Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge September 30, 2015 Edition

Here it is! The Last Wednesday in September. Go over to From This Side of the Pond and share your Hodgepodge answers with all of the ladies who participate. Thank you Joyce for doing the hosting!!

Here are this weeks prompts:

 1. Something on your October calendar that makes you smile?

Justin 2014

This boy makes me smile. This was my youngest son last year on his birthday. He will turn 40 (gulp) on October 22. Happy Birthday month in October!!

 2. Food for the soul or music for the soul...which camp are you in? Tell us why.

Don't get me wrong, food makes me happy. Food can and does feed my soul. But I am in the Music for the soul camp!! Music is a good way to relieve myself from a bad mood. Hearing my favorite song on the radio (or from my phone) and singing along, loudly, can turn a bad day into a good day. I can re-live memories through music. Remember the past with music. Some of my favorite songs of all time are:

Kenny Rogers...Through The Years
Celine Dion...My Heart Will Go On
Debby Boone...You Light Up My Life
Bette Midler...Wind Beneath My Wings
Elvis...Are You Lonesome Tonight
Alan Jackson...The Old Rugged Cross
Engelbert Humperdink...After the Lovin'

These are just a few of the songs that have a special meaning to me. Each are tied to a special memory! Share some of your favorite songs. I would love to know them.


3. What are two or three things you've learned recently as the result of an online search?

1) I learned that I need to get my furnace filter replaced as soon as possible. Mine had collapsed inside the furnace (I have no idea why) and I took it out but didn't get a new one immediately. I learned from Google that it is NOT a good idea to wait. I now have a new one in place.

2) Harley joined FCCLA at her high school. I knew nothing about this organization. So with the help of Google I learned this:

FCCLA stands for Family , Career and Community Leaders of America. It is a national Career and Technical Student Organization that provides personal growth, leadership development, and career preparation opportunities for student that are in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. So far she has participated in a mock Chopped contest, sells programs for the high school football games, and attended a couple of meetings. Let's hear it for FCCLA!!!

4. Share your favorite game day recipe. You can describe it, post the how-to, or add a link to the actual recipe.

We are not really football fans at this house. When Justin is here on the weekends he will watch. But the kids and I don't if we are here alone. So I don't really have any favorite game-day recipes. Chili is always a fall and winter favorite here. I make it just like my mom always did:


1/2 pkg. Williams Original Chili Seasoning MIx (the one for 4 pounds of beef)

2 pounds ground beef

1 small onion

3-4 cans chili beans (I use Bush's Mild Chili Beans)

1 can chopped tomatoes (my mom used tomato juice because she had to feed 5 kids so that helped stretch it) We like ours thick!!

I brown the burger with the onion then add the seasoning and let it cook a bit. Stir in the beans and the tomato and let it simmer to mingle all the flavors. Easy Peasy!!
We eats bowls of this with crackers and butter and accompanied with a large glass of ice-cold milk!!!  Thanks Mom!

5. What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning routine?

Oh my gosh! I am NOT a morning person at all.
I worked the ll p.m. to 7 a.m. shift in the hospital for 25 years and I still live that life in retirement.  I don't get up with the kids in the morning. They are teens and have been taking care of themselves in the mornings for some time now. I sleep with one open eye to make sure they are up and out the door on time. Then I am back to sleep until I am ready to wake up. Then it is coffee, coffee, coffee! I check the emails and my blog. Look for texts on the phone. Put a load of clothes in the washer. Check the menu plan and get things ready for that. Then let whatever comes come!! I don't have a routine. And I don't want a routine. Just not me!! But I can't wait to see what others will have as their essential steps. (And for those of you who are wondering....I don't go to sleep until at least 2 a.m.) 

 6. What small thing have you taken note of today?

The small thing I have taken note of today concerns an email I received from the school telling me that Harley had been placed on the delinquent list (which means she is failing in a subject). We have PowerSchool which is

"PowerSchool is a web-based student information system that provides full range of features needed by administrators at the district and school level to manage student information, a portal for teachers to enter classroom-specific data, and portals to foster communication between the school and parents and students."

All of their grades are posted here. The teachers keep them up to date for the most part. I went to PowerSchool and saw that Harley was not failing in ANY class. She is a very good student. I fired an email off to the school and received an immediate response that the school secretary had mis-read the name on the list! Gee thanks for the heart-attack!! Probably not like the one Harley would have had if she had had her name called over the intercom as being on the delinquent list!! Get it together school secretary! (I know, anyone can make a mistake!!)

 7. Sum up your September in seven words or less.

September went by very fast. Nothing Lasts!!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

How many of you are on some form of Social Media? Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? And many others that I haven't even heard about. I get much of my news anymore from Facebook. And people comment on the Facebook news posts. And people are so dang rude. And mean. And nasty. Have you noticed that? Yesterday, for example, there was a post about a little boy who found $8,000 inside a checkbook at a park. His uncle, who was with him, thought this would be a good teaching experience. So, he took him to the police station, turned in the money, and received a $100. reward from the owner. People didn't bother to read the article before they started saying things like : "drug money" (it wasn't), "what a dummy, you should have kept it", (no they shouldn't have) and on and on and on. Why are people, who are hiding behind a keyboard, so darn nasty?? I belong to a couple of groups for the reality shows I watch and every single day I am amazed at the nastiness. Is this what the internet has brought us? Was society this way before Facebook? What are your thoughts???

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-September 28th Edition

For Today... 

Today is Monday, September 28, 2015. Soon we will put this September into the history books. It has pretty much been uneventful at our house. Just a normal month. Normal is nice, isn't it?

Outside my window...

Outside my window there are several squirrels scampering in the yard. I love to watch them chase each other and play. They are hiding lots of acorns from the big, majestic oak tree in front. It is 78* currently with partially cloudy sky. I just heard on the news that it will be possible to see nighttime temperatures in the 40's by this coming weekend. Then the trees will begin to change rapidly into their fall wardrobes! Let the beauty begin!!

I am thinking...

I am thinking about my son this morning. It was 6 years ago today his friend Brian was shot to death by a criminal who placed a 911 call to his house to report a theft and then equipped with a high-powered rifle hid in the bushes and awaited a police officers response. The suspect was later shot to death by deputies that were attempting to apprehend him as he shot at them with Brian's gun. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! We need to take the time to lift up our police officers!!

This picture is on the Sheriff's Facebook page
I am thankful...I am thankful for my deputy son, all of his fellow deputies, and all police officers and deputies across the nation. We need them. Protect them!



I am wearing...

I am in a bright yellow tee shirt and grey sweatpants. Off to shower soon and change into my normal uniform for this time of year. Yoga pants and tee shirt!

I am creating...

My normal Monday creations are being produced: this blog post and my weekly menu!

I am going...

I am going to do a bit of straightening up and start some laundry pretty soon. A quiet Monday. I like for Monday's to just be a day of winding down after a hectic, busy weekend.

I am wondering...

I am wondering what chores I should start to tackle this week. I did get the outside of the house all washed down on Friday. There were many, many spider webs everywhere. Now I want to get out the paint and do some outside touching up before the weather turns so cold.

I am reading...

I am reading A Child, al Confinn by Eric Lament. It is a Friday Freebie from Barnes and Nobel. Stay tuned for my review!!!

I am hoping...

I am hoping this coming week is good and productive for all of us.

I am learning...

I am learning that it just really doesn't matter how much I procrastinate. Things will get done. And if they don't, who cares? It's my house and I only need to stay true to me. So there!!


In my kitchen...
Tuesday....Sloppy Joes & French fries
Wednesday...Church night
Thursday...Harley's Hamburger Helper!!
Friday...Ranch Pasta salad
Saturday...Pancakes and sausage

A favorite quote for today...

Isn't this the truth? We really are the only one who limit ourselves!

A peek into my week...

Today...Darian has debate practice
Tuesday...Harley has a FCCLA meeting after school for the kiddos
Thursday...Darian will chose either Marine Babies or another debate practice plans
Saturday...some major housecleaning!!
Sunday...we will relax! and watch The Good Wife premier! And maybe cross a couple of things off our Fall Bucket have a Pumpkin Spice Latté. I have Never been to Starbucks! Maybe we'll go!

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things has been to decorate my outdoor space. I haven't done much over the past few years but I am gathering ideas for future spring and summer projects. Isn't this idea the cutest?

These were created as a community art project by Flicity Wallis in the United Kingdom. I think it would be fun to try to create some of my own "totem poles" using old flower pots, saucers, wooden boxes, and a bowling ball.  I don't know that I would cover them all in mosaic like these were. Maybe some outdoor paint. What do you think?? A fun project that my girls would like to help with!!!!

From the board room...

This pin can be found here or on my Monster Mash-Halloween Pinterest board. A cute and very easy decoration. I have many strands of those tiny twinkle lights in my Christmas stash. Plus we go through 2 gallons of milk a week. Get ready for some fun kids. Do you decorate at your house for Halloween??

Last night we watched the Lunar Eclipse of the blood moon (while running back and forth watching CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's grand finale) Wasn't that an awesome site to watch the moon. This pictures are on our local news' Facebook Page. Harley tried to take pictures but her camera just couldn't capture the images like this one. The kids found this to be a fascinating occurrence. I can remember how much Richard liked these kinds of things. Darian regaled us with his space knowledge while we were outside. It was a perfect night for viewing at our house. Not a cloud in the sky. The stars were magnificent!

I am linking with Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog. Let's see how many of the ladies we can visit today.




Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Letters

Friday Letters
Dear Pope Francis:
I have very much enjoyed your visit to the USA. I am not a Catholic! But I am a Christian too! You are so kind, so full of humility, so tender, and so friendly. I love your message "Who am I to judge?" You ask us to pray for you in your beautiful messages. I will do just that. Enjoy the remainder of your visit here.
Dear Mother Nature:
This is your time, isn't it? You bring so much beauty to our surroundings at this time of the year. Not to mention the cooler weather. Which I am going to love soon. The nights are getting a bit nippier. And soon we will see the temperatures dipping in the daytime too. Thank you Mother for all the beauty we will soon observe around us.
Dear Fall Premiers:
So happy to have new TV shows to watch. We are fully immersed in Dancing With The Stars. Harley is loving Gary Busey. I am enjoying Paula Deen. We haven't yet chosen a favorite. We watched Gibbs be saved by John Cryer (Alan, from Two and a Half Men) and wondered if he was in good hands. He was! We have   watched Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away with Murder. All off to a great start. I am looking forward to seeing what Alicia will be up to in The Good Wife. And I will be sitting in my comfy chair this Sunday to watch the two-hour final episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I am looking forward to seeing Grissom and Catherine return to wind up this fascinating 15 year series.
We watch a lot of TV at our house!! What has your week been like? Do you have plans for the weekend? See you all on Monday!!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

One Plus One


One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted Stateside she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

Last night I finished reading One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. This was my second book of hers, having read Me Before You earlier this year. You can read my review of that book here. This is another great book that I highly recommend.

So much of this book resonated with me and my life. My family is quirky, so say the least. This piece in the book "In our family all our pegs and holes belonged somewhere else first, and they're all sort of jammed in a bit lopsided" reminded me of how much we are just not the typical mold. The main story is told by Jess, the single mom, trying to hold things together in a world where there are bullies, husbands who aren't living at home, and never enough money. She is just trying to show her kids that good things can happen while things continue to fall apart all around them. I loved every single one of the main characters. Even the Goth, mascara-wearing boy. And the description of Norman, the slobbering, big lug of a dog, made me feel he was right there next to me drooling all over my lap. I loved this book. She could easily become one of my favorite authors.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Here we are back to the Hodgepodge. We skipped last week while Joyce From This Side of the Pond caught up on things she needed to be doing at her home. We all have those kinds of days don't we? So here we go. Answer the prompts she provides and link up with her page. Then do the fun thing and go pay others a visit. Make new friends!!

 1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?

I can't think of a single thing that I have fallen for lately. Unless it would be decorating my Happy Planner. I do enjoy doing that. Here is a peek at a weekly spread in October! And I used some stickers I had been hoarding.

 2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?

If you would ask my youngest son he would tell you that I am a hoarder. But I'm not! Have you seen that show? My house doesn't look a thing like any of those places. My closets might. But it's all neatly put away. I keep craft supplies, scrapbooking things, art supplies all neatly tucked in bins for that "someday when I get free time". Maybe I am there now. I have been going through a bin full of rubber stamps (Stampin' Up). I doubt that I will suddenly start making cards. But I can't seem to part with any of them. What to do! What to do! Do you have hoards like this too?

 3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?

One of my favorite things about fall is apples. We used to go over to the apple orchard and pick our own. That orchard no longer exists but I still buy a bushel of apples every fall. This year I bought Gala and Fuji apples. I love them crisp and sweet. Here are a few "Did you Know's" about apples.
1) Did you know that apples are part of the rose family?
2) Did you know that 29% of all fruit consumed everyday are apples?
3) Did you know that it takes 2 pounds of apples to make one 9 inch pie?
4) Did you know that every state in the USA grows apples?


4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen Colorado, The Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?

Richard and I would make a fall trip to Colorado every year just to see the Aspens. Richard loved Colorado and always wanted to live there. We talked about it but never made the leap. Colorado is where I will scatter his ashes one day (when I am ready). I would love to make a trip to the Green Mountain Byway in Vermont. I have never visited those states and would love to go. Maybe someday!

 5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

I have a son who is a drug addict. He started with marijuana. I know that many will tell you that marijuana is NOT a Gateway drug. But you will find me hard pressed to believe that. I am sure that not every person who smokes marijuana moves on to harder drugs. But many do! I do not want marijuana to become legalized. In the state I live in, Kansas, marijuana is not legal to possess, sell, or manufacture. Even medical marijuana is illegal. I have read many research articles on the pros and cons of medical marijuana and it seems there is not a clear cut answer that it is beneficial. I am going to continue to vote no on it's legalization.


6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay?

I have been known to start watching a movie in the middle. But I'm not fond of that. I am not really a big movie watcher. I will watch if it is on and I am not the controller of the remote controller. I have also began TV series in the middle. But if I really like the show then I will go back and watch all the other seasons. I purchased past seasons of both The Good Wife and Army Wives and watched all the seasons. I want to do the same with Scandal.

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?

Rule 4. Overuse of exclamation points is a sign of undisciplined writing. Do not use even one of these marks unless you're convinced it is justified.

That is the rule I most often break!! I overuse exclamation points. Just the way I write!! I guess you might call me an undisciplined writer!! Go ahead! I don't care if you call me that!!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here

Today is the First Day of Fall!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-September 21st Edition

For Today... 

Today, Monday, September 21, 2015. Fourteen months since the love of my life left this world for a better place. The hurt never goes away for long. I miss him every single day!

Outside my window...

Outside my window it is very dark right now. It is Sunday night as I sit and write for this week. It is currently 75* outside. Last night we saw low's in the 50's. Yes, fall is here!

I am thinking...

I am thinking about the kids' going to the Fair on Wednesday night to see For King and Country and the Newsboys. These are both Christian Rock bands. Darian had his picture taken with Joel Smallbone, the lead singer of For King and Country.

Darian and Joel Smallbone

I am thankful...

I am thankful we had a beautiful day to go to the Kansas State Fair today. The high was 83* Calm, clear blue skies.

Fried Joy!

The Midway

Pogo Fred

Water park

Enjoying a Pronto Pup

Checking out what he bought

Harley's favorite car

Riding in from the parking lot
 I enjoyed sitting in the Fair's park people watching while the kids traveled around the midway. They rode rides and played games. Darian ate an MRE! He enjoyed stopping those who were wearing a Veteran's hat or shirt and shaking their hands and saying "Thank you for your service." This boy makes me so proud.


I am wearing...

Believe it or not I am not wearing black yoga pants. I am wearing black pants with a grey tee shirt.

I am creating...

As is my usual weekly creation...this blog post and my weekly menu. And reliving my visit to the fair.

I am going...

I am going to spend tomorrow doing laundry. Duh! It's Monday!! Ha! Ha! Remember when Monday used to be laundry day? And do you remember when we ironed everything?? I learned how to iron by my mom giving us handkerchiefs and pillowcases. Can you imagine ironing a pillowcase now??

I am wondering...

This is Harley's henna tattoo she got at the Kansas State Fair. It is supposed to fade to the henna color and last a month. How many of you think it will??



I am reading...

Currently, I am reading One Plus One by JoJo Moyes. So far I am liking it!

I am hoping...

I am hoping the cooler weather continues now for the month of October. No freezing yet! Just nice cool 70's-80's will be okay. I have some outside things I want to get accomplished before the snow starts to fly.


What I learned at the Fair...

Harley and I are standing in front of the Monkey Shine Booth at the fair. When I was a sophomore in high school, many years ago, my mom let me take a week off from school to work in this booth. I don't remember how much I was paid. But I do remember that after a week of dipping ice cream in chocolate and rolling it in nuts I never wanted to see another Monkey Shine Bar. Darian ate one. Harley and I passed.

In my garden...

Can you imagine growing this baby in your garden? This was at the Kansas State Fair. I wonder how many pumpkin pies we could make!


State's largest pumpkin ever 1034 lbs.

In my kitchen...

Monday...Grilled cheese & Tomato Soup

Tuesday...Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday...Mexican Chili with Cornbread Topping

Thursday...Homemade Pizza

Friday...Italian Sausage Subs

Saturday...Spaghetti and garlic bread

Sunday...Hamburgers on the grills & Pasta Salad


A favorite quote for today...


A peek into our week...

Monday...School and Debate Practice
Tuesday...School and Darian is going to judge at a Novice debate out of town
Wednesday...School and church and Marine babies
Friday...School and Darian starts a weekend debate here
Saturday...Darian debates here in town.
Sunday...Day of rest, I hope.

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things is watching reality TV. It is mindless. I don't have to pay close attention. We are starting on Dancing with the Stars. I haven't picked a favorite yet. I enjoyed Paula Deen. She is so controversial. Gary Busey is a train wreck. And the winner will probably be Bindi Irwin. Do you watch? Thankfully Big Brother is about to end. This season has brought me more stress than relaxation. I don't want Vanessa to win!! And now it's time for Survivor. Other favorite TV shows getting ready to start are Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder and The Good Wife. What are your favorite new fall shows.

Let's join Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog this week and see what the other ladies are up to!