April 2023: Round Up

We’re back from a much needed vacation. For me, vacations include time away from social media which is why there wasn’t much happening here in April. So, this round up is about our trip to Palm Springs, California. We’re big fans of California.

Palm Springs, California

This was our first time staying in Palm Springs instead of staying near the ocean. I love vacationing by the water but it’s just warmer in the desert, go figure.The desert resort city of Palm Springs lies in the Coachella Valley of southern California. It’s got a very mid-century modern vibe, which I immediately embraced.

In fact, we stayed in a VRBO that was immersed in the mid-century modern style from the architecture to the design details. I loved how the teal tones blended with the brown and orange tones. There was a tiny patio off each bedroom and a lovely landscaped yard with a view of Mount San Jancito State Park.

MCM became popular in Europe post WWII as cost effective way to move forward in function and style. A wide low footprint, flat roof lines, and an abundance of windows put the focus on blending in with nature. The style made it way to America and was embraced by the West Coast, particularly, and Palm Springs quickly became known for all things mid century modern.

Honestly, we didn’t do a lot of exploring and kept it very low key. We swam, we read, we dined. We shopped. We did do a self guided tour of mid century modern homes. Below is the Edris House. You can see and read more about this fabulous house here.

Now it’s back to reality and back to writing.

Until next time…

It’s finally looking like spring has sprung. Time for spring activities. What’s everyone looking forward to doing after a long winter?

March 2023: Our Anniversary Month

Today is our anniversary. I had planned on taking a shiny, new photo of us but we’ve been down and out with sinus colds here for the most of the last three weeks. I guess since my word of the year is space, I have to make room for feeling ill too.

Anyhoo, here we are! Looking forward to another year, one that is going to bring big changes for both of us as Jack is retiring at the end of April. More on this crazy business we call our life in May.

Until next time…

May March will good to you.

February 2023 Round Up

The Round Up

Despite the still frigid temperatures, there is something about the light in February that warms my soul. Maybe it’s because January was so foggy and cloudy. Beautiful, but the landscape was snow white everywhere you looked. Luckily, this month the sun has been shining more often than not.

This month has been full of birthdays and valentines but very little reading. I’ve been in a reading slump and not because of the books that I picked but because I’ve been in a slump. Damn you, February in Saskatchewan. To combat that slump, I turned to a favourite author to pull me out. I picked up the first book in Nora Roberts’ The Guardian Trilogy, The Stars of Fortune. And it’s working. This is exactly the kind of story I needed. It takes place on the sunny island of Corfu. It’s fantastical. And sexy. And delightful.

The 100 Day Project

I’ve also signed up The 100 Day Project which is a free global art project that takes place online. You can follow along using the hashtag #the100dayproject. The idea is to pick a project and work on it every day for a hundred days, even if it’s for five minutes a day. I’m working on a cross stitch project that I’ve started. It’s an abstract design centred around a butterfly using leftover threads from other projects. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

I’m also brainstorming an art project for our bedroom. Very excited about that too. And Whisper Creek Book One is coming along and I’m relieved to say the words are once again starting to flow.

Until next time…

How do you pass the February days? Maybe you went on a much needed vacation? Read a great book? Baked a cake? Or watch a great show? Let me know.

January 2023: What I’m Reading

I’m in my Christmas pajamas and drinking tea. I’m also researching face oils because advertising has struck a win and now I’m wondering if I need to add face oil to a skincare routine that already works for me. That is simple. That is affordable. That is ethical and sustainable. And that needs no additions. What is it about the first week in January on social media that is extra determined to make women feel bad about their bodies?

Also, why am I not thinking about writing instead? Obviously, that’s rhetorical. But if you have an answer, let me know.

I’m Juggling Three Books:

Paperback: Return of the Trickster by Eden Robinson

eBook: Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn (ARC)

Audiobook: Murder in the East End (A Below Stairs Mystery) by Jennifer Ashley

All three of them are SO GOOD!

And Watching Too Many TV Shows:

Three Pines – Amazon Prime (Great)

Jack Ryan – Amazon Prime (Beginning very complicated and convoluted)

The Recruit – Netflix (Good)

Castle – Disney + (Because surviving the Christmas season means binging on comfortable reruns and now I can’t stop watching)

Although, I did go for coffee with friends on Tuesday and out for dinner last night so not a complete hermit. Also, I revised two whole paragraphs on Charlotte and Ridge’s story. I’m thinking looking at the list of TV shows I’ve been watching the writing list should be longer and the TV list should be shorter.

Until next time…

September Mug Shot

I’m thinking of Atlantic coast family and friends today as they batten down the hatches for Hurricane Fiona. A left hook of heavy rainfall and powerful winds expected to hit tonight and into Saturday morning.

This Friday’s mug is full of steaming Earl Grey tea, my morning favourite. It rained here last night and it smells glorious. All cool and crisp with brooding skies.

What a week it’s been. Tragedies around the world. It’s hard to set boundaries around what to take in and what to let go. Including the guilt of looking away. Because we aren’t meant to absorb all the world’s troubles 24/7. I hope you find peace this weekend. I hope it includes a book and a quiet moment in the mad dash fall rush. Also, thank goodness, there’s new programming on television. Looks like some good shows coming. I’m looking at you Alaska Daily, and East New York, because Jimmy Smits. I’ll watch anything with Jimmy Smits. I still miss NYPD Blue.

Until next time…

What are you looking forward to TV wise this fall?

August Summer Snapshot

Sunflower season. When the days are still plenty warm, but the evenings are cooling down. I wish I could bottle the scent that met me when I walked onto the patio this morning. Crisp air, dew on flowers, sunshine and blue skies. The perfect morning. I planted dwarf sunflowers in pots this year and I will definitely being doing it again next year. But these sunflowers are volunteers. A whole row of them sprouting up from seeds scattered by the birds.

I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now. I’ve borrowed books, started them, or skimmed through them, only to return them early. Or I’ve raced through them, which is unlike me. I’m a slow reader. I read every word. That inability to focus usually means my anxiety levels are creeping up. There were many things I wanted to get done this summer and didn’t. And now summer is ending and we’re transitioning into fall. I’m not ready!

I may have bought a new pair of shoes to cheer myself up. And possibly put another pair on hold. Always buy the shoes. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I’m not sure that’s sound advice, though…

We finished watching Only Murders in the Building! You can stream on Disney+. Highly recommend.

Until next time…

I’d love some reading inspiration. Only happily-ever-afters right now. Or a great historical mystery series, along the lines of Veronica Speedwell.

Summer Snapshot

These days I’m enjoying my morning tea outside on the patio. That’s where you can find me most evenings too. Enjoying the riotous colour and hum of summer. I had no idea that chicks and hen plants bloomed! The bees love the tiny flowers. Apparently, the tall flowering stalks die off to make room for the plant to expand. You can also see budding sedum, which is one of my favourites.

Also, we’re watching the mystery-comedy Only Murders in the Building and it is wonderful! If you haven’t watched yet, I would definitely recommend. It is charming, nostalgic and funny. Steve Martin and Martin Short make an obvious pairing but adding Selena Gomez to the mix was brilliant.

Until next time…

Btw, you can view on Disney+ in Canada. What’s everyone else watching?

How Is It August Already?

If you’d like another month of summer, raise your hand. I know I would. For a couple of reasons. One: another month before September, and flu season, are once again upon us would be awesome, as COVID-19 continues to take a toll. Two: I’m not ready for summer to be over.

Our Saskie mermaid! She’s a strong swimmer and even though it’s an incredibly cute product I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is not a strong swimmer and very comfortable in the water. I am not! Putting this tail on causes me all kinds of no-thank-you-I-prefer-not-to-drown-today.

A Saskatchewan summer usually means hot, dry weather and our province averages the most sunshine of any Canadian province or territory. Which is a good thing because I’m fuelled by sunshine. I don’t mind the odd rainy day, but otherwise I’m solar powered. Much like the summer cereal crops we grow here. Or the pulse crops. Or the oilseeds.

What I’m reading:



Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…


Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…

I’ve been exploring new romance authors in July and August and I’m really enjoying Julie James. Someone To Love is an older book. You can read a sample here. Generally, these cutesy covers send me running in the other direction. But I took a chance on this book because of the blurb. It appealed to my suspense loving nature, and I’m enjoying that part of the book although it’s definitely lighter on the suspense and heavier on the romance.

Until next time…

Is anyone else enjoying the heck out of the August? Or are you a Autumn person? Let me know what you’re reading?

Photo of the Week: Summertime

I took a beginners photography class this spring – part in person and part online – because of the Covid. I love taking pictures. I can’t wait to get out there with a camera and take more pictures as I’ve got a black and white project in mind for a very blank wall that needs some creative touches. Also, photography is one of the ways I recharge my creative batteries. And in these uncertain times, that is a must.

This photo won’t be used in any art project, but it is a glimpse of our new backyard patio area where we love spending time. This space used to be a no-man land’s of wasted side/front yard that never saw any use. We’ve reclaimed it as part of our backyard and we couldn’t be happier with the results. And, again, in this new normal we’re adjusting to, this space has seen a lot of use because we simply aren’t out and about as much.

What I’m reading: Child of Mine by Jana Richards

Favourite Podcast of the Moment: Fated Mates: A Romance Novel Podcast with Sarah MacLean and Jen Prokop

Until next time…

Have you created any new spaces for yourself? Or found any safe, new spots to spend time in this summe?

Everyone Needs A Little Time Away

Or, so the lyrics go. Not that the band Chicago had a family vacation in mind when they wrote Hard To Say I’m Sorry. But it’s true, everyone needs a break and some time away. It doesn’t have to be far, as in our case. Just far enough to feel like your in a different place.

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

California or Bust

Packed for California Road Trip

We left behind the snow and cold for the sun, water, and scenery of Encinitas, California. You can read more about the lovely coastal town and surfing mecca of Encinitas HERE. If I won the lottery I’d by a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. That’s my fantasy. A place by the ocean. I can’t imagine the novelty of walking out my door and along the beach every single day of my life. Darn it, I’ll just have to settle for living in a province of a 100,000 lakes with beautiful sunrises and sunsets and plenty of golf courses. Poor me.

ocean, sunset, California

Palm Frond

ocean, waves, sunset

We didn’t rush about and fit in as much sightseeing and touristy things as we usually do. We settled into our VRBO and relaxed. We did visit the San Diego Botanic Garden which is an absolute treasure and it was lovely to see all the plants and flowers after a VERY long winter. We watched surfers, dolphins and pelicans from the hot tub on our deck. I drank my fair share of margaritas.

Oh, and I read the best book. Two, actually.

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

Thriller, A.J. Finn

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

I couldn’t put it down. It’s twisty and turny and you’re never sure who you can trust. It managed to take me by surprise and I loved all the old movie references.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

Middle Grade Book, Kenneth Oppel, Canadiana

Will Everett has always wished for an adventure.

Little does he know his started the moment he boarded The Boundless. The longest, most glamorous locomotive in the world, it stretches more than eleven kilometres long and pulls an astounding 987 cars: passenger cars, shooting galleries, gardens, an onboard swimming pool, cinema and much more. But its maiden voyage won’t be a smooth ride for Will. After witnessing a murder during a station stop, he barely makes it back onto the train (with a running leap!), then must work his way from the caboose forward to his father in first class – with the murderer and his cronies on his tail. Luckily, a clever and nimble friend is perfecting her act in The Boundless’s circus car, and there the real thrill ride begins. Sasquatches, bog-dwelling hags and illusions abound in this outsized adventure aboard the Titanic of trains!

This is a middle grade book that we read it to our daughter on this trip. It’s so good! Very Canadian, which I adore. A cast of colourful characters are in for the ride of their life as the Boundless traverses the Canadian Pacific railway not long after the last spike is nailed into place. Also, and people probably don’t know this about me, I’m a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) enthusiast. And guess what? There are Sasquatch in this book!

Until next time…

Where is your fantasy home located? Or share the name of a book you’ve enjoyed lately!