Friday, November 02, 2012

Fiona Friday - Just watching TV . . . and another update

Just FYI, Isabel was watching Downton Abbey.  She has excellent taste.

I don't know where the time is going, really I don't.  Last weekend, we had the entire family here, as I mentioned over the weekend.  Fiona actually seemed to enjoy having a house full of people and even acted a little bit sad after everyone left, although she did occasionally hide when the dog came in from the backyard.  Fi is gradually becoming my lap cat.  I'm very thrilled about that.

Isabel really disliked feeling obligated to retreat to the closet and occasionally emerged as far as the master bedroom long enough to bat a jingle ball around.  At night, she contentedly slept beside my feet. The moment everyone left, she was out and about.  She's a skittish girl -- probably for good reason.  She was a rescue and judging from where she was found, Izzy was likely dumped from a vehicle.  But, she's slowly gaining trust and now lets me pick her up and pet her without squealing.  She's just wary of strangers.  

We spent a lot of time on the patio/deck of our new house, went out to eat once, ate buffet style another time, and went for a walk in the Cypress Swamp on the Natchez Trace.  It was a great weekend.  This is one of my shots of the Cypress Swamp, where the leaves are just beginning to turn:

On Wednesday, Kiddo's girlfriend, C, came over to "help" hand out the Halloween candy (she really did the work while I kept her company).  C's going to be a teacher and it shows on Halloween.  She asked almost everyone, "Who do we have here?" and then said, "What do you say?" It's absolutely amazing how few of the kids we've had the past two years knew the words "trick or treat".  C often had to prompt them and even then most of the kids, when asked what to say, replied, "Thank you?"  One said, "Um . . . pleaaaase?"

Unfortunately, we had several hundred trick-or-treaters but we stocked up too much and ended up with one super-sized bag of candy left over at the house and another that C took off our hands.  Usually, I just throw the candy away.  I hate to do that, but we certainly don't need to eat it.  I suppose it's just a matter of pep-talking myself about throwing away something I don't need, which feels just a bit like burning money.

In reading news:

I finished reading The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy and absolutely loved it.  The end even made me a bit teary.  If you are a fan of travel memoirs, jump on this one.  It's excellent.  I hope to get around to reviewing The Longest Way Home, soon.

Speaking of reviews:

I honestly have not felt like writing at all, hence my absence.  Sometimes I just have to step away for a while.  I'm not going to go on hiatus.  I'll just write when I feel like it.  In the meantime, I have joined National Novel Writing Month.  So, at least I'm writing fiction, if nothing else.

Back to reading:

I'm currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo for The Estella Society's read-along.  The Count of Monte Cristo has long been one of my favorite books and I've read it repeatedly.  So, I was a little stunned when I opened the book, last night, and realized it had the word "abridged" on the cover in tiny print.  WHAT?  I've been reading an abridged version, all these years?  My copy is so old and battered that I've actually covered it with clear Contact paper to help preserve it.  I suppose it won't hurt to replace the book with an unabridged version, but I'm still shocked that I never even noticed the word "abridged" on the cover.  In my defense, the print is tiny and the color is close to that of the Count's coat, so it's easy to overlook that one little word.

Recent arrivals:

I think it's been nearly 3 weeks since I mentioned arrivals other than the purchases I made at last week's book sale.  Books are not arriving as regularly as they used to.  I'm so far behind on reading the books off my ARC stacks that I can't remember the last time I requested a book.  One review book arrived, last week, but it's been a while since I requested it.  Recently walked in:

The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas by Julia Romp - an impulse purchase
Miss Buncle Married by D. E. Stevenson - for review from Sourcebooks (the single request book that has arrived)
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller - purchased used at a store that specializes in old vinyl record albums
Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis - from Paperback Swap
Spot the Animals and
1-2-3 Dinosaur's Bite - both illustrated by Steve Jenkins and unsolicited arrivals from Sterling Kids (they're great -- will review them as soon as I can get myself to sit down long enough to write a string of review posts)
The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd - Accidentally pre-ordered while in an Ambien haze.  Ambien should be outlawed (but, darn it, sometimes I need help sleeping!)
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard - purchased for F2F Book Club and the day it showed up, I realized I won't be able to make it to the November meeting (but it looks fun, so I'll read the book)
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - sent by my delightful and generous friend, Tammy

In other news:

We joined a gym.  It's huge -- three stories including two swimming pools (one for laps; one a "therapy" pool, as it's associated with a hospital), a cold bath and jacuzzi, an indoor track, tons of plated and free weights, a spinning room, two basketball courts, two racquetball courts, a class room (for Zumba, yoga, etc.), one pool table and one ping-pong table.  I actually prefer the smaller gym in our former town.  Unfortunately, it's just too far to drive on a daily basis and I desperately need some kind of routine.  I miss the ladies and it will take some time to get used to our new gym, but there's no denying it's one rocking fine facility.

This week's Haiku:

And, the reason I chose this week's Haiku (which I hear people didn't appreciate during Hurricane Sandy, since the full moon only made tidal issues worse):

Enough for now!  Happy Weekend to all!  And, wishes for quick restoration of power and delivery of supplies to those who are having a rough post-hurricane experience.

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. You're a better woman than me to join a gym :p We have a free gym here at the apartment complex and it's absolutely perfect and I've been to it exactly once :/ LOL..Kiddo's girlfriend sounds like a true gem :) Very sweet!!! And your kitties always make me smile when I think of them and hear their stories! Thanks again for the super sweet postcard!! I love it so much that it gave me an art project idea which will eventually have it on displapy :D I agree…I miss talking to you and must fix that soon! Love you!!

    1. Well, I need it, Chris. I lost about 25 pounds, last year, but I still need to lose a lot more weight and just having a routine that involves physical activity seems to really give me a mental-health boost. I'm so sore, today. Will have to take it easy, at first!

      Kiddo's girlfriend is terrific. She's going to housesit for us when we take a brief vacation, soon. She usually feeds the kitties but this house is so comfy that I offered to let her just stay. Why not? She can study for finals in a quiet place and we'll be happy knowing the cats will be looked after by someone we trust.

      I'm glad you liked the postcard and curious about your art project idea!!! Can't wait to see it!

      Miss you, too. I've had too many things going on at once. Hoping life will calm down a little, soon, as we get in the swing of living here and get ourselves unpacked and our house in order. It's taking a bit too long, I fear, but at least we got the guest room finished, so we can have people over. Love you bunches!!!

  2. Fiona looks very intent.

    All but the youngest of kids here know to say trick or treat. I did have one girl refuse candy because she didn't like our selections. Vance was here for a little while in jeans and a t-shirt and one little boy asked me "What's he supposed to be?" As it gets close to 8:00, I start dumping handfuls of candy into the bags and when I think it's the last kid of the night, I dump all the remaining candy into their bag. I do not want leftovers! lol

    1. That's a great idea, Kathy! I'll do that, next time. C suggested that we start giving the kids 2 pieces of candy but it was so early when she said that that I said, "Maybe we should wait just a bit." And, then the neighbors' lights started going out, which meant people stopped turning down our street. There's a completely different atmosphere from what we're used to -- and a different pattern of visitors. I'll know better, next year. :)

      That's Isabel. She actually likes TV. Sometimes she tries to touch the people but when that doesn't work she walks away. She's a funny cat.

  3. I'm quite jealous that Isabel gets to watch Downton Abbey! I can hardly wait to see Season 3!!

    You recommended Dispatches From the Edge, which turned out to be one of my all-time favorite memoirs, so I won't hesitate to snag a copy of The Longest Way Home as soon as it's available from my library. I'm try to resist buying any more books. The stacks are a little out of control these days...

    It sounds like you had a great visit with the kids. I wish our house had a little bit more room for guests, but we make do when they do show up. :)

    Love that sunlit photo in the Cypress Swamp. It reminds me of one I took in my parents' backyard in Oregon.

    Your gym sounds incredible. I miss mine, but I never had the time once I started working full-time. I'm too tired after work (and being on my feet for 8-9 hours) and there's no way I'd get up, work out and get to work by 7 am. Maybe someday when my schedule allows for shorter days, I'll get back in the groove. Thank goodness I have a job that keeps me moving all day long.

    1. Isabel and I were actually watching Season 1, all over again, even though I've also been streaming the third season. Loved the finale. But, I won't spoil it for you. :)

      Dispatches from the Edge is still one of my favorites, also. The Longest Way Home has just made it onto my favorites list in the travel memoirs category. Andrew McCarthy's writing is really wonderful; I wish I could write like that about my travels. I always find myself feeling like I've blown it, somehow -- notes, I need to take more notes! It's a really sweet story and I found myself relating in many ways.

      We had a terrific visit with the kids! Our old house . . . sigh. When we moved in, we had a sleeper sofa and not many possessions. Over the years, possession entropy made the place miserable. It's bad to inherit furniture without inheriting space. LOL And, we got rid of the sleeper sofa, so even if we'd felt like our house was acceptable for visitors, there wouldn't have been any place for them to sleep. It's nice having room, again. We've just got the one bed and an air mattress for guests, at the moment, but we'll have a new sleeper sofa soon!

      Thanks. The Cypress Swamp is beautiful. And, it reminds you of Oregon? Gosh. I definitely need to go to Oregon.

      Don't envy my gym. You've got your bike paths. I would much rather be outside but I'm still just a little nervous about that -- still getting to know the neighborhood, which is pretty large and a bit of a maze. I hope to get back to biking soon, but first we have to pump up the tires. My bike sat unused for a very long time. The excitement has not worn off. I am absolutely crazy about my new home. And, you're welcome to visit, anytime.

  4. It's been a long time since I requested a book as well, and I just feel bowled over at the thought of reading all the books I have here. I am trying to just step back and get to the ones that call to me, but the problem is that they are all calling to me, in one way or another. I am glad that the kitties were ok for the family visit. We had family over for the weekend, and two of the kitties hid the entire time. Not so friendly to strangers, those two!

    1. Yes, same here. I just feel overwhelmed. In fact, it's keeping me from reading as much as I usually do, which is more than a little unnerving. I'm currently reading one ARC and one read-along book and I'm enjoying both, but I still find myself avoiding them. Weird.

      The kitties really did quite well. I was very happy about that. Fiona stunned us, to be honest. But, then, she *is* a tabby and tabbies tend to be rather outgoing, don't they? Our last tabby was quite the puppy cat. She was determined to make everyone her friend (and succeeded, even with my best friend who really is not a cat person). And, our tuxedo kitty was just so laid-back and lovable that she was happy to try any lap. I still miss those two.

      It's much more feline to retreat, I suppose. I'm really very, very pleased that Isabel was comfortable enough to at least climb in bed with us at night. She's made huge progress in getting over her fears. She must have had a terrible time before she was rescued.

  5. I LOLed at your discovery of the "abridged" on your copy of The Count. That book is SUCH a chunk. I most definitely have the unabridged, and I'd actually be keen to compare and see what they left out. Wonder how it'll affect your opinion of the book? Will it be too wordy unabridged???

    1. I kind of wonder how it would effect my opinion, too, especially given the fact that The Count has long been a favorite of mine and I do tend to dislike wordiness . . . unless it's very well done (as in The Great Expectations). It's such a fun, adventurous book that I lean toward thinking I'll still enjoy it.

      But, boy, was I bummed to find out I haven't read the unabridged version!!!

  6. So much to comment on here, but what caught my eye was the description of the gym - it sounds heavenly! The gyms in our town are so small they are basically treadmills and some weights in a room and that's it. I'd love to live near enough to a full swimming facility to work out on a regular basis - so jealous!

    I'm glad your kitties are adjusting!

    1. It's a pretty awesome gym, Alyce, but I'm an odd duck and tend to like a smaller, more intimate place. I really miss the friendly faces at my old gym (and I don't own a bathing suit -- need to remedy that). Since it's so big, I'm going to spend a day or two roaming around, trying to figure out where the machines I'm accustomed to are located. There are so many! This is what we get for moving closer to the biggest city in our state. I do appreciate the options.

      Thanks! I'm thrilled with how well the kitties are doing. They both love the new house. That was an unexpected bonus I didn't anticipate. I think they were nervous in our small space -- so much more likely to get stepped on or tripped over in the old house than our new one. I had no idea they would actually be visibly happier.

  7. I know! What's with kids not saying trik-or-treat anymore? Sheesh! I can't believe how many trick-or-treaters you got! We hardly get any anymore. So sad! :(

    1. I guess parents have stopped bothering to teach them the right words? Strange, isn't it?

      We always got hundreds of trick-or-treaters in our old neighborhood, too. I think we actually got slightly fewer, here, because we're on the back side of a pretty large subdivision. It was very different. We're used to limited hours, deputies from the county driving around with lights flashing (they occasionally stopped to calm little crowds of teenagers or remind people to look both ways before crossing the street -- loved that) and a pretty regular crowd. Here, they came in spurts, there was no police presence and it was actually a bit less rowdy than I'm used to. There was one point that we had about 25 show up at once and they LINED UP!!! So weird!!!

      Anyway, it was fun. Different, but fun. :)


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