Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book 55

Suite Francais by Irene Nemirovsky falls into the category of being made into a movie this year.  It was written during early WWII and is two parts of a planned 5 part novel.  There are characters that return in part two from part one, although the two are completely different.  I can't wait to see how they tie them together in the movie or if they even try.  The other three parts were never written as the author was a French Jew who was arrested in Paris in 1942, sent to Auschwitz and died.  I found the stories compelling and the characters intriguing.  I wish she'd been able to finish the tale for us, but I really appreciate that no one else did try.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Books 52-54

Susan Mallery returns to her town of Fool's Gold this fifth summer in her series with wonderful tales of mystery and romance surrounding the newest residents of the quaint town.  I love that she weaves the stories with characters from previous stories AND lays the groundwork for future stories.  I love visiting this town and its wonderful folk; they are like family.  Mention of a new baby from a couple from a previous book, or a wedding or traditions begun in early books that get carried on, these things make me smile (and sometimes a little teary)! Her Fool's Gold books are her best.  I can't wait for the Christmas story!

When We Met
Before We Kiss
Until We Touch

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Resolution 33

Say "Thank You" or "I'm Thankful" or "I Love You"

Today is Thanksgiving.  This year has been one of the hardest to coordinate and it weighed so heavy on my heart.  But a few days ago, I decided to buy cards and send them to the family that I won't be with this year for Thanksgiving.  I appreciate that we make the effort every other year to get together and this year while we are apart, I want them to know that I am thankful for our Thanksgivings at the beach.  I am thankful to have them in my life and I love them.  I remembered that the true meaning of Thanksgiving Day is to set aside time to give thanks for our blessings and to let go of the stress that can be involved in coordinating a 3 day feast, such that the Pilgrims had.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Resolution 32

Make a Dream Come True

You know you have talked about it.  Dreamed about it.  But what is stopping you from doing it?  It might be something insurmountable.  But how will you know unless you try...

I was worried about how much money it would take because it would cost a lot to take all of us.  Then I worried about when we would do it and how I would coordinate three different school schedules with two different work schedules.  However, when I said, "I want this to happen!" I began to look at the problem through different eyes.  Why are we all going when I really only want to take one of my children?  Oh, that sounded harsh to my mother's heart, but it was true.  I looked back over the big boys first 10/12 years and the trips we took prior to having "the baby".  Then I looked back over LRHB's trips and I decided that although I am not a mom that believes that everything should be balanced and fair, I am neither a mom that believes that it should be too out of balance.  So when I readjusted my expectations for this trip, it became more affordable, easier to coordinate and a reality.  Where are we going?  Disney World!

Perhaps, if you look at your dream through different eyes, you can make it come true, too!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Books 48-51

The Lone Star Sisters is another series from the summer's most read author, Susan Mallery.  This had mystery and intrigue plaguing three VERY different sisters and their bestie.  The story continues through all four books, Under Her Skin, Lip Service, Straight from the Hip and Hot on Her Heels, while each woman gets her man in their own book.  I struggled because the antagonist throughout the books appears to be family, and I didn't love that.  But, once I got past that, I loved the series.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Resolution 31

Are you a HOARDER?  That word has such visual connotations for me... I picture the house with narrow paths to walk, with newspapers piled high, and old appliances and boxes of stuff.  I know people who have cleaned out such homes and I have heard their stories.  There are TV shows devoted to people with this affliction.  

However, I would venture to guess that we all "hoard" something.  Maybe you call it a collection and others call it out of control.  At one time it was catalogs.  I made a resolution and took myself off of all but one or two mailing lists.  I think it was magazines and I set aside every Sunday to go through a few until they were gone.  If only I hadn't kept all of those interesting recipes that I haven't tried.  Which is why I looked around and decided that I was a hoarder of recipes.  I have to tell you, I don't need three pages from a magazine explaining step-by-step how to make a lemon souffle.  If I haven't made it by now, I probably won't.  You know what else?  If I changed my mind about wanting to make it, I am pretty sure I could find 100 recipes with just a few Google clicks.  I cleared an entire notebook AND reduced an word document from about 12 pages to just 5 (it would have been 4, but I added 2 recipes this week - I can't help myself sometimes!).  Now, I have actually tried 2 new recipes just this month, so I do actually put them into action.  Just not quite as quickly as I collect them!

Look around and simplify your life, one obsession at a time.  I promise, you'll feel better for it!

Books 44-47

I read another series by one of my favorite authors, Susan Mallery.  This series revolved around restaurants and family in Seattle and is titled The Buchanan Saga.  I love food, foodie shows and romance so this was a series written for me.  With titles like:  Delicious, Irresistible, Sizzling, and Tempting, these stories deliver!  But don't fear, these books are not carbon copies of each other.  The characters are different and entertaining with plots that are unique to each book.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book 43

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich is the next in her series about a bounty hunter chick and her adventurous life.  I love these books.  I don't know why I go so long in between them.  I had this one on audio-tape and if I just read them in the future, I will now have a voice in my head to go along.  These are funny crime books laced with foul language and larger than life characters.  I am gonna request another one a the library now!  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Resolution 30

Talk to your kids about risky behaviors.  

As August rolls around, the beginning of another school year, I am reminded of my friend who lost her son in 2011.  I think of her a lot, but especially in August when it is the anniversary of his accident, the week we prayed for a miracle and the subsequent mourning that happened next.

Watch.  Our sweet boy is one of these.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resolution #29 the Reading Promise

As you may or may not remember, I read a book when LRHB was in first grade called The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.  It struck a chord in me because my youngest was an emergent reader.  I was looking forward to the day when we would read side by side in the evenings, he involved in his story, I in mine.  This book talked about finding a relationship with a parent, a bond, through reading together.  It changed me and it gave me a soapbox from which to preach my epiphany about reading with your children.  I mean, I had already sent two kids off to college, I knew what I was doing.  Apparently I could be doing BETTER!  And I dragged a few friends along for the ride, calling it the Kids Book Club.  The group has evolved, however, we are still reading books to our children and getting together to watch movies.  Okay, they watch the movies and we seek comfort in our friendships.  This year, we've read with our kiddos 9 books (2 series of 3), our best year yet, with one more to come.  I am so proud to have made a reading promise to my son and kept it.  It may not be the same reading promise as Alice and her father, but it is working for us.  I discovered this amazing book is being made into a movie.  I encourage you to read the book and watch the movie!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book 42

This is another one from the romance series and even has a classic name:  Lured by the Rich Rancher.  It was a bit of levity after the previous story, which is one reason I read these books.  I mean, I like a good book, but sometimes I just want a happy story.  The author, Kathie DeNosky, did a good job of weaving in the other characters from the previous stories.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book 41

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a coming of age story (what does that mean?).  Rather it is the tale of teens that are making the most of life as they battle cancer.  It came off of the list of books being made this year into movies and in fact was already out in the theaters before I started it (thus gone when I finished it).  I will be getting it off of Redbox, perhaps over the holiday break when I might have time for that sort of thing.  I could barricade myself into my room with a stack of movies, but I don't have a player in my room...

I thought it was a solid book, not fabulous. I mean I can't think every book is fabulous.  I do recommend the book, it is good, sad and funny.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Resolutions #27 & #28

#27  Clean out a bedroom
#28  Clean out a bedroom

So my middle one has a passion for Legos.  But seriously, at some point they begin to take over the room.  Especially since he doesn't live here most of the year anymore.  He had to go through and decide which he was going to continue to display and which he was going to bag up for storage because it was time to downsize the shelving units in his room (I needed them for the play room!).  At the same time, I had to come to the understanding that he has no desire or need for a) jeans, b) long sleeved shirts, or c) clothing that doesn't fit because he no longer swims every day.  Donate, donate, donate!  His room was rearranged as it no longer has bunk beds and seems sparse, but it is the beginning of him moving out.  I haven't had thoughts of what I could do with his room, however, I am contemplating an air mattress for when we have much family here.

The oldest has his own apartment that is no longer room and board free.  Because for the last two years of college, he lived in an apartment on campus, he had some things to go in it, but needed other stuff.  Dressers and end tables he raided from home.  The desk from his bedroom.  While he was moving the stuff he wanted, I had him clear out the other stuff he'd been leaving behind.  Not going to wear ____, great let's donate.  Those are your text books; let's box them and move them to your place.  And once he was done, I've rearranged and made it more of a guest bedroom.  Yes, he can still sleep there, but now he has to share the dresser with the stuff my parents leave here.  And I took down his bulletin board and moved it upstairs to LRHB's room. 

I count this as two resolutions because it was a lot of work and it was two separate areas.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book 40

Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was an audio book I checked out of the library on the recommendation of a fellow swim mom.  It was fascinating to learn about this woman who contributed to medical science in such an important way.  To learn about the impact her life had on the world and on her family.  This was a compelling tale and I would definitely recommend it.  I mean, it helps that I love biographies, because the science of it was a bit much for me at times.  However, learning about cells, cool stuff.  I am reconsidering some of the other titles she gave me, though, as this was at times complex stuff.  It is good to get out of your comfort zone, tis true.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Resolutions 25 & 26


I find it ironic that my 25th resolution for this year was (I discovered when I went back to my list) the same resolution I had last year!  This time, the one in the garage just was too much for me to handle!  At some point a soda had exploded in the garage fridge and hadn't gotten cleaned up.  I took the whole thing apart and scrubbed it top to bottom, freezer part too!  I must say, when it is said and done, it is such a feeling of accomplishment!


I have two refrigerators (freezer/fridge) and one full size freezer.  I like to put up freezer meals and buy in bulk.  I have many people to feed from time to time and find that I love having all of these at my disposal (we wouldn't call this minimalist thinking!).  The summer is the best time to clean out the freezer.  I first use up all the stuff that is hidden in it, that one freezer meal no one likes anymore, the apple pie left over from I don't know when and we make smoothies with the frozen fruit I bought thinking I was going to start drinking smoothies for breakfast again this summer (and instead didn't).  Then we unplug and leave it open for it to thaw (because the ice builds up when it gets left open on a semi-regular basis!).  The satisfaction of frost free shelves usually only lasts about a week until someone leaves it open.  again.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book #39

Expecting the CEO's Child by Yvonne Lindsey was a brainless trip into romance world and a needed break from the last book and the audio book I was reading at the same time.  It is part of a Harlequin series that I am reading and I can't wait for the next one to come out.  They are quick and happy ending stories.  Just right for hanging by the pool.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book #38

When they announced the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014, I said, "I know who that is!  I read her book!"  I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is the emotional story of this young woman who spoke up for education of young women against the Taliban and was SHOT and almost killed for it.  I learned so much about Pakistan while reading this book.  And I learned how very little I really know about a the world.  It is not funny, it is often horrible, but it is important.

I must also mention that she co-won the peace prize with an Indian man (a Hindu) who follows in Gandi's footsteps of peaceful demonstration to also make possible education for all children.  Malala (a Muslim) is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the committee mentions in their press release (in which they misspell her name) that they felt it was important to show people from different backgrounds are working against extremism for the common goal of education of children.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Teen Boy No More

I have to rename my middle child.  He is Teen Boy no more.  He turned 20 last month and he is amazing.  And while we are on the subject, College Boy graduated, also amazing.  What is a momma to do!?  College Boy is, however, still going to school, a different kind of college you might say.  So, I think I will leave his name alone.  He will have another name, some day, just not today.

Teen Boy, however will now become Tech Boy because he is a genius when it comes to tech stuff.  

I love the men my boys are becoming.  They have drive and a love of learning and (most importantly) a love of family.  They are good to the LRHB when they are home.  And they text asking how his baseball games are going.  And talk to him on the phone.  In a few weeks, my LRHB will be double digits.  While I love the young man he is becoming, I long for the days when he was my baby.  Sort of.  Big, hot, mess of thoughts and feelings.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book 37

I love the idea of reading a book, then watching the movie, and seeing the nuances between the two.  That is probably why it is the premise behind my kid book club, but I digress.  I will often follow a link on Facebook to an article that talks about books and more specifically an article that discusses books that are going to become movies.  That is where several of the next books I read have come from.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper was laugh out loud funny.  I laughed at the pool, while waiting for kids, at home; I laughed my way through the book.  Are you down?  Holiday blues?  PICK UP THIS BOOK!  So funny.  In short, a man's father has died and he must sit shiva with mother & his siblings (not close siblings).  The movie came out, and like most things, life got in the way (I couldn't send my nine year old to one movie while I went to see this one!) and I am now waiting for it to come out on Redbox.  Have I mentioned I thought this book was hysterical?  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Books 35 & 36

North to Alaska by Debbie Macomber is a reprint of two books she had written in the 80's.  When she is going to re-release books, I so appreciate that she goes back through and updates the story.  I enjoyed both of these stories and perhaps one reason is I always remember our trip to Alaska when I read her books set in that state.  Although our trip didn't allow us to stay on land at all, I still remember walking through the small towns and I picture her stories taking place in one of the towns that we visited.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Computer Died...

It's true.  My computer up and died.  Thankfully, I have an external hard drive, however, it didn't have everything saved to it.  So thankful moment number two is that the hard drive didn't go and my in-home tech guy was able to get me a contraption to put my hard drive into and load onto my new computer. 

I didn't want a new computer.  I wanted an iPad.  But I didn't want to spend the money.  And I needed a computer because homework needs to get done on computers.  I balked.  I stated that I didn't need one, that I have a smart(ish) phone and computers at school.  I went on vacation.  While I was gone, they bought me a computer.  They sold me with the cost, however, since I can't do my iTunes on it, I kinda think it bites.  It does stuff and I am learning the stuff it does.  Sigh.  I just wish the other hadn't died. So when it died, I couldn't blog.  When I got home and went back to school and baseball etc, I didn't make time to blog.  But I miss it.  I have spent the Sundays this fall watching football, getting caught up on email, and reading blogs.  But not writing.  I generally like to start things at the beginning of the week.  Sunday IS the beginning of my week, however, I just couldn't find the words.  Even though I missed it.  

I might be back... now.