From Outside The Frame

by adustyframe ~ May 1st, 2016

outside the frameI haven’t posted one of these in ages.

Here are a few links I enjoyed this week.


When you’re sinking instead of sailing

Secret to success as a mom

Korean Beef we’re going to try this soon

When infertility doesn’t end in a miracle baby

Man sings to his dying wife (oh man! you need tissues but it’s so precious!)

What have you found lately?



The Bachelor Girl’s Guide To Murder~ Rachel McMillan ~ Book Review

by adustyframe ~ April 25th, 2016



In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

About the Author:


Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

To Read Other Reviews:

Check out the authors page on Litfuse.

My Thoughts:

I had a difficult time getting into this book. It’s a little confusing but I realized it’s a part of a series. It IS readable outside of the series, I could just tell I was missing a few details.

This may be picky and small, but I had a hard time getting past all the pretentious names. I can tolerate a character here and there having a name that sounds a little stuffy or so uncommon as to make you wonder where in the world it came from. This book seems to have all names like that. Once I got past that, I did begin to enjoy the story.

It’s lighthearted and fun but at the same time tackles some issues and has intrigue and danger!

If you’re looking for a fun read, check out this book!


I was given a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 



by adustyframe ~ April 17th, 2016

Our little Nathan isn’t exactly so little anymore. He’s getting so big.

I do realize that this is a good and necessary part of life. After all, I do have a child who is bigger than his father now.

But sometimes, I wonder how can it be that my baby will be 3 this summer? That’s just crazy!

He’s a delightful bundle of boy energy. He’s hilarious and sweet and stubborn!

We’re so thankful God sent him to us.  I realized the other day that I haven’t share a photo of him in awhile. So here’s one of him being a little monkey jumping on mom’s bed.

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Driving Past

by adustyframe ~ April 12th, 2016

The other day, I went to an area of a nearby town. I drove through an area I don’t usually see.

As I passed  a nearly empty strip mall/office building, I felt my heart squeeze and my shoulders get tight.

Lee’s parole officer had been there. I sat in that parking lot several times waiting for him to come out and praying he would come out with encouraging news.

The office moved  while he was on parole and I suppose I hadn’t driven by it again until the other day.

It’s interesting how a thought, or place, or song, or smell can bring back memories-even bad memories.

Once in awhile, I have  wished they could know that we’re doing good. Lee is doing good. Our family is doing good.

But this is one of those situations where no contact and no news is the only thing we want. I just wish they knew that we weren’t destroyed and that we’re one of the families who made it.

Thank God for that!


My Hope Is Jesus

by adustyframe ~ April 9th, 2016
YouTube Preview Image Lizzie


by adustyframe ~ April 2nd, 2016

I lost a friend this week. Her death was not unexpected but  I desperately hoped that her story would end differently.

So, I’ve been very sad. Not sad for her final destination and not sad for the end of her suffering. Just sad for her loved ones and yes sad for me. She was a special lady.

I was thinking of all the times I should have gone to see her or been in touch with her better.

One time in particular, that I was thinking of was a time she came to my shop (which I don’t have anymore thankfully!). My employee called me and told me my friend was there.

James and I hurried over. She and her husband were showing off their new baby.

They wanted us to eat with them but I made an excuse. It was a little awkward. I could tell she was wondering where Lee was. I cut the visit short because I was too embarrassed to let her know why Lee couldn’t come to eat with us. I didn’t want to give her a chance to ask.

It wasn’t that I thought she would be unkind to me. I just didn’t want to deal with it.

I did this to more than one friend. Another came to town and wanted us to go to a theme park with her family but I made an excuse for the same reason.

I don’t know if I should have done things differently and obviously I cannot change them, but I realize now more than I did at the time that I retreated a lot.

I withdrew into our home and my inner circle where I was safe. Possibly that was the best thing I could have done and many times it was all I energy to do.

But I wonder if I hurt my friends or left them bewildered at my excuses. I want to be clear that they did not do anything wrong. I don’t think they should have done anything differently. I am not implying or questioning their level of friendship! Not at all. Both of these were friends who lived at a distance from me so keeping my information to myself was easy to do.

I think the rambling point of this post  is to share that if you have a friend who appears to be retreating and withdrawing, it’s ok to ask them how they are. It’s good to see what’s up. It’s wonderful to check on them. But also realize that maybe withdrawing may be the only thing they have enough energy to do and that’s ok too.

Now that my friend is gone do I wish I’d have gone out to eat with her and taken a chance that I may be uncomfortable? Yes, I do.


Wishing You A Blessed Easter

by adustyframe ~ March 25th, 2016



We have a quiet weekend planned. James is hanging out with friends from church. They’re on spring break and the guys have a guys weekend planned until Saturday night.

Nathan and I are hanging out. He’s been enjoying the Resurrection eggs and his books about the story of Easter.

Tomorrow, we may  color eggs and that’s about it. We pick up James tomorrow night and then Easter services on Sunday.

Lee is across the country and when he’s gone we just don’t have a huge day on holidays. That’s funny because he doesn’t really love all the hoopla surrounding any holiday. I guess it’s more that I don’t make a big meal if he’s not home!

We didn’t go to Good Friday services today. It was during little guy’s nap time. He’s a handful when he’s tired and I just didn’t think it was a great idea!

What about you? Do you have any plans for the weekend?


Oven Fajitas

by adustyframe ~ March 24th, 2016

My new way of making fajitas is to slice the veggies, set the chicken on top, season and bake at 375.


It’s super easy and time saving! I bake until the veggies look slightly browned. You can bake a little longer if you like. To serve, slice chicken and set on the table with fajita fixings

Here’s the basic recipe I follow.


Basic Necessities

by adustyframe ~ March 17th, 2016

On Facebook tonight, I saw a graphic of how prisoners receive so many things that they shouldn’t receive.

And the “they should only have basic necessities” comment.

I get that. I agree that they shouldn’t sleep on  $1,000 mattresses and have lobster for dinner.

But sometimes they don’t have soap to wash their hands.

Often they don’t have enough to eat for even the smallest caloric needs for a grown man.

They don’t have Cadillac health care–often not able to even get a pain reliever when fighting the flu.

You’ll probably never see me on the news fighting for prison reform. I don’t think prisoners need extravagance, but they need basics.

Certainly, we can disagree about what “the basics” are, but the conversation changes when someone you love has no soap in the bathroom when MRSA is raging through the facility. Or when they are so sick they can’t function but won’t be seen by the nurse because they aren’t “sick enough”.

The thoughts you have when someone you love has been there are very different and I suppose that’s a good thing. You don’t know what you don’t know and if you don’t know about prison, consider yourself blessed.

I think one thing to remember is that “these people” will someday (hopefully) rejoin society and perhaps it’s a good thing to treat them like humans so that they remember how to function in society when they get out.



Encouraging The Encourager

by adustyframe ~ March 14th, 2016

I like to encourage people. It’s been something I’ve done since I was small.

If I see someone who’s having a rough day, I like to send a note or a small token gift to encourage them.


I have been working on letting people know if I’m praying for them. Not only praying for them but also letting them know that I am.

The other day, I was sharing with a friend a struggle I had been facing and she encouraged me. It was such a blessing to me and reminded me that encouraging people is a very good thing. But it also reminded me that people who encourage others also need a little encouragement from time to time.


If you have a friend who’s an encouragement in your life, look for ways to encourage them. It may be just what they need to refresh them and make them smile.