Wednesday, September 28, 2016

R.I.P. Reading Challenge

hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings

I love this time of the year, Halloween and all the fixings. Cider, scary movies, the changing of the leaves..and this reading challenge is a fun way to track the scary books I read! I usually sign up in September but I was crazy adjusting to school and work. I am excited for October and I am determined not to let it fly by.

My little guy and I took an autumn walk yesterday!

I am planning on reading (hopefully!) four scary books this season, which ones, I don't know yet. Any suggestions, blogging world? (you know you do!)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

I had a busy busy week but fun! My homework this semester is killing me, but the material is fascinating. Wyatt also got his little leg braces. They are super cute, black with skull and crossbones and red straps! I don't talk about it much, or at all really, online, but W. has mild cerebral palsy. It was a complication of his premature birth, and two brain bleeds. He is such a tough kid though, and determined like crazy -plus he has an amazing sense of humor. 

We also spent the weekend with family and friends, flitting and flying here and there. We went to my favorite Fall Festival at Greenfield Village, with my brother and his family. It was a great time. And we finally have this beautiful autumn weather!!! Sunny, cool - I wish it would last forever!

Read Last Week and Week Before:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: What an amazing book. I was shattered by its bleakness in parts, and inspired by other parts. 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong: Armstrong is on a roll! Her books get better and better, and this is no exception. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more in this series.

Pretty Little World by Elizabeth La Ban and Melissa DePino: I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which is upcoming. I am all about communal living lately it seems in my reading trends, and this one was pretty darn good, although the characters were not that likable.

Reading This Week:

I have no idea! I need to check my TBR and get some things lined up for fall and Halloween! And I am sure I will find lots of good things to read when visiting all of your blogs too.

Posted Last Week:


Death in Paradise, The Paradise, The Goldbergs. We are waiting to start our regular shows until some episodes have built up. We hear that American Horror Story is good this year so far! Hopefully it doesn't go overboard. :(

So how are all of you?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Little Overnight Getaway - Holland/Saugatuck

Where has September gone? This month has flown by. I want to be more mindful next month, and not let another month just disappear out from under me like this one did. I did have some good times this September, and a few more planned before the month is out, including our mini-trip last weekend to the west side of Michigan.

The Holland/Saugatuck area is only about a 3 hour drive, tops from our house, and when Billy and I were thinking about vacations this year, we wanted our maiden voyage as a family to be easy. We weren't sure how little man would travel, how he would sleep somewhere unfamiliar, etc. So, we decided our main goal was to get his feet in the sand and in the waters of Lake Michigan, and went from there. We chose to only stay one night just to "test the waters" of vacationing, and I am pleased to say that Wyatt did wonderfully! I was a weirdo, but that is a different story. Lol.

We aimed for Holland first. We bumped around, shopping in and out of the stores, and then ate lunch at the New Holland Brewery. The food and beer were good, the dessert was not. If you go, I recommend skipping dessert and just going to Kilwin's across the street. I had the Ritter Pils, Billy had Ichabod, their pumpkin ale, and Wyatt had white milk. 

 So I fell in love with Cuckoo clocks and German Weather Houses on this trip. These were very expensive - I even kept my hands behind my back to stop myself from reaching out to touch the little squirrels and deer and gnomes that decorated these vignettes, just in case. I felt like I was in an episode of Grimm, and kept looking for Monroe!

Apples - the most perfect fruit of them all.

We weren't sure how to handle feeding Wyatt on the road, and this little chair was perfect! This rest area, was oddly restful. It was quiet, peaceful, and quite pretty, with giant fir trees. Wyatt enjoyed eating his pancakes there - and then throwing them on the ground too.

The whole purpose of our trip- Wyatt was not super pleased and kind of really hated it. Lol. There is always next year!

The first two are in Saugatuck, from the Mount Baldhead area. The weather and river were amazingly beautiful. I could have just hung out and watched the rhythms of life on the water for hours.

And of course I shopped some more. I am not a huge shopper, but it was vacation. I'm more less time spent in stores the better, but Saugatuck has such unique and fun shops that it was fun. We bought Wyatt some tiny moccasins that were hand-painted, I also went into the Polka-Dot Mitten, where I wanted everything! I am sharing the business card because AED's really are so important, and all schools should have them ready and available, in a location that can help everyone. Someone I have known my whole life had a sudden cardiac arrest at 35 while teaching in her class. She is alive today because another teacher thought fast and used the AED. 

Because, seriously - so cute.

So our first trip with just the three of us went really well! The only hiccup was our room. I had reserved a room through and while it looked charming online, I just didn't care for it when we got there. The people were nice, it just wasn't my expectation. So, that resulted in us searching for a last minute hotel room, which was not easy! Other than that, smooth sailing. I feel we are road ready for next summer - we are planning a much longer trip with my brother, his wife, and my niece, hitting a lot of Northern Michigan hotspots - Mackinac, Traverse City, Old Mission Peninsula..I am looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

I think I am starting to get my bearings with my new schedule - where to fit in school and work back into my life smoothly. I haven't gotten the kinks all out but we are getting closer.

This morning is crisp and cool and so totally autumn. I have been waiting for this weather for a month now. My sweet boy is still sleeping, and my husband left early to go to a ham radio swap meet with a friend. Right now, it is me, the cats and this cup of tea. 

Read Last Week:


Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong: I devoured this book. I am so sad it is over!!! This series just keeps getting better and better and now I have to wait for the next book. 

Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst: This book was really good as well. I am still processing it and what I think about it.

Reading This Week:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: Last week on the blog I shared an article written by Alexie about Tonto. I had heard of Alexie, but that was the first I had read him. I am looking forward to reading this one- I have heard so much about it, and I know it has even been banned/challenged before, so I need to look into that too.

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong: I figured I was all caught up on Cainesville now, so I may as well begin this new series by Armstrong. I am looking forward to this one as well!

Slow Read:

I am doing a slow read, one that I am taking my time with. It is really good actually, and makes me want to get outside and hike and camp! I love hiking, but camping usually gets a big No Thanks from me. Cabins are more my speed..but this book kind of makes me want to sleep in a tent. Just a little.


Not much right now! My husband is watching Live Free or Die, a National Geographic or Discovery (one of the two) reality show about people who live off the grid. Together we have been watching Death in Paradise, a BBC crime show that takes place in the Caribbean. Little man loves the theme song and bops along to it when he hears it. He also does that for The Office theme too, lol. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My New Love - Podcasts

I know I am late to the party on this, but I just really started listening to podcasts. And I am addicted! There are so many out there, and they are usually the perfect length - not too long, not too short. I usually listen to a few a day now, while I am bopping around the house, cleaning or playing with Wyatt. 

My brother has been trying forever to get me to listen to podcasts, and I am glad that I finally took his advice!

My listening list:

Lore: A slightly spooky podcast, it delves into true historical events, that have a darker side. Host and writer Aaron Mahnke does a fabulous job with his research.

Stuff Mom Never Told You: So I am completely in love with this podcast! I could listen all day but I don't want to binge listen and run out. Some of my favorite episodes: Anthropology of Pie, Knitting, The Gilmore Girls (of course), and Unicorn Legends. Not just for women, these are fun and informative. 

You Must Remember This: A great podcast for the fan of the silver screen and old Hollywood. Shares tales of the forgotten stories of old Hollywood. My brother suggested starting with the Manson episodes and they were phenomenal. 

Stuff You Missed in History Class: In the same family as Stuff your mom. These are fascinating little snippets of history. 

I also started watching a few podcasts from Stefanie over at Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons. She is an amazing knitter and very soft spoken. Wyatt actually calms down when I play these - she just has one of those soothing voices. I know this is not the purpose of her posts, but I guess in our house serve a dual purpose - I learn while Wyatt gets sleepy.

If you haven't tried out podcasts but have been toying with the idea, I highly recommend these! Also, I am open to suggestions. I would love to hear what you are listening to!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

So, I unintentionally fell off the map last week. Between starting a new job (my first in two years), classes starting, and life in general, things were a little too complicated for me!  I think I am starting to establish a good rhythm now though, so I am going to try this again. I apologize, I read everyone's comments from last week and appreciated them, and I am sorry I was unable to respond or visit your blogs. This week however, blogging is getting added back into the mix. I guess it is kind of like baking, you just keep folding stuff in and eventually it all works out.

My classes are so fascinating right now. I am taking two Anthropology classes - one is the Anthropology of food and culture, and the other is a Native American anthro class. We read some great articles last week, but the most powerful was written by Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I know this book was huge and award winning a few years ago, and I intended to read it, but never got to it. If it is anything like the small essay I read however, I am sure it is an amazing book. If you are interested, the article is I Hated Tonto (Still Do).

Read Last Week:

I didn't manage to finish anything - I did have one DNF and began two books that are so good that now I am not sure which will win the race for my vote. I have a feeling it will be the fiction book though. Lol.

Being a Beast by Charles Foster - this was a wee bit out there for me, conceptually. I didn't get very far, and although I really wanted to give it more of a go, I couldn't do it. Maybe I will try again in mid-winter.

Reading This Week:

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong: Of these two, I will probably more than likely read this one this week. I love this series! (and Gabriel)

Under the Stars by Dan White: That is not to say that I don't love this one! I actually am really very much enjoying it. I think though that this one will become a slow read for me, here and there. My husband and I are actually going to mini-book club it as well. 


We are catching up on Sleepy Hollow. We are also watching The Goldbergs, which is hilarious and reminds us of when we were kids. My husband was appalled to learn that I have never seen The Goonies or E.T. For my age group, that is just nutty. They were like the two biggest hits. I also just saw Jaws for the very first time, and I loved it! What a great movie, for real. I expected something a lot cheesier, and while the special effects were (it was the 70s, not their fault), the movie itself was really well done. That scene where they are drinking at night in the boat, and Quint tells that story of his boat going down..masterful and chilling. My brother almost went to this crazy showing of Jaws last night - it was a few hours or so away, give or take, but they were showing Jaws on an inflatable floating screen, in a lake, at night! You had to watch it from inner tubes while floating on a black lake at night - no thank you!!!! Things didn't work out and he didn't end up going, but for me that is nightmarish. I have too crazy of an imagination. Lol.