Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Books I Read in 2010

Here are the books I read in 2010. Altogether I read 79 books, 41 of which were audio books. These aren't in the order I read them but rather they were originally grouped by the challenges I read them for. I decided I didn't like how it looked so I got rid of the titles. I do like to keep the audio books separate, though, just to compare.

Kilmeny in the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery

The Pirate Queen by Susan Ronald
The White Queen
by Philippa Gregory
Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Right From Wrong by Cindy Bonner
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Johnny Tremaine by Esther Forbes
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelley
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Standing Tall by C. Vivian Stringer
Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Back Home to Stone Gap by Adriana
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The Hotel on the corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
the Hour I First Believed by wally Lamb
Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand
This much I know is True by Wally Lamb
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand
The Castaways by Elin Hilderbarnd
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Short Second Life of Bree Turner by Stephanie Meyer
The Christmas Box Collection by Richard Paul Evans

Audio Books
Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin
The Pirate Queen by Susan Arnold
Three Junes by Julia Glass
Son of A Witch by Gregory Maguire
A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
The Shack
by William P. Young
The City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
Where the River Ends by Charles Martin
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DePrau
Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne dePrau
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I by Kathryn Lasky
I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Tudors by G.J. Meyer
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Bridsall
The Penderwicks of Gardam Street
by Jeanne Birdsall
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Imperfect Endings by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter
The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Safe Haven by Nicholas sparks
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Sister by Poppy Adams
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


For today, Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On My Mind...actually quite a lot...I go back to my PCP tomorrow to follow-up on my blood pressure which has been running kind of high. He switched the medication and wants to see my blood pressure back in the normal range or he may not approve my upcoming hysterectomy which is scheduled for January 17th (or for that matter, my endoscopy/colonoscopy scheduled for this Monday!) I need to have both done so I'm trying not to worry about it but that probably just makes my blood pressure worse!..I have finally found some Wii games I enjoy- Lego Rock Band and Just Dance! In fact I may ask for Just Dance 2 for my birthday!....I am really behind as far as posting pictures! It has taken me awhile to figure out how the new camera works and I think I finally have figured out where the pictures were being saved to on the computer so I will be trying to catch up!!!...also please keep our niece in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to deal with some personal issues.

Outside my window...our so-called "blizzard" turned into a bust at least in our part of the state where we got maybe 5 inches depending (literally) on how the wind was was actually a nice day and the wind has finally died down; it is still very cold!

What We're Reading...Last week, I finished A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Christmas Box Collection by Richard Paul Evans. I'm now reading The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson. I had bought it when I bought the first one and am now "in-between" books, so to speak, as I wait for the reading challenges to start on Saturday. I've decided to focus more of my reading next year on the classics...with Tucker, we read A Ghost of a Christmas Tale by Mary Pope Osborne which was fun for me to read along with A Christmas Carol because in it Jack and Annie convince Charles Dickens to not give up writing and inspire him to write A Christmas Carol. Tucker also enjoyed it because they watched the movie at school and he really liked it...we are now reading Space (The Research guide for Midnight on the Moon).

What We're Listening to...I finished Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson and it was really good! I'm now listening to I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.

What We're Watching...looking forward to Live to Dance (Paula Abdul's new dance show)...we've been watching Christmas movies, UConn women games.

I am blood pressure comes down so I can get my surgery done next month!

In the Kitchen...we made cookies and brownies for Santa... finished up the leftovers from Christmas, spaghetti and meatballs, and not sure what else.

Around the house...Christmas gifts are everywhere!...slowly completing the Lego kits and adding them to the collection...overall it definitely needs some attention...laundry to be folded and of course, more to be washed.

Coming Up This game on New Year's Eve...relaxing this weekend...Tucker's friend Freddie has his birthday party on Sunday (rescheduled from this past Sunday due to snow)...maybe getting together with Michael's family on Sunday afternoon.

No Picture Thought as I will be posting pictures soon!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Best of 2010 in books

Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner came up with this great survey of all the books we've read in 2010. And since I can never resist a good survey...

1. Best Books Read : I would have to say Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.

2. Worst Books Read : I don't like to call anything the "worst" and I can only apply this to books I actually made it through (I've blocked the others out! lol) I would have to say The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie by Alan Bradley because I just didn't really get it, I guess. It just seemed to ramble on and on.

3. Most Disappointing Books : I had heard so much about both of these books and was just not very happy with either, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Aimee Bender and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.

4. Most Surprising Book (in a Good way) : The ending of Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks definitely threw me a little

5. Book you Recommend the Most: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, The Help by Kathryb Stockett and My Name is Memory by Anna Brashares.

6. Best Series you discovered in 2010: I was a little late to the game but I was mesmerized by the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer and also The City of Ember series by Jeanne Duprae.

7. Favorite New-to-you Author you Discovered in 2010: Adriana Triginai (Stone Gap books) and Stephanie Meyer.

8. Most Hilarious Book : Definitely Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.

9. Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Books : Hands down, the Twilight Series.

10. Book you Most Anticipated: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer.

11. Favorite cover of 2010

12. Most Memorable character: Calpurnia Tate from The Evolution of clapurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Olive Kitteridge from the book of the same name by Elizabeth Strout and CeeCee Honeycutt from Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.

13. Most Beautifully Written: The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

14. Books that had the Greatest Impact: The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

15. Books that you can't Believe you Waited until 2010 to read: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Straight No Chaser - The Christmas Can-Can

Another good one!

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

We were talking at work about a capella groups (while discussing the show Sing off) and someone mentioned Straight No chaser. I remember seeing them on our local PBS station. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs! (Don't forget to pause the music playlist!!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That...

Tucker and I went to a UConn game on Thursday. we went with my mom's friend Theresa and her grandson Gregory (who is 2 years older than Tucker and a friend of his). We had a good time watching the Huskies win and eating more goodlies than we should have!

Here are some new pictures of the kittens....
Fiona has really come around and as you can see, enjoys playing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


For today.... Tuesday, December 7, 2010 (Pearl Harbor Day)

On My Mind...just trying to get through the holidays! Trying to get in the Christmas spirit!

Outside My Window...the sun is out but it is cold outside!!! Brrrrr!

What We're Reading...I finished Wuthering Heights (and with it, the Take the Chance Challenge)...I'm now halfway through The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly... Tucker and I finished Fudge-A-Mania and will start another Magic Treehouse Research Guide.

What We're Listening to... I finished Safe Haven and also listened to (and absolutely LOVED) The Giver by Lois Lowry... I'm now listening to The Sister by Poppy Adams.

What We're Watching...Amazing Race and Survivor are wrapping up...still watching CSI, Undercover Boss, and Nick shows... We've also been watching some of the Christmas DVDs.

I Am feel better soon!

In The Kitchen...chicken parmesan, grilled cheese/soup, not sure what else.

Around the House...we put up the Christmas decorations this past's still pretty clean...laundry waiting to be folded.

Coming Up This Week...busy, busy, busy...Tucker and I are going to a UConn game on Thurs night....going to dinner and Christmas shopping with friends Fri night...Tucker will be at my mom's Fri through Sun...Christmas party at my friend Tracy's Sat night...Tucker and Michael are going shopping with Eileen Sun...Light Parade in Niantic on Sun night.

A Picture Thought....
We went to Lego Fest on Saturday and had an awesome time!!!! More pictures to come!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Picture update!

So here are the pictures from this past weekend. I apologize for them being so big but I forgot to change the size...

Here are the kittens!

Tucker's holding Shrek and I'm holding Fiona.

Shrek playing and Michael playing with Shrek

Tagging the Christmas Tree...Tucker always poses in this sleigh...

Below Michael and Tucker look for the perfect tree and Michael tagging the tree

We met my friend Dawn at a local Children's' museum...

We knew this would be the best picture we would get of them! Caleb will be 4 in May and is getting so big!!!! He loved this cow costume and we were afraid he would go home in it!!

Below, Tucker took a picture of me and Dawn!

Small Update

Just so every one's not wondering what's happening...I found out today that I would need to pay a $1200 deductible up front for my endoscopy/colonoscopy so after talking with my insurance company, I rescheduled it to January 3rd because with Obama's new health care plan, I won't need to pay the deductible at all! so while it's frustrating that I still will be putting up with not feeling well, it's better than worrying about the $1200 I don't have!