Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

For twenty plus years we lived in a neighborhood that got about six trick or treaters. It was kind of depressing, but I handed out candy anyway because…Halloween! Now I’m in a neighborhood that gets decidedly more. One neighbor said they got over 300 trick or treaters last year.


I only had one bag of candy. It contains 170 pieces, but I realized that won’t be enough, so I bought another. Now, rain is forecasted. A lot of rain. So now I’m thinking there won’t be that many kids out tonight and I’m wondering how much candy I’m gonna be left with. We shall see.

What I Read

Here’s what I finished reading this week (Hmmm… seems I used #41 twice and just now caught it! Only four more books to reach my goal. Whoo hoo!):

Book #46

Dates read: October 16-25
Title: Consumed
Year of publication: 2018
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Firefighters #1
# of Pages: 408
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…
    By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad boy Danny Maguire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.
    Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job but her whole self.
    Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again—until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.
    Danny Maguire is a premier fireman, the best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown, Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.
My thoughts: Not a vampire, angel, devil, or beast around and I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was afraid it might be a contemporary romance, but it’s far from that. Yay! I’m going to enjoy this series from one of my favorite authors.

So… How much candy do you normally hand out on Halloween? And do you hand it out on Halloween or some other date your community chooses? “Beggars Night” can be any night around here. I say it should always be on the 31st because…HALLOWEEN!!

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Where Have I Been?/A Little Rant/Football

Facebook Overload

I was a bad blogger last week. But I had a good excuse. I was hosting the Sizzle and Sass page on Facebook which kind of takes over my brain (and time). Although, that doesn’t usually stop me from blogging. But hey, what can I say? I got lazy.

But… Even when I’m lazy I blog on Wednesday because READING. But I hadn’t finished reading the book yet (also due to FB).

I only host the page once every quarter, so it’s not a hardship otherwise. I know where my time will be spent and I do enjoy trying to figure out how to get people to comment. I don’t spend near that amount of time on my own page, and for good reason. It takes too much time!

But FB is over (for now) and life is almost back to normal. Of course, what is normal nowadays?

Loyalty vs. Rewards

Being on FB most of the week (doing other FB stuff besides S&S, of course), I ended up reading a lot of posts. One post in particular kind of irked me and it had to do with the loyalty program with Carnival Cruise Lines, pretty much hinting that things might change (perk-wise). Because why mention it at all, right?

Hubby and I belong with a lot of reward programs: Marriott, Buffalo Wild Wings, TGI Fridays, Fazzolis, Kroger, and Visa (to name the ones off the top of my head). We are rewarded for spending money at these places and receive goodies in return. That’s what I see as a rewards program. I’m not rewarded for my visit, but the amount of money I spend.

Loyalty programs are different, though. At least we think so. Carnival Cruise Lines calls their program a loyalty program (not a reward program). Each level (Gold, Platinum, Diamond) has perks (i.e. separate line for boarding, free laundry, free or reduced upgrades) and your level is based on number of days sailed (FYI – we’re Platinum). The levels used to be based on number of cruises, but those people who cruised a 3-day cruise got the same credit as someone who cruised a 7-day cruise. I guess CCL realized that wasn’t treating their customers fairly (or maybe they were getting too many Platinum and Diamond members that way) and they changed it. And while it hurt us in the beginning, we now see it as being the best and fairest way to reward loyalty.

So no matter what type of room we book, or how many excursions we go on, or how much money we spend, we get credit for 1 day sailed for each day of the cruise.

This one guy on FB, though, thinks these levels are classes (because Platinum and Diamond are treated differently). Then went on to say that CCL should award more points if more money is spent on a room (balcony vs inside cabin sort of thing). What? How is THAT not a class system? How is that fair to everyone? How is that rewarding LOYALTY? CCL does not have a REWARD program. They have a LOYALTY program. And there’s NOTHING stopping that guy from reaching those levels but him. But there was no getting through to him (some people are just plain pig-headed).

Anyway, I just wanted to rant about that. Do you see a difference between a reward program and a loyalty program?

So…Football (and baseball)

Remember when I said that Wayne didn’t have any chance for the playoffs? Yeah, I was wrong. Last Friday’s game was a wet, freezing mess (don’t ask me why we went to this rain-fest when we don’t have kids playing—the last one graduated in 2003) and went into overtime no less, but we came out the winners (yes, it was an exciting game and I might have enjoyed it more if I weren’t so wet and cold). And that win, combined with a couple of losses by other schools, put us in at seed 8 of 8. I’m hoping this Friday is not raining. It has rained during the last three games. We could use some dry games! I also hope Wayne plays better than they have or they aren’t getting past round 1.

Ohio State was on a bye week (meant we could work in our garage—haha!), but USC Trojans lost. L

The Steelers won handily against Cleveland (finally!). Although, what was with that free kick fiasco? Are they high school students? Yikes! At least it seems they don’t need Le’veon Bell. I hope he never returns.

And the Rams are now 8-0! Whoo hoo!! They scared me there at first, but so glad the team decided to show up toward the end of the 2nd quarter.  Whew!

As for baseball…  Since I write and post this the night before, I hope I haven’t watched my last World Series game this year. And yes, I probably stayed up late watching it. I have for most of the others (could only make it through the 15th inning (of an 18 inning game) on Friday’s game—it was after 2:30am!). So if the game didn’t go the way I wanted, please don’t blame me for being grumpy.

So… How’d your week go?

Happy Monday!


Monday, October 22, 2018

From Disbelief to Happy Happy Joy Joy

My Rams are 7-0!! And the Dodgers are in the World Series!!

Those are about the only good things that happened sports-wise this weekend.

Our high school football game went into overtime and we lost. Probably lost all chance of post season games, too. Oh well… not so sure I would have enjoyed sitting in the cold. Heck it was raining during Friday’s game. Luckily, everyone voted to leave at half-time!

Ohio State’s game… well, gosh. I don’t know where our team went. They certainly weren’t playing! They finally get ranked at #2 and then they BLOW IT!! Ugh.

Even the USC Trojans lost. I know, they aren’t ranked. Still makes me sad.

The Steelers were on a bye this weekend, so no game for them. And the Penguins are on a 4-day break (again!), so no game there, either. I’m thinking maybe that was a good thing.

But the Rams are 7-0! And the Dodgers are in the World Series!! Yeah, I’m super stoked about that.

By the way… our house is now on the market. It’s even been seen by a few people. No offers yet, but we got one good review. They even mentioned they thought it was priced fairly!!! And man, that sure made us feel better.

So… How’d your weekend go? We were able to clean up/organize the garage a little. Still can only get one car in there, but we’re making progress!

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday Reads and We’re Meeting the Realtor!

We’re meeting the realtor this morning and I sure hope he says the old house is ready to put on the market. I am soooooo tired of working on (and putting money into) that thing! Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #44

Dates read: October 9-15
Title: The Demon Always Wins
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Jeanne Oates Estridge
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Touched by a Demon #1
# of Pages: 309
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Seven short weeks. That’s all the time the demon Belial has to stack up a victory for Satan and earn his promotion to Chief Executive Demon, the second most powerful position in Hell. If Belial can corrupt God’s champion within the agreed time-frame, Hell will score bragging rights—and another soul. The demon always wins, but this one is anybody’s game.
    Seven short weeks. Widowed nurse Dara Strong is the ace up God’s sleeve. Dara, the granddaughter of famous demon-fighters, has no problem recognizing Dr. Ben Lyle as a demon in doctor’s disguise when he appears at her clinic. She kicks him out the door, but the most successful soul-stealer in the history of Hell is not about to give up so easily.
    As the battle between the cosmically well-matched opponents escalates, conflict breeds passion and passion transforms into love. Caught between a victory-hungry Satan and an unforgiving God, Belial and Dara discover there may be only one way to ransom the soul of a fallen angel: sometimes you have to go through Hell to claim your heaven.
My thoughts: This is a debut book from my friend and you don’t know how HAPPY I am that I enjoyed this!

The Dodgers won last night in 13 innings! I couldn't stay up to see it all, but sure smiled when I checked the score this morning. Go Dodgers!!

So… When was the last time you sold a house? Did it go fast or slow? The last time for us was in 1998 (I think), and the sale didn’t go so well on that one (took forever!). I sure hope this one goes quickly.

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 15, 2018

Footy Nationals was Fun…But Cold!!

I don’t remember ever being at a colder Nationals. Not even when they were in Cincinnati during some kind of wind storm (those were some wild games!). I like Racine and all, but not so much in October.

Woke up Saturday to frost on the ground (and the car). Brrr! But Hubby and I were prepared. We dressed in layers. Not enough, it turns out, but we survived.

Mainly because there was such a long time between Daughter’s footy games, we got to sit in the car and listen to the Ohio State Game, where it was much warmer.

The Columbus Cats (women) lost their first game (which was at 9am!!), but it was a close one and they played really well. Their second game (at 3pm) was a close one and we wondered what would happen if it stayed tied (like it had during most of the game). Then the Cats came alive and scored two more goals, winning their first game (and their first game at Nationals since 4 or 5 years ago).

In fact, they played so well, they still had a shot at first place!

The Columbus Cats (men) won both of their games on Saturday and everyone was hopeful for Sunday.

And Sunday was much warmer. No frost on the ground. Still cold (highs reached 54?), but this time Hubby and I were able to buy some Culvers frozen custard with TimTams!

TimTams are cookies made in Australia and they’re super good (sometimes you can find them in WalMart or Kroger, too).

The women played at 8am (Ugh!) against a team that was pretty equal to them. But they managed to squeak out a win (9-8). Their last game (at 2pm) was against an undefeated team (Sacramento Suns). The Suns only allowed something like 9 points total against all the teams they played. It was going to be a tough one.

But before the women’s last game, we watched the men play. If they won, they were in the finals. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Philadelphia was a stronger team (and went on to win Div III finals).

The Cats (women), though, kind of scared the Suns. They fought back and came within a goal of winning. And they were sooo close to getting it, too. But the Suns were able to turn it around and score just as the horn blew.

But were the Cats sad? Heck no! They came in 2nd place. Daughter had NEVER in the nine years of playing, received any kind of award. She got a medal this year. And it was well deserved.

This Footy Nationals might have been the coldest we’d ever been to, but it sure was the most fun.

And this weekend was fun in the other football sport, too! Wayne managed a win on Friday (how, I have no idea). Ohio State won ugly, but hey, a win is a win. Woke up on Sunday to see even USC won (yay!). Steelers squeaked out a win against the Bengals (got to watch the first half at B-dubs, but listened—sort of—to the rest during/after Daughter’s last game). I kind of like it when we shock the Bengals at their home (heck, I was shocked we won!). And my Rams are now 6-0! Whoo hoo!

Today we head on home with our stash of Kringles (cannot visit Racine without stocking up the freezer!). We bought a pumpkin caramel Kringle during our stay here and WOW! That one was awesome (we made sure to buy another for the trip home).

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Reads

Now that my vacations are finished (well, sort of—I am traveling to Wisconsin this weekend for Footy Nationals), my reading will probably slow up a bit. But hey, I’m six books ahead of schedule. I should reach my goal of 50 easily!!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #41

Dates read: September 27-October 5
Title: A Caribbean Spell
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Maureen O. Betita
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Series: Forever a Pirate #1
# of Pages: 230
Paper or plastic: Plastic (Nook book)
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: While traveling through space and time, Miranda sets foot in the exciting Caribbean of Jake Reynard. Pirate, thief, captain of the Moonstone; he is everything she didn't know she wanted. She is a sexual witch who needs the touch of sexual relations to energize her magical power.
    The instant chemical attraction quickly leads them to a scorching level of intimacy as Miranda shares secrets with the dominant Jake, falling into his bed with a willing abandon. He finds in her a partner, thrilling, mysterious and full of enough warmth to satisfy his pirate greed.
    The two meet when mutual friends are endangered by an evil sorceress. The adventure escalates with a thrilling chase back and forth across the Atlantic. Can they survive the challenge of the Orb of Transference, capable of draining all life and vitality from Jake's world, and resist the lure of each other? Do they want to?
My thoughts: I attempted to read this book earlier and couldn’t get into it. Thought I’d give it another try during my vacation and managed to stick with it. So I guess mood/circumstances do have some effect to reading. I liked the characters enough, but a lot goes on in this book and some of the events don’t really make any sense (to me). Maybe they will in later books, since this is the beginning of a series. If you’re looking for something different to read, give this one a try. It’s definitely different!

Book #42

Dates read: October 6
Title: Take the Bait
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Cindy Dees
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Doctors Unlimited #0.5
# of Pages: 70
Paper or plastic: Plastic (Nook book)
How obtained: Free at RT (I think)
Blurb from Goodreads: More than just eye candy
    Rookie attorney Dani Wellford's taciturn client has the strangest request: "Send me to jail." Easy case, right? Wrong, especially as she faces Cam Townsend, the hot assistant DA who's hell-bent on seducing her—and winning the case. The way he wears his suits should be a crime; he gets Dani's mojo going, in the courtroom and the bedroom.
    Before long, their professional ethics are more tangled than the bedsheets. But when Dani goes to battle against her firm's old-boy network trying to prove a hefty case of discrimination, she ends up with the most unexpected ally…and perhaps just the right bait for a lifelong sentence.
My thoughts: Much too short – one of the reasons I don’t care for Harlequin books. But I enjoyed the story and the characters even if the events happened too quickly for my taste. FYI – I don’t see how this book falls in the Doctors Unlimited series. Neither character is a doctor!

Book #43

Dates read: October 6-9
Title: Playing the Game
Year of publication: 2013
Author: M.Q. Barber
Genre: Erotica
Series: Neighborly Affection #1
# of Pages: 211
Paper or plastic: Plastic (Nook book)
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: She expects dinner with neighbors, but gets sex with a side of safewords.
    Mechanical engineer Alice still drools over her sexy neighbors a year after she’s moved in. She can’t decide whether they’re roommates or partners, but either way, they spark a wanton desire in her that has her imagination—and vibrator—working overtime.
    Henry, director of everything around him, studies human nature and applies philosophies to his paintings as well as his relationships. Quirky, polite to a fault, and formal, he follows his own code of honor even when it means denying himself.
    Flirtatious and playful, Jay needs stability, guidance, and to please others. His antics counterbalance Henry’s stuffy ways while he brings a level of vulnerability and fun to everything he does.
    BDSM play with enigmatic artist and flirtatious joker across the hall allows Alice to put aside the linear thought processes which have kept her unsatisfied and distant with other lovers. She must dismiss her preconception of love, sacrificing her independence, if she’s to find a permanent place in their beds and hearts.
My thoughts: This is a re-read for me. Third or fourth time. None of the books on my Nook that I hadn’t read appealed to me while I was at the end of my vacation, so I decided to read a book I love. I do want to read the rest of the series now, but it’ll wait for another time when I don’t have a new paper book to choose from.

So… Did you set any reading goals this year? How are you faring?

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 8, 2018

Driving on Toll Roads

I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!

I enjoyed my vacation, don’t get me wrong, but it really feels good to be home. The hot weather was getting to me and I missed my bed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t left the hot weather behind. It’s just as warm in Dayton as it is in Florida. This is October, right?

Temperatures are due to drop this weekend. But we’ll be up in Racine, WI to watch Daughter play in US Australian Rules Football Nationals (yeah, we aren’t home for long before we have to drive up there). I believe the highs in Racine will be in the mid 50s.


Okay, that’s a little too chilly. I just hope it doesn’t rain.

As we drive up to Chicago, we’ll have to take some toll roads, but we have the I-Pass, so it makes it easier (and cheaper). I hate toll roads, but I do like the transponders. Makes driving on them a little bit cheaper (and a lot faster).

I think Florida’s toll roads have kind of gotten out of hand, though. I don’t remember there being so many ten years ago.  Now? If you want to drive to the Kennedy Space Center from Orlando it’ll cost you $7.00 one way. Oh sure, you can find a non-toll route. It’s only three miles longer, but 30 minutes are added to your trip (and you’d probably need a GPS to tell you when to turn on what road). Ridiculous!

The Florida Turnpike system also can’t decide what toll transponder they’ll take, either. Some roads are strictly the Sun Pass (like the Florida Turnpike). Other toll roads take the E-Pass, which SOMETIMES takes the EZ-Pass (which our friends have). Thing is, we never knew when those roads would take the EZ-Pass, so we had to drive through the pay lines just in case (and yes, they would take them at one toll booth but not the next one and we’d be on the same road). What a pain!

I really wish all toll roads would accept any toll transponder. It can’t be that hard to program. I-Pass and EZ-Pass seem to do it without a problem. Better yet…do away with toll roads!! I really don’t see why Florida needs them.

Today would have been a good day to post pictures, but I am not that organized. Pictures are on my phone (and some are on Hubby’s phone). So hopefully I get organized later on this week. I’m certainly going to try. I so much want to get back into a routine, which means writing daily goals to hit. I’ll make sure to add “download pictures” to my list!

Remember when wrote hoping my footballs teams would do better while I was away? Well… they have! Wayne HS actually won the last three games. Don’t know if they still have a shot at the playoffs, but at least they’re playing better now. The Steelers seem to be getting their act in gear now. Wish they could have beat the Ravens, but I’ll take the Tampa Bay and Atlanta wins (and maybe it helped we were in those cities on the day of those games???). And my Rams are still playing AWESOME! 5-0!!! They’re going to the Super Bowl this year. I just know it!!

So… Do you have toll roads in your neck of the woods? How do you feel about them?

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Blurbs on E-Books

You know what I hate the MOST about e-books? There isn’t any BLURB listed when I opened the book. I did not have access to the Internet on my cruise (not without kicking Hubby off first and he hogged it all the time), so I couldn’t tell WHICH book I wanted to read next on my Nook without opening each up and starting to read (because I couldn’t even tell what GENRE they were!!!). So… for all you independent publishers PUT THE STUPID BLURB AT THE BEGINNING OF THE E-BOOK!! Thank you!

I do it on my books for that purpose alone.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #40

Dates read: September 22-25
Title: Huntress for Hire
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Terry Spear
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Heart of the Huntress #4
# of Pages: 237
Paper or plastic: Plastic (Nook book)
How obtained: Free at RT
Blurb from Goodreads: Rebel vampire huntress Rachael Bremerton wants revenge against Piaras, one of the most ruthless vampires in Dallas, for the murder of her parents. But when she’s lured by another vampire, Adonis, into the darkness—the same darkness she’s feared since she was a child—she’s torn between her huntress sensibilities and some strange desire to be with the creature she’s meant to despise and destroy.
    Adonis, a hunter turned vampire, has been ordered by Piaras to bring Rachel to him untouched. In return, Piaras will release Adonis’s family unharmed. But when Adonis first sees Rachael, his hunter desire to have a huntress mate kicks in, or is it the dark heart of the vampire that makes him crave her so?
    Turning Rachel over to Piaras becomes less of an option. But can he find a way to free his family, claim Rachael for his own, and keep her family from discovering he is a hunter turned vampire—a creature they will all feel obligated to hunt down and kill?
My thoughts: It was an enjoyable read (and I didn’t realize I was reading book 4 until just now). I might check out the rest of the series.

Book #41

Dates read: September 26-26
Title: Accidentally In Love With the Pilot
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 186
Paper or plastic: Plastic (Nook book)
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Fighter pilot Ben Rutledge loves his solitude. Which means spending a month of leave in overcrowded, over-glitzy Las Vegas isn’t up his alley, especially after his friend ditches him. His first inclination is to bow out, and quickly. Instead, he finds himself sharing drinks—and a whole lot more—with a sexy woman celebrating her birthday. After all, it’s just one night, and he can go back to his quiet life tomorrow.
    Megan Shuttlekrump doesn’t have time for a boyfriend, much less a husband. But a night of celebratory drinks with a handsome stranger ends with a ring on her finger—and no memory of how it got there. Her new “husband” is over the top hot, but he’ll be out of her life once his leave is over. As long as they can find out which of the thousand or so chapels in Vegas married them…
My thoughts: Teri’s my friend and I always buy her books. But she’s not the reason I read them. If you love contemporary romance, you’ll love hers. I’m not a fan of the genre and I enjoy them a lot. Lots of romance with some funny parts.

Oh my gosh. My feet may disown me after this week. Sunday we went to Kennedy Space Center and walked a lot. Monday we went to Universal Studios and walked even more. And yesterday we went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and walked even more than that! My Fitbit loves me. My feet do not. Today should be a quiet day. But tomorrow it’s back to Kennedy and on Friday Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now, if it only were cooler. Then maybe my feet won’t care.

Hahahaha! Who am I kidding? They’ll care!

So… Do you read e-books? Would you prefer the blurb to be placed at the beginning? Please don’t let me be the only one who cares.

Happy Reading!