Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Salon: Time to Say Goodbye

 Good afternoon my friends.  Have you ever heard the song "Time to Say Goodbye" sung by Sara Brightman and Andrea Bocelli?   Gorgeous!  I never get tired of it.  Anyway, that title came to mind when I started writing this post.  Because I think it is time.  It has been brewing in my head and heart for awhile, for a number of reasons, but Michele Jacobsen's post inspired my action.

When I started blogging, I immediately jumped into a daily posting schedule, reading and writing like a madwoman.  I made friends (lifelong ones I hope) and our blogging community was small and warm and intimate and invigorating and innovative.  We had things to say, we supported one another, we gave each other awards, we met in person.  But over time it changed, it got crowded and competitive and sterile and a bit...juvenile.  My kids became teenagers, and slowly I trimmed down my pace to four days a week, then twice a week, and now I only post on Sundays.  My posts are starting to sound like a broken record...I'm busy running around, my reading is in a slump, blah blah.  I'm bored with myself and I'm sure you are bored with me too!

And recently we got Brody, and what attention and time I had is now devoted to him.  OK, let's stop for a couple of pictures.    

Shopping at our wine store

Chewing on the hedgehog on a cold night

I also realized that what I DID say on the blog, I said it on Facebook as well.  My Goodreads "reviews" (if that is what you want to call them) post on Facebook, my pictures all get posted there, the movies I see get posted there on Letterboxd, and if there is something really on my mind, it gets discussed there.

So what's the point?

I still plan on roaming around and reading a few of your blogs, because I do still want to know all the shiny new pretty books I need to read.  And I care about what is going on with all of you.

So on that note, I'm going to sign out here, take my current book that I'm averaging 5 pages a day on, and sit in the sun with my dog and read until I fall asleep.      

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Salon: I blinked...

 Wow!  What a week we've had!  Now I'm determined not to glorify the busyness, but we were seriously on-the-go this week.  (No wonder I'm wanting a nap!)

Brody had his first puppy school Monday night.  He will have five of these sessions, learning to focus, sit, down and other puppy duties.  I intend to keep him in classes as long as possible.  This dog needs his brain exercised.  He also had his second set of puppy shots and his first vet visit since we got him.  

My parents returned from their trip to Arizona and California, just in time for my sister from Minnesota to visit.  We had absolutely gorgeous weather while she was here, which she completely soaked up.  We went out to lunch and dinner on several occasions (taking the dog when we could), we saw a play of "To Kill a Mockingbird", we went to the farmer's market and shopping in Winter Park, she cooked Chinese for us (she is a master since she studied there for over a year), she came with me to the trainer a couple of times, and we watched some movies.  We saw "Birdman" at the theater, and watched "Under the Skin" and an old Polanski movie "Cul de Sac" here at home.  And of course we did lots of romping with the dog.


Unfortunately while my sister was here, my kids, husband and dad all had the crud.  I'm waiting for it to swing my way, but I hope not.  That kept us from ever doing something together, the seven of us.

I don't have much to report on reading unfortunately.  Things should settle down a little bit now, and I'm hoping to get some momentum.  Currently I've started the audio "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy" by Karen Abbott, as well as "You" by Caroline Kepnes in print.  Both great reads, just need some down time.  I'm really getting antsy because I've really got a wonderful TBR stack going right now, including some recent purchases from our wonderful new indie bookstore in town called "Writer's Block Bookstore".  I got "Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins for my next book club.  I got "Her" by Harriet Lane, "Redeployment" by Phil Klay, "Finding Florida" by T.D. Allman, and "From Hell", an Alan Moore graphic novel about Jack the Ripper.  I also got "In the Heart of the Sea" by Nathanial Philbrick at Costco (impulse), and the ARC of "The Precious One" by Marisa de los Santos from the most awesome Jill Broderick.  OMG people!  I NEED TO GET READING!!!

So on that note, I'm off to shower something.  Grocery store, helping my daughter with SAT studying perhaps, and maybe a little of that rare gem called reading.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Salon: The Social Schedule

 We are now just wrapping up our first week with Brody.  We are exhausted, but so in love with him.  Our breeder told us that to properly socialize a dog and make sure he is well-behaved and adaptable, he needs to meet at least 100 people before he is four months old.  He also needs to get used to being groomed (something that will take up more and more time as he gets shaggier) and get used to the leash.  We took our mission seriously, so we had a busy week.  He has had play dates, gone in the car on errands and to pick up my son every day, gone on walks, been to my husband's office twice (once for family game night), gone out to dinner with outside seating, met the folks at the neighborhood fire station, met the ladies at the pool store, and helped me with yard work.  He is such a good boy, sleeps through the night in his crate without crying or messes, and is happy to just hang out even when there are screaming kids or loud music and chaos.  He can already sit and down, tells us when he needs to go out, and can walk on a leash.  He goes to puppy school tomorrow night...that should be interesting!  We couldn't be happier with him.

Sooooooo...reading?  Not so much.  I did finish "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng on audio (thank God for audios) for one of my book clubs.  I didn't love it like so many people.  It has plenty to talk about, but I can't say I enjoyed the listening experience.  It was very heavy, and I felt agitated with the parents in the story.  I just recently started "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy" by Karen Abbott for my other book club.

In print I started "You" by Caroline Kepnes on the way to North Carolina and back last weekend, but once I got home I haven't read a single word, as you might imagine.  It certainly isn't because of the book, I just have been chasing my toddler-in-a-dog-suit.  I'm hoping I will get a minute or two today to dig into it a little more.

Exciting week coming sister is coming down from Minnesota for four days or so.  It's been awhile since I've seen her so that will be fun.  I'll fill you in on our activities next week.  Hope you all have a great Sunday!  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Salon: Puppy Breath

 Good afternoon bloggy friends!  I have been way off the radar this week, preparing for the arrival of The Fluffy Sweet One.  It was hard for me to concentrate.  I worked out, did some yard work, a doctor appointment or two, a meeting at the school for the son (you know, because it isn't a good school year without a couple of these!).  My daughter, husband and I took off Friday morning for North Carolina (ugh, 9 long hours, I'm not a good road trip person), and got there around dinner time.  The puppy nanny and her daughter came to our hotel so we could meet Brody and his siblings.  On Saturday morning we went to the breeder's house to absorb a million tips and facts about these dogs, get a grooming lesson, and away we went.  The ride back took a little longer because we stopped at Starbucks and subsequently my daughter had to stop and pee about 5 times.  But sweet boy was great.  He just passed out in the back seat and slept the whole way.  Little puffy pumpkin butt.

He has done very well so far.  He slept through the night in his crate without a peep, and has only had a couple of potty accidents.  Today we met some of my friends and played with a friend's dog.  I'd forgotten about how puppies are like toddlers and get into everything!  My daughter is so good with him, though, and has been a huge help.

Are you tired of hearing about the dog at this point?  LOL.

As you can imagine, if I've been distracted before now, at this point I'm totally over the edge.  I was barely able to get this written!  Things will settle down eventually, once he gets older and in a routine.  I look forward to long walks with him, which will help with audios!

I finished "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman on audio this week, and it was very sweet.  It was sort of a nice mix of humor and poignance.  It had some very serious, sad issues but you finish the book feeling warm inside.  I'm now just starting "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng for one of my book clubs this month.

In print I finally finished "Where All the Light Tends To Go" by David Joy.  This was an excellent debut novel about a 19 year-old boy living in Appalachia.   Extremely dark and heartbreaking, but what do you expect with that setting?  I've now started "You" by Caroline Kepnes, a really twisted story about a stalker.  Really intriguing and easy to read though!

We are headed out to a Superbowl party tonight, and while it is a fun event, it is hard to really focus on the game because there are so many people.  And I'd rather hold my puppy and watch at home but we must make an appearance.

Bear with me on the obsessive chatter about the dog, and the lack of visitation to your blogs.  I'll get there!  Hope everyone has had a great Sunday!