Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Accidental Radio Silence…

…well I certainly didn’t intend to go dark for quite as long as I did. We spent the first week of July in Florida on a family vacation. When we got back it was straight back to work and I was absolutely covered up. Throw in a night up to St. Louis for the Hootie & the Blowfish concert and two days home with a sick child, and nearly two weeks has gone by. Oops.

The good news is that I’ve got 4 book reviews coming up. And I’ve acquired entirely too many new and new-to-me books that I still need to share with everyone. So I’ve got some good content coming up, stay tuned!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Reading Slumps Stink…

Here I was all excited for the new year and the fresh start of a new reading year … and I’ve hit a reading slump. Just, ugh! These things are supposed to hit in March … or October … or any other month at all … NOT in January 😥 But here we are.

I thought at first it was because I had to finish my way through Clive Cussler’s Treasure since I was silly to pick up a 500+ page book at the end of 2018, but the last couple hundred pages went quite well and I was done by the 2nd, so I figured a few days into the New Year wouldn’t really matter all that much. Then I hopped right into Harry’s Trees for the MMD book club selection and I was pumped at first only to have to wade through at the end.

Then I picked up a James Patterson book because James Patterson always puts me right back into reading, but this one (The President is Missing) doesn’t have the same feel as a “usual” Patterson and I’ve spent the last 3 days on it and I’m only 49 pages in. I think I’m going to have to have my first DNF of the year and that saddens me. I don’t really know where to go from here. I mean, if James Patterson can’t pick me up (my go-to slump author) … what will?! This is awful.

I know a lot of it has to do with some stuff going on in my personal life. Not wanting to go into too much detail (you know, because it’s personal and not necessarily my story to tell, but I am involved in it). .. I have a family member going through a divorce. And I’m feeling the effects of if in a major way because I lost not only a family member, but someone who I considered a very close friend. I was lied to multiple times over the course of at least the last 6-8 months and that hurts. The betrayal. I don’t make friends easily, and the ones that I do make I tend to hold onto for dear life. So the fact that not only am I losing a friend but I’m losing one because of such a big betrayal … it’s really hurt me in ways I can’t describe. The whole family feels betrayed, not just the member involved in the divorce. It’s just been a cluster and I’m having a very hard time processing everything.

We will all heal with time … but for now, my reading is really taking a hit. I find myself just aimlessly surfing the internet more often than not and when I do pick up a book, I can’t tell you anything about the previous 5 pages I just read.

So all that rambling … what is YOUR go-to slump breaker? Have you read anything AMAZING lately that you’d like to share in the comments? Please drop me a note with your recommendations!

In the meantime … happy reading 🙂

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

An Unexpected Break…

Oops.. I certainly did not intend to go so quiet here lately. Sorry about that! We had a family member have his world turned upside down, and so we’ve been having him over more than usual, so I haven’t had as much time to sit down at the computer lately.

I’m now 4 book reviews behind, so be on the lookout for some new content in the next few weeks.

I’m also already thinking about next year’s reading goals, so I hope to get a post up about that too. And I’ve also acquired more new-to-me books that I need to update you on ::eyeroll::.

Hopefully I can get my act into gear and get some new stuff posted soon 🙂 Be on the lookout … until then, happy reading!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Monday Updates….

Well, for the first time in a few weeks I haven’t had any books come in. And trust me …. with 500+ books on my shelves, this is a very good thing! I’m acquiring faster than I will ever read!

Last week was absolutely nuts in my little corner of the world. On Wednesday, our local water supplier suffered a huge water main break at their plant. This is the plant that provides the water to the local towns, affecting about 175,000 people. We were put on alert to conserve as much water as possible because the original “quick fix” didn’t work. Relatively early on Thursday, our little town of Carterville ran completely out of water. Completely. Schools closed, restaurants closed, bars closed, beauty shops closed. Just about everything shut down. You can imagine what our Wal-Mart/Kroger/Target/gas stations looked like in order to get bottled water…. because there was ultimately no time-line on the fix. The water plant had to have a huge part brought down from Chicago (about 6 hours away) …. and I think it had to be made before it was shipped. Thankfully, my parents were not affected by this and we went and stayed Thursday night with them. By the time we got back home later in the evening on Friday we had enough water pressure to flush the toilets. But goodness it was not a fun couple of days at all. And I’m so thankful for all the people who worked tirelessly night and day to get that plant back up and running. I feel like the employees/contractors don’t get nearly enough thanks and praise for what they sometimes have to do in these situations.

Normally I would have taken this a lot more calmly than I did. I flat-out panicked. Why? Because we had our son’s birthday party reserved for Saturday in one of the neighboring towns at Pirate Pete’s (essentially a big arcade type place) and we had no idea whether or not he would get that party or if we would be stuck either rescheduling or scrambling to just host it at our house. It was an absolute nightmare! Luckily, the fix to the water plant was able to be successful with the water coming partially back online by late Friday evening and by Saturday Pirate Pete’s was able to be open for business. I was so relieved. A 6-year-old can’t comprehend why his birthday party can’t happen because of something like this. And he was able to have an absolutely wonderful birthday party! Our boy is so blessed with many wonderful friends (and their parents are great too!).

On Sunday we had tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. I was exhausted from the previous few days that I sent my husband and Garrett with his parents. I didn’t feel like driving the nearly 3 hours (each way) to the game plus sitting at the game with a 3-year-old who probably wouldn’t want to sit there for an entire game…. so Katelyn and I had a very nice quiet day together at home. We were able to play outside on the new playset the kids got for their birthdays from my grandmother. And we watched more than our fair share of Sofia the First 🙂

We’ve got a fun-filled week coming up. Garrett has his baseball game on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening he has his kindergarten class’s end of the year picnic that his teacher is hosting (I just LOVE everything about our community!) Next weekend we’ll be hosting Garrett’s family birthday at our house. And I’m sure we’ll do something fun for Memorial Day too … he’s been invited to his best buddy Ryder’s grandparents house (just up the road from us) for some swimming on Sunday. And then it’ll be the last couple of days of school and we’re out for the summer. I can’t believe that my baby’s kindergarten year is almost over 😥 It has absolutely flown by! This summer I’ve chosen not to do daycare for him (he’ll do a few weeks of different camps), but I’m going to be working from home and utilizing the grandparents. So I’m really looking forward to some one-on-one time with him. I’m hoping for a fun-filled summer!

I got to watch some of the Royal Wedding. It was beautiful. I’m still not entirely sure about the match of Meghan Markle and Harry …. but he looked amazingly in love so that’s what matters! And I do love the fairytale of it all. I thought her dress was absolutely beautiful, but a little on the plain side … it needed a just a little more embellishment to it. But I did love her reception dress – that was gorgeous! Ahh gotta love a good fairytale 😀

Oh and one other little tidbit…. Nathan has formally accepted a new job offer. A little over three years ago he took a position within my family company to get us to be able to move back to the area. It wasn’t really an ideal fit for him and he really missed engineering (his chosen field), so when an opportunity popped up he applied, interviewed, and got the job. He starts that on June 1. We’re all very happy for him. Engineering jobs are few and far between in our area (it’s why we had to move in the first place) so we are thrilled that this has happened for him! Plus it’ll be nice to be going back to a normal schedule of Monday-Friday 8-4:30 …. which will be a really nice change after working Saturdays and odd hours, including super early and super late. The concrete business is not ideal for young families, he has missed out on quite a bit these last few years because of the crazy hours the concrete company sometimes has … like on Mother’s Day weekend this year when he literally had to work from 8;30pm Saturday night to 2am Sunday morning and then had to go back from 7am – 6pm Sunday … yeah  😦


Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sunday Thoughts

Another week has come and gone *sigh* And this upcoming week is going to be crazy insane for me. We leave on Friday for Spring Break in Florida! Yay!

So this week I have to …. pack for the four of us. Figure out if Katelyn has ANYTHING from late last season she can still wear – I don’t want the poor girl to swelter. I’m good on Garrett, since our old neighbors (they literally moved out last week 😥 ) gave me a ton of clothes for Garrett late last fall ranging in sizes from 4 to 6. Swim suits will probably have to be purchased for both kiddos. Oh and lets not even think about all the stuff that I have to wrap up at work before I can get out of town for a week. Ugh. Remind me why I thought this was going to be a good idea?!

We’re driving down. 15 hours in a car. With two children who 9 times out of 10 do not get along. Oh and my in-laws are coming with us (in a separate car). I’ve never been on vacation with my in-laws. And we’re going to put 6 people in a 2 bedroom condo. I’m likely to come back completely and totally insane. This whole thing started with it just being the four of us getting away by ourselves for the first time ever. And now the in-laws are coming. And don’t get me wrong, I love my in-laws, and I will be very thankful for their help on this trip …. but our condo is not big enough for all of us. Plus where we are going is relatively expensive …. and they are pretty cheap. It feels like it’s going to be a recipe for disaster. I went from really looking forward to this trip …. to not really wanting to go. Plus my grandma just spent a month down there (it’s her condo we’re borrowing) and she said that the traffic is absolutely insane because the snowbirds are still there in force. Ugh. And of course my in-laws are all about getting out and doing something every day all day. I just wanted to lay on the beach and in the condo. All day every day. Guess I’m not going to get that wish anymore….. I don’t want to go 😦

Ok, enough with the pity party.

Today the kids and I are meeting up with my parents for lunch. They’ve been out of town on vacation and then with us leaving for a week they wanted to see the kids before our trip. Later this afternoon Garrett has a play date at the park with an old daycare buddy. He’s apparently going to be moving to our town and will be going to school with Garrett in the fall – yay! It’s a sad situation as to the why, but I know Garrett will love having this friend around again!

Reading wise I’m hanging in there. I’ve got about 60 pages to go in my second George Washington book and I’m 40% into Baby Teeth. Holy moly is that book insane! I’m LOVING it! I got it from NetGalley when it was Read Now and I’m glad I didn’t let this one get away from me!

Upcoming this week, I’ve got a Mailbox Monday scheduled for tomorrow as well as a review scheduled for Thursday. Next week I will have a couple of things pre-scheduled so I’m not completely dark while I’m out of town. Plus I hope to be able to get some good reading done while on vacation 😀

That’s about all I’ve got for today. Have a good week, and wish me luck that I don’t go insane in the next two weeks between getting ready for vacation and the actual vacation itself 😀

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings


So … I haven’t had much to post this past week … sorry!

It’s been pretty quiet around here. Work, work and more work. Garrett had another progress report come home on Friday. He’s doing so well in kindergarten! I’m so proud of my little guy. Sometimes I look over at him and am just in awe of who he is and what he can do! It’s amazing to watch children grow up! One night last week he read almost an entire book to me! Proud momma moment right there! He definitely doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s capable of. Hopefully he gains more confidence in himself and his abilities.

Tomorrow we have to take Garrett back to the doctor. He’s still having a lot of trouble swallowing 😦 The scope we had done back in September with gastro showed nothing wrong. So now I want  an ENT to look at him. Maybe it’s more of a tonsil/adenoids issue since he definitely struggles more when he’s congested. We have to figure this out one way or another – he’s gotten sent home from school twice now because he threw up at school at lunch. A total of four missed days because of his swallowing issue….

He’s also been monitored by a growth stature clinic because of his size for the last year. He’s now been listed as failure to thrive! I’m just flabbergasted by that. He’s not failing to thrive … he’s thriving just fine. Sure he’s a small guy, very little by 5 year old standards, but he’s for sure thriving. He’s most definitely the smallest kid in his class (and his best friend is the tallest – they’re a pair to see!) But he’s happy and healthy. Plus according to his teacher last month, he’s at the head of the class academically! I’m tired of doctors and hospitals and pokes and prods. It’s time to leave my kid alone and let him be a kid. What pisses me off is that he’s always been small, he’s always been in the 1-2 percentile. Well now he’s in the 10th percentile for height and 25th for weight …. but that doesn’t seem to account for anything?! Don’t give me that failure to thrive bullshit.

They did a bone scan of his hand to check his bone age to see if he’s potentially just going to be a late bloomer.  They keep talking about genetic testing and potentially doing growth hormones. We have made the decision not to go down that route. I’m not pumping by child full of hormones that will do god knows what to him in the future just to potentially get him an additional 1-3 inches. (And let’s not even talk about the cost …. one estimate I saw said that one inch will cost you approximately $52,000…) The risks don’t outweigh the benefits to me in our situation. If he ends up being 5’4″ (which is where he’s being projected now…) then so be it. He’ll just be a small guy. He’s healthy and happy. That’s enough for me.

Can you tell that I’m at the end of my rope with all this junk with doctors and my son? I honestly feel like they want there to be something wrong with him. They want him to have some rare genetic disorder causing his slow growth. I’ve heard nothing but criticism about his size for his entire life (he was born small, 5lb 14oz at 39 weeks). I’m so over it. It’s time to move on and figure out his swallowing issue. Maybe if he could eat better he’d grow better … there’s an idea! Even though the endocrinologist we saw last week told us that his small stature had nothing to do with his eating habits. Whatever. It’s still a pain in the ass to deal with a kid that throws up and can’t swallow because he says food won’t go down his throat. Something’s wrong, that’s not normal – to me that’s a more important issue than any stupid genetic test could show. I never should have opened up this can of worms, it boils my blood every time I think about this whole issue.

Moving on….

Garrett has some sort of a Thanksgiving performance on Tuesday – he says he’s a pilgrim and his line is “bang bang”. I’ll be curious to see how that goes! He’s best friend is going to be a turkey. This is sure to be a cute performance!!

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. Christmas will be right around the corner. And my Christmas shopping is almost all done! Talk about being on the ball this year! Ha! Well I think that’s all I’ve got for this quiet Sunday morning. I’m going to a painting event later today with some girlfriends. Going to be painting a snowman door hanger! I’m looking forward to that.

I sure hope you’ll stop back by on Tuesday for my blog tour stop for Deborah Crombie’s Garden of Lamentations!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

I’m back!!!

I hope, lol!

This year has been really wonky for my blogging mojo. I have been reading … as of this writing I’ve finished 57 books for the year, with most of November and all of December remaining … last year I only managed 53. But real life has intervened more than once.

Katelyn had to have tubes put in her ears in April. My grandmother was sick in June/July with a pretty serious cancer scare – she was extremely lucky only a surgery was required. In August Garrett started kindergarten 😥 In August and September Nathan had carpal tunnel surgery done on both hands. In September we finally had Garrett’s scope on his throat (with negative results of anything being wrong …. so we still don’t know what causes his swallowing issues) And the medical bills, tubes – carpal tunnel – scope … ugh! We have “good” insurance, but good lord we’ve been drowning in medical bills. Plus Garrett did t-ball in the spring/summer and flag football in the fall, so we spent 2-3 times a week out on a field. It’s been crazy around here!

So it’s been a crazy busy and somewhat rough year. It’s just been one thing after another. And so the blog fell by the wayside. It juts wasn’t a priority with everything else going on. Somehow though I managed to keep reading – I think that was my escape as to how I dealt with a lot of the stress I was under.

Hopefully though we’re past the rough part, lol. One can hope at least! And I can get my schedule back on track and get back to the blog. I’ve missed ya’ll. I know I’ve been posting those mini reviews so I was at least keeping a teeny tiny presence here. But not what I would like.

So here’s to hoping I can get back on track here and start producing some good quality stuff for the blog again.

Until next time…

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Life Lately…

Well. When I last posted, I was fresh off of the funeral of my grandfather. I was really amazed at how hard his death hit me. I wasn’t particularly close to him, but he was my only living grandfather (I lost my other grandfather at 11) and watching him slowly deteriorate the last few months was especially hard. I’m still grieving, but his peace eases that grief.

I hadn’t broached the subject with our son yet. Yesterday was my grandmother’s birthday, and when I told him we were going to her birthday party he started asking questions about who would be there. Of course Grandpa T. was mentioned. It was time to discuss it with him as best as I could.

Let me just say that you should never ever ever ever discuss death with another person’s child. EVER. There are absolutely no excuses for this. But apparently my ever so helpful father-in-law thought it would be a good idea to teach Garrett about Heaven and Hell while they were watching him. So when I sat him down yesterday morning to tell him that Grandpa was in Heaven, he looked at me with the most fear I’ve ever seen and said to me “don’t talk about it, it’s a bad place,” and that Grandpa had gone “bye bye.” I still have not convinced him that Heaven is indeed a wonderful place. Why in the hell would someone try to explain Hell to a 3-year-old? I never would have brought that aspect into it. He can’t differentiate it at 3-years-old! All he needed to know was that Grandpa T. had gone to Heaven, that Heaven is a wonderful place, and that he was ok but wouldn’t be back. Very simple. He didn’t need a lot of details. He didn’t need a big long explanation. Just simple. But noooooo. My father-in-law had to complicate it. We are furious! My husband said that he was going to be talking to his dad to let him know that he crossed a line. It was my grandfather. He is my child. It was my responsibility to have that conversation with him. I am beyond pissed that I was not able to have that conversation first with him and that he is now completely confused about the whole situation. Goodness knows what else he told him. But whatever it was it completely terrified my child. Not okay. Not okay.

Anyway, now that I’ve got that rant out of my system ….

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I joined Book of the Month based on Beth Fish Reads‘ recommendation. Well, I did. And October was my first month. I chose Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. To be honest, none of the selections really caught my eye, this one was the one that I felt was closest to something I would enjoy. I finished it. It took all freaking month to do so, but I finished it. And when I was done I wanted to kick myself in the rear because I should have walked away from it, not wasted 3 weeks reading it. I was not impressed, to say the least. I am not yet sure if I will even write a review for it, because the review would not be nice at all (I can’t really think of even one nice thing to say … except that it finally ended … yes, I feel that bad about it).  I probably will write something up just for tracking purposes, but I doubt it’s a full review. On a better note, I just selected November’s book and it’s one I’m excited about … The Witches by Stacy Schiff!! Plus because I filled out a survey I am getting an extra book free and I’ve chosen Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway.

We’re getting a new accounting system implemented at work this week. I’m nervous and excited about it. Nervous because who knows how smoothly (or not) this will go; excited because it will ease my workload considerably.

The kids are doing great, but they’ve both been battling snotty noses. Better than the stomach bug that’s going around though 🙂 Garrett was Batman and Katelyn a bunny rabbit for Halloween. Garrett was obsessed with his costume, and I have a feeling we will be wearing it quite often at home until he outgrows it. Katelyn was not impressed by her costume. Well, she would have been okay with it had I not put that part over her head to give her the bunny ears, that’s when she revolted, ha!

Hopefully I get my reading (and blogging) mojo back soon so I can update this blog more often than 2-3 times a month. But October was a tough month for my family, hopefully November will be better. Plus we’ve got Christmas coming up and I’m looking forward to our first Holidays as a family of four!

Well – I’m off, Katelyn is fussing. I’m surprised she gave me long enough to get this all written up. Take care and happy reading!!


Saying Goodbye is Tough

On Tuesday we laid my grandfather to rest.

He would have turned 84 on Wednesday. Until 7 months ago he was a healthy, vibrant 83-year-old man who had not a care in the world. He had a loving family. He enjoyed seeing his great-grandchildren every chance he got. He loved talking politics (even if he was the only Republican in the family…). He watched the stock market like a hawk. He liked the St. Louis Cardinals and the University of Illinois football and basketball teams.

He was my Grandpa T.

But liver and lung cancer took him from us.

In March he fell. He had fainted. When he fell he caught his arm on the dog crate and had a terrible gash open up. That wound would be the first of many issues he faced in the next 7 months. They finally determined that his fainting episodes (he would have numerous) were due to a racing heart issue. He had a procedure to fix that. It worked. Then he had some issues with his prostate and not being able to urinate. He had to have a catheter. He finally had to have some sort of procedure where they “microwaved” his prostate. That seemed to help things. All through this, he was steadily losing weight. We knew there was something else going on. But he was a stubborn old man who played his personal health very close to his chest. In March he weighed a healthy 175 pounds. When he died he was 120 pounds. When he was finally diagnosed with the cancer it was a crushing blow. Honestly, he had taken pretty good care of himself his whole life. He stayed active until he was unable to. But by the time he was finally diagnosed treatment was not an option. We discussed hospice instead.

Never in a million years did I think I would watch my grandfather slowly die. But I did. Over the months, weeks and days, we slowly watched him essentially waste away. He had to have been in a great deal of pain, but he was stubborn and nearly refused to ask for help. His pain tolerance level was ridiculously high. So near the end when he finally admitted that his pain level was a 9 on a 1-10 scale, we knew it had to be out of this world pain. We were lucky that we were able to keep him at his house for as long as possible. When he was a few days away from his death they took him to the hospital. He spent a couple of days there and then was moved to hospice. He was in hospice for less than 24 hours before he passed peacefully just before 1am on Oct. 17, 2015.

I was never close to my mother’s side of the family. There was no real reason for this, it’s just how things happened to end up. But the last few months I spent more time with my grandparents than I probably had in the last 5 years combined. I’m thankful for that now. His last words to my dad were “I feel like shit.” That was my grandfather. Classic Grandpa T. right there.

I was lucky enough to have one final conversation with him the night before he was moved into hospice. It was the night he admitted he was at a pain level of 9. And while most of his conversation made absolutely no sense, he left me with the most precious words ever. As I was leaving he told me he loved me. Those were his last words to me. It’s a memory I will cherish forever. The next time I saw him it was just a few hours before he passed and he was completely unaware of his surroundings. I was very glad that I had made the decision to visit with him the night before. I was able to say my final goodbye.

Of course that didn’t make his actual passing any easier. I was still heartbroken when my mom called me Saturday morning with the news. But his pain was over and that eases my pain a great deal.

It’s tough to tell someone goodbye. It’s tough to walk out of a hospital room knowing it’s the last time you will see someone alive. It’s tough to sit through a funeral knowing that once the casket is closed you will never see that person again. It’s tough to know that my children never had a chance to fully know him. It’s tough to figure out how to tell your 3-year-old Grandpa T. has passed away (something we still haven’t dealt with…).

But it’s a part of life. It’s the sucky part of life. But it’s life. I was lucky to have him in my life for 30 years. And I have a lot of wonderful memories of him. And like all people dealing with grief, we will heal. Slowly. But it will happen.

But those last words … “I love you, I truly do.”

That’s the beautiful part of life.

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sometimes I just got nothin’….

I have no reading mojo.

I have no blogging mojo.

I just got nothin’.

But that’s okay. I’ll come out of my funk eventually. Until then, I’ll just continue to buy 700+ page books at Target that I doubt I ever read (The Goldfinch) and I’ll pop in here occasionally.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people “rebranding” recently. I have a feeling that this is the direction I will be heading as well. I am so much more than just books these days. I always feel like I bore people with my mundane life, but ironically, those personal posts are the ones that I always enjoy reading the most from other bloggers.

I’ve been doing a lot of online stalking of journaling/planning addicts. I’ve been doing crossword puzzles in the evening while my husband and I catch up on our TV shows that we’ve been putting off for months (our DVR is quickly running out of space…). Essentially, I’ve been doing everything but reading.

Until I figure out what’s going on and where my mojo has gone to … stay tuned 🙂