Sunday, October 10, 2021

Such a sweet story

 of enemy - frenemy - love... 
written by Betsy St. Amant is so fun!
I read it in one day. 
If you remember [and loved] You've Got Mail, then you'll love this story that flows like a Hallmark movie... because everything works out in the end for Rory and Jude... despite the obstacles his controlling family present. 
And there are a lot of ups and downs in their worlds!
And I don't know about you, but I like to escape to that 'all-is-well-with-the-world' feeling every now and then...St. Amant does a wonderful job creating believable characters that seemlessly change careers as they are just getting started in life. 
And I guess that's a good time for change - 
and falling in love and having someone walk alongside you makes it even better.
You'll enjoy this book, I'm sure!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.
ALL OPINIONS are my own.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

So y'all know I'm not 'into' history...


 but books like this just bring it all ALIVE for me! 
Based on a true story,  Jane Kirkpatrick takes us on Natalie Curtis' journey 
to find herself after she lost her desire for music...
We are right there with her as we tag along on her adventures in The West... 
and champion her on as she becomes a spokesperson for Indian rights - 
in the early 1900s! 
I am so glad there are people like her in our world

 Wikipedia states: Starting in 1903 she worked from the Hopi reservation in Arizona and produced transcriptions using both an Edison cylinder recorder and pencil and paper. At the time, such work with native music and language was in conflict with the policies of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, which discouraged natives on reservations from speaking their language, singing their music, dressing in native garb, etc. It was only after the personal intervention of her friend President Theodore Roosevelt that she could continue her work unhindered. Roosevelt himself visited the Hopi reservation in 1913 for the Hopi flute and snake ceremonies, which visit was detailed by Curtis in "Theodore Roosevelt in Hopi Land," an article Curtis wrote for Outlook magazine in 1919.[3]



There are so many great quotes in this book...
and I especially love this one because I believe 
we all need to step into the grace pause at some time in our life... 
and bring the past with us [ & reconcile it...] as we move on to the future...

And this one is also so very true...
our broken pieces, mixed with the new, 
makes us strong and beautiful...


You'll love this book - 
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review - 
ALL opinions are my own.
Photos of quotes are from the author's facebook page -

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Annie Lee the Argosy Update: No. 039

This is the first thing
 I cooked on our new blackstone griddle...
And omgoodness... y'all.
Smash Burgers.
A few weeks ago we were headed to a camping event in South Carolina 
[more on that soon -] 
and stopped at a little campground 
outside of Atlanta due to working half a day... 
This is Old Highway 41 #3 Campground -
A Corp of of Engineer Campground RIGHT OFF the I-75
Seriously - we could SEE the cars racing by on the bridge just across the way. 
[And HEAR it too - but honestly, once inside our camper it was all blocked out...]
Soooo - this is how I cooked up the smash burgers when some friends who live nearby graciously said I could 'practice' my cooking skills on them...
I actually put some butter on the blackstone and grilled the hamburger buns to a toasty finish before I put oil on it...
Then I started with a little oil to cook an onion that was sliced thin...
After moving the onions to the side, I put down little balls of meat [1/8 of a pound each] and smashed them down flat with the spatula... 
After they were turned I put half a slice of cheese on half...
In retrospect, I should have put half a slice on each burger... 
but I'm not a cheese lover... still, others would have enjoyed it...
To serve, I layered 2 patties of meat with onions on the toasty buns - 
so 1/4 pound burgers when finished. We had chips with them 
[I wasn't brave enough to try FRIES on the griddle...]
There was also mustard, ketchup, and mayo.
 Altho, honestly? 
I didn't add anything to the onion cheese deliciousness. 
This is definitely a meal we will repeat.
The next morning we cooked breakfast on the blackstone too - 
And, YES - I 'baked' biscuits!
These were cooked on LOW, with a cover, and flipped halfway through... 
One of my favorite things about blackstone cooking
is the fast cleanup - LOVE IT.
Old Highway 41 #3 Campground
Our take on the campground: 
An easy stop off the interstate.
Gated campground...
Beautiful wooded area with water views.
Clean bath facilities.
Good internet connection.
Noisy due to interstate traffic - 
but did not affect our sleep since we had the air on...
Sites are not well-marked, but we figured it
We'd stay again if we're ever in the area...

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Let's face it - all families

have secrets and in The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery 
written by Amanda Cox

three generations of women are bound together by the history of the Old Depot Grocery despite the secrets each of them carry with her..
and while they all have different secrets, and dreams, and walk to the beat of their own drums...they are able to come together after Sarah returns to her hometown determined to save the Old Depot Grocery...


In the end, gr-daughter, daughter, and [gr] mother all have their dreams fulfilled.
This book is FULL of so many wonderful quotes; 
 Here are just a couple of my favorites: 
" You know, sometimes it's the simplest things that seem to hold the most magic." 
And: "In all my wanderlust ways, I've figured out that happiness doesn't come from the 'big break' or 'buying the big house' or the 'big whatever.' It comes from the everyday choice to embrace the beauty in the little things." 
I think The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery will help the reader embrace happiness as we learn their secrets, one by one...
Grab your copy to today - you're going to love it!
Note: I was given a copy of this book for review from the publishers  -
All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 6, 2021

So. The monthly re-cap...

  First off... I'm sure I say this EVERY month - 
August was fun, y'all.
We celebrated 38 years of marriage pretty much all month long!
Definitely enjoyed our little get-away to Lake Erie...
Craig had a great time fishing after I flew home...
And I started taking zumba and yoga classes at the Senior Center [YES!!] 
I love it!
We had dinners with friends and family... including those who let me practice my blackstone cooking skills when they came to see us at our stop-over campsite outside of Atlanta...
We enjoyed an Argosy Airstream Rally in South Carolina...
Had good times visiting with Craig's mother throughout the month, 
and all of my family got together for the kiddo's 
birthday celebration one Sunday afternoon...
Oops! We should've got one with Kelly in the photo!
And we always enjoy trying new things in the kitchen... like pineapple chicken,  avocado toast with home - pickled red onion, fried tofu and garlic shrimp [yum], and
we tried a cream puff recipe that was surprisingly easy 
[and delicious!!]
Craig hosts a weekend vintage camping event in Hiawassee, Georgia each August and we always enjoy our little pre-camp time at Parksville Lake Campground  near the Ocoee rafting area...
And we had a great time with camping buddies at Bald Mountain Camping Resort for the event... even took their suggestion to drive to THE TOP of Bell Mountain... 
WHAT A DRIVE - but ohmygoodness - 

I'm so surprised that our little 'volunteer' tomato plant is producing more tomatoes than I've ever grown in an season. And they taste wonderful!! 

And our flowers are flourishing with all this rain we've had...
Love the black-eyed susans out back!

But alas - it's not been all fun and games... 
Our little Bernard did not come back home one day 
[and we choose to believe someone has scooped him up and he's living the life of riley, as my mama would say...]
And we've had quite the battle with fleas this month...
As I'm sure some of you with indoor / outdoor animals have faced before...
But I think we're on the upswing of it all now...
Cheers to cooler weather and killing the summer insects!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

So, y'all know

 I'm loving our little blackstone griddle, 
so I'm sure I'll be sharing recipes / meals / treats I've cooked on it with you during the next few weeks - 
If you've ever looked at some of the favorite things to cook with it, then I'm sure you've seen the pineapple chicken with fried rice and grilled veggies.
We sure enjoyed it while the youngest and his gal were home!
My 'recipe' is very loosey-goosey, as are most of the things I cook these days...
So - I marinated chicken breasts in a teriyaki marinade from a bottle...
[Actually poured it into a bag and let them thaw out in it before cutting in cubes... put it back in the bag in the fridge to marinate a bit more...] 
I cooked that on the griddle a few minutes and added in some pineapple chunks just as it was getting done.
Then I added the chopped veggies to the griddle with a bit of oil.
[Mushrooms, peppers and onion, I think... - you can add whatever you like best.]
I have the 17" blackstone so the surface has only one controller 
[everything cooks at the same temp.
And honestly - I'm still learning how to best control the heat..]
After these were done and off the griddle we cooked the fried rice... rice I had cooked earlier and put in the fridge to cool. 
It took up the entire griddle and we were so busy cooking it we failed to get a photo... Everyone pitched in to say how to make it just right...and basically it's rice, oil [of course] a bit of carrots from the garden, and fried eggs... we finished it off with a bit of sesame oil... SO GOOD.
Because I wanted it pinterest perfect [ha] and had seen it served up in the pineapple boats we did that too! But you can see we had PLENTY left for seconds, and even lunch for the next few days...
Honestly, it could be served mixed all together and spooned into bowls... but we all have differing ideas about our rice to vegetable to chicken ratio so we served in separate bowls...
It was so, so good...
The easier way to make this would be to just use pineapple chunks from a can and serve it from bowls... but the pineapple boat does make it pretty... 
Dontcha think?
It could definitely be made on the stove top as well.

so, so good

Monday, August 23, 2021

Yesterday, in Sunday School,

mmm, I mean LIFE GROUP [I'm old and set in my ways - lol...] our lesson was from Ecclesiastes --- and we talked about how everyone has the same fate - 
We're all going to die. 
Kinda fatalistic, right?
[Pun intended.]
But it *is* the truth... no one gets out of this world alive.
But - as believers - we have the GIFT of living eternally with our Lord.
And I'm so very thankful for that...
But side note: also so very thankful that He walks beside me through this life... giving me strength in my struggles, peace in times of anxiety, and incredible love and acceptance despite my failures [sin.] 
I did this Bible Journal page sometime during the last couple of years [not dated..] and I'm sure it's based on a meme I saw somewhere... but here's my thought process - If we are truly going to die....and we are... 
then why don't we slow down a bit 
and look for the beauty of this world...  
and look for God's goodness in every situation...
and look for ways to share His Light with our hurting world...
Let's enjoy the ride...
A friend shared one of my favorite poems today... and as we walk into the last days of summer, I wanted to share it with you... The last four lines reminded me of Solomon's words ... but really the last two lines are the best...
Let's BE INTENTIONAL about how we live our lives...

Poem 133: The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

 Praying God blesses you today -

Friday, August 13, 2021

Such a great book!

 I know y'all think I always say that - but 'tis true with 
Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson
We catch up with Meg and Oliver [more than] a few years after high school - 
They had completely different childhoods, yet they are both at the point of realizing [and accepting] their true character [and what they really want out of life.]

So, come take a trip to Prince Edward Island with me...
There's grief [I especially love the conversation about grief and how the pastor said, "It ebbs and flows like the tide... lying in wait only to roll in when you least expect it."] We've all felt the sucker punch that only grief can throw at some time in our lives...
And forgiveness -- probably the underlying current in the entire book...
 LOVE THIS - I truly believe forgiveness makes the world a better place!

And there's also, maybe a bit [or A LOT] of 
parents wanting what's best for their babies 
[biological and otherwise.] 
Even though they are kind of the secondary characters...
Gotta read it to see what I'm talking about.

 Go ahead and get your copy today and 
read this wonderful story of love [all the kinds!] 

Note: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.