Friday, July 30, 2010


And so we get ready to enter the final week of summer vacation. Cue tears and gnashing of teeth.  Summer reading winds down at the Library.  The big box retailers are ready for the mad dash to get school supplies. The kids are planning a few last minute fun things to do while they can.  I'm making a list of things I have to do once they return to classes.

But first, we are going to enjoy Friday and all it has in store for us.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

well...okay, then

I started reading the next Victorian Mystery title, but due to a variety of circumstances, I have yet to finish it.  I took the youngest to the doctor yesterday only to find out that the appointment was made for a different office location. Neither the nurse nor I asked, so we are both at fault on that one, but the receptionist was very kind and rescheduled him for today. Whew. 

I made a second trip to the grocery store and thought I got everything I forgot the day before, only to get home and realize I still failed to buy liquid dish soap, bathroom soap and coffee. Ugh. My list making talents seem to be on the fritz.

We came home and did a bit of housecleaning to prepare for Nana's arrival. Her plane was delayed leaving Detroit and what should have been a 5:20 arrival turned into a 9:07 arrival. Poor hubby, two airport runs this week and both involved major delays.

I did manage to successfully add a name to our mailing list account for the Friends and will have to check the list in depth soon to make sure it is truly up to date and current.

The girls are in need of a soccer break as bruises, aches and pains seem to have struck both of them. Good thing they can heal up over the next week.

Well...okay, then. That is more, no less.  We have arrived at Thursday more or less intact, even if things aren't humming along without any glitches.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

death at bishop's keep

I finished the first book in a mystery series I discovered last week at the library.  "Death at Bishop's Keep" was written by Robin Paige. Paige is actually the husband and wife writing team of Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert.  This first installment in the Victorian Mystery series was originally published in 2004. This is a nice book.  Interesting characters and a solid who done it plot combine to make an easy and enjoyable read.  The series seems to be a bit of a poster child for the cozy-mystery genre.  Nice book, sort of like comfort food for the mind.

Cloudy skies to start the day. We have a bit of cleaning to do, a doctor appointment to keep and some chili to throw together in the crock-pot.

Mid week is here...and I can feel the momentum gathering for that rapid slide into the new school year.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


It rained. Yeah!!! Whoo hoooo.  Lots of errands to run today and if we have to dodge some raindrops, that is quite okay with me.

Off to check the radar, make my list and get ready for Tuesday. I will be spending some time learning how to use a google mailing list for the Friends. My tasks yesterday for that group went off well and the news I had to pass along was well received.  I'm looking forward to streamlining some of our online issues and I hope we can simplify our website.

Enjoy the day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

dog days

It has been hotter than hot this past week and it seems these wicked temps are going to continue for a while. I had high hopes the storm in the gulf would bring us not only some water, but some relief from the heat. It doesn't appear that will happen.

Last week was emotionally draining and I just couldn't gather my thoughts in order to write a blog entry.  I stayed busy, but not with anything important. I basically just puttered around and let time pass.

Now it is Monday and in two weeks my three kiddoes will head off into the new school year.  This summer has been a strange one. It hasn't been relaxing. I don't feel recharged or rested.  Too much going on and with Anne's death, a note of sadness will tinge my memories of this particular summer break.

I've started to read a mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert and her husband. It is set in Victorian times and features an American female penny dreadful author/amateur sleuth. So far it is light and entertaining. 

I have some Friends business I've been putting off and need to tackle today. Ugh. And I need to tackle the back to school supply lists and see what we need to purchase for the kids.

The dog days of summer are upon us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

new read

Picked up the first in a new YA series by Holly Black the other day.  This one is called "White Cat" and the series is titled The Curseworkers.  I love the way Black does her world building.  I just started the novel, but can already tell I will be eager to read more in this series.  Black's world is ours, but with one major twist. Everyone wears gloves.  Hand to skin touch can result in a 'worker' laying a curse on you.  Pretty cool.

I made a quick trip to the library yesterday to return the Lee Child book and see if I could find the few Reacher novels I've missed reading.  Almost all of those books were checked out, and I've already read the ones left on the shelves.  So, I scanned the paperback mystery series shelves and came away with four books to read. Two are by Charlaine Harris and two by another author...the name is escaping me at the moment.  The Harris novels are from her Aurora Teagarden series and the other two books are Victorian mysteries.  Sort of in an amateur sleuthing mood I guess.

But today's big time sucker is going to be waiting on the dryer repairman to arrive. I was given a four hour window.  Meaning that from 8-12 I need to be home. Lovely. 

Later today is Anne's visitation. 

Yep, it is Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

clean car

I coerced my youngest to help me wash my van this morning. It was in real need of a good washing, scrubbing and de-bugging.  Now it is all shiny and clean and ready to go.  Other than laundry, that is the big chore for the day.  I'm kind of gearing up for tomorrow and Thursday.  Funerals are exhausting, both physically and mentally, and I know that this one is going to be so bittersweet.

My most recent read has been the latest Lee Child book.  "61 Hours" is another installment in the adventures of Jack Reacher.  When I finished it, I was ready to drive to the library and check out the few titles in this series I haven't read yet.  Child always delivers a fast paced and suspenseful story.  This may not be my fave in the series, but it was rock solid in the plotting, the writing and all that good stuff.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

sizzling inception

I read the latest Janet Evanovich book featuring the intrepid Stephanie Plum. "Sizzling Sixteen" didn't offer anything new, and I really wish our girl, Stephanie, would either stay with Morelli or take a chance on Ranger. Decide already!!!  I laughed aloud in a few spots, but over all, I was a bit disappointed. The book was comfortable, easy to read and funny, but nothing new happened. Maybe it is time to wind this one down.

Hubby and I went to see Inception on Saturday. Good movie. It kept you thinking and kept us talking about it long after we were home from the matinee.

Going to be a tough week with my friend's funeral events beginning on Wednesday. I keep thinking of her and I am so glad we were able to talk, even for a bit, when I visited her over the last month in the hospital. I made sure to tell her how much she meant to me before I left each time.  I've had deaths in our family on my side and my husband's, but I've never had a friend die before.  This was someone who I chose to get to know, who I built a relationship with over the past 5 years, and it is a different type of grief.  I just can't imagine not ever sitting with her on her front porch, sipping lemonade and watching the trains roll past.

One of her older friends commented that Anne better be waiting for her on the big porch in the sky and asked her to have a cold Tab ready to go when she arrived!  I liked the attitude.

Off to begin my day. Monday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


My dear friend, Anne, passed away this morning.  She would often comment on my blog and at age 78 began blogging herself. She always amazed me with her interest in all the new technologies, her love of reading, her love of history and her love for our Town.

I'm going to miss her more than I can even express.  She was a kindred spirit, even though our ages were decades apart. I counted her as one of my best sounding boards and a reliable voice of wisdom in all things.

Rest well, sweet friend. You lived such an amazing life and gave me a wonderful example on how to live well, age gracefully and stay connected.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

my name is memory

If I am remembering correctly, I read a review for this book at the same time I read one about "The Passage". I jotted both titles down on a piece of scrap paper and waited for the library to obtain the titles so I could reserve them.  "My Name is Memory" by Ann Brashares explores the idea of reincarnation and soul mates in a very thoughtful and interesting way, but I was a bit disappointed in the ending.  I guess I am going to have to see if I can determine whether or not a sequel is planned.  Too many unanswered questions and unresolved issues were left for the reader to ponder.

The basic gist of the story is that a soul named Daniel keeps being reincarnated over the past 1500 years.  He has a variety of lives, some good and some bad, but he is connected to a soul named Sophia in many of his existences.  The reader witnesses several of their encounters and is of course cheering for them to finally find each other and be together for a lifetime. 

I enjoyed the book and thought that at times Brashares writing and storytelling were just spectacular.  At other times I wished some of the supporting characters were more fully revealed.  Daniel's brother and the character "Ben" both could have been explored in more depth, and perhaps if a sequel is in the works, we will learn more.

I've not read any of Brashares other books, including the Sisterhood series, but she continues to be a very popular YA author and while this book is technically an adult fiction title, more mature YA readers would most likely enjoy the story.

Hotter than hot here today and while the lawn needs mowing and the dog(s) need walking, I think both will wait.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

wah, wah, wah

Had another soccer meeting last night, but this time it was for the club team that gets underway after the high school season ends.  Met the new coach, saw some new faces and missed the faces of players/parents who weren't invited back.  I've had quite enough of the soccer drama for this week.

I began reading the Ann Brashares book. Good stuff.  The theme isn't unique, reincarnated soul mates, but Brashares has some powerful writing in this novel. Painful and raw but not maudlin or cliched.  I hope to finish the book today.  I have a few more library books to plow through before I can read the latest Janet Evanovich-Stephanie Plum novel. I borrowed it from our Friends' treasurer.

Mid week is here.....happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

blah, blah, blah

Well, the good news is the girls are on the same soccer team. Makes our lives a bit more streamlined when the season truly starts. The bad news is our oldest didn't make the varsity roster at this point. She was quite disappointed.  There is a slight chance they could double roster her come tournament time, just to have an extra body, but I'm not holding my breath. Lots of consoling yesterday, lots of mommy wisdom, lots of 'in two years all of this will be so far behind have great things in your life ahead of you...'.

My only hope is they have fun playing together and enjoying the time they will be spending with all of the other girls on their team.

On to other things.

No reading yesterday, just wasn't up for it in the afternoon.  Perhaps today, if things work out, I can find some time to cuddle up with a book.

I delivered the new Wii to the Library for the YA department. Yep. The other one was stolen from the closet. Nice. 

Over and out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

fiendish vamps

Not all vampires in YA novels are sparkly and misunderstood. Sometimes they are fiendish, evil and enjoy draining humans.  Cynthia Leitich Smith's latest vampire story, "Eternal," includes a guardian angel and explores the idea of redemption.  Smith doesn't glorify vampires or even angels in this novel, but she does create a world infused with dark humor, razor sharp wit and hero/fiends you can cheer.

Rainy start to the week and although we so needed the water, the weather has already impacted the start of soccer camp for the girls. They left to attend breakfast with the team and pick up their practice gear with the intention of working out after. They are back home already with instructions to check the website at 3:00 for updates regarding tonight's session.

Oh well!  Looks like a good day for them to do some reading. Maybe me too....up next is Ann Brashare's latest, "My Name is Memory."

Friday, July 9, 2010


I found a few books at the library yesterday before I helped to stock the bookstore. I grabbed two YA paranormal books and then found the latest Lee Child novel featuring the amazing Jack Reacher. Yeah!! I have things to read over the weekend.

Today and tomorrow is the garage sale the girls are holding.  I hope they manage to make enough money to fill their car at least once.  I also hope the rain holds off until after they are done for today.  I want the rain, but not until 1:00, please.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

of we go

The girls are still setting up for their garage sale. I think they now realize why I don't particularly like to have one, but they've set a reasonable goal of making enough money to fill their car with gas for a month. I have a few more things to pull out and contribute to their efforts. I will have to take care of that once I return from the library.

Middle kid's book I blogged about yesterday is available for pick up. She is thrilled.  I also need to find something to read. I looked quickly before my meeting, but wasn't able to find anything that grabbed my interest.

So, it is Spain and the Netherlands in the World Cup final. I think I know what we will be doing on Sunday.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Now that my girls have a vehicle to call their own, they've been slowly asking permission to go out and do things. Yesterday was the first request to drive to the mall for some window shopping. I agreed and away they went.  I didn't even ask for the 'let me know you've arrived safely' phone call! I am getting better.

I did get a phone call about two hours after they departed from my younger daughter. They were in B&N. Yep, the bookstore made the short list of places they visited. That alone made me happy.  She was calling so I could go online and check the library's catalog to see if they had book 8 in the Pretty Little Liars series. I logged in, saw that they did and told her we could place it on hold for her as it was currently checked out. A few clicks later and that mission was accomplished.  She was pleased and glad she didn't have to part with $15 to satisfy her reading addiction.

They made it to and from the mall in good shape and had a nice afternoon.  I lounged on the couch after finishing my painting chores.  I don't feel too awful this morning even though I had to contort myself quite a bit to paint around the dryer. I didn't want to have to disconnect that appliance as it is taped to the duct work and requires quite a bit of effort to move.

The room looks nice and now that it is truly dry, I only see a few spots that I missed covering with the second coat.  Easy to correct when I get the paint back out next week so I can tackle the linen closet in the girls' bath as well as the foyer closet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

watching paint dry

Yes, I'm watching the paint dry, or at least the first coat of paint on my laundry room.  Ugh. It really needed it, but this week's painting job just isn't as exciting as the one from last week.  Painting the pantry made me want to grocery shop and restock those clean shelves. I don't think a freshly painted laundry room is going to make me want to do more laundry, although that day is coming as the girls begin an intense soccer camp next week.

No reading yesterday. I gave my eyeballs the day off. They are getting a rest today too, but I hope to get them back in action on Wednesday.  Friends meeting that day and then the regular Thursday sorting and stocking is next.

Hope the rain comes they are predicting, because if it doesn't fall, I will have to haul the hose around and water my flowerbeds.

Back to the roller I go.

Monday, July 5, 2010

the passage

Several months back I read a brief bit about the upcoming 'debut' novel about a vampire virus that decimates the country. I filed that tidbit in the back of my noggin and waited for the book to come out.  Well, when it finally did, I had to wait some more to get my hands on it from the library.  I picked it up on Thursday and finished it last night.

Wow.  Before I started reading, I scanned the blurbs on the back cover and read the one from Stephen King. Spot on blurb. I was totally captivated by page 30 and the captivation lasted until the final page, 766.

Justin Cronin has created one heckuva novel. This book soars. Great, great storytelling. I'm not even going to try and condense the plot, no way I could do it justice. Gripping. Riveting. Haunting. The writing is lean, strong and powerful. The characters are rich, complex and so vivid.

This is a really, really good book.

Now my to be read pile is empty. I have nothing to read today, nothing at all.  Think I will give my eyes a break and take the day off.

Friday, July 2, 2010

expect delays

It seems that anytime you have anything done on any type of equipment or thing that you own, you should expect a problem.  Our new roof looks wonderful, but the gutters in the back needed one extra downspout to drain properly. The downspout was installed, and the worker gone before I could even check on what he'd done. Of course it isn't right.....and will require another phone call and another 'fix'.  Yesterday I called the nursery that installed a redbud tree in my yard in March of 2009, well actually they installed the first redbud tree. I'm now on tree number 3, which is now dying too.  First it was too much rain, next it was too much rain, now it is too much rain followed by not enough rain and blistering temps/wind.  The owner agreed, tree number 4 will be planted in late October and will not be a redbud.  He admitted the redbuds, of late, are only have a 30% success rate. Oh, geez, love those odds.  I also commented on how the hole was never enlarged and the soil was never amended...hmmm, could be an issue when you are planting in clay.

We are also having a small issue with the new to us used car we purchased as our third vehicle. Lovely.

UGHHHHHH.  The month of the hassle. 

In better news, I picked up two books while at the library yesterday. I brought home The Passage by Justin Cronin and Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton. Almost done with Bullet and then I will dive into the massive novel that is The Passage. Can't wait!!  I've heard so  many good things about that book and I'm ready to see for myself just how true those reviews may be.

Happy Friday, Happy Independence Day weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

radiant shadows

Finished the Melissa Marr book last night. I just adore her faery tales. "Radiant Shadows" did not disappoint and in some ways makes me want to go back and reread the three previous novels Marr wrote.  Each book can be read as a stand alone novel, but they are interconnected and characters do overlap.  Good Stuff.

Off to the library today to help stock the store, clean out the stocking closet and visit with the other volunteers.

It is now officially July and our summer is half over. Sob.  I really hate that summer is reduced to two months instead of the three month break I had as a child.

After next week, the soccer routine will begin to dominate our daily activities until the final week prior to school beginning.

But, for now, we will enjoy the heck out of the free days we have left!