July 8, 2018

The Outsider...a book review.

Man-Child recently brought it to my attention that Stephen King had a new book out.  And, he reported, that it was a LARGE book.  This piqued my interest, as I continue to maintain that where Stephen King is concerned, the larger the book the better, as the characters and story line are more fleshed out; drawing you in.

Which is how I found myself at a local book store a couple of weeks ago buying said book.



It's no secret around here, I adore Stephen King's writings.  This was no exception...but...before I recommend this one to everyone I know - the initial crime is horrific.  Like, really horrific. And it involves children.  The description is graphic.

But overall, if you can get past that (and it's hard) this book is really good.  I've been in a reading slump for the past few months.  It was more than a slump...it was more like a "I can't be bothered because nothing is interesting enough" kind of deal.  This book brought me back to reading.

The description from Amazon:

An unspeakable crime.  A confounding investigation.  At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park.  Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens.  He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls.  Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest.  Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses.  Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King's propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense.  Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?  When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

The book is about 576 pages long - I read it in just a few days because, seriously, it is a page turner.  In fact, I spent about 90% of last Sunday just reading.

Again, the "unspeakable crime" is horrific; but if you can make it past that it becomes a compelling story.

Much to Man-Child's chagrin, I have already lent the book to a fellow King enthusiast.  What he failed to realize is this - I lent it to him first in order to be sure we get the book back for Man-Child to read, as I lent it with the caveat that Man-Child still wanted to read it.

What books are you finding to be page turners?  Spill it, we all want to know!

July 7, 2018

A few good things...





As my birthday is quickly approaching - and it's a big one - I thought I would share a few things that have made me very happy/smile.

I found this on my desk yesterday morning along with a very touching birthday card.

Gorgeous!

My Co-Worker Friend surprised me!  She snuck back into the office after we'd left Thursday to deposit these because she knew I would be taking the off on the actual day.  When I saw her come in, I went to her cubicle to thank her for her thoughtfulness, she then presented me with this...

In the event you can't see it - it says
"Friend"
And, of course, the picture is off-center - at least
I'm consistent.

Another Alex and Ani bracelet to add to my collection!  My oldest friend from Texas introduced these to me when we met up in Charleston last year, and I have fallen hard for them.  This one takes me up to four - I need an intervention.

My fabulous mother-in-law sent me birthday money as she always does along with another sweet card.  With that cash burning a hole in my wallet, I headed out to see what I could find.  I headed over to J. Crew Mercantile with the hopes of scoring another pair of those amazing jeans.  I found them BUT was disappointed to discover that they do not carry the shorter length jeans/pants in this store anymore.  I could have cried.  I was so excited to find that we had this store so close (25 minutes); rather than drive the hour to the outlets.  I'm not sure if the outlet store is still carrying the shorter lengths - so I guess that means I'll have to make the drive to find out.  I hope they do because although the clerk assured me I could still find them online, I much prefer to shop in the store to avoid returns.

While I was out and about, I popped into Talbots next door and found these magenta beauties on sale. . .

Aren't they fabulous?  And SO comfortable!
Thanks, Mom!!

As our office "culture" has gone from strictly business to casual business wear to casual, I have been on the hunt for cute, flat shoes.  It's rare these days to find me in heels.  It's also been a challenge when I'm out shopping as I am so used to looking for "work" clothes rather than casual clothes.  There's also the conundrum of all the "work" clothes that are currently hanging in my closet.  I actually have a draft post about all this; I should probably dust it off and post it one of these days.

The other thing that makes me smile is this mascara.

Image result for lash paradise mascara

I think Kate at The Small Things Blog mentioned it once or twice as a favorite drug store beauty product, so I picked it up to try.  So far, I am loving it.  It lengthens and makes my lashes look thicker minus any clumps!  Now granted I've tried other mascaras that have done the same but I don't know why subsequent buys of the exact same product doesn't necessarily produce the same results.  I've got my fingers crossed that this product remains true from tube to tube.

And lastly, I am also loving this foundation.

Odd - my bottle looks a bit different.

Historically, I don't like liquid foundation as they are too heavy and messy.  I used to use foundation in compacts but I have found that by the end of the day, it had worn off.  Plus, I was having a hard time finding a color that wasn't too dark or didn't wash my face out.  I've discovered that this color (warm beige) is PERFECT for my skin tone and that if I apply this using a brush it isn't too heavy.  Bonus?  The coverage does last all day.

So there you go, a few good things that are making me happy/smile.  Do you have anything that is making you happy/smile to add to the list?


*As usual, all links are provided for your convenience and I have not/will not be compensated.




June 28, 2018

Gigi's History Lesson...

Back when I was in middle school and high school, history was not one of my favorite, or strongest, subjects.  English?  I rocked it.  Math? I think the only reason I graduated was because the math teacher felt sorry for me and awarded me points for effort.  History?  Mildly interesting but not enough to dive in deep; as a sixteen year old girl, I had other things on my mind - like makeup, hair and boys. 

But the other day, I read an article in our local paper about a barn and acreage, which happens to reside in a very commercial part of town (coincidentally, located next door to the condo we lived in before we moved here).  I was always curious about this bucolic oasis in the midst of a city.

The paper was covering a story about that land - specifically about the barn located there; which some were trying to have declared as a historic property because the senior living facility, which currently owns the land, wants to expand.  Unfortunately, I have a feeling that barn is too far gone to be saved.

Now here is where the story got REALLY interesting.

This all took place during World War II.  The dairy farmer wanted to buy the barn from the farmer across the road and he did.  But then he needed to move the barn to his land.  So he "leased" some German POWs that were interred in town (Wait, WHAT?!  We had foreign POWs housed in America?  In this town? Who knew!?) to move the barn.

I remember bits and pieces from those long ago history classes but I NEVER remember learning about POWs being brought to the United States.  I assumed that any POWs we may have had would have been held at American bases on foreign soil.

When I mentioned it to The Husband, he was as incredulous as I, the same with Man-Child.  So, here we have two generations who never learned about this in history class.

Needless to say, I was intrigued enough to Google it.  And yes, we had thousands of POWs, not just here but in forty-six of the forty-eight (at the time) states.

Here's a link if you are also intrigued.

Did any of you know this?  Was this taught in your high school?

June 26, 2018

Caring IS Sharing - the Blogger Comment Fix

I have SO many draft posts languishing but rather than trying to put the effort to make them post-able I am here to shout the good news - there HAS been a fix to the recent email notification issue as it relates to comments.

This evening when I logged in, one of the first posts I read was from my friend, DJan, in which she shared the fix and that one of her blogging buddies had sent her a post with the fix.  I am in turn sharing the fix with you (the original fix is linked back on that last link).

Basically, go into Blogger Settings.  Chose the Email Option.  Delete your email.  Click Save.  Add your email back in; click save.  You should then receive an email from Blogger that looks like this; only with your information, of course.

Click subscribe and viola!  You should now begin to receive comments via email notification.

I had tried this method in the early days of the  "crisis" on the recommendation from someone on Twitter - minus the subscription email information.  It did not work - I never received the subscription email.

But when I tried it again tonight I DID receive the email and subscribed, so now here's where the rubber meets the road.  I am going to hit post and see what happens.

I am feeling confident that this is the fix.

UPDATE - it does!!

June 16, 2018

Breathing a sigh of relief...

The past few months around here have been nothing but stressful for many reasons.  But there has been one issue that has been hanging over our (ok, really Man-Child's) head that left us him in a state of suspended animation.

As you know, earlier this year he found a position with an elementary school about an hour from here.  He loved it.  It wasn't his "dream" job but he loved the kids and the people he worked with - despite the drive.

About two months ago, his principal informed him that it had been discovered that a math teacher at another school in the county didn't have certification for teaching math.  And that since this particular teacher DID have certification for teaching physical education AND tenure that they were required to offer him any interim physical education position within the county.

As, Man-Child had joined the county system mid-year, his position was considered "interim."  The principal was not happy about the situation - as was Man-Child.  We weren't too thrilled either.  Man-Child was told that it was a "wait and see" situation as to whether this other teacher would accept the position.

I have to tell you that The Husband and I were appalled.  Here they had a great teacher - one that loves the kids.  One that had followed the rules and received the necessary certifications, etc.  But yet, they had to offer the position to one who couldn't even bother to follow the rules?  And he had to have known the rules since he'd been in the system long enough to gain tenure!

After being in "wait and see" mode for a few months, I tell you all of this only to share - he turned down the position and Man-Child has signed a contract for next year!  We are all so excited and happy.  Man-Child is happy to be looking forward to seeing "his" kids again next year.  He is happy to be looking forward to starting his "adult" life, i.e., finding his own place closer to the school.  While, we will miss having him here, we are excited for him.  I remember that time of my life.  Besides, I know the area he is thinking about...it's not that far AND there some of my favorite shops are not too far from there.  Perfect excuse to visit often...

June 11, 2018

Keeping in touch IS important...

I just received a call from the one cousin, you know - I'm sure you all have one; the one that you feel should have been your sibling.  This cousin (that should have been my sister - actually the only one that could have been my sister since all the others were boys) was "returning" a call from me.

I didn't call her to begin with.

But it was the nudge we both needed.

After her mom died (holy cow it was THAT long ago?! Seems like yesterday) we texted back and forth for quite a bit.  Mainly I instigated the conversation to be sure that she was getting along okay - I knew that her mother's death would rock her world.

And then, as is with life, things tapered off as we both focused on the daily minutiae of our lives...you know...the various chores that needed to be done, laundry (always with the laundry!), house maintenance, yard maintenance, work, spouses...the list goes on.

But as we've recently been reminded, The Husband and I, life is fleeting.  Take this time to remember those important in your life and contact them.  It doesn't need to be an every day thing - but reach out.  Let them know are thinking about them.

I think that gesture is probably more important than we realize.

June 8, 2018

Blogger woes and a new coffee maker

Over the last couple of days I noticed an odd thing...I wasn't receiving email on comment notifications.  Now granted, I don't get a LOT of them, but I do want to receive the ones I do get.

For as long as I can remember now, I NEVER get an email informing me of comments from ANY Yahoo email address.  Oh sure, the comment appears on the blog - but I'm never alerted to it.  But now, I'm not receiving ANY alerts....from any email address.

I, of course, took to Twitter to moan about this problem.  Some kind soul suggested that I go to my settings and remove the email, refresh and then add it back.  This did not work.

Then I visited DJan's blog only to discover that this problem is universal.  Another person commented that if you click the notify me box you will get notifications.  It's not ideal, but will do until Blogger fixes this issue...IF they fix it.  And if they do I hope they fix the Yahoo issue as well.  I'm crossing my fingers but not counting on it.  It seems to me that Blogger is the red-headed step-child of Google and doesn't get much attention.

In other news, my Keurig finally gave up the ghost for good last weekend.  I know that Maria loves her Nespresso machine and I did consider getting one because it sounds AMAZING - but I know myself.  I drink exactly ONE cup of black coffee at home every morning (I usually have another cup or two at work) during the week (on the weekend I usually make two, maybe three, cups).  So I couldn't justify the expense - particularly since I am the only person who drinks coffee in this house.  Yes, I live with weirdos.

But I didn't want to buy a regular, old-fashioned coffee maker because I knew either I would make a full pot that would go to waste (the math of figuring out how to just get two cups would make me crazy) or I'd end up drinking more coffee than I should and then have to live with the aftermath (the jitters).

So after a bit of online searching I discovered that Mr. Coffee has a single serve model that I thought would fit the bill.  My plan on Sunday, after determining for sure that the Keurig was well and truly dead - and sending The Husband out on an impromptu trip to McDonald's for a cup of coffee - was to head to Target to buy said Mr. Coffee.

The boys headed out for a "Boy's Breakfast" and I proceeded to get dressed.  And got waylaid by a phone call.  My friend two doors down wanted me to stop by and catch up; which of course I did.  Once I left her house I headed into town - luckily, something made me check my phone at a red light.  I had a text from The Husband - he bought me a coffee maker; the exact same one that I was headed out to buy.

Ahh, the joy of having a husband that occasionally actually listens to my ramblings!

Now that I've had this coffee maker for about a week or so here are my thoughts...the good and the bad.

The bad?  When it says it's a "single serve" model - they mean it.  You need to refill the reservoir EVERY time you want a fresh cup...this is only a minor inconvenience.

The good?  It works!  AND it utilizes the K-Cups that I have already stocked up on.  And even better...

Yes, an off-center picture.  After all this
time, what do you expect from me?  I am
NOT a photographer!

...the access to the top needle.  That was the problem with the Keurig...I couldn't access the top needle to clean it.  I am convinced that is why my Keurig died.  According to their website, there is a "tool" that you can use to clean it - but it's not offered for sale anywhere and they never responded to my (THREE) emails about where I could obtain one.  So for this reason, and this reason alone, I much prefer my Mr. Coffee.  Not to mention that this machine was only about $50 - to my mind, that means if it lives for over a year it has paid for itself.
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