Sunday, May 31, 2015

April/May 2015 In Review

What I Have Been Up To: Stuff. A lot of working. Chores. Spring cleaning. Worrying about finances. Worrying about my husband. Worrying about work. Worrying about family and friends going through tough times. A sure sign I have too much on my mind and am feeling stressed is when I am not sleeping well. My nights for the past few weeks have been filled with crazy dreams and frequent wakings.

Illness came and went, making sure we all felt its presence. We had a few health scares with extended family as well. My aunt came through her knee replacement surgery with flying colors, And, fortunately the lump in my half-sister's breast was benign. My father-in-law, who was diagnosed with melanoma recently, wasn't so lucky (but still lucky considering how much worse it could have been!). The doctor was able to get all of the cancerous cells out of one of his arms, but not the other. He is having another procedure to see if the doctor can get the rest early this week.
“That's your solution? Have a cookie?" Astrid asked. "No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over," Sam said. "But a cookie never hurts.” ― Michael Grant, Gone
There is the fun stuff as well. Like hanging out with my family, which, of course, is my favorite part. Early in May, we went to see a ballet production of Beauty and the Beast. Not the Disney version, in case you are wondering. Mouse's best friend and her mom had invited us, and the girls had a great time. We spent Mother's Day at Disneyland,  every mother's dream come true. Okay, so maybe just mine, but it sure was a lot of fun. Later in the month, we visited the Santa Monica Pier where I met a long time pen pal of mine from Norway and her family for the first time. We had a nice visit. In between that there were soccer classes, visits to the library, time at the park, and even some lazy days.

For those of you who are actually visiting my blog and not reading this through a feedreader, you may have noticed the new format. I am never satisfied. Haha. My poor husband is used to my frequent requests to create a new header for me.

What I Have Been Listening To: I actually finished an audio book a couple of weeks ago. It only took me four and a half months to listen to Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park. I am hoping it doesn't take me as long to get through the next one. I just started listening to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which has been getting mixed reviews. Even the negative and less than positive reviews have only increased my interest in it though. I am loving it so far. If only I had more listening time!

What I Have Been Watching: April and May seemed to be the month for action movies.  A bold statement given I only saw two movies the entire two months.  Both were action movies, the latest Avengers movie and Fast and Furious 7. I love the Marvel movies and so was excited to see Avengers in the theater. I enjoyed it, although not quite as much as the first. Tony Stark still gets on my nerves and Steve Rogers as Captain America, well, he's my favorite. I thought Fast and Furious 7 was a lot of fun, plot holes and all. I am not a fan of the franchise and this was actually the first of the movies I have seen all the way through. I got bored watching the first one and never finished it.

On television, I am watching Netflix's Daredevil and enjoying it.  I saw the season finales for several shows I follow during the regular television season, including Scandal, Revenge, Blacklist, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Voice. I am always a bit relieved when this time of year approaches, television wise. I am not too into the summer shows and so am able to catch other shows I missed--like Orphan Black, which I just love.  I am curious thought about the Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead (which is an entirely uninspired title, I have to say).  I watch way too much television.

What I Have Been Reading: As many of you know, my husband convinced me to re-read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre since he was reading it for the first time. I finished Jane Eyre in April, and must say I still love the novel all these year later. I enjoyed reliving familiar scenes from the book and getting to know Jane and Edward Rochester again. There were some things I did not remember and much that I did. There was squealing and gasps and tears. I was falling in love with the book all over again. Being much older now than I was when I last read the novel, I wondered if my perspective of the main characters would change. It has to some degree. I have a little more empathy for Rochester than I once did. And even more respect for Jane. I also came away with a deeper understanding of St. John, a character that I only vaguely remembered from my previous readings of the novel.

I read several other good books these past couple months from mysteries/thrillers, fantasies to historical fiction. I liked some more than others, but overall I am pleased with my reading choices. They might not be mighty in number, but I have never been  a fast reader. And quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to reading. At least in my opinion.

The Child in April/May: 

 Library Visit with her Best Friend

 Laundry Basket as Sleeping Bag

 Drawing with Chalk

Riding the Carousel

 Afternoon at the Pier

The cats these past couple months:

Did you say treats? 

Doing what he loves best.

Plans for June: June is a busy month with Father's Day and my husband's birthday. I do not imagine we will be doing much outside our usual activities though.  Soccer and the beginning of swim lessons for Mouse; work, work and more work for my husband and me.

I only have one book tour in June, which I am excited about. I hope to bring you some long overdo reviews of other books I have read since the beginning of the year as well. It took me forever to write my 3 book combined review of Anne Bishop's Others Series. I just had so much to say . . . I thought about breaking it into parts, or doing each individual book separately, but couldn't think how to do that successfully. The review is pretty long--hopefully I can cut it down some more before I actually post it. This is the longest I have ever struggled with a review. I guess having too much to say is better than struggling with saying anything at all though, right?

How have you been these past couple months?  What were your favorite April and May reads?

April/May In Reading Mews:

Number of Books Completed in April: 3
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  • Diamond Head by Cecily Wong

Number of Books Completed in May: 6
  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
  • A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison
  • The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson
  • Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

Favorite Book of the Month(s): Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Currently Reading:
  • The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy (e-book)
  • My Highland Bride by Maeve Greyson (e-book)
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Audio)

Posts of Interest This Week:

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