~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What I'm Reading

At what point does this constitute as an obsession?  I've read 21 books so far this year.  I've never been that kind of a reader.  I know there are people who have a goal of 100 books in a year.  I'm not that person.  I actually feel guilty about reading because it's a hobby that takes the place of something more important that I should be doing!  One thing that helps with my guilt is that I only read after I've finished my daily Bible reading.  So, if you count the 66 books of the Bible, I may be pretty close to that 100 mark by the end of the year!

A lot of the books I've read lately aren't great and I realize that's because I'm buying the Kindle deals on Amazon.  Most of those deals offer a cheap price on the first book in a series, hoping you'll buy the remaining books.  Sadly, it's not usually worth reading the sequels.

I've contemplated signing back up for Amazon Prime so that I can take advantage of the free Kindle books.  Has anyone ever done that who can offer advice?  I would like to know if it's worth it or if the selection is very minimal.  As of now, I'm spending more money than I would like to because I'm reading some of these books in only 3 days.  I might as well have the free shipping to go along with it!

Here's what I've been reading:

  • Party Girl by Rachel Hollis
This book was just OK.  It's almost like the author finished watching The Devil Wears Prada, thought to herself "Hmm....I liked that," and then decided to write a book with the same theme.  It's about a party planner and it has the same components of Prada.  The boss is highly sought after, condescending, and trendy.  The main character is just too good to be true.  I purchased this book because it was a good deal and because there are two others that follow it.  I did enjoy reading it, but not enough to read the next two.  There wasn't enough depth.  There was harsh language and mild sexual content (for my wholesome readers).  

  • Maid for Love by Marie Force
This one was not worth reading.  It had the depth of what I imagine a Playboy article would have.  It dwelt much more on the size of the woman's jugs and the endowment of the man's genitalia than a good story line.  I would have guessed the author to have been in high school because of the writing quality.  She mentions the woman's "caramel eyes" and "flowery scent" way too many times to count.  I'm guessing her English teacher never taught her to use a variety of adjectives.  There are very graphic sex scenes that I had to skip over and the story isn't believable at all.  Save your time and skip this one.  

  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
This book was better than the last two.  It's about a woman who returns to her home town following a divorce and loss of a child.  Her brother is going through a rough period with drug addiction and she feels the need to move home to help him out.  I know that sounds like the book has an overwhelming sad theme, but it's not a complete tearjerker.  The brother and sister are close, despite their dysfunction, but neither is close with their overbearing, rich mother.  As they are sorting through things, they find evidence that suggests they used to have an older sister.  I don't want to give away any more than that.  There is some explicit material and language.  (Why do all of these books include a man teaching a woman how to have better sex?  She always thoroughly enjoys it and thanks him for it.  Gag.)  Anyway, this book is worth reading, if you find a good deal on it.  

  • The Marryin' Kind by Nancy J. Parra
OK, finally a book that I really enjoyed!  This is part of a series, but it doesn't end in a cliffhanger.  You don't have to read the next book to find out what happens.  It's just about the same characters.  I can't say I picked up on the actual time period of this book.  The women wear hoop skirts and pump water into the house, but there seem to be very modern things discussed.  Anyway, it's about an independent woman who has no desire to marry.  She wants to stay single and live alone, much to the dismay of her father and sisters.  Similar to Pride & Prejudice, the younger sister is a flirt who can't understand someone's desire to not marry.  The older brother comes up with an elaborate plan to help his sister achieve everything she wants in life.  This book is very light, yet entertaining.  There's plenty going on and you can't wait to see what's going to happen next.  The best part is that it's very clean with no language or explicit material.  I enjoyed it so much that I bought the next two.

  • The Bettin' Kind by Nancy J. Parra

This is the second book of the series and is about the younger sister.  I thought the first was better, but that's probably because I read it first.  I did finish this one in two days though.  It was very similar to the first book, which might be why I didn't enjoy it quite as much.  I decided not to read the third right away.  The book was still very enjoyable, clean, and romantic.  The heroine from the first book is mentioned, but isn't a key character.  I would still recommend reading them in order or you'll get a few spoilers.  There is even a little action in this one and I had a hard time putting it down.

  • The Songbird and the Soldier by Wendy Lou Jones

I immediately fell in love with this book.  It's about a man in the service who begins exchanging letters with someone he met briefly while at home.  The author shares the letters with you and they're quite enjoyable to read.  Then chapters go by where nothing happens.  Seriously, it's like describing my daily life.  She goes to the grocery store.  They have tea.  She walks through the park.  They have a picnic.  She cooks dinner.  My eyes kept drooping and this book became a quick cure for insomnia.  It gets a little better, and things start happening, but it never really picks up again.   There are several dramatic events in the last third of the book.  But frankly, by that point, I didn't care about the characters any more.  I just wanted to finish.  The writing was dull and lifeless.  When I picked up my very next book, the words jumped out at me like sugar to someone on a diet.  It had some language, but otherwise was pretty clean.  I'd say skip this one.

...and I'm still going.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Randomness of Life

I'm having such difficulty dealing with the news and current issues of today.  I don't want to log onto social media or turn on the television.  I don't want to know the details of the horrific events of the last few days; I'd rather be ignorant.  Does that mean I don't care?  No, it means I care too much.  If I think about it too much, it consumes me.  I have to continue living my life.  Getting overwhelmed with grief won't help make anything better.


This was in our local paper!
Son #1 is getting involved with a summer job program.  Our church secretary (my cousin) told me about it.  This agency will pay #1 to work at the church over the summer!  The church gets to use his services for free, but will provide some mentoring and help him establish work skills.  He already has great work skills and he's involved in the church anyway.  He has a key to get in (as he unlocks the doors before services), so she said he can pretty much go up and work whenever he wants.  It's so flexible and he'll get a dollar more an hour than he's making at his current job!  He'll keep the other job too; he only works Monday and Saturday evenings.  He needs something to occupy him this summer....I'm afraid he's going to wear out the pads of his thumbs on that stupid iPad.


I, on the other hand, have plenty to do to keep myself busy.  My basement, people, is simply disgusting.  It's overwhelming and there are hours worth of work awaiting me.  Anyone want to come help me?

It's time to start getting this house organized and into shape.  I'm doing a great job of keeping it "drop in ready" at most times.  If anyone knocks on my door, I'm comfortable inviting them in.  However, the nooks and crannies, like the basement, garage, and closets are hideous.  I can't take it any more.

Years ago, when I only had the two boys, my family bought a very large parcel of land.  Our dream was to construct a development where everyone could build homes together.  Yeah, it didn't work.  My uncle spent over a decade trying to get permits and sewers and water lines.  He finally kind of gave up.  But he decided to put his home up for sale anyway.  It's a very unique, historical house, so it's not like some ordinary Joe would happen by to purchase it.  Built in the early 1900s, it was part of a farm.  The caretaker lived in the front part of the house.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2 kitchens.  The back half of the house was renovated by my grandfather.  My mom and uncle lived there from birth.  It has 4 bedrooms also and a fabulous great room.  Because of this, they're asking a pretty penny.  A few corporations have looked through it, as well as a couple multi-generational families.  It's been on the market off and on for 7 years now.  Nothing.  This week, the metropolitan housing company in our area contacted my uncle to see if all of the family members on the street would be interested in talking numbers.  SO- even though we've never listed our house, it may finally be looked at.  It's nerve-wracking and very exciting at the same time.  So that's why I need to get busy in my basement.  Seriously....looking for eager volunteers!!!  :D


I adore the expression on
her face! 
Maybe it's finally our "Season."  Hubby was involved in a class action suit against his company that was filed a dozen years ago.  He's a named plaintiff on the suit, which means he's given testimonies and whatnot.  Back then, they said if it all pans out, we could be awarded with well over six figures.  We've patiently anticipated the settlement of this lawsuit for over a decade.  It settled.  Sadly, it didn't even come close to what Hubby hoped for.  Me, I would have been thrilled with a $20 gift card to Outback.  He really hoped we could pay off the house.  Um, nope.  The actual amount isn't set in stone because they're having difficulty locating all 300+ people who are affected.  No matter what happens, we'll get some money, which is fantastic!  Hopefully it won't take another decade though!


Oh, it is suddenly pouring rain here!  With lightning!  We really need that.  It finally got hot here today; I broke down and turned on the A/C.  I like it so much better with a natural breeze blowing through the house.  The humidity did me in though.  We tried to swim at my cousin's Monday, but it was just too cool.  


Does anyone else think my ice cream cone looks like the poop emoji?


I hope things are going well in the lives of all my readers!  I love it when y'all post comments or occasionally email me.  I enjoy hearing from you!  I'll leave you with one random thought.  What's one food from your childhood you'd just love to have again?  Maybe a meal your mom used to make or something from a restaurant that went out of business?  I'd have to say the chicken nachos, chips, and salsa from Chi-Chi's.  I really miss that place...it was our date night go-to place.  :(

Friday, June 10, 2016

What's Happening--

I am truly enjoying the summer!  I work so hard throughout the spring that, when summer comes, I take relaxation to a whole new level!  I've been reading, walking, cooking, and enjoying life.  I could really get used to this lifestyle.


Hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary!  I don't feel old enough to have been married that long.  We enjoyed a short cruise that was heavenly!  We ate, fell asleep in the sun, played mini golf, read books, and tried out the water slide.  I was so sad to see it end.  Another lifestyle I could get used to...


Son #2 is on the left.
I am so relieved that school is out.  I am very tired of pestering the kids to work hard and keep their grades up.  Big Sis did fantastic her last quarter.  Son #1's grades were disappointing and Son #2 dropped the ball in the last week of school.  He's carried a 4.0 since 7th grade and finally lost it.  His Destination Imagination team traveled to Knoxville, TN for Globals the last full week of school and he missed too much class.  He had to write his final paper in the car.  This one paper counted for his English, Science, and History grades.  I don't really get the reasoning behind that.  Well, he bombed the paper.  Each section was worth 20 points.  He got 20/20 on Science, 15/20 on History, and 5/20 in English for doing his citations wrong.  Because of that, he got a poor grade in all three subjects.  I don't quite see the fairness in that.  He should have gotten a poor grade in English only.  Because of this, he lost his 4.0.  I'm pretty ticked about it.  His older brother never had any assignments that were cross-curricular like that.  I just don't get it.  And Baby Girl graduated 1st grade on a high note.  She's picked up in her reading and math and I'm quite pleased with her progress.


Hubby's police career is moving slowly, but he finally got his uniforms this week.  He looks quite dashing!  OK, the hat is a little dorky, but he's not required to wear it.  He has to "qualify" with his weapon and then he can begin.  He's more than anxious to start because he's totally fed up with his current job.

For example, Son #1 had to go to traffic court tonight.  (Speeding on the highway....I about killed him!)  I had to take him alone because Hubby couldn't get off in time.  They won't accommodate him in any way.  Other drivers were off well before 5:00 that he could have switched with, but they will not give him any slack.  He works every Saturday and has gotten home after 7:30 this week.  He doesn't get paid enough to not have a life because of work.  Fortunately, he has a new career ahead of him.  Hopefully full-time employment at the PD will come soon!


The tooth fairy has been
visiting lately!
Every other Saturday, I am alternating between teaching a couponing class and a cooking class.  I really enjoy it....when people show up.  It's quite frustrating to have 25 people sign up for a class and only 1 shows up.  If you don't want to attend, don't sign up.


We unexpectedly came into $1000!  It was such a shock and surprise, we don't know what to do with it yet.  There are so many things we could use it for, but we're contemplating investing it for a rainy day.  Hmmm.....


The boys had physicals this week.  Son #1 is 5'10 1/2" and 139 lbs.!  Son #2 is 5'7 1/2" and 110 lbs.  Boy, are they going to look just like their dad!!!  I feel like a midget around here.


That's about all that's going on and I'm so happy about it!  Golf starts soon and Son #1 is going to join his brother on the team this year.  He's entering his Senior year (yikes!) and taking way too strenuous of a schedule.  I honestly don't think he can pull it off.  

I feel like I've aged a lot since I started this blog.  Instead of a home with four kids, I have two little girls and three grown men living here.  It's weird.