Vicki

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 lakes that link together are:
Little Lake Harris, Lake Dora, Lake Eustis, Lake Beauclair, & Lake Griffin

Aug 062020
 

FINDING HOME by Corinne Joy Brown and Ginny McDonald

FINDING HOME by Corinne Joy Brown and Ginny McDonald

Book Title:  FINDING HOME by Corinne Joy Brown and Ginny McDonald
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  130 pages
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher:  Loose Cayuse Productions
Release date:   June 2019
Format available for review:  print, and PDF
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: August 3 to 21, 2020
Content Rating:  G. There are no expletives, sex scenes or bad language anywhere.

“Born in the flatlands of Rock Springs, Wyoming, newborn mustang Pahaska tells the heart-wrenching story of her separation from her mother and the wild horse herd she was born into. Captured by strangers, her entire world has disintegrated. Penned in the filthy, manure-filled confines of a horse hauler’s trailer, her life is changed forever. Finding Home, a 2020 Spur Finalist for Juvenile Fiction, is a brilliantly written story about the adoption of the mustang “Curly Girl” by a teen who has always dreamed of having her own horse. Ginny McDonald’s illustrations convey fine detail and emotion in the images of the horses, bringing each one to life. This heart-warming tale will appeal to those with a love for animals.” – Joni Franks, RoundUp Magazine, Western Writers of America

“This beautifully written and illustrated book will appeal to any animal loving young reader. Differences (equine and otherwise) are applauded, working through complicated human relationships, a philosophical, well balanced approach to difficult issues (wild horse roundups), and positive animal training techniques are included in this educational, riveting new book!” – Nancy Sachs, Director Platte Valley Pony Club

“To see the world through the eyes of a newborn filly as she grows into adulthood, or an excited young girl in search of her first horse, is a treasure found in Corinne Joy Brown’s novel Finding Home, a story of loss and recovery told in a brilliant way. The illustrations by Ginny McDonald help to refine the wonderful writing which places the reader squarely in the experience of Curly Girl and Jesse, her adopter. Finding Home is a wonderful story for our time, in consideration of the wild horses whose freedom is threatened across the West and the people who adopt the captured ones into loving homes.” – James A. Holmes CEO and Executive Director, Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation

Book Description:

For every girl or boy who owns a horse, or wished they did, “Finding Home” brings all the drama and beauty of America’s wild horses to the middle-grade reader.
A coming-of-age story and a tale about friendship, trust and understanding, both horse and owner have powerful lessons to learn. Together, young Jesse Nolan from Colorado and her wild mustang, Curly Girl, rounded up in Wyoming, discover what it means to rely on oneself, as well as those who love you most.

My Thoughts
Although this is geared toward 8-12 year old children, I think this book is good choice for adults too. The story is very interesting, and it’s full of information I didn’t know about wild Mustangs. It is told through both Jesse and Curly Girl, and I love that you get to find out what Curly Girl is thinking.

This is a very “feel good” book about the relationship between a girl and her horse, and how close they became. The bond between Jesse and Curly Girl was very touching.

If you want to escape to another world, this book is a great choice. It would be a great gift for the children in your life, especially those who love animals.

Buy the Book:
Finding Home
Amazon ~ B&N
Meet the Authors:

Author Ginny McDonald

Ginny McDonald is an award-winning, professional Colorado illustrator and a longtime advocate for wild horses. She is the adopter of an American Curly mare, and more recently, a second mustang named “Lil Bit”. Ginny’s skill in the use of Prismacolor pencils brings this story to life with rich detail and heartfelt emotion.

Author Corinne Joy Brown

Denver native Corinne Joy Brown is a multi-published, award-winning Colorado author, magazine editor and freelance writer focused on the West .” Recent publications include “Young Rider”, “Cowboys & Indians,” and “Working Ranch.” She’s also been a horse owner most of her life. Corinne is committed to teaching the next generation about the power of horses to teach and heal. “Finding Home” is her eighth book.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook 


Tour Schedule:

Aug 3 –Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 3  Corinne Rodrigues | Booksnista – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 4 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 4 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Aug 5 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 5 – My Journey Back – book review / author interview / giveaway
Aug 6 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – book review
Aug 7 –T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 7 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Aug 10 – Reading Authors Nework – book review / giveaway
Aug 11 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 11 – Priya’s Lit Blog – book review / giveaway
Aug 12 – Older & Smarter? – book review
Aug 12 – Read and Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 13 – A Mama’s Corner Of the World – book review / giveaway
Aug 13 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – book review / giveaway
Aug 14 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 17 – authors.ace – book review
Aug 18 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Aug 18 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Aug 19 – Krisha’s Cozy Corner – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 19 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Aug 20 – My Reading Journey – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 20 – Pen Possessed – book review / giveaway
Aug 21 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review

Aug 042020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

 

Finding Home by Corinne Joy Brown

FIRST CHAPTER: Dawn broke over the flatlands of Rock Springs, Wyoming, clear and cool, faint wisps of early morning clouds dissolving into the sun. My flaxen-maned mother, knowing she was approaching her time, left the herd by herself and lay down in a  sandy, sheltered draw. It didn’t take very long before I came along.

TEASER: “Then what happened?” asked Chaco, his eyes wide, his long ears erect to catch every single word and swiveling in anticipation. “This is the best story I’ve ever heard! Please tell me more!”

Aug 012020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Still reading Zoya by Danielle Steele, a chapter or two at a time

Listening To Next…
Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

Books Reviewed Last Week…
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Watching…
A few days ago I watched Westworld because a friend said it was very good, it was and I’ll probably watch it again sometime

In The Kitchen This Week…
One Pot Taco Spaghetti
Chicken Zucchini Casserole
Honey BBQ Wings, Fries, Cole Slaw
Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Chicken & Veggies

New To Me Stuff:
I love my Instant Pot Omni Plus Air Fryer Oven but I’ve been finding a lot of air fryer basket recipes so I bought a Ninja Air Fryer. So far I’ve made wings, hot dogs, & grilled cheese. I LOVE it!!!

Today’s To Do List…
I work in the morning and then maybe take a ride, I’m starting to go a little stir crazy

Looking forward to…
All my favorite tv shows starting again

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

From the camera…

My youngest grandson and I on our cruise to Mexico

Jul 282020
 

 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies: A Novel

Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman

FIRST CHAPTER: Prologue Cecily Finn is ninety-seven-and -a half years old. Her hair is as stiff and bright as a firmly beaten egg white, and her dark eyes hold the look of a permanently unimpressed owl. She claims that all she wants is death-because boredom and institutional fish pie are worse than dying-but Cecily has endured far greater horrors than overcooked haddock.

TEASER: Five months earlier…
Kate Parker is ravenous. She sits on a deck chair in Nick Sullivan’s tiny patch of North London garden, gazing contentedly at his back as he stands by the barbecue. The smell of grilled meat is making her stomach audibly rumble, but there’s no point hurrying him. This man does things in his own sweet time.

Jul 272020
 

The Unhoneymooners audiobook cover art

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Narrated by: Cynthia Farrell, Deacon Lee
Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-14-19
Language: English
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister, Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag), and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now, there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of…lucky.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a fun and charming romance that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

Thoughts
I had planned to listen to this audiobook last year when it was released but I got sidetracked by other books. A while back I decided to put it at the top of my list and I’m glad I did.

At the wedding of Amy and Dane, the only two people who didn’t get food poisoning were Amy’s twin sister Olive and Dane’s brother Ethan, who had a mutual dislike for each other.  Since Amy had won a free honeymoon, she talks Olive into going in her place, and Ethan ends up going too. At first they try to talk to each other as little as possible but since they are supposed to be married they have to do some activities together. Slowly their walls start coming down and they “might” be enjoying each other’s company, just a little.

I enjoyed the back and forth banter between Olive and Ethan. They did a lot of activities and I enjoyed reading about how they reacted to each other.

This was a good book that kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will say that not everyone was who they pretended to be and things got very interesting.

Although I thought the book was funny at times, I didn’t think it was “hilarious”. I enjoyed this book from the beginning and recommend it to anyone who likes a little drama and/or romance.

Jul 212020
 

 

Teaser Tuesday Time

 

The Old Girls' Network: A funny, feel-good read for summer 2020 by [Judy Leigh]

The Old Girls’ Network: A funny, feel-good read by Judy Leigh

FIRST CHAPTER: Barbara thought she must be dead. She could remember exactly what had happened, right up to the last second. She was rushing up the path to the little terraced house, fixing her sights on the familiar green door, number eighty-six. Then she recalled feeling strange, a little bit as if she had floated above her own head for a moment, or was hovering outside her body. She wobbled, the dizziness a thick haze behind her eyes as she stared at the smooth paint of the front door, leaning forward to steady herself. Then she slipped. The earth fell away, the sky turned upside down, and the seemed to whirl from within her, emptying her lungs.

TEASER: During the early hours the temperature plummeted, and it snowed heavily. When Pauline work at eight, someone was banging on the front door.

Jul 192020
 

I’M A GREAT GRAMMY!!!!!!!

Jensen Joy
Born 7/16/20 @ 10:16 am
Weight: 8.11
Length: 20.5 in.

My son Jeremy, Grandson Jordan, & Baby Jensen Joy
Jensen is such an amazing Blessing!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Zoya by Danielle Steele

Listening To…
The Old Girls’ Network by Judy Leigh

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Bark Park! by Trudy Krisher

Watching…
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home I loved it! Sure wish the show would come back to tv

Binging Counting On. I’m catching up from where I stopped watching it

In The Kitchen This Week…
Not really sure yet, I’m going to buy a basket Air Fryer today & want to find some recipes to make this week

New To Me Stuff:
I didn’t try anything new last week

Today’s To Do List…
I worked this morning and now I’m just going to read, watch tv, and cook supper

Looking forward to…
Covid-19 to be OVER!

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him
Psalm 127:3

From The camera…

Image may contain: Susie Metzler, eyeglasses
My daughter in law (Mimi) with Jensen Joy

Jul 172020
 

Bark Park! by Trudy Krisher
Illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes
Age Range: Baby – 8 years
Lexile Measure: AD110L (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (April 3, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481430750
ISBN-13: 978-1481430753

Come along and play with all of the dogs at Bark Park in this exuberant rhyming picture book that’s a treat for animal lovers of any age.

Welcome to Bark Park! There are dogs running and dogs relaxing, dogs riding and dogs sliding, dogs with a buddy and dogs getting muddy—all before returning home to bubble bath, a cozy dog bed, and sweet dreams of—what else?—being back at the park. Bark! Bark Bark!

Thoughts
This is such a cute book for kids (and adults), especially for anyone who loves dogs.  The story is told in rhyme and has cute and colorful illustrations.  I love that the book had a variety of dogs. The story was entertaining and cute and I think it would hold a child’s attention.

Would recommend this for any young child.

Jul 142020
 

Hosted by Yvonne 
It’s Tuesday! It’s time to share your excerpts and teasers from books we are currently reading, have read or are planning to read. So, feel free to join us by sharing the first paragraph or (a few) of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon. This meme is guaranteed to increase your TBR

How the Penguins Saved Veronica

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

1
Veronica

The Ballahays
Ayrshire, Scotland
May 2012

I have told Eileen to get rid of all the mirrors. I used to like them, but I certainly don’t now. Mirrors are too honest. There is only so much truth a woman can take.

Jul 122020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Finding Home By Corinne Joy Brown & Ginny McDonald

Listening To…
How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Watching…
Yesterday

In The Kitchen This Week
Stephanie’s Slow-Cooker Stew, Brown Bread
Enchilada Casserole
Orange Spice Chicken
Sausage And Sauerkraut Pot

New To Me Stuff:
The only thing new to me is that I finally went and got my haircut, there was only the lady who cut my hair and one other employee but she was putting stock away and answering the phone and we all wore masks

Today’s To Do List…
Tv & reading since I’m still not going anywhere

Looking forward to…
Still no great grand baby but if she doesn’t go into labor by tomorrow evening she’s got an appt. to get and induction. I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

From the camera…

I can touch my tongue to my nose, can you?

Jul 062020
 

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl audiobook cover art

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Narrated by: Kate Rudd, Jess Nahikian
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-19-20
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost – and what’s found – can change in a heartbeat.

Thoughts
Every book I’ve read by this author has been really good and this one is too. The book is about a little girl being in a car that is carjacked. I wasn’t sure if this was a good book choice right now with everything going on in the world, but the book took all of that out of my head and into Brooke, Molly, and Etta’s world.

I loved Molly. She was having a hard time just surviving since her mother threw her out of the house. But when she found Etta she did everything she could to keep the little girl safe, and get her back to her mom.

Then there’s Brooke, Etta’s mom. I didn’t like her for a big part of the book, but I love characters that make me want to shake some sense into them. I didn’t like the way she talked to and about her mother, who was letting her and Etta stay with her until Brooke got back on her feet. After Etta was found safe Brooke acted ungrateful to Molly, even though if it wasn’t for her she may not have ever gotten Etta back. Thankfully in the end Brooke and Molly formed a bond and became close.

I hope Hyde continues this story. I would love to find out how things went for all the characters after this book ended. Great characters, great story, great narration!

Jul 052020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Manatee Bay (6 short book series) by Hazel Taylor
Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War by Vernon Coleman (for book club)

Listening To…
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Cut and Run by Mary Burton

Watching…
I plan on watching Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey which I saw @ The Intrepid Arkansawyer and  Gabby’s Gift

In The Kitchen This Week…
Chicken a la King because I didn’t make it last week
BBQ Meat Loaf Minis, Baked Potatoes, vegetable
Black Eyed Peas and Cornbread
Arby’s Grilled Chicken and Pecan Salad
Instant Pot/Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches with coleslaw & fries

New To Me Stuff:
I tried the Grilled Cheese Burrito at Taco Bell, and it was SO GOOD!

Today’s To Do List…
Work this morning then home to relax until I go back to work tomorrow

Looking forward to…
Still waiting for a baby

A Favorite Bible Verse…
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

From the camera…


I can’t wait until I can go back to this beach
It’s one of my favorites
I’ve never seen more than a handful of people there
It’s one of the closest beaches to me

Jul 032020
 

 

Pork tenderloin (1.25lbs – 1.75lbs)
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs smoked paprika
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
1/2 tbs olive oil
400° for 20 minutes

Run water over the tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels
Mix all the spices together and rub on the meat
Put the rotisserie spit through the middle of the tenderloin
Secure the rotisserie forks at both ends of the meat

Thoughts
You can rub your favorite bbq sauce on the tenderloin and then rub the spice mix on but I wanted to try the recipe with just the spices. I didn’t have any cayenne powder, so I used cayenne pepper.

My tenderloin was about 2 lbs. so I did it at 400° for about 40 minutes, checking every 5 min. or so after the first 30 min. until the temperature reached 165° and the skin got crispy.

The roast was very tender and we thought it tasted really good, but next time I’m going to marinated it overnight and see how it turns out.

In the photo it looks like the meat is burnt on the bottom, but that’s just where the juices/seasoning dropped on the foil in the bottom. Both of us liked this so I’ll be making it again.

Weekend Cooking

Jun 302020
 

Cut and Run audiobook cover art

Cut and Run by Mary Burton

Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 10-09-18
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Twin sisters separated by the past are reunited by unspeakable crimes in New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton’s throat-clutching novel of suspense…

Trauma victims are not new to medical examiner Faith McIntyre, but this one is different. The unconscious woman clinging to life after a hit and run is FBI agent Macy Crow. What the woman from Quantico was doing in a dark alley after midnight is just one mystery. The other is more unsettling: Macy is Faith’s mirror image—the twin sister she never knew she had.

Faith knew that she was adopted, but now she’s finding that her childhood concealed other secrets. Following the trail of clues Macy left behind, Faith and Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden make a shocking discovery on an isolated country ranch—a burial ground for three women who disappeared thirty years before.

They weren’t the only victims in a killer’s twisted plot. And they won’t be the last.

As the missing pieces of Faith’s and Macy’s dark lives snap into place, Faith is becoming more terrified by what she sees—and by what she must do to save her sister and herself from the past.

Thoughts
This was a great book to get my mind off of all that’s going on. It’s got a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming and kept me in suspense. I kept trying to guess who the bad guy was. Come to find out, all my guesses were wrong.

The book was non stop action and I set the timer on the audiobook a few times so that I could keep listening until I fell asleep without having a very hard time finding the spot I last remembered.

This was the first book by this author that I’ve read but after reading it I checked her other books and next on my list is Hide and Seek which continues with Macy’s story.

If you like suspense/thrillers, you should like this book.

The narrator did a great job!