Thursday, February 26, 2015

Friday Letters-February 27th Edition

I'd love to have you join me for Friday Letters. You may copy and use my postcard if you would like. And sign the link-up too!
Dear Heather (from Fidelity): Thank you for finally helping me today with my 1099. It was my third call. And for the third time one of those sweet, young girls told me that my 1099's were already mailed. I have been waiting since January 15, 2015 (after the first call) and still do not have the 1099's. Thank you for listening and FINALLY getting what I was trying to say!! And to think they will be delivered tomorrow is more than I could have hoped for.
Dear Spam: The kind you eat. Not the kind that fills up my e-mail folder. I know that many people do NOT like you. But this sandwich with mayo and sliced cheese is really, really hitting the spot. And with my ice cold glass of Peach Tea...oh to die for!
Dear Turkey Hill Peach Tea: I know that you have no idea why my eyes filled with tears as I lifted the glass to my lips. And why, at the first taste, I started to cry. It is because you were Richard's favorite drink. And this was the first quart I have purchased since he died. It's not you, peach tea, just the memories. You taste just as wonderful as you always did. 
Dear Grocery Store Sack Boy: Imagine my surprise when I was putting away the groceries to find those strawberries, cucumbers, and fresh asparagus! No, I didn't buy them. No, they weren't on my shopping receipt. And I'll bet the person who did buy them was surprised to not get home with them. But thank you grocery store for allowing me to keep them. I would have brought them back. I don't know when. But it was nice of you to tell me to just keep them! We will enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables this week. And that is always why I check to see if I got all of my bags before I leave the store. 
I hope all of you have a good weekend ahead of you. We have snow and ice moving into the area again. For the third weekend in a row. Stay warm and stay safe. And link up your letters below.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Oh the memories that Throwback Thursday can bring to us. This is a picture of Danny and Justin in 1976. Danny was 5 and Justin not quite yet 1. Danny is wearing his dad's hat...he was a correctional officer at our local prison. Justin looks like he just want to get his hands on that hat. Get a load of that sofa. Wasn't it colorful. That was part of my first living room set. I had a Spanish theme going on. Don't you love that bullfighting picture on the wall? Wonder what became of that. .....

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Thin Gold Band

Recently, while surfing the wonderful world of blogs, I read a post at my friend Jen's, We're Living a Full Life, entitled "With This Ring I Remember." It was about her grandmother's engagement ring. I was  reminded of the story behind my mother-in-law's wedding band. I had to share the story.

My mother-in-law died at the age of 93. She was a very dear friend of mine. All the years Richard and I lived together (before marriage) I would ask her at Christmas what she would want and she always answered with the same thing: "I want you to make an honest man of my son and marry him." The day we walked into her kitchen and Richard introduced me as his wife will always be one of my favorite days on earth. She was beyond happy. Sadly, she only lived four years longer.

Her ring
After her death, while we were cleaning her house and preparing the estate for auction, I found a very tiny envelope tucked away in her jewelry box. She didn't own designer jewelry. Mostly costume pieces. Nothing worth much money. But inside this small envelope, along with a folded piece of paper, was a very thin band of 18K gold. And it had been cut. I carefully unfolded the piece of paper and found in her beautiful penmanship:

   "first time off my finger in 48 years."

Richard said that he could remember the day the ring was cut from her finger. She had injured her hand and was taken to the emergency room. The swelling in the finger made it necessary for them to cut off the slender band of gold. She wanted it taken to the jewelry store and repaired. But her husband instead bought her a new wedding set. Something she had never owned. Diamonds and gold. And just before their 50th wedding anniversary! Of course she was thrilled. We buried those rings with her. The original band of gold took up residence in her jewelry box for me to find in the summer of 2000.

I asked her daughters (and her granddaughters) if they would like to have the ring. None of them did. I was very surprised. It was the band of gold their father had so carefully placed on their mother's finger a half century or more in the past. It held no meaning to them. I asked Richard if I could have it. He got it repaired...they had to place a tiny bit of gold so that it would be my size...and then he put it on my ring finger.

I wore it there, along with my wedding set, until the summer of 2014. That is when I lost the diamond from my engagement ring. Now only that slender band of gold is proudly worn on my ring finger. I think of her each time I look at it. I think of Richard each time I look at it. I think of all the many, many years of love these men bestowed upon us, their ladies. We were a lucky couple of ladies. For sure.

Time Periods of Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday: Carol has asked us to list Ten Time Periods I would Want to Visit if I had a Hot Tub Time Machine:

1. The 1800's in a covered wagon coming to the middle of America. But not for very long because I love the conveniences I have in my current life.

2. 1910-1920...My dad was born in 1910 and I would love to have been there with him when he was a boy. To see what his life was life. And to question what went wrong.

3. 1920's....I would have made a wonderful flapper girl. And I could have seen my mom's early years too.

4. 1912...I would want to be on the Titanic as it set sail. What a wonderful experience that would have been. I would have wanted to be a survivor. Such a story to share with the granchildren.

5. Early 1959...rewritten the story of my dad's death.

6. All of the 1960' relive my teen years. To have more fun. To study harder. To live on my own. To put marriage off much longer. To be a flower child!

7. The early 1970' relive the births of my boys. To hold them closer. Hug them tigher. Not hurry them to grow up. And never let them go.

8. Summer of 1977...when I first met Richard and knew he would change my life forever. I would hold him tighter, kiss him longer, and cherish all of our moments together.

9. Spring of 1983...when I graduated nursing school. When there was still a fire in my belly and a desire to save all of mankind. Before I became jaded and pessimistic about healthcare.

10. 2025...Paige and Harley will be 25 and Darian will be 27. I want just the briefest glimpse of what they become. How their lives turn out. Then zoom me right back to today, February, 24, 2015.

Where would you go and what would you like to live through?

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook February 23rd Edition

FOR TODAY...February 23, 2015

Outside my window...It is really bright. Because the ground is covered with the snow we received yesterday. It is partly cloudy. And only 14* but feels like 5* due to the windchill. Snow is one thing. But freezing is another! Looking forward to the warmth of spring. 

I am thinking...that I really spend a lot of time thinking and hoping for spring. I know that I should relish everyday. But I long for warmth. Maybe I should be looking at warm places to live. Only 3 1/2 more years of Harley in high school and maybe I can think about moving. Hmmm....something to ponder. 

I am thankful...for all that I have. Life could be so much worse. Couldn't it?

In the kitchen...


Tuesday...Harley's last home BB game Hot-dogs

Wednesday...Church for the kids

Thursday...Chicken Wraps and Mexican rice

Friday...Harley's Last BB game of the season


I am wearing...what I always wear. Grey pants today with royal blue tee!

I am creating...nothing!

I am take today off. I am finding that I need a day to myself after a weekend. I am struggling with weekends right now. I find myself always on the verge of tears. Don't really know why. 

I am wondering...why so many actors/actresses find the need to make their thank you speeches so political. Just say "Thank you" and leave the stage!

I am reading...Grey Mountain by John Grisham.

I am hoping...this book will be as good as most of his are.

I am looking forward to...the end of winter sports!!!

I am learning...that life is hard! And it doesn't get any easier. And that's just the way it is!

Around the house...I don't want to do anything. One of those days. So I am going to sit and read. 

I am pondering...what I will do with myself once this second batch of kids leave home.

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite my heart walking around outside my body....

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Scouts and Basketball!!

A peek into my day...

These girls shoveled snow for me yesterday....

Let's all get on over to The Simple Woman's Blog  and share some love for the ladies and their weekly entry.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird

The overview from Barnes and Noble:


Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.

I can't believe I had never read this classic. I was sure that once I started reading it I would remember it. But I didn't!

It was a good book. Not, in my mind, a GREAT book. I did enjoy it. I found that it lost me at times with boring descriptions of things I was not sure really added to the story. I found the characters to be well developed although somewhat elusive. And the one of the main characters behind the story you hardly even heard  of until the trial. (Tom Robinson) The story being told through the eyes of a small girl made have been some of the reason that the story felt like it just didn't flow from the beginning to the end. I was extremely disappointed in the ending. After all the big build up for the trial it just ended in a whimper as far as I was concerned. I guess I understand why this is considered a 'great' classic but it won't stick me with me the way Grapes of Wrath will. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Friday Letters-February 20th Edition

I'd love to have you join me for Friday Letters. You may copy and use my postcard if you like. And sign the link-up too. Or just write your letters and tell me in the comments so I can come and read yours.

Dear Dentist office receptionist: I did not make an appointment for the kids to have their teeth cleaned on Wednesday. I don't know why you have them on your appointment book. Don't yell at me because we didn't show up. I keep very nice records of ALL my appointments and I did not "simply forget". And you should try being nicer to your clients or I can find another dentist. There are plenty in town. Thank you kindly!

Dear JV Basketball coach: Thank you so much for talking with Harley on the bus ride home on Monday (she was the only player to ride the bus home). You have lifted her spirits and given her more hope for becoming a valuable player than she has gotten all season from the head BB coach. It is coaches like you who will make a 'real' difference in a young person's life. You ROCK!

Dear gorgeous and oh so cheap tulips: You are only getting more beautiful as the week goes along. I am so happy to have you here this week bringing me so much happiness. 

Dear Myra: My beautiful and wonderful blogging friend. This picture is for you. 

Richard and Paige...she was just a couple months old and we were showcasing their matching 'hair-dos'. You can see that it is a puzzle. He got the puzzle for Christmas and put it together, then we glued it. A very special gift for him and now I cherish it. One day I will pass it on to Paige. Thanks, Myra, for asking about it this week.

Dear Mother Nature: What would Friday be without a letter to you? No, No, No, please don't bring us ice tomorrow. Anything but ice. Please! Pretty, pretty please! I don't drive on ice. I don't like ice that ruins my trees. And ice on the electric wires scares me to death. As in no electricity means no heat! So, please, we won't be offended if you skip this visit.

Won't you join me with your Friday Letters and link them all below?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Fun Memories from the past. Taken on our Panama Canal Cruise in February 1996. Me being silly with my honey and with my honeydew!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ten on Tuesday and Looking Forward

Ten on Tuesday: Ten things I am looking forward to right now!

1. I am looking forward to getting all the laundry done for today. Now that I have that "want" out of the way, we will get on to the fun things I am looking forward to.

2.I am looking forward to meeting Darian's tutor when she comes over this afternoon. 

3.I am looking forward to enjoying the 3 dozen tulips that I bought yesterday at the store. They were only $1.99 a dozen
and they make a beautiful centerpiece on the table. Who cares if they are Valentine's Day leftovers? Not me!

4.I am looking forward to seeing Shrek, our local community theater production. Two of my 'adopted' grandchildren are in the play. It will be a fun Sunday afternoon.

5.I am looking forward to reading To Kill a Mockingbird for an hour or so this afternoon.

6.I am looking forward to seeing Justin and Paige this weekend. They didn't come this past weekend. We missed them.

7.I am looking forward to continuing with my 5 minute walks. And maybe soon increasing the time. But the weather has to warm up first.

8.I am looking forward to warmer weather. And spring. And being outside. And seeing the brown grass turn green. And hearing the drone of lawnmowers in the neighborhood. And digging into the sun-warmed earth. Oh, my heart desires warmer weather.

9.I am looking forward to filling the bird feeders and watching them all come back. The blue-jays, the Cardinals, the woodpeckers, the Finches, the robins. Even the turkeys and the starlings are welcome. I love to see my backyard filled with birds. Soon I will even think about hanging the jelly-feeders for the Orioles and the nectar feeders for the hummingbird. Soon it will be time.

10.I am looking forward to finishing my memory verses: Psalms 27 1-14. It has been good for my brain to work on memory verses. And I have felt him lift and strengthen me as I studied his word. 

Now I am going over to Carol Knits and see what all the others are looking forward to! Won't you join us? 

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook February 16th Edition


Monday, February 16, 2015

Outside my window...

Last night it snowed in Kansas. We had about two inches covering the ground this morning. But it is already starting to melt, even though the temperature is only 20*.

I am thinking...

I am thinking about my grandchildren and the struggles that they face everyday. We are talking about how to deal with these struggles with grace. And how not to let these struggles define them. But to learn from them. 

I am thankful...

I am thankful that I am here to help them. I am not, by any means, a perfect person. But, together, we will all get through these life struggles. 

In the kitchen...

Monday...Grilled Cheese and tomato soup
Tuesday...Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday...Take out Day...
Saturday...Chicken Caccatori with Spaghetti
Sunday...Taco Soup

I am wearing...

I am wearing the yoga pants and a deep purple tee shirt. No socks! My feet were hot so I took them off.

I am creating...

I am creating this week's menu. Harley will be gone most of this week for basketball games so it won't be as easy to create a menu.

I am going...

I am going to the grocery store today. But I think that I will wait for Darian to get home from school. He can help me load and unload and carry them all into the house. I love his young, strong muscles.

I am wondering...

I am wondering if this will be our last snow. I am desiring spring. 

I am reading...

I am reading To Kill A Mockingbird. This is one of those books I was sure that I had already read but nothing, so far, sounds familiar in the least. It may have been a high school book that I didn't really put a lot of effort into reading. 

I am hoping...

I am hoping that Harley has a good game today and that she gets more playing time. She is upset with the coach and I can't say that I blame her. But it is the lessons of being part of a team that are often hardest to learn. 

I am looking forward to...

I am looking forward to all the winter sports being over. I just want to get back to whatever is going to be normal for us. 

I am learning...

I am learning that I can't always fix everything for the kids. It is good for them to learn how to do some of these things for themselves. And sometimes the hardest thing to do is just sit back and allow them to do what feels right for them. Right?

Around the house...

The 14-Week challenge this week focus is on the bathrooms. Should be easy. And I am a bit behind, but I have nothing but time so I know that I will catch up. 

I am pondering...

I am pondering what to do with all of Richard's polo shirts. He had so many. Darian wants to keep everything. That is just not realistic!! He won't wear them. Paige has mentioned wanting to make a quilt. Perhaps I will cut them up and allow her to do that as a memory blanket. And perhaps I will just donate them all to Goodwill. While I ponder they continue to hang there in plain sight. 

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things is to find the quote in the book that will mean the most to me. And for To Kill a Mockingbird this will be the one. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Harley has basketball games everyday but Wednesday. And they are all away games so Darian and I will be home while she is gone. But it will mean lots of driving at night to pick her up once she returns home. 

A peek into my day...

This is a peek into my day, outside my windows. The footprints are Darian and Harley when they left for school this morning. Love them!

You can find more Daybook entries by check out The Simple Woman's Blog.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Blown Away

A serial killer is playing a deadly game.
There are no rules except one: 
The killer always wins. 
The loser always dies.                            Barnes and Noble Overview
Since joining the force, rookie cop Emily Thompson has had one ambition: to work homicide. Now she's got her chance. A twisted sociopath is turning her safe Chicago suburb into a brutal killing field, and every single one of his grisly clues leads directly to Emily. In 72 hours, on her fortieth birthday, he intends to make her his greatest trophy. If she doesn't stop him before then, Emily's first case will be her last.
In a city gripped by terror, and with little more to go on than her instincts, Emily must match wits with a madman bent on chilling revenge. It is an investigation that will lead her into a nightmare world of unimaginable crimes, the dark secrets of her own past--and to a final shocking discovery . . . "Real cops, terrific action, a twisted plot and a tough-gal detective who makes it all happen. More please!"--Roy Huntington, American Cop magazine
"Blown Away tightens the plot around detective Emily Thompson like a terrifying noose."--Thomas Frisbie, author ofVictims of Justice

I love Crime suspense drama. I don't know why. I was blown away by Blown Away. I am not sure where I got this book. I thought it was a free Nook Book but I can't find it as a Nook book on Barnes and Nobel site so I am going to say I got it somewhere else. 

I loved this book from the moment I picked it up until the very last sentence. I will admit there were a couple of places where I was wondering what exactly was going on but for the most part it flowed nicely. The characters were well developed. And the suspense lasted right up until the last moment. I did figure out towards the end who the killer was....but sorry I won't tell. You'll just have to read it yourself. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friday Letters-February 13th Edition

I'd love to have you join me for Friday Letters. You may copy and use my postcard if you like. And sign the link-up too. Or just write your letters and tell me in the comments so I can come and read yours.

Dear Friday the 13th: I welcome you! I am not afraid. I am not superstitious. Bring it on!

Dear Family member who keeps dropping in unexpectedly: Please, please call first. I love seeing you and the kids. But find out what else I am doing first. And if I am sick I don't want company. And I know you don't read my blog so I guess I should drop you a hint. 

Dear Germs and Bugs: Ha! Ha! You didn't keep me down. I felt bad for 24 hours. But I am back. Strong and ready to fight again. So there!

Dear Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder:
OMG my head feels as if it is going to explode. I am hoping that next week when they show us who the highest bidder was for Olivia Pope it will be Annalise Ketting. That woman can pull off anything! Can't wait until next Thursday.

Dear Fidelity: You are really starting to tick me off. Get those 1099's here. Soon!

Come on and join me everyone! Share your Friday Letters with us. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday

August 1996
Richard and I on the day we selected our wedding site. August 1996. We were married in this spot. At Lake Isabel, Colorado. Happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart in Heaven! 

Everyday was Like Valentine's Day

We will soon be celebrating Valentine's Day in America. A day of telling someone how much you love them. A day when school kids will be agonizing over who gave them a Valentine, and more important, who didn't! Too bad that still exists, isn't it? But there will be laughter and tears all over America. Of this much I am sure.

Valentine's Day with Richard was always special. But not any more special than most of the ordinary days in our life. Yes, he would come home with a giant box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, and a sappy card. But he did that many days throughout the year. Not just Valentine's Day.

There was NEVER a day in our entire relationship that I wondered 'if' he loved me. One of the things I was always most certain of: I am loved. We never ended a day without saying "I love you". Even on those days (and we all have them) when I would have rather punched him in the face, I would say "I love you" and he would say it back to me. 
I don't know if that is why we shared such a special love. I just know that is how we lived. Each and every day. 

This year he is gone. But we still share that special love. I know that he is somewhere looking over us. I know that he will feel our love. And I know that we still feel his love. A special love story, like ours, will never have an ending. It's only until we meet again.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ten on Tuesday Loves

Ten on Tuesday....last week it was all about guilty pleasures and this week it's about love. Ten things I love:

1. I love all my family. ALL of them. Both sons, my grandkids, my brotherS, my sister, cousins and all! They are and always will be my first loves!

2. I love to read. I have been into reading since I learned to read. Now that I have more time on my hands I am getting back into not wanting to do anything but read.

One of my orchids in full bloom
3. I love flowers and plants and all things that grow. I have plants inside (some of them have been growing for 25+ years). I am looking forward to spring and starting some outside gardening.

4. I love the beach. I fell in love with beaches many, many years ago. I don't know why I live in land-locked Kansas. I would rather live right near the beach. But Kansas
Trunk Bay
is where my family is. So all vacations (virtual or real) will take place at the beach. My favorite beach of all time is Trunk Bay on St. John in the Virgin Islands. 

Taken in May 2014 in my backyard
4. I love sunshine and blue skies. That is why I love summer. Sunshine and blue skies can cure anything that ails me.

5. I love a clean house. I don't like to clean house but I love it when it's clean.

6. I love my Nook Color. Almost the best Christmas present I ever received. I don't have to go to the bookstore to browse. I just open up my Nook and get my pick of any book I want to read. Many are free.

7. I love ALL my blogging friends. I love to read their blogs. I love for them to read my blogs. Many have been coming since I started blogging. And they have all lifted me and supported me when times were hard. They have my back! I love you all<3.

8. I love the quiet in the house after a busy weekend. The time when I wake up on Monday morning. The kids have left for school. The TV is off. I savor the silence.

9. I love my favorite TV shows. The Good Wife. How To Get Away with Murder. NCIS. And my newest favorite on HGTV: Ellen Degeneres Design Challenge. I also discovered Kids Baking Championship with Duff Goldman and Valeri Bertinelli. Fun! Fun! Fun!

10. I love food! And this, for my body, is unfortunate. But it is what it is. I love good food and food that is good but bad for me. I love sweet and I love savory. Mostly I love savory. I love snacking. I love meals. I love to eat! Don't judge me for it!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-February 9th Edition


February 9, 2015

Outside my window...

In the mid-day light of this day it almost seems foggy outside. The weatherman says it is low hanging clouds. The temperature is 38* and we have a humidity of 93%. After such a beautiful sunny day with 74* yesterday this is such a shock. 

I am thinking...

I am thinking that I must suffer from SAD:Seasonal Affective Disorder. I am much happier and have much more energy in the months where we have more sunshine. 

I am thankful...

I am thankful for the day I had yesterday with 3 of my grandchildren. Even though today I feel the pain. We played baseball in the backyard. Well, we used a plastic bat and ball. And I used a pinch runner sometimes. But it was fun. And we got in a good work-out. 

In the kitchen...

Monday..Leftovers from the weekend
Tuesday..Sweet and Sour Chicken with rice
Wednesday...Church for kids
Thursday...Hot dogs at the Wrestling Duel
Friday...Tacos before the Basketball game
Saturday...Cube Steaks and mashed potatoes

I am wearing...

I am wearing yoga shorts and a tee shirt. No socks today. It is too warm in the house. 

I am creating...

I am creating my weekly menu. This is going to be a busy week. With several evenings away from home. So we will probably use some of our budget money for take-out food. Eeek! I hate to do that, but it does make life easier. 

I am going...

I am going to attend Darian's last home wrestling match on Thursday and Harley's next to last home basketball game on Friday. We are coming to the close of winter sports season. 

I am wondering...

I am wondering if either will play a spring sport. I haven't heard either of them say they wanted to. I think after the winter sports they want a break. And Darian is talking about a job. 

I am reading...

I am reading Blown Away by Shane Gericke. It was a Friday Freebie from Barnes and Noble. So far not a bad read. But after finishing Broken I haven't dug down to read deep yet. 

I am hoping...

I am hoping to get all of the bedding washed this week. That is a big job to completely strip all the beds. 

I am looking forward to...

I am looking forward to sleeping in a full cleaned bed...from mattress cover all the way to comforter. And with a flipped mattress.

I am learning...

I am learning that tears and crying just come at night. Don't fight it! Go with it. It's okay. I miss him.

Around the house...

This week on the 14 week Challenge we are doing out living rooms. This room will be easy for me. It really doesn't have that much clutter. And we just dusted and vacuumed on Saturday. Well, Darian and Harley did. I supervised. 

I am pondering...

I am pondering those lower kitchen cabinets. I haven't finished yet. But I will. And more will go to the Goodwill store. 

A favorite quote for today...

This quote supports my "Word" for 2015: Change. There must be some great changes coming here because there is a lot of chaos!

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things is the little snowflake picture frame that sits right here on my desk. The picture is of Richard at 3 months old. He was such a fat, happy baby. It makes me smile. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Plans for this week include Scouts, church, wrestling and basketball. 

A peek into my day...

I don't have a picture to show you a peek into my day. But imagine a big, plush green recliner. A cup from Disney World filled with hot French vanilla coffee. My nook open in my lap and me just chilling after our busy weekend....There is your picture!

I am joining Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog. Come on and join us. You know you want to. And it's fun to document in your journal.