Monday, January 30, 2017

The End of January Life List


We are going to think Spring is on the way today. It is already 54* and supposed to get into the upper 60's. I love the sun shining! Yes, I do!


I am pondering if I want to do anything or if I want to sit and read. I would really like to finish the book I am reading and start a new one!!  


I am learning that the America we live in today is not the same America I was born into. There was so much racism back in the 50's and 60's. That certainly hasn't changed. What HAS changed is the pure hatred I see everywhere because of the INTERNET. People who sit behind their keyboards, in hiding, and lambaste EVERYTHING that is going on in the world. I wonder how verbal these people would be without the anonymity of the screen. Guess that is why the Klan wore those white sheets. They were ashamed to show their faces! 


My linen closet

I am creating space!!
More space for just the things I need and nothing else.


I am currently reading Still Life by Louise Penny. I am about half-way through the book. I need to kick it in gear because it is time to start the February book club pick!


Last night I watched The Help on TV. It was my first time. I absolutely loved it. I love Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson! Both great actresses. 


Right now I have the news on in the background. I have cleaned out my Facebook feed because of so much negative news. Maybe I need to get up and turn off the TV. 




News from our house...

This is a week of birthdays! Darian will be 19 tomorrow!! And Harley turns 17 on Saturday. I also have some other news to share soon! But for now I will keep you in suspense. 



Tuesday...Baked Chicken breasts

Wednesday..Harley will eat at church

Thursday...Harley is begging for hamburger helper...

Friday... Pizza


Sunday...Shepherd's pie


What I'm fighting for...

A final thought...

I don't have much to say this week. I am weary! I am weary of the world in which we live. I am weary of unkind people. I am weary. But it is enough for me to know that this sentiment is true for me. Thank you, Richard, for loving me!! 


Friday, January 27, 2017

Small Great Things-A book review

Review below is from Goodreads

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game. 

I love Jodi Picoult books! She truly writes her stories based on so many of the social issues  we face in today's times. This book was no different. It is the story of a black nurse not being allowed to care for the white baby of a white supremacist. 

When I was working at the hospital, many years ago, we had something similar to this happen. No a baby didn't die. In fact no one died. That I know of anyway. But there was the case of a black nurse being told she could not take care of a white patient. I was filling in as a float nurse in the intensive care unit. We had a very belligerent, verbally abusive white guy as a patient. On the day shift there was one black nurse. (Our hospital employed very few black nurses. I often wondered about that but I never asked why)This black nurse had been assigned two patients. One of them was the white guy mentioned above. As soon as she stepped into his room he began throwing a huge fit. He wanted to see a supervisor. A white supervisor. His words, not mine. After the supervisor calmed him down word was passed on, verbally, that only white nurses would be allowed to care for him. I worked the night shift so none of this was witnessed by me personally. Just passed on during report. We didn't have any black nurses on my shift so it didn't become an issue for us. We did talk about it among ourselves.No one really wanted to take care of the guy because he was so obnoxious! I took the side of the patient,however,  saying he had the right to have whoever he wanted to take care of him. The same stance I took with male nurses verses female nurses. We had many patients who didn't want male nurses taking care of them. (Once, while I was hospitalized, I had a male nurse. But when I need assistance to use the bedside commode I requested a female nurse help me). I wonder if that is the same thing. Not racist maybe. But sexist. 

After listening to this book I am now pondering the stance the hospital took with this patient. Both in the book and at my very own place of employment. Do patients have the right to request?? I believe they do. But I think it is the responsibility of everyone to try to stick up for each other. I just don't know how to do that! 

And on the other hand, does a nurse who might support the side of the white supremacist, have the right to refuse to take care of a black patient. Does a male nurse, who might be uncomfortable taking care of female patients, have the right to refuse to take care of them? No! Emphatically no! But how is this fair?  

This book gives one a lot to chew on! I give it a solid ***** five stars. I think the ending of the book (which I won't give away) was very idealistic and likely wouldn't really happen. But I like how it ended.  I loved this book! But I sure don't have the answers to my own questions. I wonder if we will still be asking these questions for years to come!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How To Control This Five Minute Friday

I want to get better at writing. I need to put my thoughts on paper (or in this case on the screen) and just let them flow from my heart. That is what I love about Five Minute Friday. Kate gives us the prompt and we write for five minutes and then share with the fine people who link-up at her blog. You can find out all about it by going over to Heading Home

This week the prompt is CONTROL


I am a control freak. I don't know if I really am a control freak but my family tells me that I am. I've often wondered, whenever they say that, why is that a bad thing?? I like to know what is going on. I like to know when it is going to go on. And I want the details. So, why is that bad?

It seems to cause my family a lot more stress than it causes me. I am not a person who is comfortable with surprises. I like to be in the know. In control. But I don't have to have ALL the control.

When Richard was alive he was pretty much the one who was in control at this house. He decided what we were going to do and when we were going to do it. And I let him decide. I liked how he would map out our entire vacations and do all the planning. All I had to do was pack and jump on board. We always had a good time. I always liked his planning. But I never once thought of him having an issue with being a control freak. And I am pretty sure he didn't think I was a control freak. Maybe it is a generational thing. Younger people don't seem to want to have someone in control of them. Maybe that's it!

I really don't like being the one in control now. Hell, I would dump these responsibilities onto the lap of anyone who would take them. I just need to know when? And how? And where can I meet you? At what time? Okay, maybe I am a bit of a control freak! But, just a bit!

One of the things I am trying hard to let go of this year is worries. Maybe if I can let go of being in control I will worry much less. What do you think? Are you a control freak? What is it you have to control? Do you find it easy to let go and let God as they say?


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January's Brilliant Ideas

Who doesn't love January? Let me see a show of hands. January, to me, is a time to start over. I love to open to the first page of a new calendar. I love to open up the first page of my planner and see a whole book of blank pages. And I love to get started purging, de-cluttering, and getting ready for spring cleaning. What better time for all of this as the snow flies or the north winds blow. Not much of that has been going on here in Kansas this week. It seems more like the beginnings of spring. But anyone who lives in Kansas knows: If you don't like the weather in Kansas, wait 5 minutes, it will change! That is probably true for your state too!

Now let's share some brilliant ideas about making our lives easier!

I found this first brilliant idea on my friend Gram's blog. You can go visit her over at Goodnight Gram's Blog. Many of you may already know her. 

Gram's binder clip
Just use your binder clips and keep track of your readers! I have so many places this would come in handy! I need glasses to read but I haven't yet needed glasses for all the time. And it is hard to keep up with where I put my readers. (Mine usually are perched on top of my head). This is brilliant!! Thanks Gram for sharing.

Picture from Pinterest

I'm currently working on organizing and purging my linen closet. I found these very baskets at Dollar Tree and two of them are inside my linen closet now for hand towels and wash cloths. I even labeled them. It will be a reminder that we don't need anymore than what will fit in these two baskets! My granddaughters say I am a "towel hoarder". I think they might be on to something. I will share the after pictures when I am through organizing. (I forgot to take a before picture. Or maybe I was too ashamed)

I've also always kept my toilet paper in the laundry room bathroom. How dumb is that when the other bathrooms are on the other side of the house. So I moved the toilet paper to where we use it the most. And put it in the linen closet.
Picture from Pinterest

I am on the lookout right now for some bins to corral my sheets. But until then I have tried out this idea:
Brilliant! Keeps all the linens for one bed together. Why haven't I thought of this! When I find the perfect bins I would just take my little "pillowcase bundles" and walah put them into the proper bin!
Picture from Pinterest

I also like this idea for keeping extra bathroom and personal supplies. But hopefully I won't try to keep that many at one time. Do you think that is "bordering on hoarding"? I like the idea though.

Maybe for a few products!

What about you? What ideas do you have for the new year? Do you like to begin the year by de-cluttering and starting fresh? Share with me!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Post Inauguration Life List


A beautiful day here in Kansas. It is 52* calm and sunshiny!


I am pondering the state of our union. I was impressed with the Women's March over this past weekend. There has been a lot of flack all over the INTERNET about it. But I stand behind ALL women all over the world to fight for what we want from this administration.  


This week in the Do Not Depart group we are memorizing Psalm 121:3-4

"He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep"


I am creating space in my linen closet. Last week I purged towels, sheets, pillowcases, pillows, and blankets. WoW! Did I have a lot of stuff. I have paired it down tremendously. Now I just need to decide what to do with what I got rid of. Donate, sell, throw away! I have some good sheet sets that I will probably try to sell. We don't need that many sets of sheets since I usually wash the bedding and put it right back on the bed. I have a huge bag of old towels. I have heard the Humane Society might need those. I will call them later and see! 


I haven't done as much reading so I am still on the same books as I was last week. I have spent a bit more time with my audio book this week.


I spent all day Friday watching the Inauguration of our new President. It was extremely interesting. I want to like this guy. I really do!  


At the moment I am listening to the weather report on TV. We are going to have temps in the upper 50's until Wednesday and then back to winter temps!


Some of my coloring
more with just pencils
Paige, Harley, Paige's boyfriend



Tuesday...Bacon Cheeseburger Skillet

Wednesday..granny is on her own! (Maybe)

Thursday...Soup and Sandwich Day

Friday...I may be on my own again this day

Saturday...Crockpot Salisbury Meatballs

Sunday...Chicken Broccoli Casserole (This has been on the menu the past two weeks. Maybe I will get it made this week)


A final thought...

I have been struggling with myself about whether I should support our new President or jump on the bandwagon to oppose what his agenda might be. Do we even know what he has in mind. I don't know that I have heard much more than "Make America Great Again" (I didn't know it wasn't great), build a wall, abolish the Affordable Health care Act without knowing what he will be putting in it's place. I pretty much knew he wouldn't ever show his tax returns even though he promised over and over. It should be mandated that he do so. I was also pretty sure he wasn't going to lock up Hillary. What I'm not sure of is what is he going to do? My blogging friend Joanne at Cup On The Bus has written a post with suggestions of what we can do. Go over and read her post and let's see what we can do. If I am stepping on anyones toes here I apologize. But it is my blog and these are my opinions. I'm not telling anyone what to do! Merely offering the information. I don't know if I can just stand back. I know that I will pray for him everyday. He needs all of us to pray for him. I want to be proven wrong about this President! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm A Piglet Hodgepodge

My first Hodgepodge of 2017! Go over to From This Side of the Pond and join the group.

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? 

I love acronyms. For me, right now, the acronym ASAP is going to mean:
Always saying, Always praying. 

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

I am much more verbal in small groups. I don't like to speak up if the group is outside of my tribe. But I am very verbal with my tribe. LOL! And it is a good thing. Believe me!!

3. What do you remember best about being 12? 

I don't remember much about being 12. Many of the memories from my childhood are scarce. I don't know why. When I hear my siblings talk about things I often wonder if I was even there. I just don't have the memories they have. Mine are scattered!

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 

I feel like I am most like Piglet. Piglet is anxious but loving and caring. He is the voice of reason. I think he would be the designated driver. (Which is what I would be now. Not in my younger days, though) Piglet has hidden courage and will help others even when he is afraid. That's me!

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 

I have mentioned before that I use Cozi! I love the Cozi calendar!

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL) have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

I have been to all of these places except Sanibel, Florida. So I would take a long weekend and see what Sanibel is all about! Why not? Anyone want to go with me?

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what?

The very first time I moved away from home I would hear the song Snowbird by Anne Murray on the radio. When I hear it now the song always takes me right back to my first apartment away from home. "spread your tiny wings and fly away" It doesn't make me want to go back to that place. It just reminds me of that time!  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

January always makes me yearn for new beginnings. It is a new year. We will get a new start. Let's make it the best we can! Don't you ponder what might lie ahead? Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let The Sun Shine Life List


The sun has set. All the ice from the past few days has melted. We did not get anything bad. We kept our power the whole time. We did not leave home for 3 days! (Today is another day...and the sun is shining!!!)


As I ponder the Presidential inauguration, coming up this week, I think about how divided this country is. More divided than ever. And social media brings out the nastiness in people. I know we need to support this guy as the President of our great country. But, I don't have to LIKE him. And I won't quit criticizing him if he goes around acting like a spoiled child who has to jump on everyone who displeases him. We need to all step up and show HIM how Americans act. There are so many more of us who know manners, who know political correctness, who know how to love and not how to hate. We can overcome and show the world we are great! So let's all get behind the President and show him the proper way to handle himself in office!! I know we can do it! 


I have, once again, joined with the Do Not Depart group to memorize verses in the Bible. We are memorizing Psalm 121:1-8. Here is this week's verse:

"A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." 


Winter mantle

Be Mine!


I am reading Still Life by Louise Penny. I have heard so much about this author. I am still listening to Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I only listen while I clean. So I need to get busy cleaning so I can hear more of this book!


I have been watching Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence on Investigation Discovery channel. It is narrated by Martin Sheen and one of the investigators is Derrick Lavesseur (former winner of Big Brother). It is a six-episode true-crime series which points the finger at Jason Simpson, OJ's son. I watched the entire OJ Simpson trial on Court TV (I loved that channel). I was one of the few (okay, I may have been the only one) of my friends and family who believed OJ was NOT the killer. That doesn't mean I believe he was completely innocent. I just don't think he was guilty of murder. 


My house is currently silent. That doesn't happen very often. The only thing I can hear is the bubbling in the fish tank and the clacking of the keys as I type. Perfect!!


Beef Stroganoff
Sleeping while the ice forms
Ice on the polycart

ice on the Locust tree

ice in the yard


Monday... Tonight we had leftovers

Tuesday...Mexican Chili Mac

Wednesday..Granny is on her own

Thursday...Soup and Sandwich Day


Saturday...Green Bean Soup

Sunday...Chicken-Broccoli Casserole



Today I begin my fight with clutter!

A peek into my week...

Just another week of taxiing my girl to and from work. I am going to de-clutter the linen closet today. Why do we keep so many towels and linens. Not anymore!! I am down-sizing!!

A final thought...

She's been shopping for a prom dress. She was asked to go to prom by a friend at church. It is not her school but another school here in town. She is excited. She purchased this dress from a friend! It is a Sherri Hill dress. If you are not familiar with Sherri Hill go check her out. She is a fabulous designer with ridiculously high priced dresses. All the girls know who she is. Harley got a GOOD deal on this dress which has been 'gently worn'. We won't show the front until prom. Stay turned!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Year of Yes-A Book Review

The story is about Shonda Rhimes, the writer of all those wonderful Thursday evening shows: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and (as a producer) How To Get Away With Murder. It is my favorite night of television. So I expected to like the book. 

It is a 'tell-all' about how she changed from an obese, extremely shy, down-trodden lady to the fierce black woman she is today.

I didn't much like it! I read it for a book club I belong to. I wasn't sure they would want to hear my thoughts until I chatted with some of the ladies in a Facebook group and found many of them felt the same. (However, the majority of the group l.o.v.e.s. the book).

Reasons I didn't like the book were: for a writer of great TV shows, she can't write a very good book. The book rambled and rambled and hardly ever made it to a 'point'. 

She insisted throughout the book that she doesn't like talking about herself yet she continually pats herself on the back and tells us how wonderful she is. I found it really hard to relate to her. She is filthy rich, has kids, no father for these kids, a housekeeper and a nanny. Nothing at all that I can relate to. Nor do I want to!

For me it just didn't make it! I will only give it ** two stars!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Struggling with the Winter Blues

Winter is always a struggle for me. I tend to hibernate. I don't like to leave home. I wrap myself in a blanket and stick my nose in the TV. I can't even seem to get lost in a book right now. It is cold outside and it will get colder.

Old Man Winter

The weatherman is forecasting an ice-storm for the weekend. We had an ice storm here a few years ago which took out our power for a week. I cannot deal with that again. I hope all the cutting on the trees that was done last summer will spare us from another year like that. Even though the days are shorter they seem so much longer.

Do any of you deal with being down in the dumps in the winter? 

I was reading an article about "winter blues" the other day and one of the things which was recommended was to get outside. What??? That is why I hate winter. It's cold out there. But they said, "get outside, stay warm". I have to admit that I laughed out loud. But I'm sure they know what they are talking about.

Other things that were advised is to eat healthy. I try to do that all the time. But I guess now it is really important. I love to eat. But I need to try to be more healthy. I will work at eating more salads. We don't think about eating fruits and vegetables in the winter, do we?

Okay that is enough whining for the day. I'm going to get off this office chair and pour myself a glass of wine. (Not whine). Slice myself a bit of cheese. And I'll get back with you soon.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like January


Currently it is dark. I am waiting for Harley to get off work so I can pick her up. It is cold, but not as cold as we have been. And we will see a warm-up this week. All the way up to 56* on Wednesday. I won't be complaining!


This past week I have been pondering the liturgical year. I grew up in a religion that celebrated Easter and Christmas and that was pretty much it. I am finding it very intriguing to be learning about the liturgical year.  


And that is what I am learning!


In my mind I am creating my Valentine's mantle and home decor. 


I am still reading A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I still listening to Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I have also been reading Living The Christian Year: Time To Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross.Along with that I have started my yearly journey through the Bible. This year I am reading front to back through the NLT Bible. Since I have been reading the Bible through in a year I have been chosing a different Bible each year. I really, really enjoy the NLT version. So, I am doing a lot of reading!!!


Over the past week I 'binge' watched Too Close to Home on TLC. I am caught up with all of the first season and watched the first episode of this (the second) season. Is there anyone else that is watching this show?


Right now I am hearing Sister Wives in the background. 


Tomorrow, January 9, will be Richard's Birthday. We released balloons today while Paige and Justin were here. Sadly, Harley and Darian were missing but we released balloons for them too.

We struggle with how to treat holidays without Richard here. We talked about it and Justin wanted to get balloons to release like we did last year. So that is what we did. We all wrote a message on our balloon and we sent them off towards Heaven!

Happy Birthday Richard! I miss you and wish you were here.

Paige and Harley squishing their faces


Monday...Leftovers from the weekend

Tuesday...Chili Dogs & Chips

Wednesday..Granny is on her own

Thursday...Mexican Chili Mac

Friday...Soup and Sandwiches

Saturday...Beef Stroganoff 

Sunday...Chicken and Broccoli Casserole


We are struggling with change once again at our house. With Darian gone we are finding our new groove. Also, Harley's working hours have kept her away from home a lot in the evening. I am learning to deal with the meal issue and a lot of time alone!

What I am fighting for this week....

I am fighting my way through the Christmas decorations. Packing them up and putting them away! I thought I was going to down-size but this is not the year. I can't part with them yet!

A peek into my week...

Harley works everyday but Wednesday and Friday so I will be taxiing a bit. And I am planning to buy some paint. And some organization baskets at the Dollar Tree. 


A final thought...

Life is tough and change is hard. But I will get up everyday and keep going!