Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Book Sale 2016

Two weeks ago was one of the best days of the year: the library's used book sale!  I scored 27 books for $9.50; that's $0.35 a book!  I couldn't believe it when the cashier told me my total.  My bag definitely felt heavier than nine and a half pounds (you pay $1.00 per pound).  I had to laugh at the guy in line behind me.  When the cashier told him his total was $12.50, he said "That's it?!  I should really get to the gym."  Who has time for the gym when there are so many books to read?!

So, without further ado, the books that will be joining my ever-growing collection:

The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein  This title definitely caught my attention.

The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins  Another title that caught my attention.  And honestly, I'm not sure I've ever read a book about gypsies.  

Dog Years by Mark Doty  I'm almost positive that this memoir will be a tear-jerker for me.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg  I love Flagg's books and I love Christmas, so I couldn't pass this one up!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler  One of the many books on my to-read list.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert  I didn't particularly care for Eat, Pray, Love (more so the author herself and not the story) so I haven't paid much attention to anything else by Gilbert.  However, I'd heard of this one and after reading the synopsis, thought it sounded like it could be a good read.  Also, I really like the cover.

Three Junes by Julia Glass  I enjoyed The Widower's Tale and thought I'd try another novel by Glass.

The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf  I have bought several of Haruf's books now (all from the library book sales) but haven't read any of them yet.  I really should remedy that soon.

The Dinner by Herman Koch  Another one on my to-read list.  That actually took me by surprise because I didn't think I'd ever heard of the book before! Ha!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  This was never a book I'd planned on reading - it just didn't sound that great to me - but after reading so many great reviews, I thought I would grab it and see what the fuss is all about.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty  I enjoyed The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies so I figured I'd give this one a whirl.

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch.  I discovered this is the first book in a series and I'm a little disappointed (not a fan of the commitment a series takes).  I don't know if this novel can stand alone should I not want to continue with the series; some of the other books sound good, some not so much.  We'll see, I guess.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson  Bought this one because my cousin recommended I read it (AGES ago!).

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart  This cover caught my attention - seriously so adorable! - and the book sounds pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

June in Review, Part 1

June 2nd marked my 35th birthday and it was a very good day.

Before work I enjoyed a free Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's.  I LOVE Denny's scrambled eggs (with cheese) - they are so ridiculously delicious!  Definitely the best eggs I've ever had and will probably ever have.

I arrived at work to decorations and presents.  My office mates know me well; gnomes (and a gnome reading a book at that!) and sugary treats.  I also got several fun certificates in response to certificates I've awarded in the past.  It was a nice day for being at work and all.

I discovered a fun little Happy Birthday note on my windshield from a roller derby friend who recently started working in the building next to mine.  It's crazy how those little things can put such a big smile on your face.

I left work early so I could visit the chiropractor.  The weekend prior to my birthday I somehow managed to hurt my lower back by sitting around all weekend reading.  I was told that only I could manage something like that.  Ha!

After my chiropractor visit, I met my family for dinner.  Another free birthday meal, this time at a local 50s cafe - they have delicious popcorn and one of the best mushroom swiss burgers ever.  I definitely ate well on my birthday!

After dinner everyone came back to our house for cheesecake (yum!) and presents.  I'd been wanting Yard Yahtzee for quite some time and put the bug in my dad's ear that he could make me a set for my birthday if he was interested.  Well, I lucked out and he was interested.  I got two sets - a painted and unpainted set - both of which are perfect!  Almost too nice to play with!

In addition to Yard Yahtzee, I'd also been wanting a bean-bag toss game for quite some time.  My father-in-law granted my wish for this one.  Thirty-five is apparently the birthday for yard games.  And perhaps 36 is the year to actually play them (it's horrible, but neither game has made it out into the yard yet!).

And like Mother's Day, I forced Crickett to take a photo with me.  And like Mother's Day, she was thrilled about it.

Stay tuned for more June happenings, (although they're obviously not going to be as exciting as my birthday happenings)!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Focusing On the Good

Even with this super annoying, terribly painful headache I've been carrying around with me for way too long now I'm trying to focus on the good.  So tonight, I can't complain about Grey's Anatomy reruns (yay for DVRs!) with Crickett cuddles in the nice, cool basement.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Not So Terrible

Some nights you get two hours of sleep because you have a terrible headache keeping you up.

But you're awake to watch the beautiful sunrise and that's not so terrible.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Smile

Obviously I'm not in the "blogging on a regular basis" frame of mind.  I made it three days of my 101 goal.  Ha!  Anyhoo, let's try this again.  (Any bets on how many times I'll end up saying that before I'm actually successful?)

Since it's Olympic time and reading is kind of my thing!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Finds

I haven't done one of these in ages!

Only in Your State is a really cool website (they also have Facebook pages for each state) that helps you discover new and fun things to do (or eat!) in each of the 50 states.  For example, one North Dakota post lists some of the oldest operating theaters in the state.

Mystic Theatre in Marmath, North Dakota

"This is considered one of the oldest theaters in North Dakota and one of very few that have a timber frame. It originally opened in 1914, meaning it is a little over a century old - WOW! And it is still open today, showing old and new movies. Visiting this historic gem offers a one of a kind experience."

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Nine Years

Throughout the day on my birthday, Mitch posted memes on my Facebok wall.  I figured I'd repay him on our anniversary.  Since we celebrated nine years today I posted nine different memes on his wall.  Here are just a few:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

May in Review

One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to blog 101 days in a row.  I made this goal to motivate me to get caught up on posts I've been meaning to write (some for years!) and I figured now would be a great time to start this challenge since I've gone over two months since my last post.  So, without further ado, here is the first day of (hopefully!) 101 days of memory and thought sharing.

May in review:

1.  I got my eyes checked for the first time in nine years.  My prescription didn't change but now I actually have one that will allow me to order new glasses.  Hopefully my prescription doesn't expire before I get around to doing that!  I'm not known for getting things done quickly - obviously.

2.  I forced Crickett to sit with me and then forced Mitch to take a photo of us together for Mother's Day.  I could practically see the love oozing out of them that morning!

3.  Our little girl had 23 bad teeth pulled.  I felt so bad for her - I mean, can you imagine getting knocked out and then waking up woozy and missing almost all of your teeth?  I imagine it would be a bit scary.  But of course our little girl was a champ through it all.  You could tell she felt crappy that evening but her tail still wagged and the next day she was back to excitedly bouncing around in circles for marshmallow treats.  It only took a couple of days for her to start eating hard food and she hasn't had any issues since.  We are very lucky to have this happy little trooper in our lives.

4.  Like one of my April thrifting trips, I found a true gem again in May that I couldn't justify buying.  I mean, how fabulous is this table?  I fell in love instantly!  As I stood staring at the wonderful style, visions of a bright, cheerful paint makeover entered my head.  Unfortunately, reason quickly shoved those thoughts aside and made me accept the fact that I had no where to put this piece.  I begrudgingly walked away.  I have no doubt it found a great home.

5.  Facebook reminded me that two years ago I was enjoying Confetti Cake Blizzards (sometimes in delicious waffle cones!).  I miss this Blizzard flavor so very much; it quickly became my favorite and nothing has compared to it since.  I hope they bring it back some day.

6.  Both our pear trees started growing a ridiculous amount of fruit in May.  I think this year was the earliest they've ever started growing and it's definitely been the year they've produced the most fruit.  Despite some crazy storms and windy days this summer, we still seem to have a good deal of nice fruit left hanging.  Will be awesome to get to eat whatever makes it!

7.  After a poll at work (everyone there knows my love of gnomes runs deep and I informed them that the summer is when gnomes come out to visit), it was decided that my official gnome decorating season would begin Memorial Day weekend and end Labor Day weekend.  So, for the last two months our house has been filled with all sorts of these cute little guys (and even one girl!).  Gnome season is a very adorable season!  And because it makes me chuckle: After posting this photo on Facebook with the caption "Gnome season has begun,"  my father-in-law commented with "I think you need to exchange the one on the right.  It doesn't match the others."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Keep the Weeds

I've been easily distracted by the windows in my office lately.  Sunshine, radiant blue skies, and budding trees.  And today, a fluttering Red Admiral on a bright yellow dandelion.  Spring.  She sure is lovely.

Seeing the butterfly today reminded me of a post from May 2012 that's been sitting in my drafts folder here on the blog.  I'm not sure why I never published the post but I thought today would be a good day to do it.

Keep the Weeds

While trying to study for my last final yesterday I let the window distract me again; I'm so glad I did.

Dandelions are running rampant here this spring and our yard is no exception.  I've always thought the yellow weed was too cute and cheerful to be disliked and yesterday it gave me another pretty reason to enjoy them.  While looking out at the yard, I noticed a butterfly fluttering about and landing on the bright orbs.

Of course I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my camera, and ran outside.  It felt wonderful to be out in the warm sun, breathing the spring-scented air, watching this Red Admiral hop from one dandelion to the next.

At one point I even had two of these lovely insects flying around me.  Apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates the "pesky" perennial.  If this is what weeds bring to our yard, I say we keep them!

Monday, May 16, 2016

April in Review

Here I am again, writing a summary post because I didn't get my butt in gear and write during the month of April.  One of these months I'll stay on top of things.  Okay, we all know that's not true but it never hurts to dream, right?  So, here are some tidbits from April.

1.  My coworkers and I have tried every special flavor of Oreos that we've been able to get our hands on.  The latest flavor was Strawberry Shortcake: quite tasty!

2.  My dad gave my mom this library puzzle for Christmas and after seeing it completed, I thought it would look great hanging on the wall in my library.  I wanted to complete the puzzle myself, though, so I could take credit it for it (who doesn't want puzzle bragging rights?) and because I did have to admit it looked a little fun.  It took me a little less than two weeks and I was right - it was fun.  I know I said after doing my last puzzle that they aren't for me but I think I may have to retract that statement.  I think I may have enough patience to do one puzzle every winter.

When I start a puzzle, I always wonder which piece will be the last one; being the nerd that I am, I had to document it.  And since I knew you'd be wondering what piece it was, I figured I better share the photo here.  You're welcome.

Puzzle glue has been purchased and hopefully one of these days soon the gluing gets done and a frame purchased.  Then it will be on to hanging this and all the wonderful book prints I've purchased; it will be so much fun to have my library one step closer to being complete (and not quite the mess it currently is!).

3.  I have several vases and other containers like the one below that needed some filler so I took the plunge and joined the "I'm an old lady and decorate with fake flowers" club.  I'm not going to lie, I love my fake flowers and the pop of happiness they add to my spring decor.

We had quite a few dreary, rainy days in April but things remained cheerful inside thanks to these beauties.

4.  Occasionally you run across some true gems while thrifting but can't justify buying them.  This vintage lamp was certainly one of those gems.  It was so ridiculously pretty but for $50 (I suspect it was worth quite more based on age and condition) and no real good idea of where to put it, I had to take a photo and move on.  I do suspect it went to a good home.

5.  My coworkers and I got to talking one day about losing the ability to write with our dominant hand.  The discussion then turned into a little "write with your non-dominant hand" activity.  I'm in big trouble if there is ever a point when I can't use my right hand; this left-handed business isn't pretty.

6.  I know it's only mid May but The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin has the potential to be the best book I read this year.  I would venture to say it may even be one of the best books I've ever read.  I can't recommend this one enough.  Also, the cover is simply gorgeous!

7.  For our April gathering, my girlfriends and I decided to try out a new "attraction" here in town, a real-life room escape game.  You're taken into a room with your team, the door is locked behind you, and you have an hour to find clues and solve puzzles that will help you escape the room.  We chose Pirate Cove:

"The media has been in a frenzy lately, reporting on the latest antics from America's self-made billionaire, prankster, and eccentric philanthropist, John Buckingham.  Buckingham, who has been known to share his wealth in outrageous publicity stunts (like the time he rented the Goodyear Blimp and dropped millions of dollars over neighborhoods of Los Angeles), has lately taken to dressing, acting, and talking like a pirate.  In a press release, Buckingham claims to have hidden "possibly the most valuable treasure ever," in an old clipper ship that he has permanently docked near his ocean side mansion.  Residents have flocked to take a turn at discovering Buckingham's Billions, but so far, none have succeeded.  Today, you and your crew are going to have 60 minutes to search for the elusive treasure."

This scavenger hunt puzzle was quite challenging but a lot of fun.  It was pretty cool once you could see the clues coming together and leading other places.  I wish we'd had a little more time in the room, though, because it took a bit of time just to get oriented and figure out how to get started.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't escape the room but we were close and the game master explained the remainder of the puzzle we had left which was nice.  I'm glad we got to see how it all played out.

There is another version of this game available - a blackmailing boss! - and I think it would be fun to try it now that we have some experience with this type of activity.

8.  And because it's hard not to share photos of Crickett, here are a couple from April that just crack me up.  Our little girl is such a character.