The Patio Cardinal & Back To The Book Club

I know you were expecting Welcome Wagon today. But the fact of the matter is, I haven't had time this week to scour the internet to find any. 

I may not be able to keep doing Welcome Wagon on a regular basis, as it's getting harder to find new blogs. If someone knows of a new blog they'd like to see featured, just email me. I'll do my best.

I wanted to show you a "photo shot through the patio door" of what I have dubbed "the patio cardinal." (Not as clear through the glass.) 

He's out there every day. And I never see him at the feeder, so maybe I need to get a bigger one for him. But he's always out there cavorting around.

I'm hoping soon to actually go outside and get a photo of him, but Abi starts yapping every time I approach the patio door. She hasn't quite figured things out. 

At the other house I always left through the back door. Here I leave through the front door. 

So she just yaps when she sees me going toward either one now. And the cardinal flies off as soon as he hears that first yap.

And now for some book club updates. We've gotten away from this while I've been moving and getting things situated. But I'm ready to get back to it.

I've found some recent books and hope some of them interest you. 

As always, I will put a poll on my sidebar. You can vote for your favorite, and we will pick the next two months' books, June and July.

Here are the books you'll be choosing from...

Don't Go

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline breaks new ground and delivers the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero.

When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.

However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies in their kitchen, a victim of an apparent household accident.  Devastated, Mike returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart.  His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left: his precious baby girl.  Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.

As layer upon layer of lies are revealed, Mike soon  realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front, and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him.  Gripping, thrilling, and profoundly emotional, Don’t Go is Lisa Scottoline at her finest. 

Don't Look Back

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all - popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. 

Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her - even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night aren't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory - someone else knows. Someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. 

All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Finding Me

Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. 

Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.

In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
The book with the most votes will be June's book club pick. The runner-up will be the book we read for July.

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  1. Brenda, I love your cardinal photos. I may read the book on Michelle, she's so brave. xoxo,Susie

  2. I am not familiar with the first two authors, but all of the books sound intriguing. I know, that is not really a vote :)


  3. Oh, and the cardinal may not be going to your feeder because of the kind of food you are using.

  4. I always enjoy your gorgeous photos. The cardinal sure is a beauty isn't he? So glad you were able to get his pic. Also, love the vignette in the first photo. You are so talented at that!

    Looking forward to the book club...

  5. Finding Me....Michelle has endured so much and I feel compelled to read her story. I hope she makes alot of $$ to help her along her way. My next pick would be Don't Go.

  6. Mr. Cardinal may not be eating at your buffet, but he looks healthy and very handsome. He's eating something!
    Good photos.

  7. He's a beauty Brenda. I've really been enjoying your blog since we are in the process of moving as well. Hope you are enjoying getting all settled in. I know how hard it is. Can't wait to see more!

  8. Yes, he doesn't look like he's missing any meals! We don't have them out here so love seeing their pictures. My hope for Michelle is the profits are directed to her accordingly. She is an amazing woman.

  9. I am reading Orphan Train right now and it is so good. You might want to consider it.

  10. Brenda, I've found a lot of my cardinals like to eat on the ground.. Many birds are like that, Doves especially. Cardinals may like to have a wooden bird feeder that has a bigger place to land on like a wooden perch. Just a suggestion..
    Your cardinal looks like he's having fun investigating your garden accessories.. I would, too, if I was a cardinal or any other bird. ;o)
    I'm amazed at the three girls who were kept under such awful circumstances.. I saw Michelle on the Today show last week and she was talking about her book.. I would certainly like to read it---"Finding Me".
    Have a joyful weekend.

  11. How cool that Mr. Cardinal likes to come visit at your patio. I'm not in your book club, but you put out some good choices. They all look like good books.

  12. I have observed that my cardinal ( The MR. ) showed up by himself for ages before the lady came around with him. And mostly he wanted to ground feed. He preferred the sunflower seeds on the ground that had spilled out of the feeders onto the ground versus visiting the feeders. The other thing is that in the winter he just did this quiet 'cheep cheep' thing everytime he was outside and then come spring he turned into a rock star with "pretty pretty' and all of this other songs ...

    As to Welcome Wagon, I don't know anyone off the bat but I have found that they don't respond...hopefully they come over and say 'thank you' to you but if I leave a comment saying I am coming from brenda etc where she featured you I never hear back. So for awhile I quit leaving comments; started again, and it was the same, lol!

  13. Love cardinal's!! I hope you get more photos. I plan to read Don't Go but both of the other books sound good also.

  14. I love your beautiful red cardinal visitor. I have one that visits in my yard too. I love when I see him. I feel like he is visiting me.
    Abi and Charlie are precious!
    Have a beautiful weekend. blessings, Catherine

  15. What a handsome visitor you have in your garden..I saw Michelle Knight last week on Dr Phil..What a sweet, brave lady she is..I wish her only good things for the rest of her life..I would love to read her book..

  16. Your photographs of that cute cardinal were great. My favorite was the one where he is gazing at himself in the red gazing ball. It looks like he is enjoying investigating all of the pretties you have in your garden.

    It is terrifying to me to think of all of the missing people who have just been "written off" as runaways so authorities don't have an obligation to look any further into their disappearances. I join Nancy Blue Moon in wishing Michelle Knight only good things for the rest of her life.

    My Fuzzy pom always barks anytime I open the door to go outside. It can be a little aggravating , can't it.

  17. Your glass must just be about as clean as any glass could be. I can't tell that your photos were taken through glass. The cardinal is just about the best garden bird there is.
    Still wondering how to get them to come into my garden, and what the secret is.
    I placed my vote for the next book .

  18. Your cardinal pictures "through the glass" would make a beautiful art print! You are SO talented with your camera!

  19. I agree with some of the comments above re: Mr. Cardinal. Ours prefer to forage on the ground. They prefer sunflower seeds. This spring Mr. C was feeding Mrs. C on the was so fun to watch! That's how they just scatter a few seeds on the ground near where he lands....he'll eat them! So proud of you Brenda!!! usually where there are cardinals house fench's are nearby....

  20. Dr. Phil did another interview with Michelle Knight last week. She has come so far !! What an amazing young lady and inspiring. I can't wait to read her book and hope the book becomes a movie. Such wonderful ppl out in the world who have been through so much and come out the other side as a ray-of-sunshine to others. Heart-touching <3

  21. I vote for Don't Go and Finding Me


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