Paperback Swap

Just a quick blog entry here, if you haven’t used Paperback Swap, you’re really missing out on some good deals.

Here’s how it works:

  • You have books in good condition that you do not want to keep.
  • After you have Posted the first 10 books to your bookshelf, you get 2 “startup” credits (and two swap fees so that you can use them) from PBS to get you started swapping.  After that, you earn credits by sending out books to others. Only the first account for a household receives startup credits/swap fees.
  • You may order any available (paperback/hardcover) book for 1 Book Credit each. audio books cost 2 credits each.
    • If you are enrolled as a Standard Member, you pay no Swap Fees – just Book Credits – to request books.
    • If you are unenrolled (“A la Carte”), you will pay a 49 cent Swap Fee for each book shipment you request.  Everyone starts as an A la Carte Member  – you can enroll in Limited or Standard Membership in our Kiosk.
    • If you are a Limited Member, you can make 30 requests per year using credits only and no Swap Fees. After the 30th request in a year, each request will need a 49-cent Swap Fee (or a “Free Swap” earned by sending a book with Printable Postage).
      Read about the different membership options here.
  • If you want a book that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order.  You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
  • When a book is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
  • wrap and mail your book. You can even print postage directly onto the wrapper!
  • When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit (2 if it is an audio book). Yes, you pay the postage to send out your books, but when you request a book, the sender pays the shipping!
  • The books you receive from the club are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have read them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the books you send out to others belong to their new owners.

PaperBackSwap is a great way to share books with people all over the country!

So, this is how I buy a lot of my books, and how I get rid of the ones I know I’m not going to keep.  Sometimes our local public library has really good book sales, and I’ll pick up some titles and then swap them on Paperback Swap to earn more credits.

They also run a site called Swap A DVD, but I don’t watch many movies, and the ones I watch I usually keep.

P.S.  I’d LOVE a chair like this, wouldn’t you?

Book Review of Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake

Wow, Letter Perfect, what a great Christian fiction story! Cathy Marie Hake is truly a Godly author, and I hope she writes many more books.  I learned that she Hake was injured in a number of falls. She suffered broken bones and a concussion that interfered with her writing and book release of Serendipity, another book I’d like to read soon.


The story is set mostly in the 1860s while it was still a “wild west”, and California had joined the United States about 8 years earlier, so it was still kind of primitive in a lot of the USA. The main story is about Ruth Caldwell, a young Christian woman who has failed charm school, as they say, but this time literally. She goes home after being expelled from Pettigrew Academy, and spends the last few months of her mother’s life caring for her, and her mother preparing Ruth to live with her dad who lives on a ranch in Folsom, California, after Leticia’s death.
Ruth arrives at the ranch in a stagecoach, and the story goes from there, introducing several very interesting characters and story lines, involving Josh McCain Jr., Mr. McCain Sr., Laney, Hilda, Galen O’Sullivan, and a few others. The book was intriguing, and I had a hard time putting it down.

You also peek into the history of the Pony Express, the Civil War, and the beginnings of the cross-country railroads.

There’s also an expertly woven mystery in the book, which kept me curious and interested in finishing the book, and even reading down to the very last page, which I don’t always do.

I loved reading the descriptions of some of the fashions ladies wore back then, and several humorous references are made to Ruth’s struggles with hoop skirts! 
The MAIN reason I kept reading Letter Perfect was the lovely way Cathy Marie Hake kept bringing the bible,
God, Jesus, and PRAYER into the lives of each character, well, almost each person. Every chapter, I think,
had a reference to Jesus, His power, His provision, and His purposes for every person on planet earth, if they will only follow Him. Isaiah 30:21- [21] And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to any born again Christian who wants decent reading material in their home.   Here’s a list of her books:


Dogs, Birds, and Books

DOGS!  Such a busy day today!  I was walking my little Chihuahua dog towards home this morning, and 3 large dogs belonging to a neighbor were running loose.  Two Pitbulls and one Rottweiler!  Praise Jesus they’re friendly, so I wasn’t too worried.  I called the owner,who was at work, and she asked me and another neighbor lady to corral them in, so I ran down the street and called them, and surprisingly, they trotted home!  We secured them inside the owner’s house, and all was well.

BIRDS! This afternoon, my dogs and I were enjoying the cool weather and sunshine in the front yard, and as I sat there, I started listening to the sounds of God’s nature.  I heard the titmouse bird scolding, the yellow-bellied woodpecker chirping, and saw the cardinals flying here and there, going to the big bird feeder we have. A little Downy woodpecker ate some of the suet in a cage hanging from the feeder.  Also had a couple of European collared doves pecking at the seeds.  (They remind me of chickens) It was so nice and peaceful, the sky was blue and cloudless, and the sun was just warm enough as I sat in my black wool coat.  The dogs loved it too, and got that drowsy look while they sat on the grass near me. Well, one of my dogs won’t sit on the grass, so I put him on the lawn chair, and he was content.

BOOKS!  I called Bethany House Publishers today, and chatted with a delightful employee there, whom I won’t name, but she and I share many of the same interests, which was surprising, since I don’t know anyone personally who actually has read Jean Plaidy books, but this person has!  She also likes British history, and we talked for about a half an hour about common interests.  It was really nice to be able to converse with someone who reads the same books I do, and knows what I’m talking about .  She has met a couple of Christian Historical fiction authors IN PERSON, too, which to me, is very exciting!  Tracie Peterson was one, and Cathy Marie Hake was the other author she mentioned.  I’m reading a wonderful Christian fiction by Cathy Hake right now, called Letter Perfect,

and I’ll be typing a book review about that soon, so stay tuned!  



Song of Solomon: Cant. 6: [11] I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

FUN WITH FOOD PROCESSORS!!  Oh my, I’ve discovered the most delicious recipes for homemade nut butters.  I can’t eat whole nuts due to a health condition, and for a couple of years I was sooo disappointed, being denied one of my favorite foods- nuts!

Well, recently I bought a Black and Decker food processor, and gathered a few simple, and I mean SIMPLE recipes for various nut butters, and then set to work.

My favorite of all is pecan butter.  My recipe for that is, about a pound of shelled pecans, I used a one pound bag sold by South Georgia Pecan Company:  Next, I spread them out on a cookie sheet, and toasted them for about 9 minutes, at 355 degrees.  (I’ve also made pecan butter with non-toasted nuts, but I like the toasted flavor better).  Then, I lightly salted them, and put them into the work bowl of the processor, put more iodized salt,twisted it shut, and turned it on.  Using a spatula, I scraped the sides of the bowl periodically, to make sure all the pecans got well ground.  Around the time the nuts were turning to butter, I added a teaspoon or so of Lou Ana coconut oil, and it really gave it a good, smooth texture!   Then I poured it into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and stored it in the refrigerator.  Of course, I ate about 4 tablespoons of it before I put it away, and it was still warm from being toasted, so, oh my oh my, what FLAVOR!

You don’t know what it’s like to be able to eat nuts again, after being told I could never do that.  Praise JESUS for food processors!

I’ve also made almond butter, with those Blue Diamond almonds, and that was pretty good.  I used half natural and half smokehouse flavor.  Also made a batch of walnut butter, but that wasn’t as tasty to me.  I tried adding macadamias, but that didn’t help the flavor  much.   Besides, macadamias are way, WAY too expensive!

Making my own nut butters, well, I love it, because I know exactly what’s in it! No preservatives! No sugar!

(I’ve also made hummus, with a can of chickpeas, lemon juice, raw garlic cloves, tahini, salt, and olive oil.  It’s delicious, too.)


Book Review for “Where We Belong”

This book is based on the true story of Agnes and Margaret Smith, who are known as  Flora and Rebecca Hawes, sisters who grew up in Chicago, the daughters of a wealthy lawyer.  Flora and Rebecca are brought up by their father for part of the book,  and he encouraged them to be outspoken and to pursue life in a way not common to young teen girls in the 1800s.  Both women are intelligent, and well educated.  Flora is more gentle, while Rebecca is bold and assertive.  The book starts out in the Sinai desert in the year 1890, and then in Chapter two, which is only 8 pages later, you go back 30 years, to 1860 for a delightful account about their lives as teenagers.

They love to travel, and each excursion shows them more of God’s plan for each of their lives.  This is the central theme to the book, finding out God’s will for one’s life, and Lynn Austin explains the Christian faith in a wonderful, interesting way.

A sub plot is centered around discovering old biblical manuscripts, and here you learn a few things about the story around the Codex Siniaticus, and Constantine Tischendorf, and the Catholic monastery at Mount Sinai.

Aside from this sub plot, the book is extremely interesting, I enjoyed reading it very much, and I especially like the way Lynn Austin switched from present to past, and then ended up blending past into the book’s present day seamlessly.    This book was absorbing, and the account of the Great Chicago Fire was electrifying!  She also touched on the politics of the War Between the States, aka the Civil War.   I recommend this book!

For further information about the pros and cons of the Codex Siniaticus, read these articles and books:

Continue reading

Lynn Austin’s New Book

I’m reading Lynn Austin’s latest book, Where We Belong, which is a well-written Christian historical fiction story.

It’s a story based on the life of Agnes and Margaret Smith.  They were looking for a bible manuscript, which they later found on their travels.  It was a corrupt perversion of the bible, called the Codex Sinaiticus

Corrupt Path – The ‘Minority Text’ consists of only 5% of existing manuscripts. The main texts, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, contradict each other over 3,000 times in the gospels alone, and they disagree with the ‘Majority Text’ in 13,000 places.

Amazingly, modern Bible versions like the NIV and ESV are based on these ‘Minority Text’ manuscripts.

Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were written from 300-400 A.D., so because they’re ‘ancient’, modern Bible translators mistakenly think that they must be better.

Even though this discovery of theirs was corrupt, and useless, I’m going to finish reading the book, because it’s well written, interesting, and it will give me some insight into how some people think and are swayed, because of their lack of knowledge about the bible and it’s translations.

A New Craft!

I’ve decided to learn how to make pom-pom blankets.  I’ve looked at several youtube videos, and it looks like a practical way to use up yarn and rest my knitting muscles and joints at the same time.  I like pom-poms, they’re fun to make and add to knitted hats.

I also have shelves and shelves of yarn, some of it several years old.

I went to Lowe’s today, and a very nice employee helped me find all the things I need to make the loom.  Furring strips, nails, and corner brackets.  That’s all!  That took about an hour, driving time included, and then I came home and fooled around with the wood and the brackets.  Then I prayed and asked God if He would persuade my husband to put the brackets on the corners, because that looked pretty hard.  So I asked hubby, and he agreed, and he’s taking all the wood and hardware to his work to put it together.  Praise JESUS!!  Thank You, GOD!

Since I’m not real good at describing the loom and the blankets, I’m putting photos in this blog to show you my latest craft goal.  Here ya go:

The loom up there is being strung with yarn.  Now, the finished product:

  Aren’t they cute?  Well, more later!  Right now I’m listening to “Unshackled”.  Ever heard of that radio drama?  From the website:

Real people…real life stories…stirring, dramatic accounts of hopelessness, and the hope that changes everything. UNSHACKLED! the award-winning radio drama from Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, grips the heart with compelling and relevant stories of transformed lives.

Here’s the link to listen:

Without Jesus Christ, we are all shackled by sin — by our wrong choices, disobedience, and selfish motives. But God is at work, and the power of Christ sets us free of our bondage. We are…UNSHACKLED!

New Year New Happenings

New Year’s eve was noisy here, like usual.  One of my dogs was frightened, so I kept holding him, and talking to him.

We finally got to sleep around 1 am.

Not a lot new is happening, except I got a food processor, and have been happily making nut butters!  Oh my, pecan butter is the best, so far!  I’ve also made walnut butter with macadamias, it’s ok, not a lot of flavor.  Today I made almond butter, with one can of Blue Diamond natural almonds and one can of Blue Diamond smokehouse almonds, and the rest of the macadamias.  It’s very tasty!  I also added salt, which helps, and some coconut oil.  It takes a lot of nuts to make butters.

I’m resting my arm, shoulder, and wrist, from knitting.  It’s been almost 7 days where I’ve not knitted more than 20 or 35 minutes each day…..some days I haven’t knitted at all, and that’s when I spend time reading, which I enjoy doing!

I’m  reading a paperback I got at the library:  The Edge of Light, by Ann Shorey.  Information about the story,  from amazon:  It is the summer of 1838 in St. Lawrenceville, Missouri, and Molly McGarvie’s life is about to change forever. When her beloved Samuel succumbs to cholera, Molly is heartbroken but determined to take care of herself and her children. But when Samuel’s unscrupulous brother takes over the family business and leaves Molly to fend for herself, she knows she must head out on her own. It is a dangerous journey and Molly has to leave her old life behind. Somehow she must find a way to make a living, keep her family together, and fend off some over-eager suitors.

Now, so far, I like this book, but one thing irritates me about the author, and that is her use of words that very few people probably know what they mean, like swingling, iron hetchel, travois , flannel cake batter, shinnying, braking, retted.  So, I just sigh, and continue on, trying to figure it out within the context of the story.  Or use a dictionary, but one of the words wasn’t in the dictionary, and I didn’t feel like cranking up the computer to get Google to define it.

Here’s the cover of the book:

Now, also, we are in the midst of a big winter storm.  It’s been freezing or below for the past 2 or 3 days, and highs have been around 45 to 50.  That’s good for Florida, it will help decrease the insect population, especially mosquitoes and roaches.  ( God willing!) f

Tonight I made a pot of chili.  Here’s my recipe:  1 can kidney beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 diced green bell pepper, and 1 diced onion.  1 large can of tomato puree, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 pound ground beef, paprika, salt, pepper, mesquite salt, and chili powder.  It turned out really good!

So, that’s all for today.  Tune in again soon.  I’ve got to read a book I got from Bethany House, to review, so that is probably next.