Archive | February 2018

Book Review – Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings by Emily Brightwell

mrs jeffries yuletide weddings


Emily Brightwell has written 26 of these novels and each one is still a delight. Mrs. Jeffries keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon and though he does not know it, she and her household staff are part of the reason he has such a wonderful record for solving crimes.

When the inspector gets a case, the household goes into action. They may have friends in low places, but it is the people who serve in the great houses who have all the gossip and news that offers many a clue when there appears to be none to the police.

This episode takes place near Christmas when every member of the household is busy with Yuletide preparations. There also is a long-awaited wedding  between two of the staff coming up as well.The cook is doing more baking and cooking than usual in honor of the upcoming festivities, but she like the rest of the staff takes time to do some sleuthing in between chores.

The characters are well – developed and you feel like you can identify with many of their own personal problems and quirks even though this takes place in Victorian times.

The plots are thoughtful and intriguing, but these are still English mysteries in the manner of Miss Marple. They have earned the ‘cozy mystery’ designation and will be enjoyed without all the detail focusing on the grizzly part of the crimes. You will instead be charmed by the interaction between staff and friends that love their Inspector and the means they use to discern the clues.

I highly recommend these for light reading and a beginning crime book for young people.








Personal- For Valentine’s Day-an Excerpt from the Articles Book


By  Jo Ann Wentzel

If you try to figure out why some people have successful marriages and others do not, you may come up with a lot of possibilities, but few sure -fired answers. The reason, however, is usually less complicated then most people suspect.

Good marriages have many things in common. Most are made up of two people who are not afraid to be individuals, but realize their strength lies in being a couple. Everyone is a better person when they can put other’s needs before their own. If they look at the thing that is best for the couple or family first, they will become much better partners.

Lots of people already know that mutual respect is an important element of a good relationship. Knowing is not enough if you cannot put that practice into reality. Respect is giving deference to another. Consideration for your partner’s feelings, ideas, beliefs, preferences, schedule etc. make for a much more sharing arrangement. It is vital to avoid making any important decisions by yourself when it effects the home, the family, or both members of the relationship.

An important trait of a good relationship is to keep a sense of humor surrounding most things. Do not take yourself too seriously. Make light of all matters that are not a life and death matter. See the funny side of all events and life in general.

Recognizing that we are all human, subject to error, and have personality frailties makes each person seem acceptable. When your husband snores, or you constantly burn supper, there needs to be an element of forgiving by the spouse. It is easy to be happy with those people who do nothing to annoy you. It is much harder to overlook the imperfections in your beloved. Most couples could name at least half a dozen traits in their mates that they wish they could change. If you have an irritating co-worker it is fairly easy to ignore their bad habits, why can we not do that with spouses? We often treat our marriage partners with less consideration than those people we barely know.

Being good friends is an immediate key to success in marriage. Before you love someone, it helps to like him or her. Marriage partners that are also friends give stability to the relationship. When you are also friends, it adds another level to your relationship. You will spend countless hours together so you should have some similar interests and enjoy each other’s company.

A spiritual base is helpful for strengthening marriages. It gives people the faith they need to work hard on such an important relationship. The answers as to how to make their married life better can be found in scripture.

It is never too early or late to put a bit of life in a marriage. Planning things together can bring a new- found excitement to your relationship whether it is the first baby’s nursery or where you will spend your retirement. Talking about upcoming trips or events adds a fun element to a sometimes, otherwise boring existence. What? You have no upcoming events or trips? First thing you need is to create some. A stagnant existence is not healthy for anyone. It breeds displeasure and bitterness. Even older folks need to have a life. Add excitement to any marriage by making an opportunity to celebrate something. You can even invent a holiday just for you two. Take advantage of all the holidays and events out there to participate in, decorate the house for them, and generally celebrate.

Don’t forget friends. At any stage of life, friends can be an added bonus. Forget the idea that they are his friends or your friends; attempt to make any friend one of both of yours. Friends can be a vital barometer of how well the rest of your life is going. If you navigate towards the wrong type of friends when things are bad, it may be an indication that you cannot talk to your mate like you wish. When your life is filled with supportive friends and you are active, usually the happy state you feel signifies a healthy point in your marriage.

Learn something new together; a hobby, a sport, or join ranks to fight for a cause. These moments of combined efforts will remind you why you loved each other to begin with.

Forget past harms that have been done to you. The idea of forgiveness is probably most important in families and with couples. If you cannot see anything but revenge upon your mate, you need to get counseling.

Don’t forget romance and sex in your marriage. This should be part of married life at any age. You may lose interest in some aspects, but when it is goes altogether so will the relationship. ‘Brides’ appreciate candlelight dinners at any age. Moonlight can still quicken the heart and roses or candy brought for special occasions, or even better for no reason at all. are among the best ways to say I love you.

Good marriages are made up of couples who have the ability to stick together, iron out differences, and negotiate. The couple can be empathic and see things from “their mate’s’ viewpoint.” Before any couple should ever consider ending their marriage, they should look at all the reasons to STAY TOGETHER. Only relationships where violence, degradation, lack of love, or serious addictions is present should be dissolved. Only after several sessions of counseling can any determination be made as to the nature of all the problems surrounding this union. Marriage and divorce are very serious propositions and should be considered with the utmost severity.

It is simple to have a good marriage if you just treat the person you swore to love with the respect and care you wish to receive yourself. Marriage must be between two people who love each other so much they cannot bear to be apart. Good marriages follow the Golden Rule. If you are ready to give unselfishly, love unconditionally, and put another’s need before your own; you are ready to succeed at marriage.