Book Review: The Congregation

Hi pals. I know I haven’t blogged in forever, but I think I’ll start posting the book reviews that I put in GoodReads. If you follow me on Facebook, you know this hasn’t been the best year so mom really hasn’t had the time or energy to help me blog, but at least this will help keep my blog active. One of these days, things will get better and I’ll have fun stuff to blog again. I miss my adventures, and so do the stuffies.

Anyway, back to the book. Here’s a description of ‘The Congregation’ from GoodReads:

“A bustling mining town in 1970s England awaits the arrival of their new vicar. People are not sure what to expect as the rather aloof Reverend Matthews descends upon his unfamiliar parish, but nevertheless he is welcomed with open arms and gathered into the flock.

However, on discovering a journal left by his predecessor, the clergyman soon begins to wonder what secrets lie behind the seemingly innocent lives of his congregation. The unexpected arrival of the Bishop causes the vicar to question his own past and a cloud descends upon his religious beliefs, causing chaos to both himself and the townsfolk residing just a stone’s throw away.

Written in an upbeat style, with dark humour and quirky characters, this novel is best savoured by the fire with a pot of tea.”

The book definitely lives up to that description. Here’s my review:

The CongregationThe Congregation by A.J. Griffiths-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would have given the book 5 stars, but it ended rather abruptly and unsatisfactorily. I loved it right up until the last few pages.

If you like the tv series, Midsomer Murders, you’ll like this book. It’s not a murder mystery, but it has the same kind of quirky characters that Midsomer had in the early seasons. The characters are multi-dimensional and well developed. You find yourself caring about the characters and how their lives go.

That’s it for now. Happy reading!

What to do if your pet goes missing

Hi pals. I know I’ve been MIA, but mom’s not having a good time right now. But things will be better in a couple of weeks, and then maybe we can get back to blogging more regularly. And I’ll have lots to tell you then!

In the meantime, I got an email today from Maia at the Denver Dumb Friends League. It had good information on what to do if you pet goes missing. She also sent the story of Sadie, a dog who lost her human and how they found each other again. I thought you’d like to see these. So here is Sadie’s story:

Courtesy of the Denver Dumb Friends League

“The metro area’s population explosion hasn’t been limited to humans. Thousands of pets have come along with their families—some eager, many nervous about starting new lives in unfamiliar territory.

Sadie wedged herself into the back seat when John S., two buddies, and all their gear made the trip in February from Connecticut. She was comfortable enough on the cross-country drive, but shortly after they arrived in Denver, she slipped away, no doubt intent on returning home. She wasn’t on the loose for long when a neighbor spotted her and called the cell number on her tag.

The key to Sadie’s quick return was that all-important ID tag. Without it, the neighbor’s options were more time-consuming, more inconvenient. The tag attached to her collar made it simple. Sadie was back in John’s care within an hour or two.

It’s a fact: Pets are less secure and thus more apt to become a flight risk when their routines are interrupted, particularly when they are away from familiar surroundings.

A microchip implant is another important identification tool. A tiny chip, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the animal’s skin and can be read at any shelter or veterinarian’s office. But even if a pet is chipped, he or she needs to wear a visible ID tag.

If you are among the many pet-lovers who have recently put down roots in our community, welcome! And if your cat or dog manages to leave home before you’ve had an opportunity to get it licensed or update its tag, here are some tips to help get it back safely.

First, act fast! Walk or drive your neighborhood and tell everyone you meet. Be sure to give out your phone/text number. Hang (and date) posters wherever you are permitted. Include your pet’s photo and offer a reward. Utilize social media sites like Broaden your search through Craigslist, Twitter and Facebook.

Next, check the shelters closest to where your pet was lost. Visit in person to file a report, and take along a photo. Check outlying shelters, too. Find locations on the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance website at

On the flip side, when you see a stray pet, be a good neighbor, like the one who helped Sadie. If there are no ID tags, take the animal to the nearest shelter right away. The shelter staff will scan it for a microchip and provide a safe haven, while they work to reunite it with its people.

If taking the pet to a shelter is not an option or you want to keep it temporarily at your home, you’ll still want to have it checked for a microchip and file a “found” report with the shelter. Then, distribute fliers and post a “found pet” notice on internet sites, but be cautious. Don’t include a photo, and be sure to withhold some key information, so you can be certain anyone who contacts you is the actual owner.”

The info above is tailored to the Denver area, but I bet similar resources are available all over the US.

Maia also sent this infographic.

Courtesy of MDAWA

I hope none of you ever get lost, but it’s good to know what to do just in case. Thank you MDAWA and DDFL for providing this information.

Have a great week everyone!

Yard Visitors

Happy Sunday everyone! Mother Nature seems to be very confused. We’ve had springlike weather for weeks! Friday was over 80F. It’s February! We should be freezing and buried in snow. I have to say, I’m enjoying the nice weather. We even had open windows here for a couple of days.

As some of you may already know, Mom’s been thinking for a while now about selling our big house and downsizing to something more sensible. She bought this house with her mom. She would have sold it a long time ago when her mom died, but the prices fell so low she couldn’t. Well, the prices are finally right to sell and move, so that’s what we’re going to do. Unfortunately, the Denver area is too expensive for us to stay in once Mom retires, so she’s looking at houses in Colorado Springs. That way she’ll still be close enough to Denver to see her friends sometimes. It’s hard to leave friends you’ve had for 25 years or more. She was looking at Phoenix because she thought she couldn’t even afford the Springs, but it looks like the Springs it will be!

One of the things I’ll miss the most when we move is seeing the amazing birds that come visit our yard. We have this tremendous pine tree that seems to attrack birds of prey. We also get lots of mourning doves and ring-neck doves that come visiting. The two close-up pictures have captions you can see if you scroll over the pictures.

We get other kinds of birds too, and a lot of bunnies but these are the most amazing visitors. I hope our new house gets cool yard visitors.

Have a great week everyone!