Good things 2016: Um, lately

Fotor_146326166047689It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’ve been remiss in doing these posts, but want to get back on track. Here’s a few weeks worth of  Good Things:

  • Hugs from wonderful human beings
  • Not getting my purse snatched in Wilmington, DE as happened to someone right after I went into a shop
  • Reasonably easy travel
  • Meeting new people
  • A coat of paint making my like my kitchen again
  • Pics of my nephew
  • Amazing food, drinks, and people in Chicago
  • Very large work project being over.
  • Sharing stories about meaningful tattoos
  • Honest conversations with Frank about the future and what it might look like.
  • Getting back into the swing of things and some normalcy
  • Laughing with kiddos on the pool deck
  • Pleasing bossman.
  • Frank.
  • New teas to try (Tea Forte being my new favorite. You have to try the Blueberry  Merlot and Iced Ginger Pear. They aren’t paying me to say nice things about them, but if they wanted to, I wouldn’t be opposed. I just really liked their tea!
  • Fun exchanges on Twitter with the shows I like’s hosts
  • Surprise Brodyman visit!
  • Long weekend after a crappy few days.
  • RugRat little sister graduated from college
  • Trashy novels
  • Colored ink pens
  • sushi lunch and shopping with Sue
  • Pen pals
  • Chia “pudding” <– was surprised that I liked this so much. I’ve taken to eating it instead of yogurt.
  • Grilling season

Good reads

Favorite Photo:


First bit of the kitchen done. Slowly working on the rest.

Favorite Song:

My friend Andy has teamed up with a few other talented musicians to form Whippoorwillow and is currently working on putting together an album. If you’d like to help out that endeavor you can do so here.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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This past adventure (Chicago and Wilmington) by the numbers.


It’s not as easy as I thought it would be to color on the train so this is as much as I did.

I’m back from a whirlwind week  and exhausted. It’s all good, I’ll catch up on the sleep eventually.  I’d love to go into so many more details about the adventure I had to Chicago and Wilmington and some of the realizations I had while away but because it was really amazing in a lot of ways, I’m still processing some of it.

Right now, let’s just talk about the numbers.

  • Miles traveled if the planes and trains were by car: ~ 2,410 miles
  • States I touched down in: IL, MD, NY, and DE (this doesn’t count confusion, inebriation, or exhaustion.)
  • Steps logged into my Garmin: ~ 59,808
  • Text messages sent: ~2,500
  • Laughs with friends (old and new): Too many to count but let’s say 3,587,123,045
  • Hard Ciders consumed: roughly 9, but I won’t say how big some of them were
  • Bottles of wine shared with CAR: 3 (Side note: Chicago has a wine delivery app. Jealous!)
  • Wonderful meals shared: All of them.
  • Perfect moments: 16 off the top of my head
  • Random strangers who are now my friends: 8
  • Cups of Coffee consumed:~50
  • Cups of Tea consumed: ~12
  • Truly amazing grilled cheese sammiches consumed: 1 but it was really fricken tempting to order a second.
  • Trips to Whole Foods: 3
  • Times imaging leaving my current job and relocating for something new: 5
  • Hours spent away from home: 156 (I was briefly home – about 8 hours – Thursday night)

I learned a lot in my work group program about lots of school related stuff, but I think I learned more about myself while I was gone. Like I said, I’m still processing. I don’t know how much (if any) will make it here, but I think in some ways, this trip to Chicago was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

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Coffee Date


This is the best stick ever!

Hey there. What’s up today? It’s been a bit since I’ve been around other than some prescheduled book reviews. I don’t really have a reason and always hate the “I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long!” posts so I’m not going to bother.

What’s in your cup this morning? I stopped on the way into work and picked up some pistachio flavored coffee from Dunkin’ and it’s really fricken awesome. I think it would be even better with a little Frangelico! (My favorite Mixologist, Heather, used to put just a little in my coffee on nights I was DD. There’s a reason she’s my favorite.)

Just to catch up, I’ve had a few weekends off from the pool so we’ve been doing some work on the house and yard. We’ve been working on a kitchen facelift which I’m super excited about! It won’t be finished until Memorial Day weekend because I’m traveling the next few weekends but when it’s done, I’ll (maybe) be writing a post about it. The yard included ripping out what we refer to as Northern Kudzu, weeds, and small trees and burning them. We have a huge pile to still burn, so we’ll have kindling for lots of summer smores fires.

Brody went back to my brother’s house and we’re sad to see him go. Both boys are loving being back together and my bro sends pics often. (Although I was considering giving Brody his own Instagram, for now he just has his own hashtag)

We also went and saw my boy Alton Brown again! It was a totally different show. Dare I say, even better than the last time?

Work has been busier than normal with some unusual challenges popping up. I’ve been reminded I can fire off some decently put together writing in a unreasonably short amount of time, that being able to play nice in the sand box may is more important than being right (unless they’re so far off base it changes the conversation), and that there are parts of my job I’m really fricken good at.

Tomorrow I’m back to the pool for the next few weeks and our session is super full again. We’ll see how it goes but I suspect tomorrow after the pool, I’ll have a paintbrush in one hand and a gf beer in the other!

So what’s new with you?

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Reading more: Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle

book squareGabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

Again, I may have missed my calling teaching kids to read, but then again, I like to read for enjoyment, not to dissect a story, characters, and plot within an inch of their lives for a deeper understanding.

Let me read to read, enjoy, get a little lost, and maybe learn something new.

Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle is one of those books I suspect is being picked apart bit by bit to have every microscopic element examined and analyzed. It’s a good one.

From Amazon:

A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of menacing birds: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel rescues an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovers a family secret: Finleys can bond with ravens in extraordinary ways. Along with Paladin and three valiant friends, Gabriel sets out to bring his father home. They soon discover that Adam is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven, and Adam’s very own disgraced brother—in a foreboding netherworld of birds called Aviopolis. With help from his army of ghoulish minions, the valravens, Corax is plotting to take over the land above, and now only Gabriel stands in his way.

The book took a little to get into, but once the action got going in part 2, I really liked it. It had riddles to decipher, magic, mystery and adventure. While the components were quite fantastical, they fit the characters and the plot of the story well.  I appreciated the compassionate tones that ran through he book as Gabriel was on his quest to save his father, the commentary on human (and raven) nature, and the characters.

There were some dark and what might be scary portions of this book. It’s geared to 4-7th graders. It would be okay for many, it wouldn’t be awesome if you had a more sensitive child.

Is this something you’d read? Would you read it with your child? Hand it to them? Why or why not.

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Reading More: Witch of Painted Sorrows

book squareWitch of Painted Sorrows by  M.J. Rose was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’ve professed my love of M. J. Rose before and I’ll likely say it some more. I really like her books even though nothing about her genre entices me otherwise.

I’m just not a fantasy, gothic, historical kind of fiction girl.

I’m a M. J. Rose girl though for sure.  Let’s talk about Witch of Painted Sorrows…

From Amazon:

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten–her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse

There was some back and forth mystery, some really naughty bits, intrigue and fun. There’s something about reading the mostly positive presentation of an 19th century courtesan that’s refreshing for a time I understand to be really uptight about such things. (I could be wrong.)

The only thing I had to keep straight in my head was that it wasn’t present day. Often times I had them walking around in present day clothing and had to back up and re read sections because it was wrong. I like to get the picture right in my head.

If you’ve read other M. J. Rose you should read this one. I hope they bring Sandrine back for another book. I don’t know that they will, but is already another Daughters of La Lune Series book to come out.

I’ll be checking that out as well.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Thursday Three: Thoughts I’ve had this week


At least the snow’s good for something.

Do you prefer to think of “Thursday” as “Thursday” or as “Friday Eve”? I think of it as both or not at all, I suppose it really depends on how the week has gone!

This week has worked out okay so far (knock on wood it doesn’t change between now and Saturday afternoon!) but it’s had some rough moments.

Let’s not talk about them though. Instead I want to share some of the thoughts I’ve had so far this week:

  1. I really shouldn’t be watching Dancing with the Stars Most Memorable Year while whormones are in full swing. No, I wasn’t the one with feelings leaking out of her eyes! Okay, I was. I didn’t even get the second half of the night watched. Maybe I’ll save it for next week.
  2. Oooh they have the big box of Amy’s Broccoli and Cheese Bake! That’s a good price for lunch and would be delicious. I should get the family sized one! [Reaches for it but sees the individual size at eye level.] Damn it, be reasonable that’s not a good idea. Shame on you Court. Shame. [Puts the individual one in the cart.](For the record, I sort of regret not getting the big one. I’m sure my belly does not regret my decision.)
  3. No, I’m not going to buy yarn today. No, I’m not going to buy yarn today. No, I’m – Shit that color is perfect for [insert name of someone I’m going to make a gift.Damn it. I bought the yarn.

Have any good thoughts lately that you’d like to share?

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Reading more: The Skeleton Garden

book squareThe Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

A bit back, I read The Red Book of Primrose House for a review and once I got into the book, I thought I might like to read more about Pru.

When I saw this come up on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peak to find out what Pru’s been up to lately.

From Amazon:

Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.

Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.

Again it was a little slow to get into, but much faster than I found the The Red Book of Primrose House to be. I still enjoyed Pru and seeing more depth to her relationship with Christopher. There’s also further development of Pru’s relationship with her brother, sister in law and others. Getting to know more of her family was fun. I also loved how a big portion of the plot had to do with the history of this little countryside town they live in and the party they were planning which tied into it.

This book was just generally cozy, lovely, and I enjoyed it very much. There are apparently two I have missed and at some point, I may go back and read them.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Good things 2016: Week #13

Fotor_145947461502065(Due to the way I write organize Good things posts, even though it was yesterday, I’ll talk about my birthday next week. Big thanks to everyone who sent pleasant thoughts!)

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

Not going to lie, the past week was a little fuzzy at times because I’ve been fighting a cold off. Not the day before yesterday, but the Saturday before that, one of my instructors didn’t show up so I had to teach all his classes.

One of the little girls coughed in my face. It happens with 3-4 year olds. Guess who I didn’t see this week at lessons. I have to guess it’s because she had a cough too.

Good Things

  • Dinner being ready when I got home from the pool. (I’m usually quite famished by then.)
  • Lunch with my previous supervisor and all the laughs we share
  • Not making eye contact because doing so will make you giggle at the wrong time
  • A surprise free night from the pool
  • A visit from Ms. Bix and her boys. I adore them to pieces. We played Mad Libs, had snacks, colored, and pealed crayons.
  • Brody cuddles
  • My TV lineup on On-Demand like civilized society intended
  • Cold meds, cough drops, and hot tea
  • New smoothie maker even if I didn’t have the yogurt I like
  • The final Dorthy Must Die book, Yellow Brick War.

Good reads (Other interesting reads are here.)

Favorite Photo:
Favorite Song:

I think it’s really the video I love for some reason.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Coffee Date


This picture has nothing to do with this post.
Just wanted to share.
Brody loves chewing on this stick.

Happy Friday to you and you and you! (And happy birthday to Not-So-Sweet Pea!) Thanks for stopping by for a cup of coffee.

We’ve made it through another week and while mine was a little fuzzy (thank you cold meds!) I don’t think it was a bad one. Today, I really changed things up on the coffee front and decided to have VANILLA coffee, not hazelnut or Kahlua. While child right here. Did you drink anything exciting this morning?

So what’s new? How has your day/week been?

I’m taking everything with a grain or three of salt today because it’s April Fools day and I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to be a fool if possible!

I’ve seen some baby announcements, some firing announcements, and Google’s bad prank but nothing too terrible. (And for I really know, they could be real, time will tell.)I do hope the fake pregnancy announcements aren’t too prevalent. I know some people who really struggle with seeing them (summed up nicely in this post). While not all of us struggling to have little ones of our own feel this way, I know many who it does hurt deeply. Just be careful. You may not know someone in your circle is struggling because most people don’t talk about it. (When I posted this post, I literally had dozens of people I didn’t know about reach out to me privately to share their story.)

Let’s just be mindful about our pranks and who they might be really hurtful to, hmkay? So have you been pranked yet? Did you prank someone? I haven’t but the day is young. Plus I do like to spread them out so people are less suspicious.

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Good things 2016: Week #10-12

Fotor_14579172630789It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I haven’t checked in in a bit so let’s ease back in slowly. How about some good things from the past few weeks?

  • Cocktails, adventures, food, and generally vacation in Key West
  • New music
  • Settling back into home
  • Rereading M.J. Rose (in the right order)
  • Watching HGTV, FYI, DIY renovation shows/marathons with Frank
  • Great swim lessons with my kiddos
  • Internet research skills
  • Staff who is willing to help me out
  • Oranges
  • A request specifically for you to do something for work because they like you and want to work specifically with you.
  • Ginger cheweys
  • Exciting news for friends
  • Smiles from babies
  • Hugs from one of their mommas
  • Catching up on sleep
  • Free books that are pretty good
  • Seeing friends I don’t get to see often
  • Getting approval for a trip to Atlanta for work.
  • GF Girlscout cookies
  • Replies to tweets and other Twitter fun

Good reads – You should probably know that I missed a lot of reads on vacation, but here were a few I saw.

Favorite Photo:

Favorite Song:

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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