Monday, September 1, 2014

End of August 2014 Goals Update

Hello September! Time for a goal check-in. Not much to report on this month, just the mortgage and what I've been reading.

I was able to work a few extra hours this month and decided to put that toward the mortgage payment for September 1st. It's not money I normally have (or count on) so it won't be missed! My 2014 total is now $2600 - far more than I thought I'd have paid by this time in the year.

August was a superb month for reading. I read 9 books, so I've officially passed my goal of 50 for the year! My secret? Get poison ivy on your face, take off from work, and hole up in your house, reading all day ;)  
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Anna is forced to spend her senior year of high school attending a boarding school in Paris, and she's not happy about it at first. But then she meets √Čtienne St. Clair and things start looking up. All in all, a well done romance. 
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark - A cute middle grades book about three friends and the adventures they face after finding a rare zucchini crayon in a couch. An easy, entertaining read.
  • The True Blue Scouts and Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt - The scouts in this case are raccoons, and trouble is coming to their swamp. In the form of wild hogs and alligator wrestlers, haha. Enjoyable storytelling, but things seemed to fall in place a little too easily for my taste. 
  • Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - This is the story of Jersey, a teenager whose mother and sister are killed in a tornado, followed by her stepfather sended her to live with her father (who abandoned her at the age of 1) and his parents. I felt the first 3/4 of the book was heaping one awful thing after another on Jersey - a tough read.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean writes letters to all her crushes, then hides them in her hat box. All is well until someone finds the letters and mails them, followed by some awkward encounters, fake dating, and family bonding. The weirdness includes the ending. 
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - The premise here is promising. No one takes Frankie seriously because she's a sophomore girl and she's also upset that she can't join the boys-only secret society at her boarding school - so she starts playing pranks. Unfortunately, it takes 200 some odd pages to get to the good part, and it's over far too quickly, rolling into a lackluster ending. 
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - Delightful. This street was mentioned in the book I'm currently reading, The Bone Clocks, which gave me a little thrill. 
  • The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry - A group of well read children and their journey to finding/creating a loving family. Lots of references to children's literature that I appreciated.
  • Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty - Second in a series, as you may have guessed. I reread the first one in anticipation of checking this out from the library and adored it all over again. I'm looking forward to reading the third one soon :) 

Lots of long titles this month, eh? How was your August?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Coatrack

Do you hang coats on hooks? We tried using the hall closet (around the corner from the door), but this is much quicker and then we can use the closet for out of season items. But this particular coat rack has seen better days.
At first glance, it seems fine. Several hooks, a little space to rest things on top. Then the hooks started breaking off one by one, followed by the whole coat rack falling off the wall. Good times. 

So we replaced it. And by we, I mean Mr. G :) And not that I'm wishing for an early winter, but I am looking forward to loading this with heavy coats and winter hats.
coat rack coat rack
We're saving the old one for now, because we may be able to salvage the hook portion and use them elsewhere in the house for lighter items (I'm pretty sure the weight is why they were breaking).

Where do you hang coats?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet Monkey

We unexpectedly adopted another feline friend last week.

It all started when Mr. G dropped Capone off at the vet (to have a tooth removed) and commented on a cute kitten riding around on the vet's shoulders. As it turns out, the kitten was abandoned in a parking lot, picked up a few parasites and some burns, and then was dropped off at the vet's office. She was waiting for a good home. Mr. G and I discussed it at length, but really it came down to this - we wanted to help, and we were in the position to do it. So we brought her home.

She's been a joy. Very affectionate and curious. Keeping us entertained with all her antics. We love her already.


So why the name Monkey? Several things . . she likes to climb (just on people so far), she greets us with a little squeaking noise that reminds me of monkeys, and her favorite blanket is covered with - you guessed it - monkeys. 

I'd love to hear how you name pets. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dessert

Mr. G and I love going out to eat. It's a little break from cooking and cleaning, and we enjoy the chance to talk. (Meals at restaurants last longer than meals at home, so I feel like we talk more.) But since we don't have unlimited funds, we usually skip dessert. 

So imagine our surprise when we broke tradition to order a scoop of ice cream and this came to our table . . 

I think the official name was French vanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirl. The official taste was YUM.

When did desserts get so big?!




linking up for wordless Wednesday


Monday, August 18, 2014

Me + Poison Ivy

On a recent walk through the woods, one portion of the path was badly overgrown. The smart thing to do would have been to turn around and go back the way I came. Unfortunately, I didn't do the smart thing. I just continued walking, brushing vines out of my way as I went. 

A little while later, at home, my face starting itching. Must be a bug bite, I thought. Until I looked in the bathroom mirror and realized I had a rash that looked an awful lot like poison ivy. Spoiler alert: it was poison ivy. 

Bummer. 

Thankfully the internet was here to save me with all kinds of recommendations (and provide me with frightening photographs - never google pictures of rashes). 

I started out with some home based remedies (aloe and honey both reduced the itching), but eventually I branched out to the heavy hitters - medicated scrub and calamine lotion. 
It took about a week, but everything cleared up, and my face and arms look normal again. Plus I can now identify poison ivy like a pro. (yay!) But I'll be sticking to the sidewalk for a while. 

Have you ever had poison ivy?
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