Friday, October 25, 2019


We went out to do some errands this morning. While we were out, we called in at the charity shop. There has been a sign on the door for a while now saying that due to lack of space, there are things they can't accept at this time. Books are on that list. So of course, we decided to go see if we could help out by making some space in the book room. We did, walking out with 5 books between us. We had just donated 7 books to the Animals in Need charity shop in Donegal Town the other day, so we had some room at hoe for these. 😁📚

As we were scanning the shelves, Bill held out a book and said, 'Did you see this?' I hadn't, as I hadn't gotten to that section yet. I looked at the book, said, 'Oh, wow!' and grabbed it. 'That didn't take long,' he said. 'This one's a keeper,' I told him. I am thrilled.
It's been more than 30 years, since I first learned of Audre Lorde and often think of her famous quote. 'The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.' I'm looking forward to reading the book. And can I say that, as a general rule, I like the very idea of a warrior poet. 😏

On we went to the pharmacy, where I spotted a poster on the window by the door about a knitting/crochet project to benefit a hospital foundation. It said to enquire inside for the patterns, so I did and got a large sealed envelope. Inside was this booklet:
The idea is to crochet or knit one or more of these items and bring them back to the pharmacy, where they will sell them and pass on the money to the hospital foundation. Each item is supposed to have a tag sewn on and a card included, but in the envelope there was only one of each. It says I can request more, so I'll check at the pharmacy another time. I wondered why, when I asked if they had the patterns, she asked if I only wanted one packet. Maybe that was why. I hope they have just the cards and labels, as I don't need any more pattern booklets! If they don't have any more, I can always contact the Beaumont people directly and request some.

It's always fun when happy surprises appear--I hope that some come your way today, too!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


We had a load of wood delivered on Sunday and a friend/neighbour helped us move it to his shed, where we stacked it. We filled the cupboard under the stairs as well and have some in the tiny entryway area. Today we rode with the same friend to Donegal Town, so we were able to buy a couple of bags of sticks from the wee greengrocer's stall and put them in the car. We're ready for heating season, although it is still at least a month away, if not more. Last year we used heat for the first time a week or so before Christmas, but who knows what this winter will bring. This coming weekend we change the clocks to winter time. I'm enjoying autumn. I find it to be incredibly beautiful in its own way. I never tire of looking at bare tree branches against the sky and I find that spent plants are often lovely, too.

part of donegal town as seen from on top of the hill outside the library

inside the building where the library is located

river eske
I was very happy to find that Aldi still had a few more boxes of the coconut chai tea bags I got there a few weeks ago. I love that stuff, so I was pleased to be able to pick up a couple more boxes today. Perfect autumn beverage--I think I'll go make a cup right now!

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Wednesday Wander

Last Wednesday, when we were in Ballina, we set out to find the mural I posted about the other day. When we left the flat, we decided to use a different route to get to town, so we turned left. We quickly found ourselves at a little park and a waterway. It was a pretty spot.
We wandered towards town and saw this focal point of a front garden:
We really didn't know where we were, as we'd not been in that part of town before, but we enjoy meandering around and seeing what there is to see. We knew the general direction of town and kept moving that way, eventually finding familiar landmarks. We found the mural and decided to continue wandering around where we'd not been yet. We crossed the river and headed towards the opposite edge of town. I'm not sure what people would want to dig on the riverbank, but they're not supposed to do it.

We came across another river, called the Brusna and took a left, where we saw another lovely green space.
We walked a way down this road, but by then the sun was out and it was getting warm (for us).
We decided to turn around and head back. We were soon back by the River Moy, more green space, and flowers.
Mayo colours--red and green
By the time we got back to the flat, we'd been wandering for about 6 miles. We'd seen the mural we set out to see, looked around a few parts of town that were new to us, and enjoyed the scenery. It was a lovely day. I hope your day is lovely, too.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Street Art and The Story Behind the Work

On Wednesday, we went off in search of another piece of street art that was created by Pure Ballina as part of the Ballina Fringe Festival. We knew these artworks were being created, but we couldn't find any information on where they are. We found one on Tuesday and, after scouring the Facebook page that evening, I found reference to this one on Pawn Office Lane, so we were able to find it.

As we were taking pictures, a guy walked up and told us what the mural depicts. He said that in the past, before they built the stairs and stuff along the river, guys would go out with their nets 4 times a day to catch salmon. It would then be brought out at a hut at the edge of the river. The mural depicts such a scene.
This is the bridge and river as they are today.
On the other side of the river, there is an area where people can hang out and there are steps leading into the river. This is a picture I took last year of the steps.
Ballina is known for salmon. There is an annual Salmon Festival, of which I think the Ballina Fringe Festival is an offshoot. The Salmon Festival took a hiatus this year to reorganise, but I think it's a very popular event.

Anyway, we timed it well so that we could hear the story from the local person who just happened to be passing by when we were there. 😀

Hope your day contains some serendipitous moments!

Friday, October 18, 2019


We're back home after our few days away. The wifi at the flat was messed up the last day we were in Ballina, so I wasn't able to do anything online, so I'll post the rest of my Ballina pics today and for the next couple of days.

Wednesday was window day--I saw some nice ones while we were out and about and after we got back to the flat, too.

This was down the street from where we stayed. I saw another stained glass door at some point (I think when we were tramping across town to find the flat), which was gorgeous, but it was raining hard and I didn't want to dig out my camera to take a picture. Then I didn't remember where it was. Anyway, this one is beautiful, too!
not a great pic, but you can see the daffodil (or maybe iris?)
I really loved these window panes that I saw in an abandoned building. It's too bad they cannot be reused for something.

When we weren't walking around, I enjoyed looking out the windows in the bedroom and living room of the flat at the tree outside. When we returned on Wednesday, the sun was illuminating it beautifully.

I hope it's a lovely day today in your part of the world.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Meandering Around Ballina

We spent a good part of the afternoon at art exhibitions, one in an upstairs room at the library and one in a large space at the civic building. We enjoyed them both a lot, even though the work itself was extremely different from one venue to the next. The art at the Civic Building was all by one artist and consisted of many portraits and some landscapes. The library exhibition consisted of art by a group of recent graduates and contained a lot of more abstract work. I found much to like in the former, but really, I connected more with the work in the second.

When we were looking for the art in the library, we went up the wrong staircase at first. It wasn't the art we were looking for, but I thought this piece, which sits there all the time, was interesting. From where I was standing, I could only see the back.
I forgot to stop on the stairs to see if I could get a picture of the front, but when we got to the place we were looking for, I was able to see it from the front.
 When we were not in overheated rooms looking at art, we were wandering around in the fresh air. We sat on a bench on the bridge over the River Moy and looked at the salmon weir and listened to the roar of the water while we ate.
We found one of the new pieces of street art, created as part of the Fringe Festival'
We saw some Halloween decorations in shop windows.
 We'd seen Mayoman Frank last year when we were here and I was happy to see him again, greeting people on the corner outside the Ballina Heritage Costume Centre.
I thought this sign was funny.
On the way back to the flat, I saw this plant, which is interesting.
It's been a nice day. We enjoyed the art and our wander around town. Now I'm going to make some supper. I hope it's a nice day in your part of the world today, too.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Ballina Again

Last October, we spent a few days in Ballina, County Mayo. We both loved the town, so we decided to come back. Here we are. Like last year, it was raining steadily when we arrived. We are staying in a flat Bill found on AirBnB, so when we got off the bus we headed there. We were,uh, a bit damp when we arrived. Jim, one of our hosts, said that if he'd known we were coming on the bus, he would have picked us up. I told him it was OK--I enjoy the rain. He offered us the use of his dryer, which is elsewhere in the building, but we said the clothes horse he got out of a cupboard was fine. Things can air dry. You can see them in this pic of the living room area:
I love the little nook with the chair there by the window. I told Bill that if I lived here, I'd keep the chair in that spot, add a table and a bookcase--it'd be the perfect stitching/reading spot! There's one in the bedroom, too:
It's nice to have a kitchen.

The book on the table is called Dear Old Ballina--we're going to be looking for a copy to buy and take home when we're out tomorrow. We're going to go to the library to see an art exhibition that's there and find the street art as we walk around. There's also an art exhibit at the Civic Building, just down the street from us. All of that is part of the Ballina Fringe Festival, which is going on now. We didn't know this when Bill booked the flat, but we were happy about the timing. 

We didn't do much today, other than take some scenic bus rides, walk through part of town to get from the bus station to the flat, and pick up a few groceries--we're tired. This night owl got up at 5:30 this morning. After trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep earlier than my usual bedtime last night, I looked at my watch, saw that it was 1:10, and told myself that if I could fall asleep within 20 minutes, I'd have four hours. I must've drifted off, because the next time I looked at my watch, it was 3:15 and I happily noted that I still had a couple of hours. Then suddenly, I was hearing the alarm on my tablet making the 'early morning' sound. I grabbed it and was trying in vain to turn it off. My mind was foggy and I was confused, thinking there must have been a mistake. Just a few short minutes before, it had been 3:15 and I had two hours before the alarm would go off. Alas, there was no mistake and I got up. I am reminded once again that I am no longer a spring chicken. I can remember when I would get about 4 hours of sleep every night, and run round the next day doing a bunch of stuff, particularly in grad school. Those days are long gone. I remember them fondly, but have no wish to live like that anymore! It's nice that the flat is so comfortable--we can have a good sleep and then head out in the morning.

I hope you're having a good day, too!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Happy Socks

Yesterday, I posted about small things that make me happy. Something else that's been making me happy is the sock yarn with which I created this pair of slouchy socks.
I love the way the colours combine in the yarn. Socks are a nice project to have on the go, because it is largely mindless knitting. There is always some counting when doing the heel flap and heel turn and a bit with the toe section, but mostly it's just knitting that I do when other stuff is going on. I know by now how socks fit my feet and Bill's, so I know how many to cast on and how many for the heel flap and turn. I always use the same basic formula for the socks, changing the stitch patterns on the top section for interest when I make them. Sometimes I do a 7x2 rib on this section, sometimes a lace pattern, sometimes something else. Bill likes his plain, so I do that. On this pair, I randomly purled across on that needle, which makes little bumps on the top. I tried to do this where there was a colour change from one round to the next. I usually do a simple 2x2 ribbing for the cuff, but on these I wanted a more slouchy fit, so I alternated 5 knit rounds and then 5 purl rounds. I tried that on another pair a few months ago and I really like them, so did these the same way. I might do a cable rib for my next pair. I'll see. The planning of the next project is also a happiness-inducing activity. 😀

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Quiet Moments of Contentment

I live a quiet, simple life. My needs and wants are few and I find that it is little things that bring me joy and contentment on a daily basis. Here are a couple of things I've been particularly enjoying lately.

First, I saw these tea bags in Aldi the other day. There were a couple of different kinds of chai--I saw a ginger variety and this coconut.
I'm not in love with ginger, although I can tolerate it in very small amounts, so I skipped that and brought home a box of coconut. It is soooo good. During the summer, I was drinking a lot of lemon green tea. Then I went back to regular black tea, but now I'm hooked on this. It was in the section of the store where they put the special buys--stuff that is only available until it's gone--so I might not be able to get it again. More reason to enjoy it while I have it, although I will try to buy this or something like it again.

Another thing I've been loving is the Open Ears Project podcast. The last episode for the first season came out yesterday, but all episodes are available at the link. They are well worth listening to! Each podcast is short--I think the longest was about 15 minutes, but most are 10 minutes or less. There is a different person on each episode talking about a piece of classical music they love. They explain why they love it, how it makes them feel, and what it means to them. Then the piece of music is played. I was fascinated by the ways in which people found so much meaning, solace, joy and strength, among other things, in the music and I heard each piece differently than I would have if I'd just heard it on the radio without the context. It sounds like there will be more seasons of this podcast in future and I sure hope that is the case. I will miss it now.

It's chilly, grey, and sometimes rainy today. That makes me happy. I am wearing a sweater--still another little thing that makes me smile. I love wool season.

I hope your day is filled with little things that bring you moments of joy and contentment, too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Budget on the Bus

Yesterday afternoon, when we got on the bus to come home from Donegal Town, the radio was on, as the Minister for Finance was presenting the 2020 budget. This happens every October. The past few years have been slightly different, because the current government had to enter into a confidence and supply agreement with one of the other major parties after the last general election. This agreement was to last for three budgets, but this is the fourth. No one wanted to bring down the government while there is Brexit turmoil, so the parties worked together to get the budget done, even though there has been the usual grumbling.

This is the first time Bill and I had actually listened to the budget presentation--or part of it at least. He was already talking when we got on the bus. We've read about the annual budgets in the past, but it was different to hear it presented in this way. I was struck by the many ways in which people are helped here. I know that people don't think there is enough help and I have no way to evaluate that. I also have no idea how it compares to other countries, except the one I was born in. I'm sure there are more robust governmental support  systems in place in some other countries, but as I was listening to the announcements about increases in the living alone allowance, the carer allowance, the lone parent allowance, the fuel allowance, and more, I was thinking about what a contrast it is from where I came from.

One of the things that has surprised both Bill and me over the years we've been here is how there will be the budget presentation and then things will take effect within hours. Yesterday, an increase in the carbon tax was announced. At the same time, it was announced that the price of petrol would be rising at midnight. Sure enough, when we went to pick up a few groceries, it had gone up by 2 cents since yesterday.
The top is diesel, the bottom is petrol, and that is the price per litre.

Anyway, it was an interesting ride home.

To follow up on my post yesterday, I mentioned barm brack and a couple of people said they didn't know what that was. I should have said! It's a round yeast raisin bread that is a Halloween thing. It is sometimes called Halloween brack.

I'm off to make a cuppa and work on a sock. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Happy Hallowmas!

We went to Donegal Town today to drop off and pick up stuff at the library and as usual, we went to Aldi for a few groceries while we waited for the library to re-open after lunch. We walked in and heard a witch cackling. Every time someone came in, we heard the cackle, which was wired to go off when the motion sensor detected a new arrival. Aldi (and Lidl) usually have more Halloween stuff than the other grocery stores we've frequented since we've been in Ireland, so I expected to see some of the stuff that was there. Just behind the Halloween stuff, was the Christmas stuff. I was surprised to see so much of it already.
the blue box under the strawberry on the hanging sign says 'Smarties' --for US readers, those are like M&Ms

nice tin!

In past years, the Christmas puddings have been the first to show up, but this year there's a lot of variety already. There will be many more Christmas puddings in various sizes and types on display soon. I have never had Christmas pudding and have no idea what the differences between them are. They appear early and stay around for a while after Christmas in some places. Back in May or June I saw a Christmas pudding on the shelf at our local SuperValu. They also had some Santa and snowmen ice cream things in the freezer case at that time. The boxes were dented and looking a bit frosty (😁😉😝). I suspect the ice cream inside was full of ice crystals. I cannot imagine who would have bought them.

We didn't get any Christmas or Halloween stuff. When we were waiting to get to the till, I saw that the woman behind me had a round loaf of barm brack. I love that stuff and look forward to it every year. Then I eat it regularly, get tired of it, and am ready to leave it alone until it comes back the next year. I almost dashed back to get a loaf, but we would not have been able to fit in in the backpacks without smooshing it, so I opted not to--I can get some at SuperValu tomorrow or the next day, probably. It should be showing up there soon, if it's not there already.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Good Day to Get My Nose Stuck in a Book!

OK, I admit it--every day is a good day to get my nose stuck in a book, but some days are even more so. We're starting to feel the effects from Storm Lorenzo, which is no longer a hurricane, but is still packing high wind and rain. The worst of the wind is supposed to be just south of us and the hardest rain is supposed to show up for us later, but there's plenty of wind already and heavy rain off and on. I will choose a book to start, make some tea, and settle in.

Here are the last books that I spent September with:

The Small Hand: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (audiobook read by Cameron Stewart)
Adam Snow is a rare book dealer who gets lost one day when leaving a client’s home and ends up at a ruin of a house. What is that small hand he feels holding his own and why does it seem to be following him?

Dolly by Susan Hill (audiobook read by Cameron Stewart)
Edward Cayley is sent to stay with his elderly Aunt Kestrel over the Easter holiday. He is joined by a spoilt cousin, Leonora. Leonora wants a doll for a birthday present, but not just any doll. The repercussions of the birthday echo through the years.

Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost
I love certain cosy mysteries and used to read many series when I was still in the US as the themed ones involving needlework, knitting, crocheting, and books became abundantly available. I checked the library and requested the latest ones when they came out. The individual stories were often pretty predictable and I almost always knew whodunnit (once from page 10 on) and it seemed that for some authors, each mystery was simply a vehicle to move the characters forward more than the central reason for the books. Still, I enjoyed them as mindless, entertaining reads—settling in with some tea and a cosy was something I enjoyed. Those series aren’t available here. There are different ones, but I don’t know what they are unless I stumble across one. I was surprised to come across this one as I was looking at the library website to see what new Christmas-themed books were available. It’s the first in a series. There’s another one after this, but it’s not available here. It’s a shame, because I’d read it if it was. Maybe next year. I laughed out loud several times when reading this book and read passages to Bill, who also laughed. These were mainly bits about the rescue cat, Cindy Lou Who, which brought back memories of rescue cats we used to wait on. There is also a rescue goat named Theodore, after the late husband of his person, and some rescue reindeer.

The setting of the book is the fictional town of Mistletoe, Maine. Holly White moves back to the Christmas tree farm where she grew up after her fiance goes off with someone else days before their Christmas Eve wedding. Of course, Mistletoe is populated by quirky characters, which is another fun part of the book. However, someone really did not like the president of the Historical Society, because, when she leaves the cafe at the tree farm, she doesn’t make it far. She’s been issuing citations and harassing people, so the list of suspects isn’t short and includes Holly’s dad. Holly investigates and uncovers some secrets. 

The cover is cute, too.
A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories by Georges Simenon

I came across this title while scrolling through the e-book section of the library website. It reminded me that I have a small omnibus edition (the seventh one, according to the cover) containing three Maigret novels that I got from a friend. I’d never read any of these books, although I’ve heard of them. I decided to check out this book, so I could start with the short stories and see if I wanted to read the novels. The book contains three stories, only one of which involves Maigret. That story was pretty good and I probably will at least try one of the novels at some point. The other two stories were OK, but one their own wouldn’t make me want to read more of this author’s work.

Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple by Agatha Christie
I love Miss Marple, so when I saw a blurb about this book, I went straight to the library to see if they had it. They didn’t. Fast forward several weeks when I was scrolling through the library e-book site and stopped short when I saw a photo of the bright red cover. I immediately clicked the button to borrow it. It’s a fun little book, but I would definitely recommend getting it from the library. I'm happy to have read through it, but it isn't one I'd feel the need to keep and refer to again. It begins with an introduction about the character of Miss Marple, written by Tony Medawar. It ends with an essay written by Agatha Christie and published in 1928, after the serialisation of the original 13 Miss Marple stories in a magazine was complete. In between, each page has a Miss Marple quote on it. Some of them made me want to go back and read some of the books. For me, Miss Marple lives in my head as she was portrayed by Joan Hickson a few decades ago.

I hope this day is a good one in your part of the world.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

These Were Better

Yesterday I posted a book that was disappointing and another that was quite bad. Today I am posting books I quite enjoyed.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The way in which I found this book was funny. I'd read about it in a US-based book email and clicked over to the library website to search for it, typing in the title as above (which is also how it appears on the cover). Nothing came up. Then I noticed the red squiggly line under 'plow.' I have a refurbished computer with a UK keyboard, so it marks US spellings as incorrect. This is useful as I continue to overcome old spelling habits and get used to the way things are spelled here. Irish-English spellings are the same as those in the UK, so frequently different than in the US. Anyway, I tried again, using 'plough' instead of 'plow' and up came the listing for the book, which I requested. As I was reading, I noticed that both spellings were used in various places in the text. Whether one uses plow or plough, the book is well worth reading. It was a great read and funnier than I expected.

 Murder on Christmas Eve

A collection of short mystery stories set at Christmas by various authors, including Marjorie Allingham, GK Chesterton, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, and more. Loved it!

 A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season by various authors
This is the third Christmas short story collection in the series, which also includes Murder Under the Christmas Tree and Murder on Christmas Eve. Many of the stories involve robbery and attempted insurance fraud, so the titles are somewhat off, but that’s OK. These are fun collections with stories from Margery Allingham, Gladys Mitchell, Ruth Rendell, GK Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, and many more.

 Ireland in the European Eye edited by Gisela Holfter and Bettina Migge
I read about the book in an email from The Irish Times, I think. It sounded like a good one, so I put in my request at the library. I’m so glad I found out about it! I learned a lot. The different essays in the book look at different aspects of the relationship between Ireland and other parts of Europe. The time frame ranges from several hundred years ago to the present day, depending on the topic. The book begins with a couple of essays about Ireland and the UK, the former colonial rulers and concludes in the present era of Brexit, discussing ways in which the relationship is now shifting as the UK becomes more isolated and Ireland remains part of the group. The next section of the book is about Ireland in the literature of various countries, with chapters on Germany and Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, and Poland, touching on how writing reflects the experiences of people from those places who have lived/visited Ireland as well as how Ireland is perceived within the other countries. In following sections, music, architecture, film, academia, and journalism are examined.
I'll conclude the list tomorrow. We went off to post a package this morning and called in at the charity shop on the way home. I was happy to find a book of Wendell Berry's poetry to bring home with me. We've been noticing that a lot of painting has been going on through the town as summer has drawn to a close. Here is one paint job that really stands out.

  Hope it's a good day in your part of the world!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Happy October!

Wow, September flew by in a blur! It's always the way. I plod through May, June, July thinking they will just go on forever. Then, whoosh! Here we are in October waiting to see whether whatever is left of Hurricane Lorenzo decide to call on us later in the week.

My September reading was a mixed bag. I enjoyed some of the books a lot, some were OK, and one was quite bad. Here are the first few:

The Last Man by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
I picked this book up at a charity shop a couple of years ago. It sounded intriguing and I liked the artwork on the cover.
I started the introduction about a year ago and then other books took priority and eventually this one ended up on the bottom of the pile on the table by my chair, which seems to grow when I am not looking. I decided to read it and decide whether I wanted to keep it or pass it on. Then it dawned on me that I could do both, since it was probably available for download on Project Gutenberg. I checked and it was, so I started reading knowing that I'd donate the book when I was done with it. Turns out I would have done that anyway, even if I'd not downloaded it. The book takes place from 2073 to 2100, but I had to keep reminding myself of this, because the descriptions of warfare and transport and all the rest of it sounded very much like everything was happening a couple of centuries earlier. The story was pretty good, but the writing was not pleasant to read. After I finished, I looked it up and discovered that I could have saved a lot of time by simply reading the great summary on the Wikipedia page.

Classic Ghost Stories various authors

Tales from the Dead of Night: Thirteen Classic Ghost Stories selected by Cecily Gaylord
I enjoyed both of these books. The first one is a collection of older stories. The second is a mix of older and more recent. I think many of these used to be told at Christmastime, but fun to read at this time of year.

The Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
This is the 23rd book in the Hannah Swenson cosy mystery series and is a prequel. Hannah is an amateur sleuth and baker in a small town in Minnesota. I’ve read a few of these books in the past, if I came across them and was in the mood for a cosy mystery. They were fine, but never something I actively sought out. I liked the few I read enough to pick up another if and when I happened across it, but after this one, that’s over. It is dreadful. I was scrolling through the library catalogue one night, looking at Christmas mystery titles when this one came into view. One of the other books I read from the series was also a Christmas one, and it was forgettable, but not terrible, so I requested this one. The only reason I did not close the book and place it back in the return pile was because I was comfortably in bed in the middle of the night and was too lazy to go downstairs to choose another book. I had my e-reader by the bed, but was not in the mood to read on a screen, so I just went on for the couple hours it took to read this. It’s not much of a story. The dialogue is weird—no one talks like that. A good portion of the book is devoted to recipes. Much of the rest is full of tedious description of basic things—turning on a gas fireplace by flipping a switch took up a good portion of one page. At another point, there was a very long step-by-step description of how to make breakfast burritos, right down to placing paper towels on the plate to drain the sausage and bacon, wrapping the assembled burritos in plastic wrap and refrigerating them (I was thinking the tortillas would be nice and soggy after that). I wondered whether there was some sponsorship agreement the author has, because she was not shy about using brand names, even where these were not necessary. In one scene, after a yet another painfully stilted bit of dialogue, instead of saying that Hannah placed crackers on a plate, there was a list of the brand name of each cracker. I can see why the author needed all of the filler, because, as I mentioned, there is no real story. There is no mystery. I won’t be reading any more of these books.

I'll post a few more tomorrow--the rest will be books I liked. 😀

We went to pick up some groceries this afternoon and I see that the Christmas biscuit display has appeared. the biscuits are always the first things to appear at SuperValu.