Thursday, June 30, 2016

UGH!!

I am having TERRIBLE issues with this blog site!! So, I am in the process of changing my blog provider. I am actually creating a new page in order to avoid further conflicts (and frustrations) that I encounter here again and again.

(Me holding back all my frustrations!!)
So, what does this mean? Check back here and I will soon be putting up the new address for the new blog. I am doing this on my own, so it is slow work and the blog site is very simple...nothing fancy, just a post and that is it! 

I would like to put the page up and have you check it out, then I will take it down for adjustments and continue in this manner until I have all the kinks worked out.

Please be patient and make sure to check back often for updates!! And remember, it is very basic at this time as I get it all figured out!
 

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Girl With All The Gifts

This is one of my favorite things to do at the pool: float and read!
Yesterday, while floating,  I finished the book, 
The Girl with all the the Gifts. by M.R. Carey
I give it 4 stars!
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/The_Girl_with_All_the_Gifts.jpg
This is all I knew going into reading this book:
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. (this totally caught my attention!)

From another reviewer:
I really don’t want to give away much about the plot of The Girl With All The Gifts — it’s such a clever, surprising ride, you’re better off discovering it for yourself. But here’s the basic set-up: a group of kids are being taught in a very special school, where they learn about Greek myths and literature from a group of teachers, including the kind and beautiful Miss Justineau. But when they’re not being given a classical education, these children are herded into cells by a group of soldiers, who treat them like wild animals. And occasionally, one of the kids is taken away to a laboratory to be dissected by the cruel scientist Caroline Caldwell.

The smartest of these kids is Melanie, whose imagination fixates on the myths she reads about and whose mind is constantly going in romantic directions. She has a doomed hopeless crush on her wonderful teacher Miss Justineau, who in turn is trying very hard to keep Melanie from being the next child marked for dissection in Dr. Caldwell’s lab. But the things that Melanie doesn’t know about the world outside her little school will soon shatter her romantic notions forever.That’s really just scratching the surface — Carey does a fantastic job of building up the mystery of exactly what Melanie is, and why she’s treated like a vicious creature as well as a gifted child.

Much to my surprise, I found this trailer for "The Girl with all the Gifts." Warning: spoilers to what is going on with Melanie!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Guess What...

We got ourselves a band!!
I could just leave it at that, but nope...there's a little more.

Sam had played guitar for about 4 years. Due to his schedule, he wasn't able to continue lessons at this time, so Jack thought it would be the perfect time for him to start the drums...which he has always wanted to play. That was 2 months ago. Jack actually uses our old Guitar Hero drum set to practice.  Jack's teacher told me  basically, if we wanted Jack to "proceed" we would need to think about getting a drum set. Well, he finally got a set. 

Last night Jack and Sam were down stair "jamming." Sam came up and said, "Either Jack is going to have to turn it down a little, or I am going to have to stop playing Stairway to Heaven." When Jack plays, which is in the basement, it sounds as if he is right in the room with me.

So Sam, I vote for the first option. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Right Now...

My wonderful soaking tub is no longer a tub for soaking.

It is now a swimsuit and towel drying rack.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Couple of Tricks!

Here are two "tricks" I recently heard about!

Have you ever driven another persons car or had to drive a rental and have no idea which side the gas tank is on? Well, I just discovered there is a helpful hint right on the gas gauge!
See the little gas tank, which is located on the gag gauge? Check out the arrow...it points to the side which contains the gas tank! How easy it that?

The second hint deals with one of my biggest fears, driving my car into a large body of water and not being able to get out. I actually bought a tool that will break the window in case that might happen! Please remember, we do not live near any large body of water, so I consider myself fairly safe, but you just never know!!
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/5/59682/1624945-emergency_hammer.gif 
The pointed piece will break the glass and the tool at the end of the handle will cut through your seat belt if needed. BUT, you don't have the fancy tool, you can use your headrest!
 
Place one of the metal rods between the window and the door and push down. then close your eyes and pull out the headrest. In doing so, the window will shatter. Or, you can use the metal poles and hit the window and it will shatter your window. 

Just a couple of helpful tricks for your day, one that I hope you never need! Drive safely!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Memory Keeping...

I love scrapbooking an memory keeping, but at this time in my life, I unfortunately do not have the time to do "traditional" scrapbooking. I have tried many different "techniques" such as project life to get caught up, but I would soon fall behind or become frustrated that is wasn't "easy" enough for me. AKA: having to have the just right size of pictures to go into the page protectors! So, I decided to give memory keeping a try in my MAMBI planner! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
What I do is highlight the main events of the week. I don't have a "set time" to do my pages. Many times, I print off the pictures and then put a few notes on a post-it note for the week. Some weeks I have a few pictures and other weeks I need to add an extra page insert. What is nice, is that I control the size of my photos, the page protectors no longer do that.

Here are my pages for the week of May 16th.


The highlights for the week were Sam turning 14 and being recognized at the School Board meeting for his participation in the Knowledge Bowl!

I added a page insert due to having many pool highlights this week.
 



As you can see, MORE pool pictures. My mom sent a selfie of her and my dad while they were on vacation which makes me smile!
Once I have the pictures placed, it's time to add washi, stickers, stamps and die cuts!! I love the freedom to add whatever I wish! the added bonus is that it doesn't take any time at all to complete a page or two!

I get several questions on how I print my pictures. I print the majority of my pictures at home. I usually print them off in 3x4 size. I also use my Instax printer which prints 2x3 photos that look like mini Polaroids. What I really love is that I can print pictures on my Instax right from my phone!




http://theawesomer.com/photos/2014/04/fuji_instax_printer_2.jpg
Not only do I include pictures, but big news stories, newspaper clippings (laminated) weather and temperatures, things the boys say and other memorabilia. Do I think I will use this for ALL my scrapbooking, no, but at this time it does make daily record keeping pretty easy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How Do You Explain...Again...

The boys asked about the tragedy in Orlando. 

What happened? A man went into a night club and open fire on the people that were there. 
(Jack: What's a night club? A bar.)
Did they die? Yes. 103 people were shot, 49 people died from being shot. 
Did the guy who was shooting die? Yes. 
How? The police did it to save more people from being killed.
Why did he do he want to kill all those people? 
 And that is where it gets so hard to explain to your kids about why someone would do that to so many innocent people...again (and again and again.)

My answer to Sam: "Well, supposedly he didn't like gay people and so he shot them. There are rumors that he was with ISIS." 
Sam thought about it a bit and then said, "You know, how did those gay people ever effect that guys life?"
And I must say, my heart glowed a bit. Jason and I have really tried to raise the boys to accept everyone...no matter what class, age, size, race, religion, handicap or who you love. We tell them to be kind...you don't have to be everyone's friend, but you do need to be kind.  You aren't going to mesh with everyone, you don't have to, but you do need to be kind and tolerant of others. So when Sam said that, I knew he got it and it warmed my heart. It makes me happy to see there is hope, that in Sam and Jack's generation it really won't matter your class, age, size, race, religion, handicap or who you love.

 






Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer is Official...

The other day jack and I had a little morning conversation.

Me: Good Morning! 
Jack: Good Morning!
Me: Do you think you should get out of bed?
 Jack: Why?
Me: Well, because it is 11:00.
Jack: Oh. I can get out of bed, but I don't think I'll get dress yet.
Me: Deal. I'll get some lunch ready for you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Best Thing...

Today is the first day of summer vacation and nothing makes me more happy than this...
 
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Small Skull...

The other day Jack got in the car and said, "Look what I found!" Jack had found a small varmint skull. Lovely.


 He did a little quick research on google and discovered that he had a small rodent skull, about the size of a penny. We figured d it was probably a mouse head. He wondered what could have left it in the driveway. (Maybe a large squirrel that was looking for love in the morning?)

So now I have a mouse skull in my car, right next to my previously used chapstick. 
Wonderful.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I am Not the Only One...

I seriously have had a similar conversation with Jack...
 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Reviews!

Here's a super quick review of the books I have recently finished!

American Housewives
by Helen Ellis

http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/a/american-housewife/9780385541039_custom-9c4e0e1a45e60e6daa39608ef351ef0e7156e202-s300-c85.jpg
Meet the women of American Housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.
  
I think it was the first story that I absolutely loved...two neighbors who share a common hallway in a condo type house and the extent each will go to create the perfect area for people coming into their shared area!  I also loved "The Bra Fitter."  To be honest, some of the stories I did not understand at all. (eek) I give this book 3 stars.

The Ex
by Alafair Burke

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mejSjVQ-BQw/VqTzPVmEVMI/AAAAAAAAFzg/FLKOXtKmfOY/s1600/The%2BEx%2B-%2BABurke.jpg

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.

 Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancĂ©, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?

 For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

This is a good mystery, but after reading Alex, I think I might be damaged for mysteries for a bit. I actually had somewhat of an idea of who did it by the second chapter. It has a good twist, but you can somewhat see it coming. I give this book 2 1/2 stars.


Britt-Marie Was Here
by Fredrick Backman
https://fictionophile.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/britt-marie-was-here.jpg?w=640

From the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, a heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?

Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing.



I so loved A Man Called Ove, that I had pretty high expectations for this book. It was good and I really enjoyed Britt Marie, who made me laugh out loud. There are some parts that are predictable, but the story is sweet. I give this book 3 stars. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Horrible!!

My goal this season was to keep up on my flower beds this year: water regularly, pull weeds, trim when needed, feed every two weeks. Unfortunately, this is the same area where last year we spotted some poison ivy, but we have worked hard in killing it off and thought we had been successful.

(Here is a fresh little grower in a DIFFERENT area!!)

We had sprayed the poison ivy in the flower bed and had taken care of it all...or so I thought. Until a week and three days later...

Yep, while weeding, I must have come into contact with that little nasty weed. And oh lordy does it itch!  It is so icky to look at! If you haven't had it, at some point, it starts to ooze out. (gag)  So, you would want to put a band-aid on the oozing area. Well, I have terrible reactions to band-aids, so this has been a never ending battle.
  And to top it off, I got it on my face too! It doesn't stand out so much as my arm, because I can cover it up with make up. I also have it on my forehead and eyebrow on the left side of my face.
 So much for my vow to keep up on weeding in my flower garden!