Monday, October 3, 2022

October Blog Challenge: Day 3

Today's prompt:  Write the beginning of a scary story and let blog readers decide what happens next.


She sat huddled under a blanket, hands curled around a steaming cup of tea, pets curled against her legs. It would seem to be a cozy scene as a cold wind whipped an icy rain against the windows, but it was not. Her fear was a palpable thing as she thought about the world she now lived in. One that was very different from the one she grew up in. Strange illnesses lurked, waiting to strike. Weather patterns had changed and the hot days were hotter and the cold days were colder. The storms were stronger and more frequent. People hated each other for no good reason and fought, sometimes violently, over the smallest of differences. Blanket accusations flew. Two factions ruled the land. Neither cared about the people they ruled. Their only interest was staying in power or regaining power. The news carried such wild stories with much opinion and emotion, but little fact, that it was impossible to know what was true. Crime was rampant since little was done to stop it. 

And now there was economic fear. A recession loomed, jobs that had been plentiful and paid well were drying up. People worried about being laid off. Inflation was rising rapidly and wages were not keeping up. The shelves in the store were already not as well stocked as they once were and rumors were flying that a lot of shortages were coming.

Worst of all, a crazy man, who just happened to be in charge of one of the largest countries in the world, was threatening to use nuclear weapons.

It was enough to make a person want to hide under the covers and not come out. These were scary, uncertain times. The truth was, she was huddled under the blanket with her pets and holding that cup of tea because the house was quite chilly. The result of having the furnace turned back quite far because she couldn't afford a big heating bill. How was this all going to turn out?

What do you think? How does the story go?


Thanks to Kwizgiver for the challenge prompts!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

October Blog Challenge: Day 2

Today's prompt:  When things get tough, I want to remember...

I never have to go through anything alone. The Lord is always with me and I can rest assured that He has a plan. I may not always understand, but I can count on the truth that He will bring me through tough times in exactly the right way and at the right time. 

In addition, I have my wonderful family, friends, and a great church family that are all there for me when I need them.




Blog Challenge courtesy of Kwizgiver.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

October Blog Challenge: Day 1

I'm joining Kwizgiver this month in her October Challenge. Each day this month there is a prompt of something to post. Here's the list in case you'd like to join in.

Today's Prompt:  Share your best soup recipe.

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, garlic
  • 2 cups green peppers and/or red peppers chopped
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 3 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup cooked rice

Instructions

  • Brown your beef with your onion in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Drain your beef and onions and place in your 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Add your tomatoes (juice and all) and the rest of your ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl

I'm linking up with Sam for the Saturday 9 as usual. I also want to tell you to check back later for another post as I will be joining in with Kwizgiver for her October blogging challenge.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl (1989)

1) In this song, Paula Abdul tells her boyfriend he's got to remember, she's forever his girl. How's your memory? Do you remember things easily or do you leave yourself notes and reminders?  I always thought my memory was pretty good, but since I had Covid in July I have trouble remembering the names of people or even what some random thing is called during conversations. Some days I think it's getting a bit better and other days...not so much. It's driving me nuts. I don't use notes because I never know what name I'm going to be unable to remember.

2) Paula reassures her lover that she can't be swayed by another man, even if he gave her diamonds or pearls. Tell us about a piece of jewelry that means something to you.  Well, my wedding ring did. It was braided white gold with little diamonds set in the braid. I haven't seen it since my cat stole it several months ago. I guess I could tell you about something else, so I choose my grandmother's little, gold, heart locket. She wanted a locket very badly and no one ever got her one so she bought it herself. When we cleaned out her home they gave it to me as it has a photo of my grandfather in one side and my son in the other. I never wear it, but it means a lot to me.
 
3) Paula is best known as one of the original judges of American Idol. Without looking it up, can you recall the men who sat on either side of her?  Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson

4) Paula has been dancing since age 8 and moves very well in heels. Tell us about your favorite shoes.  It's either my Vionic flip-flops or my Merrell clogs. Both are favorites because my feet hurt less in them than anything else.
 
5) A lifelong dancer, Paula admits she's not a trained singer. For this record, she worked with producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who won accolades for his work with singers including Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson. Who is your all-time favorite female singer?  Stevie Nicks
 
6) She advises young girls to "keep the faith and don't lose your gut instinct." How about you? Are you more logical or instinctive?  Instinctive. I'm not much for investigating and weighing options and choosing what makes sense. I generally choose what feels right.
 
7) Paula is excited that Richard Branson has chosen her song, "Straight Up" as the theme for his Virgin Galactic Spaceflight company. Would you like to orbit above the earth?  I would have jumped at the chance when I was younger, but now with children and grandchildren in my life...I'm not willing to risk it.

8) In 1989, when this song was a hit, the Sears Holiday Wish Book was big on  bathrobes. Men and women alike were tempted with brightly colored, belted robes with hoods and patch pockets. Tell us about your bathrobe.  It's a thick, fuzzy, fleece in a leopard print. I love a comfy bathrobe you can snuggle into.

9) Random question: What do you consider your best quality?  I don't know. I'm pretty good at letting go of stuff and forgiving people. I'm also good at staying calm in tough situations.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! I am so tickled to be linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand this morning for Thankful Thursday. It's been so LONG since she's been able to host the link up and it's great to see her back. (That would be thankful thing #1 today!)

In addition to the return of our hostess, this week finds me thankful...

** life has returned to normal after weeks of dealing with our daughter's health issues, finding out she has Lyme Disease, pretty much stepping in as substitute mom while she wasn't able to take care of the kiddos, and their family's vacation.

This week finds our daughter feeling much better and taking over the mothering duties again and the kids back in school and getting back on a regular schedule...and me having time to myself. (That is very necessary to my introverted soul. I need time to recharge emotionally.)

** for a girl's night with a few of the women from my former Bible study group. It was so fun to get together and catch up with each other's lives, pray together, and encourage each other (in this world, we each have situations in our lives much in need of prayer). We also got to enjoy some of the best apple pie I've ever had. Yum!

** I was able to convince two of the women from that group to join me in reading Ruth Chou Simon's book When Strivings Cease so they can join me at my church in November when the women get together for a night of fellowship, food, and discussing the book.

** for another great session of the small group I'm part of this year. I'm loving getting to know one of the elders and his family better and I really appreciate his wisdom and insights.

** that a dear friend of mine, after hearing about our daughter's health issues, saw many similarities to her own problems and contacted her doctor about the possibility of being infected with Lyme Disease. The blood test is pending but her doctor went ahead and started her on antibiotics since she is leaving on vacation this Sunday.

** for season 2 of Sweet Magnolias on Netflix. Now if I could only learn not to binge the whole season in two days. 

** a great weekend with family...an auction with my mom and stepdad, an anniversary dinner for our daughter and her husband, a sleepover with the grandchildren, and a Sunday relaxing with my husband.

** for pumpkin pie creamer for my tea.

** for beautiful, colder fall weather so I can start making more savory dishes again and also wear my favorite clothes.

** the crew installing the new drainage system in my neighborhood is finally making progress and has moved around the corner and away from our street. To be fair they've had to pound their way through solid rock the entire way and it's been slow going, but it is really nice not to have that constant pounding going on so close to the house. Now if they'd just fill in the big hole in the front yard...

** that God loves each one of us so much that he planned for us and knew us before the world began. He's had a plan for our lives all that time. It just lays me out when I think that when He answers even the tiniest of my prayers, it means that He has been working all circumstances, weaving them together, building on them, since the beginning of time so that everything would be in perfect order to give me that answer. How incredible is that?!

** for my family, my friends, my faith, and my country...and all that comes along with those things.

** and, of course, for all of you!


Dear friends in Florida, I pray you are all safe from the storm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Falling Into Books & Tuesday 4's Fall This & That

I had planned to go out with a friend today, but she isn't feeling well and after seeing her doctor yesterday, it's looking like she has Lyme disease (yes, it is a real problem in our area). Anyway, she just doesn't feel up to going out, but I am going to visit her this evening. Her husband is going to make apple pie and serve it with cinnamon ice cream. Yum!

Since I have unexpected time on my hands I'm going to join in with the Tuesday 4 gang and I've stolen a fun book idea from blogging friend, Deb @ A Day in the Life.


Books A to Z

I've actually read these posts in a few other places since seeing Deb's, but she was the first. I love reading and reading about what books other's are reading and enjoying. If you think this is fun, I hope you'll jump in the fun, too.

Author you've read the most books from: I've read a lot of book series, but if I had to guess, I've read more Janet Evanovich than any other single author since I've read all the Stephanie Plum books, all of the other series she's started, and all of her stand alone books.

Best sequel: Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. Backman is an exquisite writer. His writing is breathtaking. I have never come across another author who captures the human condition better.

Currently reading: Kilt at the Highland Games a cozy mystery in the Liss MacCrimmon series by Kaitlyn Dunnett.

Drink choice while reading: Diet Coke when it's warm out and some flavor of herbal tea when it's cold.

E-reader or physical book: I do have a Kindle with quite a few books on it and I use it in fits and spurts, but on the whole I greatly prefer a physical book in my hands. I love the feel and smell of a book.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school: I can't think of one right off hand, but pick a bad boy with a heart of gold. That would have been the one I would have been drawn to.

Glad you gave this book a chance: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women. I had not heard about the women who worked in the factories during WWI painting watches and airplane dials with radium, nor about the radium poisoning they were afflicted with and the horrific health issues and deaths they suffered. The book was a real eye opener.

Hidden gem: I've mentioned it before, but Lottery by Patricia Wood. It's a beautifully written story about Perry L. Crandall, who has some developmental disabilities and with an IQ of 76 he's an easy target for people to pick on. His grandmother does her best to teach him and equip him to deal with such people and life. When she dies and a lottery ticket she and Perry had bought is a winner, readers see just what Perry is capable of. It is heartwarming and inspiring.

Important moment in your reading life: That would be when my fourth grade teacher made us read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. My 9 year old self was completely captivated and I went on to read not only all the rest of Henry's horse books, but many others as well. When I found out it was a basically true story and that Chincoteague was a real place...getting there became a life goal for me. It finally happened in my 20's and I have been there several times since. It all culminated in 2013 when I finally was there for the famous Pony Swim and watched it beside a member of the Bebe family who patiently answered all my questions.

Just finished: Growing Up in Mr. Roger's Real Neighborhood: Life Lessons from the Heart of Latrobe, PA by Chris Rodell

Kind of books I won’t read: I hate to say won't because you never know what circumstances might lead you to something, but in general, I don't like to read sci-fi, dystopian works, horror, or anything too explicit in either violence or sex.

Longest book you’ve read: I don't know page counts, but among the top contenders...The Holy Bible, Roots by Alex Haley, Gone With the Wind, Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell, and Greg Iles' Mississippi Blood.

Major hangover because of: (What book has stayed with me the longest) Misty of Chincoteague for all the reasons I mentioned above.

Number of cases you own: I have 5 bookcases. One holds all my Bibles and religious books, one holds beautifully bound classics, and the other three hold collections of my favorite authors and books I've yet to read.

One book you’ve read multiple times: Other than the Bible, Little Women is one I go back to fairly often.

Preferred place to read: Snuggled up on the sofa with my pup and my kitty.

Quote that inspires you, or gives you all the feels, from a book you’ve read: “Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.”  Fredrik Backman, Beartown

Reading regret: Not keeping better records of what I've read. It's not unusual for me to buy a used book, sit down to read it...and realize I've already read it at some point in the past.

Series you started and need to finish: Several cozy mystery series. Since I buy most of them used, I rarely start with book one and have to keep looking for the others and fill in the gaps as I can.

Three of your all-time favorite books:

  • The Holy Bible I read some of it every day and study it at great length.
  • Little Women
  • The Big Tidy Up (a children's book)

Unapologetic fan of: old books.

Very excited for this release (more than all the others): I don't really pay much attention to new releases. Most of my books are purchased used. However, I do make a point to pick up new Janet Evanovich and James Rollins books when they come out. Right now I am actually looking forward to The Winners, book 3 in Fredrik Backman's Beartown series. It comes out today.

Worst bookish habit: buying more books before I've read the huge stack I already have.

X marks the spot - start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: The bookcase with the antique books and classics is the closest one to me so it's The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Your latest book purchase: I recently purchased two old history books at an auction.

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up late): All of them. I stay up late, anyway, and I read before bed.


Tuesday 4

1. Do lower temperatures bother you or make you uncomfortable and are you more of a warm climate person?  I am more of a moderate person. I don't like to be too hot or too cold. These temperatures right now that range from the 40's to the 60's are great!

2.  Do you like the colors associated with Autumn. Clothing wise do they look good on you?  Autumn colors are my favorites. My house is mostly decorated in them. I do wear a good bit of autumn colors with the exception of yellow. I don't think I look good in it at all.

3. Would you rather: 

  •   … get lost in a corn maze or go on a hayride?  Probably the corn maze, but at our fairgrounds you can do both.
  • … visit an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch?  An apple orchard.
  •  … eat a caramel apple or a candy apple?   A caramel apple because I'm afraid a candy apple would do a number on my crowns.
  •  …Cinnamon buns or Pumpkin muffins?  Pumpkin flavored anything wins hands down!
4. There are 7,500 varieties of apple.  What is your favorite and do you like apple pie?  My favorite apple is the Gala. It's just the right amount of sweet and tart. I will eat apple pie, but pie isn't really a favorite of mine. Pumpkin pie would be the exception.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

My Weekend & My Auction Wins

This first weekend of fall has been a wonderful one filled with family time. The weather was not bad. It was cool...okay...it was cold yesterday morning, but it was sunny and it did warm up. Today was warmer, but it has rained much of the day.

I was up early on Saturday and bundled up to go with my mom and step-father to an auction. The items being sold were much of the art and some of the antiques and collectibles from the estate of a man my parents had known since the 1970's. We knew he was a collector, but Saturday's sale was to move enough things out of the home to have another auction next Saturday. The auctioneer said there was nothing but a path through the house. So, technically, I suppose he was a hoarder, but he hoarded very high end things.

So many paintings and prints (most signed and numbered). Some, even though they were by very well known artists, went for very affordable prices, on the cheap side, actually. The paintings were a different story. They were large and in absolutely incredible frames...museum quality. Some of those sold for thousands of dollars.

To my surprise, I was able to purchase a few items. I got two older books. One is about Pennsylvania history and the other about Pennsylvania genealogies. Additionally, I brought home the following:

This small (8 x 10) oil painting.


This small original Currier & Ives print. The auctioneer didn't mention it was Currier & Ives or it would have sold for much more than the $4 I paid for it.


The most expensive things I bought were two large, beautifully framed Audubon prints. One of Blue Jays and one of owls. It was actually a collection of 8 prints and I had the winning bid. I was able to choose which ones I wanted or take them all (the bid price was per piece). They were lovely, but I have no where to put that many large prints. I'm going to have to do some rearranging to accommodate the two I did get.



Saturday evening we took our daughter and son-in-law (and the grands) out to their favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, which was on Friday. After dinner the grands rode home with us and spent the night.

Leah's adorable "Jesus & George Strait" outfit.


Today I woke up long before everyone else, but had a headache and felt achy. I felt kind of yucky all day, but I think it's just allergies or sinus issues due to the change in the weather. I was supposed to staff the church nursery today, but called off for that. I really didn't feel up to it and just in case it was something more serious I didn't want to expose the babies.

Pappy made the kiddos their usual Sunday morning pancakes and played games with them while I stood under a hot shower (hoping to feel better). In the afternoon we went to Sam's Club to look around. We got a few things we needed and I picked up a couple of little items for Christmas gifts. 

I had an "episode" while we were there. It's not unusual for me to get what I suspect is low blood sugar when I am out shopping. I get a weird jittery on the inside feeling and my hands will visibly shake. I know if I eat or drink something it will go away. It's been happening on and off since I was in my 20's. I have been tested many times and my sugar is always fine. Today was the worst it's ever been. I had all the usual symptoms, but also broke out in a cold sweat and felt like I was going to pass out. I left Tim in line to checkout and went to get something to eat at the snack bar, but it took a while to feel better. 

Once we got home and got our Sam's Club haul put away we both just rested. Tim watched one of his crime shows and napped. I read for a while and finally fell asleep for a bit, myself. I've felt more like myself since then.

Megan and the kids were over this evening because there is some kind of problem with a pipe at their house and the tub isn't draining so the kids got their showers here. It's back to school for them tomorrow after being at the beach all last week. They are so excited to go back!

This week I have some business to take care of, I want to work on organizing a couple of spaces I haven't gotten to yet, put away the outside summer decorations and get the fall ones out, continue the job search, and our nephew from Alabama is going to be in town with his family at the end of the week.

October Blog Challenge: Day 3

Today's prompt:  Write the beginning of a scary story and let blog readers decide what happens next. She sat huddled under a blanket, ha...