Saturday, April 02, 2022

Weekly Mews: Good Riddance to March and Tip Toeing into April . . . (Please Vote in my April TBR Poll!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  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 It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post.




March was a punch in the gut. Or rather, a punch in the heart. My grandmother was put in hospice, tired and ready to rest after 104 and some months of life. She took her last breath on my daughter's birthday. My grandmother always had a ready smile, loved to dance and cook during her younger years, but most of all she loved her family. A week or so after, my great-aunt suffered a major stroke. She died at home, surrounded by family. I was always a little intimidated by her, I admit. She could be so stern and proper, but she was also very kind hearted. She took me to Mexico for the first time when I was a young adult and hosted my wedding shower at her house. Even though both of these women were older, their deaths cast a shadow over the month that still lingers--as grief has a way of doing. 

The month actually began though with my aunt (not to be confused with my great-aunt) in intensive care (ICU), the prognosis dire. An infection and sepsis on top of her existing health issues. She's survived being near death before and evidently her body was not ready to call it quits yet this time either.  Although she's not completely out of the woods health-wise, she is out of ICU and this past week was moved to a rehab facility. Some good news amongst the bad. But now she has COVID. Because March couldn't go without throwing that in too. She is hanging in there.

In other news: there was work, lots of work, the end of the Girl Scout Cookie season, dance and rehearsals, Mouse's school's open house, regular dental check-ups, spring break for my daughter, Mouse's birthday, and both my husband and I came down with colds. I accompanied my mom to a couple of doctor's visits in preparation for her upcoming surgery this coming week. She is starting to feel nervous, but we are optimistic things will go well. 

Even with everything going on this past month, I did what I could to make sure my daughter had a good birthday, spreading the celebration over several days. She received lots of books for her birthday. So many books! I would be a little jealous but I am sure she will let me borrow any I may want to read.

Although my husband and I had to work through Mouse's spring break, we did visit the Living Desert Zoo last weekend. It was our first visit there even though we've lived so close for the past 20+ years. 







All of that has kept me away from blogging. My head just has not been in it. Even my reading was slow going. I am not sure what April will hold but hopefully it will be a gentler month.


Last Read

March got away from me, and I never did get around to posting the results of March's TBR List Poll. Thank you to everyone who voted! It was a close race: Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse receiving 8 votes, Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara got 12, and Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo won with 13 votes. 


I can see why Last Night at the Telegraph Club received so much praise and have to add mine to it. I also recently read Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 5 by Kamome Shirahama, translated by Stephen Kohler, a manga series I continue to enjoy. I love the artwork! 



Reading Now

At the moment I am reading Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto, which is just as funny as the first book in the series so far. I also have continued with my reading of The Count of Monte Cristo, which I am stretching out over the course of the year. I am right on schedule! 



Up Next

I could really use your help in choosing my next read. I am not sure what I am in the mood for. Something romantic and funny or perhaps heartwarming and touching? Or would something more intense and heart pounding be a better fit? Which of these three books do you think I should read next? 


The Bromance Book Club
(Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams
The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled
Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife. [Goodreads Summary]


Anxious People
by Fredrik Backman 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to set an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People’s whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.
[Goodreads Summary]


The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires.

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who's left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she's not alone. For more than a decade she's been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette's worst fears are realized--someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
[Goodreads Summary]



Thank you for voting! What will you be reading next?

My TBR List is 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 let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 


March Monthly Wrap Up

Here is what I finished reading in March:
  • Black Sanction Magic (The Hollows #8) by Kim Harrison
  • Pale Demon (The Hollows #9) by Kim Harrison
  • Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher (re-read)
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  • Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 5 by Kamome Shirahama, translated by Stephen Kohler
I am really enjoying Kim Harrison's The Hollows series and am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. I love the world building and Rachel Morgan has really grown over the course of the series.

It's been over two years since I last attempted an audio book but I needed something to keep me company on my recent solo walks and so listened to James Marsters narration of Fool Moon, the second in the Dresden Files series. I read the print version of the book years ago--it's a favorite series of mine. I recently watched a video on the internet of a 2020 NY Comic Con conversation between Marsters and Butcher as they talked about the Dresden Files, which has me excited about diving back into the series again. 

My daughter got me into the manga series, Witch Hat Atelier last year and I continue to enjoy it. The detailed artwork is amazing. It's a fun series, although I wish there were not such big cliff hangers at the end of each volume.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club was my favorite read of the month. It was a quieter novel than most of what I have been reading as of late, which took a moment to adjust to, but it is such a good book with characters that I came to really care for, especially Lily and Kath. 

My roses welcoming in spring

How did your March shape up? Do you have a favorite among the books you read?



© 2022, 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..

82 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear your March was so rough. I hope April is a better month for you.

    Vote for your April book. No matter what wins, I hope you enjoy.

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  2. Oh no I'm so sorry to hear that! You've had a lot of awful things but I'm glad you were able to have a nice borthday party for Mouse. Hang in there and good luck to your aunt, hopefully she recovers quickly and Covid isn't too rough on her.

    Love the pics. that place looks amazing, and the cheetah pic especially.

    I really liked Telegraph Club... glad you did too!

    I voted Final Girl because I've heard so many good things! :)

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    1. Greg - Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed Last Night at the Telegraph Club too. I am partial to the big cats, but I do love the giraffes too. :-)

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  3. My condolences for the loss of your grandmother and great-aunt 🖤 and sending my love and prayers for your mum's upcoming operation and your aunt who is in hospital 🙏 Also happy belated birthday to your daughter 🎉 What a month you have had! I hope April will be a gentler month for you and that you will find some great books to escape into. 😊

    As for my own month it has been a busy and tiring time, and also emotional with more changes coming at work and the birth of my friend's premature baby. I would also like a gentler April and more time to read please! Here's my round up of my March reading: https://thebookwormchronicles.wordpress.com/2022/04/01/%f0%9f%93%94-my-march-2022-book-journal/?wref=tp 📚

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    1. Jessica - Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. I was glad to hear the baby is doing well. I hope the mother is too. May April be gentler for both of us with lots of good reading!

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  4. Hope April will be a better month all round! I have that desert zoo on my radar too.

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  5. Sorry it was a tough month. *Hugs*. Your photos are beautiful, and I'm glad you enjoyed Telegraph Club. I'm excited to read that one.

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    1. AJ - Thank you. I hope you do get a chance to read Last Night at the Telegraph Club and enjoy it when you do.

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  6. Oh my goodness, such a rough time for your family to have. Best wishes and hugs sent your way. I love your animal pics! Glad you could keep your daughter's birthday in the face of all the losses.

    I chose the Bromance book for your because you might need something a bit lighter after the past few weeks. The Aunties books sound like fun. Have a good week!

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    1. Mia - Thank you for your kind words and for voting! Seeing my daughter so happy over her birthday was a real bright spot in an otherwise dreary month. The Aunties book is a lot of fun. I am enjoying it. :-)

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear of your family losses, Wendy. What a month you had, no wonder you're glad it's over! As for voting for your next read, that's a tough bunch! I've read the Grady Hendrix book and enjoyed it, but it was hard to choose between The Bromance Book Club and Anxious People, both of which I'd love to read. Hope your week is relaxing😁

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    1. Tammy - Thank you. I look forward to seeing which of the three books wins.

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  8. I am so so so sorry that you had such a terrible March. May you find peace and comfort in your life during April. Aah, life. We've got to live it to get to the other side I guess.

    Love your photos and just once again realize how very fortunate we are to live in Africa. Yes, I moan about a lot of things, BUT we do have the most gorgeous animals and I can see them in their natural environment as much as I want to.

    I've voted for Anxious People for your next read! I've finished it in March and loved it. Think it's a good time for you to read it now.

    Strongs for your week ahead and happy reading...

    Elza Reads

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    1. Mareli - Thank you for your kind words.

      It would be so wonderful to see so many of these animals living in their natural habitats. It makes me sad that so many are endangered and vulnerable because of poachers and environmental threats.

      Thank you for voting!

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  9. So sorry about your grandmother and great-aunt! But I am also happy for Mouse...and her great book gifts!

    I tried to read Anxious People, but couldn't get into it. I may try again at some point.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Thank you. It's been rough going, but the bright spot is definitely Mouse. I am sorry to hear you weren't able to get into Anxious People. Hopefully it was timing, but sometimes books just don't work for everyone.

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  10. Last Night at the Telegraph Club was really well done, I'm glad you liked it. I voted for The Last Girl for April since it's one that I want to read.

    I am so sorry to hear about your family losses! You're right, grief can be all-encompassing and lasts a long time. Lean into your family for support.

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    1. Helen - Thank you for your kind words and for voting!

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your losses in March! I hope April will be a much better month for you!

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  12. I am so sorry about the health issues and losses you had in March. We continue to be careful and mask whenever we go anywhere. So we haven't been sick at all. We visited the Living Desert Zoo about 20 years ago and loved it. I voted for the Bromance Book Club because it's light and fun. The first book isn't my favorite in the series but it's still good and I think some lightness and humor would be a good fit for now. (FYI I'm doing a Dresden series Read-along in 2024)

    Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. Anne - Thank you. We wear masks when in public too, although I think you are able to isolate more than we are able to. Even though it's not required, my daughter wears her mask at school, but with so many others not wearing them it's inevitable that sickness will seep in from time to time. I am sure my mental state made me vulnerable too.

      We enjoyed our visit to the Living Desert Zoo quite a bit. We went early enough that we beat the heat.

      Thank you for voting! I've been wanting to try The Bromance series for awhile now as I keep hearing good things about it.

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear about the losses you had in March. My sympathies and prayers to you and your family. I hope your aunt's health improves.

    I hope April is a much better month. Take care and have a great week!

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  14. I'm so very sorry to hear about your and your family's losses.

    I loved Anxious People and hope you do as well.

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother's and great-aunt's passing. I hope you and your family can find peace during this difficult time. I also hope April and this week are much better for you.

    As far as what book you should read next, I highly recommend Anxious People. I read it in January and it's been my favorite read this year so far. There is a trigger warning for suicide and suicidal ideation, though.

    My Sunday Post

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    1. Jenni Elyse - Thank you for your kind words and thank you for voting. Anxious People is on my must read this year list so even if it doesn't win, I will be reading it this year. :-)

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  16. I'm so sorry for your losses in March! I'm not sure why, but losses have a way of bunching together.

    I love zoos! You took some stunning pictures.

    I hope your April is a good one!

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    1. Gretchen - Thank you. It sure seems like it, doesn't it?

      I really liked the Living Desert Zoo. I especially like zoos that support and advocate for animal and habitat conservation--and this one does.

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  17. Gut punch is putting it mildly! I'm so sorry about your grandma and great aunt. And best wishes to your mom on her upcoming surgery. I hope and pray everything goes well.

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  18. I am so sorry for your losses and a difficult month. I love visiting zoos as well. I had a good reading month with several 5 star reads. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Cindy - Thank you for your kind thoughts. I am glad you had a good reading month! I am looking forward to seeing what I ended up reading.

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  19. I'm so very sorry for your losses. It's so terribly sad, and it doesn't matter how old a person is when they pass, it's always so sad.
    I love your photos of the living desert. I voted for Anxious People because I have that on audio but haven't got to it yet, so I want to know your thoughts.
    And Happy Birthday to your daughter!

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    1. Wendy - Thank you for your kind thoughts and the birthday wishes for my daughter. She's growing up way too fast.

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  20. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I voted for the Bromance Book Club. It's on my TBR.

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  21. Oh, Wendy. I am so sorry for you losses this month. I agree, it doesn't matter how old someone is, there is still a huge hole. I pray your mom's surgery goes well, and you aunt recovers soon. Happy Belated birthday to Mouse. I love your pictures of the living Desert, it looks like and amazing place. I voted for Bromance Book Club because it is funny and romantic as well. I loved it, but I also enjoyed Anxious People as well. I hope April is a better month for you.

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    1. Carla - Thank you for all your kind thoughts and well wishes! Thank you for voting too.

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  22. What a time for you all. I hope that April will be better <3

    I have reserved Four Aunties and a Wedding at the library so hopefully will get to read it soon!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My Sunday post: https://budgettalesblog.wordpress.com/2022/04/03/sunday-post-25/

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    1. Emily - Thank you! I enjoyed Four Aunties and a Wedding and hope you will too.

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  23. your roses are beautiful. sorry you have had such a rough spring and i hope things get better for you
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  24. The roses are gorgeous. Wendy, I'm so sorry you had so much sorrow in March. Glad Mouse still had a nice birthday.

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    1. Diane - Thank you. My one bush I thought wasn't going to bloom now has blooms. I will have to see if I can get photos of that one.

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  25. Condolances on your grandmother's death./ You ahve some nice memories of her and I'm glad. Bets of luck wth upcoming medical procedures in your family.

    Love the zoo photos.

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  26. I'm sorry that your March was filled with loss. I hope April is filled with lots of loveliness. I look forward to seeing what book wins!

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    1. Victoria - Thank you. I look forward to seeing which book wins too. :-)

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  27. I am so sorry that you had such a sad March and for the loss of your family memmbers. Hopefully April will be much better.

    I voted for the Backman book, mainly because everyone tells me I would love his books if I ever got around to reading it.

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    1. Marg - Thank you. I have enjoyed the two Backman books I've read and look forward to reading his others.

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  28. Oh my goodness! What a month, my deepest condolences on your grandmother's death. I so hope April brings with it not only showers but lots of wonderful things.

    Loving your photographs from the zoo, that last one of the kangaroo really made me smile.

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  29. I am so sorry for your losses. And I hope that your aunt continues to heal and get better. Sounds like a pretty rough month, but I'm glad you could celebrate your daughter's birthday still!

    I read Last Night at the Telegraph Club recently too and really loved it.

    lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Lauren - Thank you. I am glad to hear you enjoyed Last Night at the Telegraph Club too.

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  30. What a horrible March! I do hope April is better. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  31. My deepest condolences for your grandmother.
    Good news about your aunt, although having COVID myself, I know that is no joke. I hope she has a full and speedy recovery! Happy belated birthday to your daughter also!

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    1. Freda - Thank you. Losing my grandmother and great-aunt back to back has been a blow. My aunt is doing a little better, thankfully.

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  32. I'm sad to hear about your losses recently. It's so difficult to lose people who mean so much to us, who have shared so much with us.

    Those are some very cool animals at the zoo. I'd love to go there.

    I've heard a lot about Last Night at the Telegraph Club. I guess I need to put it on my list.

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    1. Deb - Thank you. If you do read Last Night at the Telegraph Club, I hope you enjoy it!

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  33. Condolences on your grandmother's death. Hope your April is better.

    Those animals look so cool. I haven't been to the zoo in awhile. Your roses are so pretty. What type of roses are they?

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    1. Marianna - Thank you. I am terrible with knowing the names of flowers, much less the different types, but I do know the orange roses are tea roses.

      Delete
  34. I'm so sorry to hear of your grandmother and great-aunt. Just because someone has lived a long life doesn't mean that their loss doesn't hurt. Hugs!

    I'm on schedule with The Count of Monte Cristo as well. If anything, I've had to stop myself from reading ahead!

    Have a great week and I hope that April brings happier times! - Melinda @ A Web of Stories

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    1. Melinda - Thank you for your kind words.

      I'm having a hard time not reading too far ahead with The Count of Monte Cristo too!

      Delete
  35. I'm so sorry for your losses and all the health issues your family has been going through. I hope your aunt fully recovers <3

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  36. Wendy, just a note to say that I'm so sorry about your grandmother and great-aunt. Glad that Miss Mouse had a good birthday. And I love the picture of your roses. Beautiful! Take care, friend!

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  37. So sorry for your losses this month. Just because someone is older doesn't make the pain of death less.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  38. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother and great aunt. That is too much all at once.

    I've been to the Living Desert Zoo but during the hot summer months and NO animals were out anyway. LOL.

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    1. Ti - Thank you. It feels like a lot all at once. We were fortunate most of the animals were out and about while we were there. We went first thing in the morning and it was still cool out. I can't imagine trying to go during the summer!

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  39. I am SO sorry to hear about your grandma, aunt, and great-aunt. I'm hoping your aunt makes it through COVID and all the other health issues that she's dealing with. What a horrible March for you!

    For your April TBR I voted for the Grady Hendrix--I LOVE his books. :) Here's hoping for a better April for you!

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    1. Christine - Thank you. I appreciate the kind thoughts and well wishes. Thank you too for voting!

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  40. I'm so sorry to hear about all that March threw at you and your family. I'm hoping April is settling down for you all and things are looking a bit calmer. The Living Desert Zoo looks amazing! I hope you are having a wonderful week.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you. We really enjoyed the Living Desert Zoo!

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  41. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother and great aunt, Wendy. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Glad Mouse had a wonderful birthday. And I love your roses, so pretty! Hope you've a great weekend, Wendy!

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  42. So, so, so sorry for the loss of two ladies in the family and hope your Aunt is doing better.

    Are those three sleeping cuties javelinas?

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