“May the first day of April bring with it much Peace, Love, Joy, Passion and Purpose into your Life.”--Trudy Vestosky (2013)
Flower: Daisy and Sweet Pea
Dates: April 1 April Fool’s Day
April 5 Arbor Day
April 9 Easter
April 22 Earth Day
Birth Signs: Aries/Taurus
A=A New Month
BOOK REVIEW TIME
I am still on my JoJo Moyes kick. Just finished Still Me. Have you guys read this series? I highly recommend it. It all starts with Book 1: Me Before You, 2: After you 3: Still Me. I just can’t seem to put her books down. They are all so thought-provoking, gut wrenching, and entertaining all at the same time. They chronicle the lives of Louisa Clark, Will Traynor, Sam and a host of New York characters whose lives intertwine with Louisa. Follow her as she navigates heartbreak like no other, strength and courage like no other. Please cheer for her as she embarks out on her own to find out who is Louisa Clark? What does she look like? What does she want? How will she truly find her happiness? Oh my how my heart still breaks and lifts thinking of her story. I cried, laughed and cheered so much for Louisa and all the complicated beautiful cast.
So now I have delved into JoJo’s Horse Dancer. Already I can’t put it down either. It follows the lives of Sarah, her Grandfather Henri and a lawyer named Natasha. It takes place in England on cobbled streets, trains and horse stables. It spans the life of Sarah’s grandfather Henri from France, an acclaimed Le Cadre Noir graduate, how he met the English lady who captured his heart. It tells of how Sarah has come to live with her grandfather and care for him. How her grandfather wants her to ride her horse Boo with the same precision he once held. So where does a London lawyer named Natasha fit into their lives? It is really fascinating…I’ll keep you posted but if you want to get a jump before my next blog, stop by the library and check it out along with any other JoJo Moyes novels you find available. They are all winners.
Certainly a book for you to check out would be The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks. This story chronicles the story of the kidnapping of Charlie, the baby of the famous Lindbergh’s. It is the story told through the events by the nanny, Betty Gow. Some fact, some fiction but all riveting. It explores how Betty came to be the famed Nanny and what price she paid for that title. It goes through the suffering and heartbreak of losing a child, being a suspect to trying to prove your innocence and show how much Betty loved little Charlie. How many years it took to find the real kidnapper and killer of this innocent boy. Who in the house misspoke and inadvertently gave the kidnapper access to Charlie? It’s a complex story that will leave you quite bereaved. How do you heal from such loss and horrific tragedy of one so young? This book will haunt me for a while. The back pages tell of how Betty lived out her life following the tragedy. I recommend it for sure.
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TIME
My book on CD is a departure for me. It’s called Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey. It follows the life of Hallie Welch and Julian Vos who happens to be the crush she has had since she was fifteen. Their paths cross again as adults and as much as Hallie remembers Julian, he can’t seem to place her, but yet she feels familiar. Follow their journey along a cast of characters as they navigate their path to each other, deal with grief and loss, only to hopefully find that Happily Ever After.
DVD REVIEW TIME
I encourage you to watch the DVD A Man called Otto, starring Tom Hanks. This grumpy ole man who is angry at life and everything around him will sure dissolve you into gut wrenching sobs. I don’t think I have cried so hard at a movie since The Notebook. Please watch how his new neighbors show him how to love again and find a purpose for his life. As an older adult it struck so many chords. We feel we no longer are relevant or have a place, but you know what? We do! I absolutely loved it, check it out I think you will too.
I am going to include a beautiful craft suitable for adults or children.
Raindrop Sun Catchers
You need: Blue Crayons, Pencil or Crayon sharpener, waxed paper, iron (for adult use only), and scissors.
Peel the blue crayons and sharpen the crayons on a large sheet of waxed paper. Spread the shavings evenly all around the waxed paper. Now cut another sheet of waxed paper equal size and lay on top of shavings. Use an iron on lowest setting to iron directly on top of the waxed paper and melt the crayon shavings. It only takes a quick swipe of the iron to do this. It melts and cools rather quickly. Now draw raindrop shapes on the paper and cut them out. Use a hole punch and embroidery floss to string them up in windows for display. These raindrop sun catchers look like real wind chimes made of stained glass. Enjoy these on a rainy day to remind us sunny days are coming.
I am including two Spring Recipes this month: Who doesn’t want something fresh about now?
Caesar Salad Recipe by Lena Abraham
2 cups diced or torn bread
2tbps olive oil
3 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained and minced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup olive oil
2 large heads romaine lettuce, torn into large pieces
¼ cup parmesan cheese (shaved)
Freshly cracked pepper
Croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss bread with the 2 tbsp. olive oil and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 10-12 minutes.
Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together anchovies, garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Slowly begin adding the ½ cup olive oil, whisking constantly until all the olive oil is incorporated.
Salad: In a large bowl, toss lettuce with dressing until coated. Add croutons and shaved parmesan and toss until just combined. Season with black pepper.
Optional : Add grilled chicken breast cut into strips to make an easy spring time meal!
Spring Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe by Taste of Home
1 ½ lbs boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbls plus 1 ½ tsp peanut oil, divided
¾ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, drained and diced
1 tbls minced fresh gingerroot
2 tbls rice vinegar
2 tbls reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 tbls reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
½ cup sliced green onions
12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
In a large non-stick skillet, cook chicken in 1 tbls. oil for 3 minutes, drain. Add mushrooms, water chestnuts, ginger; cook 4-6 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and remaining oil. Stir in the carrots, onions and chicken mixture.
Spoon onto lettuce leaves; sprinkle with almonds. If desired, fold sides of lettuce over filling and roll up.
"April Can Make Old Things New"--Bethany Hogg @Blog.insprireuplift.com