Category Archives: what’s on your nightstand?

Back to The Mitten


We have been home from Florida a little over a week now and The Mitten has been fairly hospitable, weather wise anyway! Sunny and 50s, 60s and 70s, the trees are considering popping out leaves and I have seen proof of life photos from friends on Facebook and Instagram of their spring flowers ❤

Other things that have been popping up have been Covid-19 cases. Our last couple weeks in Florida I was texting quite a bit with my brother, Beeve and his wife Stacey, because they, along with Medium Goomba had succumbed after an entire year of carefull-ness! Goomba recovered quickly, but his folks had a much harder time of it and are still not 100%. We are praying that they do not have long term fallout from their health struggles.

Driving home I got a text from Keelyody, my walking buddy, saying that her husband and 2 sisters were down with it as well. They are on the mend now. She has since tested positive but other than a loss of taste and smell, and a runny nose, does not have symptoms.

And finally,on  Monday The Usher, who resides in OUR BASEMENT, came home from work after being tested. They called a few hours later with his positive diagnosis. He had a fever, headache, runny nose and was extremely tired and not hungry, so you know he was sick. But by today, Thursday, his fever had been gone for 24 hours and he has popped back up like a daisy. This morning Mousey texted that she now has a fever. I guess we are about to find out if Honey and I really had The ‘Rona during Christmas of 2019 like we thought. To be honest, unless we have it seriously bad, I will be relieved to have it over and done with. We should know within a few days, because for the 2 days before The Usher’s diagnosis, I had sat on the couch with Mousey binge watching Stranger Things. That is 8 hours of non social distancing and should have done it.

The last we spoke, we were tackling some home improvements at our winter home in Estero,. We were there for about 6 weeks, and we think that is the longest we’ve ever been there! We met a LOT of neighbors and had good conversations and we are hopeful we will actually remember some names when we go back! We had company twice, my friend CMB and her daughter came for a weekend and then Mousey popped down for about 5 days. Always love company!!

While Mousey was down she helped us make use of the fitness center down by our clubhouse. I am proud to say we kept it up after she left, and incorporated it into our heavy schedule of hanging out at the pools, walking and eating dinners out 🙂

I read a GREAT book! Highly recommend it. I bought it at The Goodwill the last time we were there and left it on the nightstand. I planned to get a card at the local library on arrival, so I came down with sparse reading material. When I saw it lying there I had forgotten all about it, BOY, was it good. It was her first book, based on a true story about her grandfather’s family. I am hoping that she gathered enough research information to have another book in her.


We had a lovely trip and have certainly came back to reality with a thud, but ahhhhh, this is a beautiful thing to gaze at.



Snow Day List


They predicted a weather event up here in The Mitten and last night the school closings began. The Ab-Cat was ecstatic. We have had a little, but certainly nothing to justify the mass cancellations. If we don’t get some MAJOR inches this afternoon there are going to be some cranky school superintendants. I have to say it’s nice when they make the call the night before. After the districts started to fall like dominoes, our BSF leaders meeting was cancelled, meaning all of us Admin leaders proceeded with calling our designated ladies from our phone tree fan out list. It was nice to have the decision made, phones called and alarms turned off, and the knowledge of the beauty of a snow day ahead!

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Currently reading. This is the third book in the series, following The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. I have really enjoyed them all for many reasons, but I have particularly appreciated how he explains the thinking of the main character Don, who has Asperger’s, autism, or is autistic. The label itself is up for debate. Funny, sad and thought provoking.

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A text between Mousey and The Usher, contemplating their future cat.

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🙂 🙂 🙂

Maybe because I let them lay on me in this fashion and am patient when he gives me sassy tail every time I move.

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I don’t know about you, but I submit that finding the tiniest flake of eggshell in your pancake ( or whatever) to be one of the most off-putting things that can occur at breakfast. Just my opinion. And you can not eat confidently after finding it, because you never know how many more flakes might be there.

I don’t know about you, but I submit that donating 13 bags of unloved clothing to the BSF church, a bunch of boxes of unwanted household stuff to the Salvation Army, and returning around $80 worth of bottles and cans is very…..fulfilling.


It’s almost 1:30 and there is still no snow. I’m a little disappointed. Was hoping for a blizzard like one of the many my girl Laura Ingalls Wilder survived in The Long Winter. Of course they had little food and were running out of fuel to heat their house. We have heat and a gas fireplace, so it’s ok on that front. Plus I have a full fridge, many ingredients in the pantry, and well stocked in cream, butter and toilet paper. I say bring it ON!

Have a good Wednesday.

First and Last List in January


I went to my old blog, No Whining Allowed, this morning to look for something, as I sometimes do. It’s like a memory bank. If I can narrow down a year, try and guess a month or something else that happened around that time, I can usually track it down. It has been a useful tool 🙂

Anyway, I went to look for something that is escaping me now, and I stayed for a while and read about the goings on in a few months in 2015. I enjoyed it immensely! I really did! It all came flooding back.

I have a confession. I still have not mailed my Christmas cards out. I have written the letter, one paragraph still needs to be previewed by one child for accuracy and then can be printed,  have ordered the prints, which have not arrived yet but should any day. I have been this late on one other occasion, though February is not the preferred month to share Christmas cards. I have to hope that the people who actually care about us will be glad to get them whenever they come. So bring on the Valentine’s Day/New Year/ Christmas cards!!!

I had a productive day yesterday! Went to BSF, and all that involves, stopped at Sam’s for a few things, low on half and half and that won’t do! Headed on down the road to return 2 things at Marshall’s, looked around and purchased 2 other things before travelling further down the road to T.J. Maxx, where I was happy to get a full bag of returns out of my house, including 2 pair of booties and various rejected tops and a pair of leopard print jeggings that I decided did not fit me in a flattering way. From there I went south to the library because I had finished 3 out of the 4 books I had checked out!! That is quite a feat for me! Only 1 dud too. I very much liked 2 of the authors and the third was a mercy finish because I wanted to see how it ended. Not a great writer.

These were the 2 I liked, the first had a small amount of salty language, enjoyed them both.

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Speaking of BSF, starting next week our Wednesday leaders meeting will be very different. 2 1/2 years ago our class absorbed another class that was struggling after their teaching leader needed to step down because of a serious illness. Jip the Farm Dog was our teaching leader at the time and she and her staff graciously agreed to take their leaders on, to shepherd and train them alongside of our leaders. We became one class, in two locations. The lecture was live streamed to wherever the live lecturer was not. It was a big job for our teaching leaders, class administrator and children’s supervisor, but they all persevered, and added additional staff along the way. We grew to know and love each other, all 77 of us! The Area Team informed us earlier in the month that the time had arrived to become two separate classes once more. The Admin teams from each class gathered on Wednesday at Chip and Dip to celebrate a job well done!

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We will miss all of the Hilltop leaders on Wednesday’s because BSF knits hearts Y’All, but they will do fabulously well! Thank you Lord for the last 2 1/2 years. ❤

Stuff From the Days


Hey Y’All, it’s Monday again. Every time I turn around, how about you?

I read this last week. Abby had picked it up at the library sale for a buck. She said she had read it before and liked it a lot, so it came highly recommended. I did like it, but it made me feel supremely skeptical of my own personal survival skills. It’s about a couple that didn’t know each other, who survived a plane crash in the mountains. I think I will look into this author’s other work.


I laid to rest the completed Whole 30 on Tuesday, a moment of silence for the death of the NO wheat/rice/corn/beans/sweetener/dairy/joy diet.


I finally lost a little weight on the last week, bringing my total to 7 if I count the extra 2 pounds I started with from vacation, and you know I am.

Here is my Wednesday!!!!!!! What a pleasure to be back at the old Chip and Dip!!!!


They want you to add things back in gradually, to see if any food group in particular causes you grief. I’m not going to lie, this was nigh unto impossible. I was feeling successful after leaving lunch because I had fajitas with no cheese, sour cream or tortilla, OR Diet Coke, just steak, mushrooms and guac, plus the chips and salsa. I was feeling proud of myself for only introducing corn. But then I remembered that I had those 2 birthday cupcakes and piece of pineapple upside down cake in the freezer and that put flour, sugar and dairy back in the mix in one fell swoop! BAM!

In my defense, I did not eat ALL of the dessert at once. That would be wrong. I spread it out over 2 days and was thankful it was gone. I practically licked the container, didn’t want to waste any of that frosting.

It was pretty much all down hill after that.

Honey wanted to try this place we had never visited called Primanti Brothers. They had really good pizza and because we wanted to get a better picture, we had their fried pickles and sandwiches.

That was a yummy burger! Of course I had been burger deprived for a month, but I think it was pretty good! I’m telling you right now that Honey helped with those fries. And I only ate 1/2 the burger and the other half for Sunday lunch.


Honeys corned beef extravaganza.


If I’m being honest, and I always strive to do so, I think I do feel more achy and sore. My back and shoulders, ribs and waist seem more uncomfortable since going back to eating anything in the whole anything kingdom. I am thinking dairy is in the clear because I have had the least of that. I am thinking wheat is the culprit. I am going to be more intentional this week and see if I notice any difference.

We then came home and watched Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing. It was a horrible thing, but it was really something to see how quickly they could figure things out to identify the bombers and how things happened. Plus a few lucky breaks.


There is evidence of spring in The Mitten!!!!! #proofoflife! We had wonderful weather this weekend!


Today was the first day of the 2017 walking season with Keelyody! It was lovely and springy outside, we didn’t even have to start with gloves and heavy jackets!


And so it begins.

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Happy Valentine’s Day Hodgepodgers! We are in sunny Florida this week! Thank you to Joyce for rounding everybody up and giving us something to talk about! Blogging on the iPad is always a challenge, but here goes.

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

We kicked it old school in my family, Grandma Georgia and Grandpa, and Grandma and Grandpa Hoover.

Funny you should ask what our grandchildren will call us, because Honey and I have been discussing that very thing lately! The Boy and The Dane told us around Thanksgiving that they were expecting at the end of June! Our first grand Baby!

Honey has long said he would like to be called Paisan or Paisano, which evidently is buddy or friend in Italian. I would not be surprised if this turns into Papa.

I am divided between Grandma and Grammie, which is what our kids called my Grandma Georgia. So fun to think about!

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what’s one attraction you’d have on your must-see list?

Honey and I have talked about heading out west to see the sights for a long time. Seeing the Redwoods is definitely on that list.

3. What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Only three!!! Surgery, space flight and scaling a mountain come quickly to mind!!

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.’ If that’s true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

I am sure I am not alone in observing that Facebook has become a place where unhappy people spout off about everything and everyone who has a dissenting opinion. As a relative newbie to the space (a year and a few months) even I can long for the kinder, gentler days of yore where we posted funny, inspirational, or encouraging memes, pictures of our families, comings and goings, and links to stories that were uplifting or full on hilarious.

I am weary of the politics, misinformation and mindless partisanship (on both sides) the screeching hysteria, the ugly unkindness. I am going to celebrate and encourage what I want to see more of, and that includes but is not limited to, stories about people doing good, decent, humble things. Organizations doing the Lord’s work of loving their neighbor as their self, such as Samaritan’s Purse and Mercy Ships. Liking with reckless abandon when human effort and achievements are successful and God honoring. And the funny animal videos, because good common sense, if we can’t agree on a funny animal clip, we are all going down.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

I do like almonds and an Almond Joy is a good use of the nut! I make a lot of low carb desserts that use ground almonds or almond flour. I also like to make roasted nuts and almonds are a celebrated feature.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Lately I have been working on Saturday mornings. Some of my clients work during the week and are only available in the evening or Saturdays. Monday evenings and Saturday mornings are both good for me to fit them in.

7. Share with us a favorite book you’ve read this winter.

I don’t read as much as I used to, I blame the iPad, but I have already read two books while on vacation. The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer and Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate, neither one great, deep novels but I enjoyed them.

8. Share a random thought.

This is when it would be nice to add a picture, but from past experience I know that I would have exactly zero control of the placement of a picture, and that would cause me GREAT angst, so I will spare myself the sorrow. 

We are enjoying our vacation! Since all of our people have arrived on different days, with the final loved one arriving tomorrow, we have been on airport shuttle duty. That will continue as we start taking them all BACK to the airport so they can return to their places of origin. Honey and I will remain for the last few days.

We have plans to look at some houses, condos and coach homes, so we can come to the conclusion, yet again, that we don’t know what we want to do when Honey retires next year. It is our way. 

Thanks for stopping by!

52 Lists Project-Week 2


List your favorite characters from books, movies, ect.

Book characters seem different to me than movie characters, I’m not quite sure why. Maybe because in movies we see the actual scene acted out and real expressions, where as in books there is more to our own imaginations.

Some of my favorite book people are:

The Ingalls family from the Little House Books– No surprise there! I was always so impressed with their fondness and loyalty to each other. Their ingenuity was pretty impressive as well. I loved the glimpse into a time so different than my own. Ever since I could read on my own I have been a fan of Laura and her kin. My life is richer for “knowing” them.

Hadassah from A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers)- I want to be Hadassah when I grow up. Her faith, kindness, strength of character, dependence on the Holy Spirit and commitment to prayer was an inspiration when I first read it about 20 years ago, and continues to be today. #loftygoals

The characters from The Shiloh Legacy; Birch and Trudy, Jefferson Canfield and his mama Willa Mae (by Bodie Thoene)- Rae Babe got me hooked on this bunch a looooong time ago and I have read the whole series several times. These people lived through such trials, yet the Lord was with them throughout. Meanness, corruption, war, depression, prejudice, unfairness, and plain bad luck abound, but they place their faith in God to help them through.

And some favorite movie folks:

Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail– Darling girl with an adorable apartment, kind, sweet and funny, lives a small but valuable life, thinks daisies are the friendliest flowers. Love her!

Guy Patterson from That Thing You Do– Funny, hardworking, loyal, talented and gentlemanly! He…is…Spartacus!

Jason Bourne– A one man army, I want to be on his side!

There are many, many more but that seems a good start. How about you guys? Can you all break your apparent vow of silence here and name some of your favorites?

List, Snapchat, In the Garden and Some Books


Hey Ya’all, still living on that hectic fringe. How about a list to chat about some of the doings?

Have not been walking much the last couple of weeks. The holiday weekend joofered us up a bit because Keelyody was out of town, then we had appointments, car things, and then Jip the Farm Dog up and went to San Antonio, Texas for a week to get all up into the book of John so she can lecture us this coming year at BSF. All good, necessary things, but walking took the proverbial back seat.  And it’s been so BLASTED HOT that I really didn’t care all that much. I can sweat like a pig in the comfort of my own home and backyard.

Doing a study this summer with a few gals from BSF and a whole bunch of women at our church!

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I believe I have mentioned before that I love Priscilla Shirer, and if you haven’t heard that, welcome, you must be new! We have one week under our belts and I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E d last weeks lesson. The enemy is real Friends, and he is living to wreak chaos in our lives.

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I don’t want to live a futile and unproductive life, be suffocated by sin, insecurity, fear and discouragement. I want to REJECT the enemy, and his intimidation to render me ineffective and paralyzed. To quote our dear friend Diana, “The devil is a LIAR”. Remember that when he starts in on you, his fingerprints are all over our fears and the lies we tell ourselves.

Still loving the Snapchat!


The Good Eater and The Ab-Cat. Truly unnerving.


Even more unnerving!


No words.




Sometimes I laugh just thinking about him doing these at work! What must they think if they happen to see him????!


Mousey and The Good Eater spend an enormous amount of time on this app. It will always be a part of their museum of recollection.


Abby still won’t be my friend. Her great loss.

I sent this picture to Dear Sandra to show her how loverly the viola she gave me is! That is our look In the Garden for this week!  I heart those coleus, they grow so well in our yard. Mousey calls them Jurassic Park plants.


The Ab-Cat’s van has been in the shop all week so I have been her chauffer. I dropped her off for an appointment on Tuesday and I needed to occupy myself for an hour or so. I went to a couple of stores downtown and then had the great idea to go to the library! It was a good place to sit and read, it was FULL of bought air, and it had a public bathroom! Plus they were having a used book sale, who can resist that kind of catnip?

My purchases. Not bad for $4 American bucks! They even had a French College dictionary, I took a picture of it and asked my Aunt Phyllis if she had need for it. She is a serious French student.

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I left to pick up Abby, and excitedly told her about my finds. We then had to go back so she could peruse the selection as she is a lover of books as well.


Four hours later Phyllis answered the text! Yes, yes, yes, she wanted that book! Which necessitated another trip to the library. It was still there, YESSSSSS!!!!

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And because we were right there, the Girls and I went to The Dairy King. As you do.


What have you guys been up to?

Back in the Mitten


We are home from vacation. There is no exclamation point after that sentence, just a really big sigh. The day before we left we had a snow day. I heard they had another while we were gone.


It made this seem surreal! There is an exclamation point there! It was a little chilly, upper 60s, and those dang Floridians had on fleece and jackets. Goofs.


We liked our rental house. Except the girls’ beds were hard-ish and no one could figure out the fan in the family room.

It promptly zoomed to the 80s and stayed there for the entire trip. Nice pool, SUPER warm!!!!!


Little area for non screen tanning, where Mousey parked herself all week. She read The Rosie Project and liked it. I also recommend it.


These two. Every time they got in the van they were snap chatting and taking some weirdo pictures where it morphs your face onto that of your neighbors. I will have to find out the name of it and if I am LUCKY, they will let me post some! They possibly will not because they are truly HEINOUS but absolutely hysterical!!!!!!! Mousey did one with me at the airport when we were coming home and we laughed for a full 15 minutes. Seriously, we sounded like Precious Pup AND seagulls. All my eye makeup was G.O.N.E. A good hearty laugh!

There’s our purty girlies!

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Mousey took a nice one.

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Honey was able to fitch off the canal!


The only thing around seemed to be sting rays.IMG_1523

We got to see these two! Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob have enjoyed their winter in Naples.


After dinners we headed back to their place to talk about stuff. You know, our BSF study in Revelation, politics, food, the real estate Honey and I visited, things going on in our lives, and showing Bob Honey’s new favorite YouTube video.


It was right up his ally, as we knew it would be.


We went to the pier one afternoon before dinner.


The Ab-Cat’s request.


I like his face!


I got some reading accomplished. Can I tell you how much I loved this book? I have been reading Big Mama’s blog for about 8 years at the suggestion of Mrs. Schmenkman, who said she thought I would like her. She was right and I have been following her and her family ever since. This is her third book, after Sparkly Green Earrings about motherhood and The Antelope in Living Room about marriage. I have enjoyed them all!

Friendship is something near and dear to my heart. God has been so good to provide wonderful friends throughout my life! I always say it is compensation for being sisterless, but in all sincerity, it is just His grace and a kiss on the cheek from Him to me. He knew I would need girlfriends to share the ups and crushing downs of life with. Girls to laugh and cry with, pray with, shop, eat and get our craft on with, serve, ponder, dream and do life with. This book celebrates it all.

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This was the first book I read because it was at the rental house. My Uncle Bob read it some years ago along with another one called Grain Brain, and I had hoped to read them both someday.This book was just sad. It is basically telling us we should never eat an ounce of wheat again because our wheat is not our grandparents wheat, and it’s basically causing us a whole heap of trouble. It is most likely true, but unwelcome nonetheless. I try and avoid wheat anyway, but it was nigh onto horrifying all the ways GMO’s are causing havoc in our bodies.

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I did eat two bagels this trip, but it was not pleasant and I was picturing my body in revolt.

This was our Book Club read. I did like it, it was very different from books I usually read.


After a very nice break we returned home. The Ab-Cat and I had a three pronged errand before we could tater up and be in for the night; to get her hold shelf things from the library (we wanted to watch Creed that night, it was good!), pick up dinner from our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, and go and get the Little Mister from Jip the Farm Dogs house!!!


Oh, Abby was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to see him! It was an in and out because Jip and Jaw had gone to Florida themselves the day before to watch their son, Daniel Tiger, play a little baseball. I don’t think the elder felines have missed him much but he seems a kinder, gentler catten. Jip says they teach him how to love. We will see if remains calm.

OK, I have many, many things to accomplish today, working on Bible studies, going to Sam’s to refill Mother Hubbard’s cupboards, among other pertinent things.

This is my fondest wish.


Pretty sure it’s a big fat lie. Have a good Monday!



I did a bit of reading on vacation.  I have been following the Big Mama blog since about 2008. Love her and her sense of humor. I have also read her first book Sparkly Green Earrings, loved that too.


I have been reading BooMama’s blog for just as long. Anyone with a little southern heritage will love this gal.


And that’s about it!!!




I think I want to try this. Seashells always look nicer when wet.


I don’t know if this works but I am sure going to try it!


Getting a haircut on Monday night. I need a change. Plus, all the coloring has left my hair feeling a little couchy. Maybe something like this?


Have a good Thursday.



Now that I started the new blob I don’t have to worry about running out of space anymore! I am WALLOWING in extra space !!!

Pinterest posts are back!

I sent this to Mousey, who complains about winter more than anyone I know.


This reminds me of so many friends, and you know who you are.


Eye candy for the dog days of winter. Ahhhh. Especially love that black kitty witty in the garden.


MUST GET! Do you even know how helpful this would be for a hairdresser?? Well, let me assure you, it would be helpful! What do you think Schmenky?


Sincere, deep, genuine want.


Love this! This vaguely reminds me of something I saw on Jip the Farm Dog’s basement wall. I believe it featured her boys. And dolphins.


Did I mention to you guys that I really liked this book? If I didn’t, I really liked this book!


Must try. I am having an intervention on myself.


As Mousey is fond of saying, “cat paws are everything.””.


Have a good Thursday.