Friday, July 6, 2018

Between You and Me, what a book!


Oh, this is a good one!  I’ve had so much fun with summer reading, I’ve read most of Dorothea Benton Franks Lowcountry Series, and decided it was time for a change.  I started this and couldn’t put it down.  I’m a big fan of Susan Wiggs and this book did not disappoint!

Deep within the peaceful heart of Amish country, a life-or-death emergency shatters a quiet world to its core. Number-one New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs delivers a riveting story that challenges our deepest-held beliefs.

Caught between two worlds, Caleb Stoltz is bound by a deathbed promise to raise his orphaned niece and nephew in Middle Grove, where life revolves around family, farm, faith—and long-held suspicions about outsiders. When disaster strikes, Caleb is thrust into an urban environment of high-tech medicine and the relentless rush of modern life.

Dr. Reese Powell is poised to join the medical dynasty of her wealthy, successful parents. Bold, assertive, and quick-thinking, she lives for the addictive rush of saving lives. When a shocking accident brings Caleb Stoltz into her life, Reese is forced to deal with a situation that challenges everything she thinks she knows—and ultimately emboldens her to question her most powerful beliefs.

Then one impulsive act brings about a clash of cultures in a tug-of-war that plays out in a courtroom, challenging the very nature of justice and reverberating through generations, straining the fragile threads of faith and family.

Deeply moving and unforgettable, Between You and Me is an emotionally complex story of love and loss, family and friendship, and the arduous road to discovering the heart’s true path.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The BEST Summer Reads...



I’ve spent many afternoons and evenings in my rocking chair on the front porch with my nose in my Kindle this summer.  Our porch is covered and it’s shady, so here I sit with Maggie by my side and a glass of something icy cold in my Yeti Cup.  I listen to the birds, smell the summer air and I’m lovin’ life.  I’ve always been an avid reader and nothing is better than beach reads in the summertime.

I’m reading, and in some cases rereading about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a whole series of books, brought to life by the wonderful author, Dorothea Benton Frank.  I love series, they drift from one book to the next and if they’re well written the characters have time to develop and come alive.

I started with Sullivan’s Island (a reread) as it was the first of the series and I’m reading them in order.  I’m getting ready to start Lowcountry Summer and each book is wonderful.  She describes island life so well, it makes you want to immediately rent a little beach house on an island near Charleston for the summer.

Here’s a link to this series, they're so good, I can hardly wait to finish one and start another.

Dorothea Benton Frank Books

Enjoy each day and happy reading.  ~ Jan

Monday, May 28, 2018

Javelin Digital Read Thermometer, Great for Grilling




Tis’ the season, you fire up the grill, put on the steak and oops, when you serve it, it’s either undercooked or overcooked.  That was us and the solution was a digital thermometer.  Thermoworks makes a great one, but the price is not so great, $100, so I did the research and found this Lavatools Javein one, which reviewers say performs just as good as the Thermoworks and the price was so much better, $24.99 Prime.

We got it a few weeks ago, and it’s working perfectly.  No more guesswork, you know exactly what temperature your food is and when to pull it off the grill.

Since I always share the good stuff, this little thermometer is so worth the money.

You can buy it here.

You will be so happy with this, it works perfectly, I love it for chicken breasts, I take them off the grill at 165 degrees, and they’re juicy and moist.  Steaks I cook to 150-155, we like ours medium. It takes all the guesswork out of grilling, it’s worth $25 just for the lack of frustration 😄

Happy Grilling!  ~ jan



Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Spring of my Discontent...


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 Hubby took me for a long drive today, deep into the countryside, past the fields and the animals, the old barns and the farmhouses, a trek that normally brings me peace and contentment, but not today, for me today, it was just unsettling.  I did snap a picture of this cow, she was looking right at me, and I do love a good cow picture. 😀

I’ve had a difficult spring this year and it all boils down to one thing, I’m homesick for the days of my childhood.  It would do me no good to revisit where I grew up, where my grandparents and family lived, everything has changed, I miss the way it was when I was a little girl, not the changes that have come with time.

Today was filled with flashbacks to those earlier days.  I can vividly remember the sound of the glass rattling in the front door as it shut and the creak of the porch swing where I spent many hours.  I can even remember the feel of the uneven boards against my feet as I pushed the swing. Mother’s Irises lined the driveway and they would be in bloom now, all thirty feet of them planted in a row like soldiers by the side of the driveway and the smell was wonderful.  I’ve always loved the smell of Iris, even better than roses.  I love honeysuckle, too.  We had a tall tree stump in the backyard with a mass of wild honeysuckle growing on it.  Oh that smell, there is nothing better in the evening after a spring rain than the smell of blooming honeysuckle.

In my mind I can hear the sound of the back screen door slamming as I carried a dishpan of vegetable peelings to the chickens in their pen.  I miss the lay of the land and the trees now long gone.  Cherry and apple, maple and my favorite cottonwood tree.  I loved the rustle of it's leaves and the puffs of cotton that blew in the wind.  And of course, my beloved ditch.  The rushing water so clear you could see the stones in the creek bed and my very favorite childhood place to play.  I miss my faded lavender striped sheets, always fresh from the line on Saturday night and the clean, outdoorsy smell of them as I tucked into bed.

I even miss the birds.  I’ve only seen one red-winged blackbird this year in middle Tennessee.  Its my favorite, we had so many in our trees at home, and I loved their bird song.  I think of the June bugs and how I would chase them at dusk and put them in a Ball jar to glow in the dark, I loved taking long walks on our dusty country road and coming home to a glass of syrupy sweet tea in an aluminum glass, the green one was my favorite, the tea so frosty cold that it would hurt my teeth.  I miss mother’s Sunday dinners, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy,  home canned corn, Bunny Bread Brown ’n Serve Dinner Rolls and her bird egg beans.  They were the best, those beans, oh how I enjoyed them.

I just miss living alongside nature and the natural rhythms that come with it.  I have access to the country, but I don’t live in the country.  I can no longer step outside my door to total quiet, with just the smells and the sounds of nature and the occasional sound of the train winding down Appel’s hill.   Many times I’ve had LC take me to the country road I lived on as a young girl, turn off the car, roll down the windows and just listen to the sounds of my childhood.  

And so I shake off these memories and get on with living, not quite understanding why this year it has been so bittersweet for me.  But this too shall pass and tomorrow I won’t be so nostalgic.  It’s a good life I have now, but oh those memories, sometimes they just come back and tug at your heartstrings… ~ Jan


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May is a busy time at our house...


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We had such a late spring, we were behind with planting flowers, but last week the weather cleared, the greenhouses were stocked for Mother’s Day and yours truly had such a good time.  This is just a couple of pictures, a sample of what we planted, it was a job, but it’s finished now and thanks to Micro Irrigation we won’t have to water all summer.  I think we ended up with 35-40 pots by the time it was over, but I enjoy flowers so much.  We also have new bird feeders and a a bluebird house, mama bluebird has been nesting and daddy bluebird has been feeding her.  It’s a wonderful thing, Mother Nature.

I’m going through a dental implant, not fun and a lot of $$, the family is well, we saw everybody Mother’s Day weekend and bad Grammie didn’t take pictures. :( 

I’m looking forward to summer months and sharing some new products with you.  And I will, later, when things settle down around here.

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Take care and I’ll be around more frequently.  Pinkie Swear I will.  ~ Jan



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

It's May Day...


When I was a little girl May 1st was a big deal.  We would have a Maypole at school to dance around, and we would wear crowns of flowers in our hair.

But the best part, May 1st was the day that Mother let me go barefoot outside for the first time.  Such good memories on this bright, sunshiny first day of May in Nashville this morning...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Whoosh Screen Cleaner


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Fingerprints on your Smart Phone, smudges on your tablet, it’s a constant battle and manufacturers tell you not to use anything but water to clean them.  If you’re like me, you end up with oily, smeary screens most of the time.

I read about Whoosh on Flipboard and decided to try it.  Wow, does this stuff ever work.  It’s safe to use, cleans everything perfectly, gives your screens a glossy shine and helps protect from smudges coming back so quickly.  Whoosh had great reviews, it will last a long time and it’s definitely money well spent.  There are several sizes, I’ll give you a link and if you want a smaller size just scroll down and you will see several options.  This is a 4 Star product for sure!  ~ Jan

Here’s the Whoosh Link

Monday, April 16, 2018

Why I bought an Apple Watch...


When Series 1 Apple Watches were introduced, I didn’t get it.  Why have a watch when you have to still have to carrry your phone around with you?  Then along came Series 2, and I still wasn’t onboard.  And then here comes Series 3 LTE, finally, it’s available with celluar capabilities, you don’t have to be tethered to your phone, you just have to cough up a few bucks a month for cellular service.  I’m with Verizon, so for me it’s $10 a month.

When they introduced it last fall I liked it but I still wasn’t onboard.  And then this spring I rethought it.  Even though all the features are nice, calls, text, email, Siri, that’s not why I bought it.  I’m getting older, not quite ready for the Life Alert, but if I fell and nobody was around, I could just use my watch to call for help.  And while I hope this won’t happen, it’s an added layer of security and much better than that stupid “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” crap.

So I bought it, the bigger one, the 42mm, because I like big watches, and then I went on Amazon and bought lots of bands, and okay, I admit it, it’s fun to just change Minnie’s outfit colors to correspond with the bands.  And I love the convenience, no more worrying about having your phone on you, your watch rings, you answer, easy peasy.  And if you lose your phone, which I do multiple times daily, you can ping it with your watch.

Hubby and the boys were gone for a guys weekend and I was home alone.  It was great having the watch, it was always on me so I was always in touch.  It’s a little spendy, but the Life Alert system costs between $95 and $198 with a $49.95 monthly fee.  This is by far a better alternative, and it’s cute!

And about the bands, I have several now, but the best deal was a package I bought from YOLO that has 8 bands in different colors.  They look and feel like Apple Sport Bands that sell for $49 each, but the entire pack was $32.99 Prime.  What a deal.  Want to see them? 

Here’s the link...

So if you’re getting older, or if you’re younger and have mobility issues, this is a great alternative to Life Alert.  And I’m Jan, I can justify anything, it’s what I do. ðŸĪŠ 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Drugstore Foundations, I've got some good ones for you,

The ladies of YouTube rave about these two foundations so I decided to try them.  And the results, surprisingly good. Also,  I have really sensitive skin, and both of these foundations are non-irritating.


Wet ’n Wild Photofocus Foundation.  This is a medium coverage foundation, it doesn’t oxidize on my skin and ladies it’s fantastic.  And the price, $4.99 on Amazon.  Yep, this isn’t a typo, it’s $4.99.  I bought the color Golden Beige and it’s the closest color to my skin that I’ve ever found.  I really really like this foundation.  It goes on smoothly, has a soft-focus look, it’s just da bomb.  The only negative I have about it is the applicator, it’s okay, but I wish it would have had a pump.

Interested?  Sure you are for $4.99 - here’s the link  

I know, it seems to be good to be true, but for the price of a latte at Starbucks you can have this great foundation.  And did I mention that it’s not oily, no shiny face after you’ve had it on for hours.



And the second foundation is Milani Conceal Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer.  I’m a huge fan of Milani products.  Great price point, great products, I love their lipsticks, eye shadows and most of all their bronzers and blushes.  This foundation was also highly recommended on YouTube and it doesn’t disappoint.

If you like a full coverage foundation, this one is it!  It’s reminiscent of MaxFactor Pancake Makeup, remember that back in the day, but it’s liquid so it goes on smoothly, and it has a pump, which I love.  This too has staying power with no oil, I bought the color Warm Beige, and it’s a little dark for me, but I think it will be fine this summer.

Again, great price point, this one is $9.99 on Amazon.  Shocking isn’t it, that you can get these great products for so cheap!

Here’s the link for the Milani 

At these prices, you can try them both and toss them or give them away if you don’t like them, but I have a feeling you are going to be shocked at how well they perform.  You don’t have to spend $20-50+ on foundation, these are excellent dupes for high end products.

I also have several other products for you, but that’s for another day so check back with me to see what else I’m loving these days.

What a deal these foundations are!  Enjoy ~ Jan

Friday, April 6, 2018

Thoughts during a sleepless night...



The Good:

It’s 2am, the house is quiet, I’m awake, and with crystal clarity I easily solve all the world problems, my problems, my family and friends problems, the national debt, you  name it, I have an answer for everything.  Heck, I solve problems for people that don’t even know they have problems.  I plan wonderful menus, I think of ideas for witty blog posts, I plan trips and fun things to do with the Grands.  I’m a freakin’ genius at 2am!

The Bad:

It’s 2am and I’m awake.  Fast forward to 3am, then 4am, yep, still awake.

The Ugly:

Ya know all the things I’m so brilliant at solving and planning at 2, 3 and 4am?  Yep, you guessed it, at 7am when I wake for the day, every . single . thought I had in the middle of the night has totally disappeared.  It’s gone, poof, vanished forever, never to be remembered again.  Well, until  tomorrow at 2, 3 and 4am when I can’t sleep.  I should tell my thoughts to a tape recorder in the middle of the night, but poor hubby wouldn’t appreciate that, it’s bad enough that he’s trying to sleep while I’m tossing and turning, if I start talking too, well it wouldn’t be one of my better ideas.

Jan, feeling tired and frustrated today because of all of those great ideas that I can’t remember. And they were good, too!

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