Dec 062016
 

readers-workouts-joy

It’s time to set new goals for the December. I’m keeping most of the same goals I had in November, but I’m lowering my tai-chi/chi-gong goal since I did a horrible job last month. I’m adding some food goals and two fitness goals.

December Goals
Daily:
Deep breathing every day (5)
Stretching every day (5)
At least 80 oz. of water daily (5)

Food:
Eat fish 4 times (0)
Eat meatless 4 times (0)
Cut back on sodium (4)
Eat less carbs (3)

Fitness:
Strength train 12 times (5)
Tai-Chi /Qi-Gong 4 times (0)
Walk 100 miles (16.49)
Try a new activity (0)

My steps from the last week
Tuesday~ 11/29: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 11/30: 13,025 steps
Thursday ~ 12/01: 13,276 steps
Friday ~ 12/02=: 7,749 steps
Saturday ~ 12/03: 7,286 steps
Sunday ~ 12/04: didn’t track
Monday ~ 12/05:  8,092 steps

On The Menu
Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Corn, Cole Slaw
Fish & French Fries
Sausage Steam Pot with Potatoes & Cabbage
Vegetarian Mexican Inspired Stuffed Peppers
Honey Garlic Pork Chops, roasted tomatoes & zucchini

 

Dec 062016
 

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Say Goodbye For Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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

Part One: The Half-Wild Prince – June 1959
Chapter One: Dr. Lucy
The knock propelled her out of sleep and set the dogs barking. Or maybe the knock propelled the dogs out of sleep and their barking finally broke through the nightcap, the sleeping pill, and the exhaustion.

 

Teaser

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 97: (I know, more than 2, but I love this)
He grabbed the boy up into his arms and lifted him into the air, holding him tightly to his chest. For a moment, father and son remained silent.

Then Calvin asked, “Am I hurting you?”
“Yeah,” Justin said.
“Should I put you down?”
“No.”

So the embrace continued.

Nov 292016
 

readers-workouts-joy

I won’t meet my Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong goal for November, so I’ll try again in December. I will meet the rest of my goals though.

Goals for November
Drink at least 80 oz. of water every day: 29
Deep breathing every day: 29
Stretching every day: 29
Strength train 20 hours: 23
Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong  8 times: 4

My steps from the last week
Tuesday~ 11/22: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 11/23: 9,044
Thursday ~ 11/24: 8,706 steps
Friday ~ 11/25: 7,604 steps
Saturday ~ 11/26: 8,329 steps
Sunday ~ 11/27: 10,199 steps
Monday ~ 11/28:  10,171 steps

On The Menu
Blue Color Stir Fry
Smoked Sausage & Cabbage
White Bean & Chorizo Stew
Spaghetti
Field Peas with snaps, cornbread & sliced tomatoes

Nov 282016
 

under-the-influence-coverAbout Under the Influence

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 22, 2016)

The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.

Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He’s drifting away from her, fast.

When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, edgy art, and dazzling parties.

Then Helen meets Elliott, a kind, quiet accountant who offers loyalty and love with none of her newfound friends’ fireworks. To Swift and Ava, he’s boring. But even worse than that, he’s unimpressed by them.

As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, questioning her relationship with Elliott—Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.

Ollie witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, and the daughter of the Havillands’ housekeeper. With her young son’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.

Thoughts
Joyce Maynard is a gifted writer that draws you into her stories by making you have strong feelings, whether good or bad, for the characters. In the case of this book, all the characters are not what they seem. You love Ava and Swift Havilland for the kindness they show Helen, but soon you know that something’s going on under the kindness.

You’ll go through many emotions while reading this book. If you’re like me, just when you think you know what’s going on, something else happens to let you know you’re wrong.

If you like a good thriller and excelent writing, this book should go on your list to read.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

Photo by James Barringer

Photo by James Barringer

 

 

About Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard is the author of eight previous novels, including To Die For, Labor Day, The Good Daughters, and four books of nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in California.

Find out more about Joyce at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

Nov 262016
 

The other day I asked my son Anthony to stop at the store on his way home from work and get me a box of Suzy Q’s. This is what he came home with:

 

 

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wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, etc.
Nov 222016
 

readers-workouts-joy

Goals for November
Drink at least 80 oz. of water every day: 21
Deep breathing every day: 21
Stretching every day: 21
Strength train 20 hours: 15
Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong  8 times: 4

My steps from the last week
Tuesday~ 11/15: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 11/16: 15,106
Thursday ~ 11/17: 7,238 steps
Friday ~ 11/18: 8,959 steps
Saturday ~ 11/19: 7,757 steps
Sunday ~ 11/20: didn’t track
Monday ~ 11/21:  didn’t track

On The Menu
Cheesy Skillet Gnocci
Smoked Sausage & Cabbage
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops & Hawaiian Rice

Thanksgiving is this week so that will cover at least two days

Nov 222016
 

25489625

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

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

Son,
Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body. The host was broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and I was seated in a remote studio on the far west side of Manhattan. A satellite closed the miles between us, but no machinery could close the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak. When the host asked me about my body, her face faded from the screen, and was replaced by a scroll of words, written by me earlier that week.
 
 
Teaser

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 113:
You exist. You matter. You have value.

Nov 202016
 

mmb-300x282

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.

Be sure to check out Books That Caught Our Eye on Wednesday

Three new books for me:

28637639

The 100 Most Encouraging Verses Of The Bible by Troy Schmidt

Everyone struggles with discouragement as they face various trials of life, big or small. Whether you are struggling with your health, family, job, or relationships, God wants to give you hope and peace again.

What does he want you to know and remember in the hard times? This book goes straight to the source of all Truth to reveal how much God loves you and how he’s right by your side through thick and thin. The 100 verses that are highlighted include well-known passages as well as hidden treasures you may have never read. Each verse is followed by a brief devotional reading that will help you find understanding and comfort from the text–and in the process draw you ever nearer to God. The book’s length and focus make it perfect as a daily meditation or to read as a family. It also makes an ideal gift for those who love the Bible and seek the hope of God’s promises.

51kulayoykl-_sl500_sy344_bo1204203200_ The Healthy Cat and Dog Cook Book by Joan Harper

Jean Harper has studied animal nutrition and has developed economical and easy-to-prepare recipes that meet the nutritional needs of your dogs and cats. Instead of relying on meat for all an animal’s protein requirements she discovered that protein can be supplied by whole grains and vegetables. Her book focuses on all age groups of cats & dogs along with recipes for pregnant females and their litter as well as recipes for animals on special diets. The recipes are simple that even a child can prepare them, which encourages children (along with being a learning experience) in two ways: first in cooking (which children love to do) and also taking responsibilty for the care of animals. There are even recipes that can be used as nutriental supplements (to help maintain good health of your pet) for those that want to continue to use commerical pet food. A book with valuable advice about your pet’s health along with a wealth of great recipes for your pet.

23019274  Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard

The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.

Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He’s drifting away from her, fast.

When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, edgy art, and dazzling parties.

Then Helen meets Elliott, a kind, quiet accountant who offers loyalty and love with none of her newfound friends’ fireworks. To Swift and Ava, he’s boring. But even worse than that, he’s unimpressed by them.

As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, questioning her relationship with Elliott—Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.

Ollie witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, and the daughter of the Havillands’ housekeeper. With her young son’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.

Nov 202016
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
45°.  Brrrrr

Thinking…
The older I get the less I can stand the cold and heat

Thankful…
For all the Blessings in my life

Books…
still….
Reading & listening to Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Listening to Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Watching…
Christmas movies, first year I’ve gotten so much into them

Creating…
Nothing right now

Hoping…
to get moved within the next month, no more delays please and thank you

Learning…
I don’t have a bunch of patience

Fitness…
doing great exercise wise, could be eating a bit better

In The Kitchen…
field peas & snaps with sliced tomatoes and cornbread

Today’s To-Do List…
watch movies, read, laundry

One of my favorite things:
Coffee-mate Vanilla Caramel Sugar Free,  So So So good!

Pin It & Do It…
Broccoli Cheese Soup

Looking forward to…
Thanksgiving/my birthday

A Favorite Bible Verse…
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24

A favorite quote…
“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”
Proverb

From the camera….

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Kaiyo & Jaspurr

Boots has not accepted Jaspurr yet :(

Nov 192016
 

Ok, so I finally made the Crack Chicken recipe I found here. I was so looking forward to tasting it since everywhere I turned I was seeing people rave about it. I’ll not be giving it any raves. For me, the taste of the cream cheese was so very overpowering. If I ever decide to give it another try, I’ll only use one cream cheese.

I fixed two sandwiches because I was starving, but I could barely finish the first one. It was one of those times that the more I ate the bigger it got. The second sandwich went into the garbage disposal.

I was so disappointed. I thought it was going to be amazing. It wasn’t. Still, without the second cream cheese it might be. I haven’t decided if I want to give it another try or not. If I do, I’ll let you know my thoughts.

 

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Nov 152016
 
Hodgepodgebutton.jpg
1. Let’s all think happy thoughts…share one of yours here
Spending time with my kids and/or grandkids.

2. There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing….” What say you?
If you want happiness for a day go to the beach.

3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you?
To the beach if I can, if not I go to my couch, to read or watch tv and snuggle with my dog.

4. What song never fails to make you happy?
Happy – Pharrell Williams. How can you listen to a song about being happy without it making you happy?

5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what’s the last ‘fast food’ you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a ‘happy meal’ what would you include?
Crunchy Taco Supreme from Taco Bell. I can’t seem to get enough. If I were putting together my own version of a happy meal, I’d include tacos and something chocolate.

6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog
I love “meeting” new people and sharing my thoughts/world. I love seeing the world through other bloggers posts, finding new recipes, books, and anything they want to share.

7. List seven things you’re feeling especially grateful for today
God’s Grace
My family
My dog Kaiyo, cat Boots, and kitten Jaspurr
Having a car I love
A job that I love
Knowing what I’ll cook for dinner and not having to figure it out
Comfy jammies

8. Insert your own random thought here
I don’t normally say anything related to politics, but people have gone way way way overboard about Trump winning the election. Really? Is it changing anything? Just stop it!! It’s ridiculous. The End!

Nov 152016
 

readers-workouts-joy

Goals for November
Drink at least 80 oz. of water every day: 13
Deep breathing every day: 14
Stretching every day: 14
Strength train 20 hours: 10
Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong  8 times: 0. I’ll have to do it every other day to reach 8x’s

My steps from the last week
Tuesday~ 11/08: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 11/09: 9,486
Thursday ~ 11/10: 8,919 steps
Friday ~ 11/11: 8,044 steps
Saturday ~ 11/12: 8,351 steps
Sunday ~ 11/13: didn’t track
Monday ~ 11/14:  8,292 steps

On The Menu
Flank Steak Pinwheels

One Pot Kielbasa Dinner (via Freda’s Voice)

White Bean & Chorizo Stew

Paula Deen’s Old Fashioned Meatloaf

Taco Salad (my recipe)

Nov 132016
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
64° and cloudy, and there is a bird that’s making a lot of noise

Thinking…
what colors to paint the inside of the house

Thankful…
that my son is washing my car today

Books…
Reading & listening to Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Listening to Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Watching…
The Great Indoors, it’s so funny

Learning…
some adults act more childish than kids

Fitness…
doing good with exercise and eating better

In The Kitchen…
We’re thinking about going to Ruby Tuesday today

Today’s To-Do List…
a little reading, computer time, tv, and then some laundry

One of my favorite things:
Hostess Suzy Q’s

Pin It & Do It…
Veggie/Fruit Wall Baskets

Looking forward to…
Thanksgiving, which is also my birthday

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4:11

A favorite quote…
“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”
Buddha

From the camera….

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We named the kitten my son rescued Jaspurr
She weighs 2 lbs. now

Nov 082016
 

readers-workouts-joy

 I can’t take the heat and humidity in Florida so my outside time in the summer is limited. We’ve been having a few days here and there of cooler weather, so hopefully I can get outside and walk the river trail or ride my bike.

Goals for November
Drink at least 80 oz. of water every day: 7
Deep breathing every day: 7
Stretching every day: 7
Strength train a total of 20 hours: 4
Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong a total of 8 times: 0

My steps from the last week
Tuesday~ 11/01: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 11/02: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 11/03: 8,307 steps
Friday ~ 11/04: 7,709 steps
Saturday ~ 11/05: 11,850 steps
Sunday ~ 11/06: didn’t track
Monday ~ 11/07:  9,592 steps

On The Menu
Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes & Corn

Crock Pot Pork Roast w/ Potatoes, and Carrots

Sleepin’ in Omelette

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

Easy Beef Nachos