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?


Plato on libraries

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The Sunday Salon: Almost Missed It

Sunday Salon

What is it about weekends? We wait for them all week long and then before we know it, they’ve passed us by. I had a little stress this past week to deal with so the weekend could not come soon enough.

The Girl’s track meet on Saturday was great. A little long, but fun even though I was freezing the entire time I was there. I. Could. Not. Get. Warm.  I had a jacket on, a blanket AND a tent shelter thingy and it took all night for my body to feel warm again. It’s fun to sit up in the stands with the other parents though, cheering our kids on. It’s been a great season.

Winter Soldier

Me, cold as heck!

This morning, we went to church and it was a really great service. After church, The Teen had to go to a dress rehearsal for The Drowsy Chaperone. The show is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We can’t wait to see it. It’s going to be quite entertaining with him tap dancing and roller skating his way through the show.

The rest of this week will be filled with more rehearsals, more track practices and I believe my book club meets this Thursday. I have yet to finish the book!

What am I reading?

As I mentioned above, I still haven’t finished my book club book (And the Mountains Echoed). I have to finish it this week but I am not looking forward to it. Still reading A Wild Sheep Chase. I am having a little trouble with it. I tend to read it at night and I cannot seem to keep my eyes open, or I’ll read a chapter and not remember what I just read. So I have been going back and forth which is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated.

What am I cooking?

I wanted something simple for tonight but I ending up making a real mess of the kitchen. I hate when that happens. I roasted some chicken, mashed some potatoes and we had it with corn and roasted carrots.

What am I watching?

My daughter and I started up with Lost again. We are on Season 1 and we just finished Episode 17. Now, we are watching Mean Girls. She loves that movie.

Hope you had a nice weekend and for those that participated in the read-a-thon, I hope you got to sleep in.

The Sunday Salon: An Easter Hello

Sunday Salon

Hello all. How’ve you all been?

It’s been busy around here. Mostly, good stuff but with nightly activities and the spring break that came up  out of nowhere, I felt as if I was Fred Flintstone in his floorless car, running  just to keep up.

A few updates. I had some health stuff going on and the biopsy came back NORMAL. I was very relieved to get those results. I really started to think about what I’d do if they came back abnormal. Not a fun topic of discussion right before vacation so it was a huge relief that the news came in right before I left. Thank you for the prayers and support.

I also alluded to stuff going on at work. I have been known to feel a re-org coming on and sure enough, I returned from break and it happened. The details are not solid yet but my job, it-is-a-changing. Again. Wish me luck with that.

Oh and one other thing, one BIG thing. I got baptized this past Friday! Let’s just say that as a child, my childhood was less than ideal. I had guardian angels along the way that steered me in the right direction so I always felt a spiritual connection but could never find a church that I felt comfortable going to. About a year ago, we went to a special service that a local church was holding and for the next couple of months we’d either watch the service online or go every once in awhile. It’s not traditional. There’s music and lights and a coffee shop, but the Pastor really clicked with us and although the message is what you’d expect to get in church, it’s delivered in a comfortable, friendly way.

On Good Friday, my family and I decided to take the plunge and participate in the baptism celebration. It was SO not me. Cameras, lights and lots of people cheering us on. I was so embarrassed but at the same time, very happy to have finally found a church that we love.

Here we are, freshly dunked! The Hub was getting the car but he participated too.  It’s a horrible pic of me, but you all know me so I know you will forgive the matted hair and the lack of make-up which seemed to disappear once dunked. Not pretty but that’s okay. 

Just baptized!

Just baptized!!

In case you are wondering, The Teen did not participate but he went with us. He has been going to the Mormon church and although I had hoped that he’d join us, he decided not to. Religion is a very personal thing, and I don’t like it to be jammed down my throat so I am letting him take this journey on his own. As a mom, there are lots of decisions I have had to make recently that have been difficult, but knowing my own struggle with religion, his choice of religion should not be one of them.

I was so worried about stupid stuff like the temperature of the water and looking like a dork once dunked but with everyone cheering you on, you stand there dripping wet, but happy. I thought The Girl would get scared last-minute but nope, she wanted to be first!

So, that was my excitement this past week. Yesterday , The Girl had a track meet. It was held on a really old, dirt track and none of the kids knew how to run on it. Out by us, all of the tracks are turf so The Girl struggled a little with her times, but still enjoyed herself. We then had her best friend over for dinner and a sleepover. It was a fun night. They colored eggs and got barked at by the Otter Pup.

The Teen had to work the prom last night so he’s not up yet. I suspect he’ll sleep right into the afternoon.

Here are a couple of photos from yesterday:

Chatsworth Track Meet

The Girls at the track meet. Mine, is the one in the middle.

Dinner with the Girls

A fun dinner with The Girl and her BFF.

What am I reading?

I am reading A Wild Sheep Chase in bits and pieces. Murakami is always so enjoyable and thought-provoking that I find myself savoring his writing. It’s not a book to blow through quickly. I am also reading The Walking Dead governor books. VERY good. I am in the middle of And The Mountains Echoed, a good story but my interest is waning.

What am I cooking?

I wasn’t going to make anything special but then last minute decided to cook-up a ham. I saw a recipe for a peach & brown sugar glaze and I was craving greens so we’ll have the peach-glazed ham, collard greens, mac & cheese (both gluten-free and non), mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls. I picked up a peach pie for the Fam and then I got a creme brûlée for myself. Yum.

What am I watching?

I’ve been watching Chrisley Knows Best. Have you seen that show?? It’s crazy but I can’t stop watching it.

That’s my week and weekend. I am helping myself to another cup of coffee and then hopefully I can take a nap later. What’s your plan for today? I am glad I went to church on Friday because I am dragging this morning.

Cover Lust

New Murakami Covers

I am shaking my head because this is so unfair.

I finally, FINALLY own all of Murakami’s novels in paperback and what happens?? They come out with these awesome new covers.

If you look closely, the images on the cover contain clues:

The Elephant Vanishes

See how that center image resembles an elephant’s trunk? Clever, huh?

I. Need. These.

Spring (Break) Reading

Pool Side Gossip

Slim Aarons’ iconic Poolside Gossip as seen on the Glam Pad blog.

We haven’t had much of a winter here in Southern California but it doesn’t quite feel like spring either. It’s a little too cool in the mornings for it to feel like spring, but according to my calendar spring break is right around the corner and that means…

Reading. Movies. Eating.

See that photo above? I love the name of it, Poolside Gossip. I want to be one of those ladies and pretty soon, I’ll have my chance because Palm Desert is one of our destinations. I don’t think it’s very warm there and last week they had one heck of a wind storm but it’s nice to get away.

Part of the fun is choosing which books will go with me. I have a lot of good ones to choose from:

Spring Break Collage

The Martian by Andy Weir
The Painter by Peter Heller
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Under a Summer Sky by Nan Rossiter
Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear
The Fever by Megan Abbott
Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

Never in my wildest dreams will all of these be read but I hope to get to at least two of them. I think two, is a realistic expectation and if I get to more, then that will be the the icing on the cake. That’s how I see it. I never know what mood I will be in while away so I have back-ups to choose from. Plus, I seem to like books about vacations, whenever I am ON vacation. Funny, huh?

Do you have any special reading plans coming up? If you need some reading motivation, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is just around the corner. I haven’t been able to participate properly in a couple of years but it’s always a lot of fun and a good way to go through your shelves and get those books read.

Anyway, off to begin my Friday. Friday at work, but hey… it’s Friday.

The Sunday Salon: Chugging Along

Sunday Salon

I am SO not a fan of Spring Forward. Losing a precious hour isn’t something I take kindly to but after a few days, I’ll be over it. Today though, I feel out of it! Two cups of coffee and I am still in a haze.

Lots of excitement this week. Next weekend is The Girl’s first track meet so this week she’ll be deciding which events to run. Her first meet is an away meet and expected to last ALL DAY LONG. I am excited but at the same time, what the heck are we going to do at some strange school for 9+ hours? Her events do not run back to back, as far as I know. That is a long time to be sitting around.

The Teen is rehearsing for his Jazz Pop concert (Choir), his Master Chorale performance and his part for The Drowsy Chaperone. As always, so much going on in this house!

Tomorrow, I have to register The Girl for summer camp. That came up fast. These days it just seems like the months fly by, so why do the weeks drag so?

On a completely different note, I am heartbroken over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. How can a jet just disappear like that? I can’t even imagine what those families are going through and the info on the stolen passports is very disturbing. I have been watching the news and reading all of the news sites but there hasn’t been too many developments as of yet. I am praying for all those involved.

Switching gears…

What am I reading?

I started Me Before You. I am about sixty pages in and enjoying the writing so far. I also started Life After Life (Atkinson) and I am finding it to be a little on the slow side. Too slow for my mood right now but it’s a book club read so I am going to push on so I can put it behind me. Will it get better?

What am I cooking?

Not a thing. Just not in the mood. Funny how that happens when the weather gets warm. We may head out for salads later. A grilled chicken salad sounds perfect to me.

What am I watching?

We finally saw Gravity last night. It was just okay. I thought the story needed a little bit of work but the visuals were pretty stunning, even though I was watching it on the small screen.

As for TV, The Bates Motel started up again so my Monday nights are spent watching that. The Walking Dead is on tonight and I cannot wait to plop down in front of the TV for it. At work, while at lunch, I have been watching Lost which I am enjoying quite a bit.

What do you have planned this week? Reading anything good?


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