Friday, June 30, 2006

Failed again

Miserable failure- I totally forgot about Angie's challenge until just now when I checked Tara's blog. Oh well. Too late now. Tomorrow's July.

Book wise I'm reading Eloisa James' Potent Pleasures. I think I've read something with a nearly identical plot only I can't remember who wrote it or what it was. I'm continuing on with it though. It's quite good.

Off to bed with me now. I can't decide if I ought to take an epsom salt bath first. Hamstrings & shins are a touch sore after a hard workout today.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday 13 #15- TBR Authors

13 TBR authors listed in alphabetical order with the first two titles I have by them. Click the link above to see more participants, leave a link in the comments & I'll link to you here.

1.Rexanne Becnel- Maiden Bride & Heartbreaker

2.Jo Beverley- Dangerous Joy & The Shattered Rose

3. Sara Blayne- Theodora & Marrying the Marquis

4.Connie Brockway- My Pleasure & My Seduciton

5.Marsha Canham- My Forever Love & Pale Moon Rider

6.Loretta Chase- Lord of Scoundrels & Lion's Daughter

7.Heather Cullman- Bewitched & Stronger than Magic

8.Claire Delacroix- The Snow White Bride & Temptress

9.Christina Dodd- Well Favored Gentleman & Once A Knight

10.Juliana Garnett- The Knight & The Scotsman

11.Anne Gracie- Perfect Waltz & Perfect Rake

12.Roberta Gellis- Enchanted Fire & Shimmering Splendor

13.Patricia Grasso- To Catch A Countess & To Love A Princess

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Latest books read

The Captain's Castaway

This is a traditional Regency written by Christine Scheel & pubbed by Signet in 2005. Features an American girl found adrift in a lifeboat with only an old sailor for company. Not a sign of the boat they were on. Plucked out of the sea by a British frigate captain, he brings her to Portsmouth where she is turned over to relatives. Ordered by the Admiralty to keep an eye on her due to mysterious circumstances beyond her control, Captain Sir Sidney keeps tabs on Julianna & assists her in hunting for her missing father.

I really struggled with this one as I feel there were too many irons in the fire that detracted from what ought to have been the main focus. Any one of the secondary stories would've been enough for its own book- all crammed into one little traditional Regency was too much. In addition Julianna bordered on TSTL towards the end. The ending scene was very touching though & really saved the book IMO.

Road to the Isle

Written by Megan Davidson in 1995 & pubbed by Pinnacle (Kensington). She seems to have one other book out & that's it. Too bad, really. I liked this one quite a lot. A note for those to whom it matters, Road to the Isle is sweet in terms of sexuality & has gritty, somewhat violent scenes involving one or both of the protagonists. Disclaimer: I know nothing of Scottish history & therefore cannot vouch for accuracy in this story. Also, there is some dialect written out, but I managed to ignore it ( a rare feat I must say).

Widow Abigail Fields has lost her daughter & her wastrel husband & has been forced into a Glasgow brothel in order to survive. She dearly loved her husband despite his many faults, which included gambling every penny they had plus all of their furnishings, most of their personal items & his lack of enthusiasm in the bedroom. She is desperate to find their daughter Lydia.

Calum MacDonald, a Jacobite on the run, needs to escape Glasgow in one piece in order to return to his family in a tiny hamlet in the highlands. Abby bribes him into helping her escape & guiding/dragging her northward toward the Shetland Isles where she believes Lydia to be held. From there on out, this is a road/adventure romance. Abby & Calum each have crosses to bear & issues to overcome. None of which are glossed over.

Overall, this is the story of two souls, bereft & grieving, determined to survive & start anew despite the horrendous war around them. They certainly earned their HEA. I did feel the villain was over the top & that distracted me a bit, but all in all Road to the Isle is excellent.

Fluff Wins!

As a native New Englander I was very relieved to learn that the sentimental favorite Fluffernutter sandwich has been saved from disgrace, along with johnny cakes, baked beans & Boston cream pie. Click link to read article. Fluff sandwiches are a sentimental standby here at Bookwormom Central. Fluff can always be found in my pantry. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I keep the Marshmallow Fluff Cookbook around, but Son #2 is campaigning hard.

The second favorite sandwich here is Nutella & Fluff for which I've not figured out a good nickname. Try this site for more sandwiches from way back when. Even they don't list a Nutella & Fluff option, though.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rain rain go away

It has rained pretty much steadily since Sunday night with only a few hours break once in a while. Husband wasn't able to get to work Monday & returned home for a few hours to wait for both the rain & the traffic to subside. So far there hasn't been much flooding on our local roads other than the ones that flood anyway.

The major highways & areas that border tributaries & streams have suffered quite lot though. Basements & below ground parking decks are full of water & storm debris. Mini landslides. Several Smithsonian buildings, the IRS (no sympathy for them!), the Zoo all closed due to the water. Kinda a bummer- the American History museum has a neat display of antique cars & related stuff plus a Muppet exhibit we planned to see Wednesday. We'll have to try again next week, I supppose. The museum closes in September for a two year renovation & I want to go before then.

The humidity has been through the roof. When the kids & I walk together I can see the steam rise out of our clothes- kinda cool, actually. Nice to see all of my stored calories being converted into something more useful than excess mass. LOL


Monday, June 26, 2006


Our neighbors invited us over for a picnic/cookout this past weekend. It turned out to be more interesting than I bargained for. We were an eye opening little group- black, white, Latino & Asian. American, Pakistani, Salvadorean. Babies, teens & adults. Blessing was said in two different traditions in three languages. It was amazing!

The food was pretty good too. Curried goat, hamburgers, hotdogs, beef ribs (no pork). The curry was excellent, BTW. Spicy & delicious. Three types of salad. A great time was had by all. We listened to everything from old school R&B to the Pussycat Dolls. Suddenly, it began to absolutely POUR- then all hell broke loose. It was pretty funny, actually. Running back & forth into the houses trying to bring everything inside. Mud & water & screaming laughing kids everywhere. Dogs trying to steal the meat off the tables. Someone took my catsup & mustard home, but other than that it was fun.

I just barely managed to get my walk in this afternoon between thunderstorms. I'd piled all the kids & our water & towels & ipods & scooters (you know how it is with kids) into the car & started to drive over to the park where we walk the trails together. No dice. Poured buckets. Took the boys back home & dropped them off & went grocery shoppping with Daughter. Bright sunshine & tropical humidity the whole time we were in the store. Stayed that way long enough to shop, drive home, unload the groceries & eat lunch.

Pile everyone back into the car & drive into the park. It rains again. This time with thunder. We managed about half of our usual distance on the paved road. Then I remembered the wide, flat handicapped accesible trail that's under a heavy canopy of trees. It's set up in a loop down into a little gully. Damp & drippy but reasonably dry compared to the open road. I managed to get the remainder of our workout in before the scary weather settled in.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

New Books

I went to Borders last night. After much contemplation I brought home four new books.

A Gentleman by Any Other Name by Kasey Michaels features two of my favorite themes, one of which is governesses. Kasey Michaels is a new to me author.

Some Like it Hot by Deborah Raleigh. I've read quite a few of her traditional Regencies & enjoyed them & discovered I missed the 'regular' Regencies she wrote. However, Borders only had this one.

Maidensong, the debut work by Diana Groe. I've picked it up & put it back twice. I read a few pages & Maidensong reminds me of the sagas from loong ago. Vikings & a Strong Heroine. Travel. Need I Say more?!

Duchess of Fifth Avenue by Ruth Ryan Langan. How I've missed Ms. Langan I don't know. DOFA is her 85th book. Lots of people out there enjoy her books, hopefully I'll be one of them. Orphan Irishwoman wants to gain custody of her best friend's son upon the death of the friend. Problem- she needs to hoodwink the court into giving him to her. For that she needs help.

Friday, June 23, 2006

3 Trad. Regencies

Two by Debbie Raliegh- The Wedding Clause & A Scandalous Marriage. One by Judith Lansdowne, Lord Nightengale's Triumph.

The Wedding Clause

Is Molly Conwell a money grubbing mushroom with no morals? Or is she a lovely young woman who eased Anthony Elkington's, Viscount Woodhart, aunt's last months? Why did the lady write her will in this way? Could they get around it somehow? Is Hart really as cold & unfeeling as his reputation? Can they find common ground?

This one is the weakest of the three, IMO. Woodhart spends much of the book castigating Molly only slowly reforming his opinion of her. Over the course of several weeks he switches from being infuriated by her to being infatuated with her. This after Molly spends nearly a year in his aunt's employ & his opinion is supposedly firm. This is not to say that Molly is innocent & naive. She does have ulterior motives & blithely ignores the fact that Woodhart could be justified in his opinions of her character.

In the end, each manages to change enough & confess enough of their wrongdoings that the other can fall in love.

A Scandalous Marriage

The last in the Vicar Humbley trio. The Vicar must help Victoria & Claredon overcome the difficult circumstances surrounding their marriage. Claredon picks the lock on the door of Victoria's room at an inn & joins her in bed. Why? Victoria has registered under a fake name- that of a woman who has relentlessly pursued him for the last year. Victoria is ruined & they must marry. She resents him for forcing her hand, but refuses to see her culpability in the situation.

Vicar Humbly manages to bring them both around in the end. Lovely finish to a good series.

Lord Nightengale's Triumph

The third installment in a four book series starring a talking, singing macaw who also happens to be a matchmaker. Very cute. A rector's daughter, Mary Butterberry, is determined to marry a man, Peter Winthrop, her family disapproves of, who is convinced he killed someone in a fit of grief.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday 13 #14- Recent Events

It's late & I'm tired & stressed & this is all I can think of. I skipped the 13 last week & didn't want to again. Click link above for more participants. Leave a link ini the comments & I'll link to you here. So here goes.

1. Visited the relatives last weekend.

2. Father's Day cookout complete with 4 kinds of pie- very bad for the waistline.

3. Nephew #2 was baptised in the beautiful tiny rural church where Husband & I were married oh so long ago.

4. Discovered my dad doesn't have a brain tumor (YAY!) but is scheduled for back surgery next month (BOO!).

5. My BIL was in the ER all day yesterday. Not this problem or that one, but unsure what the problem actually might be.

6. Watched my mother knit en francais & wished I could knit en anglais. That is to say- my mother found some beautiful double sided baby patterns in a French knitting magazine & is knitting a piece or two for my brother's soon to be born child.

7. Had the XM radio stolen out of my car today

8. Spent an ungodly amount of $$ at the grocery store- summer is always uber stressful on the food budget because *surprise, surprise* the kids are home all the time! I know you're shocked.

9. Son #1 was surfing Monday when the 'puter shut down all on its own. *shock & awe & terror all 'round* Turns out it's the power strip. Thank goodness

10. Somehow keep forgetting to buy new power strip until this afternoon. Of course, as you can see, there's nothing else happening around here lately to distract me.

11. Managed to convince Daughter to bake cupcakes a couple of nights ago. Proceed to eat three hot out of the oven. Then remembered I pigged out Sunday too & I'm technically trying to 'eat healthier!' HAHAHAHA

12. Walked every day since Sunday, minimum 3 miles a day. One day of walk/jog intervals. One thing that has gone well all week.

13. Read 3 traditional Regencies this week- YAY!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Decorating & Daughters

Blinking cursor. What now, brown cow? Um. Never mind. Tv-itis night. Watched a show about crop circles. Currently watching the new Dr. Who. Also watched the local news- extremely depressing.

Daughter's Bridging ceremony was touching & overdone at the same time. Daughter is sad because not all of her friends are attending the school she chose. That much is natural. Not overdone from her perspective, but from ours. Maybe I'm unusually cynical & hard hearted, but jeez. These kids have a minimum of four years more basic education- not to mention college or vocational training or whatever. Call me nasty, but come on. Then again, I guess some kids barely scrape by & one more year they pass a grade is one year closer to graduation?

Still no cupcakes baked. I did however, get a new satin bedspread from my mom, courtesy of her attic. My room is a sort of unusual shade of pink that changes to peach dependiing on the time of day/year & type of light. The bedspread is a light peach that compliments the color nicely. Poor Husband. He only tolerates our "girly boudoir." Still- I sleep in there so he's stuck. HAHAHA Yes, I'm evil too.

Happy Weekend all~

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'm A Slacker

Confessional- I skipped both of the events tonight & rushed home after piano lessons. Not only that, I haven't made the cupcakes. I've been a baaaaaaaddddddd, baaaaaaaddddddddd girl.

My mom is coming tomorrow. Apparently, Daughter invited her, but either a) forgot to tell me or b) told me & I forgot. Probaby b.

What else? I can't remember. Oh yes- Son #1 & I did four miles worth of interval training this morning. I'm tired. Monday's covers on Smartbitches weekly cover snark inspired me to at least briefly stare at my TBR this morning.

Oh yes- LOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEE watching those yummy soccer players race up & down the pitch. The games so far have been wonderful. I must say Posh Spice's husband, David Beckham, is exceptionally cute (I'm late to the party I know) as long as he doesn't actually speak out loud.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Slumping again?

Or simply too busy/tired to read? I'm unsure at the moment. Husband says the new exercise routine is tiring me more than I give it credit. I'm not sure I agree, since I've been overwhelmingly tempted to take my entire romance TBR to the library for their sales. Any takers?Uh..sorta kidding. Not quite ready to dump it all yet, but ...

Schedule update- no rest for the overscheduled, at least for the next few days. Tomorrow- piano at 5:30, church event 6:15; another meeting 7:15. Friday- bake 4 dozen cupcakes, frost, etc. for nephew's baptism Sun.; Daughter's 8th grade bridging ceremony; last day of school. Saturday- clean up day at the local national park a.m.; drive to parents' house pm; help set up nephew's reception at church that evening. Sunday-church, baptism & reception; visit in laws; drive home.

Don't forget the exercise routine. Try to figure out where in my parents' neighborhood we could walk safely. Figure out how to gracefully extricate ourselves from in laws after a reasonable but not interminable visit.

Monday- Collapse. After my walk. Did I tell you I plan to make the kids walk with me?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blogthings fun

You Are 43% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

Changes @ Bookwormom Central

I've started (maybe resumed is more accurate) a morning exercise routine in the last few weeks. Initially I would post here first & do all my chores & running around & exercise was pushed farther & farther back on the to do list. It got to the point where I wasn't leaving the house to exercise until after 9:30-10 pm.

In order to make exercise a priority in my schedule, I've decided to start posting at night & exercise in the morning during what had been my posting & surfing time. Of course, it took me several days of falling asleep on the couch at odd times to figure out that my evolution into a nocturnal schedule wouldn't work.

I haven't been reading. I'm behind on my surfing. I'm behind with blogging. On the other hand, I walked 10 miles last week & 7.3 miles so far this week. Husband went shopping for me & bought me cute exercsie clothes.
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Mother's Work

Is never done. Really. The family calendar this weekend is crammed to the last minute with events. A woman may even be forced to skip her beloved afternoon siesta! It's a crime, I tell you.

Daughter's Sunday school class is ramping up for their pilgrimage next summer. Opening event- ginormous rummage sale today. The fun & exciting program opens Thursday afternoon with the inital table set up & sorting of the mountain of crap- I mean treasures. Thursday we were there for just over three hours. Another hour or more Friday night.

Today the older kids are volunteering at Faux House all day (see Thursday's post). Which entails a forty five minute drive one way. Son #2, Husband & I worked the actual sale at church from about 10am to 2pm. At the end of which time, I discover our trunk full of goodies. A 10 gallon fishtank. An empty computer tower housing (don't ask, steam is still coming out of my ears on that purchase). A few more books because Husband says his goal is to sink the house into the ground due to book hoarding. A few really nice clothing purchases- camel suede leather suit coat from Gucci, a Givenchy leather purse among other items. We left before the real fun began- carting the leftovers to Goodwill.

Husband is off to fetch the older kids from Faux House. Dinner has yet to be cooked. Tomorrow is church, then the annual parish picnic. After that I get to supervise the usual weekend chores- laundry, changing sheets, vaccuuming bedrooms. I was going to say homework, but at this stage I figure it's the end of the year. No more homework.

Meantime we're DVR'ing whichever World Cup matches are on, which isn't nearly enough to please the Husband. I guess I ought not complain- at least it's a quiet activity with no driving involved. The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, are on this afternoon; also DVR'd for later viewing pleasure. I doubt I've enough brain cells still awake enough to read.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday 13 #13- DC Events

13 free & nearly free events in Washington DC held this summer. I hunted for things that will be held over at least a couple of days, some events stretch over the summer & into the fall.

1.19th & 20th Century American Photography

2.Renaissance of Venetian Painting

3.Botanical Treasures of Lewis & Clark, celebrating the 200th anniv. of Lewis & Clark

4. Environmentally friendly home contstruction & decorating

5. National Zoo, baby tigers, pandas & sloths (free timed tix rec. to see pandas)

6.Folklife Festival, featuring: Alberta CA, native basketry, New Orleans jazz & nuestra musica (latino music)

7.List of free parades & concerts over the summer

8.Free movies on the Mall during the summer

9.Comprehensive list of other free events compiled by National Geographic

10.Summer Restaurant Week dates TBD, but worth waiting for. Prix fixe lunch & dinner meals at the best tables in the city. List also details other US cities.

11.National Academy of Science museum. Only charge $5 per adult, $3 per student. Recommend over 13 only.

12.Smithsonian Jazz Cafe live jazz, food & beverages Friday nights. $10 cover, kids welcome. Discount if you went to see an IMAX at the museum & have your stub.

13.Museum & gallery cheat sheet 'insider info' to help you figure out where to go & when.

List your TT in the comments & I'll link to you here. Click link above to see other participants.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Faux House

I am putting up free advertising for Faux House (click link above for explanation) in Arlington VA. Son #1 & Daughter will be volunteering at the House this Saturday all day- stop by & tell them hi if you can. The photos in the gallery are amazing, let me tell you.

Their primary goal is to eventually publish a photobook of the house & the techniques used to decorate the House. However- proceeds from events & sales related to the House will go to Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans to help buy a house.

There are also events in the Chicago area, if you live out there. The rectory at Church of the Atonement has had some work done. See bottom of gallery page for photos.
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Compassionate laundry

It's old home week, here at Bookwormom Central. Sunday night Husband helps me with the laundry by sorting two weeks worth of linens, our laundry & daughter's laundry- all over the kitchen floor. I'm grateful, I think. Except that the kitchen is a galley type with very little room. Yesterday I think I washed & folded eight loads of linens alone. Yes, yes, I realize it's partly my fault for skipping the linens last week.

On top of the laundry, yesterday noonish, the school nurse calls. Son #2 is in her office. Drive over & pick him up. He comes home, gets into his pjs & climbs into Daughter's bed (her room is cooler) & falls asleep. This child is 10 years old & never stops talking. I decided that he really must be sick after all. Why Daughter's bed? He sleeps in a loft & I reminded him that if he needs help I can't get up there. Thus- Daughter's bed.

After Son #1 comes home, I run out for errands & the Daughter. Who was reasonably gracious about sharing her bed. To ease the pain I buy her a new clay masque & face wash. Stopping by her room I pop the thermometer in & go get him an insulated cup of water. Return & discover his temperature is 103 & climbing. Wow. He's really sick after all.

Then I feel a little guilty. Why? Well- I'm not overly sympathetic or compassionate. Husband teases me that I've the bedside manner of a dr. That is to say- no bedside manner to speak of. I tell him it's a good thing the kids have HIM to make up for my shortcomings.

After all that- it's time to cook dinner. Where in the hell is the maid? Who fired her before she could finish the laundry & cook dinner?! Darnitall! Good help is so hard to find. Once dinner & laundry were done I realized I'd not taken my daily constitutional. Husband was home by then so I dragged him with me. We ended up walking about 2.3 miles (1/2 up a long steep hill), being attacked by a teacup poodle.

Today I'm tired. Son #2 is home, fever still raging. Possible strep throat caught from Son #1 who had it last week. I made beans in the crockpot & bought Son#2 some juice. He's watching ancient movies on tv (the original Poseidon Adventure & Curse of the Pink Panther).

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Heart Stood Still; L. Kurland

As usual, a well done time travel by Lynn Kurland first published in 2001 by Berkeley. I enjoy her books, but for me the historicals have been the keepers. Somehow the contemporaries haven't had quite the emotional depth.

The hero is your typical type A, adrenaline junkie, ghost seeing, psychic multimillionaire who *gasp, surprise* is full of ennui. One day, after spilling eggs all over the floor at his seaside estate in Maine, he decides to refurbish a castle he bought in Scotland.

The heroine is a ghost who was murdered at age 24 after being sold off to heathan Englishman. She has haunted the hero's derelict castle for over 600 years & isn't particularly interested in allowing the renovation of 'her' castle. Slowly the two reach a detente.

Eventually relations thaw to a point where the hero travels to a point in time just before the heroine is killed & he brings her forward. From there they have to rebuild their relationship from scratch. This point was important to me. Kurland did not take liberties with time & memory. Because the heroine was brought forward alive, she doesn't have memories of the hero or their relationship because it happened while she was a ghost. Kurland does not skimp on this point & that renewed my respect for her work.
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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Driver's Ed

Follow up to last week's Thursday 13. Go HERE & take the test. NO CHEATING. Compare your results HERE with the rest of your state. How well did you score? Did you pass in the first place? LOL Post your score & the state where you live- if you dare!

I took the quiz & scored 75%, which according to the GMAC page is a passing grade. I fell off my chair in shock, I swear. The ironic thing about it all is- I took driver's ed in Massachusetts- which is tied with NJ for 48th worst, I currently reside in metro DC which ranked dead last. My driver's ed instructor was a Massachusetts State Police officer, though, so maybe that made a difference.

Happy weekend all!
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Friday, June 02, 2006

May Synopsis

May was a surprisingly productive month, now that I look back on it. I felt bogged down & dithered around much of the time , but in actuality I glommed several books into a few days & then slumped a few days & repeated the cycle.

1. Sebastian by Anne Bishop
2-4. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
5. Pillars of the World by Anne Bishop

Romances; Trad. Regencies & Paranormals

6. Sorcery & Cecelia by Wrede & Stevermer
7. Bewitching by Jill Barnett
8. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
9. Miss Timothy Perseveres by Emily Hendrickson
10-11. A Proper Marriage & Devall's Angel by Debbie Raleigh & Allison Lane respectively
12. Kiss of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
13-14. Night Play & Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday 13 #12- Summertime

Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime! My favorite 13 summertime activities (not including hiding in the AC). Click link above for more participants, leave a link in the comments & I'll list you.

1. Tourist watching on the Mall

2. Watching late evening tennis- Kids against Husband

3. Late night walks

4. Haunting the Smithsonian museums

5. Kids visiting G'ma & G'pa & 'the folks'

6. Free concerts & movies on the Mall

7. Beaches

8. Laughing at the tourons stuck on I 95

9. Gardening

10. National Zoo-ing

11. Picnics

12. Pick your own berries

13. Getting to sleep in!

Doug at Balls & Walnuts has his 13 up. Cin from Vancouver BC has a list up too.