Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Summer Reading
Part 2 - July

Time to ramble on and on about all the books I've been reading. I read 17 books in July, which brings me to a total of 39 for the summer! Wowie!! That's alot of time with my nose stuck in a book. What can I say? I LOVE to read!!

Honorable mention goes to "The Lov
ely Bones" by Alice Sebold that I have been meaning to read forever. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a favorite. There were a handful of trashy romances as always. "Joshua's Family" by Joseph F. Girzone was pretty good, the prequel to the series I'd read years and years and years ago. I think I enjoyed the rest of the series more than this one though. "Porch Tales" by Phillip Gulley was fantastic! I really enjoy this new author I found (more about him in a few minutes) and this is just a book of random short true stories. They are funny, sweet, heart warming and most have a "moral to the story". He has several others like this and I'll read those for sure too!! "Dreamboat" by Judith Gould was a good find on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble. I took a chance and it was a great book, very very very trashy mind you, but good. Mystery, romance and on a cruise! (100% trash) I read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom again just because I didn't remember it very much. I also finally come to terms with the fact that I just don't enjoy Danielle Steel. I've tried and tried, from now on I think I'll pass on her books. Strange, but true. Now for the top 5:

5) "Into the Storm" by Suzanne Brockman - This is #12 in her Trouble Shooters series. Of course you'd need to start at the beginning. They are super great a tad romance, lots of action books about a group of SEALS navy guys and gals. Good characters that I've come to "know & love" over the years.

4) "Daisy Fay & The Miracle Man" by Fannie Flagg - I love
Fannie Flagg and had read all of her other books previously. Turns out I had missed 2 and I found this one at the local used book store. It was a HOOT! I laughed out loud and read parts of it out loud to Andy. (he wasn't thrilled) It's from the view point of a little girl and all the crazy things that happen to her through out her entire life.

3) Brings me to a new favorite author! "Just Shy of Harmony" by Philip Gulley - I didn't realize until I started that this was #2 in a series. The books GREATLY follow the path that Jan Karon's Mitford books do, if you've read those. They are from the view of a Quaker pastor in a small town. It's filled with fun and lovable characters and tons of laugh out loud moments!! It's also sweet and full of moments of faith! I have now read 3 out of the series and this was my favorite of them. The more I read though, the more I am reminded of the Mitford books and the fact they are so much alike.I recommend this one even if you don't read the entire series. It's easy to follow although it's #2!

Just a handful of my favorite quotes:

P. 35 "Although it was true no one should preach without being led -
it was also true that God had been in the habit of speaking to Sam every Friday in his office between the hours of 8:30 & noon."

P. 254 "apparently God uses Bozos too"

P. 125 (talking about road signs a nutty church member had made and put up in town) "Go to church and learn to pray or when you die, there's hell to pay." "If you cheat and drink and lie, turn to God before you die."

P. 178 "you're not sick and you're not staying home. You're going to church and suffering with the rest of us."

2) "6t
h Target" by James Patterson - Wowie! Ya just have to love James Patterson! I think I am beginning to love the Women's Murder Club series as much (or maybe even more) than the Alex Cross novels. This is #6 for the women's club and it was awesome!! Full of suspense and ALOT going on in this one!! I was surprised from beginning to end about where it went and I LOVE when that happens. (The series has inspired a TV showing coming in the fall on Friday nights, I can NOT wait!)

**I am going to hold my #1 until another blog. I am way excited about it and have tons to say and share about it. So.... until next time..... read a book!**

Sunday, July 29, 2007

St. Thomas

(View from our room)

We left our house on Monday morning at 6:00 and were at the airport and in line by 7:30. When we saw the security line for the first time, we were sure that we'd never make our 10:00 flight! The line was like something I've never seen before. It moved pretty quickly though and we were through security in just over an hour. Strangely enough I saw a friend at the airport that I work with, what a hoot! (Shout out to Pam who was headed with her hubby for a Vegas Birthday trip!) We met up with Andy's friends from work and boarded our plane. Then.... nothing happened.

(Gotta love the take it yourself photos!)

We waited....and waited.....and waited. The pilot came on to tell us that when they had landed in Atlanta, they found an oil leak. They were working on finding out if they needed to fix it or just get us another plane. (another plane please) He came back to say "we don't know where the leak is coming from, but when they opened the door down there ... oil poured out" Sound comforting? After about 10 more minutes we were feeling better when the pilot told us that we were getting another plane! So, we get off and wait again. It takes about 20 minutes for us to find another plane and then another 15-20 before everyone is back on board.

(The top of the hotel where people had weddings and stuff. Great views of St. John and the other small islands!)

Finally, we're off! I had a rather icky flight (too much craziness) and even though I watched a "Ray Ramano" comedy special, played trivia with everyone else on board and enjoyed my own little tv to play with ... I was glad to arrive in St. Thomas 3 hours and 50 minutes later! What a strange morning!

(The view from my chair on the beach one day)

We got a van (taxi) with Andy's friends and were on our way. We learned all sorts of things about the island as we headed to the resort. The island is just as beautiful as we remembered! HOLY MOLY it has TONS of mountains!! We were going straight up, up, up and it felt like we were headed to a cabin in the mountains rather than a resort on the beach. Crazy! We arrived, checked in and headed for the beach!

(Here is part of the pool area. There were 3 pools that were all connected with little water falls. One pool had a volleyball net, one had a pool basketball goal and the other had the big water fall in it. Fun! There were ALWAYS activities going on everywhere at the resort)

Our first day Andy was in his conference from 7:30-4:30 other than for the hour when he came to eat lunch with me. I spent the ENTIRE day at the pool and beach after breakfast! It was 100% heavenly! I am pretty sure heaven will look like the beaches in St. Thomas! I read, swam, laughed at iguanas and baked myself! Andy joined me when he was finished with his junk! We had a fantastic dinner where my steak & 'taters were perfect! Then we ordered "flour less chocolate cake" WOWIE ZOWIE!! It was pretty much FUDGE with cool whip, unreal~ (Did I mention the resort is all inclusive, our first experience with that .. other than cruising)

(The view from our hall. There wasn't a place that didn't offer perfect views)

Day two was more of the same. Andy went to work and I headed to the beach. He was finished for good by lunch and we were l-a-z-y! We talked about heading downtown for shopping and the gondola ride up to Paradise Point (where we went last trip), but ended up spending the entire afternoon at the beach! How can you resist? For dinner I had the exact same meal, including flour less chocolate cake, yummo!

(Andy hard at work)

We spent Thursday morning at the beach until about 12:00 where we had to start out for the airport. We got everyone together and were off. We had the sweetest little O L D man for a driver and he was so proud of his island! He told us all about the old military bases on the island and stopped at the islands American Legion just to show us. (We were afraid we were headed for an entire walking tour too) We arrived at the airport and had to laugh at how different it works there from in Atlanta! The same lady that checked us in was outside directing us to the plane later on, funny! I love that you walk out onto the run way and just kinda "pick a plane"! Hilarious~ Andy said it was a grass hut and a run way, well .. pretty much! When you see just how short the runway is .. you try not to think about it!

(Andy hard at work again)

Our flight home was uneventful compared to the hoopla we'd had in coming. It was about 30 minutes shorter, I think it's neat how that works. We didn't have our own tv and I watched "Blades of Glory" with everyone else, ugh! (Where's a smilie rolling it's eyes when I need it?)

It was the shortest trip we've ever taken! The only place we go for long weekends is the mountains or camping, so this was different for us. We kept reminding ourselves that it was a total surprise in the first place and we were lucky and blessed to even be going! So we think back that at 11 we were on the beach with our feet in the Caribbean Sea and by 7:30 we were sitting in Johnny's Pizza in Hiram, life is wild! We were soooo blessed to be able to take a trip like this for "work", the military is good to us!

(Iguanas were everywhere! This guy was coming for me!! People were feeding him fruit from the bar and he thought I was going to join in the feeding I guess. I was sitting there minding my own business in my chair and there he was! There was an area where they hung out and Andy counted 34 there one afternoon!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

and we're off....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We spent most of last week camping at the lake. We're pretty lucky to live only about 35 minutes to get to some very nice areas of Lake Allatoona. We arrived on Sunday afternoon to pick out a "first come, first serve" spot at our favorite campground, McKinney. Thankfully there were still some nice spots on the water left. Andy, Gizmo & I were ready for 4 nights in the "woods". Ok, we have a camper ... Still, we were camping! After 8 weeks of no rain, brown grass, dead flowers, low lake level and local ponds drying up ... the drought ended starting on the day of our yard sale and the rain continued on and off through our week of camping. We couldn't believe the luck, but we still had a good time. It rained for awhile every day and every night! We did get to go swimming a few days. Andy went fishing every morning and evening right by our camp site. There were TONS of brim that hung out around a fallen tree right by the waters edge. I fished with him one night and we were catching a fish with every cast, funny! He even had the fish JUMPING OUT OF THE WATER when he'd hold the worm just above water level, nuts!! We cooked out every night, yummy! I read several books and cross stitched, Andy went for bike rides. We played TONS of HOURS worth of UNO, Monopoly, Scattergories, Mancala and I can't even remember what other games. We watched a handful of DVDs worth of "Raymond" episodes. Despite the icky weather, we had a great time! We had some visitors as well! Mr. Squirrel returned several nights before we'd get the trash to the dumpster, Momma duck and her babies were regulars at the water edge and the duck gang decided to make themselves at home after a rain storm one afternoon.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

One man's trash
is another man's treasure

Before we moved out of our last house, we had a yard sale. It was almost 6 years ago now. We made some extra money and got rid of some junk. Andy laughed at me because I put a plastic fish bowl out there full of marbles, it was $1 or $2. The very first person that pulled up, an older woman .. rushed straight down the driveway to grab the fish bowl of marbles like it was just what she was looking for. She was so excited with her little find and I told Andy "HA!"

We had another yard sale when we actually got moved in and all settled here, about 5 & 1/2 years ago. No marbles that time though.

We've been putting stuff in the basement for years saying we'd have another yard sale, we keep putting it off. We have donated truck loads of stuff twice, just to skip the yard sale work. I've worked for two weeks cleaning the house inside out & upside down looking for stuff to get rid of. Today was the day! It just happens to be the first day all summer it's rained at our house on and off all day, but I digress.

Somehow I ended up with a gallon Ziploc bag of, you guessed it, marbles! "Here we go again" Andy says while rolling his eyes. At 7:50AM our first shopper arrives. An older gentleman by himself. He walks around and wants the set of crutches (that I almost tossed) and then he goes for .... wanta guess? .... Yep, the marbles. First customer, my $2.00 bag of marbles sold again!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

God Bless America!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

I want one of these aka:
favorite item of the day!
I think they made this with me in mind!!
" Perfect for any snooze-button addict, this sneaky alarm clock runs and hides when you don’t wake up
He’ll give you 0–9 min. of snooze time, then jump up to 3’ off a nightstand and roll in circles while alarming
Loud 80 dB alarm beeps in a random pattern while the screen flashes for a total sensory awakening
Requires 4 AAA batteries (not included) and features an early low-battery warning—average battery life is 6–8 mos.
Remove the wheels if you want Clocky to stay put; compact design measure"

Clocky Mobile Alarm Clock - Almond