Thursday, December 31

mary, mary

This is the second book I've read with this title. I liked this one, which was written by James Patterson, better than the first. This book was pretty good, but if you've read one by Patterson, you've read them all. The plot twist at the end was completely unpredictable. I hate when that happens. Oh, and this was from the Alex Cross series, which is my favorite series from this author.

My rating: 3.5/5

Monday, December 28

christmas 2015

It was a flurry of family activities over the holiday and weekend. On Christmas Eve, we celebrated at my parents. Christmas Day was spent with my in-laws. Then, my family came to our house for a visit on Saturday and my in-laws came for a visit on Sunday. And, now I'm back to work! But, it's a short work week (I'm only working today and Wednesday).

Brian and Jake give me a handmade present each year for Christmas. This year, I received a slew of framed family photos (with handmade frames, of course). The pictures are now hanging on the formerly blank wall of my dining room. That was my nicest present, but the present that I used the most was my adult coloring book (it's addictive).

Thursday, December 24

the weather

So, this weather, huh? No matter how the rest of the winter goes, this has to be one of the mildest on record. 60 degree temps on Christmas--I'll take it! Though it is nice to have some snow around the holiday, I can live without it.

I regret that I didn't plant a fall/winter garden this year. Given the mild temps, it would have been a great year for it. I'm concerned about the garlic I planted--it's growing like crazy, but it's supposed to be dormant at this point. I hope it doesn't mess up my harvest.

Sunday, December 20

the spy who came for christmas

This book was in my "to read" pile. I grabbed it because it was short and it is Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It was a spy story and that part of things was pretty interesting. I wasn't 100% on board with the ending--it felt a little forced (and not likely to happen).

The book was written by the author who wrote the "Rambo" series of books. Not that I've read any of them (or seen the movies for that matter), but I thought that was an interesting tidbit. Apparently he's quite the action novel writer.

My rating: 4/5

In other Christmas news, we went out to dinner last night (with my Mom's side of the family) at the Homestead Inn in Elton. It was nice to see everyone again, but the menu, food and service at the restaurant were less than impressive. They'd be a good candidate for Restaurant Impossible. But, I digress.

Saturday, December 19

vacation

Brian and I watched the 2015 version of this movie last night. We both thought it was hilarious, which might tell you more about us than you need to know. I wouldn't say it holds a candle to the original movies (at least the first few of them), though--the humor was definitely not of the same style. But, it was way funnier than most comedies out there today. It was pretty much rapid-fire jokes throughout.

My rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday, December 15

the bazaar of bad dreams

Stephen King rarely disappoints and this was not one of those times that he did. This was a collection of his short stories. The only negative here was that there were a few previously published stories in the book. But, there were also quite a few goodies in there. Reading his stuff is like sitting down with an old friend.

My rating; 3.5/5

Sunday, December 13

goodnight mommy

This was an Austrian horror film. Europeans do horror very differently than Americans (see Martyrs). While this film wasn't a 90 minute torture fest (it was only a 30 minute one), it definitely wasn't like any American horror film that you might see. I thought the premise was pretty good--though I figured out the twist way, way early (I think I've watched too many movies/too much television at this point to be surprised by anything).

My rating; 3.5/5

Thursday, December 10

crap

Early last week, we discovered that the toilet in our basement was clogged in a major way (using a plunger on it caused water to shoot out the base). We weren't too concerned because we have other toilets and our main sewer line was still working, so it appeared that the problem was contained. A few days later, Brian removed the toilet so he could check out the sewer pipe and found that it was clogged beyond his plumbing abilities.

This week, he called one of the plumbers we deal with and he recommended calling Roto-Rooter. Evidently they are best equipped to deal with situations such as this. They came today and 2 hours (and $200) later everything is working again. Apparently the pipes had a bunch of roots in them. Why the rest of our plumbing still worked is somewhat of a mystery (there must be two separate lines that connect to the main line), but I'll take it. Luckily for us, they are testing the sewer lines in the township and we will almost certainly be required to replace ours, so this problem will not be a recurring one once that happens.

Sunday, December 6

preparations

I'm a little behind on Christmas this year, but I'm glad to say that I'm done with shopping. I did 90% of it on Black Friday (from the comfort of my living room, thanks to Amazon). But, in an uncharacteristic move, my Christmas cards aren't done yet. I briefly considered not making cards this year, but then someone told me how much they like my cards so I was kind of guilted into it. They are in progress.

I'm not making cookies again this year, but Jake and I are going to make some Christmas-y treats next weekend. I'm not sure at this point if I'm going to be making dog treats. I didn't last year and that was kind of nice, but I haven't made treats in a while, so it might be fun to do. We'll see how I'm doing for time.

We never decorate the house until mid-December, so I'm not behind on that yet. I think we're going to get a real tree this year. We've been putting up an artificial one for quite a few years and I miss having a real one (or do I? I guess we'll find out). The fact that real trees drop needles is kind of annoying, but our artificial one does that, too, so we'll see which one I like better.

I'm taking a half day later this month to wrap presents--that's probably my favorite Christmas preparation of all.

Tuesday, December 1

pulp fiction

We're making Jake watch our top 13 films with us. We started with Pulp Fiction. It was as good as I remembered it. Jake saw parts of the movie in the past, but never in its entirety. Needless to say, he liked it.

My rating: 4/5