These are going to be short reviews but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy these books. I’ve just been very busy.
Mrs. Grant and Madame Juke by Jennifer Chiaverini was a masterfully written story. Definitely five out of five stars.
First of all, I just loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival, but Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule was even better. I fell in love with the characters. I like to immerse myself in the history and the time period and the author made that very easy to do. Grant is not a President I know much about. He was brought to life within the pages of this book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, particularly Civil War era fiction. I can’t wait for the next book by Chiaverini.
Their Second Chance by Milly Taiden was a typical romance novel with erotica thrown into the mix. I prefer not to be given every detail in sex scenes. My imagination works just fine. I gave this four stars but it may be that I don’t read books like this often.
Forever Sheltered by Deanna Roy was another typical romance, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was different even though I can’t quite put my finger on why. There was still probably more description in the sex scenes than I need. I liked that the story was told by Dr. Darion Marks and also by Tina, the art therapist. Using both points of view was used well in this story. This book got a five out of five stars.
I gave The Stranger five out of five stars. The book started a bit slowly at first, but once it wrapped around my mind and pulled me in, it seemed to alternately move too quickly and too slowly. I had trouble putting this book down. The twists and turns are exactly what I’ve come to expect from Coben. And I wasn’t disappointed. I lost myself in reading this book. I wanted to know what was going to happen, but then when the author revealed the next piece of the puzzle, I wished the book would slow down.
I didn’t lose weight this week. But, the good news is that I didn’t gain any either. I ate out several meals last week (work related) so I expected it. As hard as I try to make good choices, it is difficult to get portion sizes correct (I use a kitchen scale at home when I cook). But I’m not too unhappy.
No, that wasn’t the exciting news. But this is!
I have been working for weeks – planning, thinking and reading for months – to create a new website for our early childhood initiative at work. I’m the CEO of a local United Way and our board has spent the last two years planning for this. We have a bold goal of 90% of all children in our county ready for kindergarten by 2020. As a point of reference, one school in 2013 was 63% ready. So, we have our work cut out for us.
We have been operating several programs for awhile now and we are pleased. But on April 10 we will be making a public announcement of our goal and the launch of a new website which we feel will be a comprehensive site for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help them prepare their children for school.
I chose WP to build the site because I thought I knew how to use it. Boy, was I overconfident! I have spent days learning how to work with the different elements of themes. I finally settled on a theme (lifestyle) because it could offer me the complexity to build the site I wanted. While it is ready to launch (and I finally made it public tonight), there are more pages and sections that will be added as time goes on.
I am very proud of what I have accomplished. My board is pleased. In fact, they all ask who built the site and I tell them I did. Then they say things like, “no, who created the actual website.” I tell them again that I did (with the help of WP). So, here it is. Take a look and tell me what you think. Comments are turned off on the entire site, so you will have to come back here and give me your feedback.
Now, I think I will spend the rest of the evening actually reading a book instead of working on the site (which is all I have done every night for a long time now).
Slow and steady. That’s me. Down .6 this week. I much prefer whole pounds but they add up. I’ve lost a total of 13.4 since January 5. When I put it that way, it doesn’t seem like much. But losses are always better than gains. It’s just coming off so slowly.
Not much else to report. I’ve been super swamped at work. I have a giant project coming together. I’ve been working on it for awhile now…but mostly just in my mind. The past couple of weeks I’ve actually been doing it. I’m very proud of it and will be happy to share soon.
The weatherman had said it was going to snow today. He said we were forecast 1-3″ but it would likely be less than an inch. We got nearly FIVE inches from 12:30 – 4:00. Heavy wet snow. And I waded through all 5″ in my bare legs getting in and out of my car. At least I had changed shoes this morning and left the sandals at home. Roads were treacherous. I’m truly sick of winter.
Not feeling very chatty tonight. I’m super stressed at work and under a big deadline. Plus dealing with the sale of dad’s house. It all makes me want to crawl into a cave and hide. Instead I ate my way through my evening. It was like I was possessed. Oh well, I will get back on the program tomorrow.
Weigh in today was good. I lost another .6 pounds. That’s 12.8 pounds total. It’s slow. But it’s steady.
I feel like a bad blogger. I haven’t blogged consistently for awhile now. Partly because I’ve been so busy at work and at home. Partly because I haven’t had anything to say.
Plus my poetry blog was supposed to have a featured author/blogger post yesterday and I totally forgot about it.
So, I’m asking you to forgive me. But I’m also asking for more patience. Hopefully my life will go back to normal, whatever that is, again soon.
I haven’t even been reading much. In fact, that may be part of the problem. Reading is what keeps me grounded. It soothes my soul. It gives me the focus I need in my life.
I also hope to get back to reading your blogs again too. I’ve skimmed a few, at best, lately. And rarely comment. I miss interacting with you and will try and do a better job. Both writing and reading.
On a side note, I finally have an offer on dad’s house. It wasn’t what I wanted. And not at all what dad wanted. But sold is better than paying bills every month as far as I’m concerned. Now everything just needs to go through. I’ve made so many concessions that I won’t pay out another penny. Wish me luck telling dad tomorrow. Like I said, he won’t be happy with me. But at least I can leave him and come home.
I am not typically political on this site. And this view is not particularly political, but common sense. I am outraged that we have elected officials who think they are King.
Another week. Another weigh in. Another loss. It wasn’t much (-.2). But a loss is still a loss and always better than a gain.
Today was a challenge. I made plans to go to the Chinese buffet for lunch and forgot I had dinner plans with a friend. I made good choices though. Lunch was egg drop soup, one crab Rangoon, five peel and eat shrimp and one piece of General Tso’s chicken and some fruit. Dinner was jumbo shrimp on a bed of linguine and spicy marinara with a side salad. It could have been worse. And I hardly ate any of the linguine. Now Warren has lunch tomorrow.
But back to religiously counting my points tomorrow. I need a bigger loss next week
No, it isn’t Weight Loss Monday yet. But this was too good not to share today. I’ve been wearing a particular pair of jeans the last few months. And they fit, but when I initially put them on, they are snug.
I put those jeans on today and they weren’t initially snug. But they were just sloppy feeling. Too big. So happy. So I’ve been trying on clothes. Losing weight opens up a lot of possibilities.
Totally unrelated news. We got an offer on my dad’s house today. We have it listed for $89,000. They offered us $85,000 but I have to pay $3,000 of their closing costs because they are going FHA. So far, so good. But then they wanted a $3,300 stove/refrigerator allowance (there are no appliances with the house) AND a $4,000 allowance for a privacy fence. Uh, a privacy fence? I don’t think so. Anyway, I submitted a counteroffer agreeing to everything except the two allowances. They have until Tuesday at 6 pm. I hate waiting.
I went to see my daughter and grandson yesterday. It was a really long drive and a really short visit. But still wonderful to see them. Plus the bonus was a visit with a really good friend/former board member who moved just west of Cleveland. In fact, I spent as much time catching up with him as I did with Andrea and Soren. It was a good day.
Oh, and while I was driving I listened to The Vines by Christopher Rice. I will not be reviewing it because I hated it. It was well written but too weird for me. If I reviewed it, it would only be two stars. I hate to do that to an author when the real fault is that I just didn’t like the content.
So what am I thankful for today? Lots. The offer on the house. My clothes fitting again. Seeing Andrea and Soren. Catching up with my friend, Kirk. I didn’t waste time reading a book I hated and it at least was something to listen to on the long drive. Spring us in the air. I need to get a pedicure tomorrow so I can put the boots away.
Time to make a bowl of popcorn and settle in with a book. How was your day?
It wasn’t long ago that we would eat out four or five nights a week. Now, eating out is truly a treat because it only happens (at the most) once a week. Lunches don’t count because I still eat lunch out many days. Anyway, tonight was a treat night.
We had to go into town for some errands. Warren had replaced the wheel bearing on my car for me so I took him out for dinner. My only request was that it was a decent restaurant. He chose Smoky Bones. I thought I could surely find something tasty and within my points for dinner. I finally settled on the smoked turkey with a baked potato.
I looked up the points online. They have a sandwich that is 80 points!!!!! Eighty!!! That is insane. I only get 20 points for an entire day. Can you imagine. Cut a sandwich into fourths. Then in thirds. Now you get one tiny bite of a sandwich for each meal for four days. Not very realistic.
But I stayed within my points for the day with the turkey. I’m thankful today for my determination. But I have to say I would rather just eat at home than deal with trying to eat out. It just isn’t as much fun when I can’t eat a burger and fries without guilt.