May 072018
 

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 Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
by Anthony Ray Hinton

Capital Offense
But more so than the evidence, I have never had as strong a feeling in trying any other case that the defendant just radiated guilt and pure evil as much as in the Hinton trial.
Prosecutor Bob McGregor

There is no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rear-view mirror. And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming. Did my life change forever the day I was arrested? Or did the life-changing moment happen even earlier? Was that day just the culmination of a whole series of fateful moments, poor choices, and bad luck? Or was the course of my life determined by being black and poor and growing up in a South that didn’t always care to be civil in the wake of civil rights? It’s hard to say. When you are forced to live out your life in a room the size of a bathroom-a room that’s five feet wide by seven feet long- you have plenty of time to replay the moments of your life. To imagine what might have happened if you had run when they came chasing you. Or if you had gotten that baseball scholarship. Or married that girl when you had the chance. We all do it. Replay the horrific moments of our lives and imagine them by going left instead of right, being this person instead of that person, making different choices. You don’t have to be locked up to occupy your mind and your days trying to rewrite a painful past or undo a terrible tragedy or make right a horrible wrong. But pain and tragedy and injustice happen- they happen to us all. I’d like to believe it’s what you choose to do after such an experience that matters the most- that truly changes your life forever.

I’d really like to believe that.

May 072018
 

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

Exercise: 12 Times Total 
Yoga~
Tai Chi~
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~

Meals Last Week 
Tuesday: deli ham slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices
Wednesday: Mexican
Thursday: Lasagna my daughter made
Friday: Johnny Marzetti
Saturday: leftover Johnny Marzetti
Sunday: Slow cooker sprial cut ham, fried green beans
Monday: Leftover ham- sandwiches

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 5/1: 9,024
Wednesday~ 5/2: 8,750
Thursday ~ 5/3: 9,015
Friday ~ 5/4: 9,265
Saturday ~ 5/5: 8,223
Sunday ~ 5/6: didn’t track
Monday ~ 5/7: 9,362

May 062018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
79° with so many clouds you can’t see the blue of the sky, no wind, no dogs barking, no kids playing, or lawns being mowed, it’s unusually quiet except for an occasional car going by

Thankful…
For not having to go to work today

Reading…
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

Listening To…
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Watching…
Last  Night I watched Chonda Pierce: Enough on Netflix and loved it, she’s very funny

Fitness…
For some reason the bones in my feet have been hurting on and off for a few days

In The Kitchen…
Spiral Cut Ham with  a bit of brown sugar, pineapple & cherries

Today’s To-Do List…
Computer time, reading, tv, laundry because that’s never ending

One of my favorite things:
My daughter and I went on a day trip a few weeks ago and we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way out of town. The girl waiting on us told us that most of their stores refill any mug/tumbler etc. for a little over a dollar! I also love their Bacon, Egg & Cheese Croissant, and that they have so many donuts to choose from

Looking forward to…
Moving. We had only planned on doing a little work to the house in town but my son kept adding things and now it’s practically a whole remodel

A Favorite Bible Verse…

From the camera…

May 052018
 

When my kids were little I used to make Johnny Marzetti and they loved it. I haven’t made it in years . The other day my son Anthony said he’d like me to make it again, so I did. I used a different recipe, one that calls for baking it. My old recipe didn’t have you bake it.

Johnny Marzzetti
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 tablespon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
2- 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
1- 14 oz. can dived tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian herbs
Pinch of sugar
2 cups Cheddar cheese
2 cups Italian Blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350°
Bring a large pot of water to boil
Add maccaroni and boil for 7 min. or until almost al dente
Drain pasta and return to the pot, set aside
Heat olive oil in a large skittle over medium heat
Add the onion, bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5 min.
Add the meat and cook unil no longer pink
Drain off fat & season with spices
Simmer for five min., stirring occasionally
Pour the meat in with the noodles, mix well
Add 1 cup of each of the cheese & mix well
Pour mixture into a 13×9 in. casserole dish
Top with remaining cheese
Bake for 30 min. or until cheese is golden brown & melted

Adaptions:
Didn’t use the olive oil, green pepper, mushrooms.
Used ground chuck instead of ground beef
Used 1 can of tomato sauce
Used 1 can of diced & 1 can of stewed tomatoes-didn’t drain
Used 1/4 tsp. garlic poweder instead of 2 cloves

I didn’t follow the directions either. I browned the ground chuck with the onions, drained it and added the spices, then added it to the macaroni, added the cheeses, poured it into the dish and topped with remaining cheese.

I thought this was really really good, but my son said he liked my original recipe more. I plan on eating some more tonight and since there’s just me and my son I’ll be freezing the rest for later. Next time I make Johnny Marzetti I’ll cut the recipe in half.

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

May 032018
 

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

Narrated by Jim Broadbent

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 9 hours and 57 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: July 24, 2012
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B008OCRSHE

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise – and utterly irresistible – storyteller.

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage at the heart of Rachel Joyce’s remarkable debut. Harold Fry is determined to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessey will live.

Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him – allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.

And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller.

Thoughts
I don’t know what it is about “older” characters, but I just love them, and Harold Fry was no exception. I liked him from the very beginning of the book and liked him more and more as the book went on.

I loved that even at his age he decided to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge  to Berwick-upon-Tweed, in hopes of saving Queenie, a co-worker he hadn’t seen in 20 years.

I loved the character of Harold. I liked his attitude and his determination. And I liked how Maureen came around and ended up supporting him in this venture.

There was a part in the book that left me with my mouth hanging open, shocked at what was revealed. I love books that do that,  and this was a huge shock.

There were a lot of characters in the book but it was easy to keep them straight.  Most of them I liked, but some of them did things that made me mad and/or feel bad for Harold. I wanted to yell at them and say “shame on you”!

I loved the ending of the book, it made the whole walk worth every step.

I really loved this book and now want to read the second Harold Fry book, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. It goes deeper into the relationship of Harold and Queenie, and the letter that she didn’t send.

I started reading the print version of this book and then switched to audio after only a few chapters.

Counts toward the following challenges:
Audiobook

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

May 012018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I met my April goals but most of the exercise was strength training
I hope to do more yoga etc.

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

Exercise: 12 Times Total 
Yoga~
Tai Chi~
Qi Gong~
Strength Training~

Meals Last Week 
Tuesday: Taco Salad
Wednesday: Leftover Taco Salad
Thursday: Vanilla Greek Yogurt & Cinnamon Toast
Friday: Ham Sandwich
Saturday: Del Carmen Restaurant & Store
Sunday: Sausage, Cheese & Ritz Crackers
Monday: Tijuana Flats

Steps Last Week
Tuesday~ 4/24: 9,348
Wednesday~ 4/25: didn’t track
Thursday ~ 4/26: 8,628
Friday ~ 4/27: 8,992
Saturday ~ 4/28: 9,758
Sunday ~ 4/29: 9,836
Monday ~ 4/30: 11, 575

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…