Apr 302018
 

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 Railway Children

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Narrated by Jenny Agutter

Chapter One
The Beginning Of Things

They were not railway children to begin with. I don’t suppose they had ever thought about railways except as a means of getting to Maskelyne and Cooke’s, the pantomime, Zoological Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s. They were just ordinary suburban children, and they lived with their father and mother in an ordinary red-brick-fronted villa, with coloured glass in the front door, a tiled passage that was called a hall, a bathroom with hot and cold water, electric bells, French windows, and a good deal of white paint, and “every modern convenience”, as the house-agents say.

Apr 252018
 

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by Ruby Dee

Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in Black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates boldly and brilliantly African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a Black woman who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.

Originally published in 1937 and long out of print, the book was reissued in 1975 and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel in American fiction.

Thoughts
This book was on my tbr list for a really long time. I finally decided to move it up because the Monthly Motif read for April is “Read Locally” and this book takes place in Eatonville, Florida which is not that far from where I live.

I didn’t know whether I’d like this book or not, but I loved it. The characters were so interesting that I was engrossed in the book right from the start. I loved Janie and her need to be who she was no matter what anyone thought. She was a strong woman who had a tough life. But then she met Tea Cake and things changed. He was a good man and he loved her. They had a good life together even with the few bumps along the way.

I was familiar with all the places in Florida that were talked about in the book. It takes place in Eatonville (the first all black incorporated town in the United States) and Lake Okeechobee. I’ve been to both and their surrounding towns.  It was interesting to learn some things that I didn’t know.

This book is full of heartbreak, laughter, thrills, and surprises. I am 100% glad I chose this book to read. It’s narrated by Ruby Dee who did a fantastic job. She brought the characters to life with a voice that was full of every emotion the characters had.

If you haven’t read this, or even if you have, I suggest the audio.  5 ★

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook
Monthly Motif

Apr 252018
 

Hosted @ Maureen’s Books

This week’s topic: Favorite Game

I’ve played card and board games etc. since I was a little kid, and when my kids were growing up we played games all the time. Our favorite card games were Yahtzee, Uno,  & Skip-Bo. I get together with my kids and grandkids every so often and play games. Recently we played Monopoly Gamer which was a lot of fun.

We’ve played a lot of games over the years that made us all laugh like crazy, but my new favorite is The Game Of Things. We’ve played it at a few get together’s and we’ve never laughed so hard. This will be a favorite for a long time. There are some new question cards out that we haven’t bought yet, but it won’t be very long before we do. If you haven’t played this game, you need to get it ASAP! Laughter is the best medicine!

The Game of Things Humor in a Box! Ages 14 to Adult

Funniest game ever!

Apr 232018
 

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 Flower Girl Murder

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland

Lancaster Heart continued to stare at his mobile phone. The fella on the other end had long since sighned off. He diverted his attention, momentarily, to the computer screen in front of him. The script for the lead story of that evening’s newscast was only a paragraph. A glance at the Rolex on his left wrist told him he still had plenty of time; the big red ticking numbers on the digital clock on the wall confirmed it. His gaze returned to the phone still in his hand, blank screen staring back. He exhaled.

Apr 232018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

It’s warmed up here with the nights not being cold either so I’m liking it. No more changing the thermostat from a/c to heat and then back again every day. There has been a bit of rain every so often but the humidity is still low. I hope it’s warmed up for you all.

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

20 Times Total 
Yoga~ 2
Tai Chi~ 2
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~ 13

I also found this 21 Day Relaxation Course and want to do it this month

Meals Last Week 
Tuesday: Chilli and a peanut butter sandwich
Wednesday: Tator Tot Casserole
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Chicken, carrots, potato wedges
Saturday: Sandwich
Sunday: Chicken Ramen
Monday: Taco Salad

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 4/17: 8,808
Wednesday~ 4/18: 9,171
Thursday ~ 4/19: didn’t track
Friday ~ 4/20: 10,471
Saturday ~ 4/21: 9,361
Sunday ~ 4/22: 10,670
Monday ~ 4/23: 8,545

Apr 182018
 

The Memory of Butterflies by Grace Greene
Narrated by Brittany Pressley

To keep a devastating family secret from being revealed, a young mother’s desperate lies could end up destroying everything, and everyone, she loves. The Memory of Butterflies is a poignant story of family and forgiveness – of knowing when to let go and when to hold each other close.

Hannah Cooper’s daughter is leaving for college soon. The change is bittersweet. A single mother since the age of eighteen, Hannah isn’t eager to confront the pain of being alone, but she’s determined not to let her own hang-ups keep Ellen from the future she deserves. As Ellen’s high school graduation approaches, Hannah decides it’s time to return to her roots in Cooper’s Hollow along Virginia’s beautiful and rustic Cub Creek.

With the help of longtime friend Roger Westray, Hannah devotes her energies to building a new house on the site of the old family home, destroyed in a fire more than a decade ago. But Hannah’s entire adult life has revolved around one very big secret. And her new beginning comes with unanticipated risks that will cost her far more than she could have imagined – perhaps more than she can survive.

When a confrontation forces Hannah to expose her secret, the truth may destroy her beloved daughter. Hannah is prepared to sacrifice everything to protect her family, but can their lives and their bond withstand the seismic shift that’s coming?

Thoughts
Oh my goodness was this book good! So many surprises and secrets that I couldn’t listen to it fast enough.

All of the characters were well written and I liked getting to know them. The story took one twist and then another and kept surprising me. I felt a lot of different emotions while listening to this book. Some parts were sad, some were touching, and some were shocking.

One of the twists in the book made it a whole lot more interesting than what I was expecting to happen, so I’m glad the author took it in that direction.

I liked the ending, but would love for the story to continue with a  book #2.

The book was narrated by Brittany Pressley who did an awesome job. I would like listening to more of her narrations, as well as more books by this author.

So glad I decided to get a copy of this book.

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook

Apr 162018
 

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 Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1)

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

1
Harold and the Letter

The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday. It was an ordinary morning in mid-April that smelled of clean washing and grass cuttings. Harold Fry sat at the breakfast table, freshly shaved, in a clean shirt and tie, with a slice of toast that he wasn’t eating. He gazed beyond the kitchen window at the clipped lawn, which was spiked in the middle by Maureen’s telescopic washing line, and trapped on all three sides by the neighbors’ stockade fencing.

Apr 162018
 

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

20 Times Total 
Yoga~ 2
Tai Chi~ 2
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~ 13

I also found this 21 Day Relaxation Course and want to do it this month

Meals Last Week 
My draft got deleted and I don’t remember what we had Tues. – Fri.
Tuesday: ?
Wednesday: ?
Thursday: ?
Friday: ?
Saturday: Ramen
Sunday: Sonny’s BBQ
Monday: 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza & a piece of cherry pie

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 4/10: 9,165
Wednesday~ 4/11: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 4/12: 8,527
Friday ~ 4/13: 8,704
Saturday ~ 4/14: 9,515
Sunday ~ 4/15: didn’t track
Monday ~ 4/16: 12,063

Apr 152018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
81° now, high of 84°, windy and it’s supposed to rain starting around 3pm. Update: I ended up going to IKEA with my son Anthony and my dil Susie and just got back home. It’s 6:14 pm and the storms have stopped for now. It’s 70° now with a chance of more rain

Thankful…
for spending time with all 3 of my kids, my 4 grandkids, and dil yesterday playing games and lots of laughing

Reading…
Still reading  Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us by Roma Downey

Listening To…
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Watching…
I just finished binge watching Hart Of Dixie (LOVED IT) and plan on starting something else tomorrow. Any suggestions?

Fitness…
I haven’t done much the last few days other than walking and strength training

In The Kitchen…
Not cooking anything today because we ate out

Today’s To-Do List…
Went out to eat at Sonny’s BBQ and then to IKEA to look for kitchen cabinets

One of my favorite things:
Dunkin Donuts – Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Croissant

Looking forward to…
Taking Kaiyo to the groomer on the 25th, she’s getting pretty furry

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

Apr 102018
 

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

20 Times Total 
Yoga~ 1
Tai Chi~ 1
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~ 6

I also found this 21 Day Relaxation Course and want to do it this month

Meals Last Week
Tuesday: aidells Pineapple & Bacon Chicken Sausage, Baked Mac & Cheese
Wednesday: Brisket, Potatoes, Carrots
Thursday: Virginia Baked Ham sandwich
Friday: Small piece of pepperoni pizza and 6 wings
Saturday: Hamburger with mustard
Sunday: Tuna
Monday: Chinese take out

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 4/03: 10,132
Wednesday~ 4/04: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 4/05: 10,266
Friday ~ 4/06: 7,073
Saturday ~ 4/07: 9,464
Sunday ~ 4/08: didn’t track
Monday ~ 4/09: 10,394

Apr 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

Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us

Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us
by Roma Downey

STRENGTH
All my life I have been drawn to the ocean. I love the sound of the waves. The natural rhythm of the ebb and flow is like a massage for my mind and my spirit. I have always done my best thinking by the sea. And I often take my worries to the ocean’s edge and quietly pray while I walk on the sand.

I love this book so far. I could have written the first paragraph myself

 

Apr 092018
 

Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery, #1)

Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery #1) by Paige Sleuth

Kat Harper has only just returned to her small hometown of Cherry Hills, Washington when she discovers the dead body of her neighbor, Mrs. Tinsdale. Matilda, Mrs. Tinsdale’s orphaned rescue cat, just might be the only eyewitness to the murder. But how do you convince a cat to reveal “whodunit”?

Thoughts
This is the first book in a 21 book series, which would usually make me want to imediately pass on it, but all the books are short so I decided to read it and I’m glad I did. I really liked it.

Kat opens her apartment door and see’s her neighbor’s (Mrs. Tinsdale) cat siting there. Since she knows Mrs. Tinsdale doesn’t like Matilda roaming around inside the apartment building, Kat decides to take her back to Mrs. Tindale’s apartment. When she gets to the door she see’s it’s open a bit. She goes inside and finds her neighbor laying on the floor dead, after calming herself down some, she calls the police. Her childhood friend Andrew is the cop who shows up.

Andrew doesn’t want Kat to get involved in searching for clues but she can’t stop herself. The murderer is caught with the help of the cat. It surprised me when I found out who dunnit.

I really enjoyed this quick read, the story was interesting and the characters believable. There was a bit of clean romance and the violence was tame.

Counts toward the following challenges:

 What An Animal
Purrfect

Apr 082018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
The sky is full of different color clouds, it’s 65° with an expected high of 79° and a low tonight of 63°, there’s very little breeze and birds have been singing all morning

Thankful…
That the storm last night wasn’t as bad as they predicted

Reading…
Today I’m starting Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us by Roma Downey

Listening To…
The Memory of Butterflies by Grace Greene which I am 100% loving! It’s such a heartwarming book with quite a few big surprises. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s free right now

Watching…
I never watched Hart Of Dixie before because I wan’t sure I’d like it, but last week I decided to watch one episode and see what I thought, and I’ve been binge watching it since. I’m on season 3 episode 4. It’s so good!

Fitness…
Finally did some yoga, and have tai-chi & chi-gong on my list too

In The Kitchen…
Last night I made hamburgers, but not sure about today. Maybe some chili

Today’s To-Do List…
I haven’t had a day to do nothing in a really long time so I plan on spending the day relaxing, watching Hart Of Dixie and reading

One of my favorite things…
I’ve been going to Taco Bell for years, but usually get the same things, Beef Burrito, Burrito Supreme, Taco Supreme, or Taco Salad. But I tried a Chalupa a few weeks ago and loved it.

Looking forward to…
♥Going to Disney World on Wednesday with my daughter Kilah ♥

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

Apr 032018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

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

20 Times Total 
Yoga~
Tai Chi~
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~
Brain Exercises~

I also found this 21 Day Relaxation Course and want to do it this month

Meals:
I’m working on weekly menus for each week this month.

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 3/27: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 3/28: 10,056
Thursday ~ 3/29: 8,243
Friday ~ 3/30: 10,506
Saturday ~ 3/31: 9,598
Sunday ~ 4/01: 9,144
Monday ~ 4/02: 11,039

Apr 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

The Memory of Butterflies

The Memory of Butterflies by Grace Greene

Prologue

My daughter, Ellen, will graduate from high school this year.

The closer we get to graduation, the harder the past is coming at me, kicking like a living creature and forcing its way back into my life. With it, it brings happy memories but also those that were gladly forgotten–including the memory of how I lost my Ellen seventeen years ago, then found her again.

Apr 012018
 

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
‎Narrated by Sile Bermingham

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 13 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: March 1, 2011

Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope, about a motherless girl collectively raised by a close-knit Dublin community.

When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can’t do it alone.

Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie’s first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie’s doting grandparents, Josie and Charles.

But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.

Thoughts
So So So good! I loved it!

The story was good from the beginning, but got even better and better as it went along. Noel was told by a terminally ill girl that she was pregnant and that he was the father. She wanted him to raise the baby when she was born since she would not be there to do it herself. He had a drinking problem but turned his life around to be the best dad to Frankie that he could be. He slipped a few times but he had a great  support system who was always there when he needed them. So many people loved Noel and Frankie, and they gave a lot of their free time to making sure they were ok.

The characters were all different kinds of people, and each one brought their own style to the story, making it very interesting. I liked all of them and wish everyone could have people like this in their lives.

Moira was in a different category. She didn’t treat people very well, was very opinionated, and thought Frankie would be better off with someone other than Noel. She was always snooping and prying, trying to find someone or something that could make that happen. It was her fault Noel fell of the wagon. I didn’t like her much, although later in the book you find out why she thinks and acts the way she does. It made me dislike her less, but it still wasn’t a good enough reason for how she treated people, especially Noel.

The book had a few sad parts but mostly it was upbeat. I really enjoyed this on audio as the narrator did a great job. Binchy is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook
Monthly Motif