Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book review

Dearly, DepartedDearly, Departed by Lia Habel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an impressive first novel! It's well-written, without purple prose, and while a few of the minor characters are two-dimensional, the main characters are not. The pacing is good, and the plot is engaging. Ms. Habel does an exceptional job of making it seem as if there is always something exciting happening, even in the calmer parts. The romance is sweet and believable. The story of the world is intriguing and not too difficult to picture. While I have a soft spot for the character who shares my name, I wasn't thrilled with the multi-character viewpoints. The transitions between viewpoints didn't seem quite as seamless as the rest of the book. I do appreciate the fact that while the door is left open for a sequel, the book doesn't end with a cliff-hanger.

Well-done and highly recommended.

This book was sent to me for review.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Three days at Lakeside

I did manage to get the dog to puppy prison in time to hit the road while it was still light, and made the trip from Hudson to Lakeside in about an hour and three-quarters, which is almost entirely due to the speed limit on the turnpike (aka I-80) being raised to 70 mph.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at Lakeside, Mom and Dad were doing her billing, and Dad was working himself into his monthly rage over the people who have never paid their bills. This led (as it always does) to Dad being a totally shit and sulking silently through all of dinner.

Thursday, everyone except for Dad and I went to Kelley's Island for a day of riding around on bikes. Dad slept until noon, rendering him largely human, and then we went to Sandusky to hit Tractor Supply, Ollie's and Big Lots. I got lucky and found a pretty good $4 book at Ollie's, along with some Wonka candy I've been looking for ever since Cybele reviewed it on her blog. On the way home, we stopped at a local orchard for sweet corn and Ohio-grown tomatoes, then the grocery store for Coke, ice, and Triscuits. We got home and found a barely-literate note from Lakeside security on the front door, telling us all three cars parked in the no-charge parking at the local school needed to be moved. So when the triumphant bicyclists returned, Annabel and I went and moved cars around. Dinner was pretty much an Americana feast--pulled pork, tacos, sweet corn, fresh tomatoes and more chips of various kinds than you could shake a stick at.

After dinner, the nieces and I were outside, and they were playing with the sidewalk chalk, so I drew a couple of outlines for them to color in, and they did a beautiful job. When the nephews joined us, they were more interested in stomping on the pictures to raise the chalk dust, so Captain Crossword drew Tokyo for them to stomp on, and Annabel drew Godzilla breathing fire.

Friday morning, Mom, Jeeves, Annabel and Captain Crossword took the kids swimming. Dad slept in, and I was reading on the couch when he woke up. Bookworm Mathgeek had been so very quiet that I forgot she was at the kitchen table doing Sudoko. Then Dad got up and started his morning bathroom routine, which involves a lot of groaning and cursing. I've heard this before, so it doesn't faze me, but Bookworm asked "Do we need to be concerned about your father?" I said no, this was Dad's equivalent of morning birdsong, and it was actually a little less agonized than usual, since we hadn't heard the f-word once. The rest of Friday passed in a quiet fashion, with lots of golf cart rides and lots of reading and I did get a little quiet conversation with my sisters-in-law. Friday night we had a nice dinner out at a restaurant I keep calling Crossroads and Dad keeps calling Tradewinds (which is in fact named Crosswinds). Later, someone took the kids out for ice cream.

Saturday was the usual last day frenetic packing and shuffling of cars and loading up and moving out. I had to go in to the office and get some stuff ready for Mom to take to Portage County Monday morning, then came home and tried to sleep off the sinus headache that had been with me since early morning. Since I couldn't pick up Little Miss Piggie Pie until this morning, I used the chance to vacuum the house without having the vacuum attacked.

On my way to puppy prison, I swung by Mom and Dad's and filled up some water bottles and left the folders for Mom. When I got to the kennel, LMPP wasn't so much glad to see me as she was glad to go for a car ride. She got a glowing report card from kennel staff, and didn't seem at all bothered by her jail time. She's certainly not been at all needy now that she's back home, unlike Bigfoot and Littlefoot, who would both cling to me for a day or two to make sure I wasn't going to leave again.

So tomorrow is Monday, bleurgh, and right now I have to go water my tomatoes and my basil and my hibiscus seedlings. Back to the workday world with one vacation day left for 2011.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Time to run in circles!

I'm leaving for the lake in about 20 hours, and I still need to finish the laundry, make two loaves of dill bread, pack my luggage and Little Miss Piggie Pie's food, and what am I thinking about? The fact that she doesn't have her own song!

Bigfoot's song was always Jimmy Buffett's "Death of an Unpopular Poet". I sang that to him when I wanted him to calm down from the time he was an excited five month old puppy. Littlefoot's song was Sheryl Crow's "You're My Favorite Mistake", which I just sang to him whenever. He was such a lazybutt he rarely needed calming down.

LMPP is always very interested when I sing (or possibly pained, I can't tell) but she doesn't have a song of her own. So I'm trying to think what song suits her and looking for suggestions.

Oh, and I'll be back on Saturday.