Jun 212017
From this Side of the Pond

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you’d put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?
1. Go on a mini vacation
2. BBQ’s
3. Walks on the beach
4. Walking the trial alongside the Withlacoochee River
5. Going on a few day trips with my daughter or son
6. Eating lots of watermelon and fruit salads
7. 4th of July fireworks
8. Riding my bike
9. Going to flea markets/yard sales
10. Going to the drive in

Yes, I think I can do all 10.

2. Do you collect seashells when you’re at the beach?
Yes, have since I was a teenager

What do you do with them once you get them home?
I have some sitting next to my computer and some that go into display cases.

What’s your favorite place to comb for seashells?
I get shells from the beaches around where I live, don’t have a favorite

How many of these ‘best beaches for hunting seashells’ have you visited?
Couldn’t get the link to load correctly, but I’ve been to a lot of  beaches in Florida, and a few in California & North Carolina.

Which one would you most like to visit?
Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey’s Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas
I’d like to visit Jeffrey’s Bay, Shipwreck Beach, and The Bahamas

3. At a snail’s pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up…which ‘shell’ phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.
Shell out money certainly applies to my life right now. We’re remodeling a house in a nearby town, and keep adding more and more to the list. I can’t wait until it’s done and we can finally move.

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?
Golf. I never understood why someone would spend so much time out in the heat and humidity, hitting a ball and then chasing it to hit it again, over and over. I’d rather be riding my bike, walking a trail. Even though I wouldn’t golf, I do enjoy a quick game or two of putt-putt with my kids and grandkids though

5. What’s something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?
There are two drive-ins near me, one a 5 min. drive, the other about 30 min. When I was a kid there were drive-ins in just about every city. Now there are just a few here and there. I’m hoping the ones that are still open stay open for many many years. It will definitely bother me if they aren’t.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I don’t understand why people are in such a big hurry all the time. When I was growing up people were so much more laid back. We still did the same things…work, school, sports, girl/boy scouts etc. We did it all at a much slower pace, and I don’t understand why today it’s rush, rush, rush. If someone does know, please let me know.

Jun 202017

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

June Daily Goals
prayer & meditation: ✔
deep breathing: ✔
stretching/flexibility: ✔
80 oz. water: ✔

I also want to lose 15 pounds: -1

A few times a week:
Tai Chi, Yoga, Strength, Cardio
Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Wall Sit
Building Strength with Susan
Moving With Susan

Steps Last Week:
Tuesday~ 6/13: 9,777 steps
Wednesday~ 6/14: 7,999 steps
Thursday ~ 6/15: 7,309 steps
Friday ~ 6/9: 16: 7,427 steps
Saturday ~ 6/17: 13,905 steps
Sunday ~ 6/18: 8,236 steps
Monday ~ 6/19: 8,037 steps

Menu For This Week:
Tuesday: Fried Cabbage w/ Sausage
Wednesday: Judee’s 4 Minute Low Carb Version of Chinese Egg Drop Soup
Thursday: Stuffed Peppers
Friday: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
Saturday: eating out, probably Chinese
Sunday: Hamburger Patties & Tomato And Avocado Salad
Monday: Tina’s Vegetable Stir Fry
(didn’t make the stir fry last week, I ended up working 4 nights)

Jun 172017

The other day I was hopping around on the internet when I came across these and decided to order them. They came in the mail yesterday. I haven’t used them yet, but will review them when I do.

Q-glove Silicone Oven Mitts Heat Resistant Glove

These will come in so handy for flipping food on a grill. No more dropping food when it slides of the metal spatula! They’re heat resistant up to 425 Degrees Fahrenheit!


Oksale 60 Second Salad Cutter Bowl

I love salad but sometimes having to cut everything up one thing at a time can be time consuming and not a lot of fun. I haven’t used this yet, but I plan to soon. Just throw everything in the bow and cut in the slots.

Have you used either of these? What do you think?


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 162017


Hosted @ Coffee Addicted Writer

How do you organize your blog in terms of what is in your side bar? Do you have categories and defined sections in your side bar?
I have a left sidebar and a right side bar. On the left I have a few buttons, photos of my dog and cats, what I’m reading-listening to, my GoodReads challenge, links to follow me, and links to good causes. On the right I have links to my favorite blogs, movie sites, and other sites I visit.


Hosted @ McGuffy’s Reader & 15andmeowing

1. I challenge everyone to do at least one random act of kindness this week.

2. I regret disposing of  the wicker baskets that I used to collect.

3. I have a difficult time admitting that my body isn’t as young as my mind thinks it is.

4. If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be that I could tell what people were really feeling. Like when you ask someone how they are and they say they’re ok, but you know that they aren’t.

Jun 152017

The Broken Road

The Broken Road (Broken Road #1) by Richard Paul Evans

Series: The Broken Road Series
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1501111647
ISBN-13: 978-1501111648

Chicago celebrity, Charles James can’t shake the nightmare that wakes him each night. He sees himself walking down a long, broken highway the sides of which are lit in flames. Where is he going? Why is he walking? What is the wailing he hears around him?

By day, he wonders why he’s so haunted and unhappy when he has all he ever wanted-fame, fans and fortune and the lavish lifestyle it affords him. Coming from a childhood of poverty and pain, this is what he’s dreamed of. But now, at the pinnacle of his career, he’s started to wonder if he’s wanted the wrong things. His wealth has come legally, but questionably, from the power of his personality, seducing people out of their hard-earned money. When he learns that one of his customers has committed suicide because of financial ruin, Charles is shaken. The cracks in his façade start to break down spurring him to question everything: his choices, his relationships, his future and the type of man he’s become.

Then a twist of fate changes everything. Charles is granted something very remarkable: a second chance. The question is: What will he do with it?

The Broken Road is the first book in a much-anticipated new trilogy by beloved storyteller Richard Paul Evans. It is an engrossing, contemplative story of redemption and grace and the power of second chances. It is an epic journey you won’t soon forget.

In this book we learn about Charles’s childhood and teen years, and how that leads him to become the celebrity he was. Due to an unforeseen circumstance, Charles decides to ditch his life and start walking Route 66 and see where the walk leads him.

I loved this book! Every chapter, every new subject, was so interesting I didn’t want to stop listening. It was so good I tried listening to it in bed before falling asleep. There were a few nights I fell asleep before turning it off. Then the next morning I’d have to backtrack until I found a place that I remembered listening too.

Charles doesn’t seem very nice at first, but the more you read, the more likable he seems and I grew to care for him. He still had his moments, but I still liked him.

I love they way Evans writes. Every book makes you feel “in” the story. If you haven’t read a book by him, I wish you would. His books have adventure, highs and lows of life, and have a way of drawing you in so that you want more and then more.

The book is narrated by the author, and he did a great job! His voice is very easy to listen to and I’m so glad I decided to listen to the audiobook instead of reading the print book.

The characters in this book had their own story to tell, and I enjoyed all of them. I can tell I’m going to love this series and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.

Jun 142017


1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country’s flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)
We don’t fly a flag where we live now, but the house we’re moving to has a flag pole and we plan on flying one there. I’ve visited Philadelphia but didn’t see Betsy Ross House, haven’t been to Baltimore.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.
A bit of both. Our house remodel is taking so much longer than expected, but I’m not giving up.

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?
I’m usually listening to an audiobook, not songs. I’ve been known to finish a paragraph or two before turning the car off. Not sure there is any one definition of what kind of person stays in the car to listen to the end of a song. People are too diverse and there are many reasons a person would do it.

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What’s an expression you associate with your father?
A good dad listens to his children and spends quality time with them and teaches them through his own actions, and always makes them feel loved. My dad was always singing “You’ll never know dear, how much I love you”.

5. What’s one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?
I don’t remember a rule that I disagreed with. My childhood was pretty amazing. And I’m a “go with the flow” type of person.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I’m a movie addict, so I find it strange that I’ve never seen so many of the greats, like The Godfather 1 or 2, Citizen Kane, Mary Poppins. I did dvr both Godfathers last week so I plan on watching them soon.

Jun 132017


Hosted by Hot Listens and the Caffeinated Book Reviewer


It’s time for a 2017 Audiobook Challenge update. I joined for the Weekend Warrior: 5-10, but I’m at Stenographer: 10-15. I’ve tried listening to audiobooks a few times but didn’t really enjoy them. Then after joining this challenge and trying them again, something clicked and now I’m addicted. I mainly listen going to and from work, so my list isn’t that long yet. I’ve reviewed all but the last two on the list. I need to start reviewing before I start the next one so I can keep caught up.

1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
2. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café  by Max Lucado
3. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
4. A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
5. 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
6. Room by Emma Donoghue
7. Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas
8. Faithful by Alice Hoffman
9. The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans

Jun 132017

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

June Daily Goals
prayer & meditation: ✔
deep breathing: ✔
stretching/flexibility: ✔
80 oz. water: ✔

I also want to lose 15 pounds: -1

A few times a week:
Various dvd’s: Tai Chi, Yoga, Strength, Cardio, Bosu Ball, etc.
Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Wall Sit
Building Strength with Susan Powter dvd

Steps Last Week:
Tuesday~ 6/6: didn’t track
Wednesday~ 6/7: 7,889 steps
Thursday ~ 6/8: didn’t track
Friday ~ 6/9: 21: didn’t track
Saturday ~ 6/10: 9,078 steps
Sunday ~ 6/11: didn’t track
Monday ~ 6/12: 7,780

On The Menu
Tuesday: Beef Stew
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham, Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Rice
Thursday: Leftovers from Wednesday, probably with a different veggie
Friday: Vegetable Stir Fry found via Tina @ Squirrel Head Manor
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: In-a-Hurry Chicken Curry

Jun 112017


Looking out my window… it’s 84° and sunny

I am thinking… I need to go buy groceries for next week

I am thankful… to have a Sunday off work

One of my favorite things… Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Coffee Drink

I am wearing… still in my pj’s

I am reading… I’m reading Guy Fieri Family Food: 125 Real-Deal Recipes-Kitchen Tested, Home Approved by Guy Fieri

I am listening to… I just started listening to The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper

I am hoping… to get a new garage door installed this week for our “new” house

I am learning… that people have different speeds, I like the ones that have faster speeds

In my kitchen… Honey Teriyaki Marinated Steaks and veggies

Board room… I want to do this raised garden at the new house

Post Script… Playster. It’s the best audio book site I’ve seen

Shared Quote… “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”
William Feather

A moment from my day… 


Closing Notes…  I saw Dirty Dancing years ago when it was first released and loved it. Then a few weeks or so ago I saw that there is a re-make of it. I decided to dvr the original and the new one to compare them. I don’t really understand why they re-make movies that have such high rating. Could the new version possibly be better? I haven’t watched them yet, but if you have I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Jun 112017

Sunday Stealing

1. Did you date someone from your school?

2. Did you marry someone from your high school?

3. Did you car pool to school?
My boyfriend drove me to school if that counts

4. What kind of car did you have?
Chevy Malibu

5. What kind of car do you have now?
2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

6. It’s Friday night…where are you now?
Probably either at work or at home

7. It’s Friday night…where were you then?
Either with my boyfriend or friend

8. What kind of job did you have in high school?

9. What kind of job do you do now?
I work in a health and rehab, in the kitchen

10. Were you a party animal?

11. Were you considered a flirt?

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?

13. Were you a nerd?
Not really, but I did love math, history, and BOE.  I guess I was a book nerd.

14. Did you get suspended from school?

15. Can you sing the fight song?
I don’t remember it, something about the Mighty Oaks

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher?
Miss Dars, BOE teacher

17. Where did you sit during lunch?
In my boyfriend’s car after getting a veal sandwich at the Bake Shop

18. What was your school’s full name?
Oak Hill High School

19. Where did you party the most?
At my house

20. What was your school mascot?
Archie The Acorn (because it was Oak Hill & Oak trees have acorns)

21. Would you do it again?
Yes, I’d love to be back in school

22. Did you have fun at Prom?
I didn’t go to prom

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom
See above

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?

25. Do you still talk to people from school?
Yes, about 10 of them

26. What are/were your school’s colors?
Black, white and red

Jun 102017

Quick Easy Recipes: 5 Ingredient Cookbook: Easy Recipes in 5 or Less Ingredients (Quick and Easy Cooking Series)

Quick Easy Recipes: 5 Ingredient Cookbook
by Hannie P. Scott

I’ve had this e-cookbook for a while but didn’t check it out until today. There are many recipes I want to try, including the one I’m sharing with you today. I do wish that the recipe had the nutritional values included. I can figure it out myself, but having them included would have been so much better and quicker to add to my food tracker.

I want to try the Mashed Cauliflower recipe soon too. There are slow cooker, stove top, and dessert recipes. When I make this I’ll let you know what we thought,


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 092017

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by Kimberly Farr

Listening Length: 8 hours and 25 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: April 25, 2017

“As I was writing My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Strout says, “it came to me that all the characters Lucy and her mother talked about had their own stories—of course!—and so the unfolding of their lives became tremendously important to me.”

Here, among others, are the “Pretty Nicely Girls,” now adults: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. Tommy, the janitor at the local high school, has his faith tested in an encounter with an emotionally isolated man he has come to help; a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD discovers unexpected solace in the company of a lonely innkeeper; and Lucy Barton’s sister, Vicky, struggling with feelings of abandonment and jealousy, nonetheless comes to Lucy’s aid, ratifying the deepest bonds of family.

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.

My Thoughts
I think I liked this even better than I did My Name Is Lucy Barton. I loved the way the stories connected one to the other. I liked being introduced to these new characters and their stories.

One of my favorite characters was Tommy. I thought his story was really interesting and liked that he had such a good heart. I like that Strout used not so familiar names, and that her characters were so real, emotional, and vulnerable.

I’ve read a lot of reviews of this book where people said that they thought there were too many characters. I usually don’t like a lot of different characters either, and if the book had been one continuous story I might have had a hard time following along. But since it was a book of short stories that didn’t bother me. When one story ended, it was like going on to another book. I wish I could explain it better, but the point is it didn’t bother me at all.

Kimberly Farr did a great job with the narration. It was very easy to listen to.

I’ve loved both books that I’ve read by this author, and now I’ve added Olive Kitteridge to my “to read list”.

Jun 062017

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

June didn’t get off to a great start. My son came home with some kind of crud, and shared it with me. Also, I had a heavier schedule at work. A co-worker offered to take one of my morning shifts for me, and I accepted. It was nice of him since I wouldn’t have asked (we’re 2 people down right now). Being sick on top of having to work more than usual really kicked my butt. I started feeling better yesterday but was still a bit weak. My son is finally feeling better today. So, today starts a new week and I’m hoping to do everything on my goals list.

June Daily Goals
prayer & meditation: ✔
deep breathing: ✔
stretching/flexibility: ✖
80 oz. water: ✖

I also want to lose 15 pounds: -0

A few times a week:
Various dvd’s: Tai Chi, Yoga, Strength, Cardio, Bosu Ball, etc.
Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Wall Sit
Building Strength with Susan Powter dvd

On The Menu
(since we were sick last week we mostly ate soup, so this week I’ll be making some of what I had planned to make last week)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Great Northern Beans with Smoked Turkey Legs & Cornbread

Wednesday: Leftover Great Northern Beans & Cornbread

Thursday: Lettuce Wrapped Hamburgers & Tomato, Cucumber & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

Friday: Grilled Chicken Foil Packets with Summer Squash

Saturday: We’re going to a Chinese restaurant

Sunday: ?

Jun 052017

Sweet Tea Tuesdays by Ashley Farley

File Size: 5050 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publisher: Leisure Time Books (May 3, 2017)
Publication Date: May 3, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

From the author of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series comes a novel of friendship, family, and hope.

Three best friends met every Tuesday for twenty-six years. And then they stopped.

When new next-door neighbors Georgia, Midge, and Lula first assembled on Georgia’s porch in Charleston for sweet tea, they couldn’t have known their gathering was the beginning of a treasured tradition. For twenty-six years they have met on Tuesdays at four o’clock, watching the seasons change and their children grow up, supporting each other in good times and in bad. With their ambitions as different as their personalities, these best friends anticipate many more years of tea time. And then, one Tuesday, Georgia shares news that brings their long-standing social hour to an abrupt halt. And that’s only the beginning as unraveling secrets threaten to alter their friendship forever.

This book is about one of my favorite reading subjects…friends. I love the friendship that these women have and that they meet every Tuesday for so many years. They support each other, share things that they wouldn’t share with anyone else, but there are also secrets they keep. There are many emotions including happiness, sadness, shock, forgiveness, and humor.

The 3 main characters are like people you know in real life, and each are easy to like. This book is a joy to read.

This is the first book by this author that I’ve read, but I do have a few others on my Kindle. I plan to get to them soon.




Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you’ve read the last word, then she’s done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.


Jun 032017


Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

I ran across these recipes and really had to think about whether I’d try them or not. There are some that I would try, and some that are just too weird for me. Would you try any of them?

Dill Pickle Bread @ Delish (I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before)

The Humm Dog with Bacon, Black Truffle and Celery @ Food Republic

This post @ BuzzFeed has 33 weird combinations that taste really good (?)

Deliciously Weird Food Combinations @ HuffPost

Weird & Wacky Regional Recipes @ Food.com

Jun 022017

Hosted @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Do your bookshelves have books ONLY or do you also have bookish items on the shelves?
Books, only books. There is no room for anything else.

Hosted @ McGuffy’s Reader & 15andmeowing


1. A law I would like to see passed is world wide penalties for animal cruelty offenders.

2. My favorite card game is SpadesSkip Bo & Uno. Couldn’t pick just one.

3. With Summer unofficially here, I want to start going bike riding and go to the beach as often as I can.

4. A favorite Summer memory is going out in our pontoon boat when the kids and grands.


May 312017

Hosted by Kathy @ BermudaOnion

I saw this word @ Read With Katie
As the bus veers onto the narrow bitumen road, Finn turns up her music, blocking out the noise so she can take her in new surroundings.

a black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.


I saw this word @ Dual Reads
I am myself again. Carly has disappeared into the umbra, and I am alone.

the fully shaded inner region of a shadow cast by an opaque object, especially the area on the earth or moon experiencing the total phase of an eclipse.


I saw this word in a news article @ All That Is Interesting
According to a report from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, researchers have found traces of a previously unknown extinct hominid species in the DNA of the Melanesians, a group living in an area northeast of Australia that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.

anthropology : any of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms and in some recent classifications the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan