Friday, February 16, 2018

More Book Reviews

I'm still in the middle of my "being very lazy" spell. Just no ambition to get up and do anything. So I listen to books. And sometimes I read. I have discovered the listen/read books at Audible and sometimes I will read and other times I will listen. And it's great when I fall asleep while listening because  it's easy to find my place again. I also have a nagging cough left from my cold a few weeks ago. It is exhausting.

For my first book:

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom is the real life story of Corrie ten Boom from the Netherlands. She was helping hide Jews from the Germans and her family was captured and sent to the concentration camps during World War II. The story shows how her faith carried her through the horrors of the camp and her long fought battle to return to her beloved home. It is not really full of the horrors of the concentration camps (like some of the books I have read) but more about how she kept her faith that she would be able to stand the terrors of the capture. I really liked this book and will give it **** stars. It will stay with me for a long, long time.

Next I listened to (and read some):

Sydney Rose Parnell is a Railroad Police Special Agent who is brought in to help solve the murder of a young woman whose boyfriend is the main suspect. Sydney discovers that she knew this man, who has been severely burned by an IED, while she herself was serving in the Marine Corp in Iraq. Their platoon was hiding a horrible secret which most were unable to leave behind when they came home. It is threatening to unravel Sydney's world. This is the first novel of this author. She did a fabulous job. The story takes you on a thrill ride from the beginning of the story to the end. The characters are all well-developed and the storyline is intense. The side stories are all well-developed as well. In the end I fell in love with Sydney Rose and my hope was she survived not only finding the monster that killed the young woman, but the monsters who followed her home from Iraq. Both real and perceived. A solid *** for a really good story. 

Off to my next books. Already started reading one and listening to one. I need help! I need to get things done. Just not today!!

Happy weekend everyone.    

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Currently....









Outside my window...

It's cloudy and cold here. 25 right. Supposed to get some snow later.


Pondering

I just can't ponder too much right now without getting my blood pressure going high. So for today I will let it go!



Watching...

Did you all watch This Is Us after the Super bowl? I was kind of let down after all the hype. I wonder if this show will be enduring now that we know about Jack's death. And all the kids are grown and apparentlyl damaged in one way or another by it. I can't see it staying as interesting to me in the future. I already am not as drawn into the second season. What do you guys think?


Reading...

I'm currently listening to The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. And I'm reading 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal. It gives you one new habit for every week of the year. 

Creating...

I haven't been very creative so far this year. I don't really know if I am ever very creative. I haven't even put up my February mantle yet. Don't know that I will at this point. Might just wait to see what the remainder of the month brings.


Learning...

I've been learning that sometimes you just have to let nature take its course when it comes to your health. You can't hurry what doesn't want to be hurried. The last episode of gout took it's time to leave. But I am finally better.


Planning....

My plans have to do with getting a master bedroom cleaned. WOW!


Drinking....

I have started to challenge myself with drinking more water. My goal is for 64 ounces of water a day. Means I don't get far from the bathroom. But I hear that will slow down as my body adjusts to my drinking more water. I have been needing to do this for sometime. We do not drink soda/pop in this house anymore!! YAY, us!!



What's in the kitchen...

Harley and I have been on a salad kick lately. I've been buying those little prepared salad bowls at the grocery store. I know they are more expensive but I feel like I waste less so in the long run they work out. We have soup and salad, sandwich and salad, or chicken/beef and salad. Oh so good!


A quote to share...





Photos that have been stuck in my phone...

Darian and his intended, Mattie

Balloons released for Richard's birthday January 9

I got to pin Justin's badge on him in his promotion ceremony

Ali came and spent two weeks with us In January

celebrating Harley's birthday
Harley and Paige

just a bit of snow

The shirt says:
"Awesome since 2000"




A final thought...

We have celebrated two birthdays recently. Darian turned 20 on January 31. He got a pass and spent it with his fiancĂ©e. And Harley turned 18 on February 4. We ate at Red Robin with Justin and Paige (and Justin's lady, Heather). Was a good time with bottomless French fries!  



Monday, February 5, 2018

Just Some Quick Book Reviews

I've been listening to Audible a lot this year. Here is a few I've finished.


This book is the February selection for the on-line book club I am part of. This is a coming of age book that is set in the 1970's and 1980's in Virginia. The main character of the book is 'Rocky' who adores his older brother Paul. The song Only Love Can Break Your Heart is Paul's favorite song. Paul is 9 years older than Rocky and they have different mothers. Paul is a bit of a 'bad boy' who smokes, drinks, and eventually abandons his brother and doesn't come back home for years. The family that lives across the street from Rocky and his family are very wealthy and Rocky's 'old man' (his dad) seems to covet their lifestyle. There are many dramatic connections between the two families. I liked the story. It held my interest. I loved the characters. Even the ones I didn't like. I would give this book *** a good story.

Next, I listened to The Buried Book .This book deals with a mother abandoning her 9
year old son Jasper with only a change of clothes and his Bible. She leaves him with her brother. Jasper is desperate to find his mother which leads him on an escapade that will uncover some dark secrets in the world of murder, gambling, Indians and scandal. This book takes place in the 1950's.  I really liked it. I loved most of the characters. Even the stern Uncle. I will also give this book *** as a good story.

Then I listened to Say You're Sorry.Morgan Dane is a young widow and mother of three. She needs to return to work and accepts a job as a DA. But, before she starts to work her neighbor, Nick, a teenage boy who Morgan knows well is arrested and charged with murdering his girlfriend. Morgan leaves the job before she even starts to become the defense lawyer of Nick. Morgan ends up taking on the town, the police, and the DA to uncover the real killer. A good thriller. *** stars again.

Finally, I listened to All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir. I had never hear of Brennan Manning. Maybe you have. But he was  a boy who grew up to be a priest and a evangelist. He left his priesthood to marry a woman with two daughters. The book tells the story of an imperfect man who battled with alcoholism and other demons. I loved the story. I know we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes we put too much onto the heads of our religious leaders. This will break that myth apart. **** stars for this unforgettable story.

What books are you into right now??

Friday, February 2, 2018

Oh What A Month-January Favorites

Oh what a month January has been at this house. First of all it has been very, very cold. And then warm, like spring. And now very, very cold. I have suffered through another episode of gout in my foot. The left foot this time. But it is so much better today. Finally!! I also had a pretty nasty head cold. Not the flu! Thank you Lord.

As I told you in my final Currently of 2017 Darian suffered a health problem while visiting his girlfriend at Christmas. Upon returning to the post he was put through a battery of tests. Including an echocardiogram. He has a heart murmur. How this was missed all these years is beyond me. But that is his final diagnosis. He is now awaiting a Medical Board of Review from the Army to see how he proceeds with his Army career. Other than the one episode of "fainting" he has not had any other symptoms. But the Army will err on the side of being safe, I'm sure. So we await that news.

Also as we wait on that news we have gotten other news. Darian became engaged over the holidays. And although we do not have a wedding date we do know there will be a baby coming in May. This grandma is not happy with the progression of these affairs, but it's not the end of the world. Time will tell what the future holds for all of us. We will be happy to have all of my blogging family and friends continue to pray for Darian and his now 'future family.'

On to the favorites!

My first favorite of the month came to me free from Grove Collaborative. I've told you before how much I like using this service. It is a Mint Argan lip remedy. I have found it to be extremely hydrating and nourishing to my winter chapped lips. And free is always a plus.

While we are still at 'The Grove' I have to talk about my new favorite dish washing tool. It is called the Crystal Clear Glassware Cleaner. Harley is horrible about rinsing out a glass after drinking from it. So often on the bottom is dried orange juice, tea, milk, or whatever. (I know you would think an almost 18 year old could rinse her glass). And since I have been hand washing dishes lately,(Waiting to get a new dishwasher)I really like this tool. It is made with earth friendly materials and removes lipstick from the side of cups and glasses like magic. Also, the head is removable and can be replaced. The one I am currently using is my second one. The first one fell apart the first time I used it. I contacted Grove and they sent a replacement; which I received in two days. They have the greatest customer service.

Next, is Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. Have you ever used this?

I love it. I have gone through several tins over the years. I've used other cuticle creams but this is, by far, my favorite. I think it might be because I love the smell of lemon. Give it a try.





 I am in love with my new phone case. I tried to find a picture of the one I have but I can't. This is the same brand. But mine has pink glitter. I spend a lot of time moving the glitter around. It is so mesmerizing. I feel like a teenage girl. LOL!! Anyway, I like it. So there!!

Lastly, I have a favorite song.Such power in these lyrics. I am a 'champion of women' and I love this song. We have a special love for Carrie Underwood at our house. And it is because of a funny little story. When Harley was about 6-7 years old she loved the song Jesus Take The Wheel.  She was also just learning how to print. So, she copied the words of this song into a notebook. For a long time she thought she was the original 'song writer' because she had written the words down. We tease her about it to this day. Good thing she is a good sport. Anyway, enjoy my new favorite song....

 


That's is folks. My favorites for January and a bit of catch up news. What is going on with you?? What is a favorite for you this month??

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Sunday Currently









Outside my window...

Kansas has been in a deep, deep chill. But we have enjoyed a beautiful weekend with temps hovering around the 60*. Don't get too excited, though, Mother Nature says! Tomorrow we are looking for snow! That is just the way it is.

 
Pondering..

The only pondering I have been doing this past week (or two) is I am suffering through another bout of gout. (Love my rhyming here) It is about gone. Thank you Lord. But, yesterday I started with cold-like symptoms. Now, I am not sure where this came from (I am blaming Harley) since I haven't left the house in a week. She must have brought it home from school. We have a lot of flu here in town from the sounds of things. And I am happily staying away from all of that. 

Watching...

Since I have mostly been at home with my legs elevated I am watching a lot of TV. Politics!! I won't even get started on what I think of our President right now. Moving on.


Reading...

I've also done a good bit of reading and listening to books. So I have some reviews to do. I am finishing listening to Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington. This is my book club's February read. I must say it isn't what I expected. But I am liking it. 

 
Drinking....

Enjoying my coffee every morning. And I like hot apple cider in the afternoon. 



What's in the kitchen...

Haven't any formal plans recently. We eat what we are hungry for and what I have in the kitchen. 



A quote to share...










A final thought...

I hope you are all well! I have stories and photos to share about what we have been doing in January. But I am headed back to my recliner for the rest of today.
Take care!!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Nothing but Books

It's no wonder I am not getting anything done around here when I look at what I have been doing. And, yes, even though all of these are books I listened to, mostly I listened while sitting on my big butt. That is just the way it is. Winter does that to me. What can I say? I do really hope to take down the Christmas tree today. (don't judge me, it's still up but the decorations are off it. Progress)

This first book Reason To Breathe by Rebecca Donovan was a good listen. The lead character is a high school girl who is living with her aunt and uncle. The uncle is the brother of her dead father. Her mother is unfit to take care of her so she was sent to live with the uncle. The aunt hates her and resents her. And is CRAZY! Emma just really wants to not be noticed and is counting down the days until she can get away from her aunt. But, like all good stories, along comes a boy! And she falls in love. And still tries to hide the fact her aunt is physically and mentally abusing her. The story does not have a neat little bow at the end.  But leaves it open for book 2. I don't know yet if I want to go there. I will give the book 3 ***. It drags some but for the most part is a good story.

Next, I listened to The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel. The leading lady of this story is Freida, along with her little sister Bea. The girls were left orphaned when their mother, the town prostitute, dies. They are taken in by  a kind fisherman, Silver. Silver raises them and teaches Frieda a love for the sea. But Frieda wants to be able to provide more for her little sister. She needs more money than she can earn fishing. So she takes up rum-running during the Prohibition years. It is a dangerous job but she loves the thrill of it. She, too, falls in love. And almost loses it all before she comes to her senses at the end of the book. I loved the story. I love the sea. And I love myself a feisty heroine. This books gets 4****. 

And lastly, I listened to The Dancing Girls by Kylie Brant. This book is a mystery thriller. It is good! I couldn't stop listening. The story starts with the disappearance of a young girl. It closely matches the disappearance of another girl, Kelsey, seven years earlier. The disappearance of Kelsey has ripped her family apart. Her dad is a work-aholic, mom is a drunk, and little sister is socially inept. Whitney, the latest girl who disappeared, is being kept by a monster and made to perform ballet dances for him. When she doesn't get it just right she is severely punished. She finds some papers written by Kelsey and plans her escape. But it is Mark Foster, a detective, who figures out who is taking these girls and manages to save her just in the nick of time. And the monster is caught. And not who you suspect throughout the book. I love these kinds of books. It is a solid *** book. 

Now I really need to get my butt up and put that darn tree away. But, I'll do it while listening to my next book...Allie and Bea by Katherine Ryan Hyde. Until next time..... 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

December Favorites

I always have a good deal of things I find in the month of December that become a favorite. Probably because I got them as Christmas presents. And my family knows me well. They know what I like.
Papa's shirts

Remember when I told you Paige took all of Richard's shirts home with her to make a quilt? Well I got it for Christmas. It is big enough to cover my lap as I sit in my chair. The wonderful thing is before she wrapped it she sprayed it with his cologne ( After he died, I had given each of the girls a small bottle of it so they could always know what Papa's smell was like)Talk about memories and tears. This definitely brought it on for all of us. I love that she made it herself. She is very talented. The stitching is beautiful. Plus, all of the shirts she selected are the ones we bought for him when we made our trip to Disney World in 2011 (so we all wore matching colors). That gives the quilt some extra meaning. This will be a cherished piece for me. And when I am gone she can have it back!

I also discovered another new wine in the month of December. I think I must like Moscato because these are the ones I am
liking the most. This one is Marco Negri Moscato d'Asti. It is very smooth. And I think I could drink the entire bottle (small, of course) by myself. Have you ever tried this wine?

Next on my list of favorites is my blanket. It is a 
Newport Velvet Berber full size blanket. I have lived under this thing since Christmas day. We are having cold, cold, cold temperatures here in Kansas and I don't like to turn my furnace above 68-70 so this is 
keeping me toasty warm. It has a red/black Buffalo print on one side and the other side is a white Berber. I could stay under this for the rest of my life. And this little fellow here came for a day of dog-sitting and he liked it too. His name is Coco and he was a Christmas present to one of my 'adopted' granddaughters. Isn't he precious? And what about that glorious blanket?? 
my blanket


Coco


Now, last month I told you about my favorite stainless steel tumbler. Remember? For
Christmas I got a stainless steel wine glass. This can't be beat for keeping my wine cold. I like to sip my wine. But I don't like warm wine. So this is perfect! Not as pretty as the glass wine glasses I also got for Christmas. But a whole lot more practical for snuggling under my blanket and sipping wine while I read off my new Kindle. My Nook Color, which I got for Christmas years ago, is about to bite the bullet. And Barnes and Nobel no longer supports the model I have. So I got a Kindle Fire with some of my Christmas money. And when you are a Amazon Prime member you can do a lot of reading from their Prime  Reading or from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. I've also found something about Audible books but I haven't checked into it yet. Maybe they are cheaper too. I am a new Amazon Prime member. If you have any tips or tricks for me I'd love to hear them.

I have discovered a couple of new K-cups for my Keurig to share with you. I am loving Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee coffee and Kahlua light roast coffee. Both of these with French Vanilla cream make for a delightful cup of Joe. Do you have a favorite flavor. 


This brings me to the end of my favorites for December. What did you dig on in December?