Sep 272020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Off You Go: A Mystery Novella by Benjamin Blackmore

Listening To…
The Man On The Mountaintop by Susan Trott

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale

Watched…
Selfie Dad Loved this Christian based comedy!

In The Kitchen…
Chicken & Gravy
Leftover Meatloaf that I froze, mashed potatoes, corn
Instant Pot Chili
Veggie Pizza

New To Me Stuff:
McCormick Gourmet Japanese 7 Spice & McCormick Gourmet Organic Chipotle Chile Pepper and love both of them

Today’s To Do List…
Going to watch Fried Green Tomatoes again, and having my son put a new rear-view camera in my car because the one I had was a stick on the windshield type and it kept falling off in the hot and humid Florida weather

Looking forward to…
We’ve been waiting to get our house painted for a few months but because we’re in our rainy season the painter is way behind, they finally came Friday and primed it so I’m hoping it doesn’t rain tomorrow and they can finish it

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

From the camera…

❤️❤️❤️  My great granddaughter Jensen ❤️❤️❤️

She ‘s 2 months old now

Sep 212020
 

Side Trip By cover art
Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin, Sarah Naughton
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
Release date: 07-07-20

An unforgettable and breathtaking novel of love, loss, and the unexpected routes that life takes from Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale.

With her deceased sister’s Route 66 bucket list in hand, California girl Joy Evers sets out on a cross-country road trip to meet up with her fiancé, checking off the bullets along the way.

Singer-songwriter Dylan Westfield has a serious case of wanderlust and a broken-down car. Stuck at a diner between LA and Flagstaff, he meets Joy, his complete opposite. She’s energetic. He’s moody. She’s by the book. He’s spontaneous. She believes in love at first sight. He thinks love is a complicated mess. But Joy has a brand-new convertible.

They strike a deal. She’ll drive him to New York. He’ll pay for gas. Only three rules apply: no exchanging of last names; what happens on the road, stays on the road; and if one of them wants to take a side trip, they both must agree.

A heart-stirring love story that spans a decade, Side Trip explores what-if. What if Joy and Dylan had exchanged last names? What if he’d told her she made him believe love was worth the risk? And what if they hadn’t made that second deal when they couldn’t say goodbye?

Thoughts
I love road trips so this book really appealed to me, and I loved every minute of it… almost. I loved the way Joy and Dylan interacted with each other. I loved that their first encounter was a road trip and that if one of them thought of a “side trip” they wanted to take, they would have to see if the other person agreed to it, and of course they did. The side trips were the most interesting parts of the book for me.

The ending was really sad and I paused to think things through before listening to the last little bit. And here is where the book took a dive, in my opinion. There was another alternate ending which was the complete opposite of the first one. Even though I enjoyed the book up until the end, I didn’t enjoy the dual endings at all.

Sep 182020
 

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

3 Pounds Chicken thighs, About 6-8
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and set aside

Remove the chicken thighs from their packaging and pat them dry with paper towels

Arrange the chicken thighs on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil rubbing the oil into the chicken to coat

In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and paprika

Sprinkle the spices over the chicken evenly

Bake chicken in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes

Adaptions
I only had 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs so I cut all the spices in half and baked them in my Instant Omni Plus Air Fryer Toaster Oven using this air fryer calculator and did them at 370 for 28 min.

Thoughts
These chicken thighs were so moist and tender and the seasoning was very good. I also made Vigo Yellow Rice and fried green beans. The thigh recipe was so quick to put together. This was a very good meal, I’ll be making it again!

Weekend Cooking

Sep 152020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

FIRST CHAPTER: 
A bank robbery. A hostage drama. A stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment. It was easy to get to this point, much easier than you might think. All it took was one single really bad idea.

TEASER: 
“Dad? The phone that we sent in for the perpetrator, where did we find it when we came in?” Jack suddenly asks.
“It was there on that little table,” Jim says.
“That explains it,” Jack sighs.
“Explains what?”
“We’ve been thinking about this wrong all along.”

Sep 132020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Make Something Good Today by Erin & Ben Napier
I love their show Home Town!

Listening To…
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Books Reviewed Last Week…
None. I’m still reading but  just not motivated to write reviews

Watched…
A friend recommended School Of Life, so I watched it Thursday, it’s a very funny movie

In The Kitchen…
8 Can Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
Steak & Baked Potatoes
Johnsonville Smoked Beef Brats Links
Turkey wrap with mustard and colby jack

New To Me Stuff:
Nuthin’

Today’s To Do List…
The usual

Looking forward to…
My next Sat. or Sun. off so we can go for  another drive

A Favorite Bible Verse…
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Luke 21:36

From the camera…

I haven’t seen this photo in many many years!

My BFF in Jr. High sent me a copy, I think it was 9th grade.

I’m next to last.

Sep 112020
 

Excuse the messy bowl, it was round two

8 Can Slow Cooker Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 can ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can veg-all brand vegetables
1 can chili without beans
1 can chili with beans
1 can diced tomato
1 can campbell tomato soup
1 can campbell vegetable soup

Brown and drain ground beef
Add to large slow cooker

Add:
Ro-Tel tomatoes
corn
Veg-All
both chili’s
diced tomatoes
both soups

Stir

Turn Slow Cooker to low; may simmer all day if desired

Notes: I didn’t have any hamburger so I used Uncle John’s Pride Mild Country Sausage

Thoughts
I love soup and vegetables so I knew I’d love this. My son doesn’t like soup or vegetables but he said he’d try it. And he shocked me when he went back to get more! That’s why the bowl is so messy. He said it was really good.

This is so cheap, easy and quick to put together that I’ll definitely be making it again, especially since Anthony liked it so much.

Weekend Cooking

Souper Sundays

Sep 072020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 1 by [Tonya Kappes]

Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries:
A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 1
by Tonya Kappe

FIRST CHAPTER:
Chapter 1

“A campground?” I gulped back a good hissy fit because one could never underestimate the power of a good hissy fit, something I’ve tried really hard not to do in years. “As in, tiny little metal houses and porta potties?”

“Well, I think they have a toilet in them,” said Stanley Shelton, my lawyer.

TEASER: 
Another woman stood up from a leather chair, which I found sort of odd in a laundromat. She held a book in her hand. She appeared to be in her late twenties, if I had to guess. She had her brown hair pulled up into a ponytail. “I’m Abby Fawn, Normal County Public Library librarian and part-time Tupperware sales associate.”

Sep 042020
 

 

The Hillbillies Meatloaf

3 lb. hamburger
3 eggs
13oz, bag Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips
2 bunches green onion
3/4 c. milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Ketchup (as much as you want)
2 spoons brown sugar

Put some butter in pan and saute onions
Crush chips & put in big bowl
Add milk
Add some salt & pepper
Add eggs
Add cheese
Add onions
Add hamburger
Mix well
Put in glass pan
Make loaf w/gaps on side for grease
Bake at 350 for 45 min.

While it’s in the oven:
Put ketchup in a bowl
Add brown sugar
Mix

When the meatloaf is done:
Spread ketchup/brown sugar mix on top of meatloaf
Put back in oven for 15-20 min.

Thoughts
When I first saw this recipe I thought “Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips in meatloaf? Yuck!” I don’t like cheddar or sour cream chips and thought that it would taste terrible but I thought I’d give it a try.

Adaptions: I used more brown sugar

The recipe was easy to make and not very time consuming. I was going to cut the recipe in half since there are only two of us but decided to not to and just freeze the leftovers, which will make two more meals.

I was very surprised that the meatloaf was so good! It’s one of the best I’ve ever had and I’m glad I didn’t cut the recipe in half. Now all I have to do is take a bag out of the freezer to thaw and then reheat it.  Will be making it again!

I love when I’m not sure about a recipe and it ends up being a favorite!

Weekend Cooking

Aug 302020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Still slowly reading Zoya by Danielle Steele & Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget by Allia Zobel Nolan

Listening To…
I stopped listening to The Friendship List by Susan Mallery within the first 2 chapters and started Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale which is ok so far

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb (I loved this book!)

Watching…
New show Tough as Nails with host Phil Keoghan

In The Kitchen This Week…
Trying to find recipes that are lower carb, have any that you love?

Question…
What is your favorite TV show?

Today’s To Do List…
No plans to go anywhere so reading, tv, maybe a load or two of laundry

Looking forward to…
Things getting better so I can go visit my family in Ohio

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9

From the camera…

Jaspurr says that 2020 is giving her a headache

Aug 292020
 

Chicken Burrito Skillet

1 pound boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 -15 oz  whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original
Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 cup water
1-1/4 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
Chopped cilantro, optional: do not like cilantro so didn’t use

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chicken and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add onion and taco seasoning; cook 2 minutes more
Stir in black beans
Add tomatoes/green chilies & water; bring to a boil
Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat, simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until rice is tender
Stir in 1/2 cup cheese
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and cilantro, if desired

Thoughts
This was really good. We don’t like cilantro so I didn’t add it. It was quick and easy to make and I only used one skillet, a spoon, a measuring cup and a measuring spoon. I bought chopped onions in the vegetable section (I recently started doing this because it saves time and I have chopped onions in my fridge for whenever I need them)

I will definitely make this again.

Weekend Cooking

Aug 252020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now...Before We Forget by [Allia Zobel Nolan]

Laugh Out Loud:

40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget

by Allia Zobel Nolan

FIRST CHAPTER:
You know how people say they wish they had been born in a different era? Like they wish they had been a flapper, or grew up in the age of The Big Bopper and sock hops?

Not me.

I was born in early 1963 at precisely the right time. I was just the perfect age to experience the 80’s dance clubs. And, boy, did I love dance clubs. That’s where big-haired women and sockless men gathered. That crowd fit me like a glove.

TEASER: 
The waistband on these always seemed to cling precariously to my ample hips, while the crotch hovered somewhere just north of my knees like a mama kangaroo’s pouch. Other girls had problems, too. Occasionally, as one of them was walking down the hall, this waistband would suddenly roll down, picking up momentum until it reached her ankles where it would roll down, picking up momentum until it reached her ankles where it trapped and tripped her. Once in a while she’d be joined on the floor by one of her peers who had plummeted off her platform shoes.

Aug 242020
 

Floating Twigs audiobook cover art

Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb

By: Charles Tabb
Narrated by: Neill Thorne
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-04-20
Language: English
Publisher: Charles Tabb

It’s 1968 in the rural coastline town of Denton, Florida, and the only thing with a tougher life than 12-year-old Jack Turner is a starving dog named Bones. When they meet while Jack is fishing, Jack knows that he and Bones are meant for each other, and he promises his oft-absent alcoholic parents that he’ll somehow get a job to pay for his new dog’s food and care.

In the process of finding work, Jack meets Hank Pittman, a middle-aged man who lives in a dilapidated school bus at the harbor, and Mrs. Mary Jane Dawson, an eccentric but kind older woman in need of gardening help. As Bones nurses back to health, Hank and Mrs. Dawson become the caring parents Jack never had.

But gossip and lies about Jack’s growing relationships lead to an attack on Bones’ life and questions about Hank’s past. When Hank is put on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, everything Jack holds dear is set in the balance of that small-town courtroom.

Floating Twigs is a timeless coming-of-age story about a boy and his dog, the responsibilities that come with loving others, and how, sometimes, one small moment can change a life forever.

Thoughts
There was so much more to this book than I was expecting, and I loved every minute of it, it was one of the best books I’ve read. The author drew me into the book from the first paragraph and I loved spending some time in Denton, Florida. I liked all the characters except a few (but they add so much to the book) and each of them were so well written that I felt like I knew them.

Having Roger and Lee as his best friends, his only friends,  was a Blessing to Jack a few times throughout the book, and I loved the bond they had. The other boys in the story added another dimension to the book. I felt sad for Jack and his home life. When he found Bones I was glad he finally he had something in his life that would give him so much happiness and love, and Hank and Mrs. Dawson added even more.

This book shows small town life at it’s best and worst. It had the town’s wealthiest and poorest, the kindest and the meanest, the helpful and the trouble makers. It had it all!

I LOVED this book! One night I kept turning off my iPhone and tried to go to sleep but I couldn’t stop thinking about the book, and ended up doing that about 3 times. I finally gave up and finished it. Good thing I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 to go to work!

A lot of people have said they don’t read books with animals because they get sad. This book does have some sad things in it concerning Bones, but the overall theme concerning him is that he is found by Jack who loved and cared for him and they love each other and have a very close bond. And no, Bones does not die during the book.

I really liked the narrator, he did a great job!

This is the first book I’ve read by Tabb but I will definitely try another one.

If you haven’t read this one, give it a try, it’s such a good book. It is a 5* with 1,059 ratings.

Aug 232020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget by Allia Zobel Nolan

Listening To…
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Books Reviewed Last Week…
None, I’m so behind on reviews 🙁  but coming up this week is my review of Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb which I LOVED! I stayed up until 4:00 this morning listening to it because every time I’d turn it off and try to go to sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about it & finally finished it, it will definitely be in my top favorite books

Watching…
Today I’m going to re-watch Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone for Food N’ Flix, hosted by Tina @ Squirrel Head Manor

In The Kitchen…
Chicken Burrito Skillet
2 Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
The Perfect Meatloaf
Tortellini Soup

New To Me Stuff:
We tried the new Jalapeño Popper Rolls  @ Pappa John’s yesterday, we were not a fan.

Ok, so I’ve already said many times that I have a huge addiction to small kitchen appliances. It seems it may be getting worse (I’m blaming it on having to stay home unless necessary). In the last week I’ve acquired an Instant Pot Aura Pro 11-in-1 Multicooker Slow Cooker, 8 Qt  and a Cuisinart DCB-10 Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker

Today’s To Do List…
Two loads of laundry, reading, tv

A Favorite Bible Verse…
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time
1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV

From the camera…

Saw this while walking on the boardwalk at Lake Harris

Since I have so much love for this place, it seemed like a perfect find

Aug 172020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Floating Twigs

Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb

FIRST CHAPTER:
I had known the day would come when circumstances forced my return to Denton, Florida, where I grew up. My parents had died before I finished high school, but another funeral brought me here now.

The Denton of my childhood reminded me of an old man, settled and unchanging. However, on that sunny day back in 1990 as I drove across the bridge that spanned the inlet between Denton Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, I looked over the expance of emerald-green water to the harbor that lay protected by Sugar Isle, a long barrier island of sugar-white sand. Instead of a harbor filled with fishing boats lazily dotting the landscape, a waterfront teeming with jet-skis and noise greeted me. New boat dogs grew and twisted out of the adjoining land like cancerous groths. Beside the more expensive boats that had invaded the harbor, the older fishing oalts looked like improverished cousins. Seventeen years had scarred the town.

TEASER: 
The next day I spent time with Bones, sneaking leftovers out to him from the kitchen and letting him get to know me. I ended up giving him bread and some gravy that had been in the refrigerator for a few days, along with some baloney and stale rice. It wasn’t much of a meal, but he ate it the way he had everything else – in huge gulps.

Aug 092020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Watching the Grass Grow by Diane Michaels & Find Layla by Meg Elison

Listening To…
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Finding Home by Corinne Joy Brown

Watching…
Last night I watched I Wish You Well with Ellen Burstyn and LOVED it!

In The Kitchen This Week…
Today I’m making a pot of Baby Lima Beans with Ham Hocks, not sure what I’ll make the rest of the week

New To Me Stuff:
I saw this new item, Starbucks Frappuccino Crafted With Cold Brew, Caramelized Honey Vanilla, yesterday and thought I’d try it, it was ok but I’ll stick with the Caramel flavor.

Today’s To Do List:
I have to wash my work clothes, and  then plan on watching tv and listening to my audiobook and just relaxing.

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

From the camera…
Yesterday my son Anthony and I decided we needed to get out of the house and do something (first time since Feb.) so we drove to the chain of lakes we used to go to with our Pontoon boat. It was great getting out of the house and seeing the lake and walking the boardwalk through the trees and water. Lots of good memories,  we enjoyed it! Thankfully there were under 10 other people there in the whole park.

Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes
The photo is of Lake Harris
The other primary lakes are:
Apopka, Little Lake Harris, Griffin, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton, and Yale