Thursday, April 27, 2017

April's Favorite Things

I know I say this every month but I cannot believe it is already the end of the month. April literally flew by!! It seems like Harley and I just took our road trip and it has already been a month!! Yikes!!

Time for another Favorite Things post. These are some of the things that gave me joy in the month of April!

I bought this while we were in Oklahoma. It is from Bath and Body Works and I love it!! The fragrance is a "blend of lemon, sugared mint, and fresh verbena" (these are the words from the website). It is infused into a rich shea butter cream. I love how it feels and I adore the smell. Try it! You won't be disappointed.

I am obsessed with these candies! I buy them from the Dollar Tree and you get 10 ounces for $1. That is quite a few of these delightful, flavorful, fat-free pieces of pure Heaven. I have one in my mouth right now. And my candy dish by the front door is filled with them. So help yourself to one as you leave. 

Harley and I have jumped into "sandwich season" here at our house. And I have discovered a new bread! Sandwich Thins
are the best. And only 100 calories. We love them!!

And while we are talking about favorite things to eat, I am obsessed with Taco Bell's Taco salad with taco meat!! Yum! I could eat one of these every day of the week. It is only $5.39 and fills me up. Not the most nutritional thing I've eaten this month. But maybe the tastiest!! 

Lol! After eating the Mexican food I might need some relief from heartburn and these are the best things I have ever found to relieve it quickly!! You get fast relief and it doesn't taste gritty or chalky! Trust me. I have tried a variety of different things for heartburn and this is seriously the best. (P.S. I don't have heartburn often but I keep these on hand. They also work for any kind of upset stomach)

This is really the best medicine in the world....

This is my favorite new Christmas ornament. But until Christmas it hangs from my mirror in the car. I bought it here. Reminds me to think of Darian and say a little prayer for him and all of military every single day. (Like I need a reminder) Isn't it adorable??

And while we are speaking of the military I got these adorable cards in the mail yesterday thanking for my small donation to the Disabled American Veterans. This top card reminds me of Darian, Paige and Harley when they were younger. They will be perfect for sending notes to my SIT. (soldier in training)

Now if we want to talk about wasting time (I call it destressing) this is my favorite new download for my iPhone this month. It is called "Best Fiends". I can waste a bit of time on this game. Especially as I wait for Harley to get off work. It's fun!!I'm not that good at it. But I try.

That's all folks!! These are just some of my favorite things in April. What are some of yours??

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Last Week of April Life List


Today is a typical spring day in Kansas. It is sometimes sunny and sometimes cloudy. The temp is 63* which is not as warm as I would like for it to be. There isn't much of a wind today, but yesterday was another story. Thought we might blow away. And we have storms forecast for after 9 p.m. tonight! Yipee! My favorite way to "not" go to sleep. Wondering if there will be a tornado to take us away!! Oh springtime in Kansas....


Pondering is what I do best! I ponder a lot! I can ponder in the morning, ponder in the evening, ponder all day and night!! Okay, okay enough of that. I am pondering whether my lawn mower battery is going to be charged by the end of the day. Or will I be buying a new lawn mower battery. I guess I should have started it more often during the winter. (Sorry, Fred) Harley and I went out to mow on Sunday and the riding mower wouldn't start. A really tall, handsome man came to help me with it on Monday. We jumped it from his truck and I finished what Harley hadn't done with the push mower, drove it into the garage, turned it off and that was it. Wouldn't start again! So, that same tall, handsome man came and put a battery charger on it this morning. After 5-6 hours I will see what happens. And maybe I should invest in a portable battery charger! Do you think? 


Learning is something we never stop doing! Right? I watched carefully as the battery charger was attached to my mower (jumped and squealed a bit when it was attached to the truck and the sparks flew) and hopefully I will be able to do it myself in the future. Wish me luck. If I don't come back here to write then you will know I didn't do it right!! Just kidding.


Today I created a Crockpot of ham and beans and a pan of corn muffins. Harley will not be thrilled with my choice for dinner, but she can eat a ham sandwich, I guess. 


I am still reading Before The Fall by Noah Hawley, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (book club meets this Thursday, then I will probably say I gave this book my best shot and put it away). I like poetry. Just not this kind of poetry!


I am watching the new season of Dancing With The Stars. I love to watch the ballroom dances. And I love the judges! Especially Len. He is my favorite. I haven't really picked a favorite yet but I was quite disgusted that Maks & Heather were eliminated last night. They had a perfect score for their dance and have never been at the bottom of the leader board, so I'm not sure how that happened. I wish they would take the public out of the show and just allow them to watch. Not vote! I often think the best dancer is eliminated and the most popular wins the trophy! Do you watch DWTS?


I am hearing MSNBC news in the background. And the bubbling of my fish tank. I need to add water to the tank so it won't be so noisy. Note to self: do that when you are done here!!


ready to dance
A beautiful dress
getting her wrist corsage
This is officially the new boyfriend
putting on the jewels

the 'do'

Official basic training photograph

Paige and her date

Paige's 'do'

Paige and her daddy


Monday...Harley worked

Tuesday...Ham & Beans, cornbread

Wednesday..Harley will eat at church

Thursday...Grilled Chicken Salad


Saturday...Harley is going to prom (again)

Sunday...Chicken Cordon Blue


peek into my week...

Yikes, it is already Tuesday! And this is the last week of April. I have an order to pick up at Walmart and a couple of letters to mail. So we will go run an errand soon. Tomorrow Harley will go to church (and I will watch Survivor) On Thursday I hope to get started back on my "big surprise". Or the surprise is going to be on me. LOL!! On Friday we will just chill. Then Saturday will be a repeat of last Saturday as Harley will be going to another prom. This time with the friend from church. (Not a boyfriend) I do not yet know if Paige and Justin will be over but if they are we will hang out with them on Sunday!

A final thought...

I have no final thoughts this week. I am doing good just to get this posted. I am a day late, if you noticed. Hope you are all fine! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Memory Keeper's Daughter-A Book Review

I have finally finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It's not that it wasn't a good book and couldn't hold my attention, it was life that was going on around me that interfered. But, finally, I finished it a few days ago. It was a story I enjoyed reading. But it was a sad tale!

The story spanned a 25 year period, starting in 1964 with the birth of twins. The wife of a orthopedic surgeon was pregnant.  On a snowy, snowy night she went into labor. They drove to the clinic of her husband. Her doctor, the obstetrician, was unable to make it in time due to the snow storm so her husband began to help with the delivery. His nurse, Caroline, was able to be there to assist. (She had secretly been in love with the doctor for sometime, but he didn't know that). After the first baby was born it was discovered that another baby was shortly on the way. Back in those days it wasn't always known that a woman was carrying twins until the second baby surprised them on delivery. 

When the baby girl arrived, following the birth of her brother, it was apparent to the doctor she had Down's Syndrome. In the early 1960's babies with Down's Syndrome were not given a lot of hope for long lives or lives free of many medical problems. It is inferred in the story that the doctor had lost his 12 year old sister to death from severe heart problems. One is to wonder if she, too, was a Down's baby. The pivotal moment of the story is when David, (the father) decides not to keep the baby girl. He hands her off to Caroline with instructions to take her to a near-by institution. He then tells his wife the baby died at birth and has already been buried. 

But Caroline is unable to leave the baby girl at the institution and she runs away with the baby to raise her as her own. She eventually lets the doctor know she has the baby but refuses to tell him where she lives. And he never sees the baby.

I will not spoil the end of the story but it is very sad. The book is well written with fully developed characters. The main characters are David, the doctor; his wife, Norah; the son, Paul and Caroline, the nurse, with baby girl Phoebe. The book was long. I felt it could have been shorter but the author went into much detail about everything. Many times I felt I were in the same room with these characters, experiencing their emotions.

I give the book a solid **** four points. I hope you will read it, too!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Life List April 19th Edition

Looking out my window today I am seeing the sun shine. We are in a wind advisory however. And it is 82*! Summer arriving right on the heels of Easter? Or will next week be back in the 50's? Who knows. It's Kansas!!


I am pondering the busy days that are ahead. I haven't gotten much done. I have had foot problems all week. (No, I didn't go to the doctor)! My right big toe was swollen, hot, and red. At the joint. Sounds like gout? That's what I'm thinking. Now it is in the second and third toe too. Hurts like heck and very hard to walk. My dad suffered with gout and all three of my brothers have had it at one time or another. So between hot soaks, cold packs, and lots of ibuprofen I haven't done much but sit with my legs elevated all week. Not what I had planned on doing. But it is what it is! 


Every single day I learn that I just need to go with the flow. What will be, will be! And all that jazz. I guess there is nothing on my plate that can't be put off until another day. It is just annoying to me when I can't do the things I want to to do.


I'm slowly changing over from the Easter mantle to just a spring mantle again. Then the first of May I will probably switch it up to my red, white, and blue for Memorial Day and the fourth of July. That should do it for a good bit. 


I finished reading The Memory Keepers Daughter. Stay tuned for my review. I like it! Now I am reading Before The Fall by Noah Hawley. I am really getting into get. It's a page turner for sure! I also made it through the Easter season in the book Living The Christian Year. This is a devotional book that my God & Glam group is reading. And I am still working on Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (yawn) for book club next week. I doubt I will finish it. Just not that into poetry right now!


I've been trying to catch up with Naked and Afraid episodes that I missed. I don't know why I find that show so fascinating, but I do. And I'm watching Survivor! And Dancing With the Stars, of course. Was glad to see 


I'm listening to the news. All about Bill O'Reilly! Another one bites the dust!


I have pictures on my camera, I'm sure. I am just not in the mood today to hook the phone to the computer and do all that transferring. I know that you will forgive me.


Monday...Taco Bell

Tuesday...Hamburger steaks, sweet potatoes

Wednesday..Ham, baked potatoes, broccoli

Thursday...Ham and Cheese Sandwiches


Saturday...Granny is on her own

Sunday...Haven't yet decided


A peek into my week...

The week is half over. I am hoping next week will be a better week. We have the first (she's going to two) prom this weekend so the week is all about getting ready for prom. She is excited, needless to say! I can't wait to share pictures next week

A final thought...

It has been a hard week. I feel out of sorts. I know it is grief! Life WILL go on!! Thanks for visiting me today!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Week's Life List


Today, as I gaze out my window, I see a beautiful spring day. A promise of better days ahead. The sun is shining, it is a cool 58*, a slight breeze is blowing from the south. Warmer days are coming!


As I ponder this past week I am once again overcome with grief. Losing my brother has had a huge impact on me (and all the family). And it has brought the loss of Richard back front and center.  It is so hard! I try to find the positive. But right now I just can't. My brother suffered both physically and mentally for many years of his life. He was in constant pain. I guess that is the positive, right now, he is no longer in pain. The pain right now is with his family who are going to miss him so much. Sometimes grief is almost un-bearable! 


I don't like the lessons I am learning right now. I'm having to struggle hard to see the reasons and look through the tears and the pain to find the sunshine again

What I am creating...

I changed a few things around and made my mantle transform from spring to Easter. It is all I have the energy for right now!


I have spent very little time reading since last week so I am still on the same books as last week. 


Haven't spent anytime watching much on TV either.


As I type this, General Hospital is playing in the background.


My brother's shirt from his Army days
His Viet Nam Veteran's hat
This hung at the cemetery from the corner
of the canopy

My brother Fred
So handsome!

The balloons we released for Fred

A Snap Chat from Darian on Saturday

Harley's Facebook post for me
on my Birthday

WHAT pleased me this week....

Just as we were pulling out of the driveway on Saturday, to take Harley to work, her phone alerted her she had a Snap Chat. The above picture from Darian was on her phone. We got to spend 5 glorious minutes texting him and sending pictures back and forth. It was the best Birthday present this old granny could have asked for. And the next best was the post Harley put on her Facebook. We also were blessed with Justin and Paige on Sunday. Justin cooked our meal (his famous cream cheese hamburgers with all the trimmings) and a layered Chocolate Cherry birthday cake that was 'to die for'. I had a very good birthday!


Monday...Leftovers from the birthday dinner

Tuesday...Chicken pot pies

Wednesday..Harley will eat at church

Thursday...Hamburger Steaks with mashed taters


Saturday...No weekend meals planned of yet!!


A peek into my week...

Harley is only working one day this week. I need to do some laundry. I need to take her prom dress to the dry cleaners! I need to get a Clicklist ready and then pick up groceries. I need to get back to working on 'the surprise'. I need to get ready for my brother Chuck who is coming in May. And we need to plan our trip to Georgia for June. Lots to do!! 

A final thought...

My favorite Bible verse for this week:
(A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever

Friday, April 7, 2017

Thank You!

I want to say a big thank you to all of my readers and friends here at my blog! My family felt your prayers as we went through this past week of losing and mourning  my brother. We laid him to rest yesterday under a clear, blue Kansas sky! It was a beautiful service. The minister read my blog post and a piece my youngest brother wrote as well. Fred was loved!! He will be missed by all of us here on earth. He was a good man with a big heart!

And now life must go on. We will honor him by remembering the good times and what he meant to us. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tribute to A Brother

It is never a good sign to come out of a deep sleep wondering 'what is that noise' and realize the telephone is ringing. Glancing at the clock I see those bright yellow numbers show the time as 4:03 a.m. I reach for my cell phone which always lies next to where I sleep. I pick it up to see if that is where the sound is coming from. Yes! It shows my brother Chuck's name emblazoned in the glowing light. I swiftly wonder if he has accidentally called me again. (He has done that, but never in the middle of the night). My next thought swiftly hits upon 'uh oh, this cannot be good.'

I thought quickly about not answering. Then I wouldn't have to hear the bad news on the other end. The only reason to call a sibling in the middle of the night is for bad news. I quickly said hello and then heard my world shatter just as quickly.

"Fred has died"

Fred is my middle brother. He is a twin to my only sister. He has always been in my life. He and my sister are two years older than me. Chuck is the oldest. And baby brother, Rich, is the baby (even at almost 64 he is still my baby brother). I hear myself shout out, "no". It can't be true.

"Fred has died"

Chuck tells me my sister, Claudia, has been trying to reach me. She lives in a town about 40 miles away. Fred lives across town. And Chuck is in Louisiana. Rich lives in the country not far from us. Fred's wife got up during the night and found my brother sitting up in his recliner. She thought he was asleep. His chin rested on his chest. His arms were folded across his chest. She suddenly has "that feeling" that something is not right. She reaches out to shake him awake. He doesn't wake up. He is gone! He is gone?

"Fred has died"

As I drove across town in the middle of the night, a town that was sleeping, I remembered my brother. The brother who liked to play practical jokes on us when we were growing up. He used to hang by his feet from the roof of our house and peer in the window. Creepy!! But he loved to scare us. I remembered the time he put a bar of soap under his t-shirt and stabbed himself with a knife. Complete with ketchup for blood. I remembered when he hid in the bushes on Halloween and snatched our treat bags out of our hands as we walked by. He thought he was funny.

While we were waiting for a red light to turn green I had a flashback to the time we pushed his car about a block away from the house so we could sneak out with his girlfriend and my boyfriend. And when we came home and all the lights in the house were on. I knew that once again I would find all the lights on when I arrived across town at his house.

We had not spoken much to each other in the past few years. Silly disagreements about things that wouldn't matter at all today. But still I knew that I would miss this brother more than anything. He spent hours talking with Richard about gardening. About whether Big Boy tomatoes or Heirlooms were better. About when to till and whether to lay down hay or mulch. How much to water the cucumbers. He was always there when I needed advice about the car or the house. Or how to trim a tree limb that was hanging too low.

I remembered missing him when he left for the Army. And praying for him when he trudged through the jungles of Viet Nam. I recall how my mom would always know when he was in heavy battles. She would just know and be awake at night worrying about him. And then when a letter would arrive saying he was 'okay' how we were all okay too. Will it ever be okay again?

As I pulled my car onto his street and saw all the lights on and all the cars there I knew it was true.

"Fred has died"

Fred with his great-grandson

Sunday, April 2, 2017


The sun is setting as the end comes to Spring Break Week. We have lived through a variety of weather this past week. Had the temps as high as 80* and as low as 38* We saw some sun shine but mostly clouds and a lot of rain in the past 7 days. Here in my hometown it is drizzling rain right now!! Maybe we will start to see some true spring weather in the week ahead.

Starting a road trip

As I ponder this past week I can honestly tell you Harley and I had a good time. We left on Monday, March 27 and drove to my cousin's house in Wagoner, Oklahoma. About 270 miles south of here. Had a really good road trip. Except for Tulsa, Oklahoma where there are way too many crazy drivers. Both going and coming back there were issues in Tulsa. As Mac Davis once sang it was good to see 'Tulsa In My Rear View Mirror.' We came home on Friday and as always it was good to get home. 

What We Ate....

Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich
Monday night we drove to Muskogee, Oklahoma, the home of Merle Haggard, and ate at El Chico's. Yummy, good Mexican Food. We paid a visit to the Boomerang Diner in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. This is home of the Chicken Fried Steak sandwich. I'm thinking they need to find a bigger bun for that Chicken Fried Steak! We cooked out on the grill one night and ate some of the best barbeque ribs I have eaten in a long time. And our last night there we went out to eat at the Santa Fe Steakhouse for rib-eye steaks with all the trimmings. Making my mouth water right now just thinking about that juicy steak. 
Ribeye at the Santa Fe Steakhouse

Barbque Ribs at Calvins

Where We Shopped....

On Tuesday we went shopping at the Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa (Harley purchased some undies from Victoria's Secret)we shopped at the gift shop at Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa. My younger cousin works there so we stopped off to see him. Since Harley is underage we couldn't do much walking about the casino but she did find a 'glittery' tee shirt she liked in the gift shop. And we snapped a picture or two. We also found the thrift shops in Tahlequah..The Speckled Hen and the Briar Patch...(I thought about you Goodnight Gram) I bought a cool basket and an antique full size white chenille bedspread and Harley got a white elephant (ceramic). I only paid $12 for the bedspread so it was a real steal. We also shopped at a couple of thrift stores in Wagoner but they weren't nearly as impressive as those in Tahlequah. And I fell in love with BIG Dollar Trees. Our little Dollar Tree in Hutchinson has a lot to learn from those big boys. Harley was sick of stopping at The Dollar Tree. But I stopped at everyone of them we stumbled on. LOL! A total of four!! 
trying on hats

seeing if the tierra fits

a giant sunflower
heading out for a day of thrifting
Harley in front of the casino

Us inside the Hard Rock Hotel


I am reading Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It has been some time since I have read a book of poetry. Not too bad, so far. I am also reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards


At the moment I am watching The American Country Music Awards but I will soon be switching over to American Crime. I enjoy this show!


What else, country music!!


Monday...Grilled Chicken Salad

Tuesday...Baked Chicken Breasts

Wednesday..Sunflower Chicken Salad

Thursday...Chicken Pot Pies


Saturday...Happy Birthday to Me!!!



A peek into my week...

This week we are getting back to normal. I am ready to kick my feet up in the recliner for a day or two and read my book. I have some laundry to catch up with. Harley will be working on Monday, Thursday, and the weekend. She is also going to hang out with a friend and do some practice 'prom do's'. And then maybe I will get back to working on my surprise. I bet you forgot about it, didn't you!!

A final thought...

We got a letter from Darian this week. He is doing well and seems happy. (I also was contacted by a little lady going to Fort Hayes State University saying she is in love with my grandson. What???) Darian has received his 'soft' orders. Means not set in stone. He may be heading to Kentucky!! We are still counting down the days to graduation and another road trip in June! Hope all of you had a good week. I missed you. I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on. See you soon!!