Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Overview from Barnes and Nobel

The "dark, twisted, thought-provoking" (#1 New York Times bestseller Tami Hoag) international bestseller—first in the new series featuring Detective Helen Grace.Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....

This is a thriller! It is a very twisted plot without a doubt. For the most part I felt the characters were well developed. Not all of them though. And I have seen an episode of Criminal Minds that reminded me much of this book, so therefore I didn't find it too "frightening". I like thrillers. This was a good read. The ending was quite a surprise. I like that in a book.

Monday, July 27, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-July 27th Edition

For Today...

Today is Monday, July 27, 2015. So this is 'good-bye week'. Time to say good-bye to another July. Up into the history books you go! There were good things and bad things happening all over the world in July. Let's focus on the good things. July was a month I had been dreading. As you know it was the month of my "Horrible Anniversary". I have to say that I felt so much apprehension leading up to it. So much sorrow. So much sadness. And now it is behind me. I survived a whole year of "firsts" without the love of my life. And now I am marching forward!!!!

Outside my window...

It's going to be another hot day in Kansas. 95* now at 2 p.m. The sky is blue and the sun is beating down. Very little breeze to be found anywhere. A good day to just stay in the house and type. Or do laundry!

I am thinking...

I am thinking of all the things I want to accomplish before cold weather comes. Yes, I know it is still July. But, for all of us who know how fast this summer has gone, we know  winter will be here in the flash of an eye. I want to touch up paint outdoors, paint my backdoor, clean out the garage (I mean like REALLY clean out the garage). Many of the kinds of things that you can't do when it is freezing outside!

I am thankful...

I am thankful that I live in a state that has a full four seasons. We really do get a taste of everything here in Kansas. The winters are sometimes just too long. And the summers are sometimes just too short. But I am thankful I get to have all four seasons!!

I am feeling...

I am feeling hopeful!

I am currently watching...

I have been watching the new season of Rectify. Are there any fellow watchers out there? This is season 3 (very short seasons too as there are only 6 episodes). The show is on Sundance TV and it is the story of Daniel Holden who was convicted as a teenager of the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend. He spent 19 years on death row before being exonerated by new DNA evidence. A very good show. The acting is marvelous. This show has received many awards and critical acclaims. I just love it! I just wish the season was longer.

I am going...

Today I am going to catch up with the laundry. Harley brought two suitcases of dirty clothes home from camp. For all those who are interested she loved camp. She suffered through a bit of cell phone drama, some adult workers drama, and some 'coming home' drama. But her youth pastor had nothing but praise for her. He wants her to come back every year and be a camp helper. She was a "hydration specialist" this time. It was her job to make sure all the big orange/blue water coolers stayed full so all the campers would always have fresh water. She also played Monkey ball with all the teens. She is the one on the left in the pink shirt. And the one of her sleeping is on the trip home!

I am wondering...

I am wondering if I will really go to the grocery store today! sometimes I am a master as getting out of things I really need to do. Do you do that as well?

I am reading...

I am reading The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and A Forty Year Friendship. This book came with high recommendations. So far, I am enjoying it. It is a true story. About women and their friendships. I feel some introspective blog posts coming from this book. Thank you Myra for telling me about it!


I am learning...

I am currently learning about organization through planning. It is good to have a well organized calendar to keep all of these teen activities straight. And I am having fun doing it in my Happy Planner. I'm also syncing with the wall calendar (so everyone can look) and my Cozi Calendar on my phone. The best phone calendar out there; in my opinion.

I am improving...

I am improving my mind!! Really, I am. By memorizing Bible verses it will help improve brain function. Memorizing is proven to help! I also have an app on my phone called Lumosity which aids in brain training through exercises and games. Try it! Some on pretty fun! Some are down-right hard!!


In my kitchen...

Monday...Chili dogs, French fries

Tuesday...Breakfast for dinner

Wednesday...Chicken Fried Rice ( I am determined to get this dish made this week)

Thursday...Mac & Cheese & Chicken *Harley

Friday...Baked Tacos

Saturday...Chicken Broccoli Supreme

Sunday...Salisbury Steaks, Mashed taters, Corn Fritters



A favorite quote for today...

How profound! We all need to chew on this for a bit!


A peek into what we are drinking...

Working my way through my second cup of French vanilla laced coffee! Then I plan to switch to ice cold water.

One of my favorite things...

This little girl spent the weekend with us! She is Paige's mom's little doggie. Meet Massey!

I am memorizing...

James 1: 26-27 This is the last of our verse.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world
n is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

What is going on with you this week? I am linking with The Simple Woman's Blog.




Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Letters

Hello friends and family! We are gearing up for the weekend. Do you have plans? Harley will come home from camp on Saturday. Whoo who! I missed her. Darian is spending the weekend with a friend before school starts. And Justin and Paige are coming. She is bringing her tiny dog, Massey, with her for the weekend. So we should be jumpin' around here.
Dear Road Construction People: I understand that roads will eventually need repaired. But is it really necessary to be working on every main artery road at the same time? Trying to get across this town is a nightmare with all the road crews out there. I've often wondered why they can't work at night. Less traffic, lower temperatures. Makes sense to me.
Dear Ice Making People: No, I do not have an ice maker in my fridge! And I am so grateful to you for keeping up with the demand. Even when it is partially melted by the time I get home (in my un-air-conditioned car). Our heat indices today read 108*. Now that is hot !  Thank goodness the humidity is only 30%. I'm off to fix me a tall glass of iced peach tea. Anyone else want one?
Dear Command Hooks: What did we use before you came along? You are so strong. And I love how you hold up over time. Until you don't!  When you quit working the other night (in the middle of the night) and dropped my shoe organizer, on the back of the bathroom door, (it holds shampoo, hair spray, combs, brushes, etc.) it scared the pee-wadding out of me. Good thing I don't pack a gun or that bathroom would be full of bullet holes. Now I am off to hang new ones.
Have a great weekend! See you Monday for The Simple Woman's Daybook!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hump day is here! Yesterday was a difficult day for me. But it was made so much better by my family and friends! I cannot thank my blogging friends enough for being with me on this hard anniversary. To read two beautiful tributes please visit my friend Ellie at HoneySuckle Hollow and my friend Gram at Goodnight Gram's Blog. Also, my friend, Wendy, left me a great message on my Facebook page.  All of you mean so much to me. And in My Simple Woman's Daybook post on Monday I mentioned Harley being at camp. I wondered if she would remember what happened a year ago. At 11:30 p.m. last night I received this text. My kiddos are the best!

Now let's get on With Wednesday Hodgepodge and link at From This Side of the Pond.

 1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

Thank goodness our home is air conditioned. We are so spoiled! I grew up without A/C and don't remember it being all that horrible. But I think I would now find it unbearable. When I was young I remember my mom would hang wet sheets and then blow a fan through them. This was supposed to cool us down. Can you imagine? Right now my car does not have A/C. I try not to drive in the hottest part of the day. But sometimes we have to!

2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?

Oh my goodness! I feel like most of my life is "up in the air" right now. I think it is due to this past year of adjusting to life without Richard. It's like I am having to re-learn how to live. I also will admit that I haven't done much towards moving forward. His shirts are still hanging in the laundry room. His glasses are still on the entry table. His shaving supplies are still in the bathroom medicine cabinet. I have plans to change all of that within the next few months! I'm in no hurry.

 3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

When I worked in the nursing home an Amish lady told me how to make these Lemon Bars. I wasn't quite sure, the first time I made them, they would turn out okay. She insisted it was only the two ingredients. So I tried them! And they were delicious. A good summer treat! Make them and let me know what you think!

You'll Need: 2 Cans Lemon Pie Filling
1 Angel Food Cake Mix

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a mixing bowl pour in the cake mix- there will be 2 separate packages in the mix, the powdered egg whites and the cake flour mixture, use both. Dump them into the bowl and mix them with a fork or whisk. Don't waste your time with an electric mixer on this one, you don't want to over-mix it by any means. Add in both cans of lemon pie filling mix. Mix just until incorporated, but again, don't whip it or it will overflow when you cook it and change the texture and volume of the bars.

Pour into a 9x13 Pan and bake for 26 minutes. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. The powdered sugar makes them pretty.


 4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?

I laughed when I read this prompt. I can't remember the last time I felt I was 'floating on air'. It might have had something to do with more than one glass of wine!

 5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Another prompt that caused me to chuckle.  I last encountered an 'airhead'. I live with her. We tease her about it. She isn't blonde. But we think she might still have some blonde baby roots. (I am not trying to offend any blonde haired people). My granddaughter, Harley, sometimes just can't see things clearly. And sometimes the funniest things come out of her mouth. Like the time she was talking about the band Candyland. What? I haven't heard of that band. She meant Sugarland! We love the girl!!!

 6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

I have never been to the Alps. I have never had a desire to go to the Alps. And if I ever find myself in the Alps then a gentle walk is all I have in mind!!

 7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?

When I was a teen we used to call police officers 'the heat'. Once when my cousin was home on leave from the Navy we were all out dragging main street one night. My cousin was driving. Someone said, "Look out! The heats on." My cousin started fiddling with the dials on the car's heater saying "No it's not" We teens howled at how 'dumb' he was!! But he was a 'cool cat' (another phrase) and didn't get mad at us.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

I saw this on Facebook last night! There is so much to chew on here. Do you have these three kinds of people in your life?
I can think of names right off the top of my head. I am doing to CHOSE to concentrate on those who fit into #1. What will you do?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One More Letter-One Year Later

Dearest Richard:

Thanksgiving 2004
One year ago today I held your hand and felt you squeeze my fingers one last time. I watched your eyes flutter and then go still. I watched as your chest rose, ever so slightly, and then not rise again. I felt your heart beating weakly as I lay my head on your chest. It was truly the hardest day of my life. And then you were gone.

It has been an entire year. A year that has passed by so quickly. I find it hard to believe that the time has flown past. Even though every day without you was so long and hard the days flew by and now it's been a year.  The pain is still so fresh. I still miss you just as much. I imagine that I always will. And it will always be with just a smidgen of heartache that I think of you.

I didn't think it would be easy to live without you. I just didn't think it would be this hard. Will it get easier? I wish that I could hear you tell me that everything is going to be okay. You always were the up-beat one of the two of us. You always saw the cup as half-full! I miss you so much!

I didn't think the tears could last for a year, but they have. I am always surprised when they come. It might be during a movie, because of a certain smell, a song, or just something someone says. That can all bring about a memory of you. Every single time I think I have cried until I can't cry anymore a fresh supply of tears come. They never seem to end.

We have managed to survive a year of 'firsts' without you. Something I did not feel I could do. But of course I have. Of course life has gone on. Just like we knew it would.

You left me on July 21, 2014 at 5:20 p.m. A date and time that will be forever etched in my heart. In my memory. A part of my life.

Shortly after, on August 6th, we would have celebrated our wedding anniversary. I didn't even think about it that day. It wasn't until days later that I realized I had missed it. Something you never would have done. You always, always remembered. That first year after we were married you brought me roses  every month...one for the first month, two for the second, then three and all the way to a dozen on our first wedding anniversary. You
were so romantic. And I was very lucky.

The kids returned to school in September and I was home alone. The first time since I met you that I was all alone. It was hard. But I survived. The kids miss you but they are so  resilient. I know that you are watching over them. Justin came today! He misses you too.

We survived all the seasons this past year without you. The sun kept coming up every morning. The breezes kept on blowing. Life went all around me. And you were still gone.

Fall, with Halloween and Thanksgiving, came and went. We didn't put up those awful blow-ups that you loved so much. And I didn't make Mrs. Woods Cranberry salad. And it turns out that I figured out how to carve the turkey!

Christmas wasn't the same. We decorated the tree. But we didn't put up the lights outside. Maybe we will this year. Maybe we never will again. Because you will always be missing in all the Christmases of my future.

I managed to make it through Valentine's Day and Easter and Mother's Day and Father's Day without you. We celebrated Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Some of them were uneventful. And some the ache was deep. And some I cried off and on all day long. I miss you.

I love you just as much now as ever.  I always will. I miss you more than I ever thought I would. People around me have moved on. Some think that I have too! Many wish that I would move on! But I'm not moving on!   I don't want to right now. And maybe I never will! You were my rock, my friend, the most important man in my life. I loved you. I adored you! I miss you. Life goes on. It is just different without you. You aren't here. You are gone. Just gone!

Love always,


Monday, July 20, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-July 20th Edition

For Today...
Today is Monday, July 20, 2015. The day before the 'horrible' anniversary. (Thank you Myra for giving me that name). It is so hard for me to believe it has been a full year since Richard died. I plan to write him a letter again tomorrow. If you are interested in my Journey you can read these posts. And I wrote him letters after his death, which can be found here.  

Outside my window...

Outside my window the sun is shining. It does keep on shining. It is going to be hot again today. But it is July so it is supposed to be hot. Right? There are wild turkeys eating under the bird feeders. And so many, many birds.  

I am thinking...

Yesterday, when I dropped Harley off at church, I was thinking about this time last year. She left today to attend church camp for the younger kids. Grades K-5. She is going to be a teen helper. Last year was the first year she helped at this camp. She was just getting ready to enter high school. She helped in the kitchen and with filling water bottles last year. Before they (Darian went too) left last year I made sure I had their youth pastor's cell phone number because we knew that Richard's last days were happening. Little did I know they would be gone less than 24 hours before he died. We notified the youth pastor and my ex-daughter-in-law picked them up from camp and brought them home. We kept Richard, here at the house, so they could have time with his body to say good-bye. I could not help but think of this as I told her good-bye yesterday. I wonder if she, too, will remember.  

I am thankful...

I am thankful for the kid's youth pastors. Both of them. Pastor Mark is the one from their very early days at the church. He is Pastor to the little kids (ages very young to 5th grade). He is the one Harley is now with at camp. She loves him very much. He is a father figure to her. Also, Pastor Josh, the teen pastor. Both of these guys have played a big part in Harley, Paige, and Darian's lives thus far. And they have been here for me this past year.

I am listening to...

I am listening to the TV in the background. Not really watching anything. Not really hearing anything. Just background noise.

I am creating...

Harley and I are working on our planners. They are very pretty. In some ways it will be like a journal. One that I can put away at the end of the year and know where we were, what we were doing, what we were eating, and the things I like to keep track of. She is really getting into hers. She will use hers to track her classes, assignments, activities, etc. It has been fun doing this together.

I am going...

Today (or maybe tomorrow) I REALLY am going to empty that aquarium. It needs it's yearly cleaning. I might move it. I can't decide.

I am wondering...

I am wondering lately a lot about afterlife. Do I believe there is one? What is it like? When we die and get to 'wherever we are going' will we see those we once loved? What is your thoughts on this matter??

I am reading...
I am continuing to read Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge. It is a thriller. And I must say it is a bit gruesome and creepy but I am still enjoying it. Hope that doesn't make me sound too creepy!!

I am hoping...

I am hoping for answers! I have so many questions. But I don't have the answers. What happens if one's faith starts to waiver? How do we get it all together again? Do you have any answers? Or are there just more questions? I don't know. I am hoping....

I am looking forward to...

I am looking forward to starting the second year. Will it make any difference? Will the large earthquake that shook my heart stop? Will I begin to heal? Or will I always feel this torn? See, I told you I have lots of questions. I am looking forward to fewer questions.

In my yard...

Two of my geraniums are drying up! Is it the heat? Or a bug? Why do weeds still grow when the grass is starting to die in spots? How do some things thrive while others die? Oh so many questions!!!

In my kitchen...
Monday...Leftover Monday (We had fried chicken with mashed potatoes and corn on Sunday)
Wednesday...Sloppy Joes, Chips, Dill pickles
Thursday...Granny's having a salad
Friday...Chicken Fried Rice
Saturday...Cream Cheese Chicken
Sunday...Shepherd's Pie

Some of our meals were on last weeks menu but we didn't have them for one reason or another. So I am putting them here again because I have all the ingredients.

Last night I dreamed....

Last night I dreamed about Richard. And working at the hospital. Those seem to be two of my most recurring dreams in recent months. I am always dreaming about being behind in my work. Late with charting, late with giving my patients their meds, late even seeing my patients. And then the next shift comes and I haven't done anything! This is a crazy dream that I have had all of my nursing career. It is exhausting. Lately I have dreamed about Richard being 'helpless'. I find him on the floor. He has fallen. He cannot get up without my help. He won't use his walker. He just jumps up and takes off. And falls. Dreams are so crazy. Don't you think??


A favorite quote for today...





Post Script



You will find me linking up at The Simple Woman's Blog. And I'll be hopping around seeing what all the ladies are up to this week. Won't you join me?