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3 Moves, One Year

Life is good.  We have moved for the third time in one year.  Notice (exhibit A) the storage bin is empty.  The strong men (and one woman) moved heavy objects for several days, and on Sunday we drank a fancy mocha @ The Peach Cafe in our new hometown.  Tired, achy, and back to work, but all is well because we are home, and the wifi is working! 🙂

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Summer Reading 2016– A year gone by

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As I sit and write this I cannot really believe that we have been housesitting for a year.  It has been a journey, to say the least.  We have been comfortable here, and there were some difficult moments (like the cat dying on our watch!), but all in all it has taught us to live in the now, and make the best of (whatever) time you are given.  Each moment is an infinity.

And as time has passed, it is yet time again for the annual summer reading book list!  It is late in posting, but I have been voraciously reading since (before) summer began.  You can thank the musical Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda for that!  And as usual, my taste runs eclectic.  Some fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and work-related readings litter the floor. My kindle is full of all sorts of reads, and (of course) I am also reading the really readable Ron Chernow biography of Hamilton as well.  However, my ancient history roots still show since I (finally) bought Kara Cooney‘s The Woman Who Would Be King study of Hatshepsut.

Read on, my friends!  #readingsaveslives

 

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A Room with a View

  
  
 Curled up in the comfy chair is the adorable cat.  Image 1 of our new digs.  We are finally moved in for the next 12 months, and may only have to visit storage occasionally to pick up a random item here or there.  It is good to be done.  Now time to relax and let everything go.

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Summer Reading 2015, Part 2 (A Moveable Feast)

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The Reading Nook

Have book will travel.  This is the summer of moving. We moved in June (literally the day after the last day of school) from our home of 11 years to a friend’s home for 7 weeks, and next week we will be moving to a new place that we will live in for one year as caretakers while the homeowners are away on sabbatical in an exotic country. It is an outstanding opportunity, and one for which we are grateful.  Our children have been bold adventurers, taking all the vexing living situations (boys sharing one bed, as an example) in stride with not much more than momentary crankiness and the sometimes quietly uttered wish for a European trip or even just a plane ride.

And what have we done with our found time in this first new place?  Well, visit a library of course.  Nothing could steer us off track from the essential library visits during the summer.  The thought of reading material for FREE is something I have never been able to get over.  All the world’s information out there for the borrowing.  I was enchanted as a child, and I still am.  Of all the memories of my (not really great) grandfather, the one that stands out the most is of him sitting in the crook of a couch reading, reading, reading.  A stack of books piled high next to him.  He would read a book a day and power through 7-10 books in a week.  This was excellent modeling.  My mother also had this drive to read, and so I picked it up too (quite happily).   Even though I continue this modeling for my sons, each person’s reading journey is his/her own.  We will see what becomes of our son’s reading habits.  Right now for them it is “Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!” (James Patterson) for Son #1, and Son #2 has just discovered “Goosebumps”, and though it is slightly out of his range, he is quite happy to nibble through what he does understand.  And, yes, we still read aloud to our children.   It is FUN!

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As for me, I have a stack of books by my bedside and another stack of books on my Kindle all ready for me to devour, and this my second day of vacation leaves me wondering which book will draw me in. I have previewed Beautiful Ruins and am intrigued though many have said it is not what it presents itself to be.  I have read half of The Wave, a non-fiction exploration of the power of rogue waves and what they mean for extreme surfers, scientists, and us in this day of climate change, but have lost momentum with it.  I know this is a terrible reading habit: reading bits of 5-10 books at once.  Bad form, but I have never been able to kick that habit.  I guess it kind of works for me.

Other books that await my feasting you can see in this image (below), and the two that are calling to me as a main course are Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and Graham Robb’s The Discovery of Middle Earth (about mapping the ‘lost world of the Celts’).  I am looking forward to the rest of our (moving) vacation. We will see what kind of reading nook I will create at this second home.

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Enjoy the meal of summer reads.  Next up? Who knows…

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Summer Reading 2015, Part 1 (Let the Romance begin!)

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My posting history shows that I am most consistent at posting to this blog during summer months and other vacations.  Such is the grind of a full time educator-parent.  So without further ado, here is the first post related to my summer reading.  My true summer vacation begins tomorrow, though I have been able to enjoy a slower (more sane) pace in these days.  I have been taking some time developing my summer reading list, when an opportunity to review one of my favorite (guilty pleasure) romance authors, Gaelen Foley, put out a call for reviewers.  I was pretty excited to be able to sit back with a fun novel and one that puts two of my loves together: Medieval + Romance.  So exciting.  I can’t wait for day one of vacation to fully commence.  Tomorrow’s post: The full list of summer reading..

Here is my review as posted on Amazon:

I have such a good time reading Gaelen Foley’s romance novels. I have read all of her Regency romance series, and found it intriguing that she jumped into the sub-genre of fantasy romance at this point in her career. It is refreshing to do something different, and Gaelen has shown that she is talented at making the medieval world come to life just as much as she did in the various Regency series that she created. I appreciate and enjoy her skill at providing a role for a female character that is multidimensional during a period in history in which women had fewer options. In this genre Gaelen gets to provide an alternative history of sorts, and it is quite refreshing. As always, her heroes are dashing, brave, and resolute. If you are a fan of historical or fantasy romance, you will love this novel.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

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Chain, Chest, Curse: Combating Book Theft in Medieval Times

Just what the doctor ordered while I plan for my classes in the fall! 🙂

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Do you leave your e-reader or iPad on the table in Starbucks when you are called to pick up your cup of Joe? You’re probably not inclined to do this, because the object in question might be stolen. The medieval reader would nod his head approvingly, because book theft happened in his day too. In medieval times, however, the loss was much greater, given that the average price of a book – when purchased by an individual or community – was much higher. In fact, a more appropriate question would be whether you would leave the keys in the ignition of your car with the engine running when you enter Starbucks to order a coffee. Fortunately, the medieval reader had various strategies to combat book theft. Some of these appear a bit over the top to our modern eyes, while others seem not effective at all.

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The least subtle but most effective way to way to keep your…

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random thoughts

Welcome 2015!

Let's Celebrate my Friends!
Let’s Celebrate my Friends!

When asked to review this year (beyond what WP said about my blogging habits), I am at a loss for appropriate words.  I could describe this year in some annoying hashtags: #exhausting #neverenoughtime #workaholicdaze #imperfectparenting #perimenopausalproblemsandallthatjazz (read: the really serious stuff never makes it to a hashtag either).  But who wants to read/hear about those items?  The fact is I would rather have my digital footprint really only speak about the awesome-ness of the year.  Yet, everyone knows life is messy, and my life is no exception.


Beyond the #roadtrip there were a whole host of little things that I am proud to say were accomplished this year.  I quietly participated in A Poem a Day to generate some new work (hooray!); I joined a gym toward the end of the year to get some physical fitness in my life; and I golfed for the first time in my life (I didn’t completely suck!)  But the best part of 2014 was spending time with friends (new and old) and family.  I am grateful for having this year of splendiferous adventures!

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Have a blessed and beautiful New Year!  May your dreams become realities in 2015! 🙂

Now, bring me that horizon…

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#MerryChristmas 2014

Merry Christmas to all!  Happy Holidays!

When we woke up this morning, Santa had eaten the special cupcakes that Ale had made for him, plus a bite of the frosted cookies.  He even drank some of the Vitamin Water (zero) to keep him going! 🙂

Cupcakes for Santa
Cupcakes for Santa
Almost Midnight
Almost Midnight

 

Let us not forget the reason for the season: Jesus’ birth.  Below this picture shows a relic that is supposedly from the inn of the fabled Nativity.  I am not sure if you believe in relics, but I believe strongly in the power of symbol.  So this is just plain cool.

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Relic

 

Christmas morning met us early (6:30am!) with the boys (desperately) calling us out of bed…Can’t really blame them, there were gifts to be opened!  However, the coolest part of the morning is that they wanted us to our gifts FIRST! 🙂   They were so sweet!  These small moments make Life Beautiful!

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Christmas Morning!

 

We hope you enjoy your holidays!

Warm Wishes for a peaceful holiday!

#lifeisbeautiful

 

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Christmas Eve, 2014

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Here we are!

Christmas Eve 2014 started out with a last minute rush to a store, though we were unsuccessful at finding what we thought would be the ‘thing’.  In addition, there was baking for Santa (cupcakes), and baking for others (cookies).  We barely had time to snap a photo (above), and for the boys to carol at a teacher’s house.  We were supposed to carol at two teachers’ homes, but time ran away from us and we had to get to our mid-day meal reservation (Houston’s).

Caroling @ Teacher's house
Caroling @ Teacher’s house

We hope to carol at the other teacher’s home on Christmas Day.  🙂

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Mid-Day Meal (Year 3)

This is the third year in which we have a mid-day meal at Houson’s (because the boys like it!).  As usual, everyone finds something yummy to eat.  Now, we prepare for the evening celebration at their Uncle’s house where they boys will be waiting to open gifts after those festivities…around 10:30pm or so.  Will Santa come to our house?  Breath is being held.

Much joy to you and yours during this holiday season!

#lifeisbeautiful

#happyholidays2014