Currently // What time is it, anyway?

September 13, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 10

Right this minute | I’m sooooo tired y’all.

Feeling | Accomplished. Even though we’ve been running Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon for a few years now, we just finally, completely, took it all over this weekend. It has involved some moving around and scary moments of WHERE DID IT GO???? but, I think, we’re finally, mostly, back in business. Lost the template in the move, so I’ll be working on a new one for the site. Hope it’s ready before October 17th!

Reading | I’m not sure I’m reading anything…. I think I’m supposedly working on a couple of things. I’d have to check Goodreads to see what they are.

Listening | I am, right this minute, listening to The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The audiobook is lovely and my favorite way to read this book. This may be my fifth reread? Not sure.

Watching | My son’s 8th birthday was this past week and he received a few new games. I’ve been watching him play that. I’ve also watched quite a few coloring how-to videos on YouTube. That sounds SO dorky.

Blogging | I haven’t done very well lately! SO BUSY. Let’s see, last week I shared what I was reading, had a few thoughts on what it’s like to read an author’s last book, and shared a few things that make me ridiculously happy.

Promoting | Let’s see here….

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.



Loving | The weather! It actually felt like fall here today and it was glorious.

Hating | My washing machine. It takes for-flipping-ever to wash clothes now. We need a new one desperately. Or a husband who would kindly look at it.

Eating | I had cereal for supper. It was so exciting.

Exercising | I walked some today! Yay me!

Anticipating | So many things.

Meal Planning | Uh….I need to do that.



Things that make me absurdly happy

September 10, 2015 Art, Lists 11

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.31.14 AM

Foxes. It’s the new owl. (Totally kidding. Nothing will take the place of my beloved owls. This is more like an almost equal to.)

My kids. Today is my son’s 8th birthday (remember this anyone?). He told me at 7:05 this morning that he was going to sit back and enjoy his last 15 minutes as a 7-year-old. “It’s been a good year,” he said. He’s so old.

And my daughter, the almost teenager telling me she’s not almost a teenager in her best whiny, prepubescent voice.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I’m very late to the bandwagon, but I’m ready to party like it’s 1999.

Jamestown Revival. Especially California and Revival.

Readathon planning. We’re getting started for October 17th! Changes are coming, but hopefully good ones.

A sharp pencil and my new sketch book.

There is this shade of yellow, in my set of Prismacolor Premiers that makes me smile every time I pick it up. It’s called Yellow Ochre. It is delicious.

What is making you absurdly happy these days?



Reading Notes: On Reading an Author’s Final Work

September 9, 2015 Book Reviews, Books 8

Reading Notes: On Reading an Author’s Final WorkThe Shepherd's Crown
by terry pratchett
Narrator: stephen briggs
Length: 7 hours 49 minutes
Published by Harper Audio
on 9.1.15
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. ¬The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning. . .



For your information, I’m not really going to write a review of The Shepherd’s Crown. If you’ve read Terry Pratchett, or at least the Tiffany Aching series, you’re going to read this book. If you haven’t even read the Tiffany Aching series, you won’t read this book, at least not yet. This is going to be more of a discussion of the experience of reading this book, for me anyway. It’s going to be hard for me to write, it’s probably going to be disjointed, and emotional, yes, there may be some tears, and run-on sentences, and maybe even a touch of hysterics(!) but you know what? I don’t care. I have some things I need to get, this is my forum for getting things out and so, it is going to happen.

The Shepherd’s Crown tore my heart to pieces. And then, it put all back together again in the most beautiful way….

On March 12, 2015, the beloved author Terry Pratchett died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. I came late to his work, when, after getting several recommendations as to where exactly to start, I started with Nation. That, as they say, was that. There was no looking back. While I still haven’t come close to reading all his books, I became a die-hard fan. When he died, I cried just as hard as his longtime fans had, and, begrudgingly began to look forward to what was suddenly his last book; The Shepherd’s Crown. It is not impossible to read an author’s last book. Thousands of writers have lived, and died, and left behind a last work. I think perhaps a last book is seldom written by an author who has stared death in the face for years and knows, beyond a shadow of doubt, that He is near. Terry Pratchett knew.

And it glows throughout his last book.

Death has always been a prominent figure in Pratchett’s books. He has appeared several times to usher a character into the next world. He appears early on in this book, and, while he is speaking to another character, one can’t help but feel that the author is “breaking the fourth wall” so to speak and using Death to speak directly to the reader.

I HAVE WATCHED YOUR PROGRESS WITH INTEREST, ESMERELDA WEATHERWAX, said the voice in the dark. He was firm, but oh so polite. But now there was a question in his voice. PRAY TELL ME, WHY WERE YOU CONTENT TO LIVE IN THIS TINY LITTLE COUNTRY WHEN, AS YOU KNOW, YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING AND ANYBODY IN THE WORLD? “I don’t know about the world, not much; but in my part of the world I could make little miracles for ordinary people,” Granny replied sharply. “And I never wanted the world—just a part of it, a small part that I could keep safe, that I could keep away from storms. Not the ones of the sky, you understand: there are other kinds.” AND WOULD YOU SAY YOUR LIFE BENEFITED THE PEOPLE OF LANCRE AND ENVIRONS? After a minute the soul of Granny Weatherwax said, “Well, not boasting, your willingness, I think I have done right, for Lancre at least. I’ve never been to Environs.” MISTRESS WEATHERWAX, THE WORD “ENVIRONS” MEANS, WELL, THEREABOUTS. “All right,” said Granny. “I did get about, to be sure.” A VERY GOOD LIFE LIVED INDEED, ESMERELDA. “Thank you,” said Granny. “I did my best.”

He did his best indeed.

Endings figure prominently throughout the book. Yet, most beautifully of all, so does reassurance

Tiffany thought of the little spot in the woods where Granny Weatherwax lay. Remembered.

And knew that You¹ had been right. Granny Weatherwax was indeed here. And there. She was, in fact, and always would be, everywhere.

and change

Why? Why not do things differently? Why should we do things how they have always been done before? And something inside her suddenly thrilled to the challenge.

and comfort

“The end of times?” said Nanny. “Look, Tiff, Esme tol’ me to say, if you want to see Esmerelda Weatherwax, then just you look around. She is here. Us witches don’t mourn for very long. We are satisfied with happy memories – they’re there to be cherished.”

For in the end, Terry is still here. His many books, thoughts, and wisdom live on to be cherished, to be learned from, to be loved. Thank you Terry and mind how you go.

¹sidenote: You is Granny’s cat.




It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

September 7, 2015 Books, Meme 8


13th talepriorydeterminedheart


RIP X has done such great things for my reading (seriously, I read three books last week!) that I’m going to keep going in that vein. I started a relisten of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield because it’s one of my favorite books and one of my favorite books for this time of year. Plus the audio IS SO GOOD. I found Death at the Priory on my shelf and was delighted to see the topic was the same as a podcast I heard earlier last week. It was so interesting I had already planned to see if I could find out more. Serendipitously, I had it all along! Lastly, I was approved for an ARC of The Determined Heart by Antoinette May that sounds fantastic. I’m thinking this calls for a reread of Frankenstein, don’t you?

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently Crushing On….

September 4, 2015 Lists 10

crush-on-you copy
  • I have a big ole crush to start with this week. Our state, North Carolina, has a magazine (called Our State ha!) and this months issue features “voices” of our state. On the cover is Rhiannon Giddens. I had not heard of her, but I had heard of her band Carolina Chocolate Drops (their cover of Blu Cantrell’s Hit ‘Em Up Style is a thing of wonder). She released a solo album earlier this year and holy cow guacamole she is great. She’s like a cross between Nina Simone and Patsy Cline.

This is my favorite song of hers so far. Listen to her! What a set of pipes.

And, speaking of Patsy Cline, check out this cover!

*weeps* Check out more music here. Seriously, do it.

  • Another thing I AM HUGELY EXCITED about this week is RIP X! I am loving all the posts and tweets and just general excitement going on for this event. Makes my readerly heart so very happy. Check out some of the tweets and reviews that have already gone up! And heck, JOIN IN THE FUN.
  • I love love love Pinterest and I love Trish’s Pin It and Do It Challenges! (Sign up here!) There are several things I’ve pinned that I want to do, so I’ll be reporting back on this one!
  • Remember last week when I was obsessing over double exposures! I did it!
double negative play

I’m so proud of me.

That’s it this week. I’ve been too busy to be obsessed with much! What are you currently obsessing over?



Monthly Wrap – August 2015

September 1, 2015 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 4


August!!! Look at you baby! I thought we weren’t going to get along this year, but you surprised me. We read:

98.  The Graveyard Book: Full Cast Production by Neil Gaiman, read by Various
99.  Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman
100.  What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton
101.  In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick
102. Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud
103.  The Fade Out, Issue 8 by Ed Brubaker
104.  Lumberjanes, Issue 16 by Noelle Stevenson
105.  Wayward, Issue 9 by Jim Zub
106. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, read by Bernadette Dunne

For all my whining about lack of reading time, I managed to get a few titles under my belt. I don’t know where I could have been without audiobooks. Lost somewhere, trying to find the words back to civilization I expect. 4 audiobooks in a row! I don’t remember the last time I did that. Certainly haven’t listened to 5 in a month in quite awhile. All my favorite comics represented this month too. Geez, I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite title for the month. I love love loved In the Heart of the Sea and Mr. Mac and Me was all out charming.  And my impromptu reread (by listening) of We Have Always Lived in the Castle yesterday was literally chilling. I’m serious, as soon as Bernadette Dunne spoke, a chill went down my spin. LOVE that. So, I’m calling August a success. Here’s hoping September is even better!



Readers Imbibing Peril : RIP X

August 31, 2015 Reading Challenges 8

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

So, if you’ve been following me for the last couple of days, you’ll know I’ve been teasing something. I’m so excited to finally say WHAT. Andi and I are hosting RIP X this year. Carl asked us to help out and, well, we practically jumped out of our skin at the chance. Head on over to The Estella Society to sign up now!

So, since we’re discussing RIP X *squee!* you know I’ve already made my list. I’m mainly focusing on Peril the First, which is to read four books that fit the criteria of RIP: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural.

  • Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  • Eleanor by Jason Gurley
  • The Sleep Garden by Jim Krusoe
  • Strange Girl by Christopher Pike
  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
  • The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
  • Jackaby by William Ritter
  • The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black
  • The Quick by Lauren Owen
  • The Removers by Andrew Meredith

And these are just the books on my iPad. I have several audio books lined up and actual real, live books, to, like, hold in my hand and turn the pages myself and stuff. I’m also entertaining another reread of Dracula. I wouldn’t mind listening to the superb full cast production Audible did a couple years ago. It is SO good.

We’re also doing a readalong of The Quick by Lauren Owen, which I’m really excited about. Sign up now!!!!




Currently // Ponderings

August 30, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 17

Right this minute | Pondering if it’s bad that I’ve never read VC Andrews. Is it? Should I right this wrong? Where do I start?

Feeling | Irritated. The kids woke up determined not to get along this morning.

Reading | I think I’m going to devote the day to Lovelace and Babbage! And maybe throw in the new issue of Rat Queens.

Listening | I’ve been listening to quite a bit of classical music this week, which I think is indicative of where my head has been. Shostakovich for the win!

Watching | I’m being forced to watch Adventure Time this morning. I am not a fan.

Blogging | I’m still fiddling with a schedule. We’ll get there.

Promoting | Oh, I want to say so badly, but I’m going to be patient and make you wait. LOL

Loving | Chai tea and coloring books, the cooler weather and sweaters.

Hating | That my kids are so mercurial. I love it so much when they get along and it just makes me so much sadder when they don’t. THIS IS WHY I NEEDED A SIBLING. I can’t deal. At least right now I can’t. I need food.

Eating | Not much. I guess I’ll get some cereal in a bit.

Exercising | I swear I’m going to remove this. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Anticipating | EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I want to say so badly!

So, what are you CURRENTLY up to?



This Week For Dinner – Week of 08.30.15

August 29, 2015 Food, Weekend Cooking 5


Saturday – Loaded Potato Soup – My own recipe.

Sunday – We’ll eat lunch with Aaron’s family. I plan to make the following for school lunches this week: Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins and pigs in the blanket. I also hope to get packets of fruit and veggies together so all I have to do is grab them and throw them in lunch bags.

MondayLunches – Me: Leftover spaghetti. Kids: The boy gets a cheesy corn dog muffin with mandarin oranges and pretzels. The girl gets pigs in the blanket with cheese sticks, grapes, and cucumbers with carrot sticks.

DinnerSlow cooker Korean Beef with rice and roasted zucchini, mushrooms, and onions.

TuesdayLunches – Me:  Leftover Korean Beef with Rice because yum. Kids: Regular quesadilla for the girl and a pizza quesadilla for the boy. Also berries and tortilla chips with guacamole for the girl and grapes, cucumber slices, and chips for His Pickiness.

DinnerSlow cooker chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts.

WednesdayLunches – Me: Leftover chicken and gravy with rice, I expect. Kids: Pigs in the blanket with cheese sticks, apple slices, and crackers (Triscuits for the girl and Cheez-Its for the boy). I’ll probably throw in a cookie or two for good measure.

Dinner: We didn’t get to have the sauerkraut and weenies last week due to life happening, so I moved it to this night. I still plan to have potatoes latkes with it.

ThursdayLunches – Me: I figure I’ll be wanting some Chipotle by this day, so I’ll have a veggie burrito bowl for lunch. Kids: I figured I’d either give them pigs in the blanket again or corn dog muffins again with some fruit and crackers. And also veggies.

Dinner: With my family.

FridayLunches – Me: Probably out again. Kids: Ham sandwiches, cheese sticks, carrot and cucumber slices (with ranch for the boy), and crackers.

Dinner: Kids will be with MIL and I’ll be fending for myself. Probably some GF pasta in cheese sauce for ease.

Making the list last week helped SO MUCH!! How do you plan for the week?

I’m linking up to Weekend Cooking this week. Visit for more on all things food!

weekendcookingWeekend Cooking hosted by BethFishReads every weekend.  It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.



Currently Crushing On….

August 28, 2015 Lists 7

crush-on-you copy Cheesy-Corn-Dog-Muffins1

I am currently loving all these different “entrees” that can be made in a muffing tin. They make packing lunch SO EASY. Or, hopefully they will when I actually try them out, my kids actually try them, and then hopefully love them. (Mini Deep Dish Pizzas, Pepperoni Pizza Puffs, and Cheesy Corndog  Muffins [see above] are all in my sights)


I am currently obsessed with double exposure photography. I will figure out how to do this. There are several tutorials online and I WILL LEARN. But I am obsessed, I tell you, OBSESSED. More to come on this one.


DOCTOR WHO LEGOS!!!! Must have.

bombgirlsDoctor-Who-Season-8-DVD qkdx9DKHkSE.market_maxres

Netflix. I’ve had to bring some work home with me lately, and I’ve been watching these shows. THEY ARE SO GOOD. Bomb Girls is absolutely fantastic. And now that season 8 of Doctor Who is FINALLY on Netflix, I’m catching up. Hidden Kingdoms is a marvel. It got my Minecraft-and-YouTube-obsessed son to sit, spellbound, for over an hour. And now all he’ll talk about are these tiny animals. It’s true love. For both of us.

So, what are you obsessed with this week?