As I go through my week lately, I am trying to think about all the good things that happened or that I have read or just little things that have made me happy, even if it is something that seems rather small, like that latte I bought at McDonalds the other day (not even Starbucks y’all!) or something a loved one has said. Things that make me laugh or just bring a smile to my face, those count too. I hope you will join me, and share with me some things that made you happy too!
- Wolfnoote – Have you guys heard of this? My husband has been buried in work and didn’t but I have been following this story and love.it. So much that I wrote it on my calendar and plan on celebrating this year!
- This bag from Target ~ I am in loves. It is the perfect size and weight, and is soft and very affordable! I can stick a diaper and wipes in there, a book for me and a book for the boy, snacks for the road, Wyatt’s shoes and braces if he takes them off, an umbrella if the day calls for rain and best of all, even a bottle of wine, which I discovered when I was carrying in groceries ( I don’t usually just carry wine around in my bag!). Other stuff too of course, but those are the things that got me excited. Plus I have much room left over, and it has little pockets for things like my phone and keys and such too. (Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to save the photo)
- Fattest Bear Award – Congrats Beadnose 409 on your “radiant rolls”! You did a great job preparing for winter!
- New Wolves introduced to Isle Royale – I have been following the plight of the wolves and moose on Isle Royale for a while so I was excited to see that steps had been taken to revive the pack!
- I saw a hummingbird moth in my flowers! It was so cool, but so strange and weird too! It looks like a mix between a bird and a moth. My mind wasn’t sure what to do with that information. I tried to take a photo but I only had my cell phone and I was just heading out to take Wyatt to school. Here is my photo anyway. Lol. After doing some research, it turns out that I saw the White-Lined Sphinx version. It was pretty cool but also gave me the weirds.
- We painted pumpkins with my niece L. at the library. It was fun! Wyatt’s pumpkin reminds me a little bit of Sia..
7. I had a date night with my husband! It was nice to hang out with him, especially as he has been working such long hours. Then tonight we went out to dinner with Wyatt. Also, if you like hard cider, B. Nektar’s Zombie Killer is fantastic!
8. And this..
What made you smile this week?
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Two hearts. Twice as vulnerable.
Manhattan, 1850. Born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and a nameless immigrant, Cora Lee can mingle with the rich just as easily as she can slip unnoticed into the slums and graveyards of the city. As the only female resurrectionist in New York, she’s carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies. Anatomists will pay exorbitant sums for such specimens—dissecting and displaying them for the eager public.
Cora’s specialty is not only profitable, it’s a means to keep a finger on the pulse of those searching for her. She’s the girl born with two hearts—a legend among grave robbers and anatomists—sought after as an endangered prize.
Now, as a series of murders unfolds closer and closer to Cora, she can no longer trust those she holds dear, including the young medical student she’s fallen for. Because someone has no intention of waiting for Cora to die a natural death.
Most people have a secret or two hidden away inside. Some big, some small, some inconsequential, others life changing. Cora Lee’s secret, tucked away, has been beating steadily away since the moment she was born, giving her life yet also threatening it.
Cora was born on the wrong side of the blanket, illegitimate – and with two hearts, a secret she must safeguard always. For this is the time of resurrectionists, when even the dead are not even safe from harm. Cadavers are in demand for scientific and medical studies, and those with “oddities” and differences can fetch a top price. Cora makes her living grave robbing, choosing to steal the bodies of the rich and well to do, feeling the poor suffer enough in life. This occupation though dangerous in itself, actually helps keep Cora safe. For the girl with two hearts is legend, The Impossible Girl, whose corpse would fetch a fortune.
I absolutely loved this book. The underworld of grave robbing, the flash language, the evolution of medicine and science, particularly for women (Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell even makes an appearance in the book!), the idea of anatomical anomalies put on display for entertainment – there was so much to read in this book, if that makes sense. So much content that set your mind imagining. I also enjoyed Kang’s drawing on the themes of duality. Cora’s hearts, her job that keeps her safe yet puts her in danger, upper class vs. lower class, as well as a few other things that I will leave unsaid, as not to give anything away.
I have read and loved Kang’s A Beautiful Poison and The November Girl, but I believe The Impossible Girl is her best to date that I have read. It was an interesting, thought provoking read, and it was a perfect start to my October.
September book club was all me. I had chosen Agatha Christie’s Crooked House because it seemed like a perfect introduction to fall reading. I have only read a few Christie books, but every single one I have enjoyed – I really need to read more, but at the same time I don’t want to binge read them all at once. I want to take my time and read them here and there, to be enjoyed instead of just devoured. Plus I did that once with Joyce Carol Oates, and man I was so depressed!! Lol. Granted, Christie is not like Oates but too much of a good thing sometimes..
Anyway, back to book club. I had had a little minor happening and had gone to the ER the night before book club, and unfortunately did not get out of the hospital until 3 am. So I was not feeling super energetic later that day. However, with the help of my awesome husband, who had also had an extraordinarily long week, we managed to get the house together and food made. It was a very simple meal this time, but good. Spaghetti with freshly grated Parmesan, crusty bread and rolls, and a pie. And wine, of course.
Everyone started to arrive around 7 pm, and the evening was rainy and gray. I loaded my friends up with carbs and wine, and we had the sleepiest, coziest little book club in a while. It was the perfect atmosphere to catch up with each other, talk about the book, talk about whatever. We all felt as sleepy as my cats, who were taking advantage of so many laps. It was a pleasant evening, if not a particularly high energy one. Just a nice and gentle evening. We must have all needed a real break!
The book grabbed me from the first. Who was this crazy family, all intensity and quirks and savagery? Who could have done it? I had my suspicions, and I went back and forth on it as I read. It was a short read, but a good one. Perfect for a fall evening, if you are looking for something cozy and mysterious.
I had spotted that Crooked House had been made into a movie, and was available on Prime, and so this weekend my husband and I watched it. I was disappointed that they had changed so much about it, and I couldn’t see why they changed the things they did. Despite this, I did enjoy the movie anyway. The cast was amazing – Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, Julian Sands to name a few, and they all delivered on their roles. It wasn’t my favorite movie version of an Agatha Christie novel that I have ever seen – that goes to the newest version of Murder on the Orient Express. But it was fairly well done for what it was.
I am planning on reading another Christie book soon – I just need to figure out which one! Anyone have a favorite, or a suggestion? I’d love to hear!
In the past year or so, I have really gotten into listening to podcasts. Sometimes I just need something to listen to, while I am working in the office alone in the evening or cleaning or cooking or just sitting and chilling out with my coffee. I also love that they are so niche, there is pretty much a podcast for everything it seems! No matter your interests, I am sure there is one out there for you. Personally, I listen on Stitcher, but there are a bunch of other podcast players to choose from.
So, what is on my playlist? We will start with my very favorite!
This is the podcast that started it all for me. I would listen to it while feeding Wyatt when he was six months old, and it hooked me. I still love it and eagerly await the new episodes every two weeks, except in October when they are every week!! The description from the Lore website describes it as:
Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.
Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.
Each episode examines a new dark historical tale in a modern campfire experience.
If this kind of thing floats your boat, I urge you to listen! My favorite episode so far is Black Stockings, but the Trick or Treat ones are good too! Well, all of them are, but these are my top faves of the 96 episodes available.
From the same guy who produces Lore, Aaron Mahnke. This is a newer podcast of his, and the episodes tend to be shorter, but still super interesting! Again from the Lore website:
Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a twice-weekly exploration of some of the most unusual and bizarre people, events, and objects in history.
I love this podcast! Such great stories, well presented – it is one I listen to once a week or so because I don’t want to run out, I love it so much. Best episode in my opinion, so far (that I have listened to)? 37 Days in Yellowstone.
So, yeah. My Favorite Murder. This one scares the crap out of me. I always listen to it at work on nights I am in the office alone, because of the language and content. However, it always freaks me out. I haven’t listened to very many, but I have listened to a few really good ones, including one that takes place in my own hometown…
If you are a true crime junkie, become a fellow murderino and give it a listen.
There are a few others that I will very occasionally listen to, including a few kids podcasts, like Circle Round, that I play when Wyatt wants to watch tv and I don’t want him to. If I put on a podcast he is content to just listen and play with his toys or color or whatever, which is much better than being glued to a screen all day. I won’t lie – he does watch television on occasion, but I do try to to limit how much and what he is watching. (usually Daniel Tiger, Blippi, Dave and Ava, or Sesame Street). I am also super excited becasue Aaron Mahnke is coming out with a brand new podcast, called Unobscured. In it he is going to deep dive the Salem Witch Trials – perfect for this time of year! It actually may have already started, I will have to check, but I know it is scheduled for this month sometime.
How about you all? Any podcast listeners out there? What do you like to listen to?
I love my friends. I don’t get to see them as much anymore, now that we are all crazy running around to work or with kids or all the other stuff that comes with being an adult, but we do try to get together at least once a month for book club – and sometimes to try a new thing! In the past we have gone to those paint and sip nights, where everyone paints the same picture and drinks wine, and have had a blast – although we have ended up with paintings that don’t always match our decor (like the giant peacock that I have). Not that it matters that much, it’s all about the fun!
Well, my neighbor is super crafty and talented, and runs a business for a DIY wooden sign making. In fact, I can hear her outside cutting all the boards right now for an upcoming show. So after a flurry of emails between all of us, we managed to coordinate our schedules to have a night of sign making (and drinking).
I have to admit, I had some anxiety over this activity! Lol. We were having it at my friend’s immaculate house that looks like a magazine, and I kept thinking oh lord, what if the paint spills? I wanted to go crazy tarping off her whole house. That was unnecessary however – the whole process is very tidy and neat – at least the way Heather does it. In fact everything was so organized and efficient that we had the easiest time making them! All we had to do was follow the directions, drink our wine, eat our snacks, and have a good time. Which we did!
It was quite simple the way Heather did it – everyone’s signs were precut, the wood and the stencils. She set out our materials in front of us and led us through it step by step. We could choose our color palette from a huge array of colors, and kind of play around if we chose as well. My friend Kelly mixed two colors for her background to come up with a cool spooky gray (she made her sign for Halloween decorating) and Chrissy played around with colors to make a fun color for her moon sign too. We painted and sanded and peeled, and picked the little plastic out from the letters, which while tedious I strangely enjoyed, talking and eating and laughing the whole time, peeking at each other’s creations. And then we were done! Everyone did a great job I think, and we had quite a variety! From Kelly’s “Ill Behaved Children Will Be Baked Into Pies” to Chrissy’s phases of the moon, to Mary’s “As For Me and My House, We Will Serve Tacos”, to Jill’s family monogram that will go up in their new house, to my acorn and nature sign, I think they were all quite individual and unique, just like us!
Here is my sign, all finished. It is not hanging yet, I can’t quite decide if I want it in Wyatt’s room or above his play table, which will soon be moved to my office. So for now I move it about. The acorn is kind of our family talisman – it stands for many things, but mainly because my little guy is such a tiny guy. I was a small kid too, and my grandma always used to say “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks”. She herself was a tiny firecracker of a lady, so it was very appropriate. And I usually do have an acorn in my pocket – in fact, they are stashed all over my house, squirrel like I guess.
We had a blast – and I am looking forward to our next thing, whatever that may be!