Some changes to the blog: an update

Each summer brings a refreshing wave of mental energy and more time to me so that I can think about how different aspects of my life are going. This summer I wanted to update my blog to give it a new look. If you know WordPress, you know how EASY this is to do! I love the new look! It’s clean and simple and works better than the old format (which is “no longer supported”). I hope to replace the header picture with a picture of Napa once I find one that is not copywrit, etc. I may have to take one myself! 🙂

The other thing you may notice is that I am no longer an Amazon Associate. This was unforeseen and rather disappointing. I’ve often included a link to see the book I’m talking about on Amazon. Or sometimes I’ve included an indiebound link. Regardless, when I first started with Amazon I made sure to include the proper text in all of my posts. I made some money the first year (about $90) – mainly because someone logged on and bought a book and then bought a laptop and printer and more. Rules apparently changed and the next time I made about $10. With the rise of kindle, I began to make something like 4 cents if someone logged on and bought a book. Rule changes decreed that I couldn’t get paid until I made $10. It really didn’t seem worth my time to post a link for EVERYTHING plus I have NEVER done this for money. I’ve blogged to share my love of books. I had hoped that maybe I’d get a book to review every now and then (I get like 200 a year which is about ten times more than I expected!) and I hoped I’d meet 1 or 2 people who also enjoyed books and didn’t think I was weird for loving to read (I’ve met countless readers, authors, and bloggers – all who love books!!). So imagine my dismay when in early June I received an email saying that Amazon was booting me from their associates program. Not enough sales. Okay, Amazon, that’s fair, I thought. But then I read that I had to take down ALL links to Amazon on my blog! I have blogged for over TEN years and have over 1000 posts!!!! I immediately became quite anxious, fearing that Amazon would somehow blacklist me, but with some constant hacking away, I’ve managed to, to my knowledge, remove ALL my Amazon links. (If you see any, tell me!). And doing this over the past 6 weeks has been like looking through an old yearbook – so many fun memories of books I’ve read and photos of things! While it was a pain in the neck, it was also kind of fun.

So – new look, no Amazon (Sing it: “I’m not worthy!”– Into the Woods reference), but still lots of great books to share and lots of great readers – like you! Thanks for coming along on the journey!!

Saturday Snapshot: Cruise to Bermuda

Each summer my family likes to decompress from the stress of school and welcome summer by taking a special vacation. This year we cruised from Boston to Bermuda on the Norwegian Gem. We love to cruise and our two favorite lines are Norwegian and Disney.

Our family cabin was beautiful!


the kids room with bunk pulldown (and their own bath)

family area w/kitchen (to the right)

Master Bath
our area

We cruised in comfort!

Bermuda itself was amazingly beautiful and warm and relaxing!

The Naval Dockyard
Cruising
Me and the hubs looking relaxed!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories (http://www.awebofstories.com). See her site for full participation details!

My Fave Reads of 2018!

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Well, the new year has passed and I still haven’t found the time to post my FAVE READS for last year! I apologize – working full-time does not impact my reading time, but it does impact my blogging time!

So here – in no particular order beyond the fact that I’m reviewing my blog Jan to Dec to find them – are 16 novels, 2 audiobooks, and a podcast: my favorite reads/listens from last year:

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (wins the “I almost didn’t read it because I thought I’d hate it but instead I loved it” award)

West Cork – an audible podcast (still haunts me – true crime)

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhorn

Wildwood by Elinor Florence

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Us against You by Frederic Backman (sequel to Beartown by this exquisite writer)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (having my 8th graders read it next year)

Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley (they are all brilliant!)

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner (just read her latest, too, and loved it!)

Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope stories (all are good – WWII mysteries)

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Christmas at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (controversial, I know)

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (always a great YA read from her)

And here are TWO GREAT AUDIOBOOKS I listened to this year: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

 

Please know that I read MANY wonderful books and this list is highly subjective and specific to me and what I like to read (I read to escape, to relax, to unwind).

 

Saturday Snapshot: Hawaii, the Big Island

If you know us, you know we love to go to Hawaii! This year we went to the Big Island and enjoyed the sun and sand.

Here are a few pictures:

 

The Big Island is so unique with all it’s dark lava rocks! We were on the other side from the volcano and didn’t see it. It was a great week!

 

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at Westmetromommyreads.com.

See her site for participation details!

Saturday Snapshot: a few costumes from the Met

When we were in NYC, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of my very favorite places! One of my top choices there is to see what’s in the basement area – the costume collection. They were having a special exhibit of vestments and clothing from different Popes and no one could take pictures of it (not sure why). However, I came across two other intriguing “costumes” in an exhibition of visitors to Versailles. With my obsession with history, I love reading about Versailles and the opulent life there. I took a picture of a ladies dress from a visitor (not only magnificent, but amazingly well preserved!):

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I also took a picture of one of Ben Franklin’s suits. What struck me was that every picture or interpretation I’ve seen of Ben Franklin as an adult has him about 250-300 pounds (with the exception of his large statue at the Franklin Institute in Philly). While his suit was certainly a bit larger than those of his peers in the display, it really wasn’t very large at all (well, by American standards!): (no flash was allowed – sorry!)

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I found these two costumes memorable!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at Westmetromommyreads.com.

See her site for full participation details!

addendum: I just found online (if that’s to be trusted!) that the real Ben Franklin was 5’9 and 220 pounds.

Saturday Snapshot: St. Pat’s Cathedral

If you know me, you know we like to go to NYC. When we do, we attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I never tire of looking at the beautiful intricacies of the architecture there, the statues, the windows, the light.

Here are a few photos I took last weekend when we were there:

 

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at westmetromommyreads.com. Stop by her site for specifics on participating!