Tag Archives: books

Week In Review~February 24

I can’t believe that today begins the last week of February, but yes it does! That’s not going to stop me from being part of Week In Review hostessed by the lovely Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Be sure to check out the other Reviewers when you’re finished here.

Week In Review Button Final

It’s been a week with its ups and downs, but I made it through and that’s what matters!

~I wrote three blog posts.  Still working on getting in Number Four.  I think I’ll have to have a serious sit down talk with myself in order to get the fourth one in this next week.  I’ll get there!

~I wrote my morning pages for the Artist’s Way every day.  I’m still enjoying it so much.  There’s a lot that I’m learning about myself from this process.  It’s all very helpful.  I was able to go to the meetup for the Artist’s Way this week because the weather cooperated.  I was actually the only one to show up, but I truly enjoyed a few hours of chatting with Monica the leader of the group.  She’s a fascinating lady.  I’m enjoying the process in general.

~I FINALLY unearthed my exercise bike.  During my big purge back in November, all of the empty boxes just got tossed on the porch.  Well, that made it a little hard to get to the bike, so I slacked off.  I’d sort of already been off track with the bike prior to that.  Anyway…I actually can’t remember whether it was Sunday or Monday, but I reorganized the boxes and gave myself access to the bike.  I exercised 30 minutes on the bike five days in a row.  I have to admit that it has done wonders for me.  My hips and back which have been bothering me a lot lately, feel much better.  I’m going to continue with this daily.  I’m feeling better every day and I’m pretty excited about it.

~We took care of some very necessary bank business and of course got caught in this week’s huge thunder-storm.  We had more errands planned that day, but headed home to avoid the traffic in the rain.

~On Saturday, as is my routine, I was at Weight Watchers bright and early.  My reward was a .8 (three-quarters of a pound) loss.  I was happy.  I’ve been working hard to stay on track and that made me happy.

~After Weight Watchers, Ralph and I headed to the county library for one of our favorite things…the semi-annual book sale!

Book sale

This isn’t the whole thing and I’m sure I missed some good finds because we didn’t get there until afternoon.  I was being very careful because I’m really on the mission of weeding out the books I have, but I did buy 4 books which I think was considerable restraint on my part.  I love being around books, old or new…it doesn’t matter.

~Since I’m writing this on Sunday, I’ll tell you what’s up for today.  I need to go grocery shopping quickly this morning.  I just need things to make my Weight Watchers veggie soup because that has been such a good tool for me over the last few weeks.  Then my sister Ele and I will be going to a spiritual Gathering that we attend every few weeks.  I’m really looking forward to it.

That’s the Week In Review for me.  Be sure to check out the other linkers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  We all love when you visit!

Happy Monday!

Disappearing Act

Good Morning!! I have not been sucked into a huge black hole and spirited away to some distant planet.  I’m right here and still chugging along.  I’ve missed everyone.  I knew I was in trouble AND a slacker when my best friend Gail called from Florida to catch up and said that she didn’t know what I was up to because “someone had not been writing her Blog!!”  I guess she told me.

Here I am, alive and well.  I’ve actually been recovering from the Holidays and working at improving my mood.  I’m feeling better and working to rev up my enthusiasm for the tasks before me.  I won’t bombard you with everything at once.  I’ll ease back in.

The major thing I want to talk about today is something that I find quite exciting.  Through Meetup, I’ve found a group that is working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

The Artist's Way


At least five times in the past, I’ve tried to go through this program on my own.  I have always been unsuccessful in the past.  I couldn’t make myself read through the program, write the morning pages or complete the tasks.  I guess I need to be in what I feel is a structured or more class-like environment in order to do it.  I joined last week and attended the first meeting on Wednesday.  It was fascinating and a great learning experience.  The group is small so far, only five people including Monica, our leader.  I like the idea of a small group.  Fewer distractions that way and we can get to know each other better.  I feel that this time I am going to be able to complete it.

In a way, I think this will help me focus.  I know, I know.  I’m always talking about focus and how I don’t have it and I am seeking it.  That’s all true and as I go through The Artist’s Way, I think I will start to develop that focus.  I’m not expecting it to happen overnight, but I think it will happen.  I already feel that I’m developing a more positive attitude.  That’s a very important step in the right direction.

This is a twelve week course and I will try not to bore anyone by talking about it too much.  However, after only one meeting, I feel that this will be a good thing.

I will try not be so much of a ghost.  I’ll be here doing my job.  I hope you all miss me when I’m not here.  I know that I miss all of you.

Happy Friday!!

California Dreaming

It’s just over a year ago that Ralph and I made our trek to New Mexico and then on to California.  Hard to believe it’s been that long but the good thing is that we’ll be heading to New Mexico again in September.  I will try Very had to contain my enthusiasm!

I had been to California a number of times before.  My roommate from college moved to the Los Angeles area and I visited several times.  I used to date a guy during my travel agent days (he was also a travel agent) who thought it was a great idea to fly to Los Angeles or San Francisco for the weekend.  Boy I spent a lot of money on those trips but I got to see California.

But our trip last year was something different.  We left from New Mexico, crossed Arizona and headed along the lower part of CA.  We then turned north and headed into a completely different world.  The San Joaquin Valley.  It was like New Jersey with mountains.  I mean that in a good way.  Fields and fields of grapes and corn and tomatoes and orange and lemon trees.  Just incredible.  Views that extended farther than the eye could see.

We continued on to San Francisco and beyond to Sonoma County.  We were heading there for a wedding.  We had the joy of spending a week with my cousin who luckily lived only about 20 minutes from where the wedding would be held.  She graciously offered her home to us.  It was a wonderful time.  When we left we headed through the Sierra Madre mountains and it almost felt like an adventure through the woods.

We then headed South to our next destination which was Lone Pine.  A wonderful step into the past.  Lone Pine is an area adjacent to the Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney which served as the back drop for hundreds of movies and TV Westerns.  We spent too short a time there and then took the drive through Death Valley.  I think Death Valley is such an interesting place.  Just be sure to get gas before you head in.  The only gas station after you get in there sells gas for more than $2.00 above the regular price.  Hey, if you’re in Death Valley and you need gas…You Need Gas!!

We headed back through Nevada, Arizona and then into New Mexico.  We were able to spend another 10 days in our Happy Place.

What brings all of this to mind?  Actually it’s a book.  Michael Connelly has always been one of my favorite authors.  I’ve read all of his books and just ordered from the library the only other one I haven’t read.  While in Maine I found a copy of his The Black Box at a used book store.  It was out of order for me, there was another book before it but I hadn’t read one of his in a while and I wanted to read it.

The Black Box (Harry Bosch, #18)

In this book the main character Harry Bosch who is based in Los Angeles, travels North into the area of the San Joaquin Valley to solve the mystery and catch the bad guys.  Somehow it’s always been such a treat to me when I’m reading a book and I’m familiar with where it takes place.  That was the case with Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil with Savannah, Ga. and Hannibal with Florence, Italy.  Hearing about these places brings back memories to me of having been there myself.

This time it’s especially clear in my mind because we were just there last year.  I always love a Michael Connolly book but I’m especially enjoying this one.

In fact, I only have about 10 pages to go…I want to know what happens…Gotta Go!!

Happy Friday!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?~March 25

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Presented by Sheila at Book Journey.  Let’s get started!


Boy am I out of things with reading lately.  Went to Florida and was very busy there with little time to read.  Then while I was there, I got very sick and didn’t feel like reading.  Came back to New Jersey to find out I had bronchitis. No reading for about a week.  Finally finished a book today.

Final Appeal (Rosato & Associates, #2)

I’m liking Lisa Scottoline, but this is one of her earlier ones and I think I like later ones better.  This was the first book I read on my Nook.  It does take some time to become comfortable reading on the Nook.  It’s just a strange feeling. This may have colored my feeling about the book.  I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll become more at home with it.  In general, I’m liking my Nook.

Having not really been reading lately, I’m not even sure what my next up will be.  I have no shortage of books here to start on.  I just can’t even remember what’s in the pile at the moment.  I realize that I am terribly behind in my book average for the year so far.  My plan is to read several short books to get myself back on track and pump up the average.

When my friend, Gail comes home from Florida, she’ll be bringing my bag filled with books that I got during our wonderful days of thrifting.  One of which is Le Miserables.  I was so excited to find a really nice paperback copy of it for 50 cents.  I couldn’t believe how inexpensive books were at some of the yard sales we found.  My friends were all laughing at me, knowing the collection of books I already have at home.

When all of the books get here, I’ll let you know what they all are…I can’t even remember!

That’s It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Be sure to visit Book Journey and check out some of the other bookie bloggers who link up.  I always get good ideas from them.  I could use an idea right now about where to start…I guess I’ll just dive in and hope the piles don’t smother me!    😉

Happy Monday!!

PS:  I started reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.  last night.

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)

Looks interesting so far!  Feel so much better now that I’m reading again!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?~February 25

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  That’s a question I did not get to ask last week so I didn’t want to miss the chance to play along this week.  This link up was started by Sheila at Book Journey and it’s fun to play along.  I love to see what everyone else is reading!


I’m on vacation in Florida and vacation is a funny thing.  I either read ALL the time or I get caught up in other things and don’t seem to have the time.  Then I’m too tired at night to even read in bed.

So far this vacation has been the second kind.  Not having much time to read during the day.  My other issue is that I’m using my Nook for the first time and it’s taking a while to get used to it.

This is what I’m reading…

The Witch's Daughter

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston.  It was a book I got on one of the specials that Nook offers, I think I paid $1.99 for it, good deal.

I’m enjoying the book so far.  The book is partially set in the 1600’s.  One of the best parts of using the Nook, when I come upon a word from the 1600’s that I don’t know, I touch the word and I can look it up!  Very handy and helpful, since I didn’t bring a dictionary with me!   😉   We went to the beach the other day to read and I must admit it’s a little tricky to read the Nook in the sun, but I can work with it.

I have been picking up some treasures in the way of books during my trip so far, but I’ll save those for when I post an update on The Great Thrift Store Tour. 

That’s it for me for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Be sure to stop by at Book Journey to check out the other blogs that  are linked up.

Happy Monday! What ARE you reading?!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?~February 11

It’s that happy time again, when I get to hang out with all the fun readers at It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Of course, this link up is the brainchild of Sheila at Book Journey.  Be sure to check out some of the other blogs when you’re finished here and leave a comment or two.  I’ll be there as soon as I finish here!


I started out the week with The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker.

The Gilly Salt Sisters

I really enjoyed this book.  The characters were richly drawn and in my head I was involved with their lives.  As I read, I kept giving them advise, telling them to do or not do something.  I love  a book with a touch of magic in it.  Here you’re never really sure if there’s magic but it makes it more enjoyable to think there is.  Well worth the read, give it a try.

I jumped into The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis the second installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, although Goodreads calls it the first.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I’m enjoying the series.  I’ve said this about other books, I don’t know how I missed reading these books all these years.  Lewis weaves his characters in such a way that you either love them or hate them, as is appropriate to the story.  I didn’t realize when I read the first book, The Magician’s Nephew, but I believe it was true with that book as well.  I felt like he was there telling me the story rather than I was reading it.  Such fun…I have five to go now.  I’ll probably feel sad when I’m finished the series.

I’m enjoying my current read, Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline.

Think Twice (Rosato & Associates, #13)

I’ve said before that I had no idea Scottoline had written so many books in general and this one is number thirteen in the Rosato & Associates series.  I know I’ve missed a few in the series.  I’ve been reading them mostly (as Usual!) from Goodwill and thrift store finds.  A few months ago, I found four of them and I’ve been able to read at least this group in order which has been helpful to get  a real feel for the series.  Think Twice has really captured my interest.  In fact, I’d like nothing better than to spend this rainy day reading.  We’ll have to see how that works out!

Hoping that the weather improves because I do have some outdoor things I need to accomplish.  Why does it always rain on the day I want to go grocery shopping?!  Just my luck.

Don’t forget to check out all of the blogs linking up over at Book Journey.  I get the best suggestions over there!

Happy Monday!  What ARE you reading?

I’m Being Followed…

What’s following me?  The number 3 again.  Yes, indeed I’m back to my brain saying to me, “Hey, it’s 3 am why don’t we wake up?!”

I thought I was over this, but I guess it’s a cyclical thing.  I had settled in comfortably to waking up at 5 am.  That’s a nice comfortable time for me.  I can get all of my computer stuff finished and then get on to my exercise bike before Ralph wakes up.

But, no, my body likes to play tricks on me.  The sad thing is that I haven’t exactly been doing anything constructive with this extra time today.

I did meditate when I first got up which seems to be so much a part of my routine now that I almost forget that I’ve done it.  Then I spent a good chunk of time looking at Super Bowl ads.  Yes, I realize I’m supposed to say “The Big Game” or some happy hoo-ha like that but that’s what they’re called when you search for them, so that’s what I’m calling them.

Some of them are really clever.  Some I scratched my head and said, “Huh?”  But in truth so many commercials I see lately I either end up saying “Huh?” or I’m pretty creeped out after watching them.  I’m amazed at what passes for advertising these days along with being amazed that the advertisers think it’s ok to say and show some of the things they do.  But that’s just me.

Why is it when I’m sleep deprived I always seem to get up on my soap box about something?  I’m clumsy enough naturally; with the addition of little sleep, I’m Sure to fall off of that thing and hurt myself!   😉

So I get to make the decision now.  Do I just start doing projects of which I have an abundance around here, or do I go back to bed now and try to sleep? Two cups of coffee have probably put an end to that second idea.  But again, I hate to say it, but I think there will be a nap in my future this afternoon.

I keep looking to see if the sun has come up yet.  No, just me and the glow from the laptop.

Well, I can always Read!!   🙂

Happy Tuesday!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?~February 4

It’s fun to have the chance to catch up on books and Monday seems a good day for it.  Thanks to Sheila at Book Journey for starting this.  It’s fun and when I’m finished reading and commenting (hint-hint…) on many of the blogs that join this link up each week, I end up with quite a few books to add to my  to be read list.


I have to admit, I’ve fallen behind a bit in my reading.

I did finish Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.


I enjoyed it.  As I got closer and closer to the end, I thought the main character was going to make a choice that would have soured me on the book, but she made the decision I hoped for.

I’m currently reading The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker.  Sheila, yes That  Sheila recommended it and I’m glad I took her suggestion.

The Gilly Salt Sisters: A Novel

I’m really enjoying this book.  Strange thing though and I wonder if this is a problem for anyone else.  The copy I got from the library is the large print version.  For some reason, a large print book slows me down when I’m reading it.  You’d think with my bad eyesight a large print book would be better, but it’s not.  Curious if anyone else has this same issue.

I have one other thing that was book related.  Last week sometime, Ralph and I were out and we picked up the DVD of Hugo.

Hugo (2011) Poster

It was a wonderful movie.  I watched it somewhere around 4 am Saturday into Sunday after waking at 2:30 am.  It was worth staying up for.  Now it makes me want to read the book.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Have to keep my eye out for it at thrift stores and library sales.  Or I could actually buy it.  Oh, the horrors!!    😉

That’s what I’m reading at the moment.  Hope to put a good dent in The Gilly Salt Sisters today and then get on with my Chronicles of Narnia reading as I had intended.

Be sure to stop by at Book Journey to read some of the linked up blogs.  Leave some comments and add some books to your list!

Happy Monday!!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Before we get down to the task at hand, or perhaps maybe the book at hand,  I must brag just the tiniest bit.  I picked the winner in both of the football games yesterday.  We didn’t start out this way but ended up with a friendly rivalry going.  Ralph picking Atlanta and New England, Me picking San Francisco and Baltimore.  I won’t say anymore.  Now I just have to figure out who I’m rooting for at the “Big Game.”    😉

So, To Books!  Mondays are the day for It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?  This is hosted weekly by Sheila at Book Journey.  It’s great fun and be sure to visit the other linkers when you’re finished here to see what they have to say.  Every week I find a book I’ve never heard of and must read now!


Last week I wrote about The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and the fact that I was about to read it.

The Fault in Our Stars

I mentioned how sometimes I’m reluctant to read books just because everyone else is and how many times I’m disappointed.  That did not happen this time.  This was a wonderful book.  When I thought I would be crying and I wanted to cry, I found myself laughing instead.  The two main characters were struggling and facing mortality as teenagers, yet they could smile and enjoy themselves and even fall in love.  Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Broadway musical and they don’t [SPOILER ALERT!!] live happily ever after. It’s not a comedy, it’s not all humor, but what the author does is make you love these characters.  I read books sometimes and when I’m finished I have a sort of hollow feeling because I’ve spent time with these people and yet have never come to care about them.  This doesn’t happen with The Fault In Our Stars.

If you have not read it, please do.  It is not just a Young Adult novel.  It is a Human novel.  I loved it.

I had seen The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton listed in several catalogs and on several lists of books that must be read.

The Moonflower Vine

I happened to find it at Goodwill for…say it with me…49 cents, a few weeks ago.  I was excited.  It is beautifully written and I feel it’s a book I may have to read a second time to feel its full impact.  Interesting, flawed characters live a bit of a chaotic life, it’s not always easy and they try to stick together under some tough circumstances both logistical and emotional.  Although I like to know what’s happening in a book as the story progresses, this doubles back to tie up the loose ends and it works for me in this book.  I can’t believe this is the only book Carleton ever published.  I was sorry to hear that.  Very interesting and I suggest that you read it if you can.

I’m currently reading Lisa Scottoline’s Killer Smile.

Killer Smile

I like her novels.  She’s flippant and there are some things about her style that annoy me…No! “Yes!”  Stop doing that…but I digress.  Her plots are interesting and have good twists.  Exactly why I read a mystery/thriller.

Lastly, I’d like to mention something on a personal note.  Someone I know has written and published his first book and I’m very proud of him.

My best friend, Gail’s brother, R E Thorpe has written On Leave.

Ray knew nothing about writing a novel when he started, he just knew that he had a story he wanted to tell.  He joined several writers’ groups, he wrote drafts, listened to critiques and learned every step of the way.  I’m very excited for him.

At the moment, it’s only available through Amazon but I’m sure that as it’s popularity spreads it will be available through other books stores and web sites as well.  I’ve included the Amazon link above.  My copy is on order and I look forward to receiving it.  In a few weeks, you’ll see it in one of my It’s Monday! posts.  Read the blurb on Amazon and see if it’s your kind of book, then Order!  I’ll look forward to hearing what you think.

That’s it for me today, when you’re finished here be sure to stop over at Book Journey to see what everyone else is reading!

Happy Monday! Happy Reading!

Strange But Good~Literary/Film Version

It’s a little funny to me that almost as soon as I decided to start participating in Strange But Good hostessed by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table I have cooked very little.  Food funk I suppose but never let that keep me from eating strange or having strange motivations for my food choices.

Sprint 2 the Table

I remember a few years back, Ralph and I were watching The Avengers.  No, not the recent one with all of the hunky superheroes.  This was The Avengers starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.  The one about British spies and based on the 1960’s British TV series.  Hey, it also had Sean Connery and Eddie Izzard in it.  We couldn’t resist.

To move my story along here…  Did I say they were British?  It seemed that in every new scene, they were sitting down to tea.  Tea here, Tea there.  About 20 minutes into the movie I told Ralph (my Ralph, not the other one) that he had to pause the movie.  He said, “oh, do you need to use the bathroom?”  I said “No!  I need to make Tea!!”

I’m very suggestible that way.  So this past week I read The Fault In Our Stars.  In several scenes in the book, they were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Not as often as Tea in The Avengers, but often enough that I was thinking I wanted some.  Then I saw PB&J on several blogs that I read and my fate was sealed.  I not only wanted PB&J, I NEEDED PB&J.

So I started to assemble that which I craved.  The shocking realization hit me that we had no bread!  Never let me be deterred when I want to eat something.  I proudly present to you Strange But Good-ers…



Peanut Butter and Jelly on Rice Cakes!!  Strange yes, but so tasty.  Ok, if I just put peanut butter and jelly on my finger and licked it off it would have been acceptable at this point.  But hey, I even measured out the PB and the J. I was proud of myself for that!

I guess in a way this is not only Strange But Good, it’s also True Confessions. I am one of the most suggestible people you’ll ever meet.

Now do you all understand my reason for not reading 50 Shades Of Grey?!

Strange But Good…check out the other linkers on this fun link-up.  See how strange we can all be and leave some comments.

Happy Friday!!  The sun is shining…I’m so excited!!!