Sunday Bookends: Too.Many.Books. And cold weather comes to stay

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to, and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in the comments.

What’s been occurring

Cold weather moved in this week (except one day when it oddly went up to 60) and I think it’s here to stay. Sadly. We’ve pulled out our winter coats and had to wear them most days. We even had snow on the ground two mornings in a row.

To cheer us up and fit in with the cold weather, and the neighbors, we also started decorating for Christmas this weekend. We decorated mainly inside the house but we did wrap some ribbon and a bow around our lightpost out front. We will probably decorate more outside today or later in the week. We do know one thing – keeping our kitten out of the tree is going to be very difficult since it is now her favorite place to lay and play. She almost knocked it over nore than once the night we put it up and had to be pulled out three times. If you have any tips on how to keep her out of it, I’d love to hear them.

I told my neighbor this week that I’m not used to the time change yet so I didn’t know what time my dog had run into her yard and got herself wrapped around their cinderblocks (which they use during the summer for their gazebo). I said “It felt like 9 but it was probably 6. My body hasn’t adjusted to the time change yet.” She texted back: “Just wait until our Christmas lights come on. It will feel like daytime at night.”

I asked her if it will be like National Lampoon and she said “not that bad.” I was actually hoping it would be that bright, to be honest. We are looking forward to the display, which our other neighbors have already been telling us about. I think it will be so cheerful to see full-on Christmas lights right now.

What I’m Reading

I just finished Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes. It won a Christy Award last week.

It’s beautifully written. It’s also very poetic. It was almost too deep for me with where my brain is, or rather isn’t, lately, but it was a wonderful story. I was determined to finish it last week because it was taking me so long to push through it with all the metaphors and characters speaking in riddles. That sounds like a complaint and I don’t mean it to be. It was just a lot for my muddled brain. I hope to have a review of the book next week sometime. Until then, here is a description for anyone interested:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers. She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea. 

I’m trying to choose which book I want to read next. I have a Kindle full of books I haven’t read but want to read. It’s hard to choose, especially since I have downloaded books by a lot of new authors recently. The candidates for this week are Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren,

Messenger: A Walt Longmire Story by Craig Johnson, (Update: I finished this Saturday night. It turns out it was a short story. Oops!)

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (not sure how I never read this one. I have a beautiful hardcover copy my husband bought me when it first came out.)

and

Heart Restored by Elizabeth Maddrey.

I’ll let you know next week which one I chose.

What I’m Watching

I’ve got completely caught up in The Trouble with Maggie Cole, which I discovered during a trial of PBS Masterpiece. Actually, I got the trial because the description of the show completely intrigued me. I probably won’t pay for another month of it because we have enough subscriptions already but I’m going to make sure I go through all five of the episodes that are up for now and if they are going to keep adding them, since this is a new show for 2020, I will probably have to cancel Hallmark to keep Masterpiece so I can finish it.

I looked for a full description on PBS but their description didn’t really do it justice. I found a better one on Wikapedia:

The six-part series takes place in the coastal village of Thurlbury and follows the local busybody Maggie Cole (Dawn French). Maggie refers to herself as a “local historian” and owns a local heritage-gift shop, while her husband Peter is the headmaster of the local primary school. Self-important Maggie has spilt the beans, drunkenly, on local radio about six village characters with secrets, and is thus racked with guilt for her pointless gossip. But she somehow seems to have hit a seam of truth about at least two or three, and thus the stage is set for confrontations and reckonings.

The show stars Dawn French from The Vicar of Dibley fame.

I think one reason the show is both cringeworthy and interesting to me is because, well, I’m Maggie Cole in real life. I’m the person who eviserates friendships and family relationships by somehow sticking my foot in it, or blowing up and regretting it later. After watching the first episode with me, my husband said he’s glad I’ve never gotten drunk because if I did I would scorch the earth with what I would say. Ouch. I wasn’t sure how to take that, but, well, he’s right. I’m bad enough sober.

My husband said “If you got drunk, you would lose control. You are one of the most controlled people I know.”

I looked at him in shock, thinking of the former friends I had told off in the past (though not as bad as I could have) and laughed. “Most controlled?!”

He smiled, “You could be worse. Trust me.”

And yeah, I guess he has a point. I could be. Also, I pointed out to him the many times I really could have let someone really, really have it in the last four years, but haven’t. We also both agreed that neither of us have felt an urge to really let someone have it since we’ve moved to our new town, mainly because we are a lot happier where we live now.

What I’m Writing

I’m working on The Farmer’s Daughter and shared a new chapter Friday. I hope to finish it and have it out on Kindle by February, but we will see how revisions and editing goes. Rekindle (the new name for Quarantined) is free on Amazon through Thanksgiving day.

On the blog last week I wrote:

Randomly Thinking: I want my men to be men and other random thoughts

Faithfully Thinking: When You Don’t Follow Your Own Advice

So what are you reading, watching, writing, listening to or doing this week? Let me know in the comments.

Published by

Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one, A New Beginning, in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

16 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Too.Many.Books. And cold weather comes to stay

  1. I need to start moving faster to keep up with you and your family. I guess retirement causes my internal timepiece to relax and sometimes wait for tomorrow. Being a native of Montana (now living in Ohio), I am partial to reading just about anything about my treasured Big Sky. Once in awhile, my writing takes me back in time to the Treasure State.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate your kind thoughts about the Big Sky Country. I grew up in Billings, but my teaching journey took me to many parts of the state. Do you and your husband have a favorite spot in Montana?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Move to Southern California, haha! It’s only cold in the morning, at night, in the mountains, and at the beaches. It’s chilly for us, probably nice and warm for you. Then again, better not. We’re actually on the verge of a second stay at home order.

    My body hasn’t adjusted to the time change, either. It’s 4 and I’m ready to serve dinner. I’m so ready for the days to get longer again.

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  3. We have a trial to PBS Masterpiece too that we’re probably keeping. I didn’t realize that show had Dawn French in it. We started watching a show called Before We Die on PBS Masterpiece. It’s good so far. Other than that, Kim is watching The Crown and I just started The Murdoch Mysteries on Hulu. I think you might like it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have been watching The Murdoch Mysteries. Warren turned me on to that one. We saw a show on Amazon Prime called Still Standing with the guy who plays the one officer on there. Still Standing is a non-fiction show about small towns in Canada with a lot of humor. The guy is a stand-up comedian in Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll look at that one as well. The other show we want to watch more of is Yellowstone with Kevin Costner. They have some on Peacock but we don’t want another subscription so we are buying them here and there on Amazon. First episode was long, dark, but good.

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  4. Good morning. My husband and I are better. Quarantine will be lifted tomorrow. We feel blessed to have great friends. Some of them left bags of food on our front porch. One neighbor left me a fragrant pink rose in a vase. I feel well enough to write book reviews today. I’ve had energy the past two days.
    I’ve not watched much television, but last weekend I binge watched a mainly subtitled series on Acorn. The title is Wisting. I watched all of the 1st season. The setting is Norway. For the most part it is a clean story. Wisting’s daughter is a little too friendly with men, even her father has a difficult time. I won’t spoil it, but over-all I enjoyed the series.
    I finished several books last week: The Three Wise Men, The Gentleman and the Thief, Gentleman Jim, The Children’s Blizzard, Fragments of Isabella, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
    I am trying to finish up a few books that were laid aside earlier in the year. I want a fresh start of reading in January.
    We had a cold front come through in the night. It is overcast/cloudy and 57. Humid. A light wind. It will not get much warmer. We need rain.
    Hope Thanksgiving week will be a wonderful week.

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    1. I was happy for the update, Annette. I have been wondering about you. Two family members are getting over it too and one is doing better but it’s lingering for the other (not in chest, thankfully). I think finishing up books to start fresh in January sounds like a great idea. I think I may follow your example.

      I think I would take 57 at this point. It’s been in the mid-30s and low 40s this week with one day at 60. I haven’t looked at what it is today because I don’t have to go out in it so I am just saying “looks cold out there.”

      I don’t have Acorn but will have to look into in the future and check out that show.

      Like

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