Thursday, June 14, 2018

Currently: A Life List

Outside my window...

Summer is here! It is hot and humid in the great state of Kansas. That means I stay inside more. That means the A/C runs more. That means more money......But I'm thankful for the A/C I have. Today the skies are clear. It is windy...not bad! The current temp is 88* The humidity is 45%.This is what the rest of the month of June will look like. 

What are your thoughts on our President and North Korea? I think it was a VERY expensive photo op for both of them. I wonder how many North Korean people could have been fed this past week just with the funds that both countries spent to have this photo op. Did anything come from it? I guess to borrow some of the famous words of Trump: 'we will see.'


I am not watching as much on TV. I am watching birds. We have the Orioles back at the jelly feeders. I have yet to see a hummingbird. We have lots of robins bouncing around on the ground. And I've seen a few Blue jays. And then there are the squirrels. Those little devils are so fun to watch. Not as many in my backyard as there have been in years past. That is because my neighbors to the north are putting out oodles of corn on the cob for them to eat. They run through my yard on their way North. 


I'm still reading Love Lives Here by Bob Goff for my book club at the end of June. I do a chapter a day. I'm also listening to Killman Creek by Rachel Caine. This is the second book after StillHouse Lake which I reviewed here last week. Loving these books. Good, solid thrillers.


In honor of Flay Day today I finished my mantle decorating. I will leave it up until after July 4th!

What's in the kitchen...

One of the things that is nice about living alone is you get to eat whatever YOU want, whenever you want. And that's what I have been doing. I still try to have a somewhat loose meal plan. But I'm really, really flexible. 

A quote to share...


Taken at 9:30 p.m.
9:32 p.m.
Ivory Taylor
3 weeks

Uh huh

A final thought...

About the ring on the finger above. They started out calling it a 'promise ring'. Whatever that means. And before the day was over it became an engagement ring. I'm hoping she will finish school before she starts worrying about planning a wedding. But she's living the adult life now. 
Who knows??

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Reviews

I've been going through audio books like crazy. And cleaning the garage. And doing some yard work. And some house cleaning. Best time to do audio books is when you are busy and you don't really need to think about what you are doing. I have gotten all four of these books, along with their audio, free from my Kindle Unlimited app from Amazon!

An Invisible Client by Victor Methos is about a high powered personal injury lawyer, Noah Byron. Noah takes on the pharmaceutical business over the wrongful death of a young boy! He gets to know the boy and his mom and really learns to like them. He also meets a young intern lawyer and falls in love. So it's a love story plus a legal thriller. Had good, strong characters. A great, interesting plot. And a satisfying ending. Was an emotional and satisfying read. For me that is *** 3 stars. (you can see my star ratings in my sidebar).

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown is a story which involves a town of secrets that go back more than 60 years. Emmy Jo, the main character, is a young nurse who takes a job caring for an old codger whom the town doesn't like. And he doesn't like anyone in the town. But he's very, very rich. She discovers the secrets that helps her uncover her own heritage and has a fantastic ending. This is one of those books that will just make you feel good. We all need those once in awhile, don't you agree? Another 3 *** book.

Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch is
a novel written with the perspectives of the two main characters. Ben Livingston is a writer and Tatum Connelly is an actress. This book was kind of a fluff read. But I enjoyed it. They fall in love and marry. They have a child. And then her career explodes while his doesn't. I can't say I loved the book. It was too long. And too repetitive. But it ended in a 'feel good' kind of way. So 2 1/2 stars is the best I can do.

Last is the book I just finished. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. My kind of book. It is a thriller. I stayed up a lot at night going back and forth from the book to the audio. Couldn't wait to get to the end. Was really,
really ready for justice. The story is about Gwen Proctor (aka Gina Royal) who was married to a horrible serial killer from Wichita, Kansas. She doesn't know he is a serial killer until a car misses a turn in the road and crashes into their garage and exposes his killing place. He is arrested and put on death row. She is arrested and charged as his accomplice. She is acquitted. But he has fans who stalk her as she moves around the country trying to protect her kids. Good book! But to be fair I have to tell you it ends with a cliff hanger. The good news is the next book is already available and I am starting it tonight. This book will get **** stars from me.

Happy summer reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Disappearing??

It has been awhile since I have participated with Joyce and the gang for a Wednesday Hodgepodge. Today feels right! Here is how it works: Copy the prompts from Joyce's blog From This Side of the Pond, answer on your blog, and put your name on the list. Don't forget to go visit the other lovely people who participate. 

From this Side of the Pond

1.Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.
It was a crazy, busy, hectic, beautiful decade of my life.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?

It is much harder for me to exercise. I find eating healthy to be a challenge, at times, but nothing like exercising.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?

I, mostly, live by the philosophy of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". I don't understand why so many things are gotten rid of just because technology is moving on. I still subscribe to cable TV. It's too expensive but it works for me. I still own a DVD player, a printer, a desktop computer, file cabinets, and an alarm clock. I don't use the alarm clock anymore, but I still have it. I still own a drip coffeemaker but use my Keurig almost exclusively. I have several bookshelves and still own a china cabinet.I still own a paper shredder and have been using it quite a bit as I downsize.  So I guess maybe you can say I am stuck in the past.....

4. What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?

As fast as technology is changing it is really hard to imagine what 10 years from now will look like. I think we will no longer have mail delivered to our homes. And that will be a very sad day!

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical? 

This past year on my birthday, I was home all day alone. We celebrated on days that worked for my family. And that is pretty typical for me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Summer has arrived here in Kansas. It is hot, hot, hot. And humid. And I will take this over winter anytime.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Book Review-A Piece of Cake

I have read and listened to a few books lately. I'll share my reviews with you!

The first book, A Piece of Cake, by Cupcake Brown is a memoir. This is the true story of the triumph of Cupcake. It starts out when she finds her mother dead in their house at the age of 11. Cupcake has an older brother who is currently living with their "father" because Cupcake's mother could not handle him. What comes to pass is this man is not the biological father of Cupcake and her brother. Even though the step-father would have probably been better for them, the judge awards their custody to their real father. Cupcake and her brother are placed in the foster care system by their biological father (while he supposedly is getting a home ready for them) and the horror of her life begins. She runs away, is sexually and physically abused, and runs away again and again. She becomes a prostitute at a very young age. She becomes addicted to drugs and joins a gang in Los Angeles. The book follows Cupcake through all of this until she finally gets recovery and joins up with a law firm who gives her a chance and she becomes a lawyer.

This book should be a 'feel good read.' But it was horrific to get through. The language was brutal and the continual stories of drugs, sex, and violence we kind of a turn off. I realize she needed to tell her 'real' story but I think it was too much. I would have liked for her to talk more about how all of the bad decisions she made (and the ones that were made for her) led her onto the wrong path. There is also a bit of 'white bashing' which is hard for me to understand. I think what really struck me about this book is her enthusiasm in telling the parts that to me were horrible. She seemed to be proud of them. But through some of my interactions with people like this, I have found they are often 'proud' of their criminal behavior. 

The book was NOT read by Cupcake, herself, but the story is hers. I am glad she was able to better herself. Millions do not get the chances she was given. Over and over and over again. 

I will give the book 3 stars. *** It was a good story even if I do think it could have cut out half the book and still told the same story. I listened to this book for my June bookclub! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

June's First Life List

Outside my window...

Happy June! It is summer here already. Has been for quite a few days. I think we completely skipped spring. It is a bright sunny day and the temperature is already 91* We also have a humidity of 57% I love summer. However my A/C has been running for days and the bills will not be pretty!


It seems I spend a lot of time pondering these days. Less time doing. I am going to try to turn that around today. I have my list and I am getting ready to tackle a few things. I already crossed off the BIG bills. I love that moment my checking account looks so rich and them BOOM it is depleted. 


I have gotten back to watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and I have a list of other shows I want to start on. Some of the ones on my list are: 1)13 Reasons Why #2,2)The West Wing, and 3)Sons of Anarchy. What are your favorites? Do you binge watch?


I have just finished two good books. I will review them soon. I think I also have another audio book to tell you about. I listened to it for Book Club. Currently I am listening to Love Lives Here:Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want. It is our July Book selection. It's non-fiction, which is not my usual genre, so I find listening to these types better. I haven't decided yet what to start reading. What are you reading or listening to?


Time to create the summer mantle. I usually do a flag theme in June which will take me through the 4th of July. And then I finish the summer with just a generic summer theme. Stay turned. I'll post pictures when I'm done! Do you decorate seasonly?


Oh the lessons I am learning! My nest is once again empty. I find it much harder this time. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it is just me left in the nest. And I really don't know what to do with myself at this moment. But, I'll get it figured out. I hope!


Oh the plans I have. 

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Dr. Seuss

What's in the kitchen...

It's salad and sandwich season! Horray! I never stop eating salads and sandwiches. But this is the season, isn't it? My cook top is not working (always something) so there is my excuse to not cook. P. S. I will get it fixed soon!

A quote to share...

A final thought...

Our political scene doesn't get better. I am embarrassed, at times, to be American and have to claim this is my President. But I have hope. And hope is what we need. This can't last forever.

Also, today was Darian's last day in the Army. He is on his way to Tennessee to be with his lady and his brand new baby, Ivory Taylor. Praying for him to find a job quickly and have a good start to the next chapter of his life. (Hope to visit him SOON)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May Favorites

I love to tell you about my favorites. I hope you like to hear about them. In May, as you know, we hosted a graduation party for Harley. All of our decorations came from the Dollar Tree! So my favorite place to shop in May was the Dollar Tree. They have some pretty quality things. And a great place to shop for parties. We had school pictures framed across the mantle. And I framed some hand prints she made for me when she was in pre-school. We also had napkins, plates, tablecloths, and poppers for her younger guests (which left a mess in the backyard) which they loved!

Harley bought me a candle for Memorial Day. Never have gotten a gift before for this holiday. LOL! I haven't yet burned it. But I can tell you the smell is heavenly. I have some others I would like to finish before I start on this one.

I'm thrilled with the return of the Oriole to my jelly feeders. These birds just make me happy. My brother, Fred, made me a couple of feeders in the years before he died. He called these birds "cookie birds" and he was always happy when it was time for them to return to Kansas.

My favorite wine this month is Pacific Rim's Sweet Riesling. It was a leftover from the grad party. And I have been enjoying it. It is a sweet, smooth wine with pineapple and lemon flavors. It comes from the Washington state area.

I am a big fan of reality TV. I guess it takes me away from my own reality and lets me know there are things worse than what I am living. Ha! Ha! I loved Survivor this past season. I have gotten somewhat bored with past seasons. I felt they did a good job of freshening up the season. Do you watch? My pick to win did not win. But that really isn't unusual. I think Dom played a better game than Wendall. But that is just my opinion. And while speaking about reality TV, did you watch the abbreviated version of Dancing With The Stars?? The chosen winner of this one really blew me away. I think they had picked him before the dancing ever started. 

I have a favorite app for my iPhone too. And it has caused me to have a lot of wasted time. Richard and I played a lot of Mexican Train Dominoes in our lifetime. Love this game. It is in the app store as Mexican Train Dominoes Gold. I just play the free version which allows me to play with two people. Who needs something else to waste time with???

And, last, but not least is this weather. Yes, I am a summer lover. I really don't know what happened to spring. We didn't have it this year. We went from Winter to Summer. But, I am not going to complain (yet). I am loving the sunshine and the 90 degree days. What are your favorites this month?  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What a Busy Month

May is usually a crazy, busy month for lots of us. And this year has been no different. It's been all about graduations, babies, and moving at our house.

I also spent almost two weeks dog-sitting for a friend who traveled to Greece. We have kept Alli for her before so it was fun to have him again. (Alli stands for Allowishus) He's a good dog and was a pleasure for me to have all through this.

First of all: Harley graduated from high school on May 12, 2018. We had a party at our house following the graduation ceremony. We enjoyed BBQ beef, cornbread casserole, deviled eggs, potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans. And of course a special graduation cake. It was fun and delicious.

You can see granny has comfortable shoes
Heather, Harley, Paige, Granny, Uncle Justin
Paige and Harley

Uncle Justin and Harley

The cord is for Quill and Scroll
the photography honor society

While relaxing and recovering from having this big party at my house I received a text from Darian that he was on his way to Tennessee for the birth of his baby. Sadly, he didn't get there in time. She was just too impatient. Here she is: Ivory Tyler, born on May 16 (also Paige's 18th birthday) weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long.

Just born

With mommy 

with Daddy

wearing dad's glasses


And then it was time to get Paige graduated. May 20th. She lives about an hour from us. We traveled to see her graduate and then attended a very nice party at her house following the ceremony. Here she is:

Justin, Paige, Harley

Paige and Harley

Dad, Paige, Granny

Paige and Dad

So now you know why I haven't been blogging!  Also, between Harley's graduation and Paige's graduation, Harley moved. It's a big house here for just granny. I'm working on downsizing (it will be a process) and plan to put my house on the market in the future.