Why, Hello There!

Reading Gives Us Someplace to Go

Seen at Amy Miles Books

It’s one of those weeks.

After a glorious birthday weekend, I am in a funk. Too much to keep track of and I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. It happens this time of year. My brain is ready to move into fall but the weather says otherwise so I am all out of whack.

I really need to sit down and write all of the reviews that I’ve worked out in my head. I think I am at least six books behind. One good thing, is that the reading continues. I am nearing the finish line with The Sparrow. I am not sure what to make of this book. It’s not at ALL what I imagined it to be. Some chapters I love, some…not so much. I think I need to finish it before I say more because everyone who has read it says it blew their mind. Thank goodness for reading or I’d lose my mind.

I am trying to get stuff in order this week because everything seems to be starting up next week. Choir, drama, community theater, cheer camp, booster club meetings, my promise to build a webpage, bake sales… it’s all starting up and it’s time to dust off the calendar (I still use paper in addition to an app).

None of this new but as I get older I seem less able to deal with it all. I know some of you can relate. I think it’s a lack of patience on my part.

Just so I don’t leave you all on a down note, I am going to make a list of all the things I am looking forward to. You can add your own items in comments if you’d like to jump on board with me.

Looking forward to…( in no particular order)

  • Dinner with friends this weekend.
  • Next week’s kick-off of Annie. Both kids will be auditioning for roles.
  • Football, high school and professional. Can’t say I follow the games too well but I enjoy watching.
  • Seeing The Teen in The 39 Steps later this year.
  • Taking The Girl to see Wicked. I have seen it twice but she was too young when it hit town the first time.
  • Celebrating The Girl’s birthday in October.
  • Candles! I love candles. I can’t wait until the weather cools off a little so I can light them up.
  • The Something Wicked This Way Comes read along that Sandy and I are hosting in October! Bradbury! Carnival setting! LOVE it.
  • Spiced cider.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Scary movies.
  • Scary reading. RIP IX? Yep.
  • Fall back (time change)
  • Holiday time off. Vacation requests, approved! YES!
  • The November release of Revival by King. I plan to do a read along for that one too.
  • The new short novel that Haruki Murakami will be releasing in December (The Strange Library). I kid you not.
  • Had to add American Horror Story, Season 4 and The Walking Dead, Season 5. Lordy! Cannot forget them!

I will leave it at that but I could go on and on. What are you looking forward to?

 

The Sunday Salon: Celebrating

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! I am tired and happy, which is a good feeling after a wonderful weekend. The weekend started with me taking Friday off, which happened to be my birthday. I did absolutely nothing! I slept and read and that’s about it.

Saturday, we headed out to breakfast and then drove up to Ojai. It was a gorgeous, but hot day and Ojai was showing signs of drought (in a big way). We browsed the little shops and the outdoor bookstore and then just couldn’t take the heat anymore, so we piled back into the car and headed to Santa Barbara.

We shopped, had pizza, treated ourselves to McConnell’s ice cream and then we called the In-laws who happened to be staying in Santa Barbara for the weekend and they invited us to dinner! We didn’t get home until very late but it was a wonderful day.

Santa Barbara

I also bought myself a little gift, which I never do. I usually carry a backpack to work and since I work on a college campus it works but it’s bulky. I saw that Timbuk2 recently redesigned their messenger bag so… I picked one up. My biggest “if” right now is if I should return it for a small. I got a medium which fits my laptop but most days, I am not taking my laptop with me. Decisions.

Messenger Bag

What am I reading?

I am reading The Sparrow for a read along (#SparrowRAL). It’s gotten very good, but also a little strange. I am also reading The Little Friend (still). I am really loving it but I put it aside so I could catch-up with the read along.

I announced it last week but a group of us will be reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury in October (#EnterTheRingmaster). If you’d like to join us, click on the badge below for details.

Something Wicked

What am I cooking?

Uh, no food in the house (again). Sad huh? But, I am craving Chicken Tortilla soup so maybe I will hit the store to buy the ingredients I need. We are expecting rain today and tomorrow but it’s already hot and does not look like rain AT ALL. Oh my gosh. My yard really needs some water.

What am I watching?

Not much. I did watch Pacific Rim this week and it was really good. We have a free movie preview right now but nothing is on that I really want to see. We watched Funny Farm and of course, football is on right now so the TV is not mine to mess with.

What are you up to this weekend? I am trying to get The Girl up so we can go to church and then the rest of the day is a big question mark.

The Sunday Salon: The Murakami Unboxing

Sunday Salon

Hello friends! OMG! Last week was THE most difficult week. Lots of stuff to deal with. Lots of deadlines. I was running all over heck with my head partially cut-off. I tend to hold it all in, so looking at me, most probably thought I was okay but inside I was losing my $hit. No kidding.

The highlight of the week was receiving my Murakami prize pack for the Fan Ambassador thing. I received it, fawned over the package and then fell into bed in an almost comatose state because I was so tired. The next day, I was going to tear it open but I thought it might be fun to record it even though I cannot stand myself on video. See how much I love you all?

Here is the “unboxing” in all its glory. This is a straight out of the camera recording and unfortunately, The Teen was out of focus with his camera skills in some places but that is what I get when I ask him to do it right after he wakes up.

As mentioned in the video, the giveaway details I am still pondering so look for it soon.

What am I reading?

With Murakami behind me (wiping a tear) I am diving into The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I typically read more than one book at a time but I haven’t figured out which two to add to the one I noted above.

I keep mentioning an October read-along. It’s coming. It will be fun. It promises to fit the season perfectly. We will announce it soon.

What am I cooking?

I bought the most delicious Italian sausage to make some pasta. Sausage, sautéed with onions, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a tiny bit of cream.

What am I watching?

We watched The Lego Movie which was actually very good. The Hub was not a fan at first, but he changed his mind about a quarter of the way through. It’s very different and very clever but still “kiddish” unless you are a huge fan of Legos. I know a lot of adults are.

I hope to hit church this morning and then the rest of the day is open. What do you have planned for today?

Friday – The Best Day of the Week

Grab Your BookThe students return to the university next week and all this week, I have been prepping for their return. I am in communications so the week prior to the semester is a busy, busy time. I sort of fell off the edge of the earth. Or so it seems. This week has been a total blur but it’s finally Friday and although next week will be busy, it will be busy in a totally different way.

It’s been difficult to get much reading in but I’ve been snatching time here and there. I am in the final stretch with the Murakami book and I think I am going to start The Little Friend and I must also start Twelve Years a Slave as it was my book club pick and I have yet to read it.

What are you reading?

Also, it’s been very nice this week weather wise. Too bad I have been stuck in this building for most of it but I did feel a tiny tinge of fall in the air when I left the other night. This little taste of fall has me excited for all sorts of things:

  • Candles (I am a candle girl, light ‘em up!)
  • Pumpkin anything
  • Homemade soup!
  • Holiday coffee drinks
  • The super-fun October read-along that Sandy and I have planned (details to come)
  • Thanksgiving (yep, I am thinking about it)

What are you excited about?

The Sunday Salon: Our Super Dry Summer

Sunday Salon

My kids started school this past week and it all went fairly well.  It was a short week for them and they eased into it okay. Of course, today I got a notification that all of the high schools in the area have been openly threatened on Instagram. Not something that a parent wants to read. Ever. I feel uneasy about it. I’ve given The Teen the drill which he immediately shot down in typical teen fashion.

I’m a mom. I worry. I can’t help it. Especially with all the active shooter training I’ve taken. I’d rather talk about it than brush it under the rug and regret it later.

As for work, things are picking. Students return on the 25th but they will be on campus next week paying for parking and straightening out their schedules so I will be working the information counter. Fun! I don’t mind working with the students but in my twenty years there, I have never worked the information counter before. I’ve been pretty exhausted lately due to some health stuff so I hope I can get through the two weeks alright.

Yesterday, we dropped The Teen off at the lake for a church event and the lake was 80 feet below normal! The photo you see below is the boat launch. I took a look at the lake and almost cried. You don’t realize how bad the drought is until you see something like this.

Southern California is in dire need of water. If you are the praying type, can you pray some? We are in mandatory water restrictions now. I don’t know what will happen to our property as we have a large yard and most of it is hillside. If it dies, it will be a major fire concern and there is no water to fight brush fires which makes it even more alarming.

I mean, look at it! As I said, that is the boat launch which is supposed to be IN the water. I feel as if we are the subjects of a dystopian novel. It’s very scary to look around and take it all in.

Castaic Lake

Photo Credit: Castaic Lake

What am I reading?

I am reading Murakami of course! The other day I was chosen as a fan ambassador. I am taking “ambassador” to mean a “super fan” but the best part is that I get a signed copy of the book and four copies of another book to giveaway. I can’t wait to get that box.

As for the book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is probably the most quiet novel of his that I’ve read. I am over halfway through it and so far, it’s very good but a little different.

People often ask me which book of his to read first. If you want the full Murakami experience, I suggest diving into the books that put him on the map, Kafka on the Shore or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle but those can also turn a reader away if you aren’t used to speculative fiction. So to be safe, I often recommend his short stories or After Dark. But this new book, might be a good choice too.

I also finished Peter Heller’s The Painter. Very, very good I still have to write the review up but I really liked it

What am I cooking?

Again, I have no food in my house. What is up with that? Yesterday, we ate out but today I might cook-up a stir fry. Of course, that means I have to hit the market which I absolutely dread. Grilling, is a possibility too but it was 103 yesterday and today will probably be the same. Not sure I want to deal with the grill in this heat.

What am I watching?

We watched Catching Fire last night. I liked it better than the first movie and actually, The Girl was totally into it. When we saw the first movie, she was bored with it and did not like the few violent scenes that they showed. This time around, she understood the story better. The Teen refused to watch it and chose to hang out in his room. He’s being anti-social again. I know that he eventually reads my Sunday Salons so I will wave to him right now. Waving.

I am looking forward to TV this fall. The Walking Dead returns on October 12 and it feels as if the weeks are flying by so it will be here before we know it.  I am also looking forward to American Horror Story: Freak Show which premiers October 8th. That show is freaky on its own but the theme this season is FREAK SHOW and just the idea of it is freaking me out

Are you starting to think about your October reading? Sandy and I have a little something planned for October. More on that later.

What are you up to today?

The Sunday Salon: School? What?

Sunday Salon

I am coming to you so late today. Why? No real reason. I just couldn’t get myself going this morning. We went to Concerts at the Park last night with friends. It was a very nice time but when I got home, I could not sleep a wink.

This morning I was groggy but got myself to church after a few cups of coffee. The Girl didn’t want to go but she came, grudgingly, and the service ended up being just what I needed. I’m glad we got to go because school starts this week and let’s face it, we all need a little bit of calm before the craziness of school begins.

I just can’t believe that summer is technically over for us.

What am I reading?

I started Desperation for my the Summer of King, but then it fell off my Kindle. I’m not sure what happened to it but I noticed last night that it’s back. CREEPY! When it disappeared, I started The Painter by Peter Heller. Very good. I also started Going Somewhere (a bicycle journey) which is starting off very strong.

This Tuesday, I will be reading the new Murakami book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. FINALLY!! I tried to get a review copy. Failed. Tried to win the quote card contest, but could not compete with cheaters. Just the other day, I applied to be an ambassador for the book, still no word on that but no matter what, I will be reading it come Tuesday. It’s about freakin’ time!

What am I cooking?

Food has not been all that appealing to me lately. I didn’t do any cooking this weekend, except the strawberry shortcake I put together for the concert the other night. Tonight, we hit Chipotle for a quick meal.

What am I watching?

I watched a little of the Twilight Zone this weekend. The Girl and I also watched It’s Complicated and we all sat down to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel which was very good but The Girl was not impressed.

Right now, I am watching Huell Howser. Huell was well-known for showcasing California towns and parks. He passed away a few years ago but his shows are still on KCET and PBS so I love to watch them when they are on. California is such a large state. Even after living here all these years, there is still so much to see and experience so I love to watch his show for that reason.

What’s your week look like?

The Sunday Salon: A Great Movie, Lots of Shopping and My Gloomy Weather

Sunday Salon

Good morning, all! This weekend has been a good mix of busy and fun. I hit the mall with both kids in tow to pick-up a few things for school. I think The Teen is good now but The Girl needs a few more things. Still need to do the school supply run as we did not get to it yesterday because of this movie:

Guardians of the Galaxy

After all that shopping, we headed out to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not sure what I expected but it was really good. The overall audience reaction was good too. Lots of laughs, good special effects and a nice movie for the entire family to see which is such a rarity these days.

Some not so good things, our garbage disposal went out as did our AC, which has been a lemon since the first day we put it in. The company that did the install is trying to make good on it, but that doesn’t make us any more comfortable. The humidity has been 63% and nearly 100 degrees and on Tuesday and Wednesday we have go without any air so they can isolate the lines. I am not going to be in a good mood, that’s for sure.

What am I reading?

I am about halfway through California by Edan Lepucki. I had hoped to be done with it by now but the entire day of shopping kind of sucked up my time. Today, we are going to church and will probably do the school supply run too. We’ll see,

What am I cooking?

Not sure. Once again my cupboards are bare. My kids are in that growth phase so I cannot for the life of me, keep food in the house. With the weather the way it is, gloomy yet hot as heck, what do you make? I sort of want soup but I also kind of want salad. Sigh.

What am I watching?

Besides Guardians of the Galaxy, I haven’t been sitting down long enough to see anything else.

What about you? How has your weekend been?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 533 other followers