or may not be included)
  • built in LED light 
  • weighs 3 lbs
  • covered by warranty (3 year limited warranty, 1 year free service, 90 day money back guarantee - see website for details)


My Thoughts About the DeWalt 20v Max Cordless Pruner

I already mentioned that I like DeWalt brand tools and have had good luck with their durability and ease of use. I have the perception that many cordless tools are not as powerful as gas-powered or corded electric tools. However, my DeWalt circular saw and drill started to change my mind. Yet I was still very surprised the first time I pulled the trigger on the pruner and the blades literally slammed shut. 

Having issues with weak hands ergonomics related to grips and triggers are important to me. Fortunately, the handle seems just right and the trigger pulls easily. In my opinion, it is a plus that your hand must be fully on the tool and engaging what appears to be a safety switch before the pruner blades will shut. I appreciate those types of safety features. Someone may wonder whether the 3 lb weight is prohibitive for someone with weak hands. Yes, the tool feels hefty but no, it's not a problem. Personally, I have far more difficulty squeezing manual pruners (both small hand-held pruners and larger loppers) together than I do holding this DeWalt Pruner up.

I want to also mention that the manual available for download online. The pruner came with a manual but in the event your manual becomes lost or ruined, the online version is easy to find and download. 

This pruner is an excellent tool and would be a perfect investment for yourself or a gift for a landowner.

Related Links:

My review of my DeWalt 20v Max  driver in 2016. That drill is still dependable, problem-free, and is used frequently. 

My video of the day I received my Mother's Day gifts: the DeWalt cordless chainsaw and DeWalt cordless pruner. My first impressions and first cutting.

And a very brief review and update now:






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, July 31, 2023

Book Review - Lethal Range (A Matthew Redd Thriller Book 2)

Matthew Redd is a former elite Marine Raider, a fighting machine with special skills, whose current mission is to locate one specific bad guy. Anton Gage is an obscenely rich biotechnology celebrity whose idea of saving the world's population and of ending world hunger is through reducing the amount of humans who need fed. Gage is not alone in his quest. He has the technology and the support to pull this off. Unless Matthew Redd and small group of men can locate and stop him. 

Lethal Range by Ryan Steck

Note: I received a copy of this book to review. I rarely accept books or products for review because I am not comfortable with the commitment of having to review something I may not like. Fortunately, I really enjoyed this story! So much so that I'm going to read the series.

Lethal Range (A Matthew Redd Thriller Book 2) by Ryan Steck

Fifteen months prior, the FBI counterterrorism division was closing in on a bioweapons scientist who was a primary person in this plot to reduce the world population. The Marine Raiders, inlcuding Matthew Redd, were sent to capture this scientist but they were ambushed and all but Redd were killed. Leaving Redd as the only "good guy" to know what Anton Gage looked and sounded like.

The chase has brought Redd and the US FBI counterterrorism fly team to the Isle of Majorca, Spain. They are surveiling a Villa perched in the island's hills and with all of the modern technology available they are spying on the occupants in an attempt to give Redd a chance to ID Anton Gage. 

While no one is killed during this mission, it again goes terribly wrong. Gavin Kline, sends Redd home to Montana. To his wife and infant son.

While he was away, Emily, Matthew Redd's wife, is harrassed on the highway while trying to take her son to the hospital. Their son has been ill with an unexplained fever so she makes the 90 minute drive to Bozeman hospital. En route, a grotequely huge and terrifying biker began to follow her and taunt her. When he was joined by two handfuls of gang members they surrounded her and beat on her truck.

The Redd family has muliple issues to deal with at the same time. Their son is ill. Matthew has failed the mission, again, which endangers the world. The local bikers are targeting them. Gavin Kline is Matthew's biological father but not the man who raised him. The man who raised him, B.J, has passed away and left the ranch to Matthew. Matthew tries to handle these things alone and Emily is not going to allow that to happen.

I received a copy of this book to review. I rarely accept books or products for review because I am not comfortable with the commitment of having to review something I may not like. Fortunately, I loved this story! So much so that I'm going to read the series.



I'm in love with Matthew Redd. He is an elite marine who is very protective of his country and his family. He's a killing machine and would sacrifice himself for others. However, he is neither perfect nor a superhero. Redd gets his butt kicked. And his relationship with his father, and quite frankly with others, can be fraught with conflict. But it's easy to imagine this handsome Marine cowboy riding his horse on his ranch in Montana in between biker bar brawls. I'm in love with his wife Emily. She's a strong woman, a nurse, who takes care of others and who responds calmly during crisis. She tells Matthew repeatedly that he doesn't have to do these things alone. And she means it.

I believe people who are fans of the Taken movie series will love Matthew Redd and Lethal Range. This is not a carbon copy of that story but the similarities are the spy technology, the men with a special set of skills, and the imperfect men who deeply love their family. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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