Book Review - Insanity's Shoes

My friend Angela Tompkins recently published a book titled Insanity's Shoes about her experience with postpartum psychosis. As a RN and a IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), I felt I needed to read this book so that I could better screen and counsel the postpartum women I see and talk to on a regular basis.

It's Spring! Time to clean out closets!

Image courtesy of Aleksa D at
Spring means time to do your Spring cleaning! We recently moved, so I feel like we spent the last year Spring cleaning!
Since we live in a much smaller house now, we have a lot less closet space. This really helps you simplify! There's just not room for any extras!
Now that winter is (hopefully :)) almost over, it's time to look back over your winter clothes.
See those tops and bottoms that are really cute, you like them, but for some reason never wore them?
 Get rid of them! Lovely as they are, they are taking up valuable real estate!
 Time to sell or donate them to someone who can really use them. This will give you closet space for clothing articles that you will wear, not just decorate your closet with.
I have this problem too! I have several nice skirts and sweaters that I really like and will "one day" wear, but they aren't real practical on an every day basis. Keep one such out fit for that "one day", and donate the others.
I practiced this idea last Saturday and had a pile of winter clothes to donate to those in need. That feels good on two fronts - my closet is a little more organized and I'm helping someone out with a gift of "new" clothes.
Don't let these early Spring days go by without looking through your winter clothes and seeing which ones you never wore and finding them a new home!

The Quilted Heart - Book Review

In keeping with my New Year's Resolution, I've been reading a few more books this year than I have over the past few years.
I choose The Quilted Heart randomly, needing to add a few more dollars to my cart to get free shipping! It was a good choice!
The Quilted Heart is written by Mona Hodgson and are three short novels in one, all involving the same characters. The setting is a small Missouri town a the end of the Civil War. This intrigued me because we had just finished reading Across Five Aprils with our homeschool history program. I have read very few books about life in the North after the Civil War.

The perfect reader would be a young or older adult, more likely a female. :) This is a Christian book, so no moral or modesty issues. I would encourage my teenage daughters to read this book.
The three main characters in the book couldn't lead more different lives, but they are all intertwined as they try to piece their lives back together after the heartaches they experienced related to the intense hardships of the Civil War. 
At the center of each story is a quilting group ran by an older woman, Mrs. Brantenberg, who, though she too experienced great tribulations brought on by the war, was able to have a positive impact on everyone's life in the quilting circle, through friendship and prayer.
Mrs. Brantenberg says, "Life is much like quilting - a patchwork of scraps and remnants." 
"No matter our age. Life's changing seasons are as persistent as the ripples along the shore."  
I particularly like to read historical fiction books because I like to learn a little something in my easy reading. This book was perfect - it included the post Civil War Era and led into wagon trains going west from Missouri.

I enjoyed the uplifting qualities of this book too. Though the characters had suffered greatly and their lives were in a mess, they could find the good in the day and give praise where it was due. It made me see that we can always find something positive in our lives and underlined the need of daily thanking God for the seasons in our lives.