Vet Visit, Italy, and #AmWatching

Why no, that tuxedo on the shelf isn’t a statue. I’d planned to go to the used book sale at our our local library this past Friday morning (like I really need more books). Don’t judge me. Plenty of you would have gone if you had the opportunity. Anyhoo, those plans changed. Bond’s had a cough for the past few weeks, but he’d had the same thing last fall and it was diagnosed as allergies. I assumed this was also. But then he vomited four times in less than twenty-four hours, so off to the vet we went. It was an upper respiratory infection, nothing serious, but he got injections for the nausea and an antibiotic. I also have to give him an oral antibiotic for ten days. Which promises to be a challenge since he doesn’t take kindly to being held against his will and a syringe forced into his mouth. This pic was taken in the exam room. He jumped onto the shelf where I couldn’t reach him. Guess his strategy was that if no one could get to him no thermometers could be put in unmentionable places and no needles would be involved. Didn’t quite work out what way.

A few weeks ago I mentioned hubby and I were traveling to Italy in June. We’ve now invited both sons to go with us. It won’t be possible for Son #2 with his work schedule – but don’t feel sorry for him. He and a couple friends are going to Ireland in April. You may also remember he visited ten countries one summer when he was with his university marching band. Son #1 will probably be able to go, so the trip will be even more exciting. When we took Son #2 to NYC a few years ago, Son #1 wasn’t able to go – not that he was really interested. Kind of equals out, I guess.

I finished the second half of season 4 of You on Saturday. Now I’m watching Daisy Jones and The Six. I didn’t read the book, but the show sure grabbed me. Riley Keough really resembles her mother (Lisa Marie Presley), and I became a fan of Sam Claflin after watching him in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s streaming on Prime if you’re interested.

Have a great week!

Storm, Little Library, and #AmWriting

We experienced a powerful, hours long windstorm this past Friday. There was also rain, but with gusts of over 65mph it was the wind that caused damage. We lost three trees planted over sixteen years ago when we moved here. Two landed close to our neighbor’s garage and fence, but didn’t do any damage. Our heavy iron patio furniture was tossed around like it was made of plastic. We have other trees leaning over with their roots exposed that will have to be removed. Hubby, and friend, and a neighbor spent around six hours on Saturday with a chainsaw and other tools clearing the trees. Needless to say, at the top of my to-do list today is calling a tree guy – me and hundreds of other people, I’m sure.

I learned last week someone had added a Little Library in our neighborhood. I think they’re wonderful and a great way to meet your neighbors and encourage reading. I dropped off copies of each of my books – maybe I’ll find some new readers. You never know.

Last week I mentioned I felt like Book #5 was missing a piece of the plot that tied everything together. Son #2 came over a few days ago to pick up some things. He also writes for his D&D group, so we’ve discussed writing several times over the past few years. I told him my current struggles, we bounced some ideas around, and something he said reminded me of a note I’d made and forgotten about. We cracked it – woohoo! Sometimes you just need that extra nudge from someone else to shake things loose in the brain, I guess.

Have a great week!

Tower Wars, Lunch, and #AmWriting

It’s a cloudy Monday here, but temps are supposed to be in the 70s. Such bizarre weather this year. Anyhoo, I had a fabulous weekend. For starters, Son #1 was here. You regular readers know what that means. Bond’s arch nemesis, Sora, was also here. Lots of chases through the hallway, occasional hissing, and stealing of toys, food, and treats. Saturday afternoon saw an epic battle of Tower Wars. Faster than the speed of light paw slaps, carefully planned strategic maneuvers, artfully dodged claws – and Bond emerged the winner. Of this round, anyway.

On Sunday, Son #2 came over and made lunch. His Whiskey Scallops were superb, but I forgot to get any pics. I made some mushroom orzo and a salad as sides. It sure was nice to have the four of us around a dinner table. I also forgot to mention last week that Son #2 has been working on a German chocolate cake recipe and brought me a slice to sample. Absolutely delicious – and I’m not a big coconut fan. Being a guinea pig for his recipes sure comes with perks.

I continue to make progress with Book #5 – woohoo!. The ideas are flowing, but I still feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle that ties everything together. I tend to write out of sequence, so I’m thinking if I write around it, the characters will reveal it soon enough. Wish me luck.

Have a great week!

Missing Winter, Italy, and #AmWatching

Not sure about you guys, but we’ve had the weirdest weather. I feel cheated because I enjoy at least a couple good snows per year. Temps are far above normal, and later this week we’re predicted to have mid to upper 70s weather. Makes me think the snow may arrive with the month of March – which happened a few years ago, I think. My brain equates February = snow and March = spring. The equations are definitely unbalanced this year.

For those of you who’ve traveled to Italy, I need some recommendations. Hubby and I are finally going. A few years ago we were working with a travel agent and getting ready to book – then the pandemic hit. Hubby will be in Milan on business mid June, so we decided I’ll fly over to meet him, and we’ll spend a week or so. We’re looking at taking the train from Milan to Venice, Rome, and Florence (maybe a couple, maybe all three). I’m ready for some good food and wine!

Over the weekend, I finally convinced hubby to give Breaking Bad a try. I got through the first season several years ago, but for some reason never finished the series. After the first episode, he asked me why we’d waited so long to watch it. If he’d listen to my recommendations more often, we wouldn’t be having these conversations.

Hope you all have a fantabulous week!

Super Bowl, Pinterest, and #AmWatching

I’m writing this an hour before friends arrive for our Super Bowl party. Son #1 wasn’t able to come home, Son #2 has no interest whatsoever in “sport ball” and couldn’t name one NFL team. I’d hoped Jacksonville would make it to the bowl (their QB is from Clemson, and I’m an alum), but I guess I’m now pulling for Kansas City. I’m more about the commercials than anything, and last year’s were a big disappointment. One of my friends loves to crochet. Cats and yarn go hand in hand, so Bond loves her, of course, as you can tell from the pic. This was taken during the game last night.

A friend’s frequent use of Pinterest encouraged me to revisit mine after many years of no activity (thanks, Craig!). The setting of my new WIP is an inherited Victorian house in a small town. After my SIL visited Washington, NC, she mentioned how charming and welcoming it was. It sounded exactly like what I’d pictured for the new book, so I now have pics of that town and various interior and exterior photos of Victorian houses. This could become a thing for me.

The first half of season four of You dropped on Netflix last week, and I binged those episodes in a couple days. Yes, Joe is a stalker and a murderer, but I weirdly find myself still pulling for him. Not sure what that says about me. Anyone else watch it yet?

Have a great week!

Nostalgic Weekend

Some of our family relocated to Morgantown, WV several months ago, and hubby and I were excited about that. Why? It’s where we met and received our undergraduate degrees – the home of West Virginia University. We’ve been back a few times for football games, but it’s been more than a minute since we graduated and years since we last visited. While hubby was off with his brother, my SIL was kind enough to drive me around town to some of my old haunts, places I’d lived (that shockingly were still there), and through the almost nonexistent and unrecognizable Sunnyside (the site of several couch burnings after big football game wins).

I also persuaded her to take me to a restaurant that friends and I often went to at the end of a night – where I first tried the totally addictive french fries dipped in bleu cheese dressing. After all these years, it tasted exactly the same. I joked that it might be because the oil in the fryers hadn’t been changed since then, but I didn’t care. If you’ve never experienced this delicacy, I highly recommend it.

This photo is of Woodburn Hall, built between 1874 and 1876, and where hubby and I met during a finance class in summer school all those years ago. It’s kind of shaded, but our class was the window directly to the right of the main entrance. It still looks exactly the same.

It was fun to go back and reminisce. Tell me if you’ve experienced something like this.

Cleaning, Air Fryers, and #AmWatching

The cleaning spree continues here at the Polen house. After plowing my way through Son #1’s apartment, I kept the momentum going. Both boys still have lots of ‘stuff’ in their bedrooms here, but I was able to get them to clean out a lot of it over the past month. Many trips have been made to Goodwill, and numerous trashbags have been filled. Son #2 took his mattress when he moved out, and the new one was delivered a couple weeks ago. New bedding will be here this week (used up some Amazon gift cards!). A large, bulky desk in Son #1’s bedroom has been donated to a local charity, and a cube organizer took its place. It’s strangely freeing to be rid of so much ‘stuff’. Almost like I can breathe better.

How many of you use an air fryer? I subscribe to Cooking Light and their latest magazine is devoted to air fryer recipes. Hubby and I took the plunge and bought one. We love it. Ours isn’t the largest size, but it’s perfect for just the two of us. Recipes have included different types of fish, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts (hubby isn’t a fan of them, but he ate every bite of this recipe), chickpeas, tater tots, and a Buffalo chicken bowl. I’ve never had much luck with chicken recipes (it tends to come out dry), but it was very moist with the air fryer. And cleanup is super easy.

I’m super late getting to this show, but I started watching Titans on HBO Max over the weekend. I’m more of a Marvel fan, but I was hooked after the first episode. Side note to Staci – it was cancelled before I started, so our curse doesn’t apply to this series.

Have a great week!

Belly of the Beast Report and Lunch

Last week I mentioned I was headed to Son #1’s apartment (the belly of the beast) to clean. The possibility of before and after pics were brought up, but to spare him embarrassment (and there would be plenty) I won’t post any. Let’s just say about ten bags of clothes were donated to Goodwill, numerous bags of trash (I lost count), empty boxes, and a fantasy football board were taken to the dumpster. Dusting is the bane of my existence. Hate it. But I did it for him and sneezed my way through it. Sora (if you follow this blog, you know she’s his diva cat and Bond’s nemesis) was thrilled to have entertainment throughout the day and enjoyed climbing the mountain of laundry on the floor waiting to be washed. When I finished the next day, floors were clear and vacuumed, furniture dusted, clothes hung in the closet and put away in the dresser, and I left with a huge feeling of accomplishment, lol. Here’s a pic of Miss Diva on her heating pad.

I’ve mentioned Son #2 is a foodie and has been hanging out in the kitchen with me since he was around 6 or 7. He currently works at a nice restaurant here in town and loves it. Yesterday he came over and cooked lunch for us – red snapper with a lemon, white wine, and caper sauce over asparagus. Soooo good. He’s also been working on some desserts, and his chef is adding one of them to the menu this week or the next. I’ve been a guinea pig for a couple things he’s tried. Doesn’t that pic look appetizing?

I’ll be tied up for the day, so I may not get to comments and your blogs until tomorrow. Have a great week!

#BookReview and A Dangerous Mission

Happy Monday! After a cold weekend, we’re due to have a rainy week – with temps in the 60s. What’s the deal with the weather lately? Makes me think February and March will be brutal.

I was delighted with this review of The Gemini Connection. It might be my favorite book (it’s like asking me to choose my favorite child), but it’s gets the least amount of love for some reason. Seeing it get some attention made my heart happy. I miss these twins.

Wish me luck, friends. This week I journey into the belly of the beast. I’m cleaning Son #1’s apartment. I’ve mentioned how he’d be a prime candidate for the show Hoarders – that’s not an exaggeration. The plastic bags from stores? He rarely gets rid of them. He’ll take whatever he bought out of them – most of the time – then leaves them lying around. When he was a freshman in college we went to his dorm room to pick him up for dinner. Between him and his roommate, they had over twenty empty milk jugs in their room. Why? To this day I have no idea. Hubby and I just went to Son #2’s apartment yesterday to pick up some things. He’s the complete opposite. I’m not afraid to use his bathroom. With Son #1, I’m wondering if I should rent a hazmat suit before I enter his. Yes, he’s an adult and should be doing all the things that adulting includes on his own. But some of you mothers out there get it – you’ll sleep better at night knowing it’s clean. I’m not a clean freak by any means, and hubby will vouch for this, but every time I hope it’s the last. Maybe he’ll finally start cleaning better. And yes, I’m aware of the definition of stupidity. Maybe next Monday I’ll share before and after pics, lol.

Have a great week!

Travel, Cats, and #AmWatching

After traveling the last three weeks, I’ve got a lot to catch up on. On the positive side, I got some reading done – I mentioned last week that airports and flying are good for my TBR. The negative? Piles of laundry waiting, Christmas decorations still out (honestly, I’d leave my tree up all year if I could get away with it), and a long to-do list for the week. One of the things on that list is to paint Son #1’s room. We’ve been in this house a little over sixteen years, and his room is the only one with the original paint color. The biggest reason is that I couldn’t get in the room to do it. He’s a notorious pack rat. While he was here over Christmas, I finally got him to clean out some things. I won’t even tell you how his apartment looks. You’ve heard of the show Hoarders? Just sayin’.

Speaking of Son #1, I mentioned last week that his cat Sora and Bond didn’t get along the two weeks they were together over the holidays. Sora left last Monday, but before she was put in the carrier she vomited six times (she’s fine and a good traveler – I think it was just her way of stating her displeasure) and gave Bond a swipe across the lip that drew a little blood. He’s also fine. After being on alert for those two weeks (she likes to attack without warning), he was exhausted and slept all day after Sora left. Cats. Never a dull moment.

I haven’t watched it yet, but I recorded Mayfair Witches last night on AMC, the series based on the Anne Rice books. I loved those novels, and I’m hoping the adaptation is as good as Interview with the Vampire, also on AMC. Below is the trailer.

Hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary today. His birthday was yesterday, and we had dinner out with friends and Son #2 Saturday, so tonight will be a quiet dinner at home, probably watching 1923. Have a great week!