November Nightstand

It’s nightstand time again! Review books are still on the slow side so I’ve read quite a few personal reads this month.  I only have 6 more categories to finish for the Pop Sugar challenge. I did write a few reviews though, and have a few outstanding as always.

Tell me, have you read anything good lately?

Want to know what others are reading?  Click on over to Nightstand.

On my nightstand:  The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer for a book by an author with your initials. She also happens to share my first name!

Listening to:  Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. I also have Winter Stroll so I’ll review the two together.

Reviews and Other Posts:

  • Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner, read by Sarah Steele and JD Jackson. The on again-off again romance of Rachel and Andy, who first meet as 8 year olds in an ER.
  • Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain, read by Susan Bennett. The process of adopting a baby brings back memories of the worst summer of a woman’s life.

Reviews TBD:

  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. A collection of short stories, almost all of them are fantastic.
  • Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas. Cute story, a little short on the traveling part of the title but I enjoyed it.

Personal Reads:

  • Blood Red by Jason Bovberg – a book set in your hometown. Horror about a young woman who wakes up to find 95% of her town is dead, with a red glow coming out of their heads. Are they really dead? Are they zombies? Aliens? It’s the first in a trilogy.
  • The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood – a popular author’s first book. I enjoyed this story of a woman who begins to be unable to eat after her engagement. Lots of “English class” and feminist stuff in here, great book.
  • Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon – a book set the year you were born, a book that scares you (though it didn’t actually scare me). A couple moves to a remote New England village where the residents are stuck in the past. This was not as good as I expected, and as I said, it didn’t scare me.
  • Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton – a classic romance, recommended by my friend the librarian who’s a romance expert. Some hot sex, with lots of body parts quivering in anticipation, and a decent plot.

That’s it for me this month.  Check out 5 Minutes for Books for what’s on nightstands across the globe!

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Daybook: November 23

Ok, so I fell off the NaBloPoMo wagon pretty quickly, and haven’t posted since. I just don’t have a lot to say these days and I was boring myself.

Outside my window: It’s a sunny, gorgeous fall day, if a bit cool, highs in the 50s today. We’ve had some pretty cold days but it’s supposed to warm up, then drop on Thanksgiving.  Glad we’re not doing a turkey trot.

I am reading…  The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer, for my book by an author with my initials. She also happens to have my first name. I’m listening to Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. I have the newest, Winter Stroll, for review, but requested Winter Street too so I can review both books. Coincidentally, both the Thayer and the Hilderbrands are set in Nantucket, the former in the summer and the latter in the winter, and both sound heavenly.

I am watching… well nothing right now since I’m at work, but we’ve started watching some of our shows with the kids to help get through our queue.  Alex loves The Librarians, and they both enjoy Supergirl.  Several shows had or will have mid-season finales soon, which will give us time to get caught up on the others. We haven’t even started the shows with late starts, like Elementary and Grimm.

In sports…  Alex is enjoying basketball, and wrestling doesn’t start until January but they’re doing a conditioning camp that he’s enjoying as well. I hope he does better in wrestling this year than last, but missing 2 weeks of practice from being sick didn’t help that. Zach is in between sports at the moment, registration for basketball is next week and then practices start in January.

In school…  Alex has been struggling a little with both behavior and keeping up on his assignments. He has several assignments to complete over break and then he should be caught up.  He was mostly keeping up until his concussion and then started falling behind. His grades are mostly Bs right now but should go back up once these assignments are turned in. We are meeting with his teachers after break to help find ways for him to be successful. He’s a smart kid and does well when he tries, but when he doesn’t like the teacher or the subject, or God forbid, both, then he just doesn’t care.  As for Zach, he got all As and one B on his report card, with all good marks for effort and skill.

This week…  the boys are off all week for Thanksgiving. Alex has an allergist appointment, and wrestling camp tomorrow and Wednesday. Zach turns 9 tomorrow, so we’re having his party at the trampoline place. It’s just the 4 of us for Thanksgiving but of course we’ll have enough food to feed an army. Saturday Jon is taking part of his state certification test for his teaching license, and Sunday he has a day camp meeting.

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The school board election in our district, and in several parts of Colorado, has been huge this year. The “reform” board members have come in with their own agenda and caused a big uproar. Board meetings went from lightly attended to overflowing, standing-room-only and highly contentious. The board hired an unnecessary attorney, reduced the amount of time the public could speak at meetings — both in frequency and duration — and tried to oust the teacher’s union. They postponed building a new school for 6 months, during which time building prices skyrocketed, doubling the cost of building the school. They refused to agree on a contract with the teacher’s union, even after their ridiculous demands were met, resulting in a lawsuit for bad faith negotiations. In short, it’s been a mess.

The teachers, parents, and community fought back, and all 4 non-reform candidates won their elections by a landslide yesterday and we are all relieved. We’ve lost teachers and  students to other districts over the last 2 years while the reform held the majority.

Now that people who actually care about the students and the teachers are back in the majority, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Best of all, the reform members were defeated in 2 other districts, and a third recall of reform board members in the Denver area who tried to whitewash US history was successful.

Hopefully this means the end of these organizations with deep pockets who want to privatize schools, teach our kids falsehoods to prevent civil unrest, and get rid of all teachers’ unions, and return control of schools to where it belongs, in the hands of the local community.

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Fun with Concussions

Well we are approaching 6 months since our last urgent care visit, so you know what that means! Yesterday Alex wasn’t looking where he was going and walked into the pole dividing double doors. Next thing he remembers is waking up slumped against the wall. Of course he didn’t go to the nurse, stayed at school the rest of the day, and didn’t tell us what happened until he got home.

He was still pretty fuzzy on the details, had a bad headache and difficulty concentrating, so I took him to urgent care where he was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

He went to school today but called me at 9:30 to come home, and he’s been on the couch since, and has even napped a couple of times. Well, he’s claimed to have slept, I don’t know if he actually did.

Hopefully he’ll be able to get through a full day tomorrow, though he’s not allowed to participate in PE or sports until he’s cleared by our regular doctor once he’s symptom-free.

Parenting, it’s not for the faint of heart.

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Too Much TV

Look at me, two days in a row!  I’m on a roll.

Today’s post will be about the ridiculous number of TV shows that we record, and how we never have time to watch them. We record 25 shows per week, yet we only watch 1-2 per night – an hour-long drama, and sometimes a half-hour comedy depending on what time it is. And sometimes we don’t watch a show at all, like when the Mets are in the World Series and the game goes into extra innings, or if we watch a movie instead.

Obviously, this means the shows on the DVR are stacking up. Here’s what we currently record:

Sunday: Quantico, The Walking Dead, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Librarians
Monday: Castle, Scorpion, Supergirl, Gotham, Big Bang Theory
Tuesday: Agents of Shield, Muppets, Best Time Ever, Scream Queens, Grandfathered
Wednesday: blackish, Modern Family, Mysteries of Laura
Thursday: How To Get Away With Murder, Sleepy Hollow, Bones, Heroes Reborn, Grey’s Anatomy
Friday: Grimm, Hawaii Five-O

Some of these shows Jon doesn’t like (Grey’s, How To Get Away…, Mysteries of Laura), so I have to find time to watch them when he’s not around. And others are must-see on the night they air, like Walking Dead and BBT. The boys like Best Time Ever, but I don’t care if we watch that one.

So that leaves 14 one-hour shows and 5 half-hour shows. The math doesn’t work in our favor. We’re perpetually a few weeks behind on shows, which means we are watching Halloween episodes well into November, and using hiatuses to try to catch up.

I would love to drop some of these, but Jon and I disagree on which ones should go. He’s sick of Bones and Castle; I think Scorpion is disposable and am on the fence on Agents of Shield. Grimm is definitely on the bubble and its stay/go status will be determined after we watch the first episode of the season. We haven’t even watched Supergirl yet to see if we like that one, and while I honestly don’t need another superhero show, I’d kinda like one that features a woman.

Dropping one show per night would ease things but I don’t know if that will happen.

I guess this is the definition of a first world problem.

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It’s November, which means my annual attempt at NaBloPoMo. I don’t know if anyone even reads this blog anymore (I don’t read anyone else’s, I’m terrible) but that’s ok, I write mostly for myself. Considering I only manage to get a Nightstand and a few Daybooks up, we’ll see how long this lasts.

Since yesterday was Halloween, here are some pictures. We went to the annual party at a friend’s house and the kids had a blast as always.  Alex put black makeup on his face to hide the skin that was showing from his mask, and with the mask off he looked pretty cool too. I didn’t think to take a picture.

I took the boys out trick-or-treating, with Zach’s friend, while Jon stayed back to watch the Mets game and hand out candy. Not surprisingly, I ended up holding the weapons, and eventually the masks came off too, though Alex’s lasted longer than Zach’s.

Here are some pictures of the boys at the pumpkin patch, with their carved pumpkins, and in their costumes.

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October Nightstand

It’s nightstand time again! Review books have slowed down a bit for me so I’ve had a chance to get some personal reads in, which means I only have 9 more categories to finish for the Pop Sugar challenge. I did write a few reviews though, and have a few outstanding as always.

Tell me, have you read anything good lately?

Want to know what others are reading?  Click on over to Nightstand.

On my nightstand:  Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon. This is for A book that scares you, but I’m not scared yet. It also fits as A book published the year you were born.

Listening to:  Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton, A classic romance, recommended by my romance expert librarian friend.

Reviews and Other Posts:

Reviews TBD:

  • Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner, read by Sarah Steele and JD Jackson. The on again-off again romance of Rachel and Andy, who first meet as 8 year olds in an ER.

Personal Reads:

  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakaeur – A nonfiction book. I’m not a big hiker, forget mountain climbing, and a lot of names are thrown around so I got a bit lost at times. But the account of what happened on Everest in 1996 (the movie Everest, out now, is about the same tragedy) was harrowing. And anyone who would go through the rigors of climbing Everest is crazy.
  • Locke & Key by Joe Hill – A graphic novel. I came across this one by accident, the radio play was (is?) available for free from Audible. I listened to the beginning but decided to check out the graphic novel instead since it fits into that category. It’s not a genre I really read as I often have trouble following the story, and I’m not sure I’ll read the other books in the series, but I liked it.
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – A book your mom loves, A book more than 100 years old, A book from your childhood. I think that says it all. This book still holds up after all this time.
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, narrated by Cassandra Campbell.  A book based on or turned into a TV show and A book with a color in the title. While Piper’s experience in prison isn’t as crazy as the TV show, it was still an interesting read.
  • The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand, read by Kathleen McInerney, Rick Zeef, and Erin Bennett. I grabbed this off the shelf for “A book based entirely on its cover” but I ended up really liking it.  A woman, her gardener, her husband, and her best friend are at the center of the Nantucket rumor mill. Fun stuff.

That’s it for me this month.  Check out 5 Minutes for Books for what’s on nightstands across the globe!

Posted in 5M4B Nightstand, Books & Reading | 4 Comments