Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet Rusty Cat!!!

On August 16 we became a family of 5 with the addition of Rusty Cat to our family. Growing up on a farm means I've had cats my entire life. They've always been outside cats and that's our plan with this little guy. So far Rusty is in love with the backyard and all the trees. We've been crate training him like a dog (yes, you read that correctly!) and he's learning to go outside and come back inside like the dogs. Surprisingly Lucky and Rusty get along the best of all even though Sasha tries desperately to get the kitty to love her. I'll be the first to admit that I was a little worried when we got Rusty that Lucky wouldn't like him and that could lead to very bad things if you get my drift. Thankfully they are both respectful of each others space and seem to be good friends most of the time. Lucky is still adjusting to Rusty's erratic, catlike behavior that sends him flying across the yard chasing bugs and leaves.

Rusty's birthday is April 21 which is kinda neat because that's the day we got engaged in 2008 and it's the day after Allan's birthday. In case you're curious Lucky's not the only one that's become fast friends with Rusty Cat. Allan likes him and dare I say might even love him a little bit. They're quite the pair playing Destiny on the PS4 with Allan holding the controller and Rusty leaning over the controller watching what Allan's doing. We also lucked out with a cat that loves riding in the car like a dog. By some miracle we survived a 3-hour car ride with Allan driving, me riding shotgun holding Rusty, and Sasha and Lucky riding in the back. Road trips won't be lacking for entertainment anytime soon!

So there you have it. We are officially cat owners!

Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Tried and True by Mary Connealy is the first book in her new Wild at Heart series. While I didn't do this on purpose this book also centers around women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men. The Wilde sisters (Bailey, Shannon, and Kylie) fought for the Union and after the war headed west to homestead. It was their father's urging that sent them all into battle and then out West. This first book introduces us to the Wilde family but centers around the youngest sister, Kylie. As it turns out Kylie is the most feminine of the three girls and has no desire to cut her hair short and continue to dress like a man. The way she sees it is that no one is going to venture out to her land anyway so why worry about hiding who she really is. That all changes when Aaron Masterson, the local land agent, stumbles upon her cabin just in time to catch her as she's falling off the roof in a dress and not looking at all like a man. This begins a whirlwind romance between two people who couldn't want more different futures. Kylie wants to put in the rest of her time required to homestead, sell her land to her family, and head back east to live in a civilized city where she can wear bonnets, serve tea, and be a lady. Aaron, however, intends to fulfill his commitment as land agent until the land rush settles down and then he plans to find a spot in the mountains where he can live in peace.

Not to worry this isn't a cut a dry love story. Things don't seem to go quite as either Aaron or Kylie planned and when danger strikes they both discover the depth of their feelings for one another. In my opinion the depth of all the characters is what makes this book so well-written. This book was a quick, easy read and one that I enjoyed. I can't wait for the next two books in the series so I can read more about Shannon and Bailey!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Civil War-era historical fiction has always interested me and this was based on a topic I knew very little about. I had no idea that so many women dressed themselves as men to fight for both the North and the South. In I Shall Be Near to You, Rosetta follows her new husband after he leaves in the early morning hours to join the Union Army. Jeremiah assumed that leaving without saying goodbye face to face would be the easiest thing to do but instead his letter of goodbye drove Rosetta to cut her hair, sew clothes for herself that would allow her to masquerade as a man, and change her name to Ross Stone. Growing up as the eldest daughter of a man who wanted nothing more than a son Rosetta learned how to work just as a hard as a son would have. It wasn't in her nature to sit at home praying her husband would return someday. She knew should could march, fire a gun, and help watch after Jeremiah while earning her pay as a soldier. What happens once Rosetta catches up to Jeremiah and their friends and he discovers what she's done begins a cascade of events that made me keep reading and reading. If you enjoy historical fiction you'll love this book!

If you'd like to read more about the book you can do so here and if you want to get to know Erin Lindsay McCabe better you can do that here!

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sasha Is Having Surgery

Sasha is having some minor surgery tomorrow to remove a lump. We noticed some lumps earlier this year and took her to the vet where they examined her and drew some fluid out to determine that they were just fatty deposits. One of the lumps has gotten larger recently so Allan took her back to the vet last Friday. When they took a sample they noticed some abnormal cells and wanted to remove the lump and have a biopsy sent off for testing. We are praying that this is nothing serious and the biopsy will bring good news. Please say a prayer for our little Sasha girl. On a happy note, she weighed 67 pounds at the vet so she's lost 20 pounds in the last year or so!

Always on alert when there are snacks involved!

When I Fall In Love by Susan May Warren

When I Fall In Love is the third book in Susan May Warren's Christiansen Family series. I haven't read the first one but I did review the second one earlier this year and you can read both books as stand alone novels. It did help to have the back story on some of the characters and be more familiar with the family but it's such a well-written story that you don't need the background the enjoy it. This book mostly deals with Grace Christiansen and Max Sharpe, a former hockey teammate of Jace Jacobsen and Owen Christiansen who were main characters in her second book in the series. Grace's family surprises her with a trip to Hawaii which would make most people jump up and down with excitement but not Grace. She rarely leaves home and the thought of flying all the way to Hawaii leaves her in a panic and makes for a rough flying experience. That is, until she meets the occupant of 9B who takes the time to distract her with a crossword and conversation and even takes care of her when she gets sick on the plane. What I found really funny was that they both mentioned a guy/girl they were not looking forward to meeting up with in Hawaii and as it turns out they were each talking about each other. That would definitely happen to me!

Having also had the privilege of getting sick on an airplane I can attest to the fact that it takes a special guy to take care of you when you're sick on a plane. Once they land in paradise she tries to let him off the hook but there's something about her that makes it difficult for Max, the never date a girl more than once and don't get serious guy, to leave her alone. Their three weeks in Hawaii show that they have more in common than a love for cooking and make great teammates in the kitchen. There were several points in the book where Grace's prayers seem to mimic ones that I believe most people can relate to. It's difficult to wrap your head around truly letting go and letting God and both Grace and Max struggle with this in very different ways. I'm already looking forward to the fourth book in the series and planning to read the first book as soon as I can get my hands on a copy of it!

when i fall in love


I received this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sasha and Lucky's Summer

If you're curious about what Sasha and Lucky have been up to this summer then this post is just for you! Sasha got a "big girl haircut" as we like to call it at our house and she is loving the shorter hair. Allan always cuts her hair himself so we spent a couple of hours in the garage with her using our homemade grooming table (the ramps we use for oil changes, concrete blocks, and plywood) and got the job done.

I swear she makes a sad face EVERY time I try to take her picture!
Not to say that it wasn't a mess and she wasn't a complete diva. It took an entire box of treats to survive her "spa day".

Go figure that she looks pretty happy in this one
Lucky doesn't get hair cuts so he felt a little left out since Sasha got her hair cut and her toenails cut. I was able to make up for that by cutting his toenails and brushing him. He looooves being brushed but he doesn't like to stand still for it so I'm sure I looked like an idiot walking beside him in the backyard brushing him and talking to him!

Allan's backpack is a perfect pillow apparently
Both dogs have been a little extra clingy this summer since Allan's been going to work earlier and has had softball games in the evenings at least 1 or 2 nights a week. I've spent a couple of weeks with the 11-year old boy I nanny for occasionally so the dogs had to spend the day in their "nite nite room" AKA the laundry room. It must be tough spending the day sleeping in an air conditioned room with a big bowl of fresh water. Needless to say it made both of them want to be right next to us as soon as we would get home.

On this particular day they were on the front porch with me waiting for Allan to get home from work
We've also been working with both of them off-leash. They both mind really well when they are on the leash and if we are running with them off-leash they also do great but I wanted them to be able to spend more time on the front porch and in the front yard with us. Sasha goes out with me to check the mail every day and Lucky goes to get the newspaper in the morning all by himself. He seems to know what days the paper is delivered and he's always so excited to run out and get it and then take it to Allan. Of course there are still days where he gets the paper and then tromps across the street and proceeds to pee on everyone's mailbox but we are getting there!

Hope you and your pets have had a great summer!

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble


Book Description

Seagrass Pier is the perfect place for Elin to hide from a killer, but an old love's ability to see her true heart could be her undoing.
When Elin Summerall contracted a virus that damaged her heart, she was lucky to get a transplant. At first it was an overwhelmingly good gift. But then she began to remember a murder she never witnessed—the murder of her heart's donor.
When she reveals what she knows to a disbelieving police officer, she's exposed as a witness and must flee for her life to a remote cottage on Hope Beach.
Fearing what might happen to her daughter and mother, she asks Marc Everton for help, though she hasn't seen him since the night her father died. She remembers that night with shame, and she never told Marc about their daughter.
Marc is less than convinced that Elin's "memories" are real. He is blindsided by the news about his daughter, but for her sake, he agrees to help. Then he begins to notice the small ways Elin is different. She now likes coffee, her musical tastes have changed, and she's ditched her jeans and sneakers for dresses and high heels.
As Elin tries to stay alive and bring the killer to justice, she begins to doubt her own identity. Did her new heart save her life only to cause her to lose herself? And if she's really changed, why does her new heart love Marc just as much as her old one did?


It's no secret that I am a big fan of Colleen Coble and have reviewed several of her books including the first two in this Hope Beach Series (Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage). With that said it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this one as well. I will say that it was much better than I thought it was going to be. The book starts off giving away so many big things that I couldn't imagine where the story could go from there that would be just as or even more interesting. There were twists and turns I never saw coming and the author did a beautiful job of weaving everything together to create such a well-written book. While it's easy to see from the beginning that Elin and Marc will end up rekindling their past the predictability ends there. I felt that every other aspect of the story surprised me and turned out completely different than how I would have imagined. Elin's struggle to find her heart donor's killer and the suspense surrounding that swept me up and made it impossible to stop after "just one more chapter".  I'd love to see Colleen Coble continue this series and I can't wait to read what she writes next!

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.