Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five (Vol. 8)

I. This version of Hallelujah by Pentatonix:

II. The Cubbies win over Cleveland on Wednesday night coincided perfectly with Hat Day at school on Thursday!  

III. This Wanderer bracelet that features GPS coordinates near my hometown in WV.  I first saw this bracelet on Kristen @ Why Girls Are Weird's blog post

(Yes, the last 2 numbers in each coordinate are missing.  Just as the names were changed in the old TV show Dragnet to protect the innocent, I "painted" over the last two numbers in each coordinate to protect the specific location.)

IV. Blogger love:  I stumbled upon the blog post, Thank You, Mr. Trump, by Catherine @ Yes, You're Crazy last week.  I found myself saying, "Amen, sista!" a lot as I read it.  Regardless of my political stance and regardless of who wins in November, his presidential run has taught me a lot about my country and about myself.

V. This:
If you are reading this, you know who you are.  Thank you.

Have a great day and an even better weekend!  Happy Halloween!

Linking up with:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Countdown Commencing - Ten, Nine, Eight...

*This is my adaptation of the uber popular Three Things post that is currently making its way around bloggerland.*

TEN Movies I've Watched More Than Once
Shawshank Redemption
October Sky
Rocky I, II, III, IV, V
Desperately Seeking Susan
Finding Nemo
Back to the Future I, II, III
Arthur (1981)
Dirty Dancing

NINE Places I Want to Visit Outside the US
Rio de Janerio, Brazil
Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil border)
Uluru/Ayer's Rock (Australia)
Bora Bora
Venice, Italy
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Santorini, Greece
Churchill, Canada

EIGHT Places I Want To Visit Inside the US
The Oregon coastline
Astoria National Park (Maine)
John Pennekamp State Park (Florida)
Glacier National Park (Montana)
The national parks of southern Utah (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches)
Inside Passage (Alaska)
Rhode Island

SEVEN Books I Would Recommend
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
The Martian by Andy Weir
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

SIX TV Shows I Watch Regularly
Shameless (Showtime)
The Affair (Showtime)
Outlander (STARZ)
Westworld (HBO)
The Blacklist
CBS Sunday Morning

FIVE Things That Are Always in My Car
jumper cables
baseball bat
beach towel
extra pair of shoes
hand sanitizer

FOUR Jobs I've Had
Lawn Care Specialist (i.e. I mowed grass and ran a weed eater)
Cashier in hometown grocery store
Campus Security Guard in college
Speech Pathologist

THREE Favorite Vegetables

TWO Places I've Been (in the last year)
Las Vegas, NV

ONE Thing I'm Looking Forward to in the Remainder of 2016
Seeing Hamilton the Musical in Chicago in December

What's one thing you're looking forward to in the remainder of 2016?  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Inspired by Party of 4 by Danielle @ Faster than Forever and 3 Things by Steph @ Life According to Steph

Friday, October 21, 2016

One Thing About Today... - Back to Blogging Challenge

One thing about today (Thursday, October 20) that I want to make sure I remember one year from now is how blessed I am to have spent the day with my grandparents.

As  a forty-something gal, I realize how fortunate I am to have two grandparents still living.  They are my maternal grandparents.  Being their only grandchild, I have and have always had a very special bond with both of them.

This afternoon, I went out with my 84 year old grandpa and we did what has been our thing for the past 30 years - we rode ATVs along the ridges and in the hollers surrounding my sleepy little hometown in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. 

About 5 or 6 years ago, I started treating every ride with my beloved grandpa as if it were the last.  I know that sounds incredibly morbid, but with him getting up in years, the reality is that one day a seemingly inconsequential ride will in fact be our last.  

So, every time we take a ride in the mountains, whether it's for  two hours or all day, I savor everything about the experience.  I take it all in - the beauty of the mountains, the blueness of the sky, the roar of the engine, the coolness of the wind on my face, and most importantly, the time with Grandpa.  My grandfather is a quiet man, but when we're out in the mountains, he's different.  He opens up and I see a very rare side of him that many do not.

Today, Grandpa and I rode for about three hours.  Even though we got a little turned around, had to do some backtracking, were forced to take a detour, and ended up covered in coal dust, I relished every second of our time together.

In the late afternoon, as my grandfather  napped, I sat outside with my 83 year old grandmother, whom I call Gran.  I was filthy, covered in coal dust from the ride, so I sat on her back steps.  After putting some turnips on to cook, she joined me.  As we sat there, we talked and enjoyed the unusually warm October weather.  We gazed up at the trees on the hillside behind their house where some of the leaves had already turned, but most were still green.  A few crows appeared, soaring high above in the currents, and they eventually descended to the creek to inspect the creek bank for food.  Periodically, Gran would go in to the kitchen to check on her turnips, but she when she'd return, we'd pick up our conversation where we left off.

Even though I can only remember fragments of what we actually talked about, the time spent together, talking about something and nothing and everything in between, meant the world to me.  

One day in the not so distant future, I will long for moments like today - perfect little moments carved out of a seemingly ordinary day, that, as it turned out, was in fact an extraordinarily blessed day.  I hope I never forget days such as this.

What's one thing about today (or yesterday) that you want to make sure to remember one year from now?  Please feel free to share.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Alyssa @ Alyssa Goes Bang

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Makes Me Feel Peaceful - Back to Blogging Challenge


Pretty much anything performed by trumpeter Chris Botti, but his version of "Hallelujah" is one of my favorites

Listening to the symphony of spring peepers in the mountains

Having no set time to wake up

The quiet stillness of a house before everyone begins to stir

The ting-ting-ting of rain on a metal roof

Time spent on a river

Starry skies

The soothing sound of my mother's wind chimes

Being in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia

The ocean


The warm autumn sun on my face

Being still, silent, and present in the present

Rubbing my dog's velvety ears

"These Are the Days" by Van Morrison

What are some things that make you feel peaceful?  Please feel free to share!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Alyssa @ Alyssa Goes Bang

Mackenzie @ Reflections from Me

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Five (Vol. 7)

1) Walking with my friend and coworker in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure last Saturday morning.  It was an honor and privilege to walk with her and support her in her battle against breast cancer.

2)  This Alex and Ani bracelet.  When I hit the milestone of losing 15 lbs. last month, I decided a little reward was in order.  

3)  I'm not really a fan of any NFL team, but I am a fan of Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers.  I enjoy the two commercials that he's in right now that are receiving heavy rotation on the weekends.

Yeah, I know...  As I've said many times before, it doesn't take much to amuse me...

4)  This:

Seriously, with all these creepy clown sightings, you just have to wonder if we didn't jinx ourselves.

5)  This:
Explanation:  My school in the rear view mirror Thursday evening when I left, signifying the official start to my Fall Break.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Stranded - Halloween Edition

I’ve seen this monthly prompt linkup several times before, but this is my first time ever participating.  The theme/prompt this month is:

If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three kinds of Halloween candy with me, what would I take?

I personally think this prompt is HILARIOUS because if I were stranded on a deserted island, I feel safe in saying that the last thing I would be concerned about having with me is Halloween candy!  But, this is bloggerland, so anything’s possible!  LOL!  I’m just going to go with it and have some fun.

So, if I were stranded on a deserted island, the three kinds of Halloween candy I would want are:

Caramel Apple Flavored Laffy Taffy

Granted, taffy would probably be more detrimental to me in the long run than beneficial, given its uber stickiness.  If I were ever rescued, I have no doubt that I’d have several lost fillings and have a mouth full of cavities.


What can I say, I like peeps!  And white sugar coated peeps, like the ghosts, are my favorite, for they have little to no aftertaste as opposed to the colored variety.

Caramel Apples

Again, the caramel on the apples would probably reek havoc on my existing dental work and, if my track record is any indicator, the apple peel would inevitably get lodged between my teeth every time I ate one.  I’m sure that I’d lose my ever-loving mind if I were stuck on an island eating caramel apples without some dental floss!

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Recently Read - Vol. 12 (Sept. '16)

Well, I sort of broke my reading drought during September.  I say sort of because I read more in September than I did in August, but not nearly as much as I typically do.  But, that's okay because reading is not a race nor is it a task merely to be finished.  It's a activity to be enjoyed.  For the most part, I really enjoyed the books I read last month (with the exception of one) and I'm happy to have kind of gotten back in my reading groove again.

Without further ado, here are the books I read last month:

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
Read August 25 - September 18 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 4.5/5

The Nightingale is the story of story of two sisters, Viann and Isabelle, and their involvement in the war efforts in occupied France.  It is a hauntingly detailed story of the role that women played in the French Resistance.  

Before reading The Nightingale, I knew nothing about the French Resistance or the key roles that women played in WWII (other than of American women).  Don't let the fact that it took me over three weeks to finish this book dissuade you from reading it.  My slowness had nothing to do with the book itself.  I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Oh, and lastly, I was warned by at least 6-8 people to have tissues ready at the end of the book.  Although I wasn't sobbing like a baby, I was teary eyed.  Keep this in mind if you plan to read this.

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
Read September 18 - 27 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 4/5

If you are a regular to my blog or at least to this recurring link up post, then you know I'm not much of a romance novel fan.  I do make exceptions for romance novels that involve men on Harleys, men in rock bands, and men wearing kilts.  Well, On Dublin Street involves none of those, but it does involve a modern day, Scottish alpha male who knows what he wants and who isn't afraid to go after it.  

Slightly reminiscent of the movie Pretty Woman, except that the main character, Jocelyn, is not a hooker, I found the storyline and the associated imagery to be very satisfying, if you catch my drift.  Braden Carmichael is my latest addition to my "Favorite Book Boyfriends" list.  

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Read September 25 - 30 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 2/5

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of Huckleberry Finn, a  young boy in need of freedom, and Jim, a runaway slave, and their adventures together on the Mississippi River.

I wanted to like this book, I really did.  Like its predecessor, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it just wasn't my cup of tea.  I guess I'm just not a fan of Twain's.  I appreciate his work and the snapshot of Americana he captured in this adventurous tale, but I did not find it entertaining.  Truth be told, I found it nerve grating, tedious, and unenjoyable.  I know many consider this book as THE Great American Novel and maybe it is.  I just know that it's not for me.

My Bluegrass Baby by Molly Harper
Read September 27 - October 1 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 3.5/5

My Bluegrass Baby is the story of Sadie, an assistant director at the Kentucky Tourism Commission, who loves her job and has her sights set on the director position when her boss retires at the end of the year.  Enter Josh, a handsome, successful marketing guru who has his sights set on the position, too.

This is a short and simple little book, but I found it to be really cute and quite charming.  Granted, I am a bit partial, for it takes place in my adopted state of Kentucky and I am familiar with many of the locations described in the book (Louisville, Churchill Downs, Shelbyville, Frankfort, and Interstate 64).

This is a perfectly adequate book for passing time and for basic entertainment. 


What have you read lately?  Any recommendations for me to put on my ever growing to be read list?

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Don't forget to hop on over the Steph and Jana's pages to check out their recently read books and those by other bloggers who participate in the link-up.  Today marks the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY for Show Us Your Books.  Congratulations Steph and Jenn!

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