Thursday, December 1, 2022

Cat Thursday-Thanksgiving Kitties


 Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!  

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Day after Thanksgiving kitties. Couldn't resist sharing their cuteness. Shadow also had some tooth surgery earlier this week but she's doing great now. Hard to see the kitty babies hurting. So very grateful they are both doing well this week!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Cat Thursday--Happy Thanksgiving


 Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 

Happy Thanksgiving! It's that time of year where we force ourselves find ourselves grateful for all of the things despite it possible being another dumpster fire year, yet again...I can see the silver linings in all things, for sure. So I will state that I am grateful that I have been healthy before I got this horrible stream of cold and flu and sinus stuff for the last month and that I have hopes of being able to once again feel normal, hopefully soonish. I am grateful for friends and family and the opportunity to spend a bit of this weekend with some of them. And lets not forget about my kitties. I am forever grateful they keep my cuddled and warm.

May we all be grateful for the kitties in our lives!

Monday, November 7, 2022

October Updates

 Another month gone! Wow. It looks like I can only manage to get one of these updates out a month. October was busy and fun. We went on vacation for G's fall break up to Angels Camp in California and met up with our friends. We enjoyed relaxing and seeing a few of the natural sites in the area. Big Tree State Park and Mercer Cave. I even hugged a Giant Sequoia. Yep, I'm a tree hugger.

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There were so many deer just hanging around. It was so fun watching them.

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The cave was so interesting. I enjoy seeing these kinds of places wherever I can.

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Waiting around before we could go on the cave tour.

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One of the Giant Sequoias I hugged that day.

G got really sick the first night on vacation, unfortunately. But he was a big trooper and journeyed on even though he was pretty miserable for the first couple of days. I didn't start getting sick until we were driving home...My son gave me his goo, which turned into a sinus infection that I'm still recovering from. That made the last part of October really hard.

We still managed to get our pumpkins carved, chili and cornbread made for Halloween, and G went off trick-or-treating. We even got out our little portable firepit and lit that up in the early evening and enjoyed some mulled cider and treats with our friends. The weather was perfect on Halloween! 

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G as the Evil Sorcerer and his Steampunk friend

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Not the best pic but I really liked my scary pumpkin face.

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G decided on a kitty and DH went with an alien face. All looked really cool this year!

Book Total for October was 7 books!
I do want to get some reviews up soon! I really liked The Devil in Silver.

Most of my TV viewing in October were holiday baking shows, The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, 101 Scary Movie Moments on Shudder, and The Midnight Club on Netflix.

I caught some pretty good scary movies over the month. Final Destination I finally saw it for the first time! I don't know why I never saw it but it was surprisingly effective...and we have a final boy! Deadstream is a horror-comedy on Shudder that was really well done. It was filmed in locally in Utah. It's an interesting take on the found-footage genre.

I'm still finishing up a couple of horror/mystery books I started in October. Ghost Story by Peter Straub and The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith.

I started Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May, Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves, and Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz.

We've got no plans to travel for Thanksgiving. We usually head up to my sister's place. I'll do a small meal for my little family either Friday or Saturday. I've got a few projects to get done for Christmas gifts as well this month! It adds up quickly.

And Vote! DH and I voted early. I'll be watching the results Tuesday night....

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Book Reviews: Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth, The Death of Jane Lawrence...

 October has been busy in my house. Vacation, illness, and just regular life...So my Halloween posts have been too sparse. So here are some mini reviews of the horror-type books I've completed this month.

Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films
by Nina Nesseth

I would call this more of the psychology of how we get scared and how horror movies capitalize on those fears. Really fascinating look at how these movies get under our skins. If you are a horror movie fan or even just a lover of human psychology this is the book for you. She also gives us a great list of horror films to add to our ever-growing list. I definitely have a few new ones to watch!

The Death of Jane Lawrence
by Caitlin Starling

A lot of things going on with this one. One too many, I think. It's kind of a weird alt-history in England where Jane feels she needs to get married in order to have a decent life after her foster parents are ready to move on to other things. So she picks Dr. Lawrence and eventually he agrees to their arrangement, but with stipulations. She can't ever stay at his family manor and she must allow him to do so while she stays at the surgery. But a terrible storm forces her to turn back to the family manor at night and all is not well. 

Ghosts or are they ghosts roam the manor at night. She sees Dr. Lawrence's deceased wife in the windows...

She soon discovers that she has a talent for magic through her love of math and numbers. This is a nod to H.P. Lovecraft's use of magic and geometry. And her husband has been trapped in the basement and she must find a way to get him out and save both their lives. 

It gets really messy the last 1/3 of the book. It was hard to follow and I'm still not sure what happened exactly by the end! Cool concept in a lot of ways. But I think there were just too many working parts to really let the story flow. Which is a big disappointment for me since I really loved Starling's "Luminous Dead."

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
by Grady Hendrix

I always enjoy Hendrix's books because they are funny and horrific at the same time. While this one wasn't my favorite it was still a fun read even when the story dragged on for a bit too long.

Patricia Campbell moves into a nice neighborhood with her two children and joins their book club. It's a sordid book club where they read true crime novels and discuss all the horrid things people do to each other. But when Patricia is attacked by elderly neighbor and Mary and Mary's nephew James moves into to help sort it all out, things start to get even weirder. 

A lot of things are going on from rats attacking Patricia's mother-in-law and her nurse Mrs. Greene to all the children that die and go missing in Mrs. Greene's poorer neighborhood. Hendrix tries to connect systemic racism, sexism, and class into his horror book. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so well. But kudos for trying! Like I said his books are always a hoot. How does the book club and Mrs. Greene find a way to get their revenge and protect their families? No spoilers but yeah it's freakin' fantastic. Best part of the whole book! 

Which brings me to another reason why I love Grady Hendrix even when specific books aren't necessarily my fave. He has great endings! He believes in his characters and I know what I'm going to get each and every time. We're going to get great endings for our heroines. Amen.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Cat Thursday


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 

This week I wanted to share a couple of pics of sweet Nala. One of shipping boxes has really struck her fancy! She is always jumping in and out of this thing. And since it's fall, the weather has cooled quite a bit during the night so the morning is pretty chilly. Nala loves to sit on shoulders and get warmed up. I took this earlier in the week with G.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October and the Spooky Season

 I say this every month...but what happened to September?

Lots of spooky fun plans this month. We just did our annual Fall hike (check). The soup season is in high-gear. Fall break is next week and we are actually heading out-of-state to meet up with our friends who moved out-of-state a few years ago. Outdoors, friends we haven't seen for awhile, and relaxation! The Haunted Forest is our annual "haunted" house we go to as a family...we'll be heading there soon too.

G has picked out his costume. This is the first year where he plans to trick-or-treat on his own! DH and I are planning on getting out the firepit and enjoying the evening with some yummy cocktails and spooky snacks with some neighbors. Hopefully the weather holds up!

Also, I'm so grateful my friend and her family are safe after Hurricane Ian hit. They were further inland but they were directly north of where it landed. They lost power and just got it back yesterday. Their fences are ruined and some plants did not make it. But other than that they fared well. All the neighbors came together and offered each other what they had. Just so grateful they're OK.

I've been full-tilt on reading and watching all the horror. I just have not been great at getting up my reviews...

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Where's G? This one makes me chuckle...
I just love the fall colors so I'm sharing a few from our hike!

It's been hard to find the time as much as I'd like for my spooky reviews. My mom has been in and out of the hospital this last month, once with Covid and the second time with a severe bladder infection. So yeah, life gets crazy. 

So...onto the good stuff!

Books...I finished 7 books in September! Granted, I didn't start all seven in September but I'll take it.

The Hollow Places
by T. Kingfisher. Lots of body horror in this one. I loved the creep factor and yet how funny it was. She does a good combo of both.

How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Question
by Michael Schur. I read...well, listened to this one, with my friend for our philosophy club. And I highly recommend listening to it. Schur is the creator of The Good Place and he gets the whole cast to help him read it. It's a hoot. And he really dove into moral and ethical philosophy for the show and he gives us a rundown in his book. One of the most funny and concise lay-person philosophy book I've ever read. While, I didn't necessarily draw every conclusion he did, he sure got me thinking. Which is the actual point of philosophy and thinking about ethics and values is the actual point of moral philosophy. So go listen and be entertained and edified!

A Gathering of Shadows
(Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab. I am really enjoying this fantasy series. I'm taking a break this month but I will finish off the final book in November! Very excited to see how she wraps it all up.

Last of the Sandwalkers
by Jay Hosler. This is a middle-grade graphic novel that follows a group of beetles (who are scientists) who are on an expedition to find out what the world's like outside their tiny city. It's funny, heart-warming, and full of science. This guy loves his beetles. There's even an endnotes section for all your extra beetle and/or bug facts. Love these little gems.

Gallows Hill
by Darcey Coates. This book felt like a movie in book form. There was non-stop creepy action. I had to keep reading in order to get away from super creep factor. I am now a fan! Coates is a prolific author and I can see why! She knows how to keep the terror amped up. This book has curses, ghosts, and zombies, plus a haunted house. What's not to love?

Are You Listening?
by Tillie Walden. This is a young adult graphic novel with lots of heavy stuff to deal with. I love what she tries to do here...she blends the fantastical with grief and trauma. I had a hard time following some of it. And it's definitely not for everyone but very interesting.

The Woman in the Library
by Sulari Gentill. I really enjoyed the premise of this murder mystery. An author is sending her preliminary chapters to an online acquaintance. We only see his emails to her and then the next chapter of the author's story. So there are two layers here, the fictional author and her fictional story...well, I guess three if you count Gentill as the original author of all! It's one of those meta-mysteries that Anthony Horowitz has made so famous recently. It did feel a bit rushed towards the end. But overall, it's a very quick and fun mystery.

Not bad for my first month of horror!

With Interview with the Vampire TV series coming out, I decided to finally read the original book. It's pretty interesting so far. And I am loving the updates to the plot the TV series has done! 

I am currently reading: The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle, Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth. And I am listening to The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling.

TV...DH and I are watching Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power on Amazon Prime. We both are really enjoying it. It's funny and beautiful. 

We also binge-watched One of Us Is Lying on Peacock a couple of weeks ago when we were recovering from our Covid booster jabs...silly but addicting. He said he would NOT be watching season two with me when it drops later this month...ha ha!

I finally finished Shining Girls on Apple TV+. That was a difficult one to get through. It's very dark with really no light until the actual final episode and not much is revealed but why or how with the fantastical elements. So while a quality series, I don't think I'd actually recommend it.

I've started Yellowjackets (Showtime), Dexter: New Blood (Showtime), and Interview with the Vampire (AMC+).

And of course all my cooking shows for Halloween are back on...Halloween Wars, The Great British Baking Show (Netflix), etc.

I'm also looking forward to The Midnight Club which drops later this month on Netflix. It's by Mike Flanagan who did The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass, and Hush. He also did Oculus...which scared me silly when I first watched it. Love everything he does.

...The Northman: Watched with DH. I really liked this one. A lot more than I thought I would. Great storytelling, acting, action. Very impressive.

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel
and Hell House III: Lake of Fire. The original Hell House went kind of viral and that was one creepy movie! I had a few nightmares from that one. Two was terrible and the third one wrapped it all up in nice paper bow. But it had some good scares. Watched the whole series with G. He really liked them!

The Boy Behind the Door
(Shudder). This was a fun surprise. Two tween boys are kidnapped. And it's up to one to rescue his friend and outsmart the kidnappers. Very intense but it ends well!

. I was really looking forward to watching this after loving Jordan Peele's first two horror movies. But meh. I wasn't overly impressed. It was pretty. The cinematography is amazing. But the story was all over the place, messy. And only one cheap jump scare...

(Netflix). This was a fun one! Allison Janney kicks booty and the story has layers. Pretty tight pacing. It was dark, though. Kind of hard to see what was going on half the time. Why can she kick booty? Who's the prey and who's the hunter?

(Shudder). Yes, to this movie. Bloody and twisted. Great new horror. An influencer runs into her old friend at the drug store and is invited to her bachelorette party she an old friend cuz she was also her tormenter? 

Yes, most of my movies are of the horror variety! Tis the season!

I hope to see Barbarian and Smile this month!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cat Thursday--More Fall Kitties

 Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 

I just need more cats surrounded by fall leaves!

Monday, September 19, 2022

We Did It! Mt. Timpanogos Is Finito!

 September 11th was the big day! Two of my friends and I hiked the great Mount Timpanogos located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This is the second-highest mountain in the Utah's Wasatch range. It's approximately 11,754 feet! The last time I hiked this was with my boyfriend and now husband when I was 23 years of age! I had to plan and prepare for this unlike the one I did in my early twenties. So crazy how our bodies break down with age. We even did the less elevation side...It took us a little over 11 hours. The weather was beautiful!

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Can you find the mountain goat?

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So many different views and scenery.

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We made it to the saddle back and took a much needed break before we scrambled the mountain-side. We could've fallen to our deaths many times....

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They have a little hut at the top where you can sign your name and take pics. So breathtaking!

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Lots of fire smoke from Idaho fires that weekend...

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More mountain goats. A whole family further down our trail. We took a rest and let them move along before we came down...well, actually a fellow hiker came down a bit later with their dog Zelda and moved the family along a bit more quickly!

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I couldn't resist adding in this fuzzy caterpillar!

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We saw this beautiful deer on our way down just chilling and only slowly moving away from us as we moved along the trail. But right before I saw this deer, I hear its friend in the bushes...and I truly thought it was some large mammal like a bear running towards me! I ran towards my friends ahead but they were calmly watching this other deer as I'm fleeing for my😆

from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

We also saw a couple of pikas. And they are just the cutest. But I could not get a great picture cuz they are very good at hiding under rocks and in shadows!

My only injury was two bruised big toenails. They look terrible and it was so painful on the way down. It may take up to a year for my nails to heal up. But it was worth it? Looks like I'll need to lace up better or something for my next 14.3 mile hike with an elevation gain of 4,448 ft...ha ha.

I took Monday off and slept and watched Netflix...but felt halfway decent Tuesday! I'm hoping to get some bookish posts in soon. But we all got our Covid bivalent jabs on Friday and those put me under for a couple of days with mild aches and pains and I'm hoping this week is a lot more productive.