Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy Homemaker New Year Monday

Welcome to this week's Happy Homemaker Monday.  I am linking up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.  

The weather::: Two months of gray dreariness and no snow.  It's beyond depressing. (Ok, ok - it's sunny today) 

On my reading pile::: I started reading two books that I've been waiting for to come available at my library: 

Girl, Wash Your Face 

The Prayer Box 

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::: I watched "The Count of Monte Cristo" last night with my sweetheart.  We also watched the Robert Redford version of "The Great Gatsby" earlier this week.  

I watched the much talked about "Bird Box" on Netflix.  It was pretty good.  I read the book a couple of years back and it was MUCH better!  

Currently watching one of my favorites, "Under the Tuscan Sun" 

On my TV::: Days of Our Lives, Y&R 

On the menu for this week:::
Sunday:  Pizza 
Monday:  NYE dinner with my Sweetie 
Tuesday: NYD dinner with my family, the tradition for us is Chinese food 
Wednesday:  Spiced lentils and rice 
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Dinner with family: TBD
Saturday:  Leftovers of some sort 

On my to do list::: 
Getting rid of this terrible cold/flu dealio 
Taking down the Christmas tree and decorations
Organizing the house/closets/drawers, etc
Spend time with my honey

What I am crafting or creating::: I was seriously busy over the Christmas season - just as many of you were as well.  I really want to start a new junk journal to use as a scrapbook/diary for my new relationship.  I have the supplies ..... just need to get started! 

Happening this week::: New Year's Eve of course.  For the first time in a very long time I will not be at home asleep at midnight!  

Looking around the house::: I've been getting things cleaned and organized but there is always more to do. 

What I'm wearing today::: Not leaving the house today - so in my comfie clothes to clean in! 

One of my simple pleasures::: Reading blogs and watching YouTube videos.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 1 John 4:15, NIV: "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God." 

Book Review: Julia's Hope by Leisha Kelly

I first heard of this book from another blogger, and I apologize for not getting her name!  After reading that review, I found the book in the most charming used bookstore in Cheboygan, MI, while on a short vacation.  Purple Tree Books. 

Leisha Kelly is a new author to me, but after finding out more about her, I see that she has published many books since this one.  She has found a new loyal reader! Her books can be found on Kindle Unlimited.  Right now they have an offer to join for three months for just 99-cents, so I re-upped my membership just to continue with this series!

"Julia's Hope" can most definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.  In a word, it is charming.  The characters are vivid and flawed.  There is faith through trial, kindness from strangers, judgment from neighbors, and joy in simplicity. 

The story takes place in 1931, shortly after the Great Depression.  A typical family loses everything and travels (a lot of the time by foot) through the MidWest toward Illinois, hoping for a stable job for father, Samuel.

When their hopes are dashed and they are contemplating heading back home, they happen upon an empty farmhouse.  What they find there is more than they ever expected.

4.5 stars


Like countless others in 1931, Samuel Wortham lost his job. And he lost his wife's inheritance, their home, and much of his self-respect. Samuel, his wife, Julia, and their two young children hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Illinois in hope of work. Caught on the road by a sudden storm, the Worthams take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse out of desperation.

Feeling oddly at home, Julia insists on finding the owner of the property, despite Samuel's objections, and asks for permission to stay. The owner is Emma Graham, a woman in her eighties who longs for home but can no longer live by herself. Emma and the Worthams work out a plan to live there together and restore the farm. Samuel struggles with not being able to provide for his family, and Julia and the kids confront unpleasant surprises when a busybody neighbor turns against them. 

Julia's Hope is an endearing story of faith and faithfulness as Emma teaches the Worthams to live fully, give generously, and love unconditionally. She insists that the family grow where they are planted, like the garden they tend, and each member of the family is forever changed by her wisdom.

Half finished HHM

I am linking up with Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods..... For a month now I've been complaining of gray weather and no snow.  This week is no different! 

Right now I am.... Cooking a meal to bring to my dad,

Thinking about.... I have a date tomorrow night that I am very excited about!  And VERY nervous! 

On the blog last week..... Only HHM.  It has been a very busy week. 

On my reading pile....  

On my TV..... I watched a couple of Christmas movies on Hallmark this week, but that was all. 

Movie of the week...... My sister, nephew and I are going to see Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas on the big screen today!  Very excited about that!  I love that movie, it never gets old. 

On the menu for this week....
Sunday - Roasted vegetables and rice 
Monday - Date night!  I won't be cooking anything. 
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - 
Thursday - Herb-crusted cod, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli 
Friday - 
Saturday - Spinach and feta turkey meatballs over Greek ziti 

Hello, Goodbye

At this point in the year, most people take stock of what has happened over the past 52 weeks and what they would like to see happen for the next 52.  Whether you call them "resolutions" or not, a lot can be said for planning ahead, setting goals, and ruminating over what you've accomplished (or not!) since you last set such ambitions.

I've decided to take a different approach, and list the things I said hello and goodbye to in 2018.  I was thinking about it on my drive in to work this morning.  My life has been pretty stagnant over the past five years, without any big personal changes.  I'd like to see that shift in 2019.  I guess it's time to take some chances.


  • In March I said goodbye to working side-by-side with one of my best friends.  I miss her every day!  It hasn't been the same around here since she's left. 
  • A very sad goodbye to a dear friend of mine just a few weeks ago.  She passed away after being in a coma for 10 days. 
  • On a positive note, I said goodbye to 42 pounds.  I didn't lose as much as I wanted to, but then again, I guess it's better than nothing! 
  • A temporary goodbye to the gym, while not canceling the membership!  Hahahaha.  
  • Said a permanent goodbye to Mr. On-Again-Off-Again. We remain good friends. 


  • In March I received a promotion, becoming the office manager as well as head biller at my job.  Not sure the stress of it has been a positive thing. 
  • In April my entire family said hello to my sister's diagnosis of end-stage liver disease.  We came very close to losing her the week of my birthday.  It has been a roller-coaster ride since then, with dozens of doctors, classes, labs, procedures, tests, etc. to get her on the transplant list.  Thank God she is doing remarkably well right now. 
  • I joined the Classics Club to encourage myself to read more of the classics this year!  It's been wonderful finding others that are passionate about Austen, Dickens, Salinger, the Brontes.  
  • On the same note, I started doing a little bit of book blogging (which I plan to continue because, well BOOKS) and did a read-a-thon.  
  • I met two new friends through the Victorian Letter Writer's Guild!  I love snail mail and it has just been so lovely corresponding with them both so far!  I hope to meet more interesting ladies next year as well. 
  • And the best hello of 2018 was most definitely a surprise.  I decided to accept a date, which led to another and another.  I now have the most wonderful boyfriend and I am grateful for him every day.  

Sometimes when we look back over a year (or even a decade!) we may not see the growth that we have desired.  You can either beat yourself up, which I have been known to do, or you can feel blessed with what has happened and strive to live more often in those moments of joy.  

Happy New Year! 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Sunday Post 11/25/2018

 Last Week On The Blog
Happy Homemaker Monday 
The Monday Book Report 
Book Beginnings 
 This Week On The Blog
Happy Homemaker Monday
The Sunday Post
The Monday Book Report
Book Review: Julia's Hope by Leisha Kelly

New Books 

Around The Blogosphere

Totally Random

Happy Homemaker Monday 11/26/18

I am linking up with Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods..... We've had very boring weather around here.  In the 40s and gray.  I WANT SNOW! 

Thinking about: Finding a new job.  I've been working for a surgeon for the past five years.  I started off as a part-time receptionist.  Within one year I was full time, also doing his transcription.  Within two years I was also the surgery scheduler.  Now I am the office manager and biller on top of everything else. I really REALLY like my job.  I love the people I work with and I love our patients and the surgeon himself is a great boss.  HIS WIFE, on the other hand, makes my life miserable.  She has to oversee everything.  She does his coding for the surgeries and she overbills all the surgeries (i.e. Medicare fraud) and when the insurances call her out on it - she wants ME to find a way to make them pay for it.  It's all too much.  I'm a Christian woman and I see her doing this and then on top of it yelling at ME because the insurances won't pay for 2 hernia surgeries when the operative note clearly states that he only repaired ONE. I had to turn off my phone because she will not stop texting me.  It's SUNDAY morning.  

On the blog last week..... Trying to get my flow back. HHM, The Monday Book Report, and Book Beginnings. 

On my reading pile.... I finished "A Cowboy for Christmas" by Lori Wilde.  This was pretty good 3.5 stars.  I'm now reading four NON-Christmas books: 

Almost done with *real* book: Julia's Hope by Leisha Kelly 
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 

On my TV..... So many Hallmark Christmas movies!  lol 
Ghost Adventures 
YouTube videos 

Movie of the week...... My favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie of the week was ......... uhhhhh ...........  A Bramblehouse Christmas - and the new one with Tia Mowry, My Christmas Inn was good. 

On the menu for this week....
Sunday - Scalloped potatoes and ham with green beans 
Monday - Homemade pizza 
Tuesday - Leftovers 
Wednesday - Spaghetti with steamed broccoli 
Thursday - Tuna sandwiches and soup 
Friday - Dinner @ Dad's - probably pizza out 
Saturday - Jolly Family Christmas Party - Potluck 

Best recipe of last week...... Thanksgiving dinner of course! 

On my to do list....
Dollar Tree
Drive Jennah to a friend's house
Finish up planners
Blog The Monday Book Report 

Looking forward to this week.... Family Christmas party, decorating the familly tree (ours is done) making a Christmas dessert with my nephew 

Looking around the house....Just started decorating.  The tree is lovely and the lights make me happy.  I should keep some lights up year round! 

Bible Study..... I am back doing my Ruth study.  She was so loyal, patient, and kind - I want to be more like Ruth! 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Book Beginnings: Northanger Abbey

This is my first time sharing with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings on Friday! 

My book beginning: 

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. 

I love how so much is disclosed in this first sentence.  It is a nice preface, making you want to read on to find out what makes her "an" heroine.  LOL 

Have a wonderful week reading! 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Monday Book Report, Edition #10

I am linking up with 

WHAT DID I READ THIS WEEK:  I finished three books, but none of them were amazing.  They were all pretty good though.  

A Christmas Homecoming  This one was cute but had no substance.  If you want a quick, romantic Christmasy read, you might want to pick this up. 

I also finished Colleen Coble's "Tidewater Inn"  This one was ok, but no as good as her usual books.  3.5 stars

Finally,  finished Debbie Macomber's "Starry Night".  This was my favorite of the three, still it barely rated 4 stars. 

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING IN MY MAILBOX THIS WEEK? I received some handmade cards from Etsy to send to my penpal from the Victorian Letter Writing Guild. 

WHAT BOOKS DID I BUY/BORROW THIS WEEK:  From the library, I borrowed Susan Wigg's "Candlelight Christmas" and Lori Wilde's "A Cowboy for Christmas".  

WHAT IS THE BOOK I MOST WANT TO GET MY HANDS ON RIGHT NOW: Marilla of Green Gables.  On my Amazon Christmas wish list! 

FAVORITE BOOKISH MEME AND/OR BLOG-VLOG: I'd like to thank Books in Bloom for hosting #Frankenfest, where I won a $10 Amazon gift card!  Also, Caffeinated Reviewer for hosting the #HohohoRAT, which has been a lot of fun.  

ANYTHING READING RELATED, ETC.: What books are on your Christmas list this year??  

Happy Homemaker Monday for November 19th, 2018

The weather in my neck of the woods..... We've had some wimpy snow.  Pretty to look at, but it's not quite cold enough to stick!  

Right now I am.... Blogging during commercials of a Christmas movie! 

Thinking about.... Holiday planning and budget.  

On the blog last week..... Behind again - this past couple of weeks have been uber stressful

On my reading pile.... I haven't been reading nearly enough.  Over the past couple of weeks I finished Debbie Macomber's "Starry Night" 4* "A Christmas Homecoming" 3* and Colleen Coble's "Tidewater Inn" 3*.   I need something amazing now.  These books were all just ok. 

On my TV..... 

Hallmark Christmas movies 
YouTube videos
Chicago Med
Ghost Adventures 

Movie of the week...... My One Christmas Wish with Amber Riley (Mercedes from Glee)  It's beautiful and touched my heart! And it's based on a TRUE story! Definitely look for this one! 

On the menu for this week....

Breakfasts: Egg and turkey bacon breakfast sandwiches on homeade 3-point everything bagels

Lunches: Roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables, turkey and gravy *festive*

Monday - Pasta with meat sauce 
Tuesday - Ham, potatoes, and green beans 
Wednesday - Steak and veggie stir fry over rice 
Thursday - THANKSGIVING!  Turkey with all the trimmings 
Friday - Leftovers 
Saturday - YOYO

New recipe I want to try...... For our Jolly family Christmas party (12/1) I am supposed to bring a dessert.  We have a LOT of kids between 2 & 13, so I want something kid friendly.  I also want to make these with my daughters and my 9-year-old nephew.  These look perfect! 

On my to do list.... 

Update planners
Vacuum living room
Meal prep 

Looking forward to this week....

3-day work week
Thanksgiving with family 
Black Friday

Have a very blessed week!