Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Surprise! I'm still here, still alive and still kicking. 

It's only been a little more than 6 years since I've posted. Once a year I am reminded to pay my fee to keep my blog alive and I pay it then scroll through the posts - mostly cringing, but enjoying the pictures, just, you know, reminiscing. 

Then I proceed to beat myself up for a little while for not doing anything with this thing but quickly tuck all the nasty thoughts away for another year, 'cause who likes to dwell.

So, what am I doing back? I'm forcing myself to finally take that proofreading course I paid for way back in 2019. Maybe it's to hold myself accountable or to document the process? Is blogging still a thing? Maybe it's the cool thing to do now that it's so retro? Don't look at me, I know nothing but that's what I'm going with.

Anyway, I figured out how to change the name of the blog (yippee!) now I just need to work on the banner and my intro because all that's changed. 

At some point soon I'll get into the nitty gritty of where I've been hiding. 

Until then!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Reuse All The Things!

Before we went to New Orleans I wanted to try chicory coffee so I knew what it tasted like (in case I hated it, which I don't).  Over the weekend I bought myself an aloe plant and was trying to figure out what to plant it in. And, voila! Plant, welcome to your new home!

P.S.  Cafe au lait and beignets 4 evah!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Zero Waste(ish) - Toothbrushes, pt. 2 - The Graveyard

This is my toothbrush graveyard. Which is actually a drawer in my laundry room cabinet. It's a wonderful cabinet.

So this is where toothbrushes go when they've come to the end of their useful dental hygiene days.  We use them to scrub in little tiny cracks and crevices; gout, around sink drains, chicken poo out of your pretty new work shoes because you forget to change shoes, you get the idea. And my wedding ring. But of course that's a separate/special brush that's only for my ring (when I remember which one it is - grody). ← You'd think I'd have figured this out a long time ago, but I haven't.

I just found out that the plastic ones, once they have no more practical household life left in them can be sent to a couple of different companies! I was feeling anxious about sending them to the landfill.
The one I've chosen is Terracycle - you can find out more about recycling your plastic toothbrushes here.

From their website:
"Did you know that a new toothbrush is 95% more effective versus a 3 month old toothbrush?*
Colgate has partnered with TerraCycle to turn recycled toothbrushes and oral care packaging into school supplies for the Kids In Need Foundation. This October, Colgate will donate upcycled backpacks, pens, and notebooks to schools most in need. Sign up now to recycle your old toothbrush and help contribute to this great cause!
*A worn toothbrush is less effective in removing plaque between teeth: A Clinical Investigation into the Effect of Toothbrush Wear on Efficacy, The Journal of Clinical Dentistry.

That makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! 

There are a lot of options for the bamboo ones once they've scrubbed their last scrub.  The handles are infinitely reusable (plant markers anyone?) and, how cool is this, they're compostable! You'll have to remove the bristles before composting though.

Seriously, go out and get yourselves a bamboo toothbrush, you won't regret it!

P.S. One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States, creating 50 million pounds of waste annually!
P.P.S. Family, please be expecting these as Christmas gifts. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Zero Waste(ish) - Toothbrushes

I have learned over the years, that "going green", "sustainable", "eco-friendly", and more recently "zero waste" is all about baby steps.

Pick one thing, reusable grocery bags,  or not buying bottled water and having your own reusable water bottles or, carrying around your a reusable coffee cup in your car, or even bulk shopping and focus on that. Make that one habit your normal and then pick the next thing and work on it to make it your norm. And before you know it, you're well on your way!

In our effort to be more zero waste(ish) we've been using bamboo toothbrushes.  More specifically toothbrushes from Brush with Bamboo. We absolutely love them! The first time you use it, it's weird because plastic toothbrushes have a bit of bend and these do not.

I draw a little flower on mine to distinguish between his and mine - get it, because my name is Poppy? I crack myself up.

We've been using Dr. Bronner's toothpaste because it doesn't have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) in it. With my Sjogren's syndrome, I most definitely don't need anything drying in my mouth. I've found the toothpaste doesn't dry out my mouth which is super helpful. It takes a bit to get used to not having your toothpaste bubble up but, so long as they're clean, I don't need bubbles.

Just last weekend we went to the dentist and they said that our teeth cleaning routine is working perfectly. Yay!

But, the tube isn't recyclable and it just gets get to a landfill,  δεν είναι καλό.

So, when we're done with our last tube, I'll try making my own.  I've been scouring the internet for good recipes. Wish me luck, we've only got about a month to go.

Do you have any DIY toothpastes you swear by?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa, I kind of love it a lot.

I wouldn't call it an obsession but I would say I am seriously attached to the sanctity of a good hot cocoa. There are so many wonderful childhood memories attached to the making and drinking of cocoa!

You know, I think cocoa is the gateway drug to coffee. Like, when you're a kid and you're at a restaurant and the grown-ups are having coffee after dinner and you want to feel all grown-up and chic, so you get a cuppa too.  

The next step up after cocoa are the fancy coffees, the cappuccinos, frappuccinos, mocha lattes, etc.

And then one day you graduate to coffee. 'Cause, you know, those drinks are expensive and plain old coffee isn't. I still haven't gotten myself to the black coffee stage mostly because I love cream and sugar too much to go there.

But, back to the cocoa.  In my drive to achieve hygge this past autumn and winter, I went a little cocoa crazy.  I bought all the big name brand mixes; with marshmallows, cocoa with only five ingredients, organic & fair-trade, flavored, extra marshmallows, super creamy- you name it I tried it.

I finally used up my stash and after using my last little packet, I was tossing it in the trash when I had a light bulb moment- I could probably save money and not create nearly as much waste if I just made the mix myself! 

I scoured the internet for some recipes and after trying more than is probably healthy, I found my mix and it.is.easy! All of the recipes out there are basically the same; sugar, cocoa, powdered milk. 

This is the one I've been using and it is deeeeeeeeeelicious!

2 C. Confectioners sugar
1 C. Cocoa powder
1/2 C. Dry milk

I actually had all of these ingredients in my pantry, why would I just randomly have powdered milk? Your guess is as good as mine. Such a win!

Just put everything in your food processor, or blender, or other mixy type thing and mix that bad boy up.

The first time I made it, it all fit in a quart jar, this time I needed a half-pint jar to hold the overflow. Huh. Well, I'll tell you a secret, I am mostly not a good measurer.  

Now, you can technically use water to make this but, I feel like you're shorting yourself if you don't use milk. So, do yourself a favor and use 8 oz. of milk with 3 tbs. of mix, that's it! 

When I've used up the ingredients that I already have, I will get them from the bulk food store and be even less wasteful!
Vive le cacao chaud!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Getting to a Zero Waste Minimalist Hygge Farmhouse

Do those things even go together?

In my mind they do.

While I was on a hiatus? A sabbatical? A rumspringa?- anyway, while I was away I became entranced by the Danish concept of Hygge, going zero waste and cleaning out my metaphorical and physical closets/cabinets to create a minimalist (ish)- I'm all about the ish around here, farmhouse. The minimalist but not austere farmhouse seems to be a bit of an oxymoron if you look around the web.

We've started some basic zero waste shopping and have very consciously started thinking about all of our purchases, not just food, and the packaging waste they create. Even my Beloved is on it! We were talking about mulching the garden beds over the weekend and he suggested having a landscaping company drop off a mountain of it rather than buy plastic bags from the big box stores.

The only problem thus far is the closest bulk food store is in Ann Arbor which is 30+ miles away.  It's close to where I work but at the end of a long day I usually forget and head home, only to remember 5 miles from my exit. I asked my Beloved if I could quit my job and start a bulk food store in Howell but he's not having any of it.

If you're curious, a quart size Ball canning jar weighs, .99/lbs and a pound of pasta, elbow mac or spaghetti noodles made "pot-sized", fits perfectly in one!

Just yesterday I reused a pickle jar and a candle holder that previously held a pretty 3-wick beeswax candle to plant some succulents.  My Beloved's aunt bought me a gift card last year to a local nursery and I finally found the time and the will to drag my behind up there.

Their new home

Reuse all the things!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Well, hello there!

How do you pick up after you've been gone for so long? I dunno' but, you know what I'm not doing? I'm not giving up on this blog.

So, last year was super not awesome. In fact it was down right craptastic.  The good news is that I came out on the other side of 2016 alive.

In August I had a non-aneurysmal perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage; a hemorrhagic stroke.

The day before my Beloveds birthday, in the wee dark hours of that Friday morning, I was awakened from a deep sleep by what felt like someone smacking me in the head with a brick.  I sat up, holding my head and literally said out loud to no one but myself, "a headache should never wake me up."  The pain was unreal.

I decided that since I was awake I may as well get up and go to the bathroom.  While in the bathroom I started to get nauseous and told myself I was overthinking the situation.  Just take deep breaths, Poppy and chill was my mantra.  I talked myself into getting two Tylenol out of the cupboard and going back to bed.

As soon as I got back to bed I became diaphoretic; the sweat was actually pouring off of me.  It was then that I tried waking my Beloved up by gently shaking him and saying "something is wrong. Something is very wrong".  He gently patted me on my arm and told me it was okay and to just go back to sleep.  Right.  He was right, I was overreacting.  It was probably just a migraine as I've never had one and who the hell knows what the symptoms are other than a terrible headache.

I rolled around in bed for a while trying to put my head and neck in the exact right way just so the pain would stop.  Nothing worked. I was a moaning, sweaty mess and my Beloved got up because he couldn't sleep due to my restlessness and that's when the vomiting started.

I sent a text to work telling them I was very sick and couldn't come in and tried to, with one eye open and my brain being crushed Google the symptoms of sudden onset headache.  The news wasn't good.  But, Google is NOT a doctor and I was overthinking my symptoms.  I asked my poor beleaguered hubby to get me a Sprite.  Maybe it was food poisoning from the Chinese food we had at a work meeting the night before.

Guess what.  Sprite did not help.

Three hours later, while my Beloved was getting ready to go to work, I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to call my mom and ask her to drive me to the urgent care. Thankfully I caught her before she left for the Y, she changed back out of her swimsuit and rushed over.

I slipped into a maxi skirt and t-shirt when she arrived and kept insisting that she take me to the urgent care, not the hospital even though the hospital was closer. It was just a migraine and I was going to feel like an ass because I obviously was blowing things out of proportion. As it turns out, they changed over from an urgent care to an emergency room, which is fortunate considering my diagnosis.

They got me back right away, the ER tech was pissed I had tried to drink some water on the way there and was frustrated with me because I couldn't stop vomiting (?).  The doc ordered a head CT and when I asked the nurse for something, anything, for my headache the petty woman rolled her eyes as if I was seeking.  Hmph.

I was dozing on the stretcher when the ER doc came back and shook me awake saying that I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage and they were going to transfer me to the U of M.  Silly, drugged up me, asked her "do I really have a bleed or do you just "think" (and I used quotey fingers here) it's bleeding?", she laughed at me and told me that she had already called for an ambulance to transport me and things would start moving very fast.

It was then that I sent a text to my physician scheduling cohort, Dr. T, who happened to be in the OR at the same hospital (I work for anesthesiologists) that day. It went something like this "hey! I can't come into work today, I have a subarachnoid hemorrhage and they're transferring me to the U."

He sent me a text back asking if I would like for him to pop down and I, blithely, without a care in the world said suuuuurrreeee, whatever, that's fine, okay! While I know what a SAH is, I was so muddled that I obviously wasn't thinking straight.

How these people put up with me, I will never know.

My mom had sent a text to my Beloved saying that they were transferring me and maybe he should come.  Then she started to Google what a subarachnoid hemorrhage was.  At that point she freaked a bit.  She sent a second text to my Beloved, who being a truck driver and on the docks hadn't heard the first text, saying that it was emergent and that he had to come.

Here comes the disjointed part - the ambulance showed up, they medicated me more, told my mom not to try and follow them since they were going to be using lights and sirens.  Random chattering with the paramedics saying I was fine if one could be fine with an exploding brain. I opened my eyes and I was in a room in the ER and there was my sister (how did she get here from Flint?). My mom and two aunts were also crowded in the room.  Doctors were talking to me, asking me things.  I closed my eyes and when I reopened them there was my Beloved.  Just him and I alone in the room.  He was crying.  My big, burly truck driver (I am crying right now, FYI) who I told not to worry. We joked that it definitely wasn't food poisoning and that's why there isn't an MD after his name. He always makes me laugh.

I signed papers, they told me about the different types of surgery they may have to perform on. my. brain. Then I was whisked away and all of a sudden I was in the coldest place in human history- interventional radiology.  I had an cerebral angiogram, an MRI/MRA and another CT.

There wasn't an aneurysm and they couldn't find why my brain had bleed but it did stop bleeding so off I went to the Neuro ICU.  No surgery needed.

I don't know how I got so lucky.  God was definitely there with me when my brain had a tantrum.

I stayed in the ICU for a week where they did an ultrasound on my noggin each day and woke me up every hour on the hour for neuro checks. The day before my discharge I had to have another angiogram. 

No bueno. During the first one they gave me conscious sedation as I had to follow directions, like don't breathe, don't swallow, etc.  Lemme tell ya, it hurts.  It feels as if lit matches are in your face & head.  So, when they said I needed the follow up one before I could go home my anxiety about the procedure went to DEFCON 2.

Y'all I had my first straight up religious experience, in that room while praying for all that I am worth. I lay there as still as I could make myself, with a catheter in my femoral artery running up into my neck they as were filling my skull with The Burning Liquid Of Death and it happened.  It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it (the religious experience, not the test. Okay, fine, the test too but not in the same way).

Anyway, I passed the second one with flying colors and somehow I am one of the lucky ones. I have no neurological deficits but in all their poking around in there they did discover I have a cyst in my brain! Awesome.  I have to have yearly CTs to keep an eye on this puppy and make sure it doesn't grow too much bigger and press on the wrong things.

I've had to do some serious in-depth, down in the weeds, exploration of my life and what I want from it.  And having a month off after being in the hospital for a week gave me that time. 

P.S. Fill out your Advance Directives, peeps! It matters!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Year in Books: 2015 - Part Τρεις

It is snowing like the dickens out there and I am home with the flu.  What a great time to write a post! Please forgive my Theraflu addled brain as I slog through the next 14 books.

Here's to not making a fool of myself!

29.  I am kind of in love with epistolary novels.  This one is part epistolary, part Doctor Who-ish aliens and a whole lotta fun.  The main character wakes up surrounded by bodies with a note in her hand- excellent way to start a book! I loved this book.  What I didn't love was the narrator. There are long pauses in sentences and a whole lot of up-talking. Although she did a bang up job on the individual character voices. It's weird. Anyway, I loved this book so much that I've pre-ordered the second book Stiletto.
4 Stars

30.  I was so excited when I heard about this book and read the blurb. Look at that cover! Bea-u-ti-ful.  Forget it, it has squat to do with the book.  I was soooooo disappointed. I had such high expectations that I was a bit heartbroken that I didn't like it at all.  I found that I disliked every single character and I couldn't give a fig about any of story.
1 Star

31.  "For fans of Sarah Addison Allen" Yeah, that's a big stretch.  I loved that it was set in Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow and I do love books with magic in them, it was even set IN a knitting shop! However, I just couldn't quite get into it as much as I wanted to.  I definitely didn't like the ending. The little love story thrown in is sweet though.
3 Stars

32.  Much like the first book in the novel, this was a fun read.  Who doesn't love "tea sodden" historians traveling through time? I definitely needed this one after the last two books that I had pinned my high hopes on had disappointed me.
4 Stars

33.  I think this book was suggested to me because of my lovedy-love of the Flavia de Luce series.  I definitely liked it although I don't remember much about it. What I do remember is that it made me want to really learn how to embroider, even though Callie is railing against "suitable female pastimes" for a young lady during the turn of the century.
3 Stars

34.  A "farmy" memoir recommended to me from Goodreads.  I don't know, I didn't hate it, it was just okay. There were hilarious parts of the book and she definitely doesn't sugar coat anything but the crassness was off-putting. Sure, you can talk about your sheep eating her placenta; it's grody! it's real! it's natural! but the language was boorish.
2 Stars

35.  I picked this one because it's the same author of the Chronicles of St. Mary's but it's a completely separate book. And that's where I failed as a reader.  I kept expecting it to be a book from that series, so for about the first quarter of the book I was in madcap, harried mode and this isn't that type of book.  But it is a good short book.  Historical mystery/romance set in England. If that's your thing, you'll enjoy this.
3 Stars

36.  This one was a Daily Deal from Audible so I snatched it up. I'm glad I did because it isn't a book that would pick otherwise. It's a good book, interesting, heartwarming, set in a small town in the south.  I find religions fascinating, my world religion classes in college were some of my favorites, and this book had me doing a lot of research on Quakerism. 
3 Stars

37.  I had to go back and check my account, this too was a sale item from Audible. I couldn't figure out what was happening in the beginning of the book, there was so much back and forth with a lot of characters being thrown at you. This is one instance where a physical book would've done better because I couldn't flip back and forth to figure out "who that was again?". Very charming with a huge cast of players that once you get down, gets good.
3 Stars

38.  The author, Ariana Franklin, whose other medieval fiction series I loooved (Mistress of the Art of Death), was in the midst of writing this book when she passed away, luckily for lovers of the genre her daughter finished writing the book.  If you love historical fiction, it's a great book. You know how they say you learn something new every day? This book had me researching so many things and Asafoetida topped the list.
4 Stars

39.  Do you know what I failed to notice? That this was the same author as The Wishing Thread. I must have gotten sucked in again by the "lovers of Sara Addison Allen", sheesh, what a chump.  Anyway, there is magical realism/fantasy along the lines of the aforementioned Ms. Allen and then there is this.  The premise is great, the story is told badly and large parts are just silly. I don't know why I gave it the rating that I did, but I'm going to stick with it because maybe I am not remembering a redeeming quality.
2 Stars

40.  A wonderful children's book that I heartily enjoyed. An original story with great suspense, there were many times where I was squeeing "eeeek!" and more than once I thought I had it all figured out, which I didn't.  There are a few times where you could definitely tell it was a children's book but that didn't diminish my enjoyment.
4 Stars

41.  As someone who has professed to adore all things Sherlock, not on a Sherlockian level though, I realized that I am a fraud as I had never actually read any Sherlock novels. In order to remedy that I downloaded this and the second book for our fall road trip to Montreal/Connecticut. It reiterated just how bad a detective I am. I must admit I got lost when the story switched from one continent to another.  I had to check and make sure the iPod hadn't messed up. Fantastic book though, I highly recommend it!
5 Stars

42.  This gem we listened to on our way back home from our spectacular little road trip. And just like the other Sherlock book, this is a great read.  I'm making it a point to make sure I read them all!
5 Stars

The final installment will be coming soon, I bet you can't wait!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Year in Books: 2015 - Part Deux

Dear Readers,

I solemnly swear that I will never, not ever, judge you or your reading preferences. Heck I don't care if your favorite reading material is the can of Glade in the bathroom- good for you, chemistry! Street signs? Adventurer! Also, you would be a good resource if there were ever a zombie apocalypse. Whatever it is that you choose to read, I hope that you enjoy it and that you don't give a fig what anyone else thinks. I've had a couple of brief glimpses over the last year of book snobbery.  It annoys me that these folks deemed others beneath them based on their choice of books. Pish-posh. Go forth and read what makes you happy!

While on our road trip we listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  My Beloved hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books, he's seen the movies multiple times with me, and we were on our way to a third visit to Universal Studios, it was high time! Shockingly I haven't read the books beyond the first time (!) when they were released. There is so much that I forgot that wasn't in the movie.  During the 8 day trip our niece decided that audiobooks weren't for her. Teens! What are you going to do with them?!

On to the books!

15.  Historical setting - check.  British characters - check.  Female protagonist, a little mystery and ancient Egypt - check, check, check.  You wouldn't know this unless you knew me in the 90's but waaaaay back in the day I was all kinds of into Egyptian mythology and my first couple of tattoos are proof of that.  Anyway, this book was written in 1975 and I'm not sure how the recommendation came to me and I almost dismissed it based on the title (because I'm a ding-dong like that) but good thing I didn't, it was a very enjoyable book! The author was an Egyptologist and very prolific author of both fiction, this series alone has 19 books, and non-fiction books on Egyptology. I definitely plan on reading more of this series.
4 Stars

16.  Do you love the movie The Princess Bride? Read this book.  I have loved the movie from the moment I saw it.  I've owned it in VHS format, DVD and Blu-ray. I haven't read the book, The Princess Bride, but I do own it, so hopefully I'll get around it sooner rather than later. Have you read the book? This is another instance where I love that I listened to the audiobook rather than read it because all of the actors and Rob Reiner narrate it. So much awesome.
5 Stars

17.  I pre-ordered this when it was announced because it's Neil Gaiman! What I didn't realize was that it was a compilation of short stories. Short stories aren't my favorite because I want moooore! My three favorite were the Doctor Who, the American Gods and the Ocean at the End of the Lane stories.  Why? Because there is already more to the stories. Again, Neil Gaiman beautifully narrates his story and it makes it mucho good.
4 Stars

18.  Hey, guess what I read? A historical novel. Shocking! One of the docs suggested this to me and it took me a long while to get to actually reading it. Beautiful writing describing the Italian Alps and life in small villages there; New York and small town Minnesota during World War I through an immigrant's eyes.  However there were more than a few eye-rolling bits where I found it hard to suspend disbelief and thought "oh, come on now". Yet I am a sucker for scenery so that helps.
4 Stars

19.  Oh how excited I was to stumble over this book recommendation, it had all the markers of a book that I would like.  It was very roller-coasterish for me. I really loved it in the beginning and then, boom! out of nowhere, it lost me due to the implausiblity. Then it rebuilt my interest and I started liking it again, trying to blow off the bad bits, and guess what happened? Out of nowhere the bottom fell out and I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. This book was all over the map for me.
3 Stars

20.  What was this book even about? I was confused and discombobulated throughout the entire book.  I loved Abby and Red, hated her in-laws and have no memory of their children.  I don't know what the point of this book was.
2 Stars

21. A short-story prequel that, you know, I should've read before reading Mr. Penumbra's 24- Hour Bookstore. Regardless, this is a nice little back story of the titular character, Ajax Penumbra, and how he came to own the 24-hour bookstore.
4 Stars

22.  Hey, guess what I read? A book set in the South. Shocker! A touching story told in the not too distant past. It kept me thoroughly engrossed in the story from the beginning and it had a nice pace the kept me listening in the parking lot more than once.
4 Stars

23.  My mother and sister have said for years that this is one of their favorite books and I'm not sure why in the heck it took me so dang long to read it! I have seen the movie, many times, but I just never picked up the book. And, like most book adaptations, the book is 1000x better. One of my favorite parts were the little segues to the weekly newsletters from Dot Weems.
5 Stars

24.   I was asking a friend of mine for book recommendations and she told me  of a book she heard about on NPR during her commute that morning. We immediately got to Googling it and it seems like it would be right up my alley but, meh.  It was just meh.  Unless of course you're really into the East India Company and British occupied India, then it may be to your liking, but it wasn't to mine.
2 Stars

25.  This book was fun. Just a good, rollicking fun read.  A little time travel, a little mystery and some history thrown in there among funny characters make this a great good read! Right after finishing this book I vowed to read the other six books and five short stories.
5 Stars

26.  A good mystery novel for all you mystery lovers out there. I had NO clue whatsoever who the killer was until I was told at the end, a good detective I am not, but that doesn't stop me from trying! I've made it a goal to read one book a year set in Michigan and this one fit the bill perfectly.  Wanna know the cool thing? I know Eric, we grew up two houses down from each other.  He's my fourth, actual, real life, friend who's an author!
4 Stars

27.  Staying on the Michigan train, I picked this book up off my bookshelf where it had lingered for three years. This book was hilarious.  Like, laugh-snort-tears funny. I read many a passage out loud to my Beloved because he was staring at me as I was cackling uncontrollably. But, and it's a big but, and it's why this memoir gets a low rating from me, Mr. Rouse is mean, rude, judgmental and snotty. I don't like petty.
2 Stars

28.  A paperback that I picked up from the library for 50 cents and had been languishing on a bookshelf, forgotten. In an effort to read some of the books that had been in my to-read list the longest, I finally picked it up. I remembering it being okey-dokey. The plot was interesting, some parts were implausible but, it was exciting. I remember thinking that the first half was laid out well but that the end was rushed.
3 Stars

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon to a blog near you!

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Year in Books: 2015

My 2015 goal was to read 40 books and I ended up reading 56.  Granted more than one were short stories but, whatevs, I read 'em.

Tell me, how do you feel about audiobooks? I've had more than one person tell me that I "cheat" when I say that I've read X books because a good majority of my book intake is through my ears rather than my eyes.  Personally, I think that's a load of hooey.  Whether I use my eyes or my ears I am, I can't think of a better word, consuming these books.  I have an 80 mile a day commute and it makes my commute more tolerable. So, long live the audiobook!

Once again I'll give you my blurbby little insight to these books and what I rated them on Goodreads, which you should totally sign up for and become my friend so I get more book recommendations. Okay? Okay!

1.  I got this free from Amazon. It's a short story prequel to Lost Lake which I had read in 2014.  Way to read the description first, Poppy! I liked it, a lot. I wish I had actually read this before reading Lost Lake, I think it would've made reading Lost Lake make more sense in my mind.
4 Stars

2.  You know what I should do, take notes after I read a book so I can remember what I thought directly after reading, that'd be smart.  This is a children's book that I heard about on NPR and added to my list where it languished for three and a half years. I remember thinking that it was okay but it was gruesomeish and not in a Gaimenesque way. Capisce? 
3 Stars

3.  This book was a gift from a friend because I she knows that I enjoy the authors blog.  I don't often read "self-help" type books but, I'm working on that! I enjoyed the book and the fact that the author was very truthful about her own struggles and how she managed to help herself.  Some helpful gems are disbursed throughout that are a gentle prodding, my Beloved even read the spouse part.
4 Stars

4.  I've got three syllables for ya Fla-Vi-a.  I love this book.  No, the whole series.  I read it first when it was released then my Beloved and I listened to the audiobook while we were on our anniversary road trip. This one strayed from the previous books a bit which was to my Beloved a refreshing change and to me a bit rough because the old, much loved characters weren't in the story. But that's okay, we're expanding our world!
5 Stars (of course!)

5.  This book made me crazy.  I started it in 2011 and put it down. I thought that if I bought the audiobook it would actually make me finish it.  There were so many times while driving that I would  be shouting and pounding my steering wheel in sheer frustration. A few things that I do remember that were mind numbingly dumb were a description "his mouthless eyes" (WHAT IS THAT?!?!) and when the protagonist put on her lovers gloves it was erotic. Ugh.
1 Star

6.  Do you know what I love? Osprey. This book had been languishing on my Kindle forever and frankly I forgot about it.  It follows a birder who decides to follow an Ospreys migration. The writing was okay but the birds are amazing!
3 Stars

7.  Another magical Sarah Addison Allen book. This one is a follow-up to her first book Garden Spells.  I really enjoyed this one because you got to see the characters that you loved from the first book years later and more developed. Aaaaannnnd a mystery was solved! Excellent read.
5 Stars

8.  Do you love Temple Grandin? I do.  I've seen multiple documentaries featuring her, I've heard interviews with her and we've watched the biography, all fantastic, but I've never read any of her books.  The narrator did a fantastic job and I really enjoyed the book. Tons of information, a lot that makes you think about our relationship with all animals. Everyone should read Temple Grandin!
4 Stars

9.  I wanted to like this book much more than I did.  I had to delete my previous blurb because I was feeling some kind of way yesterday.  It was all angry and ranty and not at all blurbish. The only thing I can say is Madam Author not everyone can be an elitist foodie.
2 Stars

10.  My Beloved and I listened to this on our return road trip from Savannah in February. For some reason we decided to drive straight through, all 13+ hours... and this book definitely helped the commute pass quickly! This book is set in the present and begins at a funeral where the main character is remembering his childhood. You never do learn specifics about the present time, not even the name of the main character.If you love Gaiman you'll like this book. 
5 Stars

11.  I picked this book up at Kroger as I was standing in line because I don't know why. Maybe because it's set in England?  I seriously need to learn to write down my thoughts directly after reading a book because I don't remember much about this book.  It's a kids book, do you think less of me for reading below my reading level?
4 Stars

12.  Why had I never read this book?! This book is a classic for a reason, it is amazing. I loved it so much that I listened to it twice (Sissy Spacek did a fantastic job!). What else is there to say other than I will probably reread this every year. 
5 Stars

13.  After the disappointment of the other homesteading on a shoestring budget book this one was what I needed. I thought it was funny and the you-can-do-it-too-edness was a good shot in the arm.
4 Stars

14. Depressing.  What a terrifying reminder of the horror that humanity can be.  I don't do well with torture. The historical aspect and the actual writing is what saved it from one star. Also, it's not really about the Hangman's Daughter.
2 Stars.

The next three book posts are going to have to wait.  We're leaving on vacation tomorrow! We're taking our Harry Potter crazed niece to Universal Studios! And, once again, my fabulous mother and aunt are going to house/cat/chicken sit for us.  We are so lucky that they do this for us and they swear it's a vacation for them.  Liars.