Oct 282018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
73° with low humidity, loving this cooler weather

Thankful…
That I had last weekend off and got to spend time with my kids and grandkids

Reading…
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

Listening To…
In Pieces by Sally Field

Watching…
I plan to start watching The Kids Are Alright today

Fitness… 
Would like to find something new to do, maybe kayaking

In The Kitchen…
Today it’s KFC

Today’s To-Do List…
Figuring out what meals to make this week

One of my favorite things:
A cold bottle of water

Looking forward to…
Having next weekend off

A Link I Want To Share
Attack Of The Cute

Question…
What did you do last weekend?
My answer: I went to Silver Springs

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6

From the camera…

Oct 242018
 

Whiskey in a Teacup

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
Narrated by Reese Witherspoon
Listening Length: 2 hours and 50 minutes
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: September 18, 201

Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.

Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.

It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?

Thoughts
I had seen this book posted about by a few bloggers and since I’ve been a Witherspoon fan for many years, I decided to get a copy.

I enjoyed getting to know Reese as she is in her personal life. She talks a lot about her grandmother Dorothea and the love she feels for her is apparent. She also talks some about her husband and kids, and it all was very interesting.

Reese tells us how she uses hot rollers for her hair, her family traditions, decorating for holidays, how she loves throwing parties, about food, and more, and I learned quite a few things about her.

Her narration is easy to listen to, and a few times she was very funny. I enjoyed listening to this book very much.

Counts toward the following challenges:

Audiobook
Non-Fiction

Oct 222018
 

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

Sea Prayer

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
Illustrated by Dan Williams

My dear Marwan,
in the long summers of childhood,
when I was a boy the age you are now,
your uncles and I
spread our mattress on the roof
of your grandfather’s farmhouse
outside of Homes.

We woke in the mornings
to the stirring of olive trees in the breeze,
to the bleating of your grandmother’s goat,
the clanking of her cooking pots,
the air cool and the sun
a pale rim of persimmon to the east.

This is another book that I first saw when Diane posted a review. I couldn’t get it out of my head so I borrowed a copy from the library. Would you keep reading?

Oct 222018
 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Listening Length: 12 hours and 12 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Audible.com Release Date: August 14, 2018

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Thoughts
I LOVED this audiobook!!! Kya was an amazing person as a child and I was so impressed with her survival skills. I don’t know if I could have managed as well as she did. I loved following her through her childhood into her teens and then into adulthood. The way the town felt about her had me shaking my head. Thankfully she had Jumpin’ and his wife to look after her.

Kia loved her marsh and learned as much about it as she could, which was pretty much everything.  I enjoyed learning about it too. I was surprised at how smart she was even though she had never gone to school. She just loved learning and became quite knowledgeable about her part of the world.

So many things happened in this book and I was glued to the story. The book was sometimes very sad, sometimes happy, shocked me a few times, and during part of the book I was trying to figure a few things out. Some I did, some I didn’t.

Loved the story
Loved the characters
Loved the dialect
Loved the narration

If you haven’t read/listened to this, why not? Another book that’s going on my “Best Of 2018” list!

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook

Oct 182018
 

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Hardcover: 97 pages
Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries; 1 edition (July 2, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1559211407

It all began with a letter inquiring about secondhand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the staid and proper Frank Doel of Marks & Company, a relationship blossoms into a warm, charming, feisty love affair.

Thoughts
When Diane posted a review of this book it jogged my memory that this book was on my tbr list, so I  decided to find a copy.  Thankfully my library had the hardcover.

I loved that the book is based on letters about books. Even though Helene and Frank have very different personalities, they clicked and their relationship grew into a friendship, which grew into so much more. Helen had a fun, sassy personality, Frank was much more proper, but that made for some great letters.

The letters span 20 years, from  1949-1969 and kept me wanting to read. I felt many emotions while reading this book and felt as if I really knew Helene and Frank. I wasn’t expecting the book to end like it did and I’m still thinking about it.

The book is a short read but made a big impact one me. Now I want to watch the movie and check into other books by Hanff.

Counts toward the following challenges:

Non-Fiction

Monthly Motif

 Posted by at 2:38 PM
Oct 172018
 

If I Was A Cat At The Playground by Peter Alex

File Size: 4363 KB
Print Length: 31 pages
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07JGWZ8SC

If I was a Cat … At the Playground is a Children’s Book and a Bedtime Stories for Kids. It’s a funny story of a cool cat that as a great imagination and is always thinking on new adventures.

If I was a cat…
Is an illustrated children´s ebook about a cool cat who is always looking for new adventures. His imagination takes him on fantastic travels through the great outside.

I wrote this story inspired on my own cat, who spends hours looking outside, and I like to think that he is imagining great adventures on the outside.

This is a book to read with your children out loud. The target range audiences are toddlers, preschool and young children.

Great book to read at bedtime.

Thoughts
This is a short book that is told in rhyme. I thought some of the wording was not quite right for kids starting at 2 and up to 8, which is the age the book is suggested for. That being said, I thought it was a cute story. I enjoyed it and loved the illustrations.

Counts toward the following challenge:
What An Animal

Oct 152018
 

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

Our House by Louise Candlish

1

Friday, January 13, 2017

She must be mistaken, but it looks exactly as if someone is moving into her house.

Oct 152018
 
Readers-workouts-Joy
Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog
I’ve missed a few weeks of posting for RW and will try to post every week starting today. We had a few people out at work for a while and so I’ve been working overtime with just a few days off, and really haven’t done much of anything else. Things are mostly back to normal and my schedule for the next two weeks is a lot less hectic so I should be getting back on track. I even have this Sat. & Sun. off – woo hoo!I’ll track food and whatever else I do this for next week.

Steps Last Week
Tuesday: 9,148
Wednesday: 10,552
Thursday: 8,833
Friday: 9,023
Saturday: 7,844
Sunday: 7,671
Monday: 7,186

Oct 122018
 

Wish Me Home audiobook cover art

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt
Narrated by Kate Rudd

Listening Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: March 21, 2017

A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.

Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.

Thoughts
Cara and her twin Hana have had a rough life. After something terrible happens, she leaves Georgia for Key West with little money and just a backpack. Not far from home her car breaks down so she takes off on foot. She runs into a stray dog whose paws are hurt and decides to keep him with her to tend to his injuries and then find him a forever home. In the meantime, she decides she has to name him so she doesn’t have to call him “dog”. She decides on Hemi because she loves Hemingway.  She meets a few people who cause her some trouble, but also a few who take her in for a bit and show her that not everyone in the world is bad.

She finally makes it to Key West and that is where her life starts to change for the better.

This book was so good right from the start. The characters were interesting, the different situations Cara found herself in sounded real and the ending was great, but left a few things open. I’m hoping that means there is a book #2 on the way.

The narrator did a great job and made the book very easy to listen to. This is another book that will make it on my top 10 favorites this year.

 

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook

Oct 082018
 

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

Hannah-Beast (Dark Corners collection)

Hannah-Beast (Dark Corners collection) by Jennifer McMahon

Halloween 1982
Please, Hannah, please, come out with us tonight.
It won’t be like before, we promise.
Please, please, please, please, say you’ll be our friend again and come with us.

I’ll start listening to this book week. This is book 1 in a 7 book collection, written by various authors. All the books are very short, this one is only 1 hr. & 23 min.

Oct 072018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
85° but the humidity is 80% so it feels like 92°, thankfully the high is only supposed to be 88°

Thankful…
for a son who can help me with techy stuff

Reading…
Still reading, very slowly, A Flair for Chardonnay (Sadie Kramer Flair #1) by Deborah Garner

Listening To…
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – so good!

Watching…
The Cool Kids – the cast is perfect and it’s so funny!

Fitness…
Getting a lot of steps etc. and eating good

In The Kitchen…
Today I’m making a pot of Baby Lima Beans with Clifty Farm Country Ham Pcs. for Seasoning from Publix & Cornbread

Today’s To-Do List…
Same as usual: reading, laundry, tv

One of my favorite things:
lazy days like today

Looking forward to…
My son Anthony and I have been working a lot and and we need a little fun so I see a family adventure soon – just have to decide where to go/what to do

A Link I Want To Share
Humans Of New York – I love this site! It’s also on Instagram

Question…
What is one of your favorite outdoor activity?
My answer: Bike riding, when it’s cool enough

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

I rarely see leaves change so when I saw these with their fall colors I had to pull over and take a photo

Oct 042018
 

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Cast of Narrators:
N’Jameh Camara, as Haley
Jose Carrera, as Tiago
Dean Flanagan, as Ashton
Angel Romero, as Esteban
Toshi Widoff-Woodson, as Holly
Mikelle Wright-Matos, as Amari
and also featuring the author, Jacqueline Woodson, as Ms. Laverne

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them—everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

Thoughts
A teacher, M. Laverne, tells six kids that they are to meet in a classroom once a week to talk. No adults and no subject is off limits, as long as they respect each other.

The kids, Esteban, Tiago, Holly, Amari, Ashton and Haley are a diverse group who don’t really know each other. Slowly they start to bond as they talk and learn about each other. Through discussions about losing someone you love, family members who are in prison, the idea someone could be deported, and death, they become very close and are surprised to find out their lives are very alike in some ways.

The title refers to the idea that we should harbor each other in times of need, and as the book progressed, these kids became a safe harbor for each other. TI love that they made a pact to meet back in that classroom in 20 years.

The book is narrated by multiple people including the author, all who did a great job.

I loved this book and think it should be required reading for elementary school.

 

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook

Oct 012018
 

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

A Deadly Development (Hang Ten Australian Cozy #2)

A Deadly Development (Hang Ten Australian Cozy Mystery Book 2)
by Stacey Alabaster

Alyson
There are rules in the surf. You don’t cut someone off, and you definitely don’t steal someone’s wave. First surfer gets dibs. Clair, as rusty as she was, and as much as I wanted to show her how it was done, was there first. So I hung back on my board and tried to watch her do her thing.

Sep 302018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
91°, slightly cloudy, slight breeze, and very quiet other than a car zooming past now and then

Thankful…
that I have today off after a 12 day stretch at work

Reading…
A Flair for Chardonnay (Sadie Kramer Flair #1) by Deborah Garner

Listening To…
I only have an hour left of  Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Watching…
I plan on watching the first episode of this season’s Survivor today

Fitness…
I worked so much last week & so much exercise there that I didn’t do much when I got home

In The Kitchen…
Eating out today, tomorrow I’ll make Cubed Steak, mashed potatoes & corn

Today’s To-Do List…
I did all the laundry etc. yesterday after work so that I could just relax today so I plan on watching some tv,  finish a current read or both , cuddling with my dog and cats

One of my favorite things:
It’s Lovebug  & rainy season in Florida so right now I’m loving Rain-X Bug Remover Windshield Washer Fluid and Rain-X Water Repellency Wiper Blades

Looking forward to…
Checking out all the new shows coming out on Netflix

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

Sep 242018
 

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

An Accidental Murder (The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries #1)

An Accidental Murder by J. New

(The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries #1)

Chapter One
It was a particularly chilly and damp Saturday afternoon in September, and I was taking a momentary break from the unpacking of boxes to have a quick sandwich and a cup of tea. I’d already laid and lit the log fire and now sat, sleepy and content, in an overstuffed armchair, watching the flames dance and flicker in the grate. An listening to the wind whistling down the chimney like and irate ghost.

Sep 242018
 

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Narrated by LeVar Burton

Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.

The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

Thoughts
I loved this book. I learned so much about Fred Rogers that I didn’t know, from his childhood all the way to his death.

I always thought he was an amazing man, but after listening to the audiobook I know he was so much more. The book is very detailed and you will learn how he turned a simple idea into a mega hit.

He cared for everyone and wanted the best for them. Not just his friends & family. Everyone! He made each child feel special, that they mattered, and he truly cared for them.

Rogers was the same soft spoken & loving man in real life that he was on tv. He was an inspiration to many people, especially a huge number of children. The world is a sadder place without him in it.

The book is narrated by LeVar Burton who did a great job.

If you are a fan or not, I urge you to read or listen to this book.

 

Counts toward the following challenge:

Audiobook
Non-Fiction