Penny's Passion: July 2023

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Five on Friday - July 28, 2023

Wow - what a week.  I've made it through and am ready to share my five for this week, so without further ado ~

1.  World Conservation Day
Today's a day worth noting - it's World Conservation Day.  This day acknowledges that the foundation for a healthy society is a healthy environment.  All 8 billion of us that populate the Earth should be aware of the importance of protecting our natural resources (air, sunlight, soil, minerals, fuels, and water).  Here are eight things to keep in mind ~

Plant trees to reduce soil erosion
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Carpool with co-workers
Shut off lights when leaving a room
Go digital instead of printing things on paper
Volunteer for community cleanups
Use non-toxic cleaning supplies
Make your own compost

There's a cookbook that came out this week that I'm pretty interested in - Baking Yesteryear, the best recipes from the 1900s to the 1980s.  Here's the summary ~
Friends of baking, are you sick and tired of making the same recipes again and again? Then look no further than this baking blast from the past, as B. Dylan Hollis highlights the most unique tasty treats of yesteryear.

Travel back in time on a delicious decade-by-decade jaunt as Dylan shows you how to bake vintage forgotten greats. With a big pinch of fun and a full cup of humor, you’ll be baking everything from Chocolate Potato Cake from the 1910s to Avocado Pie from the 1960s.

Dylan has baked hundreds of recipes from countless antique cookbooks and selected only the best for this bakebook, sharing the shining stars from each decade. And because some of the recipes Dylan shares on his wildly popular social media channels are spectacular failures, he’s thrown in a few of the most disastrously strange recipes for you to try if you dare.

A few of Dylan’s favorites that are going to have you licking your lips and begging for more include:
● 1900s Cornflake Macaroons
● 1910s ANZAC Biscuits
● 1930s Peanut Butter Bread
● 1940s Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
● 1950s Tomato Soup Cake
● 1970s Potato Chip Cookies

Baking Yesteryear contains 101 expertly curated recipes that will take you on a delicious journey through the past. With a larger-than-life personality and comedic puns galore, baking with Dylan never gets old. We’ll leave that to the recipes.

3.  First Reads on Amazon Prime    
If you have Amazon Prime, this is your reminder to pick your free book for July if you haven't done it already.  Below are your options.  Looks like some interesting choices.  I love this perk from Prime!  


4.0 out of 5 stars (4396)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 


4.5 out of 5 stars (5615)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 

Historical Fiction

4.2 out of 5 stars (4810)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 


4.4 out of 5 stars (2011)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 

Family Drama

3.9 out of 5 stars (1376)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 


4.2 out of 5 stars (5142)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 

Women's Fiction

4.3 out of 5 stars (4770)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 

Short Read: Self-Help

4.0 out of 5 stars (1012)
$0.00 (Save $1.99) 

Historical Crime

4.3 out of 5 stars (2246)
$0.00 (Save $4.99) 

4.  Sweet Magnolias Season 3
This has been a bit of a week, so this weekend my plan is to take it easy.  I can't wait to get cozy on the couch and binge-watch Sweet Magnolias.  Season three came out recently and I want to get caught up with Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue and their Southern town of Serenity.  This show is very Hallmarkish, but I still find it entertaining! 

5.  For all of us Barbie lovers...

Have a great weekend!  It's going to be a hot one here so I'm planning on staying inside and giving myself some grace by not worrying about getting much done other than relaxing.  See you next week!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

In Memory of My Dad

You might have noticed I've been away from the blog for a while.  We had an earth-shattering event happen in my family.  My father passed away last Wednesday and our hearts are broken.  Saturday we said our final goodbyes at his funeral service.  The words spoken at the service sum up his life and to honor him, I'd like to share them here ~

Don Talbot who was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, with family lovingly by his side.

Don was born on September 21, 1938, to Earnest and Orva Talbot. He was raised in New Florence, spending many years at his family’s property just south of town. Later, his dad built a cabin on that property and Don loved going there to hunt and spend time in the woods.

He was the youngest of eight children. His siblings, Hale, Amy, Eunice, Virgil, Estil, David, and CH all precede him in death.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 61 years, Linda; his children, Penny and her husband Eric along with Ernie and his wife Carina; grandchildren, Ian and his wife Kayla, Mason and his wife Kristian, Landon, Kayden, Liam and Neveah; great-grandchildren include Hunter and Teagan; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who loved him dearly.

Don married the love of his life, Linda Jackson, in 1962. They were frequently the last couple dancing at many wedding reception anniversary dances. Most recently, they won at Morgan Carter’s wedding in May of this year. When asked about what you should look for in a good wife, Don often commented to look for a good cook. You eat three times a day and you don’t do anything else three times a day…well, at least not for very long.

Don was a great father and he made sure to instill his values like honesty and a strong work ethic into his children Penny and Ernie. For example, when selling a used car he made sure the buyer knew every single thing wrong with the vehicle. It might not have made him the best salesman, but it taught his kids admirable life lessons.

Don always felt a deep commitment to his community and with the support of his wife, Linda, they opened a joint barbershop and salon on Main Street early in his career. His shop was more than just a place to get a haircut; it was a haven where stories were shared, laughter echoed, and lifelong friendships forged. With his quick wit, contagious smile, and calming presence, he had a gift for making every client feel like family, transforming routine visits into memorable experiences. While Don’s barbershop held a special place in his heart, he was a jack of all trades and also founded Don Talbot Construction. Later the name changed to Talbot and Son Construction when Ernie joined the business. While he officially retired several years ago, he was still a constant presence on construction sites and proud to see his grandsons and great-grandsons continue the tradition in recent years.

Don’s commitment to his community extended beyond his barbershop and construction company. He was a member of the New Florence Baptist Church, masonic lodge, and New Florence Lions Club where he actively supported local initiatives, lending a helping hand wherever needed. His love for New Florence was unwavering, and his impact on the town and its people was immeasurable. Don was dedicated to the New Florence Lions Club, serving as the Secretary/Treasurer for decades. The work of the Lions Club is evident around town by their many accomplishments. Don was instrumental in helping raise money to purchase a firetruck for the city and building the firehouse. The street signs in New Florence originally came from the Lions Club and they worked diligently to install them. Another project you may not even realize Don was a part of was getting the city park started. Just a few years ago, he helped add a basketball court to the park. He received the prestigious International Lion’s Club Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. This honor is to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service and is the highest form of recognition by the Lion’s Club.

If you’re driving around town, you will pass many buildings and homes that were constructed by Don. His quality in workmanship will keep those structures standing for years to come. He could build anything and was often called upon by family and friends to make something for them. His last project was building a train for the grandkids. Be watching for it in the Old Settler’s parade this year.

Yet, amidst his devotion to the community, Don’s greatest love was reserved for his family. His wisdom and gentle spirit guided us through life's challenges, reminding us to embrace humor, resilience, and the importance of cherishing our family bonds. He always had a twinkle in his eyes and a mischievous smile that accompanied his playful antics. He was a beacon of light, even in challenging times, inspiring all who knew him and had an uncanny ability to bring smiles to the faces of those around him and lift spirits with his clever comebacks. Don had an ornery side and loved teasing people. He frequently latched on to one thing and would relentlessly tease them for years to come. Whether it was crying over spilled milk, eating the first deviled egg, or having no calluses on your hands, he always ended his jest with a laugh.

Don loved playing card games, especially pitch. He was quick to compliment his opponents anytime they made an error by saying “I don’t see anything wrong with what you did.”. He loved teaching his grandsons to play chess. He often boasted that while on a road trip to Colorado, he beat one grandson in chess across the whole state of Kansas. The part he always conveniently left out was the grandchild was only 7 at the time and never lost to him again!

If you’ve ever had a fish sandwich at Old Settlers, there’s a very good likelihood that Don fried it. He stood behind the fryer with pride from the moment the event started until it closed. It didn’t matter how hot it was, he was back there frying fish!

You might have noticed a few years ago that New Florence had hardly any dandelions. That might have been because Don decided to start making wine and was picking any yellow dandelion he could find! The grandchildren loved helping him pick the flowers a lot more than the adults enjoyed drinking it!

Tinkering with engines was also one of his passions. If you drove by his house, you would often find him in the yard putting a tractor back together or working on a car. We’re not sure if it was the actual work on the engine he loved or if it was spending time with the people who were helping him.

We all have things about Don we’re going to miss. Today we say goodbye, but his spirit will stay alive in the echoes of all the things he has taught us and the love we have for him.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Five on Friday - July 14, 2023

 Hello!  I've been a little MIA this week.  Eric and I decided to take a little trip to Door County, Wisconsin to celebrate our 22 anniversary.  We've been busy and I can't wait to share this adventure with you.  In the meantime, here are my five for this week~

1.  Happy Birthday Krispy Kreme
Today marks Krispy Kreme's 86th birthday!  They are letting us purchase a dozen donuts for only 86 cents to celebrate.  That's right - when you buy one dozen at regular price, you can get a second dozen for only 86 cents.  It's a great time to stop by on your work to work and take in some treats!  Or grab them for your weekend breakfast!

2.  Trader Joe's Key Lime Tea Cookies
Speaking of snacks, we popped in Trader Joe's last week to grab a few things.  I saw these key lime tea cookies and thought they would make great travel snacks.  I was right!  They are the perfect little confection to have when you're craving something sweet.  They are covered with powdered sugar, so be careful!  I just used that as an excuse to eat the whole cookie in one bite.

3.  Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Tom Cruise is at it again - Mission:  Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One opened this week.  We love a good action movie and can't wait to see it!  Here's the storyline ~
In Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan's past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission -- not even the lives of those he cares about most.

I wanted a new cross-body bag that I could use when we were hiking this week.  This one from Amazon has worked out perfectly!  It's big enough to hold my phone, keys, cards, and a few other extra things.  The fit is comfortable and adjustable.  It's been great on this trip and I'm sure for many more to come.

5.  Definitely me...

Have a great weekend!  We are going to finish up our trip and drive home.  See you back soon!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Five on Friday - July 7, 2023

Is it Friday?  With the holiday in the middle of the week, I honestly haven't known what day it is all week!  But the calendar declares it to indeed be Friday, so here's my five for this week ~

1.  World Chocolate Day
Happy World Chocolate Day!  I know this is a day many of you can get behind and happily celebrate.  Bust out all the chocolate and enjoy your day.  Indulge on your favorite chocolates!  Will you be having milk or dark chocolate?  Hot chocolate?  Or your favorite treat smothered in a chocolate sauce?  Whatever your preference is, eat it guilt-free today as you celebrate the day set aside for all things chocolate.

Beatriz Williams has a new book out and it sounds pretty darn good.  It promises "suspense, romance, and glorious, beach-laden locales".  Sounds like a book I should add to my TBR list!  Here's the summary ~
June 1946. As the residents of Winthrop Island prepare for the first summer season after the sacrifice of war, a glamorous new figure moves into the guest cottage at Summerly, the idyllic seaside estate of the wealthy Peabody family. To Emilia Winthrop, daughter of Summerly’s year-round caretaker and a descendant of the island’s settlers, Olive Rainsford opens a window into a world of shining possibility. While Emilia spent the war years caring for her incapacitated mother, Olive traveled the world, married fascinating men, and involved herself in political causes. She’s also the beloved aunt of the two surviving Peabody sons, Amory and Shep, with whom Emilia has a tangled romantic history.

As the summer wears on, Emilia develops a deep rapport with Olive, who urges her to leave the island for a life of adventure, while romance blossoms with the sturdy and honorable Shep. But the heady promise of Peabody patronage is blown apart by the arrival of Sumner Fox, an FBI agent who demands Emilia’s help to capture a Soviet agent who’s transmitting vital intelligence on the West’s atomic weapon program from somewhere inside the Summerly estate.

April 1954. Eight years later, Summerly is boarded up and Emilia has rebuilt her shattered life as a professor at Wellesley College, when shocking news arrives from Washington—the traitor she helped convict is about to be swapped for an American spy imprisoned in the Soviet Union, but with a mysterious condition only Emilia can fulfill. A reluctant Emilia is summoned to CIA headquarters, where she’s forced to confront the harrowing consequences of her actions that fateful summer, and a choice that could destroy the Peabody family—and Emilia’s chance for redemption—all over again.

I sprung for a new dress this week from Amazon.  When I wore it to work, the compliments rolled in so I deemed it blogworthy.  This dress is lightweight and would be perfect to pop in your suitcase for work or personal travel.  The material remained wrinkle-free all day too!  Check out all the patterns it comes in HERE.  I'm seriously thinking about ordering another one.

4.  The Lincoln Lawyer
We loved the first season of The Lincoln Lawyer and are excited to see what Season 2 brings.  Part 1 of Season 2 started yesterday and there are 5 episodes just sitting out there for us to watch.  There might be some binge-watching in my near future!   Haven't heard anything about this Netflix show?  Here's the synopsis ~
The Lincoln Lawyer is an American legal drama television series created for television by David E. Kelley and developed by Ted Humphrey, based on the books of Michael Connelly.[1] It stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller, a defense attorney in Los Angeles who works out of a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Navigator rather than an office. Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson, and Christopher Gorham also star.

The first season is based on Connelly's 2008 novel The Brass Verdict, a sequel to his novel The Lincoln Lawyer. It premiered on Netflix on May 13, 2022. It received generally positive reviews from critics. In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season. It is based upon Connelly's 2011 novel, The Fifth Witness (the fourth book in The Lincoln Lawyer series), and will stream in two parts. The first part was released on July 6, 2023, and the second will be released on August 3.

5.  Anybody else have this problem...

Enjoy the weekend!  If the rain stays away, we're going to my home town to watch fireworks this weekend.  The rest of the weekend is up for grabs.  Amazon Prime Days is next week so I hope to have a minute to get my wishlist together.  See you next week!