The Pet Sematary Read Along: #gangstercats

Pet Sematary Read Along
Because I am absolutely, without a doubt, THAT person who rushes around in the mornings, I managed to damage my cornea with a hair brush. Yes! I tore that sucker right off my eyeball and cannot read, so it’s a good thing that I started Pet Sematary early because I probably can’t read for the rest of this week.

Jill @ Somewhere In a Book is hosting this read along. You can click on over for the details and sign-up officially, or you can check out the details here and decide on your own. I must say, I am surprised at how many of you expressed an interest but are a little afraid to drink the water. Do not worry. It is a scary book but you are reading it with friends, after all. This is THE BEST way to read King.

Here’s the important stuff straight from Jill:

  • Instagram and Twitter hashtag: #gangstercats (hey, I was trying to keep it short and silly). Most of you know that I am usually on Instagram (@jilllora), and I will do my best to keep up on twitter (@JilleeBeene), but you’ll have to cut me a little twitter slack since I haven’t been on in 2 years.
  • read at your own pace, post/tweet/instagram/scream whenever you feel like it
  • I’ll put up a check in post at the end of March and again on April 15th. And if you’ve posted thoughts on your blog, I’ll link to everyone’s posts later in April (just in case you’re a slacker poster like me, I’m giving you some time to get that post written).
  • If anyone wants to watch the movie instead of read the book, more power to you. You’re still welcome to join us…I’d love to know how cheesy the movie is! Bonus points (but no kitty treats) if you read AND watch.
  • Go here for more info.

Not so important but my Twitter handle is @TiBookChatter in case you want to chat but if you use the hashtag #gangstercats in all of your Tweets, we can search on that key term and see everything that’s been posted.

So for the die-hard readers who signed up early and who know how freakin’ excited I was about the read along, it may be a few days because you see a Tweet from me. The pain has subsided a little but the sight in that eye has not returned.

Hope you can join us.

Sunday Matters: Losing My Dad

Sunday Matters

Right Now:

Taking a break from my normal Sunday Matters template to talk about my dad a little. For years, he’s been plagued by diabetes related conditions (blindness, kidney failure, kidney transplants x 2,  staph infections, etc.) and this past week, he gave in to them and passed away.

We’ve not had a typical father/daughter relationship but there were moments, very specific moments where I felt a connection and those moments are what I am trying to focus on now. One memory I have is the two of us spending the entire day at the Central Library in Los Angeles. My love of reading definitely started from those visits. I was only 4 years old and he’d sit me at a table with a stack of books and we’d sit there all day reading. Moments like that were rare but they are what I remember.

I feel oddly disconnected but at the same time very much in the center of it. I just feel so strange. I have never lost someone so close to me.

There are things that need to be addressed as far as my mom and sister are concerned. Of which, I have very little control over. The situation is very dire and although I have no trouble making decisions on most days, the decisions needed to made here leave me completely overwhelmed. Dysfunctional families are fun to read about, but not much fun to be a part of. To complicate matters, they don’t seem to want my help.

I just need a moment to think about it all.

This Week:

This week will be spent trying to figure stuff out. In the mean time, I am still on social media as a form of distraction. I am still reading because if I stop I feel as if I won’t be able to function. I’ll still be blog hopping and chatting away with all of you because that’s how I deal with things.

Grateful for:

Supportive friends and family.

Sunday Matters: Chinese Take-Out & Zombies

Sunday Matters

This past week was good. The weather was warm, I didn’t have to rush around and I even managed to cook some meals at home. Valentine’s Day was a little uneventful, but mostly by choice. I don’t deal well with crowds and often just opt to stay in, which is exactly what we did.

Except for the 4 a.m. registration for The Sound of Music on Valentine’s Day which wiped me out, only because I managed to turn my ankle. It’s not sprained or bruised but I managed to turn it just enough to keep rolling it every time I take a step. People were running! I was not. All I did was step out of the car wrong. The Hub says this could only happen to me. He’s probably right.

These cake pops that my friend made helped make-up for the early morning wake-up:

Cake pops

My book club met to select the books for the year and it’s an interesting list. I will post it soon. I agonized over my choices but they both made it in, The Boys in the Boat and Norwegian by Night.

And…I got to meet one of my fave people (Karen) for lunch. She and her husband stopped by to have lunch with me on Friday and she made me these awesome pillows.

There is a story behind these pillows. She posted the fabric on Instagram and I was drooling over it. Japanese prints always make me think of Murakami. And then when I met her for lunch, she had these pillows for me! I was near tears and so surprised. I am going to take the two pillows, reclaim the loft and finally have my reading loft. The Teen may protest.


Right Now:

We are going to church this morning. I am looking forward to it since I missed last week’s service. I have coffee in hand now but will probably pick-up a green smoothie on the way home from church.

This Week:

Track starts. It was delayed by a week but will start for real this Tuesday. The Girl needs it.

I have a hair appointment. The one that was rescheduled since the one I had two weeks ago ended up being a no-go since the salon was closed. My hair is a disaster because of it. I am debating if I should go shorter.


Just finished Her by Harriet Lane. The book was pretty wonderful until the very end when it all went to crap. Seriously, the last three pages. What the heck?

I need to choose my next book and once again, I haven’t a clue what to choose. Dead Wake is looking pretty good.


We watched The Sound of Music last night, in prep for the next show. We also watched Definitely, Maybe. I had seen it before but I thought The Girl might enjoy it and she did. I started watching Breaking Bad at lunch. I am almost done with season one and it has grown on me. Tonight, The Walking Dead.


I am not making anything today but we are going to pick up Chinese take-out. I have been craving it for weeks but no one else has so this is sort of my Valentine treat. Chicken in black bean sauce and House Special garlic and rice noodles. I can’t wait.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for so many things, the roof over my head, my health (even though I have issues now and then, my issues could be so much worse) and I am grateful for friends. This past week, the actions of some of my friends really brought tears to my eyes.

Happy Thought For the Week:

One last week before rehearsals start for The Sound of Music. I will be starting a new book, my hair situation will be taken care of and every night this week I am going to tackle the clutter that has built-up over the past few weeks. When the weather is like this I just want to clean. Sad, but true.

What are you doing today?

This Book Cover Makes Me Long For Summer


What am I? Nuts? Summer in Southern California is a brutal, hot mess of a season. But there is just something lovely about it, too. I am thinking about it lately because our weather has been so warm. Think, mid-80’s warm.

It has me thinking about Mint Juleps and lounging in the backyard with a good book. You should know this about me though, I love the idea of reading outside but in reality I do not like the bugs, or the sun, or the critters that come up to me or even fall out of the trees. Yes, that happened to me at work. A squirrel fell out of the tree onto my head.

But still… I like to think about summer reading. I saw this book on Edelweiss and promptly requested it, but it hasn’t been approved yet. Click on the cover to read the blurb. It sounds so good.

Have you got your eye on a particular book to read this summer? I am such a sucker for covers like this one.

Sunday Matters: The Sun Will Come Out…on Monday

Sunday Matters

We’ve been in the theater this week for Annie. The Teen fell ill (always does during production week), The Girl had her street clothes taken, and my legs are about to fall off from working backstage but it’s amazing to see the results of all that hard work. The Teen did this show once before as Wacky, the dummy and now he is Rooster. Seems he’s come full circle. The Girl has a dancing part which involves a feather duster. I would love for her to dance around the house and dust for me but she’s not all that into it.

Our home this past week. They’ve performed here many times. It’s a nice venue but Monday can’t come soon enough.


You may have caught a picture or two from the show on Facebook or Instagram but I promise to post whatever I have later in the week. It’s getting harder and harder to grab these kids for a decent photo because they are old enough to know where they should be, so I no longer catch them wandering around aimlessly.

Right Now:

No in-person church today. With a matinée show and an evening show, which happens to conflict with The Walking Dead mid-season premiere (what??), there is no time but I am about to watch the online service. I am tossing coffee back like it’s nobody’s business, pounding Advil to take the edge off of my aching body and after a very busy day and night the show will wrap and we will be on to the next one (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the Teen and hopefully The Sound of Music for The Girl, if she gets in).

This Week:

This will be a total cinch of a week compared to last week. Track practices begin, one doc appointment, a work party for an Apple project we all worked on, and at the crack of dawn on Valentine’s day (really, 4:30 am), I will try to register The Girl for The Sound of Music. It’s getting harder and harder to get into the shows these days. Just to get a spot in the ensemble. you have to get there really, really early. Once in, she can audition for a lead but she needs to get in first.

There is also my book club’s book selection meeting but now I am not sure if I can go. The date changed and now it conflicts with something I volunteered for. I will be very sad if I am not able to attend as we choose books for the entire year.


Finishing up HER by Harriet Lane.


All done with season two of Orange is the New Black. Ended with a bang. The other night, I watched half of Chef with Jon Favreau while waiting around in the theater parking lot. I need to watch the other half. What I’ve seen so far, I’ve liked a lot.

I am unable to watch The Walking Dead tonight!! As I mentioned above, I will be working backstage so I will be off of social media all night long and all day Monday so that I can sit down to watch it Monday night. 


Today, nothing. I plan to grab each kid when I can and stuff food into them at some point. The juggling of meals and required stage time is a very fine art. But after all of this, I suspect I’ll hit the market and whip up some fantastic comfort food but not today.

Grateful for:

I love the shows. I love seeing my kids on stage but I am glad the week is almost over.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Track season begins this week. I know it’s one more thing on the list of to-dos but we all love track. The Teen no longer does it, but The Girl loves it and has good friends who do it with her. Makes it super fun. Maybe it will motivate me to get up off my butt and actually do something.

Me? Versatile?

Versatile Blogger Award

Nathalia over at An Outsider Review nominated me for this award. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen this award but thanks so much for thinking of me! I suppose I am versatile but many days I feel as if I just shoot from the hip and hope something sticks.

Here are the rules:

1. Show the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

Here are my 7 facts:

1. I check my alarm clock no less than 5 times before settling down for sleep each night.

2. I am rather chatty but I prefer not to talk at all.

3. I have a horrible reaction when I walk into a Walmart. Any Walmart. I cannot stand the place. I break out in a sweat and feel faint.

4. I am obsessed with the sent of Gain detergent.

5. Sweet or Salty. Definitely salty. And I am talking about my snack preferences here, not my personality!

6. I wish I could sing. When I sing, my dog thinks I am sick and rushes over to check my temp by laying her head against mine.

7. I have voices for my dog that I use when I converse with her. So yes, that means that I basically talk to myself.

Last, but not least, my nominees:

I am not good at nominating because I follow way too many blogs and don’t want to leave anyone out. Sounds like a cop out but I always feel bad about not being able to list everyone. You are all stars to me.

Sunday Matters: Super Bowl is All About the Nibbly Bits (When your team is not playing)

Sunday Matters

This was a trying week. I’m glad it’s over. To cheer everyone up, we headed to LACMA’s free visit event. I love museums but don’t get to visit them often so this was a real treat. And…there were tacos afterward. Art and tacos can make anyone happy.

Right Now:

Looking forward to church this morning. We are starting a new series. Not exactly sure what it’s about it but promises to be a solution to a well-known problem. Later, the Super Bowl. It would have been really great if Green Bay had made it in but they didn’t so the focus turns to food and just kicking back. I have a major hankering for cheese dip.

This Week:

Oh lord. I hope this week is not a repeat of last week. It will be busy for sure because it’s production week for Annie but as we’ve done before, we will take it one day at a time and we will eventually come out on the other side of the tunnel.


I started Her by Harriet Lane. I am immediately taken with it and can’t flip those Kindle pages fast enough.


I caught the last half of Captain Phillips and man, was it intense.

Later, as I mentioned above, we will park ourselves in front of the TV for the Super Bowl and hope for some seriously funny commercials and a decent half time show.


Chili, hots dogs, corn bread, some sort of dip for tortilla chips… cheese dip or layer dip or maybe nachos. Oh, and lemon cupcakes!

Grateful for:

The beautiful weather and my nice, warm bed. I didn’t sleep all that well on Friday night and it sure felt good to hit the sack last night.

Happy Thought For the Week:

We have tickets to see Annie on Saturday and we finally get to see The Teen as Rooster and The Girl as a dancing servant. We can’t wait.


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