Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review

Many of my family and friends are always asking me for some book recommendations. I've decided to put together a list of what I've read lately that I think are worth the read.
This book traces several families through 5 generations. It was very interesting to see where the stories went. Sometimes, I felt like they left me hanging and then all of a sudden we were on to a new generation. If it weren't for the family tree graphic at the beginning of the book, I would have had a problem keeping everyone straight.
The first Jeffrey Archer book I read was way back in the 1980's---Kane and Abel.  If you are just starting out with him, I'd suggest you start with that one. He writes exciting family sagas. The books here are part of The Clifton Chronicles. There are 7 of them, so it's quite a commitment. Once you get started, you cannot stop. Each book ends with a major cliff hanger. They are totally worth the read.

Kristin Hannah---need I say more? One of my all time favorite authors--she can make me sob out loud like no one else! For once a nice story that includes a "good" priest.
Another WWII heartbreaking story with some joyous surprises. I never get tired of learning about WWII and what people went through.
 This books is so good---but you must read The Kitchen House first. This is the sequel to that. Another book about slavery and redemption.
 Okay, I get that Bill O'Reilly is not held in high regard these days, but this book is the latest in his "killing" series. I've read them all: Killing Lincoln; Killing Kennedy; Killing Jesus. I always learn so much---which is one of my priorities in reading. They are well researched and well written. This latest book is about WWII on the Pacific front---of which I knew little. Someone recently told me that his books were not "true." Well, to that I say---all of history is written with the bias of the author. Bill O'Reilly is no different. I doubt he would fabricate the statistics. They speak for themselves. I just found out he has two others which I have not read: Killing Patton and Killing Reagan. I'll have to add them to my list. I always learn so much.
I read Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante which is the 6th book in the Maggie Hope series. They are all very interesting and fun. They are quick reads and on the lighter side---still intriguing.
I waited a long time for this one. It's a quirky book. Ove is a man that just wants to be left alone so he can join his wife in the afterlife. He doesn't particularly care for people, but learns what an impact he makes on the lives around him. I wouldn't say it's a rip roaring read, but it was interesting and will remind you that we all have a part to play.

This book was a mystery with many twists and turns. Every Fifteen Minutes refers to a teen with OCD who has to do his rituals every fifteen minutes. 
OMGosh! I loved this book. It's a memoir of a 32 year old guy. He tells of growing up in a hillbilly family (which he likens to red-necks and white trash. Coming from St. Louis, he needs to add "hoosiers" to the list). It's so interesting and I think everyone can relate in some way. There is so much to talk about, that I convinced the family to make it our family book club book for this summer. I can't wait for the discussion. I never realized that the plight of poor people is deeper than just money. I would highly recommend it. 

I'm going to stop there. I've read 28 books so far in 2017. These are just some of them---not even the best. If you want more recommendations, just let me know. The best part about these books? I got them all through the library and have saved big bucks!

What are the best books you've read lately? I need to add them to my list of at least a hundred in waiting!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

I hope everyone has had a great Memorial Day. Ours was pretty low key. Stephanie and Nicky came over for a float and a barbecue. The water is still cold, but when you are floating on top, it's bearable!

We had pork chops on the grill. I whipped up a few deviled eggs. Corn and potatoes rounded out the menu. 

This morning, I met up with the Peach Truck in Green Hills. I bought a box. It's so worth it. But I certainly have a lot of peaches! I have a plan.

There's nothing like fresh Georgia peaches. They don't call themselves the peach state for nothin'. Sweet and juicy.
This is my favorite Memorial Day photo this year. This house belongs to my friend, Nancy E. She lives out in the country. I love it when she puts her flag out. Nothing says a patriot than a huge American flag. I just wish we'd have remembered to put ours out!

Let the summer begin!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Few Things

Well, we're home again. We did just about everything there was to do in Utah. I guess it should tell you something that I finished one book and read two others this week!  That brings me to a total of 28 so far this year.
 I have never seen an 80 MPH speed limit. It sure made the drive go faster! I guess the roads in Utah are less traveled.
We were really happy to see recycle bins everywhere. Florida needs to take a page out of Utah's book! We think it's a crime that they do not recycling on the beaches. In fact, you have to drive to a recycle center yourself. They certainly don't make it easy.
Our University of Tennessee graduate! She'll start on her masters in August. We'll be glad to have her closer to home.
And while we were at that boring graduation, Mindy and Justin were at Steeplechase. They had gorgeous weather this year, but missed Stephanie, Nicky and Butch.
I helped my friend, Madelyn decorate her mother's nursing home room. She's moving down here from Pittsburgh. We wanted to make it really homey for her. I made this cheery wreath for her front door. I'll have to take pictures of the room when I visit this week.
 Mary Queen of Angels has so many activities. I'm sure "Maut" will fit right in. She already went to a "meet and greet." I'd love to join their book club. In fact, I love everything on the schedule. I wonder how old you have to be to move in!
 I just discovered this bread. It is really good---and stays fresh for a long time.
 Venetian, where I get my nails done has a shortage of parking. Now it's going to be less! There is construction all over this city.
This is Mitchell's new car. The insurance company totaled his Jeep when he was involved in a fender  bender. Really! It's crazy what it costs to repair cars these days--that the insurance company gives you something, but not nearly enough to replace what you had!

It felt so good to sleep in my own bed last night. It's always good to get home after a trip. Now we're taking it easy for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Touring the National Parks

We spent a day in Moab, Utah. It took 4.5 hours from Park City to get there. We went to Canyonlands Park and spent a few hours just enjoying the sights.

We spent the night in Moab at a sweet little old-fashioned motel. The next day we toured the Arches National Park.

 I took two brief hikes---1/4 mile and 1/3 mile. The guys did harder ones---steeper and through sand.

The story behind this natural phenomenon is really interesting. All this was caused by wind, sand and water over the course of billions of years. I've never really been in to science, but I can appreciate things like this.

Then came the long ride back to Park City. Of course, when you gab the whole way, it goes by pretty fast.

Yesterday, the guys went trout fishing. The weather was perfect for them and they caught plenty of fish. We girls stayed behind. Chris stitched. I didn't bring mine because I didn't think it was worth it for just one day. Instead, I spent the day reading and catching up on blogs.

Today we're heading in to Salt Lake City to do some genealogical research on the Eads side. Then we'll see the Mormon Tabernacle choir.

I just found out this morning---Butch has surprised me with reservations for high tea this afternoon! I'm so excited! I'm a tea snob---preferring loose tea to bags. He always manages to find a place for me when we travel. I love that he is so considerate. Also, he's stopped by Starbucks several times for me. Considering he doesn't like Starbucks, that means a lot to me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Off Again

We left on Saturday for Salt Lake City, Utah for a week with Walter and Chris. Of course, my photos are not cooperating. I don't understand why they won't transfer from my phone to my computer when I'm traveling. It's so frustrating.

Anyway, we went to Sundance yesterday and then on to Bridal Veil Falls. The scenery is beautiful, but the day was not. It was pretty much grey and rainy all day. And, considering it's darn near summer in Nashville, it never occurred to me that it would be COLD here! Luckily, I don't go anywhere without my pashminas. They are always a lifesaver. Hopefully, when the sun comes out, it will be in the mid-60's the rest of the week. Then I'll be fine.

Today we leave for a little overnight jaunt to the "arches." I don't really know what they are yet. The guys plan the trips and just tell us when to be ready. I'm good with that. I know how many hours go in to planning a trip.

I'm not bringing my computer for just overnight. So I'll have to work on my pictures when we get back. Worse case, I can email them to myself.

Well there you go. I just figured out my picture situation. When traveling I have to have my phone joined on the same network as my computer. I shouldda thought of that!

I'll be back in a couple of days.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Memos Mail and Me

Well, it was a slow mail week. I got this from my little niece.
It's been a long time since I've had artwork hanging on the refrigerator. Thanks Evie!!

I'm sure if you visit from High in the Sky I've sure you'll find more interesting posts!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Few Layouts

Here are a few pages I've made lately for AYM and our round robin.
This year the topic for AYM (A Year of Memories) is "story starters." I give the story starter and then the group does the layout. April's story starter was: "And the I said." I finished it with "you've got to be kidding me!" This page was about the gas crisis back in September. I loaned my Solstice---which I'm very protective of---and she backed it in to Nicky's car. Luckily there was no damage.
 I was happy to have some old memorabilia for this layout. Sports were everything while growing up.
 This was the round robin page that Nancy did for me.
This month's story starter was: "Here's the thing..." I finished it with "I was always a faller." This story was about how I might have jinxed myself with falling by faking it when I was a teenager. To get out of going to school, I'd fake a little fall down the steps and pretend to have gotten dizzy because I was "so sick!" Mom bought it. You couldn't get much past her, but this worked. I only did it twice, but I think it was enough to jinx me!
 "Another day in Paradise" is the round robin page I did for Pam. She didn't have any journaling, so I wrote it for her. I sent her a list of questions. After she responded, I went with a list of "firsts" for the journaling.
This was last month's AYM: "Now that I think about it..." and I finished it with: "...the good old days really were."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Peek in to the Closets

And then we'll get in to my drawers!
Butch really cleaned out his closet. I like to say that he took a page out of my book by color coordinating his clothes. He has them organized by style and sleeve length first then color next.
You might be thinking that his closet is only this neat because we've just done a remodel. But the truth is, he always keeps his closet this neat. His area of the bathroom is another story. He'll have clothes piling up on the chair and laid over the tub. He's already started that, but I'm determined that the new tub is not going to become his personal valet.
On Mondays, when Margarita is here to clean, I used to take the whole pile of stuff on his chair and put it in his closet. For the longest time, he thought Margarita was doing it. I finally "fessed up" and admitted my complicity. I said, "I don't understand why I have to look at this mess out here, so your closet can stay perfect!" I think I'm right on this one.
I thoroughly cleaned out the linen closet---which was stuffed. We had to move the medicine in here since the new powder room didn't have any place to put it. I organize that stuff by type (first aid, cold/allergy, stomach/bowel issues, etc.) and put everything in to labeled ziplock bags. The bags are in the baskets on the bottom shelf.
 My closet. You can tell by all of those empty hangers how much I got rid of. Plus, my shoes extended across that wall where the hangers are. I ditched all the shoes that I had been hanging on to for much too long. I won't be wearing anything that doesn't feel stable or comfortable---or if I've had a slip.

All of my blouses and tops are put together and sorted by color. I don't care that they are mixed together.
The top shelves are just storage. I'm keeping needlepoint pillows and some pictures that just too nice to get rid of. I guess if no one has a use for them in another 5 years, they can go. The huge box is Mindy's wedding dress.

Don't tell any burglars, but all of my good jewelry is here. My jewelry box is in the library on the shelf. It just looks like a nice box. A burglar would have to spend quite a bit of time in the house to find it.
Most of my costume jewelry is in this armoir. My necklaces are hanging in the closet.
Oops, the bra and underwear you see here were stashed when I changed in to my swimsuit.
These drawers  are deeper than what I had, so they are taking a little getting used to.

I can't really believe how much stuff we got rid of, but we still have so much. I'm so glad we decided to stay in this house. After Steph's move, my sister, Jeanne's upcoming move, and Walter and Chris' impending move, I can't even think of the work. Just more than I want to deal with. We did vow that we'd go through these closets and get rid of stuff. We haven't started yet and it's already May! They are all filled. I've kept things that I thought the girls might want. But, as I keep saying, they don't want our stuff. But what should we do with it? It's good stuff worth some money!

Oh well, I'll think about it tomorrow.