Friday, January 29, 2016

Faces - Hugh's Photo Challenge (Week 10)

One of my first grader's attempt at creating a snowflake.  This conjures up an image of a big headed alien in my mind, how about yours?

Linking up with Hugh @ Hugh's Views and News.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Recalling The Space Shuttle Challenger

Thirty years ago today at 11:39 a.m., the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral.  
Seventy three seconds later, it exploded killing all on board, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher selected for the mission who was supposed to teach lessons from space.

Across the nation, adults and kids who had tuned in to view the launch on live television, watched in disbelief as the tragedy unfolded before their very eyes.

I was one of those kids.

I was at my grandmother's house that day, home from school because it was a snow day. Had it not been a snow day, I probably wouldn't have witnessed the event, for I don't recall any plans that would've allowed us to view the launch during school.    

I remember sitting on my grandmother's living room floor in front of her console TV watching the historic event.  Having never seen a shuttle launch before, when the explosion occurred I asked my grandmother if that was normal. She said, "I don't think so."  To this day, this is the image that I remember so vividly: 

My mother was 12 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated.  She remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she first learned of his death.  I was 12 years old when the Challenger exploded on that fateful day, thirty years ago.  For Gen Xers like myself, the Challenger disaster was to us what the Kennedy assassination was to the baby boomers, an event that stole a little piece of our innocence and exemplified how unpredictable and fragile life can be.

Do you remember the Challenger explosion?  Do you remember where you were when you first learned of the disaster?

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Keeping my dog's water dish...drinkable...has been a challenge the past couple of weeks.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Memes That Say EXACTLY What I'm Thinking

I am an introvert, therefore the number of words that come out of my mouth are considerably disproportionate to the number of words that never leave my head.  There are so many things that I think, but that I (hallelujah!) have enough sense and filter to keep within the safe confines of my brain.

As a result, I have a tendency to save memes that I run across that so accurately convey my unspoken sentiments about things.  I thought it would be fun to share some with you.

One would think that kids would grow out of the messy phase once they became young adults...  Not necessarily.

I know I've used this one before in a post, but it still rings true.  The district where I work needs to provide an "Email Etiquette" professional development course.  It could very well save someone's life one day.

 If you haven't seen this little advertising gem, click here.  You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.




Amen!  I admit, I like guys with long hair, but this burly beard trend that is currently fashionable... bleh!

This is soooo me right now!

Amen!  This is my current daily struggle.  It's just vile to get up at oh-dark-thirty...

Have a great Monday!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 22, 2016

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week (Vol. 15)

I'm currently waist deep in my annual winter funk, a melancholic state of mind I find myself in every January after all the merriment of the holidays has been exhausted and when there's nothing on the horizon to look forward to.

Having said that, comprising this list this week was a bit challenging, but I kept it simple and saw it through.  In the end, it really is the little things.  Here are 10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week:

Watching The Intern on the handy, dandy new Amazon Fire Stick my husband bought a few weeks back.  It was a very good movie and I recommend it if you haven't already seen it.

Having the day off Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

3 snow days.  Granted, I would've rather had them spaced out a little bit in lieu of having them all in a row (Wednesday, Thursday, and today), but I'll take what I can get and enjoy them to the fullest ('cause I'll curse them in May when we have to make them up!).

My first Cadbury Egg of 2016.

Having a much needed date night with R last Saturday night.  

Listening to Bridget Jones' Diary (audiobook).

This meme.  Although Winter Storm Jonas, as of this writing, has the potential to be a HUGE pain in the butt, this meme still cracked me up.  Seriously, it's really as if the entire state has shut down in preparation of this storm.

That I made it to the store and back this morning before the snow started.  Considering that I waited until the 11th hour to do so, it wasn't that bad.

That I have a roof over my head, a working furnace, running water, electricity, and food in the fridge and pantry.

Watching the snow fall.  (It begin around 9:10 a.m.)  It really does look like we are in a snow globe.

Happy Friday to you, wherever you are!  If you are in Winter Storm Jonas' path, be safe and stay warm.  Have a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird 
and Lindsay @ The Flynnigans

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stripes - Hugh's Photo Challenge (Week 9)

On the island of Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, there is a cruise ship pier.  At the end of the cruise ship pier, there is a cruise center full of tour operators, restaurants, bars, and duty free shopping.  The cruise center offers a free beach for cruise passengers.  Although not the most scenic of beaches, it is an easy, no fuss, inexpensive (beach is free, drinks and food are not) option for anyone who simply wants to get off the boat, lounge by the beach, and maybe swim in the ocean while the ship is in port.  The beach is lined with hundreds of these blue and white striped beach loungers.

Linking up with Hugh @ Hugh's Views and News.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Inspired by Erin @ Texerin-in-Sydneyland's October 2015 post

2 - The number of states I’ve lived in
4 - The number of continents I’ve stood on
12 - The number of times I have seen Bon Jovi in concert
15 - 
The number of work shirts (polos) I have
16 - The number of years I’ve been working as a speech pathologist, the number of years I've lived in Kentucky, AND the number of countries I’ve visited
28 - The number of years my best friend and I have been best friends (Happy Birthday, Christina!)
33 - The number of states I’ve been to
42 - The number of Broadway plays and musicals that I’ve seen (touring, NYC, Chicago, and London) 

53 - The number of kids currently on my caseload
65 - The maximum number of kids I am allowed to have on my caseload
74 - The number of books I read or listened to in 2015

90 - The number of miles I commute daily
119 - My room number at work

303 - The number of miles (shortest route) between where I live in KY and my hometown in WV
502 - My area code

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Recently Added To My TBR List

The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
Granted, I probably never would've stumbled upon this book had it not been for a reading challenge I am currently in (Erin's Reading Challenge 4.0), but I'm still looking forward to reading it none-the-less.

November 9 by Collen Hoover
I really enjoyed Ugly Love by this author, so I hope that I will enjoy this one as well.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I finished YOU back in August.  Although some advanced reading copies have been available, I'm holding out for the audiobook version (which will be released on February 23) because I have a slight "audio crush" on the narrator, Santino Fontana.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Again, this is a book that probably would never have landed on my radar had it not been for Erin's challenge.  Apparently, it is supposed to be hilarious.  We shall see.  Stay tuned.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
I think I first became aware of this book during the December 1 check in for the Semi Charmed 2015 Winter Book Challenge.  After reading the review as well as the description on Goodreads, I decided it would probably be a book I could relate to given that the setting of the story is a small town.  I can definitely relate to the feeling of trying to break out of one's little hometown.

I Let You Go by Clair Mackintosh
Every blogger I follow who has read this thriller has had absolutely wonderful things to say about it.  I love a good, keep-me-guess-til-the-end thriller.  I sincerely hope it lives up to the hype.

Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
I don't read a lot of romance, but like I said in my review of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, the precursor to this book, every once in a while I do get a hankering for a love story involving a man in a kilt or a man who has the potential to wear a kilt (due to being of Scottish Highlander ancestry).  I enjoyed the first book so much, that I plan to read this one, the second in the series, at some point.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
I really enjoyed Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot, so I am willing to give another of her books a go.

 The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
Swanson's The Kind Worth Killing is one of my favorites from 2015.  Fellow bloggers who enjoyed TKWK who have gone on to read this one, have said that they enjoyed it, too, so I'm game.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Of all the books on this list, this one is the most surprising because it is sci-fi.  Sci-fi is a genre that is really out of my comfort zone and because of that, it's a genre I don't read.  But, I've been told that if you are a fan of the 1980s, which I completely am, that you will enjoy this book.  So, I plan to give it a whirl.

What are some books that you have added to your to be read list lately?  Please feel free to share.

Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish.  
(To learn more about TTT, click here.)  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Humpday Confessions (Vol. 5)

Picture people sitting in a circle of folding chairs at a 12-Step meeting.  A forty-something gal with long brown hair starts to speak.

Me (aka "forty-something gal with long brown hair"):  "Hello.  My name is Ericka."
Group (in unison): "Hello, Ericka."
Me:  "I am a binge watcher."

Yes, people, I confess.  I am a binge watcher.
I can go weeks and weeks an only actively watch 3-4 hours of TV a week. During the summer when I am off work and home during the day, it's not uncommon for the TV to stay off until my husband arrives home from work that evening.  Honestly, I'm not much of a TV watcher anymore.  I've never seen an episode of The Office and I've only seen a few random episodes of The Big Bang Theory.  I would have a hard time rattling off more than 6 currently syndicated prime time shows.  But, when I do find a show that I like, I can't watch in moderation.  9 times out of 10, I binge.
Over the past 2 years, with the help of Netflix, On Demand, and Amazon Prime, I've binged on Sons of Anarchy, the first season of True Detective, the first season of The Affair, and Breaking Bad.

My most recent binge has been with the Showtime series, Shameless, which showcases the fictional and highly dysfunctional Gallagher family who hails from Chicago's south side.  If you've never watched it, beware!  It truly is like a train wreck (you don't want to see it, but it's so hard to look away...).
I polished off the first 5 seasons (60 episodes) in 10 days and got myself caught up so I could pick up with new season that premiered Sunday night.  
Sixty episodes.  S-I-X-T-Y.  Each episode is between 45-60 minutes, so that equals 45 to 60 mind numbing hours of TV viewing.
So, I'm now all caught up and have to wait, yes - wait until Sunday for the next episode.
Well, it's probably for the best, otherwise this could be me in the not so distant future.

Any fellow binge watchers out there?  What shows have you binged on? Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Alanna @ Alanna and Company and Sarah @ Plucky in Love.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

$1.4 Billion

Winning the lottery and specifying what we would do with the winnings is a conversational topic that has entertained my husband and I on numerous road trips over the course of our marriage.  Knowing that the odds are not in our favor, we still find it fun to contemplate what we would do with $10 or $20 million, like where we would live, what we would buy, what philanthropic endeavors we would pursue, etc.  Historically, my list of what I would do hasn't changed much over the years.  

The first thing I would do is...

After I was revived and came to, I would... a little happy dance.

After joyously happy dancing for a few minutes hours, I'd call up my boss and be like..   
..."Peace out. I'm outta here!"

That's when the real fun would begin.  I'd buy a new Hawaii.

I'd fulfill my lifelong passion to see the world...

When I travelled, I'd sit in those nice, roomy, first class seats instead of sitting shoulder to should with people back in coach.
I would set up some scholarships for kids from my hometown to attend college or some technical training school and I would do the same for kids in the county where I currently work.  I would also set up scholarships for undergrads and graduates who were attending my alma mater, Marshall University. 

I would pay off my debts as well as the debts of those in my family, thus giving them a clean slate.  If they owed no debt, I would give them the average amount of what the rest of the family owed (that I paid off).

And, last, but not least, I'd establish trust funds for my husband's kids.

That's what I would do if I won $10 or $20 million.  

It is predicated that the jackpot will reach $1.4 billion by Wednesday night.

That's right.  One. Point. Three. BILLION.  Dollars.  That's Billion with a B!  

Here's something I've learned over the past few days - I can't wrap my head around $1.3 billion.  I can't begin to fathom what that amount of money even looks like.  Truth be told, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around $500 million (the approximate cash payout one would receive after paying taxes).

Seriously, what in the world would I do with half a billion dollars?  After fulfilling my meager little list above, I have not a clue.

So, I have several questions for you today.
  1. What would you do with half a billion dollars?
  2. It's no surprise that there are many pitfalls that come to lottery winners (Jack Whittaker from WV, for example).  Would winning that amount of money be worth the headaches and possible heartaches that would come along with the money?
If you are playing the lottery tomorrow night, good luck to you.  If I happen to win the lottery, well, I'll probably be incognito for awhile and laying low.  As always, thanks for stopping by.
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