I'm a multi-tasker

August 1

September 1

October 1

In 60 days I will be married.

LOVE this sign

LOVE this sign

Amazing, eh?

It has been a whirlwind, my mind is always a little preoccupied, and (slowly but surely) decisions are being made.  Trying to keep it simple and yet throw a fun party, trying to plan a distance wedding and honeymoon week with a small wedding party contingent in tow.

The dress has arrived.  The invitations have arrived.  More decisions to come – like dessert options!

Ah… life is so good.

6.30.14

Milestones.

SIX years ago June 30, I closed on my townhome.  Time flies, doesn’t it?  When I moved in, I didn’t have much.  Two beds.  Chairs.  Lamps.  And my old TV.  Now I have more furniture than I need, my home is comfortable and my closets could likely use some culling!

Six years ago these little guys were 3!

Nephews - 6 years ago!

Nephews – 6 years ago!

Six years ago my house looked like this:

New furniture and used furniture - still mostly looks the same!

New furniture and used furniture – still mostly looks the same!

Lots of laughs around this table in six years!

Lots of laughs around this table in six years!

These shelves are filled... love the loft!

These shelves are now filled… love the loft!

Gotta love milestones.

So thankful for everything.

And time is marching on…  it’s about ten days since the first day of summer.

I had a great time around a summer solstice campfire in Rushford and celebrated a milestone birthday (4-0!) with my guy.

And speaking of milestones, July 1 marks one year since my first date with this guy!

He enjoys coffee as much as I do!  Although, he likes it sweet!  Guess that's why he likes me!  :)

He enjoys coffee as much as I do! Although, he likes it sweet! Guess that’s why he likes me! :)

Seems like we just met and that he’s been in my life a long time.

I look forward to celebrating more milestones with him by my side.

(Aww shucks!  I’m not usually schmaltzy!) 

Happy JULY everyone!

It is a pleasure to walk outside at night and feel the warm summer air!  Aside from all of the rain we had this week and last, we have had good June weather so far!  It’s also a pleasure to have some weekends off to enjoy the summertime!  But, as I’ve said before, I don’t usually let a little thing like work slow me down…

Here’s what has been bringing me smiles from the past few weeks:

Movies

  • Saw “A Million Ways to Die in the West” with Chris – I’m not a Family Guy watcher or a Seth McFarland groupie, but this was fun.  It’s a Western with modern language, with shocking humor and interesting characters.
  • I saw “The Fault In Our Stars” by myself on opening night.  Well, not by myself, but with a theatre filled with Tweens and Teens, swooning and sobbing.  I wish I hadn’t gone that night, because I felt more like an observer of the theatre than a movie-watcher.  I thought the book was so much better (no surprise) because I liked the parents so much better in the book, I liked their relationships so much better in the book, and the movie felt watered down and immature.  \
  • Tonight I saw “Chef,” which I think is my favorite movie of the year!  I’ll have to think back for sure (“Grand Budapest Hotel” was this year, too… hmm) but it was so fun!  A fun story about having passion for your work and doing what you love, about fathers and sons, and about Cuban sandwiches!  I almost danced throughout the movie, because the soundtrack was incredible (and is now purchased!), and I had tears spring to my eyes twice, just because of happy emotions!  Loved it!

Books!

  • There have been a few rainy days, so I’ve been reading on my Kindle and catching up on Oprah Magazine.  I finished a smutty book while on the dock, “Bettie Page presents: The Librarian,” and then returned to the world of Pride & Prejudice with “Georgiana Darcy’s Diary.”  Ah, there is something about that book and those characters.  Good stuff.  Now I”m working on “Wild” and almost finished with listening to “Whistling Past the Graveyard.”

Road Trips and Adventures!

  • For Jenny’s birthday, we had lunch at Trempeleau Hotel and went for a tasting at Elmaro Winery.  It was a beautiful Sunday and the winery was in a beautiful setting, so we sat outside and enjoyed live music, a fruit and nut plate, and some delicious wine.
  • Chris and I went to the cabin for his June vacation.  We had two great weather days, one washout day, and one very windy day.  There was reading, DVDs (Breakfast Club, War Games, The Upside of Anger, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and good cabin food.  There were a creche (I think) of White Pelicans who must have stopped there for the summer, and they were amazing to watch and learn about!  Who needs TV when you can watch pelicans?  And as always, the sunsets were spectacular.
  • One of the days we drove to Northfield to have dinner with Deadra for her birthday!  It was fun to explore Northfield and we had a delicious dinner in a Tavern there along the river.  The day started out breezy, cloudy and cool, but it ended up clear and calmer.
  • When I got home from the lake, I joined some peeps at the rooftop of the Tap House for Sunday Night Trivia!  We rocked (mainly one guy rocked) and got one free round of drinks and 3rd place overall.  I love trivia.  And the weather was perfect for a night on the rooftop!

Looking forward to celebrating the first day of summer at an International festival in Rochester and then I’ll travel to Rushford to see Mom and Dad and hopefully some Rushford friends!  I’m counting on a campfire to celebrate the shortest night of the year!

Chris has a Summer Solstice birthday, but he gets t work.  I’ll bake him a cake for when he’s done with this 7 day stretch!

Yay summer!

Always so much to be thankful for!  We are marching in to June and the calendar is filled with fun things on the days that work isn’t scheduled (and even on some days when work is scheduled!).

Here are a few things I am thankful for from the past few weeks –

  • Friday nights!  Spent a seemingly rare Friday night off at Jabbers (and evidently the last Friday night we’ll spend there, as it just closed!) getting in some Jabbering with Jabber Juice.  Fun fun.   And even after work last Friday night, it was fun to sit outside on the patio at Fat Willy’s!  Fridays still rock!
Love this selfie with Rushford in the background!

Love this selfie with Rushford in the background!

  • Rushford friends and family – had a lot of fun showing Chris around Rushford – the bluff, the new coffee shop – and hanging out with friends.  Take Note! sang at the ExpoCulinaria and it was a lot of fun with good food tastes and good company!  Followed by more good food and a good campfire at Brenda and Roger’s!  It was chilly so that fire felt good!  It was a Starry Starry Night!
  • Speaking of Starry Starry Nights – loved the time with Beth at the painting event by Wine & Canvas!  It was a challenging painting but I think we did a respectable job – and it was so fun!
Love Starry Night with Rochester Wine & Canvas!  And Beth!

Love Starry Night with Rochester Wine & Canvas! And Beth!

  • Memorial Day weekend I had to work overnights, but I still was able to indulge in a last minute invitation to hear Temple Grandin speak on Friday night, followed by coffee at Chester’s!  And Monday Chris and I went for a good meal on a rainy afternoon before I went in for night four. I always manage to fit in the important stuff!
Love last minute invitations and loved hearing Temple Grandin again!  She's something!

Love last minute invitations and loved hearing Temple Grandin again! She’s something!

  • Trajan turned 15 in May and we celebrated him at Texas Roadhouse!  I also love that I’ve been able to help out and drive him to his basketball practices in the Cities and to watch him play a few games.  He’s on a competitive team and they are all so fun to watch!
Love this kid who isn't afraid of the saddle on his 15th birthday!

Love this kid who isn’t afraid of the saddle on his 15th birthday!

  • The weather has been great so I have been getting in some great walks!  Some with friends, some with Chris, and some with his daughter and granddaughter.  It’s been fun to play with a 2 year old again!
Love this guy and love hanging out with a 2 year old every once in a while!  It's been a while...

Love this guy and love hanging out with a 2 year old every now and then! It’s been a while…

  • Books – I’m finally on a little reading streak!  I finished Allegiant, moved on to The Fault in Our Stars (heartbreakingly beautiful… just lovely), and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (a fun little read with dares all over NYC!).  I bought a used Kindle so it’s exciting to fill it up (it holds a TON!) and look forward to reading it at the end of the dock.
  • Audiobooks – I’ve officially been an Audible member for a year!  Yikes… I have purchased more than I’ve listened to (sound familiar??  I guess I’m growing my TBL (To Be Listened to) pile, as well!).  I tend to buy the long books that I want to read but doubt I’ll have the time or stamina for.  So far I’ve listened to 11.22.63, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Fin & Lady, Ready Player One, The End of the Affair, The Goldfinch, and The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog.  I’m currently listening to Whistling Past the Graveyard for book club (if they don’t give up on me!).  Love listening in the car, still, but much less commuting time so now it’s while puttering around.  Love it!
  • Movies – always thankful for movies!  Movie nights at home on the couch, movies while trying to sleep, movies in the theatre with a tub of popcorn.  Love them!  This month in the theatre I’ve seen Neighbors (pretty funny, Seth Rogan stuff) and Belle (interesting story about Britain’s position in the slave trade business).  From Netflix on DVD I’ve seen Here Comes the Boom (very funny and fun!) and Love Is All You Need (unexpected story about Danish people traveling to Italy for a wedding, with Pierce Brosnon! Pretty good!).  Mindless instant viewing includes Drop Dead Diva (series) and The Sweetest Thing (Cameron Diaz craziness that was pretty fun).
  • Of course, Jimmy Fallon always makes me laugh, which is a thing to be greatly thankful for.  Fun stuff.  Look for his clips if you can’t commit to an entire week of shows!  :)

As usual, I have much to look forward to, as well.  We are working fewer weekends than last summer, so I’m looking forward to that!  I am penciling in fun plans with friends and family – so give a shout if you want to get together!  Let’s make this the best summer ever!

If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance. ~Bern Williams

It’s May! Tra La!

It’s crazy how fast the days and weeks go.  I’ve had the goal to post weekly for the past few months, but I have not been successful for many weeks in a row!  It’s good to have a goal, right?

Here is a list of a few things that have made me happy in the past month or so…

  • The first Friday in May I finished my class!  That meant that in April I wrote four papers, participated in online discussions, and read books and journal articles to prepare.  I’m glad that’s behind me and now only wait (with bated breath) for the grade.
  • For that class I read the book “The Boy that was Raised as a Dog,” which is a good book about the research that Dr. Bruce Perry has done on the brains of children who have been affected by traumas.  It was good and I recommend it to people who want to know more about trauma and children.  We’re going to read it for work, which is going to be fun.  Always better to discuss books!
  • After that last class, I stayed at Deadra’s and we had a good chat, with good wine, followed by good sleep and good donuts (Glam Doll Donuts!) for breakfast.  That weekend was also filled with basketball, choir practices and performance at St. Mary’s University, and the Kentucky Derby at a Mexican bar.  Gotta fit a lot in when I have the weekend off!
  • Not a single movie in the theatre in the last month!  Lots of meals out and ordering in and DVDs, though!  I’ve watched all three Iron Man movies, August: Osage County (really good!), 10 Years (Channing Tatum, why not?!), Blazing Saddles (classic comedy with crazy racist storyline – meh – don’t think I’d recommend it!), and tonight I watched What’s Up, Doc? (Babs and Ryan O’Neal – comedic genius? “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” “Corniest thing I’ve ever heard!”).  Marissa and I rented Labor Day (just ok – sad life, she had) and Chris and I are slowly watching House of Cards (I hate politics – why am I watching?? It’s good!).
  • I’ve read Divergent, Insurgent, and am currently reading Allegiant.  Looking forward to finishing and discussing with the 12 year old who told me this last book “would hurt me.”  Also ripped through Where’d You Go, Bernadette? which was so quirky and good!  Next (or soon) I’ll read The Fault in Our Stars so that the 12 year old and I can discuss that!  So many books.. have some catching up to do!
  • World Book Night happened!  My peeps and I met after we got done with work that night and we book-bombed the hospital downtown and went out for cocktails afterwards.  It was a nice night – and giving people free books is harder than it seems!  Maybe I’ll blog more about it later.
  • I had to work overnight for Cinco de Mayo, so I just had to reminisce about celebrations of the past… see photos below. :)
  • Mother’s Day was relaxing and busy – more basketball, girl time with Marissa, cookie making, toes polished up and a meal or two out.  Can’t believe it came and went.  Time does fly!
  • This weekend brings more singing in Rushford at the Expo Culinaria!  Looking forward to that event with my peeps!

Well, it’s been busy and wonderful – and I hope that your May is the same!  Enjoy the few Cinco de Mayo pics from the past below!

Off to read!

 

 

Procrastination

 

 

4.17.14

In the name of Procrastination, I’ve been wanting to blog all week.  It’s Palindrome Week, after all.

4.10.14 – 4.19.14.  I love stuff like that.

I’m finally giving in, with the hope that getting a blog off my chest will allow me to actually write a paper on “Larry.”

So here, we go.  Things that make me happy, with a PALINDROME twist!  And there are random photos from the past 4-6 weeks in a slide show at the end of the post, if you have patience and can get there!

*NURSE, I SPY GYPSIES. RUN! /*NEVER ODD OR EVEN – Some random Palindromes for work stuff:

  • I am working on my clinical social work license, so I am taking a class to get more clinical content hours.  It meets the first Friday of the month for 9 hours.  I have three papers due by the first Friday of May and then it will be done.  It is interesting and learning is always fun – but papers?  Not so much.  Oh well.  Soon it will be behind me.
  • Driving to class was harrowing in April.  Gross.  I’m ready for the winter driving to be behind me, as well.
  • I worked a lot of overnights in March – 8 to be exact.  I worked 5 in one week as an experiment.  I think it worked for me – it’s nice to stay in the “up late, sleep all day” routine, so that transitioning back doesn’t have to happen as often.  We’re short-staffed right now (after LeeAnn left), so the schedule is crazy.  And it’s crazy spring time, so I think I will have to practice a lot of self-care on work days and on days off.  Ah.

*IN WORDS, DROWN I.  I’ve been reading some books.

  • I finished listening to The Goldfinch.  It was looooong but a good read.  Theo Decker (“Potter”) has his life changed forever while at a museum with his mother at around age 11.
  • I finished Divergent just before seeing the movie, and now am almost done with Insurgent.  I hope for answers in the 3rd book.  I’m not as pulled in as a certain 12 year old I know.  She loves the relationship.  She said she’d loan me Allegiant but I needed to know that it would “hurt me.”  She cried for quite a while when she finished.
  • I did a review of My Wish List: A Novel, which you can read more about here.  I can’t wait to see the movie!
  • I’m reading The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog for my class, and it is interesting and terrifying.  I put down Mo’ Meta Blues until I get through that Divergent series!  Can’t stop now!
  • My Kindle and nook apps are filled with books that need to be read… I can’t wait for this class to be over!

*SO MANY DYNAMOS!  Since I last blogged, I’ve seen a few movies:

  • 12 Years a Slave – Certainly not a ‘feel good’ movie, but very powerful.
  • Divergent – I liked the movie a lot, much more than the book.  I thought the changes they made were meaningful and the movie just flew by!
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – This movie was made for me!  Whimsical, magical, and unpredictable!  I had a smile on my face throughout the entire thing!
  • The Great Beauty – The opening film of the Rochester International Film Festival and the 2014 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner.  It was long, riotous, and a little obtuse.  I read an article about it the next day which helped me understand it a bit more, but it was a joy  to watch, so that’s fun, even if it was hard to understand.
  • Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 – For some reason I had the urge to watch these movies, so I got them on DVD from Netflix.  They were pretty fun, but I’m kinda done with the superhero movies for a while.

I’m an *AVID DIVA – *“RUM… RUM…” I MURMUR. – I’ve had some nights out!

  • Chris and I had a Thursday night off so I was looking for something to do.  And lo, and behold, there is Trivia Mafia in town!  So we invited Kristine and Mike to join us for some beverages and trivia at Big Brad’s!  I love trivia and we held our own!
  • We had a grown-up slumber party at Beth’s – margaritas, pizza, and girl talk!  So much fun – and so needed!
  • Of course, there was Peter and the Starcatcher – you can read about that fun night here!
  • We had a work happy hour to say goodbye to LeeAnn!  She relocated to the Cities and we miss her much!
  • St. Patrick’s Day was a hoot.  Chris and I went to Dooley’s and parked in a booth and enjoyed bagpipes, funny costumes, good food and good company!  We had to start early since I had to work very early the next day.
  • We also had a great night at Boomers, listening to the Jukes of Hazzard.  Marie’s guy is drummer in the band and it was fun singing along and watching the clientele at Boomers.   *YO, BOTTOMS UP! (U.S. MOTTO, BOY.)
  • Another recent weekend off (they feel so few and far between!), we saw The Grand Budapest Hotel with Jenny and Tammy and then met Kristine at the Loop for dinner!  It turned into a Girl’s Night Out + Chris!  He could hang with us and it was a lot of fun.  Good conversation with good friends.
  • Cosmo Girls was a blast.  We met at the Rochester Art Center and enjoyed a guided tour (two guides/curators!) and the art project they had set up for us afterwards.  We laughed a lot, got a lot of good pictures, and learned a lot!  We had so much fun together.

*WON TONS? NOT NOW.  / *WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW? – Life is good in the simple things…

  • One of those precious Saturdays off I got to watch Rees play basketball and eat at his choice – the food court at the mall!
  • I hosted another Book Party – the theme was Books Into Movies and we drank Bridget Jones’ Daiquiries (strawberries and champagne!) and we talked about books and laughed a lot!  This is going to happen again (and again and again…).
  • Girl time with a pedi is always the best.  Ah.
  • On April Fool’s Day, I made a Screwy Lewie – so delicious!  And such fond memories of childhood slumber parties – mine and Marissa’s.
  • Spring has finally shown its pretty head (every now and then) and we’ve enjoyed long walks outside and our first dinner and drink on a patio.  Looking forward to more time outside with the nicer weather!
  • I took Gracie to B&N to shop for books for her birthday.  It was fun to peruse the book shelves and talk about what kinds of books she likes to read.  She’s growing up so…
  • The “blood moon” from the lunar eclipse was this week and we were able to see it.  Small adventures in the middle of the night are pretty fun!
  • There’s a new coffee shop in Rushford and before choir (yay choir!) Mom and I went there to get a sandwich and coffee to go!  It was delicious and I can’t wait to go again for a leisurely coffee with friends!

And now, because April is Poetry Month, here are some Palindrome poems I found online:

Poetry Is:  (Palindrome)

Poetry
Words flowing
from the heart
written down
freely.

Freely
written down
from the heart
Words flowing
Poetry.

SMILE

day brighter
load lighter
SMILE
lighter load
brighter day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BY LISEL MUELLER

There is less difficulty—indeed, no logical difficulty at all—in
imagining two portions of the universe, say two galaxies, in which
time goes one way in one galaxy and the opposite way in the
other. . . . Intelligent beings in each galaxy would regard their own
time as “forward” and time in the other galaxy as “backward.”
—Martin Gardner, in Scientific American

Somewhere now she takes off the dress I am
putting on. It is evening in the antiworld
where she lives. She is forty-five years away
from her death, the hole which spit her out
into pain, impossible at first, later easing,
going, gone. She has unlearned much by now.
Her skin is firming, her memory sharpens,
her hair has grown glossy. She sees without glasses,
she falls in love easily. Her husband has lost his
shuffle, they laugh together. Their money shrinks,
but their ardor increases. Soon her second child
will be young enough to fight its way into her
body and change its life to monkey to frog to
tadpole to cluster of cells to tiny island to
nothing. She is making a list:
            Things I will need in the past
                        lipstick
                        shampoo
                        transistor radio
                        Sergeant Pepper
                        acne cream
                        five-year diary with a lock
She is eager, having heard about adolescent love
and the freedom of children. She wants to read
Crime and Punishment and ride on a roller coaster
without getting sick. I think of her as she will
be at fifteen, awkward, too serious. In the
mirror I see she uses her left hand to write,
her other to open a jar. By now our lives should
have crossed. Somewhere sometime we must have
passed one another like going and coming trains,
with both of us looking the other way.

Lisel Mueller, “Palindrome” from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)

The winner is…

My Wish List cover

 

 

BETH!

I’ll forward your email and street address to the organizer of this she-bang and you will be get a book of your very own!

Hope you enjoy!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!.

Last day to comment to win an ARC paperback or ebook of “My Wish List: A Novel”  Winner chosen Tuesday, April 1 at noon, CST.

Good luck!

My Wish List GIVEAWAY!

Walkie Talkie Book Club:

Don’t forget to sign up to WIN! Read below and fill out the form! Enjoy!

Originally posted on WalkieTalkieBookClub:

My Wish List cover Thanks to the publisher of this little book, I have either an ebook or an ARC paperback to GIVEAWAY to one randomly selected person!  All you have to do is read my review posted HERE and comment on that post through the comment form.  Please tell me at least ONE THING that would be on YOUR wishlist, if you were to win, say, $25,000,000.

A winner will be selected on Tuesday, April 1 (no foolin’!) and will be notified by email.  Must be from USA or Canada to win.  Please state your preference of ebook or paperback, and provide your phone number, if you are from Canada.

Questions can be answered here or there in the comments! Thanks for playing!

Don’t you just love a free book???  

Happy reading!

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