Sunday Bookends: My birthday ice cream, Addicted to Rembrandt Stone, and I’m not leaving my house this week

What’s Been Occurring 

Today is my birthday and I’m old. 

That’s all I’ll say about that.

Along a similar line of thought, I am a very introverted person. Even when I worked for newspapers, I had to force myself to talk to people and do the interviews necessary to get the story. I essentially became another person for as long as it took me to talk to the person and then I withdrew back into my shell. I have no idea how I did it for 14 years and it is no wonder I almost mentally cracked at the end. Or maybe I actually did crack, which may explain my mental status some days. *wink*

Now, ten years or so after leaving the paper, I am even more introverted than before.

If I am forced to attend something in public, it can take me three days to recover from the mental stimulation. I am not kidding. I am mentally, emotionally, and physically drained after events where I have to speak to or interact in some way with people. Therefore, I only plan one outing a week, if that, any more. We have not been attending a physical church, which has lifted one interaction from my shoulders. All that smiling and saying “I’m fine. I’m great. Things have been so good,” for an hour or more is exhausting.

I had one event planned with my daughter. A science camp 35 minutes away at a local Christian camp. We went, we met up with some of our friends we hadn’t seen in a while, we came home. I breathed a sigh of relief because I had a day in between when my husband wanted to take me out to dinner for my birthday.

I wouldn’t have minded mind if we’d had dinner at home and just hung out and did nothing, but my husband was brought up that when there is a birthday, there is a trip to a restaurant to celebrate, so we went to a restaurant. Once I get to the restaurant, I usually have fun, but leading up to it I’m always stressed the entire time drive, thinking I am going to do something stupid in public like pass out, trip over something, get sick and shaky or have a full-blown panic attack.

That’s normal right? 

I know. 

I didn’t think so either.

So, I’m mentally preparing for the Saturday event with my husband (we also had to go to a wine festival he had to cover for the paper. Wine might have helped relax me, but I don’t drink alcohol. I know. I’m such a weirdo.), when my dad calls and wants me to take my children to an event at a church 45 minutes from our house on Friday night. I’m thinking, “No. Sorry, my human interaction quota has been reached. My tank in that area is full while my emotional and mental tank is drained.”

But how do you say ‘no’ to a very persistent man in his late-70s? You don’t, sadly.

And just for the record, I did have fun at the restaurant, but I am still going to do everything I can to not interact with any humans outside my own house this next week. Okay, I probably will have some interaction, but not on a big scale, because my brain and heart really can’t take it. Give me a cup of tea, a good book, and my computer to write my silly little stories on and I am happy. Thank you very much.

My biggest excitement for my birthday weekend besides my dinner out with my husband wasn’t any gift — it was ice cream. Häagen-Dazs ice cream to be specific. I haven’t been able to find Häagen-Dazs locally for almost 18 months. In a way that has been a good thing. I try not to eat too many high sugar items and Haagen-Dazs is a weakness of mine. The tiny stores in our tiny town don’t carry it and I never think of it when I am in a bigger store.

But this past week, I knew what I wanted for my birthday. A pint of chocolate Haagen-Dazs. This is sad to say but when I took a bite of it, I actually teared up. I’d forgotten how amazing it is. An ice cream with only a handful of ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, or anything else I can’t eat. Plus, I used to eat Haagen-Dazs when I was pregnant with my son and he’s about to be 14 in another month and a half so . . . my emotions are high right now. 

I rarely treat myself to anything so decadent. I always feel guilty but yesterday I managed to feel guilty for only a few minutes before devouring half a carton on the 40-minute drive home by taking tiny little bites and savoring every single bite.

It had been so long since I’ve had it, they had actually changed the design of the cartons. I also almost panicked because when we were looking for it, all I could find were a bunch of weird concoctions. I just wanted plain chocolate, not cookie dough, caramel and chocolate, etc. I was afraid I’d have to go home with plain vanilla, which is okay, but not chocolate. 

Anyhow, enough about my favorite ice cream . . .                                                       

What I’m Reading

I am ripping through the fifth book in the Rembrandt Stone series by David James Warren, Blood From A Stone. I’m sure I’ll finish it this week and probably cry a lot while I wait for book six, the final book in the series.

I wrote a review of the fourth book in the series last month. To give you a little background, the books are from a time traveler series and focus on detective Rembrand Stone who goes back in time to solve a series of cold cases and in the process messes up his life. I find myself chewing my nails and yelling at the book often. “No, Rem! Stop!” The book includes some romance with Rem’s wife as he fights to keep his life with her, but also keeps messing it up with the changes he makes in the past. Mixed in it all is an unsolved mystery by a serial killer.

I will probably continue and finish The Weather Girls, Book 1: Sunny, as well as it seems an easy read.

I would love to finish Craig Johnson’s Another Man’s Moccasins as well because I want to know what happens! I am reading the other books for a book tour so I need to finish them first.

Little Miss and I are reading Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder at night and during the week we are reading Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry.

 What I’m Watching

This weekend we watched a couple more episodes of Season 1 of Yellowstone (which we can’t watch when the kids are around) and earlier in the week I watched more of The House of Eliot.

What I’m Writing

 I didn’t share much on the blog this week because I either had events with the kids, had homeschool to do, or was working on The Next Chapter (the third book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles). 

I did share Chapter 3 of The Next Chapter on Friday.

 What I’m Listening To

I’m discovering music by accident these days when I leave Youtube on while writing and it skips to a new artist like Jimmy Allen singing with Abby Anderson.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: My birthday ice cream, Addicted to Rembrandt Stone, and I’m not leaving my house this week

  1. Happy Birthday, Lisa! And you’re not old yet. Just wait, it will happen before you know it, trust me. I totally get the social interaction thing especially if you experience panic attacks. I used to have them in restaurants a lot. I do believe mine were hormone-driven because after cancer surgery put me totally beyond menopause, the panic stopped for the most part. Anyway, I’m glad you did enjoy your birthday dinner and ice cream!


  2. Happy birthday! No better way to celebrate a birthday than with some chocolate ice cream, especially with no strangers around to watch.

    The best part of living in a big city during the pandemic has been having the perfect excuse to go nowhere and see no one. Just makes more time for me to enjoy my books and favorite blogs, which reminds me I still have to check out chapter 3!

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