Friday, March 29, 2013

52 Steps To Yesteryear - Plant Sweet Peas

This week saw the draining of our summer pool. The hydrangeas have lost their heads and the trusty writing shawl hangs on my shoulders a little more each morning. Yes, summer is gone. 

Sweet Peas - Photo Source Braybourne Farm 
I've never lamented the end of the hot weather, and I won't start now. It's no secret I'm a true fan of those months which bring us all things wintery. But in my salute to a long, hot summer, I dragged my mattock threw a barren strip of garden and tossed a handful of seeds into the turned soil. Not just any seeds. Beloved for generations and considered the flower of the Edwardian era, I planted sweet peas. 

Just when we're cutting off the dried heads of blooms well spent, these little babies need to go into the ground.  

So I buried my sweet pea seeds. Quite apt for Good Friday. As I pondered the end of one season, I slipped my hopes for the next where no light will shine on them. Not for a while anyway. Not until winter has settled in for its long turn. 

But in the fullness of time, just as they were created to, they will shoot through dark winter with life and fragrance. A life and fragrance I long for. 

You know where I'm going with this, right? That small moment in my day when I pondered anew the work of the Lord Jesus. His death. His burial and fulfilment of scripture and God's plan for when He rose from death to life. For me. And for you... 

Photo Source - The Murmuring Cottage
And there in my garden, with mud under my fingernails and Gilbert the cat at my knee, I gave thanks again. For life only God can breathe into barren places. For His timing. His ransom. 

I'm always humbled when I see God's fingerprint in my day. I hope you've had the chance to remember the mighty hand of God as it swept through time and history to redeem the lost. To thank the Lord Jesus for his love. And the fragrance He alone brings to our world. 

Praise God. Jesus Arose. Mighty Victory. Fragrant Love. 

May your Easter weekend be wrapped in the secure knowledge of this love.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Susan J Reinhardt - The Moses Conspiracy

Congratulations to my dear blogging friend, Susan J. Reinhardt, whose debut book, The Moses Conspiracy is now available. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. Susan's journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. She's been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use fiction as a vehicle for truth. A widow, stepmom, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops. 

The Moses Conspiracy ~ A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy. 

Convinced it's now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her firstborn, 8-year-old Peter, travel to the nation's capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they're unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor's buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement's refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what's happening in Bird-in-Hand.

Extended family squabbles erupt when John's sister, Annaliese, faces off with Ellie for blowing her D.C. experiences out of proportion. She'd rather ignore the warnings than deal with the growing danger.

John and Ellie can't decide whether her trip and his involvement with the accident were such a good idea. People are getting hurt, and their own family receives ominous warnings. Turning back the clock is not an option, but going forward could initiate more violence.

The small community is shattered when the unthinkable occurs. Will family, friends, and neighbors band together or allow fear to prevent them from taking action? Caught between strained family relationships and a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection. Little do they know that He's working on their behalf each step of the way. The scabs of a past tragedy get ripped open, and the truth of their second child's death is revealed. While they may expose the culprits, will they survive the heartache it brings?


I'm so thrilled to share Susan's debut book with my Ink Dots friends. Here's something else you might like to discover about Susan J Reinhardt. 

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... A grand tour of the USA. I'd love to visit all the historical sites, as well as places like Branson, Missouri and Hawaii. :)

One thing I enjoyed today is... Only one? I've been working on my blog tour and interacting with my blogging friends. Unlike some authors, I'm not an introvert, although I do need some solitary time.

A secret pleasure of mine is... Sleeping as late as I want - which doesn't happen very often. Like other writers/authors, time management can be a challenge.

A moment that changed my life is... The biggest change came when I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. Other than that, I'd say my marriage to my late husband. Besides being an all-around terrific guy, he encouraged me to write for publication.

When I was a child I wanted to... Be a nurse and a writer. The nurse dream faded, but the writer one gradually blossomed. It took awhile, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I'm like a bulldog with a bone when I'm on a project. These are the times when I work almost without stopping (even when I'm sick). I'm juggling three major things right now: the book launch, the blog tour (with help from Diane Estrella), and a sign language special.


Such an exciting time for Susan. Join her over at her website for more celebrations... and get your hands on The Moses Conspiracy. Available as an e-book, it's only a few clicks away! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Joanne Bischof - Though My Heart Is Torn

Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their homeschooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Though My Heart is Torn is the second book in her Cadence of Grace series.

Though my Heart is Torn ~ Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.

Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.

As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength  she has.

While Gideon’s guilt and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all? 


Sounds great, doesn't it? I'm reading this book right now, and I don't want to slip into any spoilers, but I will say I'm loving it. What a great story, Joanne Bischof. Want to know more about Joanne? Here's a few secrets of her own...


If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...Prince Edward Island. My kids and I are reading Anne of Green Gables right now, I’m just crazy over the idea of getting to visit Prince Edward Island. I’d love to visit in the summer, see those grassy rolling hills and soak it all in.

One thing I enjoyed today is...Snuggling with my one year old who has a cold. He’s so quiet and cuddly today, I just want to kiss away his little fever and I’m thankful to get to take care of him.

A secret pleasure of mine is...Tea. Though, maybe it’s not a secret, I absolutely LOVE a good cup of tea but have to limit myself to one every few days only because I like it with so much cream!

A moment that changed my life is...the moment my husband was saved. This was a year and a half ago and it completely changed our lives. Our marriage has never been more blessed and our home has never been filled with such joy. I am so thankful for that moment! More so in knowing that my husband will be in heaven one day.

When I was a child I wanted in the olden days. I never cared when, but I always wanted to wear a bonnet and prairie dress, or ride in a carriage. I always lived with my imagination in the past and now, as a writer, I get to do it every single day!

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m a complete space cadet. I almost always have a late fee at the library and can never remember to pay the ONE bill that my husband asks me to pay. And a few days after I had my third baby, the hospital called and needed his birthdate and I sat there in silence because I couldn’t remember. He was only a few days old! Needless to say, I make lots of memos and leave them all over the house to help me remember things!


I'm so thrilled to be reading Though My Heart Is Torn, the second book in the Cadence of Grace series. Joanne's a great writer and you can find out more about her here. In honour of Joanne's visit with us, I'm offering the chance to win a packet of Melbourne Breakfast Tea. Please leave a comment below and tell us how many cups of your favourite beverage you drink per day. One precious cup of tea... like Joanne? Or endless cups you're too scared to count, like me, with my coffee addiction. 

Happy reading, and good luck,

Friday, March 22, 2013

52 Steps To Yesteryear - Go On A Retreat

So, I ran away from home. I came back again, but for most of this week I've been breathing in sea air and braving the wind along the shores of Phillip Island. 

I'd been looking forward to this retreat for some time now. Scheduled to coincide with our youngest son's absence on school camp, it promised five uninterrupted writing days. 

It wasn't until I unpacked my essentials, (computer and internet usb stick) that I discovered I would not only be spending a week away from home... but a week with no internet!

(Let me say I did have limited internet on my phone, but nothing like what I'm used to.)

Once I'd fiddled and prodded every possible port combination, and consulted with experts, I resigned myself to the inevitable. I could quickly read emails on my phone, but not reply. I could google if I really needed to, but not with anything resembling the speed to make it worth it.
The reason for no electricity.

A blessing. I thought. Delete the internet and I'll score more writing time. And I would have been right... if I hadn't stepped into a world of less than I imagined, when after a few days, the electricity went out. The computer died, the fridge stopped humming and the kettle lost its song. The promised three hour disruption to supply extended to 7 and I sat there, computer-less, and even worse... coffee-less. 

In the end, I nestled into my cosy bed, in the cooler part of the house, and spent a few hours with Joanne Bischof's latest romance. Happy to lose myself in storyland, I even slipped into dreamland as well. 

My dear son had it worse. Four nights of sleeping on the ground, hiking up Victoria's highest mountain, and down again in torrential rain, building fires, boiling water and taking a spade behind the bushes for a bathroom stop. 

We were both thrilled to return to the comforts of home. Reunited with our loved ones and all the modern day conveniences we appreciate in life as we've come to expect it. 

I guess that's why people have willingly taken themselves on camping escapes for centuries. To taste God's creation at its rawest, breathe in the wind, and savour the simple moments our modern days quickly steal.

Red Rocks Beach - Phillip Island

I did a lot of praying as I walked along the beach. My son shared stories of how he and his friends prayed their way up and down the mountain. And I'm pretty sure you, yes you, dear Ink Dots friend, are drawn to prayer when you're in the midst of God's magnificent, and at times, challenging world. 

So tell me... have you taken yourself on a retreat lately? A time away from the ordinary, to recharge or recalibrate the direction of your life. Perhaps a prayer retreat, or study camp... 

Where's your place of escape? 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,
I'll be washing. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mary Moore - Beauty In Disguise

Mary Moore has been writing historical fiction for more than 15 years. After battling and beating breast cancer, Mary is even more excited about her career, as she incorporates some of her struggles throughout her books, dedicated to encouraging others in the Lord and using her writing for God’s glory. Mary is a native of the Washington, DC area, but she and her husband, Craig, now live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern Virginia. When not writing, she loves to read, minister in her church, and spend time with her husband and black lab, Darcy.

Mary would love to hear from you! She can be reached by visiting her website at

Beauty in Disguise ~ After her scandalous first Season, Lady Kathryn needs a new beginning. Concealing her stunning hair and sapphire eyes beneath a dowdy fa├žade, she’s grateful to earn her keep as companion, Kate Montgomery. Until she comes face-to-face with her past in Lord Dalton, the only man she has ever loved.

The debutante Dalton fell in love with years ago was beautiful beyond compare. The gentle, mysterious young woman he encounters at a country house has qualities he now values more highly-until he learns of her deception. Kate has broken his heart not once, but twice. 

Can faith help him see that love, like true beauty, always comes to light?

Sounds like a great read, doesn't it? Here's more about author Mary Moore... 

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... Ireland or England. My ancestry is almost entirely Irish (my maiden name is O’Leary and my mom’s maiden name was Callaghan!) And as a Regency fanatic, I mean author, I’d love to see some of the places I write about.

One thing I enjoyed today is... I’m in the middle of a Beth Moore Bible study on the Fruit of the Spirit. She is training us to get into the habit of starting each day with the words, “I am happy I can serve the Lord today!” So that is my joy today.

A secret pleasure of mine is... Playing computer mahjong. I could play it for hours if I had the time. Since I’ve started writing, I barely have time to do that and to read a book every once in awhile. But computer mahjong is my “relaxer” for when I don’t want to think about one single thing!

A moment that changed my life is... There are two major moments that changed my life (and many medium and tiny moments as well). The first is the day I married my awesome husband. The second is the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When I was a child I wanted to...  Be the first girl playing professional football! Fortunately, after one “season” of girl’s flag football, that desire fled!

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I don’t eat any fruits or vegetables. I know that’s really bad, isn’t it? I will eat an apple if you make me and I can stomach frozen corn (off the cob only) but that’s it. Just don’t like any of them. (Don’t worry, enough people yell at me for it!) :0)


If you'd like a chance to win a copy of Mary's Beauty in Disguise, please leave a comment below. Tell us what food you hate to eat and who makes you eat it. When I was a girl, it was my mum's bean soup. My brother and I would do anything to not eat it... including accidentally spilling in onto the clean table cloth. Didn't end well for any of us.... but I love it now. 

How about you? What do/did you hate to eat? I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. Good luck.... :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

52 Steps to Yesteryear - Homemade Ice-cream

Melbourne's temperatures are finally dipping into the relief of early autumn. Cooler... is so much cooler, when it means open doors and refreshing breezes.

But it's no excuse to abandon all things summery. Especially if you've just mastered (ok, tinkered) with the pleasure of making your own ice-cream. 

You can't blame me, really. Too many reality TV shows, unrelenting heat and a fair supply of eggs from my hens either addled my head, or pushed me into sudden brilliance. Because I found myself tossing milk, cream, sugar, eggs and real vanilla bean pod scrapings (see, too much television chefery on the brain) into my thermomix (modern day kitchen Cinderella) for oh, about... 5 minutes. 

19th century ice-cream vendor
Then I squeezed this milky custard into the freezer for the better part of a day and ... voila! The best ice-cream... and I mean the BEST vanilla-bean homemade ice-cream I could ever dream to eat. And dreaming is about as close I get, as my dairy allergy only allows for licking the spoon and forcing others to eat my share. 

Such a modern day accomplishment, to produce a quick and delicious treat. With electric gadgets, I had a frozen dessert on offer with hardly any effort on my part. Unlike my Victorian era counterpart, who would have sourced Icelandic, Canadian or American ice from a merchant, I just stepped over to the wall and opened the door. 

Fortunately, unlike my Victorian era counterpart, I dished up into washed sorbet glasses, with no concern my family might succumb to health hazards, common among Victorian era ice-cream enthusiasts. 19th century lovers of ice-cream often ate from used dishes, and their coins bought them other people's spittle along with their Penny Lick. Following the death of a child in 1898, the House of Commons in London, formally discredited ices. 
Vanilla Bean Ice-cream - Crabapple House

But ingenuity and possibly commercial enterprise, saw the invention of ground almond cones. And the sale of ice-cream has never looked back. 

So whether you're the silver spoon, footed glass type, or the waffle cone kind of eater, there's a serving solution for everyone's tastes. For me, a good vanilla ice-cream cone would be perfect. But then I'd need a small scoop of coffee too... 

How about you? What's your favourite ice-cream flavour?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maureen Lang - All In Good Time

Maureen Lang's love of history and romance has inspired her to write the stories she feels like reading. Her early writing endeavors were rewarded with RWA’s Golden Heart Award, but after publishing three secular romances God drew her to writing for the Christian market. This began with winning ACFW’s Genesis Award, followed by the publication of Pieces of Silver, which became a finalist for a Christy. Maureen lives in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and their much-loved dog, Susie.

All In Good Time ~ Releasing April 2013 

Dessa Caldwell has a dream:
to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret:
he owns the most successful bank in town, but his initial capital came from three successful stage coach robberies. Though he’s Denver’s most eligible bachelor, to protect his past, he’s built a fortress around his heart that no one can penetrate . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell strolls into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love. 

All In Good Time sounds great, doesn't it? You've got to love a hero with a deep dark secret. There's not long to wait until this book's release, but until then, here's a few of Maureen's secrets. 

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... to Australia! I have a very good friend who lives in Charters Towers, Queensland. She's been here to visit me, and I have yet to return the favor. That's the right answer, Maureen! Go to the top of the class! :)

One thing I enjoyed today is…I'm sure I should mention the writing I've done, but the truth is today is a catch-up-on-other-duties day. So I'm tending to emails and running errands. While out, I found some great bargains to add to a giveaway prize for a contest I'll be running on my website next month to celebrate the release of All In Good Time. I love bargains, especially cute ones!

A secret pleasure of mine is…I could live on cookies. Not very nutritious, I know, but there you have it. I wonder if there will be cookies in heaven?

A moment that changed my life is... Learning my middle child has Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that has transformed all of our lives. It's a spectrum disorder, and he's turned out to be among the lowest functional level, but even if he was higher functioning he would likely still need some measure of care for the rest of his life.  Life is more challenging with Fragile X in it, but I've learned a lot and those challenges have definitely deepened my faith. Bless you for standing with God as your anchor. I bet it's shaped you as an author, too. Thanks for sharing that with us...

When I was a child I wanted to…Be a writer! My mother used to make up bedtime stories for my sister and me, so I learned at a very young age that stories didn't start in books, they started in the imagination. Oh, I love that!

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but…If you were to ask me advice on how to become a writer, I might very well say don't be so eager to pursue publication. I recently had the opportunity to take three months off from writing, and the time away has reminded me what it was like to dream about writing, to make up new adventures. Sometimes, under back-to-back deadlines, I haven't had time to just sit back and dream. What a surprise, to rediscover my love of writing when I didn't have to do it! Thanks for joining with us this week, Maureen. I look forward to reading All In Good Time when it hits the shelves. 
If you'd like to read one of Maureen's books, she's offering an e-copy of any of her titles to one lucky Ink Dots friend. Leave a comment below and you'll be in the draw to win. Tell us if you had a favourite storyteller when you were a child. Both my parents made up bedtime stories for me, and I also remember my grandfather trying to scare me out of a dark corner in his garden where he promised a big bear lurked who loved eating curious little girls. I never went back there... no way! 

How about you? Did anyone scare you silly with their tall tales? 
I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday.

Good Luck. 

Friday, March 08, 2013

52 Steps to Yesteryear - Keep a Journal

Yesterday, I started writing a Sudden Glory Journal. Inspired by an online women's devotional, and motivated by changes going on around me, I've decided to capture the moments in my day when God shines right into my heart. 

Photo Source - Rhubarb in the Garden
You know those moments. When all of a sudden, you're aware afresh of God's goodness to you. His mercy. His favour. His presence. When the drag of grey lifts and a soft wind blows, and you're in the thick of something you know is a whisper from heaven. That's a moment worth remembering. 

Victorian era women planned time in their day for journal writing. Right alongside letter writing. Thanks to these careful records, history nuts and romance writers like me get to peek into their daily lives. But not everyday. Somedays are full of the ordinary. 

Take this afternoon, when I found myself sneaking a break from kitchen chores. Even though the day bore down with overwhelming heat, my shady spot in the garden clouded over with late afternoon misery. A hot and dark day for a busy and harried mum. With poor Gilbert in my lap, I sang the first words my heart reached for. 

Jesus, what a beautiful name,
Son of God, Son of Man,
Lamb that was slain,  (Do you know that one?)
Joy and peace, strength and hope,
Grace that blows all fears away, 
Jesus, what a beautiful name. 

Who knows if Gilbert's ever been sung to before. And it was a first for me... to sing to a cat, but there under the peach tree, I stole a moment to praise God for the peace He brings, thanks to the redeeming work of His son. 

Under the peach tree - Crabapple House
And I want to remember that. In a day where I had four tradesmen in and out of our home, meals to cook, writing tasks and preparations for the weekend to distract me, I wanted to remember those three minutes. The words which lifted my soul, and the contented cat in my lap. 

So I wrote it down. I unscrewed my fountain pen lid and on the diary page marked March 7, I wrote, 'Hymn singing with Gilbert under peach tree.' Less than ten words to sum up the Sudden Glory moment. Like a favourite snapshot, I'll frame these Sudden Glory moments with my words. Right there, beside appointment times for painters and carpenters, and reminders to buy steel wool and fresh bread.

In my everyday, I'll add The Everlasting himself. Right where He appears, alongside me. 

How about you? Do you keep a spiritual journal? A prayer journal? How do you remember the Sudden Glory moments? 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend, 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Rita Gerlach - Beyond the Valley

It's my pleasure to introduce author Rita Gerlach. Rita lives with her husband and two sons in an historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs. Her family claims that storytelling is their blood, handed down from centuries of Irish storytellers. Rita believes there just may be something to that theory.
Rita says, "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite from a stressful world.." In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Currently she is writing a new historical series set in the Gilded Age.  Her latest release, Beyond the Valley is available now. 

Beyond the Valley ~ Book 3 in The Daughters of the Potomac series
When Sarah Carr's husband Jamie drowns, her young life is shattered and takes a turn that she never expected. Pregnant and now widowed, she reaches out to Jamie's family for help but they are unwilling. Instead they devise a plan to have her kidnapped and taken to the Colonies to live a life of servitude. Sarah's new life in the Colonies finds her surrounded by a family's whirlwind of secrets, while she hopes the young doctor she loves with will bring her freedom.  
Here's how Rita answered my Ink Dots prompts... 

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...If I weren’t a little squimish about flying over the Atlantic, I’d go to the United Kingdom, rent a car, and with my husband take a tour through England and Scotland. I would especially visit some of the locations I have in my novels, such as The Hope Valley in Derbyshire and Bassets Cove in Cornwall. I have fans there and I’ve told them if I ever make it over, I’d love to visit them and have tea.
One thing I enjoyed today is... having breakfast with my husband. Since he retired two years ago, we have breakfast together every day. 
A secret pleasure of mine is... well, I have none that I can think of that are secret. Chocolate is a guilty pleasure, and everyone that knows me knows it.
A moment that changed my life is... It happened twice. The births of my sons. My life was forever changed when I looked into their sweet faces when they were born. 
When I was a child I wanted to... own a pony. I came up with all kinds of reasons why I should have one that I presented to my father. He let me down gently but telling me he’d think about it ‘when his ship came in’. I thought it were true since he had been in the Navy during WWII. 
Too funny! 
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I am writing an Edwardian period novel beginning in 1908, set in Chevy Chase, Maryland and a made up hamlet in the mountains of western Maryland called Chestnut Grove. A lot of writers usually keep their works in progress to themselves with a few hints here and there. Oohhh... and we get a look into the secret world of your work in progress. I love the Edwardian era. Great choice... Looking forward to hearing more about it. 


Rita's offering one of her Daughters of the Potomac Series books to one lucky Ink Dots visitor. To enter, share what you wanted to own when you were a child. Was it a pony, like Rita? I wanted a typewriter. Thankfully my dream came true on my twelfth birthday. How about you? I'll announce the winner in the comment thread here on Friday. 

Friday, March 01, 2013

52 Steps to Yesteryear - Adopt An Animal

I'm on a steep learning curve. And it's sprinkled with cat hair. For nearly a month now, this sweet moggie has found refuge in the garden at Crabapple House. 

At first I shooed him off, thinking he'd lost his way. You have to understand, I'm naturally afraid of cats. But he returned each day, keeping company with the five pampered chickens in our yard. When I found him in the hen house, I knew the poor thing must be a hungry stray. So I stepped out of my comfort zone. 

I fed him. And fed him some more. Before I knew it, I was less afraid, and his head rested on my foot in gratitude. And it's not moved far in the days since. 

Making his adoption complete, our new friend now has a name. Gilbert, after a favourite character from Anne of Green Gables. (Sometimes we even call him Gilly, which I'm sure would please one Aussie cricket loving gal I know, a great admirer of the retired Adam Gilchrist.)

And here's something else I've discovered since I became a cat lady. Until the Victorian era, a domesticated cat's chief occupation was keeping granaries free of mice. But when Queen Victoria adopted two blue Persians, the fashion of keeping felines overtook the fascination with opera house lapdogs... and as pet-loving people, we've never looked back. 

Our Gilbert has no reason to look back, either. I watch him stretch across the porch in the morning sun and wonder, where have you come from...? But I know who sent him. I've embraced Gilbert as a gift from God. He's still skittish, and I hate to imagine what past traumas have marked him. How his trust has been broken. How he's been mistreated.

But I'm here to remedy that with every meal, play, and scratch of his neck. Today, I even threw a ball of wool into the mix. I'm sure our afternoons will never look the same. Such fun, this unravelling and knotting of my garden in tangled threads. 

Yes, this God delivered kitty-cat is here to stay. A reminder of how God hears the unspoken longing of our hearts and draws us into relationships of his making.

Does your lap hold a sweet pet? Where did you find your loved one?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,