Wednesday, March 31, 2010

argh, oh....okay

I've been sucked into the world of the Showtime drama, The Tudors, via the online version of Netflix. I watched the first two seasons on my laptop and was all set to start season three, indulge myself in a small bowl of popcorn and see what Henry was up to now that Anne Boleyn was out of the way. Then I realized that season three isn't available to watch online, I have to send for the DVDs. Arghhhhh. I have become totally spoiled with the instant viewing feature and don't relish the idea of having to wait days in between episodes. So, I started looking through the instant viewing lists and found a TV show I had wanted to watch years ago and never was around at the right time to do so.

I played the first episode of The Dresden Files. Now, I have read these books by Jim Butcher and heartily enjoy Harry Dresden and his wizarding world. The first episode was decent and I will most likely finish watching all the episodes that are available on Netflix.

And I will probably cave and order up the four discs for season three of The Tudors.

In the meantime, I'm on a mission to finish "The Endless Forest" by Sara Donati. Then it is on to the latest from Bernard Cornwell. The books are due back in a just a few days and I want to get them done. I guess I will have to return, unread, "The Swan Thief" and check it out again later. Just not enough free time to get that one read before the due date.

Had a lovely lunch yesterday with my friends. Everything tasted good, but then good conversation is an excellent seasoning.

Sunny skies ahead:) Enjoy the day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

new things

I get so bored sometimes with my routine. We have a very busy household, but we do the same things over and over. So, when that feeling hits me, like it did this past month, I try and shake it up a bit. This time I am making some new recipes. Every Tuesday and Thursday in April I am making new recipes for dinner. I actually cheated a bit and started yesterday, even though it was Monday, with a new creation.

We enjoyed Spinach-Chicken Calzones and then had Poppy Seed Citrus cake for dessert. Yum. Everyone loved both and gave me the thumbs up to make them again.

Today I am off to visit friends and take a 'picnic' lunch for us to enjoy. I have chicken salad on soft wheat rolls, pasta salad and then the poppy seed cake for dessert. Simple, but good food to share and enjoy on a sunny bright day. I may cut a few daffodils to take along.

I have my recipes all selected for my April experiment and may mention how the efforts went as we move along.


Monday, March 29, 2010


I can't believe it is Monday already. Where did the weekend go? I have nothing to show for the past two days. I did manage to read a few pages in my book, but between watching basketball, running a few errands, doing a bit of laundry, walking the dog, cooking, making the April meal plan menu, I just didn't get much done.


It was a very busy weekend and while the sun was out on Saturday, Sunday brought dreary skies and misty rain. Rather unpleasant. The week, however, is forecasted to be lovely all the way through.

Hard to believe Easter is upon us. I think I have the goodies all stashed away for the baskets and several new recipes to try for our eating pleasure.

Happy Monday.

Friday, March 26, 2010

week end

I hate it when I wake up tired. Seems that since we changed the clocks a while back, that is most assuredly the case for me many mornings.

Today I have a Friends meeting. Time for us to start gearing up for our BIG Spring Book Sale. This is always such a great time to see avid readers scooping up major bargains. Plus, I get to hang out with some of my favorite people for a few days straight. And, we know how to eat too...lunch is always a delight.

Middle kid's team won their first state league qualifying game last night. She started both halves, yeah!! Played well, made some good plays and came home with lots of mud and smiles.

Oldest kid gets back to work this weekend as the rec soccer season starts and she has three games to referee.

Youngest kid gets to hang with me and clean house!

Hope your weekend is a good one!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

winning the battle but might not win the war

Several years ago, shortly after we moved here, I got a case of poison ivy after weeding my back flower bed. Never in all of my years of tromping through the woods, carving out flower beds in the woods etc, did I ever get that rash. Leave it to find me in the middle of suburbia. Anyway, since that time I am super sensitive to plants and a mere scratch from the most harmless looking thing will give me itchy red bumps. A shower and an antihistamine clear it up quick, but the joy of gardening has been dampened.

I managed to get all of my flower beds weeded yesterday. It took me three hours of steady work. My legs, arms and even fingers are feeling the effort today. I defeated those weeds, so the day's battle is all mine! Plus, the good news is I didn't break out. Long sleeves and long gloves seemed to protect me from the itches. Yeah! Now, I just need to decide what to plant and where as I really need low care plants that choke out weeds quick.

Hmmm. Maybe today in the bookstore I can find a nice gardening book to spur some ideas.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

one down three to go

I finished Kim Harrison's Black Magic Sanction yesterday. Rachel Morgan has yet again found herself on the 'bad' side of the witching world as she continues to associate with demons, learn their magic and even use it on occasion. All the regulars are here in this one, including her current and childhood nemesis Trent Kalamack. One of the things I love about Harrison's writing is that she can make even the 'bad' characters likeable.

I've know started the last of Sara Donati's Wilderness series books. "The Endless Forest" focuses yet again on the Bonner family and their assorted friends and family in upstate New York during the early 1800's. If you enjoy Diana Gabaldon, give Donati a look. At one point in this series, Claire and Jamie put in an appearance. These are well written historical novels full of interesting and well developed characters.

But before I read today, I'm going to get my hands dirty. It is time to do the first round of spring weeding and begin the reclaiming of the flower beds. I've already discussed with hubby about having mulch delivered and we have a tentative date picked. Nothing says spring better than doing some outside cleaning...much more rewarding for me than doing the cleaning that waits inside the four walls of my home.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

feast or famine

On some trips to the library, it may take some serious digging to find three of four titles to check out. On yesterday's trip, I found four books before I ever left the new release shelf. Yep. I now have lots of reading to do in the next two weeks.

Kim Harrison
Elizabeth Kostova
Bernard Cornwell
Sara Donati

Once I finish with my favorite 'itchy witch' Rachel Morgan in Kim Harrison's latest book, I'm off into a history reading fest.

Score!!!! Now, if the sun would shine, life would be just about perfect.

Monday, March 22, 2010

what to do....

I finished another Juliet Marillier book. She does such a lovely job taking Celtic myths and themes and weaving them into entertaining stories. "Heir to Sevenwaters" is another one of her well done, character driven stories.

The other book, the one I should be reading, "Wolf Hall," continues to be a thorn in my side. I tried again to get into this novel. The writing is beautiful at times. The description, lyrical. The characters, full blown. The dialogue, witty. You would think if you mixed all of that together, a wonderful read would result. Well, maybe for some people, but not for me. I'm torn about what to do, but I think I'm going to return it to the library and not bother to finish it. I so rarely do this, but the book is due and I just can't get into the story enough to bother.

Even though the weather didn't cooperate for the entire week, we had a lovely Spring Break and a nice college visit day topped off by a lovely birthday celebration.

Now, we enter the 4th quarter of the school year and all that entails.

Friday, March 19, 2010

fly away

We are hitting the road for our first college visit today.....official meeting and all. Going to be FUN. And, it certainly can't hurt that this university came up a big winner in the first round of the Big Dance:) Go Racers!!

Have a good weekend.....when I post again, I will be older, and who knows, maybe even wiser.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

baby steps

My oldest is now legal to operate a vehicle on the roadways all across the nation. Wow. I remember getting my license. It was very exciting. Freedom. Responsibility. Growing up. All of those things were encased in a piece of laminated paper.

Seems like we were just in Stride Rite getting a pair of 'walking' shoes.

Tomorrow we head out on our first official college visit, complete with an appointment in admissions/recruiting and a walking tour.

All of these baby steps seem like giant leaps this morning!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

retail therapy fries your brain

After four hours of retail therapy yesterday, I didn't have the energy or attention span to do much reading. I think I stumbled through two pages and then realized that I wasn't very focused and decided it would be best for all involved if I set the book down and tried something else.

Maybe cooking dinner wasn't a great idea either. I did manage to get the steaks marinated and on the grill, but then the grill ran out of gas with about five minutes cooking time to go. Thank goodness for the microwave.

I finished up some laundry without incident and got one kid out the door to soccer practice on time. Watched an episode of Lost; about time Sawyer got some face time.

So today we have a variety of events on the schedule including the DMV, the hair dresser, the movie theater and the baseball fields at the high school...all in that order.

The time change is messing with my body clock. Set the alarm this morning and I'm feeling pretty icky. Feels like I have a perfect storm going on right now!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

spring break day two

Finished "Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover" yesterday. This is Ally Carter's third book telling yet another entertaining story about The Gallagher Girls and their undercover spy school. All of the familiar characters return for more daring adventures as our spies in training put into use some of the lessons they have learned.

Don't look for any big messages or high moral lessons in these books. Just sit down and enjoy the the stories for the guilty pleasures they are.

Today I head off for some retail therapy and a nice lunch out with the oldest. I treated the middle kid and the youngest yesterday. What else can we do on a dreary, cold and damp March day during Spring Break?

Once we get back home, I'm ready to immerse myself in "Wolf Hall." This title from Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker prize in 2009 and tells the story of Thomas Cromwell. Sort of neat to read this novel while I'm watching back episodes of The Tudors on Showtime. Plenty of dramatic fodder in merry ole England during Henry VIII's reign.

Monday, March 15, 2010

catch up

Had a great visit with my folks, but wish the weather would have been nicer so they could have seen the girls play soccer.

Soccer was great this weekend. The oldest kid's team ROCKED IT OUT and played their first game, an inter-club game, to a tie and then won the next two. They ended up in second place as the championship was decided by a tie breaker which hinged on goals scored and our team had a few less. But, soooo much to be proud of!! The middle kid's team played to two ties and one loss. They are coalescing as a team and showed moments of good solid soccer. They will get better as their season progresses.

Both girls played really well. So proud of them and their efforts.

The youngest enjoyed hearing stories my Dad told. He's still talking about them....wants to hear more and more of his Papa's adventures.

This week is our Spring Break and while the weather may not cooperate, I'm determined to do something 'fun' every day. The week will be capped off on Friday when the girls and I head north to visit Murray State. This is our first 'official' college visit and we are really excited about it.

I started reading the third Ally Carter "Gallagher Girls" novel, always a fun YA romp.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

early weekend

I'm off to man the bookstore for a few hours. I can't remember the last time I worked, but it has been months at least. Good thing running that cash register is sort of like riding a bike. I also need to scan the shelves for some things to read.

I finished the first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief, yesterday. I can understand now why so many of the series fans were upset with the movie and I'm very glad I saw the movie before I read the book. I thoroughly enjoyed both, but they are quite different as several major plot points are changed or left out of the film. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

One last trip to the grocery store today and I think we are all ready for our guests to arrive this afternoon. I just received a call from my folks and they are on the road, driving in a bit of rain, and should be here in 8 hours. Hope the rain they see is nothing like what we had roll through the area last night. I usually sleep through storms, but this was a doozy and woke me several times as the thunder booms were loud and frequent.

Soccer is on the schedule for the weekend and I expect the fields to be soft from the water that fell last night. Let's just hope the standing puddles have time to drain away before my girls take to the pitch on Friday and Saturday.

With family in town, this is the start of my 'weekend'......Enjoy yours:)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

beautiful creatures

Finished "Beautiful Creatures" yesterday. This is a good solid YA paranormal book with a nice 'twist' as it is told by a boy. I look forward to reading more from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is a well layered story with a lot of characters, several plot threads and a boat load of unanswered questions at the end. I enjoyed the story/plot, but what I liked more was that the authors really nailed the mood of their characters and their setting. It felt right. I've read many YA books that just don't achieve that critical part of writing for this particular audience.

Today I am going to clean my house. Wish the sun would shine and a warm breeze would blow to help me in my efforts, but I don't think that will be happening. Oh well, the chore still needs to be done.

I'm throwing some dinner in the crockpot, getting out the vacuum and preparing myself to wage war on the dust bunnies, high and low.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

sun then rain

Our glorious cloud free warm day gave way to rain, rain, rain. Of course, it is now set to rain for the rest of the week, just in time for my folks to visit and for the 6 soccer games my girls are playing over the weekend. Mud, mud, mud. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I'm almost finished with "Beautiful Creatures." I've enjoyed reading this novel and since I had the pleasure of attending the program when the authors visited our library, it is sort of neat to be able to 'hear' these two very talented women as I read their story. I can see why the novel was optioned for a film and why the book has created such a buzz. I should be able to finish the book this morning.

And to be read pile is gone. I have nothing waiting in the wings. Nothing.

So, I will be making a trip to the library today to see what I can turn up. I need to make a trip to B&N as several new titles have come out that the library doesn't and will not buy. Guess I will have to part with my money if I want to read those books.

Maybe I should scan the online catalogs just to make never know, perhaps one of the other libraries is actually purchasing urban fantasy and not waiting to add whatever the public donates, mainly yours truly......


Monday, March 8, 2010

mixed bag

Good grief! I kept meaning to post a blog entry, but I guess the days just slipped away from me. I have been busy, but not swamped. I managed to finish reading Kate Collins' latest Flower Shop Mystery, "Sleeping with Anemone" over the weekend. As always, a fun read with a nice mystery and endearing characters. I got hooked on yet another BBC America show. This time it is Survivors. I watched all four episodes this weekend while the middle kid camped out close by looking for poems for the dreaded poetry project the freshman honors English class does this time of year. The oldest kid and hubby were out of state at a soccer tourney...she did really well, two shut outs in her half of the game and only one goal slipped by her.

The youngest was the center of attention Sunday night as he bridged over into Boy Scouts. Neat ceremony and the best treat was that hubby and oldest kid made it back home in time to see it!

Lots to do this week as my folks arrive for a visit on Thursday and we have the big soccer tourney this weekend. Of course, it is also the end of the third quarter at school, so the projects are all due now.

Hectic days ahead. But first, I'm off to check our new Aldi store today. Time to replenish the pantry at my fave cheap place to shop.

For my treat later, I will get to dive back into "Beautiful Creatures".....enjoying this book and I hope I can get my work done so I can sit down and read for a while this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

new month

March sort of arrived in my life with little fanfare this year. It sort of was not here one day and then here the next. Quiet. Sneaky. Stealthy. The usual first week of the month things are going on, including the Friends meeting. I also am scheduled to work in the bookstore tomorrow. First time I've worked there in several months.

We have a very busy month ahead of us. Every weekend is already planned. Most weeks have several events going. Throw in Spring Break for the kids and stir. Before I know it, April will be sneaking in on quiet feet to pounce into my life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Although our extended weather forecast is promising a warm and sunny weekend, right now the weather has a definite 'blech' feel to it. Gray. Damp. Cold. Blech.

Our visitor has departed this morning for home. Nice visit with her and although the weather could have been a bit warmer, at least she did get to see the sun for a few days.

Over the weekend I read the third book about DJ Schwenk, "Front and Center." Catherine Gilbert Murdock writes a great teen girl character, provides some real family situations, and doesn't patronize her readers one bit. While I can't say that this latest novel was my favorite in the series, it did provide some laughs and some head nods where the author hit just the right note in her dialogue and plot points. Good stuff.

The big event for today is to get the dog some food. Yep, think I will venture out to Wally World and see if they have his brand in stock and hopefully avoid the trip to TSC.

C'mon Mr. Sun.....don't make us wait for the weekend to see that warm, bright glow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

quiet time

We've had a busy few days with family in town for a visit. I don't have the quiet time in the morning to blog, so, here is a quick recap of Friday and the weekend.

We ate a lot of good food. I read a good book. We watched the Olympics.

My baby turned 16!!!

More later......