My NOT So Reading Life

I swore, SWORE I would not allow a slump to hit me and it has. Not fully, but sort of. First off, this time of year is difficult. I’ve been given a rather large project and the deadline for said project is the end of the year, but I am taking a lot of time off at the end of the year so really that only gives me a good ten days to get it done. I’ve made progress though so there is hope but my mind is a little scattered lately which makes reading difficult.

Speaking of reading, this book I am reading is good, but I don’t want to read it! It’s The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. In theory, there is really nothing wrong with it but for whatever reason I am not eager to pick it up. It’s a library book that I have already renewed once but it’s messed up my 2-3 at-a-time book reading. I do have King’s Revival to keep me company, but I am reading that one slowly on purpose so that I can comment along with the other read-alongers.

I also have some health stuff going on. Not serious, as least I don’t consider it to be serious but my iron levels are at an all-time low. No one can figure out why and now my gluten-free diet doesn’t seem to be helping me anymore and I am not sure why. It’s made me tired and grumpy. Not good for the reading mojo.

My action plan? I am going to ditch the one book because it’s really screwing with me. I have recently gotten some really good ones, like The Rosie Effect and I’ve Give You The Sun and Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania. They all sound so good.

I go to the doc on Friday so we’ll see what he has to say about all of my other stuff. If I eat nothing, I feel good but I can’t eat nothing forever.

Anyway, thought I’d check in so that you didn’t think I fell off the planet or something.

This time of a year is a challenge for a lot of you, what do you find challenging right now?

Sunday Matters: Clearing House

Sunday Matters

It’s been an interesting week. The Teen is driving. He took his first lesson and he’s been driving all over the place with us. He’s not bad. Better than I expected him to be. I told him that if a zombie apocalypse should overtake us, he can at least drive us out of it. Progress.

I’ve been working on a project at work and it’s coming together. It taps my creative side so it’s nice to use that part of my brain. However, my eyes! All that close computer work is really getting to my eyes which affects my reading, to a degree. I just load-up on eye drops and tough it out because let’s face it, the act of reading must continue or I’ll lose my mind. It’s my only break in the day.

Right Now:

As I sit here enjoying my first cup of coffee, I am pondering my house and all the stuff in it. TOO MUCH STUFF. Which is why we ended up in debt, no sense trying to hide it. I used to buy stuff all the time, especially when the kids were younger. That stopped years ago when furloughs hit and my husband’s business started to tank. I’ve learned a lot from the experience. Mostly, that I am happiest when I don’t have a lot of stuff. Sitting here, warm, under a blanket with  my family around me is really what makes me happy. Not the stuff that I’ve accumulated throughout my life.

Live Simply

Source: Pinterest

I hate clutter. Hate it with a passion so I am always tossing stuff out but I am thinking there is a lot more than can go. Especially since I’ve come to terms with it all and accepted that I will never be a “spender” again. I see all of the waste and it makes me physically ill. After church today, I plan to go through the garage to see what can go. It’s not all that relaxing but it makes for a satisfying day.

Also, if any of you struggle with simplifying, like I do, check out this awesome post on how to become ‘unbusy’.

This Week:

Not a whole lot going on this week. Same old rehearsal stuff but no extra meetings or anything that I know of. I guess I will be picking up a few things in preparation of Thanksgiving. The Girl wants to pick out another puzzle to do that day. We sucked when we tried to do the last puzzle. It was a Titanic theme, so cool, but it was all blue and dark and there were too many pieces, it was too large and the pieces were too small. I kept having to get up close to it to see it and that was a major pain. The eyes. Them again. They betray me these days.

What else? I have a door that needs painting. Exciting, huh?

Reading:

A group of us are reading Stephen King’s Revival for #ReviveMe2014. It is so hard to pace myself when reading this book. It’s not like we have a schedule or anything but usually King’s books have some heft and this one does not. It’s relatively short, for him, so I find myself rationing out bits to myself here and there. I am really liking what I’ve read so far but where is he going with it? It has been advertised as his return to true horror but as of yet, I don’t see it. It’s a good story though. He always tells a good story.

Watching:

I did end up watching Snowpiercer. The first hour totally sucked. Good premise but it was weird and strange and dark and seemed way over the top with some of the acting. One of my friends said she walked out of the theater, it was so bad. That first half was horrible, but the second half was pretty good, or at least I feel it redeemed itself.

American Horror Story continues to be all about Dandy. What a strange character. I find myself loving his Man Child ways. When he loses it, I lose it. I find him so interesting.

The Walking Dead fizzled out a little with the last two episodes but I know how it works. Back story for any of the characters always slows it down but then it picks up again. I am expecting a lot of action tonight.

Still watching a lot of I Love Lucy and yes, Chrisley Knows Best and Kendra On Top. I think I just lost bonus points with you all for admitting it but those shows, along with all their drama is what entertains me at the end of the day.

Making:

After attending the Newhall Old Town holiday lights kick-0ff  last night, I opted to enjoy a cheese tamale and did not go to the market. That means I have nothing in the house to cook. My family abandoned me for church this morning so maybe if I go to an earlier service, I can hit the market on my way home. Still not sure what to make tonight though.

Grateful for:

Very grateful for our beautiful home. It may not be perfect but it’s cozy and with this red-flag wind warning, I am very happy to be inside, nice and warm.

Happy Thought For the Week:

This week I am saying goodbye to the glorification of busy. I know lots of people who thrive on a full calendar but that’s not me. I am going to start blocking out time in my planner that is just for me.

What are you doing this week that is just for you?

Sunday Matters: Countdown to Thanksgiving (I think)

Sunday Matters

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it so. I’ve been thinking about the meal and our day-long pajama party. What could be better? The fact that Christmas has been pushed upon us so soon, really gets to me! Just a few years ago, you’d wake up the day after Thanksgiving and everything would be transformed and you’d be anxious for Christmas. Not now. Sigh.

Of course, time seems to be flying by too. Tuesday, The Teen takes his first in-car driving lesson. He’s also looking at colleges. I think The Girl has skipped over the Tween stage and gone right into Teen. She’s been a real treasure lately. Smirk.

Last night we hit the ice rink. Everyone was bundled up in coats and scarves which was funny given it was close to ninety degrees yesterday. Us West Coasters try really hard to create seasons for ourselves but it’s not working out that great.

The first shot is The Teen and his girlfriend. The second is The Girl and her friend, The Girl is on the right.

Ice Rink

Right Now:

Sitting here with a cup of coffee as the rest of the house sleeps. It’s a beautiful day and yes…sunny!

This Week:

Driving lessons, Annie rehearsals and some doctor stuff.

Reading:

  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Sutton (REALLY enjoying this one)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (at a suburban BBQ a man slaps a child who is not his own. Drama!)

Watching:

The same two shows that I always watch, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. Both happen to be really good this season. I saw that Snowpiercer is on Netflix instant view. I’d love to sneak that one in today,

Making:

Even though it’s warm out, I am craving chicken noodle soup. Yes. NOODLES. I’ll use gluten-free ones which won’t quite be the same but so be it. When you’ve got a craving, you gotta satisfy it. I think biscuits are called for as well. Mmmmm.

MS soup

Grateful for:

I am grateful that I am able to take a good chunk of time off for the holidays. I’ve got Tuesday off for Veteran’s Day but I will be taking Thanksgiving week off and a couple of weeks around Christmas. I LOVE and need this time off.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Stephen King’s new book comes out on Tuesday. Revival is said to be his return to TRUE horror and of course I am hosting a read along for it. If you want to read it with us, you can check out the details here:

ReviveMe 2014

 

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday Matters: Finally, a Fall Weekend with Clouds and Everything!

Sunday Matters

How was everyone’s Halloween? Ours was great. We had quite a bit of candy left over because guess what…it rained! Yes! Not much, but it was cold and breezy and a little wet out there so I think a lot of families opted to stay home. The Girl had her friend over and The Teen had his girlfriend over and it was a really nice time. We watched The Tingler and The Teen and his girlfriend watched Psycho. Pumpkins were carved, seeds were roasted and plenty of candy was munched. All in all, a good night.

Right Now:

At this moment, I am looking forward to my first cup of coffee. A little dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and I am good. Oh, can’t forget the cream. After coffee and a quick bite, we are off to church which I am really looking forward to. The series we are in right now is on family and how it’s not always perfect. The timing of this series could not be better. The holidays are coming up and there are some issues with my side of the family that tend to bring me down. They are out of my control but I can’t help it.

This Week:

Not much going on this week. There are a few rehearsals and book club but I think that’s it. I went to the mall yesterday and it FELT like the holidays were right around the corner. Honestly, if the kids were not with me I would have picked up a few gifts but they were, so I didn’t. This week, I am going to think about my strategy for this holiday season. I really want to tone down the commercial aspect and focus on family.

Reading:

I haven’t started anything new. I am still in the middle of several books. I really want to start The Rosie Effect though. I may, but only if I can make a little more progress in my one reading club book, Five Days at Memorial. My club meets to discuss it this week so I really need to finish it.

Watching:

As I mentioned above, I finally watched The Tingler, a classic horror movie starring Vincent Price. It was good and campy. With the weather the way it’s been, cloudy and cool, I’ve been getting my Lucy fix and watching back-to-back episodes. I DID manage to watch Halloween and Halloween II as well, I love those movies.

The Walking Dead is on tonight so I will for sure be watching that. A word about last week’s episode of American Horror Story, so sad. I almost shed a tear!

Making:

Not sure yet. The Teen made pumpkin bread. Yep, The Teen! He really gets into Fall. Last night I made a chicken stir-fry for dinner but tonight? I really don’t know what we are in the mood for yet.

Grateful for:

This week, I am really grateful that my immediate family is healthy. I battle health issues related to Lupus but I have been pretty good lately. Recently, The Teen heard about a friend with some health issues and my parents have a lot of health issues and it’s just scary to think how fragile we are. You don’t think about it often and honestly, who wants to dwell on it? But as I get older, so does everyone around me. So for today, I am grateful for the health of my family.

Happy Thought For the Week:

My happy thought has to do with a book that will be out soon. Sign-up to read it with me!

ReviveMe 2014
What are you up to today?

 

Grab Your Book: Reading Anything Good?

Grab Your Book

FRIDAY! Finally! This has been the longest week ever and all sorts of stuff happened.

The callback list for Annie posted and both kids got a callback. The Teen got called back for Rooster (Tim Curry played him in the movie), which is what he tried out for but sadly, The Girl did not get called back for Annie. Instead, she got a callback for Duffy, one of the other orphans. Both, great roles. We won’t know who made the final cast until Tuesday afternoon but both said their callback went well. The suspense…it kills me.

I got a promotion at work. I never talk work on here but hey, I am happy.

Another thing that happened this week is that my daughter’s teacher enrolled her in a Title 1 program. Now, I don’t know much about Title 1 so maybe you teacher folks can clue me in but I was a little surprised about her being added to this program. She started Kindergarten when she was four, before they changed the cut-off date so every year she lags a bit in the beginning. I hear this repeatedly at the parent conferences but then once she is back into the routine of things, she is okay. However, this teacher, whom I love and was also was the teacher for my son when he was in 6th, said she needs some additional help so of course, this concerns me. Plus, I asked The Girl who else was added to the program and she said, her words, “The new girl who does not speak English.” Oh my. I have a meeting to discuss the program on 10/16. I figure extra math help cannot hurt but it threw me off a little.

These days, I need reading more than anything. Kid stuff, work stuff, you know the drill. Every time I turn on the TV something horrible has happened somewhere. And although my schedule seems more manageable, I find that I am not handling what I have as well as I used to. I suppose it’s just a lack of patience. Why do I have to be here? What’s the point? Tell it to me in three sentences or less. Yeah. I know many of you can relate.

So, why can’t we all just sit down and read and not worry about any of it? That is my question.

I just finished I Am Malala and I have a confession. I had absolutely NO desire to read it but I flew through it in just a couple of sittings and now I am glad I read it. That is why I belong to a book club. Had it not been chosen, I don’t think I would have picked it up on my own.

Just started Something Wicked This Way Comes for the read along Sandy and I are hosting. More of you have decided to join us and we couldn’t be happier. I am liking it quite a bit. It’s very atmospheric. I need ‘atmospheric’ since it’s supposed to be 108 here this weekend and it just does not feel like fall.

I want to also start this one:

The Book of Strange New Things

It’s a chunkster though and I want to be sure I am done with it in time for my Revival read along. Yes! Another Stephen King read along! That will be announced later this month.

What are you all reading?

The Sunday Salon: Hot

It is blazing hot here in Southern California My sinuses don’t know what to think. First it’s hot and dry, then it’s hot and humid and today it seems to be dry and humid which is impossible. Because of it, I have a raging headache and nothing I take seems to touch it.

In the big scheme of things though, life is going pretty well. After hitting church by myself, no one wanted to go with me, I came straight home, enjoyed a salad and some leftover gluten-free pizza and pretty soon I am going to find myself a comfy spot and take a nap. My head hurts too much to read right now but maybe a nap will do the trick.

Rehearsals for Annie begin tomorrow (Monday) and on Wednesday, the audition process begins. It’s always an exciting time.

Sunday Salon

Let’s see, what else is going on? Well, we had a lovely dinner last night. The Teen’s girlfriend and family came over for pizza and salad. We grilled peaches for dessert, topped with cinnamon butter and vanilla bean ice cream. It was really good. I meant to take a picture but I gobbled it up before I could.

What am I reading?

Well, I finished The Sparrow for the read along Trish was hosting. It’s quite a book. After reading it I felt slightly beat-up and needed something with a lighter tone so I picked up The Way Inn by Will Wiles. It’s a crazy book. I find it funny but the reviews are not that great which has me wondering about the end, of which I am almost to.

Next up? The Bone Clocks.

What am I cooking?

Not a thing. We had leftovers for lunch and I am not ready to even think about dinner. When it’s hot like this, food does not sound good. I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving though, which is so weird considering it does not feel like fall here at all.

What am I watching?

I watched Pitch Perfect for the first time ever. The Girl forced me to watch it and I was not looking forward to it at all but I really liked it. I don’t know what I thought it was about but I had no idea it was about a choir. With my kids in theater and choir, I can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier.

I recorded a bunch of I Love Lucy episodes and plan to sit down and have a Lucy fest later this afternoon. Those shows are so comforting to me.

What are you up to today?

Oh, and if you don’t have reading plans for October join our read along! We are reading Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and it’s going to be awesome! Scary carnival, guys. How can you resist?

Something Wicked This Way Comes button

Grab Your Book! It’s a Long Weekend!

Grab Your BookI literally forgot about the long weekend! Thankfully, Bryan clued me in when he was talking about it the other day. Normally I begin stacking my piles up in anticipation but since it surprised me, I have no stack prepared. I want something really good to read. I am in that awkward “I want something amazing but can’t seem to find it” stage.

I am 25% into Twelve Years a Slave, and it’s good and all, but it’s not a book to get all crazy excited about. I also have Euphoria started but I can tell that one is going to take a little bit of time to get going. I call this my Murakami hangover. I tend to hit a funk after reading his books. It’s like, my brain stops working and needs to be jump-started. I did read Station Eleven right after Murakami because I knew if I didn’t read something fast, I’d fall into that well of despair where nothing sounds good but even with the quick read right after, I am still feeling a little untethered.

I want a book that will make me put off everything else. A book that will make me ignore the very loud cricket that is hiding somewhere in my house. A book that will cause the laundry to pile up. A book that will have me feeding the kids cereal in lieu of cooking a meal. Do you know of any books like that? What will you be reading this weekend?

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