Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dear Friday

I like to write letters on Friday!
This week's letter goes to my
wonderful grandchildren!

Pop Goes The Weasel

Overview from Barnes and Nobel

From the international bestselling author of Eeny Meeny comes the second thriller in the “truly excellent series”* featuring Detective Helen Grace.A man’s body is found in an empty house.
A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children.

He is the first victim, and Detective Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives.Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is—or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase....

This was the second book I have read by M.J. Arlidge with Detective Helen Grace as the main character. I had to go back to review the first book, Eeny Meeny,(see my review of it here) to figure out the story line. I am one of those readers who doesn't really remember much about a book after I have read it. I read for enjoyment. And unless the book is really, really good I usually just don't remember them. Are any of the rest of you like that? It's probably why I often will begin reading a book and it starts to niggle at my brain "I know how this is going to end" then I realize I have read it before. Of course that is not true for books that I have loved!!

This story is very believable. That is important to me when I read mysteries and thrillers. If I don't think it can REALLY happen then I usually lose interest. Maybe that is why so many of the Stephen King books and books like Harry Potter don't appeal to me. I am not much into magical thinking.

The main character of this book is strongly written. And well developed. I had to keep going back to the first book to catch up with some of the other main characters. But only for a bit.

I liked this book.  The ending wasn't predictable. I had not figured out who the killer was. That is always a plus!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge-February 3rd Edition

It's Wednesday. Time to head over to Joyce's From This Side of the Pond and link up with the Wednesday Hodgepodge crew!!
1. Describe love using all five senses.

See...the faces of my grandkids!
Smell...Lilacs which remind me of my mother
Hear...the theme song to the show Cops because I always think about Justin!!
Taste...Green Bean Soup makes me think of Richard and how he loved to cook for us velvet!! Touching Richard!

2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?

Yep, my favorite thing to eat, straight from the can, is smoked oysters. And I even have a tiny cocktail fork to eat them with. And, yes, I eat all of them all by myself!

 3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas) You can read the letter
here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?

I used to work night shift! For more than 25 years I was on the ll p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. So I spent most of the day in my pj's. Very early on I learned that my pj's would be something that I could answer the door in at 11 a.m.; greet my kids' friends after school in; and something to jump in the car and get the kids picked up after school. So yes I have worn my pj's out A LOT! But then my pjs are usually sweats and a tee shirt. Or yoga pants and a tee shirt! I really don't see why the school needs to worry about how the parents are dressed as they drop off and pick up their kids!! Just saying!

 4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?

Most of my clothes are crew neck or a small V-neck. I don't like turtlenecks or deep V's.

 5. I read
here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails. 

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?

Oh my! I do all of those things late at night. Maybe that is why I'm not a happy person! I don't know that I will try to avoid any of them. Maybe snacking when I start my first Whole 30!

 6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best? 

I don't have lots of memories of houses from when I was a child. One thing I do remember is one hot June night when my sister and I were in our bedroom and the screen fell off the window...yes, as far as my memory goes it just fell off the window...and our bed was covered in June bugs. Yuck!! I remember how grossed out my sister was! 

 7.Your favorite movie based on a true story?

The most recent movie I have watched that is based on a true story is Blind Side. So that will be my pick today.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Did you know that tomorrow is National Homemade Soup Day? But, it is also Harley's 16th birthday and she is not a lover of soup. So I guess I won't be making soup. I was going to take her to 5 Guys for dinner but instead she is going to a Basketball pre-game night dinner. Hope they don't serve soup!!

What's Saving My Life Right Now!!

I am a new follower to a blog named Modern Mrs. Darcy! I found her when I was searching for an on-line book club to join. She doesn't host the book club I joined but her blog came up when I was doing my research. (The book club I joined can be found at Paper & Glam.)But Modern Mrs. Darcy spoke to me for a variety of reasons. And she does write a lot about books!!

One of my favorite things discovering on her blog is this post: The Things that are Saving My life Right Now.

"The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

 She writes about that here and here. Sometimes, it so seems, it is easy to talk about our problems. It is easier to whine about what is wrong with our life. But, it's not so easy to talk about what is good. What is working for us. What is saving us. So I am going to do a new weekly post (at least for now) entitled:

What's Saving My Life Right Now!!
Each time I will pick out a few things that I think are keeping me sane, saving me! Kind of like a 
favorite things' post.  Simple? I think so. We often can go on and on about what is wrong with our lives. But what is right? Here goes
3 Things that are Saving My Life Right Now
1) Coloring and planning and playing with paper.
I am loving all of my adult coloring books and my Happy Planner. I like to decorate it! It gives me hours of pleasure to decide how I want it to look and to look for what will help me achieve that look. I didn't get into the scrapbooking craze of a few years ago (too over-whelmed by trying to catalog 40+ years of pictures) but I love planning! And coloring.
2) Reading
I have always loved to read. Since I was old enough to string the words together to form sentences. And it has saved my life more than once. I can crawl inside a book and lose all of the craziness of my 'real-life' story. I can become the little girl who is hiding from the Nazi's or the crazed woman who is trying to frame my husband for my murder. I lose myself. And it is necessary for saving me!
3) My French vanilla cream in my coffee every morning!
Need I say anymore? It just makes my coffee better! Coffee by itself is great. But with a dollop of the French Vanilla cream and it becomes a dream. Love my coffee!!
What are some of the things that are saving you right now?  Share them with me in the comments! And I'll be back next week with more things that are SAVING ME RIGHT NOW

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Bad Feminist

Overview from Barnes & Nobel

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically,
though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The
) while also taking listeners on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society but also one of our culture.Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

I read this book for the book club that I joined at Paper & Glam. It is believed that we should stretch ourselves in our reading to become more diversified. (Right now I am having a love/hate relationship with that word). So I bought the NookBook (at $11.80) and downloaded it to my Nook. I could afford to stretch myself a bit, I thought!

This book started out okay. And then it got angry and bitter. I am hard pressed to say the book is about feminism at all. It is must more about race. She does touch on gender, sexuality, and a variety of other topics. I feel she totally missed her opportunity to rave about feminism and how far women have come. Or at least explain how we can change the way we look at feminism to become better instead of staying 'bad' feminists. Instead she just went on and on and on about the black person's oppression. And that is what she was 'bitching' about films and TV doing. She didn't do it any better in my opinion.

If I buy a book about feminism I want to read about feminism and not about the problems with the races. Her anger and bitterness did not encourage me to want to change things. Or even to look at it from her point of view. This book certainly did not live up to being funny or insightful in my opinion.

I truly believe there is a way for the races to come together. But, first we need to drop the labels "black" and "white" and replace it with "people". And we need to quit blaming each other for things that happened many years ago. It is part of our American history. But it's not your fault and it's not MY fault.

I reluctantly gave it one star.

Monday, February 1, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-February 1st Edition

For Today....

Today is February 1, 2016. Regardless of what T.S. Eliot says, it is February that is the cruelest month. Winter! I am so over it, yet there is more to go. I miss the sunshine. I miss the heat on the sidewalk when I go outside barefooted. I miss the sun shining through the window with the dust motes dancing on the rays!! Come on, spring, I know you are there somewhere hiding and waiting. Come on out and play.
Outside my window...

The sun is gone. The sky is grey. The temperature is 44 degrees. Yet, the weatherman is saying snow is on it's way. He keeps saying that and it keeps missing us. But, one day our luck will run out and we will become covered in white! Please, not today!!

I am pondering...

I am pondering the weather report. Can you tell? They warn us days ahead of a big storm coming. Everyone prepares and is ready! And then.....NOTHING! What happens when we quit listening? Go ahead and warn us. We don't believe you! But it will happen one day. We will be caught at home, covered in the glorious white stuff, and there will be no milk or bread in the pantry!

I am hearing...

I am listening to The Chew as I type this. Christy Brinkley is on. Her birthday is tomorrow. Can you believe she will be 62 years old??? I guess, with the money she has, you can look like that at 62. Heck, I didn't look that good at 32! She is cooking today and talking about lard. I am sure there has never been a bit of lard slip between her lips. LOL! 

I am thankful...

I am thankful my cold is starting to break up in the chest. The heavy feeling is lessening. I'm still coughing but not as much. And still blowing the nose. For it just wants to drip, drip, drip. But I am getting better. For which I am thankful!!

I am creating...

I am really not doing much creating right now. I'm not doing much of anything. I have been sleeping a lot! That is how my body repairs itself. We sleep.


Found on Facebook...

I will have to help Harley learn to tie a blanket scarf. They seem to be the big rage this season. She loves scarves. I'm not so much of a scarf person. How about you?


I am reading...

Dang, I am still reading the same two books that I was reading all of January. I am almost finished with Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. The book club I joined last month is reading this book for February! I'm not much into it. Probably why it's taking me so long. But almost to the end. And then Pop Goes The Weasel by M. J. Arlige. I am more than half-way. I don't think I'll try reading two books at the same time again. My mind just doesn't work that way. I know others can do it. But I can't!

Moving Forward...

The hardest part about moving forward is giving myself permission to have a bad day. Some of them are just bad! Some of them I just want to sit and dwell in the past and not move forward....

I am learning...

Matthew 6:5-6 is this weeks verse to memorize:

"And when you pray you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you they have received their rewards. But when you pray go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And you Father who sees in secret will reward you."

In my backyard...

Cold. Dreary. Gray. Lifeless.

In my kitchen...
Monday...Taco Soup
Tuesday...Oven roasted Pork tenderloin with potatoes will eat at church
Thursday...Happy Birthday Harley @ 5 Guys
Friday...Breakfast for supper
Saturday...Beef Stroganoff
Sunday...Family going out to celebrate Harley's birthday (psst. she wants Chinese)

On my camera...

My February calendar in my Happy Planner

Our February Bucket list

A favorite quote for today...


A peek into my week...

Today...Harley has basketball practice and we need to pick up an item for her upcoming FCCLA raffle.

Tuesday... Harley has an away game and Darian has Forensic practice

Wednesday...Break-away day at their youth group. They meet at church, eat, have a lesson and then each group goes somewhere for a treat (Starbucks, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, etc.)

Thursday...Marine Babies for Darian. Today is Harley's 16th birthday. We will celebrate with the family on Sunday. But tonight she and I are going to 5 Guys for burgers after basketball practice.

Friday...Darian has away Forensics Harley has a home basketball game.

Saturday...Darian will be gone today for Forensics. Justin and Paige will be over

Sunday...Celebrating Sweet 16!! She wants Chinese so that is what we'll do.


One of my favorite things...

It's always my favorite thing to make my grandkids happy. For their birthday I sprung for new cell phones. IPhones! Both are very happy. This is Harley's first smart phone. Hopefully her learning curve will be small!! If you know what I mean!


Post Script...

I am linking with Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog. Then I think I'll do some hopping and see what the rest of the gang has going on. (Psssssst, the sun just came out!!)


Friday, January 29, 2016

Just some Snippets

I don't really have a post planned for today so I will just catch you up on a few things that are going on around my house.

Remember when I told you that my brother was here visiting and getting his house ready to auction? While he was here he went through most of the stuff left in his house that he didn't want to take to Louisiana. Things he was leaving for the auction. There was a large tub of afghans his wife had knitte (or crocheted) . I couldn't believe he wasn't going to take them. But he said he had kept several of his favorites. She has specifically made ones for their kids, the spouses, and the grandchildren. I just couldn't see something so special going to complete strangers. So they came to our house. (Maybe that's why Justin thinks I'm a hoarder!)

The bottom was is huge and lacy!

Harley cabbaged on to this as a bed cover

Gorgeous! My favorite is the second one. Purple!


I was going through the coat closet this week and found the 'almost' brand new pair of leather gloves with rabbit fur lining Justin brought for Richard a few years back. He hadn't worn them that much because he was saving them for 'dress'. He WAS the hoarder at our house. Anyway, I gave them to Darian and he is in heaven. Here he sits watching TV with them on. I promised him we wouldn't laugh!!
I love how he glows in the lamplight!



Lastly, I've done a bit of coloring this week. If you haven't tried adult coloring yet, you should. So relaxing!!


Had to share this too! Harley is painting a self-portrait in her art class and this is the form she will follow. I like it just the way it is!

I am still feeling crappy. I feel better during the day and then as night comes I get stuffed up and my face begins to ache. I have been crazy with the sneezing. I am drugged up with allergy meds. And saturated with fluids. And out of Kleenex for the moment. Damn! I'll have to go to the store tomorrow! Guess who is going in for me??

What snippets are going on with you? Care to share!

Have a wonderful weekend! We will be celebrating a special young man turning 18!!