Monday, January 30, 2017

Flora’s Secret – by Anita Davison – Enjoyable and A Nice Surprise – I look forward to reading more books by Anita Davison

Since mysteries are one of my favorite genres I was excited at the opportunity to read a book by an author whose work is new to me.  That’s why I selected this historical fiction by Anita Davison, Flora’s Secret.

Flora’s Secret is the story about a young governess, Flora Maguire, who is accompanying her charge Eddy Vaughn as they journey home to England on the maiden voyage of the Minneapolis.  Any hope for smooth sailing is quickly abandoned when Flora finds a dead body at the bottom of stairway.  Is it an accident or murder?  Spunky Miss Maguire is not one to be easily deterred and will do whatever she can to get to the bottom of this man’s untimely death.  Thrown into the mix is a shipboard romance with a fine gentleman Mr. Bunny Harrington. 

I really enjoyed this book.  The main characters well developed, interesting and very likable.  The author did a great job in describing people and scenes.  She gave enough details for the reader to imagine the scenes, but not too much.  The characters, Flora and Bunny, where very likable; people I would want to know.  I’m hopeful their story will continue in another book.  Other characters were intriguing and it was fun to try and figure out who the good guys were and the bad guys were. 

While this book is not from a Christian writer and publisher, I appreciated the fact that the story was told and developed without profanity and sexually explicit scenes.  It's clean historical fiction, a mystery with a bit of romance, that focused on developing characters and the storyline.  This was the first book I’ve read by Anita Davison and I look forward to reading more of her books. 

I would like to thank NetGalley and Aria Publishers for the opportunity to read Flora’s Secret by Anita Davison.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eyes Behaving Badly


With each passing year, I find that I’m more and more grateful that I don’t know what future holds.  If I did have foreknowledge, I’m sure I would spend more time worrying and being anxious.  Instead I know Who holds the future.

The LORD entrusts me with today and calls me to trust Him and call out to Him in prayer and with thanksgiving.

My eyes behaving badly started a few months ago, when I was reading my Nook in bed.  As I looked at the screen I realized that not only could I see the screen, but the time from our alarm clock (which was situated about six feet away and three feet higher) appeared to be behind the screen.  Okay…so that’s a little weird. 

At my yearly eye exam, I mentioned it to my eye doctor.  Dr Brandon Marsh did some additional testing and informed me that I had a condition called Strabismus.  It’s also knows as a wandering eye or lazy eye.  My right eye was intermittently turning outward instead of staying focused on what was in front of me and in sync with my left eye.  My doctor set up an appointment with a specialist who deals with this condition.  I left with a business card in hand and an appointment a few weeks away. 

Good golly, how in the world could I have developed this condition and not been aware of it?  When I got home and looked in the mirror all of a sudden, I could see what the doctor was talking about.  Since there was no precipitating event, like an accident, it’s a bit of a mystery what caused it.

With each passing week, the condition seemed to be happening more frequently.  I was relieved that I would soon be seeing the eye specialist.  The one catch, the doctor’s primary practice was working with children.

Talk about feeling awkward, I walked into the office for my appointment with Dr Cynthia Beauchamp and lo the office was filled with children and their parents.  Okay, so I’m feeling a little self-conscious. 

But that uncomfortable feeling didn’t last because after an examine, the doctor said she could help me.  I would need surgery on my eyes to weaken the outer muscles of my eyes, so they would be correctly positioned and focus together. 

I was most grateful to hear that this condition could be corrected.  After praying and talking with my husband Chris, I decided to move forward and have the surgery.  With the holidays coming up quickly and vacation, the surgery would take place in the new year.

The Lord went before me and worked out the details that concerned me.  Not only did I need an examine from my primary care physician, I needed blood tests, x-rays and a letter from her and a cardiologist that I would a good candidate for outpatient surgery.  The clock was ticking, but thank You Lord, I was able to get everything that was needed to the eye doctor within the allotted time frame. 

As the day of surgery approached, I was more grateful.  Everyday tasks, like walking down stairs and even driving became something that I needed to pay extra attention to.  Using good quality eye drops and blinking helped when my eye started to wander. 

Yesterday was the big day.  We headed out early for my appointment arrival time of 6 am.  Though some distance away, the traffic was light and we got there ahead of schedule.  The Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas is one hopping place.  The waiting room filled up quickly by time I went back in for my surgery.  As I walked back with the nurse, we passed many, many bays where patients were being prepared for surgery. 

I didn’t have to wait long before they took me in for surgery.  I was a little nervous, but overall the Lord gave me peace.  During the waiting period I was able to pray.

Thankfully, I was given general anesthesia so I was completely oblivious to what the doctor was doing.  The anesthesiologist gave me plenty of anti-nausea medicine which helped me greatly.

When I awoke from surgery, I had my eyes closed for quite a while.  They had put some ointment in my eyes which made my vision very blurry.  Once I was sufficiently alert and not ready to toss my cookies, they released me.  Of course, my eyes were very sensitive to light so I put on sunglasses. 

I kept my eyes closed most of the way home and opened them briefly to navigate the steps to go inside.  After a brief nap, I stayed awake most of the day.  Closing my eyes, even briefly, helped the discomfort and pain, as did good quality eye drops. 

If I had an Indian name, today it would be Susan Red Eyes.  Instead of white, my eyes are very, very red.  There’s some pain, but minimal.  Much better than I expected.  At the end of yesterday, the double vision had already improved.  When I awoke this morning, I was back to seeing double.  I’m prayerful that will be resolved in a few days. 

The main reason, I decided to go forward with the surgery is that I didn’t want my wandering eye and seeing double to get worse and impact my ability to drive safely and navigate stairs.  Safety was a primary concern.

Also, I found that was I was increasingly self-conscious when I recognized my eye was on the move.  Until, the condition was diagnosed I was unaware of it as was my husband Chris.  But we both became hyper aware of it.  He said it was strange to be talking with me and all of a sudden one of my eyes was looking elsewhere.

After personally experiencing a wandering eye, I can tell you first hand if someone you know has this condition, when you are looking at them focus on the eye that’s looking at you.  For some reason, even though my right eye was looking elsewhere, my brain was focused on what was in front of me.  I know that I felt very self-conscious about it, others may feel likewise. 

I am so thankful to God that getting this corrected was possible.  I thankful for the excellent healthcare I’ve had here in north Texas.  I’m thankful for good insurance. 

But most important, I know that all health and healing come from the LORD.  He is my Great Physician.  He is my Healer.  He walks with me at all times.  If God was not willing to heal me, I pray that I would be praising God and trusting His greater work within me.  I can’t imagine how people do life without the LORD.

I’m so grateful for family and friends who were praying with us and for us.  I’m grateful for my husband Chris and his steadfast support and help, not just during this season, but every day. 



Picture a Day - Roses in Springtime

Shortly before we moved from California in 2014, my husband Chris took me to the Huntington Library.  I had never been there, but he had...