Friday, June 22, 2007

Someday, I'll finish that last chunkster and the usual chatter

Angela, aka SciFiChick, and I are in the same boat, this month - balancing perhaps a few too many books at once and not finishing much of anything. I immersed myself in Great Expectations, this afternoon, and still have 100 pages to go. But, I'm absolutely loving it and hope to have a review posted, soon, very soon. I'm also nipping away at Solo Traveler, a book I bought on a whim after dropping the spouse off at the airport (while thinking, "Enough of this being left behind!!) and Dedication by the Nanny Diaries co-authors. I'm enjoying all three. Held at a Distance will not defeat me, but I haven't touched it. Don't tell Andi. Okay, Andi, I'll get to it. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

The spouse has arrived safely in Melbourne, is ensconced in some hotel or other and called me first from:

1. A noisy airplane terminal in Los Angeles, then
2. A noisy baggage claim area in Melbourne, then
3. A noisy hotel lobby.

Seems like this has been a noisy, but uneventful trip, so far. That's good, I think.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch-style home, the kiddo declared himself "completely bored" and fiercely hungry. We trudged (by car - not really so much a trudge as a glide) to the Mexican restaurant, where I discovered that I really like being called amigo. It's a feel-good word, don't you think? And, then, I told youngest son that it would be fine with me if he helped out with the housework. There's no reason to be bored with all that cleaning to do, said I. The teenager immediately declared himself full of ideas for preoccupation. Miraculous.

We were both stunned, shocked, amazed, and many other surprising adjectives, at the fact that I actually managed to get up at 5:30 am - in plenty of time to haul kiddo to swim practice!! Just for the record, I am not a morning person. And, now, at 9:30 pm I feel a bit like this:

A few product-sample memos:

Snuggle's new wild orchid & vanilla Exhilarations fabric softener smells lovely and works great. Fluffy towels, pleasant smell. Since I recently bought some clearance bottles of fabric softener and then brought them home and discovered why they were rejects (the laundry did not smell good - in fact, it was offensive, so I gave away the fabric softener), I've learned to appreciate a light, pleasant scent.

Cascade Action Pacs with Dawn got the dishes clean without leaving a residue.

Aveeno's SPF 55 lotion sample struck me as awfully heavy and strongly scented (it would be heavy, though with SPF 55). And, it made my skin burn. So, that looks like a reject.

Eucerin Calming Creme is light, maybe too light because my skin sucked it right up and asked for more. And, it may have gone off a bit - not sure; it might just be unscented. Sometimes it's hard to tell with lotion.

L'Occitane's Verbena soap is lemony heaven - love it! And the eye cream is soothing.

And, a thought . . .

I was visiting In Spring it is the Dawn and noticed that Nat mentioned to Lotus that she should ask me for tips on nature photography. Which, of course, is nutty because Nat is brilliant. If you haven't seen her iris photos, you must dash right over to In Spring it is the Dawn, right now. But, anyway, I do have a few pointers I could share - just things I've learned by doing. Are you interested? If so, I'll do a post on that, some time.

Gotta go immerse myself in water, soap up, sneak in a few pages and snooze.

Happy Weekend from Bookfool!


  1. This year I made a goal for myself to only read one book at a time and it's really worked out well! I used to read 2 or 3 at a time and I'd just never finish any of them.

    From what I know of his travels so far, uneventful is DEFINITELY a good thing when it comes to your husband ;) Did he get all of his luggage this time?

    Tips on nature photos would be great! I'd love a post a post on that. I saw a cardinal today and thought of you. I never see those out here. Funny that I should see one right after your post :)

    And offensive fabric softener is never a good thing...vanilla orchid sounds good.

  2. I'm glad your hubby's safe.

    Good for you for getting up that early! I'm a morning person myself so I try and think about what I feel like right before bed. That's a good picture for that feeling.

    Also I'd like to hear some of your photo tips. Especially about your sneaking up on things. tee hee

  3. I'd love to hear your photography tips! Thanks for the little plug, btw. The kitty pic is great! L'Occitane's verbena range is so nice in summer I think with it's lemony freshness. I think Aveeno creams are always pretty thick. I've got some super light-weight SPF 50 Japanese sun stuff that works well.

  4. I also read Great Expectations as a chunkster and also LOVED it!
    I will not get all the chunksters finished that i listed --but then, I didn't expect to (i think i listed 8?) I wanted to simply get to what I could, and I did! I think I averaged chunkstera month--not to shabby by any standards

  5. Chris,

    I usually balance 4 or 5 books at a time and then when I reach a point that I have to finish one, focus on that one until I'm done with it. Just finished Great Expectations, in fact, so I can move on to rereading Held at a Distance. :)

    Uneventful is good. The flight was direct from Los Angeles and he made no mention of luggage, so I assume all is well!

    Funny how we notice nature more when it's brought to our attention, isn't it? I'll do that post when I have the time. Have to take kiddo to a movie, in just a bit.

    I couldn't believe that fabric softener - I kept thinking I smelled something rotten, till I figured it out. Vanilla orchid is wonderful. :)


    Thanks. I'm soooo not good with mornings. Usually, if hubby is around, he plies me with caffeine until I can focus.

    I do a lot of sneaking. LOL I'll get to that post as soon as possible. This will be a busy day.


    They're nothing great, just a few things I've figured out on my own. LOL I meant what I said, of course. :)

    I love L'Occitane's verbena - what a great way to put it, "lemony freshness". So true! I'm rather fond of anything they do in lavender, also. But, I'm a lavender freak.

    I've yet to find any high-SPF sunscreen that isn't gummy and thick. Yuck. But, it's a necessity if you'll be out any lengthy of time, so that's that.


    Isn't Great Expectations wonderful? Such emotion!! You did fantastic. I geared mine the same way - read what you can from this list - and I'm happy, now that I finished the one book I most wanted to read. :)

  6. I join you in not being a morning person! My husband got us up at FIVE O'CLOCK A.M. this morning so we could leave Minocqua before the traffic. I don't think we saw another car until noon. Well, I didn't anyway, I was sleeping.

    I love your nature photographs. Don't you find Picasa amazing? I love how you can sharpen, and soft glow effect the pictures, and wish I could find a photo kiosk which could do the same. I may have to break down and buy a photograph printer someday.

  7. That cat looks ripe for a caption! (You know me, I never saw a cat I didn't want to caption)

    I must try the new Snuggle. Sounds delish.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, amigo. Actually, anyone who called you 'amigo' is dead wrong. You are a lady, so you are amiga. :) (My grandfather spoke mostly Spanish.)

  8. Traveling is one exception for which I'll get up early (to avoid traffic, naturally - and I do the driving in the morning, funny).

    Thanks, yes, I love Picasa. There are things you can do with a nifty photo program that you used to need filters or lab expertise to do. Really, I think the pros cheat. LOL But, they always did. If you know the tricks, you can do some amazing things.

    Incidentally, I don't personally think a photo printer is worth the money. Best just to get a good printer that can do photo quality. We have a small photo printer and decided it was too costly to operate. We ditched that (actually, we've still got it, but don't use it) along with the the PITA too-many-features scanner/printer and got a good HP printer, recently. I can't believe we ever traded brands; our old HP worked perfectly for years and years without flaking out - we had just convinced ourselves we needed a combination thing, which, of course, kept going haywire.

  9. Kookie,

    You can borrow kitty boy and caption him. We don't know his name, so we just call him gray-and-white kitty boy. Kiddo and I are simpletons, at heart. LOL

    Actually, I think he said "amigos" in reference to both of us, as in, "Everything okay, amigos?" Almost everyone in that place is Hispanic, so they're off in the kitchen speaking Spanish and when they turn to talk to each other, they revert to Spanish. There's this one good-looking guy who came up from Mexico with like $100 and a mattress and now he has a gorgeous house with a swimming pool and fancy autos (he's a part owner). I just want to take his picture. He'd make a great romance cover hero.

    Do you speak Spanish, then?

  10. Add me to the photo tips group. Yours are amazing, especially of the birds and what not.

    Morning? What's that? I work rotating shifts and the four weeks of day shift are sheer torture. When my alarm goes off at 6 a.m. I want to kill something.

    But, I'm on straight nights right now and am feeling tired and dragged out. Of course, it's the first week.

    Maybe I'm just allergic to work in general?

    Have a good weekend!

  11. Thanks, Bookfool, I just might steal that kitty.

    Suddenly I'm imagining a Ricky Martin lookalike flirting outrageously with you in that restaurant. That'll teach Hubby! Kidding.

    I speak just enough Spanish to get by. I'm the shame of my family. ;P

  12. CJ,

    Thanks, you're too kind. I'm just an amateur who loves nature (until it gets hot).

    It could be work. Then again, some of us are just allergic to morning. I'm okay if I know I have no choice. I get up and going and I'm happier than if I don't have a reason to get up. But, I'm slow to wake and I do want to hurt the alarm clock when it rings. I'm waiting for the "Good morning, madam," version of that clock with Jeeves . . . can't remember what it's called.


    I'll look forward to that kitty speaking to me. He's a really noisy head-butting socialite. I like him till I turn away and he grabs me with his claws to let me know he's displeased that I've ceased the petting.

    Oh, gosh, he's much, much better looking than Ricky Martin!! And, you can imagine how often he gets hugged - Southern women are very demonstrative. They love hugging anyone, but a good-looking guy? Watch out or they'll knock you over to get to him. LOL

    That's okay, I'm the shame of my family, too. But, I haven't figured out quite why. Come to think of it, I'm just the shame of my mother. Dad was my one-man fan club. No wonder I still miss him! I'd forgotten about that.

  13. You know what? I think moms are always hard on their daughters. I'm a terrible disappointment to mine (constantly), but my dad thinks I'm fine. Sort of makes me glad I never had girls. ;)

  14. Kookie,

    Maybe dads are just more easy-going? I think there are a lot of good reasons to have boys!!

  15. Looking forward to your post with nature photography tips. That was a very fast read of Great Expectations. Good for you in finishing it.

  16. Ha! I say skim, but as editor you didn't really hear me say that. ;)

  17. Booklogged,

    Thanks. I could hardly stand to put Great Expectations down! All the ups and downs, emotion and humor really grabbed me. No wonder it's a classic. :)


    I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. I have to go, now, so I can quickly skim a book I've got sitting here. ;)

  18. Good Evening, Nancy, it's Sunday evening and I am winding down, but I wanted to visit you before I crashed for the night.

    Thank you so much for picking up on what Nat suggested to me...I would be most interested in learning anything I can to improve my picture-taking abilities. I was going write you with a request one of these days...was just waiting for school to get out (last day June 29th)

    Thank you also for checking out the Aveena sun screen. I am on the lookout for a high SPF face cream and I have been told that the one from La Roche Posay is one of the best (SPF 60) it's slightly pricey though, so I haven't bought any yet.

    Glad hubby made it to Melbourne safe and sound!

  19. Hi Lotus!

    I'll say you're very welcome when I get around to posting those tips. I'm doing a lot of crash reading and writing to get my July entries finished for Estella's Revenge, so maybe I'll get that post done around the time school gets out. I can't believe your children get out so late! Mine have been out for over a month, now, and go back near the first of August.

    I need to call my dermatologist. She recommends a particular brand of sunscreen, but I've never bothered to write it down and my memory has grown unreliable. I'll let you know if I find some and the price is reasonable. It does seem to boil down to a choice of wearing something heavy or paying a high price, so far. I usually use SPF 15 under makeup, for that reason.

  20. I'd love tips on photography, and if you get the sunscreen recommendation from your dermatologist, that too!

  21. Hi Gentle Reader,

    Will do! Now, I have to call the dermatologist's office, this week, and remind myself about that post till I get it done. :)

  22. Hi again, Nancy!

    Would love to know what your dermatologist recommends, thanks!

    Yes, I have noticed that schools in the US break early for summer...our kids go back the first Monday of September!

  23. I spent most of yesterday afternoon reading.. And did I finish the book I was reading? No. :P

  24. Lotus,

    That's the way we used to do it and it made more sense to me. August is still summer and, therefore, swim days to me. At least September holds the remote possibility for a touch of cool air. When we had no air conditioning, I think they deliberately wrapped the schedule around the coolest possible time of the year. :)


    I know the feeling. :) I did manage to finish two books this weekend, though. Wahoo!

  25. Hola amiga! :) Actually I call all my girlfriends Chicas. That sounds so fun and girlie. Hope you had a great weekend!

  26. Iliana,

    I like that. You can call me "chica", any time. :) I had a terrific weekend; hope you did, too!


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