Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Favorites

I know that I say this every single month but it is true. I cannot believe another month has zipped by. Time for me to talk about my favorites for the month.

For the past couple of months I have gotten generous samples from Roc Multi-Correxion 5 in 1 anti-aging face cream. I am in LOVE! This moisturizer has smoothed out some of the fine lines on my face as it hydrates. And the best thing is it is a drug store product. Which means it won't break the bank when I run out of samples. And it has a SPF 30 to boot.

cute little scrubbies

While we are talking about face care I have to share a wonderful item I found recently at Dollar Tree. (I love that store)! These are Lil' Scrubbies Two Pack facial cleaning pads. They are made out of silicon and have little nubs that will massage, scrub, and deep cleanse your skin. I actually picked them up for Harley to try and she raved so much about them that I had to try the other one. I am in love. And cheap enough I can replace them often! They are not harsh on the skin like brushes and wash clothes. So nice.

Now for some Yummies! I have fallen in love with Snack Factory Pretzel Chips. I have tried two flavors: original and Everything. My favorite is Everything. These are a light pretzel crisp sprinkled with sesame seeds, garlic, poppy seeds, and onion. You can eat 11 of them for 110 calories. Not too bad. I love them dipped in Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Hard to eat just 11, though! 

Now for a new drink we discovered this month. We got to try it for free as a Kroger Friday Freebie. I love testing new products for free. Don't you. This one is called Mocktails from Ocean Spray. We tried the Tropical Citrus Paradise. Yummy! It is non-alcoholic but a little rum added would make it a real cocktail. 1 cup has 90 calories. Which isn't too bad in my opinion. This flavor was grapefruit and pineapple juice and a underlying flavor of coconut water. It is really delicious!!

A few months ago I decided to try the Dollar Shave Club.  I ordered "the Executive" which is a razor with 6 blades!! I love these razors. I have been a user of the Venus razor for a number of years, but these are way better. The club allows you to order your blades to be delivered as often as you would like to have them delivered. You will receive 4 replacement blades with your order. I also got a sample of shave butter which is very
the Executive
nice but I won't reorder because soap works just as well for me. Harley fell in love with my razor and we are now waiting on her handle to arrive with my next blade order. The two of us should be able to order blades every two months or so. And that will equal what we are spending on the current Venue razors.
Very nice razors.

I have been enjoying using the Audible app, on my phone, this summer. The cost is $14.99 month (a bit pricey for me but I get so much enjoyment out of books that I have splurged for now). I joined free for one-month. You receive 1 credit per month and use that to buy from a large selection of audio books. You don't have to use all the credits each month and are allowed to rollover up to 6 credits. You may cancel your membership at anytime. Even after the first free month. I've done that before and was still allowed another free month later on when I wanted to try it again. The books are about 30% cheaper than if you bought them without being a member. I haven't needed to use customer service but I have seen rave reviews about them. Do you like to listen to books??

The most favorite thing I enjoyed in June wasn't a thing at all. It was this guy! Getting to spend a whole day with him rejuvenated me for the entire month!!

Now it is your turn. Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any favorites from June you would like to share?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Second Mrs. Hockaday-A book Review

This review is from Goodreads:

“All I had known for certain when I came around the hen house that first evening in July and saw my husband trudging into the yard after lifetimes spent away from us, a borrowed bag in his hand and the shadow of grief on his face, was that he had to be protected at all costs from knowing what had happened in his absence. I did not believe he could survive it.”

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?

Inspired by a true incident, this saga conjures the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel as her views on race and family are transformed. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how that generation--and the next--began to see their world anew.

I listened to the book on Audible. I am loving listening to books while I wait on Harley to get off work. I truly enjoyed this book. It is presented by both a male and female voice. I cannot imagine what Placidia must have gone through during the early days of her marriage. I wonder if women of today could endure these types of desperations. 

And I give it a very rare ***** five stars! This will be on my favorites list for 2017! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Yikes It is Soon July Life List!!


The weather, today, in Kansas is CRAZY!! It is only 66* right now and that is our high for today! Usually we are around 90+ at this time of the year. I'm sure we will see some changes this next week. It is cloudy too. And we have occasional spits of rain. I know that because I have a little four-legged visitor that has to have walks outside. And every time I take him out it is spitting!! (edited: today it is already 79* on the way to a high of 85*)


So, so much to ponder today. I have a leak under the dishwasher. My son took it apart and discovered it is something he can't do so he recommends a plumber. But while trying to turn the shut off valve under the sink off that too developed a leak. So I guess I'll call a plumber tomorrow. Might as well get an estimate for the outside water spigot while he's here. Some days I hate being an adult!!
(Plumber has been called and will be here tomorrow)


What fun it must have been to be a teenager with not a care in the world. And how I wanted to hurry and grow up. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be treated like an adult. And now what I would give to be that carefree 15 year old again!!


I haven't done much in the creating department. I am watching some You Tube videos on creating a padded headboard. That will be in the works soon. And then I will share that "big surprise" with you. Haha! It's not really that big of a deal. But it is something I have been talking about for a long time.


I am currently listening to Jodi Picoult's novella Larger Than Life. A very nice story so far. 


I have been watching 90-Day Fiance. What a show this one is. They meet their intended (from another country)  and then bring them to the USA on a K-1 Visa and have to marry them within 90 days for the foreigner to receive their green card.  


I am currently listening to the A/C running, the microwave cooking my spaghetti squash (lunch) and the health care debate on MSNBC. 


Brother Chuck

Kansas Sunset

lunch baked sweet potato with poached eggs

Paige and Darin in Georgia


I'm getting ready to make myself a large glass of peach tea to go with my spaghetti squash. 


Monday...Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Tuesday...Hot dogs

Wednesday..Sloppy Joes and Macaroni salad

Thursday...Three Cheese macaroni casserole

Friday...Grilled chicken salad

Saturday...biscuits and gravy 

Sunday...Beef stroganoff 


A peek into my week....

Another busy week ahead...Harley is off from one of her jobs today but I need to pick up groceries. I will do that when I pick her up from swim lessons (she teaches them in the early evenings). Tomorrow she works at McDonald's only. On Wednesday and Thursday she works the early shifts at McDonald's and then the evening swim lessons. And Friday afternoon she leaves with the church youth group for Nashville. That will be their first stop off place on their way to South Florida. Next week I'll give you a look at their schedule so you can see what kinds of 'give back' things they will be doing. 

A final thought...

So proud of my soldier boy! He bought his first car this week and paid in cash. He got a 2012 Chevy Malibu. He and four of his new Army buddies went to Nashville for the weekend. Ah those growing up years. Would you like to live them over?? Me, either!

I'd turn this the right way but I can't!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings-A Book Review

I listened to this book on Audible, while on our trip to Georgia, earlier this month. It is narrated by Maya Angelou, the author. The story is the early years of Maya Angelou's life. From ages 3-16. These are childhood memories of living with her grandmother and later with her mother. She is quite happy during the years of living with her grandmother in Arkansas.  It is times of racial segregation and she writes of those times from a child's perspective which does not show any prejudice for either race. Nor any understanding. She was sexually molested while living with her mother in St. Louis at the age of 8. She was forced to testify in court of this abuse and the man who abused her was sent to prison. She lived with her father and an angry step-mother and spent a bit of time living in an abandoned salvage yard with a band of homeless kids. The last part of the story deals with Maya having sex with a neighborhood boy and becoming pregnant, thus becoming a very young mother.

Not a book for everyone. But a story told with her genuine flair for a story. It reads more like a novel than an autobiography. I understand there are 3-4 more of these books that fill out her years.

This book deserves **** stars. Definitely glad I heard it in her voice. This is the August book for my book club. So I'm ahead of the game. I am skipping Junes book because I have found another 'great' book to listen to.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Current Life List

Looking out my window..

We woke up to a cloudy day but the clouds have moved out and the sun is shining. It is 77* out and that is what we call a nice summer day in Kansas. Possibly may be some rain this afternoon. And that will be okay too!!


My brother left on Saturday. That was two days earlier than he planned to leave. But I have found that he gets 'itchy' to get home. He got to visit everyone he wanted to see. And had some dinners out with his friends. He caught up with family. And we visited a lot too! Even had time for a couple of 'mild' political discussions. He is now back home in Louisiana! And I have the summer ahead of me to ponder......


I am still looking into Bullet journals. I think I would like to give it a try. And when I do I will share it here with all my friends.


I'm really not doing much in the way of creating. I am keeping busy with Harley and her job and her boyfriend. I am texting Darian daily. That is so nice after four months of only getting an occasional text and letter from him. Seeing him in Georgia helped with my missing him so much. He left Fort Benning at the end of last week and is now settling into his first duty station in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (Or Tennessee. It straddles across both state lines). I haven't received an address yet so I am not sure which it will be called. He will finish a couple weeks of 'reception' and then be able to apply for a two week leave home. And you can bet we are looking forward to that!


I have totally given up on reading for the moment. I do not know if I will go back to Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett. It wasn't a bad story. It just didn't hold my interest. I am currently listening to a couple of books on Audible. 1)The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k  by Mark Manson and 2) The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. Both are good so far. 


I have spent a fair amount of time watching MSNBC and CNN. I am fascinated with all the Trump news. Maybe that is not a good thing. But I do love politics. And it is probably not a good idea to get into a rant here. Today, anyway!!


skies over the city

skies over my house

over my house


From the Turning Blue Ceremony


I am once again drinking my favorite tea. Turkey Hill Peach Tea. But what I have discovered this year is it is way too sweet. I think that is because I have totally given up drinking pop and drink mostly water. So I 'water' the tea down with half peach tea and half straight cold brewed iced tea. Yum!!


Monday...Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit

Tuesday...Chicken Noodles and Corn on the Cob

Wednesday..Salisbury Steak and Zucchini 

Thursday...Vegetable Stew (Thanks Wendy)


Saturday...Baked Sweet Potato and poached egg

Sunday...Millionaire Spaghetti


What I'm loving on You Tube...

I have been watching a lot of BoHo Berry. She has some really awesome videos on Bullet Journaling. 

A peek into my week...

Things are going to be busy this week. Harley starts swim lessons (she helps with the pre-school lessons at our local pool). She will have eveing sessions Monday-Thursday. So her work schedule at McDonald's will go to early mornings on those days. And, of course, she has to fit in the boyfriend in the middle of the days. They are currently at the zoo and a picnic in the park. Sweet! She will be leaving for South Florida on June 30 for a 10 day church mission trip. I will give you a run down of what her schedule looks like when that time draws closer.

A final thought...

One of my big lessons this summer is I'M NOT AS YOUNG AS I USED TO BE.  You are probably saying, "no kidding." But that fast trip (over five days) to Georgia (more than 2,000 miles in the car) and a 10 day visit from my brother has me pretty worn out. I just can't seem to get enough sleep. Or enough naps. And that is where you will find me the remainder of this week. Napping. Taking life easy. Or driving Harley to and fro. (Unless I can get the boyfriend to do some of these trips). I hope you are all well. And I hope you are enjoying your summer. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day and What it Means to Me

I didn't really grow up with a father in my life. My dad died before I was 8 years old. And the years preceding this were not that great. I don't think we ever celebrated a Father's Day with my dad. My mom re-married when I was 10. He wasn't the best step-father for many, many years. So I don't really remember celebrating many Father's Days with him either.

While I was married, the first time, most of the first years my ex was in the Navy and away from home. And the next years were a bit on the traumatic side. So who wants to celebrate anything with a man who never got the entire concept of what being a father really meant.

Then along came Richard. He walked into our lives and instantly my kids were his kids. They weren't always the greatest years. Richard was strict. But he loved my boys. He was generous. Sometimes to a fault. He was caring. And it almost always showed. My sons knew and loved him as the only father they ever had. We miss him but we continue to honor his memory by thinking of him daily.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Mid-June Life List


Summer has come to Kansas. It is hot and the wind is blowing. Today was 94* with a good, gusty strong hot wind blowing. We might be whining for some rain pretty soon. For now I'm okay with the weather. 


I have company here this week. My brother from Louisiana came on Tuesday. He'll be here another week. We have gotten caught up on a lot and he's out visiting other family and friends.


I learned all about how a A/C unit needs frequent cleaning when you live around a lot of big cottonwood trees. That was the reason for it not working last week. It had tripped the breaker a bit so the fan wouldn't come on. I watched closely as the workman cleaned it out and put it back together again. I think I can keep up with it myself and only need to have the workman come out once in awhile. Save a lot of money that way. And this old cooler works better than it has for a bit.


I have done very little reading this week. I am still working my way to the end of Imagine Me Gone. I need to write up my review of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. And then I want to start on The Second Mrs. Hockaday. What are you guys reading now. Any really good books you can recommend?

What's happening in the kitchen...

Monday...Steaks, Baked potatoes, broccoli

Tuesday...Chicken Cordon Blue, mashed taters

Wednesday...Eating Out!

Thursday...Biscuits and Gravy


Saturday...time will tell

Sunday...Millionaire Spaghetti


My newest interest...

I have discovered bullet journals. So I'm learning all I can about them. I will see if I want to change from my Happy Planner to a Bullet Journal. I kind of like the simplicity of them. And they leave a little room for creativity.

A peek into my week...

Harley is getting a lot of hours at McDonald's right now so that means granny does a lot of to and from trips. On Monday she starts helping with the kids swimming lessons again. She is going to be working early mornings at McDonald's and evenings at the pool. Just two weeks away from the mission trip to Florida. Then we will be starting to think about back to school time. How can time be passing by so fast?

What I'm hoping for...

I am hoping to get the front grass mowed in the next day or so. Harley has already done the back. So I'd best hurry or hers will need done again.

What's going on in your lives? How are you spending the summer?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Story of a Pig

A few days ago I was visiting my friend Gram who writes at Goodnightgram's Blog. She was writing a letter to her grandpa, whom she never met. She shared a picture of a pig cutting board that was hand-made by this grandpa. I was shocked to see that it was the same pig I own.

Richard's pig
When Richard (my late husband) was in the 8th grade he took a woodwork class. At this time (around 1946 I think) he handcrafted a pig cutting board. He painted the edges red and gave it to his mother. His mother loved this cutting board. She proudly displayed it on her kitchen counter clear up to her death at the age of 93. I rescued Mr. Pig when the house was sold at auction. I love knowing that it was made with Richard's hands and lovingly used for many, many years by his mother. I don't use it any longer as a cutting board. But he rests on a bookshelf in my dining room. I think of her chopping vegetables when I see all the tiny cuts in the board. We have many prized possessions made and used by family members. What prizes do you have at your house?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

May's Favorite Things

May has come and gone and we are already almost one week  of June. Will be Christmas before you know it. Hahaha! 

Here are a few of my favorite things from May.

1) Have you ever heard of Fabulosa? I buy mine at the Dollar Tree. But you can buy it in many places. It is a cleaning product that comes in a variety of scents. Ocean Paradise is my favorite. And my favorite way to use it is to pour a couple cupfuls in the toilet every morning. Makes the whole bathroom smell like heaven! Really!!

2) I have become a You-Tube fanatic. I love watching You-Tube. Yep, just call me crazy. Some of my favorites are those who review candles, planner spreads, house cleaning, Dollar Tree hauls. In the month of May, though, I discovered Christopher Allen . I am not sure how I stumbled upon his channel but he has the best message of all You Tube, in my opinion. He loves to share about skin care, luxury items, planners, his trips, etc. But he has a message about kindness that is simply hard to resist. Go check out Christopher on You Tube!

3) One of my favorite flowers started blooming in May. This is my dendrobium which I was given several years ago for Mother's Day. When it blooms the flowers last for several weeks before the fall off. And it is not at all hard to take care of. Just water it occasionally (and I admit I'm not good with a regular schedule) and it sits in a sunny window. 

4) Another thing I discovered in the month of May is this wonderful dish brush called Bubble Up. I ordered it from Grove Collaborative. I use several of their products. This little ceramic dish has a spring-loaded base for the brush to sit on. You put some dish soap with a bit of water in the bottom and push down a time or two for a wonderful bunch of suds to clean up your dishes to get ready for the dishwasher. You can purchase just the brush if it wears out. I love how stylish it looks sitting next to my sink. 

5) Can't get enough of those .50 Corn Dogs at Sonic either. May 4th is always the day to stock up with these yummy corn dogs. I usually buy some to put in the freezer, but they never last there very long. 

6)My favorite new artist for this month has been Frances. And I love this song. Check her out. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why-A Book Review

I don't know how I came to have this audio-book, but I am glad I listened. It opened up some good dialogue with my granddaughters about how cruel kids can be sometimes. And how, sometimes, things can pile up on someone when we don't know what is going on in their lives.

This book is about Hannah Baker. Hannah is a high school student who early in the book commits suicide. She leaves behind a box of 7 cassette tapes with recordings on each side. Each side is reserved for a person from her school who contributed to her death. The box is delivered to the first person in the story who is to listen to all the tapes and then is to deliver them to the next person in the story. And she left behind a box of identical tapes to be played for the entire school if her instructions are not carried out.

The story is told also through the eyes of Clay. Clay had a crush on Hannah and 'made out' with her once but she made him leave and then she died. He has to listen to the entire story to find out why he is part of the reason she killed herself.

A very compelling story. Scary! I liked the dual narrative of the story. It was well done. Both Harley and Paige (and Justin too) had already read the book. I just learned of it. There is also a Netflix series with 13 episodes that recently was released. Paige has binge-watched it too. We talked a lot about the book as we made our way to Georgia. Good conversation. 

I am giving this book **** stars. It was good to listen too. It's a book for young adults that should be read by all. Our world is far to unkind in this day and we need to be reminded to just be nicer. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Post Military Life List


It's been a long day! We got home after 9 p.m. yesterday and found a very warm house with a non-working A/C. This is becoming a recurring problem in the summer it seems. I have lived in this house for nearly 30 years and the last 5 years it seems I need the repairman every summer. The unit is not even that old! But I was not going to call and pay the weekend fee so Harley and I toughed it out today with temps near 80* in the house. Right now the sun has set and it just rained so it is pretty muggy. I want to open a window but I would rather keep the dampness out. Anyway.......


Most of you know we went last week to Georgia. Nearly 1,000 miles each way. We left on Tuesday morning after Justin had his PT for his knee which was scoped on Thursday the week before. He did amazingly well driving the entire way there and back. (Too much of a control freak to allow his mother to help)! Darian's Turning Blue Ceremony was on Thursday morning following a family briefing. This was held on the post at Fort Benning. A beautiful day. Except for the horrid humidity of Georgia. Turning Blue is when the new soldier receives the blue cord worn on his right shoulder to indicate he is an infantryman in the United States Army. This is when we got our first look (and a brief touch) of our new soldier. It was wonderful to see him.

War Dawgs Platoon 3
Darian is 2nd from the left on front row

Uncle Justin putting on the blue cord

Uncle Justin and Darian
Harley, Darian, and Paige
Screaming out the Soldier's Creed

Darian and Mikaela, his girlfriend
Darian and his favorite grandma

After the Turning Blue Ceremony was over the platoons marched off the field (no hugs yet) and returned to the barracks to change into their camo uniforms and returned to us with an 8 hour pass. And strict orders to not go any further than 35 miles from post, no tattoos, no alcohol or tobacco products, no prostitutes. We headed to the PX where he picked up a little gift he had gotten for his Uncle Justin and then to the Army supply store to pick up his "woobie" I had ordered for him with his name embroidered on it. After that we were off to the National Infantry Museum to spend the day. That is quite a place. If you ever get a chance to visit please do. We ate a late lunch there in the Drum and Fife restaurant and the food was excellent. At the end of our time in the museum we headed to a local Mexican place for an early dinner. Darian was nervous and anxious to not be late returning to post. While we were in the restaurant an elderly gentleman loudly (I think there might have been a few beers on board) proclaimed he wanted to buy "that young soldier the best dessert you have in this place". He made a statement to how important these young men are to the United States. Darian was embarrassed but grateful to the old guy who shook his hand for a long, long time. While were were at the NIM an elderly lady stopped to thank him for his service and asked if she could hug him. He will need to get used to all the attention, I think.    


It is a different world for our soldiers now. And I am glad. I remember the times following the Viet Nam war when America wasn't very nice to soldiers. They deserve much better. On Friday morning we got up early and headed over to the NIM for the graduation ceremony. It was a very nice ceremony. Following this we got to spend about 30 minutes with him before he had to return to post. Most of the company left on buses for their FDS (first duty station). Darian is headed to Fort Campbell but is being held back at Fort Benning until he gets clearance from the doctor for the infected spider bite he obtained during his final field exercise. It looks nasty but he said it is much better. They have already done one I&D (incision and drainage) and he's on prednisone and antibiotics. When he left to return to the post Justin, Harley, Paige and I headed to Atlanta to put Paige on an airplane to Salt Lake City to see her other grandparents. This was her first solo flight. Then we headed home. Long, long, fast trip. But well worth it!!



I didn't read much while on the trip but I finished two audio books which I will review soon. Both good books.  

eating lunch at a rest stop along the road to Georgia
Darian, Mikaela, and her grandpa who made
the trip with her
Praying at the start of graduation
Darian first on the far left

The girls

going back up the hill to the barracks after his
day with us! Boo Hoo!

Following graduation

Darian with my cousins

Darian and Harley

Darian and granny at the Mexican place
(I can't remember the name of it)

Harley at a rest stop on the way home

Harley trying her first fried pickle 

What's happening in the kitchen...

I have no idea what I'm cooking this week. Need to get the A/C fixed first. My brother is coming on Tuesday to stay for two weeks so we will figure it out soon.



If you would like to view the entire graduation ceremony it appears on the National Infantry Museum's Facebook page. I am going to try to like it here. The video is a ways down the page and is labeled 'was live.' Enjoy. I am very, very proud of this boy. We sent him to basic training 14 weeks ago as a mere 19 year old boy. He is now a fully-grown man. A soldier. An infantryman! He's made me happy!