What I’m Reading – December 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Caldera by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #7 – Just started last night but it’s good so far. It sounds like it will be very similar to the other books in the series, which isn’t a bad thing.

What I Recently Finished:

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Found this browsing the Libby app and it was enjoyable.

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – Holiday romance, okay read.

The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs – This was one of the Amazon First Reads for December, and I really enjoyed it. It is the story of an American woman and an Indian man working together in India and falling in love.

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay – Sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, also quite fun to read.

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #5 – enjoyable but very similar to many of his other books.

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton – This was another random find and was very good.

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton – Another book by this new-to-me author. I liked it a lot.

The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #6 – this was probably my favorite from this series so far.

Jolene by Mercedes Lackey – Elemental Masters #15 – I wasn’t familiar with the story this is based on, which is The Queen of the Copper Mountain, but this book was right up my alley in terms of a good read. I loved it!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Return of the Temujai by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #8 – As far as I can tell, this will be the last of his books set in the world of the Ranger’s Apprentice, at least until he writes some more, hopefully!

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton – Can you tell I like this new-to-me author? I have already read two of her books and have added her other two to my to-read list.

Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

December Update

I started my personal winter break today. I will still be doing some work, but I won’t be working my regular hours until after the New Year. I was so productive today:

  • Took Baxter to daycare
  • Took Michael for bloodwork
  • Went to the store and got a few things, including stuff to make Peanut Butter Blossoms (requested by Michael)
  • Cleaned the cat box (I don’t do this often enough!)
  • Called the gas company
  • Emailed the lawyer about Michael’s SSI appeal
  • Did some filing
  • Went to Rite Aid for Michael’s new weight loss medication and the rest of our stocking stuffers
  • Went to the library
  • Made lunch
  • Made Peanut Butter Blossoms with Michael (used dark chocolate Kisses because that’s all they had at the store)
  • Went back to the store to get stuff for chocolate chip cookies (Joe’s favorite)
  • Picked up Baxter from daycare
  • Made dinner
  • Wrapped Christmas presents
  • Checked my work email

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and we are going to make the chocolate chip cookies. Michael asked if we could watch a Christmas movie, so after dinner we are going to watch Christmas Vacation.

For Christmas Day, the three of us are celebrating in the morning with stockings and presents. Then Michael’s dad is picking him up at noon, and Joe and I are going to his parents’ house at 2pm. His dad has recently stopped treatment for his stomach cancer, plus he has a lung disease, so he wants to have his kids there for Christmas. There won’t be any grandkids, so it will just be ten of us.

Sunday night Michael will come home, and then he has all of next week off school. He does have some past assignments that weren’t turned in, however, so I will be working on those with him. Monday I get to do something I have never done before – prep for a colonoscopy. I am having my first colonoscopy on Tuesday morning. I have had many endoscopies, but never a colonoscopy.

Wednesday a friend of mine is coming over with her boys. She is going to work remotely in the afternoon while the boys play with Michael, but then we will get to visit after she is done with work for the day. I am really looking forward to their visit!

Thursday I will probably work, and then Friday (New Year’s Day) I am going to make the turkey dinner I had planned for Christmas Day before we got asked to go to Joe’s parents’ house for Christmas.

So it should be a nice holiday season. Hope you all have a happy holiday season as well!

What I’m Reading – November 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Found this one browsing the Libby app. Looks interesting.

What I Recently Finished:

Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp – Very enjoyable read!

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen – I liked the characters, but wasn’t too crazy about the plot.

Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn – I’m not quite the demographic for this series, but it was fairly good anyway.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – Amazing book! Even though I could tell where it was headed fairly early on, I was still entranced by the story and I cried at the ending (which is rare for me).

The Shepherd’s Wife by Angela Elwell Hunt – This was actually better than the first one in the series. I liked it.

The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman – Satisfying read. #35 in the Alex Delaware series.

Your First Step to Celebrate Recovery by John Baker – Easy read about the founding of Celebrate Recovery as well as an overview of the principles and steps.

By John Flanagan

  • The Hunters, Brotherband Chronicles #3
  • Slaves of Socorro, Brotherband Chronicles #4
  • The Missing Prince, The Royal Ranger #4

By Sherryl Woods

  • Sea Glass Island, Ocean Breeze #3
  • The Inn at Eagle Point, Chesapeake Shores #1
  • Isn’t It Rich?, Million Dollar Destinies #1

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman

Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

A Picture of Love by Beth Wiseman

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Did Not Finish:

Memories in the Drift by Melissa Payne

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

November Update

I thought I would sit down and write an update as to what’s going on these days.

The holidays are going to be different this year.  Normally, we get together with my husband’s family for Thanksgiving Day and also for Christmas Eve.  But my father-in-law is still undergoing chemo and needs to be very careful to avoid catching anything, so we are not going to be getting together this year.  My parents both live in Illinois, so we don’t usually see them at the holidays either.

My in-laws decided to splurge this year and got us a grill as an early Christmas present.  It’s the same model they have, and it’s really nice.  We have used it a couple of times already.  Speaking of early Christmas presents, we have done a little shopping for ourselves as well.  I got new drapes for the dining room and a replacement set of Little House books since my originals are in bad condition and I still enjoy re-reading the series from time to time.  Joe got barbecue tools and a cover for the new grill.  Michael has been updating his wish list on Amazon for any family that want to get him something.

Michael has been struggling a bit with the hybrid schedule his school is on this fall.  His grades aren’t as good as they normally are because he has missed a few assignments or not read all the directions for the week when he is online.  He has also been feeling a bit stressed/overwhelmed with things.  His psychiatrist has increased one of his meds to help, and we are also back to biweekly sessions with his therapist.  The autistic support teacher is also meeting with him over Zoom once a week to review his assignments and the directions for the week in his classes.

For his senior year, Michael is taking English, Chemistry, Financial Algebra, and four credits of Electronics Technology.  He was originally going to take a couple of half-credit electives, but he doesn’t need them to graduate so he decided not to take them.  The seniors have online school Monday – Wednesday and in person school Thursday and Friday.  Thursdays are his academic classes, and since there are only three of them he gets out at 11am.  Fridays he has his shop all day.  The shop teacher has them working on individual projects for part of the day, and Michael is programming a video game for his project.

Work has been busy but not overwhelmingly so.  We are still working towards our new computer system and are finalizing all the product data uploads now.  We hope to be live before Thanksgiving.  I think the timing is good, because we will have a few weeks during our typically slower time to get used to the new system.  Then when things pick up in January, everyone should be pretty comfortable with it.

So that’s the news for now. Hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.

What I’m Reading – October 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen – My friend Kim lent me this one. It’s better than I expected.

What I Recently Finished:

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs – Enjoyable read.

Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope – The latest by one of my favorite authors, this one was pretty good.

Shadows in Death by JD Robb – The newest installment of the futuristic detective series, not as good as some of her others.

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn – Book 1 of the Haven Makers series, fairly good.

The Outcasts by John Flanagan – Book 1 of the Brotherband Chronicles, really enjoyed it.

The Invaders by John Flanagan – Book 2 of the Brotherband Chronicles, pretty good.

The Sweet Magnolias series by Sherryl Woods – fun romance series.

  • Stealing Home
  • A Slice of Heaven
  • Feels Like Family
  • Welcome to Serenity
  • Home in Carolina
  • Sweet Tea at Sunrise
  • Honeysuckle Summer
  • Midnight Promises
  • Catching Fireflies
  • Where Azaleas Bloom
  • Swan Point

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp – from Amazon’s October First Reads

The Hunters by John Flanagan – Book 3 in the Brotherband Chronicles

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg – always love her books

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – looks like a cute holiday read

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – getting rave reviews

Did Not Finish:

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer – this is Twilight from Edward’s point of view. I only made it through the first two chapters and just could not get into it.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

One Year with Baxter

It has been one year since Baxter joined our family. There have been lots of ups and downs as I adjusted to having a dog, but today I can say that I’m glad he’s here with us.

I wasn’t so sure I would feel that way at various points over the last year. There were a few days where I felt like I had postpartum depression – the feelings of being helpless and overwhelmed were so strong. Sometimes I could not figure out what he needed – when he regressed on his potty training after I introduced some wet food when he stopped eating the dry food. Thankfully cutting the wet food back to a very small amount mixed with the dry fixed that issue.

Getting outside help has made things substantially better. First we hired a dog trainer once a week for a few weeks. She helped us work with him on some of the issues we were having. He still has a lot to learn, but she gave us some tips on how to train him which were very helpful. Another thing we did is start taking him to doggy daycare once or twice a week. That way he gets to be energetic and social with other dogs while I get a little break from him. He loves it there and gets excited when I mention going to daycare. Plus he is super tired and chill in the evening after he goes and even somewhat the next day.

One thing I can’t believe is how much money we have spent in the last year on him. I have only ever had cats before and spend very little money on them. Part of it was us going overboard buying stuff for him like treats and toys, but also he has needed to go to the vet more often and now we are paying for the daycare.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think I want to go through raising a puppy again, despite how utterly cute he was. But I am glad now to have him in our lives.

What I’m Reading – September 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Outcasts by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #1 – this is a new series I am starting by John Flanagan, who wrote the Ranger’s Apprentice series I enjoyed so much. It takes place in the same world and overlaps the time frame somewhat.

What I Recently Finished:

A bunch of books by John Flanagan:

What You Wish For by Katherine Center – A bit formulaic, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have her other books.

Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins – A good story about a family as they deal with the dad having a stroke.

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks – This was okay. I needed something to read and it was available.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld – This was a reread. Not as good as the original but enjoyable.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope – This was another reread of another retelling of the original story. Good book!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

The Missing Prince by John Flanagan – Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger #4

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!