Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What's Up Wednesday, January 2019

Welcome to the first edition of What's Up Wednesday for the year 2019! Today, I'm linking up with Sheaffer and Shay, to regale you with the ordinary events in my very mundane life. How boring! Unless you're my mother, in which case, hi, Mom! On the other hand, I actually really enjoy reading about other people's lives, even the mundane parts, so; if that's also your jam, welcome! Let's get started!

What I'm Eating

So. Many. Salads. I'm on a quest for bikini perfection (or, as close to perfection as a middle-aged mother of two grown-ass adults can get, anyway) and I've been walking to the local supermarket every day for lunch; their salad bar is the best-stocked and freshest of those in Hooterville, and, it's only about four blocks away, so it's a doable round-trip on my lunch hour.

What I'm Reminiscing About

I haven't really been in a very reminiscent mood lately, but, am enjoying the now. This is a big deal for me, as I have often felt it difficult to stay in the moment without either looking back or planning forward. It's an odd place to find myself, but I'm actually enjoying it. Crap, I hope this isn't another sign of old age.

What I'm Loving

I never thought I would say this, but, I am loving the candlelight yoga class that my friend Erin and I have been attending on Tuesday evenings. The yoga studio, where we take the class, is owned by a woman who was once a stunt woman in Hollywood, and, who still lists sky diving among her hobbies. She is an amazing woman and a really great instructor, plus, she encourages laughter in her practice, which, is rather important when one is just starting to embrace yoga, but, has less balance than that of an elephant on a unicycle.

Another thing that I am loving is the diffuser that I picked up a few weeks back. My current favorite oil to diffuse is an immunity blend recommended by a friend at work. I missed the flu shot this year and I live with constant paranoia about getting sick; diffusing the oil gives me a (probably false) sense of security, plus, it smells amazing.

What I've Been Up To

Oh, you know, fighting the good fight against hot flashes and other signs of impending doom. I mean, not to be all dramatic or anything.

What I'm Dreading

Ummm...the next hot flash?

What I've Been Working On

I finally finished all of the year-end book work at the hardware store, which, is a huge relief. This is the earliest that I have accomplished this annual goal in all of the years that I have handled the finances there. That's something to celebrate, I think.

What I'm Excited About

Our trip to Maui is now only a little over a month away! Queen B and I have been counting down the days while filling our Amazon carts with all of the essential items required for ten days in paradise, as well as for the journey to get there. Favorite purchases include neck pillows for our flight, packing cubes, reef-safe sunscreen, bikinis, sarongs, and rash guards to protect us from sunburn while snorkeling (which, we intend to do a lot of).

What I'm Watching

Netflix has been bringing it, lately, with so many great shows!

The Sinner

I binge-watched the entire series in a day.

The Ranch

A couple of coworkers and the Man-Cub had all insisted that Hugh and I give this one a whirl, and, they weren't wrong in their recommendation. The show is set in a fictional town, purportedly just down the road from Hooterville and, we've been able to create a drinking game based on the number of times that something is mentioned in the series that we know, for a fact, doesn't exist anywhere near the supposed location. Mentions of Hooters? DRINK! Cracker Barrel? DRINK! Also, anytime a member of the cast is seen drinking a beer or taking a shot of whiskey, DRINK! Of course, if we actually played the game, we would be wasted All. The. Time., because, these things are frequently depicted on the show. Still, it's an enjoyable watch.

And, again, thank goodness for Netflix, because, Dish recently parted ways with most of the movie channels, (HBO and Cinemax, I'm looking at you), leaving a void in my viewing space. Happily, we still have Showtime, because, to lose it would be...

(See what I did there?)

I love this show.  I love the Gallaghers. I am a bit concerned, however, about where it will go without Fiona and Ian; I mean, when a quarter of the family, on which a show is based, actually leaves the show; how successful can that show be? That said, if they don't find a way to give Fiona a happy ending, I'm going to be seriously irritated. Bonus points if that happy ending includes Jimmy/Steve.

A Discovery of Witches

I actually had to sign up for a free 7 Day trial of Sundance Now on Amazon Prime in order to watch this, and, I don't regret it for a minute; it would have even been worth the $6.99 a month, if the free trial wasn't an option.

My favorite way to watch the show is with a glass of good wine. In the tub. Living the dream, over here.

What I'm Reading

I've been on quite the reading spree, lately, finishing several books, including:

From Amazon: Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

My verdict: It was good! It started out a bit slow, but the story built up quite nicely, and the ending was more than satisfying.

From Amazon: Single mother Maisey Addington has always fallen short of her own mother’s expectations—never married, a bit adrift, wasting her high IQ on dead-end jobs. The only thing Maisey’s sure she’s gotten right is her relationship with her twelve-year-old daughter, Elle…until a phone call blows apart the precarious balance of their lives. Maisey’s mother is in a coma, and her aging father faces charges of abuse and neglect.
Back at her childhood home, Maisey must make a heartrending life-or-death decision. Her confused father has destroyed family records, including her mother’s final wishes. Searching for answers, Maisey uncovers one unspeakable secret after another when she stumbles upon a shattering truth: a twin sister named Marley.
Maisey’s obsession with solving the mystery of her sister forces her to examine her darkest memories and triggers a custody battle with Elle’s father. Will Maisey’s love for her daughter be strong enough to break a cycle of abuse and create a new beginning for them all?

My verdict: Loved it! The characters are well developed, the story is engaging, and the ending is satisfying without being super schmaltzy. And, yes, schmaltzy is a word, at least according to the dictionary in my head.

From Amazon: Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

My verdict: It was cute. I don't often do cute, but, every once in a while, I like to cleanse my literary palate with something sweet and this book fit the bill. Is it a bit predictable? Yes. Schmaltzy? Oh, hell yes. But, it's an enjoyable read, nonetheless.

I started this...

...but was finding it hard to get into, despite the rave reviews that it has gotten from other bloggers and reviewers on Amazon, in general. I'm sure I'll eventually get back to it, but, I needed to take a break and start something new, which I did, with this book...

...which, I LOVED. And, yes, I also mentioned that I watched the first season of the television series based on this book earlier in this post; I talk more about the reasons why in this post, in case you are curious.

As you can see, the majority of books I read are downloaded to my Kindle, and, my favorite place to read them is on the couch, in front of the fireplace, with my trusty canine companion by my side...

What I'm Listening To

A few weeks ago, one of my co-workers brought in a stack of old albums that she was looking to get rid of. My office mates and I were interested in several of them, so, when another coworker then offered up an old record player for our office, we jumped at the chance. Since then, we have oldies playing on repeat (quietly, so as not to disturb the rest of the building, except; on the days that I host an impromptu dance party, blasting the music as loudly as I can, while my coworkers blow off some steam while showing off their best dance moves).

My contribution to our record collection was the Eagles Greatest Hits. Because it reminds me of my youth. Which, means that I am old. But, that I also have great taste in music.

What I'm Wearing

Is this a hint?

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Hopefully, NOT shoveling snow.

What I'm Looking Forward To

The above-mentioned trip to Maui, I mean, obviously!

What Else Is New


Bonus question: What Is Your Family's Favorite Valentine's Day Tradition

We don't really have traditions around Valentine's Day. When the kids were small, we always made sure to have some small gift for them, either a box of chocolates or a stuffed animal, or some other trinket, but, since they've been grown, my efforts have gone into care packages with a Valentines theme, if they're lucky and I'm feeling generous.

Ok, that's a slight exaggeration; I'm always feeling generous (the Cub's February care package will most definitely have a Valentines theme).

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