Category Archives: Life

2013 in Review

As 2013 comes to a close, so does this blog. I’m moving on to other things and won’t be able to keep up with “warm cookies”. Before I go, I’d like to end 2013 on a good note and do as many others have done … RECAP! Oh yeah, this is one of those “me, me, me” posts. ha ha ha

Let’s start with a photo taken recently:


And now the recap …

  1. I began the year by taking a tumble down the garage steps. Obviously I lived to tell about it, and nary a bone was broken.
  2. February saw the installation of a fantastic new stove in our house!
  3. March brought 5-6 inches of snow that lasted for a few days. We also took a drive on an old logging road and I was sure we’d never see civilization again. The biggest highlight was the birth of our great-nephew.
  4. In April I discovered that deer will rise up on their hind legs to eat pansies off my porch rail (a good 6 feet off the ground). I also walked our local bridge and took some grand photos. Best of all, I joined a Ladies Bible Study.
  5. May brought wonderful health news and a great walk at the lighthouse.
  6. June was celebrated with my retirement from a volunteer position. Hurray! We also enjoyed a hike at Cape Perpetua.
  7. In July I was able to photograph one of our local deer, up close and almost personal. The next day she mowed down my geraniums. Was she thanking me for invading her privacy, or warning me to leave her alone? No matter, my flowers were gone.
  8. Quilts and wooden boats were in abundance in August, although not at the same time or place. haha I also became a Beatles Song.
  9. September brought us 3 great storms in 2 days with around 5 inches of rain. Who knew that would be the last good rain for this season? Hopefully we’ll see more in 2014.
  10. Hubby and I celebrated 39 years together in October! I also began my great clean out and earned a new sewing machine in the process.
  11. November was busy with friends and I baked a lot of cakes for various events. I also began a new exercise program, and while I’m not always faithful on a daily basis, I feel better when I get to it.
  12. December has been grand with Christmas, friends, more baking and some excellent health news for us both (this health stuff becomes more important once you become a Beatles song). har har

Throughout the year hubby and I watched a bucket load of movies that ran the gamut of good, bad and horrid (you thought I’d say ugly, didn’t you? haha). I read books—not as many as last year, but still enjoyed some good reading time. If you’re curious, my book recap is here.

Out of all that happened in 2013, the best was celebrating 35 years as a Christian. On December 24, 1978, I sat in a hard ol’ wooden seat in the back of a little church and understood for the first time that I was sinner, lost and bound for hell (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” and Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”). With that came the glorious understanding that God had provided a gift—for me! (Romans 6:23b “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” and Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”) I bowed my head, confessed my sins to God and accepted Christ as my Savior. (Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” and Romans 10:9,10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”)

My life has never been the same. I still stumble and fall, I mess up, I say and do things I shouldn’t, fail to say and do things that I should, I’m not always happy with the path that I’m on … but my salvation is sure and God is always there with me—loving me, prodding me to straighten up and fly right, comforting me, encouraging me, and holding me in the palm of His hand.

What a grand year it has been! My prayer is that each and every one of you will have 2 birthdays to celebrate.


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September Wrap Up

Grand month. Weather was lovely, we were able to take some nice drives, enjoyed dinner with friends and flat out had a good time. The end of the month saw the real arrival of fall, with a hint of winter and we enjoyed 3 great storms in 2 days: wind (70-80mph stuff), around 5 inches of rain—give or take an inch, lost power for a bit, and survived it all. Fun stuff.

My favorite picture this month is my new banner. Such a busy bee. Spotted him while on our way to dinner with friends. We were late while I photographed. Fortunately our friends understand my quirks.

We enjoyed loads of good movies (reviews HERE), and I read five good books. Spoiler-less reviews ahead, but first the statistics.

September: total pages: 1673; 5 books (no rejects)
2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 10573
Number of books read: 27
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 10
Non-fiction: 4
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 3
Historical fiction: 1
Thriller/Spy: 14
Young Adult/Youth: 3
Pictures / Animal: 1

September Books:
Book #23
Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea by Tougias, Michael J.

Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 244

Not quite as good as Overboard!, but still a most compelling read. Tougias give depth to each person in the story.


Book #24
Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet Hardcover by Lil BUB

Genre: Pictures / Animal
Pages: 128

Little book filled with 128 totally delightful pages of pics of “Lil BUB” on an adventure. Brings a smile to my face. Buy it. Buy several and give them away. You’ll be glad you did.


Book #25
The Apostle by Thor, Brad

Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 357

Review is HERE.

Book #26
Fire Along the Sky by Donati, Sara

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Pages: 688 (chunkster)

Review is HERE.

Book #27
Secrets at Sea by Peck, Richard

Genre: Youth
Pages: 256

I’ll admit that having spent months last year dealing with mice in our car and then rats in our garage (thanks to a neighbor who wasn’t dealing with their garbage), reading a story where mice are the main characters was almost too much to bear; but Peck created charming mice within an endearing story. Totally fun read and a nice break from the heavier read for the month.


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Lil BUB’s Lil Book

Book #24
Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet Hardcover
by Lil BUB
Genre: Pictures / Animal
Pages: 128
Highly Recommend

Little book filled with 128 totally delightful pages of pics of “Lil BUB” on an adventure. This book brought a smile to my face. Actually, just thinking about it makes me smile. Okay, I’m a cat lover and Lil BUB makes me smile. She encourages me. She doesn’t care that she’s different. Her disabilities don’t stop her. She never gives up. She’s a reminder of God’s grace and love. I adore this cat (who I’ve never even met), and I adored this lil’ book.

Buy this book. Buy several and give them away. You’ll be glad you did.

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August 2013: movies, books and a monster

Great month! I grew older and became a Beatles song, we enjoyed the annual quilt show, did some fun shopping, mourned my lost geraniums, went to a picnic with friends, attended the Wooden Boat show.

We watched several good movies and thoroughly enjoyed a Harry Potter movie marathon—finishing it on my birthday just as I’d hoped.

~Enigma (see review)
~Red 2 (see review)
~Spitfire Grill (see review)
~A Blueprint for Murder (see review)

~WYATT EARP (1994)
Cast: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman
Good cast. Good cinematography. Fairly true to real life. Slow in spots. Recommend.

Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis
We like the humor, the characters, the story and the cast as a whole. However, Cage is a dork, and some of the dialogue is sooooo bad it made us cringe. Still a fun re-watch. Recommend.

~TREASURE ISLAND (1934) with a very young Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery as Long John Silver.
Pretty bad. Beery didn’t have that great pirate voice that Robert Newton made so famous in the 1950 version. Stilted acting. I wondered to myself why we were watching this, when finally hubby said, “Okay. What else do we have to watch?” LOL Fortunately, I ordered the 1950 version on dvd as a surprise for hubby (who adores that version of this movie, and has fond memories of the book and the movie), so a few nights later we watched …

~TREASURE ISLAND (1950) with Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins, and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.
Now then, matey, if ye haven’t yet seen this here version of the grand story from Robert Louis Stevenson, why then ye can’t be a’callin’ yerself a real pirate!

~Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
The “real” story of Cinderella. A refreshing new take on the classic fairy tale.
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott
We last watched this in 2006 and found it a 5-star delight. It held up to our memory and we had a great time munching popcorn and watching.

~The Associate (1996)
A comedy about making it on Wall Street. Prejudices are hard to break and Laurel Ayres quickly learns that in order for people to take her seriously she has to work for an older white man …
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach, Tim Daly and Bebe Neuwirth
One of those goofy movies where nothing makes sense, and yet it rings of reality.

~Book #19: Hidden Order by Brad Thor
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 384
Don’t recommend

(rejected The Last Man by Vince Flynn)

~Book #20: Ruby Holler by Creech, Sharon
Genre: Youth (8-12)
Pages: 310
Recommend with a caution.

~Book #21: The Astronaut Wives Club by Koppel, Lily
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 322
Don’t recommend

~Book #22: The Last Patriot by Thor, Brad
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 342
This was a top read in 2009 and I commented that I found it “exciting and timely”. This time I found it disappointing and unsatisfying. The ending was abrupt, several things were never truly resolved, not enough “action”, and I know that Thor writes better than this book. Don’t recommend unless you desire to read the entire Harvath series from Thor.

August: total pages: 1358; 4 books (with 3 rejected)
2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 8900
Number of books read: 22
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 9
Non-fiction: 3
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 3
Historical fiction:
Thriller/Spy: 13
Young Adult/Youth: 2

Finally, on one of our drives we stopped to watch the ocean and were treated to a sea monster. Wonder who created him?


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Today I am a Beatles song

Getting older is a joy.
Getting older is a treat.
Getting older can be fun.
Getting older makes one sweet.

Okay, so this is a “me, me, me” post, but if I can’t do it for my birthday then the world is all out of kilter. Well, the world is that, but still it’s MY day.

One of the ways I’m celebrating is by adopting a Pearlism from Nancy Pearl and from now on books that don’t grab my heart and soul by page 36 are gone. My ultimate goal is to judge books by their cover. Oh wait, I often do that now. HA HA Here’s where you can read the Pearlism:

For my reading enjoyment a new Kindle Paperwhite is heading my way and should arrive tomorrow. No more trying to find a bright spot to read, now I’ll have a lighted book with me. Yeah me.

One of the other ways I’m celebrating is by donating blood. It’s a way to keep on giving. Speaking of blood …

Hebrews 9:22
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

My prayer is that everyone who reads this would search their heart and come to know Christ as their Savior.

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July Recap

It’s almost the middle of August, so it’s time for a July recap! It was a good month filled with sunshine and good times. We drove over to “the big city” with a friend and shopped until we dropped. I even drove us all home and no one screamed. Ha Ha Hubby and I took a couple of hikes and I got some great photos.

Wouldn’t be July without a motorcycle shot. Crummy because it’s through the windshield with my pocket camera, but as they say, the best camera for the job is the one you have with you (remember this). We followed these three riders for 16 miles down Hwy 101 and watched the “Left-handed low wave” between them and the northbound bikers at least 50 times. I now find myself doing the “Left-handed low wave” from inside the car—but I’m pretty sure mine are dorky*. 😀 We also chanced upon the final nesting day of some barn swallows, and even though it wasn’t my good camera (see comment above) the shot was fun to grab without becoming a target. 😉

Our favorite deer visited across the street and I grabbed my camera and spent 30 minutes or so walking ever so cautiously over her way. I found it necessary to watch where I stepped in order to avoid the piles of bear scat. I was able to get within 30 feet of the deer before she scampered into the bushes.

Finally, my brown thumb turned green and I watched my red geraniums bloom. You might enjoy “the rest of the story” of the geraniums. I know I didn’t. Deer-heading the Geraniums. 😀

Movies: We watched a few good movies, several pitiful movies, and discovered several shows on BBCAmerica that we enjoy. New Tricks is our favorite, and in Mystery Theater we found Endeavour (the new Inspector Morse series) excellent and are glad they are doing another season.

~Quartet: 7 out of 10 stars at imdb

~Da Vince Code – book and movie
Warning: If you’ve never read the book, nor watched the movie, then skip this review because it contains spoilers.

~Notorious (1946)
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
A Hitchcock classic: 10 out of 10 spies

~The Mating Season (1951)
Ellen McNulty leaves her New Jersey hamburger stand and heads west to pay a surprise visit to her son and his new bride. When Ellen arrives, her daughter-in-law mistakes her for the maid …
Stars: Thelma Ritter, Gene Tierney, John Lund, Miriam Hopkins
One of my favorite Thelma Ritter movies. Wish it was available to purchase on dvd. 10 out of 10 hamburgers

~Longitude (2000)
Parallel stories: 18th century Harrison builds the marine chronometer for safe navigation at sea; 20th century Gould is obsessed with restoring it.
Stars: Jonathan Coy, Christopher Hodsol, Jeremy Irons
Fantastic movie. 10 out of 10 stars

~Despicable Me 2
“When the world needed a hero, they called a villain.”
And they called a likable villain! Delightful movie. Some super funny moments, some great quotes (that I won’t share because it might spoil the movie for you), some tender moments, some scary moments (just ask the little girl who sat near us). All in all a great movie. We gave it 9 out of 10 minions, compared to 10 out of 10 minions for the first Despicable Me—but only because with all the great lines there wasn’t a FLUFFY moment. LOLOL

2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 7542
Number of books read: 18
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 9**
Non-fiction: 2
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 2
Historical fiction:
Thriller/Spy: 12
Young Adult: 1

**The number of “Chunksters” really surprised me as last year I read 8 in total.

This months reads, with links to their reviews:

~Book #16: Map of Bones by James Rollins
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 560 (chunkster)
Book 2 of 13 in the Sigma Force series
Recommend with reservation

~Book #17: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Genre: General Fiction
Pages: 304
Recommend (a top read of 2013)
Read in 5 days and it would have been shorter, but life beckoned.

~Book #18: Overboard!: A True Blue-Water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival by Michael J. Tougias
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 224
Recommend (a top read of 2013)

Thanks for dropping by. Comments always welcome.

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Deer heading the geraniums

Or how to garden in the PacificNW.

I love a splash of color in my yard, however I am known for my brown thumb. Need to get rid of a plant? As in gone forever? Give it to me. I guarantee results. There are exceptions: cactus, pansies and geraniums.

Cactus require sun and heat, and that’s something we are a bit short of here on the central coast of Oregon, so I saw no point in trying a cactus garden here.

Pansies are beautiful, happy plants. They smile at you. They come in an abundance of colors, and many of them have a wonderful fragrance. They are easy to grow and will quickly fill pots, planters, or a garden with healthy, delightful blooms. In my area, a pansy garden is known as a “salad bar for deer”. I’ve given up on pansies.

Geraniums come in a nice array of colors and I’ve always been able to grow them. This year I decided I wanted a REAL splash of color and opted for red zonal geraniums. I researched and discovered that these plants are “rarely if ever” eaten by the 4-legged pests known as deer. It says right on the garden pages “deer don’t eat these”. Yes!

In June I filled a large garden bucket with beautiful, splashy red zonal geraniums. The same kind that most everyone around here has in their gardens. It worked! They bloomed and filled in the bucket, and with the white alyssum as an edge, it was a happy splash of cheer-me-up color. Every morning for 2 1/2 months I lovingly tended my geraniums. I deadheaded the old blooms, watered as needed, pulled the few weeds that showed up and simply enjoyed the fruits of my labors.

Then came “the day”. I stepped out on the porch, looked down and the geraniums were GONE! The darling deer had deer-headed them! I couldn’t decide whether to cry or be mad. Instead I laughed. There was one very sad lone bloom. So I grabbed my camera and saved the moment for posterity.

Our landscaper was here working today and he asked if I needed lessons in how to deadhead my geraniums. Ha Ha The encouraging news is that there are more buds and *if* the deer leave things alone, I’ll have more blooms before the summer is officially gone. Time will tell. But I’m not giving up. Maybe I’ll plant pansies in another area of the yard to feed the deer.

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