Miscellaneous Ramblings

Thinking Ahead….

…. to 2018! It seems insane to think that 2018 is so close, but it’s definitely right around the corner! Scary!

So I’ve been thinking more and more where I’d like to go with my reading in 2018. 2017 has been a great year for my reading in terms of quantity. I’ve read more this year than I have in the last few years. That’s great, I’m happy to see my numbers go up. As far as quality … I definitely read more than a few home runs … but also a great deal of duds! Can’t all be winners I guess…

So what do I want to focus on in 2018? Hm.

(1) – I need to rein in the book buying. I don’t spend a whole lot of money on books (I utilize the used book store/goodwill/library book sales a lot). But when I buy books, I buy like 10-15 at a time. Ugh! That needs to stop. I say this every year and I doubt it will stop …. but I feel like I need to reiterate it. Maybe one day it will stick?

(2) – Clear off my shelves. Really focus on getting some of those older books moved. Get them read or get them out. At this point my shelf space is at critical level. I’ve rearranged so many times and I still do not have room for everything. And to be honest, I could seriously not buy a single book for the next 4 years before I ran out of something to read. Oops?

(3) – Goodreads groups/challenges. So I am still in love with my Goodreads challenges. I’m not going to stop participating over there. However, I want to take a break from group challenges. I had a slight run-in with a group member that left a bad taste in my mouth and left me not contributing to the point total that week. I’m being vague because I don’t really want to complain too much, but it made me realize that I definitely do better on individual challenges. Besides … I’m really feeling the burnout on not knowing what book I’m going to be able to read until the callout happens. It’s taken away a lot of my reading spontaneity and I’m wanting that back.

(4) – Continue to work on backlists, but also get some new releases in there. 2017 really saw me focus on backlists. But it also made me realize that I need more new releases as well. I need to find a better balance …. maybe for every 3 backlist titles, read 1 new(ish) release?

(5) – I have been a member of Book of the Month for over a year now and I have only read 2 of the books I’ve gotten from there. Oops? So I need to work on getting those books read. I would like to try to read one book every month from BOTM. This can go hand-in-hand with my desire to read more new releases.

So those are my “goals” for 2018. Who knows how they’ll go, ha! The main point is to read and enjoy what I’m reading 🙂

How about you? Do you have any reading goals for next year?

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…

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Not a happy Lady Gaga fan….

So this is wayyyy off topic of my normal book posts. But I’m pissed. Beyond pissed.

I have enjoyed Lady Gaga’s music for years. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’ve always wanted to see her in concert. She has to put on an awesome show! So I was really excited to see that she was coming to St. Louis when her tour was announced. Yeah, it’s through the week but I had my childcare lined out and was ready to buy me some tickets!

I even pre-ordered her new CD to get a presale code for the tickets. I figured that would be a good use of $17 …. I’d get her CD and a leg up to grab some good tickets!

I’m waiting patiently for 10am to roll around yesterday. At 10:00am on the frigging dot I log into Ticketmaster and put in my presale code. It “unlocks” and I click the search button …. for the site to essentially crash all to hell around me. For 35 minutes it was essentially inoperable … I watched that stupid ticket fill up and down in blue for 35 minutes. No joke. By the time it finally came back up and gave me the “best available” seats … they were shit. Absolute shit. And $300 for 2. For shit tickets? Hell to the no.

I was pissed. I was depressed. I was almost to the point of crying. Because I *knew* scalpers had been at work. The tickets were already being listed on the secondary market sites. And there I was stuck with the option of buying a good seat for triple its value on the secondary market or a shitty seat that I didn’t want for the face value. I chose to walk away.

I have used secondary market before. That’s how I was able to see Adele. And I paid out the nose for those tickets. And I said I would never do that again. Adele didn’t get that money out of me. Some random Joe with an awesome computer program got my money. And it left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Then tonight my sister-in-law asks me if I bought Lady Gaga tickets. I told her about the drama filled morning I had yesterday. And she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t surprised … she had a friend on Facebook posting a presale code to all her friends. WHAT THE EFF? THAT is the type of person that ruins it for someone like me. Someone who tried to do things the honest way. I gave Lady Gaga my money for her music … in return I got a personalized presale code to be able to have the leg up on everyone else and be able to see her in concert. And yet there’s random people on Facebook posting presale codes? This is everything that is wrong with this industry. Seriously. All it does is make it impossible for average people to see the concerts they want. But come on, at some point enough is enough.

And I feel like it’s finally going to start going that way…. on Tuesday I bought Metallica tickets for my husband in June. Spent $250 a ticket for some “enhanced experience” tickets. To get everything all settled up and printed out to find out that MY credit card and MY id had to be presented to use these tickets. I wasn’t even planning on going to that show – the other ticket was intended for my brother-in-law! But I’m going … because I couldn’t figure out how to get them to change the name on the tickets to reflect my husband’s name. (My sister-in-law ended up buying two tickets for her and my BIL, so now we’re all going…) But the point of this is that using credit card/ID entry is how this industry is going to have to stop these scalpers. I was reading somewhere a while back that Eric Church had actually voided a bunch of tickets to his shows because he had found out that they were being resold at unbelievable amounts. YES for him! Thank you!

Because at the end of the day I wanted to see Lady Gaga in concert. And now I don’t get to. Because people can’t be honest and truthful and do things the proper way. And I’m not going to give some scalper my money. Lady Gaga deserves that money. But now she’s not going to get it either… and I don’t get to see her concert. I’m still peeved about the whole situation 😦

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I haven’t disappeared completely….

….but I definitely haven’t been around lately. And I also haven’t been on Twitter. I’ve been spending all my free time on Goodreads. I am so addicted to the gazillions of reading challenges found in various groups on that site. It’s really pitiful actually… I guess there could be worse vices though 🙂

I’m still trying to figure out where this blog will take me next year. I’m really on the fence. I don’t have a lot of desire to blog anymore. My reviews all seem generic. Even after I read a really awesome book that left me with all the feels I couldn’t even sit down and type them out for a post. I don’t know….

I intend to get together a “best of” post before the end of the year …. hopefully! I’ve got a pretty good idea of my Top 10 reads for the year. It’s just a matter of putting together the post.

I am still reading. And I’ve read 52 books this year …. and I think I may be able to squeeze one more in. Regardless, 2016 has been my best reading year in terms of number of books read since 2011 – the pre-children era. It also helps that I’m no longer at home with a baby all the time. I have a lot of down time at work that I can fill in with reading. So that’s why my numbers really went up this year. So I’m definitely looking forward to where 2017 takes me reading wise.

Stay tuned 🙂

Miscellaneous Ramblings

A Day in the Life: Take 2


Last year I participated in this event hosted by Trish. You can find that post here.  I knew that this year’s post would be much different for me – since we’ve added Katelyn to our family 🙂 Anyway, I recorded March 15, 2016. Here goes…

1:21am – Katelyn wakes …. gooooood morning. *Groan* Go in, give her a paci and tell her good night.
1:31am – She’s still crying. Go back in, put her paci back in her mouth and tell her goodnight. Again.
1:39am – she *finally* settles back in.

To be completely honest, my kids are rockstar sleepers. Garrett slept through the night at 8 weeks; Katelyn at 6 weeks (I give you permission to hate me now). But one word with Katelyn right now: teething. It has been affecting everything lately. Last round she got 4 teeth at once (that sucked) and now I suspect she’s got 2 more coming in – hence the poor sleeping – womp womp 😦

Katelyn6:25am – Katelyn up. This is normal wake up time. I get up and get dressed. Make a bottle, dress and feed Katelyn.

7:06am – today is election day in Illinois. So I’m out the door to go vote. I didn’t really want to take the kids with me, so I left Nathan at home with them while I ran real quick – we live super close to the polling place.

7:30am – back home. Nathan goes to work.


G&T7:32am – Find Garrett in our bed. I put our morning Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the TV.

7:45am – Diaper bag packed. Social media checked. Bullet journaled a few things.

8:20am – finally pulling out of the driveway. It was not a smooth exit from the house. Garrett balked at getting dressed and going to school. Then the garage door didn’t want to go down. So we’re about 20 minutes later than we normally are leaving the house. Boy it’s a good thing my job hours are extremely flexible – I’m never on time anywhere anymore.

G8:38am – drop off at Garrett’s school done – and it went smoothly. Sometimes he walks right in like he owns the place. Other times he clings on to me for dear life. I never know which day I’m going to get. It’s really frustrating. He claims it’s because his buddy Liam is not there when he gets dropped off – I’m terrified to know what’s going to happen next year when he moves up to Pre-K and Liam doesn’t because he won’t make the age cut off ..

9:22am – Katelyn dropped off at my grandma’s house. It sure will be nice when they both go to the same daycare and I only have one drop off location … at least for one year, because then Garrett will start kindergarten and I’ll be back to two drop offs.

9:28am – at work.
9:47am – no really, I will work today (PUT THE PHONE AWAY TARA!!!)

11:45am – go get lunch and take it to my grandma’s.
1:00pm – back at work.

4:00pm – back to my grandma’s to get Katelyn. Drive back to Marion.
4:45pm – pick up Garrett.
G&T&K5:00pm – home.
5:40pm – Nathan home.
6:15pm – dinner time – fettuccine alfredo tonight – this is one of Garrett’s favorites! He even asked for a second helping tonight (YES!!)


Bath time last night...7:00pm – bath time. We decided to change things up tonight and put both kids in the bath together. It didn’t go over very well and probably won’t happen on a regular basis. Garrett loves the bath and is like a fish. Katelyn hates the bath and doesn’t want to be splashed or messed with by Garrett.

8:00pm – Katelyn bottle and bed.
8:29pm – Katelyn asleep … let’s hope that’s for the night!

8:34pm – coaxing Garrett into one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before bed. (I’m ashamed to admit that after being very strict with screen time for Garrett his first two years of life we have done a complete 360 and now don’t restrict it at all. I know I should. But I just can’t seem to make myself do it … it’s out of hand. Judge me if you want, I’m beyond caring. )

9:13pm – three books read to Garrett and he’s tucked in for the night. He’s really a hoot because he wants three books read to him every single night since he’s three years old. Thank goodness none of his books are very long. But I’m not looking forward to this trend continuing when he’s 4, 5, 6,7…etc. I’m very happy that he loves books though 🙂 Oh and this is an excellent night for bedtime … if Garrett is in bed by 9:30 I consider it a success. Stubborn little night owl!

9:15-10:45pm – Read. Watch news. Check social media. Then lights out.


Just another boring old day in my life. Nothing much ever changes. Nothing much ever happens. But it’s a pretty good life we have. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to read your day in the life 🙂



Miscellaneous Ramblings

Settling Back In …..

Hello, world! It’s been a long few months since I hung up my proverbial hat and took what I now consider a much-deserved hiatus.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t close up shop completely 🙂

The itch was slowly coming back to me. I got my reading mojo back. I’v been reading what I want when I want. And it’s been absolutely wonderful. Of the 13 books I’ve read so far in 2016, they’ve all been backlist reads (the most recent book on my list so far was published in 2013…), lots of catching up with series books, etc.

So what finally brought me back completely? Well Trish’s A Day in the Life event had a lot to do with it….when she hosted this event last year I was pregnant with Katelyn. So I knew that this year my post would be completely different! And it will be – look out for it on the 23rd!

So what should you expect from me going forward? Well… I’m probably not going to have a set routine. I’ll post when I feel like it. I don’t care if that means I’m posting 3 times or week or once in 3 weeks. And while I have accepted one review book from an author I’ve read and loved in the past, don’t expect a lot of newer books to be featured here. I’m not really looking into getting back into the ARC stuff. I think that’s what really burned me out to begin with. I have 300+ books on my shelves here at the house. And while I didn’t officially join in on Andi’s fun … I’m “reading my own damn books” this year! So yeah, I’m free-styling here. My reviews may be two sentences long, they may be 2 pages long – I’m not going to be too strict on myself. I’m not going to feel guilty because I’m not reading the latest and greatest. I’m not going to feel guilty if I don’t log on in a couple of weeks. This is what’s going to work best for me. This is what I want out of my blog. I don’t care about numbers anymore. I’m doing this for me.

So that’s it … that’s my re-introduction. Hopefully some of you readers are still out there.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting back into this …. slowly but surely 🙂

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Remember Me?!

Haha! Thought I’d pop in and drop a few lines. (Told you I wouldn’t be gone forever :))

Katelyn will be 9 months on Feb. 9th. What?! How did this happen so quickly? She’s crawling and so so so close to pulling up (she can pull up to her knees). She loves to eat. And she’s so happy. All the freaking time. It’s wonderful!

Garrett is just a little ball of fire. His never-ending energy just amazes me. I wish I had a quarter of his energy – I’d be a lot better off, ha! He loves preschool and I love watching him learn so much. He also said his first four-letter word last week. He dropped something and said “damn it.” And then he kept saying it. Over and over. Oops!

I signed up for a kickboxing cardio class twice a week. At 5:45AM. Crap is that early! After the first class I thought I was going to literally fall apart. I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt. But after the second class I felt energized. I’d say it was $45 well spent for these 15 sessions … now I want to try spinning! Ha!

The mood really struck me to pop in to blog since it’s the end of the month and I read …. are you ready for this?! … SIX books in January!! SIX! I just read up a storm. And I read what I wanted when I wanted to. It was wonderful!  I’m not going to bother with reviews. They’re all backlist books that I’m sure everyone has already read. There was really only one dud (Mistress) in the whole month. So overall, I had a great reading month.

Definitely DeadNight ProbeRapture in Death

MistressE is for EvidenceFour to Score

I’m off to Vegas for the World of Concrete convention this week. We’re going without the kids. Since Katelyn was born we have only had two completely kid-free nights away, one in September and one in November. So this will be weird! But so nice too. I wish I could say that I was going to be able to do nothing but sleep the entire time, but it’s Vegas …. however, I am looking forward to being able to sleep in a little bit (meaning past 6:30am) and eating meals while they’re still hot! And while I’ll miss my children every waking second… it’ll be nice to get away for a few nights!



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!!

Miscellaneous Ramblings

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot…”

… fire away!

I am looking for your best book recommendations. The best 30 actually. Here’s why…

I have been a longtime member of Paperbackswap since 2007. When they started charging for membership back in February, they were hit with a backlash of people’s outrage. Membership costs had always been something that was a potential, but I don’t think anyone ever really thought it would become a reality. I personally chose to stay on as a standard member (meaning I paid more money to have unlimited swaps) because at the time I had 46 credits and about $25 in PBS money logged into the site that I was going to lose if I chose to leave. So I decided that I would stay on for at least a year and see how things went.

Eight months later, I’m facing the reality that I’m going to be ready to step away from Paperbackswap when my membership is up for renewal in February. I have noticed a considerable drop in requests coming my way (of course, I also don’t have many books listed in the system either – when we moved last November, we paid per pound and the books that I had already read went to the donation pile…) But the real truth hit me last week when I had a request come in that I actually ended up cancelling because I didn’t want to take the time to dig out the book, log onto the site on my computer, print the postage, wrap the book and mail it. It was at that point that I decided that my interest in the site was obviously gone and it’s time to wrap things up.

But there’s still my 30 credits that I have hanging out there. These are credits that I have earned over the years for books that I have sent to other members. I don’t want to just lose them all.

So I’m asking you guys, my readers, to hit me with some of your best recommendations. Keep in mind, that I’m really looking for books that will be readily available in the PBS system. This means more backlist books … books that aren’t the “it” book of the moment, books that are by well-known authors and are easily found (still in print).

So leave me with one, ten or thirty selections in the comment sections … you never know, I might find a new favorite this way 🙂