Monday, March 19, 2018

My Crazy Calendar- Random Post-My Crazy Life Changes

It's to happen to me from time to time who know what causes it.
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That's what happened last week.  Or was it the last couple of weeks?  

Anyway the good news is.  At least I think it's good news!
I have plenty say.  The ideas just keep popping into my head!

Blog Post Ideas For When You Are in a Rut
And I didn't even read this!  I have a few posts planned and some great ideas that I think you'll like. 

And then today I was totally messed up!

If your a regular follower I  am sure you've wondered what the 
heck is up with all the book reviews.   I know I promised no or few book reviews here.  And I am keeping my word after today.
I mistakenly published one of my reviews here this morning and didn't realize till this afternoon! 

And then on the other one some how the tour and I both goofed and assigned it here!

It has been a crazy few days for me straightening out my calendar!

And, The Cowboy has been home all day!  And he'll be home all day tomorrow and the next day and on and on.  

It was over 10 years ago he began working in ministry and quit 
his corporate job.  So he was semi-retired but mostly gone. 

And then there were financial struggles with the ministry and 5 years ago he started working again.  

Well now finally he is able to really retire.  He will only be 
working on Saturdays.  

And now he's under foot. So we have this whole getting used to being around each other thing going on all over again!  LOL.  

I planned to work on the blog this morning after sleeping a little late because we had a super busy weekend.  And when I came into my craft room where the lap top is he was sitting in my chair 
working on taxes.  

So my posts were all late.  And they were all messed up because I messed up my calendar so it has been a crazy day!

And there is no post written for tomorrow!  And so just when I thought that I was all back to normal and could leave you something interesting and witty I am stuck and in a rut.  

Because my mind is on over load. 

So whether you read this on Monday evening or Tuesday morning 
I want to leave you with a promise I'll be back to normal as normal as  I can be. 
Until then I wish you Sweet Blessings!
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Have a Good Week!

Twenty-One Steps Of Courage by Sarah Bates-Book Review

About the book 
Publisher:, Inc.  (Mar 31, 2012)
Category: Literary Fiction, Military Fiction, Adventure, Realistic Fiction
Tour dates: Feb/Mar, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61434-957-0
Available in Print, ebook, & Audiobook 280 pages

From award-winning author. In 2006, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raging, Rod Strong enlists in the Army to achieve the goal his father sought before he tragically died in the Gulf War. His objective: The Old Guard regiment, the elite Soldiers who stand as Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery. Rod overcomes the obstacles that litter his path until an unexpected firefight in Afghanistan changes his life forever.
Read an excerpt
Even with the wall furnaces blasting full on, Rod felt the cold concrete of Charlie Company's balcony floor through his spits. The heavy soled black shoes meant for walking served Guards fine as long as they kept moving, but not standing immobile for twenty-five minutes while snow flurries wrapped the building. The excitement of Christmas and New Year's Eve at home seemed too long ago. He thought about the sad look on Beth's face when he'd left her at San Diego Airport, and felt a pang of loneliness that made him frown; a forbidden gesture.
      "That's one gig, Strong!" yelled Staff Sergeant B.J. Hawkins, descending on him like the predator bird she unfortunately resembled. "Don't let me see five more!"
      The tall NCO walked up and down in front of the new class of Old Guard Soldiers, black eyes darting back and forth watching every soldier for mistakes. Rod heard about Hawkins when he arrived. Of the two noncoms assigned to week one of ROP, she had the rep for being the toughest in the bunch.
      Instantly, Rod pulled his face into an emotionless mask and began to count the minutes, seeing them fall from a clock, rather than speaking them aloud. Inwardly, he cursed his failure to sustain the ceremonial composure he desperately strove to learn. For all the rigors of PT and the stamina he'd developed, standing absolutely still became an almost insurmountable obstacle. I'd better figure this out, he thought. I got 50 minutes to stand next week and 75 week three. Shit.
      By the beginning of week three he'd sorted out a way to trick his mind into standing for 75 minutes with ease. Visualizing the manual of arms, he'd picture the steps like a movie, counting the movements in each routine. Later, he practiced the exacting steps physically under the tutelage of a sergeant. To strengthen his legs, his daily workouts on the roads within Fort Myer became positive highlights. Not content with the three-mile round trip pussy run to the Iwo Jima monument every day, on alternate days he took off for the Washington Monument, six miles. He'd finish the last leg up Cardiac Hill doing Iron Mikes. The punishing lunges strained his thigh muscles to the burning point. He never thought he'd be grateful for the Ranger School endurance ordeal he withstood, yet admitted it prepared him for this.
      One Tuesday, turned out in ACUs, Rod and Private Jackson stood with Sergeant Cleveland on a third floor Charlie Company balcony practicing Eyes Right, Right Shoulder Arms. The nearly twelve pound Army M-14 felt like a beast in his hands compared to the lightweight M-16 he'd left behind at Ranger School. Rod and Jackson stood at parade rest waiting for instruction.
      "You two are going to march until shit runs down your leg," Cleveland said, "So I don't want to see any mistakes when that happens. Half second off and we do it again and again. Got it?"
      "Yes, Sarn't!" They responded
      Rod and Jackson kept their eyes on the sergeant, watching his every move and adjusting their weapons. Each then stood at attention, eyes front, left hands clenched.
      "All right," Sergeant Cleveland drawled. "And that left arm swings smoothly in unison. You are not puppets!"
      "Okay, here's the drill. We're marching, just as our right feet hit the ground, I yell Ready. Next, right foot hits the ground I yell Eyes. Got that so far?"
      "Yes, Sarn't!"
      "Don't anticipate the command. Eyes are forward. Then I give the command Rightand you snap your head forty-five degrees to the right. Everybody does it at the same time."
      "And I want to see your heads snap on those chicken necks." The sergeant paused and looked at Rod. "Show me forty-five degrees, Strong!"
      Rod jerked his jaw over his right shoulder.
      "That's ninety degrees you idiot! Watch me."
      At that, Cleveland snapped to eyesright, his chin pointed halfway to his right shoulder. Jackson, show him how."
      Private Jackson executed the 45-degree head snap, glanced at Rod then turned his attention back to Sergeant Cleveland.
      "Next step, now that Hotrod knows his geometry, is to bring the weapon down. And I don't want to see any jackrabbit or slo moactions. It's uniform. Got that?"
      "Yes, Sarn't," both men said.
      Snow had begun to fall and blow onto the balcony, making the floor slick, yet still they drilled. Soon Rod's breath enveloped his face in moist bursts and the M-14 began to feel twice its weight. By 1700 when winter blackness closed in on Arlington and Sgt. Cleveland called a halt to that day's lesson, Rod's arms and legs felt like lead.
      He passed week one and two of the Friday tests, even managing to get a little positive nod out of Sergeant Hawkins. When Friday rolled around on week three, he faced Cleveland for his test just before ROP graduation.
      "Well, well, Strong, you got your math straight now?"
      "Yes, Sarn't Cleveland."
      "Let's see you execute eyes rightwhile marching, call it out for me as you do it. I'll tell you when to stop."
      Rod stepped off ten times, counting each motion and performing it as routinely aspossible, until finally, Sgt. Cleveland called out.

      "Stop. You got it. Stop," the sergeant ordered, throwing up his hand in exasperation. "At ease."

And others are saying (from authors website)
Support by enthused readers
Here’s what readers are saying...
“The author of this book, Sarah Bates, is a liar. She professes not to know much about the military yet she tells an inspiring story that captures the true essence of what the military is all about -- love of country -- unit esprit de corps -- family values -- personal courage. Every high school student, every parent and all of the politicians in this country should read this book.” Lloyd N. Cosby, retired Tomb Guard (Alexandria, VA, US)

“Really enjoyable and meaningful.  Your writing is very impressive.” Bob Leonard (Fallbrook, CA)

“...this is a book of amazing power and emotion. Please pick up a copy today!” Michael Wolf, Writing Coach and Editor (Oceanside, CA)

" the book and I cried A LOT--it was very heartwarming and extremely interesting. When you described the part about him fighting and saving his brother--I felt I was there--a sure movie deal I hope."  Detra Hoffman (Los Angeles, CA)

"Loved your book. It was hard to put down.” George H., (Crystal Lake, Illinois) 

“Twenty-One Steps of Courage is a well balanced story about military life. Not too left or right, it's a good read, one that I would recommend to anyone, but especially to people who are thinking about joining the military.” -Caradea Linore, (San Diego, CA)

“The book was informative and well-researched. The story was quite interesting.” LAWonder (Los Angeles, CA)

And I Thought
I was actually surprised at how much I liked this book. 
Twenty-One Steps To Courage was much more than I expected. 
It was a book filled with lots or emotion and courage. 
Sarah Bates does an incredible job of research which makes this
book a great read. 
I would recommend anyone to read it.  There is some language 
in it but it kind of goes with the territory. 
Expect a fast paced and fascinating read as you journey along 
with Rod through basic training and then into infantry training 
and then Ranger school and ultimately to the 'Old Guard'.
21 Steps to Courage is filled with love of country/family. 
You'll  find strength and courage portrayed but very strong characters. 
Whether your a fan of military books or not you need to give this one a chance.  
I received a complimentary copy.
This review will appear on retail sites and Good Read.

Buy the book 
Visit the tour
To read more reviews, interviews, excerpts and enter the 
Giveaways visit the tour.  Click here

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Playing with Bonbon Fire-by Dorothy St. James-Great Escapes Tour-Review/Giveaway

About the book 
Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.
Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.
While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.
Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Southern Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.
And others are saying
This book has really made an impression on me. It’s getting harder and harder to find books as well done as this one.
~Writing Pearls
This story had plenty of unique characters that readers will enjoy. It was as though you were truly visiting a festival, allowing yourself to people watch.
~Bibliophile Reviews
A story to be savored and enjoyed like a fine piece of chocolate. Playing with Bonbon Fire is sure to leave you craving more from this hit series by Dorothy St. James.
~A Cozy Experience
Even when all the chocolate has been eaten (oh, woe is me!), this delicious story will tickle and tempt your tastebuds! There is enough sugar to make this a sweet story, but not so much that it becomes cloying. Bonbon Fire is just right.
~Back Porchervations
Dorothy St. James is an amazingly talented author who paints a picture of a town and characters so well that you get lost in the story, only fully emerging upon turning the last page.
~The Montana Bookaholic

And I thought
I suspected I would really, really enjoy this book.  I couldn't wait to get to the end and find the recipes!  Which sound so good!  
A chocolate lover like myself will enjoy every minute and bite 
of Playing with Bonbon Fire it's hard not to feel like your gaining inches as you read.  All this talk about chocolate is 
almost a dream come true with the quaint dreamy little seaside town. 

The town is filled with fun and quirky characters that care of each other and help solve the mystery in their own unique way.  
Penn is put to the test not only solving the mysteries but making a go of becoming the Chocolatier she wants to be.  
As Penn goes down the twisty turning road picking up clues 
the reader is swept along the yummy ride. 
In the end everything is wrapped up sweetly or maybe savory.  
Either way it's a win win 5 star read. 

Buy the book 
Visit the tour
Visit the tour to read more reviews, guest posts and interviews.
Click here

Enter the Giveaway

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The Fabulous Party-Link Any Day-Any Day

Welcome to the party
3rd time is charm I hope.  I am trying the link and post 
to start at midnight for you earlier folks!
If the link is not started in the morning I will fix about 9 a.m. 
Cross you figures I get it right this time! 
Link up!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Homemaker in Texas

I hope your having a wonderful weekend
Today I am sharing my Happy Homemaker post
I'll be linking with Sandra on Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday is a fun link party.  Sandra provides 
prompts and I add a few of my own.  Come over and join the party.

The Weather
 There is not a lot better than springtime in Texas.  It is gorgeous.
We might have a little rain tonight and tomorrow but otherwise it 
is gorgeous.

Right Now I  Am
I am thinking that I am happy and blessed to be where I am. I went 
out earlier to buy a few more seeds to plant.  I went to walmart
because they have some seeds for .20.  I couldn't even find a cart
everyone it seems was shopping for plants!  Spring time awe.

Something fun to share
Mystery Suspects for Host a Downloadable DIY St. Patrick's Day Murder Mystery Party Kit: Murder Most Green from Lynda McKenzie of Freelton, Ontario, Canada

I found this fun party option.  It is a website that provides kits 
to do murder mystery parties.  Kind of like the places that do the murder mystery dinners.  Only you do this at home.  
I was goolging St Partricks Day and this sight popped up with it's
St. Patricks Day Murder Mystery.  The kit costs $39.77.  
  • Complete instructions on how to coordinate the investigation of Patrick Flaherty's death.

  • Roles for all suspects that include family backgrounds and recollections of events surrounding the crime.

  • An invitation to the St. Patrick's Day party honoring Patrick Flaherty.

  • Instructions for the undercover detective, and a letter from the Blarney Police Department explaining the investigation.

  • A series of written clues that can be exchanged or revealed at critical moments.

  • Key supporting information such as a map of Flaherty's True Green Plant Nursery, the coroner's report, and the last will and testament of Patrick Flaherty.

  • "The Denouement" that is revealed at the end of the investigation and ties the event together. Remember: MOTIVE, MEANS and OPPORTUNITY will point to the guilty party.
 It is downloadedable.  I thought this was really fun.  I need to gather some friends together and a party.   There are all kinds of options.  Check it out here.

A new blog to share
Have you found Jennifer Houghtons blog?  She does amazing over the top holiday decorations!  I want to live in her house. 
Easter, Easter decor, Easter bunny, Easter dinnerware
The kitchen table is lovely.  And the grand entry . . . 
easter, easter decor, carrots, garden, bunny, bunnies, wheelbarrow, clouds, beets, cabbage
Gorgeous!  Peter would love it here.  Click here to see the post.

On the to do list
Work on the front flower beds now that the veggies are basically all in at least for now.
Spend more time this week getting posts written.
Need to introduce Domino (my dog) and start her posts
Add some new training she has accomplished sit, stay, kiss.
Work on quilts for the wedding #TexasWedding

My Ta Da Moments
Planned/planted Sun Flower seeds for a house for my grandson
Made it through the work week just barely!
Made it through the planned menu!

On the menu
I haven't planned the menu yet.  This week will be The Cowboys
first week off work.  He will now only be working on Saturdays.
I/we have been so successful the last few weeks staying on target with the menu since he has agreed and helped me plan it. 
We'll be planning it tomorrow and I'll post then. 
Updated Monday we finally got around to it! 
Monday-Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Tuesday-Beef Tips and Rice, Green Beans, Salad
Wednesday-Pintos and Cornbread
Thursday-Mom's (MIL) Fried Rice like nothing you ever had totally not 'real' fried rice but very yummy.
Friday- Pork Carnita's Street Taco's, Bean Soup from leftover beans

In the garden
No pics today.  Trying to keep this post a little shorter.  And actually things are changing almost daily. 
I am happy to report I have potatoes coming up in all three baskets.
My zinnia's are coming up.  
I went ahead and bought 3 tomato 's last week.  
Lots of flower seeds are planted to take over when the pansy's begin to wither. 

A new linky party
A weekly linky party for crafts, home decor, DIY's and recipes. Join in the fun and link up your blog post. Make sure to visit our blogs every week for a possible feature on all three sites.
This is a new one I found this morning.   Click here.

In the craft basket
I've been cutting scraps into squares.  My bin was overflowing!
I've been working on a new foundation type scrap quilt for the wedding.
Foundation piced project
Here's one I want to try too.  A perfect and fast scrap quilt
This bright, soft quilt is made from a variety of plaid and solid fabrics with solid blue sashing; many of the plaid fabrics are from recycled shirts. The fabrics are 100% cotton, the batting is polyester and the backing is 100% cotton muslin. The blue sashing fabric is homespun,
I love the use of small pieces and that there are no matching seams.   I also loving quilting in straight lines.  This one is for sale on Etsy. Click here.

Fabulous Features

New to the party Gwin Gal shares about storing bird seed  Click here to visit the blog. 

Carol at Comfort Spring Station always has some delightful
things to share for the upcoming holiday.  

Click here to visit Carol and see this post. 

From the camera
Her favorite toy.  She is 2 now I guess and still chewing.  See the 
stuffing in the top of the photo!  This toy has lasted since Christmas!

Devo./ Scripture
Trust in the Lord Printable #sundaybestlinkypart #thegirlcreative

Simple for Simple Sunday

Linking at The Fabulous Party

Click here.
Linking with Happy Homemaker Monday

Click here
Linking at a few others.  The links are below.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Menu Plan That Didn't Work-The Post Filled w/ But's & And's

But I thought it was just Oh So Yummy.  Exactly what I wanted!
I couldn't get the Cowboy to even take a bite.  His loss.  
Now I have leftovers.  

O.K. so I only took 1 pic and I was so starving and ready to eat this yummy dinner that I didn't take time to make it even look pretty. 

And yes the potato's are thick but that is because I was too lazy to make powdered milk (we rarely have fresh milk in the house) so I used whipping cream. (had it for the Fettuccine Alfredo for tonight)  The potatoes didn't look great but they tasted fine though.

And I know there are no green beans or broccoli or salad. 

But at that point since The Cowboy wasn't eating any of this and was having a bowl of this . . .
Stew the only left over bowl from Sunday night.  And it was 
very good too.  The Chili Relleno's were o.k. but that was because I used some old grease.  Totally my fault. 
I was a little frustrated about the whole episode so I pouted and didn't cook anything green!
Getting back to last nights dinner.  It was a yummy and nostalgic
moment for me.  Brought me back to when I was a little kid.  
I am the youngest of three.  10 years between my brother and I.
12 between my sister and I. My sister lives in Washington state.
I don't get to see her often. 

I couldn't remember exactly how mother made Swiss Steak so I did what we do now a days
Image result for grandma texting
I texted my Sissy
And no that's not me. But I do do that with my glasses.
And my sister probably did the same thing with her glasses
texted me back to . . . 
Call her
Image result for 70's girls on phone

 And so we chatted.  
We talked about what we remembered from waaaay back in the day and how our mother made Swiss Steak.
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And so even though I didn't get to share my yummy Fabulous 
Swiss Steak with thick potatoes with The Cowboy he was just 
as happy to eat the last bowl of stew!

Did you mama make Swiss Steak?

I am going now to eat leftovers!
Have a great day!

Linking my Fabulous Meal post with 
Click here
And linking with some of my other favorite parties.
The list is at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Why Sunday Supper?

Welcome To Sunday Sunday
Today I have 2 questions
Let's start with  What. So what is Sunday Supper?
I am interested in what Sunday Supper is like at your house.  And maybe someday soon we'll all get together and have a discussion about that. 
But for now.  Bear with me and hear me out.  So what is 
Sunday Supper?  It's what I remember from back in the day but a little different.  Things are much different now.
I am different now.  I think of when I was a child.  I think of when my children were young and at home. 
For me now it's different.  Most times is 2 people.  
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And then there's the whole discussion of  Supper or Dinner or Lunch.  
For me Supper means just a good ole simple evening meal.
Dinner sounds more formal to me. 
And then well Lunch is Lunch unless it's Brunch!
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And well that brings me to Why?  I miss Sunday Supper.
Even though it's not the same at least for me and will never be exactly the same.
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And well probably won't be for you either.
Whether your a young couple.  Or your children are little.
Maybe your a mom with older or college students.  And on that note maybe your doing the high 5 with your hubby and your looking forward to having an almost empty house. Yes it is or will be all you hope for!
Or maybe your like me it's completely empty and it's most 
days breakfast, lunch and supper/dinner for 2.  
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And if you look at your schedule at whatever phase your 
in you realize that Sunday is a good night to have a meal 
together as a family.  Whatever family is to you right now.
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That is where I am going with Sunday Supper
It's about a meal with special people.
A meal where we all sit together.
And maybe even cook together.
A meal to enjoy. 
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For us The Cowboy and I have a couple of ideas about 
Sunday Supper.  There will be a few times where we will 
actually have family.  Our daughter is getting married in May so well.  There's that. 
Many nights it will be just us. 
But we are planning some meals with friends/neighbors.
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Sunday Supper 
May be different for you.
But I want to encourage you to 
Bring Back Sunday Supper
Linking at the usual parties.
There is a list at the bottom of the page.