Saturday, December 30, 2017

Currently At The End of the Year

Outside my window...

It is cold in Kansas! No snow yet! But plenty cold. We are sitting at 13* here at noon with a "feels like temperature" of 3*. Yikes, no wonder my feet are freezing. I need to go put some socks on. But, at least we aren't having those 5 feet snows like some parts of the country are having. What is it like in your neck of the woods??


So much on my mind to ponder right now. Got word yesterday that Darian is having some health problems. He fainted while at his girlfriend's house over Christmas and spent the night in the hospital. They found some things during the testing that will be further addressed once he is back on post. Please, those of you who pray, send up a few for Darian. I don't think they are serious but time will tell. And we will see how good the Army medical field is! For now I am choosing not to hit the panic button. 


We have not been doing much watching of anything here. Just taking some time to chill after the Christmas season and before we get into the New Year. What are you watching?? Do you have any good Netflix shows to share?


I have finished a couple of books and need to see about reviewing them. I am going to put them on my next years reading challenge (is that cheating?) because I HIT MY GOAL FOR 2017!! I read 40 books! Very proud of myself. Do you set goals for reading? How many do you want to read in 2018? I am going to aim for 45, I think. I am also going to try to cover a few of the classics that I have never read. Oh how I love to educate my mind. LOL! Starting out with Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut on Audible (This is on the list 100 Books Everyone Should Read) and I am reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi for my January book club read! What books are you reading in 2018?


Harley and I have a little road trip to Wichita this coming Wednesday planned. She wants a new pair of jeans at Old Navy and Justin is being promoted so we are going to the ceremony! YAY Justin!!


I got a couple of new kinds of K-cups for Christmas that I am enjoying. Maybe they will be in my December Favorites post. Stay tuned!

What's in the kitchen...

We have not really been meal planning over Christmas break. We are eating what's in the fridge and freezer. So no planning going on here. 

A quote to share...

A final thought...

Happy New Year to all of my family and friends as we head into 2018! I can hardly believe it is time for another year. Or that we are nearing the end of another decade. Can you all remember when it was 1999 and what we were saying about going into the year 2000. Well that was nearly 20 years ago. So many things have happened to change my life since 2000. I am going to be taking some time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2017 and prepare for what is to come.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Wednesday Wandering

Outside my window...

On this gloomy day, the day before the first day of winter, we are still fairly warm for December. It is 48* outside. We had quite a 'foggy' start to the day. And the sun has not come out. 


As is usual for me, at this time of the year, I ponder what it is about the Christmas season that brings me down. I really don't like it. I look around me and see so much of the hustle and bustle and wonder why people do this in December but not the rest of the year. Why do we hear so much about people being kind to each other, giving to people who have less than us, smiling and singing and being jolly, during this time of the year. It makes it all seem rather fake to me. Why aren't they helping and being kind all year long. I know some people are kind all year long, but the vast majority save it for Christmas. I think my feelings about this time of the year are directly tied to my childhood. I can choose to be happy. Or I can just choose to wallow in my "blueness" at this time of the year. I haven't decided yet which I am going to chose.


I am still reading Breath Before Air. This isn't an easy read. Especially for one who is suffering from Christmas blueness. But it is an important book. I am listening to The Force: A Novel by Don Winslow. I don't know where I got this book but so far it is just okay! I finished A Criminal Defense which I will review shortly. I loved it!!


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View From my recliner

A silver deer 

We believe

Angel wings

Silver snowflakes

A silver dove

sparkley red ball

on the mantle



I have been enjoying hot apple cider. Which is so easy to make in the Keurig!

What's in the kitchen...

Wednesday...Chicken breasts


Friday...Shepherd's Pie


Sunday....Christmas Dinner at our house!

A quote to share...


Harley, Paige and I visited the Botanical Gardens in Wichita. Justin works here as security in the evenings. It is a 'walk-through' display of Christmas lights. The rest of the year it is open as gardens. This was my first time to ever visit. 

Harley and Paige
Never to old for Santa

Paige and Granny

This tree glowed with all pink lights

In a sleigh

This area was set to music.

Waiting to see Santa 

A final thought...

I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There will be many changes at my house in the coming year. Exciting changes! Some will be sad for this granny! Some will bring joy! 
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Reviews

For both of these books I used my Audible subscription to listen to them. I didn't pay very much. In fact, since I have recently signed up for Amazon Prime I got the second book free! I had never heard of either of them. And chose to listen to them for different reasons. The first book Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion, was about California in the 1960's. I finished high school in the late 1960's. 1969 to be exact. And though I lived in Kansas I remember hearing about many of the things she wrote about in her book. 

The book is a collection of essays. I think she writes with much of the feeling of many of those who were living in California at the time felt. There was much to be said about the whole Haight-Ashbury and it's counter culture which was how those times will always be remembered. She didn't spare details about the 'acid-laced' people she was writing about. I loved the essay about John Wayne. And the one about Howard Hughes was interesting. There was a story about her celebrating her daughter's first birthday that was touching. (I later discovered this daughter, her only child, died  young at nearly the same time her husband died of a heart attack.) According to Wikipedia she is known as a literary journalist who explores America's disintegration of morals and cultural chaos. I will admit I had never heard of her. I will give this book *** stars. It was decent.

I didn't know anything at all about this next book. I downloaded it without knowing what it was about. I knew it was free. And Audible books are expensive. This book is about
hoarding. And it is GOOD. And kind of 'cringe-worthy'. The author's parents are hoarders. Most especially her father. But her mother became a compulsive shopper in defense of not being about to change her husband. And the author describes how she grew up. My mom was a hoarder. Not so much do I remember things being horrible growing up but I do remember the house she was living in when she was moved to the nursing home. And it was bad! Really, really bad. I can relate to the parts about the author trying to help clean up. I often went to my mom's house to try to clean up. Only to find it bad again the next time I went. My step-father was a hoarder too. And together they lived in filth. Rest their souls now. I found the show on A & E years ago, Hoarders, and I binge watched until I just couldn't watch anymore. (My son has jokingly (well, I think it's a joke) called me a Hoarder). You can still see all the floors in my home. And there are not piles of junk everywhere. But I have too much stuff. This book might just make me want to start cleaning it out. If you have any interest in hoarding I high recommend this book. I know of other hoarders. It is always a surprise to me when they don't see this in themselves. This book will be given **** stars!  

What are your thoughts?  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday's Wonderings-A Life List

Outside my window...

We have gotten a bit cold here in Kansas. Still sunny and bright but the temperature is only 44* here right now. And will get down to 19* tonight. I guess winter is going to arrive after all.


Oh my gosh what more is there to ponder. Just listened to Trump declare the capital of Israel is Jerusalem. I always thought it was. He is just stirring the flames. How many leaders from other countries told him not to do this? He doesn't listen to anyone. And, in my opinion, he's only trying to deflect attention away from Mueller's investigation. It might be starting to get a little warm for our President.   


All of my favorite shows are getting ready for a winter break. When did that become necessary?? I have not watched anymore episodes of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix either. I guess I needed a winter break. It just seems to be getting "tired" for me at the moment. 


I'm reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. It's the January book selection for the book club I participate in online. I finished listening to Twisted River and I am now listening to Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. It is a collection of essays written in the 1960's by reporter Didion. Good, so far.


I am planning to finish decorating for Christmas. The tree is done. I'm working on the mantle. Then the table. Then that's enough!

What's in the kitchen...

Monday...We had ChickFilA
Wednesday...Salisbury steak
Thursday...Chili dogs
Friday...Stuffed Chicken breasts

A quote to share...

A Final thought...

Prayers for this great country of ours! What more is there to say??

Sunday, December 3, 2017

November Favorites

As we move into that 'most favorite time of the year' I have to tell you about my favorites from November.

Some of the things that are on my 'favorite things' list for November have actually been around my house for a bit of time. Like, for instance, the telephone receiver that plugs into the headphone connection on my iPhone. I love this thing. I got it last year at Christmas during our Dirty Santa gift exchange. You can get it at Walmart for $9.99. For all of us who still like to TALK on the phone this in a genius invention. No more holding that little flat box to my ear when I want to talk on the phone for an hour or so!

I've talked on here before about how much I like the Mrs. Myer's products for cleaning. I got the Christmas releases this year. I buy my products from Grove Collaborative. Let me tell you washing dishes with Peppermint scented dish soap is the best! And washing your hands and the scent lingers for a die for. Nothing says Christmas to me like Peppermint!

I have found a new podcast that I am truly enjoying. It's probably because it speaks to me about my grieving process. But there is much more to it than grief. The podcast is called Terrible, Thanks for Asking. The host of the podcast is Nora McInerny. Nora knows grief well. She miscarried her second child, her father died, followed by her husband dying six weeks later.This gal knows what she is talking about. You can visit here to learn more about her.  I like listening to either audiobooks or podcasts before I go to sleep at night. It's like being read to!!

Remember me talking about my favorite cup in a recent post? This is it. Harley got it from Hobby Lobby. It is stainless steel on the inside. I believe it is just painted on the outside. Have you used one of these tumblers? They are amazing. I can put ice water in it before I go to bed and the next morning the ice has not melted. That makes it great in my book of favorites. Works the same for keeping hot liquids hot. I keep a flex straw in mine because I am sloppy at drinking from little holes!!

My newest favorite bullet journal tool is this little beauty. And it was affordable. I can't use a compass to save my life. But this is wonderful.It's called Helix Angle and Circle Maker.  Just put your pencil in one of the little holes, hold down the side, and twirl it around. Perfect circles. I'll show a couple of my creations here.
Mood circle with moon phases

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I love wasting time on my phone as much as the next guy. My newest addiction is to the game Tens. It's a dice game that you place on a grid to make the number 10 and see how far you can go. I've made it to 445 so far. I'm sure that isn't a great record 
but it's the record I want to beat.
Do you have a favorite game you 
like to play on your phone? Or
on the computer?


Speaking of you change your wallpaper to match the season? This is my favorite Christmas wallpaper. It makes me smile when I open my phone everyday! That does it for November! What are you digging on right now? Share a favorite or two with me!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Lincoln Lawyer-A Book Review and A Lesson Before Dying

I've been spending a bit of time listening to audio-books this week. I get a bit of work done around the house and listening to some good books at the same time. When I try to listen at night I usually fall asleep and loose my place but it is relaxing to go to sleep with some of these readers.

The first book is The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. This is his first legal thriller. I will be back to find more books from this author. I am a huge fan of legal thrillers of this type. The book was narrated by Adam Grupper who did a really good job. The story centers around attorney Mickey Haller who is a cynical defense lawyer who works out of a Lincoln Town car. He mainly defends clients who can't afford to pay him much and have little chance of winning in court. Mickey is not liked by the cops or the prosecutors and sometimes not even by his own clients. And he usually wins his cases. Or gets them the best deal! Then he is hired by a very wealthy family to defend the son who is charged with brutally beating a woman. He feels like he is finally defending a client who is innocent. But he's wrong. And what he uncovers almost gets him killed. It is a fast paced thriller. The ending is satisfying and I wanted more. One of those kinds of books!

Next, a short listen, was A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. This was an adapted version of the novel and put on with a full cast, in front of a live audience. I think that added to my enjoyment of the book. And it was short. So I buzzed through it in just one afternoon. The setting for this story is a small Louisiana town in the 1940's where it still mattered if your skin was black. The main character is Jefferson, a young black man who is falsely convicted of murder. But that didn't matter. He was going to be put to death by electrocution. His godmother gets Grant Wiggins, the plantation schoolteacher to visit Jefferson on a regular basis and help him accept his death "like a man." The two men form a deep connection and in the end Jefferson is put to death. A very compelling story. I may have to search out the full novel to read one day. 

Have you read or listened to either of these? Or anything by these authors?  

Monday, November 27, 2017


Outside my window...

What a beautiful day in November. It is sunny and 66* outside. So far, we are not having much in the way of wind. Although it is predicted for today. This is the craziest weather ever. All of this week we will have temperatures in the upper 50's. I am not complaining! Hopefully it won't mean snow and ice in April!!


Pondering the holiday season. It has begun. We put up and decorated the Christmas tree this past weekend. Every year I forget what a chore this is. There are all the boxes to drag in from the garage. Then the stuggle with getting the tree to light from top to bottom. (That took up the first day). This is the first year I have had a theme for my tree. Usually we just add a jumble of decorations we have collected through the years and call it 'traditional'. Richard always liked that best. This year my them is 'Country Glam with Silver and Red'. And I love it. It's still a work in progress but here are some of the ornaments:

Still decorating

my new deer

Silver snowflakes

At our house we Believe

Angel Wings


night time


I am almost at the end of the current shows of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. And we have been watching some Christmas shows!


I have started reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Have any of you read this book? I am also listening to The Linclon Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Also, this month, we have started a Bible Study online with the Paper and Glam website: God and Glam. We are going to use the book Living The Christian Yearby Bobby Gross as our devotional. I read most of this last year but we will delve deeper into it during 2018, as a group. 


I'm creating a Christmas wonderland inside my home. What are you creating for Christmas?


In the near future our plans include a few days of dog sitting our favorite dog, Allowishus (We call him Ali) His human mama is going to Utah for a marathon. We like it a lot when Ali comes to visit. (Even though it forces me into more exercise than I am used to).

What's in the kitchen...

This will be another week of flying by the seat of my pants in the kitchen. Harley is gone for dinner all week. She is completing her CNA course at the high school with clinicals at the nursing home. She is getting to go to the last nursing home where I worked before Richard got sick. And she is in love with the 'old' folks. 

A quote to share...


Paige with her mom on Snapchat
Our Thanksgiving Snapchat

Found on my phone

found photos

found photos

We did Face masks on Wednesday night
Paige and Harley

tree at the curve of our street

November Sunset

A final thought...

We had a last minute change up in our Thanksgiving plans here. Justin and a friend of his came over for dinner on Thanksgiving day. So Harley and I put together Thanksgiving of ham, potatoes and all the fixings. It was nice to have them over. Paige came and spent the night on Wednesday. She worked for Black Friday (which for her started at 11 p.m. on Thursday evening and ended at 9 a.m. on Friday) so she went home early on Thanksgiving. We also Facetimed with Darian. So it was a good Thanksgiving this year. How was yours?