Life: Sadie Monster

Good mourning.

Yes, mourning not morning.  Thursday our thirteen year old dog, Sadie Monster, woke up and I knew something was wrong… immediately.  

With the holiday weekend approaching I decided to bring her to the vet, as a precaution. I went to the vet thinking she caught a virus, maybe it was time for arthritis medication.   I wasn't prepared to hear that she had a tumor rupture and was bleeding internally, actively dying.  

I drove home alone, crying while on the phone with AWP. 

The queen is gone and her princesses are looking for her, trying to reconcile what happened, where did she go?  When will she come home?

Yesterday, in memory of Sadie, we took a long car ride to my favorite place.  Stone Barns is a farm to table, organic, a favorite.  I feel at peace when I get to Sleepy Hallow, drive to the farm, see the chickens and pigs, rows of herbs being grown. It’s majestically calm. 

Dogs are allowed on the property, just not in the pastures (yes, people are allowed to walk with the pigs and chickens).  Sadie would have loved it there. We walked in the rain, Jessie and Lily had hard boiled eggs at the cafĂ©, I had…  PB&J and a latte.

We packed up, drove across the Tappan Zee and had a quiet night at home. 

We miss you Sadie, but I know you are in heaven with Balto… running, chasing her, driving her nuts. Don’t worry Monster, I will take care of Jessie and Lily.

Books: April Reviews

April reviews... yes, I'm behind but being confined to the house for four days has provided ample time to catch up with a few book reviews - all solid books that I would recommend to a friend going on vacation over the summer.

A mix of memory loss, missing girl suspense, a memoir, and a new favorite cookbook.

Have you read any of these? Have you read anything worth recommending?

Reviews in this post: 4
2013 Stats: Novels read this year: 10
Books reviewed (all genres): 22


Why I picked it: I adore the author's writing and prose.

Synopsis: A bittersweet masterpiece filled with longing and hope, an emotional novel explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity.

Quick Take:  I read this a while ago, while on a family day trip.  This let me dive in and become attached to Lucie.  An interesting take on memory loss, I was invested from start to end.  Eating Heaven and When She Flew are two wonderful fiction novels - add them to your list!

Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Source: Review Copy (Netgalley)

Why I picked it: Manic Mommies Book Club May selection

Synopsis: What happened to Linsey Hart? When the Cornell-bound teenager disappears into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning, her quiet neighborhood is left to pick apart the threads of their own lives and assumptions.

Quick Take: This is a great summer read for those who want suspense without gore.  A quick read with a LOT to discuss, my book club read/discussed this for an hour.

This story is told from the eyes of several neighbors - I enjoyed Reeva's story, she's flawed and breaking her moral code.  We also hear from Linsey's ex-boyfriend, Linsey's mom and a few others households in her neighborhood.  The story is woven together nicely but in a refreshing way.  

Rating: 3 stars
Source: Review Copy

Why I picked it: I enjoy  memoirs and have a dream to sail for a year or so one day.

Synopsis: The story of Hurley's 2-year outward odyssey, deterred by rough weather and mechanical troubles, combines keen observation, poignant thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose.

It also presents a rare and much-needed point of view on the familiar spiritual-journey narrative. It offers a star-crossed love story wrapped inside a rollicking good sea tale, but it also has something important to say to the reader about relationships, faith and disbelief, life and death, love and marriage, and what really matters.

Quick Take: This is one of the better memoirs I have read recently.  I learned something (boating), the author is very honest, and the story is unique. I kept underlining words of wisdom, things to remember as I read this book.  The most important moment for me in the book was the author's writing on failure and marriage.  We are so afraid to fail that we stay in failing marriages, yet aren't we failing the commitment we made the the definition of marriage? To love and cherish (vs being room mates).

I'm sending my copy to a friend, and hope my marked up copy is enjoyed.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review Copy

Why I picked it: Soup is probably my favorite food category!

Synopsis: This broad collection of soups, broths, bisques, and chowders ranges from summer coolers and hearty, warming stews to smooth, creamy soups and fiery broths.

The bread recipes alone could fill a cookbook. Loaves, buns, sticks, and flatbreads are here, along with pretzels, pitas, toasts and focaccias. Organized by season and complemented by evocative photographs, The Soup & Bread Cookbook is an ideal volume for anyone who takes comfort in the essential pleasures of a bowl of soup and warm bread.

Quick Take: I have been searching for the perfect carrot/ginger soup for years.  I reluctantly tried it and now am in love with this soup.  Some of the soups I intend to make are: Ginger-Carrot, Spicy Mango Melon, Asian Lemon Ginger, Summer Day Herb-Scented, Chilled Carrot and Orange, Chilled Avocado-Potato, and so many more.

The photography is amazing, I can eat popovers every day! Who doesn't want to eat Orange Toast, I might make this with soup this week. Oatmeal batter bread with dried fruit?  Divine...

I enjoyed the ecopy of this book so much that I have preordered a copy for myself.  I can't wait to make several of the recipes, and it's filled with tips that I will use.  I'm getting to a comfort level to experiment with a recipe (ie: if I don't have an ingredient... this book includes a few great tips).

Rating: 4
Source: Review Copy

Adventure: Kilimanjaro planning (part 2)

You might think I'm crazy after reading this post!

This has been a high activity week for Africa prep.

Click here to read a list of gear already purchased... $1200USD

You get what you pay for: we are paying for two opportunities to summit, staying one night in the arctic zone (18,500 ft) and our summit hike will take 3-4 hours.  If we are feeling good and the weather is favorable I'm told we can stay up there for a while.  

I'm shocked when I see adverts to reach the summit for $2,000 or less.  I read one blogger's experience were he climbed 4,000 feet to the summit in one day, twelve hours of hiking!  He only spent a few minutes at the top and mentioned how painful the hike was..   

Shots & medication: This week I sat down with a travel doctor.  It was really interesting and he provided a lot of knowledge. I'm not to eat ANY uncooked vegetables in Africa, I guess it's a normal to use 'human matter' for fertilizer.... message received!

Shots received this week... 12!
Yellow Fever
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B

I walked out with six prescriptions, traveling with four:
Diamox (acute mountain sickness)
Jungle medical kit

After I recover from the Yellow Fever, I will take the 'live typhoid' over four days.  I go back to the doctor on June 14 for one more set of vaccines and Typhoid sign off so I have valid CDC paperwork.

Bug control isn't an issue on the mountain but is on day one while in Arusha, and when we come back down for the Safari part of our trip.  We will travel with Deet, and our doctor's secret... Permetherin (an insecticide spray that works on gear for one week). 

Shopping: This week we paid for our rental gear, $600USD

Arctic Zone gear:
- Gore-Tex jackets and pants
- Down jackets
- Mittens
- Windstopper fleece gloves
- Insultated Mountain Mittens

- gaiters
- rain poncho
- sleeping bags
- sleep pad
- trekking telescopic poles

Gear for two: $1,800 to date with about $500 to go.

Life, it's happening!

Happiness: 100 day project (Day 74)

My Tuesday posts will shift back to fitness updates next week with my 100 day project coming to an end... I have learned so much from this exercise but no longer have blog worthy updates as I'm starting to look past day 101.  I will post one final post later this month.

Getting back to books!  I will announce the June Book Club book this week, have reviews to write/post, summer reading to plan.  It's May 7 and I haven't written a book post in a month... April did me in with my work project.  

Fitness update (hosted by Joy): Last week was my lowest week in ages, with just 27 miles logged.  13.1 came from one run.  That's okay, this week I'm planning my Africa trek self challenge of 60 miles.  I'm also just four miles shy of 600 miles this year, stellar!

100 day happiness challenge update: I crossed off 'foreign film' this week, leaving just two items left on my list.  I expect/hope to cross off my fitness challenge this week.

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