Monday, February 29, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-Leap Year Edition

For Today... 
Today is February 29, 2016

Outside my window...

Outside my window the sky is blue and the sun is shining. There is a brisk breeze. The temperature is a cool 50*. I honestly think this has been the warmest winter I can remember. We had very little snow. And very little ice. And I am NOT complaining.

I am pondering...

In a small town not far from where I live there was a 'workplace shooting' on Friday. A disgruntled man who had been served with a "protection from abuse" order at work went on a rampage. He left the job, went to his house and picked up his weapons (in another town) and while driving back to his place of employment starting shooting at people. He shot someone and took their car. When he arrived at the business he went inside and shot and killed 3 people and injured 14 more. The police arrived on the scene and shot him dead! I am pondering about what is happening in our country. Why can't we figure out this gun thing and get guns out of the hands of people. Yes, this guy had a criminal background and should never have owned guns! But, what about the people who are dying because a kid picked up dad's loaded gun and shot his friend. What about the school shootings. What about the families who have anger-filled arguments and resort to a gun. All killings are not criminals with guns. All killings don't involve mental health issues. Most are just ANGRY!! Why can't we figure it out????

I am thankful...

I am thankful for all of my family members who came home from their jobs, their schools, their shopping excursions safe this week.

Found on Facebook...

NCIS has been renewed for two more seasons!! But it won't be the same without Tony!!

I am creating...
My head is full of things that I am creating. This weeks menu, the Easter mantle, my Whole 30 plan. Thinking about my yard and what I want to do for this summer. Ah, so much crammed into such a small space.....and all my creating is taking place on paper right now.

I am reading...

I am reading Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. It is a novel. It shouldn't take me long to read as there are only 142 pages. This book is part of the Book Club I joined in January. This is our May reading. For March our book is The Girl on the Train which I read last year. And for April we are reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before which I just finished. I am a slow reader, so I like to stay ahead. In July we are reading Gone With the Wind which is a big book so I will have to get a head start on it for sure.

Moving Forward...
I am not sure how far forward I am moving, but I am still thinking about my 2016 word!!




I am learning...

I am still memorizing Mathew 6! This hasn't been a hard verse to memorize. And I am getting a lot out of thinking about this verse. This week we are working on:

Mathew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Upon thinking about this it takes me back to the shooting I was writing about above. On Sunday the town of Hesston (where the shooting had taken place) held a prayer service which was attended by 2,000 people. At this service they lit candles for the 14 injured survivors, 4 candles for those who died, 3 who were shot by the shooter and one for the shooter. That is forgiveness!! I don't know if I could forgive that quickly.

In my backyard...

Can you see that bit of green poking through the brown, dead leaves, This is my gerbera daisy flower bed and they are poking out. I will leave them covered with the leaves for now. Can't trust Kansas weather. 


In my kitchen...

Monday...Leftovers today

Tuesday...Baked chicken with roasted sweet potatoes

Wednesday...Kids will eat at church

Thursday...Leftover Chicken on salad


Saturday...Burgers on the grill

Sunday...Chopped Southwest Chicken Salad

Yes, we are having the chopped salad again! Justin, Paige, and Harley want to try it and Darian and I don't mind eating it again. It is THAT delicious.

On my camera...

Brightening my dining room table

Made my favorite hot tea into iced

What I made for dinner Sunday
Thanks Wendy!!

A favorite quote for today...

“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.”  
This quote is from the book To All the Boys I've Loved Before

A peek into my week...

Things have slowed down a bit at our house. Today both kiddos will come home on the school bus. YaY!! Tuesday Darian will have Forensic practice. Wednesday I will drop them off at youth group at church. On Thursday Darian will work out with the Marines. On Friday they are having Forensic congress at our high school. On Saturday Darian goes to an out of town Forensic tourney and Justin and Paige will be over for the weekend. And Sunday finds us free. Another week goes speeding by.

One of my favorite things...

Darian asked his girlfriend to prom on Sunday. He bought a cheese pizza and wrote on the inside lid: "I know this is cheesy, but will you go to.....and then, with pepperoni, he spelled out the word PROM. It didn't photograph well so thus no picture. His sister helped him with the idea. The girlfriend said YES! Prom is in April.


Post Script...

I love my Simple Woman's Daybook. It helps me keep up with what is going on in our lives right now! I will be going over to The Simple Woman's Blog and post my link as well as check out the other entries. Won't you join us??


Saturday, February 27, 2016


Overview from Barnes and Nobel

"Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful. . . . It will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird." —PeopleWith a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death.The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if—as Sibyl's assistant later charges—the patient wasn't already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?As recounted by Sibyl's precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives—and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.

I thought I had read this book years ago but I didn't find anything about it  familiar. I guess that just speaks to why we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.

This is the second book of Chris Bohjalian's that I have read. The first was The Double Bind which I still am reeling from the ending!! One day I will read that book again to see how I missed how the book would end.

Midwives also had a surprise ending. I won't reveal it here. I like books about
courtroom drama and also medical drama so this hit on both of those areas. This book gets a solid **** from me!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad

I am not a food blogger. But sometimes I come across a good recipe I want to share! Today is one of those days with one of those recipes.

The closer it gets to spring the more I think about salads. I love eating salad as a meal. Do you? I found this recipe on Life In the Lofthouse. I love her blog. I love her recipes. I have made several and she never lets me down.

SouthWest Chicken Chopped Salad
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 green bell pepper...I used a red one
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can sweet yellow corn, drained. I used a regular sized can
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped. I left this out!
2 large romaine hearts, washed and chopped. I only used one!
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
For the Taco-Ranch dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2-3 Tblsp Ranch dressing
2 Tblsp Taco seasoning
1 Tblsp fresh lime juice...I used the squeeze bottle
2-3 Tblsp milk
1. Make the Taco-Ranch dressing. Whisk everything together and refrigerate for a least 1 hour.
2. In a large bowl, add the diced bell pepper, black beans, corn to combine. Then add the cooked chicken pieces and the chopped romaine lettuce and onions. When ready to eat add the dressing (I only used about half of it and ate the remainder as a dip with tortilla chips later in the day. YUM). Toss well and then mix in the tortilla chips.
 I used chicken I had cooked a few days earlier in the crockpot. It was cooked with several spices. This recipe made a huge bowl of salad. If Harley had eaten with us I would have used both Romaine lettuce hearts.  Darian and I had this for dinner on Tuesday night. It would have been delicious with a frozen Margarita but I still had to drive to get Harley so no drinking here!! There was enough leftover for my lunch on Wednesday and it was still delicious. Even though the chips were now soft. This is a great recipe that we will have again.
I hope you try it!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thursday's Question

Aren't we all thankful everyday for the health and wealth that we have?
What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and HAD to chose between losing your eyesight or losing your hearing???
I had this conversation once with an elderly lady in the nursing home. She was losing her eyesight and could only see a pinpoint in front of her eyes.
What would you chose??

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

10 of My Favorite Things Right Now!

It has been awhile since I have joined Carol for Ten on Tuesday. But today I had some things I want to share. So this week she is asking us to share TEN of our favorite things Right Now.

10 of my Favorite Things Right Now
1)A new book: Complete Book Of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley. Toni writes the blog A Bowl Full Of Lemons. I love the blog. I love organization (okay, so maybe I don't practice it) This book is beautiful and chock full of terrific ideas.
2)My favorite TV show: The Good Wife. This is the last season: sob, sob! And I am savoring these last episodes. And Jeffery Dean Morgan is so fine!!

3)My favorites are back on Thursday nights too: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder!!

4)Olives! I don't know why but I have suddenly started eating green olives. Right out of the jar. Yum!

5)My Happy Planner. I like decorating it. And I like planning in it!

6)Yago Sangria!

7)My Nook Color. This is always on my lists of favorite things!

8)My big box of Puffs (Kleenex) because it is allergy season and I sneeze a lot!!

9)Another that will always be on my list of favorites is my Lindor Truffles. I have my Valentine's ones hidden away. I must finish them before we start our Whole 30.

10)And this picture of this guy:

A new haircut!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-February 22nd Edition

For Today....
Today (it will be soon) is Monday, February 22, 2016. I will always remember this day as the birthday of our first president of the USA...George Washington. When I was going to school in the mid to late 1950's (grade school that is) we always celebrated Mr. Washington's birthday with pictures of hatchets and cherries. The cherry tree myth is probably one of the most remembered story about George Washington.

Outside my window...

It is Sunday evening. The sky is clear. Stars are shining brightly. You can see the shadows from the trees on the lawn because the moon is almost full.

"The Moon today is in a Waxing Gibbous phase. This phase is when the moon is more than 50% illuminated but not yet a Full Moon. The phase lasts round 7 days with the moon becoming more illuminated each day until the Full Moon."

I am pondering...

There are many things going through my mind tonight...spring housecleaning, weekly menu, kids, a conversation with my sister-in-law today..many things! I need to do a brain dump!!

I am thankful...

I am thankful for school days. After a busy, full weekend I am ready for a day without kids! Hope that doesn't sound bad!!

Found on Facebook...

A good friend, whom I met through blogging, has inspired me with her Whole 30 lifestyle. She is the reason I am going to try it. Her Facebook page is called Wildflower Kitchen. After she completed her first Whole 30 she started her own business "Wildflower Kitchen" where she cooks and delivers home-cooked Paleo meals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. How I wished I lived closer. I would definitely try some of her cooking.


I am creating...

I haven't yet finished my March mantle. But I am working on it. I will post pictures when I am done!!



I am reading...

I am reading Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I thought I had read this book back when it was on Oprah's Book Club. But I haven't. I am enjoying it for the minute! Did you read books from Oprah's Book Club list??

Moving Forward...

Isn't that the truth!! I am trying to keep moving forward.

I am learning...

This week I am memorizing Matthew 6:12-13

"and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

In my backyard...

Not my yard....
It's been on the windy side here in Kansas. Gusty is what the weatherman says. I have some tree branches down. And the gophers have been busy tunneling and leaving mounds all through the yard. It looks like they are only in my yard and the yard of the house to the north. What are we doing wrong to make them love us so. Any ideas?? We hired a guy for a few years to trap them for us but it got too expensive.

In my kitchen...
Wednesday...Elvis Burgers (A Paleo meal)
Thursday...Mexican Casserole
Friday...I'll probably grab a burger
Saturday...Taco Bar

On my camera...

Paige and Harley in 6th grade

Harley at church camp..dark Gold shirt in the back

A trip to the zoo in Kansas City in 2010 before Richard's
stroke. The kids are so small

A favorite quote for today...

Since it is George Washington's birthday I will post some of his quotes that I have found and liked:

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."


"Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all."

A peek into my week...

Monday Harley will have BB practice after school. I'm going grocery shopping too! On Tuesday Darian has Forensic practice and Harley has an away BB game. Wednesday is youth group but they may stay home. We will see. I might take Darian again for his driving test. He feels he is ready!! On Thursday Darian has his Marine Babies and Harley has BB practice. On Friday Harley has a home game (her last of the season) and Darian is out of town for Forensics. Saturday Darian has an out of town Forensic tourney and Paige and Justin will be over. Sunday is Darian's day in the nursery at church. Busy week. But things will soon be slowing down.  

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things is when the kids come home on the bus after school and I don't have to make dinner later or drive to pick them up somewhere. I know, I know...this doesn't go along with what I was thankful for. I am a hard woman to please!!


Post Script...
Wouldn't you like to join me in checking out other Simple Woman's Daybooks? Let's all hope over to The Simple Woman's Blog and see what has been going on.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thursday's Question

Hello friends! Time for a question?

If you could chose ONLY three people to see for the rest of your life who would you chose????

Wednesday Hodgepodge-February 17th Edition

Welcome friends to Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you are interested in participating just head over to From This Side of the Pond and join with Joyce and all of our friends!!

 1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

I don't like to pat myself on the back for random acts of kindness. But I would love to tell you about a time when we were the receiver of a wonderful random act of kindness. In the spring of 2011 our adopted daughter, Heather, and her family were going to Disney World and they wanted Papa and I to take the kids and go with them. This was way out of our budget. We were just not able to even take a trip like that into consideration. But a very generous and loving benefactor from our church arranged for us to go on the trip with Heather and her family. They paid for everything...plane tickets, condo, park tickets, rental car. It was a fabulous trip. It taught me there are wonderful people in this world that do wonderful things for others!! Thank you!! We, to this day, do not know who this person was!! That is a true act of kindness. "Sound no trumpet before you."

 2.What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.

Gosh! This is a hard one. Not much looks uplifting and encouraging if you watch the news. I am going to just look into my own little world here. I am really encouraged by the kids grades right now. All A's and B's for everyone!!! YaY

 3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos...your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?

I love black beans. When given a choice of which beans to use I will always chose black beans. I love to put them on top of my salad!! My least favorite on the list would be black currants. I am not a current lover!!

 4. A while back I read (
here) a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were-

travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises

What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you're over 50, have you done all 12? If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all? What's on the list that you haven't done, but would like to do?

I am well over 50 and I have not completed this list. Not by a long shot. I know bits and pieces of a foreign language (Spanish, if you consider that foreign). I did leave a toxic relationship. I did that way back in my 20's! And I've never looked back. Richard and I traveled!! A lot! And I am so glad for the memories. I agree that memories are much better than material things. I don't know if you can ever really stop caring what others think of you. I preach this to my kids. And I try to practice it. Yet.... All the dishes I cook are amazing. At least they are to us!!

The one thing on the list that I wish I could do is: Stop worrying. In a book I read, A Time to Heal by Barbara Cameron an Amish lady told the main character,
"Worrying is arrogant because God knows what he is doing." Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just leave it all in His hands??

 5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

Since I am not much of a movie person, I cannot think of a single film where winter even plays a part!

6.When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?

The last time I felt helpless was the day I was watching my husband die! And there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it. I knew in my head that he was going to a better place. But in my heart I knew it was going to be the single worst thing to ever happen to me!

 7. Share a favorite proverb. 

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

For the first time in all of my years doing taxes I don't get a refund and I don't have to pay. Yet I have to file. And it cost me $77 to do so. Yes, I know there are places that will do it for free but I didn't chose one of those places. And they are done! And filed! And I don't have to worry about them. See #4!

Have a Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Overview from Barnes and Nobel

Lara Jean’s love life gets complicated in this New York Times bestselling “lovely, lighthearted romance” (SLJ) from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My computer is making me crazy. Nothing wants to work the way it is supposed to be working. If I am not reading and making comments on your blog that is the reason. (hear me screaming???)

Anyway now for my book review. This is a young person's book without a doubt. The 16 year old main character has written love letters to all the boys she's loved before!! And then they accidentally (??) get mailed. Now her life goes crazy!

Can you imagine that happening to you. In the first place, I don't think there would be more than a couple of love letters from me to boys I have loved before. And one of those would not be a love letter but a scathing letter of rebuke for the horrible way he treated me and his kids!! Maybe I should write that one and accidentally (??) mail it. LOL! I won't.

Even though this book is for a much younger audience I did enjoy it. I read it for our April book club reading. I think most of the ladies in this book club are much older than 16. Maybe I'm wrong!!

I will recommend this book to Harley and Paige. And I'll give it **** four stars!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-February 15th Edition

For Today...
A new week is upon us! Today is February 15, 2016. Time is flying!!!

Outside my window...

Outside my window the sun is shining and we have a beautiful clear, blue sky. It is an incredible 60 degrees. I looked at the forecast for the week and it will be like this all week! Whatever happened to winter in Kansas? I am not going to complain.

I am pondering...
I am pondering over some information that came to light last night. Pondering what I should do with this information. I am not at all happy with what I have learned. But, I have walked down this road before. Right now it is far too personal to share here. I will ponder!! 

I am thankful...
I am thankful for the close relationship I have with the two grandchildren who live with me. I am glad that as time has gone along they know this is their home. They can come to me with anything and together we will all figure it out! There are many issues that are difficult for all of us. But nothing is too big to over-come! Those of you who are raising grandchildren know the difficulties and the blessings I am talking about. It is all different than when we raised our own kids, isn't it?

Found on Facebook...
One of my favorite pages on Facebook is At Home With Nikki. Nikki is a stay-at-home wife who writes a blog, has a Facebook and Instagram, as well as a huge following on You-Tube. I love her videos and her page. Go pay Nikki a visit. If only I was that organized. She is my inspiration. (And no, I do not know her personally)

I am creating...
I am starting to think about my March mantle. Both St. Patrick's Day and Easter in March this year. I have purchased a cute banner and some adorable things for the mantle that are Easter-y. So that just might be the March mantle and we'll put up a bit of green for St. Pat's day. Still in the dreaming stages. Easter seems really early this year. Does it to you?

I am reading...
I am reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. This is a book-club book. I am enjoying it. It is probably considered a book for Young adults. But I am enjoying the story. I am sure I will finish it this week. Since it is the April book, I haven't decided if I will chose something different before I delve into the book for May. I don't want to read too far ahead. Because sometimes I can't really remember what I've read. Is that crazy??

Moving Forward...
I think I have taken the first step in wanting to move forward! But I don't know that I am really moving forward. But since I picked the word "forward" as my word for 2016, I have all year, right? 

I am learning...
I am learning, along with my 18 year old grandson, that we have different views on what being 18 means. Yes, he is considered an adult in the eyes of the world. But here at this house my rules still go. Live with it boy. It won't be any different when you are 30. Ask your Uncle!!
The memory verse I am learning this week is:
Matthew 6:9-11
"Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,"
This one should be easy since I already know the Lord's Prayer. This is a bit of a different version that what I learned though.



In my backyard...

One night, this past week, I was up in the dining room, looking out the window (I do that sometimes when I can't sleep) and there by the tree was movement. I squinted and watched a bit longer. Waddling up towards the window, where I had thrown the bread crumbs after dinner, was a HUGE raccoon. I watched him chow on those bread crumbs for awhile. Tried to take a picture without success. It is fun to know we have all this wildlife in our yard and we live in the city limits!! But I do think it best I stay inside at night!!

In my kitchen...
Monday...Clean out the fridge leftovers
Tuesday...Chicken soup from the freezer
Wednesday...Salad with tuna on top
Thursday...Omelets with home fries
Saturday...Taco Bar
Sunday...Roast Beef

On my camera...
A sunset!

Justin driving with Darian this weekend!
Who looks like they are having fun!!
My first from 5 Guys Burgers!




My favorite candy from my son
for Valentine's Day!
We were all his sweethearts
this year!!

A peek into my week...

This is going to be a crazy week. On Monday Harley is traveling out of town to begin her Jr. Varsity Basketball Tourney. On Tuesday Harley has a home basketball game. And Darian will have Forensic practice. On Wednesday, if I can get more practice time in I will again take Darian to try for his driving test. He has passed the written part but is having some trouble with the driving part. Mostly due to nerves. On Wednesday, after Harley's basketball practice, they have youth group at church. On Thursday, Harley once again travels for the JV tourney and Darian has Marine Babies! (His new recruiter is in town and Darian really likes him). On Friday, Harley has a home basketball game. On Saturday, Harley is traveling again for the JV tourney and Darian will have a Forensic meet. And, whew, on Sunday we will all collapse. Maybe Justin and Paige will be over!!



Post Script....

As usual, I am linking with Peggy at The Simple Woman's Blog. Won't you join us??