Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rest in Peace Lola 09/25/2005 - 07/20/2016

Just coming in to tell you that about 2 hours ago I had to make the hardest decision of my life.

My little Lola is gone, she is now at peace and not in pain or suffering anymore.  For two days she had been hit with violent seizures, the medication wasn't helping and her poor heart couldn't take it.

Making the decision to put her down broke me.  I don't know how I'm going to overcome this.  If you've followed my blog for a while you will know how much she meant to me, to us.

We're all devastated at the moment.

I'm going to miss her so much :(


Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/18/2016

Good morning friends, hope you're all doing well and ready for a full week ahead. I can't believe that summer is almost to an end and in less than a month, on the 15th of August to be precise, the new school year begins.  Oh boy!!!

I'll have a 12th Grader and an 8th Grader.  Wish time would stop, it's going by way too fast.

Anyway, let's get on with our HHM.

Couple of you asked where you can watch American West, so I'm giving you the links to watch online, it has all the episodes that have already aired and as they come out they are added so keep checking back each week.

The American West (click on each episode and then select a link from the list)

The Weather:::
Sunny and a little breeze, which feels amazing.  Full week of sunshine and temps in the upper 90's and 100's. 

On my reading pile:::
Just finishing up The Daredevil Snared for a book review.

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The American West
The Ghosts of Shepherdstown

On the menu for this week:::

Monday -  Shepherd's Pie, Salad
Tuesday -  Roast Chicken and Potatoes
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Homemade Olive Garden Breadsticks
Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice
Friday - Sausages in tomato sauce, Mashed potatoes
Saturday - Have to be in Dallas all day so will grab something while out

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Finally got my dryer, thank goodness, it had been 2 months and as much as I like hanging the clothes out to dry, with 7 people it's a lot of laundry.  Feels amazing to have the dryer back. Did all my laundry last night and today just have to put it all away.
Making some Banana Jam this afternoon.
Housework - vacuum, tidy up and dust etc.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still have to make the owls for my friend and I really need to get on with it today. 

Looking around the house:::
My Nick is already up and playing Overwatch on the Xbox.  Jasmine and my nephew are still fast asleep but I'm sure they'll be up pretty soon. 

From the camera:::
We spent the weekend in Oklahoma city with my husband's aunt.  This pool is part of her apartment complex so we enjoyed some swimming and relaxing.

On my prayer list:::
This country, and the rest of the world.  We seem to be reaching the end of days, there is so much hatred, anger, disregard for human lives that it's quite frightening to even want to step out of the house.  May the Lord watch over us all.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/11/2016

Good morning everyone, how was your weekend?

Mine was so good, we spent Saturday at Fort Sill, went to the lake, swam, got some sun, and also checked out 2 of the museums on base.  It was such a surreal moment standing in Geronimo's cell.

Yesterday we hung out at home, and got to watch the UEFA Euro 2016 Final in which my Portugal played against France and WON.  I actually cried my eyes out, we had been waiting for a win like this for so many many years.  I'm one happy girl :)

Anyway, that was my weekend, hope yours was equally good, but now it's time for some Happy Homemaker Monday :)

The Weather:::
Partly cloudy right now.  The temps have been in the triple digits, it's so incredibly hot.  I think it's supposed to be very windy the next 3 days, so I know I'll have to keep up on my allergy meds. 

On my reading pile:::
I'm still getting through all my review books, it makes me smile looking at my reading pile, truly it does.  I have a review coming up on the 20th for The Daredevil Snared by Stephanie Laurens.  She is one of my favorite authors and I'm enjoying this one :)

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The American West - We watched the first episode and really liked it, even the kids, and I think it's such a great series to teach them all about American History.

On the menu for this week:::
We will probably be away this weekend, heading up to Oklahoma City and Tulsa area to attend our little cousin's 1st birthday.  I won't have to worry about cooking Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

Monday -  Fettucine Alfredo, Homemade breadsticks
Tuesday -  Jambalaya, Salad
Wednesday - Baked Spaghetti, Foccaccia
Thursday - Jasmine Therapy and have to go check out some dryers, will grab something while out
Friday - Away
Saturday - Away

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Need to put away 2 baskets, and iron another load, put away etc.
Normal housecleaning, tidy up living rooms, vacuum, wash bed sheets etc.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
This week I need to work on the little crochet owls for my friend.

Looking around the house:::
Very quiet, hubby has left for work and so has my brother and sister in law, it's just me and the kids and they're all still sleeping.  I think this time of the day is my favorite. 

From the camera:::
In Geronimo's cell, this is an autographed picture of him.  I am so glad I got to experience this little part of history.

On my prayer list:::
**My grandmother.  Last week she was moved to a sub-acute step down facility where she will continue to receive the care she needs.  It hurts knowing that she may never be able to return home but I know she is much better here getting the medical help she needs.  Please continue to pray for her. 

Something that inspires or brings a smile to your face:::

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Remember my Beauties by Lynne Hugo - TLC Book Tour

Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Switchgrass Books; 1 edition (April 18, 2016)

Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.

Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.


My Thoughts:

 I wanted to like this book, really really did.  I love horses and cowboys and western anything, and the cover itself  made me think that this was going to be a really good read for me.

It's not that the story was bad, it wasn't, but I found it a bit difficult to stick with it and to get into the story when it seemed that there was so much going on at once.  Busy is a word I would use to describe it.

So many characters, so many bitter and angry people, and then thrown in the actual horses thoughts and narration and it was a little distracting.

A story about a dysfunctional family, the drugs, the alcohol, caring for aged parents, and horses and a failing farm and a marriage on the line, a daughter struggling with drug addiction etc.

I think for me it would have been better if it had concentrated on maybe one particular character's struggles rather than feeling like every single person and animal needed to have a voice and to let us know what they were feeling and thinking.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

After Alice by Gregory Maguire - TLC Book Tour

After Alice cover

• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 5, 2016)

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis’s Carroll’s beloved classic.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is “After Alice.”


 gregory maguire

About Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includesWicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Maguire at his website and follow him on Facebook.


My Thoughts:

When I first read Alice in Wonderland, I remember being so captivated by the story and never wanting it to end.  I spent months, no, years, wondering what other adventures Alice could have gotten into and what would happen if other characters were to fall in the same hole.

I had NO clue that decades later, I would be reading a book that would answer those questions for me.

Here is After Alice, the story of Ada who is Alice's friend and who also falls down the rabbit hole, but after Alice.  By doing so, she begins her very own adventure.

But not only do we get Ada's side of the story, we also get to experience what the people left behind in Oxford, felt and did with the disappearance of the two girls.

It was such a delightful book to read, it made me want to go back and read Alice's story all over again.  Throw in a Victorian Era setting with all of it's manners, and customs and I was just in absolute book heaven.

I can't describe how much I enjoyed this book and it's definitely made me want to read more by Gregory Maguire :)


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

No Happy Homemaker Monday?


Good morning everyone.

I am sorry the Happy Homemaker Monday post did not go up yesterday, it was the 4th of July as you all know, and we were away for the weekend.  Honestly didn't get a chance to get on the blog, except to put up my Happy Independence Day post showing you all my beautiful tree.  If you didn't get a chance to see that post, it's right below this one :)

I'm not going to do a long post today, just wanted to come in real quick and say hi, apologize for the HHM post not going up and just show you a few pictures of our weekend away.

We didn't go far, and we didn't spend much money at all.  We stayed at the Letra, which is the Lake Elmer Thomas Recreational Area for Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma.  It's only 30 minutes from us and it's such a beautiful area with tons of fun things to do with the family.

Had 2 cabins for 2 nights, and we went up with family, my in laws, Curt's Aunt, his cousin and her two kids, and I took my nephew with.  We had an amazing time, it was definitely needed to recharge and replenish the soul.

We don't get to do things like this very often.  You know know growing up we went away every single year, whether it was to the coast or to the Kruger National Park, but after being married, it's just not been something we've been able to afford to do.  I only wish we could get away once in a while because it does help with all the stress of daily life.

Anyway, I'll leave some pics down below, hope you enjoy them and hope you all had a great weekend yourselves :)








Monday, July 4, 2016

Tree Classics - Independence Day

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!!!

For a lot of people, the 4th of July means barbecues with family, weekends away, celebrations, fun and fireworks.

For us as a previous active duty military family, Independence Day was always spent doing activities around the base and ending the night watching the fireworks.

There is always such a profound sense of patriotism when surrounded by the military, and I'm so glad that we were able to share that with our children and raise them in those surroundings.

Independence Day

Independence Day for me, personally has a very important significance, seeing that I was not born in this beautiful country. It IS after all my home, and has been for the past almost 18 years.  I honestly couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

So when I think of Independence Day, I think of the country that has taken me in, that has provided me a wonderful life and the opportunity to raise my children in a safe place.

With my children being born in this country, and their father being a retired military member, we have always taught them that this day is much more than simple fireworks and fun.

It is a day to reflect, to remember those who fought for their country, those who gave their lives in that fight and all of those alongside them who fought for this great nation's independence. 

Independence Day

We always decorate for the 4th of July.  Red, White and Blue lights are strung outside the house, flags line the drive way and the fence surrounding the house, banners are placed on the windows and inside, small pieces here and there remind us of what we're celebrating.

Independence Day

This year I have a beautiful Brentwood Glistening White Pine Tree that I have decorated with simple touches of red, white and blue.

This stunning tree stands 7.5' feet tall and has sheer white lights and is dusted with glitter.

It was my first year using a tree to help celebrate the 4th of July, and I'll tell you that it will now become a permanent fixture every year.  The white combined with the bows, the stars garland and the little flags makes a bold statement while keeping it simple.

Check out the other white Christmas trees available by going here

Independence Day

Now that we are no longer active duty and living on base, our favorite way to spend this holiday is by having family over for a big barbecue, enjoy some holiday inspired desserts, talk, have fun and tell the kids all about Independence Day, what it means, how it happened and why it is so important.

Our hope is that the love we have for this country will transpire onto them and they will one day pass it on to their own children.

Thank you to Tree Classics for sending me the beautiful tree in exchange for an honest review on my part.