Archives for August 2016

Happy Monday!! Time to Say Goodbye to A New Friend.

pool5Hello Everyone and Happy Monday! It is time to say goodbye to our new friend – our first pool. I grew up on the Cape so I am a beach person. I like swimming in the ocean and relaxing in the sand. So for years now, I have fought the battle to get a pool. This summer, I told Leao I didn’t think it would be worth it, the boys probably wouldn’t want it and more importantly wouldn’t use it! Boy was I wrong. I asked them and they said yes. So I began researching options. I didn’t want to invest into anything too expensive so I could test the waters (no pun intended). I found this great one on Amazon on sale for half off and ordered it. The UPS delivered it right to our rear driveway so setup was faster.pool2Apollo had a pool party with movie night and had a blast. The boys used it often this summer and I was surprised how much I enjoyed taking dips in it.pool4On the hot days, I had to admit it was rather convenient. It’s not the same as the beach but a great option for the boys and their friends when they come visit. So next year, we just might prepare the spot for a more permanent pool and scale larger.pool3All this said, it is time to close this pool for the season and I am sad to see it go because I loved hearing the laughter it generated from my backyard this summer. It’s become and old friend. Apollo wants to take a few more dips so we will probably end up closing it at the end of this week. I laugh when I think of how wrong I was and happy that I finally opened to the possibilities that led to my family’s summer joy.pool1Well I have to go suit up so I can take my last dip with Apollo today.

Have a blessed day!!


Belinda’s Book Nook Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce


Title: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Author: Rachel Joyce
Copyright: March 15, 2012
Genre: fiction
Format: book  Pages: 320

This was a book club selection for August. I checked it out of the library since all of the digital copies were out.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie–who is 600 miles away–because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.

So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories–flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband.

Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband’s sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

My Thoughts:

I thought this book started out fine and then slowed for me a little bit then about half way through it picked up a bit and then I began to enjoy the story. I liked reading about the small English village in which Harold lived. But the mystery of Harold’s relationship with Queenie piqued my interest throughout the book.

Reading about the people that Harold meets along the way, was also moved the story along. Something that seemed so crazy like walking such a distance began to unfold into much more. The solitary walks gave Harold time to work through his life issues and to really connect with nature. They helped him to explore the relationship between Harold and his wife, Harold and Queenie and Harold with the people he meets on his journey.

I would not ordinarily pick up this book to read but that is the beauty of a book club. They can take you out of your comfort zone. That said, I would like to give this book 3 butterflies.

Happy Reading!



Belinda’s Book Nook Review: In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri


Title: In Other Words
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Copyright: February 9, 2016
Genre: fiction
Format: book & audio book  Pages: 233 Translator: Ann Goldstein

I own several of Jhumpa Lahiri’s books and have yet to read one. But this one was in the new book section at our library and I thought it was a fine time to read it. I had the audiobook on hold from Overdrive and it came in the same day I came home from the library. If that’s not a sign! So I began reading and switched back and forth. The format is so unusual – it is called a dual-language format. So on one page she wrote in Italian and the interpreter translated it into English on each facing page. So you can look back and forth to see the Italian equivalents throughout the book. The audio version reads the entire book in English first and then again in Italian.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the Pulitzer Prize winner, a surprising, powerful, and eloquent nonfiction debut

In Other Words is at heart a love story—of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. And although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery had always eluded her. So in 2012, seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world.

In Rome, Lahiri began to read, and to write—initially in her journal—solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.

My thoughts:

My mom could speak some Italian from the years she lived there and I always wanted to learn. I was doing great trying to teach myself and I even took an adult class several years ago. But then life seemed to put that goal on hold. So when I read about this book, I was intrigued to see her reasons for learning and her thoughts about how to learn a language.

I was impressed how her family picked up and moved with her to Italy to pursue her desire to learn the language. She spoke a lot about the need to be immersed in the language and how learning in America didn’t really prepare her as much as she once thought when she was among native speakers. She also explored the immigrant experience. How she always feels like an outsider whether she is in America or in Italy. Wanting to fit in but never quite feeling it. This is such an interesting an prevalent topic in books as of late and I am always interested in the different perspectives.

Overall, I felt it was a good book and happy I did pick it up. I still love the thought of learning a language but must focus on my current endeavors. I give this book three butterflies.

Happy reading!3rating

Happy Monday!! Special Guest at Work Today…

happymonday0822_2016aHello everyone! Happy Monday!  This morning I had to drop off my oldest for his first day at his new school. Despite all of my efforts, as soon as he began walking from the car, I began to cry. I wish for him a wonderful first day. I know he will be fine but that mommy instinct that wants to protect him from all the mishaps that can take place on a first day is on high alert. So I will just have to hear from him how it went.happymonday0822_2016bIn the meantime, as you know, once the boys are in school, I do some of my work at the Barnes and Noble cafe once a week. So today, I have a special work guest…Apollo! He doesn’t begin school until next Wednesday and he loves himself some Chai and scones. So convincing him wasn’t necessary. He packed his backpack last night. He is working on coding while I work on some blog content and production planning.

We have a little bet to see who can make their Chai last until 10am. So far, we are hanging in there. But it’s not easy! I always gulp down iced Chai but that’s my summer drink until Fall returns then I order hot Chai.happymonday0822_2016cApollo is working on some coding. We just came up with an idea of a random puns machine based on some puns we heard on the radio in the car on our way here. So that will be a fun application of the skills he has acquired to date. He has taken a strong interest and has been self teaching himself daily. It has been amazing to watch ho fast his skills have advanced.

Well I am off to continue more work, have a blessed day my friends!



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