Things I’m Loving These Days

Early spring walks

Hubby and I went to our favorite place to walk at a nearby state park a few days ago.  It has a nice little 2 mile paved trail around a small lake.  We just about always see wildlife of some sort at this park– deer, wild turkey, Great Blue Herons, turtles basking in the sun, etc.  We weren’t surprised to see that our favorite trail had been recently flooded with all our recent rains.  There were barriers up at the entrance to the trail with warning signs that said: Walk at your own risk.  Lots of hikers were out and we were told the trail was passable, just a little messy in places.  The water was  high and some of the observation piers along the trail were completely submerged under water.  Parts of the trail were muddy or filled with debris and there was lots of driftwood.  At one part of the trail it appeared the flood waters had actually gotten up underneath the pavement, lifting it and moving it several feet.  So there’s lots of work to do on our beloved trail and signs said work would start around March 22nd. Today!!

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Briarwood Lane Outdoor Rubber Doormat Tray and mat inserts

I ordered this doormat tray from Discount decorative flags.  I’ve ordered garden flags and mailbox covers from them for years and have never been disappointed.  I love that they have the mats organized by seasons or holidays.  Just add a new insert at each new season or holiday.  They are so colorful and cheery and they always have a good clearance section!  All of the mats I’ve found have been on clearance.

Briarwood doormat tray

The Doormat Tray


new spring mat insert


This is the mat I used during the winter.  Just packed it away until next year!

America the beautiful doormat

Loving this one for the Fourth of July!

Fireside Cozy Slipper Socks

Fireside cozy slipper socks

Hubby put a pair of these in my stocking this past Christmas and I absolutely LOVE them.  He found them at Academy Sports + Outdoors.   They are so warm and wash easily.  I will definitely be getting another pair or two of these!

Watching April the Giraffe’s new baby on Animal Adventure Park’s webcam

Baby G is just adorable and he is growing so fast!  He will be a week old tomorrow and has already gained 10+ pounds.  I have so enjoyed watching and learning about giraffe behavior from this park and watching sweet April mother this little calf.  As you can see, I’m not the only one in our family who watched his birth.  Yes, Nugget and Dakota were very much into the whole birth too!  Dakota was also very interested in Oliver, the nervous pacing daddy giraffe in the next pen, but Nugget was totally in midwifery mode watching April, and I swear he wanted to help her.  I tell you, animals just melt my heart sometimes.


Dozen Roses Necklace

Hubby surprised me with this ruby and diamond pendant necklace on Valentine’s Day.  The ruby is my birthstone.  Isn’t it beautiful?

pend_drrp (1)

Educated- by Tara Westover


I’m not quite halfway through this memoir but let me tell you, this book has captivated me!  Have you read it?  It’s been on my to-read list for a long time.

Book summary from the book cover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing ties with those closest to you. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

I recently saw the author on The Ellen Show (and found her and her story very interesting which made me run out and get this book).  Here’s the interview.

I’ll warn you though, the book is hard to read at times as the abuse the author suffers at the hands of her brother gets quite violent at times.  It’s leaving me with a lot of questions as well but since I’m not quite halfway through the book, hopefully, those questions will be answered.


About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
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3 Responses to Things I’m Loving These Days

  1. enitsirk24 says:

    Nugget and Dakota upfront and personal with the giraffes gave me a chuckle. How stinkin’ cute!!

    • Gail says:

      My husband and I couldn’t believe how interested in it they were and how they BOTH took turns and jumped up to get up close and personal with April! They usually don’t pay attention to the TV with the exception of Dakota. He LOVES watching old episodes of The Waltons on DVD. REALLY! He’ll sit beside me on the couch and watch entire episodes!! LOL!

  2. Those mats are really cool! I’ve never seen those before.

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