Friday, February 28, 2020


I say it every year, but it's the truth, February flew by! January lasted 234234 years and then February zipped by.  I'm a bit sad because my parents escaped to Florida for the next 6 weeks and it has been bitter cold this week.  A huge snowstorm missed us completely, but it is just so darn cold.  We got teased last weekend when it was in the upper 40s and even hit 50.  We did enjoy it by going downtown and checking out a new to us lunch spot and stopping at a favorite bar to try some beers.

My favorite pictures from the week:

The eight year old did a biography report on Malala for her 3rd grade class earlier in the week and part of her presentation was dressing up as her person!

Enjoying the uppers 40s at the park on Sunday!

This is funny because she hates bottles.  She only drank a half ounce.

The high of my week was book club with my friends!  We read/discussed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt which was a great re-read for me!

The low of my week was my parents leaving, it being cold, and feeling like I'm stuck in my house because of illnesses and weather.

Meal plan for the week was

Monday - Wild Mushroom Beef Stew
Tuesday -  leftovers from Sunday (pork tenderloin)
Wednesday -  Chicken Sandwiches,  garlic/parm noodles, applesauce
Thursday -  I had book club and the rest had leftover beef stew
Friday - Roasted Tomato Soup and grilled cheese

The best money I spent was on hoping that the Lee jeans I bought on Amazon are the best things ever when they get here.  I currently own 8 pairs of jeans and none of them fit well.  One pair I can wear out of the house if needed but I don't really like them.  Another pair are so loose they will fall off.  And then the rest all too tight at the moment in various spots.  I live in workout pants or I have 2 pairs of black dressier pants from Maurices I wear.  I also have some dressier Apt. 9 pants from Kohls I wear when I need to be a grown up ha.

What I’m listening to I have been listening to the podcast Dolly Parton's America.  I really like it! Also, I just started listening to the podcast Friendlier and catching up on Family Secrets!

What I’m watching I watched a bunch of Mystery Woman movies I recorded this week as I was walking laps around my living room for my fitbit challenges! I also started watching When Hope Calls and When Calls the Heart.

What I’m reading: A Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J Garrett

My plans for the weekend include taking the 8 year old to get a hair cut and then nothing else is set in stone.  

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Library Haul

Our weather forecast the other day made it seem like we were going to get a huge snow storm and may get some snow days this week.  So I put in some requests at the library and picked them up before the storm hit.

After I finished a re-read of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, which I still LOVE THE CRAP out of I went through goodreads to find some books that they deem you may like if you liked reading that book.  That got me Velva Jean learns to Drive.  It is the first in a series and is set in Appalachia right before WWII.

I also got Whistling Past the Graveyard based upon this recommendation, and it is set in 1963 Mississippi. 

"The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. Born to teenage parents in Mississippi, Starla is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla’s fear that Mamie will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart."

A Bone to Pick is the second in the Aurora Teagarden series.  I got an Agatha Christie, because I do enjoy her mysteries every now and then.  Shamed, is the lastest book in the Kate Burkholder series, which is set in Ohio Amish country and Evvie Drake Starts Over is written by Linda Holmes who is a host for NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour.  I've been wanting to check this book out for awhile!

Have you read any of these books? Which book should I start with after I finish my current read which is A Place Called Jubilee?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

5 Bookish Things I'm Loving Right Now

Here is the 7th enthralling installment of 5 Bookish Things I'm Loving Right Now! You can find my last installment here.  

1.  Out of Print has a lot of election/politics related paraphernalia and I am a lover of hats (undecided if they love me back) and totes.  This tote, cracked me up, and is so very true. 

People we are in trouble.  I will just say that.

2.  I am not a movie person.  I have upped my movie going in the last few years by taking the oldest child. If we watch movies at home, I am mostly doing other things.  Paying a bit of attention.  However, since October when the youngest child was born, I have gotten into the Hallmark network.  I have watched a ton of Christmas movies and then found their mysteries.  A lot of these mysteries are based on cozy mystery series.  So then I added books to my TBR and actually have read Book 1 for the most favorite of my series so far (Aurora Teagarden).  Charlaine Harris writes this series and I find it funny that I've managed to check the first book of this series out and read it already, and I've owned the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series for YEARS and haven't read it yet.  Whoops. 

This is a long ways to say that Hallmark is making a TV adaption to a YA novel called, You Bacon Me Crazy,  I love the sound of that name! I hadn't heard of the book ahead of time.  I am going to have to add it to my library list before they  make this adult adaptation.  It involves a food truck and bacon, so count me in!


It's probably hard to read this page, but it is from a book I am reading, A Place Called Jubilee, by Timothy J Garrett, and it resonated with me.  The setting for this quote is 1961 Washington D.C.  The speaker, is a black woman in her twenties.  It's talking about racism and she is telling a new acquaintance that you shouldn't have to be told to know that treating people evilly is wrong.  AMEN.  There should be no further conversation.  It doesn't matter the location or time.  You SHOULD know that people are people.  You should KNOW that killing is wrong.  Full stop.  None of the "south' has always been that way.  IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN THAT way.  You should not have to be told this to do better.


Quite true.  I need to do better weeding out some of the children books we have.  The ones that enter I try to make very conscious choices about.

5. How Ramona Quimby Taught a Generation of Girls to Embrace Brashness is a great read.  It's kind of lengthy but worth it.  It dives into how Pippi Longstocking and Ramona Quimby helped show girls that it was okay to be you.  It's okay to not censor your behavior to be docile or how 'girls' should behave.  It's okay to be you.   Your loud annoying self, is you.  You do not have to change.  

"Upon a cursory read, it might be tempting to describe Ramona as mischievous, but Cleary herself has protested against this accusation, and with good reason. Ramona loves the world with ferocity; she does not so much want to disturb it as she yearns to discover, to turn it over, examine every piece and crook and marvel at why each creature, commodity, and substance exists the way it does. “She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next,” explains Cleary in Ramona the Pest."

I feel this along the same lines as 'bossy.'  It's leadership skills.  It's knowing what you want.  It's not compromising yourself to accommodate others.  (While a good skill to have, sometimes you need to be strong in your beliefs). 

What bookish things are you loving? Did you read Pippi or Ramona has a child?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Currently: February

Here is what I'm up to now..

Reading:  The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly

Loving:  watching my girls together.  So glad that I do not have to go to a job every day.  I love our routines.  I am just so happy.  If there was no snow, it'd be perfect. :)

Feeling: tired, but glad that we've been able to hang out with friends again after a little hiatus after having Adeline.  We had a party for the Super Bowl and had a ton of adults and kids here and it was fun! We used to host all the time, and this was the first real party we've had in months.

Adeline is a party animal who wouldn't go to bed until we assured her that everyone was gone!!

Anticipating: our spring break get away.  We rented a house on Lake Huron for a few days.

Grateful: For my healthy growing children!

Working: on selling things on marketplace.  I really wish our house was a better location for a garage sale.  I need to get rid of this baby stuff!

Listening: podcasts.  Catching up on Case Closed, Crooked Minis, Already Gone and All the Books!

Watching: Cozy Mysteries on Hallmark!

Wishing: for summer weather!

What are you reading> What are you loving?

Monday, February 10, 2020

What the 8 year old read in January

Isla's goal for 2020 is to read 100 books.  I have no doubt she will blow that out of the water.  She started the year off strong with 8 books read!

Her favorites were Wonderland, Old Town in the Green Groves and The Great Brain. 

Wonderland is by Barbara O'Connor who also wrote the book Wish, which she read last year and loved.  Isla said that she recommends this book for anyone who loves dogs. 

"Mavis Jeeter is fearless and bold, but she has never lived in one place long enough to have a real best friend. Her flighty mother has uprooted them again to another new home and taken a job as a housekeeper for the Tully family. Mavis wants this home to be permanent--which means finding herself a best friend.

Rose Tully is a worrier who feels like she doesn't quite fit in with the other girls in her neighborhood. Her closest friend is Mr. Duffy, but he hasn't been himself since his dog died. Rose may have to break a few of her mother's many rules to help Mr. Duffy--and find someone who really understands her.

Henry has run away from home, but he craves kindness and comfort--and doesn't know where to look for them.

When Mavis and Rose hatch a scheme to find Mr. Duffy a new dog, their lives and Henry's intersect--and they all come to find friendship in places they never expected.

She also said that if you read and loved the Little House in the Prairie books you most definitely need to read Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant.  It is set in the two year time frame that isn't covered in the series.  The author used Laura's memoirs and imagination to tell the story of what happened with the Ingalls family during that time. 

The Great Brain is by John D. Fitzgerald she recommends to those who like a 'good book!" She's requested the second in the series for our next library trip.

"The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it's saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top—and line his pockets in the process."

Have you read any books by Barbara O'Connor? They are on my list to check out for the year.  Wish and Wonderland seemed like great books, and we own them, so I will get around to them!

Friday, February 7, 2020


I cannot believe it is already the end of the first week of February 2020.  January did seem pretty long but the first week of February has flown by.  Adeline has her second cold and has been hacking and snotting for a week, followed by her second round of shots.  Oddly enough, she was sick for her 2 month shots too. Poor kid.  Sleep had been getting better and then this illness has got it back to being so random.  We had naps going in her crib and then the snot and laying flat was not good.  So back to all sleep in our bedroom.  Oh well, it will get there.

My favorite pictures from the week:

The high of my week was getting 3 straight hours of sleep twice in one night. :)

The low of my week was both of my kids not feeling well and the sadness of shots.

Meal plan for the week was

Monday - Lasagna and garlic bread
Tuesday -  leftovers lasagna, salad, applesauce and garlic bread
Wednesday -  Chicken sandwich, guacamole and chips, and applesauce
Thursday -  Hungry Howie's pizza, chicken wings, and garlic bread
Friday - steak stir fry with rice, and crab rangoons

The best money I spent was on Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens for March's book club.

What I’m listening to back logs of Case Closed and Atlanta Monster.

What I’m watching still finishing up Aurora Teagarden movies and Murder She Baked movies!

What I’m reading: The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly

My plans for the weekend include hopefully finally having a dinner with friends that has been rescheduled multiple times since December 26th! 

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Thursday, February 6, 2020

What I Read in January

I started January 2020 with 6 books read.  They were all pretty good.  I think I gave them all 4s or 5s on goodreads except one I gave a three. 

My favorite was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. It's set in the 1970s and the main character Leni, moves to Alaska with her family.  It is a brilliant heartbreaking story about survival, PTSD, and love.  Highly recommend it!  If you enjoyed The Nightingale by Hannah, I bet you will like this one too!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams was the first book I read in 2020.  It is the first book in the Schulyer Sisters series.  It goes back and forth from the 1960s and the 1930s. In 1964 Vivian Schulyer is living a life of independence that only a wealthy young woman of the 60s could.  She has a college degree and is fetching coffee at a magazine office where she'd much rather be writing the stories.  A suitcase appears into her life of a Violet Grant, who turns out to be a long lost aunt of Vivian's who had disappeared at the beginning of WWII after her husband was found dead.  It's beautifully written and the back and forth of the time frame keeps you engaged and wanting to find out what happened to Violet Grant. If you like Sarah Jio's books, I'd recommend this one for you!

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch is about a group of friends who gather for the 40th birthday of their friend in the house they lived together in college.  The book jumps between each of the friends and you find out bits about them that they don't share with their friends trying to keep up 'perfect' fronts.  I flew through this book and enjoyed it, except for the last bit.  I didn't like how to was summed up at the end.  However, the whole story was fun! 

I also read the second book in the Hope River midwife series, The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman.  It was really good! This book has a different main character, Becky, who had a smaller role in the first book.  It read super fast and kept my attention.  This book focused on the hardships that the Depression put on people of West Virginia and how the CCC helped the area with jobs/buying in the community.  Highly recommend this series!

I also read Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco, the newest installment in the Fudge series.

"Halloween on Mackinac Island is a season of fun tricks, but finding a corpse is no treat for fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy . . .
It’s late October, off-season for tourists, but locals are up and lurching for the annual zombie walk charity event. Though everyone’s living it up, trouble is a just a few pawprints away. Allie’s followed the bloody tracks of her calico cat, Carmella, to a body in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Unlike the island’s other walking dead, this one’s flatlined for good. It seems that someone is using the zombie fest as the perfect backdrop for murder. Now amateur sleuth Allie and dreamboat officer Rex Manning must use every trick in their treat bag to unmask a killer in disguise. "

I also finished the Winter series by Elin Hilderband and read Winter Solistice.  I was really glad that she added on a 4th book and didn't end it with the third, because that would have been disappointing.  I really liked how the storylines ended more naturally with this 4th book.

What was your favorite book you read in January?  What's a book I should read in 2020?