Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Salon: 85%

 85%.  That is the portion of his life that my boy child has spent in the school from which he just graduated.  12 years is a long time for anyone to be anywhere.  You can imagine...he wanted out.  Now he is.  There were days (weeks, months) when we weren't sure he would achieve this goal.  If you meet my son, I guarantee you wouldn't ever meet any other kid quite like him.  Perhaps not a personality that totally meshes with a controlling Catholic community, but the dude did it.  I am proud.  

This celebration has been going on all week.  There was a retreat, a dinner, a trip to Busch Gardens, graduation practice, all culminating to a graduation ceremony which happened Friday.  I've been busy, and distracted.  My parents are in town, and it is also my mom's birthday.  If I normally come by your blog and haven't lately, I apologize.

It is weird for me, personally, to be done with this school.  I have contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer time to this place.  Have had MANY teacher/parent meetings, mostly for the boy.  It is a new era.

Random selfie with my daughter and I, in the car ready to eat Japanese Hibachi as a graduation celebration.  Because it isn't completely about the boy.    

Three more days of school for the girl...finals.  So we have drama and emotion going on.  But soon it will be over.  Next year she will be a junior.  For all of you that have littles, hug them and appreciate the simplicity and innocence.  It is a cliche, but they grow up in the blink of an eye.  This is a true statement.

I've been listening to audios of course, in all my running around.  I finished "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer, her second installment in the Lunar Chronicles.  Still silly and predictable, but I have become more invested in the series.  Plots thicken.  I probably would appreciate it more if I were 15 or 20 years old, but it isn't a bad bit of entertainment.  I am now a few hours into "Five Days at Memorial", an expose on the conditions of a hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.  Good but unnerving stuff.

In print I read "Angel's Gate" by Anne Carter (
nee Pam Ripling), part of a historical supernatural mystery series that involves lighthouses. This is the third installment, and they are awesome.  I also quickly read "Hidden:  A Child's Story of the Holocaust" which is a graphic novel that very superficially covers this tragedy for the benefit of the young reader.  I also quickly read "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, the IT book to read this summer.  I loved it for a million reasons...if you want them, just click through to my link.  You definitely must pick this one up this summer!!!  

Because I love Pam Ripling's writing so much, I dove into the other e-book she sent me called "Unmasking Paulie Bingham", a love story about a bi-sexual glam rocker and his passionate, turbulent relationship with his best friend/wife.  Not your typical love story, but completely un-put-downable.  Pam said her loyal "love story crowd" didn't know quite what to think about this book, but for me personally, it is the anthem to friendship, loyalty, and living the life that helps fulfill who you are as a person.  I can't wait to write about this one on Goodreads.

I'm a little funkish that Game of Thrones isn't on this weekend, but for graduation, I bought my son the Game of Thrones Pop Up Book of Westeros, which is FREAKING AMAZING.  Not only does it have various castles, but it has small pop-ups on the side and histories of each area.  The entire book can be deconstructed into a map-type spread.  We were sprawled out on the floor for hours messing with it.


Hope everyone has grand plans for this long weekend.  We saw "Godzilla" yesterday (corny but fun to watch), and would love to also catch the X Men movie as well...maybe Monday.  We are also thinking about a round of golf, and some grilling and swimming in the pool.

Here is to the upcoming end of May!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Salon: Waiting to exhale

 I hope I'm not committing any trademark infringements by using that title.  I know it's a movie or whatever, but this is exactly how I feel.  I'm holding my breathe and willing May to be done!  Get through the emotional drama of my daughter and her AP test and finals!  Get my boy child OUT OF THAT SCHOOL before he gets kicked out!  Get past the financial curse we've been under for the last couple of months so my husband will leave me alone about paying for HBO!

The boy's finals are done at this point.  Next week is all fun and games, with graduation on Friday.  My parents are flying in.  It's all good.

The hubby is back from his trip, so luckily there will be no more dead creatures in my pool.  That only happens when he is gone.  I attended a lovely end-of-the-year party for my ladies golf league this week, so our season is done until the fall.

I did have an unfortunate incident this week, where I accidentally hit a car while in carline at my son's school.  It was raining, it was chaos, but still, there you have it.  The guy was less than thrilled with me, but we won't be involving the insurance.  I get to buy him a new bumper.  Remember that curse I mentioned?  Yeah.  It just keeps coming.

I got my Internet fixed this week, which was huge.  It has been really bad for several weeks now.  I know I should have called Bright House sooner, but dealing with them is like having a root canal.  I can't think of any person or organization that irritates me more.

Reading was decent this week.  I finished "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer on audio, and it was just OK for me.  Clever twist on Cinderella, but it never graduated beyond silly and predictable to me, and the narrator was very high-pitched and whiny.  Be that as it may, I am nothing if not dedicated to finishing what I start, so I just kept going with the second installment of the series "Scarlet".  It incorporates the continuing adventures of Cinder, but pulls in another storyline with a twist on Little Red Riding Hood.  Same narrator.  The library doesn't have the third installment, "Cress", on audio yet.  And I see on Goodreads this isn't just a trilogy, because #4 "Winter" is coming next year.  Hmmm.

In print I finished Karen White's "The Girl on Legare Street", the second installment in this series.  Again, I just keep going!  I do enjoy these books, but I've decided they remind me of that TV series "The Ghost Whisperer" that my daughter was obsessed with a number of years ago.  They don't have much depth, and they fall into that trope of "the man and woman who are crazy about each other but can't pull it together" kind of thing.  But they are easy to read, very Southern, and have interesting ghosts.  So.  I'm now very excited to say that I'm reading the latest book from Pam Ripling (who writes under the pen name Anne Carter) called "Angel's Gate".  She writes a series where each novel revolves around a lighthouse and a mystery.  This one is about the Angel's Gate lighthouse in L.A.  Great stuff, and very easy reading.  This is the third book of hers that I've read and loved.

Not sure what is going on today besides church.  The daughter and I have taken a small hiatus from the animal shelter while she gets through her last two weeks of school.  Maybe a round of golf?  Hope everyone has a great day, and don't forget to watch Game of Thrones tonight!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Salon: Happy Women's Day

 Good morning and Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there!  I know that not everyone has birthed a child, and some have lost their mothers, but I believe motherhood is a state of mind and therefore should be celebrated by every woman.  I know many women who mother animals, their husbands and their neighbors' kids, so maybe we should call it Women's Day instead.  Brunch for everyone!

Sadly my husband is not here to help us celebrate this year, as he is over with his parents in Poland.  I am glad he was able to spend some time with them, but I did inform him that he wasn't off the hook.  He very sweetly sent me a gift card for the Ritz spa.  It is never quite the same without him home.  I kind of live like a heathen...I don't cook, I do less cleaning, I binge-watch TV.  And of course that is always when creatures fall in my pool or skimmer and must be dealt with.  I'll spare you the details but this one was either a rat or a baby opossum, only identifiable by the long nasty tail.  Ugh.  It will be nice to get him home.  (And if you are a creepy wack-job and think this would be a great time to rob me, think again.  I'm armed, territorial and a dead-eye shot.  Just had to say that.)

Progress is being made on my wall that was destroyed in that car crash a month or so ago.  They finally released the accident report and I was able to get the driver's insurance information, so I'll get some estimates next week and hopefully get repairs started soon.  It isn't pleasant driving past that every day.  I'm still kinda traumatized over that.

My son wrapped up his last volleyball game of the season, and is also wrapping up his time at the school he has attended since he was 2 1/2.  He's got a couple of finals next week, and then it is all about the retreat, the class trip to Busch Gardens, and graduation.  The blink of an eye people.  My baby is going to high school.

My husband and I always have a standing invitation to a fundraiser for the Orlando Science Center called "The Science of Wine" which is run by my friend that owns the wine store and his wife (who works at the Science Center).  It was held last night, and since my husband wasn't around I took my BFF, and we had a ball.  Lots of food and wine, and I scored a giant basket of food goodies and a Coach backpack!  Happy Mom's Day to me!

I had a particularly enjoyable week of reading.  I had an express package delivered to me Monday containing Rainbow Rowell's "Landline", which I proceeded to read in two days.  While it was a very easy read, I was a little disappointed after the brilliance of her other books.  It just seemed like she wasn't on her game.  I still had fun reading it though.  I'm now progressing with "The Girl on Legare Street" by Karen White, which is an easy read as well.

On audio I listened to "Orange is the New Black", and really enjoyed it.  I'd been hearing about it for years, but I guess I was finally motivated to read it because I wanted to watch the new TV series that is based on it.  (After I finished the book I binge-watched the entire first season.)  Turns out the show diverts quite a bit from the book, but still addictive.  I have just started "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer, which is a futuristic re-telling of Cinderella.  After being immersed in women's prisons, it feels silly but I'm going to ride it out because everyone seems to have loved it.

So today I'm going on a long walk, then the kids and I are going to brunch at Roy's, and then I'm going to float in the pool.  I'm mildly interested in a pedicure and a trip to Barnes & Noble, but I'm not sure if I'll make it.  My day will be capped off by another episode of Game of Thrones tonight!  Hope everyone has a wonderful Women's Day!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Salon: The cutest cat in the room

I'm a little late this apologies!  Some days roll like that.  It's been another busy week, resolving our multitude of problems that seem to come in clusters.  I do have a theory that "incidents", requiring significant financial means in order to fix, all happen at once.  Sort of a way for your bank account to self-adjust I guess.  I won't belabor it all here.  I'm tired of whining.  We are another week closer to the end of school and my son's 8th grade graduation, it has (finally) stopped raining, and life is good.

I got back on the bandwagon this week with the evil trainer Andre after being away on vacation.  I did some serious work in the yard.  Doing a little home organization.  Yesterday, my daughter and I worked our normal detail at an offsite adoption event for our local shelter.  It was like the floodgates opened and adopters descended upon us, and at the end of the day we placed four dogs and a cat in homes.  That was a record for us.  Because we hold these events at Petsmart, most people that come in already have more animals than they need, so the mission is more about getting the word out.  But not yesterday...lots of action.

Also, on our way to the event, we found a pathetic, wet kitten along the side of the road, which we cannot abide.  We swiped him up and put him in a carrier for the event and then brought him home with us.  We will love him up for a few days, then take him to a lady that rescues kittens and gets them homes.  (Don't even try to tell me why I need a SEVENTH feline.)  All the cats in our house are seriously twisted and pissy.  They all want to be the cutest cat in the room.  But that position has temporarily been taken.


I booked tickets to Indiana for my kids and I this summer, which is an annual thing.  Other than that jaunt, we will be home for the most part.  No summer school, nothing.  I can't remember the last time that has happened.

Today we had early church and then a long walk.  The weather is gorgeous after several days of oppressive rain.  My husband is talking very loudly about all the things we can plan for this afternoon, but I'm keeping my head down and avoiding eye contact.  I am hoping for a tiny bit of peace.  Maybe he can drag my son out of his room for an activity.

The print reading is still pretty dismal.  I did finish "The Outlaw Album" by Daniel Woodrell, which I started in the readathon last weekend.  I'd be surprised if the book is 200 pages, but it took me awhile to get through.  A little too dire and abstract to keep my attention I guess.  I did start the 2nd Karen White book in the Tradd Street series, but I'm anticipating a delivery tomorrow of Rainbow Rowell's soon-to-be-released "Landline", a loaner from Michele of "A Reader's Respite".  Time will have to stop while I dive into that one.

I spent a little more time with audios this week.  I finished Andy Weir's "The Martian", which I adored.  And hey, I'm not really into Sci Fi but this was so much fun.  Just enough detail and geekiness to lend it credibility, just enough snark and action to keep me interested.  I also finished "Pilgrim's Wilderness" by Tom Kizzia, which is a non-fiction-they-can't-make-this-stuff-up kind of book that makes you feel like your head is going to explode.  In a nutshell, it is about a incestuous, narcissistic, bible-thumping madman who homesteads in Alaska with his brainwashed wife and 15 kids, and ends up taking on the National Park Service and the law for his sins.  Amazing, maddening stuff.  I'm now an hour into Piper Kerman's "Orange is the New Black".  Figured I need to read the book before I indulge in the TV series.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday.  Anyone reading anything mind-blowing that I can't miss?