Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday Thirteen

 Happy New Year's Eve!  I bet most of us can't wait for 2020 to be over.  Here's hoping 2021 has more promise.  I'm not going to talk about resolutions or goals.  If you've known me a while, you know that I don't need the new year to set a goal, and I don't make resolutions for, well, a lot of reasons.  So...

About ten years ago, I was hanging out with my nephew and he showed me my first Philosoraptor meme. I couldn't get enough!  So, I have some laughs for you today.  Enjoy!

Link up or visit Thursday Thirteen!

Wishing you all the best in 2021!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Photo Wednesday

 This is a picture of the sunset as seen from the Port of Houston bridge on Christmas Day this year.  Pictures never do justice to the real thing, though.

I'm linking up with image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday. Stop by these links for more photos.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Last Happy Random Tuesday of 2020

 I'll be linking up with Stacy and Sandee.

Wow!  I'm pretty thankful that 2020 is coming to an end, but I don't think the first half of 2021 will be much different.  Do you?  This was my first full year of retirement, and I had envisioned being able to travel, go to scrapbook retreats, and see our daughters more, but Covid snuffed that out! Oh, well.  I'm so much happier not having to deal with my former principal, even under these unusual circumstances.

So, I've been thinking about the saying, "Don't put the cart before the horse." I was thinking about how my daughter is getting ahead of herself not yet having her test results back, but that's neither here nor there.  When I was little, I didn't understand what it meant to put the cart before the horse.  I knew it meant not to jump to conclusions or do things in the wrong order, but a cart and a horse?  I had no context for that.  I understand now, of course, but I wonder if anyone still uses this old phrase.

Image Credit

Stowaway on the Rockefeller Christmas tree??? I just heard this today!  Did you hear about the owl that was rescued from the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center? Apparently, this little owl, a 7-inch tall northern saw-whet, was stuck in the base of the tree.  He had likely been there for the entire 170 mile trip from his home to Manhattan.  The worker who found him was able to get in touch with the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center who took him in and nursed him to health.  Miraculously, he had no broken bones. 
Image Credit

He only needed a short stay to regain his health before he was released back into the wild.  I wonder why I hadn't heard about this already.  

And now...

This will be us repeating stories to our grandchildren in the future!

Have a great week!  And happy new year!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Sunday Synopsis


Thirteen (Eddie Flynn, #4)Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this series of books! Thirteen did not disappoint. Cavanaugh's style is similar to James Patterson when he first started writing - in other words, before he used "ghost" or "co-writers. It's a compliment.

There is non-stop action in this book. Eddie Flynn, former con-man, current defense attorney gets involved in a case that's bigger than any he has ever argued before. Movie star Robert Solomon is accused of murdering his beautiful wife and one of their friends. It appears to be an open-and-shut case. Flynn is brought aboard the defense team so Solomon's high-priced attorney won't have to get on the wrong side of law-enforcement. Flynn won't hesitate to put the police on trial, so to speak.

When the production company, who has paid for his attorney, suddenly backs out, taking the attorney they paid for, Flynn steps in for his entire defense. He is convinced of Bobby's innocence, and he's right. The killer is sitting on the jury, and the steps he took to get there are diabolical.

The question is whether or not Flynn can convince at least one juror to believe there is reasonable doubt as a mistrial will ensue in the hopes of being able to investigate further. He enlists the help of a former FBI Agent, and they begin to develop an alternate theory of the crime.  But can they prove it? And will the killer get to them before they get to the killer?

There are twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows throughout the entire book. There are also subplots relating to Flynn's personal life interspersed with the crime drama. Cavanagh drops hints and clues throughout, some that will send you in the wrong direction which is a great plot technique, so when you think you have it figure out, chances are, you don't. This book kept me on the edge of my seat!

View all my reviews

Friday, December 25, 2020

December 25th

From my home to yours,

If you're interested in listening to something inspiring, might I suggest the following video.  It's a little more than 6 and a half minutes.  God Bless You.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Christmas!

I'm resurrecting a post from December, 2018.  I love the Christmas season! Have you ever wondered how some of our holiday traditions came about?

 1. Santa Claus - This holiday hero had his beginning in the 3rd century with a man named St. Nicholas who lived in Patara (present day Turkey). He made his debut in America in the 18th century. The name Santa Claus came from the Dutch nickname for St. Nicholas, Sinter Klass. There is actually a whole lot to the story of Santa Claus if you'd like to read it at the St. Nicholas Center website

 2. Twas the Night Before Christmas - This poem was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore as a gift to his three daughters. It was called "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.

3. Rudolph - The most famous reindeer of them all! Robert L. May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward (I remember that department store) wrote the story of Rudolph in 1939. The store sold over 2 1/2 million copies of the story. Years later, the story was written as a song recorded by Gene Autry and sold over 2 million copies. It has been translated into 25 languages. 

 4. Christmas Trees - The Germans get the credit for the modern-day tradition of a decorated Christmas tree. It first became a popular thing to do in the 16th century among Christians.

5. Wreaths - We have an evergreen wreath on our door right now. It provides a festive atmosphere at Christmas time. Long ago, people worshiped evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life. 

 6. Stockings - In the days of the real St. Nicholas, it was said that he threw three coins down the chimney of three poor sisters. Each coin landed in a separate stocking that was hanging by the hearth to dry. Good fortune for everybody!

7. Candy Canes - The first candy canes were actually sugar sticks that were bent to resemble the shape of a shepherd's crook. In 1670. the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral gave his young charges these sticks to keep them quiet during long ceremonies. What was he thinking? The red stripes and peppermint flavor weren't added until the early 1900's. 

 8. Christmas Cards - The first Christmas greetings were written by boys who had to practice their writing skills, but Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is credited with the first actual Christmas card in 1843. 


9. The 12 Days of Christmas song - Apparently, Roman Catholics in England were forbidden from openly practicing their religion during the years 1558 to 1829, so the song was created with hidden meanings in order to teach their faith without being discovered. Go to the Catholic News Agency website for the hidden meanings. 

 10. Gift-Giving - This custom most likely originated in ancient Rome and Northern Europe when people gave gifts during year-end celebrations. The exchanging of elaborate gifts began in the late 1800's. 

11. Red and Green Christmas Colors - Green symbolizes the hope for eternal life that Jesus brings. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for mankind. 

 12. Christmas Carols - Victorian England is credited with the revival of caroling which, for a long time, was repressed since Christmas was not a widely accepted holiday in England until Victoria came to the throne. 

13. The Nativity Scene - The story of Jesus' birth is recounted in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20. But when did people begin creating the visual Nativity Scenes you see during the Christmas holidays? St.Francis of Assisi is credited with creating this scene as a way to share the Christian faith with those who could not read. 

 Join the fun at Thursday Thirteen! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Photo Wednesday

 Today is all about trains, one in particular.  My husband and I drove to Baytown, Texas last week, and it's the home of number 895.

It was built in 1913 for the Texas Midland Railroad and its number was 200.  In 1928, Southern Pacific purchased the railroad who then leased it to the Texas and New Orleans until 1934 when they merged. At that time, it was renumbered 895.

In 1957, the engine and coal car were retired and donated to the city of Baytown where it is on display in Roseland Park.  Although it has flooded many times over the years due to hurricanes, especially when Hurricane Ike hit,  it has been refurbished and restored to its former glory.

And speaking of trains... Sheldon Cooper would probably like this post!

And also speaking of trains, this reminded me of a song called "Engine, Engine, Number 9."  It was recorded by Roger Miller the year I was born.  My dad used to like listening to Roger Miller, so I'm feeling nostalgic.

Have a great week!

For more photos, visit image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Happy Random Tuesday

 I'm linking up with Sandee and Stacy

I've been thinking lately how happy I am at where my life is right now, but I can't say it out loud or I will jinx myself.  I hope typing that won't jinx me!  Do you believe in jinxes or any other superstitions?  Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck.  I pick up pennies (usually) when I see them, but I don't believe in the luck it's supposed to bring.  On the other hand, I walk under ladders all the time!  And I worry it will bring bad luck even though it makes no sense.

Image Credit

Did you see the "Christmas Star" last night? The picture above was taken in Chicago.  Jupiter and Saturn were so close that it appears as a very big and bright star in the sky.    Some people call it the Star of Bethlehem, but scientists call it the Great Conjunction.

Yesterday was also the winter solstice in North America, the shortest daylight of the year.  I honestly didn't notice.

Former English teacher pet peeve next...

I am so tired of hearing people pronounce vulnerable without the L.  Vunerable.  I don't know why it bothers me, but it does.

Another strange thing that bothers me is why everyone precedes a statement with the words, "I'm not gonna lie."  Is that really necessary?  Do you think we EXPECT you to lie?  I'm not gonna lie... it bothers me!

What are your Christmas plans?  Ours are all off kilter due to the virus.  We may gather at my sister's, but it will be outside and distanced.  We aren't going to have ALL the family here together at the same time, either, since two of our daughter live in different cities.  There will be no annual breakfast at my in-law's either.  But it's okay.  It's not really troubling me.  We'll get through all this!

I have been sewing a lot lately.  I've made a nightgown for my sister, pajamas for my mom, decorative pillows for my nephew and one of our daughters, a dress for the grandbaby, and I still want to try to make an apron for a different daughter.  I know I'm running out of time.  I've wrapped some presents, but I don't think I'm halfway done yet. At least I'm not doing it all on Christmas Eve like last year!

Moving on...

These two sing "Baby it's cold Outside" during the movie Elf.
That's why I think it's so funny.

Not too far off from the truth!

This would be sort of funny, but it's also kind of mean!

Again... kind of true!

This was NOT the case where I live. Shopping centers and malls are pretty full!

This has been soooo frustrating this year!


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