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?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Reviews

Two book reviews at once!! Yes, that is what I'm talking about today.

The first book, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson was a tedious 'listen' on Audible. It was an okay story but I often got lost along the way. I kept falling asleep while listening and then had to go back and refresh my memory. It's a fairy tale of sorts. A 100 year old man climbed out the window of the nursing home where he lives and goes on a pretty unbelievable adventure. The story is funny at times and at other times it is just hard to get through! The book switches back and forth from his past to the present day! It will give you a few chuckles so give it a spinif you decide to jump in. 

The next book I listened to was Jack of Spades by James Hankins. James has become one of my favorite authors. (He also wrote st The Prettiest One, Drawn, and Brothers and Bones which I have reviewed). This one didn't disappoint! I love a good suspense story. This one involves a police detective trying to capture a twisted serial killer who is torturing his victims all the while wearing a 'voice'changing cartoon mask'. (If you don't like thinking of these types of crimes this book won't be for you. It is graphic.) I enjoyed listening to it because of the voice changes. The ending is satisfying to those of us who like to see offenders get what is coming to them. I can't wait to read more from James Hankins. 

I'm off to start my next book. I have both an Audible pick and one for the January book club to start. I think I'm going to put the Viet Nam book on the shelf for a bit! 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Currently This Thanksgiving Week

Outside my window...

Today it is sunny and bright. And a wonderful 57*. They keep saying winter is coming. But so far we haven't seen anything of it. However there has been some dipping into the 20's at night!


Today I am pondering about Thanksgiving. It isn't what it used to be around here. At my house, that is! When Richard was alive, celebrating the holidays was a BIG DEAL! Not so much anymore. I am just not in the mood and don't really care. My big extended family stopped getting together a number of years ago, which took all the big time planning out of it. Then my family shrunk to just one son (who still came around) and his daughter. Plus those of us who lived in the home. Then he started a career where the day off isn't always promised. And this year there is just Harley and me. So I think we might just skip it. And save the big celebration for Christmas. We have our fingers crossed that Darian is coming home for Christmas. Thinking back on the holidays made me think of a poem I wrote after Richard died. You can read it here if you'd like. 


Harley and Isaiah are watching Madagascar Escape 2 Africa. So I guess, in a way, so am I. For all of you who are wondering about their 'make-up' date they had it yesterday. Isaiah works the evening shift. He picked her up for brunch. After they ate they came home, tuned their phone to music, and danced on the patio. Cute! Both wore their formal clothes which were worn on the night she got sick and missed Winter Formal. I was smiling! And I'm sure the neighbors were too!


I'm still reading Matterhorn. Although in all honesty I haven't been reading it much. Maybe a page or two a day. I am currently listening to Jack of Spades by James Hankins, on Audible. Right up my alley. But I do admit it is a bit chilling!


In my mind I am creating Christmas! It always comes out better in my mind!



I like to begin my Christmas decorating on the day after Thanksgiving. Since Harley and I don't have much in the way of Thanksgiving plans this year I think we will spend the day putting up the tree. We will drink hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. We both like to sing. And then maybe we'll head down to Spangles for a hamburger!! (I haven't found many other places to be open for fast food).


I am growing older. I see it everyday when I look in the mirror. The hair is getting whiter and I see more lines on my face. More age spots too. It's a melancholy time of the year!


I'm sipping water from my favorite stainless steel tumbler. I'll tell you more about it in my November Favorites. Have you tried these kinds of vessels?

What's in the kitchen...

There is not going to be a menu this week. I am going to fly by the seat of my pants. Me thinks! Harley will not be home a few evenings and I will just go with what strikes my fancy at the moment. And fix what's in the freezer on the other days. 

A quote to share...

A final thought...

I want to take this time to tell all who visited my blog this past week, Thank You for reading and being respectful. It shows there are still people who can share their thoughts, on a controversial subject, and not resort to name calling. Or telling others their opinion isn't important. I read all of your comments with interest. And I learned a thing or two. And, even though I didn't change my mind on the subject, I did learn that I could see others points of view. Hope all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2017

A week of Sexual Harassment And I'm Done!

There is sexual harassment and then there is sexual harassment. I am very sick of hearing about it this week. How about you? For some of these women I have true empathy. And for some of them I think it is all bull! What do I think this is doing to our country? I think it is desensitizing all of us to "real" sexual harassment.

I came of age in the 1960's! A time of the 'sexual revolution'. A time when many, many women were finding their voices in the political world. Don't we remember the arrival of Betty Friedman on the scene? And the birth of 'the pill'? I remember hearing about the burning of bras in relation to women's rights. And thinking at the time "it took me too long to finally have a reason to wear a bra that I was surely not going to now burn it." But I always knew I had the right to speak up. Not only for myself but for those who I felt might not be able to speak for themselves.

And I did speak out on many occasions. But I didn't find each and every unwanted or obscene remark made to be something that needed me to speak out about. Sometimes it was only necessary to tell the person to "bug off" or ignore them. That doesn't seem to be something anyone can do anymore. Is it the pull of the limelight which is making so many speak out now. Why wait thirty and sometimes forty years to speak out. That is the part I don't understand. And why continue to allow it by being weak and unable to speak up! No one else is going to watch out for you as well as you can watch out for yourself!!! 

Even as a young girl I had the ability to speak out in defense of myself. I remember working at a restaurant on main street when I wasn't yet 16. The owner was a 'nasty old man.' We learned very early on not to get caught alone in the kitchen with him. We knew what he liked to do or say. One day I was caught in the kitchen. He didn't touch me. But he made inappropriate comments to me. I knew they made me feel uncomfortable. I, also, knew I wasn't going to put up with it. I was 15! I told him what I thought and I took off my apron and threw it on the floor. Then I walked home. My mom called him up and told him what she thought of him. And that was the end of it. We didn't feel the need to file a police report. We didn't feel the need to call the local newspaper. And I wouldn't have done anything about it today except I am sick of women in this world not being able to take a stand against these kinds of men.

I wonder how many more women Harvey Weinstein would have been able to harass, molest, or whatever you call it if one of these women would have sang loud and clear to the world the minute it happened. Anglenia Jolie and Gwenth Paltrow do you feel at all responsible for all the gals he assaulted after you kept quiet?? I am not questioning whether Harvey is guilty. I'm sure he is guilty as hell. What I am questioning is the silence of ALL these women for ALL these years. Come on women! Speak up!! If a man invites you to his hotel room he is probably up to no good. If a man touches you in inappropriate places, scream it to the world. If it means you have to be compliant in order to keep your job then I think you need to be thinking about what kind of job you are wanting. 

I am not writing this to say these things didn't happen. I am sure they did. But quit waiting 30 years to tell about it if you want to be believed! I don't doubt that Roy Moore is probably a dirty old man. But where were these allegations when he ran twice for Governor of Alabama. Where were these women when he was appointed, not once but twice, as a Chief Justice in the Alabama Supreme Court. If a 32 year old man was harassing my 14 year old daughter I would have been screaming about it long before he decided to run for the United States Senate. Wouldn't you?? And I would never vote for Roy Moore for a variety of other reasons! He is a nut job, plain and simple. In my opinion.

Many of you know I am not a Republican nor do I support the current President of the United States. But this is not how we should fight him. Hell, he got elected with allegations of sexual harassment. We even heard his very own voice on a video tape telling Billy Bush what he could and did do to women because of his 'celebrity power.'

Bottom line what I am trying to say is: Stand up for yourself. Don't wait 30+ years to report something that makes you uncomfortable. You will be believed (or Not) by those who want to believe you. But you will look far less unreliable if you speak out NOW.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jane Eyre-A Book Review

This novel was written in 1847! Let that sink in for a moment. I listened to the book on Nook Audio. The story is narrated by the title character (in the voice of Elizabeth Klett). When Jane's parents died she was left orphaned and went to live with her Uncle and Aunt. Shortly after her arrival her uncle dies and she is left behind to be mistreated and neglected by an aunt and two cousins. The aunt is bitter and hateful and doesn't want Jane. Eventually Jane is sent to live at a boarding school. During her time in the school she begins to find herself. She leaves the school and gets her first job as a governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochester. They become friends. And they fall in love. On their wedding day she finds out a terrible secret about her future husband which threatens her happiness. Jane escapes but never forgets her mysterious beau. The ending is satisfying to everyone concerned. 

This is one of those books on every 'must read' list which I have ever seen. I had tried reading it in many years past and just could not get into the story. I will admit it took me a long time to get through the audio book. Not because I found it boring, but because I kept falling asleep and had to go back and listen to chapters again and again. I'm glad I did. This is a classic everyone should read. Jane is a strong, independent woman who came to age in a time of Victorian prejudices against women. A female heroine who does not compromise herself in order to get what she wants. (well, maybe a little).

I will give it **** because it will be a story I won't forget. 

Have you read Jane Eyre?

Monday, November 6, 2017


Outside my window...

Today the sun is shining. We haven't seen sunshine for several days now. It is 47* I do not detect any wind so that is a good thing. We have gotten into the 20's already. My ficus tree is in the garage. So it has been saved from the freeze. I need to move it into the house. 


I am pondering our weekend. It was supposed to be such a big weekend for Harley. She was going to the high school's winter formal. She got all dressed (pictures to follow) picked up by her date and headed to the restaurant for dining before dancing. But it was Not to be. She got sick at the restaurant shortly after the salad arrived at the table. BUT, she is a trooper. And she was going to this dance. So they headed to his house by the school and had pictures with his mom/dad. Then they went to the school for the dance. They had to stand in line outside before the doors opened. And she was sick again. And again. And again. Finally common sense kicked in and she came home. Where she was sick for the next 6 hours of non-stop dry heaves. Finally all was quieted with diffusing lemon oil and drinking ginger tea. Poor kid. This was her First Winter Formal. And her last Winter Formal (she's a senior). Her cute little beau told her he would take her out again in her fancy clothes when she is feeling better. (And there is still prom in the spring).


I am on season 11 of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. So almost caught up. The things I am learning are: I don't really like Meridith. I am not that in love with Derek (yes, I know he dies soon) The focus on so much sex in the hospital is annoying to me as a nurse. I can guarantee you that didn't go on (well, not to that degree) at my hospital. We were way too busy and too understaffed. But then I'm a nurse and these are doctors!!! Maybe the doctors had more time!!


I am still reading Marathon. I have finished listening to Jane Eyre. I have started listening to The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window by Jonas Jonasson. I will review Jane Eyre soon.


The lessons we are learning, every single day, are almost over-powering. Another shooting. This time in a small rural church in Texas. What are we supposed to learn from all of this death? Are we learning? Or are we just continuing to hate? I just don't know anymore. It is too much. Will our country soon try to discuss some kind of gun control. Why are weapons being sold that can kill so many in such a short period of time. Why are they not federally regulated. I don't know. I don't think it is about mental illness. I don't think shootings like this are political. I think it is pure evil. How do we counteract such evil??


The plans are formulating for Thanksgiving. Can't decide whether I will go or I will stay. That should be a song. Maybe it already is. 


I am currently drinking my second cup of Starbucks Caffe Verona with a healthy splash of French vanilla cream. I got these little K-cups at a pretty good price. And they are goooooooood!

What's in the kitchen...

Can you believe I have not made out my weekly menu yet? For dinner tonight I am making meatloaf cupcakes topped with mashed potatoes. 

A quote to share...


Yes, Paige has on shorts

Sneak peeks of Sr. pictures

at Isaiah's house
his mom made her wrist corsage

on our front porch

Sneak peeks of Sr. pictures

A final thought...

With all the things that are happening in our world, our country, our states, our homes....what have you found to be the best way to not let 'things get you down'?

Friday, November 3, 2017

My October Favorite Things

Another month is gone. And I have more favorite things to tell you about. 

I have discovered a new podcast this month. It is called Pantsuit Politics. It is a bipartisan political podcast with two women, one from the left and one from the right. They don't call each other names. They don't shout. They just tell it like it is. I listen to this on my phone with the app Podcasts from the Apple store. Love this app!

My favorite snack for the month is not new. But I usually only enjoy it in the fall. And that is honey crisp apples with peanut butter. Yummy! Honeycrisp has become my new favorite apple. I used to only buy Gala but this year I took a liking to honecrisp. They were developed by the University of Minnesota to be grown especially in cold climates. I like them because they are 'crisp'. I hate a mooshy apple. How about you? And we buy those little snack cup sizes of peanut butter because I can get them at the Dollar Tree for $1 for eight little tubs. Good price. 

Do you eat snack bars at your house? Like granola bars? Or grab one to go as you run out the door? I like one in the morning with my coffee. Or in the afternoon as a pick me up. But I am not a big fan of the granola-type bars. When we were on our Whole 30 last year I discovered Lara Bars. They are a bit pricer than normal granola bars. But so worth it in my opinion. My favorite is the Apple Pie. Or the Cherry Pie! Yum!

My granddaughters knew about this next favorite long before me. I just got one while we were at the Kansas State Fair in September. It is called a PopSocket! It helps make your phone easier to grip. Or turns it into a stand. Or you can just play with it. I do that a lot. I like the 'popping' sound it makes. I only have one on my phone but I do like the idea of having two and wrapping your earbuds around them. Hmmmmm might have to buy another one. Do you have a Popesocket?

My favorite essential oil this month has been Peppermint by Better Homes and Gardens selection at Walmart. I don't think it is as strong as the ones I purchased from Grove Collaborative but I like diffusing it while I am at my desk. Peppermint is supposed to invigorate the mind and the senses while bringing a feeling of peace. I just like the smell! I've also added it to the lavender which I diffuse at night and it gives a pleasing aroma. Do any of you use essential oils? What are your thoughts?

I finished listening to Jane Eyre on Audible during October. I will be sharing my review soon. I loved this audio book. I had never read the novel itself. I tried to once and I just couldn't get into it. But, after listening to the book on Audible, I think Jane was a strong, independent lady who was long before her time. And it's a great love story!

That it folks. My favorites for October. Now it's your turn to tell me what your favorites were. I love hearing from you!