Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Just My Opinion

I love a good book! So many to read and so little time.

 Spare Change (Wyattsville, #1)Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was difficult to keep up with in the beginning because you meet several different characters, and you are at least a third of the way into the book before you find out how they relate. Crosby knows how to weave a tale, though. It was interesting trying to figure out how the characters would cross paths, and the setting for about half of it was an apartment building in a charming little town. I had fun trying to determine the theme of the novel was as I was reading. The dynamic characters hit a few bumps in the road on the way to the finish. I enjoyed this book.

View all my reviews

Here is how Goodreads describes this book:

A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…
 A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…
 A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.

Olivia Westerly knows what she knows — opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.

Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Brought to You by the Letter L


That's where I spent my Easter weekend.

My husband and I went to Lubbock, which is about an 8 1/2 hour drive from our house each way, to visit our daughter who attends Texas Tech University.  Since we both had Good Friday off work, we thought, "Why not?"

We had such a great time!  Saturday was full of activities.

First, we went to the Buddy Holly Museum.  I learned quite a bit about this musical legend.  It's such a shame he was taken in his prime.

From there, we went to the Silent Wings Museum.  The Silent Wings refer to the Gliders, which have no motors.  Every landing is a crash landing with a glider plane.  They were crucial in getting our soldiers and equipment behind enemy lines during World War II.

Our next stop was McPherson Cellars where we had a glass of wine and a tour of the facility.  It would be a great event venue, if only it were closer to home.

Saturday evening we had dinner at Shogun, a Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse, and watched a movie with our daughter and her fiance'.

We actually spent almost all day Sunday in the car driving home, but the visit was fantastic!

Join ABC Wednesday here!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Random Tuesday and Coffee Chat

You can link up with Stacy for some Random Tuesday Thoughts, or Rory for Coffee Chat, or, like me, both!

Monday was a long first day back to work after spring break. My spring break was book-ended by weddings.  First, a co-worker's daughter got married.  I taught 2 of her 3, so I'm glad I got to go.  And, it turns out, the owner of the venue used to live across the street from us until about 6 years ago.  And she knew one of my teacher friends from college, so it was like "old-home-week."

The second wedding was for some neighborhood friends.  Our daughters have known each other since 4th grade.  She was such a beautiful bride.  And what a gorgeous day!

In between weddings, we drove to Lake Charles, Louisiana to do some gambling.  It was fun!  Oh, except for the detour around I 10 due to the flooding of the Sabine River.  My husband, being the great mapquester he is, found us better alternate routes, better meaning faster.  The way they were saying to go on the news would have taken over two EXTRA hours.  The way we went took about half an hour longer, which is completely okay.  We loved playing slots machines, blackjack, electronic craps, and video poker.

We also went to a Rockets game, and we actually won.  I don't know what's wrong with my Rockets this year!  They'll be lucky to be in the 8th spot when playoffs start.  It was fun nonetheless, and Hakeem was there, center court.

Coffee Chat!

Our hostess asks, "What's new with you?"
The better question is, "What's new with my daughter?"  She is studying abroad and has been able to take so many trips while she's over there.  Home base is Oxford, England.  She is taking classes and earning 16 hours of college credit, but she is travelling so much.  A little mishap occurred this time, though.  She and her roommate got stuck in Spain.  The French air traffic controllers are on strike, and about 600 flights were delayed,   The airline provided hotel rooms and meals, but they lost the money they had spent on the bus to get them from London to Oxford.  They were about 30 hours late getting back, but I'm thankful they're safe.

Me?  I just can't get used to the time change... still!   I'm a night owl, and I'm just not ready for bed an hour earlier.  Luckily, this is a 4 day week since we're off Good Friday - speaking of which - Easter is so EARLY this year!  We are driving to Texas Tech to see one of our daughters over Easter weekend.

That's all for now!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday Thirteen Storms

Welcome to my Thursday Thirteen post!  It's been raining here, or should I say storming, for two days now.  Here are some fun facts about rainstorms.

1.  In 1703, the Great Storm in England killed about 8,000 people.  It also destroyed windmills and chimneys.

2.  While earthquakes are measured with the Richter scale, storms are measure with the Beaufort scale.

3.  Rain and thunder reach the classification of storm when winds are between 55 and 63 mph.  The next category is violent storm (64-73 mph).  Winds are 74 mph are considered hurricanes.

4.  In 1974, there was a storm with a blast of cold air that froze ducks, and the frozen ducks fell from the sky onto people.  No lie!
Image Source

5.  There are about 2,000 storms happening all over the world at any given time.  (A different source said 1800.)
Source for 1-5

6.  In 1967, a hurricane in my home state of Texas spawned 115 tornadoes.

7.  Rain is good for you!  It contains vitamin B12.

8.  The scales on a pinecone will close when rain is on the way.
Source for 6-8

9.  The least rainy place on Earth is Antarctica.  It only gets 6.5 inches of rain per year.

10.  Llora, Columbia gets the most rainfall each year at 534 inches.
Image Source

11.  Two types of clouds indicate rain is on the way:  cumulonimbus, which are tall, puffy, and flat on top, and nimbostratus, which are flat, low-level, and gray.
Source for 9-11

12.  Raindrops fall at a rate of 7-18 mph but can go faster when it is windy.

13.  Doppler radar is used to measure the direction and speed of precipitation.  It is named for an Austrian physicist named J. Christopher Doppler.  He came up with the theory to explain why a whistle train sounds higher when it is approaching rather than when it is moving away.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Random Tuesday and Coffee Chat

Hello!  How is your week going so far?
I'm linking up with Stacy for some randomness and Rory for some Coffee Chat.

This is random!  I was at a meeting sitting in my usual place with my usual colleagues, and one of them began to fold her paper, first in half, then fourths, etc.  And every time she folded it, she put it between her fingers and slid the paper from one end to the other in order to make a serious crease in it.  Let's just say this... I am NOT a paper folder.  The noise of the paper being creased is about as bad to me as the sound my fingernails make when I use them to scratch and itch, which drives my son crazy.  Or I can compare it to the noise fingernails make when scratched on the chalkboard.  It's the harshest sound!

And moving on... My son was accepted to the University from which I graduated!  I'm so excited for him.  He has only recently decided that college is what he wants.  He's been attending the community college since he graduated, but he never really put much effort because he really wasn't sure what his career goals were.  Now that he knows what he wants, he applied, and it was all his choice, including not only to attend college, but to attend this certain college.  I'm so proud and happy for him!

This is also random.  I got a paper cut today, and one of my students laughed!  She thought it was funny.  Paper cuts hurt!  During my first year of teaching, my across-the-hall neighbor got a paper cut on her eye.  Ouch!  Don't ask me how it happened, but she had to use drops and wear a patch on that eye for weeks.

And now, for coffee chat.  This week, our hostess asks us to play "Have You Ever."

So, here are the questions:
Have you ever...
1.   Got lost in an amusement park?

2.   Shared a meal with your pet.    Drive thru acceptable.

3.   Scuba dived in the ocean.

4.  Saved someone who was in danger.    

5.   Sang karaoke.  (before alcohol, 2 bonus points)

6.   Seen a pyramid.  (1 point for each step climbed)

7.    Went camping in a tent.
image credit
8.   Won a contest for a big prize.  (no, toys in Happy Meals don't count)

9.   Eaten a strange food.   Broccoli is not a strange food.

10.   Pulled a prank you were later sorry about.

11.  Went on an African Safari.

12.   Met a celebrity (TV, Movie, Music, Sports, Arts)

13.  Been on TV or the radio.

14.   Been in a fight.   

15.   Fallen asleep while talking on the phone.
Yes or No?  Answer in comments if you are so inclined.

My answers are below, and some of them might make good random topics sometime in the near future.
1. yes
2. no
3. no
4. no
5. yes
6. yes
7. yes
8. yes
image credit

9. yes
10. probably
11. no
12. yes
13. yes
14. yes
15. yes

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Random Tuesday and Coffee Chat

I'm linking up with Stacy Uncorked for some randomness and with Ink Interrupted for conversation.

I. Am. Exhausted!  More about that later.

So, my husband and I decided to start the online Weight Watchers program.  Yippee!  Yay!  Hooray!  Please imagine those interjections in place of the expletives I would rather use.  I hate counting points!  And I'm hungry all the time.  Sure, I've lost a few pounds, but I think I would have as much success counting fat and calories with My Fitness Pal.  I'm not giving up, but I don't know how anyone can be happy on this particular diet.  I really want a piece oh homemid
picture credit
On to better news.  My son has applied for admission to my alma mater.  If all goes well, he will be transferring from community college to university in August.  I don't know what I'm going to do when all the kids are away at college.  He's been my saving grace around here some days. I pray he is accepted because he finally knows what he wants to do.  He finally has a goal!

So, I watched The Bachelor the other day.  When you start watching a show like that, you know it's going to be a train wreck, but you just can't help but watch.  Then, I got to thinking.. He's kissing all fou r girls and rubbing up against them, and that's just gross, and it's even more gross because the girls know he's kissing all of them!  I could never be in that position!

Saturday my husband and I went to the dinner theater at a local restaurant.  The play was called Rex's Exes.  It was fairly humorous, and the dinner was delicious.  If you're ever in the Houston area, check out the dinner theater at Franca's.  There is a performance about once a month, I think.

And now to Coffee Chat hosted by Ink Interrupted.

Our host asks us...

As I stated above, I am wiped out, exhausted, tired, barely hanging on, running on empty.

Why?  Well, I get up and go to work every day.  I get there about 8:15.  I'm there until 5,usually 6, every day.  I rarely actually get a conference period anymore:  professional development, planning time, meetings, parent conferences, and data input.  After dinner, I usually do some cleaning then I do more work at home: papers to grade, lessons to design, grades to input, and so on.  I go to bed between 11 and 12 and repeat the next day.  If all I had to do was teach, I would be so happy!  I don't hate my job, although some days middle-schoolers can be tough.  I like what I do.  I'm just so tired!


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