I’ve got a three day weekend…

So what to do with it…besides all that laundry piling up in the basement? Yeah the nesting phase hasn’t set in yet. I’m told sometimes it never does…sorry hubbins. Then again I still have 14-ish weeks to go so anything can happy. Right so I happen to have a three day weekend before me. What to do with the time?

First, let’s be honest I’m going to need underwear so yeah laundry will have to be done. Little known fact I actually don’t mind doing laundry. I just would love it if I opened the dryer and all that shit was folded because that would be amazing. Think about it, throw in wet clothing….wait an hour open and remove folder clothing ready to be put away. Get on that dryer designer people!

I also plan to write. I cranked out a little over a thousand words the other night in my personal memoirs. Yeah I don’t know why I’m writing this. No one is beating a path to my door to hear my life story. It just seemed like a fun side project to work on here and there. At the very least some day my kid(s) will find it and say “this explains so much about mom”. So you’re welcome future children. I might also work on a few of the NaNoWriMo stories I’ve finished. Writing makes me happy and I need to do more of it.

Gifts need to be purchased for birthdays and anniversary’s too. Birthday is one one of my favorite little ladies and I’m super excited to celebrate with her and her family next weekend. The anniversary gifting is for the hubbins. We’ll be married 5 years next week! But this years gifts are boring…wood or silverware? Really people? Lame. I’m thinking he might just get a book…paper comes from trees, trees are made out of wood…BOOM done.

Reading of the books. Yeah I have quite the TBR pile doing and all this time is the perfect excuse to read at least two to three of them. I promised myself I’d read like 30 before the year is out and I should get on that seeing as I apparently won’t have time to wipe my bottom once the wee one gets here. (I’m sure I’ll have time, but not the kind of time I have now)

Must read all the books!
Must read all the books!

The main goal of the weekend will be to NOT just sit around and binge on Netflix. After all that is totally a thing that can happen (and has).

The TBR pile that won’t quit

This pile of books has been mocking my inability to read them for the last two months.

You can't see it, but there's close to 20 books there.
You can’t see it, but there’s close to 20 books there.

The good news is that all ends this weekend! I’m planning to pick up and finish at least one of them and hopefully start another. It’s been far too long! Don’t even get me started on the Kindle books I have yet to read! Added bonus I plan to review a few of them on the blog too.

First up a piece of fiction by Mark Gatiss or perhaps one of the Sherlock Holmes anthology books I received at Christmas!

Mini Trips Down Memory Lane

We moved into our first house in November of 2011.  Since that time I have been searching high and low for two items.  One was a framed picture of Minnie Mouse that had hung over my childhood bedroom. The other was my copy of Encyclopedia Sherlockiana.  I haven’t seen either of these things in YEARS.  Lucky for me I found I could order the book on Amazon for a penny.  Granted I didn’t know what the condition would be, but I had the hope that it would be in pretty good condition when I added it to my cart last week.  Well, it arrived on Saturday morning…

Paperback with a little bit of highlighting.
Paperback with a little bit of highlighting.

My hubbins took one look at the book and said “I’ve seen your copy!” Of course he’d seen it…he just didn’t know THAT was the book I was looking for.  As it happens about two minutes after he said he’d seen it this appeared sliding into my office…

My copy in hardcover.
My copy in hardcover.

Thankfully I happen to know someone who I can giver the paperback to.  Always happy to help out another Sherlockian!

As to the Minnie Mouse poster?  My mother was bringing the Niece over and she happened to mention she had something else for me.  I was not expecting it to be the very thing I had been looking for!

There may or may not be a photo of four year old me dressed as Minnie and striking the same pose.
There may or may not be a photo of four year old me dressed as Minnie and striking the same pose.

Now I just need to clean it off and find a new place of honor to hang it. Once I hang it up I’ll be sure to post another picture.

I am also hoping to get a few more posts up later this week.  Just a warning they may be Sherlock Holmes related because this is my blog and I’m getting very excited for a convention I’m attending that is still months away.

The Grey Hat Goes to NYC!

I had been planning to make a trip to NYC to see JRC for the longest time…since perhaps April of this year.  Finally the stars aligned and my ticket was purchased for a visit in mid-October.  Friday evening I arrived and we were off to Brooklyn!  Stopping along the way for chinese food and then home to meet the roommates and watch Property Brothers (why do I not have cable?).  When it was time for sleeps I was pounced on by two kitties Poe and Misty.  Super cute and not my cats so no pictures (but I do have pictures).

The next morning we were off and running for brunch.  Now, I’ve had brunch before.  But in NYC brunch is magical as it tends to come with booze.  Some NYC eateries even have unlimited brunch (aka unlimited booze).  I opted for a Bloody Mary (extra spicy) to go along with my veggie (eggplant, spinach, red peppers – good veggies) omelette complete with side salad and potatoes.  So delicious!

After that we parted ways with JRC’s roommie and friend and headed up to do a little shopping at DAVIDsTEA and LUSH.  I’d only ever been to one other DAVIDsTEA in Boston, so this was going to be a treat!  We browsed the shop and of course purchased some teas and tea to go!  Next up LUSH.  I get their book every few months, but let me tell you their store is something else!  It smells amazing and their staff is super helpful.  I wanted everything…well everything that didn’t have coconut in it.

I settled on a new shampoo, face bar, face cream bar, and a mask.  All of it was amazing.  Plus now I know what to ask for for Christmas! Muahahaha! We headed back to JRC’s place where we feasted on left over chinese food and made plans to head out to a haunted house.  Which was fun and the take away from Blood Manor was NO TOUCHING – sorry kids, you had to be there.

Then we began a quest to find a food truck Wafels & Dinges.  But said truck was not to be found.  But we did find a used book store and I of course made a purchase of these two gems.

I will always buy Sherlock Holmes books.
I will always buy Sherlock Holmes books.

We also found a comic book shop open super late and delicious sushi too. That night we opted for a cab ride home.  The next and final day in NYC we were off to watch JRC play in a bowling league.  Which was interesting, even if the staff was a bit snooty. But then, then we went to the pickle festival!  Yup that’s a thing that happens in NYC.  By the time we arrived there were hardly any pickles to be had.  Yet we still managed to score one.

Sadly I had to make my way back to Penn Station.  We had ourselves a drink while we waited at the station then JRC saw me off.  But I do hope to go back before I see her again in April in Atlanta.  After all we live so close(ish) it shouldn’t be too hard right?

The Grey Hat Goes To The Shire {@TogaNorthshire}

Picture it if you will…Labor Day weekend and no plans at all. So naturally I ask to make plans. I’ve been wanting to check out Northshire Bookstore’s new location in Downtown Saratoga since they opened at the beginning of August. Lucky for me the Hubbins had his own agenda (more on that in another post) and soon we were on our way!

From the outside it looks like a rather small store, but let me tell you looks sure can be deceiving. This place is HUGE.

They have all these funky little places for things upon things.
They have all these funky little places for things upon things. Most of the things are for sale too!

I lost the Hubbins somewhere in the Science Fiction section of the store…he can do that, me I need to keep moving, looking at anything and everything the store has to offer. Of course I did pause long enough to grab a copy of Gail Carriger’s book Soulless.



We follow one another on Twitter but I didn’t put two and two together until that very moment…smooth. I think my exact words were:

“Holy sh*t, I know her!”

“Know her, know her, or Internets/Twitter know her?” Said the Hubbins.

“Anyway…” I then wandered off, with a copy in my hand. (I should have bought the whole set right then! Ahem, as I was saying I was off and walking leaving the Hubbins in my dust. I did get a little turned around in the stationary/small gift section of the store. But I did take note of a very comfy spot to sit, if I felt the need.\

Comfy leather couches!
Comfy leather couches!

I swear it seems like many a bookshop these days doesn’t want you to sit and enjoy a book you may purchase. Instead they offer up hard wooden chairs or none at all. As if to say “buy your book and get out!” But not this store, there was seating tucked away everywhere!

Three purchases in hand now (two new Moleskine journals) and I was on my way to check out the Children & Young Adult section. I was in the mood to pick up something for the niece that would make her put down the Nintendo DS. But I have no idea what 4th graders read. So I did what any Aunt would…looked for a helpful sales person. I found one (I don’t recall her name, but she was PERFECT to work in this section of the store), I told her who I was shopping for and a little about what she did and didn’t like and off she went to “the” book….The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. One of the young ladies in the book is apparently trying to write her own book…which I knew would appeal to the niece right away! She being the budding novelist – who will probably publish before I do…

I naturally added it to the pile. I then asked about books for the younger set. We know a little lady who turns one very soon and I figured books would be best. But I wanted books with a story. Again, my faithful book seller had just the picks for me. I’d show you, but mom and dad might see and that could spoil things just a bit! But I will show you some cool things the upstairs offers their younger visitors….

A working train set! Even I stopped to look - it was cool!
A working train set! Even I stopped to look – it was cool!
Puppets! I kind of wanted to get the one above the dragon…

Once I had my fill and my arms were full I went in search of my Hubbins. Who I found right back where I left him. When he saw my pile of books he simply added his book to it and walked on to explore the rest of the store. I headed in search of a seat! I found it in the New Age/Health/Religion section. Which I might add would be perfect for a small meditation group perhaps…you see it’s a bit sectioned off from the rest of the first floor…

Plus there was another couch!
Plus there was another couch!

It was there I examined my “loot” and knew this would not be a cheap trip. But I was buying books and buying books is a good thing…buying local is even better!

Pay no attention to the children's book if your name begins with a T or J!
Pay no attention to the children’s book if your name begins with a T or J!

If you find yourself in Saratoga I suggest you stop in and explore (can’t make it, visit them online). But don’t blame me if you don’t leave empty-handed!

*Once again I am doing this review on my own…for your benefit dear reader*

As if I’m not reading enough right now…

I ordered a few more books from Amazon…Prime is awesome. I dig the free shipping for one and the other thing is we can finally watch last season of Doctor Who. Netflix is so SLOW in getting the second half of the season up. But we’ve watched two so far. Asylum of the Daleks was pretty good and very clever. But so far Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is the winner. I won’t spoil anything, but it is pretty awesome.

Ok, right the books I ordered…Orange is the New Black for me. No, I didn’t read two chapters already…it was my evil twin. I swear! For the Hubbins I ordered Sandman Vol. 1, just because I wanted to surprise him with it. Plus I also wanted to read it. I mean hello people. The last book I ordered is a Ukelele Song Book. I have this lovely instrument…but didn’t have any music to play on it. I should play it…because we all recall when THIS happened!

He took a good bit of time to do this.
He took a good bit of time to do this.

So yeah as much as I could just look at Islington all day…I should really learn to play something on him. I’m looking forward to picking out a few tunes in the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll even take/post a video…maybe.

Tomorrow is a day off for me to run around to doctors offices. Not really a “fun” day off. But some of these appointments are a long time coming so shame on me for that. So hopefully I don;t have any issues come out of these here appointments. Because well that would indeed SUCK!

I’m also going to try to get a tea review up here sometime tomorrow…so stay tuned for that too. Speaking of tea my flavored tea blend arrived yesterday! This was a custom order with Butiki Teas. This is a blend of Organic Decaf Korakundah, vanilla, cream, elderberry, blue corn flower, and safflower in the custom tea named 35? There’s a Tea for That!

It is so good!
It is so good!

I also was following Anne Wheaton chatting on Twitter about cakes and such and I tossed a tweet out there about how I add a little melted chili chocolate to my cupcakes and yeah she responded…

I found that to me mighty sweet of her to respond to me.
I found that to me mighty sweet of her to respond to me.

So that’s been my first few days of the week. Hope yours are going well! Be good to one another!

A room for every book, a book for every room

Maybe not every room, but at least four rooms in my house have books I’m reading in them. That’s right FOUR different books! I’m talented what can I say?

The first is a book is usually found on the kitchen table cozied up with whatever the Hubbins is currently reading. I’m reading this one to review it for the author. So far I like it. More on it once I’ve finished…

This one sometimes comes to work with me.
This one sometimes comes to work with me. Not that I have time to read it there, but you never know.

The second book is in the living room. I’m not sure how each book found the current place in which they are kept and read, but they did. I do read them…usually all in the same day at different points in the day.

I enjoy the series, but this one is dragging for me.
I enjoy the series, but this one is dragging for me.

The third and fourth books are upstairs reads. Number 3 is in my office, probably because it was in my hand when I got home from the bookstore and headed right to my office when we got home. This one is a very fun read and I hear there happens to be a sequel out there…I’m sure I’ll get to it next year or later.

This one reminds me of me when I was 17 and odd one out...actually not much has changed and yet much has.
This one reminds me of me when I was 17 and odd one out…actually not much has changed and yet much has.

The last book is in the bedroom. Probably because I’m trying to stay away from technology an hour to a half hour before bed. I read somewhere that it helps you fall asleep and stay asleep if you don’t have your face in front of a screen (computer, TV, or phone). So I stick my face in front of this book instead.

So far so good...even if I'm not a Terry Pratchett fan.
So far so good…even if I’m not a Terry Pratchett fan. Why yes, that is a Pound Puppy…don’t judge.

I usually try not to have more than two books going at a time. Typically I only have one book going at a time especially if it happens to be a really heavy read that needs my full attention…like a George R. R. Martin book. But in the Summer I look to the more fun and easy reads that I can pick-up and set down as I please.

How many books do you typically have going at a time? What are you reading now?