Jul 152018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
It’s too early to tell, but it’s been cooler the last few days so I’m hoping today will be too

Thankful…
For family time

Reading…
The Bridge: A Collection Of Short Stories by Paula Kay

Listening To…
Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Watching…
Big Brother 20

Fitness…
I’m doing good, eating better and drinking more water. Sunday is a “free” day as far as food

In The Kitchen…
Last night we had fish and baked beans

Today’s To-Do List…
I have a 4 hour meeting at a nearby hospital which is for work and then going to Mr. Dunderbak’s with Anthony, Jeremy, & Susie

One of my favorite things:
Smelling fresh cut grass

Looking forward to…
Spending time with my daughter tomorrow

Question…
Would you rather live permanently in a roller coaster park or in a zoo?
My Answer: I LOVE roller coasters but I also love animals, and think a zoo would be a better place to live permanently. Although coaster are fun, animals are better company.

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

Jul 102018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

July Goals
1. Eat more meatless meals
2. Drink enough water
3. Strength train 5 times a week
4. Either tai-chi or chi gong at least twice a week

I met this weeks goals for #’s 1 & 3 but not the other two

Food Ideas For This Week
Taco Salad (recipe to be posted on Sat.)
Pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn
Baked Black Beans & Sweet Potato Flautas (recommended by my dil)

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 7/3: 8,667
Wednesday~ 7/4: 11,682
Thursday ~ 7/5: 8,690
Friday ~ 7/6: didn’t track
Saturday ~ 7/7: 10,844
Sunday ~ 7/8: didn’t track
Monday ~ 7/9: 10,033

Jul 092018
 

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

Heaven Adjacent

Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Three Months After The Move

Chapter One
When Somebody Hands You A Fish

Roseanna was standing under the barely warm water in her tiny, cold makeshift shower when the bell at the gate began to clang.

She cursed to herself a few times, under her breath but out loud, rinsing off more or less all at once and grabbing a towel. She stepped out into her shabby and small add-on bathroom, toweled her hair briefly, then wrapped the towel around herself.

Jul 072018
 

Sorry I don’t have a photo to share. I took one but it was too dark and it was late and we were starving so I didn’t take any more. You can click the link below to check out some great photos

Doritos Chicken Casserole

1 bag (10 oz) Doritos Cool Ranch flavored tortilla chips, coarsely crushed (about 6 cups)

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)

1 jar (15 oz) four cheese Alfredo pasta sauce

1 tablespoon Old El Paso original taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oven to 350°F
Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray
In large bowl, toss Doritos and melted butter until well coated
Sprinkle 4 cups of the Doritos evenly in bottom of casserole
Top with 1/2 cup of the cheese
In large bowl, stir pasta sauce and taco seasoning mix until well blended
Add chicken, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the cheese; stir until well mixed
Spoon evenly over Doritos in baking dish.
Bake uncovered 30 minutes
Sprinkle with remaining Doritos and remaining 1 cup cheese
Bake about 5 minutes longer or until hot and cheese is melted

 

I used frozen pulled chicken and couldn’t find that brand of fire roasted tomatoes so I bought a different brand. Other than that I followed the recipe.

This was really quick and easy to make and we loved it! My son even got seconds, so that told me he really liked it. I’ll definitely make this again but I think I’ll make it with ground beef,  more taco seasoning,  and nacho cheese Doritos and see how we like it that way. Either way, I’m adding this recipe to my dinner rotation.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jul 062018
 

Hosted @ Living To Tell The Story

Susanne says:
Intentionally looking for the blessings of the past week
Cultivating a grateful attitude and life is our goal
Please join us

1. Last week I went to Disney World with my son Anthony, son Jeremy, daughter in law Susie, and grandson Jordan. I love spending time with my family!

2. Wawa is finally open and I LOVE it!

3. Some of my neighbors usually start shooting off fireworks a few days before the 4th. Then on the 4th they shoot them off  starting before dark and into the morning hours. I was all ready for a night of comforting my terrified dog but was surprised that they didn’t do that many this year. Just a few right at dark and then nothing. I was SO grateful for that!

4. A friend and I were talking about how much we love Taco Bell and she said she always gets 2 Spicy Tostada’s and a bean burrito (she doesn’t eat meat). I’ve never tried a Tostada so I decided to get one. Oh my goodness! So good! Now it’s my new favorite thing at TB! And they’re only $1 each!

5. I really love my job but it’s full speed ahead from the time I walk in the door until I finish. I had a few days last week that seemed a little less rushed at times and for that I’m very grateful.

Jul 042018
 

 Hosted @ Hot Listens & Caffeinated Reviewer

We’re halfway through this challenge so the hosts are having a mid-point update. The final update will be Dec 15, 2018

My goal is:
Binge Listener : 20-30

Here are the review links for the books I’ve listened to so far:
1. Unashamed by Lecrae Moore
2. The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse
3. The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
4. Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda
5. The Stowaway by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
6. Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray
7. Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
8. The Tour: A Trip Through Ireland by Jean Grainger
9. Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
10. Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery #1) by Paige Sleuth
11. The Memory of Butterflies by Grace Greene
12. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
13. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry #1) by Rachel Joyce
14. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
15. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
16. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman
17. The Upside of Falling Down – Rebekah Crane
18. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
19. Half a Heart by Karen McQuestion

Jul 042018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Wow, I haven’t posted a RW for a few weeks

My July goals are eating more meatless meals, getting enough water, strength train 5 times a week, & doing either tai-chi or chi gong at least twice a week.

Food Ideas For This Week
Doritos™ Cheesy Chicken Casserole
Cheesy Amish Breakfast Casserole
Cheese Tortellini With Peas & Alfredo Sauce
Meat Lovers Vegan Burgers & Fries

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 6/26: 9,103
Wednesday~ 6/27: 11,698
Thursday ~ 6/28: 9,549
Friday ~ 6/29: 8,544
Saturday ~ 6/30: ?
Sunday ~ 7/1: ?
Monday ~ 7/2: 11,540

Jul 022018
 

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

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

It’s Going To Be Someone’s Fault

Have you ever seen a town fall? Ours did. We’ll end up saying that violence came to Beartown this summer, but that will be a lie; the violence was already here. Because sometimes hating one another is so easy that it seems incomprehensible that we ever do anything else.

Jul 012018
 

Cream of Sweet (Chocolate Cozy Mystery #1)

Cream of Sweet (Chocolate Cozy Mystery #1) by Wendy Meadows

File Size: 2276 KB
Print Length: 104 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Majestic Owl Publishing LLC (February 19, 2017)
Publication Date: February 19, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B06W9NYZ6Q

Hazelnut pralines, coffee crèmes, strawberry mousse delights and chocolate drops – little bits of heaven that Olivia makes at the Block-a-Choc Shoppe; scrumptious. Could anything ever dampen these yummy treats? Maybe one thing.

Murder…

When Lizzy Couture, a less than liked member of the community, is found murdered, Olivia is a suspect. After one of her chocolate drops, with just a dash of arsenic was found to be what killed Lizzy, Olivia knows she must get to the bottom of this. Olivia is not a killer!

Olivia teams up with a P.I. for help, and on the way, they realise just how many people disliked Lizzy and were capable of killing her. Will they ever find the murderer? Will Olivia remain wrongfully accused? You’ll be guessing until the very, very end…

Thoughts
I really enjoyed this short cozy. Olivia is a great character that wants the best for everyone, and is determined to find the person who killed Lizzy, especially since she’s one of the first suspects. This wasn’t an easy task since most people in town disliked Lizzy.

In the process of the search, a relationship starts to bloom between her and Jake Morgan, the P.I. that Alberta, one of her employees, sets her up with to help solve the case.

I loved reading about Dodger, Olivia’s dog. I am a huge dog lover. Dodger and the other characters are an interesting bunch and the story kept me reading until the end.

This is book #1 in a 6 book series and I’m eager to start #2.

Counts toward the following challenge:

Monthly Motif

Jul 012018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
83°, feels like temp is 93°, sky is a beautiful blue with some white fluffy clouds, storms expected in the afternoon

Thankful…
That I could spend Friday with my two sons, dil, & grandson at Disney World

Reading… 
still in a reading slump except for audio
I may finish these books by the end of the year~ kidding not kidding
The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker (Kindle)
Live Your Life: 14 Days to the Best You by Ann LeFevre (Print)

Listening To…
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Watching…
Lords and Ladles, which Beth Fish recommended

Fitness…
I’ve missed the last three weeks of Reader’s Workouts, plan to post again on Tuesday

In The Kitchen…
Pizza today and Doritos Chicken Casserole tomorrow

Today’s To-Do List…
Watch some tv, read, relax, cuddle with my fur babies

One of my favorite things:
I was talking to a vegetarian friend the other day about how much we love Taco Bell and she said she’s been getting the Spicy Tostada from the $1 menu, and that she loves it. I tried it yesterday and it is really really good! It’s now my favorite thing from TB! And did I mention it’s only $1?

Looking forward to…
Our rainy season to be over because the thunder freaks my dog and two cats out and I feel so bad for them

Question…
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher

A Favorite Bible Verse…

 

From the camera…

Jaspurr, my youngest cat, who is a girl by the way

Jun 292018
 

Half a Heart by Karen McQuestion
Narrated by Emily Durante

Listening Length: 7 hours and 41 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: March 13, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B079J5TKRG

From bestselling author Karen McQuestion comes a moving novel about broken hearts…and what it takes to put them back together again.

At nine years of age, Logan Weber knows the routine. Keep quiet, make the food last, and don’t ever cause trouble. He’ll do what it takes to evade the rages of his troubled, violent father. Even though he’s only a child, Logan already knows too much—has seen too much.

So when the opportunity presents itself, Logan runs. He has no idea where his journey will lead, or that the grandmother he’s been told is dead is desperately searching for him.

Alone with no home of his own, Logan looks for a safe place to hide. Relying on his instincts and the kindness of strangers, the boy manages to touch the lives of everyone he meets. But his innocent heart cannot survive in the adult world without the most basic human need of all: love.

Thoughts
This is the first time I’ve read this author, and I loved this book! It starts out with us learning that 9 yr. old Logan has a horrible home life. Something horrendous happened and because of the shock of it, he no longer talks. His father is very abusive and he really has no friends.

One day after an incident caused his father to again become enraged at him, Logan decides to run. What happens from there kept me glued to the story. One thing after another happened and lots of white knuckle moments.

The narrator did a good job with the voices, but Logan’s father’s voice grated on my nerves just a tiny bit. To be fair, I think it would be hard for any woman to do a man’s voice that sounded full of as much rage as Logan’s father had.

This is a very good book! I loved this story and it will stick with me for a long time. I also plan on reading more from this author.

Jun 282018
 

Hosted @ Living To Tell The Story

Susanne says:
Intentionally looking for the blessings of the past week
Cultivating a grateful attitude and life is our goal
Please join us

1. My washer tore up so we had to buy a new one. I went with a top load Samsung and love it. So much more quite than my front load was.

2. I spent Tuesday with my daughter, granddaughter, and daughter’s MIL. We went shopping, out to eat, and then did more shopping. We were gone from 10 am until almost 10 pm. It was a lot of fun.

3. My car needed to have the oil changed so I took it in to the dealer. They also check the fluids, rotate the tires etc. My son in law had already told me I needed new tires soon but the dealer said I should change them as soon as I could. It worried me especially since we’re in our rainy season and the roads where I live are prone to flooding. My son searched online for the size I need which are hard to find and luckily found some a few days later. I took them and had them put on and I feel so much better knowing I have excellent traction now. Plus, the warranty was really good.

4. I had 4 WM GC’s in my purse, left overs from getting gas, and decided to check to see if there was any money on them and if not throw them away. To my surprise they had $23, $4.99, $8.00, & $12.99 on them for a total of $48.68! Now to decide what to buy!

5. My new schedule at work came out and I found out I have today, tomorrow, and Sunday off. That’s only happened once before, and I rarely get a Saturday or Sunday off. I was very grateful for that!

Jun 252018
 

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

36358352

Half A Heart by Karen McQuestion

He’d never seen his father so angry, and that was saying a lot, because he’d seen him plenty mad the last few years. Tia really was to blame, not that it mattered. He should have known not to listen to her.

Afer their parents left the house that Saturday, she lured Logan out of his bedroom with the promise of marshmallows.

Jun 252018
 

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Narrated by Joan Walker

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 9 hours and 18 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Audible.com Release Date: May 3, 2016
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B01D3AQO8U

From the bestselling author of the “charming debut” (People) A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, a heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?

Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing.

Thoughts
I first got to know Britt-Marie in Backman’s book My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. She and her granddaughter Elsa, were such great characters that I’ll ever forget them and they will definitely be among my all time favorites.

Oh how I love Britt-Marie. She is such a great character you have to understand. She’s a cleaning machine and a stickler for “proper” things like never sitting a cup on a table etc. without using a coaster.

Britt-Marie is 63 yrs. old and leaves her husband. She finds work in a little tiny ghost of a town named Borg and does things that she never thought in a million years she would do. The people grow to love her and she them. The characters are endearing, the story is both funny and sad, and is one I won’t soon forget.

The narrator also narrated A Man Called Ove & My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry.   She did an amazing job in all 3 books and made the stories come alive.

I loved this book and would recommend any of Fredrick Backman’s  books. I read Beartown and now can’t wait to read Us Against You (Beartown #2). If Backman can write a book about hockey and make me love it, he has to be an amazing author.

Jun 242018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
92° , hot & humid

Thankful…
My front load washing machine bit the dust last week so we had to buy another one. I decided to go with a Samsung top load and I love it, even though I’m too short to reach the clothes when they’re done. Getting them out is a workout. I need to go buy a step stool

Reading… (still)
The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker (Kindle)
Live Your Life: 14 Days to the Best You by Ann LeFevre (Print)

Listening To…
Half a Heart by Karen McQuestion – this is a new to me author and I’m really enjoying the book

Watching…
Still binge watching Monk (on season 6) and thinking about starting Master Of None. Anyone know the show and can tell me if I should be warned of anything?

Fitness…
Lots of exercise and drinking lots of water

In The Kitchen…
Tonight I’m having Beef Stew

Today’s To-Do List…
I worked this morning and now I’m doing this post and a load of laundry, then tv and reading

One of my favorite things:
Hearing birds singing early in the morning

Looking forward to…
Having Tuesday off and spending the day with my daughter Kilah
Having Fri., Sat., & Sunday off – going to Disney & hopefully the beach

Question…
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
(other than reading/blogging)

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

Taken while out on our boat

Jun 232018
 

Easy Chicken & Yellow Rice
I found this at allrecipes

5 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (16 ounce) package yellow rice
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch poultry seasoning, or to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Bring water and chicken bouillon to a boil in a large skillet

Add chicken breasts and bell pepper; simmer over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes

Remove chicken and pour remaining broth into a 9×13-inch baking dish

Stir rice, plus the included seasoning packet, and olive oil into broth

Arrange chicken breast over rice and season with black pepper and poultry seasoning

Bake in the preheated oven until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes

Fluff rice with a fork before serving

Thoughts
When my kids were growing up I made chicken & yellow rice all the time using leg quarters (I removed the skin, bones, and yuck before adding it to the yellow rice) and it tasted amazing.  I stopped eating it when I started eating boneless skinless chicken breasts years ago. The other day out of the blue I got a craving for it so I decided to find a recipe for that used boneless skinless chicken breast and was quick and easy. I wasn’t sure how it would taste without the skin, bones & fat but thought I’d give it a try.

I didn’t use bell pepper but other than that I followed the recipe. We both thought the chicken was too dry but the flavor was good & the yellow rice tasted really good. We had leftovers so the next night I shredded the chicken and put it and the rice in a saucepan. Then I brought a cup of water  to boil and  added 1/2 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules, stirred well and poured it in the saucepan with the chicken & rice and heated it. This time it was a big hit! So, the next time I make it I’ll use shredded chicken instead of breasts and make it on the stove.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads