The Sunday Salon: Gorgeous Weather

Sunday Salon

It’s a gorgeous day!! The sky is a bright blue, not a cloud to be seen and the sunlight is working its magic. The Girl took all the Halloween stuff out and put it up yesterday. I think there are only five houses in the neighborhood that put anything up this year. Now, I just need to get the candy!

It’s been a busy week but it’s over now. The Teen took the PSAT, The Girl got to cheer at the high school game, they both had rehearsals for both Annie and the drama competition next week in Temecula. Not to mention doctor’s appointments and flu shots and the Title 1 meeting I had to attend. Mid-week, something bit me and my entire body itched and burned (which is weird) for two days!! Yes, it might have been the flu shot but more likely, the bug bite. I have no idea really but I never want to experience it again.

To all of you who gave me some insight into Title 1, you were all correct and in our case, the program does not follow her into middle school. Our school is a target-based Title 1 participant which means that the students who need addition help, had to be determined within the first 30 days of school. To err on the safe side, she was added to the program. This means she gets one-on-one math assistance four times a week. A good thing, right?

What am I reading?

Along with other books, including our read along book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I started this one:

Driftwood

 

It is really good so far. After just a few pages, I was hooked.

What am I cooking?

The dreaded question. At the moment, I am making lemon scones but later? Who knows? I sort of want The Hub to pick-up some stuff from the Mexican market (rotisserie chickens, fresh tortillas, etc.).  I haven’t told him this yet.

What am I watching?

Tonight, The Walking Dead. Today? I have a number of movies to choose from. Moonrise Kingdom? Notting Hill? The Abyss? I need to catch-up with some of the newer releases but when I have time, I tend to want to re-visit my favorite movies. Did you know that they already posted ABCs 25 Days of Christmas schedule? I am almost in the mood to pull out Christmas Vacation.

No one wants to hit church with me today. I took a look at one of the online services to see what I’d be missing and it looks like our normal pastor is not there today. Not sure if I will attend by myself. I do like to go as often as I can. I feel as if it prepares me for the week but I like people to go with me too. The Girl got home late from a birthday party last night and we were up past midnight waiting for The Teen to return from Fright Fest so we are all exhausted.

I know many of you feel the same way today! I saw a lot of read-a-thon posts yesterday. I hope you all had fun. What do you all have planned for today?

The Sunday Salon: The Walkers Return

Sunday Salon

It was a short week for me since I had Monday and Tuesday off and yet…it still felt incredibly long.

We had some fun stuff going on. The Teen’s choir Cabaret concert was on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a fun show. And…The Teen DID get the part he wanted in Annie (Rooster), Ms. Hannigan’s good-for-nothing con-man brother. The Girl did not get what she wanted but she ended up with a featured dance part.

The Teen was invited to USC for a singing workshop which he unfortunately had to leave early for since he had a lead acting workshop scheduled later in the day but I think it was a good experience for him. Being on a large college campus and getting to hang out with the music director? Very cool.

In other news…

I thought The Girl’s cheer clinic was yesterday, but it’s TODAY. This morning, to be exact which means if we go to church, it’s going to have to be an evening service. Might not be a bad thing as I’ve been wanting to try an evening service.

But, who am I kidding? This weekend is ALL about the return of The Walking Dead. Yes! It’s back! I think tonight’s episode is going to be rough. I fear for the characters. I will be off social media from 6pm on to avoid spoilers.

What am I reading?

I am listening to Stephen King’s Big Driver and reading Garth Stein’s A Sudden Light. I am liking both, quite a bit. I did not know that Big Driver was coming to Lifetime though later this week. I am also reading Something Wicked This Way Comes for the read along I am hosting with Sandy.

What am I cooking?

I made all sorts of stuff yesterday. Chicken Taco/Enchilada soup and chili and corn bread. The chili and corn bread will be enjoyed later. I didn’t want anything to distract me from The Walking Dead so that stuff is cooked and ready to go Just needs warming.

Just now, I made myself a bowl of coconut Chobani Greek yogurt, added some gluten-free raw oats, some dark chocolate shavings, sliced raw almonds and sprinkled the top with toasted coconut. Divine.

What am I watching?

Later I will be balled up on the couch cringing, while watching The Walking Dead hoping with all hope to not lose a major character in the season opening. Will you be watching tonight?

The Sunday Salon: October? Really?

Sunday Salon

October? Really? This is going to be one of those years. The ones where no one in my family gets excited about the holidays. The Teen asked if we could skip the Halloween decorations this year and I thought The Girl would object, but nope…she said nothing. When it’s this warm, it’s hard to break out the holiday stuff and even with the stores cramming it down my throat, the feeling just isn’t there. Sigh.

What am I reading?

I haven’t done any reading this weekend. The Girl had her friend over for a sleepover and my mood lately has been all over the place. I have many books going but I can’t seem to settle on one. I need to just pick one to stick with.

What am I cooking?

Last night we had pizza and today? Who knows? I can’t cook when it’s so hot! I should really be grateful though because with the AC on, it’s quite nice. I hit Trader Joe’s and loaded up on all the seasonal stuff. Spiced cider, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin bread mix and Harvest tea. But do I have stuff for the week? No.

What am I watching?

Yesterday I watched a Doris Day movie, April in Paris. Loved it. Hoping to fit a horror movie in somewhere. I have Monday and Tuesday off. I decided to take them off because the kids are on fall break and Tuesday is The Girl’s birthday.

Right now, we are about to head off to church and then grab smoothies because when you live in Southern California, that is what you do.

What do you have planned for today?

The Sunday Salon: Finally! Cooler Weather!

Sunday Salon

My Sunday computer time has been greatly reduced due to The Girl swiping my laptop. All of her audition videos are on there so with Annie auditions around the corner, my laptop has become her laptop. Right now, I am using The Teen’s laptop, which he NEVER updates so before I could even use it I had to get it all squared away. Geesh!

Not much going on today. We all went to church. The Teen, to his church and I dragged The Girl and her head cold to church with us. Yes! She has a cold and right before auditions. This always happens to us. They either get sick for auditions or the show itself. Hopefully she will be okay by Tuesday.

Just now, The Teen headed off to work a wedding and I have dinner cooking away. I was reading The Bone Clocks but could not follow it and realized that my copy is missing pages!

What am I reading?

Besides The Bone Clocks, I need to start I am Malala for book club. I also want to squeeze something fun in, but what?

What am I cooking?

I threw boneless chicken breasts, enchilada sauce and taco seasoning into a pot and have been cooking it for hours. We’ll make tacos and burritos and maybe some enchiladas too. I made rice and I have been munching on tortilla chips and peach mango salsa since I got home. I guess you could say I had a craving!

What am I watching?

I am still on an I Love Lucy kick but now I have Roseanne on in the background. I keep switching between Lucy, Roseanne and cooking shows. The weather has been so nice. There is a touch of coolness in the air and that makes me want to watch cooking shows.

Here’s my week:

Two rounds of auditions for Annie, a doctor’s appointment, baking for a bake sale, set building for Cabaret (choir) and working the bake sale at Lombardi Ranch, our local pumpkin patch.

What’s your week look like?

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

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?

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?

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