Monday, October 31, 2016

Random Chat

Linking up with Stacy.

My husband and I "hid" on Halloween!  We are by ourselves this year; no kids at home.  We decided not to give out candy.  So, I worked till almost 6, then we went out to eat and ran some errands.  There were still a few trick-or-treaters out and about when we got home at 8, but we kept our lights off.  I guess that makes us party-poopers.  It was kind of like the episode of "Kevin Can Wait...Hallow-we-ain't-home," just not as dramatic!  But we are proud of our spiderweb.  Who needs fake cobwebs when you have the real thing?

Basketball season has begun!  My Rockets are 2-1 so far in the regular season, but we have a hard road schedule starting today.  Five games on the road over the next nine days and some of the toughest teams.  I'd rather our team have a grueling schedule here at the beginning rather than the end.

I've decided to become a Forever ambassador.  Forever is a new-ish company that provides lifetime cloud storage (that you actually own, not the company), digital scrapbooking, personalized calendars, and photo books, photo organization tools, and digitization options.  You can send in your old home movies, any format, and get back high quality digital movies.  I'm really excited about it.

And today, our Coffee Chat hostess asks...

How do you handle your failures?  Are you a crawl back into bed and wait for it all to pass kinda person?  Or are you a jump immediately back on the horse sort?

Hmmmm.  It varies, but I am a pretty persistent person.  I hate to give up.  Some people may see it as stubborn.  Others may see it as insane!  But I usually like to keep trying until I get something right, and I can usually figure things out for myself if there is no one there to help me.  And I am loyal.  If others fail me, I can usually get over it... eventually!

And if I dwelt on all the things I think I have failed at as a mom, I would be so depressed.  But, no matter how I think I failed motherhood in certain areas, my kids have turned out better than I ever was!  Isn't that the goal?  And here's a funny for you!
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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

MonsterMonster by Walter Dean Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a quick and easy read, and definitely well written, but the themes and undertones are more mature than your average young adult is either capable of or psychologically ready to tangle. I would recommend this for 8th or 9th grade and above. It is written in three ways: part of it is written as a screenplay as though one were watching a movie; one way is written from the POV of a students filming a movie; last from the main character's POV as he writes down what he is experiencing. It is very thought-provoking.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Random Tuesday and Coffee Chat

I'm linking up with Stacy.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Take the spray on nail polish, for example.  I purchased a small, almost trial size, to see how it works.  What they don't tell you in the commercial is that you must use a base coat, two coats of Spray Perfect, and a top coat.  I left out the base coat.  You have to use a top coat because the polish dries into a rough, matte finish. It's fairly easy to wipe off the skin, though.  But, even with a top coat, it didn't last.  This is what my toes looked like after less than 24 hours.

Who has time to paint their nails every day?  I was looking for something to save me time and money, as compared to a pedicure, but this didn't do either.  Oh, well.

Moving on... The lovely Texas fall weather we are having here is... not fall weather.

And something else they say about Texas... "If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will change."

And now it's time for Coffee Chat!

Our hostess asks us...
 It's now only a month until Christmas!!   Panic now.  
 If you are the calm and collected type, do please share 
some of your secrets to surviving holiday stress.

Weeelllll, I have a gift for my mom.  I started on two handmade gifts.  Started.  Haven't been very diligent about it.I will probably have surgery the week before Thanksgiving, so, if I'm going to do any gifts, I better get started in earnest.  I'm sad because my arm will be in a sling to keep it at a specific angle, so I won't be able to decorate.  I think this will be a "light" Christmas for me, but that's not necessrily a bad thing.  My only advice is to say, :no," for every other extra thing you are asked to do.

That's all this week!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was warned. "Don't read it. It will ruin your memory of the Harry Potter books you love so much," they said. I ignored the warning. They were right.

It is difficult to reconcile that J. K. Rowling wrote the phenomenal Harry Potter series then co-wrote this mediocre "play" with John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Technically, Rowling created the story and Thorne wrote it in script form; Tiffany directed the play. It lacks the descriptive narration we find in the Harry Potter novels, the exciting details and creative use of language Rowling is famous for writing. Rowling casts a spell on the reader, but Thorne lacks spellbinding talent.

The main characters are the offspring of the two couples we expect after book 7: Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny, particularly, their youngest, Albus. But there is one more offspring... the child of Draco Malfoy, Scorpious. Even thought it is 19 years later, there is no way that the Potters and Weasley's would welcome Malfoy or his son into the fold the way they do in this 8th book. The characters do not even closely resemble the characters I know and love.

The settings are near and dear to HP lovers: Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, The Tri-Wizard Tournament, and especially, Godrick's Hollow. The plot also includes the Time Turner. The story itself if both complex and creative, but it could have been told with more honesty and depth, especially in the characterization. I also found it to be slow and confusing at the beginning.

I am not saying the book  script is terrible. I liked the story that was told, but it is not magical or mesmerizing like the REAL HP series and will leave true Harry Potter fans wishing for more.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Random Nonsense and Coffee Chat

I'm linking up with Stacy.

So... Biotin... I've been taking it daily since about May, and I have to say my fingernails have grown long and strong. The thing is, it works on the toenails, too, and makes them difficult to clip.  Just sayin'.
On another note, I have a serious decision to make.  I'm going to have surgery next month.  I had surgery a year and a half ago on my left shoulder, specifically the bicep tendon and an impingement.  Then, I possibly re-injured it in a car wreck and a fall.  It has never completely healed, but the MRI is inconclusive. Cortisone shots don't help.

My right shoulder has a fairly large tear on one of the tendons.  I had forgotten how badly it hurts because the cortisone shot helps the right shoulder; however, my most recent shot wore off a couple of days ago.  I'm wondering which shoulder to have surgery on.  The left one still hurts, the right one hurts super bad, but the shots help the right one and not the left one.  The doctor said it's my decision. I'm confused.
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My best friend's father passed away two weeks ago.  It's so hard to see her hurting.  I lost my father (suddenly) about 12 years ago.  It's difficult to know what to say to someone who's grieving, but I know what NOT to say.
Your loved one is in a better place.
Your loved one is watching over you.
Time heals all wounds.
And the worst... Are you still sad?
I guess the best help is to remember why you have two ears and one mouth and just listen.  Listen and empathize.

But I can't end this post on a sad note.  Here's a cat cartoon!
Image Credit

Time for Coffee Chat with Rory Bore.

Our hostess says:
The days are definitely getting cooler - we may even have to turn our fireplace on soon.  So naturally I'm gonna need some book recommendations since Winter Is Coming!   What's on your reader/night stand?   Or if you are more the TV series type, share what you're binging.

No cold weather here in South Texas!  In fact, yesterday, it was 93 degrees outside.  In fact, the whole week will be in the 90's according to  It feels like summer!   I am so looking forward to some cooler days.  We usually get, oh, about a week of fall weather during October and November (combined).

So, on my "to read" list on Goodreads:
The One Man by Andrew Gross
Three Sisters, Three Queens by Phillipa Gregory
Dead Heat by James Patterson
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
More than I could ever list! Oh, there are so many books and so little time!

Bingeworthy TV:
Criminal Minds
How to Get away with Murder
Once Upon a Time
Law and Order SVU
Grey's Anatomy
Scandal (although if it gets any more political, I doubt I'll keep watching)

Till next time!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Before I read this book, I had heard two friends, who are both avid readers, discuss how incredible it was. Then I read the description, which also reeled me in. So, I read it. I enjoyed it, but it didn't live up to all the hype.Moriarty has a good sense of writing style and word choice, and I did feel like she developed the characters so that the reader can identify with their feelings and motivations. I also liked that it was set in Australia which allowed her to work in some aspects of authenticity.

On the other hand, I feel Moriarty spent too much time creating backstory that was extraneous. It took a while to get into the meat of the story, so much that I almost abandoned it. She connected John Paul's family to Rachel Crowley's character as well as Connor's character, but she failed to connect Tess's family to the others. Tess's story was unrelated to the main plot. She connected Connor to Tess, but she gave no logical connection to the Fitzpatricks and Crowleys. This really bothered me because I felt like it should have been two separate books. I also think the plot was a bit predictable.

On a positive note, I liked the ending. Moriarty gave several "what if" scenarios which created the perfect epilogue. Overall, I would have appreciated more intensity and a quicker pace.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Someday - Thursday Thirteen

Today's post is brought to you by Wishful Thinking!

13 statements to complete "Someday..."
1. Someday I want to publish a piece of writing.
2. Someday I want a career other than teaching.

3. Someday I want my ex and his wife to quit gossiping about me. (One can dream, right?)
4. Someday I want to see my dad again. I guess that will be in Heaven.
5. Someday I want to sleep ALL DAY without feeling guilty about it.

6. Someday I want to feel thin.
7. Someday I want a hot tub and deck in my back yard, maybe even a pool.
8. Someday I would like to hire a housekeeper.
9. Someday I want to win an award voted by my peers.
10.Someday I would like to go to Europe (like my daughter).

11.Someday I want to sing and dance in front of an audience.
12.Someday I would like to plan another surprise party.
13.Someday I hope I don't have to worry about money.

Link up with Thursday Thirteen.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to this book read by Tim Curry of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. No one could have read it better! He had the most realistic and humorous expressions and voices for the different characters. If I were reviewing that alone, I would give 4 or 5 stars. But based only on the book, I have to give it 3. I liked it, but it wasn't the very best book, although I do think it is a just right book for many of my sixth graders. Lemony Snicket's style, which here means the wording he chooses, becomes stale when overused. (Did you see what I did there?) It's cute, though unrealistic story, which is what I expected, but this one lacked the youthful sense of adventure as the others.

As Amazon says, "Everybody loves a carnival, right?" The unfortunate event in this story, is being part of the "freak" show at a carnival. Amazon rightly describes the characters as, "colorful." The Baudelaire orphans are hardly better off and know little to nothing more than they did at the end of the previous book. Still, it is read-worthy if you're looking for a light, fun, sometimes funny read.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2016


Linking up with Stacy.
Wives, you know we have to train our husbands, right?  Some are more difficult, more set in their ways, as are we.  I would love it if I could train my husband to put dirty dishes IN the sink instead of on the edge of the counter where my clumsy self might knock them off.

And with the toilet seat?  He pointed out that he has to raise it when he uses it, so it's equitable that I have to put it down.  Point taken.  But he doesn't have to worry about sitting down on the seat in the middle of the night when you can't see whether it's up or down.  I bet many of you have all fallen into the toilet on occasion, too.

But there are little victories.  Our shower leaks onto the floor when you get out, and I have almost slipped on the water many times, so I keep a towel handy that I wipe it with when I'm finished, and now he reciprocates.  Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  I suppose so.

We had a great time at the Battle of the Piney Woods Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston.  My Alma Mater, which is where my son currently attends university, beat our rival university quite handily.  It was just fun being there.  I must admit that half-time is my favorite part.

So... my best friend's dad passed away unexpectedly last Friday.  She is an only child, so everything is on her.  I wish there were something I could do to help, but she's in Georgia taking care of family business, and I am unable to take off work right now.  She was going to go to a scrapbook retreat with my sister and me this weekend, but obviously, she can't now.  The hostess won't refund her money.  I know there is a no refund policy, but this is a death in the family.  I think an exception should me made.  This gal means so much to me.

Have you seen my new Sunday Synopsis?  Take a look!

What's this stuff I'm hearing about clowns?  Anyone else hearing it, too?  What a crazy world we live in!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I really, really liked it. (Anyone remember Sally Fields saying something to that effect?)

A friend raved about this book. "Oh, it's so good!" She was telling me about it after we saw the movie trailer. So I had to read it. I love a good psychological thriller.

Two things. First, I wish I hadn't seen the trailer first because I had the images of the actors in my head instead of creating my own, which is half the fun in reading books. Second, I actually figured things out before they were clear to the characters. Maybe I've just read so many psychological thrillers that I'm just good like that.

This one was a pretty thrilling ride. The main character, Rachel, is an alcoholic. On the train ride into London (covering for the job she lost) she watches the people in the corner house near the signal and creates fantasies about them. This house is a few doors down from a house which she once lived in with her husband, I mean, ex-husband. These fantasies actually lead her into a nightmare of reality that isn't exactly what it seems. The problem is, a drunk doesn't always remember the truth about things that happen. How did she become tangled up in a police investigation? Will she be able to remember what really happened, or are those memories gone forever? Would anyone believe a depressed alcoholic anyway?

If you liked Gone Girl, and I did, you'll enjoy Hawkins' debut novel Now that I've read it, I'm ready for the movie which will be released in a few days.

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