Books I am Reading or Have Read: "The Black Echo"

Although I am busy often times beyond belief, I always have a book in progress.  I'm just that person.  I love to read and feed my habit with words.  This spring and summer, through the births of two new grandchildren and a wedding, I have continued to feed this habit of mine.  One of the books I read was Michael Connelly's, "The Black Echo".

Connelly has written many books.  One you may be familiar with, even if you're not a reader, is "The Lincoln Lawyer".  It was made into a movie, starring Matthew McConaughey.  That should ring a bell, right?  Anyway, Connelly writes a series of books that I read about a cop named Harry Bosch.  Harry is a good cop, very intuitive, but he has his flaws like many cop characters have.  To me, this makes the development of the character more "real".

In "The Black Echo", the reader finds out more about Harry's personal life and why he has become the person he is.  This book delves into his past military service in Vietnam.  You will understand the title of this book more as you read, since it is related to what his specialty was in Vietnam.  One will be introduced to the problems involved with vets after this war and how they struggled to reenter society as productive members.

There are a lot of details during the first half of the book, but they are necessary to the outcome; just keep reading because when things begin to heat up, I believe you will really enjoy how this book unfolds.

Here is a list of the other Harry Bosch novels that you may also enjoy, if you are like me and like to follow a character:

Harry Bosch Background: Born in 1950 in Los Angeles to Marjorie Phillips Lowe. He was named Hieronymus Bosch after the 15th century Dutch artist and nicknamed “Harry.” He became an orphan at 11 when his mother, a prostitute, was murdered. He grew up living in a youth hall and foster homes. He joined the army and did two tours in Vietnam. Harry returned to Los Angeles and joined the LAPD in 1972. He became a detective after five years in patrol.
Books in published order:
The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook  (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
                                                             HAPPY READING!
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It's PINTEREST Recipe Day!

Before it got so busy around here, I was trying out new Pinterest recipes weekly.  I kind of slacked off a little but here are a couple that I tried and never posted yet.

PARMESAN ROASTED ASPARAGUS:

What You Need
Bunch of Asparagus – about 15
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Zest – 1/2 a lemon
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese
What To Do
Preheat the oven to 350
Trim the ends of the asparagus – place into large bowl.
Drizzle oil over asparagus – I do about 1 – 2 tablespoons. Just enough to make sure each are lightly covered in oil.

Season with salt and pepper – I do a pinch of salt and about 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
Add lemon zest.
Mix
Spread Asparagus onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle a “healthy” amount of cheese – I tend to use about 1/4 of a cup.

Bake until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Enjoy
(Budgetsavvydiva.com)
 This was a delicious new way to prepare asparagus!


3 INGREDIENT NO-BAKE PEANUT BUTTER BARS:

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Put peanut butter and honey in a heavy saucepan and heat on low until thoroughly combined and becomes a liquid consistency.
  2. Mix in oats and stir.
  3. Press into a 9 x 9 inch pan.
  4. Cover and let set overnight.
This was the EASIEST AND YUMMIEST dish!

MY THOUGHTS:
Well, the first pan of these were eaten SO quickly that before a week was up, I was making a second batch and then Caitlin came in and loved them so I made a third batch!  They are quick, easy and nutritious.  The perfect snack or breakfast bar, one could easily add a few more ingredients for a change; raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips and the list could go on and on.  After I pressed these in the pan, I set them in the refrigerator to get them cooled off quicker so we could try them quicker!  These are not a hard or crunchy bars, so I would suggest covering them and leaving them in the refrigerator.

Well, that's all I made the last time I "Cooked With Pinterest" but I do believe it is time to start shuffling through those pins and grocery shopping for a few ingredients to start the experiments again.  I also cannot wait to begin working on some of the fall projects that I have pinned,  as Halloween is right around the corner.  OH...and I will soon have new photos up of the pool house construction.  The brickers are here this week (Yippee!!!) and they will be creating an outdoor fireplace for me similar to one I pinned on Pinterest!  Feel free to "Follow" me, but BEWARE...I have LOTS of pins!
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Surprise Beach Trip! Just What I Needed...

I was out driving my mom around last Thursday when hubby gave me a call and asked if I was up for an "adventure".  "SURE," I said.  He told me to come home and pack a bag...we were going to Miami for a few days!

I love the beach.  South Beach in Miami is one of my favorite beaches to visit and I had not been able to make my annual trip there this past spring.  Actually, I was thinking that there would be no beach trip in my plans for this year since we would be getting ready for our family vacation in September and I usually don't even try to go to the beach during hurricane season.  But I was SO surprised and excited about taking a quick trip...to the beach...just Robby and me!

We hopped on a plane Thursday around 6 pm and ended up arriving at our hotel around 1:30 am.  My favorite place to stay while in Miami is The Loew's.  And that is exactly where our reservation was!  After getting into bed around 2 in the morning, we slept in and then headed out to the beach.

For 4 days, Robby and I relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated.  It was a wonderful surprise and a wonderful trip...
                                           This was the view I woke up to Friday morning!

And since my hubby does not consider himself the "Beach Bum type, I set out to show him what being a "Beach Bum" was all about...and HOW to be one!
                                   A good start is to head to the beach to get sand in between your toes.
              See?  He's sitting under an umbrella trying to do nothing...That's a good start!
Even if some days we spent more time at the pool, we made a point to put our feet in the sand and waves every day.
                                               The pool wasn't a bad place to be either...
                                   We could just sit around and people watch...and read...and nap.
And, of course, I LOVE the food that can be found in Miami!  One of my favorites is the Greek Salad the Loew's makes...and serves either pool side, on the beach or at their pool side bistro.
In the afternoons we would order this yummy fruit platter...never having to leave our lounge chairs.
                                     And this hummus platter was really good one day too.
However, in the evenings, we would walk down town and have something a little more exciting for dinner!

Miami is not unlike other beach towns; it does occasionally rain.  But we didn't let that damper our spirits...
                           The Lowe's veranda has wonderful spots just perfect for napping!
When the rain let up, we walked into town where I got a relaxing foot and leg massage...all while doing a little pinning on my Pinterest app.
  On our way back to the hotel we stopped into a little coffee house and sat outside to drink lattes.

I also made a point of snapping a photo of the sun rising over the water every morning while we were there...
                                                    Now, THAT'S just some pretty stuff!

What a WONDERFUL surprise!  Thanks so much, sweet hubby, for thinking of it.  Now...to get geared up for our BIG, FAT FAMILY VACATION in a week and a half!














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A Good Kind of Chaos!

This past weekend was wild, chaotic, noisy...and I LOVED every minute of it!  All of my children and grandchildren under one roof is ALWAYS a little bit (OK...a LOT!) crazy!  It was Parker Ann's "Family Birthday Party" weekend and no one was about to miss that!  And, although, there were clothes, dishes, toys, books, diapers and much more strewn from one end of my house to the other, it was a lively household one again and that made me very happy.
               Uncle Ryan Poo and Aunt Ally helped Parker make cookies on the day of her party.


                                            The theme of Parker's party was Pink Ballet!
The "Lighting of the Candles" was quite interesting.  It seems that Parker picked her own candles out at the store and no one noticed that they were "Relighting Candles"!  Yep...every time she blew them out they re lit (He-He!).
                       And please don't tell her she isn't actually 3 until the 28th (shhh...).
                                                           Beckett slept most of the day...
                                                      And Holli didn't sleep much at all.
          Parker was in "Princess Heaven" since she got LOTS of the Disney Princess Babies!
                             And, of course, Uncle Dave played with those princesses with her.

  Yes, it was one busy, loud weekend but oh, what FUN we all had...It was a GOOD kind of CHAOS!
                                                                ONE HAPPY YAYA!!!
















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Friday Phone Photo Dump!

This week has been a BUSY one to say the least.  That is why you have not heard much from me.  I spent Monday preparing for the week to come.  Caitlin and Holli were flying in Tuesday for a week and all of the other kids would be filtering in by Friday evening since we would be celebrating Parker Ann's 3rd birthday party with the family.  Oh...and that was being held at my house.  So, by Tuesday, Caitlin and Holli got delayed at DFW airport for over 9 hours, getting in at 2 a.m. the next morning, I had to be up early the next morning to meet my mother at the surgery center, Robby had to take Caitlin to to the doctor to get prescriptions AND continuous rain storms rumbled around the south.  Does that cover it?!  Busy does NOT begin to describe this week (whew!).  I did, however, manage to take some pretty cute photos on my phone this week and decided to make a little time to share those with you!

                                       Everybody was excited to see Holli...including Sissy!
                                       Parker Ann was beside herself to love on her baby cousin.
                              And even insisted on watching cartoons on the couch with her.
                Beckett sent this picture asking, "When am I going to get to meet Holli?!"
I LOVE this new yarn I picked up at Tuesday Morning last week!  I'm making a large triangular shawl; can't WAIT to wear it this fall!
    And this yarn stash just came in the mail yesterday...Oh, the things I plan to make this fall!
I went to look for a swimsuit on a clearance rack for Holli and can you believe the only one they had was one that matched Parker Ann's?!
                         And then we took her for her FIRST SWIM!  She seemed to like it.
                                         I enjoyed reading some books to my girls one day too.
This picture reminds me of that saying, "Children will hold your hand for a while but they will hold your heart FOREVER.

I hope you all have a GREAT weekend and hopefully things will slow down a little bit next week because I have some yummy Pinterest recipes that I have tried to share with you and, of course, photos from the weekend and Parker Ann's party and some interesting books I have been reading over the summer!








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