Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Reviews-The President Is Missing

I've been listening to books on Audible this summer. Mostly when I am going to sleep at night. I just set the timer to go off in 30 minutes and listen away.



The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton was one of those books. Talk about a couple of unlikely people getting together to write a book. It is a fictional thriller in which President Clinton collaborated to give the book authenticity. NO NATIONAL SECRETS WERE GIVEN AWAY. We've already seen these types of secrets on movies produced by Hollywood. But I am sure there will plenty of disparaging comments made. I, for one, love Bill Clinton. So nothing but praise here.

The book is about President Jonathan Lincoln
Duncan. He is preparing to testify before a congressional hearing that his staff is highly encouraging him not to testify in front of. (sound familiar?). There are a group of people who are very intent on impeaching President Duncan. President Duncan has been informed there is a terrorist group that is threatening to unleash a virus on the United States computer servers and all electronic devices. This will affect the country's power grids, medical records, financial systems and much more. (Now that is scary as hell, right??) 

The book is all about how the President and a select few heads of States and staff go about trying to keep this virus from affecting our country. 

The chapters are really short. That keeps it moving pretty fast. The Audible version had some questionable  voices, but not a lot, so I managed to get through it.

I liked the book. It wasn't a typical James Patterson book. Maybe that's why I liked it. Haha!. I give it a solid ***. That means it is a good story. It is also scary to think what a virus could do. Sure hope none of those Russians are reading.   

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What??? It's August already?








Outside my window...

We are now into the end of the first week of August. I have no idea where the time goes. I would like to report that I am busy, busy, busy, and getting lots done. But that wouldn't be true. The weather here in Kansas has cooled a bit. It is only 88* right now. Clear blue skies but I understand it will cloud up later. And barely a breeze. My kind of summer day.


Pondering..

I am pondering exactly what it will take to get me motivated again. Any suggestions? I'm game to hear all you have.

Watching...

Still watching Big Brother. But I don't seem to have my heart in it this summer. It has been pretty clear to me from the very first week that CBS has chosen Tyler to be this year's winner. And I have simply lost interest. Lots of bullying inside that house too. And on the Internet about the show. And how about the news about Julie's husband??


Reading... I'm still reading The Woman In the Window by A.J. Finn. Not making much progress there either. You might start to notice a common theme here. I have been reading and learning about essential oils. And the Bible Study Seamless by Angie Smith. So there's that.

Listening....I'm listening to Justice Redeemed by Scott Pratt. It is the first of a trilogy of books about a lawyer. So far, so good. 

 
Creating...My creative outlet is still my bullet journal. And I have been keeping notes on the Bible study and have been making them a bit creative as well. 

Learning...It has been interesting to see how all of the Bible fits together. It certainly does not go in chronological order. And to study the lineage of the people is fascinating too.

Planning....My plans, now that I am living alone, aren't made ahead of time. They follow more of a day to day basis. Sometimes even hour to hour. How do you plan?


Drinking....Still drinking lots and lots of water. Occasionally I will have a pop (coke, soda,what are they called where you live?)


What's in the kitchen...Recently I was offered a free week with Blue Apron. So I took them up on the offer. I got my first two meals for the week delivered, on the front porch, on a Thursday in mid-July. The first meal was Seared Chicken in Coconut-Peach Broth with Bok Choy and Jasmine Rice. I had never tried Bok Choy before. This meal was delicious. It makes enough for two. So I had one for dinner two nights in a row. Next meal was Beef and Mushroom Burgers with Roasted Onion and Marinated Cabbage. This was good too. And again....lasted for two meals. Have you tried any of these delivered meals?? I have now tried another week (at an introductory cost of $26) Still a pretty good price for 4 meals. I will let you know how it goes. I think these are pretty good options for a single person who doesn't mind trying new things. 


A quote to share...





On July 21 it was 4 years since Richard died



A final thought...It's been awhile since I have written anything here. And I have not been very loyal at following my friends' blogs. I usually slow down in the summer but I was reminded by a favorite family member that I may have slowed down a bit too much this summer. I will try to be better at posting regularly. Wouldn't want my family not to know what's going on, now would I??



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Currently.....









Outside my window...

It's summer! What more can I say about summer? Our temperatures hover in the upper 90's. We have humidity which comes and goes with whether or not we have had moisture. We had rain yesterday so the humidity today is higher. The skies are blue and the sun is shining. It is summer!


Pondering..

I ponder and ponder about the state of Washington D.C. Never in all of my 67 years on this earth have I been more ashamed of the actions and behaviors of our very own President. We would be screaming from the roof tops if other leaders from countries came into the United States and talked about our leader the way our President is doing on this NATO summit. It is embarrassing and so unnecessary. I have good friends and family members who support him and I ask myself every single day what is it they are seeing that I am not seeing. He is nasty. He is childish. And he is DANGEROUS!



Watching...

I'm watching Big Brother. It doesn't seem as good to me as in years past. I haven't picked a favorite yet. I know a lot of people like Tyler. I see Tyler a lot like I saw Paul these past two years. If you are obviously in control of the game this early on then there is a good chance you won't make it to the end. I liked Steve. But, of course, him being the oldest house guest he was voted out first. I thought Swaggy was playing a good game but his ego got the best of him. I can't pick a single girl that I will throw my support to yet. Like I said, just not feeling it. Are you watching? Do you have a favorite? Do you watch the live feeds? Or Big Brother After Dark on POP?


Reading...

I just finished (listening to) The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. I enjoyed it. I think I might have liked it better if I had read it instead of listening. I don't know. I'm pretty much over James Patterson books. The concept behind the book is scary. And it might just well already be going on here in America. A small part of it anyway. Look at how Russia has messed in our elections. Well, most of us believe they have.

Creating...

Taking down the Fourth of July mantle and decorating for the rest of summer. It will probably have a lot of sunflowers. Can you believe we are half-way through July already?


Learning...

I am going to be starting a new Bible Study tomorrow. It is called Seamless by Angie Smith. I am participating with a Facebook group. This study ties all the Bible together from Genesis to Revelations in one seamless story! I am looking froward to it. The study lasts for 7 weeks. 

Planning....

Not much going on here. I'm not really planning anything much at the moment. 


Drinking....

I just finished a wonderful summer cocktail that consisted of Vanilla vodka, orange juice with a splash of cranberry juice. Yummy good!



A quote to share...



...

A final thought...

Hope everyone is having a good summer. Life is good here. Things are happening but nothing worth sharing at this point. I'm enjoying the quiet and learning to love living alone. 




Sunday, July 1, 2018

June Favorites

I cannot believe we just completed another month in the year 2018. Time just keeps on truckin', doesn't it?

Oh let's talk about my favorites for the month of June. 

This month I have fallen into love with some of my old favorites. I have been eating more popcorn. Just the plain old microwave kind. Nothing new here. But I like a bowl of corn at bedtime. 



While shopping at my favorite place to shop, The Dollar Tree, I bought a package of Twizzles. No, not the strawberry kind. But the black licorice kind. Yum! In love all over again. 









I don't usually watch The Late Show with James Corden but I do love his car pool karaoke segments. A You Tube friend recommended watching this one. I grew up when the Beatles were getting famous in America. I wasn't a big fan then (because I was country, when country wasn't cool) but I do like them now. The older stuff. We got pretty good at singing along with the Beatles when we went through our Rock Band on the Wii phase at my house. Take the time to listen. I need some tissues!!!!



Years ago, on a Mother's Day, I was given a gorgeous orchid. And this year, on Mother's Day, Harley surprised me again with an orchid. And they are both blooming. And both are my favorite plants this month.

From years ago

From this year



I am so glad to live in a time where we have air conditioning. Aren't you? I'd be remiss if I didn't say that I am loving my A/C this month. And all the fans: ceiling and floor alike. But I dread that bill.

So as you can see there is not a lot of products in the favorites this month. More of falling in love (or staying in love) with old favorites. What are you enjoying right now? Do you have any new or old favorites?

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My New Favorite Way to Eat



Since I am the only one here most of the time, I am finding that I love to fix my meals in Bowls. There are so many recipes out there to try. Here is one I found at my local grocery-store website. I love it.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Bowl
With Apple & Chili Chutney




Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 TBsp. avacado oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp butter 
1 medium gala apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small red jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
(I used a green one)
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed (I used the entire can)
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 cup cubed or shredded rotisserie chicken (I used Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips cooked in microwave)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400* Toss sweet potato with avocado oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.

While Sweet potato is cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped apple and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add water, vinegar, jalepeno, and honey. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Reserve

Place roasted potato in a large bowl with black beans, basmati rice, and chicken. Top with Chutney.

This was so, so good!! 


Friday, June 22, 2018

Listen to My Story

Today I am going to play a little game I like to call "what if". It is going to include me as a young mom (or even as a granny with young grandkids). And today I live in El Salvador. Or Guatemala. Or Honduras. I hope you will stick with me here. I am terrified of what is going on in my country. I live in a country where the murder rate is through the roof. And gang violence is unbelievable. And those gangs need more and more members every single day because they are killing off their own.



My children are scared and they are hungry. We are very, very poor. And there is no hope in my country. I have seen my friend's children die at the hands of these scary gangs. There is much talk of going to the United States. The United States will take us and take care of our kids. We will be able to find jobs picking fruits and vegetables. We will get to see our kids flourish. Like the American kids do. 

But it is a long, long walk. And it is dangerous. A tiny part of this journey that would take 30 minutes by car will take us more than 20 hours to walk.And we are traveling more than 1000 miles.  It will not be easy. There are smugglers. They will try to take my kids so they can use them to get into the United States. There will be hostile residents in Mexico that will beat us, shoot at us, or turn us into authorities. But I must take this chance. I am thinking about the sure death of my kids if I stay in my country. I have to get them to the border of the United States. (Isn't this what any mother would do?)

Along the trail to the United States we will find theft, rape, and murder. We will walk through dense jungles and open fields. There will be dirty water to drink. Maybe we will find some food. We may go days without. In our group we will watch people die from drinking the water. We will see other mother's raped so they can provide food for their children. 

It is hot! Very, very hot. And humid. My children will cry from hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. But we have to keep going. I know that when I get to the border of the United States I will have two choices. I will find the entrance that will listen to the horror stories of what is going on in my country. I will tell them the gang is looking for us because they want to kill my 10 year old son for stealing food from them. We cannot go back. They will help us. They will give us shelter. They will feed my children.

We arrive! And the United States will not let me in. They will not listen to my story. This isn't what I was promised. I have always heard the people of the United States are kind and caring. I have heard about the Statue of Liberty with the words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."   But now they are telling me I cannot come in. I am desperate.

So I head down another road.I have two choices. I can send my children ahead of me alone. I can try to find them later. I can pray they will be taken care of. Or I can accompany them and pray for the best. I sneak across the border. But I am caught. I will be arrested. They tell me my kids will be taken away from me. They seem delighted in my misery. My kids stay with me while we wait in a line to be processed. I try to prepare them. They cry. I tell them I will find them. I tell them everything will be okay. I tell them they will get to eat. There will be clean water. They will not be gangs looking for them so they can kill them. They cling to me. I keep telling them to be brave. I tell them "this is the United States of America". 
The last thing I hear as I am taken away by the immigration authorities are the cries of my children.....

    "mama, mama, please don't go"


And this is me again:

If you have been watching TV at all this week you have heard these cries. It is heart wrenching. Yes, I want secure borders for my country. Yes, I want to help these families. Can't the two go hand in hand. Why does it have to be zero tolerance. Why are we treating these people, who only want a better life for their family, so horrible. What can we do to help? These kids are being used as political pawns for a border wall. I am ashamed today to be an American. 



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. 
Pondering..

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.'


Watching...

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. 


Reading...

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.

 
Creating...

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...





Photographing...




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??