Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 2015 In Review

The weather has been: The past few days I have wished the dark clouds hovering above would let lose their burden.  They finally let loose yesterday for a brief time, coming along side thunderstorms, a tornado and 60mph winds.  Fires are burning in several parts of the state and not only would the rain offer some relief in that way, it would also help with the drought.  Most parts of the state have been under strict water conservation requirements for awhile now, and we are no different.  Although I expected the park water play area would be closed down this summer, I still kind of hoped it would be open. At least to bring some relief to the kids this summer from the heat.

I am listening: I am still listening to Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train. I have made some progress since my last monthly review, but not as much as I would have liked. June just was not a month for listening to books, I'm afraid.

I am watching: I recently saw the movie Jurassic World, which I enjoyed--although I felt really bad for some of the dinosaurs. I also saw the 2011 version of the movie Jane Eyre, which left me disappointed. It was expected though wasn't it? Given how much I love the book.  I did like the visible chemistry between the two actors playing Jane and Edward, however, which isn't always so evident in the book.

What I am reading: June turned out to be your average reading month for me in terms of numbers. I read some good books, with the big stand out being Sarah McCoy's The Mapmaker's Children.  I am now reading Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff, which I hope to finish very soon.

What I have been up to: In June we celebrated my husband's birthday at Disneyland. We had a nice breakfast at the Carnation Cafe, followed by a free birthday cupcake for the birthday boy. During our younger years, my husband and I used to love having lunch there. Back when you did not need a reservation to get in or else wait hours to be seated. Overall, it was a fun day, but an exhausting one.

Father's Day was more subdued. Mouse was coming off being sick and we were all still recovering from that. We had a nice day, however.

In between all that was the usual: housework, work, and all the other regular routine stuff we do. I have had some car trouble we are still working through, hoping and praying it is nothing serious.

My husband and I got news that a cousin's husband died in a tragic accident a few days ago. It is one of those life moments in which you hear about and cannot help but feel shock and terrible sadness, and want to hold your own immediate family closer and never let go. That expression about living every day as if it was your last makes even more sense than before. You just never know.  I am sad about the loss of a good man, and I am heartbroken for his wife who must be living through hell right now.

On a different note, I do not often talk politics or religion on my blog--such topics can sometimes lead to heated debates and hurt feelings. I have no plan to do so now (other than share a link), but couldn't help but mention a thoughtful post I came across earlier this week by fellow blogger, Athira of Reading on a Rainy Day. Her thought process mirrors mine these past few days as, and she's said it so much more eloquently than I ever could. If you are interested, please check her post out: The Sunday Salon: On true equality and perceived equality.

The child this past month: Mouse had an eventful June, both in sickness and in play. She missed her first week of swim lessons because she came down with walking pneumonia. Despite being sick, she was nearly as active as always. She enjoyed a week off from school and was really rather put out at having to go back when she was all better. Who can blame her really?

We joined her swim class half way into the session because of her illness. I had hoped her excitement and love for the water would carry over from last summer, but it wasn't meant to be. After two days of fighting and tantrums and lots of tears, Mouse finally went in without too much fuss. Well, maybe with a lot of coaxing on my part and reassurances that she could do it ("Are you sure, Mama?" "I'm sure." "Double sure?" "I'm double sure. I'm triple sure. I'm even quadruple sure!" That earned a big smile.). The second session started up again this week, and is going much better. She even volunteered to be first in the water. Mouse was sorely disappointed yesterday when we got to the pool only to find out it was closed due to the weather. The sky was perfectly clear by then, and I had not gotten a call to say it was cancelled.

We have started up our Sunday visits to a community pool with Mouse's best friend again, which I think has helped get Mouse re-acclimated to the water again. The girls have a great time playing in the pool and then in the park afterward.

The summer soccer season also started up the end of June, and Mouse is happy to be participating again. She really likes her coaches and playing with the other children.

Plans for July:  Vacation! We're actually going on a vacation this year. We will not be going far from home or taking much time off, but we are okay with that. It will be nice to get away from work for even just a little while.

On the home front, I think I finally know where I want to hang some of those old black and white family photos. First though, I want to figure out where I stashed the ones my mom gave me last year so I can go through those again and decide which ones might be a good fit for my little project.

Blogging wise, I have a guest post coming up later this month from author Alexandra Sokoloff. She will be talking about one of her favorite children's books. I hope you will stop by and see what she has to say.

How did June turn out for you?  Does anything in particular stand out?  

What was your favorite June read?

June In Reading Mews:

Number of Books Completed in June: 5
The Silenced by Heather Graham
My Highland Bride by Maeve Greyson
The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy
The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons by Heather A. Slomski
Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

Favorite Book of the Month: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Currently Reading:
  • Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  (Audio)

Posts of Interest This Month:

© 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.


  1. Thank you for the catch-up. It sounds like June was a productive month.

    1. Tracy - It was. I'm hoping July will be productive too.

  2. Happy late Birthday to your hubby! That's a shame you can't visit the cafe you enjoy more often because it's so busy, but at least you can count on it remaining open and serving up good food:) I'm sorry to hear about your cousins husband, that's a horrible and shocking thing to have to go through. I hope they're doing okay and have a lot of support.

    Mouse is so cute! I'm glad to hear she's feeling better, but that is too funny she didnt wanna go back to school. Kids be can silly like that and enjoy staying home with mom:) That's great your getting her into swimming and she's enjoying it. When my brother was little he was petrified of the water so we would make sure to get lots of floaty toys for him to play with. He didnt have to fear going underwater, maybe she'd enjoy those?

    Can't wait to see your guest post and hear about her childrens book! Ill also be waiting to find out how your vacation went^^

    1. Lanie - My husband says thank you. :-) I feel bad about not being able to visit the cafe as often anymore either--although the menu has changed and has a more limited fare now. So, maybe it isn't such a bad thing.

      And thank you for the condolences. She does have a lot of support, thank goodness, but I know it hasn't been easy for her.

      I'm so glad Mouse is better. She is loving her swim lessons now. LOL She's like a different child this week from last. We do have water toys for her, but she only gets to use the on her Sunday pool dates with her friend. They use props in her swim class sometimes, which makes it fun for the kids.

      Have a great weekend!

  3. Sorry to hear of Mouse's illness, the effects of drought, and the loss of a family member. It does tend to make us more aware of good health (especially that of our children), the benefits of rain even when accompanied by destructive winds, and just being able to have our own families safe. Enjoy your vacation!

    1. Jenclair - Thank you. Hopefully this month will be better for everyone.

  4. Sorry about Mouse being sick....kids catch things so easily:( Awful to hear about your cousin's husband as well -- we just never know --so sad.

    You had a great reading month for June. ENjoy your July vacation.

    1. Diane - Thanks! Kids do seem to get sick easily--especially ones that have to go to daycare. Ugh. Hopefully this means she will be immune to nearly everything later.

      His death was quite sudden and unexpected. You really do just never know. :-(

      I hope you have a great July!

  5. I'm glad to see that Mouse is feeling better and that she's enjoying swim lessons! I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's cousin and I know what you mean about the kind of tragedies that just make us want to gather our families close. It's so hard not to at times. Sometimes I just want to make a rule where no one leaves the house just to stay safe. On the plus side - how exciting about your vacation! I hope you have a lovely time!

    1. Katherine - Thank you. I'm happy--and relieved--too. The swim lessons are going so much better this week. She told her instructor yesterday she plans to try the diving board today. I don't think that will happen, but we'll see. :-)

      I keep thinking how my husband's cousin and her husband woke up that morning last week, excited about the day, not realizing it would be their last together. It's heartbreaking.

      I am looking forward to my vacation, thank you. I hope it's relaxing as well as fun.

  6. I hope Mouse is feeling better. I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's husband; moments like this always make us think that life is so fragile and make us want to treasure our loved ones even more.

    Looks like you've a great reading month in June. I know June is always a slow month to me when it comes to reading, not that I'm complaining but that's how things are to me.

    Hope you've a wonderful vacation! :)

    1. Melody - She is feeling much better, thank you.

      Yes, a sudden and unexpected death like that really brings close to home how fragile life is. It's a good reminder too of how important it is to be aware of one's surroundings. He was doing the most ordinary thing, trying to take a picture of his wife, and he slipped and fell 100 feet. Who is prepared for that?

  7. Sounds like a busy June! I hope your little one is feeling better.
    About your husbands cousin, losing someone unexpectedly like that is always shocking and it does make you realize how nothing is ever promised so we have to always be grateful for our blessings.
    Happy rest of the summer!
    Wow, you read so much. I haven't really read too much in June but I just finished up a biography on Marie Antoinette which was really interesting.

    1. Naida - Thank you. Mouse was sick again this weekend, but she seems to be doing better now. It seems like she is always sick. :-(

      I hope you have a good rest of the summer too!

  8. First off, thank you so much for the shout-out! I try to keep politics off my blog as well, but like you said, it's been bothering me as well so much that I wanted to say something, even if the next similar post, if at all, will likely be years away.

    I hope Mouse is doing well now, I saw your tweet that is is running a fever now. Poor girl! I'm glad that her swimming experience is getting much better.

    Yay, vacation!! Always good to get some time off. After we get settled with our little one, the husband and I are hoping to go on more vacations more often, even if for just a weekend. We didn't have much of an opportunity to do that for the past few years, so hopefully, we can change that soon.

    1. Athira - I think it's an important enough issue to bring up. I just wish I was as good with words and organizing my thoughts as you were in your post. :-)

      Thank goodness Mouse is back to normal. Whatever was wrong, it seems to have passed. Hopefully it will stay that way. She's excited about going swimming again today. :-)

      We're looking forward to getting away for a little while. I'm hoping it won't be terribly hot--I do foresee a beach in our future. :-) That would be nice if you and your husband can go on more vacations once the baby comes. Even a day trip can be nice!

  9. Oh Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin's husband. That is so tragic and you are right it just reminds you how we need to be more in the present with our loved ones.

    I hope you guys have a wonderful vacation this month. Being away from work and the daily routine is such a wonderful way to recharge. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures & reading ones too! :)

    1. Iliana - Thank you. I like the way you put it best, that "we need to be more in the present with our loved ones". It's something I know many of us struggle with and a sudden death is a terrible reminder of just how important that is.

      And thank you for the good vacation wishes. I am in countdown mode. LOL

  10. I need to put my two younger kiddos in swimming lessons as well especially as they spend so much time in the river. My youngest is quite comfortable but my daughter is a bit more fearful so it would be really good for her. It sounds like you had a good month for the most part. I do hope your state gets some rain which seems so weird to say as we have had tons more rain than normal (or at least it feels like it) here. I'm honestly not even sure how many books I finished in June. I just haven't been blogging that much lately. I'm hoping that this month I will settle down to my normal blogging routine but who knows :) Like you said, life is short and I have to appreciate all the time I can with my kiddos. I hope that July is a wonderful month for you and your family!!!

    1. Sam - I think because of my job, Mouse learning to swim is very important to me (death by drowning is a common summer call I get). I try to keep in mind though that she is going to learn on her own time table no matter what schedule I put her on. Mouse is doing much better than she was at first. She's still scared to jump into the water even with someone there to catch her, but she's willing to try--and that says a lot, I think.

      I wish there was a way for you to send us some of your rain. We got a tiny bit with the recent thunderstorms, but it was barely anything at all.

      Enjoy your summer and your children. ;-)

  11. Sorry to hear about the illnesses, car trouble and loss of a loved one. A bittersweet month for you, it seems. Little Mouse is getting so grown up :) and so cute, as always-- thanks for sharing the photos. Belated happy birthday to the birthday "boy" and thanks for sharing your book titles.

    I really want to read The Mapmaker's Children, since I enjoyed a book by the author last year, The Baker's Daughter. I also am curious about Ms. Sokoloff's books. Enjoy the week.

    Yes, I wish it would rain or clear up around here. We got heavy wind, a spot of heavy rain, then just gloom and overcast skies and some humidity, oh well, it's summer in SoCal.

    1. Rita - Thank you, Rita. Bittersweet seems to be an apt word for my year so far. :-S Yes, Mouse is growing up. I was looking at photos of her from three years ago and can't believe what a different child she is from then to now. She's such a sweetheart. :-) But I'm biased.

      I think you'd like The Mapmaker's Children. I need to sit down and right my review of Sokoloff's book. I meant to do that this morning but it got busy.

  12. Love that picture of your dad and Mouse! So glad she's back to enjoying the water. Such a great skill for people to have and the younger the better.

    1. Lisa - I'm relieved she's back in the water too. She still needs to build a little more confidence in the water, but she's getting closer. :-)

      We've made it a tradition for Mouse to help us blow out our candles at our birthday celebrations. I love that photo of her and her dad too. <3


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