Top Ten Lists of things that made us happy, kept us going, intrigued or delighted us from the past month(s). Usually includes great recipe links, favorite books, pics of our adorable dogs, teasers for upcoming blog posts, crafty endeavors, fun local restaurants or attractions, travel highlights and more!
October has come and gone, and time has flown by like the leaves from the trees in our backyards! It’s been a busy month, but we’re taking a moment to appreciate another top ten list of the whos, whats, and wheres that lit the candles in our jack-o’-lanterns last month!
Favorite Book of the Month
A perfect book for October, Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman was an edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller. I (Tina) listened to it in the car on Audible over the course of several long trips. Don’t be alarmed that it’s read by the author – Steadman is also an actress, and a fantastic narrator! Told in the first person, with a lot of reality-checking, self-doubting questions directed at the reader (“Well that’s what you do? …Isn’t it?”) I was totally captivated. Yes, I was cringing and yelling at the main character for some of her questionable choices, but when she was scared, I was gripping the steering wheel tight. As a book club book, it can lead to some interesting “what would YOU do in that situation?” discussions, too. And it hooks you from the first paragraph: “Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age…” It’s possible that it’s even better as an audio book than as a traditional book, because you get all the nuances the author/narrator intended? Might not be high literature, but it sure was entertaining!
Favorite Local Restaurant
Our favorite restaurant of the month is Slate Bleu in Doylestown, PA. This cozy French bistro has an amazing variety of creative small plates and an extensive beer and wine Continue reading →
Another month, a new season… and our latest list of places, projects, pups and pleasures that pumped us up!
Our book selection this month is The Rent Collector, by Cameron Wright. The story takes place in a community that lives in (and scrapes a living from) the refuse of a Cambodian waste dump. It describes the unexpected relationship that unfolds between an uneducated young mother and the dreaded woman known as the “rent collector”. The novel itself is heartwarming and inspiring, but the larger historical backdrop was also riveting. Many of the characters are loosely based on real people that the author’s son met while filming a documentary about life in this municipal waste dump. We also learned horrifying details about the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in Cambodia. It’s something of a perfect trifecta when a book combines vivid world-building, great character development, and enough historical fact to make it educational as well as enjoyable! Two thumbs up!
Favorite Local Restaurant
With the chicks back at college, we’ve been rediscovering all the empty nesting habits we’d set aside for the summer. When it comes to meals, that means extremely light fare most weeknights, with the occasional date night or dinner out with friends thrown in on Continue reading →
My husband and I returned in July from a fantastic vacation with friends on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands got hit by two devastating Category 5 hurricanes in 2017, Irma and Maria, and are still recovering structurally, economically, and ecologically. Despite the lingering signs of destruction, much of St. John’s flora and fauna have bounced back. Tourism is once again going strong and bringing much needed income to the island’s recovery process. And from personal experience, the snorkeling is still as bountiful as we remembered from our first visit in 2003! After a week in the Caribbean, coming Continue reading →
Oh where has the summer gone? Our last Cheep Trill was in Apriland our most recent Chirp was June’s Crafting for a Cause. As is probably the case for many of you, summertime has been busy! Between having the kids home from college, vacations, visits to and from friends and family, etc… these days of summer are just flying by. Now we are in the midst of packing the kids up to head back to school again! But we’re taking a moment to breathe, and celebrate ten favorite things from the past few months…
Our favorite book for the summer was The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. Set in the 1970s in the wilderness of Alaska, this book could put a chill down your spine on the hottest summer day. We loved the descriptions of living off the grid, surviving the dark, cruel Alaskan winters, and a community that pulls together to help each other in times of trouble. More disturbing were the family’s constant battles with the father’s violent temper and PTSD from his days as a Vietnam POW. The writing beautifully captured Alaska in all its fearsome glory – as Continue reading →
My husband and I just spent a long weekend with a small group in Key West, Florida. The two of us had been there before, but last time was just a day trip off a cruise boat many years ago. Here are our top ten cheep trills for what we saw and did and took with us. Maybe it will help you plan your own Key West getaway!