Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday's Question

Another hot, sunny day here in Kansas? How are things where you live?

This week's question is guaranteed to make you think! I think!!

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? Is there a perfect age? What would yours be?

Monday, June 27, 2016

The End of June Life List


Today, as I look out my window, I see a quiet neighborhood. I think a few neighbors are on vacation. But, mostly, I think the high humidity is keeping the neighbors indoors. It isn't really hot, temperature wise. 84* But the humidity today is 74* That is nearly rain falling from the sky. It is cloudy with threatening looks too!


Lately I have been in a pondering phase. I have been trying to figure out why I feel like time is speeding by. Do you know there have actually been studies done to try to figure out this phenomena? You can read about one of them here. I found the explanation interesting!!  


My favorite Bible memorizing group, Do Not Depart, is taking a break for the summer. However, I like to continue to memorize. So, for the next 6 weeks I am going to memorize Psalm 1. This week it will be Psalm 1:1

  "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers;"


Well, I am not doing any creating right now. I have my mantle all done for July! We are talking about our Fairy Garden, not really creating it yet cause it is so blessed hot outside. I do have some pretty nice layouts in my planner.

Fourth of July Week
Last week of June


I am still reading Windfallen by Jojo Moyes. And I am listening to When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker. I get a newsletter from Modern Mrs. Darcy every day with the 'deals' for Kindle Books and for Audible, as well. When I am Gone is a brand new novel and it was only $1.99 then you could add the audible for another $1.99. Any of you who listen to books knows that is really cheap. Especially for a newly released (March) novel! Get it if you can. I am really enjoying it so far!

I also made an insert for my planner with the books I have read, so far, this year. I love it! What do you think??


We are huge Big Brother Fans in this house. Okay, so maybe it is just me!! And sometimes I can get Harley to watch with me. It's on 3 times a week so it is a commitment! My favorite house-guest was Glenn and he's already been evicted. I wish CBS had more respect for older people and allowed more of them in the house. But, I couldn't stand to live in such close quarters with that much foul-talking youth! (Stay tuned for my final thought).


At this moment I am listening to a re-run of Madam Secretary on TV. 

Pictures I want to share...

Harley helping Papa across the Royal Gorge Bridge

My favorite picture of Richard and Darian

Walt Disney World 2011

Our last New Year's Eve with Papa

Papa and Paige

Today we were talking about fun summers and Papa. I am glad the kids have good memories of him. I am glad they weren't too young to not be able to remember the good times. Here are some pictures from past summers I want to share with you!! 


Today Darian and I took a trip to the DQ! And I had a Cherry Lime-aid. Doesn't that just scream SUMMER??


Monday...Hamburger Casserole with leftover potatoes and carrots

Tuesday...Asian Salad and Hamburger Patty

Wednesday...Fried Potatoes and Egg Hash


Friday...Salmon Patties Sweet potatoes

Saturday...Chicken Alfredo

Sunday...Hamburgers on the Grill



For some reason I am struggling with looking forward. I think it might be because the month of July is creeping up on us. (Actually not creeping but storming) This will be the second anniversary of Richard's death. 

Happenings in my backyard...

Darian climbed the ladder and stood on the roof (eek) to clean out the gutter than runs along the back of the house. He removed a five gallon bucket of sodden maple helicopters which were clogging the drain. Harley and I snipped a few branches of the locust tree which were hanging onto the cable TV wire. Can't have the cable TV going off!!

A peek into my week...

Our week is going to seem laid-back. Harley is on a two-week break from swimming lessons. So that will cut down on my driving. She has basketball and weightlifting still. And Darian will be going to his Cross-Fit classes, Marine Poolees, and other things. So it won't seem like I am running as much! Thursday is on-line book club with Paper & Glam and we will be discussing Joyce Carol Oates Blonde. The link will take you to the Goodreads site. She also discusses it 'live' on YouTube. 

A final thought...

I have been watching Big Brother After Dark on Pop TV. Here we see some of what goes on in the house when they aren't filming the TV show. This  group cusses. A lot! And the F word seems to be one of their favorite. I counted four times it was used in one sentence by one of the guys. What???? This word does nothing to enhance the conversation. In fact, most of the time, when it is used so frequently, I find that I stop listening to that person. I am NOT a prude. I have been known to drop an F-bomb or two myself. But not CONSTANTLY! Please, people, check yourselves!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dear Friday

Are you as surprised as I am that it is already Friday?? I swear these days are speeding by faster than a speeding bullet. Or a speeding train. I wake up on Monday morning and the next thing I know it is Friday!! Sheesh!

Just offering up a few little notes to sum up my week....

Dear God:

I don't want to complain about the weather. I know that sometimes you just need to send us some rain, then some more rain, and then a few more sprinkles. But the rain mixed with this heat is making for some pretty brutal days. Now, I do like that our 102* temperature dropped to 72* this evening. It was so welcomed. But the humidity!! I heard it will be back in the upper 90's tomorrow.

Dear Tree Trimmer:

I saw you eyeballing my huge oak tree out front. I thought I would stop by and see what you were doing. Well it seems like the new neighbor wants to trim it up. That would be nice. I wouldn't mind. But the tree is on my property. I just thought it would be nice to point that out. The tree trimmer suggested I let them trim it and then let the neighbor know it wasn't their tree. I DON'T THINK THAT WOULD BE RIGHT. And I can't afford you at the moment. So please, step away from the tree! (P.S. he did)

Dear Harley:

You picked up your first paycheck today. What did you learn? Do you remember reading in your work manual that you would need a picture ID to get your check?? Good thing you had put Grandma's name down to be allowed to pick up your check too. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been very happy to have to drive all the way back home for your ID and then all the way back to pick up your check!! Congrats on that first paycheck though!~!

Dear Barnes & Noble:

Thank you so much for the deposit you made into my account on behalf of the class action lawsuit settlement over ebooks. I don't even know what it is all about and yet I am getting to share in the settlement. I am beside myself and so anxious to start browsing and seeing exactly what I can buy with the $1.57 I was awarded. Yippee!!

Have a great weekend you all!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thursday's Question

We are only given one life. One chance to get it right! Right?
But what if you were given an opportunity to start all over!
This week's question:
If you were given the opportunity to be born again, how would you change how you lived?

If you were given the opportunity to be born again, how would you change how you lived?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summertime Life Hacks

I love summer!! But it IS hot! What do we do when it is hot? I remember when I was young my mom used to hang up wet sheets and blow the fan through them. That was 'supposed' to cool us off! Maybe it worked? I can't remember feeling "all that hot" when I was younger. Maybe kids don't feel it the same as older people. Maybe it was because we didn't have A/C everywhere, so we didn't know what we were missing. 

How about some summertime hacks today. Things we can do in the summer to make life just a bit easier. And these are the BEST.

One Good Thing
My favorite is to protect the cell phones! Those darn gadgets are expensive. If we are going to be around water we stick ours in a zip-lock bag. We can still use the phone but no water will get to it!!

I haven't tried this hack yet but I think it is the smartest!! Cut the top off a sunscreen bottle, wash it out, use it to store your valuables when you are at the pool/beach. Everyone will think it's your sunscreen. Maybe they won't steal it! 

 Who doesn't like 'Smores? Don't have a fire-pit to roast those marshmallows. No problem! Line a terracotta flower pot with aluminum foil, insert charcoal briquettes, light the fire and roast away.

Another of my favorites is to keep the bugs out of my drink when I am sipping outside. Just plop a cupcake wrapper on top and stick your straw through it. Brilliant!! That mom over at is on to something. 

Do you have any 'summertime' hacks to share with us today?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Hot, Hot Life List


It is hot here in Kansas. Really, really hot. We have seen highs in the 90's and low 100's this past week. With lots of humidity. Doesn't look like we are going to get a break in the days ahead. This morning I was awakened when the power went off. NO power for a couple of hours made me pray for a cooler day. Thankfully they were able to get it back on. I suppose it is over-use that is causing the outages. For some reason we get them often here. 


Lately I have been thinking about parenting. Really! I'll bet you are all thinking it is about time I think about it!! I have been thinking about that sweet little boy in Florida that was killed by an alligator. And wondering if that could have been prevented by parents being more cautious. And thinking of the tyke and the gorilla. Was he being watched closely enough? Then I was remembering some of the times my own rambunctious boys would get away from me. How quickly it happens. And how lucky we were. Danger is lurking around all the corners of our lives. We have to be super vigilant! Don't we? 


I'm learning that I worry just as much about my grandchildren as I used to worry about my boys. Especially when they are driving. Paige drove over from 


The grand girls and I are going to create a Fairy Garden. Have you seen them?? So cute. Here's a link to get you started. How To Start A Fairy Garden

This would look perfect in my Gerber Daisy Bed. I have been gatering ideas for awhile now. See my Fairy Gardening Board on Pinterest for more ideas.


I am reading Windfallen by JoJo Moyes. Just started and having some trouble getting into it so far!


Harley and I watched Tuck Everlasting Saturday. Was a cute movie about a family who drinks from a stream and achieves immortality. Have you seen it? I think she told me it came out in the early 1980's.


Right now I am hearing Pirates of the Caribbean on TV. Harley is IN LOVE with Johnny Depp. Eh! 


This photo is not currently on my camera, duh! But I recently ran across it when looking for other pictures. This picture with my siblings and I was taken in the later 1960's. Brother Chuck was home on leave from the Navy. Mom had made the sailor tops for my sister and me. Oh so many, many years (and miles) ago!


Harley just brought me a tall glass of iced tea. Brewed today with Luzianne Cold Brew Tea bags. I usually buy Lipton but decided to give these a try. Guess what?? I like these better. Such a pure, crisp tea flavor.,


Monday...Beef Stroganoff

Tuesday...Spaghetti Pie

Wednesday...Sloppy Joes

Thursday...Mexican Beef $ Rice Skillet

Friday...Hamburger Casserole

Saturday...Roast, potatoes, carrots

Sunday...Grabbing a burger out (maybe)


Isn't this the truth?


In my continued effort to look forward this year we are cleaning out some things in the hall closet that belonged to Richard. He was such a collector of 'stuff'. All kinds of stuff!

Happenings in my backyard...

We have had so much rain lately. So the grass is constantly growing and needing mowed. That will be one the list this week. Two nights ago I was up in the middle of the night and paused at the dining room window to watch two small deer grazing in my garden area. They were quite small but probably were mama deer. We've seen the red fox a couple of more times. And on her way to the mailbox last week Harley took a picture of a prairie dog in our front yard. Sadly, she deleted the picture. Wish it was that easy to delete the prairie dog!!

A peek into my week...

Another busy week for this taxi driving granny. Harley will have basketball and weight lifting a couple of times. She works every day for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Darian is Cross-fitting (I'm too nice to let him run to the gym which thankfully is not very far from our house. He's also working out with the Marine Poolees. We have a Basketball fund raiser on Saturday! Do you think I'll be ready for school to start? Or find the funds to get a second car so Darian can do the driving back and forth??

A final thought...

Today we had a great Father's Day. Justin and Paige came over. We hadn't seen Justin in two weeks. We cooked steaks on the grill, roasted potatoes, broccoli with cheese, salad. And had New York Cheesecake for dessert. Who can be cranky when you have good food like that. Paige's job (and boyfriend) will probably keep them away more weekends. So we will be happy with the time we can spend with them!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday's Question on Friday

This is one of those issues that bugs me. I'd like to seek others input. So I am going to pose it as my Thursday's Question. Except it is Friday. So it is going to be Thursday's Question on Friday.

This is all about activities for school age kiddos. In my case these kids are in high school. Occasionally the school will have an activity for the kids that costs money. Most of the time it is just a dollar or two. But there have been times when it is more than $20. It doesn't happen very often at school, but it happens!

 What even gripes me more than is the youth group at the kids' church. They ALWAYS have activities going on that cost money. Sometimes it is around $10 each (which is $20 for us) but sometimes it is as much as $325 for a week helping churches and people in other states. Called a Mission Trip. The money helps to pay for the food, transportation, etc. during that week. They need extra money for meals while on the road. Many of the 'extra' activities during the school year involve extra money. They will have movie and a dinner night ($20. each) or a trip for snacks (suggested amount $10 each) I have voiced concerns with these types of activities and have heard "if we don't offer special kinds of things the teens won't come to church". Sadly, I expect that is true.
So they have Mission Trips, Ski trips, Summer Camp, Dinner/Movie nights, Fast Food lunches in the summer (one day a week), trips to other cities and it goes on and on and on.  

Now for my question....

What is your opinion on activities that cost money? And what if you can't afford it? Do you make your kids skip? Or would you allow them to use the "offered scholarship" for the poor kids?? My inquiring mind would like to know!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Keeper of the Spirit-A Book Review

Overview From Barnes and Noble

Minnesota lumber baron Tyler Wilkins knew he needed to come to grips with the death of his wife. Little did he understand that his business trip to New York would be the beginning of a journey to find peace within himself and a love that sometimes happens twice in a lifetime.
Beautiful Emma Sanders has her entire world mapped out. Being the daughter of one of the richest shipbuilders in New York in 1880 guaranteed her a life of leisure. It also guaranteed the option she'd chosen-to remain single and manage her father's company someday. That is, until Tyler walked into her father's study and turned her world upside down. Crossing paths with this one sad man would change the course of her life forever.
The mysticism of an old Indian brave...a forgotten evil that lurks in Emma's tragic hour in their lives, will all combine to lead them to a future filled with trust and understanding...and the discovery of peace and love that a man and woman can share.

A good book! If you like love stories with happy endings then this book is for you! But, there is trouble along the way. And a pretty nasty rape scene which results in a miscarriage. The author writes well. You will get to know the characters of this story well. You will fall in love with Tyler and wish he could cross paths with you. You will love Emma and wish she were your sister. Or your best friend. You will hate Samuel and wish that you could be the one to kill him. This is the first book in a series. I actually downloaded loaded this as a Friday Freebie sometime ago. Glad I wandered into my Nook Library and took it off the shelf!

A good strong *** three stars.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Fatherly Hodgepodge!

Time to join Joyce From This Side of the Pond for another Hodgepodge. She posts the questions. We supply the answers. Here we go for this week. 

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why?

My Favorite lake is in the San Isabel National Forrest in Colorado. Lake Isabel. This is where Richard and I were married in 1996. Before that this is where we took the boys on most of our vacations together when they were growing up. There is a family-owned cabin there. Looking across the lake at those pine trees...that is where we were married. 

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink? 

My favorite 'fruity' drink always involves a lime. I love Fresh Lime lime-aids. Lime slushes. And oh how I love a Frozen Margarita. Yep, the lime is my favorite fruity drink companion. 

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month?

I am a "clean as I go" kind of girl. Especially in the kitchen. My kitchen is so small it would soon be taken over if I didn't clean along the way. I need to clean up my computer again. Get rid of un-wanted emails. Clean up my blog-reading list!

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school? 

The summer after I graduated from high school I was working as a secretary to a man who owned a big shoe store. And planning for my December wedding. Oh, to only live those days over again. And know what I know now!

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite?

I do like podcasts. I haven't found many that have become my favorite. I like the Nom Nom Paleo podecast. 

6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?

I think today's fathers have come a long ways from the past. Those fathers used to come home, sit in their chair, and wait for dinner to be served. Or at least that is what I saw I TV. I grew up without a father in our home so I am not really sure what the role of a father was supposed to be. Richard said that his mom used to threaten them with "wait until your Father gets home" so he was always afraid of his father. Today's dads seem to be more involved in the lives of their kids. I think that is a good thing. But I also think that with the 'helicopter' parents of today many kids are not growing up to be as self-sufficient as earlier generations did. 

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?

My father was an alcoholic. I am not in anyway like him. My father died when I was only 7 so I am not sure if I even know what traits of his I might or might not possess. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Father's Day is Sunday. I want to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. We are not big into celebrating Mother's Day or Father's Day. These were never big holidays when I was growing up and we never made them special while I was raising my kids. I know they are Hallmark holidays. I am not much for Hallmark holidays. 

Interesting facts I found, however, are:

 1. Mother's Day spending in this country last year was close to $21.2 Billion. Father's Day was $12.7 Billion. 

 2. Most people find buying for mom to be easier than buying for dad.

 3. Dads don't really like those crazy ties you bought him. He's just being nice! Really!

 4. Dad is much happier if you just want to spend time with him. Mom would rather have a gift! Flowers and chocolates will always wow her.

 5. Most kids will tell their dad Happy Father's Day on Sunday. And Dad is okay with that. Dad's don't really expect a gift!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

An Unsettle Life List


The sun has set. The moon is out. We had a rainstorm earlier this evening and now it is muggy, muggy, muggy. Tomorrow we are expecting some more thunderstorms! YaY! Just kidding


I am pondering this past week. I am not sure why but things just felt a bit unsettled here. I am feeling on the verge of tears a lot. I just want things to go smoothly. Is that really asking so much. Maybe this will be a more settled week.


I am not sure what I am learning right now! Maybe that is the problem. I am not learning!! I'm tired. I am not liking living with teenagers right now. I need a break. Or a vacation. 


I got my mantel done in time for Flag Day! Will leave it up for most of July too. I also made a really yummy Jello type salad this evening. So that is a type of creating, huh?


I am still reading Keeper of the Spirit by Ruby Storm. Just haven't spent much time reading. And I am not into romance much right now, so I can't get interested. See, I told you I was feeling unsettled. 


I have been watching Single Dad Seeking on TLC. Is anyone watching? I am glad I am not in the dating world. I could NOT date a single dad like any of those on the show. Especially Mike. 


Right now I am listening to a show on TV that is called "Lawyer on the Line". A real life lawyer is Wichita, Kansas gives legal advice on TV. Interesting. 


My mantle


I am drinking a tall glass of iced tea. I brewed it with the cold water tea bags. Have you tried them? Pretty good. And quick, too!


Monday...Hamburgers, Cherry Jello Salad

Tuesday...Dorito Taco Salad

Wednesday...Kids will eat with youth group

Thursday...Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad

Friday...Fish Sticks & French Fries

Saturday...Spaghetti & Garlic bread

Sunday...Shepherds Pie & Strawberry Dumplings



I am still trying my best with looking forward. But we are coming up on the two year anniversary of Richard's death and there are times when I feel like it just happened. I think this might have a bit to do with why I am feeling so unsettled right now. Just have to feel the pain for the moment and then I'll be able to move on again.

Happenings in my backyard...

The grass needs mowed again! I am going to arm myself with some heavy-duty bug spray and get out there and do some work on the outside this week. Those darn mosquitoes look like crows and I have more than a few bites on me. They seem to love me so much. They rarely bit Richard. I wonder why some people are just not bothered and others are.

A peek into my week...

Another week of shuttling people to where they need to be. Harley starts her job this week. She is going to be a teacher's aid in swimming lessons. So I'll be taking her and picking her up from the pool. Her first class is tomorrow evening and it is with pre-school age kiddos. We haven't seen Paige and Justin for a couple of weeks now. Paige has started working for a place in Wichita called ICTea.
It is a new Tea shop that is selling boba tea. Boba tea is a black or green tea that's then flavored. There will be 20 flavors to chose from. And then they add tapioca pearls at the bottom to add a texture to the tea. This kind of tea is very popular in Taiwan and China. They will also serve Vietnamese appetizers.  

Read more here:

A final thought...

I am very saddened by the shooting in Orlando this past weekend. This country is going to have to decide how we are going to handle these continued gun violence issues. And another person who was on the FBI watch list that wasn't very well watched. It is so sad that so many young people lost their lives. Prayers for all of their families and friends. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Keep On With Life Hacks

It is a glorious Thursday here at our house. Hot! Temp is in the mid-90's with no relief in sight. But this is my kind of weather. I might sit out on the patio, put up my feet, grab an ice cold beer, and read my book later. What do you like to do when the weather is hot??

Time for another of my favorite life hacks. I like sharing them with you. And I like picking up a few of your life hacks too. So feel free to share one.

miniature marshmallows

Do you know what one of my favorite uses for marshmallows is? Well, besides floating them on top of my hot chocolate in the winter. Or adding them to my favorite Watergate Salad.I use the miniature ones for that. But even better than all that is to toss a few of them into your brown sugar. Yep, keeps it soft. Won't dry out. If the marshmallows get hard then just toss in another small handful. Try it!! I guarantee it works!!