10 on the 10th – June

10 on the 10th is hosted by Marsha from Marsha in the Middle! This month we are talking about weddings!

  1. What is the most amazing thing you remember about your wedding?

We had such a fun wedding, truly. We were 24 and young and just wanted a big old party. It was New Orleans themed, and instead of table numbers, we had New Orleans street names. We had cajun and creole food, and our favors were masks and doubloons and beads. We made all 400 masks by the way…. that was a thing. Billy’s mom made a gigantic mask to hang on the wall behind the head table – anyway, we had a party all right! People still talk about our wedding to us. We actually got discounts on things because vendors wanted to do it so they could add it to their portfolio, because I guess we were weird and different.

Billy always tells me that he will never forget the morning I had my hair and makeup trial done, because I met him and his family at lunch after and he didn’t recognize me for a second… I am not sure how I feel about that! Lol. My hair was all done up in an updo, and I had makeup on though, so I forgive him. I never wore my hair up, or wore makeup so it had to be different.

My bridesmaids all wore black, I wanted to go from a very small color palette at the wedding to an explosion of color at the reception. I had this image in mind of going from a formal type of event in a church to a straight up celebration and that is what we had.

  1. Tell us about your wedding dress.

My dress was off the shoulder, with bands of satin that overlaid the whole top of the dress. I bought the second dress I tried on. It was my mom and I at the store and we both loved the dress immediately.

  1. Did you include all three things (they start with b) at your wedding?  Care to share more?

My something old and borrowed was a gold sovereign coin from England that was my grandfather’s and my mom carried on her wedding day as well. I had the unfortunate mistake of losing it… My something blue was my garter, something new the dress, etc.

  1. Where was your wedding held…church, park, neighborhood bar?

Our wedding was held at the church my mom was married at, my aunt was married at, and that we had attended all of my life.

  1. What is the worst thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?

Gosh, I am not sure! I am one of those people who loves weddings and going to them and usually I love it all. Hmm. Ok, the worst thing I saw was more of a potentially embarrassing moment for a bride that Billy and I saved her from, I guess? We were at a wedding where the bride had really enjoyed the bar, was well-endowed, and wearing a corset dress. Billy and I had stepped outside for a bit and the bride came out a few minutes later- with the corset all loose and her dress top falling down exposing her to the world! She seemed oblivious (probably was) so I held Billy’s jacket up in front of her and looked away while Billy redid the back of her dress.

  1. Do you think less of a bride who doesn’t wear white?

Nope not at all. I love the fact that weddings are becoming more personal and less traditional. If I was to have a wedding now, I think I might do it totally differently, although I loved our wedding.

  1. If you got married tomorrow or sometime soon, what would be in your bouquet?

I had white roses the first time around. This time I might opt for something less formal, and want more wildflowers instead.

  1. Have you ever attended a celebrity’s wedding?  (Yes, I’m looking for name droppers!)

No, sadly. I did attend a wedding at the Hotel Del Coronado, where Some Like It Hot was filmed, but alas Marilyn Monroe was long gone by then. We were at my SIL’s sister’s wedding. She had a very casual, small like less than 20 people, wedding on the beach and it was beautiful and so very her.

  1. What wedding tradition means the most to you?

Here I will be old fashioned – I like the groom not seeing the bride until the wedding.

  1. Describe your perfect wedding.

Am I my current age in this imagining? Or still in the bloom of youth? I am going to imagine I am planning a wedding now with my new loves for 24 year old me…

I would still get married in the autumn, but in the woods by candlelight would be amazing! And then I would just want it more casual, smaller, rustic boho feeling. I would not wear that headbandy thing that is in the photo though.

This was a fun walk down memory lane! And dang, we all look so young in my wedding photos! My flower girl is now a grown woman with a new baby!


Stephen King Summertime Reads

Stephen King and summertime go hand in hand for me. So many summers of my young adulthood were spent reading his books, scaring myself silly. I will always associate summer reading with Stephen King. I haven’t read as many of his books in recent years, I just can’t keep up anymore, but I do have a few on my list for this summer, that I hope to read. This list however, is of Stephen King books that I have read and loved and will always make me think of summer.

First up one of my two all time favorite Stephen King books – Bag of Bones.

I think this one flies under the radar a lot, and does not get the appreciation it deserves. It is fantastic, the story of a grieving man who retreats to his summerhouse to try to heal and write again, as he is a writer unable to write. While there, he meets a woman and her daughter, and..a ghost. I am all about a ghost book. I read this entire book out loud to Billy one summer, years after I had read it for the first time. There is a made for tv movie, but don’t watch it and don’t compare it to the book. The book is by far superior!

My second book on the list is my other favorite – another underappreciated King book, in my high opinion!

Joyland! I really can’t say it better than I said it in 2016 –

I loved this book so much; I didn’t want it to end! The feel of it was classic top of his game King. It put me in mind of Bag of Bones. Thinner, and The Body. The story was a sentimental and nostalgic coming of age story; there were triumphs and revelations and a bit of sadness too. The story is told from the point of view of Devin as a wistful older man, looking back at this summer, a monumental one that changed him forever.

It was weird reading this a bit, as two of the characters are named Erin and Devin, and my name is Erin and my brother’s name is Devin. Lol. I don’t usually encounter them too frequently in books, especially Devin, much less in the same book! (If you want to see my review that is on my old blog, click here!)

Ok the next ones are pretty classic!

Is there any horror fan out there who can think of summer without thinking of It? My cousin Brian and I read this the same summer and completely terrified ourselves!

These two go hand in hand! The Regulators, written under King’s pseudonym, and Desperation. Both are the same story, parallel universe type stuff, about the same monster. My brother and I for years and years would respond to each other in the language of Tak like complete nerds. We still do at times lol, most often thankee sai which is more Dark Tower. Anyways, I digress.

The next three were all part of compilations as either short stories or novellas.

I swear, this story is one reason I absolutely am terrified of swimming in open water. And I can’t see one of these rafts afloat in a lake without thinking of this story!! Originally part of Skeleton Crew, chockful of terrifying short stories…

Also known to my generation as the movie Stand by Me with River Phoenix (sigh..my young girl heart had such a crush). The story is just as compelling as the movie, and is another coming of age story like Joyland. Such a summertime Stephen King memory for me, especially renting this on VHS and watching it at slumber parties as a kid. Originally part of the Different Seasons book, which is one of my all time favorites of King’s as well.

Oy this book was so good but so terrible and made me cry. Why am I including it?? It is just sad. I could never revisit it now as an older person with a child. It would break my heart even more than it did before! However, I couldn’t leave it off of this list. It was originally published as part of the Bachman Books.

As for the books that are on my summer TBR, I have added the following two:

I am not a baseball fan, but I am a fan of baseball movies and stories. Blockade Billy just sounds so good and I am intrigued, what could be the secret in this one!! And 1922, eeek! I will probably not sleep for a few nights.

And since June is audiobook month, I’ve added Billy Summers to listen to – starting now!

I would love to reread Bag of Bones and Joyland this summer as well! I own all of his books except for those that came out in the past seven years, I think I may have to revisit my Stephen King collection after this meander down memory lane..

The Spring of Cary Grant: Notorious

So when Lisa at Boondock Ramblings told me she was going to do a Spring of Cary Grant, I knew I wanted in on it. She introduced me to the legend that is Grant last fall, and I am woefully behind on his films. So I am tagging along on her journey, posting along with her as well. Katja from Breath of Hallelujah is also posting with us as well!

This was it – the last in our Spring of Cary Grant series. From having never watched a Cary Grant movie up until last fall, I feel like now I am so very familiar with his range and his work. I have watched him woo women, catch thieves, clown around and be silly, work for the government, and be positively creepy as well. This one – this one had a different feeling all together. I feel like in all the roles I have seen him in, I have never watched him act so – detached and emotionless. That wasn’t his fault, it was the role he was playing, that of a no nonsense American agent. He is charged with getting Ingrid Bergman, Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy, to help him infiltrate a group of “Germans” who are living in Rio. I feel fairly confident in saying that this movie never said the word Nazi, but that is what they were looking for.

Anyway, Huberman is supposedly perfect for the infiltration into the group – poor Alicia. That is all I can say. Her life has been determined by the men around her it seems at all times. She has to deal with the fall out from her father’s history and trial, and now she is being pretty much pressed into service for the country when she really doesn’t want to. Devlin convinces her by playing a recording of her and her father arguing, and with her claiming she loves her country, America. She reluctantly agrees.

While waiting for the assignment to go through, Devlin and Huberman fall in love, despite Devlin seeming to also loathe her, and her former promiscuity and drinking. She has been a “new woman” the last week or so, not drinking or sleeping around, yet he slams her telling her that she will eventually go back. She looks so upset as she asks why he just can’t believe in her, and I agree, that would be nice and he really shouldn’t be so judgy and blunt, she has some pretty serious trauma to work through, but I guess it has only been a week.

The assignment comes and Huberman is supposed to use her feminine wiles to work her way into the group via Alex Sebastian, played by Claude Rains. Devlin has information that Sebastian has been infatuated with Huberman for a long time, which is gross because it sounds like she was a child perhaps when they met, since she later thanks Sebastian for overlooking her bratty years. Anyway, Devlin tells Huberman about this assignment and she wants to know if he spoke up for her, telling them that no, that is not something she could do, wanting him to show her that he loved her. He has never told her that he loves her, not then and not earlier, despite them having the longest kissing scene in the movies for that time. I’ll talk about that in a bit, it was interesting!

So Huberman and Devlin contrive a way for Huberman to literally catch Sebastian’s eye, it works, and he woos her and she lets him. She mentions later to Devlin at one of their info dumps where she reports in to him what she has seen, including the removal of a man from a dinner party after he totally freaks out after spotting a wine bottle and it is heavily implied that he is killed for being a weak link on his way home, that Devlin can add Sebastian to her list of “playmates”. You know she wants him to act jealous or something to show he cares, but nada. Later on, Sebastian proposes, and when Huberman tells Devlin and the American agency, they encourage her to do it, although she is secretly desiring Devlin to tell her not to. But she does it, probably to make Devlin happy. So now she is married to a pretty bad dude who has seemed to have been infatuated with her even as a child or young person. He also has a weird relationship with his mother, which hints of Psycho another Hitchcock film. His mom is always embroidering, and every time I saw her in the background, sewing away, it made me think of Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities and her constant knitting of the names about to be killed. (foreshadow, foreshadow)

Devlin needs to look at the wine cellar because that info about the wine bottle made them awfully suspicious. He and Huberman manage to work it out, and I won’t do a play by play on this part because I thought this part was very well executed and it should be watched. Despite all of their best efforts however, Sebastian figures out that Huberman is working with American agents and he goes to mommy to report it. He wants to just off her since once his friends find out, he is a dead man walking. His mom however tells him no, no, it needs to be more subtle, so no one suspects anything. She suggests a mysterious lingering illness, and the two (or maybe just her!) begin to poison Huberman.

Huberman pieces it all together but it is too late – she is too weak to get away and they also remove her phone from her room so she can’t make any calls. After she misses a week of meetings with Devlin, the agency is like wow she must be on a real bender, but Devlin is like no, I thought she was drunk when I last saw her but now in retrospect I think she was ill. Too bad he couldn’t believe in her sooner guys! He goes to the Sebastian residence to check on her, finds her laying there severely ill and on the verge of death probably, and ….. you will have to watch to see the end. I am just not saying. It was the best part in this movie. Although I have lots of thoughts so if you have seen it and want to chat with me about it in the comments feel free.

Now, I mentioned the “notorious” kissing scene!

At the time, kisses were to be no longer than three seconds. Well Hitchcock got around those pesky censors, and created a kissing scene that was 3 minutes long, but made up of kisses that only last a few seconds at a time. The two kissed, nuzzled, cuddled, continued little kisses in the midst of conversation, even a telephone call, and this stretched into a three minutes long scene where it was quite obvious there was obviously something between these two….

Jokes aside, it was a great scene, well executed by all involved.

Overall, this was probably my least favorite that we watched. I felt so terrible for Ingrid Bergman the entire movie, and I felt like Cary Grant was a little too stiff and blah despite the kissing scene. I think this was more of an Ingrid Bergman movie, with Cary Grant also starring in it. She just stole this movie from everyone, which in a movie where a woman is ultimately always at the mercy of men, was fantastic irony. Or was it?

Anyway, just my two cents, early in the morning as I drink my first cup of coffee and reflect on this film.

I absolutely loved participating in Spring of Cary Grant with Lisa and Katja. We watched so many good movies, and I think there was only one I didn’t care for out of them all. I still can’t tell you my favorite! Cary Grant is very swoony and I can see why he was a leading man for so long. Plus his acting range is amazing, he could literally pull off any role.

And that’s a wrap folks!

Updated to add: I did not hate this movie. And I remember after the coffee started working that there was one of his movies I disliked more. However, this one was not one of my favorites. I just felt so angry and upset on Bergman’s behalf! She was a very sympathetic character to me.

To see Lisa’s thoughts, visit her here. For Katja, visit her here.

Strawberry Moon Party!

Saturday was the Full Strawberry Moon, and we finally revived our moon parties! We had missed a few due to illnesses and surgeries and babies being born, but now we are back on schedule! And the strawberry moon is one of my favorites in the whole year – it’s just such a fun theme.

The Strawberry Moon derives its name from Native Americans, as this is the time when wild strawberries would ripen and be ready to be picked – and eaten! My strawberries are just starting to ripen too, and honest to Pete, we had our first red ripe strawberry in the garden Saturday, just in time for the full moon that bears its name.

Anyway, I was super excited about this moon and celebrating with the kids. We always have such a good time, and this past party was no exception. I spent Saturday hitting up the dollar store, baking a cake, and decorating, and while I puttered about Wyatt and Billy headed out and bought the plants the kids were going to plant.

When Mermaid Girl arrived, I already had the Merry Magic Mac and Cheese (frozen Stouffers, the kids’ favroite) in the oven. While it was continuing to cook, we read the full moon story that is part of the Kids Moon Club, and the kids colored in their strawberry coloring pages. By the time we were done, it was time to eat!

The kids enjoyed the mac and cheese, and the cake especially. I enjoyed the cake too! (Duncan Hines for the win!) Oh, we also had strawberry watermelon juice which was also delicious. Billy and I felt like kids eating this obviously designed for children menu, but it was fun!

Next up – the main event- the craft! This is always the kids’ favorite part. This time I had them paint terra cotta pots to look like little strawberries, and once it dried, plant the plants inside. They turned out super cute! We played the game Pop the Pig while we waited, which is a super simple, fast game if you are looking for one, and kids crack up when the pig eats so much finally that his jacket pops open!

However, the fun did not end here! We still had our strawberry lantern sunset walk ahead of us! I had bought these battery operated lanterns from the dollar store, and drew little dots all over them to look like seeds. Then Billy took construction paper and made the top leaves and voila! Done! So simple and the kids loved them. Our walk was beautiful too – it was the perfect evening, cool and breezy but not too cool and breezy, you know what I mean? (also how did my kid get paint in his hair?)

By the time we got home, it was time for Mermaid Girl to go home and for the kids to get ready for bed. I was sure ready for bed! We did get to see this little peanut too, for a minute.. she was a little cranky but I did get some smiles out of her! She was tired too.

Tiny Bebe.

By the time Wyatt was all cleaned up and put in his jams, and happily sleeping and hopefully dreaming of strawberries and moons and playing with his cousin, the moon was up. My brother texted that it was huge and pink but I literally could not see it from my house! I did hang up the lantern though.

Next month is the Full Buck Moon, and you can bet I am already planning for this one! Then in August we are planning a big ol’ party, with all of his little cousins and his friend Tadpole Girl, at his grandma’s pool for the sturgeon moon, which I think I might just make more aquatic themed… I mean, sturgeon just aren’t that fun, are they?

Dream Night at the Detroit Zoo

We are such fans of the Detroit Zoo! We have been taking Wyatt since he was a wee little baby, and even before he was born, Billy and I would go to the “Date Nights” they would host, which was adults only, after hours, and served alcohol. It was always a good time! Our first real date night after Wyatt was born was actually one of these date nights, now that I think about it! We love going to all of their seasonal events, especially the Halloween night and the Holiday Lights event. But Dream Night was something else, something even more special. It is a night intended for those with special needs, and is limited to a pre-approved 1000 guests, total. It is cost free, everything from snacks to tickets and parking to the special exhibits, and is stress free as well.

I applied early and a few days later heard back that we were lucky enough to get tickets. I knew that Wyatt would enjoy it, and with hardly any other people there, Wyatt would be able to see things easier.

It felt so empty there! I have never been there, ever, where it felt like we were practically alone in the zoo until Dream Night. We pulled up and had our choice of parking spots, which is crazy, even with a handicap tag. There was no line to wait in to enter, and everyone was so pleasant and accommodating right from the get go, greeting us warmly. We strolled through, without having to worry about tons of kids cutting off Wyatt’s wheelchair, which can get a little scary! Kids are kids and will dart, it happens, but I never want to roll over a child’s foot! We could let Wyatt loose without fear! We didn’t though because we didn’t want him rolling away too far!

Our first stop were my favorites, the otters, who were hiding which bummed us out but we will go back and catch them later this summer, and then the reptile house. We were so excited about all of the cool snakes!

Next we wandered over to the tigers, where one of them was cooling off in its pool. It was a hot night, so I didn’t blame it one bit! From the tigers, we headed to Bricklive, which usually is an extra cost on top of the tickets, but was open for Dream Night! It was amazing! We were all blown away by these creations, all created from “bricks” that were very Legolike, but apparently not Legos. The amount of time and bricks that went into these very lifelike animals was mind boggling! The elephant took 25 days (or 600 hours) and 149, 071 bricks, and five people to build. Fascinating!!

We eventually stopped goggling at these animals to go see the real live ones, and continued on to the lions, the rhino, the giraffes, and my favorite, the zebras!! (Wait, did I say the otters were my favorites already? Well, they both are lol)

We moved on to the Kangaroos, which is super cool because you can walk through their exhibit and they get so close, and popped out right by Wyatt’s favorites, the wolves. The male wolf was hanging out right by the front of their huge exhibit, so we got to see him just relaxing and enjoying the evening.

By this point, Wyatt was getting tuckered out. It was 7:30 pm, and he usually likes to be in his pajamas, in bed, and being read to by 8 pm (this kid is an early bird, not a night owl ) and was fading fast on us. He really really wanted to ride the train though, and since it drops us at the front gate, we doubled back to get on it. When we got there though, we had a bit of a situation with his wheelchair. It is a small trainlet, and it can accomodate wheelchairs that fold up like an accordion, or there is a car with a ramp that they tie down the chair. Since Wyatt’s wheelchair folds down from the top, it wasn’t going to be narrow enough to take him out and stick it in with us so we opted for the ramp and tie down. Then we heard the ramp might not be working, but the woman running the train line was determined Wyatt was getting a ride, somehow. She thought if the train came back and the ramp wasn’t working, he could get a personal ride on the huge golf cart. Billy and I had already decided that if the chair couldn’t get on, Wyatt still could – one of us would ride while the other pushed the chair back to the front.

However, the ramp worked and we got all set up and then were told we couldn’t ride in that car with him. I almost passed out for a second when I heard that. I was like, I can’t not ride with him. First, because he will be scared, second because I will be scared, and third, because what fun is it for him to ride all alone?? So I asked if we could leave the chair there by itself, and just let him sit with us, and of course they were ok with it. They were very concerned and wanted to make sure we were happy – the woman who said we couldn’t sit there was just doing her job so we weren’t upset or anything, it just wasn’t going to happen that way. So we left the chair and sat all together and it was perfect. And it was all worth it, as the train was Wyatt’s favorite part of the night. The team of train workers got him to shout “All aboard!” and off we went! He was so ready to go home by the time the ride was over, despite loving every second of the night. Although we did make one more stop, the gift shop, where he picked out an otter t-shirt. (he also loves the otters)

It was a wonderful, magical, fantastically fun night, and I am so grateful that Wyatt was able to experience it! A big thank you to the Detroit Zoo for choosing us and for hosting such an awesome night out for all the families there!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was very full – we had Wyatt’s 24 hour EEG (and thank you everyone for all of your supportive comments last week!), Dream Night at the Detroit Zoo, and our Strawberry Full Moon Party with Mermaid Girl. I am wiped out y’all and I am looking forward to a very lazy day today. Although I am sure I will do a few things, I am going to *try* to take it easy!

Read Last Week:

As I suspected, I did not have time to read very much. However, I did a quick read through of a non-fiction book, and also listened to a book, so I am counting those.

Sunflower Houses by Sharon Lovejoy was a really neat book with a ton of cool ideas to do with young children in the garden. I didn’t read every page or word, but I did read the parts that interested me. And there were quite a few! I told Billy we need a bigger yard so I can do everything I want that I read about in this book. However, if I have to settle for one or two, I am choosing the construction of the “sunflower house” from the title, and the flower clock! The flower clock sounded so cool. They have a list of flowers that open for every hour of the day, a full 24 hours of flowers opening, and instructions on how to arrange it. I 100% want to do this!

I read Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland before, but I feel like I got so much more out of listening. Maybe because folk tales are part of oral tradition, that hearing them read out loud just added so much to them. I started listening while we did our overnight in the hospital, and it was so relaxing. I really enjoyed it. (If you have Kindle Unlimited both the book and audio are available as part of your membership!)

Reading This Week:

Lodge looks amazing and I didn’t get a chance to look through it last week – it is in my plans for today though! I did manage to read about 50 pages of The Shop on Royal Street so far, and I am enjoying it greatly. When I was younger I was obsessed with New Orleans and read every book set there (it felt like), watched all the movies, did all the things, even visited from Michigan 5 or 6 times, the last being the week before Katrina. I would love to go back and need to get that planned.

I also picked up At the Bottom of the Garden, which sounds awesome. It is a chunkier book so it will probably take me a while to read but oo, it will be fun!

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: A House with Good Bones

Thursday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Watching and Listening:

Last week Lisa, Katja, and I finished up with our Spring of Cary Grant movies, ending on Notorious. However, neither Lisa nor I have posted our thoughts on it yet! Look for it this week. Lisa is planning on doing a Summer of.. but isn’t sure which actor/actress she is going to settle on. I will probably not participate this season (well, I might watch some of them but I won’t be posting) because summer is unpredictable over here and we have a lot planned. I already had a hard time in spring sticking to a schedule and I don’t want to mess up her blog plans with my tardiness all the time! I did enjoy almost all of the Cary Grant movies we watched (with the exception of one) and it is hard to pinpoint my favorite.

Billy and I are also catching up on the American version of Ghosts, watching reruns of Newhart, Full Steam Ahead, which was produced by the BBC, and is hosted by our favorite historians. This is all about the golden age of steam and how trains affected Victorian Britain.

I was listening to the Botanical Folk Tales book and finished it up last night. As for podcasts, I am listening to National Park after Dark, Going West, and Night Owls. Musically, Wyatt and I have been listening to a lot of Tom Petty and the Wildflowers album.

And that is it from our corner of the world! What is going on in your world?

Book Review: A House with Good Bones

Publisher Summary:

A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.

“Mom seems off.”

Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.

She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.

But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.

To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! I knew I would, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so funny! The main character, Sam, cracked me up. I feel like if she were real we could hang. I also like bugs and wine and watching cozy British mysteries with rumpled detectives.

I don’t know if I would want to hang in that house though…. it sounded just a little bit creepy for me! On a scare scale, I would not put this way up there, but it did have this undercurrent of unease that made me well, uneasy.

There are vultures in this book y’all! And I was totally here for it. I didn’t realize vultures were so dang interesting! I see them circling in the sky, by the sides of the road, but they are not exactly my favorite birds. However, this book made me rethink vultures and my opinion of them. I am not sure I would want to run a vulture rescue/rehab like one of the characters in the book did, but I no longer think they are as yucky, and that is a win.

Sam has memories of living in the house as a child, growing up with her mom and brother, as her mom worked two jobs to support them after her father died. They lived with her grandmother in her childhood home while her mom tried to get the family back on their feet, and it does not exactly sound idyllic. Sam’s grandma was pretty frightening and darn right ghoulish at times. Sam’s mom is off too. Her normally laid back mom seems to have changed her entire personality, changing their home from how it had felt for the last twenty years, with funky art pieces, color, charm, into something cold and boring, lacking personality. More like something her grandma would like, in fact.

I absolutely devoured this book. It is a fast quick read, and a good one! Although, you may never look at a rose garden the same way again after reading it…

Thursday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Hey all! I am soo happy to be writing this from home! I mentioned in my Sunday post that Wyatt was having a 24 hour EEG, overnight at the hospital this time rather than ambulatory here at home. For being so short of a time, really, it felt like an eternity! Probably because this hospital stay Wyatt was healthy and not wanting to stay confined to the room, and wanted to be a lot more mobile than he could be due to all his wires and cords.

However, lets back up! Alllll the way to Monday, Memorial Day. We spent the day with family, with Wyatt playing with his cousin Mermaid Girl and just having a fun holiday.

There was also a lot of sitting around on this blanket, chilling out in the shade. Tiny Bebe was giving her parents a run for the money, and not napping – she totally has FOMO. She slept maybe 10 minutes before she was up and wanting to sit up and look around.

I was glad that Wyatt had such a fun day since the next day we were up and at ’em early to head to the hospital. I packed our bag full of toys, books, drawing paper, crayons (thanks Cindy for this idea!), his favorite snacks, and his tablet – plus my own headphones for me.

Once we got there it was a never ending stream of doctors and nurses, and finally the EEG study team was in to hook little man up. He is actually really awesome at this part. They said a lot of kids fight it, but Wyatt doesn’t mind hook up. He was busy entertaining the nurses/techs with Peppa Pig which he was watching on my phone. Then after 15 minutes (I think) he was all ready. I was so happy that the woman who cuts his hair was able to fit him in last week because he still had a ton of hair for them to work around, despite having a ton cut off last week. He just has the thickest hair. That little ponytail cracked me up.

Billy was at work by this point, he pretty much dropped us off and left, and Wyatt and I just played and snacked and read all day. Well, he did. I did mostly his bidding. I did put him in his wheelchair for awhile to let him wheel around the room for some physical activity which was a bit challenging as I had to move the cord around as he went, but it wasn’t too bad and he got to get out of bed at least. We sat on the bed, we sat on the couch, back and forth, back and forth. I was pretty exhausted by the time Billy got there! Wyatt was doing great though, and was as happy as he could be!

Billy got there in time for dinner, and I took a little walk around the tower building, of course shopping in the gift shop, while he played with Wyatt for a bit. Neither Billy nor I really slept; I slept all curled and contorted with Wyatt upon his request, and I was glad that I did. He woke up at 2 am and didn’t know where we were and it scared him. At least I was right there, because the pull out couch/chair bed thing was actually pretty far away from his bed. It was big enough for two parents I think which is a change from most hospitals we have stayed at. Anyway, I feel like I have really gone on about the sleeping situation!

The next morning Wyatt got up pretty early, 6 am, but the staff started coming in not long afterwards and he was unhooked by 8:30 am. That was the hardest part and the first time he cried while we were there. That glue they use to attach the leads just really sticks in his hair and they had to pull pretty hard, which of course pulled his hair too. My poor kiddo. Soon though he was back to smiles and I took him for a walk around the floor a few times while Billy waited in the room for the discharge papers, and then we were free! Home, we bathed that kid good with Dawn soap to get the goop from his hair and then he promptly took a nap. I actually did too. Lol. Poor Billy had to get back to work but at least this time he worked from home.

We will know the interpretation of the results soon. We got them already in his online med chart but we do not understand all that neurological jargon speak so it makes zero sense to us. I did catch three confirmed seizures as push button events (when I think I see a seizure or seizure activity, I push a button and report what I see). Wyatt has very brief focal seizures – a lot of people would miss them. Sometimes his eyes just shift right for about five seconds and that is it. Sometimes it involves his eyes and his arm jerking up, and is longer, about 10-15 seconds. These breakthrough seizures are so frustrating. He usually has about 2-3 a day at home, and that is what he had at the hospital so we were glad to see what we see at home is pretty much right on.

Wyatt has also been having some difficulties lately, physically, that he hasn’t had before. He has been “noodling” when he tries to stand or walk, just greater weakness than was there before. However, he had a med increase soon after his shunt revisions and it is hard to say at this point which is causing it. We are hoping his epileptologist will be able to shed some light on this for us and if it is his meds, help him out. I guess one of his meds, Onfi, can cause these side effects. So, even though we don’t have all the answers yet, I feel we got some good groundwork laid to find them out.

Today we are going to take it fairly easy. We are going to get some outside time, and I am going to clean but no school today. In fact, I think we are going to segue into a new summer school routine, especially since Wyatt has a ton of appointments and fun things happening this month. I am looking forward to putzing around outside today, and I am sure Wyatt is looking forward to playing in the backyard as well!

And that my friends is it for today. I feel like I wrote a novel today!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far! We did so much yard work yesterday that Billy and I are feeling it this morning. Lol. Wyatt had a blast though, playing in the yard while we worked and we had a great time out there together. This morning though, I might need an extra cup of coffee to get moving again.

So this week is a bit weird. Tomorrow is a holiday here in the States, and we are having some family over in the afternoon. Then Tuesday and Wednesday we have Wyatt’s overnight EEG at the hospital. I can never read in the hospital plus I will be trying to keep Wyatt entertained because keeping an 8 year old who feels fine confined to a hospital room is not fun, especially when they are hooked up to wires. And it will be just me and Wyatt for most of the day, since Billy will be working. He will joins us after work for the overnight part, but the daytime hours will just be Wyatt and I. Sleeping is bit hard too for kiddo. I saw this meme on the IG account Epilepsy Memetherapy and it is so true.

Read Last Week:

I REALLY wanted to read this book and I was hoping my hold would come in, so I was sort of avoiding reading anything in case it did. And on Wednesday, it came in! I practically raced to the library to pick it up, and it was definitely worth waiting for. It is a short, fast read, and I read it literally in one day. I LOVED it. I can’t wait to read more T. Kingfisher. It was both creepy and funny – the main character has a sense of humor very close to my own and I just couldn’t stop reading it.

Reading This Week:

I am not sure how much I will get to read this week! I do have a book all ready though in case I do get some time.

I also have a giant photo book to flip through.

Posted Last Week:

The Spring of Cary Grant: Operation Petticoat

Wednesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

The Spring of Cary Grant: Suspicion

Watching and Listening:

We have been watching the same things that we have been – Brokenwood and When Calls the Heart. Last night we changed things up though and watched Dungeons and Dragons, which was actually really good. It was just really fun and made me laugh out loud at certain parts. Chris Pine was great in his role, as was Hugh Grant!

As for listening, I have been listening to True Crime again after a long break. I am catching up on Morbid, Redhanded, and Going West. There was even a Morbid/Redhanded collab!

I am saving all my favorite YouTube channel updates for the hospital. Once Wyatt falls asleep Billy and I put on our headphones and watch stuff on our phones so we don’t wake him up. I will be watching lots of Darling Desi, Dainty Diaries, With Love Kristina, Alexis Dahl, It’s a Charming Life, and The Rambling Rose.

And that is from around here! I hope all is well in your world!

The Spring of Cary Grant – Suspicion

So when Lisa at Boondock Ramblings told me she was going to do a Spring of Cary Grant, I knew I wanted in on it. She introduced me to the legend that is Grant last fall, and I am woefully behind on his films. So I am tagging along on her journey, posting along with her as well.

This is double Cary week for me, since I got behind on the actual blogging part! But hey, look at me on time this week! Woohoo!

This week’s feature was Suspicion, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. Warning: This post will more than likely include some spoilers.

This was Grant like I had never seen him before, as a villain rather than a hero. And he played the role insanely well.

Johnnie Aysgarth (Grant) and Lina McLaidlaw (Fontaine) meet by “chance” on a train. I have that in quotes because by the end of the movie I was suspicious of everything that had happened! Johnnie sweets talks Lina into covering the rest of his first class ticket as he only has a third class ticket but has moved into her train car. Lina is sort of bookish, which we know because they constantly remind us of this by showing her wearing glasses and being very meek. Lina becomes instantly enamored of the charming Johnnie, and has a hard core crush. She sees him a week later at a hunt, he sees her, he pursues her, much like the hounds do the foxes, driving her from her den, where she is quietly reading and he arrives with some pushy society ladies and they all go to church. But then they actually don’t. Johnnie and Lina go for a walk, where he unbuttons her top button (whoa what the heck) and she gets a little feisty. Good for you girl. He also decides he is going to call her “monkey face” and does the entire movie. I don’t think I would like to be constantly called “monkey face” as a term of endearment. I think that is just part of his cruelty and gaslighting that will be more evident later in the movie.

Unfortunately, Johnnie’s flash and winning ways continue to encircle her and when he leaves for a week, she practically stalks him, calling all over to try to talk to him, begging the post office if they have a message for her. Like, get some chill honey. Ultimately though Johnnie returns and meets up with her at her father’s ball and they get married.

After a whirlwind honeymoon they return to their new home which is all fancy and updated, and frankly, uggo. I loved her family home, but her new one is ew. Lina quickly learns that her new husband who she is completely infatuated with is in fact, broke. No job, no money. But that is ok, because we don’t judge on that. Except, Johnnie is a gambler, who loves the races.

His good friend Beaky shows up and Lina learns from him that Johnnie is a good time guy, very entertaining, and a very accomplished liar. Lina eventually decides she likes Beaky after being a little put off him at first by his comments regarding Johnnie – mainly because she learns Beaky is telling the truth about Johnnie.

She has learned some unsettling facts about her Johnnie – he is a gambler, a liar, and now, he has sold her family heirloom chairs that were a wedding gift from her super rich dad. Later, she also learns that Johnnie was fired from his job because he embezzled, but won’t be prosecuted if he can pay his ex-employer (and cousin!) back the money. Lina is determined to leave Johnnie over this, but after writing a “Dear Johnny” letter, tears it up instead. At this moment, Johnnie walks in and Lina learns the horrible news that her father is dead. A little while later, Johnnie learns the horrible news that they were not left any money, only a gigantic portrait of the General himself.

Johnnie needs to still come up with the money to avoid prosecution. He talks his friend Beaky into a speculative land scheme, which Lina tries to talk Beaky out of later. Johnnie hears and gets really angry with Lina over it, obviously. However, she gives him the benefit of the doubt again. Then Johnnie calls it off anyway, and Beaky and Johnnie go to London together. A few days later, Beaky ends up mysteriously dead. The circumstances make Lina go hmm, especially after she is visited by inspectors inquiring into the death – they don’t suspect Johnnie, but she sure does.

It was here that Billy and I couldn’t stop seeing the web that Lina is in. Literally. The light and shadows in the shots form a web on the walls, on the floor, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It follows Lina and Johnnie everywhere, giving everything a much more ominous framing, like it needed to be more ominous. Lina discovers something that makes her fear for her own life, and when Johnnie brings her a glass of milk before bed, she doesn’t drink it. That scene, that shot, of Grant coming up the stairs with the milk is so freaky and so simple. Pure magic there. (also, see the web?)

The next morning, the glass is still there, undrunk, on the nightstand, but Lina is packing her bags to get the heck out of dodge. Johnnie finds her packing and despite her trying to convince him she is just going to visit her mom for a bit because her nerves need it, and he gets super mad. He tells her her will drive her and she is like no no, I can do it, but he insists.

So there they are, racing along the cliffs at high speeds. Grant reaches over, fiddles with her door. We see shots of how close they are to the edge, how one good push and Lina could go flying from the car and down the cliffside into the water and her certain death. It gets all creepy and intense and what is going to happen and Johnny swerves the car at the last minute and then there is chaos, the door is open, they are struggling – then next we know, Johnnie pulls the car over and they argue and Johnnie instead confesses he was going to take her to her mom’s and then go home and commit suicide. He tells her that he has since decided that it is the cowards way out, and tells her all sorts of things, like how he was in Liverpool when Beaky died, and gives an explanation to her about the final straw that sent her packing. She believes him, they get back in the car, head back to their home, driving off into the sunset.

And that’s it. That is the end.

We are left to decide what Johnnie is really like. Is he just a wastrel, a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat and a thief? Or is he a murderer too? Was he trying to kill Lina? Or was he trying to save her? Like I said, I looked back at all of his movements throughout the film with new eyes after a certain point in the movie, and thought to myself, did he kill her dad? I fully believed he was capable of murder. Billy however thinks Johnnie was just a jerkwad but not a murderer. (I think Billy might need to up his intuition regarding danger, quite frankly!)

I loved this movie. I loved seeing a different side of Grant, the dark side. His acting was impeccable, leaving so much room for doubt in the audience’s mind about his character. Fontaine was fantastic as well. Overall, a winner in my book.

Although I would never have gotten back in that car. I can guarantee that.

For Lisa’s thoughts, jump on over here! For Katja’s, visit her here!