Last week pushed my limits a bit. Everything was just off, if you know what I mean. I like our little routine life, and I have a hard time recovering when things get off kilter. Who knew a sick gecko could throw such a wrench in things? But, this week is a new week!
Read Last Week:
This book did not disappoint. It was excellent. I actually got it when I joined the Book of the Month Club in December – it was the entire reason I joined, to be honest. This book was only $5 if I joined then, and I felt like it was the perfect enticement to pull the trigger on signing up. However, I promptly skipped the month of January. Lol. I hope to review this one later this week!
Reading This Week:
Wyatt’s curriculum is starting geography/literature combined unit studies, and we are beginning with Russian folktales and stories. I found this one while perusing the list of stories out there, and thought this might be an interesting addition to the middle grade library I am building. I am looking forward to reading this myself first, then hopefully as a family read aloud.
We finished up the Witcher, and I think we are getting pretty close to finishing Cobra Kai as well. In our quest for a new British mystery series, we tried a few and while they were good, they were not quite what we were in the mood for. Then we started Mr. and Mrs. Murder, and it was perfect! We wanted something a little funny and not as intense, and these two make us laugh. We are also getting ready to start All Creatures Great and Small. I can’t wait! Our movie night last night did not go so well. We started The Electric Life of Louis Wain and it was good and beautiful but also so sad! We ended up having to turn it off because I just kept crying and didn’t see that changing for me.
And that’s about it from around here! Hope you are doing well!
I had originally planned this post for earlier in the week but the week has gone a bit sideways! Just so hectic and crazy that I barely have had time to do the things I need to do. Oh who am I kidding? I haven’t had time to do those things and I have dishes piled up and library books that need to be returned and picked up and prescriptions waiting at the pharmacy, not to mention the groceries.. however, I have big plans for today after we finish school. I am going to knock it all out so that tomorrow we can just do fun things.
This past weekend was pretty relaxing at least! On Saturday Billy and I dropped Wyatt off at my mom’s for some grandma time and we went for a hike all by ourselves! We love our time with the kiddo, but it was also nice to be just the two of us for a change. And the hike was cold but lovely, and we saw deer! We were walking along and I caught this doe just laying down off the trail, looking at me very calmly. Then we saw three more near her. We looked at them, they looked at us. It was a peaceful moment. Why are deer so beautiful?
When we were leaving we saw a few more along the roadside, and then one standing among the trees, the branches framing her so perfectly that she looked like she had antlers.
Sunday was another easy going day. Billy made bread, and then later that night we went to my brother’s for soup night. We were hoping to have these every Sunday but decided to hold off for a few weeks until after Omicron peaks. But at least we had this one first! My brother made a vegan French Onion soup which was delicious, the kids had macaroni and cheese, the night was perfect. It was so nice to be together all cozy. The kids had a good time; my niece was having a blast with all of her dolls, and was very imaginative with her Elsa.. and all these plants! It made me so happy.
And Harry: he seems to be doing well! Billy and I have mastered how to do the meds; Billy holds him, I administer. Harry opens right up for me and I think it is because he used to me feeding him. But I have to tell you, it was so cute last night. We had just finished up with his meds, and Billy had set him back down. Well, I wanted to hold him too, which I hadn’t done since the vet’s office. We were kind of leaving him alone to recuperate. Well anyway, I picked him up and he had his eyes closed. I said to him “Hey Harry” and his eyes flew open and he turned around and raced up my arm and was preening and smiling at me. (Leopard geckos smile, it is so adorable. If you want a grin, google it)I think he was feeling good!
I’ve been meaning to write a post about my menagerie for weeks now. And today, well, was an absurdly crazy day. You will see why in a minute.
First up, the cats. All of my kitties are seniors now, how did that happen! I have Marlow, the gray tux, Maggie, the black and white tuxedo, and Miso, the poofy Himalayan. All three are rescues from different situations. Billy and I used to volunteer at the shelter quite a bit before we had Wyatt, and we ended up with three cats and a dog as a result. Penny, my sweet English Setter, passed away when Wyatt was born. But we still have our three cats, although they are now 17, 14, and 14. I’m having a hard time finding a photo of my flibbertigibbet Miso. She is too inquisitive when I go to take photos and gets up and comes to me. Lol. Maggie was a stray kitten, Marlow was abandoned in an apartment when his owners moved, and Miso was from a hoarding house. Now they are all here. And super spoiled.
And, we have the reptiles and lone amphibian. Harry and Luna, the leopard geckos, and Apple Jack the crested gecko.(L-R Luna, Apple Jack, and Harry)
And then finally Freddy.
For the most part, the entire menagerie is fairly easy to manage. This weekend however, a situation arose with Harry. He was acting different, not eating, and when he shed he didn’t eat it, which is not really normal. Then Sunday night, I noticed some sore looking areas on his um..nether parts. Not good. Not good at all. Since Michigan is all arctic right now, with temps zero and below, I was hoping that we would not need to take him to the vet. So, Billy googled it. And google actually gave Billy the right diagnosis, clogged pores in his hemipene plugs. I could go into more detail on that but I will leave that up to you whether you want to google it or not, because TMI. We read we could try some things at home, which we did, but it wasn’t helping. So this morning, I called around to find a vet. And let me tell you, finding a vet for a reptile is not easy. But, I found one, and lucky us, they had a cancellation for today. Woohoo! However, then I had the challenge of figuring out how to transport a desert creature to the vet on a zero degree day in Michigan. I decided to put the carrier and a towel in front of our heat vents to warm up prior to leaving, then fifteen minutes before we left, I started the car to let it warm up. I wrapped the carrier in a blanket and towel, had a hand towel in the carrier, and turned on the heated seat for him. And crossed my fingers. It was only a 15 minute drive so not too bad, and we made it ok. Or rather, he was fine. When I got to the vet, due to Covid, the policy is to wait in your car until the vet calls you to come in. Ok, I can deal with that. However, with the heat at max by the time we got the call I was so hot and sweaty! Yay me. Harry was nice and toasty though and that is what mattered.
Poor Harry was such a trooper. The vet did his exam and he was so uncomfortable he squeaked! I have never heard him do that! The vet came to the conclusion that yes, he did have clogged pores. And that he would require slight sedation and perhaps even an incision. At the very least lanced. In case you are unfamiliar, leopard geckos can also drop their tails when scared or upset, so in order to prevent that from happening we decided that sedation was the right route.
In case you are wondering, I took that photo of the vet holding him so that we could mimic that hold later on. Not because I randomly snapped a photo during the exam like a weirdo. Lol.
Sedating him for his procedure, while not cheap and took part of my Christmas money from my dad I had been hoarding for books, was the absolute right call. The vet told me later when I picked him up that he had a lot of back up and that the procedure took a lot longer than she had anticipated. But it was successful! They also told me he was a popular guy while he was there. Before the surgery they gave him a little warm soak under warming lights and the tech told me that everyone kept popping by to see him and pet him. He was the BMOC.
And the after care, you ask? Well, we needed to move him from his bioactive tank to a tank with paper towel or paper anything, that would not get in his wounds. So Harry is temporarily living in my butterfly tank. You see, when you are a nerd you have lots of extra tanks, picked up from free sites and curbside garbage picking. So Harry returned home, a bit stoned, in some pain, but to a clean and sterile tank. Oh, and we have to give him two different medicines as well. We have not attempted this yet, but.. I am guessing it is not going to be easy. Cross your fingers for us!
I can’t believe it has been a month since I have participated in any of these linkups! We have been having a lot of fun reading and creating and starting back to school, and hanging out in the woods for the most part; today we are doing more of the same and then we are going to my brother’s for soup night. It is the first one and it is his turn to host. I am excited about it, because soup and family – it really can’t get too much better than that in my world.
Read the last few weeks:
It’s been a good few weeks of reading! I have loved all of these books, each in their own way. We are still reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe together at night; we had taken a break for Christmas reads. I plan on reviewing The Lost Spells and Mistletoe and Mr. Right this week. I loved The Lost Words by McFarlane and this one is amazing too. The imagery the poems evoke, the beautiful stunning artwork, make this book such a treat to read through.
Reading this Week:
I was so excited to get this book! I loved both The Wicked Deep and Winterwood so I am anticipating that I will like this one as well.
and…. done! I had no idea there were so many when I started typing that out. Lol.
We finished up Brokenwood Mysteries and I am bummed! I hate when we finish a mystery series because I miss the characters and also because I have to find a new one to watch! We are also watching The Witcher. The first episode of the second season was fire; however the rest of the season, while good, is not living up to that first episode. Although I am very much enjoying the Henry Caville scenes. I almost forgot! We are watching Cobra Kai too! We have also watched Encanto, which was fantastic, and last night we watched Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, which I loved. I could watch those movies with the sound off and still be happy, they are just so visually stunning and interesting. I enjoy the actual movies as well, but I love the look.
And that is it from our little burrow! How are you all doing? What is happening in your world?
Hello friends! It was our first week back after our two week holiday break, and while the first day left us both exhausted, we had a pretty good week.
This weeks focus was on winter, which was appropriate as winter came roaring in fiercely the past few days, with weather temps in the teens and lower. Our curriculum, Blossom and Root, gave us the choice of three different books for our language arts this week – I decided to use two of them, Grandmother Winter and The Story Blanket. I had not ever read either of them myself before this week, and wow, I loved them! Wyatt enjoyed Grandmother Winter more than The Story Blanket, but I adored them both. We love using our storytelling basket this year, which is a new addition. Wyatt loves listening to the books and then using manipulative and figures and scarves and such to act out the stories. We put tiny paper snowflakes in a scarf and then Wyatt shook it, causing it to snow, just like Grandmother Winter does in the book. It was cute. Then we also added snowflakes to our Family Tree mural wall – and I snuck in a bit of OT while we were at it.
Since our books were winter themed, we learned a bit more about winter itself, from snowflakes to hibernating animals to just random fun facts. We of course did all of the “basics” as well, reading and phonics and math, and I found a fun “Forest Friends Math” that we have used in addition to our normal lessons as well.
Art this week was creating a winter themed fiber arts scene out of wool roving. This ended up being a collaborative piece as Wyatt did not enjoy the feeling of the roving. So he directed me and I placed it where he wanted it. He seemed pretty happy with the result.
Thursday was a cozy day of learning. We finished our work in the morning and in the afternoon, we read together and created another collaborative art piece. I call it our “kinda quilt”. It was a good way to spend a freezing cold afternoon!
Next week is more animals less winter, then after that we are beginning a few week long unit about Russia! I am extremely excited!! I took Russian language classes in college, and so so many Russian history courses as well. It’s going to be a good few weeks!
Greenglass House by Kate Milford: I read this book the few days before Christmas and it was absolutely perfect for those crazy days. I needed something easy but entertaining and this middle grade was the answer. Twelve year old Milo is so excited for his winter break at his home, Greenglass House. It’s Christmas, there is snow, and usually no guests at the inn this time of year, leaving plenty of time for him to relax all he wants with his parents. Until one after another, guests begin to trickle in. And Greenglass House is not just any inn, but a smuggler’s inn – and these guests seem mysterious and secretive. The whole crew gets snowed in, things start happening, and Milo and his new friend Meddy find a mystery to solve. I absolutely adored every second of this book. It was fun, imaginative, different, atmospheric. Milo has the idea for the guests to tell stories at night to keep each other entertained, and it was such a cool part of the book. I loved all the backstory for the characters – I feel like I could go on and on with how much I loved this book. If you are looking for a snowy middle grade, you can’t go wrong with this one!
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley: I must have been in “guests snowed in at a mysterious remote location” mode for a few weeks, because The Hunting Party also features a remote lodge where the guests are snowed in. This book! It was my first read of the New Year, and I loved it. Loved it. I read it all in one day which for me takes some skill these days. A group of old college friends are on a holiday trip together to bring in the New Year in the highlands of Scotland, in a very posh sounding lodge, with the hostess and the gameskeeper being the only others at the lodge with them. Then one person is found, dead. This book is told from multiple viewpoints over a period of a few days and the mystery just keeps growing as more of the actions from those few days come out. I could not stop reading it, and when I was done, immediately gave it to my mom to read. The ultimate snowed in thriller!
Crazy Like a Fox by Melinda Metz: I read the first book in this series, Fox Crossing, in January of last year, so it made sense to read this second in the series this January. I loved it just as much as the first one! If you visit my blog, you may know I love foxes, and pretty much pick up anything that is fox related. If only I loved in Fox Crossing, where everything is fox themed! This book is adorable. It is the story of Gavin, a typical Peter Pan, and Lillian, who is a Wendy. I mean not really, but that is who they reminded me of. Gavin is forever hopping in and out of relationships with women, although never actually ending the relationship himself; instead, he acts like a brat and eventually drives the woman he is in the relationship away, forcing them to end things. Lillian on the other hand, has given up so much of her own sense of self in order to stay in a relationship with her boyfriend. She has stars in her eyes (and on her toes) when it comes to Owen, and bends over backwards to make him happy. However, during their time in Fox Crossing, both Gavin and Lillian do a bit of soul searching, and things begin to change. This book also has amazing, fun secondary characters. Kristina/Kiki, Simon and Violet, Ford and Stephanie, and of course Honey and Nick and Annie and Banana from the first book as well. I love this series and can’t wait to read the next installment! (Oh, and if you prefer a clean romance, this one qualifies.)
* Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington books for an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
Does everyone wander around lost that week between Christmas and New Year’s? I know I spend the week alternately cleaning and straightening but also being incredibly lazy, all while saying I can eat what I want because New Year’s is coming and I will probably not be eating healthy for those two days anyway so why bother now? And so on…
This year Billy had the entire week off with Wyatt and I! I would like to say that we did lots and lots of cool things, but in reality we spent a lot of time bumming around the house together. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun though. Because we did. It was actually really nice to have all that time together while also having time to do different individual projects. Billy spent a few days making bread with my sourdough starter. (I made one for my stepmom too, and I named it The Grateful Bread) We also made homemade chicken noodle soup in the instant pot. It was delicious!
I worked on school things, different plans, watched a lot of YouTube, painted and played games and with different toys with Wyatt, who had lots of new things he wanted us to try out together. And so many books for us both! We have been reading up a storm around here.
We did get dressed in actual clothes and ventured out a few times though.
We went for a hike one afternoon, and were hoping that it would snow while we were out there. There is nothing like being in a forest while it is snowing. And wouldn’t you know it, the universe provided.
Another day we took a field trip to one of my favorite shops, The Conservatory. I love it there, especially in the winter. All the green!! It just makes me so happy. It was short outing but a good one. And I ended up bringing home a new pothos, a Silver Satin that I named Sam Elliot.
And I was excited to learn that The Conservatory is expanding and opens up in it’s new location (two doors down from its current one) on the 8th of January! I may need to take another trip. We followed our plant shopping up with pizza at my mom’s, where my brother and his family joined us. It was a nice night!
We pretty much laid low the rest of the week, watching The Witcher and Brokenwood Mysteries (which we finished…noooo!), doing the same stuff we did earlier in the week. New Year’s Eve we didn’t do anything too special but we did have plans for New Year’s Day! We woke up early (because that is not an issue when you don’t do much on NYE) and headed to the woods as we do every New Year’s Day.
The snow was gone sadly, but we were expecting a bit of a snowstorm later that night – right when we had plans for dinner with my brother and SIL. It was a low key dinner, spaghetti and homemade bread at our house while my mom watched the kids, and gave the four of us a chance to chat and catch up a little without the kids around for a few hours. And that was the extent of our socializing for the week! Sunday we watched movies (The Big Year and Encanto) and all of a sudden, vacation was over.
What do you do that week, if you are not working? Are you productive, or a bit lost like a lot of us?
Hello January, and hello 2022! I already shared my resolutions, first book, and one word, but I wanted to welcome the month and year more fully.
I love January. I am probably one of the only people that does. Janus, the doorway, January..so much potential for everything. To slow down, to do more, to explore, to stay home … whatever floats your boat this month is the perfect month to kick any new venture off. I think I sort of like to do everything in January honestly. Experiment with new recipes, hike in the snow, cozy up with books and projects, go through closets and forgotten places and donate what I find. Make endless lists.
This month Wyatt and I have some exciting fun new topics to study in our homeschool. I spent hours in December planning and gathering materials and I can’t wait to begin today. We have lots of good stories to read, nature topics to explore, art projects, and of course the “basics” but I am going to mix in some fun ways to learn those as well.
We also have some family events planned this month with our bubble! Soup nights on Sundays, a craft night once a month, game nights on the weekends. Movie nights just the three of us, as well as doing the Kids Moon Club again. I am looking forward to all of these things!
I always spend a lot of January planning. I kind of love making lists and plans, and I am trying out a new dinner rotation idea, like pasta on Mondays, new fancy recipes on Saturdays, etc. I am also creating a list of some possible places to visit and explore this year, family trips up north and field trips that align with our school. And Billy and I are finally, finally going to paint and spruce up our dining room/play room this month. There is also a stack of fat seed catalogs sitting here that I am excited to start flipping through and dreaming over.
Today is our first day back to our regular schedules – Billy was off for a week and it was lovely. But now, back to work, back to school, back to reality. Back to setting our house to rights and organizing all the new toys and books. Back to the daily. But, I want to make sure we keep our whimsy and magic and wonder in as much of it as I can.
My One Word: I always set a word and intention for the year, much like I do resolutions. This year, the word I chose was Explore – as in explore ideas, new places, the outdoors as much as I can. COVID and work will obviously put limits on where exactly we can travel still for a while, but I want to take more small road trips, see different things and places this year whenever it is possible. But beyond the physical, I want to explore new ideas as well, new ways of living, authors, habits.
First Book of the Year: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. I am so excited! I waited to read this until the New Year like a nerd, because the book takes place at the new year.
For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.
All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.
They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.
Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.
The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.
Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.
Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?
I can’t wait!
Resolutions: I’m going to keep this simple. I always make resolutions but never get down on myself for not accomplishing them. I feel it is ok to dream and try without always having success!
Yoga. I miss yoga so much. I need to make time in my life for it again. Before I had Wyatt I did it almost everyday and I loved how it made me feel, physically and mentally.
Feeding the chickadees in our neighborhood from my hand. Yep. This is a goal of mine. How cool would that be? I will feel so very Snow White.
Eat more whole foods, and keep buying local to support small farmers when and where I can.
And that is it! Keeping it simple. Kind of. Lol.
Traditions: Today we are watching The Big Year like we do every single New Year’s Day for the past ten years or so. This movie I think “flies” under the radar and it is just so good. Especially if you love birds. And Jack Black. And Rosamund Pike. We will take a hike through the woods, taking time to stop and listen and look around. And hopefully eat something good too.
What every you do today, I hope you have a good day!