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 →
‘Tis the season for pumpkins, scarecrows, and hot cider! I miss having my boys around to carve jack-o’-lanterns (and rake leaves!) with me. To share a bit of the spirit with them, I put together some Halloween care packages. My cookie-decorating may not be ready for prime-time, but I’ve never heard anyone actually complain about lopsided grins on frosted treats from home? Cass was busy helping her eldest move into a new apartment, so I decided to make some for her kids as well. If you hurry, you could still send a little autumn love to your own favorite far away goblins!
Ok, I meant to post this on Friday, but was too busy getting ready to entertain guests (with crafty projects!) all weekend… At this point you’re a little short on time to make homemade cookies for this care package, but it’s not entirely too late! Might just depend on how far away your chicks currently roost… I’ll try to post a link to this again next year, a week or two out from Halloween… c(-;
My book club just had our annual meeting where we all bring a book to propose as a pick for the new year. After everyone presents their book choice and we decide what month it will be for. Then I put together a simple bookmark for the club members. 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 →