Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gettin' my smooth on!

My middle daughter and I are taking the 30 day Smoothie Challenge!

She needs the vitamins...she's a kid who's been eating too much junk.
I need the vitamins...I'm a 45 year old woman who's falling apart :p
(And still fighting with my gynecologist...really soon I'm going to tell this story...really really soon.)

What's really cool about this challenge is that it's free.
Yep, FREE.
I promise this is not an April Fool's joke.

The challenge started today, but I signed up last night, so in true Peppermint fashion, I'm a day behind :)

The ladies at Simple Green Smoothies even send a grocery list to go along with the smoothie recipes for each day and teach you the very simple formula for creating your own recipes.  

 I think it will be fun, and the very best part about the challenge is that my daughter and I are doing it together.  
That adds the accountability that we both need.
And, the togetherness time as well.

Check it out at simplegreensmoothies.com

Monday, March 31, 2014

A slow day at home.

In order to protect my colleagues and my students, I decided to keep my broken down self at home today.
I don't do that very often, so that gives you an idea of just how cranky I really was/am.

I slept.
I graded a few papers.
I answered some emails.
I researched gynecologists (can't wait to tell this story).
I visited with my foster kitty (another story to tell).
I sat outside and let the sunshine beat down on me.
I checked Facebook a time or two.
I slept.

And then, glory of all glories, I dragged my haggard self to the Chiropractor.
My Chiropractor has magical hands.
She is an incredibly talented, intelligent, realistic, professional, and personal human being.
Why can't all doctors be that way??

Anyhoo, I feel better...not perfect, but I can stand up straight now!
It's the small things, you know.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, not so much fun day

I'm in some pretty serious pain today...I've been hunched over all day today and have missed out on family fun this weekend.
The family went to a community festival called HubFest yesterday (without me);
my friends went on a Spay/Neuter/Return "stakeout" (without me);
and the family went fishing and planted flowers today (without me).
Can you tell I'm kinda ticked off about it too??
I was so ticked off that I watched sappy old movies on tv this afternoon...and even cried a time or two.
The menopause/no menopause stuff doesn't help either.  
That's a story for another day though.

My chiropractor is expecting me tomorrow, and I can't wait to see her.
I won't feel perfect when I leave there, but I will feel better. 

The one positive about being stuck in the house in front of the tv was that I got to see the Season Finale of The Walking Dead when it aired tonight...something that never happens.
But, then, I saw the episode.  
That's all I get??
For all my back pain?
For all the hype??

They messed with the wrong people.

Now we get to spend the next 6 months analyzing the crap out of everything.

I promise I'll be in a better mood tomorrow.
Well, maybe I promise.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I've been away...

I started this blog on January 2, 2010.
I've gone through a lot of stages over the last 4 years.
And, I'm about to head right on into the next one.

In my 2nd blog posting, I admitted that I was a workaholic.
And I was.
But, my work provides me with almost no rewards anymore.
It's a job.
A paycheck.

Now, don't get me wrong.
I still LOVE my students. 
When I'm in the classroom with them, everything else is ok.
But, once class is over, I don't want to be there anymore.
There are a lot of reasons for this feeling of professional malaise, but my blog has never been and will never be an academic blog.
It just is what it is.

I'm also 45 years old and ready for a change.
I don't know what that change will be just yet.
My older daughters have moved out of our house, and my youngest daughter is beginning to act like a preteen.
Thankfully, I look at my husband and realize that I love him more today than I probably did 25 years ago when we first got married.
But, I'm ready for the next stage of life as well as the next stage of this blog.

In the first photo above, I love that the stage of a woman's life after raising children is illustrated by her standing straight and tall at the top.
I have no desire to go back in years...never have.  I've been waiting a long time to feel strong, important, and worthy.  I've truly learned that it's time that makes us so.

My blog will probably be more personal than anything from now on.
My goal from the beginning was never to be just like anyone else's blog or end up commercialized.  I've been tempted a time or two and made more than a few mistakes.  I know now what I do well and what I don't do well.
When I say personal, I mean that you can expect to see posts about books, gardening, photography, animals, and my family.
I won't, however, be doing anymore giveaways, memes, or trying to follow a set schedule.
That's just not me.

My favorite blog posts over the last 4 years are the ones that bring back memories or capture time for a few moments.
Those are the posts that I'll focus on now.

...or eat a cookie :p

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie - TLC Book Tours

The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie

  • Series: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 25, 2014)

Source? the publisher via TLC Book Tours
**FTC Disclaimer - the publisher provided me a copy of The Sound of Broken Glass in exchange for an honest review.  The review below and the opinions therein are my own and offered without bias.

Title?  Not at all obvious...but very effective...made me say "Ahhhhhhh, nice touch" when I put all the pieces together.

Golden Lines

"...I learned years ago that he would never make a real effort to defend a woman.  It was as if he made an automatic assumption of guilt." (119)

The sound faded out.  She stood, paralyzed, as little animated rain clouds began to move across the map of Britain on the screen.
It couldn't be.  It couldn't be him.
What on earth had she done? (140)

The bastards had followed him home.  And they had seen Nadine. (147)

Cleaver Square is a paradox.  Sandwiched between two busy streets, it provides a sense of eerie calm rarely seen outside of a Hitchcock movie. (155)

"The way Melody talked about that guitar chap yesterday - did you notice?  I didn't like it.  Something's up, and I want to know what it is." (163)

"Another barrister?  Strangled?  Dear God.  This is turning into a royal balls-up.  What the hell is going on here?" (166)

"...Just play, Andy."  She touched one of the geranium blossoms.  "No one has been kind to me except you.  Think of it as red for red." (186)

"You, Andy?  Of all people.  I thought you were my friend." (265)

"We all need looking after.  It's the greatest of mistakes to think otherwise.  No one knows that better than me." (352)

Summary from Amazon

Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are on the case in Deborah Crombie’s The Sound of Broken Glass, a captivating mystery that blends a murder from the past with a powerful danger in the present.
When Detective Inspector James joins forces with Detective Inspector Melody Talbot to solve the murder of an esteemed barrister, their investigation leads them to realize that nothing is what it seems—with the crime they’re investigating and their own lives.
With an abundance of twists and turns and intertwining subplots, The Sound of Broken Glass byNew York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie is an elaborate and engaging page-turner.

What I Liked

The map - I love the penciled map drawing at the beginning of the novel...Crombie uses the real life Crystal Palace and surrounding areas as the main geographical focus of The Sound of Broken Glass.  Even though I've never been to London, nor did I ever feel lost while reading, I enjoyed looking back a the drawing from time to time...and especially once I was completely done with the story.

The twists - By page 140, I thought I had it figured out...by page 318, I realized I was wrong...and had been very willingly duped by Crombie :P  Well played, Ms. Crombie...well played.

The lingo - I won't apologize for being a language lover...I could listen to/read different accents, different cultural sayings all day long.  There's something about it that makes you feel as if you're actually there.  I think it's like giving a blind person cotton balls to help them understand what clouds look like.  Yes, I'm an academic who thinks too much...why do you ask? :/

The way the past slowly weaves its way into the present - very possibly for the first time, after finishing The Sound of Broken Glass, I thought about how the writer's craft is not just a story but a well designed puzzle.  Those puzzles make all the difference in the world to a reader...and those puzzles very quickly separate the good from the bad.  Crombie is most definitely one of the best serial writers I read.  

Jagger and Ginger - Michael and Tam's German Shepherd dogs - not even gonna apologize for this :P

What I Didn't Like

The Sound of Broken Glass is only my 2nd read of this series.  My first foray into the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mysteries was No Mark upon Her.  Don't get me wrong; I never felt left out of anything...I just want to know these characters better.  It's like meeting new people who have a history together and you want to sit around asking questions so you get the whole picture.  That is certainly no fault of Crombie's; as a matter of fact, I love her writing even more that she can make her characters that real.

Overall Recommendation

Don't shy away from this series because it's a series.  Crombie's books are have enough depth to satisfy even if you don't want to read the entire series.  

The Author

Other Stops on the Tour

Tuesday, February 25th: The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, February 26th: she treads softly
Monday, March 3rd: The Year in Books
Tuesday, March 4th: Kelly’s [Former] France Blog
Thursday, March 6th: Book Dilettante
Monday, March 10th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, March 11th: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Wednesday, March 12th: 5 Minutes for Books