Monday, May 30, 2016

M.C. Beaton author of The Hamish Macbeth and the Agatha Raisin mysteries

Curling up with a good book is my idea of relaxation.  I read non-fiction, too but that is usually not relaxing. 

So for pure escapism, I will always turn to a good British/Irish/Scottish murder mystery.  It all started when my mother bought Agatha Christie books for me as a child.  My English teacher in high school was quite vexed that I loved to read Edgar Allan Poe, as well.  So the dye was cast and my love for a good mystery story was set.  Is it great literature?  No, but it serves its purpose to entertain and exercise the little gray cells and takes us to another time and place.   We all need to escape from time to time from our every day schedules. M.C. Beaton has written many books and two of her favorite characters, Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin, bring me lots of enjoyment.

In fact, I share my book finds with my sister Dolores and my friend Carol. It should be noted that Dolores gave me 2 Agatha Raisin books for Christmas a couple of years ago and that got the ball rolling.  I recalled,  also, watching a PBS TV series about Hamish Macbeth years ago.  The actor who played Hamish was none other than the guy on Once Upon a Time who plays Rumplestilskin (ok  I can't spell that name and I am too lazy to look it up).

I have discovered 2nd hand books for 1 penny a copy plus mailing and handling and sometimes $1.00 a copy.  At times, I download books to my Kindle Fire from my local library but they don't have very many of her books.  I have downloaded all they have currently.  Oh, I must mention M.C. Beaton has a new Agatha Raisin Mystery coming out in the Fall of 2016.   We are all excited. 

It appears that she doesn't add to the Hamish Macbeth mysteries any longer which is a shame.  Hamish is quite an interesting fellow and one we would love to be our guide to Scotland.

In the words of Tim McGraw "Always stay humble and kind."

Be Sweet, Sue

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall, Thanksgiving, and More

When the leaves begin to turn to gold, yellow, and red, I know the Earth is planning for my favorite time of year.  It is a short season, as seasons go, but perhaps that is part of its appeal.  It doesn't stay long enough for us to get tired of it (like Summer and Winter are prone to do).

Roasted Corn on the cob, funnel cakes and bagpipes - it doesn't get much better than that.  The 42nd Annual Stone Mountain Scottish Highland Games were successful and great fun.  This year we were entertained not only by the big, burly guys in kilts tossing the caber and other things but the ladies have entered in to the games, too.

For the first time in my memory, we had a great view of the opening exercises with the masses bands and honored guests from Scotland.   We had more than 350 members of pipe bands from all over the Southeast.  Lots of good memories flow every year about friends made and friends who have died.   The entertainers are always lots of fun and very talented.  This year I made a request for the tune Wagon Wheel.  The group Stonewall from Northern Ireland had sung it in the hotel lounge a couple of years ago and I remembered that everyone sang along and had a really fun time.  They were gracious and sang it for me and introduced me to the crowd.

My Alabama friends, JASPER COAL returned and rocked the house or perhaps the woodlands with their traditional Celtic fusion rock sound.  The sound reminds me of the beginning rock and roll and it appeals to me greatly but I still love the traditional sound as well.
We are all very much aware that Alex Beaton is not able to attend due to his physical condition since his fall a few years ago.  He was a main stay of the SMHG but now he struggles.  When I listen to his music I can see him performing and laughing and bring joy to all his fans.  He was so funny when he sang THE SCOTSMAN SONG.

On another subject:
Today is election day and the main event is the creation of new cities in Georgia.  We have been drawn (literally) into the LaVista Hills City and we are voting NO.  In my next blog, I will let you know if we out voted them.  It is hard to get people to turn out for elections in non-presidential years.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Memorial Day flowers at the Cemetery

After breakfast at Chick Fila, we drove to the cemetery to make certain that our plots were still there.  I always worry that they have been sold to someone else.  Stranger things have happened to people who own cemetery plots, believe me.

Once upon a time, the owners of the cemetery were very bad record keepers.  Some how when my father and mother in law bought plots at the same cemetery, the staff got very confused because father and son had similar names.  By accident, we discovered they had us all in one file and one plot.  The four of us had to have a sit down face to face meeting and sort the mess out.  Fortunately, we had all our documentation.  We decided at that time to have our name plates placed on the grave plots to make sure they didn’t get us all mixed up again.

So, that brings us to present time, the cemetery is very well managed these days.  As we arrived at the cemetery on Memorial Day we noted that several people were visiting the graves of the fallen heroes of many wars.  We strolled through reading the markers and thanking these great warriors who fought for our freedoms.

As we approached our future resting place, we were surprised to see flowers on our grave site – how touching, except for the fact  that we are not in the graves, just yet.  The flowers were artificial which is probably fitting since it is a faux grave at the present time.  What a giggle!

Monday, June 1, 2015

What Would Dawn Do?

PERIVIER, Dawn Age 54, of Atlanta, passed away April 20, 2015. Services May 5, 3PM, Shallowford Presbyterian Church.
Dawn Perivier was a truly remarkable woman.  I was honored to be counted among her many, many friends.

One comment I heard repeatedly during the weeks following the funeral was that Dawn had set the Bar high and we are now challenged to live up to the standard set for us.  That is one of the reasons I titled this blog with “what would Dawn do?

Her accomplishments are many and the pain and disappointment that cancer brought her in the final days can never erase her life well lived.   Adopted as a baby, raised in a good home with a wonderful sister and parents, Dawn blossomed.   While she did have to face discrimination when she entered high school here in the 70’s, she truly did not let that stop her.  By the time she graduated, she had won the other student over and was given an award by the students making it all the more important.

The bar she set is simple but high:

She was a devoted wife and mother, sister, daughter.
She was a friend with a smile and a generous spirit who gave every one encouragement.
She never gossiped about anyone.
She even discussed politics in a calm and reasoned way (I need to learn that skill).
She was a caring and compassionate anesthetist.
She was passionate about life, loved the Lord.  Her parents were missionaries who taught her well
She supported her children in all of their academic and sports activities. She was deeply involved in their lives and arranged her working schedule to spend more time with them.

The bottom line here is that many of us left that service on May 5th wanting to be like Dawn. We want to have that same connection with our family and our friends.  To leave a legacy that is good, and pure and honest and that will inspire others.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Girls Camp coming up soon for our Young Women of the Brockett Ward

This morning I was surprised and honored to respond to an e-mail from one of our Young Women Leaders in the Brockett Ward.  She remembered a story I related at church and wanted the details to hopefully inspire some of the girls while at girls camp to want to be missionaries in their daily life.

Well this is what I told her:  During the time President Ezra Taft Benson (about 1985) was the President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he asked members to flood the Earth with the Book of Mormon (BOM).  So, in our Atlanta Stake (we were known as the Tucker Ward in those days), the members were encouraged to have our family or individual photo made and to write something personal about us and, of course, our testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paste the photo and testimony in the front of the book.  We used the hard cover BOM’s and bought a carton of them (I can’t remember the exact number that comes in the carton but it must have been between 20 and 30 books.  We gave the personalized BOM’s to the missionaries to take with them as they walked and cycled through the local residential areas.

Fast forward to present day:  About a year ago, the missionaries were working in one of the neighborhoods near our home.  As they were visiting with a gentleman, he went to his bookshelf and took a BOM and opened it to show them the inside cover and the missionaries immediately recognized us, even though Jim and I were much, much younger at the time the photo was made.     I was thrilled to know that one of “our” Books of Mormon had survived and was so near all those years.
It might seem like a small thing but it was very touching to me.  When we share our testimony with others, it is deeply personal.  Blessings like this make us joyful.

As my mother would say, Be sweet!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saturday - the first really hot day of the summer

It was a wonderful Saturday morning breakfast I prepared for Denny but we couldn't join him because we had to fast for our medical visit today.  4 different tests by LIFELINE Scans.  Our internist recommended doing this because it is more cost effective.   The preliminary word is that we passed with flying colors but of course the tests have to be submitted to a doctor for review  and then reported to us.  So, I do hope the result is still good when the final word comes down.  It all took place at the Lutheran Church a few miles from home.  The room was spacious with large windows and it was a lovely sunny day.  One friendly gentleman entered the room and in a large booming voice announced that he wasn't wearing his hearing aids and everyone must speak loudly.  He was a sweet old southern gentleman.  His wife laughed when she talked about how often he would forget his expensive hearing aids.  She wondered sometimes why he even brought them. 

What impressed me most was his eagerness to share the gospel with everyone.   He had a plan as I noted.  One could not help but hear all his conversations since he was talking VERY loudly.  As he moved from medical test to test with a different nurse, he started each conversation with the same question, "Are you from around here?  the nurse would answer with name of her town then he would ask, "Do you go to church there?"  And, the first nurse, answered that "no, I am sorry to say I don't attend church, I work a lot and can't go".  Where upon, he asked if she had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and the nurse answered yes she had.   He was pleased.

It became apparent when he asked the same question to the next 3 nurses that they knew the answer to the question was that they had a church they attended near their home.  He sat next to me when we got our bone density tests and he was a very nice man and he greeted me with his signature question and I was READY.  I answered that I am local and I attend church.  Yes, I admit everyone snickered when his voice boomed across the room from behind the partitions but really, I was so impressed that without any hesitation he is willing to be a disciple of Christ to everyone he meets.  We could learn a lot from followers with that kind zeal. 

As my dear mother would say, "Be Sweet"  and Happy Mother's Day. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reading, Reading, and more reading

Reading, reading, and reading……. Never enough time to read.

My new glasses prescription came in last week and my eyes have adjusted quickly.  Not even one headache this time.  I think that's a first.  I was in the 3rd grade that it was discovered that I needed to wear glasses.  Apparently, I could have used them as early as the 1st grade according to my teacher.  Glasses are a very special blessing to me.  Without  them all of you look fuzzy, very fuzzy.

Currently, I am reading 3 books.  That’s sounds crazy but for me that is not unusual.  I have books on my Kindle Fire and real books that I can touch and smell (yes books smell special).    My mood dictates which book I choose to read on any given day.    I should clarify that the three books are outside my scripture study/pondering which is something I do regularly.

Elizabeth Smart, My Story  – just completed that on my Kindle Fire. You can check out my review on Amazon.  It was certainly a serious book about a serious and frighten subject.  Elizabeth Smart was only 14 when she was abducted.  Many times while reading the book my mind would stray to the question – what would I have done if that had happened to me at that same age?   Surviving that ordeal and now helping others shows how strong she is.  Human trafficking is a global problem and it is very apparent that we all need to step up and do more.  

American Sniper – I am half way through the book.  It is a window into a world I can only imagine.  I’ll review it when I finish.   What happens to men and boys and their loved ones during war is serious business and tragic at times.  The human spirit can overcome a great deal but certainly at a high price.

Charles Krauthammer -  His book is a compilation of his columns.  Thoroughly enjoying this book.  He is someone I greatly admire.  It is the type of book you can pick up read a few columns and put down for a while.  I can make the experience last longer this way and that’s a good thing.

So…….. after all the serious books, I am now reading a fluff book that just makes me happy – a British murder mystery.  I love it for the change of pace.

But….. the next book is extra special, Becoming Omegan.  I have downloaded it to my laptop.  My sweetie has written a book (see shameless promotion: )

It is a work of science fiction and even if you don’t think you like science fiction I believe you will enjoy his book.  Can't wait to get started....... Read on.