Wordless Wednesday – First Edition Epic

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Staycation Recap

My little staycation is coming to a close today.  Hubby finally returns home later tonight, after his first flight from Asia was cancelled due to mechanical issues, and he was forced to spend another night there on Wednesday night.  The airline put all 400 passengers on his flight in a hotel overnight that was about an hour away, but in the end, everything worked out just fine.  He is quite ready to be home again, even though he will now be tackling another new challenge at work that arose while he was gone when some people in the company gave their two-week notices last week.  Let’s just say that he is going to be very busy for a while, if not for the long-haul.  I am quite ready for him to be home, too.

I enjoyed my little staycation and even accomplished quite a few needed chores around the house and yard.  I have also spent some time with friends and family, reading, watching movies and even cooking, believe it or not.  The only meals that I have eaten out over the past two weeks were with friends and family, and it has been nice to just relax here at home at mealtime, cooking for myself.  I discovered a new crustless quiche recipe with a kick that was fabulous, and I will try to share that recipe here soon.

Probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of the past two weeks was watching some of my all-time favorite movies, mostly after dinner each evening.  I averaged two or three movies each day and loved every minute of it.  Sometimes during normal days at home, I may turn on a movie while working around the house, but seldom do I actually just sit down and watch it without interruptions.  Not so with my movie time the past two weeks.

It is always fun to relive great movie moments, especially since a number of them are based on true stories.  Here are some of the moments I enjoyed reliving over the past two weeks.

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Katniss and Rue in their heartbreaking final moments together in The Hunger Games,

Robin Williams humbly thanking his class at the end of Dead Poets Society,

Helen Hunt, after an entire movie of quirky events, finally falling in love with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets,

Bruce Willis and Ben Afflek in their final hurried and tearful moments together in Armageddon,

Chris Pine hearing the unbelievable announcement that their wine had just won the elite contest in Paris, beating the French wines against all odds in Bottle Shock, (true story)

Jodie Foster finally making contact and (and suddenly finding she has faith) in Contact,

The tearful, gut-wrenching goodbyes in Marley and Me that bring similar moments back home in a sad but wonderful way, and remind me how blessed I am to have loved many animals in my lifetime, (true story)

The lunar spacecraft triumphantly splashing down safely in the Pacific Ocean, despite the long odds of a safe return after a horrible explosion, in Apollo 13, (true story)

Sandra Bullock stubbornly believing in Michael Oher when others did not in The Blind Side, (true story)

The many delightful interactions between Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman in Fried Green Tomatoes,

Mr. Spock unexpectedly dying in The Wrath of Khan, leaving every living Trekie in shock,

Darth Vader delivering his most powerful and devastating blow against Luke by saying,  “No, I am your father,” in Star Wars, Episode V,

The final, history-making race in Secretariat, which (for me) is still the absolute best moment in sports ever, especially when I finally understood the back-story, (true story)

When Johan Hill shows the film of the unlikely baseball hero to Brad Pitt, a profound scene in a movie that I absolutely, positively adored after I saw it the first time, Moneyball, (true story)

And, one of the most fabulous movie twists *ever* near the end of Ender’s Game.  I won’t give that one away because too many people still have not seen this great movie.  I have since come back time and time again thinking about this movie and its subject matter, too.

I also started reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, “The Best Yes,” and it is a fabulous read.  I highly recommend it for anyone, man or woman, who can identify with the topic, even though the target audience is women.  It is a wonderful look at how we can all make better decisions in our lives in a very honest and practical way, while throwing in a good amount of humor along the way concerning her own life issues.

I also enjoyed setting up my new Galaxy Tab 3 by tackling that task a little each day.  Ironically, I just saw where Barnes and Noble just announced their newest Nook device, which is a Galaxy Tab 4 device with Nook included.  Their price for this 8G storage device is $179.  I paid only $199 for my 16G storage tablet, and the two look identical.  The overall specs on mine also beat their new Nook device, too.  So, I’m glad that I bought my tablet at Costco at that price, for sure.  I have both my Nook and Kindle apps on it now to enable me to read all of my ebooks on one device, with lots of storage room to spare, although my favorite reading device is still my Nook simple touch with the glo-light.

As summer winds down and we all get back to our normal routines soon, I am quite thankful that I had a nice way to pass this two weeks at home alone… well, almost alone.  My dogs are always good company, and thankfully, Red is doing just fine after getting stitches for his cut last weekend.  All in all, it’s been a good, relaxing time. 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday – Summer Bible Study

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Free Christmas E-Book

What a nice little surprise!  I just noticed this well-rated e-book this morning and thought I would share it here while it is still free.

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh (for Nook)
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh (for Kindle)
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh (for iBook)

And thanks once again to the great folks at http://www.the-cheap.net for yet another great freebie find!  I check their site almost daily.  Enjoy!

D
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Check Out “The Cheap – Nook Deals”

I just realized that I have not yet blogged about the Nook that I received as a gift earlier this year, and I will most definitely do that very soon, along with a few of the great books that I have read so far this year.  For now, though, I would like to share a new site that has been created as of today to share free and discounted e-books for the Nook.  This is the result of two popular sites that have now merged their resources on Nook finds, and I have regularly checked both sites each week for deals with great results.  I am quite happy that they have now combined their efforts, and the new site is even better than before as far as ease of use and the ability to find books that I am interested in reading.  The site’s owners obviously do a lot of research to find so many great freebies and discounted reads (that are actually good), and I am excited about this new direction that they are taking as of today.

The site is called “The Cheap – Nook Deals.”  Check it out if you have a Nook device or a free Nook app for your computer or mobile device.  I have also linked the site under the “Fun” listing on the right side of this page, along with their “piggy” page logo, and they can also be found on Twitter at @theCheapNook.  I am a big fan, and if you are a Nook user, I think you will be, too.  I am all about saving money, even though I don’t mind occasionally paying full price for a book that I really want to read, too.  It’s nice to have options!

Happy Reading!

D

Catching Up

I am a bad, bad blogger, especially when I am sick.  From about the first week of December to nearly the end of February… I was sick.  Thankfully, I think I’m finally past it all and getting back to a more normal routine.  But in retrospect, I don’t think that I have coughed more in my entire life.  It makes me quite thankful for the times that I am not sick, which is most of the time.

December Cruise:

Fortunately, my illness was not too bad while we went on our cruise in mid-December.  It was such a great time, and I would go again in a heartbeat.  I’m actually hoping we can possibly do this again next year as well.  It was a nice break during the hectic Christmas season, but I will admit that I had to hit the ground running once we got home.  It was a bit unusual to not have any real gifts to open on Christmas morning, but trading that for an entire week of vacation at sea and on land in Florida was a good deal for us.  I will post more about our trip here soon, as I got a few really great pictures while we were gone.

Christmas:

Our Christmas was very laid-back this year, which was actually pretty nice.  I cooked way too much, too.  I won’t be making that mistake to that extent in future years.  I will try to remember that I said that, too.  😉  We had too many calories laying around this house for too long!

Springtime:

Spring is once again springing forth in our neck of the woods, and while I wish we could have had more rain/snow this winter, I’m actually hoping for a nice mild Spring season this year, keeping the hot temperatures of summer away for a while.  Our winter was pretty bi-polar this year, as we either had very mild temperatures or record-setting cold ones.  We had two cold spells that were just bitter cold, with chill factors around -15 to -20 overnight.  While we did not suffer any frozen pipes, others around town and the area were not so fortunate.

I miss our bird bath in the backyard, and we should be able to retrieve it from storage in a few days since our overnight freezing temperatures are starting to subside.  I miss my birds and taking pictures of them, and I suspect our “regulars” are missing their watering hole now as well.  In fact, I have hardly taken any pictures since our trip and Christmas, which is very unusual for me.  That’s how bad I have felt.  Needless to say, my “photo a day” project has not taken shape, so I will just look to revisit that another time when I feel so inspired again.

New Nook:

My husband surprised me on Valentine’s Day with an unexpected gift… a Nook of my very own!  I gave him one for his birthday last fall, and he liked it even more than I thought he would.  He started reading every day, just as I had started reading more with the free Nook and Kindle apps on my own laptop.  But, I think he picked up on the fact that I was wishing I had my own Nook, even though I really did not talk to him about it.  I have truly enjoyed learning to use it to its potential, including learning how to download and read e-books from our local library for free.  So, I blame my new Nook in part for my lack of photography adventures for the past few weeks.

It’s just been so nice to just relax at home (or at the library or at my local Barnes and Noble store) and just read a good book.  It is noteworthy that Nook owners can read select books for free on the B&N in-store Wifi for free for an hour each day… and it really does work.  We own the non-color Nooks… the original version, and honestly, I think I like it better than I would like the back-lit color version.  I can literally read for hours on my Nook with the e-ink, and my eyes never tire.  I’m not sure that would be the case with the back-lit Nook.  The battery life is much better on our version, too, due to the difference in the technologies, and I really like the fact that I do not have to charge my Nook for about a week, even reading it every day.  I’m pretty sure that we are both now “hooked” on reading books electronically now, and I can’t see either of us opting to buy a traditional book if we can find it electronically now.  If I do have to buy a paper book for some reason, I now plan to donate it to my local library or a retirement community when I am done.

Japan Earthquake / Tsunami:

Finally, my heart truly goes out to everyone in Japan that is suffering after the historic and tragic earthquake and tsunami last Friday.  I was actually up late reading that night and checked the news updates before I went to bed.  The earthquake had just occurred about twenty minutes earlier, so I turned on the TV news and watched it all unfold throughout the night.  We know a young woman that is teaching in Sendai, and I found myself praying for her and everyone affected off and on throughout the night.  She is fine, for now… prayers continuing for everyone in Japan and their families, wherever they are.

D