Monday, August 15, 2016

Why Lie?

As most of you know my youngest sister is a financial auditor by day and author by night! And her latest novel Why Lie? is being released on September 12,2016 and here..... is the Cover Reveal!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Outer Banks 2016: the recap

   Outer Banks 2016 is in the books and a great time was had by all!

The trip there is just as long as I remember and we opted to make it a bit longer by stopping along the way for a vigil Mass. Aside is an amazing site which tells what churches are close to your location and their Mass times. Another highlight of the trip was getting pizza for dinner; not the best car food but Dr Daddy and Elisabeth did a great job tearing the box into mini plates. So while we arrived in the dark we were so happy to be there and so was the rest of our family.

   The rest of the week consisted of swimming in the pool; the two biggest on their own and Caitie doing amazing in her vest. During a couple of night swims Elisabeth was introduced to Marco Polo and held her own with her big cousins.  We were a 5-10 minute walk from the beach and so visited everyday sometimes a couple times a day.  Most mornings I enjoyed a walk with my mom and a sister and often late afternoon found us there for a quick swim before dinner.  The waves were best mid-day and so twice we braved primetime sun and let the kids get some practice boogie boarding.  Both times we saw dolphins in the distance and one time my middle sister's father-in-law taught the kids to net fish with decent results.  He and my sister Kim also saw to the renting of bikes which also added to the outside fun of the week.

Many hands indeed made light what with the adults all taking a turn with cooking dinner and enough grown-ups and bigger cousins available that I was even able to sneak out to a wine tasting one afternoon.

Amazing food ~ wonderful wine and best of all a lot of time to play and be together with each other and some extended family.

We came ~ we saw ~ we swam!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Open Book: August 2016

Unexpectedly both my reads this month focused on widows and the lives they build for themselves after the deaths of their husbands.

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold is the latest installment of the Vorkosigan Saga. Set three years after the death of Aral Vorkosigan this book focuses on Vicereine Cordelia and her plans for the future and retirement.  In one sense it was a great read as Cordelia really feels to me the voice the author feels most comfortable writing in and this was a clearly a book she wrote for fans as it references a lot of events in earlier books with little to no explanation.  I did miss the swashbuckling of Miles and Ivan but am so glad I got to catch-up a bit with Cordelia and again enjoy her Betan wisdom.

Angelina's Bachelors by Brian O'Reilly tells the story of a young woman finding her footings and figuring out how to make ends meet after the sudden death of her husband. With a great blend of happy accidents and her advocating for herself Angelina finds an amazing circle of support and wonderful new life.

After a lovely first half the book sort-of drifts to its end.  Set in South Philadelphia I enjoyed all the references and look forward to trying out some of the recipes included.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Quick Takes #212

    1. Does it ever feel like life knows when you have plans and throws a curve ball. This week the kids had gymnastics camp and we had a playdate scheduled and of course a virus hit. Luckily everyone seems fine now but hoping for smoother days ahead.
    2. Given the above I was so grateful that Haley reposted this wonderful checklist!
    3. We are enjoying the first of this summer's harvest! Basil and mint from our garden and lettuce and cucumbers from the school's for which it was our week to tend.
    4. Elisabeth has been resisting making the jump to chapter books but early this summer she rediscovered the Magic Treehouse books and is loving them!! As a big reader myself it means so much to me to watch her fall in love with books and reading.
    5. One more week of camp and overall I think they have enjoyed it. Swimming lessons have also gone really well and I'm hoping will pay dividends on our trips coming up.
    6. Prayers for the people of Nice!
    7. As of last night we are hunting Pokemon! Updates as warranted #what I do for my kids!

    Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QTs

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Halfway Point Challenge Check-in

Having enjoyed the Reading Challenge sponsored by Modern Mrs Darcy last year I decided to join again this year and a little more than halfway through the year this is where things stand.

Of the twelve categories I've fulfilled 6 having read

Brideshead Revisited for the 'a book I've been meaning to read' category

These Old Shades for the 'a book published before you were born' category

The Screwtape Letters for the 'a book that intimidates you' category

Why Now? for the 'a book published this year' category

O'Pioneers for the 'a book you should have read in school' category

And as far as the 'a book I've read before' category ~ at least three that I can recall so I'm considering that category done!

I'm currently reading You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt which was recommended by Anne the Modern Mrs Darcy herself and while she is not a bookseller; she is my favorite resource for book tips so once I finish the book I'm considering that category done.

I know I have a couple tough categories still to go but am feeling good about my progress and having some fun picking books.

Anyone else doing the challenge?
How is your year going?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Open Book: July 2016

    June's general life craziness did not allow for much reading. I was able to finish the Princess Bride memoir As You Wish; as well as an advance copy of my sister's newest which will be published later this summer.

Current reads include You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt. This interesting combination of advice book and memoir is proving to be a wonderful read with lots of interesting tidbits about her life and insights she gained along the way.  The format is her responses to the questions she was most often asked in letters and despite being written over 50 years ago her reflections very much resonant with me.

Emma: a Modern Retelling by Alex McCall Smith, is just that and so far so good. McCall spends the first several chapters providing Emma's back story which I enjoyed as Jane Austen never explains the reasons for her father Mr Woodhouse's hypochondria and it is nice to have some context for that but am now excited to be reading the actual retelling of the Emma story of well meaning matchmaker gone awry.  While McCall doesn't quite have the knack of the Austen voice nor is it grating and so far the modernizations have been reasonable and on several occasions very funny.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Quick Takes #211

    1. Camp life is going well for everyone. The keyword in that last sentence is EVERYONE. Meaning after dragging her proverbial feet all of May and baffling me why she wasn't connecting the last dots Caitlin with a week to spare before camp started began consistently and with solid success wearing underwear. (Insert happy dance!)
    2. It happened so fast after no progress for awhile that I found myself taken aback and not quite trusting ~ but then deciding to go for it and registered her along with the other two. So far so good!
    3. Another milestone this week, Liam lost his first tooth. It had been wiggling more and more over the past couple of weeks and proved not up to the challenge of eating an apple earlier this week.
    4. Strawberries were largely a bust for us as I think we harvested 3 that the rabbits didn't get first. Tomatoes are looking good, along with basil and of course MINT.
    5. Earlier this week I had been looking for kid song videos for Caitie on YouTube and what should pop-up but episodes of My Three Sons. Later that evening once I had the kids tucked and Charlie on a work trip I put in a couple happy hours rewatching a half dozen episodes. Is there such a thing as comfort tv?
    6. I got nothin :)
    7. Happy July! Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

    Please head over to Kelly's for more  7QTS