Feb 222018
 

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme

I love movies. As much as I love books.  My favorite movie of 2017 was Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. I didn’t think it could be any better than the first one, but it was. A lot better. It was action packed and so funny! And I love Baby Groot!

 

I also loved A Man Called Ove, you can read my review here. As usual, the movie wasn’t as good as the book, but still, a great movie.

I really should write more reviews for the movies I see.

Feb 212018
 

Why I Hate Green Beans cover art

Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray
Narrated by Lincee Ray

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 4 hours and 57 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Audible.com Release Date: February 9, 2018
Language: English

If there is one thing Lincee Ray has learned over the years, it’s that the majority of women on the planet struggle with insecurities. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our just-trying-to-help mothers are just driving us crazy. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. It’s enough to send you on a gummy-bear bender while binge-watching Friends reruns and not showering for a week. Lincee knows. She’s been there. Right there, in fact. Gummy bears and all.

For every woman who’s ever wondered if she’s unlovable, uninteresting, or unattractive, Lincee offers her particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection. Like a true friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection, trust that God knew what he was doing when he made us, and maybe go buy a new tube of mascara.

Walk alongside Lincee as she discovers that her identity is not found in her job, her relationship status, her bank account, or her social circle. It’s found in Christ.

Thoughts
Lincee Ray is hilarious! I can’t even tell you how many times I laughed out loud while listening to this.

Lincee tells it all, from her family and childhood to her college years, marriage, divorce, and life after that.

Lincee is a good daughter, sister, aunt, friend. The stories she shares in this book are funny, heartwarming, and at times a bit more personal than I think I’d be willing to share.

I loved listening to her talk about her faith, which by the way is not preachy at all. It’s just her thoughts about the God she loves and relies on.

If you like a quick read that will brighten your day, pick up a copy of this book. I suggest the audiobook. Lincee brings an element to the book that I doubt you could get from the printed book.

I had never heard of Lincee before seeing this book. By the way I love the title (even though I love green beans). I am now a Lincee a fan. I follow her blog, and also her podcast on the Podcast app on my iPhone, but you can use another app or read it on her blog.

I highly recommend this book!

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook
Non-Fiction

Feb 192018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

I Never Knew That About New York

Chapter 1
New York exists because of it’s harbor- although it is not officially called a harbor but rather Upper New York Bay. Five miles long from Staten Island in the south to the southern tip of Manhattan in the north and four miles wide from Brooklyn in the east to New Jersey in the west, the Upper Bay forms one of the largest natural harbors in the world.

Feb 192018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Daily:
prayer & meditation
deep breathing
80 oz. water

At Least 12 A Month 
Yoga/Tai-Chi
Light incense or a candle when you get home
Take a walk outside
Watch a food/health documentary
Listen to a guided meditation/favorite music
Watch a comedy tv show/movie:

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: Bunless hamburger & FF’s
Wednesday: Soup
Thursday: Mexican
Friday: Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Saturday: Salad & Wings
Sunday: 1/2 Hamburger & FF’s
Monday: A hot dog with chili and some pretzels

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 1/13: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 1/14: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 1/15: 10,456
Friday ~ 1/16: 11,098
Saturday ~ 1/17: 10,409
Sunday ~ 1/18: 7,860
Monday ~ 1/19: 9,715

Feb 172018
 

Last Wednesday my daughter Kilah and I went shopping and out to eat. We had no particular restaurant in mind so when we saw one we’d never heard of before we decided to try it. Mesa21 is a Mexican restaurant and we both love Mexican food. Here are some photos of the restaurant and the food we ordered:

 

 

 

This was the appetizer

My Mesa 21 Salad

Kilah’s Tortilla Soup

I ordered a Chicken Tinga taco & a Barbacoa taco

Kilah ordered a Chicken Tinga taco & a Grilled Chicken taco

Both came with rice and beans
It was all really good and we plan on going back

A few hours later we were at Target and when I saw the soft pretzels I had to get one even though it had only been about 3 hours since we had eaten all that food. When I was in grade school I used to go most Saturdays to a mall with my two BFF’s and we’d get one of these every time. I still get one when I see them anywhere. I love them!

Adding this restaurant to my 2018 Bucket List

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Feb 132018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Woo Hoo! I found my dvd copies of Moving With Susan & Building Strength With Susan (Powter). Well, I found my spare copies. Where the ones I’ve used all these years are I have no clue. Luckily I had 2 copies of each made! I’m sure I’ll find the other set when I go through that room to move.

Daily
Prayer & Meditation
Brain Exercise Games
Deep Breathing
80 oz. Water

DVD’s
 Yoga:
Tai-Chi/QiGong:
Step Aerobics:
Strength Training:

De-Stressing
Light incense or a candle: 4
Listen to a podcast or guided meditation:
Listen to my favorite music: 2
Watch a comedy tv show/movie: 6

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: Soup
Wednesday: Black Eyed Peas and a Corn Muffin
Thursday: Hamburger & Fries
Friday: Wings & Salad
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Tacos
Monday: Beef Stew

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 2/6: 6,828
Wednesday~ 2/7: 11,133
Thursday ~ 2/8: didn’t track
Friday ~ 2/9: 7,749
Saturday ~ 2/10: 8,307
Sunday ~ 2/11: 9,408
Monday ~ 2/12: 9,526

Feb 122018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below.

Why I Hate Green Beans cover art

Why Is Charlie Brown’s Teacher Talking To Me?

I had the coolest language arts teacher in the eighth grade. Not only did Mrs. Smith make studying grammar, composition, and public speaking a fun activity, but she also took the time to invest in our lives. Her assignments were creative and entertaining, and the often involved her stuents really digging into their tender junior high bains, forcing us to take a good strong look at who we currently were as well as who we wanted to be.

Feb 102018
 

Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica, Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Narrated by Jacques Roy

Listening Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Audible.com Release Date: January 16, 2018
Language: English
ASIN: B078462RYY

The spectacular true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica.

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over, and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? This was the moon landing before the 1960s. Everyone wanted to join the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage.

The night before the expedition’s flagship launched, Billy Gawronski – a skinny, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business – jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.

Could he get away with it?

From the grimy streets of New York’s Lower East Side to the rowdy dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a gutsy young stowaway who became an international celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your-bootstraps age.

THOUGHTS
This book was not what I thought it would be. I love true life adventure stories and was very excited to listen to The Stowaway. I wanted to go along with Billy to Antarctica, and experience all he did. Sadly, the book did not give me that. I  thought the book started out good. We learned about Billy, his parents, and his attempt to stowaway on the trip to Antarctica. We were told how he did this, how he was discovered, and then most of the book was focused more on other people and facts leading up to, during, and after the trip to Antarctica.

You can tell the author did a lot of research, and it was all interesting, it just wasn’t what I thought the book would be about. I wanted to take a trip to Antarctica. I barely got that from the book.

The narrator spoke in a dull monotone.  I easily could have fallen asleep, but I listened while driving so I didn’t. Only once or twice while he was repeating what a character in the book said did his voice come alive.

If you go into this book knowing that doesn’t give much of Billy’s personal experience, it may be a better fit for you than it was for me. I do know that I’m in the minority with my thoughts.

 

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook
Non-Fiction

Feb 072018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I switched up my goals for February a bit. I’ve added daily brain exercise games, and listen to a podcast. I won’t have a certain amount of times to listen to a guided meditation, light an incense or candle, etc. and added yoga and tai-chi to that group.

Daily
Prayer & Meditation
Brain Exercise Games
Deep Breathing
80 oz. Water

DVD’s To Do
 Yoga:
Tai-Chi/QiGong:
Step Aerobics:
Strength Training:

De-Stressing
Light incense or a candle: 3
Listen to a podcast or guided meditation:
Listen to my favorite music: 2
Watch a comedy tv show/movie: 3

Meals Last Week: didn’t keep track 🙁

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 1/30: 11,667
Wednesday~ 1/31: 9,7541
Thursday ~ 2/1: 9,472
Friday ~ 2/2: didn’t track
Saturday ~ 2/3: 7,913
Sunday ~ 2/4: 8,468
Monday ~ 2/5: didn’t track

Feb 062018
 

Who doesn´t like the dark ? (Danny Dinosaur) by [Alex, Peter]

Who Doesn´t Like The Dark? (Danny Dinosaur) by Peter Alex

File Size: 10429 KB
Print Length: 25 pages
Publication Date: January 28, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B079DT8QVG

Danny is a cute little dinosaur who is afraid of the dark.
But being courageous, he is going to find a solution.
This a perfect story for bedtime with a tuck-in tight so you can rest well tonight.
It´s an easy way to say “I love you”.

THOUGHTS
Danny is a dinosaur who can’t sleep at night because he’s afraid of the dark. He’s tired every day but he doesn’t care. He’s rather be tired than sleep in the dark. His mom and dad try to help him to be able to go to sleep but nothing works. Then Danny has a great idea of how he can sleep at night. His idea works and so Danny doesn’t hate bedtime anymore.

This is a cute book that can be read in just a few minutes, but Danny’s idea is a solution for kids who are afraid to go to sleep at night because they are afraid of the dark.

Counts toward the following challenge:
What An Animal

Feb 052018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro

Prologue
With his back against the sunset, a seventeen year old boy lingered on the docks along the Hudson River. By his calculations, it was a ten minute swim from where he stood to the ship.

The new high school gratuate waited, his soft grey eyes fixed on the City Of New York, moored and heavily guarded on the Hoboken piers. The sun went down at six forty-five, this day, August 24, 1928, but still he fought back his adrenaline. He wanted true darkness before carrying out his plan. At noon the next day, the ship would leave New York Harbor and sail nine thousand miles to the frozen continent of Antarctica, the last frontier on earth left to explore. He intended to be aboard.

Feb 052018
 

Best Day Ever: A Psychological Thriller, Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda
Narrated by Graham Halstead & Amy McFadden

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Audible.com Release Date: September 19, 2017

“As I opened the door and stepped into the humid night, her scream followed me out. But I knew there was still love for me in her heart….

“I’m unforgettable.”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys, and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them, and doubts start to arise. How perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? How much do they trust each other? Is Paul the person he seems to be? And what are his secret plans for their weekend at the cottage?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the best-selling vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

Thoughts
It had been a while since I’ve read a thriller so when I kept seeing glowing reviews of this book I decided I’d give it a listen. Oh how glad I am that I did!

Paul Strom is successful, he’s handsome, he’s a good husband & father. At the beginning of the book, about 5 minutes, I liked him, he seemed to love his family and be thoughtful. But then he kept talking.  And the more he talked the more I discovered that he’s the biggest narcissist I’ve ever ran across in my years of reading.

As they ride in the car to their lake house, little arguments start and I can tell something is going to happen to make this not the best day ever. And boy does it. I don’t want to give to much away and spoil it for anyone who wants to give the book a try, so I won’t say much more. I think anything else will be “tmi” since the book was all about the “bad” parts of the day.

Paul narrates the whole book from his viewpoint. I kept wanting to hear Nia’s side but she didn’t get a voice until the end.

I wish the book had been longer. I want to know what the future brought for Paul, Nia, and the boys. We got a little info about Nia and the boys future, but I wanted to know what the future held for Paul.

Both narrators did a great job, especially Paul. He WAS the character.

I could not stop listening to this audiobook. It’s definitely going on my list of favorites for 2018.

 

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook

Feb 042018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
74°, sunny with a slight breeze

Thankful…
For a job I love

Reading…
Finally out of my print reading slump so I should finish The Reminders shortly. Haven’t started  The Story Of Arthur Truluv yet because of the reading slump, but I have it and should start it within the next few days

Listening To…
The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
by Laurie Gwen Shapiro 7 narrated by Jacques Roy

Watching…
Tonight after the Super Bowl I’ll be watching This Is Us and finally get to see/find out what I’ve been waiting for for many many episodes… I ♥ this show!!!

Hoping…
Summer isn’t as hot as winter has been cold

Learning…
How to better pick fruits & veggies

Fitness…
I need to start eating breakfast, lunch, & dinner. I usually eat twice a day and that’s not good

In The Kitchen…
Tonight we’re having fish, cole slaw, & baked beans

Today’s To-Do List…
Same as usual for a Sunday afternoon/evening, read and watch tv, maybe take a nap

One of my favorite things:
Getting to sleep in an hour or two if I want on my days off

A website I’d like to share:
Let’s Find Momo where you look at photos and try to find Momo

Looking forward to…
Going to Weeki Wachee with my daughter Kilah on Tuesday

A Favorite Bible Verse…

A favorite quote…
Image result for picture quotes

From the camera….

No automatic alt text available.

From our NYC trip

Strand bookstore is amazing!

Feb 012018
 

The Last Ballad cover art

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Narrated by Karen WhiteElizabeth Wiley

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 14 hours and 6 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Harper Audio
Audible.com Release Date: October 3, 2017

Twelve times a week, 28-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. Two in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners – the newly arrived Goldberg brothers – white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for 72 hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find.

When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement – a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town – indeed all that she loves.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the tragedy that befell Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929.

Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early 20th-century America – and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers. Lyrical, heartbreaking, and haunting, this eloquent novel confirms Wiley Cash’s place among our nation’s finest writers.

THOUGHTS
I went back and forth about whether to listen to this book or not, and I’m really glad I decided to give it a try. I liked the story from the beginning and stayed hooked until the end.

I liked Ella May. She lived and worked alongside her neighbors and friends, many of whom were African Americans, not very heard of during that time, and wanted what was best for them. She was only 28 yrs. old, but was raising four children, mainly alone, because her husband came and went as he pleased.

I liked most all the characters in the book, especially Hampton Haywood and Katherine McAdam. I didn’t like the mill owners and the other “nefarious forces”. Because of them, many people were hurt or killed.

I liked the alternating voices. The book is based on true facts and it is a very important part of our history.

This is the first book by this author that I’ve read and now I want to read his other books.

 

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook

Jan 302018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Weill I met all my goals except for yoga & tai-chi. Total Fail! Not once this month. Shame on me!

But I did gather my dvid’s for both and plan on starting over with the goal in February. I’m also making it a separate goal from my “At Least 12 A Month” goal. I’m hoping that will help me. My goal will be 12 of each for the month. Wish me luck! I may change the other goals between now and next Tuesday’s post. Not sure yet.

I can not find my two favorite workout dvd’s. If you’ve been reading my RW’s for a while, you may remember that they are oldies but goodies. In the 90’s I stumbled upon Susan Powter’s Moving With Susan & Building Strength With Susan. One is a step workout and the other is a full body workout using dumbbells and a few other things. Best two I’ve ever tried. I LOVE THEM!!! I bought the video’s and  when dvd’s came out I ended up transferred them. I can’t find the dvd’s which is strange because they are the two I used the most, and I can find all my other ones. And I have a lot. A LOT. Anyway, I’m not able to do them and so I have to make another copy of them. I’ll probably find the first two within a few days of having the second set. That’s how it usually goes with me.

 

Daily:
prayer & meditation
deep breathing
80 oz. water

At Least 12 A Month 
Yoga/Tai-Chi:
Light incense or a candle when you get home: 8
Take a walk outside: 3
Watch a food/health documentary: 1
Listen to a guided meditation/favorite music: 3
Watch a comedy tv show/movie: 4

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: Bunless hamburger & ff’s
Wednesday: Salad & wings
Thursday: Hot Dogs with sauerkraut
Friday: Hot dogs cut up into sauerkraut
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Leftover pizza
Monday: Corned beef & fries

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 1/23: 10,488
Wednesday~ 1/24: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 1/25: 16,281
Friday ~ 1/26: 9,354
Saturday ~ 1/27: 8,433
Sunday ~ 1/28: 8,646
Monday ~ 1/29: didn’t track

Jan 292018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Best Day Ever cover art

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Morning 9:00 a.m.
I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, sunlight bouncing off her shiny blond hair like sparklers lit for the Fourth of July, and I am bursting with confidence. Everything is as it should be.

Here we are, just the two of us, about to spend the weekend at our lake house. Today represents everything I’ve worked for, that we have built together. The sun blasts through my driver’s side window with such intensity I feel the urge to hold my hand up to the side of my face to shield my eyes, even though my sunglasses are dark and should be doing the job. Under any other circumstances, on any other day, they would be, I know. But today, something is different between us; some strange tension pulses through the still air of the car’s interior. I cannot see it, but it’s here. I’d like to name it. Discover it’s source and eliminate it.