Monthly Archives: February 2019

Please Join Us For a Riveting Discussion of Francine Rivers’ “The Masterpiece” on Monday, February 25th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Friends! You and your friends and neighbors are invited to our next Branches Book Club meeting, on Monday, February 25th, at Middletown United Methodist Church, where we’ll discuss Francine Rivers’ compelling and page-turner of a novel, The Masterpiece. (We meet from 6:30-8:00 p.m.)

While it’s a tome, I read it in no time, quickly loaning it to a friend so she could enjoy it. Fast forward to this week when I called on our faithful friend and fearless leader, Nancy Tinnell to come up with a “teaser” to get you to book club. Let’s learn a little more about The Masterpiece…

Here’s Nancy:

“Francine Rivers has done it again. She creates characters that compel us to lean in to them. We are drawn to them like flies to honey, and, if you’re like me, you can’t wait to finish the book to see how the story will end.

The Masterpiece has that wonderful element of bad boy/good girl that we so often love in our novels, but this one has a twist. The bad boy is somewhat reformed from his juvenile “tagging” days, but he has some distance yet to travel. Our good girl does not feel truly good because of her past. I got so caught up in Grace and Roman’s story that I wished I could climb into the pages and counsel both of them.

The bonus in the book is the cast of characters surrounding our primary duo. I even got drawn into their stories! Thank you, Francine. This book does not disappoint. If they ever make a movie based on it, I could see Antonio Banderas playing Roman. But I’m not sure about the actress to play Grace. Reese Witherspoon, maybe?

We are giving a nod to the book’s location (California coast) by making healthy, coastal snacks our food theme. When we get together for book club, I’m dying to ask your opinion on something in the book, but it will have to wait. I have to leave you with that teaser for now.”

 

Thank you, Nancy!

So, girls, you can tell we will have quite a discussion.  If time allows, please bring a California Coastal treat per Nancy’s suggestion and RSVP to her at (502) 245-3839. We look forward to seeing you next Monday night!

’Til next time!

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

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Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews

When Your Beloved Pet is Diagnosed with Cancer…

Friends! It’s been several sad weeks here in the Hoagland household. Our beloved Gracie, our wire-haired fox terrier who was only 7 1/2 years old, got sick on Christmas Day and got worse and worse, week after week, until we discovered she had liver cancer and lymphoma. Only five days after that hard-to-believe diagnosis, we knew “it was time.” Beyond awful.

I know many of you have been thru’ this. One of our dear couple friends dropped off a new-to-us children’s book you need to know about: It’s called Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant.

The book is super sweet and we will enjoy sharing it with our grandchildren later while it helped comfort us immediately.  Additionally wonderful, our six children commissioned a super talented local artist to create a watercolor of our Gracie. What a keepsake.

Special thanks go to Taylor Grimm! Find her on Instagram at: Taylor_Leigh_Grimm

Since we’ve been empty nesters, Gracie has been our little shadow, going everywhere with us, especially my better half. We logged miles and miles a day walking with her, she chased a thousand and one squirrels, and was quite the mole hunter and conqueror.

Claire “calms” Gracie before bedtime…

Gracie perches over Poppy’s shoulder while he reads to Claire Bear.

Gracie’s favorite hangout, by the fire…

The Great Squirrel Hunter…

Thankfully, I remembered an invaluable resource we read years ago in book club: Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It’s a tome, and is seminary-worthy. Even tho’ we read it over the summer to discuss once we resumed in the fall, it was a little more than we bargained for.

We howled when the children’s version came out about the time of our meeting. However, the adult version is truly a resource readers can consult over and over for just about any topic you’d be interested in. (Try 12 sections, 46 chapters!)

Yes, there’s a chapter called, Will Animals, Including Our Pet’s, Live Again? You can bet I went to grab the book and reread this chapter.

Let’s read the first paragraph (Ch 40):

“Christ proclaims from his throne on the New Earth: ‘Behold I am making all things new’ (Revelation 21:5 ESV). It’s not just people who will be renewed but also the earth and ‘all things’ in it. Do ‘all things’ include animals? Yes. Horses, cats, dogs, deer, dolphins, and squirrels—as well as the inanimate creation—will be beneficiaries of Christ’s death and resurrection.”

Two well-known authors are also quoted in this chapter. First, let’s hear from Joni Erickson Tada from her book on Heaven:

And you all will LOVE to read this poem from none other than John Piper:

Randy Alcorn’s chapter on pets also includes answers to:

“How closely are animals tied to our resurrection?”

“Will extinct animals live on the new earth?”

“Will our pets be restored on the new earth?”

“Is it wrong to grieve a pet’s death?”

“What future is God planning for animals?”

“Might some animals talk?”

You can tell these are deep questions, Likewise goes the rest of the book. You’ll get to see and read Scripture after Scripture on animals (in this particular chapter) and see the wonder and the love the Lord gives us through our pets, ultimately created for God’s glory.

Already John and I’ve been asked the big question, “So, will you get another dog?”  To which, for today, I’ll answer “no.” We wish (!!!) to hold off until our future grandchildren arrive (two grandsons super soon, Lord willing!) and we see how much time we’d have to raise a puppy!?!

Meanwhile to those of you who’ve survived losing a pet, we’re with you. Gracie’s our third terrier and it gets much more difficult each time.

So, as Bob Hope would sing, Gracie, “Thanks for the memories…”

‘Til next time!

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Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Grief, Life Lessons

Grab Your Galentines! Come Shop and Eat Chocolate at Belle Monde Boutique Next Saturday, February 9th 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Friends!  First off, did you know your girlfriends these days are known as Galentines?  I kept thinking my friend, Nikki Knight, owner of Belle Monde Boutique, was repeatedly making typo’s when she’d text me about doing a Galentine’s event. Even Target has a “Galentines” section. Yesterday I got an email from Lilly Pulitzer especially for Galentines.  Who knew?

Galentines is supposed to be celebrated the day before our Valentine’s Day with your special girlfriends.  Even more fun, we’re going to celebrate earlyYou and your Galentines are invited to come shop, eat chocolate, and drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate on Saturday, February 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Belle Monde Boutique. (I’ll be signing my new book, Let’s Be Friends:  What My Sister-Friends Taught Me About Faith, Food, and FunA perfect gift for your Galentines!)

Belle Monde Boutique is located in the heart of St. Matthews, at 115 Fairfax Avenue,   in a darling house filled with even more darling clothes.  Owner Nikki Knight offers new and pre-owned well-made clothing brands.

Nikki and I both hail from Lexington. (GO CATS!) We had a blast many moons ago when she was on staff at Southeast Christian Church and I was helping with the book club.

I can attest to the quality and variety of clothing Nikki offers having shopped at Belle Monde recently.  One of several  purchases I made is a gray, wool poncho.  It’s been a huge staple during these cold days and cost me a whopping sixteen dollars!  I’m not kidding.  (I went with several friends to celebrate my buddy Sherry Leavell and her new book Grateful Living.) We had a ball trying on everything from yoga wear to evening gowns.

Another reason to come on Saturday, February 9th is Nikki is generously offering all customers an extra 20% off of the ticketed items as well as having in-store specials! 10% of the proceeds will go to the Junior League of Louisville, benefitting the Little Libraries.

Belle Monde’s regular hours are Tuesday thru’ Friday from 10-7, Saturday from 10-6, the Knight family  savors the Sabbath on Sundays, therefore they close on Sunday, and Mondays are by appointment only.

Nikki says, “I want to encourage and empower women to live a life of confidence, love, and intentionality.”  She knows her stuff, girlfriends, and she can outfit you from head to toe (you can even find shoes, purses, jewelry, etc.), making you look like a million bucks.  Give her a call at (502) 403-3432.

Bring a carload of friends (Galentines!) and come shop and fill your chocolate cravings, sip coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with us on Saturday, February 9th!  I’ll be there to cheer you on from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Don’t miss this fun opportunity.  And as I always say, there are few things more fun than finding a bargain!

‘Til next time!

Here’s THE gray poncho!  Favorite-bargain-ever, with fam on Christmas Eve

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Filed under Book Reviews, Let's Be Friends