Monday, November 30, 2020

Closing the Book on November

Driving home on a recent Friday evening, I stopped along the Causeway Islands to gaze at this stunning sky... something I rarely do. It's been a long month, and this moment of quiet beauty did much to calm my mind. 

So, November... In addition to the election and ongoing political aftermath, my 93-year-old FIL is dealing with some health issues. Following his most recent hospitalization, he was admitted to a skilled nursing rehab facility and began a two-week quarantine. Today, my sister-in-law can finally see him, but only outdoors and only for 30 minutes. He will be discharged to his independent-living unit later this week, and my SIL has arranged for support staff. Needless to say, this has been difficult for all concerned. 

Meanwhile, we moved into our new house. The unpacking and organizing continues.

And Thanksgiving happened. We had two Zoom calls (one with our NYC daughters, one with my parents and siblings) and a quiet turkey dinner for three... so far from our norm.

One daughter arrived late last night and is quarantining in our now-vacant condo. She'll stay through Christmas... can't wait to hug her in another week or so! We hope our other Manhattan daughter will be able to spend time here as well.

In the midst of all this, I just realized that today is our 35th wedding anniversary!

As for reading and blogging, not much happened on either front. I missed Nonfiction November, but do plan to read your posts. I'm certain they'll provide recommendations for an entire year of fabulous nonfiction. Issues with both blogger and my computer have prevented regular blogging. I'm planning to ask Santa for a new laptop for Christmas!

 On audio//

by Deirdre Mask , narrated by Janina Edwards

This is the only book I managed to finish all month. An interesting listen... just wish I was able to give it my full attention.

In print//

I set aside so many titles, I lost count! Perhaps something ultra-light was in order:

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand is the second book in her Paradise series set in the Virgin Islands. After 40%,  I just didn't care about any of it and set that aside, too.

Guess it official... I'm in a reading slump.

What to do??

NYTimes Style Magazine  is launching the T Book Club. Its inaugural pick, Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, will be the focus of a virtual event on December 17. I've borrowed both the ebook and audio book from the library and am ready to get started.

Last year I listened to Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk and knew I wanted to explore more of his work. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.... fingers crossed it will bust the slump! I'll keep you posted.

How was your month? What have you been reading lately?
It may take a while, but I can't wait to catch up on all of your posts!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Sunday Salon: Two More Days...

November is here at last and Americans are already voting in record numbers. It's hard to think about anything other than the election and what the future holds, but I pray for a clear winner as soon as possible.

This week's good news... our house is finished! We are expecting furniture deliveries over the next couple of weeks and are moving other things over in the meantime. We should be settled in plenty of time to host a very small Thanksgiving dinner.

The other positive news is that my ankle is finally healing. I've started walking again -  slow, short walks - and seem to be tolerating it well. The key is not to overdo it, so I will very gradually up the pace and distance. It may be a while before I can get back to brisk three mile morning walks.

Finished last week//

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

My inclination was to dnf this novel around 20%, but so many trusted book blogging friends loved it, so I persevered... and was richly rewarded. The book is about a bank robbery that's not actually a robbery, that turns into an accidental hostage situation. Weird, right?! In addition, you have a full cast of quirky characters. Though the storyline seems disjointed initially, it progresses to a most satisfying conclusion! 

Current reading//

I haven't been able to get into any of the novels I've picked up recently. This is certainly due to my inability to concentrate on anything other than the news. I have been listening to nonfiction on my all-too-brief walks and am enjoying:

by Deirdre Mask, narrated by Janina Edwards

Nonfiction November starts now//

It's time... Nonfiction November starts tomorrow. The Week 1 prompt is My Year in Nonfiction. Hopefully I'll have a post ready to go by the end of the week. The complete schedule can be found here

In the kitchen//

We've had some wins in the kitchen over the past couple of weeks. The Mustard and Maple Pork Kebabs from Katie Workman were a big hit. We loved the combination of flavors (and colors from the peppers)... it was a delicious meal to prepare on the grill.

I found the recipe (pictured above) for Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce on Taste of Home. My favorite roadside fish stand had some local tripletail, which I love, so I opted to use it in pace of salmon. It was amazing!

Finally, I made this Semi-Homemade Chicken Pot Pie from Seeded at the Table. It's called semi-homemade because it uses refrigerated pie crust and rotisserie chicken, but it was still what I consider pretty labor-intensive. It was worth it though... this was the best chicken pot pie ever! The only change I made was in using poultry seasoning in place of the celery seed. This is the only chicken pot pie recipe I need!

So how have the past couple of weeks been for you? What are you reading?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It's Monday... What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


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