Sunday Bookends: Little Miss hates Mountain Born with a passion, lots of new British shows to watch, and writing updates

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’ve been reading, doing, watching, writing and listening to.

What I/we’ve Been Reading

I am still reading the first book in the Joe Picket series by C.J. Box, Open Season. It’s very good and fast-paced but I was also reading a book for another writer, so I had to keep setting it aside.

The other book I am reading is Violet’s Vow, a Christian historical romance novella by Jenny Knipfer.

Little Miss and I are reading By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder again. This is our second time around with this book and the second time I cried when Laura’s dog, Jack, dies. Good grief even working my way toward that part makes me cry. I wish Little Miss would find a new book series to become obsessed with, but it could be worse, I suppose.

Little Miss and I also finished Ribsy by Beverly Cleary this week. Ribsy is the story of the dog of Henry Huggins, another of Cleary’s characters, who gets separated from his family and has to find his way home.

For school, she and I read Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates. As it often is with old books, there was a death at the end of the book. Little Miss seemed to know what was coming and declared that if the main sheep in the book was dead at the end, she was tossing the book out the window. Our windows have screens, and she couldn’t get it open, so I told her to throw it out the back door instead.

She did and then later her brother threw it off the roof of the garage.

After that, Little Miss placed it in the burn barrel and told me to set it on fire the next time we burn the trash. That’s how much she hated how that book ended and I can’t say I blame her. I always hate books where the pet dies at the end. Curse Old Yeller. I’ll never read the book or watch the movie.  Not even if someone offers me a million dollars. Actually, I’ll watch it only if someone offers me a million dollars to watch it.

The Boy was supposed to finish The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Friday but I am pretty sure he did not. I am encouraging him to start a book he wants to read for the last month of school to see if we do any better.

The husband is reading: The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

What’s Been Occurring

The weather — I’m sick of writing about it, but well, it’s the only “interesting thing” going on right now. We had chilly days all week, but at least we had sun.

I have to say I don’t mind the chill at times. It’s nice to sip a cup of peppermint tea with honey (lots of honey, of course) and snuggle under a blanket while reading a book and brainstorming ideas for books and blog posts.

But I would also like some temps where the kids and I can go for a walk or sit on our porch without huddling in our coats and sweaters.

Little Miss had two of her little friends over one day last week and they lasted about five minutes outside when I tried a craft with them involving food coloring in ice cubes. The idea was to either rub the ice cube on the paper or let it melt and see what happened but the wind was too chilly so they dashed back inside after about five minutes. Kids today also have the attention span of a gnat so by the time they got inside they didn’t want to do the project anymore.

My goal this month is to help Little Miss focus on an activity for longer than five minutes at a time. My main goal then is to also wean her off the devices and instead have her find activities that will stimulate her brain.

Unrelated, but it seems everyone I know is going on vacation this week. One friend is on her way to Florida, another to Virginia.

My husband doesn’t get a vacation until July, and we aren’t sure what we are doing then, but we usually don’t travel far from home, for a variety of reasons, but mainly money.

Well, money and the fact my husband and I aren’t big on traveling or staying places we aren’t familiar with.

Now, unrelated to vacations is that I have been having horrible sinus issues for two weeks — to the point I have been barely able to breathe because of his stuffed my nose because of how stuffed my nose has been. I don’t want to do anything because breathing has been too hard.

My husband suggested I take an antihistamine to help dry me out. Apparently, it dried me out too much because my nose constantly felt swollen shut inside and my mucous was very thick. Thursday night I didn’t take any Loratadine and the next day I was still congested but nowhere near as bad.  Apparently, Claritin was drying me out to the point my nose couldn’t even run and my lungs were so dry I felt tight inside.

I believe the weather change was what has been causing all my sinuses issues anyhow, so I probably didn’t even need the allergy medicine. Who knows. Maybe when the weather finally settles, I’ll be able to tell.

What We watched/are Watching

This week we watched Mystery Science Theatre 3000’s kickstarter project which my brother purchased for us for Christmas this year. They are starting a new subscription service and we are part of the lab rats while they figure it out and it’s been fun.

My husband was busy with a lot of work stuff so we didn’t watch a lot of shows together during the week. We did watch two episodes of the fourth season of Shakespeare & Hathaway, a British mystery show, which is finally up on Britbox.

While looking for clips from Shakespeare and Hathaway, I found a clip for a show called Why Didn’t They Ask Evans, which is a three-episode mini-series directed by Huge Laurie. I’m adding that to our que to watch this week.

Alone, I started a show called The Larkins. It’s very quirky and odd and I might be in love with it. It is based on a series of books and I have added those books to my list to buy.

I’m also looking forward to checking this show out while I take a much needed social media break in May (though I will be posting some on social media to promote Beauty From Ashes and helping with a reading group on Facebook I am a part of, I won’t be “surfing” on social media this month.):

It is about the real vet who still serves in the in the area where James Herriott, or Alf Wight, worked and based his All Creatures Great and Small books on.

What I’m Writing

I am writing two different stories at the moment, switching off depending on my mood, but I will most likely only share one on the blog if I decide to start sharing again on Fridays (pretty sure I will, probably this Friday).

It will probably be Mercy’s Shore that I share at this point, which is the fourth book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles series.

The other book I am working on is called The Devil’s Been Talking and it will be a stand-alone book, separate from the Spencer Valley Chronicles.

I have had a few ideas for blog posts but couldn’t seem to finish them for final posting. However, I wrote all or part of five blog posts yesterday. Shutting off the news and abstaining from social media helped that process. In other words, I do have plans to post more this week.

What I’m Listening To

I have not been listening to a ton of music and I need to remedy that because I feel better when I have good music in my ears. It helps to drown out the negative thoughts.

Now it’s your turn

Now it’s your turn. What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

10 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Little Miss hates Mountain Born with a passion, lots of new British shows to watch, and writing updates

  1. I am so excited to hear that Shakespeare and Hathaway is back!! I have been waiting! Are all the episodes available or are they being released one at a time? I like to binge. Weirdly, we were watching Murdoch last night (that’s not the weird part) and the actress who plays Lu Shakespeare was on the episode we were watching.

    Ugh I HATE books where the animals die. I am so with your daughter. And you. Do NOT read Stone Fox. I read it for the first time working in the school library, and I started sobbing right there at my desk. Lol. I wanted to throw it out the window too!

    We were thinking about watching The Larkins! We will have to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The gal who plays on Shakespeare and Hathway reminds me so much of Maggie Lawson, from Psych. I had to look her up to be sure they weren’t the same person, or at least related! Wow!

    Here in Alaska, the weather is turning – slowly – towards Spring. We are seeing the birch trees leaves starting to bloom. It is pretty exciting. My plant starts are aiming towards the windows, so I know they are looking towards the sun. We won’t be planting in our outdoor raised beds for another few weeks. It was 52 degrees this morning, but we had tons of wind, so it felt colder. I am so over winter!!! This was a long one, as I am sure you can relate.

    I used to get allergy shots because I am allergic to everything. As I got older, they lessened. When we lived on dairy farms, surprisingly enough, they disappeared all together. Now being exposed (for almost 10 years) to different foliage here in AK, I find myself very allergic to birch trees. And guess what is now starting to bloom? Yeah. My eyes and my sinuses are having a field day. Zyrtec so far works on the sinus issue, but I need allergy drops for my eyes. It’s insane. Summer will be interesting, to be sure. But I am sure the sunshine and warm temps will compensate!

    I have been reading things related to sourdough bread and diabetes management – nothing too exciting! LOL. I’m also obsessed with Discovery + and find myself binge-watching silly things like “Unsellable Homes,” or “Bee Czar,” There are lots of programs that hit all my checkboxes with history and anthropology, too. I’m a huge Chef Ramsay fan, so there is that, too. It keeps me amused and that is good.

    Hope your week is warmer and more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She does kind of remind me of Maggie Lawson! You’re right.

      I don’t know if I am actually allergic to anything specific. Right now I seem to be reacting to the up and down weather, but very well could be having issues to the pollen blowing around. I just wish I could take allergy medicine without it drying me out so bad!

      My son loves watching Chef Ramsay on various shows. We watch Kitchen Nightmares together sometimes.

      I hope you have a warmer and more fun week too. I’m sure you are definitely over winter up there!


  3. I hate any movie where the dog dies in the end. I remember Old Yeller and Where the red fern grows…horrible. Like that movie Terms of Endearment…just so sad.
    I used to take old white bed sheets and instead of stripping them for rags to clean with for house/car maintenance, I would hang them up on our clothes line in the backyard and give my kids plastic spray bottles filled with colored water that I added food coloring dye to. They would take their different colors and spray that sheet into a big art canvas of multi-colors. That kept them busy for awhile. I also filled one of those plastic kiddy pools you get at Walmart with play sand and threw in all kinds of sand toys. Kids can be so hard to entertain. I plugged in a video once in awhile when dinner needed done or other projects. I tried to get educational videos or shows for the kids when that happened. So much harder now days though with all those devices and technology. Hard to compete with.
    If you have wild mint growing or you can buy some at the store, toss the leaves in a bowl of boiling water. Then hold a towel over the bowl and your head to breath in the steam. Eucalyptus leaves work great too and you can buy those sometimes at the flower shops. Home made salsas are also great for sinus problems. They have tons of good vitamins in them too, in case you are fighting something in your system other then an infection. Sinus infections are so stubborn and hard to clear up.
    Getting too hot here in Arizona. I would love a cozy blanket with a chill in the air. That is very rare here in our state, unless you head up north. That takes three hours for us to get to our place up there. But now the wildfires have started. That’s Arizona.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read Where the Red Fern Grows as a kid and swore I’d never read it again – I don’t even remember all the details – just that the dog died in a horrible way.

      Great idea on the mint. I don’t have any wild but could probably get some. I had eucalyptus oil but ran out so I just ordered some more. A hot shower with all the steam has been helping me the most. I wish the allergy meds didn’t dry me out so much. I felt like a fish gasping for air for about a week and a half. Hopefully the weather will settle here soon and things will get better that way.


  4. That’s funny, cause I’m listening to ‘Old Man Who Climbed…’ too, is your husband enjoying the story? And what are the series of books called that are about the Larkins? I’m always on a lookout for good books!

    Liked by 1 person

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