We feel productive getting back into the ABC Life and are moving forward with our reading challenges for Q, R, and S:

  • Jot down favorite quotes from the books you read this month. (Remember – one of each of our Resolutions was to read a book per month). That should be sort of easy as both of us are drawn to interesting quotes.
  • Read through a cookbook and choose at least one recipe to try from it. Decide to keep or donate the book.
  • Make a spine poem or saying.


Quote: I jotted down a quote from the book I am currently reading: When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal. It’s not the most profound thought and it definitely doesn’t cause deep contemplation, but it lined up perfectly with my feelings and so it made me pause and smile: “I saw a Starbucks on my travels, but it seems kind of pathetic to visit a brand I know perfectly well when I’m seven thousand miles from home.”

Recipe: I love this challenge – mainly because I have so many cookbooks that I couldn’t possibly use them all. And let’s face it: can every recipe for a crockpot pot roast be that different? Well I decided to tackle this challenge by trying two recipes from a cookbook that I haven’t picked up since I bought it two years ago: Stress-Free Family Meal Planning by Kristen McCaffrey. Kristen is the founder of the much admired website Slender Kitchen. I chose a recipe that used chicken sausages because I had a package and needed to use it pronto. The Ultimate Breakfast Scramble was great – easy, tasty and quick. It’s the kind of recipe that you do once and you’ve got it. Plus I intend to try her Cheddar-Apple Chicken Burgers which uses lean ground chicken and grated apples to see how the flavor of start-from-scratch compares to store bought.

Spine Poem: This challenge, while fun, was quite challenging for me. Few of my books have a verb in the title so it was difficult to put something together. Fortunately I had several library books that I was able to use to complete the little silliness below:


Recipe: I picked one of the many seldom used cookbooks off my shelf, Foolproof Fish, and tried two recipes. Both of the recipes (Roasted Snapper and Vegetables with Mustard Sauce and Roasted Cod with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes) came out quite deliciously so back on the shelf the book goes!

Quote:  One of the 6 books I read in January contained a quote that I liked: “I’ve often wished I could turn back time and do things differently, but maybe it’s better to start anew than to go back in time, and hope you have the courage and wisdom to make different choices.”  I think I agree with that; so many other things could change based on changing your bad decisions from the past that I wouldn’t want to risk it.

Spine Poem: Making a spine poem was a lot of fun. Luckily, I have a bunch of books on my bookshelves to choose from. I found just the combination to create odes to the two men in my life:   Steve, My Late Husband of 32 years, and A.D. who brought romance  back to my life:



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  1. Belindy says:

    Love it, thanks for sharing

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