Monday, October 25, 2021

Daughters of the Lake

Our October book club pick was Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb.  It wasn't one that I'd normally pick for myself, but it was set on the shores of Lake Superior and it is based upon stories and legends of the area.  It was a good October read.  There was some spooky/mystical stuff to it, but it wasn't overly done.  I liked the the way that the chapters went back and forth from past to present and hinted at how things happened.  I would like to say that I guessed who the killer was and am proud of myself for that because usually it slips right by me because I'm just chugging along.

Kate Granger is getting a cup of coffee when she sees her dad and the local police chief looking at a body that has washed to shore at her parents house.  She runs down to the waterfront and causes a huuuuge scense.  Needless to say this scene makes the police chief wonder, if she or her estranged husband have anything to do with this discovery.

Kate goes to another nearby waterfront town to visit her cousin Simon who owns a bed and breakfast.  This massive house used to belong to their great-grandparents and while Kate relays to Simon the weirdness of what is going on, dead body, suspect in a murder, and oh by the way, SHE KNOWS this person from her dreams, she decides to figure out who this person is and how they died.

If you are looking for something supernatural, with a Midwest setting, I'd recommend! It wasn't too bizarre and really had me turning the page to find out how everything meshed together.

Do you ever read spooky/thrillers/mysteries in October?

My least favorite October book club pick was Stephen King's, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Blah

Friday, October 15, 2021


The weather has made for an unusual fall.  I like it, but it's still so weird to be in the 70s in October.  Of course today it's actually cooler and will be over this weekend, but it's made it hard to embrace the fact that it's fall.  It kinda feels like summer but I'm sending my kid to school and we could have been camping more.  I am anxiously awaiting the approval of vaccines for my 10 year old.  I need this so much. I also would really like the two year old to have that availability but the 10 year old is out in the public way more so than us and I know she is itching to get back to indoor activities that we've been avoiding.

Pictures from the week:

The high of my week was visiting our local public garden with my mom and youngest.  It was a perfect temperature to wander through and look at flowers, leaves, squirrels, water, and the canopy walk.

The low of my week was  dumb people.

Meal plan for the week was  
Monday -  Steak Sandwiches, roasted broccoli, chips and cottage cheese
Tuesday -  Baked Potato Soup and salad
Wednesday -  Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper this is a family favorite.  I actually added a package of riced cauliflower with it and NO ONE NOTICED.  Ive been wanting to make a little extra because it's always eaten up an the package of riced cauliflower let us have leftovers.  I am betting you could even sub the rice entirely and just change some cooking directions and liquid amounts.  I also served corn, guacamole, and cut up tomatoes.  Then everyone adds what they want.  And some add sour cream.  I also usually have out olives.
Thursday -  Cashew Chicken Stir fry this is also a family favorite.  we switch out the veggies frequently and sometimes do fried rice with it
Friday -  Little Caesers make your own pizza kit (nephews fundraiser) with a southwest salad

The best money I spent was on groceries?

What I’m listening to  This weeks favorite podcasts have been The Piketon Murders, Counter Clock, and Sharon Says So.

What I’m watching I just recently finished the entire series of Murder She Wrote.  I am almost finished with Blackish.  And I have one episode left of Chesapeake Shores. Oh I am also liking NCIS and NCIS Hawaii. I am about to start Diagnosis Murder and he last season of The Good Witch. 

What I’m reading:  The Personal Librarian.  Really liking it so far.

My plans for the weekend we are celebrating our friends marriage tomorrow and hopefully cutting some trees that have fallen and burning some of them.

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


 I am so tired.  I am tired of people calling research shit videos they find on the internet.  I'm tired of people believing crap and then dying from the consequences of that crap.  I'm so sick and tired of the worry I have every single day I send my kid to school.  I'm sick and tired of worrying over what could happen to my children because someone else is doing something stupid.  I'm sick and tired of having to think through 34234324 steps in attempting groceries or any errand because I have a young child that I do not want to take inside any establishment.  I'm sick and tired of people calling the steps my child is taking to protect herself and her sister as child abuse.  I'm sick and tired of people thinking that they can do anything they want because of "rights."  I'm sick and tired of people refusing every single protection they could be doing to help others out.  I'm sick and tired of telling my child that no she can't do swim right now because "people."  I'm so tired. 

It didn't have to be like this.

Thursday, August 12, 2021


 I’ve read two books recently that inspired me to write.  I’m not sure if what I want to write is just yada yada blog posts or something more.  But I do know, if that I never actually sit down and write anything, the urge will eventually pass but the tingle of what should I have done won’t.  So here I am.  Maybe this turns out more of a free write and maybe it becomes focused.  But for now, definitely free write and we will see where it goes.

I read Learning to Speak Southern and the main character kept focusing on word meanings and how they transform and what we say now and what do we really mean.  She taught people in other countries English as a Second Language.  During the course of the book she finds out her mother, who never nurtured her or really mothered her, had once been in love with someone not her father and had been a great writer.  Never did she know her mother’s dream of being a writer.  Because her mother gave it up after the disastrous encounter with the man.  She never wrote again.  She never was herself again either.  When you hide parts of yourself, you are not okay.   You can shove it down, you can fake it, but you are never ever okay.

I also read Fire Keeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, and man I lived in that world for awhile.  2004 Ste. Sault Marie.  It’s beautiful.  It’s marketed as YA, but beyond the main character being nineteen and making nineteen year old decisions, it’s a book I’d recommend to adults and not even bother telling them it’s YA.  She is a beautiful writer.  I love when you just live in the book and you go to bed thinking about it, dream it during the night, and wake up wanting more, and never really wanting it to be done.

This is why I love series.  Even series that end up not so good.  You always have those characters to revisit.

Do you ever finish a book and are inspired to write but you have no idea what you would even write?

Thursday, July 1, 2021

What I Read in June

 I finished 10 books in June and I was quite impressed because I read a few very long books and at least one book drug out for a week because it was so disturbing.  It did help that I finished two of them on the 30th! 

I think my favorite book this month is It's been a Pleasure Noni Blake by Claire Christian.  Noni, is recovering from a break up with her partner of nine years, Joan.  While talking with her best-friend she makes a should-have list and decides to track down these men and women to see what might have been.  After a few HILARIOUS encounters and some more tragedy she decides to take a leave from work for 6 months and seek out a person on this list.  From here, she learns a lot about her self, body positivity and how to live in the moment. GREAT vacation / beach read.  

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner is the start of a new series with the main character a recovering alcoholic who travels around the country working as an independent investigator trying to find missing people.  She is in Boston trying to find a missing Haitian girl in a gritty neighborhood and meets a bunch of interesting people.  

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale Solokov who enters Auschwitz and vows to make it out alive.  I find it so disturbing how humans treated each other.  And in the midst of all this inhumanity the simple kind gestures those inside Auschwitz still bestowed upon others.  It is so very hard to read and I feel like I owe people who have shared their stories my time to listen.  We need to do better, still.  

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah was a disappointment.  It went on too long and I think that coming right after she wrote The Great Alone, which I liked soooo much better, was just too much.  

In a dark, dark wood was also a bit of a downer.  I read her book, One by One, and loved it so I thought I'd go back and read some others of hers.  It just seemed too far fetched of a premise to get people to show up in the same place and then too much deceit and how in the world would none of these people communicate so that they'd figure stuff out and I just couldn't get on board.

The Thirteenth Tale was hard to get into and it did get better but I did do a lot of skimming.  I am not a reader who reads for the love of words.  Or gothic reads.  Or ghost or eeries tales.  So parts of this were really good and parts I was like ooookay.  

Sounder was a read aloud with my oldest and its just so depressing and sad.  We are actually watching the movie together today to compare them.

What were your favorite June reads?

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

May Reads!

 I read nine books in May and probably would have read more but I spent a week getting ready for our first camping trip/putting our camper together where I didn't read a single thing!

Nobody will tell you this But Me is soo soo good.  Bess Kalb writes about her grandmother and it's perfection. Laugh out loud funny and grab a tissue and sob. Especially if you miss your amazing relationship with your grandma! Her grandma is Jewish and her mother immigrated as a young child by herself. Just the stories. Her grandma's voice really comes through. I follow Bess on twitter and she is a riot.

Searching for Slyvie Lee was a page turner of family dysfunction.  Did someone in the family kill her? Did she wander away? Who did what? I will say the only thing that irked me in the end was a situation that is detailed with her husband and how that is wrapped up.

Royal Holiday was another delightful book in the Wedding Date series. Such great characters!

From the desk of Zoe Washington is a middle grade novel about a girl who gets a letter from her bio dad on her 12th birthday. He's in prison and she's never talked to him before.  

The War I Finally Won is also a middle grade book and a sequel.  I really liked this one better than the first.  It's historical fiction and set in 1940s England during WWII. The 10 year old really liked both books.

Criminal really brings in the backstory of so many characters in this series by Karin Slaughter. It had been awhile since I read any of them and I kinda wanted to re-read now that I have this back story!

Blood Grove was eh, and Virgin Wander started out slow but got good half-way through!

I am already almost done with Missing, Presumed and am loving it.

What should I read this summer?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Currently: April

 We have been spending a lot of time outside and I am hopeful we continue this trend for the next 7 months!

Reading:     The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Loving: that my parents are home from Florida, I'm weeks away from my second vaccine and summer/camping trips are almost here.

Feeling: optimistic and pessimistic. our covid numbers are out of control again and we are just sooo close to being fully vaccinated and school has been going so well.

Anticipating: we are having my husbands siblings over for camping in our yard/ Kentucky Derby party in a few weeks.  It should be a blast.

Struggling: with re-entering society.  trying to decide what is do able and what we shouldn't do.  and trying to keep the 9 year old covid free until she can get vaccinated.  

Grateful: that my parents are home and can be my people again.

Working: on trying to decide what we need in the camper and meal plans and easy to maintain systems for the camper.

Listening: to podcasts but not as many recently since the oldest has been home for spring break.

Watching: lots of murder shows ha.

that our dams will be repaired and the lakes will return and our community will continue rebuilding and it won't turn to a complete disaster and my parents wont be charged 3423423434 in taxes to fix others mistakes. 

What are you reading/listening/watching?


Monday, April 5, 2021

What I read in March

 I've gone slightly silent again here and that is partly do to changing nap patterns and utilizing my time differently.  We are now in a good routine of a 3 hour nap if we don't have to do a school pick up and at least 2 / 2/1/2 hour if we do.  So in that time frame I have to do all the things I can't do when she's awake so most days that looks like clothes folding, meal prep, working out, and some cleaning.  And usually a tv show and some phone scrolling.  Sometimes reading and most times I don't make time to grab my lap top and I am tireeeeeed at night time.  I mainly can manage phone scrolling and sometimes not even reading cuz it puts me to sleep!

In 2021, I've read nine books each month.  That's pretty consist! I have noticed it seems to either take me 24 hours to read a book or an entire week.  There doesn't seem to be an in between.  Whoops.

I LOOOOVED The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall.  It was just a beautiful book and I recommended it to practically everyone while I was reading it and as I finished it.

I was kind of disappointed by The Stonewall Reader.  Some essays were really good, and some just dragged.  The real personal essays connected better than some that were more focused on gay history in general.

The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King was suggested by goodreads as a book others had enjoyed that loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  I LOVED that book, so I've been slowly reading the books that goodreads have suggested.  This was a good book about a group of friends who et in college and get together at least twice a year.  They have a ton of inside jokes and rituals and a boat load of secrets from each other.  It was a nice read.

The Bride Test is the follow up to The Kiss Quotient and it was just as engaging.  Khai's mom finds a woman from Vietnam to come to America to be his wife.  Khai has autism and most decidedly does NOT want a wife.  He definitely doesn't want one messing up his house and routines and can't be bothered.  He doesn't think he can love or feel for people and just wants his routine.  This is just a funny book with great characters and I love the series so far.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner had a ton of potential and then just didn't hit it like I thought it could.  I think the characters acting like amateur detectives was the part I didn't like.  It just wasn't written well.  And I hadn't read her books in years until Mrs. Everything and that was SOOOOO good that I was excited about Big Summer ( plus sized instagram influencer in her ex best friends wedding ) but that part of the story line just didn't do it for me.  Good book, but I felt it could have been better.  But heck, I can't write like!

Florence Adler Swims Forever was a really good book.  But it was so gosh darn sad.  I liked it but I can't really do super sad right now.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen was another goodreads suggestion and it didn't disappoint either! I really liked it too.  It's set in 1970s Georgia and the main character spends her childhood eating dilly bars at the Dairy Queen dreaming of her life in the big city of Atlanta.  If you enjoyed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, I'd recommend this one.

The Wedding Party is the third book of Jasmine Guillory's Wedding Date series.  LOVE the series, cracks me up and I'm always flying through the pages.  Highly recommend.  I'm trying to give myself a book a month from this series to stretch it out a bit for myself!

Have Yourself a Fudgy Christmas is anothe
r Candy Coated series book set on Mackinac Island.  I love the series and will probably read it as long as it continues!

Did anything you read in March stand out?

                                                         a bday present from a friend ha!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

February Intentions

 Well the thirteenth month of 2020 just ended, ha ha.  My husband and I decided that for once January did not last 34234234234 years, so I guess there is that! Some positives, my father has received both shots of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine and my mom has had one shot of the Moderna vaccine.  My dad hit two weeks post second shot yesterday, and this coming Monday my mom gets her second.  A little breath is being released there!

For January I had a few intentions..

"The biggest that is taking the most effort is healthier choices time.  My intention for January is to drink 100 ounces of water a day and hit 10,000 steps a day.  So far I've checked that off every day.  I am keeping accountable to myself by recording in Fitbit and posting my completed steps on insta. "

I made it about half way through the month and fell off the water bandwagon.  I just have such a hard time drinking ANYTHING.  It takes me all morning and sometimes afternoon to finish my tumbler of coffee and I just don't feel thirsty and chugging water is so gross to me.  So bad bad bad me.  I also fell off the bandwagon of posting my steps to insta halfway through the month but I finished January with at least 10,000 steps a day so go me!

"Reading wise I went through the year and put down some books that I want to complete during certain months, but with the caveat that if I get to them sooner, that's great, I just needed to work on clearing off some already purchased books and already chosen book club books.

For January, I need to complete Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlin, White FragilityNobody Will You This But Me (library dependent) and My life as Villainous by Laura Lippman.  "

I finished all the books except Nobody Will Tell you Thinks BUt Me, but I am on the waiting list! I read nine books overall.

"I also have a list that I'm tackling throughout the year and my first big project on there was locating a spot for my file cabinet that was homeless for a year and going through boxes in our storage area to throwing stuff away.  This I have started. "

I am almost done working on this.  I just hate it.  And I hate being in the basement.  But I have thoroughly cleaned two cabinets and re organized the kitchen set up.  Soooo some stuff got done!

Some basement finds!

February Intentions

Follow a couch to 5k plan I found.  Do that M, W, F.  Hit 10,000 steps on Thursday and Friday.  Don't keep track on Saturday and Sunday.

Finish the filing cabinet.

Read - Brown Girl Dreaming, Homegoing, The Stonewall Reader, and The Dearly Beloved (library dependent).  

Share information about Black History Month and learn more myself.

What are your February Intentions? How did you do on your January Intentions?

Monday, February 1, 2021

What I read in January

I started 2021 off with nine books read.  My favorite were The Wedding Date, Yes, We (Still) Can, White Fragility, and My Life as a Villainess.

The Wedding Date is a hysterical romance.  Alexa meets a guy in the elevator and within an hour she’s going to be his wedding date and it snowballs from there.  Great dialogue, quick movie plot and a very enjoyable read.

I honestly had to wait until the election was over to read Yes, We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer.  It is an engaging read about his time working in politics, mostly for President Obama.  If you listen to Pod Save America or read Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir, I would recommend it, even though we are FINALLY passed that presidency, it’s a great read that you can breathe a tad easier reading.

White Fragility is a look at how racism is imbedded into all of society and how white people can get butthurt.  May I recommend it to all the people who just can’t dare to be any more politically correct? Cuz, people this is for you.  Think through history, real history, and take a look at how we are living in a society designed for white people and how that can affect people deemed as other.

My life as a Villainess is an essay collection by Laura Lippman who is one of my favorite authors.  If you have no background on her, I’m not sure it will be your cup of tea, however, check her books out and then head to this one.  Especially, if your inner thoughts turn a bit towards mean.

Keep this To Yourself is YA and it had potential but it never hit it for me. I kept trying to think if it was a YA vs adult read thing, but I think it just didn't hit it for me. I did like that they lived in Camera Cove and was of course thinking Cabot Cove ala Murder She Wrote.

The Distant Dead was decent but it was just sad. Great writing. Nothing wrong there.

The Silent Sister was our book club pick and while I typically love Diane Chamberlin, I felt this one had too much going on for it, too many plot lines and too many ways to try to say 'gotcha!' to the reader. Necessary Lies is still probably my very favorite by her.

Did you read anything amazing in January? How are your reading goals shaping up? For my goals, White Fragility checked a box and My Life as a Villainess checked a box I had for myself.