Friday, November 27, 2015

A Time to Love


Overview from Barnes and Noble:
War correspondent Jennie King thinks she’s just a temporary guest in her grandmother’s Amish community while she recuperates from the devastating injuries sustained in a car bomb attack that changed her world. But when she meets Matthew Bontrager, the man she had a crush on as a teenager, she wonders if God has a new plan for her. Jennie has emotional and physical scars and though she feels she has come home to this man and this place, she's not sure she can bridge the difference between their worlds.

A Love story! Jenny was a war correspondent who was hit by a bomb and injured badly. She went to her Amish grandmother's place to heal and fell back in love with the man she had once loved as a teenager. Very predictable story. Predictable ending. Easy to read. Lots of things in the book about the Amish and their culture. This was a free book from Barnes and Noble and typical of a freebie! A nice, gentle story if you are into these kinds of stories.

My favorite quote from this book:

"Worrying is arrogant because God knows what he is doing."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I am grateful for each and everyone
of you.
This is my menu for tomorrow!
Today we are watching the
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and
getting ready for our dinner

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Hodgepodge

The Day before Thanksgiving!! That is crazy. This year has flown by and we are looking to another in the very near future. How on earth are we going to slow down time?? For now lets join Joyce From This Side of the Pond and see what prompts she has for us to answer today. 

 1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

I don't know if it is too late to learn how to ice skate, but I am not going to take any chances with any broken bones at my age. So I will not learn how. But this has been a dream of mine for many years. I used to tell my boys that if I believed in re-incarnation then I wanted to return as an Olympic figure skater. I love watching. So delicate. Yet so strong!

 2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

I strongly (okay, hate) dislike shopping for clothes for myself. I hate undressing in those tiny little stalls and looking at myself in those awful mirrors with all that awful lighting. So for years I have shopped online. Nothing fits right! And it never looks as good on me as it does on the model who is wearing it. Something I have never understood is why they show "plus size" clothing on a non-plus size model. And speaking of plus size, can you believe that the clothing industry considers plus size to be anything size 8 and above? That is so ridiculous! I looked up the term plus size and this is what I found:

(of clothing or people) of a size larger than the normal range.
"a new line of plus-size bathing suits"."
Have you ever looked around while you are out and about? The normal range of women these days are much larger than a size 8. No wonder so many people have body image issues.

 3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

I have been pondering this question for quite awhile. I don't know if I am unusual (well, I know that I am) but I cannot remember much about my childhood prior to around the 7th grade. The Thanksgivings that I most remember are after all of my siblings and myself left home. We would take turns hosting the family for the big meal. Usually at noon-time on Thanksgiving day. Today, there are much fewer people at the table. But that is about the only difference. I still fix all the same things. I don't remember a single holiday meal at my grandmother's house. Nothing! Nada!

 4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

All those who know me REALLY well, know that the alstroemeria is my favorite flower. My good friend, Rozann, sent me a text this past summer, while visiting with her son in Kansas City. She said she thought of me when she passed a clump of these in front of his apartment building. I love buying these in the grocery store and arranging them on my table. They will last for up to two weeks. And they come in a variety of colors. The above color is my favorite. I'll be waiting for them to arrive at my door!! Hint! Hint!

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

There isn't any way that I would want to appear in a TV show.

 6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

No, I have never farmed or lived on a farm. And I have never wanted to. I stayed with my aunt a couple of times ,as a child, and I didn't find it all that fascinating. I guess I am just a town child. We have a Farmer's Market here. It is open once a week. You have to get up early to get the good stuff. I don't get up early. Not for tomatoes or cucumbers anyway! When we used to make the yearly trips to Colorado we always stopped in Rocky Ford, Colorado and bought fresh Rocky Ford cantaloupes at the roadside stands.  

 7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

Night before last I walked out my front door and stood on the sidewalk. It was after midnight. I gazed into the sky and stood in awe of what a beautiful universe we live on. The sparkle and shine of a billion plus stars and an almost full moon makes me feel small in a universe that is so large.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all. Don't forget to be thankful for all that we have. Freedom! Freedom to speak as we want, to read what we want, to worship how we want, to live how we chose! Freedom is what I am thankful for this year!

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-November 23rd Edition

For Today... 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Outside my window...

Currently, at just a little after midnight, the sky is dark, but an almost full moon is shining. In fact it is shining so brightly that you can see the shadows of the tree from the front yard falling on the reading room carpet. The stars are shining. And like sometimes when we were in Colorado they feel close enough to pluck from the sky. It is 36*, 5 mph wind, 62% humidity! A nice winter night. Soon it will be winter.

I am thinking...

I am thinking about the blister on Harley's heel from her new basketball shoes. We bought a blister guard at the store. I hope it helps her later today during practice.

I am thankful...

I am thankful to be feeling better. I am not sure what took hold of me during the night Friday/Saturday but I was so sick. Vomiting and diarrhea (sorry if this is TMI). A dose or two of good old Pepto and a day of sleeping on the couch off and on and I feel better today.


I am creating...

The only thing I am creating is my menu for the coming week. I have Thanksgiving covered! But I need to decide what simple meals we will have the remainder of the week.

I am going...

I am going to continue cleaning the carpets later today. (If I'm up to it). I need to, at least, get the reading room done so we can put up the Christmas Tree.

I am wondering...

I am wondering about Christmas lists and shopping. I have a few ideas from the kids but what they mostly want is money. The three grands like to shop and spend their money how they want to spend it. And that sure makes Christmas easy for me.

I am reading...

I am continuing to read, A Time To Love by Barbara Cameron. It's a love story that takes place in an Amish community. How many different ways can a love story be told?

I am hoping...

I am really hoping she was only kidding when she picked this guy up at the store and said, "This is what I want for Christmas." Then she posted this very picture on her social media sites with this captian:

"Bears are better than boys"

I am learning...

I am learning, all over again, about teenagers. This is my second time around with raising them. The first time I was also building a new career. So I was juggling the working mother life-style. And now, retirement, grieving, and teenagers again. And one of them is a G.I.R.L. Yikes!!

In my backyard....

I just stood at the darkened dining room window, looking into the backyard, and watched a opossum feed on the bread I had thrown out earlier for the birds and the squirrels. This opossum comes around so frequently we have started calling her Polly! Scoot away and hide before the sun comes up, Polly!

In my kitchen...

Monday...Grabbing to go

Tuesday...Hamburger Foil Packs

Wednesday...Chicken Mac & Cheese




Sunday...Cranky Turkey Sandwiches

We are having Thanksgiving on Friday when Justin and Paige can be here with us. I am keeping the menu simple all week so the big cooking can be done on Friday!!

A favorite quote for today...


A peek into my week...

Today Darian is judging a debate, so won't be home until 10. Harley has basketball practice. We'll grab a burger on the way home. On Tuesday just a normal day. But the last day of school for the week. Wednesday, Harley has basketball practice from 9-11. There will be no youth group. Thursday will just be a hang out at home day. Friday we'll have our Thanksgiving. On Saturday, along with leftovers, we'll start the Christmas decorating. Sunday we will start to prepare for the new week ahead. What are your plans for this busy week? 


One of my favorite things...

When we talk about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful food do you have a favorite. Something that you HAVE to have or it isn't Thanksgiving? Mine is cranberry sauce. From the can. Gelled! Yep, we think it is yummy. In fact we have it all through the year. That is how much we love it. But we have to have it on Thanksgiving.

From the photo album...

Justin texted me this picture of Paige and him on Sunday afternoon. They spent some time together playing miniature golf. We didn't see them this weekend. Look at that growth on his face....what the heck??



Post script...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. And I am especially thankful for the wonderful people I have "met" here on my blog. You are the reason I keep writing. I wish each of you a very special day in your home with your loved ones. Know this: I love each and every one of you!

And please go to The Simple Woman's Blog and join the link list!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Just saying....

I usually write letters on Friday. You know that I do! But this week it is just going to be a little update of what is going on with us.

My oldest brother is moving!! He just purchased a home in Louisiana to be closer to his daughter. His son lives in the state of Washington. Do you think they could get any further apart? Chuck has been a frequent visitor at my house over the past three years. His beautiful wife Pam (with the best laugh ever) died in June of 2011. This was just before Richard had his stroke in September. Chuck was here for me during all the recovery, taking care of, and death of Richard. And in the past year we have had coffee twice a week. I'll miss him!! But he will be close to his granddaughter. And it gives me another place to go visit someday!

This is Harley's ring.  Class of 2018
Harley got her class ring this week. It is beautiful. Class rings of today are simply not like the ones from my high school years. When my class of 1969 ordered ours all the girls rings looked the same and all the boys rings looked the same. Now they design their own. And make them personal. And get them when they are sophomores so they can wear them all during the remainder of their high school years. Which is a good thing. Since they are not cheap! Harley's has two amethyst (her birthstone) a Christian cross on one side (to represent her love of her church) and of course a basketball. There are no two rings that are alike! Just like snowflakes.

Speaking of snowflakes, hope we don't get any of that soon. I am seeing forecasts for snow all over the USA coming up. The big news here, at my house, happened at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning. I was once again awakened by an earthquake. 4.7 magnitude. What the heck?? My bed was shaking and the lamp on the desk was wobbling all over the place. And Darian and Harley slept soundly through it! You can read all about it here.

Remember sometime ago when I talked about cleaning my carpets? Well that is what I have been working on. A couple of more rooms tomorrow (Friday) and then I will stop until after Thanksgiving. I am hoping to get the Christmas tree up on Saturday. With Justin's help. And the girls can decorate it. I just cannot believe it is already Christmas.

Hoping everyone will have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thursday's Question

It is almost Thanksgiving!
Do you have plans?

Hodgepodge Wednesday-November 18th Edition

It must be Wednesday! How do I know that? Because I am here with Joyce, From This Side of the Pond, to do the Wednesday Hodgepodge. What I am not really sure of is if this is November. Can't tell by paying attention to the weather.We had tornados all over the place on Monday evening. We didn't have a tornado here but we were under a watch until 3a.m. (Tuesday) morning. And we had strong lightening, thunder, winds, and rain! Some had hail. I didn't see any at my house. But what is really funny is that the same area of the state that had tornados on the ground Monday night are today (Tuesday) having blizzards. I-70 from Garden City, Kansas to Denver, Colorado is closed today due to blizzards. Sheesh!! Now on with Joyce's prompts.

 1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

I don't know if there have been many surprises in my life. I learned very young not to expect much out of life. It was what it was. If I had to chose one thing that HAS surprised me it is about grief. I thought, after taking care of Richard, for the three years leading up to his death that I wouldn't grieve that much. WRONG!! I am still grieving and it has been almost 16 months!!

 2. Among others, these
ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable. 
Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Oh gosh, it is hard to chose which I think is most ridiculous! But the top two I am absolutely positive I will never use are: awesomesauce and beer o'clock! And I won't ever visit a cat café. Can't imagine anyone I know will either. As for fatberg...I have never heard it called that but when I worked at the nursing home, ever so often, the maintenance man would have to clean out the traps to the sewer system. Not a job I wanted to have, for sure. And then we would get a memo that flushing tampons and tampax was NOT to be done, as the maintenance men were finding them in the traps. They DO NOT break down in a reasonable amount of time and if you work in a building where most of the staff is young females you are going to eventually have a problem!! Who knew?? And, just for the record, I am a Mrs. I was a married woman. I am not a Miss. You can use the term Ms. if you are offended by me, a widow, using Mrs., but the term MX. is ridiculous. If you don't want to be identified as anything, then just don't use a title. It is NOT mandatory.

 3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

I love gravy. I love it on my mashed potatoes. Or maybe on the meat. But that's it!! My step-father used to love brown gravy on a piece of chocolate cake. Ew!! But whatever floats your boat.

 4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I have a plan! I have to have a plan. And I write it all in my Happy Planner. (see here) You can ask my family about my plans. I need to know ahead of time about things. I don't like things sprung on me at the last minute. I need a plan!! But, I don't fall apart if my plan doesn't go according to the plan. I just plan better for the next time. I menu plan for this very reason. If I don't have a menu plan then we will be eating at a fast food place 7 days a week!!

 5. November 19 is
National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

I have an old Monopoly game in the game cabinet! Not an original. But it is old. And we don't play!! I hate the game of Monopoly!! We played it as kids and it was long and boring, I thought. And I had brothers who cheated. Yep, you know you did!! I did own a collector's edition, from Franklin Mint, but when times were tough a few years ago, I sold it. That's what you do with collectors stuff. No, I have never been to Atlantic City, I have never ridden on a railroad, parking in my town IS free and the last thing(people)I took a chance on are these two kiddos who are living in my house!!

 6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

I think I slow-danced to this song in the 1970's.

The lyrics:

I want to thank you for being so nice now
I want to thank you for giving me my pride
Sweet kisses too
And everything you do
I know I'll never find another one like you
If I prove my love it won't be true
Oh my my darling
How can I forget you

I remember the first day that we met
I taught you how to smoke your first cigarette
You were so sweet
In everything you did
And oh darling
You made me seem so big
Just to have you right there in my arms
Just to hold
To squeeze all of your sweet loving charm

I wanna thank you
Darling I wanna love you

I wanna thank you again and say bye bye
I wanna thank you again
Oh how I will cry
Sweet kisses to you and everything you do
Darling I wish I had another one like you
Just to hold you
Have them in my arms
It will bring back memories
And all of your sweet loving charm

I wanna thank you
Darling I want to love you
Baby I wanna hold you
Please let me kiss you

 7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

I know I take my freedom for granted. I think many of us do. There are so many people out there who do not have the power to act, speak, or think as they want without restraint or hindrance. I am thankful I can make choices for me and my family. That I can worship the God that I chose to worship. That I can speak out against my government if I don't agree with them. That I do not have to have a 'man' speak for me. We take our rights for granted.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

All over the internet we are reading about Paris. And religious freedom. And Syria. And refuges that are wanting to come to our country. I will start by saying that I don't have the answers. I don't know what is the right thing to do. But, I am afraid. There are extreme religions out there who want to kill us. For what we have. For what we believe in. And some of them want to live in our country. I don't think tolerance and acceptance is always a good thing. I think we need to be super-vigilant. Ever so watchful. And be sure of who we are letting into this country that might be under the guise of "refuge". It is sad that it has come down to this. But we must stay vigilant!! And pray! We need to pray!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-November 16th Edition

For Today... 

This is for Monday, November 16, 2015.

Outside my window...

Outside my window there isn't a blue sky. The sun isn't shining. It's not really cold yet. Today is 54* There is a bit of a breeze and a mist hanging in the air. Just the kind of day that makes you want to stay in bed with the covers pulled up to your chin. I have to have all the lights on inside the house as it is so dreary!!

I am thinking...

I am thinking about Paris. And wondering about the world we live in now. Is it worse than it ever has been? Or does 24/7 media just make it seem worse. I wonder what the world will be like for my grandchildren when they are raising kids of their own. It is scary, isn't it??

I am thankful...

I am thankful that my home is peaceful right now. I cannot imagine the horrors of the world. And I am thankful for being able to be free in this country!

I am listening to....

The Chew is on in the background. I hear both the dishwasher and the washing machine running. My neighbor to the north is moving and I can hear the men working in the backyard. It's sad to see them go. But they are past their retirement age and their kids live in another town. So they are moving to be closer to them. They have been good neighbors for the past 10-12 years! Good bye Sonny and Nancy. You will be missed!

I am creating...

My December spread
I just started working on the December pages in my Happy Planner. And I made a new banner for the fireplace for Thanksgiving.
The mantle for Thanksgiving

I am going...

I did it!! I'm not going to talk about it anymore. On Friday the Marine Recruiter came to our house and I signed the papers for Darian to enlist. It is REALLY, REALLY what he wants and if he signs now he can get his name on the list for the jobs he might want. The job lists come out in October and would be full by January when he turns 18. So I signed. It was bittersweet to do it on the same day that ISIS attacked Paris!

I am reading...

I am reading A Time To Love by Barbara Cameron. It is a book about the Amish. After the deep reading of A Thousand Splendid Suns I needed a good little love story. Hope this one fills the bill. It was a Freebie from Barnes and Nobel. See my review on A Thousand Splendid Suns here, if you missed it.


I am learning...

This week I am learning John 15:6

"If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers,
and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

In my backyard...

I have been seeing cardinals in my backyard. Have you heard this before:
"A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear. "


In my kitchen...

Monday...Pork Ribs in the crockpot(They are cooking now and the house smells wonderful)

Tuesday...Crockpot Lasagna

Wednesday...Kids will eat at church

Thursday...Crockpot Mac & Cheese

Friday...Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Saturday...Tater Tot Casserole

Sunday...Make your own Quesidillas

Looks like I will be using my slow cooker a lot this week. I like that. I get up in the morning....make the coffee and then put dinner on. Easy peasy!

A favorite quote for today...


A peek into my week....

Harley has started basketball practices as of today. For the next two weeks she will have three mornings a week she has to be at school at 6 a.m. as well as after school until 6 p.m. Yikes!! Then after Christmas break is over the practices will just be after school. So I am getting the old taxi cab ready for many back and forths between here and school. Thankfully there is an activity bus that will bring her very close to home in the evenings. On Tuesday we will pick up Darian's new glasses. Church youth group on Wednesday. Marine PT on Thursday. Darian has a debate tourney on Saturday!!

One of my favorite things...

It is always fun to pick up my phone and find that someone has been taking silly pictures. Makes me smile!!


What I am coloring....

Here is wishing everyone a great week. Let's Go to Peggy's The Simple Woman's Blog and see what all our friends have been up to!!