Jun 302016

Hosted @ Kissin Blue Karen
Today’s questions is: Household items that you love and can’t live without

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners: LOVE them!
Pick-A-Size Paper Towels: waste not, want not
Sun & Earth Citrus All Purpose Cleaner: it’s great on a greasy stove etc.
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes: you have to wipe everything
The Works: won’t need this when we move to town
Swiffer Wet Jet: great time saver

Other than those, I can’t really think of anything else.

Jun 292016


Hosted @ From This Side Of The Pond

1. It’s officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?
None. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s our rainy season. It’s our hurricane season.

2. Can you swim? How did you learn?
June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?
I’ve known how to swim for so long I can’t even remember when I learned. I do know I was a young child.

I own 4 pair of sunglasses. Two are prescription, one is a purple pair my grandson gave me, and the other is a black pair with little colored peace signs on the legs.

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?
I’m a procrastinator. I’ve really tried to change that, but well, I’m a procrastinator.
In others it would be rudeness. I do not like rude people! At. All.!

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What’s a road (literal or figurative) you’ve always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you?
I want to travel the road that hopefully takes me to Amsterdam. Bikes and water! What’s not to love?

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what’s your favorite flavor?
Although I haven’t had many popsicles as an adult, I sure I ate a lot of them when I was a kid. My favorite flavor is Cherry.

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what’s involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what’s Brexit) Is this news you’ll follow or is it something you think won’t impact your life in any way shape or form?
I don’t know if I’ll follow or not, but I do think it is possible that it could impact us.

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.
Jordan Feliz – The River

8. Insert your own random thought here.
You know how you hear songs in your head? Like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Row Row Row Your Boat? Songs that aren’t automatically connected to a particular person singing them. Anyway, what I’m wondering is, when we hear them in our heads, whose voice are we hearing? Is it our own voice or someone else’s?

Jun 282016


Run The World by Becky Wade


Hosted by Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea
Share the first paragraph of the book you are currently reading
or thinking about reading soon.

Chapter 1: Trading The Start Line For The Sideline
339 miles

If I couldn’t race them, I’d just have to stalk them—from behind the barriers dividing spectators from the female Olympic marathoners snaking along the River Thames. The pavement separating me from the runners was no larger than the gap that, just weeks earlier in Eugene, Oregon, stood between me and Emma Coburn, the eventual Olympic Trials 3,000 meter steeplechase champion. Until the Big Spill, that is. In the middle of that race, every steepler’s worst fear became reality as both my body and my 2012 Olympic dreams came crashing down, the former straight into the water pit, the latter into another arduous four year wait.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted @ Books And A Beat
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

page 76:
Our trek ended  in a warm kitchen, and my homesickness lifted with the aromas filling the room.

Jun 272016

Last week I was searching for sandwiches to see if I could find one I had never tried before. I kept seeing “Monte Cristo” and so I wanted to try one. I had the one I wanted to try, but because I am who I am,  I kept searching and then I found one here. It uses turkey along with ham.

Monte Cristo (I adapted it)
2 slices bread
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 slices cooked ham (I used thick sliced Boar’s Head ham from the deli)
2 slices cooked turkey (I used left over crock pot turkey breast)
1 slice Swiss cheese (I used Gruyer)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Spread bread with mayonnaise and mustard.
Alternate ham, Swiss and turkey slices on bread.
Beat egg and milk in a small bowl.
Coat the sandwich with the egg and milk mixture.
Heat a greased skillet over medium heat, brown the sandwich on both sides.
Serve hot.


Half one

This was so good! The bread was nice and crispy and the flavors of the turkey, ham and melted cheese was amazing. I normally don’t use so much meat, but sometimes you just want a sandwich that’s thick and meaty. Today was one of those days. I only ate half of the sandwich because it was so filling. I’ll eat the other half tomorrow for lunch. The next time I’ll make it with thin slices from the deli and see which one I like the most.

Try it, you’ll like it!


Souper Sundays2
Souper Sundays is hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen
Jun 242016

Friday book memes

Book Blogger Hop
The Friday 56
Book Beginnings

Book Blogger Hop’s question for this week:
What is your preferred method of following blogs?
My preferred method of following blogs is via email, but I also have links to some of my favorite blogs in my sidebar. I can follow blogs that way too, which comes in handy if their blog doesn’t offer an email subscription.

Friday 56:
He would have been terrified to try to mount with his stiff, shaky legs on a trail not much wider than the mule. On the drop-off side.

Book Beginnings:
Three months before Ethan’s father disappeard

Ethan remembers the shaking most clearly. Probably because it was the first moment of the shaking. That most familiar of things making an initial appearance.

Jun 232016

4a3ebf47-ab07-4f93-9a14-e719032480fd These meditations, cosmic-toned, yet utterly visceral, demonstrate Michelle Bitting’s continuing growth and power as a poet of love, loss, the daily and deeply human experience, together with a maturing eye to understanding greater mythological tropes. Woven throughout her contemplation of the terrible beauty and struggle of family dynamics, corporeal desire, the injustices and revelations of life in the 21st century, thrums a vital connectivity to the mystic and mythological strains of the past, newfangled to the present in a way that ultimately sheds light on what it is to be alive and conscious of who we’re called to be.

To read Michelle’s poetry is to take a wild, passionate ride through the rubble of the quotidian, to be shocked by sensual discovery and awakened to a relentless curiosity for both the surreal and historical. These poems travel–an expansion in service of communion with the world, confrontation and acceptance of self.


4c61b270-4636-448e-9f51-adfd0f037d21 Michelle Bitting’s first collection, Good Friday Kiss (C & R, 2008) won the DeNovo First Book Award. Her second collection, Notes To The Beloved (SPC, 2011) won the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award and received a starred review from Kirkus. Poems have been published in the American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Narrative, The L.A. Weekly, diode, Linebreak, and The Paris-American, and have been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University and is currently a Ph.D candidate in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She grew up in Los Angeles near the ocean.

Visit Poetic Book Tours for more about The Couple Who Fell to Earth and to follow the blog tour.

Jun 212016

The Ten On Tuesday prompt for today is:

10 Things To Do While Listening to an Audiobook


Driving/riding in a car
Mowing the lawn
Laying on the beach
Sitting in a waiting room

Jun 192016


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Leslie,  Serena, and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

Only one book in my mailbox this week:

23281650 My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family by Dawn Lerman
(I can’t wait to read this, I hear it’s really funny, and it has recipes!!)

From the author of the New York Times Well Blog series, My Fat Dad
Every story and every memory from my childhood is attached to food…

Dawn Lerman spent her childhood constantly hungry. She craved good food as her father, 450 pounds at his heaviest, pursued endless fad diets, from Atkins to Pritikin to all sorts of freeze-dried, saccharin-laced concoctions, and insisted the family do the same—even though no one else was overweight. Dawn’s mother, on the other hand, could barely be bothered to eat a can of tuna over the sink. She was too busy ferrying her other daughter to acting auditions and scolding Dawn for cleaning the house (“Whom are you trying to impress?”).

It was chaotic and lonely, but Dawn had someone she could turn to: her grandmother Beauty. Those days spent with Beauty, learning to cook, breathing in the scents of fresh dill or sharing the comfort of a warm pot of chicken soup, made it all bearable. Even after Dawn’s father took a prestigious ad job in New York City and moved the family away, Beauty would send a card from Chicago every week—with a recipe, a shopping list, and a twenty-dollar bill. She continued to cultivate Dawn’s love of wholesome food, and ultimately taught her how to make her own way in the world—one recipe at a time.

In My Fat Dad, Dawn reflects on her colorful family and culinary-centric upbringing, and how food shaped her connection to her family, her Jewish heritage, and herself. Humorous and compassionate, this memoir is an ode to the incomparable satisfaction that comes with feeding the ones you love.

Jun 182016

I’ve been on a cookbook kick lately and when I saw this the other day I couldn’t resist it. I love that it has a collection of “the best of the best”.

14633739 Food & Wine: Best of the Best, Vol 15 by Mary G. Burnham (Editor), Food & Wine Magazine
Here, in one definitive volume, is Food & Wine Magazine’s collection of the most exceptional recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year.

115 Delicious recipes, all vigorously tested by the cooks at Food & Wine, for everything from salads and soups to pastas, chicken and desserts.

The latest dishes from superstar authors such as Jacques Pepin, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali & Nancy Silverton along with simple, fail-safe wine pairings.

More than 20 exclusive, never-before-published recipes, including Smoky Eggplant Dip, Braised Chicken Thighs with Green Olives, Crispy Fresh Salmon Cakes and Lemon Cloud Cake.

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try. I went through the book pretty fast because I wanted to check out all the recipes, so I’ll have to go back through it and mark them with Post-it tabs. There’s something for everyone in this cookbook, even desserts.

A few of the cookbooks and their recipes are:
A Girl & Her Pig by April Bloomfield~ Merlot Braised Smoked Pork Belly with Apples

Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid~ Kachin Chicken Curry

Baking Out Lou by Hedy Goldsmith & Abigail Johnson Dodge~ Old School Raspberry Bars

The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perlman~ New York Breakfast Casserole

Michael Symon’s Carnivore by Michael Symon & Douglas Trattner~ Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings

Simply Mink In Your Kitchen by Ming Tsai & Arthur Boehm~ Chile Miso Pork Stew

I think this is a great addition to any cookbook collection.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 152016


Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani

Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (September 13, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0595478573
ISBN-13: 978-0595478576

Tiziana Manoretti is an only child in her late twenties blessed with loving parents, a promising career, and a best friend who fiercely protects her. When her mother falls seriously ill and the relationship between her parents becomes suddenly strained, a carefully hidden family secret is revealed and Tiziana’s seemingly idealistic world is turned upside down. After discovering she was born in a Naples orphanage and subsequently given up for adoption, Tiziana sets out for the small town of Gaeta in an attempt to find her birth parents. Meanwhile, her best friend Christopher is sending her mixed messages, causing her to wonder if there is more to their relationship than just companionship.

As she becomes intertwined with a handful of interesting characters who help her uncover her past, Tiziana needs to decide whether her feelings for Christopher are deeper than she realizes. She discovers herself and others all while her family’s resilience and love for one another is tested when confronted with a shocking truth. The answers lie in a box found in a closet in Italy, and Tiziana must determine if she wants to embrace the heartache and the pain from her past in order to learn forgiveness and find peace in the future.

I love books about family relationships and this book is full of so many different aspects of family life. It centers around Tiziana who, when her mother has health issues, discovers that she was adopted. This sets her on a journey to Italy where she searches for answers about her birth parents.

You wouldn’t know that this is Laura’s first book. It is a fabulous story and she makes you feel as if you are in the midst of what’s going on, and you can visual being in Italy. The characters are well written and you get a sense of familiarity with them.

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book, but I’m glad I finally did. I really hope the author writes another book soon. I will definitely be reading it.

This is a quick read that you won’t want to put down. It will tug at your emotions until the last page, and longer.


Jun 122016


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Leslie,  Serena, and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

I was so happy to hear I was the winner of the Mary Kay Andrews Goody Bag Giveaway hosted by Karen @ Karen’s Korner. Thanks again Karen!


Beach Town
Spring Fever

Also included were:
Two Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks
Beach Town sunglasses
Beach Town lip balm with SPF 15
A recipe card featuring two recipes from MKA’s kitchen



Run The World is for a TLC Book Tour on July 7th


Everything We Keep is for a TLC Book Tour on July 22nd

I hope you all got some goodies in your mailbox last week!

Jun 122016

Sunday Reflections

The sun is shining right now, but there is a 60% chance of rain around 3:00 this afternoon.

About about my mom. Today is her birthday. I miss her so much. I couldn’t have asked for a better mom. Love her always.

That the flooding near where I live wasn’t worse.

Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani…still.

Tonight I plan on watching Far From Home with Barry Watson, a movie I dvr’d about 1 1/2 months ago and haven’t watched yet.

A few diy crafts for when we move.

For less rain than last week, and not so much humidity.

That there are two parts to a plan, which are figuring out what you need to do to accomplish it, and then doing it. I have trouble starting the second part.

I lost 1 1/2 pounds last week. 18.5 to go!

In The Kitchen…
Leftover pizza, wings and salad
Soup & Sandwiches
White Bean & Chorizo Stew
The Best Whole Chicken In A Crockpot
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops

Today’s To-Do List…
A few loads of laundry that I didn’t get to yesterday.

One of my favorite things:
My new bluetooth speaker. Now I don’t have to have my phone on me while I clean or walk on the treadmill.

Pin It & Do It…
DIY Chicken Broth Dog Treats (didn’t get them made last week)

Looking forward to…
Seeing my sister Susan soon, it’s been a while.

A Favorite Bible Verse…
James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

A favorite quote…
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

From the camera….


Looking down from our hotel window in NYC last November

Jun 112016
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs With Vegetables
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup chicken broth
12 medium chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsps leaves dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground curry powder
1 package mixed vegetables

Rinse chicken and remove skin, leaving the bone in.

Place a layer of thighs in the bottom of the crock pot.

Sprinkle with seasonings. Repeat until all thighs are in the pot.

Pour a cup of chicken broth down the side of the pot, being careful not to disturb the seasonings.

Cook on low setting of crock pot for 6 hours.

Add mixed vegetables, recover and cook for 1 1/2 hour or until vegetables are heated through.

I had a pack of 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs thawing in the fridge so I checked online to see what I could make with them and found this recipe. The original recipe called for turmeric which I thought I had, but I didn’t, so I used curry powder instead. I had a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer which had peas, baby carrots, baby corn, and sugar snap peas so that’s what I used.

The original recipe said to cook on high for 4 hours, but I like cooking with the crock pot on low, so I cooked it for 6 hours. After I added the vegetables I cooked for an hour but they were still not warm enough, so I cooked for another 30 min. or so.

This was SO good! The seasoning on the thighs stuck really well and I thought it was perfect. If you don’t like your food really spicy you might want to cut back a little on the seasonings.

The chicken was mostly falling apart and it was all very tender. You could eat the chicken and vegetables without the broth, but I added quite a bit and it was more like a soup or stew.

This was really quick and easy to prepare, and was very yummy. I liked it so much I had it the next day for lunch. I will be making it again.




Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

Jun 082016



1. I read here a list of 13 things you should do in June. I’m paraphrasing a little but basically…
Go on a road trip with your best friend, pick fresh strawberries, host a garden party, take a morning run, treat yourself to a flower bouquet, spend a whole day hiking, discover a new coffee shop, try a new ice cream flavor, read at least one book, visit a Farmer’s Market, make a swing for your home, and visit a new city.

Which thing on the list do you most want to do?
I love visiting new cities, so that would be my first choice.

Of the activities mentioned, which one holds the least appeal?
It would have to be trying a new ice cream flavor. I’m a huge ice cream fan, but rarely do I find a flavor I haven’t tried before.

How many on the list will you attempt in June?
I’m pretty sure I’ll try at least 7 of them.

What’s one thing you’d add to the list?
Go to the beach, of course!

2. What’s something you could do today to feel more peaceful?
I pray and read from the Bible every day. It gives me so much peace and I feel less stressed.

3. June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Are you a fan? Swiss mocha, rocky road, chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate, or a dish of plain chocolate…what’s your pleasure?
I love me some ice cream, but Moose Tracks is my favorite.

4. If you came with a warning what would it say?
Warning: Don’t mess with my kids or grandkids. My fangs will come out.

5.What’s the most interesting website you’ve visited in the last week?
Untapped Cities

6. Spring, summer, autumn, winter…which season are you? Why?
Winter. Because it’s the coolest month in Florida where your can be outside without the high temps and humidity.

7. “You lose sight of things…and when you travel, everything balances out.” ~Daranna Gidel
Would you agree with that sentiment? Explain why or why not.
I do agree with it, because when you’re living your day to day life you are mostly concentrating on your job, chores, etc. But when you travel, you concentrate more on the people who are with you and the world around you.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I love a good peach, but I don’t like peach pie or anything peach flavored. It all tastes horrible to me.

Jun 072016


Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Wow! I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump but didn’t realize it’s been a month since I posted a RW. I’ve been walking a lot on some days and not so much other days. I’ve been doing a bit of weight training but no yoga or chi-gong. Little deep breathing. I’ve been eating more fish but also eating things I know I shouldn’t.

I have 3 months before I get my blood drawn again. I have to make sure my numbers are coming down. I’ve revised my workout schedule some:

walk daily
strength train 3x a week w/bands & weights
yoga/pilates/tai-chi 3x a week
rebounder 3x a week
meditation & deep breathing  daily
cut way back on processed food & drink mostly water and a coffee in the am

I’ll try to keep up with the RW posts and track everything. I’m so bad at this and there really isn’t any excuse. So…well see.

Jun 062016


Follow the River Home by Corran Harrington

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Arbor Farm Press (April 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985520027
ISBN-13: 978-0985520021

DANIEL ARROYO has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago. When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth, where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home. Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.

This is a beautifully written book. The author writes in a way that is very soothing, even when writing about something that is very emotional. There was much more to this book than I originally thought there would be. I thought it would be mostly about his sister, but it was more a telling of his past. The book only takes a few hours to read but it’s packed full of many different stories, all very interesting. I loved this book and know it will stay with me for a very long time.


Jun 052016

Sunday Reflections

It’s hot and sunny right now, but it’s supposed to start raining this afternoon

I don’t want it to rain because my granddaughter’s graduation pool party is later today

For time spent with family

Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani

Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER

A few diy crafts for when we move

To go on a day trip this week

That I need to take every oppurtunity that comes my way to try something new

Tomorrow I’m starting new yogo & tai-chi dvd workouts

Spinach & Mozzarella Egg Bake
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs With Vegetables
Smoked Paprika & Chili Steaks and veggies
Salsa Turkey Burgers 

Today’s To-Do List…
It’s time for Kaiyo’s Trifexis, and some laundry

One of my favorite things:
Long walks on the beach

Pin It & Do It…
DIY Chicken Broth Dog Treats

Looking forward to…
Going to the beach

One of my favorite things…
I’m not as good at bowling as I used to be, but I still love it and have fun

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Job 19:25
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latterday upon the earth.

A favorite quote…
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.” Jesse Jackson

From the camera….