Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Letters

Back in the day, I looked forward to Friday! Except it wasn't always the start of MY weekend. When you spend your career as a nurse ,you don't necessarily get weekends off. At the beginning of my working life, my weekends off were every third one and it was always on Saturday and Sunday. Later on, after a long campaign, we were able to convince "the powers that were" to change the nightshift weekends to Friday and Saturday. At this same time the hospital decided to give us every other weekend off, instead of the every third weekend. Only then did I begin to love Friday. On to my letters....


Dear Sealed Air: What?!?! I read yesterday on Facebook that you are changing bubble wrap. What are you thinking? It has always been my favorite thing about receiving a package. Who doesn't love popping bubble wrap? You have to have lost a bit of your mind with this choice. I hope you will re-think this and not quit making bubble wrap pop! Come on now and do the right thing

Dear Harley: No one is as hard on you as you are on yourself. I hope that I can start to influence how you think of yourself. You are not too fat! You are not too tall! You do not have feet that are too big. Those little stretch marks on your hips aren't as noticeable to the world as they are to you! You are beautiful just the way you are. You come from a family of really tall people! You are going to be tall. And when you are tall you are going to weigh more than your petite friends. It's not the number on the scale that matters. You are beautiful! Just the way you are!

Dear America: Happy 239th birthday. You are looking pretty good for such an old gal! Happy 4th of July to all of my readers. What are your plans for the weekend? Barbque? Parades? Fireworks? Or just a good day to relax at home?



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Have Learned this YEAR!

Things I have learned this past year:

1. Losing one's spouse is harder than I ever could have imagined it would be.

2. You can never prepare yourself for death.

3. The sun will keep coming up everyday!

4. I am stronger than I ever knew.

5. You never run out of tears.


6. Memories matter.

7. We all grieve differently.

8. I will smile and laugh again.

9. It's okay to do NOTHING but sit in my recliner.

10. No one else is going to see those cobwebs in the corner.

11. It won't matter if I don't go.

12. People will still think what they want.

13. Death heals nothing.

14. Kids grow taller and stand straighter and become stronger, no matter what.

15. I will always love him.

16. WE were very set in our ways. And now it is just MY WAY!

17. Cooking for three isn't much different than cooking for four. I just don't have anything to puree now.

18. We will manage on half the income we had.  

19. Not having to listen for someone at night doesn't necessarily mean I will get more sleep.

20. Losing him will always be the hardest thing I have ever done.

21. I will survive.

I have written 21 things on my list in honor of the 21st day of the month in which Richard died. It will soon be one year. I am feeling it come. Does that make any sense to you? I have been having more 'waves of grief' lately and I think it is in anticipation of the BIG anniversary. Nothing will change. On the 22nd all will still be the same. But I will have that first year of 'firsts' behind me.

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Welcome to Wednesday! Hip Hip horray for July 1, 2015. How we got all the way to July so fast is a mystery to me! It's time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce, This Side of the Pond, posts the questions and we answer. Join the link here on her blog. It's fun. And you know you want to jump in here and tell us what you think!!


1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?

We love 4th of July at our house. Richard was a very patriotic man. We have an American Flag flying 24/7 here. For many years this was the holiday we invited ALL my family over for a backyard cook-out. Hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill with all the fixins': potato salad, baked beans, chips, watermelon. It was always a fun-filled day. We quit doing this when he got sick. Maybe someday I'll host it again. Fireworks come and go here. Our town goes back and forth with them being legal or illegal. There was a very nice house burned from fireworks landing on the roof a few years ago. Our fireworks ordinance now covers those that fly into the air. We probably will NOT have fireworks this year. Depends on what the kids want. We have no 4th of July plans as of now.


 2. What's something you recently got for free?

When I recently purchased soaps from Petoskey and Pine, I received a free bar of soap with my order. Yay for me!


 3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore...how many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why? 

We visited Mount Rushmore when our boys were younger. I cannot remember what year that was. It was a fun trip. I was fascinated with those faces and how the carving was done on the mountain. A huge tourist trap however. Be prepared for lots and lots of people. I have never been to New York or Washington D.C. Those should be on my bucket list.


 4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?

I am a news hog! Maybe I should stick my head more into the sand. I can get very caught up in the current events. I think what ISIS (and others) perpetrate against our country is horrible. BUT, don't we do similar things with those who do not share our beliefs? I just wish our country would stick closer to home with trying to fix things. We have plenty of our own problems right here in the good old USA. I know that my view is not a popular view. My husband used to call me a 'separationist' and he had plenty of ideas as to why that wouldn't work! I respect all others views!


 5. We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.

My favorite ice cream is vanilla. Hands down!


 6. Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?

I simply love LeAnn Rimes singing The Star Spangled Banner acapella.


 



7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic. 

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse
U sked me to put it into a verse
Now I'm not a poet as you will soon see
Enough of this nonsense, I'll just be me!


 8.  Insert your own random thought here.


I love the United States of America. I love all of our freedoms. I know that many of them come at a cost. I am saddened to see what is going on in this country. We have to be so politically correct about EVERYTHING. People should be kinder to each other. People should be more tolerant of each other. People should try harder to get along. But I don't feel we need to write new laws to cover everything. It is becoming ridiculous. And I honestly think that the more laws enacted the further we get from just being a nation that all stands together. It seems to pit us against each other. That's my 2 cents worth!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

Carol Knits hosts Ten on Tuesday! Today she wants us to celebrate what we love about our homes. Don't you think we often complain and gripe and think of all we don't like; yet don't talk about what it is we DO like? I know that I am like that. So here it is today.

 
10 Things I love about My Home
 
My home
 
 
 
1. I love that this is the home that Richard and I bought together 30 years ago.
 
 
2. I really, really love that I have no mortgage. Paid it off in  2013. A wonderful day indeed.
 
3. I love how it looks from the street. Fresh white paint with a cool sage-green front door.
 
4. I love my bay window in the reading room.
 
5. I love having a reading room. This room houses a comfy futon, my hutch converted to a bookcase, and Richard's miniature tractors and farm equipment collection. (Need to figure out what I will do with those).
 
6. I love my kitchen. It is small. Some think too small but I like it that way. It has a dishwasher which is great! You can sit at the counter and eat. And it is open to the dining room.
 
7. I love how big the living room is. Big enough to have a full couch and a love seat; 2 big recliners, a full wall entertainment set and my desk. There is also room for a big coffee table and two end tables. And plenty of room to bring in the ficus tree to winter indoors.
 
8. I love all the windows in my house. A lot of sunlight! And I rarely cover them with curtains. Doesn't bother me to live in a house with the windows open.
 
9. I love that we have lots of space between houses here. No feelings of being smothered by the neighbors! And the neighbors are nice! Friendly, but not too friendly. Just the way I like a neighborhood to be.
 
10. I love that we have 3 bathrooms. Well, I think they call it 2 1/2 baths. Because one is only a toilet. But we use it a lot. Never have to wait our turn to use the bathroom here. Although, there is only one shower. And we take turns there. I could remedy that by putting in another shower in the main room. We'll see!
 
 
 
There you go! What do you love about your house? Please share with me!

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook June 29th Edition


For Today...
 
Today is Monday, June 29, 2015. Another week gone and almost at the end of another month. This year is flying by. Soon will be one year without Richard. One year of sunrises and sunsets. One year of our living on! One year!


Outside my window...

Outside my window is a typical June day. The skies are clear and perfectly blue. Earlier today it was pretty cloudy but that has all cleared away. The temp is currently 84* and we are on our way to a high of 94* but with lower humidity it doesn't seem as hot! So a nice day here in Kansas!!


I am thinking...

I am thinking about my sore throat and ear ache and hoping I am not coming down with something. Hopefully, will disappear soon. 


I am thankful...

As I always am, I am thankful for my family. Thankful for Paige and Justin. Thankful for Darian and Harley. Thankful for all my brothers and sister!


I am hearing...
 
I am listening to ITunes on the computer. Right now it is playing Girl Crush by Little Big Town. Cute song. I have to admit that it is because of Harley that I purchased this song. I like it too now!






 
 

 
 
 


I am creating...

Besides the creation of this post and my weekly menu plan, I am going to create some more closet and drawer space for everyone this week. Isn't that something we all need more of. I am sure there are quite a few things that Harley can no longer wear. She is growing by leaps and bounds. The girl is now 5'7" and still going skyward!


I am going...

I am going to finally make myself take down Richard's shirts from the utility room hanging rod. I may run them through the washer one last time. Then bag them up for Paige to work on the quilt she wants to make from them. Sigh!


I am pondering...

I am pondering upon the planner I want to purchase. I keep all of our appointments on a Cozi calendar both on the computer and on my phone. But I want a planner that will cover our full lives. A place I can keep track of budget, household chores, snippets of our lives that I might want to reflect upon, and ideas for my blog. So I am looking to have something on paper too!


I am reading...

 
 


I am reading The Book Thief, by Australian author Markus Zusak. The book was published in 2005 and remained on the New York Times best seller list for over 230 weeks. I can remember when it was "THE" book. I wasn't reading much then. I am enjoying it, so far. 
 


I am hoping...

I am hoping to work on a huge pile of laundry today. I didn't do any laundry over the weekend and it sure piles up quickly. Harley is in the reading room wrapped in a blanket enjoying a teen romance novel. I'll rope her into helping me. She is starting to like to help around the house! And that is something I am happy to teach her. This morning's lesson was on loading the dishwasher. I let her do it first and then I showed her how she could make more room for everything and what the proper placement was for plastics and etc. Might as well learn the right way if you are going to learn. She has been bugging me about doing laundry so I guess I will soon "grant" her that privilege. Maybe you can tell I am a bit of a control freak on household chores........


I am memorizing....
 
I am still memorizing James 1 with the Do Not Depart group. This week we are taking a break so I am working on reviewing James 1:1-20 verses. If you have not yet tried memorizing with Scripture Typer you must go and try it out. It is fun and an excellent way to memorize Bible verses. I {heart} it!


In my backyard...

In my backyard there is grass growing. Tomorrow may be mowing day. There are weeds in the flower beds. Will get right on that too. The geraniums need dead-headed again. And a little water probably won't hurt. It is time to rotate the ficus tree. I can't believe how big it is getting since I took it outside.  
 


In my kitchen...
 
 
Monday...Sloppy Joes and French Fries
 
Tuesday...Chicken Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce
 
Wednesday...Lasagna
 
Thursday...Grilled tomato with Mozzarella Panini and chips 
 
Friday...Cheesy Taco Crunch Casserole
 
Saturday...Hamburgers and Hot dogs with Pasta salad and watermelon
 
Sunday...Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli
 


 


A favorite quote for today...

 













 


One of my favorite things...
 
One of my favorite things recently has been chopped salads with homemade salad dressing. This recipe has been my go to recipe this summer. It is Emeril Lagasse's recipe:
 
 
 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil.

I make it in a small mason jar and if I am going to use it again tomorrow I leave it on the counter. If it will be awhile before I eat salad again I put it in the fridge and then bring it to room-temp before I serve it!Very tasty!





 
 


Post Script...
 
I have a very, very dear friend who lives in Phoenix, Arizona whose name is Myra. I have never met Myra in person but I feel as if I have known her forever. She writes at Respice, Prospice. She is a beautiful person. And funny! And somewhat cynical(her words) at times. I cannot remember when I first met Myra. She visits my blog regularly and I make return visits to hers. She has been there for me through thick and through thin. Holding me up. Encouraging me. Laughing with me. Crying with me. She's a keeper that's for sure. Go pay Myra a visit and tell her I sent you. She might even offer you a glass of wine and some encouragement. Love you Myra!!



It's now time to join Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog and see what all the ladies are doing today!
 




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Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Letters

 
 
 
Another beautiful day in Kansas. And it's Friday. So here goes my Friday Letters!!
 
 
 
Dear Mom Nature: It's me again! This was a beautiful morning here in Kansas. Only 70* when I took Darian to work. That is a full 30* less than yesterday, late afternoon. Rolling the window down and letting the breeze blow through my hair was great! And here it is almost noon and it is only 80*. We were ready for a break from the heat.
 
Dear Backyard Birds: I love you guys. Have I told you that lately. I can hear you out there chirping as I type. I love the blue jays, the Cardinals, the doves, the Orioles, all the robins. I need to go buy another bag of feed. You are sure a hungry lot! I am sad that my hummingbird feeder fell and broke this morning. I'll bet it had some help from one of my squirrel friends. So I'll pick up another feeder for those little rapid-winged beauties too!
 
Dear Rozann: Thank you for your little text message accompanied by that sweet little bunch of alstromerias. I love how they made you think of me. I miss you. We need to work harder to see each other more often!
 
Dear A/C Repairman: I see you have cashed my check. But I'm still waiting for the crew who was supposed to come and do a total clean of the outside unit. I think I will shoot you a text today and make sure you haven't forgotten me. I know you are busy! It's that time of the year! But I don't want anymore problems with this unit when the heat is so intolerable.
 
Dear Friends: I'm searching for the perfect planner to help me become more organized. Do you have a certain paper planner that you like? How do you keep track of all your appointments and important days? Please share.
 
 
Hoping everyone has had a great week. Ah, the weekend is before us. Enjoy! 
 
 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

American Sniper

Overview from Barnes and Nobel:

NOW A BLOCKBUSTER MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY CLINT EASTWOOD—NOMINATED FOR SIX ACADEMY AWARDS, INCLUDING BEST PICTURE
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him "The Legend"; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
Includes new material by Taya Kyle about the making of the American Sniper film






Today I finally finished reading American Sniper. I am going to just tell it like it is as far as my opinion. I am sure I won't have a popular opinion, but to anyone who knows me, it doesn't matter. Because it is my opinion.

As I said before, if I had met Chris Kyle in person, I am sure I would never have liked him. He is very conceited and full of himself. Maybe that is how you have to be to be a sniper. I don't know. I always had the opinion that SEALS did not brag about what they did. But this guy was very full of himself and loved to brag. I just don't like those kinds of people.

The writing of the book, in my opinion, was terrible. It seemed dull and juvenile. I know  he had help from a writer but I just didn't feel like it read well. He seemed to skip around a lot. None of the characters were very well developed. Well except for Chris Kyle. That one I felt I got to know too well. I wonder, if in life, he was really just like this.

First of all I hate war. And this particular war is one I never agreed with. I don't understand why we, as Americans, feel it is okay to go into other countries and kill people just because we don't agree with their lifestyle. Isn't that what we hate so much about them coming into our country and trying to kill us? How do we justify all of this. It is probably not something I will ever be able to understand. 

I have heard people describe their feelings as they read this book: they laughed, they cried, they couldn't put the book down. Mostly I cringed, shuddered, and had to force myself to get to the end. Because I hate to not finish a book once I start it.

Killing insurgents in Iraq was one thing. I could (kind of) wrap my head around why that was being done. But all the bar fights and hazing ceremonies he described made me think more of adolescents trying to prove they are tough. Time for grown men to get over themselves. This was a grown man who had a family back in the United States. Although, according to him, they came in third in his life. He believed that it was God, Country, and then family. I couldn't be married to a man who always put me last.

I felt sorry for his wife throughout the book. I know she stayed with him because she loved him and she had vowed to stay through better or worse. I understand she is writing a book. This is a book I will want to read. Although, after his death, I am sure her views of the situation will be somewhat glazed over. Maybe not.

I want to end this with saying: Chris Kyle wanted the world to see him as a 'badass'. The only way I ended up seeing him was as 'bad' and an 'ass'. That is why I don't think I would have liked him.

I do plan to see the movie. Maybe I will have a better feel for him after seeing it.

With that being said I do respect the American soldiers for the job they have to do. I thank them for keeping our country free. But I don't have to like them!!