Getting Personal #172: June Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: Beauty Beyond Bones

June felt like a bit of a marathon. Oh well. It was a good month!

Here’s the link to my June Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. See Dark Phoenix. — Accomplished!
  2. Test out the “natural” weed killer recipe. — Accomplished!
  3. Plant mosquito-repelling plants in our front flower beds. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Work on tidying up both garages with Al. — Accomplished!
  5. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Do another round of closet clean-out. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Decide what to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019. — Accomplished!
  8. Catch up on tags and participation blog posts. — Accomplished!
  9. Spend more time reading. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Spend more time with my journal. — Semi-Achieved.
  11. Find at least one new recipe to make. — Accomplished!

Al and I went to see Dark Phoenix the weekend it opened. It was pretty decent, but we both have similar opinions about the X-Men movie franchise. The cast was great!

The “natural” weed killer recipe is three ingredients: Vinegar, Epsom salt, and blue Dawn dishwashing detergent. It worked pretty well. We definitely have some stubborn weeds, though, so it may take multiple applications!

We made HUGE progress with both garages this month! I’m so excited. Al single-handedly worked on the detached garage, and we were able to park his Mustang in it last weekend! Happy dance. We took several hours yesterday to tackle the attached garage together, and it looks like a different space already. We still have some work to do, but we filled up my car with thrift store donations, and we have so much less stuff to deal with going forward. We’re hoping, by some time in July, to park one of the other cars in it!

I can’t believe it’s already time for Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019! I really enjoy the structure of it, and I look forward to meeting everyone in my “cabin.”

I’m working diligently to write in my journal every day. I’m taking a page from my Gratitude Challenge blog posts and trying to capture my gratitude list daily.

The recipe I chose knocked it out of the park! I was looking for something different to make in our Crock-Pot, and I stumbled upon Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas. It’s only four ingredients, and it’s simply set it and forget it!


Did you have any goals for the month of June? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #238: “Imagination Plantation: European Vacation”

I was nominated for this writing challenge by Kristian, the lovely author of Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table. Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated:

The challenge, Imagination Plantation, was originally created by Nova, the amazing author of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.


4 Simple Rules:

Write me a short paragraph about what’s happening in this image.

Create a pingback to this image.

Tag three bloggers.

Reuse this same image 🙂 Let’s see how many stories can come from the same one.


Kristin shivered as the plane landed. As she turned off her iPod and listened to the final announcements of the flight attendants, she felt her right hand being gently squeezed. It was comforting.

“K? Are you okay?”

She smiled, squeezing his hand back.

“Yeah. I think so. My stomach always drops when planes land.”

Brennan smiled, hardly believing they had just landed in Germany. Their first time overseas.

As Brennan stroked her hand, Kristin’s thoughts drifted toward the cities and towns they would be exploring for the next 10 days. She was always nervous during plane trips, but for some reason, she was incredibly nervous about this trip. It was odd – She hadn’t felt this nervous around Brennan since the very beginning of their Camp experience. That was years ago.

She started to relax as their Uber left the Munich airport and headed toward the German countryside. The weather was absolutely beautiful, very unseasonable for the middle of August.

Brennan noticed Kristin had drifted off, her head laying on his shoulder. He smiled as his lips grazed her forehead. He caught a glimpse of a sleepy smile.

He took in the sights. It was about a 30-mile drive from the airport. There were so many trees – Far more than he’d ever seen in Texas. The amount of foliage and nature was rivaling Camp in Maine, and that was hard to top. He was in awe the entire drive. There were rivers, bridges, cathedrals, and stunning architecture. It was almost overwhelming. He was a little sad Kristin was missing this, but he thought it better she sleep. They had the next 10 days to take in everything. Germany was just the beginning.

The Uber driver easily navigated the steep, gravel-lined hill toward their first stop. Brennan’s smile grew wider. He remembered how excited, positively giddy Kristin was when she’d found it on Airbnb. It looked like a castle in the photos. And, in real life, unfolding before Brennan’s eyes, it was true.

“Hey, Kristin … Sweetheart?”

She groaned slightly, yawned, and opened her eyes.

“Yes, Brennan? What is it?”

He kissed her forehead, and then brushed her lips.

“Welcome to your castle, darling. Let’s start our European vacation.”


Nominations


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #171: “My Grandma, the PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!” (Reblogged)

Full disclosure: This is not about my grandma!

I wanted to spread this exciting news!

I’ve been following Didi and her blog for quite a while. I remember her telling us about her amazing grandmother, who was in the process of writing a novel. Well, this week, her grandma’s dream became a reality! Check out Didi’s post, Doris’s book, and share away! I’m definitely buying it in the near future.

Congratulations, Doris!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Didi Oviatt

My Grandma published her western romance novel today! I couldn’t be any more thrilled! Not only to have a grandma of my very own, that’s a writer like me, but to have her step up and publish her work, is absolutely amazing! I’ve mentioned her project before, even wrote a bit ofdescription andreview as she pushed through the process of it all. Writing a novel is no small task, and she’s been working on it for quite some time. As a long time poet, she’s had the itch to write for years, and I am so proud of her. The book is a delight! The characters are phenomenal! Even in her 80s, my Grandma is a confident, beautiful, and extremely talented woman! SO GO READ THIS BOOK!

DESCRIPTION:

Terry is an independent woman who stems from a prominent family that founded Paradise. She’s humble yet fierce, and she…

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Awesome Authors #19: Lois Duncan

Lois Duncan

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I hadn’t thought about Lois Duncan in years!


Born in April 1934, she was the oldest child of professional magazine photographers. Raised in Pennsylvania at first, her family relocated to Florida, where her parents became circus photographers. She played in the woods and read. Duncan started writing and submitting manuscripts to magazines at age 10. She sold her first story at age 13. After graduating from high school in 1952, she enrolled in Duke University. However, she dropped out the following year to start a family with the man who became her first husband, Joseph Cardozo.

Her writing career continued throughout the 1950s, publishing over 300 articles for various magazines. Her first novel, Love Song for Joyce, was published in 1958. In the early 1970s, she was hired to teach journalism at the University of New Mexico, after living in Albuquerque for nearly 10 years. While teaching, she enrolled in classes at the university. She earned her B.A. in English in 1977.

Married twice, Duncan had five children. Her youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, was murdered in 1989. After her daughter’s death, Duncan’s writing shifted to lighter fare, particularly children’s picture books.

Her 1966 novel, Ransom, received an Edgar Allen Poe Award. She was the recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1992. In 2014, she was awarded the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Duncan died on June 15, 2016. She was 82. Although the cause of death was not disclosed, her second husband, Donald Arquette, noted his wife had suffered several strokes in prior years.


Killing Mr. Griffin (1978)

Book cover with a black-and-white marble pattern, showing the title of the novel centered in red, and blue skull and bones at the bottom right

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure this is first book of Duncan’s I read. Every book written by her, I borrowed from Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake.

Summer of Fear (1976)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I don’t remember reading this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did.

The Third Eye (1984)

The Third Eye (novel).jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

This one absolutely freaked me out. I don’t think I picked up another book by Duncan for at least six months after this.

Don’t Look Behind You (1990)

Don't Look Behind You.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I don’t remember reading this one, but I want to. It’s set in Virginia!

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1973)

I-Know-What-You-Did-Last-Summer-Book-Cover.png

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I didn’t make the connection between the book and the film adaptation (1997) until years later.

Chapters: My Growth as a Writer (1992)

Chapters My Growth as a Writer.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’ve always been interested and intrigued by authors and their memoirs or autobiographies.

Who Killed My Daughter? (1992)

Who Killed My Daughter.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Being such a fan of true crime, this book is already climbing toward the top of my next TBR list.


What about you? Have you read any of Lois Duncan’s works?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #87: “3-2-1 Quote Me! – Happiness”

Happiness

Image Credit: Thrive Global

Thanks for tagging me, Kristian!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


The Rules:

  • Thank the selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day, “Happiness”
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3-2-1 Quote Me!’

best short happy quotes | happy quotes positive | happy quotes funny | happy quotes positive good vibes | happy quotes about life | happy quotes inspirational | short happy quotes simple | short happy quotes | short happy quotes positive thoughts | short happy quotes smiles | short happy quotes for instagram | short happy quotes love | #happyquotes #happymotto #quotes

Image Credit: Pretty Wild World 

It was hard to pick just two quotes!

happy life quote mother teresa

Image Credit: Country Living


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

Tag #86: Traveling Blog Journal

I was tagged by the amazing, talented Kristian for this post. Thank you, Kristian! Check out her blog at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table.

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post where I was tagged:


This post was created by Nova. Her blog is Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Here’s the link to the original post:

This is what Nova has asked:

“I would love to pass a blog post, as if a journal, around. For the person tagged, I’d like you to just introduce yourself and tell us from what STATE/COUNTRY you reside. I’d like you to write something interesting about where you live once you’ve identified that. Then you can add a couple of your own details, if you’d like.

Each person who is tagged, please tag someone at the end of your post, and create a pingback to this post

Most of all,

Have Fun! 💖💚🌼

Thank you!!”


This is me:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, stripes and closeup

One of my all-time favorite photos. This was taken by my husband, Al, on Christmas Day 2012.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro, smiling, closeup

This was taken after a fresh haircut in September 2016. I’m debating going back to this length.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling

One of my favorite photos from our engagement shoot, July 2015. Credit: Stellar Exposures

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting

One of my favorites from our wedding day – November 14, 2015. Credit: Drew Brink

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling, people standing

Dancing at Nick and Savy’s wedding – October 14, 2017.

Image may contain: Al Vardaro and Laura Beth Vardaro, people smiling, dog, eyeglasses, beard and outdoor

The day we adopted our two furbabies – December 2, 2018. Al is holding Phineas and I’m holding Ferb. They are our goobers!

I love so many things.

God, and my relationship with Christ.

My parents, Jim and Karen.

My wonderful, amazing husband, Al.

My in-laws, Bruce and Debbie.

Our miniature pinschers, Phineas and Ferb.

So many family, friends, family friends, and church members.

Nature – Flowers, trees, dogs, cats, turtles, frogs, rainbows, sunshine, thunderstorms.


Where I Live – Virginia, U.S.A.

I currently live in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the United States. I’ve called the Hampton Roads area my home for the better part of 26 years. This is the southeastern part of the state. We are also known as the “Seven Cities” – Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, and Suffolk.

I’ve only lived in five other cities in my whole life – New York City (Governors Island), Alexandria in Northern Virginia, Chesapeake (where my parents still have the same house they purchased in 1992), Farmville in central Virginia to attend Longwood University (2007-2011), and a small apartment in Newport News (2013-2014).

My corner of Virginia gets a “taste” of all four seasons every year, but every year is different. There are years where we’ve had blizzards and nearly a foot of snow, multiple hurricanes, and brief hints of spring and autumn. Hampton Roads is surrounded by water on two sides – The Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean – plus multiple swamps, rivers, and creeks. To get most places, you have to cross at least one bridge or use a tunnel. We are about 45 minutes from the northeastern North Carolina border.

I enjoy living here for many reasons. One of the best is the rich history we have. Jamestown, Portsmouth, and Williamsburg are all part of the early settlers and colonial eras. Yorktown became famous during the Revolutionary War. Norfolk and Portsmouth have significant shipyards. All five branches of the military have bases or installations here – Air Force (Langley), Army (Fort Eustis), Coast Guard (Portsmouth), Marines (MAGTF), and Navy (Craney Island, Naval Station Norfolk, Oceana). NASA Langley is located in Hampton, and it recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. I could go on for days and days. It’s a pretty cool place to live!


Thanks for this awesome opportunity, Nova and Kristian!

I invite Jenna, who is the author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, to continue this journal!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #90: “9-year-old boy raises nearly $80K to give bulletproof vests to police K-9s”

I stumbled upon this story on Facebook recently. Way to go, Brady!

Here’s the link to the post from my local news station:


In Ohio, the local news has been following Brady Snakovsky for nearly a year now. At that point, in November 2018, Brady had raised enough money to donate more than 50 vests to K-9s in nine states. That’s incredible!

Picture

Image Credit: Brady’s K-9 Fund

Bulletproof vests for police K-9s can cost more than $1,000. Brady got the idea when he and his mom were watching an episode of “Live PD,” where a K-9 did not have a bulletproof vest. With his mom’s help, Brady started a GoFundMe.

As of June 2, 2019, Brady has raised enough money to donate 85 vests. Currently, there’s a waiting list of 57 officers whose K-9s need the vests.

Now, Brady’s K-9 Fund is officially a non-profit organization.


The most recent dogs to be vested are K9 Mike, K9 Lemm, and K9 Hoss. They all serve with the MTA Police in New York City.

Other dogs have been vested in Ohio, Connecticut, California, and South Carolina.

I think Brady is an awesome kid! I’m so happy he was inspired to help these amazing dogs, his mom was willing to help him get started, and how his message has spread. Way to go, Brady!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂