Friday, August 03, 2018

Weekly Mews: July in Review & My August TBR Poll

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by the wonderful Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking to Stacking the Shelves hosted by the great Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently. I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post, where any book bloggers who write monthly wrap-up posts can link up and visit other bloggers to see what they have been reading.  

Across California the firefighters have been working long hours with little sleep and doing the best they can to save lives and structures. Multiple fires have engulfed the state. I am very grateful for their efforts. The damage caused has been devastating. So many people and animals displaced and lives lost. My uncle and aunt were forced to evacuate as a fire in the northern part of the state threatened their home (they have since been allowed home--thank goodness). And the Girl Scout camp my daughter will likely go to in a year or two had to evacuate here in Southern California due to another fire. The other day someone said it isn't the earthquakes they fear most, living in California. It is the wildfires. And, honestly, I can say I agree with that 100%. California has an annual fire season for a reason--and it is never good. Please keep the fire fighters and those impacted by the fires, both humans and animals, in your prayers and thoughts.

On a happier note, the 23rd of July was my 12th blog anniversary. When I started blogging in 2006, I was not sure how long it would last. The book blogging community has grown exponentially over all these years. Sometimes I miss the smaller version of our community, how close knit we were, old friends now gone. But there is something to be said for progress too, and I am glad to be a part of this ever evolving community. I am so grateful to all of you who have been with me through the years as well as those of you who I have met along the way, including those who may be visiting for the first time. It is my passion for books and wanting to share that love with others that motivated me to start Musings of a Bookish Kitty, and it is that which keeps me going. Thank you for going on this journey with me, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us!


New to My Shelves in July: 

Recent e-book purchases (can you tell I had witches on the brain?):

Murder Any Witch Way (Brimstone Bay #1) by N.M. Howell
The Bakery Murder (Sweetland Witch) by Zoe Arden
Initiation (Hunters' Watch Brigade #1) by Paula Millhouse
The King Tides (Lancaster & Daniels #1) by James Swain
Whisper Me This by Kerry Anne King
Yuletide Homicide (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #3) by Jennifer David Hesse
Midsummer Night's Mischief (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #1) by Jennifer David Hesse
Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2) by Jennifer David Hesse

 Proof of Life by J.A. Jance (hand me down from my mom)
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (purchase for Mouse)

What I Am Reading: As seems to be my end of the month pattern, I spent some time toward the end of July catching up on my year long reading projects, reading War and Peace and Les Misérables. I need to be better about spreading out the reading throughout the month . . . I am now well into my August reading in both. Outside of that, I am starting August with the 4th book in Jennifer David Hesse's Wiccan Wheel Mystery series, Samhain Secrets, which is coming out later this month.

What I Am Watching: A couple of nights this past month, I curled up on the couch and escaped into Hallmark's Christmas in July movies. We've also been watching The Worst Witch. My daughter introduced my husband and I to Sugar Rush on Netflix, a baking competition show. It's an easy show to binge watch.

Off the Blog: In early July we left behind triple digit heat and thunder storms and made our way north to the also hot Sacramento where we took in the sights and visited with family. Somewhere in there Anjin and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and I successfully got Mouse's hair in a bun. After we got home from our trip, we hit the ground running with rehearsals, and it was back to work for my husband and me.

I will not be around this weekend, I am afraid. Mouse has her two big performances, and things are more than a little bit crazy around here with a house full of company coming and going and the shows to prepare for and carry out. I am hoping to catch at least one of the shows as an audience member--as I will be volunteering through the other. Mouse heads back to school in another week. It doesn't seem possible the summer (at least for school year purposes) is already coming to an end. I am not ready! We did not get to do much with all of Mouse's rehearsals, unfortunately, but then again, that has been an adventure all in itself.

 My fur-sister

 California State Railroad Museum

Mouse playing in the high-speed train cockpit at the Railroad Museum 

 Visiting the California State Capitol Building
  
 Have you ever seen so many Jelly Belly Jelly Beans?

 Jelly Belly Factory Tour

Some old fashioned fun 

 Stopping for gas at a rest stop 

 The cats survived their week with the pet sitter.

She's getting so big!

 My Little Flying Monkey

"We Go Together" pose

Passing time as they Lullaby League waits their turn

 Munchkinland (Wizard of Oz Dress Rehearsal)

 Jitterbug Scene (Wizard of Oz Dress Rehearsal)

Here is what I finished reading in July:
  • The Diving Pool by Yōko Ogawa
  • Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
  • Alchemy by Marie S. Crosswell
  • The Risk of Rogues by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Midsummer Night's Mischief by Jennifer David Hesse
  • Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross
  • Bell, Book & Candlemas by Jennifer David Hesse
  • Yuletide Homicide by Jennifer David Hesse
I may not have had much computer time this past month for blogging, but I was able to get some reading in. Many of the reads were short or lighter reads, which made it easy to devour them pretty quickly. It was a mystery and romance type of month, with a bit of fantasy thrown in.

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Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 




Each month I find myself making a list of the books to consider for the TBR List poll. Sometimes I choose a theme. Sometimes I aim strictly for variety. I always struggle with narrowing my list down.  This month I am going with second in the series books, and these are the three that made the cut. I cannot wait to see which one you want me to read!


The King Slayer (The Witch Hunter, #2)  by Virginia Boecker
“I think, in time, you’ll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory.”

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule—namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves. [Goodreads Summary]

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Shelved Under Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #2) by Victoria Gilbert 
Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder. 
[Goodreads Summary]

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Off the Grid (The Lost Platoon #2) by Monica McCarty
A team of Navy SEALs go on a mission and disappear without a trace--they are The Lost Platoon.

Investigative reporter Brittany Blake may have stumbled upon the story of a lifetime in her search for her missing brother. When he seemingly disappears overnight, she refuses to accept the Navy's less-than-satisfying explanation. She begins her own investigation, which leads her to top-secret SEAL teams, covert ops, and a possible cover up...

John Donovan is having trouble biding his time, waiting for his Commanding Officer to figure out who set up their platoon. John's best friend and BUD/S partner, Brandon Blake, was one of the many lives tragically lost in the attack against his team. When Brandon's sister, Brittany, tracks John down, looking for answers, he realizes that she may be their best bet--or bait--for finding out who is targeting SEAL Team Nine.
[Goodreads Summary]




Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful August and Happy Reading!



© 2018, 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.

66 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're all safe from the fires. Happy anniversary to you, Anjin, and your blog! Enjoy your weekend with the dance performances and the company - it might be a little hectic but I bet it will be loads of fun! I want to go to the Jelly Belly factory!!

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    1. Kathy - Thank you! We've since had one break out closer to home, which we have been keeping a close eye on. It's finally 41% contained, thank goodness. Thank you too for the anniversary wishes! The performances went very well. There is a lot of relief and a bit of missing all the rush surrounding it all, but good memories were definitely made. We'd do it again. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Wendy! So glad to hear about what's been going on in your part of the world - other than the fire danger, of course. So sad and scary. Will definitely keep everyone in my prayers. How exciting that the big theater event is here! I know that your Mouse has had a fun summer preparing for it. Such precious costumes! Loved seeing the pictures of your trip. Love hearing about what you've read. I vote for the Library mystery naturally. I really need to read that first book. Good luck with all the upcoming things - performances, school, company, and also Happy Anniversary to you and your husband and also for your blog. Always a highlight of my blogging reading. Hugs!

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    1. Kay - Yes, the fires have been scary. We had one break out a bit closer to home, although we are still a safe enough distance away. We have friends who had to evacuate though, including one of our field offices. We had to make sure all our emergency lists were up to date and available at a moment's notice this past week as a result. Thank you for your prayers.

      Thank you for voting in the poll! I would love to get to all three this month. We'll see . . .

      It's been so crazy busy as of late. We are taking it easy this weekend, our first free weekend in a long while. I almost feel bad because Mouse goes back to school tomorrow, and I wish we could have done something fun for her. We just aren't up to it though. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. The fires are so frightening--not just currently, but seeing the damage that will have to be dealt with for years to come. Stay safe!

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    1. Jenclair - It's true; wildfires cause long lasting damage that can be seen and felt for many years after. The fire closest to us is at 41% containment now, thankfully. Our air quality is still bad though. We're trying to avoid staying outside for long. Thank you for visiting!

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  4. Happy 12th anniversary! I'm certainly glad you and your blog have stuck around so long. :D Have a great weekend!

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    1. Lark - Thank you! I can't believe it's been so many years already. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. Congrats on 12 yrs!! That's awesome. And yes those fires- it's unbelievable, I can only imagine what people are going through.

    Sounds like you're super busy! Hope the performances go well and you have a great weekend. :)

    I voted Shelved Under Murder although The King Slayer looks pretty great!

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    1. Greg - Thank you! The fires are horrible. We have one closer to us now that is fortunately 41% contained as of this morning. Some of the footage of people staying in their homes as the fire rages right up to their property was frightening. We are so grateful to the firefighters.

      Thanks for voting! And for stopping by!

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  6. Great photos. I hope your family stays safe. Happy blogiversary! Enjoy your new books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. Happy 12th Blogoversary! I didn't realize you had been blogging for so long. I wish I had known about blogging back then, I started late, only 4 yrs. ago. Those fires are awful, I am glad you are safe.

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    1. Ellen - Thank you! I've been around awhile. :-)

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  8. Huge congratulations on your 12th blogoversary - what an achievement! So sorry about the wildfires - I've been following them on the news with horror:(. And love the pics of Mouse, isn't she growing up? I hope the production goes well!

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    1. Sarah - Thank you! Mouse is growing up way to fast. The performances went very well. She had such fun. My husband has discovered he loves working backstage. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. The forest fires sound terrible - I'm glad your Aunt and Uncle have managed to return home!

    Voted for The King Slayer, it sounds fascinating! Happy 12th Blogging anniversary - looking forward to reading many more posts from you!

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    1. Eustacia - I am glad they were able to return home as well. We've since had a wildfire closer to home--about 30 miles away. While we are safe from the flames, the ash has been coming down pretty heavily and the air quality is horrid. The firefighters seem to have gotten a better handle on it today, thank goodness. They are at about 41% containment.

      Thank you for voting! And thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Happy 12yr Blogoversary! Your week sounds super busy, but all the pics are just wonderful. I hope you have a fabulous week ahead.

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    1. Jenea - Thank you! I am hoping things will start getting back to normal now that the show is behind us. Of course, the new school year will bring its own busy-ness. Thanks for visiting!

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  11. I'm glad you and your family are safe.

    Schnauzer! I love schnauzers.

    Happy anniversary!

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    1. Shannon - Thank you! Allie is the sweetest dog. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  12. wow, those wildfires sound so terrifying. I'm glad your aunt and uncle were able to get back into their home and that you're safe.

    Happy Blogiversary to you too! 12 years is really impressive!

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    1. Suzanne - Thank you! Another fire broke out closer to us and one of our field offices had to be evacuated. Hopefully they will be allowed to return sometime this week. The air quality here is horrible. Thanks for visiting!

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  13. Happy 12th Blogoversary! That's amazing here's to another 12 years :)

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  14. I am frightened for us Californians and the wildfires. We're fairly close to Yosemite...so there is fear at what might happen next. When I lived in the foothills, we had a lot of fires, but they were brought under control fairly quickly.

    I agree that the earthquakes are the least of our problems.

    Happy 12th blogoversary...I had my tenth in April. The community has definitely changed, but I am enjoying it all. My first year of blogging was actually pretty uneventful...and then I discovered memes and other ways to connect.

    I love the State Capital and the Railroad Museum.

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain - These fires are so awful. It feels like there is no end in sight. The Holy Fire is closest to us and we've been glued to the news in hopes the firefighters can get a jump ahead of it.

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes! I still enjoying blogging too, although you wouldn't know it as of late with as absent as I have been! Hopefully I can find my way back to some normalcy soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. Happy 12th Year Wendy - it was 10 for me in June. I feel so bad about the CA fires and, I do feel guilty when I complain about our heat, humidity and frequent downpours:( Thinking of all of you.

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    1. Diane - Thank you! I know your humidity and heat can be awful, so I think you have a right to complain. I do wish we would get some good rain. Thanks for visiting!

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  16. Looks like you and the little one had a fantastic time! I LOVE jelly belly's. I used to work in the M&M's factory in NJ and OMG, you have never tasted such amazingness till you have had an M&M's off the production line. They are amazing and the smell...Oh, I just want to work there for the free chocolate!

    Have a wonderful week!

    Mary Sunday Roundup #30!

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    1. Mary - I have a soft spot for Jelly Belly's too. Maybe too soft a spot. LOL What fun it would be to work at the M&M factory! All that delicious chocolate! Thanks for visiting!

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  17. Wow! 12 years of blogging. Congratulations :)

    I hope you stay safe with fire season around. I looks like you're having a blast this summer though :) Can't wait to read more about your adventures!

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading

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    1. Elle - Thank you! It was a busy summer, although it sometimes feels like we didn't get much of one what with all the dance rehearsals and such. It's been fun though! Thanks for visiting!

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  18. Happy 12th blogoversary, Wendy! We started blogging the same year; can't believe the time flies by just like that.

    Enjoy your books and hope you've a great week! :)

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    1. Melody - Thank you! You are one of my first blogging friends. :-) It doesn't seem like it's been 12 years does it? Thanks for visiting!

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  19. Happy 12th blogoversary! Wow! 12 years is impressive. I'm coming up on 5 and that feels like forever sometimes. It is amazing how many old friends have disappeared over my short time so I can imagine how much the blogging community has changed in 12. I've been keeping an eye on the fire but it's hard to understand the magnitude unless it's really affecting you. I'm glad your uncle and aunt were able to return home. The pictures of Mouse were too cute! The Wizard of Oz number especially looks adorable. Hope you're having a lovely week.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you! It does seem like I've been blogging forever sometimes too. And then other times it feels impossible it's been so long already. Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Happy blogoversary! Wow, that is a loooooong time. My blog is nearing its second blogoversary, and already the first people are dropping off - some are on a hiatus, some are thinking to stop blogging at all. It's an odd feeling indeed. Meanwhile I'm still happy to be a part of the community :)

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    1. Evelina - Blogging can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work as you know. I'm always sad to see people go, but I do understand. I am glad you are a part of the book blogging community. You bring such energy and heart to it. Thanks for visiting!

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  21. Yes, we have a lot to thank our emergency services for. Those fires look devastating.

    Loving following the progress of Mouse. I so hope you do get to actually watch at least one of the performances.

    Loving this months book choices. Its usually clear cut to me as to which one I'd like you to read but this time I was left with a dilemma ... The King Slayer OR Shelved Under Murder - I eventually decided on the first.

    Happy belated blogoversary, here's to many more years.

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    1. Tracy - I am so grateful to all those who are working to put out the fires. The one closest to us is at 41% containment finally. Hopefully we will continue to see progress on that one.

      I was able to see both performances, which was nice. I was able to slip in and watch the second day for a little while even though I was working concessions since most people were inside. Another mom stayed behind during the Wizard of Oz and then we traded places for Swan Lake. Since Mouse wasn't it that one, seeing it the first time was enough.

      Thank you for voting and for stopping by, Tracy!

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  22. I've seen the wildfires on the news lately, how scary! I'm glad you and your family are safe.
    Witchy books are good and those pictures are sweet! :)

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  23. Oh gosh, I've seen it on the news about the fires, so scary! I'm glad your family is okay and back home.

    Happy 12th blog anniversary, that is amazing :)

    I didn't know Hallmark was doing Christmas in July! I'm a sucker for those Christmas movies, I binge watch them when they are on during December.
    Also, happy 20th wedding anniversary! Wonderful xo

    Good luck with the performances and enjoy your week :) Your fur sister is adorbs.


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    1. Naida - Thank you! The fires seems to keep popping up all over. I hope we see some relief soon.

      I am a sucker for those Christmas movies too. LOL

      Thanks for visiting!

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  24. It really feels like the fire situation is getting worse and worse. Up here in Oregon too, though not as bad as Cali so far. We were hoping to drive down to the Redwoods next week, but I don't think that's going to be very feasible.

    Good work with the hair in a bun and all those rehearsals and performances. I rarely did my kid's hair, but I admire parents who are good at that.

    The Zita series is VERY popular in my middle school classroom. Like, "I guess I have to buy these books AGAIN because they're missing AGAIN" popular. I hope Mouse enjoys them!

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    1. Wendy - It seems like every day there is a new fire. The Holy Fire is the closest to us so far, and I was glad to hear the firefighters are getting a better handle on that one finally. Those Carr and Mendocino fires are something else. So terrible all around.

      You wouldn't think a hair bun would be so hard. LOL I am terrible with hair. I managed it though. I think part of my problem is being a perfectionist. I will never be happy with my attempts.

      That's good to hear about the Zita books! My husband thought my daughter might like that one. :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

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  25. The fires are atrocious and so dangerous. It is so not cool, Earth. Glad your aunt and uncle are alright. Happy blogoversary!! That's amazing! I do miss some who are no longer around in the community. I watched The Worst Witch, too! Happy anniversary, too!!

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    1. Charlie - The fires are so scary. What's so gross about it all is that many of these fires this season were caused by arsonists.

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes! I can't believe it's already been twelve years. Isn't the Worst Witch cute? One of my daughter's shows I actually enjoy. :-) Thanks for visiting, Charlie!

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  26. Happy Blogoversary! Happy Anniversary as well!

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  27. Oh, yes, they did the Jitterbug scene! We tried to convince our Artistic Director to include it when the junior company did the Wizard of Oz, but instead he put in his own dance to that Karl Jenkins Pallidio song, the one from the De Beers diamond commercial, ha ha, while the house was being spun on stage. Gosh, I miss being a dressing room monitor and also working on costumes. I need some grandkids, heh heh. Thanks for the pics. The costumes are fabulous. 🌞

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    1. La La - We were glad they could fit that scene in too. It was my daughter's favorite. :-) For the monkeys scene, they put in a dance and song from The Wiz, which fit in nicely. It was a lot of fun all around. I might have to try backstage next time. I think my daughter would appreciate it.

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  28. Oh! Happy twelfth blogversary, that's AMAZING! Happy 20th anniversary, too! 💐

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  29. Everyday I pray for those who have been impacted by the fires--those that have lost their homes or worse. Firefighters are amazing and risk their lives everyday and I pray for their safety too. Happy blogoversary and anniversary too!

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    1. Danielle - Thank you! I pray for them every day too. Thank goodness for the firefighters.

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  30. 12 years!! (Me, too come November). You are one of the first bloggers I read, and though I don't get to visit as much as I'd like, or comment, I come when I have the chance and am always pleased to be here. Where did the years go? Mouse is so old now. Not possible. I love all the pictures of her. What fun you are having.

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    1. Nan - Congratulations on your (soon to be) 12 years of blogging! I guess we are what they call veterans. :-) The years really did fly by, didn't they? So much has changed! Thank you for visiting!

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  31. So sorry for all those who've been affected by the wildfires. This really has been a horrible year for them. I love the pics of your little one in her costumes!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Nicole - Thank you. I do hope the rest of the season won't be fraught with fires too. It's been such a bad year in that regard. The costumes are adorable--thanks! I don't think I'd look as good in them as she does. Haha

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  32. Sounds like lots of great reading! And adorable photos!

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    1. Karla - It was a good month. I wish I could say the same about August! I hardly did any reading. Hopefully September will be better! Thanks for stopping by!

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  33. What a great post not to have missed! The pics are fantastic! What a lovely trip and the Oz production looks like it was aMAZing! The costumes ---fantastic :D

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    1. Donna Marie - Thank you! We all had an amazing time with the production--even if a bit stressful. We are doing it all again for The Nutcracker . . . Hopefully it will go just as well. :-)

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