Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Monday! A Recap Of What's Happened All Month Long

Well, it's been a while.  Happy Monday everyone!

So, a little catch-up is in order.  I've been rather busy since the last time I posted.

First, I went on a little vacation to California (April 19-25)
Orfila Vineyard Wine-tasting

What a fun trip this was!  I've never been to California before, so Dave and I were excited to go to a town near San Diego to watch two dear friends of ours get married!

Ballast Point Brewery

San Diego Zoo

Because it was a destination wedding, the couple planned some activities for everyone to do, such as a wine tasting, a nature walk, and a beach day.  Dave and I were staying at an AirBnB house with three other friends of ours, and we found a whole bunch of stuff to do just the five of us, like visit a whole bunch of breweries with unique beers, visit the San Diego Zoo, and explore Little Italy and the Gas Lamp District of the city.  We had a blast!
Nature Walk

Oh, and the wedding was beautiful too.  Of course.  It took place in a backyard patio area of a brewery and it suited this couple to a tee.  High quality beer for the groom, gorgeous outdoor scenery for the bride, it was perfect.

The Wedding at Stone Brewery

Suffice it to say, we were sad to leave the beautiful hills of California.

Next, I had to host a major dance event (April 29)
So when I got back from my trip, I was in full planning mode.  My brother and I were going to host our very own dance social.  We opened up the parking lot area for outdoor grilling and a game of ladderball.  A couple of my students did a little performance.  I baked a cake, we had a raffle, there was was a good time!  We also had a decent crowd, and made a reasonable profit, soooo....yay!

Then I had to catch up on all the bills...(April 30-May 5)
This was the bummer part.  I got to see exactly how much I spent during our trip, and I had to pay all the usual bills, and watch all my money go away (*sob*).  Yeesh, California was expensive, and it didn't help that we drank all that beer!

Then I had to get used to my husband's new work schedule (May 8-12)
So my husband finally quit his old job.  Yay!  This past week he started his new job at Middlesex Hospital, which had a rather major schedule change.  In his last job, his hours were Monday thru Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m..  Now, he's got Monday off, Tuesday and Wednesday he works 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday and Friday he works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..
This new schedule took some getting used to.  For one thing I now have to wake up at 6 a.m., which is a little tricky.  For another thing, our daily habits have to change; morning gym visits will have to be re-adapted, and we can't chill out in the morning anymore.  Ah well.  We'll get used to it.

Now it's Monday the 15th and I feel like I can finally catch up on blogging and other book-related stuff! Yay!

I did read a few books over the past month, not as many as I would have liked, but I did get a few.  Here they are (click on the cover for more info):

Genre: Memoir
Date Read: April 19th
My Rating: ★★★ 1/2
My Thoughts: This was for a book club, but I didn't finish this in time for the meeting. I ended up finishing this on the plane on the way over to San Diego.
I don't usually read memoirs, but I'm really glad I read this one. Richard Russo is a talented writer, and he told his story of his relationship with his mother incredibly well. The writing style is what really defines this book; it makes an average tale an extraordinary tale. Try a Russo book if you haven't already!

Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read: April 28th
My Rating: ★★★★
My Thoughts: Yet another fun installment in the Dresden Files! It had all the usual qualities that this series has, with an additional "Ocean's Eleven"/"Italian Job" feel to it. Looking forward to the next installment!

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Short Stories
Date Read: April 28th
My Rating: ★★★★
My Thoughts: When Harry Dresden of the Dresden files mentions a guy named River Shoulders, your first thought is "who the heck is River Shoulders?!" This short story compilation answers that question! A nice little add-on to the Dresden Files, we get three short stories involving the Bigfoot known as River Shoulders. A very quick read and totally worth it!

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Date Read: May 9th
My Rating: ★★★ 1/2
My Thoughts: This book is exactly what you expect it to be; it's the Disney film, but with a key plot change that affects how the rest of the story plays out. It was entertaining and fast, a very easy read. I can't say it was amazing, but it was definitely fun.

So now, I've got some catching up to do.  I'm two books behind schedule on my 80-book reading goal, and I have two BOTM's to finish.  I have no goals right now except to finish the books I'm currently reading in a timely manner.

Here are my current books (click on the cover for more):

This is for a library book club that I need to finish by tomorrow at 1 p.m.  So far, I've got about 60 pages left, and I'm liking the book.  I'm looking forward to the discussion on this one, because I feel like I missed a couple of things.

Yes I'm still working on this one.  This is for a family book club, comprised of my grandmother, my mother, and myself.  It seemed like a good idea at the time to read this book, but man!  This book is depressing!  We're all barely a 100 pages in, and we hate reading all the horrible stuff that's happening.  Mom and I ended up switching to an annotated edition because the footnotes are making the story a little easier to swallow.  We'll have the book club meeting once we all finish this story, although at this rate it'll be a month from now.

This is the non-BOTM read.  I needed something to listen to on audiobook, since apparently listening to an audiolecture on famous Romans wasn't doing it for me.  I didn't realize it was a sequel (whoops!) but so far it isn't spoiling much from the other story.

Okay, now I have to get ready to meet with a landscaper, who's coming over to check out our yard.  I have decided that I have absolutely no clue what I'm supposed to do with the garden, so we hired a landscaper to take a look and advise on what to do next.  See ya!

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