Aug 292020
 

Chicken Burrito Skillet

1 pound boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 -15 oz  whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original
Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 cup water
1-1/4 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
Chopped cilantro, optional: do not like cilantro so didn’t use

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chicken and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add onion and taco seasoning; cook 2 minutes more
Stir in black beans
Add tomatoes/green chilies & water; bring to a boil
Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat, simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until rice is tender
Stir in 1/2 cup cheese
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and cilantro, if desired

Thoughts
This was really good. We don’t like cilantro so I didn’t add it. It was quick and easy to make and I only used one skillet, a spoon, a measuring cup and a measuring spoon. I bought chopped onions in the vegetable section (I recently started doing this because it saves time and I have chopped onions in my fridge for whenever I need them)

I will definitely make this again.

Weekend Cooking

Aug 252020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now...Before We Forget by [Allia Zobel Nolan]

Laugh Out Loud:

40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget

by Allia Zobel Nolan

FIRST CHAPTER:
You know how people say they wish they had been born in a different era? Like they wish they had been a flapper, or grew up in the age of The Big Bopper and sock hops?

Not me.

I was born in early 1963 at precisely the right time. I was just the perfect age to experience the 80’s dance clubs. And, boy, did I love dance clubs. That’s where big-haired women and sockless men gathered. That crowd fit me like a glove.

TEASER: 
The waistband on these always seemed to cling precariously to my ample hips, while the crotch hovered somewhere just north of my knees like a mama kangaroo’s pouch. Other girls had problems, too. Occasionally, as one of them was walking down the hall, this waistband would suddenly roll down, picking up momentum until it reached her ankles where it would roll down, picking up momentum until it reached her ankles where it trapped and tripped her. Once in a while she’d be joined on the floor by one of her peers who had plummeted off her platform shoes.

Aug 242020
 

Floating Twigs audiobook cover art

Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb

By: Charles Tabb
Narrated by: Neill Thorne
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-04-20
Language: English
Publisher: Charles Tabb

It’s 1968 in the rural coastline town of Denton, Florida, and the only thing with a tougher life than 12-year-old Jack Turner is a starving dog named Bones. When they meet while Jack is fishing, Jack knows that he and Bones are meant for each other, and he promises his oft-absent alcoholic parents that he’ll somehow get a job to pay for his new dog’s food and care.

In the process of finding work, Jack meets Hank Pittman, a middle-aged man who lives in a dilapidated school bus at the harbor, and Mrs. Mary Jane Dawson, an eccentric but kind older woman in need of gardening help. As Bones nurses back to health, Hank and Mrs. Dawson become the caring parents Jack never had.

But gossip and lies about Jack’s growing relationships lead to an attack on Bones’ life and questions about Hank’s past. When Hank is put on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, everything Jack holds dear is set in the balance of that small-town courtroom.

Floating Twigs is a timeless coming-of-age story about a boy and his dog, the responsibilities that come with loving others, and how, sometimes, one small moment can change a life forever.

Thoughts
There was so much more to this book than I was expecting, and I loved every minute of it, it was one of the best books I’ve read. The author drew me into the book from the first paragraph and I loved spending some time in Denton, Florida. I liked all the characters except a few (but they add so much to the book) and each of them were so well written that I felt like I knew them.

Having Roger and Lee as his best friends, his only friends,  was a Blessing to Jack a few times throughout the book, and I loved the bond they had. The other boys in the story added another dimension to the book. I felt sad for Jack and his home life. When he found Bones I was glad he finally he had something in his life that would give him so much happiness and love, and Hank and Mrs. Dawson added even more.

This book shows small town life at it’s best and worst. It had the town’s wealthiest and poorest, the kindest and the meanest, the helpful and the trouble makers. It had it all!

I LOVED this book! One night I kept turning off my iPhone and tried to go to sleep but I couldn’t stop thinking about the book, and ended up doing that about 3 times. I finally gave up and finished it. Good thing I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 to go to work!

A lot of people have said they don’t read books with animals because they get sad. This book does have some sad things in it concerning Bones, but the overall theme concerning him is that he is found by Jack who loved and cared for him and they love each other and have a very close bond. And no, Bones does not die during the book.

I really liked the narrator, he did a great job!

This is the first book I’ve read by Tabb but I will definitely try another one.

If you haven’t read this one, give it a try, it’s such a good book. It is a 5* with 1,059 ratings.

Aug 232020
 
Sunday Reflections

Reading…
Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget by Allia Zobel Nolan

Listening To…
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Books Reviewed Last Week…
None, I’m so behind on reviews 🙁  but coming up this week is my review of Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb which I LOVED! I stayed up until 4:00 this morning listening to it because every time I’d turn it off and try to go to sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about it & finally finished it, it will definitely be in my top favorite books

Watching…
Today I’m going to re-watch Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone for Food N’ Flix, hosted by Tina @ Squirrel Head Manor

In The Kitchen…
Chicken Burrito Skillet
2 Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
The Perfect Meatloaf
Tortellini Soup

New To Me Stuff:
We tried the new Jalapeño Popper Rolls  @ Pappa John’s yesterday, we were not a fan.

Ok, so I’ve already said many times that I have a huge addiction to small kitchen appliances. It seems it may be getting worse (I’m blaming it on having to stay home unless necessary). In the last week I’ve acquired an Instant Pot Aura Pro 11-in-1 Multicooker Slow Cooker, 8 Qt  and a Cuisinart DCB-10 Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker

Today’s To Do List…
Two loads of laundry, reading, tv

A Favorite Bible Verse…
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time
1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV

From the camera…

Saw this while walking on the boardwalk at Lake Harris

Since I have so much love for this place, it seemed like a perfect find

Aug 172020
 

Teaser Tuesday Time

Floating Twigs

Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb

FIRST CHAPTER:
I had known the day would come when circumstances forced my return to Denton, Florida, where I grew up. My parents had died before I finished high school, but another funeral brought me here now.

The Denton of my childhood reminded me of an old man, settled and unchanging. However, on that sunny day back in 1990 as I drove across the bridge that spanned the inlet between Denton Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, I looked over the expance of emerald-green water to the harbor that lay protected by Sugar Isle, a long barrier island of sugar-white sand. Instead of a harbor filled with fishing boats lazily dotting the landscape, a waterfront teeming with jet-skis and noise greeted me. New boat dogs grew and twisted out of the adjoining land like cancerous groths. Beside the more expensive boats that had invaded the harbor, the older fishing oalts looked like improverished cousins. Seventeen years had scarred the town.

TEASER: 
The next day I spent time with Bones, sneaking leftovers out to him from the kitchen and letting him get to know me. I ended up giving him bread and some gravy that had been in the refrigerator for a few days, along with some baloney and stale rice. It wasn’t much of a meal, but he ate it the way he had everything else – in huge gulps.

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 primary lakes are:
Apopka, Little Lake Harris, Griffin, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton, and Yale

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.