Monday, January 31, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

Reviews posted this week:

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll came from me for me.

Food essays? This is right up my alley and I'm looking forward to it.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

"I wish I hadn't done that. I should have done this instead." It's easy to look back to the past and want to adjust what we did or said to change our present. In fact there are many novels that deal with time travel in just this way. And almost as many that show multiple or alternate realities based on a different decision or action. Most time travel is predicated on aany change in the past changing the present. Why would you ever want to go back to the past if you couldn't change the future? This is the intriguing premise of Toshikau Kawaguchi's Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

There is a tiny cafe in Tokyo where you can travel to the past but no matter what you see or do there, it will not change the present. And there are multiple additional rules to this time travel: you must sit in a specific chair, you cannot leave the cafe, only people who were in the cafe at the time you go back to will be there, you can only stay until your coffee gets cold. Unappealing and restrictive rules for sure, and yet, four different people choose to drink the coffee and return to their pasts. The story is really in the why of this decision rather than the traveling itself since their present won't have changed.

The writing here is simple and quiet, reflective. It feels quintessentially Japanese (at least to this Westerner) and a little old-fashioned, or out of time. Written as a play first, it feels theatrical in an interestingly subdued kind of way and is highly visual and descriptive. The four tales of the time travelers start off connected only through the fact of the setting but in the end they do come together into a more unified story. There is a lot of repetition here in the recitation of the time travel rules and the description of the cafe and the regulars that can be a bit unnecessary, especially in such a short novel. And there's an odd ghost character that seems to only exist to move people into or out of the time travel seat but have no larger importance to the story. Each of the time travelers is filled with a regret or sorrow that drives them to want to go back to the past. Their trips teach them something about themselves and allow them to see that although the present can't and won't change, the future is not so settled and how they choose to live moving forward will make all the difference. At heart, this is a book about love of all sorts, romantic, filial, paternal, familial, and about responsibility, to oneself and to the ones we love. It's perhaps not a book for everyone, just as the time travel that cannot change anything is not for everyone, but it's a lovely, contemplative novel for those with the patience to let it unfold completely.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Anyone who has been in a long term relationship of any sort knows that it's not all roses and candlelight dinners. There are times you love your partner and times you wonder where to hide the body. Or maybe I'm projecting. ::wink:: But seriously, every successful relationship has highs and lows and it takes commitment to work through the lows and remember why you fell in love with your person in the first place. Certainly all relationships aren't worth the work but the ones that are, well, they really are. And it's this idea, that of fiding your way back to happy and love in a relationship is at the heart of Sarah Hogle's debut novel, You Deserve Each Other.

Namoi and Nicholas's relationship starts, like many, in a glow of love and joy. Almost two years on, after they've gotten engaged, Naomi kind of despises Nicholas even as she posts glowing captions on social media. She can't remember what she loved about him and wants to call of the wedding. But whoever calls it off has to cover the massive expenses already paid and since Naomi can't afford that (she's about to lose her job as the store she works at is closing), she's devised a plan to make Nicholas call it off and foot that bill instead. She's going to sabotage their relationship. Nicholas responds in kind. Each of them is bratty and vindictive toward the other. They bicker and scheme, letting all of their bottled up resentment spew because they aren't grown up enough to communicate about where their formerly wonderful relationship has gone sour. The lengths they go to in order to get under each other's skin is often incredibly entertaining even as the reader winces at their childishness. Luckily, the second half of the book sees them slowly working back to a friendship, a united front, and a realization that they do, in fact, still love each other.

The novel is first person from Naomi's perspective so the information the reader gets about the relationship is one sided. It can be hard to live in her brain in the first half of the book, stewing in all of the unhappiness and anger she's holding onto. Nicholas comes off as a snob and her future mother-in-law is an underhanded gorgon from hell. It is only as the story progresses that it is clear how deeply unhappy and insecure Naomi is with other aspects of her life, allowing it to color her reactions to every irritation she feels with Nicholas. They clearly lost their way as the relationship progressed, losing sight of who each of them was at core. Only by finding themselves again, looking back to when they met and were those past people they each fell in love with, will they be able to be happy together again. The writing is funny and the premise is an unusual one for a rom com. Hogle has walked the line with her characters, making them not so very likable in the beginning but allowing the reader to discover their appealing sides as they both rediscover those sides of themselves and by the end the reader is rooting for them to be the happily ever after. Fun and frothy, this is a promising debut. Hang in through the sometimes mean-spirited shenanigans and enjoy the sweet, but still entertaining, reconciliation.

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Asking for a Friend by Andi Osho

The book is being released by HQ on February 1, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Forty-something Jemima's life is on track - well, sort of, she just needs to bat her troublesome ex away for good.

Twenty-something Meagan is in the midst of her five-phase plan and is nearly ready for phase three: a relationship.

While thirty-something Simi has had more it's not yous than any I dos.

These best friends decide it's time to ditch the dating apps and play the love game by their own rules. They're going to ask people out in real life...but only for each other. What could possibly go wrong?

Comedian Andi Osho's hilarious and uplifting debut novel features her trademark wit and is perfect for fans of Candice Carty-Williams, Talia Hibbert and Jasmine Guillory.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

My daughter is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and so every year I get her at leats one book that is a retelling or twist on the Holmes canon. Normally I'm not terribly interested in reading them but something about the idea of a female Holmes, impersonating a learned man in order to outwardly confrom to the times even if she rebels in many other ways really intrigued me and I got myself my own copy of this one too. A Study in Scarlet Women is the first in Sherry Thomas' series and I'm glad I have more waiting for me to read because this was an interesting mix of social commentary and mystery.

Charlotte Holmes is a young gentle woman who has no interest in following Victorian society's, or her parents' for that matter, strictures and expectations about a woman's behaviour and a future that can only result in marriage. She is incredibly intelligent and impressively observant and she wants to use her sharp, deductive mind for something other than running a household and family. So she takes the most likely way to set herself outside of polite society and gets herself truly, completely, irrevocably ruined. And she does it in a dispassionate, deliberate way, setting herself free to make her own way in life. The circumstances and aftermath of her ruin cast suspicion on her family though when one of the people involved is found dead. This death is the third unexpected death in a very short time and Charlotte must figure out who the murderer could possibly be to exonerate her sister and father. Of course, she cannot do this under her own name but she can as the sister to the entirely fictional Sherlock Holmes, a persona she created to previously help the police solve cases.

As the first in a series, this novel spends quite a while on building the world of the story. Set in Victorian England, this means there are a great many fascinating historical details to weave in in order to make it believable for the time. The murders and the investigation of such, which is mostly done by the police inspector rather than Charlotte, are not necessarily as prominent as in many mysteries but the social commentary that is foregrounded is incredibly important to Charlotte's story and to the formal invention of her Sherlock. Charlotte is not simply Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes made female. She retains many of his original traits but she is also softened and humanized some as well. Her close relationship with her sister Livia and her childhood friend Lord Ingram, to whom she is also attracted, as well as her developing friendship with the former actress, the widowed Mrs. Watson are proof of just one of the differences. In many of Charlotte's social interactions, she comes across as if she might be on the spectrum while in others she seems more just a naive, sheltered young woman of a certain social class. Both of these things being true would explain some of the seeming inconsistencies in her character. When she explains her conclusions each time the reader has a chance to witness her deductive reasoning, it is fascinating and although this is not the sort of whodunit where the reader too can be solving the mystery (too much information not shared until Charlotte explains how it led her to her solution), it is no less entertaining for that lack. The reason for the three deaths came fairly late in the game and the end wrapped things up a little too quickly with a touch of deus ex machina but the wealth of historical details and the way in which the plight of women, from upper classes to the demi-monde, were integral to the story made this an engaging read indeed.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past three weeks are:

National Grographic Ocean by Sylvia Earle
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

Reviews posted this week:

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Mrs. Lorimer's Quiet Summer by Molly Clavering came from me for me.

The story of two middle aged woman authors who live in the same village and are friends, this novel with autobiographical aspects definitely calls to me.

An Atlas of Extinct Countries by Gideon Defoe came from me for me.

I thoroughly enjoy Defoe's sense of humor so I'm very curious to see where this book about 48 countries that no longer exist in our world takes me.

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna by Peter Maughan came from me for me.

I can't wait to dip into this first book in a series about an American who inherits and title and estate in Wales and promptly decides to turn it all into a rural English theme park. It just sounds completely batty and delightful.

Trouble in Nuala by Harriet Steel came from me for me.

A mystery set in 1930s Ceylon? Of course I want to read this one.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee came from me for me.

I can only imagine this sociology/history/food book about Chinese food in America will make me hungry but I'm willing to risk it.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Review: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

The epigraph, an ancient Chinese proverb, for this sweet and heartwarming romantic story is perfect: "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch and tangle. But it will never break." For readers looking for a sweet novel about Fate and love, look no further than Lia Louis' newest novel, Eight Perfect Hours.

Thirty two year old Noelle Butterby finds herself trapped on the M4 motorway in a snow storm with an almost dead phone and a malfunctioning charging cord. She's returning from an event at her old college where she received the letter her best friend wrote to future Noelle way back then. The letter is bittersweet since Daisy died the night everything was put in the time capsule and the camera that was supposed to be with the letter, the camera that has the last picture of Noelle and Daisy together, is missing. Then Noelle's ex-boyfriend, who has been gone for two years and who is also at the reunion, doesn't even acknowledge her when he sees her, hurting her heart just that little bit more. The shutdown of the motorway and the state of Noelle's phone are just the cherry on top of an already difficult evening. But then a tall, handsome American man, Sam Attwood, knocks on her window and offers to let her charge her phone in his car. Wary of the offer, Noelle eventually decides to take him up on it since her mother, who suffered a stroke six years ago and depends on Noelle, will worry about her. As Noelle's phone charges, she and Sam spend a perfectly lovely eight hours talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. When the motorway opens up, each of them go their own way never expecting to see each other again. But it seems that they cannot escape each other and their slowly growing interest in each other that easily. Now they just have to decide if their exes are the people for them or if they need or want to move on.

This is a cute novel with a fun premise. Noelle and Sam's continual meetings are random and very, some might say overly, coincidental and yet the reader happily cheers for each and every coincidence, not bothered that the final coincidence is telegraphed long before it's revealed. Both characters carry guilt and grief over the untimely loss of someone they loved and it has affected them in different ways. For Noelle, it is the driving factor in her continued dedication to her mother, despite her inflexible devotion derailing all of her future plans. She has allowed it to contribute to the end of her long time relationship and keep her from pursuing her dream to become a florist. For Sam, a mountaineer who is rarely home, his feelings of failure have pushed him to live only in the moment, unable to slow down and make a stable life. But Fate keeps pushing these two together and together they just might be brave enough to get unstuck.

The novel is heartwarming and charming. The meet cute is delightful and it's even better than Noelle and Sam start off getting to know each other with no stakes other than to keep each other company on a lousy night. Noelle's friend Charlie is a wonderful secondary character, making up for the less appealing characters of Noelle's brother Dilly, who needs to grow up, and her ex Ed, who is suspicious and frustrating. Although the novel is told in the third person, it is definitely centered on Noelle rather than Sam so the reader understands what is going on entirely from her perspective. The romance simmers slowly but stays quite clean. Noelle's constant awareness of Sam and the zinging feeling she gets around him does get a little old after a while but overall, this is the feel good, happy ending kind of engaging story we can all use these days.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Love and Saffron by Kim Fay

The book is being released by G. P. Putnam's Sons on February 8, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: The #1 Indie Next Pick, in the vein of the classic 84, Charing Cross Road and Meet Me at the Museum, this witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.

When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter--as well as a gift of saffron--to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic--exotic fare in the Northwest of the sixties. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.

Food and a good life—they can’t be separated. It is a discovery the women share, not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen’s decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to. Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen’s friendship—a test that summons their unconditional trust in each other.

A brief respite from our chaotic world, Love and Saffron is a gem of a novel, a reminder that food and friendship are the antidote to most any heartache, and that human connection will always be worth creating.

Monday, January 17, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thank goodness I get to start over with a new year's selection of books! Some older books may still get reviews written but then again, maybe not. ::shrug:: This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past three weeks are:

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
A Very British Christmas by Rhodri Marsden
How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior
Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee
Love Songs for Skeptics by Christina Pishiris
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Ultimate Visual History of the World by Jean-Pierre Isbouts
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

National Grographic Ocean by Sylvia Earle
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Reviews posted this week:

nothing yet

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
The Last Noel by Michael Malone
Travels in Mauritania by Peter Hudson
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Layover by Lacie Waldon came from a friend in a book swap.

A romance about a retiring flight attendant and a former pilot with a history together who are stranded at a luxury resort, this looks like it will be perfect reading to drive away the winter blues.

The Next Everest by Jim Davidson came from St. Martin's Press.

I have a healthy obsession (healthy in that I like to sit in a safe, comfortable chair to read about it) with Everest and the people who tackle this deadly mountain so this memoir about a man who was on the mountain during an earthquake that stranded his team and killed many people and who finds the courage to eventually go back and summit the mountain should fill my armchair travel bug beautifully.

The Lost Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan came from St. Martin's Press.

An epistolary novel? Why, don't mind if I do. This story of a long lost manuscript found in a hotel drawer, the woman who finds it and contacts everyone who has had the manuscript in the 30 years since it went missing, and the mystery author of the second half sounds amazing!

To War with Whitaker by Hermione Ranfurly came from me for me.

If you knwo me, you know why the title made it impossible for me not to buy this. Also, I would always have been interested in a diary by a woman who followed her new husband to WWII, vowing not to go home without him.

Kiss Myself Goodbye by Ferdinand Mount came from me for me.

This memoir about Mount uncovering the truth about his Aunt Munca looks completely fascinating and madcap and I'm here for it.

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas came from me for me.

A woman assuming the name Sherlock Holmes to clear her sister and father when they are suspected of being involved in the trio of unexplained deaths, this Victorian set mystery looks fantastic.

Kilimanjaro Snow by Gaile Parkin came from me for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed Parkin's first novel so I am curious to read this third novel about a daughter reading her late mother's diaries and the surprises she find in them.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

The book is being released by Berkley on January 25, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: They were cowriting literary darlings until they hit a plot hole that turned their lives upside down.

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten book topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven't spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they're forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they'd do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they've hated each other for the past three years isn't easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

The book is being released by Pamela Dorman Books on January 18, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Meet Yinka: a thirty-something, Oxford-educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good friends, and a mother whose constant refrain is “Yinka, where is your huzband?”

Yinka’s Nigerian aunties frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, her work friends think she’s too traditional (she’s saving herself for marriage!), her girlfriends think she needs to get over her ex already, and the men in her life…well, that’s a whole other story. But Yinka herself has always believed that true love will find her when the time is right.

Still, when her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences Operation Find-A-Date for Rachel's Wedding. Aided by a spreadsheet and her best friend, Yinka is determined to succeed. Will Yinka find herself a huzband? And what if the thing she really needs to find is herself?

Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? brilliantly subverts the traditional romantic comedy with an unconventional heroine who bravely asks the questions we all have about love. Wry, acerbic, moving, this is a love story that makes you smile but also makes you think--and explores what it means to find your way between two cultures, both of which are yours.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Belated Holiday Greetings from Our House to Yours

We hope you all enjoy the photo on the card. K. had been hoping the boys would clean themselves up for it. Instead, R. donned her own beard. If that doesn’t sum up year two of a pandemic, I don’t know what does. In many ways, although it felt like the year that wasn’t, we did actually do some stuff beside eat foods of questionable age out of the freezer. Another year of pandemic, another year of the K, year in review. So here’s 2021 for your reading pleasure:

January: No idea. Pretty sure we sat around the house watching the paint peel, just like the rest of you.

February: K. had eye surgery this month. She’s worn glasses/contacts since 7th grade so it was confusing for her brain to see things clearly. Old dog, new tricks and all of that. In between having her eyes done (one at a time), she definitely proved how old she was by developing a kidney stone and ending up in the ER. Because she always strives to be exceptional, it was huge (6mm) and lithotripsy was out of the question. So she turned into the best hydrated person on the planet to try and flush it out (literally).

March: K. continued to have to pee through a sieve as last month’s kidney stone slowly worked towards her bladder. She turned 50 this month and got her vaccine too. You know she’s officially old if she’s sharing all of her health problems! For the drive-thru vaccine clinic, she forgot to wear clothing that would make her arm easily accessible, so she stripped off to her bra at a stoplight on her way. Apologies to anyone who had to witness that! She did find a rain poncho in the car to put on so she wasn’t half naked but with only one button holding the two sides together, she had to do some creative seatbelt and poncho origami to keep herself even kind of covered up. The charades version of this story is way better than the written version. Sorry.

April: After K.’s thousandth urologist appointment and no stone ever appearing in the sieve, an x-ray showed it had completely disappeared. Clearly she’s magic (or medically weird but that seems to amount to the same thing here). D. and K. went to the unofficial Sailing Parents Weekend at Miami to hang out with the T. and the crazy (see why T. fits right in?) sailors. D. thoroughly enjoyed reliving his college party years. The less said about that, the better. R. and her boyfriend adopted a stray kitten this month. If you want to really stress D. out, call Huron his grandcat.

May: R. started an internship in Columbus this month and got to enjoy living with Aunt C. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, we started a master bathroom renovation. K., having learned from last year’s construction disasters, left for Michigan with T. and his girlfriend in hopes of avoiding all the chaos. She chose everything before she left but no one will be surprised to know that there were numerous emails and Facetime calls for opinions and decisions anyway.

June: T. became the third K. to work at Les Cheneaux Culinary School as a waiter. As far as we know he did not spill on anyone, not even us when we went in to harass him.
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July: Since R. was moving from one house to another several streets over and had no furniture of her own, K. and D. unloaded the basement into a U-Haul and drove from Charlotte to Cincinnati to provide her, her boyfriend, and a roommate with more stuff than they ever wanted. It was all given to her with an explicit “no give backs” clause. K. returned the U-Haul with both wing mirrors still attached, which was in doubt there for a while given the narrow, narrow streets near the U. of C. T. worked at sailing camp again this year. One of these years he’s going to learn something. 😉

August: K. formally became the Communications Chair for the yacht club up by the cottage, a position she agreed to last winter when she was pandemic bored. T. sailed in Ensign Nationals in Marquette this month. He delayed going back to school by a couple of days when he was invited to sail in it and their boat ended up taking third overall. He loved every minute of it, blistered hands and all.

September: D. started traveling again this month. Everyone will be thrilled to learn that he didn’t lose any status on the airlines or at hotels because of the pandemic. I guess they don’t take away anybody’s goodies when no one is going anywhere. Such a relief! (Blatant sarcasm intended.) W. organized a cousin’s meet-up this month in Cincinnati for the Miami-Cincinnati game since 4 W. grandchildren go to Miami, one to Cincinnati, and W. just loves college football. Pretty sure we only heard the sanitized version of that get together. Miami hosted the Acton Up Regatta this month. R. sailed in it (UC took first) and T., aka Bandaid Boy (the team’s Safety Officer), was on the committee boat. T. says UC only won because he wasn’t sailing in it. We’re all still looking forward to the first time the two youngest Ks sail head to head. No idea who will win but there sure will be some spectacular smack talk in the lead up to it. T. sailed in his first college regatta at the Buckeye Invite since last year’s stuff was all unsanctioned and unofficial. Ask him about the wind speed (practically non-existent) if you want to hear his excuses for their 8th place finish (UC took first although R. didn’t sail in it). All five Ks went up to Columbus for Dave’s dad’s 80th birthday at the end of the month.

October: K. and D. headed to Ohio for a second weekend in a row for Miami Parents Weekend. T. and R. were probably tired of seeing them so frequently but neither of them turned down meals, gas, and resupplies on mom and dad’s credit card. We’re considering that a win.

November: D. turned 50 this month and the only thing that made hitting that milestone birthday okay for him was anticipating his birthday trip to Cancun in December (on which our boat was pulled over by the Mexican police, because of course it was).

And every month, Samuel (Sammy) L. Catson (5 or 6?) continued to tolerate us since we are the keepers of the treats, Ozzie (3) resented being picked up and snuggled because he’s a cat for Pete’s sake, and Gatsby (11) snored happily on K.’s lap because you can always count on a dog’s love.

As the year comes to a close, we once again hope that you are surrounded by peace, love, and happiness now and throughout the coming year.

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