The Bells Book Review: Accidental Star Wars Comparisons

Time for another book review.  When I heard about this one by Richard Harvell, I wasn’t sure I would like it…but I was wrong!  I LOVED this book.  The writing was beautiful…and the story was very unique and gripping.  I am so tickled when a book surprises me like this did.  From the very first sentence I was hooked.

“I grew up as the son of a man who could not possibly have been my father.”

Oh yeah!  In just 17 words, Harvell grabbed my attention and taunted me with a mystery to solve!  That’s talent…and I appreciate it!   Remember the classic Star Wars quote where Darth Vader says, “Luke, I am your father!” and Luke screams “NO!!!!!”  He probably thought that same line above…that Darth could not possibly have been his father.  Sorry Luke. Continue reading

Chasing Storms in Zion

2005 zion flood3Zion National Park is probably my favorite place on earth.  I know there are places bigger and grander (like Yosemite and Yellowstone), but Zion, even though small compared to those, has more CONCENTRATED beauty jammed into that little area of southern Utah than any other place I know.

My grandparents lived in a little town half an hour from Zion.  I went there all the time as a kid…so I’m a little biased.  Zion is heaven to me…and if you want to be my friend, you’ll agree.  Once when we drove through, one of my young kids asked, “Why do you like this place, Mom?  It’s just a desert.”

I was flabbergasted and wondered if my child had been switched with another at birth…for MY children should LOVE Zion.

I forgave her for her insensitive thoughts…and over the years, I’m happy to say, she has matured and now LOVES Zion.  Little kids sometimes say the darnedest things. Continue reading

Pain—God’s Megaphone

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Today’s post is a little more serious than my normal ones.  One of my big reasons for starting this blog was to create a place where those who feel pain can come for comfort…and also for smiles and laughter.  Life is for joy…I truly believe that; but one can’t know joy unless he experiences pain.

In 2003 a tragic event touched my family’s life.  Remember my willow tree post?  Well, this about cut us to the ground.  My brother-in-law committed suicide.  I’d lost loved ones before, but suicide was like a knife to the heart—gouging out all happiness.  We were sucked into a cave of doom and gloom and couldn’t reach the light. Continue reading

Be Admirable

001I love when I find a quote that justifies my existence.  C.S. Lewis has done this for me today.  Here’s the cool quote.  I hope it makes your day like it did mine.

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

Thank you, Clive, for making me feel so wonderful about my life.  Reading does make me hungry; so does looking through old pictures and finding one like this.  This cinnamon roll is actually big enough to last me through Continue reading

Forget about the Cookie Monster–Meet Ormie!

After reading my post yesterday about my love of frozen chocolate chips (and my diabolical desire to hide these from my children so I can eat them all myself), my sister-in-law sent me this YouTube link to this funny animated video.  It perfectly describes my life (especially the frustration I feel when my house is void of all things chocolaty).    It’s great!  Hope you enjoy the talent that went into making this.

Click Here:  ORMIE!

I love Ormie’s face at the end.  Priceless!  Thank you ARC productions…or as Cookie Monster would say…”Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!”


Brag, Brag, Brag!

2008-11-19_084editIf you’re not my family, you won’t find this title funny.  It’s an inside joke.   As a kid,  Grandma told me about her neighbor (that could have been the queen of the reality show Hoarders).  This lady was a pessimist…and just a wee bit bitter.

Grandma’s yard was heavenly–flowers everywhere!  Strangers on their way to Zion would often stop and take pictures of her fields of poppies and half acre of irises (every color imaginable).  Once when a stranger stopped and the neighbor was outside, the person gazed across at Grandma’s yard and said, “Ah, that yard is stunning!”

And the neighbor answered:  “Yes, but you should see the inside of her house.  She only takes care of the outside.”  (And that from a woman who had to push boxes and junk out of her way to get anywhere in her house…even to the kitchen table.  Ha!) Continue reading

Beware of Snakes

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Today I’m going to give you some sound advice…BEWARE OF SNAKES!  They can eat you.  I watched a movie where a snake followed a boat down some creepy jungle river; it was the size of the Tremors snakes (which scared me for years.  I still tread very carefully so they don’t hear me walking).  To ruin the movie for you, basically the big scary snake eats almost everyone!

My son didn’t heed my advice and almost got choked by a green snake.  I beat it with a broom and saved my kid (that’s what mom’s do!)…and then I wrapped that snake up on my son’s curtain rod as a sign to other snakes to stay away from my boy! Continue reading

Bent Wrists Lesson #4: Read to Write

Time for another writing lesson!  First off, I thought I’d preach to you and sum up the last lesson.  It’s impossible to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when you write.  No matter how hard you hit the gavel on the bench…it just ain’t going to happen (excuse my bad grammar).  You’re not in a court of law…you’re WRITING!  Remember that gaggle or google of butterflies from Lesson 3 that’s swarming in the air?  Well, you’re never going to catch them all in writing…but it’s sure FUN trying!

So, here’s another tip from a dip (I love rhyming…even if I have to call myself a dip).  To become a good WRITER…you must become a good READER! Continue reading


Great balls of fire!  This here’s a good book!  How’s that for a blunt beginning?

If you like Gone with the Wind, then chances are you’ll like this book too.  For me, it finished the agonizing story—whereas the first book ended with the most dramatic scene, but left me wanting more.  This is the MORE.

Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig tells the story of Rhett from when he was a 12 year old boy on up into adulthood.  This book is actually authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate and parallels Gone with the Wind in spots.  Since Rhett’s my favorite character, I naturally ate this story up, loving how his bigger than life character was fleshed out even more.  I absolutely crave character development…as much as an author will give me…and this one gave me lots. Continue reading

Red Rock Canyon & Laughing Burros

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I love camping and hiking…but it’s hard to do in the winter here in Idaho.  It’s too cold…or snowy…or cold…or wet…or cold.

So I thought I’d post about a great place that you can hike and explore during the winter.  This is Red Rock Canyon.  It’s just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  The weather usually switches between 2 seasons:  sunny and brisk or sunny and scorching.  Sunny is pretty consistent…even in the winter.  My suggestion is to explore Red Rock Canyon anytime but Summer.   The heat is brutal then! Continue reading