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Showing posts from January, 2018

Photo Inspiration: Books & Little Boys

When I was pregnant with my boys I wanted what all mommies and daddies want: a healthy, happy baby.  Yet, if I'm being honest, I also wanted those babies to be just a little bit like me.  I wanted them to share my interests and enjoy the things I enjoy.  I wanted them to be readers.  I wanted them to love being read to and, when the time came, to find pleasure in reading for themselves. I wanted little readers, so I read to them. Well, I tried to read to them. Little boys can be difficult, especially hyperactive little boys like mine were. I remember trying to make reading at bedtime a routine.  KC was never the best listener.  Even when he was supposed to be winding down and relaxing, fresh from a bath and snug in his jammies, he was too busy to listen.  In between pages or even paragraphs, I remember tugging his monster trucks out of his hands and telling him to be still. KC never did still very well. He was busy.  Oh, so busy. Trying to read to KC - Cleveland A

What I'm Playing - January 2018

I like video games. I like playing them on my phone or tablet. I like playing them on the PS4. Liking something doesn't necessary mean you're very good at it, though.  If you were to compare my progress to more skillful players (like either one of my boys, for example), you would find that it takes me three to four times longer to finish a game than it does them.  I don't always make the best decisions.  Just like in real life, I am easily distracted by bright and shiny objects.  What this means is that I play the same games for months and months or even years and years because I am a sucker for side quests. This penchant for not completing the main storyline is only partly responsible for how long I've been playing the first game I'm going to highlight.  The fact of the matter is I'm not the best at fighting with anything that requires aiming.  I'm more of a melee fighter, which is probably why I die so often.  When you're in contact with the mo

Snowcoming 2018

Last night was the Snowcoming Dance at my son's high school.  I think other schools may refer to it as the Winter Formal or some such thing, but in our little town it's called Snowcoming.  No, I don't know why.. Lucky for us, Gage had most of his outfit already in his closet.  He had gotten new shoes, pants, and a reversible belt for Homecoming.  The shirt was also hanging in his closet as he had worn it to a wedding last summer.  The only thing he really needed?  The tie. Things were a little chaotic around the time I would normally have taken him shopping.  I was spending a lot of time up at the hospital keeping my dad company before his big surgery.  Luckily, his girlfriend's mom was kind enough to let him tag along on one of their shopping trips and she helped pick out his tie.  He was supposed to pay for it and have me reimburse him.  Well, because we always pick up the flowers and they pay us for his boutonniere, she offered to cover the tie and have us just

Photo Inspiration: Is it a birthday party?

I love preserving old photos, especially those from my childhood. If you're wondering, I'm the short girl in front wearing the blue bibs and the pink shirt.  My hair is curly and short.  Not a good look for me.  Thank goodness the picture is mostly blurry and you can't see how truly horrible I looked in that particular hairdo. I'm standing with my cousins and my little brother, Jason; he's the baby that's being held up by my cousin, Lee Ann. Next to me, standing a few inches taller, is my cousin Michael Todd.  I have to put both names down because to many of us he's always been Todd.  Yet, there are a fair number of people that call him Mike now.  One of the perks of being a grown-up, I guess.  Todd (fine, Mike) is six months older than me. Me & Michael Todd in our younger years. Back to the original photo... Standing behind me is my cousin Tina.  In the very back, hidden by her big sister, is my cousin Angie. On the end, in the purple shor

Photo Inspiration Series

I'm really trying to come up with regular content for this place.  Looking through old photos, it occurred to me that they are a great source of inspiration, each picture holding a fragmented memory of emotional significance.  Sharing those memories, as unreliable as they may be, is something I really think I'd like to do. So, with that in mind, I think I'm going to try to schedule a weekly Photo Inspiration Post.  I don't want to put any restrictions on this journey, so I'm not going to put any restrictions on how these posts will work.  If I want to include more than one photo, so be it.  If I want to create a slideshow or video, that's cool.  If the photos are older than me, that's okay, too, because I still have a lot of people in my life that might be able to provide some context.  If the photos are from that day or earlier in the week, that's not a problem either.  The only hard and fast rule that I'm going to follow is tagging the posts

Book Clubs - January 2018 Book Selections

Ladies & Gents, I've somehow managed to get myself into three book clubs.  Let me explain... The most enduring book club was started by a friend of mine a few years back.  In Under the Covers Book Club we try to select one book a month.  We read the book and then meet up at the end of the month, or the beginning of the next, to discuss.  I think the original intention to was select easy, fun, romance novels.  While we still do occasionally read a romance novel, our monthly selections are as varied as the reading tastes of our members.  This month we picked Moonheart by Charles de Lint. This book is, so far as I can tell at a mere 6% read, an urban fantasy novel.  The protagonist is part-owner of a thrift/antique shop.  While de-cluttering the back room, she discovers a beautiful painting and a medicine bag with an eclectic collection of items still locked inside.  Instead of marking them for sale, she decides to keep them for her own.  I assume things are about to get

From Heart Cath to Quadruple Bypass

It was a long eleven days.  On January 3, 2018, my dad went into the hospital to undergo a heart catheterization. This was in follow up to a stress test he had completed in late 2017.  He could have had the procedure done before the holidays but opted to wait.  Frankly, he felt fine and thought the heart cath would perhaps reveal the need for a stint or two, if that. Well, the heart cath showed that there was a significant amount of blockage and narrowing of the veins. While he sat in recovery, my sisters and I followed his cardiologist to a monitor where we could see the ink pumping - or not pumping as some of blockages were causing 90% occlusion - through his arteries and veins.  The cardiologist was very thorough, counting off the number of stints that would be required to fix the many, many problematic areas.  My sister stopped counting at fifteen, and we hadn't even looked at the third major vessel yet.  Suffice it to say, dad was termed "high risk" and informe

2018 Reading Challenge

I like setting reading goals, even if I usually fall short of meeting them.  Take last year's goals, for instance.  I wanted to read 75 books total and I did.  So, yay, a win!  What I didn't manage to do was to read the list of re-reads I wanted to tackle.  I also didn't manage to read the exact number of titles off my Kindle and physical TBR piles.   Still...I like challenges.  So, I created this one for 2018. I want to read at least 75 books again.  That's the big, overarching goal.  Within that goal I want to accomplish the following:  1.  Read at least five classics.  2.  Reread one series.  3.  Read at least five non-fiction titles. 4.  Read twenty books from my Kindle TBR shelf.  5.  Read twenty books from my physical TBR piles.  Seems easy enough!  The biggest challenge will be the five non-fiction titles and the five classics.  Those are typically not fast reads for me.

2017 Reading Challenge - How Did I Do?

Not well. Oh, sure, I read 76 books and that's impressive.  At least, most people think it's impressive.  For my reading friends, perhaps not, especially if you're a voracious reader that has loftier goals in the 100-150 range.  Me?  Trying to read 75 books a year seems doable without being terribly stressful, so I am perfectly happy to say I met that particular goal. However, I did not do a very good job in meeting the 2017 reading goals I shared on here last year.  Let's start with the re-read challenge. I stated I would re-read the following books: 1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 2. A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin (GRRM hereafter) 3. A Clash of Kings by GRRM 4. A Storm of Swords by GRRM 5. A Feast of Crows by GRRM 6. A Dance of Dragons by GRRM 7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 8. Scar Night by Alan Campbell  9. Through Wolf's Eyes by Jane Lindskold 10. 1984 by George Orwell Here's what I ended up reading inst

Favorite Books of 2017

I read 76 books in 2017.  Not bad!  In fact, it was one more than I had hoped to read.  Of course, as I read a wide variety of things, some of those books were rather small and some were rather lengthy.  For a more thorough breakdown of all the books I read, you can go visit my Goodread's Year in Review . This blog post will be dedicated to the books that stick out most in my memory and that either touched my heart or made me really stop and think. Starting at #10.... This was pretty funny, as in I literally laughed out loud more than once as I was reading.  It was ridiculous, perhaps even ludicrous.  Every year an angel is sent down to earth to grant one special child a Christmas miracle.  When Archangel Raziel is sent to tend to this duty someone Upstairs should have known things were about to go sideways.  Raziel really is the stupidest angel.   He has little understanding of humans or the world in which they live, so when this year's special child ask him to

Happy New Years!

Just us girls! Happy New Years!  I hope you had a safe and enjoyable New Years Eve.  We certainly did. While Ken and I attended a party in Sandusky with our friends, our boys each went off with their girlfriends to celebrate the end of 2017 and welcome in 2018.  KC and Allie went to a friend's house where they watched movies with other couples. Gage went to Addi's and spent the evening with her family and, funny enough, his aunt and cousins.   KC & Allie Gage & Addi Both boys made it home well before the bars closed down, just as mom had requested.  I was nervous about them being out on the roads at all on New Year's Eve, but they did just fine. While the kids were hanging out with their girlfriends, we were dancing and playing games at the VFW hall.  Had we had any idea how much food was going to be there, we would not have opted to go out to eat before we arrived at the hall.  Not that our early dinner stopped me from p