Happy Fourth of July!

My poor neglected blog!  I really need to make more time for posting.

First and most importantly, our youngest son turned 21 on Wednesday.  My baby is no longer a baby.  Okay, so he hasn’t been a baby in some time, but STILL…..  We are so proud of the man he has become and I look forward to seeing what is ahead for him.

Here’s a picture of my handsome 21-year-old.  I’m his mama.  I’m allowed to call him handsome.  Andy is the one on the right.  The other handsome lug on my left is our oldest son.  His birthday is at the end of this month so he’ll get a post of his own then; this is Andy’s post!  This picture was taken at the 5K last October.  Unfortunately it’s the latest one I have of him.  I need to fix that…

Happy 21st birthday, Andy!

usat5K

I have been walking/jogging again but by myself.  My friend and I took a break from walking because we both got very busy, but I started up again because I missed it.  This morning’s walk was not very pleasant though.  A car hit a deer in the road in front of me and the poor deer was struggling.  When I came upon the scene a lady was crying, and I assumed she had hit the deer, but she was another walker that I soon recognized from previous mornings.  The driver who hit the deer had driven off, but eventually came back just as everyone was leaving the scene.  I can’t understand why they drove off.  The sight of the dying deer was very upsetting for all of us and we all felt helpless.  A bystander called the police to put it out of its misery, but they took forever to get there and the deer died while we were waiting for the police.  After everyone left I continued on my way, but I was crying too.  It was really pitiful and sad to watch him struggle and not be able to help him.

Today I walked/ran 4.32 miles.

I took this picture on Thursday morning when I fit in a walk between the rain showers.  The sun was just a ball in the sky and only stayed that way long enough for me to take the picture, then disappeared behind clouds again.

suninclouds

We had a yard sale two weeks ago.  It was a modest success.  We are having another one on 07/25 and we know what we can do differently this time and hopefully it will go better.  We have even more stuff to sell this time around.  In all we probably have enough stuff here for three or four yard sales, so we are going to space them out as we can access the things to sell them.  They are so packed away that we have to get to everything in layers!

No cookie orders lately, and that’s okay because between preparing for the yard sale and working, I’ve been pretty busy.

So that’s my update.  Happy Fourth of July to everyone.  I hope everyone has a nice holiday and a nice weekend :)

 

 

The Undertaker’s Wife by Dee Oliver – Book Review

undertakerswife

I really enjoyed this book!  I read it in two days, which is why it so closely follows my last book review.

The Undertaker’s Wife is a memoir written by Dee Oliver.  She writes about meeting her husband, Johnnie, and their subsequent marriage and his subsequent sudden death.  Johnnie Oliver’s family owned a funeral home for generations and after his death, Dee goes to school for her mortuary license but finds that she is not welcome into the family funeral business any longer.

What follows is her discovery of her strength in being a widow and a woman in the mortuary field.  Dee writes with both humor and seriousness as she tells her story.  She also gives tips about how to deal with death from two perspectives, as she has been both the funeral home worker and also the “widow in the front row.”  Please read this book; you will laugh and probably cry, but you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins – Book Review

artofwork

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins was an enjoyable read, although I had some difficulty getting through it.  I found the stories of successful people in the book inspirational, and how they overcame obstacles to be successful, but the book seemed to move slowly and for me anyway, was a little tedious to finish.  It says on the cover, “A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do.”  Again, as far as inspiration goes, this book does not fall short, but as for a path, I had trouble finding that in the book.

Perhaps this book could be useful if you really had no clue where you were headed or what your profession should be, but I found the information a bit scattered and hard to follow.

I know that Mr. Goins put a lot into writing this book, and I’m sure there are those who will benefit from it, but I didn’t find it helpful.  Even if you don’t need to find your direction in life, you will find the stories inspirational, and if you enjoy reading stories like that, you will enjoy this book.

Where is May going?!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s so far into May already.  Fall will be here again before I know it!

I finished the cookies for the pre-K graduation.  Unfortunately, 5 of them were broken on arrival.  The customer who ordered them was very nice and was willing to give one child a broken cookie (they had ordered a few extra), but I couldn’t let that happen.  I had extras packaged up just in case so I overnighted five more to her and – Praise the Lord – they all arrived intact.  I have never had cookies break before, but I think I’ve figured out what I did differently this time, and know not to pack them that way again.  Here are some pictures of the cookies that I made for them.  This picture was taken before I put colored sugar in the middle.  These were custom ordered in rainbow colors, with colored sugar centers.  Clicking on the picture will enlarge it – the pictures were hogging the page so I made them smaller.

flowercookies

finishedcookies

All packaged and ready to ship.

wrappedcookies

And the customer sent me a picture of the favors they made for the children with the cookies.  How cute is this?!

cookiefavor

Today I finally planted my garden.  The plants I bought have been sitting looking sad.  They are looking happier now that they are planted.  I’ll try to get a picture of that tomorrow.

My neighbor and I are still walking/jogging every morning, and now we have another lady joining us.  It’s fun, and the miles go by quickly.

Well, that’s about it for today.  I’m off to finish one more report for work, then I’m going to sit on the deck and enjoy a cup of decaf.

Happy Wednesday :)

 

Busy Times

Please accept my apologies for disappearing from blogland.  Things have been really busy for me lately.  Here’s a brief recap of everything that’s been going on in my world.  I haven’t uploaded any pictures yet, so I’ll be writing about these things in more depth and posting pictures in future posts.  These are the happenings since I wrote last (in chronological order):

My friend and I have been walking pretty consistently early every morning, and – believe it or not – random jogging is breaking out, too!

My sister and I went to see Tobymac and Mandisa in concert.  We had a GREAT time.   Two middle-aged ladies clapping, singing and dancing?  I’m sure it was a sight, but there were people of all ages there and we were all having a good time, so we were okay with it!

Then work exploded for me.  I haven’t been at my desk this many hours a day for a very long time.  That isn’t a complaint!  I consider it a blessing and I am thankful, because I really do love my work.

Then, I got a cookie order from a preschool in Minnesota for their graduation ceremony.  I will be baking, decorating and shipping those out this coming week.

And last week my sister and I went to see Matthew West in concert.  That was really a great show.  My sister summed it up perfectly when she said it was more like a revival than a concert.  If you ever get a chance to see him in concert, please, please go.  You won’t regret it.  Oh, and since I’m sure my sister would want you to know, she touched Matthew West’s shoulder as he walked by.  So you don’t think she’s weird and did it on purpose, he was walking through the audience high-fiving everyone and since my sister was at the end of the aisle, she had her hand out but he turned to high five the people across the aisle from her and in turning brushed her hand.

Let’s see….did I cover everything?  I think so.  As I mentioned above, I will be posting pictures soon.  I hope you all forgive me for disappearing, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Happy Friday :)

 

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday to ya!  I’m just popping in here quickly so no one thinks I’ve gone away forever.  Not much new is going on around here.  I got back on track with my eating and exercise, though.  Let’s just say that my holiday eating indiscretions lasted well into March……

I’ve been enjoying the weather.  I’m not quite ready for winter to be over yet, so I’m enjoying the warm days interspersed with the cold ones.  Makes life interesting.  I’m thinking about my garden now, though.  I never cleaned it up from last year.  I’d like to get out there this weekend and do that so that I can plant some lettuce.  The rabbits around here will probably thank me.

Work has been fairly busy.  I haven’t gotten any new cookie orders lately, but I want to make some new spring cookies to share with friends.   I am waiting for the arrival of the latest book I’m reviewing.  In the meantime I’m reading about three other books; I always have multiple books going on at the same time.

I am really looking forward to this weekend.  My sister and I are going to see Tobymac and Mandisa in concert on Friday and spending the night at a hotel.  My niece and her friend are going too.  It’s going to be a good time.  My sister and I also  have tickets to see Matthew West in May.  It will just be the two of us for that, and we are hoping to make it a full weekend for just the two of us girls.  My sister is moving to Florida in July and we are cramming in as much time together as we can before then.  Even though she only lives an hour away now, we really didn’t see each other that much, although we are close and text and email fairly frequently.  Now that she’s moving away there feels like there is this urgency to spend time together.  Weird, huh?!

Sitting out on the deck with my coffee this morning I was treated to the local owl hooting good morning.  We have two owls that have lived around here for a few years now and it’s always a treat to hear them.  The owls hoot while it’s still dark, then around sunrise the birds start.  Usually a cardinal is the first one to sing in the morning, but this past week it has been  a robin who has started first.  Guess spring is on the way!

Well, that’s about it for my short update.  I just finished on the treadmill and took a break to write this.  Now I’m off to work and to make spaghetti sauce in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  I’m going to leave you with a picture of the sunrise I took a couple of mornings ago.  I took the picture standing on my front step.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday :)

sunrise

 

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe – Book Review

highergrounds

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, by Max Lucado with Candace Lee & Eric Newman, was a thoroughly enjoyable read.  It’s not a very long book at 189 pages, but I still read it in two days because it was THAT GOOD!  I found myself looking forward to being able to take a break from work to get back to the story to see what happens next.
In the story Chelsea Chambers is separated from her NFL-star husband and goes to live and work at the Higher Grounds Cafe, which her grandmother started and ran, and then Chelsea’s mother, and now Chelsea has inherited it.  After a slow start, people begin flocking to the cafe because of what seems to be a heavenly internet connection, only available at her cafe.  Her new employee, Manny, seems to be an answer to prayer and in fact, unbeknownst to Chelsea, has been sent to do a heavenly mission.  I don’t want to give away too much of the story so as not to spoil it for readers, so that’s all I’ll say about the storyline here.

I loved the perspectives in this book.  It made me think about what angels truly do and think, and how they interact with us here on the earth.  It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it for everyone.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Disclaimer:  I am a BookLook Blogger and receive books for review in exchange for an honest review.

Goodbye, snow….*sniff*

I REALLY enjoyed the last couple of snows we have had.  My snowman flag is doing it’s job!  The snow we got last week was wonderful.  It packed beautifully.  I threw a few snowballs at Jerry and was able to build a snowman!  The snow we got the other day was too powdery to really do anything with, but still beautiful to watch.  Here is my snowman – 0r, snowlady, actually.

snowlady

Also, our anniversary was at the end of February.  We have been married 33 years.  We didn’t do anything special; we enjoy every day together.

I just finished reading another book for review.  It’s a good one.  A short read and a nice story.

We are still making headway into the clutter that is in our house and garage – see this post (Random item #2 in the post) if you don’t remember what that was about.  That’s where the wig came from that is adorning my snowlady!  The hat too.  The scarf, however, is mine.

Well, that’s about it for my short update.  I hope everyone is having a lovely day :)

 

 

You Have A Brain by Ben Carson, MD – Book Review

drcarsonbook

 

This book’s full title is You Have A Brain, A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K.  B.I.G.  In this book Dr. Carson tells about his life and how he overcame many obstacles to become one of the leading neurosurgeons in the world.  Although the book is purportedly written for teens, I found it a great book and I believe it can be inspiring for anyone – no matter what your age may be.  I had first heard of Dr. Carson when I saw the movie, Gifted Hands, on Netflix, so I couldn’t wait to read this book, already having been inspired by Dr. Carson through the movie.  The T.H.I.N.K.  B.I.G. portion of the title is an acronym for points he makes about living well, doing your best and achieving your goals.

Dr. Carson and his brother were raised in a single-parent home by their mother.  She was the inspiration for them to do better and make something of themselves.  The phrase ‘You Have A Brain’ which became the title of this book, was something that Dr. Carson’s mother would tell them in order to encourage them to make right choices.

Dr. Ben Carson is an inspiration to anyone who thinks their goals are unachievable because of background, race, home situation, etc.  Dr. Carson not only proved that anyone can overcome anything and become anything they want to be, he did it with integrity and character, managing to achieve his goals without ever compromising his standards.  This book is truly a good read and will inspire you.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

A Wonderful Surprise!

I just had to write and share what arrived in Saturday’s mail from my blogger friend, Happyone.

SLIPPERS!  These are the warmest, most toastiest (is that a word?) slippers I have ever worn.  And in my favorite colors, too!  Happyone wrote about them in this post and posted a picture of them here, but she knows a lot of people and I didn’t know how many Karens she knew, so I was surprised and happy to find the slippers in my mailbox.

Thumbs up for warm, cozy, hand-knit, beautiful slippers.  Thank you, Karen :)

slippers1