Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I wish I could correspond with you my friends ..... but this is me these days.  Nose and eyes streaming; can't breathe unless my mouth is open; mouth drying out which causes coughing.  

We'll talk soon, I hope!

Monday, January 30, 2012

A good thrift day!

I may have posted about my desire to clog, but the dance I've been doing lately is that of a Whirling Dervish.  I've been busy trying to prepare for an overlap of students:  Natsumi arrived Saturday night and Mariana left Sunday.  Cleaning, packing, goodbye festivities, last minute shopping, airport runs, special Farewell/Hello meals and gifts.  Phew!

I was so pleased to have Saturday morning to myself.  After I dropped Molly at work, I treated myself to a special coffee and then went thrifting.

First stop, "Frenchies"!

  • I found this huge popcorn bowl for $3.  That should last me a whole movie, huh!

Then I headed to "The Daisy".  And the thrifting Gods were smiling on me -- half price on all houseware.

  • This vintage dresser scarf was 75 cents.

  • This enormous turkey platter was $1.50.  Wow!

  • 4 vintage English dessert plates were $2.50 for the set.

  • And these 2 Jean Pare "Company's Coming" cookbooks were $1 each.  These cookbooks are great; simple, clear, pre-tested recipes.

When I added them to my growing collection, I found that I already had the Slowcooker cookbook.  So, I shall add my duplicate to my extras pile and host a give-away soon.  

I also found half a dozen clear glass tumblers for 50 cents each, 2 novels for #2 daughter and 2 brand new-in-the-package sleep masks for #3 daughter.  

I came home a happy woman, rejuvinated (momentarily) and ready to continue whirling.  And I spent less than $25 (latte included)!

Where else can you get therapy that cheaply.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shattered Dreams!

As a child, I was quite ordinary:  ordinary looking, ordinary hobbies, ordinary report cards.  There was nothing extra-ordinary about me.  Except for some of my interests perhaps.

  • We had a davenport similar in style to the one on the left ..... except our's was a hideous red and grey Naugahyde.  Do you remember Naugahyde?  Think 1950's pleather!  Anyway, my parents kept their record collection under there, and I would spend hours in the living room playing old 78's (Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy singing "I am calling you..hoo..hoo.hooo, hoo..hoo.hooo") and a quite eclectic collection of 45's (Elvis "Just tell her Jim said Hello", Skeeter Davis "The End of the World"; Jimmy Dean "PT 109"). 

Then there was my favorite 45:  Frank Ifield's "She Taught Me How to Yodel".  I was positively enraptured by what his voice could do!  I would practice for hours and hours on end; but despite all my trying, I simply couldn't get the hang of yodelling.  The only thing I was successful at was giving my Mom a headache and earning myself a swat with the dishtowel.  Shattered dreams! 

I did, however, grow up with a love of every kind of musical genre.  I liked it all -- pop, rock, country, disco, funk, you name it.  I even took a few modern and jazz dance classes.  

In the 1980's,  I found Bluegrass; and while falling in love with the music, that wasn't what enraptured me.  It was the clogging that was happening on the sidelines.  I would sit agog watching the dancers -- their upper bodies ram-rod straight while their feet and legs clomped around the stage.  OMG!  I had to learn to do that!    

I did eventually find someone teaching classes.  I signed up, and every Tuesday evening, I would surreptiously take the bus to Dartmouth and join the group.  Sadly, that only lasted 2 classes before the instructor closed things down because of a family move out of the province.  Shattered dreams!

Next came marriage and babies ... and divorce and working full time ... and aging .... and a lot of dreams put on the shelf.  

Alas, alack, allo!  
To think of what I might have been!  

Well, let's take a trip back to the mid 80's and see what I might have been!

In the immortal words of Marlon Brando:

"I could have been a contender!"

Monday, January 23, 2012

War Horse!

I went to the movies last night with a friend.  We started out to see "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".  I read the book a few years ago; and as I love the books of Jonathan Safran Foer, I wanted to see what they'd do with the movie (despite the lukewarm reviews).  However, checking the theatre listings in Saturday's paper does not necessarily mean that they're the same on Sunday.  We were half an hour too late!  

Does your theatre do that?  Don't they realize what this does to people over 50?  Isn't life traumatic enough for us what with our skin sagging, memory lagging, energy dragging?
"Damn you, Dover Boys!!!"

So, we went to our movie pick #2 - War Horse.  I'm not a horse person nor am I a big fan of animal movies in general.  I like animals; but when I go to the movies, I prefer to be wooed, blown up or attacked by aliens.  I simply can't take much more reality in my life!  But this movie has gotten a lot of hype; so off we went.

People!  What a great movie this is!  Outside of the battle scenes, the scenery in England and France is breathtaking.  I thought the acting was excellent; I could literally feel the fear on the faces of those young men in the trenches getting ready to attack.  It didn't take sides -- British or German.  And it gave an insight to a side of WWI that I'd never even considered before --  the hundreds of thousands of horses that were used and subsequently died carrying soldiers and toting guns, etc.  

(No animals died in the making of this movie!)

Yup; I cried!  But it wasn't sappy -- well, not overly sappy anyway.  I highly recommend this movie.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Fluffy Friday

You know, this is only the 3rd snow day we've had this winter on the South Shore.  We've yet to experience a real snowstorm this season.  Driving wasn't great today, but the snow still hasn't amounted to much.  But it sure looks pretty out there!  Fluffy!

I stopped into Frenchies on my way home (my sole concern being  to get off the road until the salt truck could make its way through, of course!)  

The comforter had what I thought was blue ink across one of the lime green bands; the cashier gave me 10% off and told me Lestoil would take it out.  Oxy worked wonderfully.  
2 yellow Petal Plates @ $1 ea
Twin comforter for $4.50
I'm slowly collecting Petal dishware ---- verrrrrry slowly!  (Still too expensive online for my tastes.)  Aren't they pretty!  Sort of a poor woman's Fiestaware.  Who knows:  perhaps someday I'll have a whole place setting!

Snow calls for homemade pizza, n'est pas? I didn't tell the girls about the hot salami!  Mruhahahahaha! (maniacal laughter while rubbing hands together.)  

Snow also calls for something sweet.  I tried this  recipe today.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

1/4 cup brown sugar (for swirl)               1 tsp cinnamon 
2 Tbsp cinnamon (for swirl)                     1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats                1 large egg                   
1/2 cup whole wheat flour                       1/4 cup canola oil                   
1 cup unbleached white flour                   1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 tsp baking powder                           3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp baking soda

Oven to 350 deg F.  Combine swirl ingredients; set aside.  Combine dry in large bowl; combine wet in another bowl & mix well.  Add wet to dry, mixing only until just combined. (My mixture was quite thick.) Pour (or spread) 1/3 batter into well greased loaf pan; top with 1/3 swirl mixture.  Repeat 2 more times, ending with the swirl mixture on top.  Bake for 40-50 min until tester comes out clean.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This was such a lovely bread!  It wasn't too sweet, so it would be perfect for a coffee party or even for breakfast.  And because of the large flake oats, it had a very nice chewy texture.  I'd give this one an A+ rating!

Please Note:  This bread has the added benefit of helping to restore "cultural balance" if you've perhaps caused a diplomatic situation through surprise, shock and/or burning tongues and mouths!  

The U.N. might be interested in this recipe!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm dating again!


Thanks to Kerry at PassiveAggressiveNotes.com, I've found out that my perspective on dating and relationships has been all wrong!  

True ... My phone is silent most weekends.  And there has been quite a noticeable lack of male companionship and candlelit dinners in my life.  But when it comes exercising my still intact "MoJo" (Oh! Behave!), there's apparently been an overabundance of opportunities that I've been totally unaware of until now!  

Just check this out and you'll see why.

(Note that this video does contain strong sexual inunendo.) 

All these missed chances -- right here -- under my own nose!  And I've been blind to them to date!

But not any more!  

  • I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday (although there's something resembling turnip stuck to the kitchen floor)!
  • Moss will no longer grow under this rolling stone's feet (nor on her bathtub grout)!  
  • I know when to "Carpe Diem" (or carpet shampoo-em)!
  • I've got a libeto (as well as a Swiffer), and I know how to use it!  

So this Saturday, Sandy's got a date with a tall, dark bald-headed guy:

My dream man!  He's good-looking AND he cleans!

"Oh Shemar!  
It's okay if you're a little dirty!"

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

I thought this video was very appropriate to my age group.  That's what my days are like.  The only way I can be productive these days is to make a "To-Do" list and constantly remind myself to stick to the task at hand and not travel down those rabbit warrens.

The joys of aging!

Be gentle with us please young people!  We are the future you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sing: "The sun'll come out ... tomorrow!"

Yesterday was the story of "Sandra and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"!  

  1. The phone woke me from a lovely sleep;I'd somehow left my purse and camera at the potluck in Mahone Bay the night before
  2. (and I couldn't even blame it on the kids as I hadn't asked them to watch it while I helped with dishes).  
  3. When I went to collect it, the lady's doggie kept circling me and barking and then jumping up on me -- he was a fairly big doggie and those were clean grey sweat pants, Charlie!
  4. My sore shoulders were aching; I think that addled my already-addled brain.
  5. The girls and I spent an hour looking for the house where their get-together was being held.  My cell phone went dead; none of Mariana's friends were answering their text messages; no one on the (wrong) street knew of a Ms Blahblah who was hosting the get together.  We finally came home.
  6. I was gonna comfort myself with Kraft Dinner.  (Is KD a comfort food in your house?)  Molly ate it before she went to work.  
  7. I should never have substituted all those chocolates instead ..... but I did!
  8. I lay there on the couch with a heating pad under my shoulder, feeling bloated from that 50 lb of not very good chocolate and I napped 'cause TV viewing was soooooo crappy ...... and woke sitting bolt upright with a start.  Ouch shoulder!
  9. Finally, I knew what to do!  I'll make chicken nuggets and brown rice and put oodles of plum sauce over it all.  Another comfort food!  The brown rice was still chewy, the nuggets weren't crispy and there wasn't enough plum sauce for oodles!
  10. I thought I'd watch a nice movie that would make me cry so I could release some of those pent up frustrations.  And finally after false starts with 2 crappy movies, I found one!  It didn't make me cry, but it did relax me and the guy got the girl and they kissed in the end and lived happily ever after! Ahhh!  (No crying, Sandy, because that isn't you!)

To bed with a prayer that tomorrow will be a better day.

It's Sunday!  That's a better start already!

And breakfast this morning WAS comfort food.  Oatmeal, hot toast with oodles of butter  (Success!) and tea. 
And the oatmeal came out perfectly.  It wasn't an amalgamated glob of oatmeal but rather every large flake oat was defined and cooked to just the right chewy consistency:  the dollop of butter and the brown sugar melted into the hot cereal and the milk/cream mixture was just right.  And look -- those are alligators in my swamp!  

When the girls were little, I cut their toast into little squares (alligators) then hid them in the swamp (oatmeal).  They loved it and ate every drop.

I'm a happy girl again!  When grown-up-girl life gets too much for you, revert to little-girl life.  Perhaps it's just a temporary reprieve, but whatever works, right!

Alligators in the swamp have changed my perspective this morning.  Now I'm off to church to see God about this shoulder!  (And I may even mention my lack of kissing and happily ever afters.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet 16

January 12th was Elly's 16th birthday .... and my first attempt at Korean food.  When I began looking online for recipes and techniques, I began to get pretty excited.  (New foods do that to me!  Heck ..... Let's be honest here:  FOOD does that to me!)  But Korean food looks so darned interesting and tasty and fun to make.

So, please join me as I make 2 dishes.
1.  Jeyuk Bokkeum (Korean Spicy pork)

The ingredients you see at the top right left are what's in the jar at the top left:  Gochujang or spicy red pepper paste.  It's used in a lot of Korean food and you can add as little or as much as you like depending on how spicy you like your food.  I erred on the side of caution this time around and just used the minimum that the dish called for.  I mixed together Gochujang, soy sauce, minced garlic and a little sugar (lower right pic), then marinade thinly sliced  pork tenderloin and veggies for 24 hours.  Fry (and adjust the spice or sweetness level to your liking).

2.  Gung Jung Ddukbokki (Royal Palace Rice Cakes)

Ddukbokki are a little trickier to make, or at least to make them as delicious as the street vendors do.  Aren't they interesting!  These little tubes of compressed rice which get softened by immersing in boiling water (off the heat).  While this is happening, you stir fry veggies, make a sauce of soy sauce, honey, minced garlic and sesame oil, add ddukbokki and sauce, simmer for a few minutes; and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.     

It was delicious!  There were 7 of us round the table:  Canada, Korea, Brazil and Japan were represented; and we all enjoyed the meal.  Elly gave me top marks on the Jeyuk Bokkem and a fair mark for the ddukbokki.  I'll keep trying.

This was followed by Elly's favorite dessert -- New York cheesecake.  

I made the cheesecake the night before, so it had the required day to "cure".  It was a very decadent recipe -- 5 pkgs cr cheese, 5 eggs plus 2 egg yokes, 1/2 heavy cream.  But man!  What a divine cheesecake!  I can honestly say (especially as the other six round the table said it first), it was probably one of the best cheesecakes I've ever eaten.  It was lush and creamy with subtle hints of the orange and lemon zest.  I served it with a homemade blueberry sauce and whipped cream.

I got top marks from the Birthday Girl (and by the looks of it, the Whipped Cream Queen)!  What a fun night with family and friends.  I can't wait to try my next Korean recipe.

BTW - I'll post the cheesecake recipe in the next day or two.  Trust me:  it's so worth the 5 million calories!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

International Thank You Day

It's International Thank You Day; so I couldn't let my busy day pass without saying a big "HOLLA" to the things that I am most grateful for at this moment.

  • Props to my God and Father who always comes through for me (even if sometimes it seems a bit late, God?  Huh!  Come on; you have to admit that you do keep me waiting sometimes.)  And especially thank You for loving me even when I'm often such a rotten kid.

  • Love and gratitude to my wonderful parents, my fantastic children and my sweet, sweet international kids.  You keep me moving, you keep me laughing, you keep me motivated, and you keep me grounded.

But besides those most crucial people, I'd like to pass on my gratitude to just a few other key people who make my life more enjoyable:

  • Thank you to the Aztec's for chocolate.

  • Thank you to Mr Sealy for your posturepedic.
  • Thank you Winnifred for always wanting to go dancing with me.
  • Thank you to the remote starter on my car for being with me on these winter mornings.
  • Thank you Dollarama for carrying one dollar magnifying glasses (and to that huge stack of great books I've yet to read).
  • And Thank you to my followers and to the other bloggers that I like to read.  I appreciate you!
What or whom are you most thankful for?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Delicious Sundays!

I love Sundays!  I find them quite delicious!

Sundays usually begin with church!  I love getting dressed up and I sometimes even wear a hat.  (How often do most people get to wear hats, huh?)  We're a small church and I love the people there who are like family to me; they truly have seen me through thick and thin over the past 18 years -- held my hand, prayed, cried, laughed.  And I especially love to worship God and just hang out with Him.

Sundays often include an afternoon nap.  THAT is quite delicious.

And then there's the Sunday meal!  The anticipation of Sunday food is delicious in itself!  There was a prime rib and roast veg in the oven.  And the slow cooker contained a Bolognese Sauce for freezing;  it's one of those recipes that's better after a few days. 

As if the kitchen didn't smell delicious enough, there were also double chocolate zucchini muffins.  Now those were really, really delicious!

Sundays mean catch-up calls to my parents and 2 daughters.

And there's the delicious return of regular Sunday night television.  My daughter and I curl up together on the sofa to watch "Once Upon A Time".  And I curled up in bed  for  Masterpiece Theatre's "Downton Abbey - Season 2".  (I needed my tissue box handy tonight.)

About the only negative thing I can say about Sunday is that it's followed by Monday.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Healthy New Year

Life is slowly returning to it's normal flow.  My 21 yr old daughter is busy with college projects; both my international students are back; there's a backlog of laundry downstairs and long hair is once again clogging up the sink and bath strainers.  Ahhhh!  Home!
One of the advantages of students arriving or coming back from vacation is that they do sometimes bring you back a gift from their foreign country.  I love receiving things from other countries!    And so far, I've found that when it comes to presentation and packaging, the Koreans are tops.  
Look at this beautiful box:  green and gold; paisley and embossing. I thought Wow!  This must contain some precious object.

And it does.  But not the type of precious object I expected.
Lying there resplendent in their gold lining are 3 bottles of Super Omega3 capsules.  (When Elly first arrived, her Mom sent me a jar of very expensive night cream.)  And from what I've heard, the Koreans produce some of the best pills, herbal remedies, vitamins and beauty products that can be found on the globe.
As you may already know, Super Omega3 contains essential fatty acids and have a plethora (isn't that a great word!) of health benefits, among them - lowering the risk of colon cancer, reducing the risk of psychotic disorders (That's a relief  'cause I sometimes wonder about myself!) and improving heart health (another concern of mine).  
To buy a quality product like this in Nova Scotia would be fairly expensive, and I think there's probably a 3-4 month supply here!  But what impresses and delights me most is that my student's Mom thinks about my overall health and skin care.  What thoughtful gifts indeed!
This is a great addition to getting back on track with my health and exercise regime; next purchase for me will be some super green supplements for my morning smoothie.
Do you take supplements?  What do you take and how often?  Any recommendations?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

10 Reasons to Have a Happy New Year!

One of my favorite bloggers is 'MA' from ON THE BRIGHT SIDE; Ma's posts are always upbeat, informative and fun.  

Today Ma gave us "10 Reasons to have a Happy New Year" (found here Thursday, January 5th, 2012).    

But because I adore Christmas and all things Christmas (including holiday specials, relatives being here, mall Santas and Xmas trees), I decided I would tweak her 10 reasons to more accurately reflect how I feel -- that although I'm always sad to say goodbye to Christmas, I am also always happy to greet a new year.  

So, here are MY 10 reasons to have a Happy New Year.

Reasons To Have a Happy New Year

10. Although the TV Holiday specials are over, regular programming is about to commence!  Excitement people!

9. Winter is a perfectly acceptable season for wearing funny hats.  I have a black velvet hat that is very "Cat in the Hat" like; I love it!  And one of my daughter's favorite gifts this year was one similar to this: mighty hard to be a grump with a pig on your head, huh!  

8. Although we sad to say farewell to children who are leaving us again, they are going back to school to continue to grow up and to move on with their own lives.    

And some foreign daughters are coming back to their Canadian homes to spend a little more time with us.

7. Mall Santas are history; but fan-tabulous winter sales continue.  Thrifters rejoice!

6. As we undecorate, it gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate if we really need all that Xmas decor that we have. (Remember the 365 items challenge I spoke about yesterday?)  And our once-beautiful but now dried up Xmas tree can continue to serve Planet Earth.

5. Only three more months till Spring!  That means 3 more months of trying out new soups and stews, hunkering down with good books ('cause you can't do much outside!), warm sweaters, wooly socks, and those wonderful, inevitable snow days.

4. Our new Xmas gifts come out from under the tree and we get to use and enjoy them:  find the perfect place to show off that new blue glass cannister; excitedly crack open the spine of that new George RR Martin book; wear those sexy purple leopard print undies.

3. Yes, leftover turkey is finally gone; but there's the anticipation of the day when you will happily thaw and bake that delicious turkey pot pie waiting in the freezer.  Not today; but I know that someday in the not too distant future, I will salivate at the thought.

2. Sledding, skating & ski season is here.  It's so much fun to dress like the Michelin man, head outside with friends and spend a few hours falling down a lot - and laughing at yourself.  And there's the extra added bonus of hot chocolate, glowing cheeks and falling asleep easier!

And the number one reason to have a Happy New Year...

1. You're still here!  Yes, you've made it through another Christmas and beaten old man time to greet another year -- one full of unsullied days and untold opportunities!

Now troops -- onward and upward!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Feels like winter!

This is how I feel this morning!

Elly flew back from Korea late last night; and although bedtime was at 2:30 am, it was closer to 4 am before I nodded off.  (Over-tired?)
Still, mature, loyal employees (who don't get paid otherwise) rise to the occasion.  After waking late and a quick shower, I walked outside to this:

Minus 10 degrees on the thermometer and minus 19 degrees with wind chill.  There's only one way to deal with lack of sleep and a cold car:  I stopped by Tim Horton's for maple oatmeal -- "With extra milk and a dollop of butter, please!"  
Maple or fruity oatmeal!  Both so delicious!
A crappy start to the day means that extra care needs to be taken during the day to ensure as much joy and happiness as possible for the remainder.  
Well, I've made it through until noon.  So I guess the next move to getting through my work day means a good lunch.  Lunch makes me happy!  And today that mean the joy of  Subway -- a healthy, hot sandwich that someone else has prepared and no dishes to wash!
Gotta run! Successful survival is calling!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Damsel in De-Stress

As I said to a fellow blogger this morning, we bloggers all seem to be on the same wavelength. (Perhaps there's been a massive Vulcan mind meld!) January makes us want to clean!

and my favorite one:

  • Garden Of Daisies is challenging us to toss out or donate 365 items this year -- 31 items a month.


I know that a lot of these urges are normal for this time of year. With Xmas behind us and the un-decorating that's happening, we naturally want (and probably need) to clean our homes. I spent yesterday morning at my bathroom -- washing walls, laundering curtains, organizing drawers and cleaning all surfaces. (A job I've put off for 3 months.)


And with the diet that some of us have maintained over the holidays (and our body in major rebellion), our thoughts naturally turn to getting back on track with diet and exercise.


But there's also a mental de-cluttering that seems to happen at this time of year. The return to normal day-to-day life from Xmas mode is a welcome relief. For over-achievers, the bake-off/best decorated/largest gift/happiest family competition is over. We can be our regular selves again! OR we can become "new and improved" (or a reasonable facsimilie thereof) with our New Year's resolutions and lists etc. (Personally, I only make NY's resolutions when I want to be disappointed in myself!)


This cleansing of home, body and mind is good at any time; January just seems to bring it out in us en masse!


I did some mental de-cluttering just before Xmas by letting go of something that had become very stressful. And I'm continuing this month to let go of things that just don't meet my needs anymore.


The three go hand in hand: Cleaning my house makes me feel physically better. If my house is clean, I can think clearer. If my mind is more alert, I sleep better, make better decisions and feel better physically ... so I can tackle more home jobs and have a cleaner house. So for me, January is a very welcome, very good month.

Just call me a Damsel in De-Stress!



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Start as you mean to End

I spent a relaxing New Year's Eve watching movies. With popcorn in hand, I saw the quite lengthy 2011 version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". (Well done Hollywood!)

Later at home, with Kir Royale in hand (see pic), I re-watched the 2009 Swedish version - my second time. You don't have to bother with subtitles in the 2011 Fincher movie. It also does a wonderful job of clearly and accurately telling the story and doesn't stray too far nor too often from the original book written by Stieg Larsson. It easily holds your interest and keeps you glued to your seat. However, it's a little more more raw and, therefore, slightly more violent than the 2009 Oplev film.


After watching both, my preferance is still for the Swedish version of the film. I like that it sticks to the original story; and in my opinion, Noomi Rapace's portrail of Lisbeth Salander is more true to her character as Steig Larsson presents her. She's socially inept, disconnected from the people around her and gives little or nothing of herself away. She is a product of her upbringing and a definite survivor! (And, of course, it helps that I can watch the next 2 films based on Larsson's next 2 books in the Millennium series.)
We had rain last night. But my new year began today clear and warm. After a wonderful church service thanking the One who loves me and provides for me, I had tea on the deck -- 5 degrees celcius (41 deg F). January 1st!


And just to cross all my "t's" and dot all my "i's", I took a page from the ole South and cooked black-eyed peas and greens (well, green beans) to ensure prosperity and luck for 2012. .
And as I like to start the new year as I hope to end it (warm weather, worship and good food), I'll go back to relaxing on the couch in my warm, comfy home ..... and I'll finish watching the Millenium Series films.

Have you seen either or both of these films? Read the books? What did you think?


  Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailm...