Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: My Year in Books

If you're an avid reader, you've got to check out Goodreads. It's a great online tool that helps me keep track of what I'm reading, what I've read, and what I want to read. Your books can be organized into lists based on parameters that you set (which is how I know exactly what I read in 2009). You can also read and/or write book reviews which you can choose to post directly to your blog (or not).

So, without further ado, here is my 2009 year in books along with a few opinions. I read a total of 35 books. Eighteen of them were completely my choice. I read 9 books for my online book club, Reader's Anonymous, and another 8 were young adult or school-related titles (since I teach young adults).

My Choice(18)

The Shack (William P. Young) Did not meet my expectations
Alex Cross’s Trial (James Patterson)
The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)
Max (James Patterson)
8th Confession (James Patterson)
Dry Ice (Stephen White)
Wicked Prey (John Sandford)
Time Bomb (Jonathan Kellerman)
The Associate (John Grisham)
My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Piccoult) Worst movie adaptation
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) My favorite!
Indigo Slam (Robert Crais)
Run for Your Life (James Patterson)
Kill Me (Stephen White)
Against Medical Advice: A True Story (James Patterson)
Chasing Darkness (Robert Crais)
Finger-Lickin Fifteen (Janet Evanovich) Funniest and most fun

A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
The Shining (Stephen King)
The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) Suprisingly good!
The Beach (Alex Garland)
The Other Boelyn Girl (Phillipa Gregory) My favorite!
Hemlock Bay (Catherine Coulter)
Overhexed (Vicki Lewis Thompson)
The Host (Stephanie Meyer) Did not meet my expectations
Naked in Death (J. D. Robb)

Young Adult Literature or School-Related Titles (8)

Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607 (Elisa Carbone)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (J. K. Rowling) Extremely disappointing
Full Tilt (Neal Shusterman)
The Killer’s Tears (Anne-Laure Bondoux)
Rumble Fish (S. E. Hinton) Extremely disappointing
Dark Water Rising (Marion Hale) Did not meet my expectations
Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins) My favorite!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare)
Obviously, my favorite author is James Patterson. He almost never disappoints me. I also enjoy Robert Crais, Stephen White, and Janet Evanovich.
For 2010, I will continue to read those four authors as well as other mystery/suspense novels (my favorite genre). I hope to include some nonfiction in 2010 as I only had one nonfiction title on my list for 2009. I'll continue to participate in Reader's Anonymous because I honestly read some terrific books I would not have chosen on my own. Feel free to join RA! And of course, I will read some young adult literature as it pertains to my teaching career. If you're interested in any of my reviews of these books, you can find me on Goodreads.

Happy Reading in 2010!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Scrappin'

Please join us for Sunday Scrappin'! Last week I made 26 digital scrapbook pages, printed them out, and put them in sleeves to go with the others I have made for my mom over the year. I started this last year by giving her a binder of our best photos from 2008 done in a digital format that I can print out for her. So, I decided it may as well become a tradition, and we are on year two. Since there were so many pages, instead of uploading them all individually here, I decided to put them in a slideshow so I wouldn't overload the loading of this page due to graphics.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Heads or Tails

The topic for Heads or Tails this week is Show-n-Tell. Show something, then tell about it, just like in kindergarten. Vivit the home of Heads or Tails to see other players, to participate, or to see future themes.

Here is a funnel cake.

Here are my children ready to dig in to this yummy funnel cake.

In case you've never had a funnel cake, it's made by pouring unleavened batter through a funnel into hot oil making a circular pattern and deep frying to a golden brown. In our part of the country, the funnel cake is topped with powdered sugar, but in some places, they also use jam or other toppings. (Info from Wikipedia)

Happy HoT everyone!

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I received this beautiful batik from my bloggy friend Latree from Dandelion. I was so surprised! She made this and sent it to me all the way from Indonesia! Thank you so much, Latree! I love it! Here is an article on batik for anyone who is interested.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Camera Critters

Here's Lacy, who loves to climb the tree. Yes, she climbs the pole (we have an artificial tree this year), and she sits in the branches. Wish I had my camera ready for that one, but here she is under it instead. The tree is not fit for pictures after all of her climbing! Silly cat!

Visit more Camera Critters!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't done a menu plan in ages! Our schedules have been so crazy and hectic, but now that I have my temporary place for just the kids and me, I know who is going to be where and when and I can plan accordingly.

Monday - Taco Salad - ground beef, lettuce, tomato, tortilla chips, grated cheese, and Catalina dressing tossed in a bowl, served with sour cream on the side.

Tuesday - Crock Pot Chicken - chicken breasts, cream of mushroom soup, and chunks of peeled potatoes will simmer in the crock pot all day. We'll have a side of black-eyed peas, too.

Wednesday - Pork Roast (pre-cooked) with gravy, four-cheese Rice-a-Roni, spinach, and French bread.

Thursday - Eat Out! It's my turn to pick. Shall I choose seafood or steak?

Friday - Beef and Cheese Enchiladas - Lawry's enchilada sauce, flour tortillas, ground beef, and shredded Mexican cheese blend. These don't even need a side dish!

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Curious George - A Very Monkey Christmas Music CD Giveaway

The winner is "Anonymous." Comment #11. Congratulations!Everyone's favorite monkey is back, and he's got a new movie! Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas debuts on PBS December 6, 18, 19, 20, and 25. Check your local listings. Although I haven't seen the movie yet, I have heard the Soundtrack, and it's so upbeat! I love Christmas music (I'm one of those crazy people who could listen to it year-round!), and I love the Jingle Bells song! You'll be dancing and singing to the music and getting in the holiday mood.

From the Denon site:
The soundtrack follows the story line of the movie through song and music: George and The Man with The Yellow Hat are having a very merry time counting down the days until Christmas. There’s only one puzzle: neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present.

There are some new versions of holiday classics and some brand new songs you and your children are sure to love.

Denon has agreed to give one of my lucky readers the music soundtrack CD Curious George - A Very Monkey Christmas. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post before December 12 at midnight CST. Open to US residents only. Nonbloggers may enter, but please leave your email address so I may contact you if you win.

Earn an extra entry for each of the following (you may choose to do them all). Please leave a separate comment (and link if necessary) for each extra entry.
1. Subscribe to my feed. (comment with suscribe via ____)
2. Tweet this contest (comment with link)
3. Blog about this contest (comment with link)
4. Stumble this post (comment with link)

Thanks, and good luck! You're going to love our favorite monkey!
"This post was written for Family Review Network as part of a program for Denon Records, who supplied the CD for review."

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thursday 13

What are your favorite Facebook applications?

1. Jungle Jewels
2. Farmtown
3. Scrabble
4. Farmville
5. Happy Aquarium
6. Café World
7. Island Paradise
8. Farkle
9. Jewel Puzzle
10. Pop Answers
11. SuperPoke Pets
12. Mindjolt Games
13. Big Prize Giveaways

What are your guilty pleasures?
Check out other Thursday Thirteeners
And don't forget to enter my candle giveaway tonight!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


December 13 is my four year blogging anniversary. I can't believe it!

And... I am approaching the 1,000 posts mark.

When all this began, I had no idea what blogging would come to mean to me. It's a very special place where I can participate in social memes, share my crafts, hone my writing skills, review products, vent about daily life, and host giveaways.

Wait? Did I say giveaways! I'll be hosting a giveaway soon to mark my anniversary! Stay tuned. I love all of you out there in the blogosphere.

Monday, November 30, 2009


The Queen's Meme

Sometimes silly. Sometimes serious. Always fun!
Step out of the box. Be creative. Use your imagination.
No one's answers are quite like yours.
This meme is called The Shopping Madness Meme (aka The Naked Mannequin Saga),
hosted by Mimi, Queen of Memes, at Bloggingham Palace.

1. My favorite item to shop for is electronics because, quite frankly, I love all things technology: computers, printers, cases, components, software, etc. (Just so you know, my least favorite thing to shop for is groceries!)

2. Quality vs. Price: I will buy off-brand items, depending on what category I am shopping. For example, I don't have to have Sony if Acer is cheaper. I don't have to have Samsung if Vizio is less expensive. Same thing with clothing: I don't have to have name brands. I'll wear tees and sweaters from WalMart or Target to save money. It's all in what your priorities are. One thing I refuse to buy off brand is Meal Kits such as Hamburger Helper. The store brand isn't the same! But on medications and hair care, I can sacrifice the quality for the price.

3. I have never asked a sales person to hold the last item for me because I am not assertive enough to do so. If it's the last one, I will get it right then and there if I want it. The only thing that would cause me to ask the salesperson to save the last item was if it was for a gift, and I couldn't actually purchase it right at that time. I haven't had to do this, though.

4. I'm usually an alone-shopper because I can get more done in a shorter amount of time if I go by myself. The only time I might ask a family member to come with me is to help with groceries, but I usually end up getting things I hadn't planned to get if someone accompanies me. But actual shopping? I like to get it done by myself.

5. The dressing room is for trying on clothes. I don't go into the fitting room for any other purpose.

6. The only salespeople that irritate me by following me around are those at furniture stores. Usually, in any other shopping establishment, there aren't enough employees to help me, much less bother me and follow me around.

7. I would like to establish a store called "Forgetfulone's Fabulous Finds." I would carry a variety of household items, clothing, shoes, electronics, and unique gift items that I would hand-pick myself.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Game Shows

The topic for this week's Sunday Scribblings is GAMES!

Once I got past the Leave it to Beaver stage of childhood, I liked to watch Game Shows. I think The Price is Right was my favorite back when it first began airing its revised show in 1972 hosted by Bob Barker (who finally retired in 2007). “Forgetfulone, come on down, you’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!” I would usually guess the right price, and some of the games were clever. And I would love to go to the Showcase Showdown!

Anyone else remember Let’s Make a Deal hosted by Monty Hall? That show always cracked me up! People in the audience would dress up and/or carry signs, the crazier the better, in order to get chosen for the next deal. I always used to wonder if I had something in my purse that they would ask for in order to get to play the deal like a red rubberband or a brown bobby pin. Then, the deal… Would you like Curtain #1, Curtain #2, or Curtain #3. You might be lucky enough to win a year’s supply of puppy chow (ZONK)!

Another great game was Name that Tune. The version I remember was hosted by Jim Lange. Bid-a-note was my favorite part. I can name that tune in 3 notes! And the winner got to go to the Golden Medley. I’d have loved that!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Camera Critters

A giraffe at Animal Kingdom in DisneyWorld, Florida. Photo taken March 2008.
Play along at Camera Critters!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

Did anyone else brave the crowds?

I tried to get some sleep while waiting for the sales to start, but it wasn't happening. There was one major thing I needed to get a deal on! If I'd fallen asleep, it would have passed me by. I went out to Walmart around 2:30 because they were open even though the sale didn't start until 5 AM. By 3AM, the item I wanted was gone, and YES, I got one! It was an incredibly good deal on a laptop computer for a gift, and it cost me about 5 hours of time. But, for my daughter, I would do it again. Oh, and I saved about $190 over what I would have gotten. There's a reason to stand in line all night! Will I do it again? Maybe. I guess it depends on the item and the savings. Thankfully, there was no fighting or conflict like what I saw that happened in California or in New York last year. Everyone was friendly, and helpful, both the employees and the other customers. I am glad it's over for this year, though! How was your Black Friday experience?

My Black Friday post from 2007.

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Say it Forward

Say it Forward is a weekly carnival hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom that gives bloggers an opportunity to recognize loyal commenters.

This week, I want to thank Skittles (aka Barb) for being a loyal commenter here at Forgetfulone. She comments on many of my posts, and she is encouraging and friendly. I love her blog, too, which I think most of my readers have in their readers as well.

Skittles, this is for you! Thanks for stopping by regularly. Your comments make me smile!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday 13

Welcome to my Thanksgiving Feast edition of Thursday 13!

If I were hosting Thanksgiving this year, or any year, these are the items I would want on my menu.
1. Roasted Turkey
2. Giblet Gravy
3. Rolls
4. Cornbread Dressing (where I live in the south, it is called dressing, not stuffing). I make mine from scratch with cornbread, melted butter, chicken broth, seasonsing - especially sage, chopped giblets from the turkey, onions, and celery. It must be moist, not dry.
5. Mashed Potatoes (whipped with butter, milk, salt, and pepper, also from scratch)
6. Traditional Green Bean Casserole
7. Squash Casserole (with lots of melted cheese)
8. Jellied Cranberry Sauce (none of that berry stuff for me!)
9. Deviled Eggs (hard boiled eggs. Mix the yolk with salt, pepper, mayo, and a little mustard. Fill the whites with this mixture. Sprinkle top with paprika.)
10. Ripe Olives
11.Iced Tea (unsweet, but you can add sugar or sugar substitute if you'd like)
12. Warm Pumpkin Pie (only if there is Cool Whip to put on top)
13. Pecan Pie

No yams or sweet potatoes on my menu, but lots of good stuff, in my opinion. Yummy! It's time for a feast!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Don't forget to enter these giveaways!
Glade Candle Tin ends Dec. 2nd.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Just My Opinion

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
May Contain Slight Spoilers

Dan Brown writes a good mystery, and I love suspense! He usually has a “twist,” and The Lost Symbol is no exception.

On the other hand, some of the novel was slow-moving. The novel could be cut by 20% and still tell a suspenseful, if unrealistic, story.

I don’t believe Brown ever explained to my satisfaction how or where Sato got her information. How did she know about the videotape before the hidden camera was discovered? She obviously had knowledge prior to the incident with Peter’s hand, yet what knowledge she had and how she received it was never fully explained. Also not explained to my satisfaction was what happened to Mal’akh in the end. Once the climax of the story was reached, the novel dragged painfully on and veered off into too much philosophy.

Additionally, having Peter blindfold Robert to go to a national monument was far too dramatic than was necessary. And why wasn’t Peter with his son or taking care of his wound at the hospital before trekking off to a national monument? This required a complete suspension of belief as did the helicopter crashing into the skylight on the Temple. Actually, quite a bit of the novel was unrealistic.

Some descriptions were a bit too graphic, and I am not easily disgusted. Peter’s hand? Mal’akh’s rituals? Some of the graphic nature of the novel had to do with the Masons. My father was a dearly loved man and Freemason, and there were just some things I would rather not know about their Fraternity and Traditions. That’s why they are kept secret, for members only.

Which makes me wonder where Dan Brown got his information and just how accurate it is. A true Mason of any character would never reveal some of the things that Brown describes. If he were a Mason himself, with firsthand knowledge, he would be breaking sacred oaths with some of his revelations. As it is, someone had to give him that information if it is, as he claims, true. What kind of FreeMason would do that?

And shame of you, Dan Brown! If the video you describe in the novel is an issue of national security, then shouldn’t your novel also become an issue of national security? And how dare you reveal secrets of the Masons, particularly since you have no way of truly verifying their accuracy, not having been initiated yourself. You have taken things out of context to shed a poor light on the Brotherhood of FreeMasons, which is what you accuse others of doing. Who shall cast the first stone, Mr. Brown?

Brown does a poor job of distinguishing fact from fiction, casting all of his information as fact, which it is not. He tells a good “story,” and I love the suspense, but Mr. Brown, for some of this novel, you simply should be ashamed of yourself.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Glade Candles Holiday Collection Review & Giveaway

And the winner is... C. Pullum! Congratulations! Anyone who knows me well knows that I love candles! I recently tried Glade's scented oil holiday candle tin in the limited edition Bayberry Spice fragrance. The tin is certainly cute! And I loved the smell! The fragrance is released quickly and burns for 2-3 hours. When the oil is gone, the flame goes out. A really nice feature is that the tin is refillable with any Glade scented oil candle fragrance.

Glade will send one of my readers one of their scented oil candle tins. U S residents only, please. There are five ways to enter.
1. Leave a comment on this post.

2. Subscribe to my blog.

3. Tweet this giveaway.

4. Post about this giveaway on your blog and link to this contest.

5. Post about this giveaway on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment (with links, if necessary) for each entry.
Winner will be chosen randomly. This contest will end on December 2nd. Please make sure I have an email address at which to notify you if you are the winner.

"This post was written as part of a program for Family Review Network and SC Johnson Glade, who provided the product for review and giveaway. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary product."

Don't forget to enter my Sunsweet Giveaway! Ends Nov. 25th.

Heads or Tails

The theme for this week's Heads or Tails is --- Heads --- Soft.


smooth kitten’s fur,
silky baby skin,
feather pillows.

a down comforter,
tender kisses,
a fine, cashmere sweater.

Mamaw’s ancient quilt,
the glow of candlelight,
the breeze on a starlit night.

Monday, November 23, 2009

You Know You Want a Kindle!

I don't know about you, but I really want a Kindle! And it's definitely not in Forgetfulone's budget this year, but maybe I could win one! You could, too! Check out this fabulous giveaway over at Bibliofreak. And I'm going to spoil a surprise. She has more than one to give away! How do these bloggers get these great prizes to give away? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that you need to get over there and check out all the ways she has to win. Good luck!

Monday Movies Meme

Feature Presentation!

This week's Monday Movies Meme, hosted by The Bumbles Blog, is all about VICTORY! Here are some movies focusing on champions, victories, and winners.

The first one that comes to mind is Remember the Titans. "Denzel Washington plays Herman Boone, who is hired as the T.C. Williams High football coach over a white coach in Alexandria, Virginia in the early 1970's during a time when the school has just been integrated to allow blacks into the school. As the season progresses the team's success caused the community to accept the changes." Victory in more ways than one!
Another movie about winners is The Women. "The sweet, happily-wedded Mary Haines finds her marriage in trouble when shop girl Crystal Allen gets her hooks into Mary's man. She works her way through this rough patch with the support of her friends and family by finding out what she really wants out of life, instead of just living out the life she feels was assigned to her." With an all-star, all-female cast, and a well-done movie women can feel good about in the end, I think this one is a winner!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Scrappin'

Sunday Scrappin' is a meme for traditional scrapbookers, digital scrappers, or paper crafters of any kind. Won't you join us? I was afraid I wasn't going to finish my holiday planner this weekend. I lost a whole day yesterday due to a stomach virus, but I finished it today. The picture doesn't look that great, but in person, it's pretty cute. The background paper is a winter blue with a white diamond pattern that doesn't show up great in the picture.

It was very easy. I used a spiral notebook and altered the cover with scrapbook paper, letters cut from my Cricut, and a few sparkly jewels on Santa and some of the "gifts.". I made tabs along the top using the same background as the cover along with cardstock to make them sturdier. I have sections for gift ideas, purchases, cards, swaps, parties, miscellaneous, and a pocket for receipts.

I'm going to scrapbook with a friend on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to have lots of pages to share next week. Have a scrappy week!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Win an HP Touchsmart 600 at 5 Minutes for Mom

5 Minutes for Mom is sponsoring some great Christmas giveaways this season including THIS ONE for an HP Touchsmart 600 computer. Not only are they giving one away to one of their readers, but they are trying to win a second computer to give away to a deserving person nominated by their readers. I have a blog friend that I am nominating to win that computer, but I've got to help 5 Minutes for Mom win it so they can give it away! And wouldn't you like to know who I'm nominating? Well, I'm sorry, but I'm not telling! It would be so awesome if the person I nominate wins, and I'll be sure to announce it here if they do, but in the meantime, I'd love for you to go over to 5 Minutes for Mom, enter their contest, tweet about it, facebook about it, and nominate someone yourself. You might even win one! And go check out this amazing computer (retails for $1599!). What are you waiting for?

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