Saturday, September 12, 2020

Weekly Mews: Pushing Through

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by 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 The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. 







What I Am Reading: I currently am reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and about to start this month's TBR winner. Last week I finished reading Don't Hex and Drive by Juliette Cross, which I really enjoyed (review to come). I finished it with a big smile on my face.

What I Am Watching: We recently watched the live action Disney version of Mulan. I had read enough about it to know it would be quite different from the animated version. There were aspects that could have benefited from being beefed up, but we all really enjoyed it.

Off the Blog:  The air quality is terrible from all the fires in the state, including the one nearest to us. My great-aunt and her partner in Washington state are having to deal with fires up their way too. Fires are blazing all over the western United States right now. My heart goes out to the fire fighters battling them, and the people and animals impacted.

As the temperature soared last weekend to 117F, we got our flu shots, treated ourselves to Diary Queen ice cream, popped popcorn and watched a movie, and enjoyed the extra day free of work and school. It was a much needed break!

This past week kind of got away from me blogging wise. This time of year is always emotional for me, it being the anniversary of my grandmother and father's death. Work was extremely busy and my daughter needed extra support with her school work. The honeymoon has passed, I think.

Dress rehearsals began this Saturday for Mouse's summer fall ballet and musical shows which will be performed live on Zoom. We cleared a spot in our dining area for her to perform. We need to make a few more preparations for it to be performance ready, but we should have everything in place by show time. I will be honest. It has been an emotional run this time around with COVID-19 and so much up in the air these past few months. All but two dancers will be performing the final shows in studio, Mouse being one of those who will not be. Our county is still under strict orders given our not yet meeting the state's benchmarks. This first dress rehearsal was rough for Mouse, being apart from everyone else. She eventually settled into it though. We had originally planned to pull her out completely, but the dance studio directors offered to let her perform from home. She's been preparing since February for this and had the disappointment of not only having to attend rehearsals via Zoom, but also having the shows postponed. And now here we are. She wants to perform, and, while we have no idea what it will look like or how it will turn out, at least she will get to see it through to the end. 

Mouse has two friends' birthday parties scheduled for this Sunday, both tea party themes. Party treats and games were dropped off at our house tonight and presents picked up. Mouse is excited about celebrating with her friends.


Speaking of birthdays. I had one this past week. My husband and daughter treated me to take out from one of my favorite restaurants, roses and cake! Remind me next year though to take my birthday off work, will you?



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). 





Thank you to everyone who voted! It was not much of a competition. Alice Hoffman's Rules of Magic won with 13 votes! Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw came in second with 8 votes, and The Black Witch by Laurie Forest brought in 5 votes. 

The Rules of Magic
 (Practical Magic Prequel) by Alice Hoffman  

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. 

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. 

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. 

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. [Goodreads Summary]

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


© 2020, 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.

49 comments:

  1. Happy birthday to Mouse! And to you as well this past week!Hope you have a great weekend. And wow that's hot. I don't blame you for getting dairy Queen! I hope things get better soon out there !

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    1. Greg - Thank you for the birthday wishes! Mouse's birthday isn't until May (it was two of her friends celebrating theirs), but we did celebrate her half birthday, which falls on mine. :-) It was so nice to have Dairy Queen again. It'd been over 6 months. Thank you for stopping by!

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    2. Oh I'm sorry- whoops! So much for my reading comprehension haha! But the half birthday sounds fun, and glad you had a good one! be safe out there and take care. :)

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    3. Greg - You weren't the only one. I think my wording was awkward, and so I edited to make it more clear. :-)

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  2. Happy birthday to you! That treat looks delicious. My birthday is coming up in another month. I think I shall take your advice and make special plans for that day.

    I'm glad your daughter is going to try to do the dance program. She is wise to stay away from indoor practice areas. How stressful it must be for the young during this time.

    I am glad Rules of Magic won. So many people love Alice Hoffman's writing.

    Have a good week. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way for the fires to be put out.

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    1. Deb - Thank you! I am definitely feeling my age today. LOL Definitely do something nice for yourself on your birthday if you can. :-)

      It was really hard yesterday for her seeing everyone else at the studio, but she couldn't be there. We've explained it to her, but she's only 9 and, well, it's even hard for adults to fully comprehend and accept. This whole situation really stinks, frankly.

      I really liked Practical Magic, and so am looking forward to reading The Rules of Magic.

      I hope you have a good week too. Thank you for your prayers and for visiting!

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  3. Happy Birthday to your little one! That cake looks very good!
    I would die in 117. I can't deal with weather that hot.

    I think my daughters cheer comp team will be doing virtual comps also. It's a very different year!.

    I hope this week is good for you, Wendy! Happy Reading! xx

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    1. Michelle - The cake was very yummy. :-) It was so hot. Even in the shade, it was too hot. I do not like extreme heat like that either.

      I wish your daughter the best with the cheer leading comps! It really is a different kind of year, isn't it? Who would have thought a year ago, we'd be in this situation?

      I hope you have a good week too! Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. Let me know when you start reading The Rules of Magic. I'm sure you will love it! I sure did.

    That cake.... I'm sure I'll love that too.

    I also want to watch Mulan, but will watch the animated one again before the life action.

    Hope your week is good and good luck with the dress rehearsals!

    The Sunday Post #11

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    1. Elza = I hope to dive into Rules of Magic soon. I am so glad you loved it! I really like Hoffman's writing style.

      The cake was very good. :-) I wish I could have shared some with all of you. I don't think it would travel well though. LOL

      We ended up re-watching the animated Mulan after, and I wish I had watched it again before we saw the live action. So, I think you are smart doing it that way. I hope you enjoy the new one when you watch it!

      I hope you have a good week too and thank you for visiting!

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  5. Happy birthday to Mouse. I hope that she has a blast with her practicing at home and it turns out well. Stay safe!

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    1. Gayathri - Mouse celebrated a couple of her friends' birthdays today, which was fun. She had a great time. :-) Her own birthday isn't until next spring. Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. I'm all for hot weather since we don't get enough of it here. I know, I know I'm the exception! But 117 is insane! That cake looks super delicious. Enjoy your reading week.

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    1. Laura - I am happy to share some of the heat with you. :-) The cake was really yummy. Thank you for visiting!

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  7. A fall ballet sounds great. I try to make a running list of everything to see in the fall, including haunted houses, trees, new coffee cafes and orange frosting cakes.

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    1. Trin - Hopefully the ballet will turn out well. It's been striped down considerably because of the pandemic, but at least the kids will get to show off what they've learned. I hope you get to see and do everything on your list this fall! Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. I hope Mouse enjoys her birthday, and I would welcome a slice of that cake! LOL

    Enjoy your reading and viewing...and stay out of the bad air!

    My #2 son lives in LA, and has a relatively new pub that was stopped in its tracks by COVID...they can serve on the patio, but the air is a big challenge.

    Here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I wish I could share the cake with you. :-) I had a very nice birthday. We did celebrate Mouse's half-birthday too--since it falls on my own birthday. She's so spoiled. LOL

      Restaurants where I live aren't open for indoor service, so it's been rough for those that do have patio dining with the air quality what it is. I hope your son is safe and well.

      Thank you for visiting!

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  9. That cake! I want that too, now. I cannot imagine how it must feel like to be so close to those fires. Although the smoke has reached now Germany, it is only a fraction of what you must see and smell each day and night. Stay strong and stay safe and well.

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    1. Vi - The cake turned out to be very good. :-) We are staying indoors as much as possible. I think the fire nearest us is now 44-45% contained, which is good news. Hopefully the firefighters will continue to make progress and the weather won't work against them. Thank you for stopping by!

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  10. Wendy, happy birthday to you! Glad that Miss Mouse is getting to celebrate two special days with her friends, even if they are 'virtual'. And I hope the performance goes well. Yes, next year take your birthday off from work and do something fun for you. Take care and I'm thinking about you guys on the coast and in the fire area.

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    1. Kay - Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-) Mouse had fun with her friends. You should have seen the goodies that these moms provided for the virtual parties. It may not be the same as an in-person party, but I think the birthday girls knew how appreciated and celebrated they are. Thank you for visiting!

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    1. Mary - It was yummy. :-) Thank you for the birthday wishes and for stopping by!

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  12. Happy Birthday Wendy. That cake looks super delicous.

    Those fires have been on the news here too. They look so bad. I really hope things get better soon.

    Have a great week and happy reading.

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    1. Maureen - Thank you! The cake was good. :-) I wish I could share with all of you!

      I hope the firefighters are able to contain the fires and put them out soon too. The news all up and down the coast is so bad right now. We need cooler and wetter weather too.

      I hope you have a great week too. Thank you for visiting!

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  13. Happy belated birthday! I assume Mouse is celebrating her friends' birthdays over zoom and that's why the party favor/present exchanges? Clever idea!

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    1. Helen - Thank you for the birthday wishes! Mouse enjoyed both parties quite a bit. I thought the moms did a great job with the set up. They got very creative! Thank you for stopping by!

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  14. Happy Belated Birthday. The cake looks yummy. Today we help my grandson celebrate his third birthday. When we talked to him he said "Today I got to be three." I love it. As if someone finally allowed him to be three. We are in Washington State and the air quality is awful. Hoping for rain this week for sure. My Sunday Salon post

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    1. Anne - Thank you! The cake was good. So chocolaty! Happy birthday to your grandson! I loved the photo you shared of him and your dad. I hope you get the rain you need! I wish that for everyone with all these fires blazing through. I hope you have a great week!

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  15. Look at that cake! It’s beautiful! Happy birthday. I’m glad you were able to get a break from work and school. Good luck to Mouse with the dancing. It’s great that she’s able to participate from home. I hope you have a good week.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - Thank you! The cake tasted good as well. :-) I was a little surprised my daughter was willing to participate virtually while most of her dance friends were in studio, and it was rough that first rehearsal--she felt really left out--but she says wants to do this and so we will. I wish she could be in studio with them. I really do. But both my husband and I were not comfortable with it given our county's COVID-19 status. And honestly, seeing on the computer the kids in the studio without masks and not social distancing . . . Well, I feel more confident about our choice. It's just hard seeing the impact this has on my daughter. My friend (and the mom of the other girl performing virtually) says this is a good lesson for our girls. That sometimes we have to make the hard choices for the sake of our family and health, even if it means going against the crowd--and what our friends are doing.

      I hope you have a great week too! Thank you for visiting!

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  16. Happy birthday to you and Mouse! The cake looks fantastic and I'm glad Mouse got to celebrate some. It's a crazy time and so frustrating sometimes - especially for the kids. I'm glad the dance studio was willing to work with you and Mouse will able to see the performance through to the end even though it's not ideal. Enjoy The Rules of Magic! I really want to read it. Hope you have a lovely week.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you for the birthday wishes! Mouse had a great time at her two friends' birthday parties. Her half birthday falls on my birthday. I am grateful the studio gave us the option to perform virtually also. I wish they would have opened it up that way to everyone earlier--they might not have had so many cast members drop out when the show was originally postponed. But then, I suppose the studio didn't realize they would be performing this way. Back then, they were still hoping they could perform in front of an audience. What's done is done and all we can do is move forward.

      You and your family are often in my thoughts! Praying for you all. Thank you for stopping by!

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  17. Happy Birthday Wendy! The cake looks so good. Yes, taking the day off is a must.

    Hope all is well over there, those fires are so scary.
    Enjoy the Alice Hoffman book, it sounds interesting. I like Practical Magic. We've been meaning to watch live action Mulan, the animated one is my daughter's fav, glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Naida - Thank you for the birthday wishes! I really wish I had taken the day off from work. Of course it would be a day an emergency would pop up at the end of my day, and so I ended up having to work late. :-(

      I am really looking forward to reading The Rules of Magic. I hope you enjoy the live action Mulan when you read it!

      Thank you for visiting!

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  18. I feel for your daughter. This is a horrible time for performers. My daughter is a music major and she's not happy right now. But I loved The Rules of Magic, enjoy!!

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    1. Tammy - Yes, it really is a hard time for our performers. I can just imagine how much harder it is for the older kids not being able to perform. I am thinking of your daughter. I am looking forward to reading The Rules of Magic. I love Alice Hoffman's writing. Thank you for stopping by!

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  19. Happy Birthday to Mouse!! Hope she still enjoys performing on zoom!!

    Stay safe!

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    1. Eustacia - She isn't a fan of performing on Zoom, but she at least she can still part, and for her that seems to be the most important. :-) Mouse enjoyed celebrating her friends birthdays. She keeps talking about plans for her own birthday which will be in March. Haha. Thank you for visiting!

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  20. Happy belated Birthday 🎉 That cake looks delicious!

    I bet Mouse will be great, it’s lovely you have all made it possible for her to stay involved.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Shelleyrae - Thank you for the birthday wishes! The cake was yummy. :-)

      It's been difficult for her, being so isolated, but we are trying to do what we can to keep her active and connected to the outside world somehow.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  21. mmmmm cake. happy birthday. i have been watching about the fires out west. i can't imagine anything scarier...except maybe covid. i hope you and yours are safe
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Sherry - Thank you for the birthday wishes! Yes, the devastation caused by these fires is just heartbreaking. I really feel for all those impacted. And all of this in the middle of the pandemic. Thank you for visiting!

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  22. Happy birthday! Glad it went well despite the state of things. We got a ton of smoke from all the fires. But hurricane winds blew through and whisked it away and a lot of our trees, unfortunately. We were lucky that our area didn't lose power. So many are still without. That cake looks yummy! I enjoyed Hoffman's Practical Magic and have been wanting to read this one for awhile now. I hope you like it.

    Thanks for the reminder. Flu shots. Gotta get those this week for all of us! I hope you have a lovely week and I hope Mouse's recital goes well too!

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  23. Happy birthday! I hope the performance goes well and is fun for her. Everything we just have to do the best we can these days. It's not forever, even if it seems that way.

    Anne - Books of my Heart Here is my Sunday Post

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  24. Performance areas. My house is a wreck right now because of the self-taping going on for those college auditions. My house looks like the set of Big Brother. Tripods, light kits, etc. All over. I tried to carve out a place that looks normal but even the dog is impacted. Her fave sunny spot currently has a green screen by it which she does not like. No sun really anyway with this smoke layer. Ugh. So done with it.

    Hope your daughter's performance goes well. I know you had mixed feelings about some of it being performed in person but you guys made the right choice. Safety first.

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