Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Monday Book Report, Edition #13

I am linking up with 

WHAT DID I READ THIS WEEK:  I finished the book "Outer Order, Inner Calm" by Gretchen Ruben.  It was only ok. 3*  "Verity", by Colleen Hoover and I LOVED IT! 5*  I also finished "Summit Lake" by Charlie Donlea, which was very good. 4* The last two were disturbing mystery-thriller type books. 

FAVORITE QUOTE FROM A BOOK I READ: "Just because we're busy doesn't mean we're being productive. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination" 

WHAT BOOKS DID I BUY/BORROW THIS WEEK:  From Kindle Unlimited I borrowed "The Stationary Shop" by Marjan Kamali and "Where the Forest Meets the Stars" by Glendy Vanderah. 

WHAT IS THE BOOK I MOST WANT TO GET MY HANDS ON RIGHT NOW: I really want to read "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek" by Kim Michele Richardson. 

WHAT ARE MY READING PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK: I plan to read "The Stationary Shop" for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. I also plan to decide on what my first classic of the year will be.  

ANY NEW BOOK EVENTS OR BOOK NEWS ONLINE OR IN YOUR TOWN?  One thing I'd like to start doing is visiting more book and bookish stores in the area!  It's one of my goals for 2020.  One store that I have been following on Facebook that looks SUPER COOL is Pages Bookshop in Detroit.  I hope to make a visit soon. 

Every great bookstore needs a cat!  This is Pip. 

Readathons :
*January 24-26#24B4Monday This readathon takes place every last weekend of the month. It begins on that Thursday night at midnight and runs until Sunday night at midnight.

*January 24 - March 7 - #Pondathon  This readathon looks super fun and imaginative!  Go check it out over at The Quiet Pond. 

My book ministry:  A big goal of mine for 2020 is to start my "ministry" - ( i.e. activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith)  I want to share my love of books with the people of Detroit and Downriver.  I plan on leaving books in Little Libraries and in random spaces along with a note inside stating why I loved the book so much and why I wanted to share it.  I also plan on leaving a bookmark inside and maybe something else 'bookish'.  I read some Christian books as well as secular books and I plan to share my FAVORITES of all types! 

Happy Homemaker Monday for January 20th, 2020

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

It's been a LONG time!  So happy to be back to Happy Homemaker Monday! 

I'm off work today for Martin Luther King Jr. day.  We could definitely use a man like him today with all of the issues going on in the world and in our government!  

The weather in my neck of the woods..... It's been pretty crazy over the weekend here in the Detroit area!  It's been so mild this winter and we haven't gotten much snow at all.  Friday night a storm came in overnight and we got about six inches of snow.  My girls and I went over to help my dad shovel.  While we were there it changed over to freezing rain.  That was the heaviest snow ever!! 

Right now I am....  Feeling really blessed that I am off for MLK Jr day!  I didn't even know about the long weekend until Friday morning.  What a nice surprise! 

Thinking about....  I've really been taking a good, hard look at what my future is going to be like.  Being in a relationship last  year, I saw us getting married, I was working toward a future as a couple and blended family. I turn 50 this year and I honestly don't know if I even want to attempt another relationship at this point.  So I really am refocusing to change my goals to match a life where I will be on my own at some point when both of my girls move out.  My youngest (19) plans to be out of the house by next year.  My oldest (23) is on the autism spectrum so although she is really one of the most intelligent people I know, she will have difficulty living on her own, so it may be a few years - which of course is fine with me.  She is going to college and I know she will make things work in her own time. 

On the blog last week..... Uhhhhhh I did share one post about where I've been for the past many months!  If you are interested, you can find it RIGHT HERE

On my reading pile.... I've finished three books so far this year, Inner Order, Outer Calm (3*)  Verity by Colleen Hoover (5*) and Summit Lake by Charlie Dunlea (4.25*)
STARTING TONIGHT:  The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali 

On my TV..... Clean House, YouTube videos
Current binge:  NYPD Blue 

On the menu for this week....
Monday -  Enchilada Bake w/ kale salad & Avocado (similar to THIS ONE from Spend with Pennies)

Tuesday -  Scalloped potatoes and ham with corn 
Wednesday - Greek Tortellini w/ kale salad

Thursday -  Leftovers 
Friday -  Chili dogs and baked french fries 
Saturday -  Dad's house 
Sunday - Pot of great northern beans (using the hambone I froze from Christmas) and cornbread (This is mostly for dad - but I will have some for dinner that night) 

Best recipe of last week......  Baked spaghetti - one of my favorites! 

New recipe I want to try...... The Enchilada bake for this week is new to me.  Hoping it is good! 

On my to do list.... 
1. Meal Prep
2. Laundry
3. Dishes
4. Install plastic window insulation kit (finally getting cold in Detroit!) 
5. Write 

Looking forward to this week.... Happy that it is a short week! 

Looking around the house.... We've been in this tiny house for six years.  It feels like home now.  We are signing the lease for one more year.  If one of my daughters move out - I might think of staying longer.  But as it is now, the house is just too small for us.  But I do love it and it's cozy and part of me doesn't want to leave! 

Counting my blessings: My best friend's husband was in the ER over the weekend with chest pains.  Feeling so happy that he was released.  Still has to follow up with a cardiologist, but he did not have a heart attack and they found no heart abnormalities. Also grateful that my son (21) did not have to drive the 2 hours to work the morning of the snow storm!  He is a welder and they are building a power plant so a lot of his work is outdoors.  I was really worried about him driving in that mess! 

Bible Study..... "Seamless" by Angie Smith 

Friday, January 17, 2020


I must be the Queen of the Bad Bloggers.  Last year I didn't even average one post per month.  After all of these years I ask myself why I don't just close this blog down?  I guess because I keep telling myself that I WILL keep up with it and I WILL use it to get my feelings/ideas/recipes/books/studies/life down in a place that will be accessible for my kids someday!

So what has been going on in my life?

March through November I went on a few vacations with my beau, I worked, spent time with family, and spent time with him.  I started some online classes  and started a new Bible study of the Old Testament.

In November I broke up with my boyfriend of a year.  It was a hard decision and I changed my mind a couple of times, but in the end I realize it was the right choice for both of us.  I wish him well.

In November (partially due to the break-up, but more due to hormones, chronic depression, and my thyroid crashing)  I fell into a very deep, dark depression.  I would drag myself out of bed, work for the day, and crawl right back in.  I stopped studying, reading, talking to people .....  It was the worst depression I've had in a long, long time.

About mid-December an old friend of mine reached out to me and asked if I would help him out with some song lyrics.  He is an amazing musician but sometimes the lyrics don't come as easily to him.  (BTW his fiance has a beautiful singing voice - I'm hoping to hear her sing some of my lyrics someday!)

It was like God was tossing me a lifeline.  This friend and I hadn't spoke in quite a long while and hadn't collaborated together in more than a year.  When I told him what was going on with me, he said that he had really turned to God over the past few months and had given Him control.

I started writing right away and even though it was a faint spark - I felt  it.  Joy.  Every day I would start doing something else I enjoyed.  I'd read a little.  Do a word study in the Bible.  Pray.  By the first of the year I was feeling OK.  And for now - I am satisfied with OK.  I might even be a bit more than OK right now.

I started 2020 with goals and ways to make my life simple and happy. And one of the things that I have on my list is to start blogging again.  So here I am!

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING:  I finished "Inner Order, Outer Calm" for the Paper & Glam Book Club and it was not very helpful.  Maybe if you are in your 20s or even early 30s some of these ideas are new to you.  I also finished "Verity" by Colleen Hoover and LOVED IT!  I am going to do a review this weekend!  I'm now reading "Summit Lake" - another murder-mystery-thriller and it's pretty good so far.

WHAT I'VE BEEN STUDYING:  On January 1st I started the Bible study "Seamless" by Angie Smith.  It puts the whole Bible in order chronologically so you can see it as one *seamless* story.  I'm really enjoying it.  I'm also doing daily devotions with "Jesus Calling".  Love it.  Put my online classes on hold temporarily until I have a firm foundation of where I want my life to lead.

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING: I'm embarrassed to say! Lots of YouTube videos on budget family meals, Clean House, NYPD Blue, and a bunch of True Crime shows.

WHAT I'VE BEEN COOKING:  I'm trying to really cut back on grocery spending this  year!  I tracked spending over the first couple of weeks of January and I cannot tell you how much money I wasted on side trips to the gas station for bottles of Diet Pop, snacks, and of course ordering out 3x.  *hanging head in shame*  It was eye-opening!  I am now attempting to cut our budget back from $500/month for a family of 3 adults + kitties (including all household and pet supplies) to $350. I recently made a pork roast and the leftovers made pulled pork sandwiches and then some pulled pork pizza.  I made a pot of black bean and smoked sausage soup for my dad and myself and the leftovers combined with some leftover rice and some Cajun seasoning to make some jambalaya.  I'm also trying to use up leftovers to make different Buddha bowls, stir fries, casseroles, etc.  Time to get creative!