Monday, January 20, 2014

A Return to Reality

Hello, friends… it sure has been a while. I hope your New Year is off to a good start. Out time in Florida was glorious - lots of work on the condo, but also plenty of time for walking on the beach, biking, visiting friends, and just relaxing in the sun.

The return to reality has been rough. It's not easy to go from sandcastles

to shoveling snow in a single day.

The snow continues to fall this morning and they say another polar vortex is on the way. Sigh.

Yesterday was filled with laundry, organizing, and getting reacquainted with Zelda.  Some serious grocery shopping will happen later this morning but, due to the holiday, mail must wait until tomorrow. It's going to be quite a job dealing with three weeks of the stuff.

What did I read in Florida?

Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo


Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

I enjoyed them all, especially The Girl You Left Behind, and plan to work on reviews this week.

On audio: Nothing - can you believe it? I did plenty of walking on the beach, but always had my husband or one of the twins to keep me company. This is the longest I've ever gone without listening to an audiobook. I practically went through withdrawal!

I was on the 14th (of 18) CD of The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert before we left (last year!) and look forward to returning to the story.

Current reading:  The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman  - only 25% in, but really like it so far.  Like The Girl You Left Behind,  a painting is at the center of the story. I seem to be on an art kick this year.

Watching: Downton Abbey and sports… mostly football and college basketball

In the kitchen: We went out to dinner a lot on vacation, but now it's back the regular routine. Twin A returns to college at the end of the week, so there will be plenty of cooking and baking before then to ensure a well-stocked freezer for the spring semester!

Blogging: I hope it's not hard to get back into the groove after so much time away. Fingers crossed for at least a couple of posts this week.

I've missed you all… can't wait to see what you've been up to!

40 comments:

  1. Welcome back!! We missed you -- but how wonderful to spend so much time with your family. I don't think I could go two days without an audiobook. LOL

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    1. Beth F - I was so starved for audiobooks that I insisted the girls stay home today and let me run errands alone… just so I could listen in the car!

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  2. We sure did miss you but I bet reality stinks right about now! Good luck catching up.

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    1. Kathy - It's going to take me quite a while to get through a lll the blog posts in my reader!

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  3. Welcome back! I've been reading about Polar Vortex II, though this one isn't supposed to make it all the way down to Texas.

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    1. Lisa - Thanks. We're looking at highs in the single digits for the next few days, but I'll be dreaming of Florida!

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  4. You were missed! I can relate to the second photo, and hope to be in the first photo next month! ;o). Can't wait to walk on a sandy beach instead of a snow covered one!

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    1. Nise' - I'm sure you're counting down the days until you hit that beach!

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful vacation!

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    1. Carrie - It was and I sure hope we can go back for another week later this winter.

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  6. My stomach went into a knot that last Sunday of the holiday. Yuck. Although, yes, even our 40 degrees is better than your snow any day. I'm actually an Indiana girl so it doesn't bother me too much. I like wearing jackets. The Girl You Left Behind was a great read...Moyes is a talent. And I freak out if I don't get my audio time. Vacations rarely afford me that time either, unless I want to be anti-social.

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    1. Sandy - This was my second Jojo Moyes in two months. I'm going to read everything she's written. Don't think I can ever go that long without audiobooks again - yikes!

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  7. It sounds so wonderful! I wish we had snow or sun - at the moment we're stuck with endless rain - on the plus side it's great for getting lots of reading done! We're planning to go to Florida in the Summer so I look forward to walking along those beautiful beaches. Good luck adjusting to normaility!

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    1. Jackie - The snow is prettier than endless rain, even if you do need to shovel it. Have fun planning your trip… so much to do in Florida!

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  8. Welcome back. I'm glad you had such a great time. It looks like you've read some wonderful books. I will look forward to your reviews. Stay warm!

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    1. Pat - I'm going to have to read everything Jojo Moyes has written now!

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  9. Welcome back JoAnn! Looks like you had some fabulous reading while you were away. I want to do some Julia Child reading. And about all that snow … just make snow castles, right? ;)

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    1. Terri - It's been far too many years since I last made a snow castle… may go out an do just that! ;-)

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  10. Welcome back!! Sorry about the snow. :)

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    1. Audrey - It's good to be back! I guess I'm used to all the snow by now, but I just don't like it as much as I used to.

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  11. Glad you had a great trip, what a contrast though with what you've come back to! I loved The Girl You Left Behind too, so good to hear you enjoyed it. I'd like to go to Florida one day.

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    1. Lindsay - The really cold weather will begin tonight - brrr! My mother and sister both read The Girl You Left Behind and they loved it, too. Jojo Moyes sure knows how to tell a story!

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  12. Welcome back! We've missed you too! Your time in Florida sounds wonderful! :-) Being in SoCal, I'll trade you the heat for the cold weather any day!

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    1. Vasilly - We never got out of the single digits today…you may want to reconsider that trade ;)

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    1. Thanks, Diane. t's good to be back!

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  14. Glad to have you back! It sounds like you had a lovely time with some great books.

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    1. Anbolyn - We had such a good time, but it is good to get back to business as usual ;)

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  15. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a good break from the everyday. I'm enjoying Downton Abbey this season more than last--I hated losing!atthew but I think it helped a sagging plot.

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    1. JaneGS - Downton has surpassed my expectations so far this season. Losing Matthew was definitely a blow, but they have more than recovered!

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  16. Walking on the beach to shoveling snow... that sure sums it up! Who came up with the term Polar Vortex?? It sounds so intimidating.

    Of course, it's dry and sunny here but too dry and too sunny for my taste.

    So glad to have you back.

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    1. TI - What is it with these weather people? All of sudden winter storms are named and the term polar vortex keeps popping up… definitely makes for more interesting copy, lol! Hope SoCal gets some rain soon.

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  17. What awful weather to have to return to - the whole point of going south is to get away from that stuff and this year it seems impossible on your side of the country!
    Glad you had a great trip!

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    1. Lisa - I think the cold seems even harder to bear after being in such (relative) warmth...brrr!

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  18. How lucky you were to spend so much time in the sun!! It's brutal out there isn't it? Welcome home!

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    1. Stacy - It's just awful, but I'm very thankful for my new smart wool socks!

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  19. Those two photos are quite the contrast. Rude awakening back into the snow, I'm certain.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - Definitely a rude awakening,, but I'm hoping to get back to Florida for another week if I play my cards right ;-)

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  20. Welcome back! You know, I'm always very envious of your trips to Sanibel. I may have to chat with you about places to stay and book a trip for next winter. I'm still heartbroken that we had to cancel our trip a few years ago (due to a blizzard!).

    The Girl You Left Behind is high on my list. I loved Me Before You and just bought a bargain copy of The Last Letter From Your Lover. She is such a wonderful storyteller. I love following her blog and wish she would post more often.

    As far as reading/audio books while on vacation, I don't do much of either, except while flying to and fro. I'm always too busy visiting with people or sightseeing to take time out to read. I have another Oregon trip on the calendar and I'm hoping to spend a big chunk of time curled up reading. We shall see! ;)

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    1. Les - Yes, definitely let me know when you start to plan your trip. I remember when you had to cancel due to the blizzard :(

      I ended up loving The Girl You Left Behind even more than Me Before You, but I'm sure reading it on the beach added to the experience. Just downloaded The Last Letter From Your Lover to my mother's kindle, but so far she does't like it as much as the other two. We'll see what her final verdict will be. Thanks for the tip about Jojo Moyes blog. I'll take a look.

      Sanibel is one of the only vacation spots where I allow time for beach reading. It's so relaxing for me, but my husband doesn't like to just sit on the beach. I have to find times when he's got something else to do.

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