Monday, August 31, 2015

The Best Ideas to Organize Your Life


I struggle with being organized every . single . day.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all in the gene pool.  Either you have the gene, or you don’t, and sadly, I’m lacking it.  I am, however, for the most part a laid back person, and I think that people that are detail driven are much more frantic, at least that’s what I tell myself.  

So, the other day this article from County Living came across my Facebook feed.  I’ve read so many ways to organize my life through the years, but for some reason, this just clicked.

It’s from a professional organizer, and it just makes sense.  I think I’m going to print this out and post it on my bulletin board, the ideas are so simple and so relevant.

The biggie for me, hands down #3, don’t let those clothes touch the floor!  Awesome advice...

So, here’s what organized people do, if any of you struggle with this, you might gain some insight from this as well… ~ Jan

1. They make their beds."Arguably the most important activity of the day, there's really no excusing this one. Bed making promotes productivity throughout the day and will pave the way for an organized lifestyle. Plus, it's a pleasure to get into a made bed at the end of a long day."

2. They write out a to-do list."Take a few minutes in the morning to jot down your goals for the day. Having a concrete list will keep you on track throughout the day and give you a sense of accomplishment when tasks are completed

3. They tend to clothing as soon as they take it off."Hang, launder, or fold every garment and DO NOT let anything hit the floor. Neglected clothing can slowly build up and lead to an overwhelming mound."

4. They wash the dishes."A sink full of dishes will make your entire kitchen feel and look messy. Get in the habit of washing dishes at the end of the day or at least soaking them so you can quickly wash them the next day."

5. They wipe down surfaces."Your kitchen and sink counters inevitably get dirty every day. So take a minute or two to wipe them down before you head to bed."

6. They sort through the mail."Tend to your mailbox daily to avoid a build up of bill payments and to-dos. Immediately toss junk mail into recycling and store the rest in an active inbox so you'll know where to find it."

7. They always put their keys in the same spot."Whether it's a hook by the front door or a catch-all near the entrance, make sure your keys have a clear destination. You don't want to spend time searching for them when it's time to leave."

8. They empty their pockets and bag at the end of the day."Take a couple of minutes to throw away any receipts or trash that you've acquired throughout the day. Place loose change into your wallet or coin jar and make sure any loose papers are filed or thrown away."

9. They plan for tomorrow."Before heading to bed, mentally walk through the next day and do your best to prepare for it. Set aside necessary items and pack up your bag so you can grab it on the fly if need be."

"If you have a day or even a week when things get disorganized, that's okay,"  "Just get back on the bandwagon as soon as you can. Even the smallest habit change (bed making, dish washing, etc.) can help."

Source:  Country Living Magazine

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Boo-Boo Kitty

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I’m not the cat person in our family, hubby is.  He talked endlessly for years about wanting a cat and we haunted the animal shelters without finding the perfect kitty.  I wanted a female, too many issues with males spraying, and hopefully, a sweet, docile little lap cat.

So we finally gave up the idea of animal shelters and went for a purebred.  We decided on a ragdoll, looked at a few locally, but they didn’t do it for us, and finally traveled to a vineyard about 90 minutes from us and found “the cat,”  a pretty little Ragdoll, a small cat since she had been the runt of the litter, and hubby deemed she was perfect.

We came home, named her Rags, but we just couldn’t leave it at that.  Years ago I had an orange persian named Boo-Boo Kitty, and since we have a history of renaming our animals, Rags was quickly discarded and she became Boo-Boo Kitty.


LC is enchanted with her.  I’m on board, too, but it took awhile with me.  The sweet, docile little lap cat has been more of a little hellion.  She refuses to sit on my lap, she jumps off of furniture and blindsides Maggie, jumping on her back wanting to play.  And even though she is a small cat, she’s still bigger than Maggie, who weighs in at a whopping five pounds.  And Maggie is old(er) now, she’s nine, and she has no interest in playing with a young cat.  But she tolerates her for the most part, and when I hear Maggie bark or squeal, I know it’s time to intervene.

She lays on my computer desk and stares at me when I work, she comes when I call her if she’s in the mood, but mostly she ignores me, and heaven forbid when she escapes to the wild outdoors, she hasn’t got a lick of sense, she heads for the hills.  We had her neutered and declawed right away, so she just can’t go outside, and she is getting better about not running out full speed ahead, but given the opportunity, she’s gone.  She’s something of an airhead, she chases butterflies and blowing leaves, and then poof, she’s gone, off to the horse pasture or the woods with LC following her, stomping his feet and muttering about “that damn cat.”  But the good news is she is a fly catcher.  Since we live in the country we normally have so many flies that manages to get inside in the summer, but kitty stalks them, pounces on them and kills them.  I haven’t had to use the fly swatter at all.

She’s not a scaredy cat, she’s very social, loves it when people visit, sits by them, allows them to pet her and even purrs, something she isn’t fond of doing unless it’s the middle of the night, when she jumps on my head and purrs in my ear.

She just loves little kids, too  She’s so patient with Lexi, she sits besides her, Lexi yells “CAT” “CAT” at her, and she just sits there, and when Lexi pets her that’s fine, too, and when she gets enough she just moves out of reach, she doesn’t run away, she just keeps her distance.


It was so funny to watch her with Abby when she came earlier this month for her annual summer visit.  They bonded immediately, Abby even gave up golf cart rides for the most part to spend all of her time with kitty.  She would pull this orange string through the house, with Boo-Boo on her heels, pouncing on the string at every opportunity.   Eventually Boo-Boo would bring Abby the string in her mouth and give to her to play with her.  Abby had a hard time understanding that kitty wasn’t like a dog, she wouldn’t do what she wanted all the time, so Abby would declare that she needed to be in time-out, and she would put her in the bedroom and shut the door.  Of course, kitty could care less, she would just curl up in Maggie’s bed and go to sleep. 


She abandoned us to be with Abby, sleeping on the foot of Abby’s bed, she was beside her all the time.  Abby, like LC, is enchanted with her, they were so sweet together, kids and animals, there is nothing better.

We definitely have enough animals now, Butterbean, the lop eared bunny still lives in a hutch under the birch tree on the patio, and LC has goldfish, Mac and Cheese in his garage.  And Mags, she isn’t a dog, she’s my fur child, she’s in a whole other category.  She’s taken to sleeping on my lap these days, no doubt because I protect her from the big, bad kitty.

Our animals bring us so much joy, they make us smile with their antics and brighten our lives on a daily basis.  You can tell a lot about a person’s character by the way they interact with animals.  It’s a zoo at our house these days, but it’s never boring.  Now just where is that darned cat, anyway.  Guess I need to check the linen closet, sometimes she jumps in there to nap and I shut the door without realizing it.  She lets us know when she wants out though, and so far it’s been quiet...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nana Sugar, I just may have a shot at this yet...


The seed was planted for this story many, many years ago when I saw this sweet little role poly white haired grandma wearing a bib apron and selling her jam on QVC.  She said that her nickname was “Nana Sugar,”  all of her grandkids called her that.

Well, I thought that was just the cutest thing I ever heard, I didn’t have grandchildren at the time and when I brought up that idea, my family informed me that there was no way they were going to have kids and let them call me “Nana Sugar,”  they shot down that idea faster than a New York minute.

If you read my blogs back in the day, or if you know me personally, you realize that I went on and on and on about this, I thought I would be the perfect Nana Sugar, but I had to give it up, because the first thing you learn about being a grandparent is that you are no longer in charge.  Parents rule!

And then I became Grammie and it was just the best thing, there is nothing sweeter than hearing those little voices calling my name.

I’ve worked with Lexi so much, trying to get her to say Grammie.  Larry is known to Ben and Abby as P-Pa, and Lexi has called him Pa-Pa for several months now, but she just can’t or won’t say “Grammie” despite my constantly pleading, trying to get her to say it. I’m always saying to her, “Grrrrrr-ammie, Grrrrr-ammie” and she looks at me and just cracks up.  When they were here last weekend it was the samo, samo.  They arrived, walked into the garage, her Daddy was carrying her, and she pointed that little finger right at LC and said “Pa-Pa.”   Then she looked at me and giggled.

Well, this can’t continue, so out of desperation, I said to her, “Nana.”  She immediately parroted back “Nana” and said it over and over the entire weekend.  Well, let me tell you, I also worked on the “Sugar”  part of it.  No luck yet, but I’m hopeful. 

There is no rule that says that one set of grandchildren can’t call you one thing and the other grandchild can’t call you something else.  Nowhere is that written in stone!  And John, now that he lives in Nashville and is married to Deanna, a true Southern woman, has softened to the idea of “Nana Sugar.”  Deanna loves the idea, so I’ve got a shot at it.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could pull this off?

Oh, quit rolling your eyes, I know it’s hokey, but I just love it.

Yep, with a little luck I may still be “Nana Sugar” after all!  Hot damn...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Grands were here...





Hubby had the big 7-0 birthday this past weekend and the family was here.  There was also a surprise party, but that story is for another day.

Lexi has gone from being a baby to a toddler at warp speed.  She has changed so much this summer, it’ shocking.  The kids all played together so well, she was such a big girl, right in the middle of everything.  Ben, especially, was good with Lexi.  He was very gentle and patient with her, he’s the sweetest little boy.

I love the picture of Ben and Abby with the iPad, they look so angelic.  Sweet, sweet little souls, my grandchildren.  I truly am blessed!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Little girls love to play office...


 Abby was here last week for her annual summer visit.  We had a wonderful time, almost six year olds are full of joy and their giggle is infectious.  We had lots of activities planned, and while she enjoyed them all, at her age she was content just playing in the house.

We had a rainy week, so we were indoors a lot, and her favorite thing to do by far was playing in my office.  She sent her Daddy emails, which by the way, she pulled up, addressed, and typed by herself.  Grammie is so proud of the things she does, sometimes she just amazes me.  We bought her safety scissors, her idea, since we didn’t have kids scissors to use, and she printed off things that interested her.  She cut them out, glued them together and by the time she went home she had a big envelope, on which she had typed her name and printed in Photoshop Elements using fonts and colors, another first, she had never used a graphics editor before, just stuffed with her papers.

But by far, the thing that intrigued her the most was my stapler.  I have an old retro one, the big one with the round knob on the top.  She must have gone through a whole row of staples.  I showed her how to use it, hovered over her and kept telling her over and over to keep her fingers out of the way, and she had a blast!

I have lots of colored pencils that she enjoyed, she loved my paperweights, too, and my markers, it was a little girl’s delight,  my office.  And now that she’s gone, I look at my things and smile, remembering how much she enjoyed using them.

And the flurry blob behind her, that’s Boo-Boo Kitty, a recent family edition that I need to tell you all about in another post.  Boo-Boo and Abby were the best of friends, wherever Abby was, kitty was.  She was absolutely crazy about Abby.  Is there anything sweeter than children and animals?  Nope, absolutely nothing.

To be repeated, same time, same place, next year, Grammie can’t wait...

Grandkids and Milestones



Today was Abby’s first day of school.  She’s thrilled to be going, Ben, not so much.  

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Here she is with her teacher.


And, Mr. Ben had a birthday last week complete with a Thomas the Train party.  Little boys and trains, and cars and construction equipment, if it has wheels, he’s playing with it.

Just taking a minute out of a busy week to share a couple of pictures of these sweet little grandkids...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Daily Dose of Cuteness...



I haven’t posted pictures of the grandkids in awhile, but this one of Lexi was too cute to not share.  LC got her the little Barbie Jeep and she’s mastered how to make it go.  She twists that handle and she’s off, with Daddy trailing her as she’s still trying to figure out how to steer it.

She’s such a little cute patootie, rockin’ her Vans in this picture.   She’s in big girl shoes now...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ethel Mertz's Birthday


Vivian Vance would have been 106 years old today, but to me she’ll always be Ethel, and always be ageless.  I’m such a fan of Lucy and Ethel that I named my computers after them.   I know, crazy, but I love it when Lucy’s name scrolls across one screen saver and Ethel scrolls across the other.  I’ve been meaning to name rename LC’s, as well, Ricky of course :-)  My friend, Marti, also has a birthday today, you’re in good company, Marti!

Vivian Vance’s most famous character Ethel Mertz was a less-than-prosperous landlady of an East 68th Street Manhattan brownstone, owned along with husband Fred Mertz. Fred was played by William Frawley, who was 22 years older. The 2 actors shared great on-screen comedic chemistry, but they really did not get along when not filming & never socialized. Vance complained about his age. Frawley had heard that she stated that he should be playing her father rather than her husband. Apparently Frawley loathed Vance on sight.

Read the rest of the article here...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bras and Bandeaus



As we age there are two things that are not attractive.  Saggy boobs and cleavage.  And thanks to my daughter-in-law, I have the answer to both!  Lindsay is my go-to girl, she’s invaluable!

So let’s talk first about those girls that hang low and wiggle to and fro.  It’s bad, bad, bad, and if you’re busty like yours truly, it’s a real problem.  Let’s face it, older women have banana boobs and I have yet to see anyone of a certain age that’s perky.  It just doesn’t happen.

Do a side profile of yourself with your bra on.  The girls should sit midway between your shoulder and your elbow, but if you have an ill-fitting bra there is no way that this will happen,  There is nothing worse than saggy boobs that jiggle when you walk because your bra isn’t supporting you.  Been there, done that, but not for a few years, thanks to Lindsay’s knowledge.

Many years ago Oprah addressed the problem, she sang the praises of Wacoal bras and how wonderful they were.  I bought really pretty Wacoal’s, but they were pricey and didn’t give me any more support than what I had been wearing, so I went back to the samo Lily of France, Olga, etc.

Then Linds told me about Wacoal Sports Bras.  Oh, how do I describe these bras,  they’re industrial strength, they hoist you up, they smash you down, they’re amazing.   New ones always fit tight for a short time, you have to break them in like a new pair of jeans.  At first, you may think they are too tight and they’re uncomfortable, just give it a few days and they will be fine.


Okay, so you’re looking at this picture and you’re thinking, “but they’re not pretty.”  Nope, but they do the trick, can’t you tell by looking at this how much support they have?  Look at the back and the way the straps adjust, they have hooks that slide into little pockets in the fabric, it works great.  The front is seamless, it looks smooth under your clothes and they come in black and blue iris, as well as the nude that is shown.  They cost $65 and trust me, it’s money well spent!  I went to my local Dillards to be measured and if you’re interested in these, be measured (Nordstroms has great bra fitters if you have one close to you) or you can do it yourself from their website.  I’ll post links below.  I bet you don’t wear the size you think you do, either and it is shocking when you find out what your real size is.  These bras are also cut high, they don’t show cleavage which brings me to my next point.

Cleavage… showing cleavage when you're older is not attractive, period!  We’re no longer firm, we have age spots and skin like saran wrap, cleavage doesn’t look sexy on older women.  We had our day, so leave that look to the younger ladies, do everyone a favor and cover it up.

Since this Wacoal Sports Bra is high cut, you can see from the picture that it’s a real problem with v-necked tops in the summertime.  I always wear v-necks and scoop necks because they balance out my face and chest.  This brings me to the other problem, what to wear over this bra so it doesn’t show with lower cut tops.

Unfortunately a lot of us of a certain age have the shape of a fire hydrant with breasts.  The last thing we need is to add more bulk by putting a tank top underneath our scoops and v-necks.  It adds even more thickness to your waist and it’s hot and it’s clingy.  Silky cami’s aren’t the answer either, they don’t look right with knits, and if you buy a knit cami, you have the same problem you have with the tanks.  At one point I even tried the “as seen on tv” clip on triangles that you hook to the front of your bra, what a disaster that was, I should have known that wouldn’t work.

I was talking about this a couple of weeks ago with Linds, telling her how I’m always tugging on my top so my bra doesn’t show, and she told me the answer was to buy bandeaus.  I didn’t quite get that, since bandeau’s are those cute little strapless bra tops the younger girls wear, but she told me to buy them and put them over my bra.  Then she gave me a link for Groupon for a package of 6 for $32.  I ordered them Monday, they arrived by Friday and let me tell you, once again she knew what she was talking about.  Good price, good quality and good colors.  Works for me...


They come with padding, which is the last thing I  needed, so it took it out.  There is a tiny little hole in the side that you just pull it through.  They come in regular and plus size, of course you know what size I bought, and I took one for a spin yesterday underneath my v-neck knit shirt.  Whoo-hoo, they’re comfy, they don’t move around and they gave me the look I wanted underneath my top!  

I always share the good stuff with you, ladies and I always tell it like it is.  Maybe you, too could benefit from a Wacoal Sports Bra and a package of bandeaus.  Just sayin..  ~ Jan

Now for the links, I know you want them :-)

Wacoal Sports Bra Style #855170

Wacoal How To Measure

Groupon Bandeaus


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Citracal Slow Release 1200


Oh the joys of aging.  My bone density scan showed that my hips were in the peri osteoporosis zone.  My spine was fine and my hips aren’t that bad yet, but...

So I  discussed options with my doctor, I didn’t really want to take Fosamax or Binosta due to possible problems with reflux, so he suggested that I take Provia, the new drug that you have injected twice a year.  

My first red flag was that he didn’t administer it, I had to have an oncologist do it.  So I made an appointment, came home and started reading.  Well, let me tell you, the side effects scared the holy beejus out of me.   And it wasn’t just a few women, it was a lot of women who said to stay away from this.  It’s in your system for six months, over and over again people were reporting trouble breathing, intense jaw and back pain, muscle aches, nausea, blisters, itching, swelling of the face, low energy.  Sometimes symptoms didn’t show up for a month or two, the comments were so negative, it was frightening.

So, the closer to the appointment I got, the more wary I was, and finally decided this just wasn’t for me.  The one thing I’ve learned in life is to listen to my gut, and my gut was telling me not to do this!

So what to do?  You only can absorb 400mg of calcium at a time, and at our age we need 1200mg a day, and I’m the worst at remembering to take pills multiple times during the day.  So yesterday, I Googled time release calcium, and up popped this Citracal Slow Release 1200.  Just what I needed, so I was offf to CVS, they didn’t have it, Walgreens, they didn’t have it either.  Amazon has it, but it’s either an add-on to Prime or you have to buy a 3-pack of it for $40.  I checked Target online and sure enough, they had it in stock at our local store.  

80 tablets is a 40 day supply and it cost me $11 and change.  You take two in the morning, and yep, they’re horse pills, but once a day and it’s done.

Medicare only pays for bone density tests every two years, so I’m going to do my best here.  Leafy greens, salmon, yogurt, and 1200mg daily of calcium.  Weight bearing exercise is a biggie, I need to check into that and see what I can do.  Dr. Weil has good suggestions, you can access his page here.

I’m just telling all of you this because maybe some of you aren’t aware that you can get time release calcium/vitamin D/magnesium tablets, and others don’t realize that your body only absorbs small amounts of calcium at a time.  You can take a large dosage of calcium, but your body just dumps the excess in your urine.

I always say if I can help just one person, it’s worth posting.  ~ Jan


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Reading...



What is it about summer reading.  It’s always been such a special time for me to read, going back to my early teens when I would spend hours and hours in the Carmi public library every chance I got, so it’s no surprise that I’ve had my nose stuck in books all summer.  I’ve got some really good ones to share with you, starting with Danielle Steel’s Country.  I was such a fan of hers back in the day, and then she started grinding them out and the quality just wasn’t there.  I never gave up on her, and I’ve often been disappointed, but not with her latest book.  She’s got a winner with Country, it’s her best novel in years.  

Don’t expect anything heavy on my list, I’m strictly a light, airy romance novel kinda girl.  Mysteries aren’t my thing, bodice rippers I detest, I just like contemporary novels by familiar authors and if it’s a series, even better.  Don’t you just love series, aren’t they wonderful?  You get to know the characters and the town, and it just keeps on going, book after book after book.  For me, the best books are the ones set in a small village, or a seaside or mountain town.  My favorites are never in a city, they’re always in quaint settings.  And I know I keep saying that all of these books are excellent, and they are!  I’m not going to put the duds on my favorites list, even though I’ve had my share.  But back to the synopsis of Country...

Stephanie Adams is a devoted stay-at-home mother, married to a successful lawyer in northern California, in a dead marriage she’s stayed in for years for the sake of her children. Then, on a ski trip in Squaw Valley, her fifty-two-year-old husband dies suddenly and all bets are off. Despite her children’s grief, and her own conflicting emotions and loneliness, Stephanie tries to move on, but struggles to find herself as an independent individual after years of giving up her life for everyone else.

A spur-of-the-moment road trip and fork in the road lead her to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a chance meeting—and her whole life changes forever. She meets country music megastar Chase Taylor, who opens his whole world to her. Stephanie is no longer the same woman, and can’t be anymore. A new man. A new life. The excitement of Nashville. She discovers not only Chase, but herself. The music is bittersweet and the lyrics true in his dazzling, exotic, and honest world. As it deftly explores the complex ties between spouses, children, lovers, and friends, and dances between the past and the future, Danielle Steel’s moving novel brilliantly captures the shock of sudden loss, and the freedom it can bring. Here America’s most beloved novelist shares the enduring power of seizing the day. Carpe diem.


Robyn Carr is my very favorite author.  In the 90’s it was LaVyrle Spencer, then she retired much too early and it took years for me to find an author I liked as much, and then I found Robyn Carr.  I was a huge, huge fan of her Virgin River Series, all twenty of them, they are so good.  If you aren’t familiar with her Virgin River Series, start with Book 1 and keep on reading.  You won’t be disappointed.

Book 20 - My Kind of Christmas
Book 19 - Sunrise Point
Book 18 - Redwood Bend
Book 17 - Hidden Summit
Book 16 - Bring Me Home for Christmas
Book 15 - Harvest Moon
Book 14 - Wild Man Creek
Book 13 - Promise Canyon
Book 12 - "Midnight Confessions" (novella)
Book 11 - Moonlight Road
Book 10 - Angel's Peak
Book 9 - Forbidden Falls
Book 8 - "Under the Christmas Tree" (novella)
Book 7 - Paradise Valley
Book 6 - Temptation Ridge
Book 5 - Second Chance Pass
Book 4 - A Virgin River Christmas
Book 3 - Whispering Rock
Book 2 - Shelter Mountain
Book 1 - Virgin River

Her latest series is Thunder Point.  I’ve read all of this series so far, they’re page turners, but still not quite up to Virgin River standards, in my opinion.  Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book.

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 
In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment. 

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.


If you’ve never read Mary Kay Andrews, you’re missing out!  All of her books, Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, and Hissy Fit, just to name a few, are hilarious.  Her latest, Beach Town, is another winner, I really enjoyed it.

Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.

Now Greer has been given one more chance--a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino--which will be perfect for the film's climax--when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.
Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who's seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.

Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it's too late and disaster strikes? Told with Mary Kay Andrews inimitable wit and charm, Beach Town is this year's summer beach read!


Another favorite author, Barbara Delinsky, never fails to spin a good story.  This one was excellent, and I’m loving the fact that these books are written for older women.

Blueprints, the new novel from bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn't come at a worse time.
For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn't want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!

For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there's Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they've built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.


Yep, Christmas in July.  I read this last week, it was a quick, easy read and it was so good!

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to Haven Point, a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright.

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward's Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she's stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a hero, but she's not expecting one who almost runs her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza's hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew what his life was missing before Eliza, but now he's willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever.

And the following I haven’t read yet, but I’m going to, I read every evening, it’s just what I do.


Jill Shalvis, another favorite author, I have a lot, don’t I?  Here’s a synopsis of her first book of the Cedar Ridge Series:

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .


Mariah Stewart, she’s fairly new to me, but she’s endorsed by Robyn Carr, so that’s good enough for me.  The synopsis sounds like this is going to be a winner...

Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.

The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.


This is the second book in a new series by RaeAnne Thane, the first was Snow Cove Angel, the book I just read.

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances… 
McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice. 

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.

And this is some of what I’m reading this summer.  You can find me every evening, curled up in my comfy chair with Mags on my lap and my nose stuck in an e-book. It just doesn’t get any better than this…  ~ Jan



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