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R & R…

Relaxation and reading…

Our summer vacation is coming up and we’ve decided to finally do the relaxing beach vacation that we’ve been talking about for all of these years.  Our hotel is within walking distance to the beach and we are ready to spend several days enjoying the sand, surf and the much cooler weather.  

You can’t plan to relax on the beach without a good book or two, or three.  I figured I would throw a few paperbacks from my TBR pile into my beach bag and I’d been talking to Boo about what she would like to bring to read.  In the meantime, Sully has been singing the praises of his Kindle.  It’s a second generation Kindle that Sully’s mom actually gave Boo when she got a newer model.  Boo wasn’t using it so Sully borrowed it to take to work.  It’s been a few months and Sully has really enjoyed using it.  Boo was looking at different books, she reads several series, and then found out that John Barrowman from Dr. Who and Torchwood has written a young adult book with his sister, Carole Barrowman.  At the time, Hollow Earth was only available in hard cover which to my mind is not the most beach friendly format.  It recently came out in paperback but a second book, Bone Quill,  just came out in hardcover.  Boo talked to Sully’s mom who is also a big John Barrowman fan, Gramma agreed that hardcover was not the best choice for the beach and suggested getting it for her Kindle.  It’s the logical choice but I didn’t see Sully giving up his new toy anytime soon.

Later that day, Boo and I cornered Sully and he gave us nice walk through of the Kindle.  I’ve been reading books through the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad for years but I didn’t have much experience with the Kindle.  Sully’s main selling point for the Kindle compared to the iPad is the fact that the Kindle is much easier to read in bright light.  Clearly this is a major selling point when you are planning trip to the beach.  After much discussion between the three of us it was decided that we would buy two more Kindles so that all three of us could read on the beach.

I looked at the current Kindle on Amazon and compared it to Sully’s Kindle 2, and I decided that I liked the Kindle 2 better.  I took a couple of spins through eBay and as of Friday we are now a three Kindle household.  I am quite happy with how things worked out, the price of the two Kindles averaged out to about $40 each.  They both came with chargers, cables and cases*.  I am amazed that we got two Kindles plus the extras for the price of a single new Kindle with an inexpensive case.  All in all, it turned out to be a great idea.  Thanks Gramma!

I’ve already read two novellas and I am several chapters into a new book.  Boo is excited to read hers and to get the Hollow Earth books and Sully is glad that he gets to keep possession of his borrowed Kindle.

 

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*It was a funny coincident that all three of us have the same black Amazon Kindle case.  It’s a good solid case and I like how the Kindle clips in on the side.

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Week 2…

It’s Week 2 of James Bond Saturdays – From Russia With Love

Bond 2

The second movie of the series is classic Bond, from the first faint rumblings of the Bond theme.  With the first introduction, ‘Bond, James Bond’, we couldn’t help but let out an ‘oh yeah.’  So classic, so iconic.   The exotic locales this time were Turkey and Eastern Europe (via the Orient Express).  We enjoyed the entire movie, and overly happy to see some familiar scenes like  Bond battling the enemy helicopter and later fighting Rosa Klebb (and her shoe spike) with a chair.

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Am I blue…

The plan today is to try to make it through as normal as possible.  It would be easier if my first job of the day wasn’t feeding the dogs.  Foley was happy to see me and I gave him a good scratch and a quick hug.   It was a quick hug because he was doing the bathroom dance by the back door.  He had that face that said, “thanks for the hug Mom but I gotta go!”

I am keeping busy continuing to decorate the Kitchen and Great room.  I have boxes that need to go back out to the garage.  Sully is working from home today which I am thankful.  He is doing his best to keep my mind off of things.  It’s funny though, he knows I am distracting myself by keeping busy and just pops in every now and then to check on me.  As plans go, it worked pretty well he chatted with me while I cooked and helped me take the boxes into the garage.

In the evening I sat down and started making plans for my Christmas crafts.  I’ve decided to make some Christmas banners similar to the Thankful banner I made for Thanksgiving.  I’ve picked several sayings after thinking about the different people I will be making them for.

Boo is going to make some stuffed patchwork type of owls for people.  We researched patterns online and found a few that will work nicely.  I have plenty of scrap fabric for us to make a few practice owls.  Boo loves owls so a few extra will note b an issue.  In fact, maybe I will try to find some fabric to make seasonal owls for her.  It will be fun to make some stuff with her.

snowflakes

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This year…

As we head into this holiday season I am finding that I am actually looking forward to it in a way that I haven’t felt in several years.  Growing up I always enjoyed and anticipated the holidays but after my father passed away in December 2007 I’ve felt a bit removed from them.  The first year, Christmas came less than two weeks after his passing and I was in a fog for much of it.  Christmas morning felt odd, like I had been away for some time and we were celebrating Christmas the week after it had actually occurred.  I survived it and my family was lovely, especially Sully and his parents but it was fairly awful.  It’s not surprising though that in subsequent years that I felt less than my usual enthusiastic holiday spirit.

This year I feel better and I am glad for it.  I am not sure if I am feeling better because enough time has past and the memories of that Christmas have faded.   My father in law passed in April and now it’s my turn to get Sully and Boo through the holidays.  So, whether it’s the distraction of helping others or that time is healing these wounds, I am feeling good and engaged in the holidays this year.

Now, if only I could get my house decorated and all of the boxes back into the garage.

My holiday thought…

This year I am going to enjoy it.  I am not going to spend all of my energy trying to get stuff done.  I will still get stuff done but this year I am going to take the time to  be a part of it all.

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It’s on…

It’s decorating time.   If it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving then we are decorating the house for Christmas.  **

It started the first year in our new house.  Sully and I had been married for just over a year, Boo was just barely a month old.  We’d held Thanksgiving at our house with seventeen people at our house.  It went fairly well with minor complications, mostly from the new mom and baby.  All in all it was a good time and the next day all of the parents wanted to go shopping for Black Friday.  Sully and I don’t do that so we invited all of the nieces and nephews over for movies and fun.  My parents offered to bring over lunch and when they came over they brought us a Christmas tree that they had bought at Michael’s.  

Sully and I were shocked, it was honestly one of the most thoughtful and sweet gifts my parents had ever gotten me.  We still put up that same tree, branch by branch.  It’s looking a bit sparse and everyday I sweep up little plastic needles.

Here is a picture from 2001, the first year we got it.  Not sure what’s up with the angle.  I was going to crop the picture but that’s my wedding bouquet up on the shelf to the left.  

Ok, here I go off on a tangent… I decided to make my own bouquet because I knew what I wanted it to look like.  I also figured if I was going to spend time and money on something that was so pretty that I wanted it to last and not die.   That sentiment ties in nicely to our Christmas tree too..

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Here is a picture from last year.  I would love to have a pre-lit tree that you can set up quickly.This year though, we aren’t quite ready to let go of this tree.  Maybe next year we will get a new tree and put this tree up in the school room.

I am looking forward to an amazing holiday season.  Wishing this for everyone else too.

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** We put up an artificial tree because I am really allergic to live trees, my whole family is too.  It takes about five days for respiratory symptoms to start then a couple of days later bronchitis sets in, after that you might as well drive me to the hospital.  Or so my dad always said, after the bronchitis I was usually away from whatever tree was affecting me at school or work.

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Jack’s back…

Ok, it’s time to decorate the bathroom for fall.  Last year was the first time we decorated for the fall and when I first suggested it Sully was a bit skeptical.  I talked him into it by coming up with a theme he would like, Jack Skellington.  Sully loves Nightmare Before Christmas and I was pretty sure we had plenty of items to help pull the room together.  We did have quite a bit of things and then I spent about twenty dollars to finish the room.

Here are some pictures from last year along with some additions that I added when I decorated yesterday.  Enjoy!

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I ordered this poster off of Amazon for $2, and we got the frame at Michael’s for less than $5 (with a coupon, of course!).

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Sully got this snowglobe for his birthday last year.

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I ordered the Jack Skellington patches off of Amazon.  I think together they were less than $5.  We already had the towels in the linen closet.

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I bought the black dress netting at JoAnns (with another coupon), I think it was two yards.  It was so inexpensive I don’t remember the price.  I had a couple of yards of black lining material that I draped across with the black netting hanging over.  The frame on the upper left holds a reusable shopping bag from The Disney Store.   The black wreath was 40% off at Michael’s.  

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This is a new addition this year.  We bought the hat at Disneyland in July.  It even took a trip down Splash Mountain.

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These mugs are new too.  Sully and I got those last Christmas.  I painted the miniature chest last year, another great find at Michael’s.

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I made the curtains (that hide the closet from view) from broadcloth purchased at JoAnns.   We brought Zero back from our trip to Disneyland last October.

 

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Happy day…

Last night we went to Sully’s mom for our birthday party.  Both of our birthdays are next week, first is Sully’s and then mine the next day.

My sister, Lily, planned the party with Sully’s mom which had an Avengers theme.  Here is a picture of the table.

I wish we had gotten a picture of it during dinner.  We had lasagna, meatballs, sausage and peppers, garlic bread, salad and black olives.  Sully’s mom makes incredible Italian food.  Her father actually came from Italy after WWII and her mother was a second generation Italian.  So when I say her food is amazing, it is actually so much better than that.  

Lily brought this awesome cake.  She has a friend that makes cakes, Lily designed it and the friend put it together.  Sully was quite impressed and said that the cake was pretty tasty.  I am not much of a cake eater, yeah, I know I am weird.  I had a small piece and it wasn’t bad.

We had a fun night and I was glad everyone could be there.  

 

Ok, so my plan to balance everything started  yesterday… 

House  –  …and garage  – 20 min* (yesterday and today) 

School  –  Prepped for next week.

Writing  –  Do blog posts count?  

Fitness  –  stretched (yesterday), stepladder (today)

Me  –  reading (yesterday), watched football (today)

* 20 minutes per job each day.