Tuesday, May 7, 2013
That’s pretty much how I feel.
So, I’ve read 10 books this month. We are 5 months into this year and I’ve read 10 books. Horrible, just horrible. It should be at least 20 but my reading slump has been horrific, it’s been long (stretching at least into last year if not going on two years), and it’s been hard on me. Hmmm, you know, there could be a link between the head/emotional battles and the lack of reading.
So, this weekend I finished the ARC (advance reader’s copy) of The Broken Places by Ace Atkins. Short summary: good book but start at the beginning of this wonderful series. This book is due at the end of May and I won a copy from the publisher. Read my review on Goodreads.
Books I’ve read here recently included our book club book; The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and Freedom Summer by Bruce Watson. I’ve added the Bruce Watson book to the book club list.
I’ve started-okay I picked up at work my newest book. Yes, AK is still over there on the sidebar haunting me. I can only take a few pages a day of Russian drama. And I should have the new Prey book-Silken Prey-in my hot little hands in the next couple of days.
Oh yeah, more happy dance!
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Weather So how was your weekend? Tulsa had a sorta cool, wet, overcast Saturday. Man, Sunday, though, was gorgeous with temps reaching the 80’s.
Social I had both days off this weekend, and hubs took Saturday off so we had the rare full weekend off together. Next time this will happen is probably 4-6 months away. We also had a Saturday BBQ at my mom’s to celebrate my youngest sisters birthday. We all ate too much and then ate cake.
We built great big things; made ungodly technological advances.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Also, been working on a post about Project Life. Unfortunately that is turning into a novella. If you haven’t heard about Project Life (PL, as I call it) it is a simplified way of scrapbooking. Becky Higgins created PL and has lots of information of her site. I heard about the site through Ali Edwards. PL was originally a way to scrap a photo a day project. It has evolved and lends itself to evolving to what you need to scrap. While a traditional 12x12 scrap book is overwhelming, expensive, and time consuming; PL is definitely doable. I am going to share later this week my method of doing PL. And I promise, I will make it way smaller than a novella
On to the pages to share with you guys.
10 Numbers You Must Have in your Phone-this is something I had in my Evernote files for a long time. As I have been working on reading/cleaning/erasing things I came across this and I sat down and did this! Now, I don’t need airline reservation number in my phone-I’ve never flown in my life and really don’t think I will to be honest. I did add the locksmith, the tow truck, the insurance hotline number, and my debit card lost card number (I also don’t have a credit card or that would have been added). Took me maybe 20 minutes and could potentially save me down the road.
Gokicker has become one of my fave new sites to help break down and analyze news events.This article on Justin Bieber and his comments at the Anne Frank Muesum is one great example. While I initially thought he was a douchebag, I realize that millions of teen girls could be exposed to Anne Frank and her legacy. So while I still think what he did was insensitive at least there’s the potential for some good. And by the way, don't schools still teach Diary of Anne Frank?
Carrie remake is coming and at first I was all rolling my eyes and thinking Hollywood doesn't have an original bone left. Then the trailer came out and I think I am going to go see this. After finally reading the book last fall, this looks like it maybe a bit more in line with the book than the original movie. We shall see.
My schedule at work has gotten wonky so I am off today. After getting groceries, working on digitization of more recipes (almost done!), and cleaning of the kitchen table it's time to sit and get some overdue library movies watched.
Have a fantastic day!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Banana Bread (family recipe), twice
Cream Cheese Cranberry Pound Cake
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Banana Coffee Cake, three times
Pineapple Cake (family recipe)
Nutmeg Snack Cake (don't know where I got the recipe!)
Mocha Spice Cake (from a Maxwell House cookbook)
Dog treats (photocopied from unknown recipe book)
Chocolate pound cake (photocopied from unknown recipe book), twice
Banana Split Muffins
Pumpkin Spice cake (Good Housekeeping recipe but can't find online)
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies (peanut butter, sugar, egg, salt-simple and easy!)
Lemon Bars (unknown where I got this-but it rocks), twice
Cinnamon Loaf, three times
Spice Cake (from community cookbook)
Honey Bread (leave out the cinnamon and you have a fantastic simple white bread)
Chocolate chip cookies, twice
PB Sandwich Cookies
Brown Sugar Coffee Cake
Watergate Cake (pistachio cake from the 70s)
Oatmeal Cake (from a community cookbook)
Maple Cinnamon Bread (this was just okay for us)
Black Magic Cake
Double Chip Bars aka Sin Bars
Mississippi Mud Cake (recipe photocopied from unknown cookbook)
Lots of stuff from my files but I wanted stuff I knew would work. If you would like any of these, let me know as I can either post them or email them to you.
Monday, April 1, 2013
As I have posted previously, I spent Lent baking everyday (but Sundays). 40 days of baking and giving away goodies. Missed two days and had one failure. Not bad at all, if I say so myself. I went through something like 20 pounds of sugar, 25 pounds of flour, 2 bottles of cinnamon, and had to buy more baking powder (who runs out of baking powder-that stuff is like the neverending bottle!). So, it’s easy to see what my favorite spice is and I’m out of vanilla.
While I love baking, and still do, I am done baking at that intensity for a while. We have a co-worker leaving us this week, so I will bake something for him-thinking Texas sheet cake. I’m thinking about the cheesecake dip that was all over Pinterest a while back next week since I had a co-worker request cheesecake but I didn’t get to it.
With all the baking I’ve been doing, I haven’t been blogging. I’m stuck on Anna Karenina and can’t seem to pick up a good pick to read with that one. I haven’t conquered my book club book at all, bad me.
I have been keeping on top of housework-which isn’t me at all. More days than not, my dishes are washing as I head to bed. Keeping up with the laundry, and I keep trying to do little things for just a few minutes a day.
I have been dealing with some arm/shoulder tenderness, fatigue, pain, discomfort and numb fingers. Both X-Ray and MRI have come out good so I am headed to a neurologist for an EMG-a test of the nerves in my arm.
With not reading, lots of baking, and some pain-late February into March has me feeling a little off in some ways. I had filed my paperwork to take April 1st (and the 7th) off in early January for baseball. Then in mid-March discovered that Grandma was having a 80th birthday party this past Sunday.
I razzed my mom about not being home to cook Easter dinner but the wheels were put in motion and I started contemplating “going home” that weekend. Chris put in his request from both jobs and we got the clearance early last week to make plans to go back.
We went down on Saturday, stayed two nights in Clinton Missouri, and visited Grandma on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We had Easter dinner with mom and dad, grandma, and one of my sisters on Saturday. Sunday was crazy with family-lots of cousins and kids of my cousins. Good to see everyone together.
We “putzed” home today dipping down to Branson and taking some time at Table Rock Lake before taking a drive down into Arkansas and hitting Highway 412 for the return trip to Tulsa. Long, long day in the car but it was worth it too see the beginning of trees blooming and green fields.
I have to say, between being back in Missouri and the end of Baked Blessing, I am ready to conquer some things in April. Get back on track with decluttering and simplifying. Watch some baseball (April 1st is Opening Day!). Finish taking down my snowflake garland and pack up my snowdoll (yep, I’m a little late with that).
Any big plans as spring unfolds?
Sunday, March 10, 2013
In my quest to simplify this year, I have picked up a few books at the library. Most of them sit on the nightstand waiting for me to pick them up, but I had a smaller book that made it’s way into the bathroom. 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need by Sam Davidson was a book that I had flipped through but then start at the beginning. Now I am not a big introduction reader-I’ll skim mostly through it. However, this intro has changed my life.
Your passions will change. First of all, think of your passions like best friends-you’ll have a few throughout your life time and the best ones will stick with you, transcending age and geography…Your passions will be the same. Some may exist only for a season, right when you need them most. Others will grip you and be a part of your life forever. It will be okay to let go of ones that are no longer compatible. And it will be okay to stake a claim on those that touch you deep within.
Emphasis is mine.
There’s more from this introduction but this is where the light bulb went off in my head.
It’s okay to let go…whether it’s passions, beliefs, ideas, or habits. It’s okay to let go.
Think about that for a second. All that quilting or embroidery material you have stashed in a closet-you can let it go if it’s no longer a passion. The idea that you have to withstand a horrible marriage because of vows-you can let it go. The messy house you live in-you can let go of those habits that lead to the mess.
Who I am is built on who I was but is not dictated but who I was. I can change the course of my life. I can make better choices. I can let go of what I am not passionate about. I can let go of the poor habits and build good habits.
I am capable of change. I am capable of choosing to change. I am capable of choosing to let go of old passions, ideas, and habits and chase new passions, ideas, and habits.
This weekend, I have been consciously asking myself, “What choice am I making? Is this the best choice right now? Is there something I can change?”
As for me, I choose to no longer live in a messy bedroom. The room will be picked up when hubs leaves for work tonight and I will make better choices about where I put/leave things in the room.
I will make better choices when I eat, drink, and exercise. I choose to be healthier, stronger, and thinner. It’s no longer a thought pattern of “If I eat right most of the week/meals and exercise a couple times of week I’ll eventually see results.” It’s a moment by moment choice of seeking better options. Of working out instead vegging out.
It’s been so exciting to wake up in the morning and think, “I can and I will change my choices that I make today.” I am not trying to change the rest of my life but just today. Today will be full of better choices.
The past couple of years have been mentally and emotionally tough. Then, this year my word is simplify. Not only my possessions, but my time, energy, passion, desires. I can look back and see where God is leading me through a time of shedding my skin like a snake. I am letting loose of who I was and learning to make different choices, have different passions, and pursue new prospects.
It seems that I have been stuck in a rut for a long time. Wanting change but not willing to change anything. And that is the definition of insanity. Bouncing your head off of a wall hoping to make a door is only going to give you a headache. You have to tear down the walls, move the crap you have piled up in front, and take that step in faith that while change is scary its also necessary.
Yep, this post has been deeper than most of my posts. However, I hope my epiphany can perhaps make you think a bit. What are some passions you would like to pursue and what can you give up to pursue them?
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I'm continuing to work on my word of the year which is simplify. It seems this week, I am in the kitchen. Sunday night I worked on my physical recipes which are kept in these binders:
When I was done I had a mess! This ended up being two paper bags full of recipes that I tossed. Boy, that felt good!
- I picked through the fridge; I still need to wipe down the shelves and cut up some of the veggies in there for easier snacking options.
- I have uploaded quite a few favorite printed recipes into Pepperplate. I am intent on going paperless in the kitchen. I always have my iPad in the kitchen, so it makes sense to load my recipes into an app to have handy. Plus, with Pepperplate on my phone I can check ingredients wherever I am at the moment.
- I have also done some rearranging in the kitchen. I bought some containers and gone through almost all of my cabinets. This was my pantry cabinet before the rearrange-it's no wonder things felt lost and out of whack. I don't have any after pics and I'm too lazy to get up and go do that. However, with just a few moments, I had it back to ship shape.
I still have a couple of cabinets left-those with my bowls, mixers, casserole pans, miscellaneous pans (including but not limited to my spring form pan and Bundt pan). I am going to pull all these down tonight, decide what to put up and what to give away. After I am done, it's time to get out the orange oil and wipe down the cabinets.
Yesterday, we made a run to Chouteau, OK to the Amish Cheese House and Bakery. Yep, spent too much but I love the trip. It's a nice 30 minute drive up Highway 412 and yesterday was gorgeous day for a drive.
Once we got back in Tulsa, birthday dinner was at Outback Steakhouse with my parents. I still have leftovers in the fridge! It was after midnight before I got my birthday pie-cherry pie from the Amish. This was fantastic pie-I forgot just how good pie could be when it's done by hand by those who know how to make crust.
So much more I wanted to get done this week, but I have to take mom to her doctor's appointment tomorrow. And I want to just sit and watch a couple of movies. I have a couple of baseball movies and some scrap booking to do. That may be what I get done Friday evening while Chris is working. Saturday, my dad is going to come over and get my toilets working again-we're a little redneck at the moment. Although this is technically a low-key weekend, I feel like it's been a busy one!
Do you take a week of to stay home and get things done? Do you have a vacation planned for this year?
Thursday, February 14, 2013
I bought hubby a little something something and he has my gift (plus I've been a good girl and not looked!) so we are set for tomorrow. The downside is that I work 3 pm-7 pm and he works 4 pm-9pm plus going into his regular job by 10 pm. Not much romance time but I am off next week.
To me Valentines is just good for the half price day after sales. Between baseball starting up and my birthday (on the 19th!), it's just a day of chocolate :) Besides, anyone else notice all the Easter candy? We have 40 days to Easter-you'd think we could get through one holiday before retailers hit us up for another. I wonder sometimes if that's one of the reasons we're all stressed out. Retailers constantly pushing us forward-season to season, holiday to holiday. Just watch, before Easter is here the summer stuff will be out. Don't know about you guys but it's too cold to think about swimsuits and flotation devices just yet!
Wednesday kicked off the Lenten season. Youversion has some Lent readings if you're interested or inclined. If you're still casting about, contemplating what to do/give up/give away/or take on for Lent you might check out Rachel Held Evans Lent post from 2012 and this years post-I'm still combing through the great comments. I really liked these 9 Things to give up. Oh, and a great Lent prayer-I need to post this on my fridge for the next 40 days. And that is just a drop in the bucket. If you're still looking for ideas Google is always an option and today's (February 14th) Google Doodle is pretty sweet.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Yes, this cake is fantastic and it'll use up my last bag of cranberries in the freezer. Plus the red cranberries compliment the holiday. This may be one of the few times I color coordinate my food to the holiday.
So, big plans for today or just low-key?
Sunday, February 10, 2013
If you know me at all, you'll know that I am an avid St Louis Cardinal fan. Tuesday marks the official Pitchers/Catchers Report-in Day. Although, a lot of players are already in Florida working out. I can't tell you how excited I am baseball is starting back up.
I've been watching baseball movies since there are no games. I've been compiling a list of baseball movies to watch and been slowly getting through them. Saw some new ones-Alibi Ike, was really good-and some repeats-Bang the Drum Slowly, Field of Dreams. There was two specific movies that I wanted to see this year-Cobb and Eight Men Out. I can't believe I haven't seen Eight Men Out yet as it was directed by one of my favorite directors-John Sayles. Plus a cast that included Charlie Sheen, John Cusack, and David Strathairn. Cobb stars Tommy Lee Jones as Ty Cobb-one of the most hated men in baseball. Which reminds me-I really need to read a bio on Cobb.
I always make a prediction as to who is going to the World Series for the past couple of years. Last year I predicted Cards vs Detroit and it was Giants vs Detroit. In 2011 I predicted Cards vs Detroit and it was Cards vs Rangers. So I bat about .500 in picking the series contender. So this year, I feel like Detroit and the Cards are going to make big pushes to the post season but in the end it's going to be a West Coast Matchup. It's going to be Anaheim Angels and LA Dodgers this year. Or at least one team will be in the Series.
Anybody else big baseball fans?
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Only problem-I'm inching my way through Anna Karenina and have nothing bookish to write about. In fact, I'm quite happily poking along a few pages a night.
So, with me not having to write on book topics, we are going to explore other topics. I have no idea yet, but February is gonna be interesting. I have a few movies to recommend already. I will cover my new TV obsession. I do need to blog tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday to meet this weeks goal.
One more thing, if you read this and you're local (Tulsa, OK area) I'm doing something for Lent that you might be interested in. I'm calling it 40 Days of Baked Blessings. Yes, I am going to bake my way through Lent this year. I am making a list of people who like to be blessed and what dessert or flavor they want. Filling 40 blessings though is hard. So if you would like to be blessed sometime between February 13 and March 30th, email me and I'll add you to the list.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I check FB the minute I wake up-allowing what people post to set the tone for my day vs me setting the tone.
I check FB while sitting down with every meal.
When I get to work.
When I get a break at work.
When I get home from work.
At least every hour while on the computer at home.
When I can't sleep.
I think I may check it in the bathroom to be honest.
The sad thing is, my feed doesn't update that often. I'm just hitting repeat.
Recently, it's been mostly links, ecards, and snarky picture quotes.
I've been really thinking about how and where FB fits into my life. How much does FB influence my attitude, my thought process, and my decisions?
I have a younger co-worker who isn't on FB and it doesn't bother him at all. I admire that-the ability to say no to a social networking community.
I've been thinking a lot about just deactivating my account. Unfortunately, my family has a private family page so that's not really an option.
So for now, I am going to turn off notifications on my iPad. I am just going to let my newsfeed roll on by without me.
If there's any big news, I'm sure I'll be told of it.
It's time to turn off Facebook.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
My mom had knee replacement surgery that went well on Monday. She came home on Wednesday and seems glad to be home. Now, we face physical therapy and getting mom on her feet again. I'm just glad she is doing well.
One of my goals this year, is to complete/finish up/get current on series I read. My favorite way to track my series is through Fictfact (see the tab titled "Where Else to find me" for a link). I have a lot of series or trilogies that I have read part but not all of the books. So, I moved all my nearly done series to the top and got my first series done.
PL Gaus writes a Amish mystery series that is rather cozy. It's not Janette Oke or Christian fiction, but it's not as dark as Linda Castillo's Amish series. I enjoyed the first couple of books, then hit a hiccup with not liking a book in the series. However, the last two have been enjoyable. Harmless as Doves was the most current book in the series and my review is on Goodreads.
I really wasn't going to read Janet Evanovich's nineteenth entry in Stephanie Plum series. Then someone donated a hardback copy. For a dollar, I had my own copy of the book and it lived in my bathroom for a couple of weeks. It's utterly ridiculous-pure fluff for the brain. However, this one is a little better written than some of her past efforts. Yes, Stephanie's car ends up blown up, Ranger flirts, she loves Morelli, Grandma and Lula are over the top. This isn't James Joyce-but it can be a fun romp. My only question is-does Evanovich have an exit plan with the series or are we going to forever be going back and forth with her and the guys in her lives?
As for what I am reading now, well it's a book on women and the church and I picked up Anna Karenina. Seriously, what am I thinking? At the rating that I am going AK will be finished in November. I was pursuing my shelves one day between books and upon seeing AK I thought, nah I don't want to read that right now. Then the thought hit, "If not now, when?" So a couple of days later, I pulled it down and have been dabbling. I may not make my reading goals for this year, but I may be able to say that I finished AK.
Any reading goals for the year? What are you currently reading?