Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just Drive ..... Nothing Else

    Last year, on October 29, 2012 I was involved in a wreck.  I had a lot of photos of my poor car saved on my laptop ~ the laptop that latter crashed.  Did I have photos saved anywhere else you say? NO, even though I have told everyone else to back up their photos because some day their computer will crash and they will lose those pictures.  Well, crum! Guess this will be a post without a photo. 
         On that evening I was minding my own business, driving home from my daughter's apartment.  We had spent the day together and had a good time.  I needed to get home before dark because my little schnauzer, Gracie, is afraid of the dark.   It was in the evening, around 7 pm, I'm guessing, and I was thinking about stopping at McDonalds and getting a hamburger and fries.  I had just seen a billboard for a Big Mac a couple of miles back. It looked good.  I was driving through a street light, a green street light, when out of no where came these headlights on my left.  The next thing I knew all I could see was white and my head hurt really bad.    
     An 18 year old girl was looking down at her GPS while driving really fast when she ran the red light.  She didn't see the light or me until she knew she was going to hit me.  As I approached the green light I could see down the block but I did not see her coming.  Did not see her car anywhere. The light was green before I approached it. I was probably going 30 mph because this is a downtown street. Thank goodness she told the police officers that she momentarily saw the red light only as she drove through it, she knew she ran a red light.  I don't think she even had a chance to try to brake. 
      I was ok.  My car was totaled. I had some broken bones in my dominant hand and wrist. Lots of bruises. A concussion. My spine rearranged.  Some problems from the concussion that took months and months to get over.  My brain did not appreciate being slammed first on one side of my skull and then the other side. I was alive so it was ok.  I didn't see the girl at the ER so I guess she was ok.  While the officers investigated I spoke with her out in the street.  She was really sorry.  I took her face in my hands and told her she was beautiful, and it was all going to be ok because those two piles of metal and fiberglass that use to be our cars --- they could be replaced but she couldn't...and that she didn't even have a scratch on that beautiful face.  Her momma would not have to get a terrible phone call.  It was all ok.  Her two passengers were ok.  Thank God for seatbelts and airbags.
     Just this summer, in the past few months, 3 people have died right there in separate wrecks.  It could have been me.  Now, I really notice how many car accidents occur in the town where I live. A horrible amount.  Just way too many.  Every time I hear a siren I think oh no, someone's life is going to change in an instant, maybe while they are driving fairly slow and thinking about having a hamburger for dinner.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dinner With The Smileys

Image If you go to Betsy's Book Bag you can see the titles I read in October.  Most of them are cozy mysteries ~ my go to for escaping life.  My favorite cozy this month was The Sleeping Salesman Enquiry but really, I liked them all.  Well, except for that one I listed that I started and did not finish.  Diane Mott Davidson's The Whole Enchilada was really good too. Best Book Of The Month was Dinner With The Smileys.   This mom came up with a great idea.  While her husband was deployed for 13 months she and her 3 sons invited someone to come to dinner to fill his empty chair once a week. Truthfully, and please don't throw rocks at me, but I had to remind myself I raised boys, my boys did not always act appropriately, and boys are not adults, but I was a little disturbed when the youngest mooned, yes, mooned the Governor of Maine, and over how the oldest acted at a children's hospital.  A time or two I thought she was a little whiney/needy but that is probably because I have been on my own so long and used to having to deal with everything by myself.  I have to hand it to this woman though.  She wrote it as it really happened.   She kept it real.  I really liked her idea that they would not do anything out of the far as hiding the lived in look of her house, or trying to cook elaborate meals.  Mrs. Smiley writes honestly, frankly and surely made me feel like a fly on the wall.  All in all, I really enjoyed this book and thought she had a fabulous idea.
The Wednesday Sisters
      The runner up Best Book was The Wednesday Sisters.  This book is one of the most well written books I have read in a long time.  The story is about 5 women who meet in the park and the friendship that develops. The support and encouragement  they give each other through illnesses, racism, bumps in marriages, rejection letters, as well as the good times made me ache for friends such as these. Great book, really well written.   This book should have been my Best Book pick except for those tugging of the heartstrings in Dinner With the Smileys.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

You KNOW I Love a Bargain!!!!!!!

I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I love, love, love when I stubble across a great bargain.  I have purchased, counting what I have put back for Christmas, probably 80 board books for my granddaughter.  Why yes, she is just two years old, why do you ask?  For my DIL's baby shower I collected a clear plastic tub full of board books as my gift.  I started reading to my granddaughter when she was about 6 months old, when I started babysitting. Her parents started reading to her before then.  Her aunt, her parents, and I have read to her every day.  Multiple times a day.  The only thing she likes better than books is going to the library to get more books.  Anyway, because I have purchased so many board books for her I know what they cost.  I was at Wal-Mart today... yes, I know I told you I would not be going back to Wal-Mart or anywhere else until after Christmas but I realized I needed a haircut and I get it cut at Wal-Mart.  No one can mess up a short pixie cut....almost.  There is this one woman that I don't want to ever cut my hair again so I wandered over to the book section so I could glance over to the haircut place and see if she was the one working today.  Since I was standing in the book section I couldn't help but see this wonder of all wonders...a box of 8, yes eight, lift the flap Karen Kratz books for ... drumroll please ...$7.97. SEVEN DOLLARS & NINETY SEVEN cents for EIGHT books! If you have not had a toddler in your life in a while this might not be so exciting to you but it is to me!  After I got the box set home I went online and added up what the 8 books would have cost at Amazon prices  ...  $49.42 !!! A savings of over $41!  My granddaughter has just one of Ms. Kratz' books but she loved it so much she wore the flaps out.  My granddaughter is looking forward to a baby brother being born any second now, he is a week late, so this set is for him.  I will put it in the closet and will probably keep them until his first birthday.  If there is a toddler in your life, check your Wal-Mart because this is quite a deal on books toddlers love!
And all those other board books I have purchased for my granddaughter? How could I afford them?  Most of them came from Hastings Books.  If you have a Hastings Book Store near you look for used books.  They have a forest green strip at the bottom of the spine that says "used."  The price will be a fraction of a "new" copy.  I only bought "used" board books that looked like brand new.  That is because they were.  If it were a board book with flaps you could tell the flaps had never been lifted.   I would never buy a board book that has been chewed on or slobbered on, as babies do.  I gather that Hastings buys out other suppliers and then sells them as used, or people sell back books someone gave their child or something. I don't know. What I do know is I worked in a public library for 20 years, almost entirely in the children's department and I know what books kids like. I know what a board book looks like if it has been used.  So, go to Hastings and check out the used books.  Now, they do have used books that are really used but even so, other than for a baby that will put it in it's mouth, there is nothing wrong with a used book in good condition. What a bargain!
 **** Here comes that disclaimer **** ... No one at Wal-Mart or Hastings Books has asked me to do a plug for them, they have not given me anything, they don't know who I am, I am just a loyal customer of both businesses.  While working at the library I have worked for both Wal-Mart and Hastings at night but both part time jobs were years ago.  Trivia... Hastings Books is headquartered in Amarillo TX and has 136 superstores across the country.   At closing time Hastings plays "Happy Trails To You."  There are 4,759 Wal-Marts in the US.  If Wal-Mart ever closes, like at Christmas maybe, I have no idea if they play a song or what it might be. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Andy's Baby

As I said in a couple of posts ago, Andy has a baby.  Not a real, live puppy but a baby to him nonetheless.  My favorite store, Kohl's, has $5 stuffed animal toys and books right by the checkout aisles.  100% of the net profits go to children's programs.  Since 2000, 231 million dollars have been donated.  I buy the toys and books as often as I can afford.  **disclaimer** No one at Kohl's knows me, no one there cares that I love their store, or gives me free things, other than the Kohl's cash any customer can get.  Last year one of the books was the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and of course the toy was a bear.  I brought home both, intending to put them in my "gifts" box in the closet. You know, that gift box I talked about several posts back.  Well, Andy saw that Brown Bear and claimed it as his.  
This is photo is of the baby after he has been well loved for a year or so and has lost his eyes.  Sometimes Andy plays a little rough with him. I assume the baby is a boy and you know how boys like to wrestle.
      That dog, Andy, was in love as soon as he saw Brown Bear sitting on the table, just out of reach.  He wanted that toy soooo bad!  There was no way I could look at those lovesick puppy dog eyes and keep Brown Bear from Andy.  I intended it for my granddaughter but, nope, Andy and Brown Bear connected in some unexplained way. From the moment I let him have it Andy treated that thing like a real live puppy. He carries it around in his mouth and takes it out the doggy door to let it take a nap in the sunshine.  He sometimes holds it up to the window so it can see outside.  He lets it rest on the porch.  He naps on the couch with it.

A couple of times he has propped his baby in the doggy door, half in and half out. I gather the baby needs some fresh air but it is too cold or too hot for him to actually be outside.  Sometimes he races from the bedroom and out the doggy door like oh my gosh, the baby can not hold it one more second, HE HAS GOT TO GO RIGHT NOW! PEOPLE, GET OUT OF THE WAY!  Occasionally  he drops the baby by the dog food bowls ---- obviously the baby is hungry or thirsty.   Andy loves to play in the snow.  Evidently the baby does too as Andy took him out in the snow fairly often last year.  As soon as it starts to get dark Andy gets frantic.  Andy runs around with his baby in his mouth, whining at the same time, because all of a sudden he has remembered his baby needs to go outside to do his business, he needs a bath,  he needs to get in bed, where shall he sleep???  Why he doesn't have one spot for the baby's "bed" I don't know. I have no idea what goes through Andy's little head.  Some nights he carries the baby around, whining all the while, for 30 minutes or more, trying to decide which people bed the baby will sleep in, or on Andy's favorite red blanket on the couch, or just where. Once he chooses a bed then the question is should the baby sleep on top of the comforter, under the sheet, on the pillow. It is such a problem for Andy.  I have no idea why.  One night this week we had our first freeze.  That night Andy made sure the baby was under the sheet and blankets, right next to my leg.  I guess it was too hot under there for Andy since he then curled up on top of the blankets.  When I saw this photo I thought maybe Andy saw Brown Bear's nose and thought to himself "hey, he has MY nose--must be my boy!"

I had a car wreck about this time last year, had some broken bones and my dominant hand was in a cast.  My son moved home with me for about 6 months to help me. Andy seemed to think my son should share parenting responsibilities with him.  My son often worked until way after dark and Andy would be frantic until my son got home and could help Andy get the baby in my son's bed.  That I would open my son's bedroom door and try to get Andy to put the baby to bed did not matter. He needed my son. As long as my son was here with us Andy let the baby sleep with him.  Andy would sleep with me.  You know, being a single parent is so stressful. Apparently Andy needed my son to take over and give him a break from that baby. When my daughter, who is really Andy's momma, comes over sometimes Andy runs around with the baby then decides my daughter needs to babysit awhile and he drops the baby in her lap.  Andy then takes off to take a nap somewhere else or to play outside. Andy also liked for my son to babysit whenever he was home.  Maybe the baby liked the music my son listened to, I don't know.  Andy loves me, but for some reason he does not want me, my grandkids or the other dogs messing with his baby.  He never brings it to me to babysit.  Andy doesn't snap at us or anything, ever, but if we look like we are going to touch his baby he watches us very carefully and then will get it in his mouth and run all over the house and yard until he figures out where he can safely set him down.  But the weird thing is, other days he will walk past the baby laying in the floor or wherever like he has never seen it before in his life.  I just don't know what Andy thinks.

Caption This ~~ The Furry KIds

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You've Got A Friend In Me

        As an empty nester I depend on my friends for so many things.  Sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to talk to.  I used to laugh all day long but the last few years have been kind of hard so I need my friends that make me laugh.  I treasure everyone that I hold in my heart as a friend but I have some special ones. I want to tell you about  three of my BFFs.  Oprah Winfrey said "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo  but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."  These three friends, no doubt, would push the bus if need be...if they could.
        The first one is a beautiful, natural blonde ... and a typical blonde.  Lots of things go over her head but she is real good natured about it.  Kinda crazy, up for absolutely anything. She is so funny, always smiling a great big smile.  It is impossible to be sad for very long around her because she is just so gosh-darn happy.  She is very affectionate and loving. I need that.  Whenever she sees me she always lets me know how happy she is to see me.  That feels good. I don't know what I would do without her some days.  She is one of those nonjudgmental type friends everyone needs.  Like me she is a full figured girl because we both love our food!  LOL! When we eat together she always wants to try what I am eating!  We have a real good time together.  I am so glad we are BFFs.
       The second friend came into my life during a very difficult period.  It seemed like left and right, up and down, everything was falling apart or going downhill, fast.  Really a sad, sad time in my life.  I wasn't looking for a new friend when we discovered each other but I am glad we did.  We just ran into each other one day and knew we would be friends. She had been through a terrible, horrible, no good very bad time as well. We understood each other.  We became BFFs immediately, even though I was a little standoffish at first. I wasn't sure I had the energy for a new relationship of any kind but I  wanted to help her.  She turned out to be more clingy than I ever expected. She would not take no for an answer!  She decided we were going to be practically joined at the hip!  She was not going to let me wallow in my depression without her there to try to pull me out of it. Turns out I thought I was helping her but she ended up saving me.  She is a good friend, always there when I need her.  When I talk she just listens with every fiber of her being.  She is a petite little thing but a spitfire!  She can give me a piece of her mind every now and then.  Her heart is good though. She doesn't smile a whole lot but when she does her glaringly white teeth are worthy of a toothpaste ad and light up her entire face. 
     The third BFF I want to tell you about is a guy.  Great big brown eyes. Trim body.  Lots of energy and very playful, kind of a rowdy character.  He can curl his lip just like Elvis.  It is a hoot!  He is All Boy!  He can be a grouchy old man sometimes when he gets tired but all his good qualities make up for that.  His photo is below.  I love that redhead!  He has a baby and some time I will write about how it cracks me up to watch him and the baby.   It is so funny watching their bedtime ritual.  I sure wasn't looking for a guy at the time I met him.  Actually, when we first got together he belonged to someone else but that didn't turn out well as a long term live-in thing.  Andy needed a place to go so I let him move in.  I have never regretted it. Oh, I still share him with that other woman, but he lives with me.  He is my protector, my bed-fellow, my good friend ... and he is extra good to my grandkids.   This is my friend Zoe ...                                                               
This is my friend, little Gracie ...

and this is the guy in our life, Andy ...

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Daughters Baked ~~~ Apple Bread

Now THIS is a good recipe!  My daughters baked, all I did was dice the apples.  My sister sent me the recipe and she got it from a friend years ago so I have no idea where the recipe originated.  Super easy to make, smells wonderful while baking, and tastes even better!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Sift together
3 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves
Stir together
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together then add
 3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples  
(note from me--we used Gala apples because they were on sale)
(note from my sister--now I don't like hunks of apples so I grate mine)
1 cup chopped walnuts  (note from me--we don't care for nuts nor are they in the budget so no nuts in mine)
Pour into greased and floured pan (My daughters used silicone pans so we did not grease & flour. Had they used my glass loaf pans we would have sprayed with non-stick spray)
Bake 1 hour or till done
    I'm still craving pumpkin bread, banana bread and cinnamon swirl bread but we didn't get to those today.  What is your favorite type of sweet bread?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today I Cooked ~~~~ Crock Pot CocaCola Barbecue Chicken

I saw this recipe on Pinterest this week so I thought I would try it.  The recipe is right there in the photograph --- 5 ingredients --- but at the end of this post will be the link if you want to read the recipe from Six Sisters Stuff. I put salt and pepper on my chicken just because I can't imagine not salt & peppering chicken. :) I am assuming you just discard that lemon when it is done.    It is in my crock pot right now and it smells ... good.  Ok, it smells a little weird --- Coke, lemon, BBQ sauce and onion --- but I am thinking positive! Tomorrow my two daughters are coming to make apple bread, pumpkin bread, and banana bread with me so I will  make potato salad, baked beans, and dinner rolls to serve with the BBQ chicken for our lunch. I will let you know what we think of the BBQ chicken tomorrow.  :)  I make my potato salad using leftover mashed potatoes, boiled eggs-diced, sweet pickles-diced, a splash of pickle juice, onion-diced, a bit of garlic salt or garlic powder, and stir in plain old yellow mustard and Miracle Whip until it looks right. I will make it tonight since it tastes better the next day after the flavors have a chance to marry.  Did you know if you put a teaspoon of baking soda in the water when boil your eggs the shells practically fall off? No egg stuck to the shell.  I have my mom's recipe for baked beans but I will just open a can of Bush's Baked Beans and stick in the oven for a bit with the dinner rolls tomorrow.  Rolls won't be homemade. I love Sister Schubert's dinner rolls.  I buy them frozen in a bag and you can bake just one or two----works for me since I normally eat alone.   And of course, no one with Sister Schubert Rolls, CocaCola, Miracle Whip or Hunt's Barbeque Sauce knows who I am or gave me anything for saying I like their products.  However, if you have never tried Sister Schubert Rolls you are missing out because they are wonderful.  Here is the link for the recipe:
WELL, IT IS DONE----before I put it in the fridge for the night I tasted it.  This recipe is a bit of a puzzle to me.  I am not sure what I expected.  Not crazy about it. Maybe different strokes for different folks.
I have a lot of broth in the crock pot....
The broth/juice is too watery to serve over mashed potatoes, or put on chicken if serving it on a bun. If you try this recipe please let me know how yours turned out.Monday---I hated it, one daughter ate some but would not take the leftovers home for her family, other daughter said she did not dislike it. We give this recipe zero stars.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


A new book to read, my favorite egg roll & veggie fried rice take-out, and wrapped up in my snuggly, soft blanket on a very cool night. Contented.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

You Betcha!

LOL! This is me! Love that 30% off especially when I have Kohls Cash!  This would be me.

Maybe It Is Just My Depression

Our Best Chocolate Birthday Cake RecipesI know someone who will be 104 next month.  I tried to find a birthday card for her.  Have you ever tried to find a card for someone that old? Her friends and family have all passed on except a daughter who has shut her out of her life. Most birthday cards say something like "may this be your happiest birthday yet", "and may you have many more" (well, we can't even pretend that will happen--many more birthdays), "enjoy your special day" (she most likely will have no visitors in the facility where she lives, it will just be another long day), "live it up"---I guess it was just me but each card I read made me more depressed.  Humorous cards would not be for her. The religious cards didn't seem to fit either.  I finally found one that would do but it just made me sad.
I won't be seeing much of my granddaughter soon. I am very sad.  I have taken care of my granddaughter while her parents worked for 2 & a half years, since she was 6 months old. She has been with me 4 days a week. Her little brother is due any day and I thought her mom was going to stay home with the kids after he comes but now they tell me she is going back to work in December. Physically and mentally I just am not up to taking care of a newborn and a 3 year old for 11 hours a day, 4 days a week. I just can't. I just can't, no matter how much I would like to keep them.  My son & daughter-in-law insist they can't cut back on the hours, that is just life.  I know the other grandparents seldom see my granddaughter and that is how it will be for me once my DIL goes back to work and the kids go to daycare. 
If I were a crayon today I would be a blue one.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shopping In My Closet!

     I had Kohl's cash to spend so I went to my favorite store today.  An employee approached me and told me anything on clearance was an additional 25% off today.  What did I find?  A 4th of July outfit for my granddaughter.  Why, yes it is October 12th, but 4th of July will come around again. This will go in my "gifts box" in the closet.  I was really excited because I have been a Grandma for 13 years now and this is the first time I have ever been able to afford an Osh Cosh By Gosh item for a grandchild, even when on sale.  Original price for each piece was $16.00, clearance price $2.40. Cute 4th of July outfit for under $5.00!
     My next purchase was a purse for my daughter .... originally $44.00, clearance price $6.60. She wanted one similar to this last winter but couldn't find one in her price range. My daughter most often buys her purses at garage sales but never ran across one like this.  In addition to being a good sale price, in exchange for the purse she is going to mow my yard for me. :)
  I don't get too excited about clothes but I love new purses and billfolds.  I found one to put in my closet to save for next spring for myself. It was priced just right for me...$44.00 marked down to $3.30! Under 4 bucks sure works for me! It is slightly smaller than the magazine I received in my mailbox today so it is big enough for everything I want to carry, plus I like that little zippered pocket on the outside for my cell phone.  Actually, both purses were free because I had $10 Kohls cash.  Man, I LOVE that store!  ***DISCLAIMER***  No one at Kohls knows who I am, no one asked me to promote their store, nor did I receive any incentive for sharing my happy purchases story. I just like to share a good deal when I see one so everyone else can get a good deal too. 

 I mentioned the "gifts box" I have in my closet ....  All my adult life I have kept a box in the closet just to put super good buys in to save for gifts.  I don't like to shop when the stores are packed with people and I hate to see things I would really like to buy but can't afford so I avoid stores during the holiday season.  I doubt I go in a department store, mall or even Walmart again until after Christmas.  Not only are the stores crowded, but where I live car wrecks near the mall during the holiday season are many, theft of purchases put in cars while in another store are frequent, purse snatchings happen.  I don't want to deal with any of those things.  Now a few days after Christmas, or especially the first week of the new year I will hit the clearance shelves when everyone else has gone back to work.  Last year I purchased my birthday and Christmas presents for this year mostly in January. I bought my last Christmas present for 2013 last July. If I think I won't remember what I bought for whom I just stick a note on it.  One grandson has a birthday in March so after Christmas I asked him if there was something he didn't get for Christmas that he really wanted.  He mentioned a car race track system that attaches on your wall. It is really cool, and too expensive for me. I found one at a toy store in late January for 90% off, just in time for his birthday!
    Besides the good feeling I get when I find a bargain I get another good feeling when a birthday rolls around and I can shop the gift box in my closet, especially when a birthday comes and I have no money!  :) Plus, since I tend to have memory problems it is a lot of fun for me to open that "gifts box" and see what is in there!
      Life is good!  Tell me about your bargains, and go hug somebody.
              Betsy    (why hugs? Google hugs & mental health---a hug does amazing things as long as it is two people who want to hug)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life Jambalaya, or This & That

      Today I made a "bed" on the couch for my granddaughter to take a nap. The nap did not work out for her (thus not for me either, dang it) but Andy decided my effort was not wasted. He just needed to get one of the blankets formed into a suitable pillow for himself.  Andy is the resident watchdog that once 9 p.m. hits he lets me know his shift is over, he is ready for me to close my book and turn out the light by moaning and groaning like an old man at me until I do. 
       This evening my sister introduced me to a cooking blog she found, The Southern Lady Cooks ... this is the lady's blog address:   Oh my goodness, I wanted to try every recipe she had on her blog.  In our dreams, my sister and I would be living next door to each other in a very luxurious assisted living place.  You know, the kind where you have a beautiful but small apartment with your own furniture, maid service, medical professionals to check on you, lots of fun activities, a movie theater in the building, water aerobics in the pool, and someone else to cook the meals and do the dishes.  After 59 and 67 years we think it is time someone else did those last two things for us.  Anyway, I told my sister, after looking at The Southern Lady Cooks recipes, that when Publisher's Clearing House visits with the big check we will move to that assisted living place and ask the cook to just fix anything in this lady's recipe index and we will get along just fine.  We would be in high cotton, as we say here in Texas.  If you enjoy southern cooking you just might want to check out her blog. I gained 10 pounds just reading the recipes. I texted my sister that cooler weather just makes me hungry. I wish I had any of The Southern Lady's crockpot recipes ready for dinner tonight. She texted back that it was 84 degrees here today.  Oh.  Well, I told her that it is FALL, and suppose to be cooler, and since last week it was almost 100 then 84 IS cooler. That is my story and I'm stickin' to it.
      My granddaughter is a pretty healthy kid.  She will be 3 next month and other than allergies and one bout of the stomach flu we all suffered through, twice, she has been healthy as can be.  I read today that the probiotics in foods such as yogurt and cottage cheese boost your immune system.  Well, that explains it!  My granddaughter's favorite food from the time she was about a year old has been cottage cheese.  She has some pretty much every day. Me? I wouldn't put cottage cheese in my mouth if I were starving, and I catch every bug that goes through town. 
     I am in the middle of a great book...a cozy mystery by Diane Mott Davidson, The Whole Enchilada.  I believe it is number 17 in her series.  This is the best one yet.  If you like cozies and you have not read this series then get to your library and get the first one, Catering To Nobody. The main character is Goldy Schulz, a small town Colorado caterer. Now I have to get back to reading .... Y'all have a great weekend, and go give somebody a hug, 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Would You?

     My son took this photo with his cell phone. This is the Ferris wheel at Pier 50 near where he works in downtown Seattle.  I live in the desert...we don't see water in large amounts like that!  As my daughter and I looked at the photo she commented that she would not even consider getting on that Ferris wheel and riding over the water.
     I have never been to Seattle so I did some research on The Seattle Great Wheel. The wheel was built directly on the pier with 550 tons of concrete poured for the foundation.  It is new, only opening in June of 2012.  300 people can ride at one time and the wheel extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier over Elliott Bay. For adults it costs $13 to ride. Of course if you want an even more impressive view you can ride in the VIP gondola for $50 a person.  It has a glass floor.   I didn't find out how long a ride lasts but each ride is three revolutions of the 175 foot Ferris wheel. 175 feet??!! In case you wonder, the tallest Ferris Wheel is the Singapore Flyer at 541 feet tall.  LOL, the Ferris wheel in our local amusement park seems pretty small now --- it is only 54 feet high.
     My daughter's comment that she would not get on that thing stems from the fact that she has a fierce fear of water, a fear my mother instilled in all of us. I am also fearful of heights and I am claustrophobic.  On top of that, once when I was about 8 years old my older brother and I rode a Ferris wheel type ride in which the gondola was an enclosed cage that also rotated.  Well, it was a traveling carnival ride, just passing through town for a few nights. Something happened to the wheel and it stopped. Our cage was at the very top, stuck hanging upside down, for over 30 minutes.  I ponder a long time whether I really want to ride something before I get on a ride now!  I look at them and say to myself how will I feel if something happens and I am stuck on that thing for a half hour or so. 
     Considering this is a newly built wheel I think I might overcome my fears and ride it.  But sitting here in Texas that is easy to say right now.  How about you? Would you ride a Ferris wheel this tall over water?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Love Jesus, But I Drink A Little....

I love to laugh and this clip from The Ellen DeGeneres Show just cracks me up big time.  If you need a good belly laugh listen to the entire clip .....  too funny!!!!  I don't know which is more funny, Gladys or Ellen's reaction when Gladys says "I love Jesus, but I drink a little..." The lady's name is Gladys.  She was 88 at the time she first talked to Ellen and oh, my goodness, she is HOOT.  My favorite aunt, Clarice--but she liked to be called Bill---had a great sense of humor and I suspect if cancer had not taken her in her early 50's she would be just like this lady at 88.  The last thing Gladys says is similar to something my Aunt Bill said to me one time and I have repeated a hundred times (you know about me and my names)...."call me anything as long as you call me to the dinner table." 
    Have a great day, go hug somebody, and come back by my blog soon, Betsy            Oops, I am not done yet ... At this link    you are suppose to be able to hear all of Gladys & Ellen's phone calls but I can not get the dadgum thing to work for me.  If y'all can figure out how to hear them please let me know what to do...I need all the belly laughs I can get.  :) 

If I Could Be Anywhere----

The 2013 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will take place Oct. 5-13.If I could be anywhere right now I would be here....    Years ago I lived in Albuquerque, NM and fell in love with the hot air balloons that were in the sky almost every weekend.  In October Albuquerque holds a Balloon Fiesta, with over 500 balloons in the sky.  Just beautiful ... If you can't go to Albuquerque you can  visit online here:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Have You Read A Good Book Lately?

    I added a page, Betsy's Book Bag, to list the books I read each month.  I can't remember by title, cover or blurb if I have read something or not, so I have been keeping a list so I don't check out the same books. On the up side, I can always find something to read since I don't remember! I have some memory/reading problems from the effects of depression on my brain, and the remaining effects from a concussion I had last year so I have to read a book all at once.  I can not read a few chapters, pick it up the next day and begin where I left off because I won't remember the plot or the characters.  I wasn't always this way.  I have been an avid reader for oh, 54 years or so and never used to have this problem. That I need to read a book cover to cover in one sitting isn't a bad problem, and I have the time usually, but I wish I could remember more. But enough about is constantly changing, isn't it? 
     I intended to post this the last day of September to talk about the best books I read for the month. Life kind of got in the way but here goes. In September  I read 13 books, mostly cozy mysteries but also a couple of novels, biography or two, and an information book.  
      The cozy mysteries were all good.  When you pick up a cozy you know what you are getting, for the most part.  No graphic language, gore or sex, just a fun mystery. My favorite cozy website keeps me on top of new titles being released each month.  Here is the link
      Best book of the Bunch?  I am going to say The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life written by Ruthie's brother, Rod Dreher.  What I learned, more like was reminded, is that being a part of a community is important.  That "community" can be a small town, a neighborhood, family, a group of friends, a church family, coworkers, whatever.  We need each other. (feel free to start singing that Barbra Streisand song "People Who Need People"...because I have been humming it every time I think of this book.)  Here is a link to a better description of the book than I can write...
       Love/Hate Award goes to The Butler: A Witness To History  I am glad I read it. I am even happier that I checked it out of the library and did not pay $18.00 for it.  I loved the story, I just adored Helene and Eugene Allen, and Wil Haygood? He is a phenomenal author. I imagine if I had googled the Washington Post story Mr. Haygood wrote about Mr. Allen I would have been just as satisfied as reading the book.  In fact, since only the first slender portion of the book is about Mr. Allen's story maybe it IS the newspaper article.  The rest includes a few pages of photos, and info about the movie.  NOT what I expected.  I thought this would be a book full of stories about Mr. Allen's experiences serving 8 presidents.  Not so. 
     Surprised I Liked It So Much Award goes to Nowhere But Home. I almost gave it "Best book of the Bunch."  A really good story about a young woman who's mother named her Queen Elizabeth.  This is how terrible, and erratic, my memory is. LOL! I wanted to recommend this book to someone else after I read it and had turned it in to the library. (I worked in a library for 20 years. Please support your library before they go away)  When I texted a librarian to see if he could help me come up with the title I could remember a lot of info--especially for me to remember--that it involved a dysfunctional family, a young woman who loses job after job as a chef, ends up back in the home town she never wanted to see again living with her sister and nephew. I remembered she becomes the person who cooks the last meal for inmates on death row. I could remember the title consisted of three words and a girl standing on a ladder was on the cover, but did I remember the main character's name was Queen Elizabeth (and no, not THAT Queen Elizabeth)???  Nooo, that completely slipped my mind!!
      Friendship Bread, and it's sequel, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbook Society.  I enjoyed these so much I hope there is a 3rd book coming next year.  As in life, everything is not happy, but a very good story and characters that I really liked.  I wanted them to be real and I wanted to join them at the tea shop.
      What have you been reading?

Seeing her for the first time again

Have you seen this clip from youtube? I just laugh because it is so funny and almost cry because it is so sweet.  I hope you can hear what he says. If you can't hear it then crank it up and put your ear to the speaker!  It is just so funny!  This young man had hernia surgery and is just waking up to see "the most beautiful woman he has ever seen."  Toooo precious!