Monday, August 17, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (08/18/2015)

This past week was a stressful one. My senior cat, Parker, has not been feeling well, and so I took him to the cat hospital Friday afternoon. He has lost just over two pounds in the past four months and was feeling somewhat lethargic. He was throwing up again, and hiding under my daughter's bed (something he does when he is feeling bad). The veterinarian ran the usual tests to see what was wrong, wanting to see if his kidney disease had progressed or if his thyroid was functioning appropriately. As with the last several times we have gone through this with him in the last couple years, the tests were rather inconclusive in terms of what is wrong. He will likely need another ultrasound. He is on his usual medication along with two new pills. I haven't seen too much difference yet, other than he hasn't thrown up since being at the vet (he gave them a demonstration while we were there). That's at least one good sign. We are trying to remain optimistic. If you have an animal companion you love, you know the frustration and helplessness of not knowing what is wrong or exactly how to help.

Gracie and Parker playing with Lego

Other stress came by way of Mouse's swim class. She was promoted to the second level, which she excitedly but nervously began last week. She was especially glad to finally have a female instructor. At the beginning of the summer, Mouse had been afraid to get in the pool, screaming and kicking those first few days, and by the end of her level one classes, she was loving every minute of being in the water. It took one exercise during her first level two class and one bad instructor, to undo most of that. I will save you the sordid details, but needless to say, Mouse is back in level one--for Mouse's and my sanity. Mouse was disappointed, feeling like she had failed somehow. I told her that wasn't the case at all. It wasn't about failing at anything. I want her to learn how to swim, but she has to be comfortable in the water. And that means having fun in the water. She and I talked it out, and she agreed level one would be better all around. I kept my few choice words about the instructor to myself. And, boy, do I hope she has another job or is at another pool if we do this again next summer!


Mouse at her friend's pool this past Sunday

Over the weekend I read Ella Carey's Paris Time Capsule which I am reviewing for an upcoming tour next month. I was in the mood for something lighter than what I had been reading, and this seemed a perfect fit. A young American woman receives a surprise inheritance from someone she has never heard of and must travel to Paris, France to claim it. There she meets the good looking and charming grandson of the deceased woman. Working together, the two try to piece together their families' histories to understand why Loic's grandmother would give her estate to a complete stranger. Paris Time Capsule is a mix of mystery and romance.


First Paragraph of Paris Time Capsule:

The parcel was wrapped in brown paper and tied with an unblemished silk ribbon. This was quite a feat, given that the package had traveled all the way from Paris to New York. A tiny bow perched on top, its ends snipped short--almost, Cat thought, as if the person who had wrapped it was attempting to be economical. The sender's details were written in faded sepia pen: Monsieur Gerard Lapointe, ninth arrondissement, Paris. Cat had never heard of him.


Teaser from Paris Time Capsule at 15%: 

"But no one in ze building know who own zis apartment."

"No one knew Mademoiselle de Florian? How long have you lived here, Mademoiselle?"

"I've been here these twelve years," the woman announced. "Never have I seen a person enter zis apartment."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

I was curious right away what might be in the package, and couldn't wait to find out. This was a relatively quick book to read. After finishing it this past weekend, I was not quite ready to move away from France, and am now reading: Death in Brittany (Kommissar Dupin #1) by Jean-Luc Bannalec.

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors. I had to think long and hard about this week's topic. At first, my immediate thought was about buying new releases. Truth be told, it has been a long time since I have bought books when they are first released, even books by favorite authors. It just doesn't happen. If we are talking books I buy based on author, regardless of what the books are about, there are quite a few of those. Generally they are authors who write in genres I love, and whom I know I want to read everything by. This doesn't mean I own all an author's books, however. Someday perhaps. Let's see if I can come up with ten . . .

1. Ilona Andrews ~ I love the Kate Daniel series and have read one of this writing couple's Edge series books, which I enjoyed. I love the mix of urban fantasy and romance.

2. Patricia Briggs ~ Another urban fantasy author I cannot get enough of.

3. Jim Butcher ~ Even though I have only read the author's Dresden Files,  I have every intention of reading his other books, whether it be urban fantasy or high fantasy.

4. Michael Connelly ~ One of the finest crime fiction authors around today.

5. Edwidge Danticat ~ If you want beautiful writing and heart wrenching stories about mother-daughter relationships and diasporic politics, look no further. I fell in love with this author's work several years ago, and she continues to be on my must read author list.

6. Sue Grafton ~ She is the author of one of my favorite crime fiction series, featuring P.I. Kinsey Millhone.

7. Craig Johnson ~ He is a sweetheart in person (I had the opportunity to meet him at a book festival one year) and I cannot recommend his crime novels enough. His series is set in rural Wyoming with well developed characters you can't help but love.

8. Elizabeth Haynes ~ It goes without saying that every on this list is a favorite, right? Elizabeth Haynes is one of my newer favorites. I love a good crime fiction novel set in England. She writes both stand alone novels and a series.

9. Sarah McCoy ~ I will read everything this author writes. Her books weave history with the present, and her characters have a way of getting under the reader's skin.

10. Lisa See ~ She is the author of one of my all-time favorite books, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I have enjoyed everything I have read by her so far and hope to one day read her entire backlist and everything else she writes. While her most recent books have all been historical fiction, she has also written crime fiction novels and a nonfiction book as well.

Once I started making this list, it was hard to stop. I went with the first ten that came to mind. There are so many more authors I want to read everything by who came tumbling out of my head the more I thought about it. Kelley Armstrong. Thrity Umrigar, P.J. Tracy, Linda Fairstein, Jane Austen, Patrick Ness, Sarah Waters, Anne Bishop, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, and on and on.

Have you read any of these authors? Which authors are on your auto-buy list?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

78 comments:

  1. Great TTT list this week! I reckon if there was more room, I'd be adding a ton more other authors on my list (even authors like Jane Austen whom, despite already owning all her novels, I seem to buy multiple copies of xD).

    My TTT

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    1. Lainne - Thank you! My list could go on forever, I'm sure. I imagine someday I will own all of Jane Austen's novels-I do want to read everything she's written at some point.

      Delete
  2. Sadly for my wallet, this list could've been so much longer. The ten authors I chose were striking talents that I thought would appeal to a larger variety of readers. However, even now as I view my TTT List, there's actually very little deviation among what these authors write.

    Great list. I could've added some of yours to my list and still been good with it. There would not be a neat ten, but still. :)

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    1. Beth - If only money wasn't so hard to come by! I try to remind myself that's what the library is for. :-)

      Delete
  3. Oh, you have definitely piqued my interest for Paris Time Capsule...now I want to know about the mysterious package.

    So sorry about your cat, though. Hope everything works out. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel- Rain - I enjoyed Paris Time Capsule. I wouldn't mind receiving the package she did--or what came after. :-)

      Thank you for your kind thoughts for my cat. Not much has changed and we still have no answers. He's been demanding a lot of cuddle time lately, which is better than hiding.

      Delete
  4. I like the sound of The Paris Time Capsule and want to know why no-one knows Mademoiselle de Florian!

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    1. Cleo - It was indeed a mystery! I enjoyed finding out. :-)

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  5. I love Lisa See because she's active on Twitter- and her books, of course. Ilona Andrews became a favorite author couple of mine when I devoured the Kate Daniels series last December. I haven't read On the Edge yet, but I did enjoy Burn for Me, despite its atrocious cover.
    Excellent list- I'll have to read Patricia Briggs's work soon!
    ~Litha Nelle
    P.S. Good luck with your kitty Parker- hope he gets well soon.

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    1. Litha - Yes, Lisa See is very active on Twitter. I had the chance to meet her and her mother at a book festival years ago. She's such a nice person--which is always a bonus when I like an author's books. :-)

      I need to get caught up with Kate Daniels. I fell behind awhile ago, sad to say. Do read Patricia Briggs's work! If you like Ilona Andrews, you'll probably enjoy her books too.

      Thank you for the good luck wishes. We are hoping for the best with Parker.

      Delete
  6. First of all, sorry about Parker. Hope a complete diagnosis is finally found. Secondly, sorry about Mouse's experience. I think it's great to involve kids in swimming early. Mine did swim team when she was in elementary school and she got a good grounding in swimming very competently. Plus it gave her a lot to do in summers. Not being a strong swimmer myself, I wanted her to be one.

    Your teaser sounds good. I don't know why I'm not more attracted to Paris. Somehow, drippy, dank, Victorian London or a Scottish moor is more my style. LOL

    And, yes, I do enjoy some of the authors you list. Do you think P.J. Tracy will come out with another book? I'm not hopeful, but you never know. I love that Monkeewrench series.

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    1. Kay - Thank you for your kind thoughts about Parker. We are still not sure what is wrong and hoping it is nothing serious. Mouse's swim classes are over for the summer and there is much relief all around. Mouse loves the water and had made such good progress this summer. I'm really proud of her. She also developed her first crush on one of the swim instructors. :-)

      I haven't always been drawn to Paris or even France, but lately I have been. Like you, usually I prefer Victorian London or the Scottish moor.

      It's been so long since PJ Tracy came out with anything, so I'm doubtful. That makes me sad. I really enjoy their books.

      Delete
  7. Oh I like the premise and the opening paragraph of this. Sounds like a fun read. There are so many books set in Paris this year.

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    1. Beth F - It was a fun read. It hit the right spot. :-) Paris does seem to a popular setting these days, doesn't it?

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  8. France is a great place for novels to be set because of its history and culture and the amazing food! I am also intrigued by the package, but I love the idea that no one knows who lives in that apartment!! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - Yes! So much history and culture. I loved that about this book, especially the look into the past. I hope you have a great week too!

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  9. I love your choices and it's reminded me that I really do need to make a start on reading my Jim Butcher Dresden collection of books that have been lurking on my shelves for far too long!

    New GFC follower

    My TTT - Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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    1. Thea - I love the Dresden Files! I highly recommend them. :-) Thank you for following!

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  10. That Teaser and Intro sound so good! Mysterious packages intrigue me! A great TTT list as well!
    http://dualreads.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/tuesday-intros-and-teaser-tuesdays.html
    http://dualreads.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/top-ten-auto-buy-authors.html

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    1. Clare - I was quite intrigued with the idea too! It was an enjoyable read. :-)

      Delete
  11. I'm sure you're glad that week is over. Good luck with Parker - it is so hard to know what to do when a beloved pet is not well.

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    1. Kathy - I am so glad that week is behind me now. This past week was much better--and we ended on a high note. :-) Thank you for the good luck wishes for Parker.

      Delete
  12. Poor kitty- I hope he feels better soon. It's tough when they're hurting, no doubt about it. Hang in there! And Paris Time Capsule sounds great- who wouldn't want to receive a surprise inheritance in Paris, eh? :) Sound like a good read.

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    1. Greg - Thank you. It's at times like this I wish I could speak cat or he could speak human so we could figure out exactly what is wrong.

      Yes, a surprise inheritance in Paris sounds wonderful. If only we were so lucky . . . :-)

      Delete
  13. Hope things are better on the home front, with Parker feeling better (and getting a manageable diagnosis) and Mouse ending the summer on a high note with her swim classes.

    The book you shared sounds very appealing to me. Daydreaming about Paris is always fun.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/08/first-chapter-first-paragraph-117.html

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    1. Catherine - Things are better to some degree. We still do not have any answers in regards to Parker, but he seems a little better.

      Paris Time Capsule certainly got me daydreaming about Paris. :-)

      Delete
  14. My teaser/first paragraph is set in Paris too. I'd continue reading!

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    1. Harvee - I quite enjoyed the book and am glad for the time spent in Paris. The mystery I followed it up with was good too. :-)

      Delete
  15. I love Sue Grafton's alphabet series too! I'm eagerly awaiting the release of X! I do wish they came out faster though. It seems like it takes about two years for each book. I'm anxious to see how it all turns out! Thanks for visiting Bookworm Book Reviews! Happy reading!

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    1. Kim - Yay! Another Sue Grafton fan! I really need to get caught up. I'm not terribly behind, but I am behind. :-(

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  16. I am interested in Paris Time Capsule. Beth F is right, so many books set in Paris this year. I am listening to one, just finished another. Hope Parker is feeling better. Sometime the diagnosis is hard to come by.
    Mouse looks happy in her friends pool. Hope she continues to like the water and feel safe.

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    1. Judy - Yes, Paris seems to be a popular setting right now. I wonder if that's why I suddenly find myself wanting to read books there too. Haha

      Thank you for the well wishes for Parker. I think you're right. It's not always easy to diagnose what is wrong. I hate not knowing though.

      Mouse had a really good last week of swim class, fortunately. I wish we had a pool of our own--I think it would make things easier all around.

      Delete
  17. So sorry about Mouse's experience in level two swim class. Being comfortable in the water is so important!

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    1. Jenclair - Thank you. It was a bit disheartening to see all the progress Mouse had made, including her confidence in herself, disappear in that one moment.I really liked her level one instructor, and he helped her rally back this past week.

      Delete
  18. I would like to know what's inside that box.

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    1. Topazshell - I don't think I could have put off opening it as long as she did.

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  19. That is a great first paragraph. My curiosity is high and I'm going to see if I can find the book.

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    1. Margot - I think it's pretty low cost too, if you want a Kindle version!

      Delete
  20. I'm not sure that book's for me, but would need to know more about the premise before deciding.
    And - I need to give Lisa See a shot...I've got a couple of hers on my TBR list!

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    1. Sarah - If you aren't into mysteries and romances, then it probably wouldn't be for you. I enjoyed it though. :-)

      I really like Lisa See's novels. I hope you enjoy her books when you give them a try!

      Delete
  21. I've read Butcher and liked him and I'm on the library's waiting list for Grafton's latest. Gonna have to check out some of the others. My TTT

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    1. Suzie - I am looking forward to reading Grafton's X once I catch up in the series. I haven't rushed out to buy it yet, but I will. My husband and I own all the books.

      Delete
  22. I want to know more about the package so I'd keep reading! Hope all goes well with your Kitty and the swimming lessons!

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    1. Monica - I couldn't wait to see what was in the package either. :-) And thank you! Swim classes are now officially behind us, thank goodness. My cat seems to be a little better, but still not where he should be health wise. We're still concerned about him. :-(

      Delete
  23. I hope Parker is doing well.

    Connelly and Grafton are both auto-buys for me too. In fact, Grafton's U is for Undertow was my TT last week.

    This week: https://madamevauquer.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/rhys-bowen-royal-pain/

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    1. Dagny - Thank you. He's doing a little better, but still not completely himself.

      I love what I've read by Michael Connelly, but I haven't read too many of his books in comparison to how many he has written. I have a ways to go with his books. A nice problem to have. :-)

      Delete
  24. Aw, poor kitty. That's always so hard when a pet isn't doing well. I love your teaser, though, and am definitely adding the book to my Goodreads TBR list! :)

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    1. Jaina - Thank you. It is hard. I feel so helpless in not being able to help him more.

      I hope you enjoy Paris Time Capsule if you do read it!

      Delete
  25. I would keep reading!

    mine: https://storytreasury.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/teaser-tuesday-of-noble-family/

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  26. I'm angry for you about Mouse's instructor! How absolutely frustrating and unnecessary for her to make it unpleasant. I'm glad Mouse is feeling better about the situation though. I'm so sorry to hear about Parker. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys but I'm sending virtual hugs your way.
    I'm familiar with all your top ten authors but I haven't read that many though a number of them are on my TBR. I have this dream of doing a full on alphabet reread of the Grafton series. All I need is about 15 extra hours in every day and I might be able to manage it! I've only read one Elizabeth Haynes but I really enjoyed it. I'm glad to hear her other books have been good reads as well.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you for your support. :-) I'm less mad now than I was about the whole swimming incident when it happened. I think the worst part was seeing Mouse go from having confidence in her skills to being afraid to even try. I get that level two is more advanced and the kids are expected to know more.The instructor's approach might work for some, but not for all children--especially not the younger ones. I am not the kind of mother who believes in coddling my child either--so it wasn't a case of my overreacting--at least I don't think so. Anyway, swim classes are over and thank goodness.

      Fifteen extra hours a day would be so helpful. Is that just for reading or can we work on other stuff on our to do lists as well? :-)

      Delete
  27. I am hoping poor Parker gets back to his old self soon.

    Poor Mouse and her swimming lessons. Some people should not work with kids period.
    As for that intro, I liked it and am curious where the Paris story will lead.

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    1. Diane - I hope Parker does too. I've been so worried about him.

      That one swim instructor had no patience--it showed in her attitude with the kids and she let everyone know it when she spoke. I'm so glad the summer classes are over.

      I liked the Paris book over all, although had some minor issues with it. I learned a little more about a time in history I wasn't well informed about, which is always nice.

      Delete
  28. I hope Parker is well soon. I know how heartbreaking that can be. And big hugs to Mouse.

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    1. Stephanie - Thank you. I hope he gets better soon too. And Mouse always appreciates hugs. :-)

      Delete
  29. I read The Farming of Bones by Danticat in high school! I agree - very beautiful and heartwrenching. Jim Butcher is an author whose work I need to continue exploring. I really liked the first book in The Dresden Files - someday I will finally finish the series!

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    1. Zed - I love The Farming of Bones. I think it was the first book I read by Danticat. Jim Dresden is definitely an author I hope to read more of. Especially his high fantasy series.

      Delete
  30. I must know about the package. Nice teaser! I hope you cat feels better soon.

    My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/08/18/teaser-tuesdays-126-ghosts-among-men/

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    1. Laura - Thank you! I wish someone would send me such a package. Haha

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  31. I hope Parker feels better soon!

    Paris Time Capsule sounds like a good escape read to me. And Elizabeth Haynes is my auto-buy author too. :) I can't wait for her next release!

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    1. Melody Thank you. I hope so too!

      Yes, that's a good word to describe Paris Time Capsule. IT was a nice escape. :-)

      Delete
  32. What a bummer about Mouse's swimming. True, an instructor can easily make or break a student. I hope Mouse builds enough confidence that the instructor cannot inflict any damage on her. I am scared of the water too so I can easily relate to Mouse's experience.

    Hope Parker feels better soon. I have a dog and it would hurt me to see anything afflict her.

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    1. Athira - I hope so too! I wish we had our own pool so she could experiment more--I think that would help build her confidence the most.

      Parker is getting up there in years and so I know his time will come much sooner than I would like. Still, I'd like to think he has a few good years left in him. If we can do something to help him feel better, I am all for it.

      Delete
  33. Nice teaser this week, it sounds intriguing. Have a great week.

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  34. Hope Parker is feeling better. It is hard to not know what to do to make it better, when you can't find what exactly is wrong so you can treat it. Prayers for Parker.
    Sorry about Mouse's swimming instructor. Bad teachers seem to stick with you in your memory. Hope not the case with her.
    Paris Time Capsule sounds like it would be interesting.
    I'm currently reading Cow People by J.Frank Dobie, and on audio A Nice Little Place on the North Side by George Will. Oh, and the poetry book Dog Songs by Mary Oliver.

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    1. Carla - Thank you. Our fingers are crossed that he is feeling better soon. I do think the medication the doctor has him on is helping. I just wish we knew what exactly was wrong.

      I'm hoping Mouse forgets about that teacher too, and that she doesn't let it hold her back in the water.

      How are you liking A Nice Little Place on the North Side? I was thinking about getting that for my father-in-law. He loves baseball. Dog Songs sounds like it would be good. I just finished reading a book of poetry about Hindu widows, which I liked quite a bit.

      Delete
  35. I have pretty much every author that you listed as one of my must read/auto-buy authors as well. How funny! Sorry to hear that Mouse had such a bad experience with her swimming lessons..I would have done the same thing and moved her back down myself. Hopefully that instructor will be gone by the time she moves to the next level again ;)

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    1. Samantha - We have similar tastes in books. :-) I think moving Mouse down a level was the best choice. It took her a little bit to find her footing again, but she did. Unfortunately, she never fully regained that confidence she had when she began.

      Delete
  36. Best wishes to Parker, poor guy! And sorry to hear about Mouse's wretched new instructor, but I LOVED imagining you guys having a serious conversation about how it would be better to be back in the other class. Too cute.

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    1. Shaina - Thank you for the well wishes. Evidently today wasn't the best day for Parker and he's currently at the vet's with my husband. We are hoping it's nothing to worry about.

      Haha! We were both very serious during the conversation. I probably rationalized too much considering her age.

      Delete
  37. I'm so sorry to hear Mouse had such a bad experience with lessons! But you are so right; she needs to think of being in the water as fun as well as learning to be safe in it.

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    1. Lisa - I am hoping she won't remember the bad when we start up again next summer. :-(

      Delete

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