Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Week in Books

This week I was able to finish a few books on my Kindle. (These are all free with a subscription to Kindle Unlimited) 

"Pines" from the Wayward Pines series  7/10 
"Colleen" from the Mail-Order-Bride Club 5/10 
"The Lady and the Mountain Doctor" 8/10 

My daughter and I made it to the thrift store where the books were 5 for $1!  I picked up: 

By Barbara Kingsolver:  The Poisonwood Bible 
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

By James Frey:       A Million Little Pieces 
At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.

By Dean Koontz:  Frankenstein

By James Patterson:  1st to Die 

 Jack Durbeyfield dispatches his gentle daughter Tess to the home of their noble kin, anticipating a lucrative match between the lovely girl and a titled cousin. Innocent Tess finds the path of the d'Urberville estate paved with ruin in this gripping tale of the inevitability of fate and the tragic nature of existence.

Also a few more by Fern Michaels, Tim LaHaye and Danielle Steele.  

From my Kindle Unlimited subscription I 'rented': 

"Wayward" - the 2nd in the Wayward Pines series 

"Unraveling:  The Immune Series, Volume I" by David Kazzie 

"Of Windmills and War" by Diane Moody
The rumblings of war in distant countries mattered little to Danny McClain. Growing up in Chicago, his world revolved around after-school jobs, a rescued beagle, his pen pal in Holland, and the Cubs’ chance to go to the World Series. Then, in December of 1941, during his first year at Northwestern University, news of the attack on Pearl Harbor hit much too close to home.

"Want Not" by Jonathon Miles 
A highly inventive and corrosively funny story of our times, Want Not exposes three different worlds in various states of disrepair—a young freegan couple living off the grid in New York City; a once-prominent linguist, sacked at midlife by the dissolution of his marriage and his father’s losing battle with Alzheimer’s; and a self-made debt-collecting magnate, whose brute talent for squeezing money out of unlikely places has yielded him a royal existence, trophy wife included.

And freebies I picked up for my Kindle: 

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen 

Laiden's Daughter by Suzan Tisdale 

"The Candle Star" by Joyce Isenhoff 
After a tantrum, Emily Preston is shipped from her plantation home to her inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, son of freed slaves, who challenges many ideas she grew up believing. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle's barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is only yards away, lodged in the hotel.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sunday Scribblings: Walking

I am linking today with Sunday Scribblings 2.  Today's theme is "walking".  

Heaviness claws at my shoulders
inky darkness deluges the fringe of my will 
hundreds of hands reach out to pull me down - 
to pull me down into the floor 

I can't take a step without the weight of the world
Drawing me into my safe shell once more
Hiding there with a cozy blanket of self-comfort 
Pushing every thought aside so they don't rip me apart 

I panic.  Black pressure kettle with the lid scratching and rattling 
All the things racing - the movement won't even slow down.
Paranoia creeps like a shadow over nooks and dark corners 
Leave me alone!  Leave. me. alone.  

I'm entangled in sticky webs of despair
Can't walk away from the clutch of despondency 
Please go away. 
Solitary is my only peace. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books for the Beach Bag

This is my first time participating in The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday! 

This week's question is - What 10 books do you want to put in your beach bag this summer? 

Here are mine, in no particular order: 

  1. Judy Blume's new novel - In the Unlikely Event.  In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling.
  2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific West Trail by Cheryl Strayed.  At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone
  3. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
  4. Just Kids by Patti Smith.  In Just Kids, Patti Smith's first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies.
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. 
  6. Shooting Kabul by NH Senzai. In the summer of 2001, twelve year old Fadi’s parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrives at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban soldiers closing in, the truck speeds away, leaving Mariam behind. 
  7. Angel's Walking by Karen Kingsbury.  When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on. 
  8. Sons: The Good Earth Trilogy by Pearl S. Buck Sons begins where The Good Earth ended: Revolution is sweeping through China. Wang Lung is on his deathbed in the house of his fathers, and his three sons stand ready to inherit his hard-won estate. One son has taken the family’s wealth for granted and become a landlord; another is a thriving merchant and moneylender; the youngest, an ambitious general, is destined to be a leader in the country. Through all his life’s changes, Wang did not anticipate that each son would hunger to sell his beloved land for maximum profit.
  9. The Santangelos by Jackie Collins. I am SO SO excited for this one!  I've been reading the Lucky Santangelo novels forever!  She is one of my alltime favorite characters! A vicious hit. A vengeful enemy. A drug addled Colombian club owner. A sex crazed Italian family. And the ever powerful Lucky Santangelo has to deal with them all, while Max-her teenage daughter is becoming The "It" girl in Europe's modeling world. And her Kennedyesque son, Bobby, is being set up for a murder he didn't commit. But Lucky can deal. Always strong and unpredictable with her husband, Lennie, by her side she lives up to the family motto-Never cross a Santangelo.
  10. The Invention of Wings by Sue Kidd Monk Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Haiku Horizons - Song

I am linking with Haiku Horizons.  This week's prompt is "song".  

The words just won't come - 
Scribbles on crumpled napkin
Treble clef floating

I found this article on Tweetspeak Poetry about the art of the haiku.  Basically when you are being creative, there really are no rules.  But in case you are interested: 

Happy Homemaker Monday - Memorial Day 2015


The weather outside is::::
Today is lovely. I'm typing this up on Sunday - as is my routine! - it is in the upper 70s and although cloudy, it is still quite nice! The kids and I will be going to my family's house for a bbq.  Tomorrow the possibility of rain is in the forecast, so we decided to celebrate a day early. 

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
For breakfast today do I dare admit I ate leftover pasta?  Yeah, well I did.  

As I look outside my window:::
Outside there is some sun and also some clouds.  

Right now I am::::
Trying to decide what to clean first!  There is a lot to do.  My oldest (Jennah, 18) had her friend stay over for 2 nights and the house is definitely a wreck!!  

As I look around the house::::
Again, I see mess!  Dishes to be washed, clothes to be folded and put away, dusting to be done, ACK!!!  I should be cleaning, not blogging!  ;D 
On today's to do list::::
TO DO:  UMMMM CLEAN!!!  lol 

  1. Dishes
  2. Laundry
  3. Jennah - dusting & vacuuming
  4. Emily - Clean bathroom
  5. Water flowers
  6. Check bird feeders
  7. Parents' for bbq @ 4
  8. School work in the evening (this works best for us) & watch an episode of America: The Story of Us

Currently reading::::
I am reading a scary murder mystery book called Left to Die by Lisa Jackson.  I picked up a bunch of books for my Kindle yesterday.  If you are interested, you can read all about it HERE!  

On the TV this week::::  Here's what is coming to Netflix in June! 
This week I will be watching: 
Orphan Black
When Comes the Heart
Scandal on Netflix 

On the menu this week::::
MONDAY:  Memorial Day - we're celebrating with family on Sunday.  Monday we're going to have Copycat Olive Garden chicken parmesan with linguini, Caesar salad and steamed broccoli.  

WEDNESDAY:  Going to my mom's for dinner 

THURSDAY: Italian Sausage Tortellini with a side of green beans 

FRIDAY:  Beef and broccoli over rice 

SATURDAY:  Going to parents' for family dinner 

In our homeschool: Here are a couple posts from my HS blog: 
Memorial Day with Teenagers 
Edgar Allen Poe Mini Unit 
10 Netflix Movies for Homeschooling High School 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::
There is a new online Bible study starting @ Women Living Well on June 15th.  It follows the Book of Proverbs and they will devote 5 days to an in depth study of Proverbs 31.  Looking forward to starting this! 

Menu Plan Monday: Memorial Day 2015

I hope everyone is having a really wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  Here's the plan for our last week of May.  

BREAKFASTS:  This week I'm only working three days.  On those days I will be bringing a "breakfast hash".  Scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, turkey sausage peppers and onions, topped with hot sauce of course! Side of fruit.  

LUNCHES:  For work lunches I'm bringing lentils and brown rice topped with greens and feta. The rest of the week it will be sandwiches and fruit.  


MONDAY:  Memorial Day - we're celebrating with family on Sunday.  Monday we're going to have Copycat Olive Garden chicken parmesan with linguini, Caesar salad and steamed broccoli.  

WEDNESDAY:  Going to my mom's for dinner 

THURSDAY: Italian Sausage Tortellini with a side of green beans 

FRIDAY:  Beef and broccoli over rice 

SATURDAY:  Going to parents' for family dinner 

I'm linking with Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie!  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

New on Netflix for June 2015

I love Netflix.  I use it in my homeschool, for family movies and to binge-watch t.v. shows too!  Here are a few things coming to Netflix that I will be looking for!

COMING IN JUNE:  (Here is the complete list)

First is The Aviator, about Howard Hughes.  I've seen this before and I'm looking forward to watching it again.  I may use this as a history topic for Emily as well - part of a mini unit on Howard Hughes.  DiCaprio is SO SO very good in this.  (And not to mention pretty darn cute too!)

The Aviator (2004) (Leonardo DiCaprio) 
The second in Martin Scorsese's long and fruitful pairing with Leonardo DiCaprio finds Leo inhabiting the persona of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, who romanced starlets, designed planes, and produced some of Hollywood's earliest blockbusters before transforming into an obsessive-compulsive recluse in his old age. DiCaprio and Scorsese both nabbed Oscar nominations for the biopic, while Cate Blanchett won the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her dazzling impersonation of Katharine Hepburn. The film's glorious Technicolor design — Scorsese's love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood — earned a small handful of Oscars as well.

Next is Lee Daniels' The Butler (Available June 16) I just love Forest Whitaker! 
Before he made Empire, Lee Daniels brought his signature brand of enjoyably insane melodrama to 50 years of American history. A fictionalized account of the life of a real White House butler, the film stars Forest Whitaker as a servant who glides through the corridors of power as a selection of American presidents debate the civil-rights struggle, while his son (David Oyelowo) becomes a Freedom Rider, and later, a Black Panther. Daniels is hardly an understated director, and some of the casting choices — including Robin Williams as Eisenhower and John Cusack as Nixon — are frankly bizarre, but the non-presidential cast (which also includes Oprah as Whitaker's wife and ANTM's Yaya DaCosta as Oyelowo's militant girlfriend) is uniformly excellent.

New seasons of: 


This movie is rated R but has good reviews so I think I will check it out: 


The movie inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road 

Horrible reviews, but I'm still going to watch Grace of Monaco  with Nicole Kidman 

Another good family choice or for homeschool:  Antartica: Year on Ice 

My teens may be interested in Transformers, Katy Perry's tour and the newest season of Pretty Little Liars. 

What I'm Reading: Stacking the Shelves - May 23, 2015

I love books of all kind.  I read both e-books and REAL books!  This week I re-joined Kindle Unlimited.  You can "check out" up to 10 books at a time and keep them as long as you want.  It is $9.99 per month.  So this week I will be sharing the books I stocked up on for my Kindle.

I watched the first episode of "Wayward Pines" and thought it was pretty good.  I saw there is a trilogy so I picked up the first book.

Twisted by Andrew Kaufman - Dr. Christopher Kellan spends his days at Loveland Psychiatric Hospital, overseeing a unit known as Alpha Twelve, home to the most deranged and psychotic killers imaginable. His newest patient, Donny Ray Smith, is accused of murdering ten young girls and making their bodies disappear.

The Giver by Louis Lowry The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie WisemanTen years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past. 

The Dream Bucket by Mary Lou CheathamTen-year-old Trudy loves Papa more than anybody else until she hears him slap Zoe, her mother. She is so angry at him she wishes he’d die. When he accidentally sets fire to the family mansion and dies in the fire, she is not prepared for the shock. 

The Lady and the Mountain Doctor by Misty Beller - I am a SUCKER for these types of books!  Love them!  Miriam Bryant has always dreamed of leaving the never-ending work of her family's remote mountain ranch to travel abroad as a genteel lady. She's thrilled when the opportunity finally arises, but a gruesome hunting accident crushes her plans, leaving her stranded for weeks in a mining town. The single bright spot in her disappointment comes in the form of this mountain town's newest doctor…

Three Daughters:  A Novel by Consuelo BaehrFrom the fertile hills of a tiny village near Jerusalem to the elegant townhouses of Georgetown, Three Daughters is a historical saga that chronicles the lives, loves, and secrets of three generations of Palestinian Christian women.

Left to Die by Lisa Jackson One by one, the victims are carefully captured, toyed with, then subjected to a slow and agonizing death. Piece by piece, his exquisite plan takes shape. The police can't yet see the beauty in his work--but soon, very soon, they will. . .

You Don't Want to Know by Lisa JacksonSince she moved back home, Ava has experienced unsettling visions. She hears Noah crying in the nursery, glimpses him walking near the water. Her family, her psychologist, and her estranged husband are concerned for her well-being. Or are they worried about what she might discover? 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Daily Journal

What I'm reading:  Homeschooling:  The Teen Years 
What I'm writing:  Blog posts mostly - but a few haiku here and there!  

WHAT I'M COOKING: I made some kielbasa and pasta salad tonight as my dd18 has her friend spending the night. 

 WHAT I'M CLEANING: I washed a bunch of dishes and did a few loads of clothes today.  DD18 picked up the living and dining rooms, watered the flowers and vacuumed while DD15 took care of the garbage. 

WHAT I'M WATCHING: I'm about to watch the first "Wayward Pines" and then "When Calls the Heart"

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Listened to The Voice winner, Sawyer Fredericks, on Youtube. 

Planning out our homeschool studies for Memorial Day as well as my menu plan for next week.

WHAT GAVE ME JOY TODAY: My best friend in the whole world e-mailed me today and said she is coming to visit in about 6 weeks!!!!  That's the best news ever :) 

OTHER THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO:  I am planning to start a family book club with my girls for this summer!  Also, I am really looking forward to the online Bible study at Women Living Well on June 1st!