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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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


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?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year and 3 Book Reviews

Happy New Year to all! Wasn't it just yesterday we were wishing each other a Happy 2017? And now we are already at the New Year again. 2018!! Hard to believe. But it is what it is.

I have been listening to audio books lately. I listen as I work around the house. I listen as I sit and work on my 2018 Bullet Journal. I listen on my way to sleep (and sometimes am kept awake by the book I am listening to). So, therefore, I have three new books to review. And I liked them all. 

 The first book is Good Behavior by Blake
Crouch. This book is three short stories about Letty Dobesh. Letty is a thief. And a drug addict. The stories are quick and fascinating, to say the least. I , also learned, there is a TV series connected to this character. The TV show is on TNT and in season 2. There are 20 episodes so far. I am going to have to see if this in on Netflix and maybe see if I like the TV show as much as I liked the book. In the first story Letty is in the midst of robbing a man in a hotel room when he and another man return to the room. She hides in the closet and hears the man hire the other man to kill his wife. Letty feels the need to warn the wife. She might be a thief but she has some morals. LOL! In the second story Letty is paid to go to the mansion of a very rich man to steal something but finds that the real reason she is there is to provide some 'hunting' fun for the owner who is to report the next morning to prison. In the final story, Letty is going to help take-down a casino in Las Vegas. This was the best of the three, in my opinion. Between each story the author talks about his reason for writing each story and a little about the TV series. This is good! I give it a solid *** stars.

Next on my recent list of 'listen to's' is Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land. This is a
psychological thriller and a good one. The main character, Milly, is the daughter of a serial killer mother. She is living in the home of her therapist and he is preparing her for the trial. Most of the people in her new life don't know her past. As the story develops Milly has to decide if she is going to follow her good side or her bad side. Another book with a solid *** stars.

Lastly, I listened to Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This book is on the 100 BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD READ  list that I occasionally pick books from. After all, if everyone should read them, why not? Right? This book was published in 1969 but it is about the end of World War 2 when the title character, Billy Pilgrim, is captured by the Germans and survives the intense air raids of Dresden by hiding in a slaughterhouse freezer. The book is really dealing with Billy's thoughts on the war and the mental illness it has created in what we would now call PTSD. In the book he 'time travels' between the war and his current and past lives. I can't believe I enjoyed this book so much. And "so it goes"...... A solid *** stars here too.

Have you read or listened to any of these. What is your thoughts?? And what are you doing to celebrate the New Year?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Currently At The End of the Year

Outside my window...

It is cold in Kansas! No snow yet! But plenty cold. We are sitting at 13* here at noon with a "feels like temperature" of 3*. Yikes, no wonder my feet are freezing. I need to go put some socks on. But, at least we aren't having those 5 feet snows like some parts of the country are having. What is it like in your neck of the woods??


So much on my mind to ponder right now. Got word yesterday that Darian is having some health problems. He fainted while at his girlfriend's house over Christmas and spent the night in the hospital. They found some things during the testing that will be further addressed once he is back on post. Please, those of you who pray, send up a few for Darian. I don't think they are serious but time will tell. And we will see how good the Army medical field is! For now I am choosing not to hit the panic button. 


We have not been doing much watching of anything here. Just taking some time to chill after the Christmas season and before we get into the New Year. What are you watching?? Do you have any good Netflix shows to share?


I have finished a couple of books and need to see about reviewing them. I am going to put them on my next years reading challenge (is that cheating?) because I HIT MY GOAL FOR 2017!! I read 40 books! Very proud of myself. Do you set goals for reading? How many do you want to read in 2018? I am going to aim for 45, I think. I am also going to try to cover a few of the classics that I have never read. Oh how I love to educate my mind. LOL! Starting out with Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut on Audible (This is on the list 100 Books Everyone Should Read) and I am reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi for my January book club read! What books are you reading in 2018?


Harley and I have a little road trip to Wichita this coming Wednesday planned. She wants a new pair of jeans at Old Navy and Justin is being promoted so we are going to the ceremony! YAY Justin!!


I got a couple of new kinds of K-cups for Christmas that I am enjoying. Maybe they will be in my December Favorites post. Stay tuned!

What's in the kitchen...

We have not really been meal planning over Christmas break. We are eating what's in the fridge and freezer. So no planning going on here. 

A quote to share...

A final thought...

Happy New Year to all of my family and friends as we head into 2018! I can hardly believe it is time for another year. Or that we are nearing the end of another decade. Can you all remember when it was 1999 and what we were saying about going into the year 2000. Well that was nearly 20 years ago. So many things have happened to change my life since 2000. I am going to be taking some time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2017 and prepare for what is to come.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Wednesday Wandering

Outside my window...

On this gloomy day, the day before the first day of winter, we are still fairly warm for December. It is 48* outside. We had quite a 'foggy' start to the day. And the sun has not come out. 


As is usual for me, at this time of the year, I ponder what it is about the Christmas season that brings me down. I really don't like it. I look around me and see so much of the hustle and bustle and wonder why people do this in December but not the rest of the year. Why do we hear so much about people being kind to each other, giving to people who have less than us, smiling and singing and being jolly, during this time of the year. It makes it all seem rather fake to me. Why aren't they helping and being kind all year long. I know some people are kind all year long, but the vast majority save it for Christmas. I think my feelings about this time of the year are directly tied to my childhood. I can choose to be happy. Or I can just choose to wallow in my "blueness" at this time of the year. I haven't decided yet which I am going to chose.


I am still reading Breath Before Air. This isn't an easy read. Especially for one who is suffering from Christmas blueness. But it is an important book. I am listening to The Force: A Novel by Don Winslow. I don't know where I got this book but so far it is just okay! I finished A Criminal Defense which I will review shortly. I loved it!!


Add caption
View From my recliner

A silver deer 

We believe

Angel wings

Silver snowflakes

A silver dove

sparkley red ball

on the mantle



I have been enjoying hot apple cider. Which is so easy to make in the Keurig!

What's in the kitchen...

Wednesday...Chicken breasts


Friday...Shepherd's Pie


Sunday....Christmas Dinner at our house!

A quote to share...


Harley, Paige and I visited the Botanical Gardens in Wichita. Justin works here as security in the evenings. It is a 'walk-through' display of Christmas lights. The rest of the year it is open as gardens. This was my first time to ever visit. 

Harley and Paige
Never to old for Santa

Paige and Granny

This tree glowed with all pink lights

In a sleigh

This area was set to music.

Waiting to see Santa 

A final thought...

I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There will be many changes at my house in the coming year. Exciting changes! Some will be sad for this granny! Some will bring joy! 
Stay tuned!