I’m getting ready to go on vacation next week and will be travelling for a good duration of the time. And so, I’m going well-prepared with a good book or two.
As you may already know, I am an avid reader and usually become so captivated in my reads that I often find that it is all I want to do.
This summer I went thru a slew of books and finished my last John Grisham legal thriller. I picked up two other non-legals of his, and tried really hard to get into one but just epicly failed (I’ll save it for another time). So, on a recent shopping trip I was delighted to pick up a few new reads, including the third in the “The Witch of….” series by Suzanne Palmieri. Last summer I read “The Witch of Belladonna Bay” and followed it with “The Witch of Little Italy” (although, if you’re reading them, reverse the order), and I’ve been on the hunt for the third book “The Witch of Bourbon Street“. Eureka! As soon as I started reading it I fell in love with it. I’m still only a tiny ways into it because I’ve been supremely busy and haven’t had much time to indulge myself, but I am looking forward to zipping thru this third book in the series.
I’m heading out on another trip later in the month and I CANNOT WAIT to tell you all about it. This trip is going to be amazeballs and I am over the moon that I have the opportunity to do it! But, it’s a surprise so you’ll have to wait to hear about it.
For that trip, I will likely indulge in the other books during my flight. Eep! Can’t wait for this one!
My BFF/work-wife, Spanky is currently off on maternity leave. This girl and I met years ago when we began working together and we became instant friends. And, although we both had changed job locations, we maintained our friendship AND continued our lunchtime shenanigans all these years. And now we’re back to working together. ❤
We just did Mud Hero together Yesterday. #BFFs
And we have spent 10 years lunching together, walking thru Town, running the trails (training for races), running errands, or just sitting around stuffing our faces. But one thing has always maintained the same for us, wherever we were and whatever we were doing, you can bet we were laughing our heads off and having more fun than should be allowed. I have often said I bet people see us each day on our lunchtime ventures and are totally jealous of how much fun we’re having. In fact, one day, just a few years ago, while running an errand in one of the little shops in downtown, we had a good case of the giggles and could not stop laughing and an onlooker, a chef from one of the local restaurants had been watching us and said he thoroughly enjoyed watching us have so much fun. See…jealous.
But, when Spanky left to go off and have Baby Ruth I was saddened because I thought I was going to be alone for my lunch hours and, although I can go out and
have fun make my own fun any damn time I please, I always enjoy the company. And, just my luck, Spanky’s work replacement has also become my lunchtime replacement and Boo Boo and I are having tons of fun together.
We decided months ago, when there was still snow on the ground (which, let’s face it, this is Nova Scotia and that means it wasn’t that long ago that there was snow on the ground), that we were going to walk during our breaks. Actually, it wasn’t so much a decision as it was something that just happened one day and we haven’t stopped. It’s because of these lunchtime walks that I’m hitting my FitBit step goal way early in the day.
Boo Boo and I walk and laugh every day. We are having way too much fun and, just like Spanky and I did, we’re making our fun.
One day last week, while out on our roam, we stopped into the local grocery store. Boo Boo was checking out the watermelons and was intending on picking one up until I reminded her that she’d have to carry a watermelon through town, in 34 degree heat, and we still had a half hour to go on our break. She left the watermelon there. But, as we were in the checkout line, I noticed the guy in front of me was holding a watermelon. When he glanced around at us I said to him “Can you please take that back to work or wherever you’re going and pretend you’re Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing and announce “I CARRIED A WATERMELON”.
Boo Boo held her breath (because I’m a nut!) and the guy just looked at me for a few seconds like a deer caught in headlights and then the both of them cracked up. He said he had heard us talking by the watermelons as he was picking his out and realized that he would be the one carrying the watermelon thru town in 34 degree heat (with a long-sleeved knit sweater on, mind you) and he felt like a dummy but he wanted to do something nice for his co-workers.
Nice gesture or not, I’d not be carrying a watermelon thru town in the heat.
The three of us a had a long-lasting chuckle and he kept the conversation going until he finished his purchase and had to leave us, although it seemed like he would have rather stayed with us (Boo Boo said he’s now the president of my fan club).
I’m very thankful to both these gals, Spanky and Boo Boo, because you make my work days a heckuvalot more entertaining. I soooooo look forward to Spanky’s return because I loooove her. And I’m keeping Boo Boo too, so we can be the workplace Three Musketeers or Three Amigos – which, with the shenanigans and oopsies, seems a lot more fitting.
I love my life.
If there’s one thing I love in this crazy, busy, mixed up world, it’s a good book.
I love everything about them. I love the way they feel, the texture, the smell – especially old, beat up novels with their eerie history. I
It is my dream in life to have a huge parlor-like room with walls lined from floor to ceiling with books upon books upon books.
My friend Cheri has somewhat accomplished this dream. I am forever envious.
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted or needed a book on the go. Something to keep me occupied and keep my mind at work. Something to comfort. Something to take me away from this place and experience an adventure inside my head.
I think my love affair with the written word started from birth! I assume my mother read to me then. And I can remember being very young and my mom always reading to us; me and my brother. She would read us bedtime stories – shorts from Dr. Seuss to novels such as The Wizard of Oz, promising a new chapter the next night – and she would read to us while waiting for medical appointments. And she would take us, countless times, to second-hand bookstores where would slink around quietly, and load up on books.
I remember getting hooked on Archie comics when I was 5 or 6. Fumbling through each story (asking my mother over and over how to pronounce “Veronica”). I couldn’t get enough of those short little stories. Zip, zip, zip. And another book was finished. Eventually I moved on to bigger books, although Cinderella was always my favorite, I needed more….I needed chapters! And so the affair grew. And it has continued to grow.
Years ago when I lived in the City I worked very late hours. I would come home and read to (attempt to) unwind, instead, I would get wrapped up in a story that would take me into the early hours of the morning. Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper was a book that I had wanted and was gifted to me by my spectacular sister-in-law. That book kept my mind so busy late at night. It was scary as hell and kept me up with fear, yet I continued to read it. I was enthralled.
When I injured my back several years ago and was down and out and barely able to walk, books kept me sane and busy. And when I first started working out, books are what kept me going. I’d jump on the elliptical with a novel and boom! Just like that an hour (or sometimes two!) would be gone.
When I read, when I’m really involved in a story, something happens to me. I’m transported to another place. Page by page and chapter by chapter I find myself getting deeper into the world I’m reading about. As if I’m there. As if I’m the character. There are days when I want to do nothing but read because I’m so obsessed with the story. That’s what happens when I read Grisham. And it’s what’s happening now with the current book I’m reading (The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri). This book has enchanted me. Like you wouldn’t believe. I cannot get enough of it.
*sigh* My new best friend…my summer escape.
That was the same for me the first time I read Jaws and when I read Grisham’s The Rainmaker. And last year, when I finally finished studying for my Nutrition exam, with Andrew Pyper’s The Guardians. Those books enchanted me. I read them all in just a matter of a few days. Like those books, The Witch of Belladonna Bay is constantly on my mind. It’s like it’s seeped into my soul. All I want to do is sit in the sun or snuggle in my bed and get lost in this other world. (Thankfully my BFF is on vacation this week so I’m able to read in the sun during my lunch break. I’m such a dork!)
Maybe this quaint little story about witches is itself enchanted. Who knows? But it’s got me hooked.
I get so lost in these worlds it’s like I’m watching a movie – or living in it. I’m a very vivid reader and the words become so picturesque and move along easily and colorfully. It’s better than TV. Television never calls to me like a good book does.
I have already zipped through 5 books since the start of this summer (I think that’s a record for me), and I can’t wait to start a new one. The only thing, however, is that when I get really involved with a book – like I am right now – I’m always sad at the end…when it’s over. When the adventure concludes. There have been many books that have made me cry and many books that I’ve cried at the finality of the ending. I find no shame in that. I’m a sensitive being and when one becomes so involved in a story – whether it be real, written, or televised – there is no shame in feeling the sorrow in the loss of what seems to have become a good friend, or in the experience itself.
I’m looking forward to finishing TWOBB in the next day or so, but I have a feeling that I have become so wrapped up in, not only the words themselves, but in the emotion this story carries, that I will, at some point before its end, bawl like a baby.
And once that moment is over, I will move on to the next adventure and become enchanted all over again.
If you are from my hometown then you are more than likely familiar with JR’s. If you’re not familiar then let me give you a little background:
JR’s was this little bar – similar to a honky tonk, I’m guessing – that was dark and grungy and known for the people it attracted (if you’re picking up what I’m putting down) and the fights that broke out. It was not my bar of choice, in fact, when I turned 19 and was old enough to drink and go out to the clubs, my mother nearly forbade me from going to JR’s. She didn’t actually forbid me, which is why I did go to that spot on occasion, but it definitely was not my cup of tea. Nor my first choice of dance clubs.
One summer, however, my BFF Kim and I had planned to go to JR’s. It was her first time going and it was a big deal. It was the summer of Ghetto Superstar and we could hardly wait to rock out on the dance floor to that song. (Lord, I’m getting old!) The bar was packed. There is a military base just outside of our town and Saturday nights the boys let loose. JR’s was the bar of choice for these cats. There is also a lot of agricultural business in and surrounding my communities – lots of farming of many types. And a lot of farmers hired outside of Nova Scotia, back then mostly Bajans (read: Barbadians).
The military folk were cocky – arrogant SOBs who walked around like they owned the town, and the Bajans would hit on anything walking upright. These two groups clearly did not see eye-to-eye. (But then again, the military boys didn’t really see eye-to-eye with anyone.)
And then there was us: locals. Valley peeps just out for a good time, having a few drinks, dancing our butts off, and hanging with friends and people we knew from high school.
This night was special though. Kim was my best friend. I always felt like we were soul mates. I partly credit her for helping me bust out of my shell and becoming the hilarious girl I am today; and I had promised her for so long that we would eventually go out to JR’s and we would dance our dance to Ghetto Superstar and it would be a fucking blast! And the night went pretty perfectly. We danced. We had a few drinks. We mingled with friends. It was summer and the night was young fun.
Oh my God the 90’s! That’s me and Kim, Betty and Veronica (I’m the brunette) , the terrible two, gearing up for one of our infamous adventures in SandyLand.
Several times while we were on the dance floor, however, this young, drunk punk kept bumping into us. The guy wasn’t very big but he was completely wasted and he was perpetually on the dance floor (alone) bumping and knocking and grating on everyone’s last nerve. Y’know at first, everyone was like “Meh, it’s all good. We’re cool.” But after so many times you kind of can’t handle much more.
There was another young couple on the dance floor. The guy was clearly military and he and his girl were dancing and making out – but minding their business and having fun. McBumpy danced into them a few times and Military boy was obviously getting more and more annoyed.
When Ghetto Superstar was finally played Kim and I made our way to the center of the dance floor and broke out our dance moves. We were stoked and we were literally having the time of our lives! Then it happened, McBumpy bumped me again and again and again. I know the poor dude was just out for a good time and should have been cut off long before, but I was seriously irritated and when he bumped me for the last time I made sure it was the.last.time.
I shoved him….and bam! He cascaded right into Military dude and his woman. Needless to say, Military dude had had enough by this point and he shoved him back, and then he smoked McBumpy.
This is where it gets realllllly interesting. It was like a domino effect, but in reality, it was just the nature of JR’s. Because right after Military dude punched McBumpy, someone else punched someone else. And then someone else punched someone else….until a full-out brawl broke out. I’m not even kidding. It was like something out of a movie. Dozens of people were fighting. Even the bouncers were sucker-punching people (again, the nature of JR’s). It was REDONKULOUS!
I grabbed Kim’s hand and we made our way outside of the bar as we ducked and avoided getting the shit beat out of us. Once outside, the scenery was exactly the same – fights were erupting everywhere. Bajans and Military and Homeboys and Locals and Bouncers. It was chaos.
One of my friends, who happened to be a former boxer, got a tap on the shoulder in the midst of all this. When he turned around he got sucker-punched. Big mistake! I can still hear the sound of his fist connecting with the other guy’s face!
In the midst of this chaos Kim and I were trying to decipher what the hell we should do and how to get out of that bruhaha. In the distance, we could hear the sirens wailing, and they got closer and closer. Still holding hands, Kim and I bolted through the crowd, dodging fists and slaps, and ran through the back parking lot, through what can only be described as a tiny field back then; running, running, behind buildings, to safety – and far away from what was likely the biggest fight in JR’s history. While we were getting out of Dodge, we looked back and saw NINE police cars already at the bar!! I didn’t even realize our little town had nine police cars! I’m sure more came later.
We roamed, quietly, the streets for a while, staying out of sight, until the hoopla died down, and eventually made our way back to my car and headed home. But the night was so insane that, even though it was probably already 3am, we were so wound up from our crazy adrenaline rush that there’s no way we could have slept. So, we drove to my church parking lot and climbed onto the hood of my Chevy Blazer (Dave) and stared at the stars. The smell of summer is not something one can easily forget. And that night is still vivid in my memory. After a while of us just laying there in silence we cracked. Uncontrollable laughter of what had just happened. And all because we wanted to dance in peace. That night we were ghetto superstars!
When I was in high school I started working at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop. I worked there for 6 years. And I never drank coffee. Ever.
I couldn’t stand the stuff. My dad is a coffee drinker – although I think he preferred instant back then, and my mom is a life-long tea drinker. But neither were for me. In fact, the smell of the coffee at Tim’s gave me terrible heartburn. I didn’t even know that was possible but it happened. Often.
In school, kids would stroll into class with their morning brew in their refill mugs and I would think “WTF? Why are they drinking that ghastly stuff?” Especially because, y’know, we were kids. So, I went through all these years of my life not drinking coffee.
Then one year, in my very early twenties, I went to Montreal with a few friends for my birthday weekend. Two of them had a sporting event, which I watched the first day and was so exhaustingly bored that I wanted to punch myself in the face just to stay awake, that I decided on day two to stay behind in the hotel and hang out by myself for the day. I had some adventures on my own, which, back then was totally unlike me. I hated doing things alone. I needed someone with me at.all.times. (Thankfully I have grown out of that and love having my independent adventures. I wish I could go back to that hotel in Montreal and LIVE IT UP!)
On a stroll around the hotel on my own I came across one of the cleaning ladies’carts. It had an InStyle magazine on it, which, undoubtedly was left behind by one of the other guests after checkout. So, being the badass that I was I snatched the magazine off the cart and kept on my merry way.
Back in my hotel room I devoured the entire magazine, reading each and every article. Actress Minnie Driver was the cover girl and there was a huge fashion spread with Minnie as the model, accompanied by a big article on her. At one part in the interview she talked about getting up in the morning and sitting on her porch in her robe, reading the paper, taking in the scenery, while having her morning coffee.
This is the magazine I ripped off from a cleaning cart.
What? Is this what adults do? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Be a grown up and read the paper* and drink coffee and wear a robe?? (*In my defense, I totally read the newspapers when I worked at Tim’s. They were free reads while on our breaks in our tiny little break room. And it was race to do the Lexicon first on Saturday!)
For some reason, that little article on Minnie has stuck with me all of these years since (and more than likely I probably still have the magazine in a box of other magazines or a desk drawer somewhere around my house). And so, as the years have passed I have made my attempts to become a grown up and drink coffee in the mornings. For a very long time I failed miserably.
And then one day it happened. I had a cup of coffee. Like a real grown up. Maybe it’s because my taste buds have changed since I’ve gotten older – or since I started drinking wine), but I no longer cringed at the smell or the taste of a good brew. I actually look forward to a small mug of joe in the mornings. And, although I could never drink it black, I can enjoy a cup with just a little unsweetened almond milk or blended with a spoonful of coconut oil when I’m doing a Whole 30 program (aka eliminating sugar and all processed foods in all forms, etc.).
Summer is my favorite time – when I can sit outside in the sunshine while reading a book and taking in the scenery. And I love weekend mornings when I can get up and put on a small pot and relax on the couch before getting my day started. Drinking a little coffee in the morning makes me feel like I’m finally adulting. (And thank goodness for Starbucks and whip for when I want to be a kid pretending to adult.)
I’m still working on the robe, though. I have a few but I like my PJ pants and fleece socks and Banana Republic dresses to sleep in and lounge around the house in. I’m not Mrs. Roper!
Isn’t it funny how one little thing can change your perspective? Something as small as a cup of friggin’ coffee in the mornings.
#1 – See Day #7 re. My Dream Job (writing).
#2 – Fitness. It is my goal to become CanFitPro certified. In the meantime, I work out every damn day and attend a minimum of 4 fitness classes a week.
#3 – To finally have a Goonie adventure (although, I have had close calls in the past). I think everyone deserves a Goonie adventure in life and my passion is endlessly seeking out that adventure. If that means karaoke-ing it or challenging people to dance-offs or getting lost in the woods after dark while on a hike then so be it…Life is a journey. I’m gonna rock it Goonie-Style.
Nothing like a chick pea fritter!
A week or so ago I was at a market (Pete’s Frootique) with my friend Amy K. and we were working ourselves around the deli section….frothing at the mouth.
In the line of salads and dumplings and several other interesting concoctions were these weird little fritters. Amy said that we had to get them because they’re delicious and so I heeded her advice and bought one.
I waited ’til I got to Blair’s, warmed it up and gave it a whirl. It was good. It wasn’t great. Something seemed to be missing from it but it was still okay. A little different with each bite. One kind of bland, another too spicy. In the end it turned my stomach* (*this may not be fully blamed on the pakora but I tied to two together).
I would certainly give pakora another chance. Just to be fair. It’s always good to try something new. Life is an adventure. Eating should be too.
For a couple of years now I’ve been trying to get Blair to take a trip
anywhere to Mahone Bay with me. It’s only an hour, maybe a little more, away but the atmosphere is completely different than where we are. It’s a beautiful little tourist trap where several movies/tv shows (including Haven) have been filmed. It’s very New Englandy and I have been wanting to get back there for a while.
But something always comes up or a fiasco happens and our plans get ruined. So a few weeks ago I decided I would venture out on my own and I have been looking forward to the adventure.
I got up early Saturday morning to get ready and head out. I promised Amy K. that I would stop by and visit during her garage sale. So once I got there, plans changed somewhat and she decided to go with me. Which was fine. An adventure on your own is fine and dandy but an adventure with a friend is a hoot!
I was so ecstatic when we finally made the curve and found ourselves in Mahone Bay. The marina was to our left and there were beautiful sailboats everywhere.
Mahone Bay Marina
I’m not going to post everything because it’s not as exciting if you’re not there….but following are some of the more interesting and humorous things from our day.
We stopped at this mom and pop ice cream & antiques store – seriously, it’s called Dad’s and Mom’s:
Ice Cream and Antiques
Amy got an ice cream cone…I tripped over a chair trying to take a picture of this creepy-ass doll. This thing is
worse just as bad as those damn China dolls (https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/china-dolls/). Her eyes followed me everywhere *shudder*.
Forget the China dolls, this thing is just creepy!
Here I am getting my photo taken with my handsome new boyfriend….sorry Blair…every woman loves a man in uniform.
Aw honey, don’t be shy.
We stopped at this terrific little bakery…..
If only it tasted as good as it looked.
But EVERYTHING was made of soap.
So pretty…and mostly smelled so good. But my allergies kicked in and I lost my voice and we had to leave.
We did some shopping at other little spots – lots of jewelry and antiques
I bought some great items here.
And I realllllllly wanted this:
Several places had designated spots for hubs:
See? Blair would have been right at home here.
And one shop had this guy outside:
“Please play with me.” *Sad Face*
He talked and sang to us thru the screen door. Poor boy just wanted someone to love him.
Eventually we stopped at Mader’s Wharf Pub for lunch. We first sat on the deck for a drink (I had a huge glass of water on the rocks).
Trying to look chic as I guzzle
But it got a little chilly and this damn crow would not shut up!
See the little effer??? Loud and OBNOXIOUS!
So we moved inside to a different atmosphere:
1) Dead animals mounted as decor (aside from the rhino I saw deer and birds…)
2) There was a crazy group of hat ladies there. we never did find out what their “tour” was for but they seemed to be having fun…and there were tons of crazy/obnoxious hats. I think I’m gonna start a club.
3) The Crab Guy
Are you a fisherman? Because it seems you have crabs.
He was constantly staring and I counted FOUR times he grabbed/adjusted his crotch. Right there. In public. Didn’t try to hide it or avert anything. Just gave himself a little tug.
I joked to Amy “He must be a fisherman because it’s apparent he has crabs.” It was funny at the time. Wait. It’s still funny. (And honestly, do I even need to mention the lame matching shirt and do-rag??)
While we waited for lunch to arrive I drew some art:
And attempted a good pose:
Strike a Pose
Then I became the photographer and snapped Amy chowing down.
Lunch was delish!
After lunch we shopped some more and found these precious goodies:
Amy’s new book. I’ll never look at cookies the same way again.
*sigh* If my life were only this simple
I would love to hand these out for others to wear 🙂 (Would that make me a douche bag?)
Eventually the sun began to set and the shoppes closed their doors and we headed back to our neck of the woods. But all in all it was a great day! A great little adventure.