Thursday, March 31, 2016

All You Have to Do is Ask

Today we start the A to Z Challenge. When I have done this in years past I always had a theme. This year I don't! I am just going to write stories; smidgens, snippets, & bits, from my life. Things that either have happened to me sometime in my life or things I have known about in one way or another. So here goes....Day One

The A to Z Challenge takes us on a journey through the month of April. We write Monday through Saturday and take Sunday off. Hence, 26 days and 26 letters of the alphabet. Come in and see what snippet I'm sharing with you today.



All you have to do is ask! Ask and you shall receive! If you don't ask you will never know the answer. I am a girl who is full of questions. I like to know! I like to be "in the know".

I have always asked a lot of questions of my kids friends. What are your parents names? Where do you live? Address? Where does your dad work? Where does your mom work? How many siblings do you have? And the questions can go on and on. Sometimes it turns into an easy conversation. Other times it is just a question and answer session.

My grandkids have forewarned all their friends when they come to the house. "My grandma will ask you a lot of questions. It is just the way she is." I have never found a kid that isn't willing to answer questions. If they seem unwilling then I am not nearly as willing to let the grandkids hang out with that kid. Just the way it is. I want to know the kinds of people they are hanging out with.

It is amazing to me that so many of the parents don't know what is going on with their kids today. I was recently visiting with a couple of parents and they were amazed (or horrified, I couldn't tell which) that I checked Darian and Harley's cell phone messages and phone calls. "I would never invade my daughter's privacy like that." Well, good for you. I hope your child isn't in a position to ever need for you to look out for her. I look at their cell phones, at their computers, listen to them talk with their friends, ask questions about the homes they will be visiting. Too bad if other parents think that is an invasion of their privacy!

What do you think? Am I too nosy? You can tell me the truth. I'll only cry for a little bit! But be sure to come back tomorrow to see what the letter 'B' brings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Fool's Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and we are going to talk Hodgepodge. If you want to join then your need to head over to From This Side of the Pond and pick up the questions, answer then on your blog, and link up! Come on, you know you want to!

1)What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?

I probably hold myself to a higher standard that I hold others. I am my own worst enemy sometimes. I expect honesty, loyalty, and follow-through. Those are the three that I can think of right off the top of my head. Honesty is the biggie for me!!

2)In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?

Egads, every way! I have a ton of raking to get done. Leaves are stuck in bushes, pampas, up against the sides of the house, on the back patio...everywhere! I have places that need paint touch-up and still have a backdoor that needs repainted and the locks changed. We are removing the raised garden beds that Richard put in and that still needs to be done. I want to clean out the garage and have a huge garage sale. Yikes, this all makes me tired. Think I'll grab my book and put my feet up while sipping on some lemon water. See how easily this all gets put aside?

3) According to this site (Roadtrippers) six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are: Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper White Water Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multomah in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you have seen in person. 

I have been to The Lower Falls in Yellowstone and also seen the Falls at the Grand Canyon. I would most like to visit Niagara Falls, but I doubt that I ever will. And we have seen many pretty falls when we vacationed and hiked through the mountains of Colorado. I think all waterfalls are breathtakingly beautiful!

4) Looking back, what is something you wish you had done as a teenager?

I can't think of a single thing that I wish I had done as a teenager. I lived a pretty typical teen life with a pretty-much 'in control' mother. If she allowed it, we (well, I should say I) did it! What I wish I had done, though, was live on my own before I got married and had kids. I have never lived on my own. That is a goal I am looking forward to achieving in my future!! (Sorry, kids)

5) Ham, yes please...or no thank you? If you said yes, please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple? 

I love ham. A good ham baked with all the trimmings! We had that for Easter dinner on Sunday. It was delicious! We are still eating leftover ham. I like ham and cheese sandwiches. Either leftover from the baked ham or wafer sliced from the deli. I love split pea soup but my grand-kids don't so I probably won't be making that anytime soon. My favorite way to eat ham is to wrap a slice around a dill pickle. Yummy! And you can spread some cream cheese on the ham before you wrap that pickle to make it even more yummy!!

6) Are you typical of your generation? How so?

I'm a baby boomer. The media will tell you that baby boomers saw an increase in educational, financial, and social opportunities. I think I am pretty typical of that. I was able to go to college, but I got married and had kids first. I was married at age 18 and had my first baby at age 20. I didn't start college until I was 29. They also portrayed us as a generation of optimism, exploration, and achievement. I am not really an optimist. I am a glass half-empty person. But I have explored and traveled all over the world. The baby boomer generation participated in some of the greatest social changes in the history of this country during the 1960's and 1970's. Both in Civil Rights and in the Women's Movement. I am a feminist. I never burned my bra. In fact, I wear a bra. But I do believe in equal rights. For the same job. When I became a nurse, and all the way through my nursing career, in this area, male nurses and female nurses were paid the same pay rate. Males nurses were no more likely to be promoted than a female nurse was. Being a homeowner is something many baby boomers accomplished. I own my home. Free and clear of any mortgages. Although, it took me 30 years to get there! Unlike many baby boomers, I am already retired and I am not obsessed with health and fitness. Maybe I should be! I think I am pretty typical. But, with differences!

7) April rolls in at the end of the week and in keeping with that theme....'act the fool', 'nobody's fool', 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me', which foolish idiom most applies to you? Explain.

This is funny, because just last night, I said to my grandson, "I am nobody's fool", he was trying to tell me something that might have been a bit hard to believe. He gets a kick out of the idioms I use. Like, "I didn't just fall off yesterday's turnip truck." Do you speak with idioms often?

8)Insert your own random thought here.

Yay, my computer dude called me and said the computer was back up and running. It just need a new power supply unit and he replaced it with a 'refurbished' one. I'm sure he will either show up with a surge protector or give me a strong suggestion to get one. I am so glad I have this guy to call on when I need to.  

I am so excited to share that I have started working on my posts for the A to Z Challenge which begins on Friday!! I am not really following a theme of any sort. I am just writing about Smidgens, Snippets, & Bits of my life! Hope you'll come visit me all through April!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-March 28th Edition

For Today...

Today is Sunday, March 27, 2016.

Outside my window...

It is now dark outside. And a clear sky. We had a snow storm during the night last night. Unusual for us for this time of the year. It is not un-heard of, just unusual. Now it is 42 degrees. 

I am pondering...

I am thinking about my computer. Currently I am working on Darian's laptop, which I don't really like. I am stubborn and I hate change. My computer died on Tuesday, after the power went off. Computer wouldn't come back on. I called my computer guru, Fred, who came out to assess the situation. He took my computer home and called with the bad news that the power supply unit (whatever that is) was burned up. He had to order from Amazon and until he puts that back in he won't know if the motherboard (whatever that is) is good. After I got a lecture about not having a surge protector on my computer he will try his best to fix it the cheapest way he can. Cross your fingers!!

I am thankful for...

Obviously, this week, I am thankful for Fred, my computer dude! He was a friend of Richard's. They worked together at Eaton. Fred was their IT guy. He has been a lifesaver for me more than once.

I am pinning...

Smooth Orange Jello Delight

Doesn't this look delightful?

I am creating...

Time to take Easter off the mantle and plan what I will do for spring. Any ideas?? I'll be looking on Pinterest!

Moving Forward...

I am taking baby steps on my journey without Richard. It has been really, really hard. But, no one said it would be easy! I know I can live without him. I will always carry him with me, in my heart. Yes, I think I am moving forward!

I am reading...

I am reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

On My Camera...

My new favorite drink
Iced lemon water

Settle down and pose you guys!

Loving the doctor's dress

I am learning...

After our Easter break, my group is back to memorizing Matthew 6.

Matthew 6:19-21

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

In my backyard...

Today I watched as the squirrels and the bunnies scampered in the 3.5 inches of snow that covered the garden. It was all melted by noon because the ground was so warm. But it was pretty while it lasted. You know those heavy, wet snows, that look so fun to play in.

In my kitchen...

Monday...Ham and Tater Tot casserole

Tuesday...Chicken strips

Wednesday...Kids will eat at church

Thursday...Goulash (using all the pasta)

Friday...Ham and cheese sandwiches

Saturday...Brats on the grill


We are putting off starting our Whole 30 until mid-April. Need to get past my birthday and the prom first. Then we will end it just at graduation! The timing will be better. And it gives me more time to plan.

A Favorite quote for today...

A Peek into my week....

Ah, spring break is over and the kids will be back in school. I am looking forward to the peace and quiet of the house. I think for Monday I will catch up the laundry and READ!! Harley has a FCCLA project after school. On Tuesday, Darian has forensic practice. Wednesday will be youth group. On Thursday Darian may be back to working out with the Marines. It will depend on how he is healing after his wart removal last week. Nothing planned on Friday yet. Saturday is our first home Forensic meet and I need to shop for that. And Sunday, hopefully, a day of rest!


I will link up at The Simple Woman's Blog and make my rounds of the other daybook-er's blogs. Care to join us??


Easter 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Burgess Boys-A Book Review

Overview from Barnes and Nobel 
 Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

I am going to give this book a solid 4 star rating! I liked it! It probably isn't going to be one of those books that I will remember for the rest of my life, but it is a book that made an impact on me while reading it. For more than one reason.

First of all this story is about a family who experienced a horrific event early in their lives (much as my family did). We learn how this event affected each of them differently. Somewhere in the book I read that as kids we discover we are what we remember!! And, we are what we don't remember!! How profound is that? My brothers and sister have memories from our childhood that I didn't remember the same way they did. I always thought there was something wrong with me. But there isn't. I just don't remember things the way they remember because I was affected differently. AND THAT IS ALRIGHT! Each of us compensated for these memories in our own adult lives. 

The second thing I learned while reading this book is how it must feel to be a refuge, from a foreign country, coming to America. We think of how we feel about them. Never have I thought how they must feel about me. We are mad because they are coming to our country. Well, they are mad because they have to leave their country. And their homes. And their families, their traditions, their ways. Won't it be wonderful if we can all find a way to be more accepting?

The story is about 3 adult children who are brought together when the son of one of them tosses a frozen pig's head into a Muslim mosque. The Burgess boys are lawyers and they need to try to help their nephew get out of this bit of trouble. Every single one of these adult children are living with their own demons. I didn't like brother Jim one dang bit. Until the very end of the book when we discover that what happened early in their lives probably affected him the most. The story ends without clearly defined endings, but it left me feeling good for this family!

I am hoping all of us will learn something from reading this book!

I'm going to work on doing just that!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Spring Has Sprung Hodgepodge

What a beautiful day in Kansas! Welcome to the Hodgepodge. Answer the questions and join the link you will find at From This Side of the Pond!

1. Has spring sprung in your little corner of the world? Other than the calendar how would I know? What's your favorite thing about spring?

Spring has most definitely sprung here in my home state of Kansas. Today it was 77 degrees outside. I had to fight with myself not to want to turn on the A/C. Opening the windows is what I'll start with. Don't you love when you have open windows and fresh air blows throughout the house? And yet, in the neighboring state of Colorado they are dealing with a blizzard today!!

2. Besides the weather, what's put a spring in your step recently?

I'm helping to get a young man ready for his first formal dance. Senior Prom! He was measured for a tux yesterday. It is fun to see them make plans.

3. How does Easter impact you?

We haven't made Easter the big celebration that we do other holidays. When the kids were younger they liked to hunt for eggs and get their Easter baskets. Now, they just attend church and come home for baked ham!

4. I saw this somewhere on Facebook and thought it would make a fun Hodgepodge question. Which of the following would you find most disappointing...

a just stuffed taco shell breaking open and spilling out before you take the first bite? dropping a just-purchased Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts coffee? opening the peanut butter jar and finding it empty? upending onto the sidewalk a just-purchased ice cream cone? a burnt bagel popping up in your toaster when you're rushing breakfast? or cutting into an avocado and finding out it's rotten?

I almost can't decide which would be most disappointing! Spilling a cup of Star Bucks coffee would be tragic. But I have never had Star Bucks in my life so I really can't relate. I do know that it is way expensive. I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter so the only thing that would bother me there is that they didn't put it on the grocery list. I just recently cut into an avocado and found the entire thing was rotten. So I'm going with the avocado!!

5. What's something held together with tape at your house? Or a paper clip? Or a wing and a prayer?

Surprisingly, I can't think of anything.

6. Do you feel underappreciated? In what way?

There are times I feel underappreciated. Usually, though, my family lets me know how much I mean to them.

7. What's something you'd build if you knew how?

I would build a headboard for Darian's bed, if I knew how. I will assign that chore to Darian and Justin. They'll be able to accomplish it. I think! If not, they will go to You Tube and figure something out. Thank the Lord for You Tube! Do you go to You Tube to see how to do something?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have been pondering whether to do or not to do The A to Z Challenge this year. I think most of my readers know what this challenge is. This challenge  was created by Arlee Bird, a gentleman who blogs at Tossing It Out. He created the challenge for the month of April. You blog everyday of the month but Sundays: hence 26 days. Using the alphabet, blog posts are written for each day starting with A and ending with Z. This year there are well over 1,000 people participating. The best part of the challenge is to PARTICIPATE! Go visit others. Many of my nearest and dearest blogging friends I met through the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I have been back and forth, back and forth, about if I was going to participate this year. My first A to Z was in 2013 when I wrote about places we had visited. In 2014 I wrote about caregiving. This was that horrible year in my life when my husband was dying and I was his caregiver. Last year I wrote about lessons I have learned over my lifetime. This year I am going to just write about snippets of things that have happened in my life. This might include feelings, people who may have affected me, things that have happened to me.....just some stories. I promise to keep them short. And I may or may not make them entertaining. Come back and see what I decide to do with this challenge. I'm winging it.  Bear with me. But most of all come visit!

Monday, March 21, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-March 21st Edition

For Today...

Today is Monday, March 21, 2016

Outside my window...

Outside my window the sun is shining. It is 52 degrees and there is a light wind blowing. Later today, the weatherman says, we will start getting wind gusts up to 35-45 mph. Oh how I love the winds of Kansas. NOT!

I am pondering...

The kids are home this week on Spring Break. I am pondering what we will do. Last week was busy and I just want a break. Time will tell!! Neither of them have plans so far.  

I am thankful...

I am thankful my son can fix burned out lights on the car and change my windshield wipers. Thank you Justin!

I am pinning...

I am creating...

I am working on my April layout for my planner.

I am reading...

I am still reading The Burgess Boys. I haven't had much reading time this past week because we had company. I am also listening to The Girl on the Train. I haven't been much into audio books in the past but I have downloaded for a trial period. I got a free book for the trial and I downloaded The Girl on the Train for a refresher before we have our book club later this month. I remember why I haven't liked audio books. I fell asleep on Chapter 43 and woke up at Chapter 56! Had to find my way back to where I was. LOL!

Moving Forward...


This is what I am working on while I am moving forward this year. Not forgetting, just accepting.

On my camera...
someone didn't want their
picture taken

Spring Break

Paige got her first CAR!!!!!

See what we found while buying birdseed

On my Table


I am learning...

This week our group, Do Not Depart, is taking a break for Easter. So I am reviewing what I have memorized so far.

In my backyard...

We filled all the birdfeeders and the squirrel feeder this past week. Then I sat at the dining room table and watched as the doves, black birds, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and other little flying creatures found my yard. We even watched a rabbit and a squirrel square off over a patch of seeds on the ground. Squirrel won! 

In my kitchen...

Monday...Turkey Pot Pie

Tuesday...Grab and Go

Wednesday...Up in the Air


Friday...Grilled cheese & Tomato Soup

Saturday...Homemade Pizzas

Sunday...Easter Ham

A favorite quote for today...


A peek into my week...

We are on Spring Break here this week. I need to get Darian downtown to have him measured for his Tux and he has a doctor's appointment tomorrow to have some warts removed (per request of the USMC). We will celebrate Easter on Sunday. Otherwise no plans for this week.


I am coloring...



Post Script

I will be linking up at The Simple Woman's Blog. Come along!!




Thursday, March 17, 2016

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

If you could do any job, what would you do?
If I could do anything I wanted to do I would be a landscape designer!
What would you be?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bring on the Hodgepodge!!

It's time to Hodgepodge. Head over to From This Side of the Pond to copy the questions and follow the links. Now let's see what Joyce has for us today.

1. What do you think about luck?

I don't really believe there is such a thing as luck! And if there is then I rarely have any of it!

 2. Not counting your own backyard, what's a favorite green space in your town, city, or state?

The lake at DNC
We live across the street from The Dillon Nature Center. There is a big lake for fishing, many walking trails, play areas for the kiddos, places to get married, and lots of gardens and habitat areas.

 3. How do you make your life more complex than it needs to be?

I make my life more complex by worrying. I wish I could give it up. But so far I haven't been able to.

 4. I read
here the three places you should visit with friends. They are-New York City, Hawaii, and Amsterdam (rent a bike, walk along the canal, visit one of their world class museums). I felt the need to expound on that one. Moving on...Of the three places listed which would you most like to visit with friends? What's one place not on the list you think should be visited with friends?

If I had to chose from those three places I would chose to visit Hawaii with friends. No other reason than I love the beach! I have visited many places in my lifetime with friends and I would return to Bangkok, Thailand in a heartbeat!

 5. What's the last live performance you saw? On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being best) how would you rate it?

Now this is hard....I think the last live performance I have seen involved grandkids in school plays. And of course I would rate that a 10!

 6. March 14th is National Potato Chip Day. Are you a fan? Your favorite flavor? Besides potato, what's your favorite chip type of snack?

Yep, potato chips are my weakness. Especially with a tub of plain sour cream. Plain ripple chips! Or a Dorito chip will work too!

 7.What rule is most important in your home?

The most important rule at my house is:


 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow is ST. Patrick's Day. And my friend Myra's birthday! Everyone head over to her site Respice, Prospice and wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am cooking a corn beef and we will be eating Reuben Sandwiches. What do you do to celebrate??

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Simple Woman's Daybook-March 14th Edition

For Today... 

Today is March 14, 2016. Monday! Ah, a good old Monday.

Outside my window...

Outside my window the sun is shining and the sky is that beautiful blue of a springtime sky. A very light breeze. I have the windows open. The temperature is 55 degrees.  

I am pondering...

I am pondering how close it is until Darian will be finished with high school. Only 2 more months. He is going back to Oklahoma very early Wednesday morning (2a.m.) to complete his enlistment process. Hard to let go of a kid who is rapidly becoming a man!!

I am thankful...

I am thankful for the man Darian is becoming. Thank You Lord for watching over this boy!!

I am pinning...


I pinned this to my "Dreaming of a White Christmas" board. What a cute idea for our high school graduation tassels. I have Richard's, mine, and soon Darian's. They will be hanging on my tree this year.


I am creating...

Nothing much being created around here right now. We have company! Creation doesn't go much beyond a menu plan this week.
I am reading...

I am reading The Burgess Boys right now. Written by Elizabeth Strout


Moving Forward...

My word for 2016 is Forward. I am moving forward. I finally went through almost all of Richard's clothes and made a huge contribution to Goodwill. All the shirts are bagged up and ready for Paige. I know that it took me over 18 months. So what! That is just how long it took me. I might not be doing things as fast as others think I should be doing them. But I am moving forward.

On my camera...

On the dining room table

tree in the neighbor's yard

Magnolia tree in neighbor's yard

On the Fridge

I am learning...

This week's verse:

Matthew 6:17-18

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who see in secret will reward you.


In my backyard...

In my backyard are empty birdfeeders. I have to make a trip to buy some seed. I am seeing a plethora of Robins right now. Today there was a visiting dove and a few Cardinals. I am sure they are wondering what is going on that this lady hasn't filled her feeders.

In my kitchen...

Monday...Chili dogs and French Fries
Tuesday...Omelets and Sausage patties
Wednesday...only granny at home
Thursday...Rueben Sandwiches
Friday...Sloppy Joes
Saturday...Flank steaks on the grill
Sunday...Green Bean Soup

What I am coloring...


A favorite quote for today...


Isn't this the truth

A peek into my week...

This week my brother is here signing the papers to sell his house. On Tuesday Darian has Forensic practice and then will leave early Wednesday morning to go back to Oklahoma. This time he will only be gone for the day. Harley will go to youth group on Wednesday. Darian has Marine babies on Thursday where he will attend (hopefully) as an official Poolee now. Friday, Saturday, Sunday are free of plans currently!

One of my favorite things...

Don't we all love spring? Isn't it a sign that winter is almost over and summer is on it's way. My favorite time of the year is summer. So I love spring!!


Post Script...

I'll be heading over to The Simple Woman's Blog to join the others with posting my Simple Woman's Daybook. Care to join me?