Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Keep the Weeds

I've been easily distracted by the windows in my office lately.  Sunshine, radiant blue skies, and budding trees.  And today, a fluttering Red Admiral on a bright yellow dandelion.  Spring.  She sure is lovely.

Seeing the butterfly today reminded me of a post from May 2012 that's been sitting in my drafts folder here on the blog.  I'm not sure why I never published the post but I thought today would be a good day to do it.

Keep the Weeds

While trying to study for my last final yesterday I let the window distract me again; I'm so glad I did.

Dandelions are running rampant here this spring and our yard is no exception.  I've always thought the yellow weed was too cute and cheerful to be disliked and yesterday it gave me another pretty reason to enjoy them.  While looking out at the yard, I noticed a butterfly fluttering about and landing on the bright orbs.

Of course I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my camera, and ran outside.  It felt wonderful to be out in the warm sun, breathing the spring-scented air, watching this Red Admiral hop from one dandelion to the next.

At one point I even had two of these lovely insects flying around me.  Apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates the "pesky" perennial.  If this is what weeds bring to our yard, I say we keep them!

Monday, May 16, 2016

April in Review

Here I am again, writing a summary post because I didn't get my butt in gear and write during the month of April.  One of these months I'll stay on top of things.  Okay, we all know that's not true but it never hurts to dream, right?  So, here are some tidbits from April.

1.  My coworkers and I have tried every special flavor of Oreos that we've been able to get our hands on.  The latest flavor was Strawberry Shortcake: quite tasty!

2.  My dad gave my mom this library puzzle for Christmas and after seeing it completed, I thought it would look great hanging on the wall in my library.  I wanted to complete the puzzle myself, though, so I could take credit it for it (who doesn't want puzzle bragging rights?) and because I did have to admit it looked a little fun.  It took me a little less than two weeks and I was right - it was fun.  I know I said after doing my last puzzle that they aren't for me but I think I may have to retract that statement.  I think I may have enough patience to do one puzzle every winter.

When I start a puzzle, I always wonder which piece will be the last one; being the nerd that I am, I had to document it.  And since I knew you'd be wondering what piece it was, I figured I better share the photo here.  You're welcome.

Puzzle glue has been purchased and hopefully one of these days soon the gluing gets done and a frame purchased.  Then it will be on to hanging this and all the wonderful book prints I've purchased; it will be so much fun to have my library one step closer to being complete (and not quite the mess it currently is!).

3.  I have several vases and other containers like the one below that needed some filler so I took the plunge and joined the "I'm an old lady and decorate with fake flowers" club.  I'm not going to lie, I love my fake flowers and the pop of happiness they add to my spring decor.

We had quite a few dreary, rainy days in April but things remained cheerful inside thanks to these beauties.

4.  Occasionally you run across some true gems while thrifting but can't justify buying them.  This vintage lamp was certainly one of those gems.  It was so ridiculously pretty but for $50 (I suspect it was worth quite more based on age and condition) and no real good idea of where to put it, I had to take a photo and move on.  I do suspect it went to a good home.

5.  My coworkers and I got to talking one day about losing the ability to write with our dominant hand.  The discussion then turned into a little "write with your non-dominant hand" activity.  I'm in big trouble if there is ever a point when I can't use my right hand; this left-handed business isn't pretty.

6.  I know it's only mid May but The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin has the potential to be the best book I read this year.  I would venture to say it may even be one of the best books I've ever read.  I can't recommend this one enough.  Also, the cover is simply gorgeous!

7.  For our April gathering, my girlfriends and I decided to try out a new "attraction" here in town, a real-life room escape game.  You're taken into a room with your team, the door is locked behind you, and you have an hour to find clues and solve puzzles that will help you escape the room.  We chose Pirate Cove:

"The media has been in a frenzy lately, reporting on the latest antics from America's self-made billionaire, prankster, and eccentric philanthropist, John Buckingham.  Buckingham, who has been known to share his wealth in outrageous publicity stunts (like the time he rented the Goodyear Blimp and dropped millions of dollars over neighborhoods of Los Angeles), has lately taken to dressing, acting, and talking like a pirate.  In a press release, Buckingham claims to have hidden "possibly the most valuable treasure ever," in an old clipper ship that he has permanently docked near his ocean side mansion.  Residents have flocked to take a turn at discovering Buckingham's Billions, but so far, none have succeeded.  Today, you and your crew are going to have 60 minutes to search for the elusive treasure."

This scavenger hunt puzzle was quite challenging but a lot of fun.  It was pretty cool once you could see the clues coming together and leading other places.  I wish we'd had a little more time in the room, though, because it took a bit of time just to get oriented and figure out how to get started.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't escape the room but we were close and the game master explained the remainder of the puzzle we had left which was nice.  I'm glad we got to see how it all played out.

There is another version of this game available - a blackmailing boss! - and I think it would be fun to try it now that we have some experience with this type of activity.

8.  And because it's hard not to share photos of Crickett, here are a couple from April that just crack me up.  Our little girl is such a character.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Smile

Happy first day of May!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday 13: February & March in Review

I never wrote much in February and March (who's surprised?) so I thought a good Thursday 13 would be to share a few random tidbits from those two months.

1.  JJ Watt, need I say more?  As often as football is on in our house during the season, I can't believe I'd never seen him before February!  I may have to start paying more attention to this sport!  (Just kidding, if I need to see Mr. Watt there's this wonderful thing called Google.)

2.   A February girls' night with a delicious dinner - salad with homemade dressing, garlic bread and pasta - and this amazing almond cake for dessert.  Seriously, my friends can cook and bake!  We also played more Tenzi and I'll say it again: I HIGHLY recommend this game.

3.  Mitch hosted a Super Bowl party in which he was the only one invited, just the way he wanted it.

And while Mitch watched the "big game," Crickett and I watched the PuppyBowl.  For a few minutes anyway, until I was tired of listening to my silly little girl growling and barking at the television.

4.  During one of my thrfiting lunch breaks in February, I stumbled upon this little guy.  I could barely contain my excitement; he's so ridiculously cute and I love having him in my library!

5.  I was introduced to a new game called Codenames.  It is a lot of fun; I highly recommend this game as well.

6.  While bowling in a law enforcement charity event, I scored over 50 points each game!  It was probably one of the best days I've ever had bowling.  I mean, look at these scores: 78,77, 82, and 89!  I think it's time for me to join a league.

7.  The glorious time of year when Girl Scout cookies arrive.  Yum, yum, yum!

8.  During one of my thrifting lunch breaks in March (yes, I spend a lot of my lunch breaks thrifting), I found this cutie.  Another great addition to my library!  It's such a thrill to find these book related knick knacks that I can take home and display in my favorite room.

9.  Some of my sister's amazing art work is being displayed at a local pub and I joined my parents and a girlfriend to help her celebrate her opening evening. It was a nice evening; great company and beautiful surroundings.

10.  Mitch and I got a new computer.  I must say, I sure do love the keyboard - it's quite fun to type on.  Strange how different keyboards can be, isn't it?  We also made the switch to Windows 10 which I like.  I think this is the first time I've been excited about upgrading and updating our technological devices and services!  Progress!

11.  I love tasting the new flavors that companies develop and while it has generally been the different Oreos that I've tried, I was quite excited when I heard (and eventually found) the Strawberry Shortcake M&Ms.  They were fabulous!

12.  Crickett's highlight of the month:  One of her favorite toys had a bit of surgery done by Mitch and my mom (Mitch did the cutting open and removal of the broken sound ball, my mom added extra stuffing and did the stitching up) and now Mr. Raccoon is getting even more love and attention than he used to receive!  So much cuteness!

13.  I finally read The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis (it's been on my list forever) and while I didn't particularly care for the book (not much substance paired with poor writing), there was a paragraph that I loved and thought described my feelings perfectly:

"She liked to document her life.  Every trip, every family vacation, she was the one with the camera.  It was a way of remembering the fun, prolonging the experience.  And sharing the photos with people was like giving a gift."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday 13: Spring 2016 on Etsy

Since Sunday is the first official day of spring, I obviously had to do my usual Etsy finds for this edition of Thursday 13.  So many wonderful items on that site!  (All photos from the Etsy shops.  Click on description to visit the shop.)

1.  Delightful butterfly water cans.

2.  Darling crochet leaves.

3.  Radiant stained glass bird.

4.  Beautiful floral dress.

5.  Gorgeous oil painting.

6.  Ridiculously cute flower flats!

7.  Adorable robin's nest pillow.

8.  Amazing embroidered spring garden necklace.  I absolutely love embroidered items!

9.  Pretty floral scarf.

10.  Lovely paper flower garland.

11.  Fun hoop earrings.

12.  Charming vintage flower tin.

13.  Cheerful daffodil vase.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi and Napping

Two fun little ways to celebrate the day today!

If you're a number nerd like me, I'm sure you recognized Pi Day.  I really should make it a tradition to have a piece of pie on this day!

It was also National Napping Day (this wonderful event occurs every year on the Monday after Daylight Savings begins)!  Unfortunately, I had to work so didn't get to celebrate but Crickett sure dominated this event.  Our little girl was snoring and twitching like crazy when I got home at lunch; she didn't even wake up when I said her name.  So, I couldn't help but watch her for a few minutes.  Such an angel.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring Book Sale 2016

On Thursday I filled this adorable bag I got from a friend to its bursting point at my library's used book sale.  As always, it was one of the best days of the year!

The books that will be finding a home on the shelves in my library:

Unsaid by Neil Abramson.  I'm a sucker for books that involve animals and I also enjoy those with the element of the afterlife so this novel definitely caught my attention containing both of those things.

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian.  I'm sure I've said it before but I LOVED Midwives (on my top ten favorites list) but HATED (also did not finish) Before You Know Kindness so I want to see what else the author has to offer.  I'm not ready to give up on Bohjalian yet; I'm expecting more works like Midwives and considering Before You Know Kindness a fluke of sorts on his part.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  This has been on my list for some time and finding it at the book sale renewed my interest and excitement in reading it; I may have to move it up in the queue.

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch.

The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue.  Another book involving the afterlife.

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.  I love Flagg's work.  Her novels are so fun and uplifting, good stories with great characters.  Her books are perfect when you need a light read.

The Condition by Jennifer Haigh.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi.  I think this sounds like a beautiful story, reminiscent of Khaled Hosseini's works (The Kite Runner which is also on my top ten favorites list).  

Afloat by Erin Healy.  I think this has the potential to be a page-turner!   

Local Girls by Alice Hoffman.  I am drawn to Hoffman's books for some reason; I enjoyed The Probable Future and have Here on Earth on a shelf waiting to be read.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
by Joshilyn Jackson.  Yet another ghost-ish story.  Must have been my unconscious theme for this book sale!  I enjoyed Jackson's Gods in Alabama and look forward to reading another one of this author's works.

The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis.  This book has been on my list for quite a while.  Perhaps I will finally get around to reading it now.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones.

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.  I think this sounds like a fantastic read and have heard great things about it.

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts.  I loved the movie Where the Heart Is (still need to read the book but suspect it's as good if not better than the movie) and have a feeling this book will be wonderful.

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.  I think this book sounds quite intriguing.

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie.

Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund.

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.  When I read the description of this book it almost sounded a like something I'd see on an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.  I'm hoping it turns out to be as good as it sounds.

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

Christmas in My Heart: A Timeless Treasury of Heartwarming Stories by Joe Wheeler.  A cutesy Christmas book.  I've been buying ones like this more for display than reading but I suppose a book of short little Christmas stories could be enjoyable.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday 13: 2016 Etsy Valentine's Day Finds

I do believe this is the first time I've done a Valentine's Day edition of Etsy Finds here on Thursday 13.  As always, it was a lot of fun perusing Etsy and adding things to my wish list.  (All photos from Etsy shops.  Click on descriptions to visit shops.)

1.  Geometric heart pillow cover.  

2.  Pretty painted mason jars.

3.  Vintage planter.

4.  Adorable ceramic "Share Love" sign.

 5.  Succulent heart planter.

6.  Super cute sweater.

7.  Heart tree print.

8.  Felt ball garland.

9.  Beautiful rustic wooden heart.

10.  Ribbon wreath with felt flowers.

11.  XOXO blocks.

12.  Pretty heart and lace necklace.

13.  Candy heart painting.