Monday, March 31, 2014

Packing for the return trip...

I started packing all my stuff and even got some of it into the car today.  It seems that I may be going home with a bit more than I brought!  

I may need to find one of these little guys to run along behind the car.  :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Just to catch up...

Seems all I have been blogging is the books I've been reading.  Seems all I've been doing is reading books.  Not quite true, but does seem so.

Today was a fun day spent card making with friends.

Yesterday was a good day running errands and popping into antique shops.

Thursday was chemo day for the other Kathleen...FIVE down and just ONE more to go!

Tomorrow we are going to meet Rachael (the other Kathleen's daughter) and family at a midway point for lunch.  Kathleen needs to stock up on some cutie-pie hugs and kisses, and I need to get in one more visit, because...

Thursday I will be heading home.  The other Kathleen will be riding with me as far as Arkansas to attend a reunion.  She will stay a few days with friends and then fly home.  I will drive on to Texas on Friday.  Prayers for safe travels are appreciated.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane

I just finished this one yesterday.  Loved the writing and the characters.  It covers about 50 years (1950s to 2000s) of the lives of three Irish teens who emigrate to the U.S.  I had a hard time putting this one down.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

I am about to start this one.  Didn't I say I don't like YA fiction?  Why am I reading it?  Well, because I think it sounds like an interesting premise, and it has some really good reviews...and because it was only $2.99 on Amazon. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Breeding Ground by Sally Wright

Today I am reading Breeding Ground by Sally Wright.  I think this came up on either BookBub or Amazon as a special deal recently.  It's a novel about the horse business in Kentucky.  The writing has been pretty good, and it's a fun read right now since I'm actually in the setting at the moment.

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman

I just finished The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman, set in Appalachia during the 1920s.  Really enjoyed it as it has great characters and writing, and the stories ring true as the author is herself a midwife of long standing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Natural ant repellent...

Spring is on its way!  Insects are on the move!  

I've been staying in my friend's guest house for the past couple of months.  It is great...warm and cozy.

Now that it is starting to warm up just a bit, I've been seeing some ants in the kitchen.  I am not a fan of ants.  I keep the kitchen clean...really!  

I seemed to remember that peppermint oil would act as a repellent, so this morning I did an online search.  I found a recipe that sounded easy and  with the addition of citronella and lavender, I thought it was worth a try.  

All that's needed is:
  • a small fine-mist spray bottle
  • 15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  •   5 drops of citronella essential oil
  •   5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1.5 ounces of rubbing alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled water
Just put all the ingredients in the spray bottle, and shake before each use.

I've sprayed along the window frame which seemed like it might be their entry point, as well as along the back splash and around the sink.  I didn't expect it to be lethal to them, but the ones that were in the aim of my spray (which, let's be honest, was every single ant I saw) dropped dead pretty much immediately.  Now the ant traffic has slowed dramatically, and I hope that it will continue to.

The peppermint smells really good as does the lavender.  I'm not crazy about the scent of citronella, but I like it better than ants!

Monday, March 17, 2014

New do...

        Today I went from this...                       to this.

I'm going to try going au natural (hair wise anyway) again.  It's one of my economizing efforts now that I'm unemployed.  

Today would have been my mother's 98th birthday...a good day for a haircut...she was ALWAYS trying to get me to cut my hair...and I was ALWAYS telling her NO!

Perhaps once all the artificial color is gone from my hair, I will let it grow very long and wear it in a braid again.  :)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

A little eye candy for the ears...

Today I mark off another successful replication of a project found on Pinterest from my goals list.  The inspiration pair were made by Christine Chandler and are for sale on Etsy.  The ones I made today aren't perfect, but I'm happy with them.

I decided if I wanted to wear earrings again, I'd have to make my own.  I've all but given up on wearing earrings.  Anyone else notice that the pierced wires and studs in a lot of earrings lately are made of a larger gauge wire than they used to be?  I can barely get earrings in my left ear anymore, and if I do, they are really painful to wear for long.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

100 Books to read in a lifetime...

Today I came across a list of The 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime as selected by Goodreads readers.  I was curious to see how I have done on the list.  In reading through it, I was not surprised by how many of the books are on my 2014 reading list, since I made up my list according to 'great' books I've never gotten around to reading.  

The list follows.  Ones I have already read are struck through.  Ones on my 2014 list are in red.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
1984 by George Orwell
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Charlotte's Web by EB White
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Hobbitt by JRR Tolkien
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontё
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Night by Eli Wiesel
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontё
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Holy Bible
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Stand by Steven King
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Odyssey by Homer
Celebrating Silence by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Helen Keller: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Yikes.  If I counted correctly, I have only read forty of those on the list.  Some I loved. Some I loved so much that I have read them repeatedly.  Others I wish I could have the hours back to spend on something else. 

I will look into some of the ones I haven't read yet, but some I refuse to, because I couldn't care less.  (Yes, Harry Potter fans, I'm talking about was enough. And the no.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'll do it!...

I volunteered to make the King Cake for the pre-Lenten pancake dinner that my friend, the other Kathleen, was in charge of at her church last night.  She wanted a bread-like version rather than the cake-like versions.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.

It came together very nicely.  I always think rising dough is gorgeous, don't you?

I couldn't find the traditional baby Jesus trinket to bake into it.  I toyed (pardon my pun) with the idea of inserting a little plastic dinosaur (of which we have many handy) instead, but didn't want her to take the heat from any sticks in the mud who might call sacrilege.

I personally think the fully-cooked and decorated 'cake' looks like a hot mess, but believe it or not it is apparently supposed to look like this, and this looks about as good as any I've seen elsewhere.

Did I volunteer out of the goodness of my heart?  Umm...of course.  The fact that I can now scratch another of my 2014 goals off the list (make 14 Pinterest projects) is a bonus.  :)
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