Daybook: February 1

So I haven’t posted a daybook in a month, since the kids have been back to school life has been our usual crazy busyness and I don’t spend as much time in front of the computer in the evenings as I’ve been working out.

Outside my window… It’s snowing.  We have probably 6″ so far and are expected to get at least 12″ by the time it’s done tomorrow. The kids had school today but all after-school activities were canceled, as was Scouts tonight and city offices are closing early. I expect at least a late start tomorrow, if not a snow day.

I am reading…  What the Waves Know by Tamara Valentine for review.  I am listening to The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, which is my pick for a book from Oprah’s Book Club for the Pop Sugar challenge. As a rule I stay away from Oprah picks so this was kind of a hard category, but this one has excellent reviews on Goodreads.

I am watching…  Thanks to the Christmas hiatus, we’re mostly caught up. We have a couple episodes each of Grimm and Elementary, and have been staying current on the other shows that are airing new episodes. I know once new shows start airing we’ll be behind again but that’s ok.

In sports… Alex has had two wrestling meets so far – the first one the other team didn’t have a lot of kids on JV, so he wrestled exhibition against another kid on his own team, and he won. He did really well, he was happy. His second meet he fought hard but ended up losing by points. He was close to pinning the other kid but time ran out.

Basketball has started for Zach as well. His team is mostly second graders, he and his buddy are the only third graders and neither one is a star player. They got destroyed at their first game but did much better their second game, though they still lost.

In Scouts… Alex achieved First Class rank a couple of weeks ago, he’ll receive the award at the next Court of Honor. He’s also now a Patrol Leader, which means he’s in charge of one of the groups of boys during meetings, and helps plan the meetings once a month. Achieving the next rank requires merit badges and volunteer hours, plus some leadership. He needs volunteer hours for NJHS anyway so those shouldn’t be hard to do. Getting him to work on merit badges is a little harder.

In other activities… Let’s see.  Zach is doing chess, he placed 25th in the chess tournament last weekend, with 1 win, 2 draws, and 2 losses. He’s in the third-fifth grade category now and there are some really good fifth graders, plus he doesn’t really practice. Our school’s team did really well, earning 5 of the 9 awards.

Zach was in Scrabble club, but intramurals have started and those are the same day as Scrabble, so he has decided he’d rather do the intramurals. He’s also an Amabassador for this semester, which he’s excited about.  The school is also doing a play this year, Peter Pan, and he wants to do that. First rehearsal/parent meeting was supposed to be today but was cancelled due to the snow. And of course he has Scouts too, the Pinewood Derby was this weekend, I don’t know what place he came in but he was last in every race he was in. Oh well, he had fun.

This weekend…  Saturday morning was the Pinewood Derby, then Zach had a basketball game. Jon went to a Scout recognition lunch, I thought he’d be recognized for his work on day camp but he wasn’t.  For dinner we went to friends’ house and had a really nice time. Sunday was mostly a lazy day but we did drag our butts down to Denver for the Marvel Universe Live show.  Zach, dressed in his Thor costume, loved it; Alex liked it too though he was over the target age range.  Thank you Aunt Nunu for the tickets!

 

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January Nightstand

It’s nightstand time again! My reading (and reviewing) slowed down some this month as we returned to the busy life of work and school. Tell me, have you read anything good lately?

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

On my nightstand:   What the Waves Know by Tamara Valentine.

Listening to:  Reached by Ally Condie – this is the third book in the Matched series, and I’m reading it for my book from the library in this year’s Pop Sugar challenge.

Reviews and Other Posts:

  • The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian. This novel revolves around the sex trafficking industry and a bachelor party gone very wrong.
  • What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross. A woman takes another woman’s baby and raises her as her own daughter.

Reviews TBD:

  • The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone, read by Lauren Fortgang.  This is the type of YA I like – written for young adults but enjoyable by all adults. It’s a murder mystery involving an MMORPG world and a stolen (digital) spear but there are lots of pop culture references, a romance, and a likable protagonist.
  • The View from Prince Street by Mary Ellen Taylor. I finished this last night so haven’t had a chance to write it up yet, but I liked it. It’s the second in a series and I haven’t read the first but it focuses on a different set of characters so I don’t feel like I missed too much.

Personal Reads:

  • Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin, read by Cynthia Nixon.  This is one of Giffin’s older novels, intertwining the stories of the mother of a little boy burned in a fire and the wife of the doctor who treats him.
  • Smoke by Catherine Mackenzie. This book about an arson investigator dealing with a fire in her own town and her marriage falling apart was highly recommended by a good friend, and I also enjoyed it.
  • Naked in Death by JD Robb. This was my pick for a romance set in the future, and I think it’s a good series to listen to on occasion when I have nothing else in the queue.

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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2016 Goals

I know goals are supposed to be specific, measurable, and attainable.  I get that, and I know why, but for my goals for this year, I’m going to be a little more general, which I think will make them more attainable. These are, as always, in no particular order.

  1. Shop at the new mall once it’s fully open.
  2. Complete the Pop Sugar reading challenge.
  3. Attend 4 cultural events – a play, festival, concert, art show, etc.
  4. Volunteer with a charity or other organization (Scouts and school do not count).
  5. Eat at 4 new restaurants, or try 4 new foods, or a combination of the two. Food trucks count.
  6. Travel some place new – a new state, a new city in Colorado, a new place in Fort Collins. I’d like to do 4 of these as well.
  7. Redo the boys’ rooms – change the borders and stickers, and paint if necessary.
  8. Make lip balm with kit.
  9. Complete a puzzle, preferably The Starry Night, but one of the others we own would be good too.
  10. Walk/run a 5k.  Optionally, achieve a PR.
  11. I need an exercise/fitness/health goal, but I don’t want to put “lose weight” or “get healthy.”  How about this – change my eating and exercise habits in a way that make a difference to how I look and feel?  That’s not really measurable but I think I’ll know if I’ve done it.

I think I’ll stop there, since it’s actually a decent-sized list.  Wish me luck!

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2015 Goals Round Up

My rolling job situation this year made it hard to do a whole lot, plus our busy schedules don’t leave a lot of free time. Here’s the results of my goals.

  1. I completed the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, and also read 91 books this year (1 more than my goal of 90).  
  2. From the Fort Collins Bucket List, I completed these:
  • TRY TRADER JOE’S – Try? I’m there often. 
  • TAKE A TOUR – we did a brewery walking tour and a distillery tour. 
  • GET YOUR IRISH ON – 5k and parade, check. 
  • KICK IT OLD SCHOOL – this means go to the drive-in, which we did (Inside Out and Minions) 
  • SEE THE CITY THROUGH MAX – Max is the new bus system that runs parallel to one of the busy streets in town and takes you into Old Town. We’ve done it a few times. 
  • GET FESTIVE – we did the Brewer’s Festival. 

We did not:

  • HIKE HORSETOOTH  Ø
  • CHEER ON THE RAMS – we didn’t make it to any football games this year. Ø
  • TAKE IN A SHOW – wow. Sad. I’ll blame lack of funds for most of the year and the fact that we were out of town during the big summer music festival. Ø
  • TRY THE TROLLEY Ø
  • RAFT (OR TUBE) THE POUDRE Ø
  • THROW A FRISBEE (at the CSU Oval) Ø
  • HAVE THE BEST COSTUME (i.e. the Tour de Fat bike parade) Ø
  • GET SPOOKED (Haunted tours) Ø
  • HAVE A MALL RAT MOMENT (the new mall isn’t fully open yet, I plan to go when it is) Ø

12. Take a trip to a beach – We did this when we went to NJ during the summer, we had a great day at Point Pleasant with friends. 

13.  Finish Alex’s stocking. Sigh. Ø

14.  “I want to hit 1,400 [miles]. At 2400 steps per mile, I’ll need to walk 3,360,000 steps, or 64,000 steps per week.”  I only did 955 miles, 2,318,427 steps.  I could blame being unemployed or my long commute for a couple of months, but I really have no excuses, I just didn’t do it. Ø

I’m still working on my 2016 goals. I think they’re going to be a little less specific than these were.

 

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2015 Book List

It’s 2016, which means it’s time for the goal round-up posts! Let’s start with the most fun one — reading. I read 91 books last year, which is one more than my goal. My reading was a little unusual this year due to my fluxuating job situation. While working at the call center, I couldn’t bring in books, but I could read online, so I read PDFs, which I don’t normally do. Then my contract position included a 2 hour round-trip commute, so I banged out a bunch of audio books, and also listened to some really long ones.

Anyway, here are some boring stats:

  • I listened to 42 audio books, and read 49 printed books. Of those, 30 were on my Kindle (or the Kindle app on my phone), 6 were other digital formats (PDF, Freading app), and only 13 were paper books. That’s kind of mind-blowing. Most of the publishers are providing digital ARCs now, which I love.
  • As usual, the largest category was fiction (69), with YA a distant second at 14.  I read 4 collections of short stories and 4 non-fiction books, both of which are about average compared to previous years.
  • I read 45 books for pleasure and wrote 39 reviews.

I like to do some kind of reading challenge each year, and in 2015 I participated in the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge.  The categories along with the book I read are as follows.  There is some duplication, but I tried to not to use a single book for more than 2 categories, and only one book was also a review book, because I knew I would have read it whether I reviewed it or not.

A book with over 500 pages: A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
A Classic Romance: Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton
A Book that Became a Movie: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A Book with a number in its title: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A book published this year:  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
A book written by someone under 30: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
A book with non-human characters: The BFG by Roald Dahl
A funny book: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
A book by a female author: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
A mystery or thriller: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A book with a one-word title: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
A book of short stories: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
A book set in a different country: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A nonfiction book: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
A popular author’s first book:  The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
A book a friend recommended: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A Pulitzer Prize winning book: Beloved by Toni Morrison
A book based on a true story: Beloved by Toni Morrison
A book at the bottom of your to-read list: The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
A book your mom loves: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A book that scares you:  Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
A book more than 100 years old: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A book based entirely on its cover:  The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
A book you were supposed to read in school, but didn’t: Animal Farm by George Orwell
A memoir: The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Helpby Amanda Palmer
A book you can finish in a day: The BFG by Roald Dahl
A book with antonyms in the title: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit (Australia): Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A book that came out the year you were born (1973): Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
A book with bad reviews: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A trilogy: The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry
A book from your childhood: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A book with a love triangle: Matched by Ally Condie
A book set in the future: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A book set in high school: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
A book with a color in the title: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
A book that made you cry: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
A book with magic: The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
A graphic novel: Locke & Key by Joe Hill
A book by an author you’ve never read before: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A book you own, but have never read: The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning
A book that takes place in your hometown: Blood Red by Jason Bovberg
A book that was originally written in a different language: The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning
A book set during Christmas: The Chimes by Charles Dickens
A book written by an author with your same initials: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
A play: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
A banned book: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A book based on or turned into a TV show: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
A book you started but never finished: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Other books that were personal reads that were not for the challenge:

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Alone by Robert Crane, Jr.
Untouched by Robert Crane, Jr.
Soulless by Robert Crane, Jr.
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
Crossed by Ally Condie
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Chomp by Carl Hiassen
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Books I read and reviewed:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (5 stars – favorite book of the year)
Saving Grace by Jane Green
Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
The Thing About Great White Sharks and Other Stories by Rebecca Adams Wright
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
The Traveling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones
The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell
Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova
The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw
The Beautiful Daughters by Nicole Baart
The Sound of Glass by Karen White
Ruthless by John Rector
The Well by Catherine Chanter
The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna
Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen
A Good Killing by Allison Leotta
Olivay by Deborah Reed
Café Tropicana by Belinda Jones
The Hypnotist by Gordon Snider
Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell
From Scratch by Rachel Goodman
Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick
Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot by Dav Pilkey
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand
Dig Two Graves by Kim Powers

These are the books I read for review but didn’t write up, either because I’m not going to or just haven’t yet:

Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble
Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger
Dark Rooms by Lili Anolik
Summer Secrets by Jane Green
Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne
The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

Overall I had a pretty good year. I enjoyed the Pop Sugar challenge and am doing it again, though I think the categories are harder this year. I’m going to try to limit to one book per category since the list is shorter.

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December Nightstand

It’s nightstand time again! This month I finished the Pop Sugar challenge and wrote some reviews.

Tell me, have you read anything good lately?

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

On my nightstand:  What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross, review book.

Listening to:  Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin, read by Cynthia Nixon.  This one has been on my TBR list for a few years, so when I saw it available through Overdrive at my library, I grabbed it.

Reviews and Other Posts:

  • Winter Street and Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand, both read by Erin Bennett.  First two books in a trilogy about inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family during Christmas on Nantucket.
  • Dig Two Graves by Kim Powers.  A college professor and former Olympian’s world is rocked when his daughter is kidnapped, and he has to complete modern versions of the labors of Hercules in order to get her back.
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, read by a variety of narrators. This is 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.

Reviews TBD:

  • The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone, read by Lauren Fortgang.  This is the type of YA I like – written for young adults but enjoyable by all adults. It’s a murder mystery involving an MMORPG world and a stolen (digital) spear but there are lots of pop culture references, a romance, and a likable protagonist.
  • The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian. This novel also involves a murder but is much more serious than Dahlia Moss as it revolves around the sex trafficking industry and a bachelor party gone very wrong.

Personal Reads:

  • The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer for a book by an author with your initials. She also happens to share my first name! A woman and her kids rent a guest house in Nantucket and are surprised to find a strange man and his son have rented the same house. They agree to split the house for the summer, and a will they/won’t they relationship evolves.
  • Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris, for a funny book and a book you started but never finished. I had started this when I got it last year for Christmas but never finished. I plowed through it over Thanksgiving break and enjoyed the content, but I didn’t really think the format worked in this kind of book.
  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, for a play. Brilliant. Who is Godot?  Does he ever show up? I loved the slapstick comedy and clever dialog.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell, for a book you were supposed to read in school. I honestly had no idea what this book was really about and it was interesting reading it with adult eyes.
  • Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris, read by Johanna Parker. This is the only non-review book that wasn’t for the challenge and since I was in need of an audio, decided to listen to the last in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
  • The Chimes by Charles Dickens, read by Richard Armitage, for a book set during Christmas. I’m not a big fan of Dickens, ever since plodding through A Tale of Two Cities in 9th grade I’ve had a hard time with his work. But it was free through Audible and something to listen to while wrapping presents.
  • Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, read by the author, for a book of short stories. I have to say it’s a good thing I’ve read others of his because this would stop me from ever reading anything again. It’s also thankfully only 4 hours long. The opening essay, about his time as an elf at Macy’s Santa Land, is funny and enjoyable. After that it goes downhill with a holiday letter that’s offensive (and I don’t easily offend), a case of one upmanship that goes way too far, and a couple more essays at are ok but not really funny. I did like the story about anthropomorphic farm animals who participate in a Secret Santa exchange.

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: December 27

Outside my window… It’s dang cold – highs in the 20s since last week.  Supposed to be in the 30s by the weekend.  We’ve had snow on and off as well, we even got around 3″ on Christmas.

I am reading…  Today I finished Chris Bohjalian’s The Guest Room, so next up is What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross.  I am listening to Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin.  I’ve finished 91 books this year, and there’s a chance I’ll finish one, if not both, of the books I’m currently reading.

I am watching…  Gotham right now. We’re almost caught up with shows, with only one or two episodes left, other than two that started late in the season that we haven’t even started yet – Elementary and Grimm.  And honestly I wouldn’t be upset if we just deleted those.

In Christmas…  We had a pretty good holiday.  Jon’s sister came in late Tuesday night (technically Wednesday, her flight was delayed, then she missed the shuttle because her luggage took too long to come out, so she didn’t get to our house until 3:30am).  Wednesday we made pierogies and painted cookies, then went out looking at Christmas lights and to a Hibachi for dinner.  Thursday we hung around the house, played XBox, watched Christmas movies, and then had our usual Christmas Eve dinner of bacon-wrapped filet, twice-baked potatoes, and asparagus, and this year we also had butter-poached lobster that was delish.

We were spoiled for Christmas this year.  Santa brought us a standing popcorn maker, which is awesome, a new garage door opener, which is not so awesome but desperately needed, and LEGO Dimensions for the XBox.  Alex got a rolling duffel bag for his Europe trip, wireless headphones, shorts, a Matt Forte jersey, some books, Magic the Gathering cards, Mortal Kombat, a Walter Payton Fathead, a new iPhone from Jon’s sister (her old 5c) plus accessories for it, and some other stuff.

Zach got all new NFL-themed bedding, which he loves, also wireless headphones, an Odell Beckham Jr jersey and a Fathead, track pants, Star Wars pajamas, books, a LEGO set, and other stuff.

Jon got me Mickey head earrings, and I also got a ceramic flat iron, the exercise videos I wanted for the XBox (Zumba and Your Shape Fitness Evolved), new slippers, and a Kohl’s gift card.

Jon’s sister got us tickets to the Avengers show in Denver in January, flannel sheets for Jon and me, and his dad got us the Keurig Kold soda maker, which is brand new and no stores around carry the pods, so those are on order.

So, as I said, spoiled.

We spent Christmas in pajamas, and ate pierogies and kielbasa for dinner while watching Inside Out.  Sunday we actually left the house to activate Alex’s phone, and while at Best Buy Jon ended up getting a new phone too, a Galaxy S6, which came with a free 32″ TV.  Sweet. We also went to Kohl’s to try to find pods for the Keurig Kold, and to Toys R Us to exchange a gift we already had for more Dimensions characters. We have one more return, and I still have to spend my Kohl’s gift card, along with the Visa gift card from my parents.

This week…  Everyone is still off work and school so not much going on.  Alex has open mat wrestling practice but he doesn’t want to go.  I may take them to the trampoline place on Tuesday.  We have tentative plans for New Year’s Eve which should be fun. The boys and I are all getting haircuts this week. We have nothing planned for next weekend, I’ll take down the Christmas decorations, and maybe we’ll do something fun.

DSCN3173

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Daybook: December 20

‘Twas the night before the first day of winter and all through the house…

Outside my window:  We still have snow from the 8″ or snow that dropped on Monday, when we had the first snow day in a few years. I worked from home, the boys went sledding, it was a good day.  It’s been in the 50s the last few days so a lot of it has melted.

I am reading…  The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian.  Today I started listening to Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, which will complete all of the categories for the Pop Sugar challenge.  They’re doing another one for 2016 so I’ve started coming up with ideas.

I am watching…  We’ve been taking advantage of the winter hiatus and are getting caught up on shows.  And earlier we watched Star Wars Episode IV in preparation for The Force Awakens, which we have tickets to see on Tuesday at the fancy new theater with a restaurant and reclining seats.

In Christmas… We’re pretty close to being ready, which is good since it’s 5 days away.  I got a late start on Christmas cards so those haven’t gone out yet, they should arrive here Tuesday and then we’ll stuff, label, stamp, and send them. Which means people will get an after-Christmas card. Today Jon made the doughs, and we’ll start baking tomorrow. Presents are all bought except one that we’re waiting for a deal on, and everything that’s in the house is wrapped as I locked myself in the guest room today to get that done. We have several things arriving over the next few days but the bulk of it is here and wrapped.

In School…  Alex’s report card isn’t finalized yet but he’s got mostly Bs with a few As. 3 of his classes are standards-based grading so I’m not sure how that will show up, if they average them or what. I’m not a fan of this grading system. We met with his teachers a few weeks ago to discuss some behavior issues and changes to his schedule, so he’s moving to a harder math class next semester, at his request. This also means changing his Literacy class but it will be the same teacher. Then he’ll have a Home Ec-type class, after having had PE and Health this semester. Hopefully he’ll be better about turning in his assignments so his grades go up. I’m ok with Bs if that’s the best he can do, but I’m not ok if they’re because he didn’t turn in assignments.

Zach is on trimesters so he won’t get his next grades until February.

In sports…  Basketball has ended for Alex, the JV team came within 1 point of winning but ended up losing on a free throw.  Wrestling officially starts the first day back in January, and the coach is holding open mat practices Mon and Tues of this week and next week. Zach is anxiously awaiting January for his basketball season to begin.

This week… The boys are officially on school break, and I took the last 2 weeks of the year off as well.  Tomorrow they have well visits, Tuesday we’re going to see The Force Awakens, and Tuesday night Aunt Nunu comes in for Christmas. We’ll be baking, I’m hoping to do our annual Christmas light drive, and we’ll be eating a lot.

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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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