Friday Check-In: Lots of Random Itty Bitty Bits

Hello. How are you?

A book blogger’s life revolves around what is being read, what has just been read and what he/she plans to review next. Oh, and I can’t forget the funnest part of it all, the whole “what to read next” conversation that seems to take place in my head nearly every minute of the day. All it takes is a little bit of life getting in the way and all of a sudden you find yourself scrambling to catch-up.

That is the story of my life these days.

With school starting this week, the reading hasn’t really happened and I have five reviews to write-up so this weekend will be spent catching up.

Random thoughts from the week as there are many swirling around in my mind at the moment:

  • A situation at work did not turn out as planned and one thing that was said to me, keeps replaying itself in my head over and over again. In the end, it just doesn’t matter but it’s hard to move on.
  • A shoe ban at my daughter’s school seems like a pointless thing to worry about, but anything that affects the daily dress routine is like throwing a stick into my bicycle wheel.  No slip-ons unless they have a rubber vamp (which makes no sense).
  • It would be easier for everyone if we didn’t have to eat. I am really hating the cooking after work routine. It’s a chore for me right now and I just don’t want to do it.
  • The Otter Pup is having to adapt to being home alone, now that The Teen has started school again. I worry about her. She’s such a sweet pup. That means extra time with her when we get home, which also makes the “no cooking” thing even more plausible. Ha.
  • We may have to look for a new gardener. We have had the same guy for years but the lawn looks like like someone parked an RV on it and left it there for, oh… 3 weeks or so. There is some weird fungus and mushrooms are everywhere. It’s not good and we pay a lot for the service.
  • I was told by The Teen that his choir trip is mandatory. They are going to Vancouver over Spring Break. As he was telling me this, all I saw was $$$. Oh, and he needs a passport card. They have such things?
  • Vans or Converse? I want some black tennies.

And this item, which gets its own paragraph, what to read next? I recently read two books that have gotten a lot of hype and praise. Both started off strong and then petered out. I definitely don’t want to read another one like that.

After reviewing my to-read list, I think I will go with these. I want something that will pull me in quickly. Click on the covers for more info:

The Asylum

Instructions for a Heat Wave

After Her

Have you read any of these? I love Maynard’s writing so I am really looking forward to After Her.

35 thoughts on “Friday Check-In: Lots of Random Itty Bitty Bits”

    1. Thanks. I just get so overwhelmed these days. It’s an age thing, I think. I just seem to want to tune everything out and that amounts to low productivity.


  1. Haven’t been reading your blog very long . . . enjoy it, tho!

    Although my children are grown I can still relate to the ‘cooking after work’ – I like to use the crockpot, you can throw things in it and go and it’s ready at dinnertime . . . or, if you pass thru at lunch, I often put a roast in the oven or a lemon stuffed chicken – make rice to go with the chicken or veggies for the roast – after work and use bagged salad . . . bread isn’t too difficult usually . . .

    I am always looking for something to read . . . will check out some of these . . .

  2. Ugg, I’m so sorry about how things are going these days. In our house it’s called at day, week of 100 paper cuts. I saw you mention the school/shoe thing on FB and thought~for goodness sakes I wore flip-flops to school.

    Well, at least it looks like you’ve got some good reading ahead of you. Hope it helps and I hope things start to smooth out.

    (Was one of the petering out books The Curiosity? I’ve heard something to the effect.)

    1. Yes! One of the petering out books WAS The Curiosity. I am not sure what happened there. I am still trying to formulate my thoughts.

      I dress my kid in sneakers most days anyway since she likes to run all over in her crazy way, but now that she is older she likes those little black ballet flats with cropped jeans. Not anymore.


    1. $800 plus spending money and then the ASB retreat which is usually almost $200 and then the new cross country uniform.. ay yi yi.


  3. The Asylum looks interesting! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

    Cooking is the bane of my existence! I am not a fan and with the changes going on with me after this move, I am now the one primarily in charge of it. Ugh!!!

    1. Ugh. Being in charge has its benefits but yes, when it’s all on you it presents a whole set of new challenges. Cooking? What’s that. Hahahaha!


    1. If posts could be written based on my just thinking them, I’d be set. I come up with witty stuff in my head, but after a 13 hour day, and weeding through the evening stuff, who has the energy to be witty in a post? Not me!


  4. I’m not even sure I can comment on everything I need to here. First of all, I’m a Converse girl. And I’m right there with you on the cooking. Love the crock pot, but I can’t figure it out for everything. I swung by the grocery store today and bought a pre-made jerk pork mix that I just have to throw in a pan. That is where I’m at right now. I’ve got my eyeball on The Asylum. It is your job to see me on it! Oh yeah, and the shitty comment at work. I have no advice on that but just to have a glass of wine and try to walk away. I know that is hard to do.

    1. My crock pot works for the weekend but when you wake at 5am and don’t get home until after 5pm, the food in it is completely fried by the time I get home. Or… the power goes out and then the food is sort of in a half raw state and can’t be saved. Happens a lot in the summer with rolling brown outs.

      But the summer school crap is over with and that is good.


  5. Life is so interesting, isn’t it? So much to do…even more to think about! Sigh…I feel your lawn care pain…lol…I read Heatwave…I have after her…I am in a what to read next muddle, too! I hate work comments…I take them them seriously…just don’t care…I know that’s easier to say than do…

    1. Re: work comment. I just can’t get over it. Maybe this weekend will put some distance between me and IT.


  6. I am about 150 pages into After Her and am enjoying it although not too much has happened yet. Like you, I always enjoy Joyce Maynard, so have high hopes that it will get even better as it goes on. My kids don’t go back to school until Sept 9, so can’t imagine how crazed you must be. Hang in there!

    1. Not too much has happened and you are at 150? Maybe it’s a slow build. She does know how to set-up a story. I plan to start it this weekend. She was on Facebook trying to come up with a title for it and it’s funny, because after all of the suggestions she went with the first one she had asked us about!


  7. I am right there with you on the dinner predicament….ugh. I have read something by O’Farrell and remember really liking it, but the title is escaping me. I’ve heard good things about her new one though.

  8. I have Asylum coming from the library, will watch for your thoughts on it. Recently finished Instructions for a Heatwave, my fifth by Maggie O’Farrell whose writing is always top notch. Definitely recommend it, ignore the comparisons to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Heatwave is about the family members, not the man who doesn’t come home one day. I read Labor Day by Maynard but found it too tame a story for my liking and because “relationships” are so not my thing.
    Most of the things we worry about (80% according to the experts) will sort themselves out. Enjoy your reading.

  9. I’ve been having tons of work related stress lately, but I just keep ignoring everything I’m supposed to do and reading instead…which is going to come back to bite me. Ughhh.

    I haven’t read any of your choices, but have heard good things about them, especially Instructions for a Heatwave. Hope one of them helps you get out of the slump!

    1. My work related stress continues to eat at me, even though I should be well and over it by now. I just need to let it go.


  10. The Asylum is definitely something I want to hear about! I hear ya on the cooking after work. Some days, the husband does the cooking and trust me, I love him immeasurably more those days.

  11. What in the world is a rubber vamp? Are they basically trying to get rid of flip-flops?

    The Asylum looks creepy good. Hope you dig all of your new books 😀

    1. Flip flops were banned long ago at this school. What they are attempting to get rid of this time? Toms. Those slip on canvas things.

  12. That shoe thing is just crazy! And Vans vs. Converse? Well, I do love me some Converse but I must say that my daughter loves the support in her Vans and that’s something that Converse never has figured out.

    1. They never did say why slip-ons were banned but I am guessing they think they are a safety issue.

      I love Vans too but this time, I did end up with Converse. This time! LOL.


  13. Seems a lot of us don’t like cooking after work! I resort to BJ’s cooked chickens. Not expensive and they taste good You always find such interesting books that I am not aware of. The authors sound familiar though! Didn’t Maynard write Baby Love?

    My sympathies on the cost of kids and extra curriculars. Is this a public school with a shoe ban or private? Never heard of this type of dress code before.

    1. Yes, she wrote Baby Love but I know her from reading Labor Day, which is a book I did not expect to love.

      Cooked chickens are great but my kids tire of them. I have picky eaters and then there is my gluten allergy which always manages to throw a wrench into things.


  14. My current way of getting out of cooking after work is having my husband get home before I do, so he’s in charge of dinner, while I pick up my stepson from his mom’s on my way home (she lives in between my work and home, and my husband works closer to home than I do). Hope the pup adjusts to back-to-school OK! I’ve read Joyce Maynard, but not the new one.

    1. Smart. Would not work in my house though. The Girl might try to whip something up but the guys? They’d sit there waiting for me to tell them what to eat!


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