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??



Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Reviews

I've been going through audio books like crazy. And cleaning the garage. And doing some yard work. And some house cleaning. Best time to do audio books is when you are busy and you don't really need to think about what you are doing. I have gotten all four of these books, along with their audio, free from my Kindle Unlimited app from Amazon!



An Invisible Client by Victor Methos is about a high powered personal injury lawyer, Noah Byron. Noah takes on the pharmaceutical business over the wrongful death of a young boy! He gets to know the boy and his mom and really learns to like them. He also meets a young intern lawyer and falls in love. So it's a love story plus a legal thriller. Had good, strong characters. A great, interesting plot. And a satisfying ending. Was an emotional and satisfying read. For me that is *** 3 stars. (you can see my star ratings in my sidebar).

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown is a story which involves a town of secrets that go back more than 60 years. Emmy Jo, the main character, is a young nurse who takes a job caring for an old codger whom the town doesn't like. And he doesn't like anyone in the town. But he's very, very rich. She discovers the secrets that helps her uncover her own heritage and has a fantastic ending. This is one of those books that will just make you feel good. We all need those once in awhile, don't you agree? Another 3 *** book.

Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch is
a novel written with the perspectives of the two main characters. Ben Livingston is a writer and Tatum Connelly is an actress. This book was kind of a fluff read. But I enjoyed it. They fall in love and marry. They have a child. And then her career explodes while his doesn't. I can't say I loved the book. It was too long. And too repetitive. But it ended in a 'feel good' kind of way. So 2 1/2 stars is the best I can do.

Last is the book I just finished. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. My kind of book. It is a thriller. I stayed up a lot at night going back and forth from the book to the audio. Couldn't wait to get to the end. Was really,
really ready for justice. The story is about Gwen Proctor (aka Gina Royal) who was married to a horrible serial killer from Wichita, Kansas. She doesn't know he is a serial killer until a car misses a turn in the road and crashes into their garage and exposes his killing place. He is arrested and put on death row. She is arrested and charged as his accomplice. She is acquitted. But he has fans who stalk her as she moves around the country trying to protect her kids. Good book! But to be fair I have to tell you it ends with a cliff hanger. The good news is the next book is already available and I am starting it tonight. This book will get **** stars from me.

Happy summer reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Disappearing??

It has been awhile since I have participated with Joyce and the gang for a Wednesday Hodgepodge. Today feels right! Here is how it works: Copy the prompts from Joyce's blog From This Side of the Pond, answer on your blog, and put your name on the list. Don't forget to go visit the other lovely people who participate. 


From this Side of the Pond

1.Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.
It was a crazy, busy, hectic, beautiful decade of my life.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?


It is much harder for me to exercise. I find eating healthy to be a challenge, at times, but nothing like exercising.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?


I, mostly, live by the philosophy of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". I don't understand why so many things are gotten rid of just because technology is moving on. I still subscribe to cable TV. It's too expensive but it works for me. I still own a DVD player, a printer, a desktop computer, file cabinets, and an alarm clock. I don't use the alarm clock anymore, but I still have it. I still own a drip coffeemaker but use my Keurig almost exclusively. I have several bookshelves and still own a china cabinet.I still own a paper shredder and have been using it quite a bit as I downsize.  So I guess maybe you can say I am stuck in the past.....

4. What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?


As fast as technology is changing it is really hard to imagine what 10 years from now will look like. I think we will no longer have mail delivered to our homes. And that will be a very sad day!


5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical? 


This past year on my birthday, I was home all day alone. We celebrated on days that worked for my family. And that is pretty typical for me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Summer has arrived here in Kansas. It is hot, hot, hot. And humid. And I will take this over winter anytime.