May 212018
 

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

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

TOBACCO

Every seven year old deserves a superhero. That’s just how it is. Anyone who doesn’t agree needs their head examined. That’s what Elsa’s granny says, at least.

May 212018
 

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: 5
Take a walk outside: 2
Watch a food/health documentary: 1
Listen to a guided meditation/favorite music: 2
Watch a comedy tv show/movie: 4

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: Pork Chops & green beans
Wednesday: Ravioli
Thursday: Fish & fries
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Spaghetti
Monday: Salisbury Steak & Broccoli

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 1/15: 7,412
Wednesday~ 1/16: 10,728
Thursday ~ 1/17: 10,321
Friday ~ 1/18: 8,609
Saturday ~ 1/19: 7,474
Sunday ~ 1/20: didn’t track
Monday ~ 1/21: 8,417

 

May 202018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
70°, wet and rainy. There are no distinguishable clouds but the sky looks white instead of blue, it’s been raining/storming on and off for about 5 days now.

Thankful…
For the rain but would like some days of sunshine too.

Reading…
I’m slowly reading The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton & Framed in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery #2) by Paige Sleuth.

Listening To…
I just finished listening to Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens and yesterday I started listening to My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. Stevens and Backman are definitely on my favorite authors list. I’ve loved every book I’ve read by them.

Watching…
I’m trying to decide what to start binge watching on Netflix, any suggestions?

Fitness…
I’ve been getting a lot of exercise but not eating as healthy as I should have been, I need to work on that.

In The Kitchen…
Today I’m making spaghetti and cheese bread.

Today’s To-Do List…
I’m going to go through my bathroom and bedroom closets and decide what I want to keep or get rid of. Both closets are huge and I loved that when we moved in but now I’m not thrilled about having to go through all that stuff. The saying “make it big and they will fill it” applies here.

One of my favorite things:
Discovering new restaurants.

Looking forward to…
Going to the beach, hopefully one of my days off will be sunny.

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

The place I work passes out things for “Today Is…” days and on Pretzel day they handed out bags of these cute heart pretzels. I had never seen heart pretzels before but I think they are so cute!

May 172018
 

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Narrated by: Holter Graham

Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-11-07
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Nicholas Sparks turns his unrivaled talents to a tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we’ll never have to make.

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life – boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heart-wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Thoughts
Here’s another one I forgot to review. I really need to stop this!

After seeing the movie (link to review) I knew I’d read the book but it took me a while. My only excuse is “so many books”. I decided to listen to the audio version of the book and I’m really glad I did. The narrator did a great job.

Like the movie, the book made me laugh, cry, and feel a lot of other emotions. Of course the book was a little different than the movie, but pretty much the same. It has interesting characters that I loved, lots of interesting situations,  good friends, two adorable dogs and just an overall really good book.

Travis and Gabby had a great relationship, and then a great love for each other, and I was engrossed with the book as much as I was with the movie.

If you like Nicholas Sparks but haven’t read this book or watched the movie, I recommend you do both. It’s not a sappy book, it’s about two people who fall deeply in love with each other, and what happens after a tragic accident.

This will be on my top 10 favorite books of 2018.

Counts toward the following challenges:
Audiobook

May 152018
 

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: 5
Take a walk outside:
Watch a food/health documentary:
Listen to a guided meditation/favorite music: 1
Watch a comedy tv show/movie: 3

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: Ravioli
Wednesday: Ham, green beans
Thursday: Leftover ham sandwiches
Friday: A blueberry muffin
Saturday: Mexican
Sunday: Chicken Fajitas @ Del Carmen
Monday: Leftovers from Del Carmen

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 5/8: 11,698
Wednesday~ 5/9:8,354
Thursday ~ 5/10: 8,647
Friday ~ 5/11: 9,921
Saturday ~ 5/12: 9,064
Sunday ~ 5/13: 10,292
Monday ~ 5/14: didn’t track

May 142018
 

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

Framed in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery, #2)

Framed in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery #2) by Paige Sleuth

“Something is wrong,” Imogene Little said, twining her fingers together. “Willow is never late”.

Katherine Harper looked at the clock n Imogene’s home office. “It’s only twelve-fifteen. Maybe she got snaged in traffic.”

Imogene shooke her head, her auburn locks flying around her shoulders. “She would have called in that case. She would at least have picked up her phone when I called.”

Even if she were driving?”

Imogene nodded. “She has one of those fancy hands-free sets. Something must be wrong. It’s the only possibility”.

May 102018
 

The Reminders by Val Emmich

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (May 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316316997
ISBN-13: 978-0316316996

Grief-stricken over his partner Sydney’s death, Gavin sets fire to every reminder in the couple’s home before fleeing Los Angeles for New Jersey, where he hopes to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family’s ten-year-old daughter, was born Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, or HSAM: the rare ability to recall every day of her life in cinematic detail. Joan has never met Gavin until now, but she did know his partner, and waiting inside her uncanny mind are startlingly vivid memories to prove it.

Gavin strikes a deal with Joan: in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her win a songwriting contest she’s convinced will make her unforgettable. The unlikely duo set off on their quest until Joan reveals unexpected details about Sydney’s final months, forcing Gavin to question not only the purity of his past with Sydney but the course of his own immediate future.

Told in the alternating voices of these two irresistible characters, The Reminders is a hilarious and tender exploration of loss, memory, friendship, and renewal.

Thoughts
Oh my gosh, I completely forgot to review this book! I was looking through my Instagram photos and saw this book and thought “wait, I don’t remember reviewing that book” so I checked and nope, I didn’t. I have a bad habit of starting another book before I write a review so now I’m wondering how many other books I didn’t review. Oh well. I need to start practicing read, review, read, review, etc.

Anyway, I LOVED this book. I loved Joan and Gavin and the relationship they had. I liked reading all the things Joan could remember from practically her whole life. It really touched me that she could tell Gavin things that Sydney had said or done when he wasn’t with him. I would have liked to have had a person like that when my husband died.

It was interesting that Joan and her dad shared a love for music and even had a recording studio in their home. I loved going around New York with them and loved when I finally read what the “big secret” was all about.

This is a very funny, sometimes sad story about friendship, love, and loss.

Counts toward the following challenges:
Library Love

May 072018
 

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 Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
by Anthony Ray Hinton

Capital Offense
But more so than the evidence, I have never had as strong a feeling in trying any other case that the defendant just radiated guilt and pure evil as much as in the Hinton trial.
Prosecutor Bob McGregor

There is no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rear-view mirror. And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming. Did my life change forever the day I was arrested? Or did the life-changing moment happen even earlier? Was that day just the culmination of a whole series of fateful moments, poor choices, and bad luck? Or was the course of my life determined by being black and poor and growing up in a South that didn’t always care to be civil in the wake of civil rights? It’s hard to say. When you are forced to live out your life in a room the size of a bathroom-a room that’s five feet wide by seven feet long- you have plenty of time to replay the moments of your life. To imagine what might have happened if you had run when they came chasing you. Or if you had gotten that baseball scholarship. Or married that girl when you had the chance. We all do it. Replay the horrific moments of our lives and imagine them by going left instead of right, being this person instead of that person, making different choices. You don’t have to be locked up to occupy your mind and your days trying to rewrite a painful past or undo a terrible tragedy or make right a horrible wrong. But pain and tragedy and injustice happen- they happen to us all. I’d like to believe it’s what you choose to do after such an experience that matters the most- that truly changes your life forever.

I’d really like to believe that.

May 072018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

 

Daily: 
80 oz. Water
Deep Breathing
Stretching/Flexibility
Brain Exercise: puzzles,memory recall, number/word search, online games

Exercise: 12 Times Total 
Yoga~
Tai Chi~
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~

Meals Last Week 
Tuesday: deli ham slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices
Wednesday: Mexican
Thursday: Lasagna my daughter made
Friday: Johnny Marzetti
Saturday: leftover Johnny Marzetti
Sunday: Slow cooker sprial cut ham, fried green beans
Monday: Leftover ham- sandwiches

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 5/1: 9,024
Wednesday~ 5/2: 8,750
Thursday ~ 5/3: 9,015
Friday ~ 5/4: 9,265
Saturday ~ 5/5: 8,223
Sunday ~ 5/6: didn’t track
Monday ~ 5/7: 9,362

May 062018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
79° with so many clouds you can’t see the blue of the sky, no wind, no dogs barking, no kids playing, or lawns being mowed, it’s unusually quiet except for an occasional car going by

Thankful…
For not having to go to work today

Reading…
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

Listening To…
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Watching…
Last  Night I watched Chonda Pierce: Enough on Netflix and loved it, she’s very funny

Fitness…
For some reason the bones in my feet have been hurting on and off for a few days

In The Kitchen…
Spiral Cut Ham with  a bit of brown sugar, pineapple & cherries

Today’s To-Do List…
Computer time, reading, tv, laundry because that’s never ending

One of my favorite things:
My daughter and I went on a day trip a few weeks ago and we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way out of town. The girl waiting on us told us that most of their stores refill any mug/tumbler etc. for a little over a dollar! I also love their Bacon, Egg & Cheese Croissant, and that they have so many donuts to choose from

Looking forward to…
Moving. We had only planned on doing a little work to the house in town but my son kept adding things and now it’s practically a whole remodel

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

May 052018
 

When my kids were little I used to make Johnny Marzetti and they loved it. I haven’t made it in years . The other day my son Anthony said he’d like me to make it again, so I did. I used a different recipe, one that calls for baking it. My old recipe didn’t have you bake it.

Johnny Marzzetti
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 tablespon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
2- 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
1- 14 oz. can dived tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian herbs
Pinch of sugar
2 cups Cheddar cheese
2 cups Italian Blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350°
Bring a large pot of water to boil
Add maccaroni and boil for 7 min. or until almost al dente
Drain pasta and return to the pot, set aside
Heat olive oil in a large skittle over medium heat
Add the onion, bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5 min.
Add the meat and cook unil no longer pink
Drain off fat & season with spices
Simmer for five min., stirring occasionally
Pour the meat in with the noodles, mix well
Add 1 cup of each of the cheese & mix well
Pour mixture into a 13×9 in. casserole dish
Top with remaining cheese
Bake for 30 min. or until cheese is golden brown & melted

Adaptions:
Didn’t use the olive oil, green pepper, mushrooms.
Used ground chuck instead of ground beef
Used 1 can of tomato sauce
Used 1 can of diced & 1 can of stewed tomatoes-didn’t drain
Used 1/4 tsp. garlic poweder instead of 2 cloves

I didn’t follow the directions either. I browned the ground chuck with the onions, drained it and added the spices, then added it to the macaroni, added the cheeses, poured it into the dish and topped with remaining cheese.

I thought this was really really good, but my son said he liked my original recipe more. I plan on eating some more tonight and since there’s just me and my son I’ll be freezing the rest for later. Next time I make Johnny Marzetti I’ll cut the recipe in half.

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

May 032018
 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry #1)
by Rachel Joyce

Narrated by Jim Broadbent

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 9 hours and 57 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: July 24, 2012
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B008OCRSHE

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise – and utterly irresistible – storyteller.

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage at the heart of Rachel Joyce’s remarkable debut. Harold Fry is determined to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessey will live.

Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him – allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.

And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller.

Thoughts
I don’t know what it is about “older” characters, but I just love them, and Harold Fry was no exception. I liked him from the very beginning of the book and liked him more and more as the book went on.

I loved that even at his age he decided to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge  to Berwick-upon-Tweed, in hopes of saving Queenie, a co-worker he hadn’t seen in 20 years.

I loved the character of Harold. I liked his attitude and his determination. And I liked how Maureen came around and ended up supporting him in this venture.

There was a part in the book that left me with my mouth hanging open, shocked at what was revealed. I love books that do that,  and this was a huge shock.

There were a lot of characters in the book but it was easy to keep them straight.  Most of them I liked, but some of them did things that made me mad and/or feel bad for Harold. I wanted to yell at them and say “shame on you”!

I loved the ending of the book, it made the whole walk worth every step.

I really loved this book and now want to read the second Harold Fry book, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. It goes deeper into the relationship of Harold and Queenie, and the letter that she didn’t send.

I started reading the print version of this book and then switched to audio after only a few chapters.

Counts toward the following challenges:
Audiobook

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

May 012018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I met my April goals but most of the exercise was strength training
I hope to do more yoga etc.

Daily: 
80 oz. Water
Deep Breathing
Stretching/Flexibility
Brain Exercise: puzzles,memory recall, number/word search, online games

Exercise: 12 Times Total 
Yoga~
Tai Chi~
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~

Meals Last Week 
Tuesday: Taco Salad
Wednesday: Leftover Taco Salad
Thursday: Vanilla Greek Yogurt & Cinnamon Toast
Friday: Ham Sandwich
Saturday: Del Carmen Restaurant & Store
Sunday: Sausage, Cheese & Ritz Crackers
Monday: Tijuana Flats

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 4/24: 9,348
Wednesday~ 4/25: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 4/26: 8,628
Friday ~ 4/27: 8,992
Saturday ~ 4/28: 9,758
Sunday ~ 4/29: 9,836
Monday ~ 4/30: 11, 575