Books and a Recipe!

Books. Reading. Trying to  be more determined in my day/week to read and finish books on my “reading list”.

Three I HIGHLY recommend!

First, I’m just finishing “Tom’s Lists: 50  Commandments to Transform Your Life”…wow is it a great read. Seriously READ this book, it’s life’s funny, it’s serious, it’s soul searching..a great author!

Tom’s List” 50 Commandments see it on Amazon.

Second, I have finished “Like Birds in Black and White” a true story of a young girls survival during the holocaust..very good!

Like Birds in Black and White  see it on Amazon.

Third, “More Tears to Cry” –  A True Story of the lives of females in Saudi Arabia. If you have read the Princess Trilogy (all 3 are great reads), this is  sort of a continuing story. Chilling. Jean Sasson is an awesome author!

More Tears to Cry see it on Amazon


When we were in Colorado my daughter-in-law, Sherry, served a dish during dinner that we loved! I’m sharing her recipe.

Texas Caviar! (or Black Eyed Pea Salad)


photo from Buckeyecass71


  • 3 or 4 cans of black eyed peas
  • green pepper
  • onion (sweet or green onion)
  • jalepeno pepper (remove seeds and skin with a spoon)
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • Italian dressing

Rinse and drain black eye peas. Dice all vegetables and combine with the black eyed peas. Add approx 1 cups of dressing or less if you prefer.

Note: others have replaced 1 of the cans of black eye peas with white corn and/or pinto beans. The recipe above is wonderful as is! Others have also deemed this recipe as “addicting”…we agree. It’s YUMMY!!!

Oh if you check out my links at the top of my blog…my daughter Sarah now has a blog, as does Wayne :).


My Projects and family photos!

So happy to be back blogging. Such a busy summer, though the to-do list is still on going. determined….I said determined LOL..I will be blogging at least twice a week.

Many projects have been in the works and YES I have more in the works

Below is the kitchen Island my hubby rebuilt. Did a lovely job. Then the honey oak coffee table re-do and then last the old stool update!

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Old island missing drawers – I had already started priming them


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Island now in rebuilding stage – building in tray storage in the middle
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Island done! Added trim to look more furniture like and also “feet”. Painted black to off-set all our oak cupboards. New top to match counter tops. Picture doesn’t do it justice. Came out so nice.

















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Getting ready to re-finish our old honey (too yellow for me) oak coffee table.
Completed! Weathered White chalk paint legs and under skirting. Darker and richer stained top to go with the rest of the furniture! Love it!
















An old stool we love to use…now fresh and updated to match the colors we are bringing into our living room. I plan on making solid color pillows for our sofa in the same blue as in the stool.



Trip to Colorado to visit our family Son Matt and wife Sherry and 4 super grandkids, Kaytlynn, Carson, Severia and Sadie!!IMG_1877

Wayne and I with the 4 grand kids!!!


My next blog post will include our two granddaughters that live near us! And also the deck and backyard update.

I’m Baaaaaack!

Again. Life happened. Days full and pressed together and just didn’t get a blog post written.

A picture dump will be coming tomorrow.

I’m getting photos ready and taking some of the finished projects. The kitchen island is finished. I also updated our honey-colored oak coffee table we have had for a long time. Loved how it turned out. Those photos and more coming tomorrow.

Oh and check out my hubby’s post. The link is at top of blog!



Tomorrow…tomorrow another year to celebrate, another year to reflect on, another year to look forward to!!

It seems stunning that so many years have passed. How can it be? I NEVER bemoan how old I am or the number of birthdays I celebrate. I always remember that my dad only got to celebrate to age 46 and died not even two months later…he so wanted to live. THAT makes me appreciate each year.


I don’t feel my age. I try to work in exercise every day, try to eat healthy most of the time (though I do indulge) I keep active every day, check ups every year, weight down and in a good range, but mostly just keeping active each day, all day is the spice of life. We wake up early, love seeing the sun rise and get the day going with projects!!

I’m actually celebrating “birthday week”. One day is just not enough LOL! I have so many freebies to take advantage of I’m spreading them out through out the week. Free meals, free Starbucks drink, birthday breakfast out, free ice cream! What fun!  Also on my birthday my hubby is taking me to Ikea and Kirkland’s for a day of shopping. Oh what “finds” I’ll have fun selecting!!

I’m hoping to find some items at Ikea for Ikea hacks! I have found many on Pinterest and blogs. Many Ikea furniture redone with chalk paint etc. Also looking for some items for my kitchen and for our deck. Our first stop on the way is Cracker Barrel, my favorite breakfast place!!

Our deck is in the process of being re-done, all new floor being installed by my husband. New steps built and relocated to another side of the deck, with the stairs ending at a new patio and fire pit (that will be started after the deck floor is finished), Picture to come!

One of the many ideas for a fire pit, trying to decide whether to put a “sitting wall” on the back edge like this!
A sign I found on Pinterest I want to make for our fire pit area! Love it!

Update: my kitchen island is done…we almost..waiting for the new top to arrive, we are hoping it will come in this week. Photos will definitely be posted when the top is installed. I can’t wait. So happy with how the rest of the island turned out! Husband really loves how it turned out also!




What inspires you? Not on the regular days. What inspires you on “those” days. You know ….those days. Do you have days…you know, just awful days? Most people don’t admit it, but we all do. Days where either something has happened, unexpected and possibly awful, or a memory, or a single or many items have just for some reason piled on. Something that has always stuck with me was a passage I read in a book once that called what we all carry in life…is our “sack of rocks”.

We all have them, some are smaller than others, some are bigger than others…but a sack …with rocks.BUT even through those things, those days, those times, those of  times of life, joy can be had. I have those times. You have had those times. We all have them. Do most people know we have them?….no. Usually, most of the time, we have no idea what other people are going through or carrying in their life.

What gives you inspiration? When you go through those times, what is the thing or things that carry you through. For those of us who are Christians, yes God is the ultimate strength-giver, joy giver and give us a foundation and the strength to go on,.  But that doesn’t change the valley you are walking through. I believe  you also need tangible, hold-in-your-hand type of things or people. Those things for me are music, just certain songs can give your day a lift. There are those spiritual songs that stir the soul  But also a good 50’s, 60’s or 70’s song can carry me away :), people are another, a message, a phone call, a hug, those are amazing. Books are another thing that help me. But laughter….laughter can change how you feel, how your body responds and can give you a kick-start to changing your attitude.

Which leads me to Chonda Pierce. I  LOVE Chonda Pierce. Her take on life, she is a comedian who is more than surviving much grief in her life….her life, her story, her sharing includes much laughter, even in the mist of a storm, terrible grief, and just plain heartache. She is real. She is down to earth. She can make you laugh, smile and cry. Right now she is my inspiration.

Read the following to get to know Chonda:

This is on my birthday list. I can’t wait to see it. Click HERE to go to her site and order it.

I just thought I would share Chonda and you can read her story and about her life. It helped me, thought I would pass it on.

The following quote is something I have read and kept in my heart.


Spring Has Sprung…in the house, yard, and even the Deck!


Spring always spurs my desire to clean out and organize closets, drawers and cupboards. I think the new life that is sprouting, the trees and shrubs that burst of color and the green grass after a drab winter makes me want to spruce up the house and the yard!!

My front blooming ground cover
Flowering Pear. We have 6 in the backyard and the blooms are just beginning to burst open. After the blooms they become thick with lots of leaves. A fast growing tree.

I can’t wait to throw open the windows, clean, organize. And those windows I throw open…yea, those too need to be cleaned after the winter! And that is what spring is looking like.  In between THOSE items I’m crossing off my list (why does list making seem to make me feel so much more accomplished????) Our newly built kitchen island is ALMOST done. I just have to finish the 2 doors and the new island top is on order, due to arrive in 3 weeks!!

Next on the list is our summer project! We ALWAYS have one! I shouldn’t check out Pinterest. First we are replacing all the deck boards on the floor of our deck. Our deck is over 20 years old and as Wayne was inspecting the deck and deciding which boards needed replacing, it became apparent it was easier to replace all to give a uniform look.   We have a big deck; it is 18 x 22 ft so that is a whole lot of boards! Did I also mention that at Menards Wayne and I loaded 86  10 ft. deck boards into the truck this past weekend? Yes we did, I thought it would never end, and because you just can’t take any board, we had to sort through them to get the best ones. My arms sure felt it when we were done!   But as we were planning our project, the project began to grow! Again that ALWAYS happens too (Give a Mouse a Cookie or the Crown Molding Effect as my co-workers named it!) We are going to move the deck stairs to another side of the deck (which will require rebuilding them of course J). The new steps will go down to a new brick patio and fire pit we will build. By moving the steps to the back it will make it a more private patio. I’m already planning for tiki torches, nighttime lighting, seating,  and when done, evenings around the fire pit, which will of course include roasting marshmallows!!  The removal of the deck stairs is beginning today, and as I type to the sounds of  Wayne removing the steps.

Oh and my new deck pillows, I love them. And our new deck table umbrella picks up the color in the pillows.


And lest you think it’s all work and no play…not true! We have spent time walking near the marina, out for ice cream, 2 or 3 time (oh okay!! Maybe 4 times!) Sitting on the deck, enjoying ice tea, enjoying the trees blooming, and the variety of birds that come to the 3 bird feeders that are out,  a Sunday drive on a beautiful sunny warm day.

Our Sunday drive to South Haven. A beautiful sunny and warm day!

We’ve found some great movies to rent or going to the theater. The last movie we rented was “Bridge of Spies” with Tom Hanks, a Stephen Spielberg movie. The movie is so good and based on a true story. Recommend it! LOL as I look over our fun times…we most certainly live the “high life”…yup not expensive and elaborate dates, but all lovely none the less. And our Saturday mornings are breakfast out and the week days we go to the “office” as we call it….(actually Panera) There are a group of regulars who come in. We usually just have a cup of  coffee, but we love it each morning.Our days are full and brimming over!

When the kitchen island is done, photos will be posted. So happy with how it has turned out!! A shout out to my hubby for a great job!

Wayne is coming up on a year of retirement in June. It has just flown by so quickly. He is loving each and every day, we both are. It’s easy having him home.


Grandchildren…the joy of life! Here are some new photos of all 6 of them. Four of our grandkiddo’s live in CO :(.  Kaytlynn 14 1/2, Carson 11, Severia 7, Sadie, 5). Sure miss living near them.


sad wm



Below is Klara (almost 6) and Adalyn 1.



Adalyn WM

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