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  • Evidently I can’t write cohesive posts anymore (as my unfinished drafts seem to indicate) so I’m back to my favored form of blogging
  • In farm news, we have new poultry much to the amusement and disdain of the USPS.
  • They came in waves
  • First the French Guinea keets that were met with coos and smiles
  • Then the Khaki Campbell ducks that convinced the well-meaning postal workers that they needed water so that I ended up wearing water/duck poo soaked shorts home from picking them up at the post office.
  • And then the Novogen chickens which brought the ire of the postal worker/armchair animal husbandry expert that felt the need to lecture me on the cruelties of sending chickens via post.  Whatevs lady… I don’t recall asking for your input.
  • All the new acquisitions are doing very well and are growing by leaps and bounds.
  • It’s been a while since we’ve had ducklings and we all managed to forget how excessively messy they are.
  • They are super cute tho…. so that helps
  • In other news… It’s been too hot to do much with the horses.
  • The heat has been brutal!!!
  • So it was probably a good thing that I decided to go ahead and have the lipomas on my forehead removed.
  • Surgery was a beast.
  • Post op was a solitary nightmare.
  • I don’t even wish to relive it to blog about
  • in a nutshell…
  • facial surgery is painful (all them nerves gotta be feeling things!)
  • I reacted poorly to the anesthesia (hello panic attacks and hot flashes for 2 weeks!)
  • my family and friends UTTERLY ABANDONED ME for the duration (Love you guys soooo much!)
  • but on the plus side… tumors were lipomas (non cancerous) and I’m rocking some pretty bad ass scars… on my face.  GRRR!
  • I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop… maybe.
  • I’ve been making lots of jewelry and happily people are responding very positively to what I’ve made.
  • I’m thinking of making a whole separate blog for that as I don’t necessarily want that traffic over here.
  • The boys are still avid cyclists.
  • J and B are planning several rides this fall… mini “tours” so to speak
  • Aside… Froome won the Tour de France so there is happiness in my house
  • He is B’s favorite cyclist
  • Along with Peter Sagan who is becoming X’s new favorite as X is becoming interested in cycling as well… particularly sprinting.
  • I think that X has always liked the cycling thing he just didn’t think his build was conducive to it, until I pointed out that Sagan is built like a tank (compared to Froome) and he’s a very accomplished sprinter.
  • I am coming to a place of peace with cycling.
  • We will see how this tentative peace holds once the weather turns and we are all vying for ride time.
  • I am feeling optimistic
  • School is in session for us and has been since the week after the Fourth of July
  • With the exceptionally unrelenting heat we’ve been having I felt that it was in the best interest of all parties to just go ahead and start now so that we could enjoy a few Fall breaks instead.
  • It’s going well.
  • X and I are avidly reading right now.
  • He’s reading Harry Potter (his first time through the series)
  • I’m reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
  • I thought the first two in the series were pretty good, but half way through this one and I’m starting to lose my immersion in the story.  At this point I just want whatever is going to happen to just happen already.
  • I hate when a novel turns that way for me.
  • J bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be delving into once I’m finished with Tris and Four.
  • I almost forgot about Luna!
  • We have a new dog!
  • She’s a Lab/Staffie/Bully mix (I hate using the word Pit)
  • She’s adorkable (typo intended)
  • She loves me and is a big 40lb teddy bear already and will probably get even bigger!
  • She’s about 4 months old now and is all-elbows and knees and goofy gawkiness.
  • I love her immensely and Joop tolerates his “little sister” better than he would like me to believe.
  • The gardens are doing well
  • We desperately need to put up more pickles as B has eaten all of ours.
  • All of them
  • As in there are no more
  • We are getting really creative with zucchini and squash
  • We have a deer problem this year which is annoying.
  • X and B have been huge helps to M.
  • X has done much of the plowing and B is a pro at picking both vegetables and bugs!
  • I’m certain that I’m leaving something out but for now that’s it… hopefully there will be a new proper update (sans bullet post) soon!
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I’m still working on the details of an actual YouTube vlogging channel.  Surprisingly I’m not upset about actually talking on camera as much as I am mortified at how often I slip into the rut of using the same words and phrasing over and over and over again.  It’s something I’m working on while I sort out recording and editing logistics.

Anyway… I figured I should follow-up with a little “this is what I thought about this” review of the books I chose for Booktubeathon 2015!

  1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  This was my choice for a book with blue on the cover.  I am a huge Gaiman fan, as is J and I actually had to wait for J to finish reading this book before I could start it, which is why it was the last book I actually read!  Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a fairly average, everyday Joe sort of guy, living in modern-day London.  Richard’s life is pretty “meh” in general with a few quirks.  Through a random act of kindness Richard finds his world turned upside down and slips through the cracks to the world below.  In the vein of Stardust we are transported to a world where things are just ever so slightly different and Richard finds his senses overwhelmed and his abilities to cope with an altered reality tested.  It is an excellent book, one that I greatly enjoyed reading.
  2. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty.  This book is set in and around the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC and follows the story of Serafina as she tries to solve the mystery of the disappearing children on the grounds of the estate and come to terms with her shrouded past.  I enjoyed this book in part because I am familiar with the house and grounds having visited the house many times and having been horseback riding in the woods where much of the action takes place.  It is a fast paced, quick read and definitely one that I will be passing along to Xander.
  3. The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White.  This is the classic tale of the voiceless trumpeter swan Louis.  I am currently reading this book to the children for part of their school time and other than having to explain a few “out of vogue” words, it’s been an enjoyable read that has sparked much conversation and even a couple skits.
  4. Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout. I had high hopes for this mash-up of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet but alas it only really achieved a “meh” level of greatness.  The book was the readable but not riveting story of Hamlet helping the distraught Romeo travel through the Underworld to rescue Juliet.  I think had this book been written as a general fiction instead of YA it would’ve had greater depth.  I would recommend it to tweens or early teens or as a casual throw-away beach read.
  5. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay.  Obviously I was on a bit of a theme with the Romeo and Juliet thing!  Another YA selection, this was my choice for reading in one sitting.  Another variation of the classic tale, the story opens with the Romeo and Juliet’s wedding night then progresses to the future where Romeo and Juliet are now agents for opposite sides of a ethereal war between good and evil.  The story follows Juliet as she becomes aware of the truth of her past and the consequences of her actions.  I found it to be a decent story, another light beach type read.  There is a sequel to this book that I have not read yet but I may pick up in the future.  Overall I liked the book and could see it being a good read for the middle school crowd.
  6. Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle.  This was my choice for book I wanted to read, which is funny as I only purchase books I want to read.  This is the story of Miranda, a fledgling actress trying to live up to the pressures of her famous acting parents.  The book opens with her angst driven meltdown after bombing on the opening night of her high school’s production of Taming of the Shrew.  Miranda is approached by a fellow student who turns out to be much more than he appears and she finds herself back in time and attempting to woo Shakespeare away from a career ending life in the monastery.  I had anticipated this book being another throw-away read but surprisingly it turned into quite a good story that managed to draw a few feels at the end.  I would love to see a sequel to this story as Mingle left the door cracked for future adventures that I hope come to pass!
  7. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata.  This is a Manga that I have heard a good bit about over the years.  I was not really overjoyed with this story.  Light is an annoying sociopath thinking that he’s solving the world’s problems. L is an annoying investigator-savant that is trying to locate and identify Light in a string of worldwide murders. The only interesting character is Ryuk, the bored Shinigami that drops his death note to be entertained by the human that finds it.  I would recommend watching the anime instead of reading the manga as I found the story progression to be boring and repetitive.  The physical book is quite striking as it the black edition, but that’s not really enough of a reason to search for this book.

So that’s my run down of the 7 books I read last week.  My favorite of the lot would be Neverwhere, but then I’ve been a Gaiman fan for a long time.  I look forward to doing more reviews in the future 🙂

As most of you know I have a thing about books.  I love books!!!  I’ve done a whole gob of reviews on the old blog and was so looking forward to my first review here.  That is until I realized the first book I’d be reviewing over here is The Appeal by Grisham.

First off I should admit that I despise court/law fiction.  I’ve never liked it.  Ever.

I should also ‘fess up that I’ve never been able to get past a couple chapters of any Grisham novel due to extreme boredom.

So it should come as no surprise how vehemently I’ve hated every moment of reading The Appeal.  Trust me, if left to my own devices I would’ve dropped it after the first page, but no… Jim had promised me it was a “good read” (he is now recanting that statement ever since I quite literally threw the book at him).

I held out hope that the book would end well.  It does not. 

I held out hope that the story would at least be interesting.  It is not.

I held out hope that there would at least be one riveting scene or section of dialogue.  There is not.

Nothing but legal jargon and made up chemical names.  Nothing but a tired story of “smarty” business outfoxing “dumb” white trash.

He spends so much of the book making you sympathize with the Peytons only to have Carl Trudeau sail off into the sunset unscathed.

Pfffft on you John Grisham!

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