Sunday Post ~ Decidedly December

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Heeeeeyyyy! I am officially returning from my hiatus. It might be a little slow going at first. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

The move is over.🙂 In the process I made the smart decision to send some items to the man’s house that will end up there anyway in May/June. I already have my bookcase and breakables set up. I still have a couple of boxes I’m not sure what to do with right now, so they’re just sitting around for the moment. I’m also pretty proud of myself; I purged and gave away quite a bit of stuff. I still want to go through and weed out some more things.

I’ve been in the new house for a little over two weeks and I’ve got the bathroom and my bedroom sorted out. I still need to battle the closet for a better solution, and figure out my plant situation before the first freeze. My sleeping has also drastically changed. I’m not continually waking up during the night. The stress of that entire situation had more of an impact than I realized, and I’m glad it’s over.

Baby hasn’t yet been to the new house; she’s been staying at the man’s this entire time. While she is enjoying all her spoiled rotten time with the man, I miss her during the week. Now that everything is moved and set up for the most part, she’s coming home with me this week. She won’t be too happy when she realizes later this week that the man has flown home for Christmas.


Nothing for this week! Keep your eyes peeled.




  • Monday
    • Audiobook Review ~ Dodger
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ For the First Time in 2016
    • First Chapter First Paragraph ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #17
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ Protagonist Doppelganger


I recently finished reading a few books. Two were the novel units I was reading with my students. To find out more about these books and what I thought about them, check out my WWW Wednesday post.

cover83968-mediumI’m currently reading a pick from my TBR Jar. Since I have sucked so hard at my NetGalley challenge this year, I decided to purposefully pick a NetGalley book strip. And the winner was Parallel Roads. The beginning was kind of strange, and then things took an even stranger turn, and I’m not too sure about it.



This is a feature I am adding to my Sunday Posts. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

This week I’m forgoing my Human Connection piece to talk about some shows I’ve watched recently. Y’all, I have a phobia to finding and starting new shows. I don’t like doing it. Expectations. Disappointment. Giving something a chance and not liking it really bugs me. I have been on a tear lately trying new shows, and since I’m not up on currently aired shows I decided to go back to Hulu.

The Disappointments


The Shining Stars 

Based on what I do like, do you have any suggestions for me? 

Feature Follow Friday ~ December 2, 2016

Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

Favorite Book with a “Winter” World

I don’t think I have a favorite…yet. I’ve read several holiday and winter reads, but none that have struck me enough to be a favorite.

Here are a few “winter” worlds I have enjoyed, though!


What is your favorite “winter” world book? 

October/November Chit Chat

Monthly Chit Cat

October/November News

Life has been a roller coaster recently. At the end of October I put in my notice to my landlord and I also had my observation at work. Texas now has a new evaluation system for teachers, and I don’t think I like it.

The weeks since have been a mad flurry of making sure things at work are at least on an even keel and packing up the house. I get panic attacks about moving. With this move, I did go into such a spiral that my mother had to have a little intervention with me.

My target goal was to be fully moved out of the bungalow by the Sunday before Thanksgiving. While I thought my dad would never get off his butt and get my late grandfather’s things out of the garage, somehow he miraculously did it in less than a month what he’s been putting off for nearly a year and a half.

While I was sad to see the little haven I have lived in since the end of my engagement go, and it was inconvenient for in the middle of the year, the move made me decide on what to do with a bunch of stuff. I have already moved a lot of items to the man’s house. That move is scheduled for May/June 2017. By doing this now, I have made THE BIG MOVE easier.

All of our UIL kids did phenomenal at our practice meet. Most of our students did not get to participate due to another competition conflict with our robotics program, but we still had 64 students place! My yearbook staff are all over the place. While we have plenty of photos, now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and make a fantastic book.  Cue the endless hours, the whining, the writing, and the sore eyes.


October/November Reads

I don’t even know what I’ve read when. While I remember reading all of these, it seems like so long ago.

Average Rating: 4.57 stars
Pages Read: 1,802 pages
Favorite Book: Regarding Anna


Noteworthy Posts

October’s numbers surprised me. The posts that were the most popular were blasts. That hasn’t happened on the blog for nearly two years. The posts I thought would get a nice amount of attention didn’t. Alternate reality?

These were posts I thought would garner more attention, especially the reviews since those are few and far between lately. Go check them out!

Most Vile Villains

September Chit Chat

Characters I’d Name a ________ After 

Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes Friendship

Famous Last Words #16 –> from Regarding Anna

Review: Awkward –> this is one of my favorite books of the year!

Review: Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure

Review: Regarding Anna –> another favorite, maybe THE favorite of the year!

Review: A Love that Never Tires –> am I the only one who didn’t like this book?

Visitors & Search Terms

I was an absentee blogger for the past two months, I should have taken a hiatus much sooner than I finally did. While I still had content going up for October, the posts became fewer and more sporadic. I threw in the towel for November, which is why my page views were so low.

October – 1,137

November – 563

Search Terms

heartland tv series – Heeeyyy! Who ARE you? Come back, let’s talk! 

teaching harry potter and the goblet of fire – I might be able to help you with that, teacher friend!


Challenge Updates

Blog Ahead ended in October and I did not have 30 more posts than what I started the month with. I probably generated over 30 posts throughout the month, but they were for October and not for the months ahead. So, I failed at this challenge this year. We need to have another one in April. I think that would work well for me (hopefully). Also, NetGalley challenge is once again kicking me this year.

November/December Reads

I’m trying not to bog myself down too much and set too many expectations, so I’m keeping it simple. I picked three I want to read next.


WWW Wednesdays (November 30)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 

Before my disappearance and then my official hiatus, I mentioned I wanted to become more of a mood reader. Since this is a new thing for me, I’m finding it hard. Like, how do you guys do this? For this reason – and the fact that I actually have my TBR Jar with me  for once – I drew from my TBR Jar!

What would you do, if you had the chance to revisit all your decisions, to fix all your mistakes?

cover83968-mediumCelebrity chef, Jessie McCormick is incredibly late. Driving his Hummer to the opening of his latest restaurant seemed like a much better idea than flying, but incomprehensible directions and a dodgy shortcut throws him instead into the driveway of a rickety old house. Hopeful of finding the house occupied – and its inhabitants capable of directing him to Brisbane – he heads inside.

Voices lead him into the attic, and there he finds no direction – and every direction. The attic is an endless line of doors and ladders, each taking Jessie down a different path of his life. In one, he is a celebrity chef, fêted by the world. In another, his mother is still alive. In a third, his beloved sister is dead.

But in all of them is a small, dusty town and a small, dusty restaurant, run by a woman named Tara. As Jessie races to find his way back to his own life, he must make the biggest decision of his life: rescue his sister or take his chance at true love.

 What did you just finish reading?

Notice how there are dogs on all the covers? LOL! It was not intentional. My classes finished reading Trouble River and Where the Red Fern Grows. My students this year impressed me: they collectively scored higher on their novel unit tests than any of the classes years prior.  Ironically, TR and WTRFG are the exact same reading level, which mystifies me given the syntax of WTRFG in terms of vocabulary, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch was a cute and light read. The perspective is interesting because we get Rosco’s internal thoughts and workings. He really is a good dog, but mischief just seems to follow him around.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, ’tis the season!🙂



 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading!🙂

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland

First Chapter First Paragraph

Today I’m participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, in which bloggers share a bit about a book they’re reading or planning to read soon.

30057557Chapter 1

Mom and Dad, 

They told me I had to write this. Camp is fine. I’ll see you soon.


PS – I’m fine, too…no mater what you think.

The doorknob locks with a single key from the inside of the cabin. My bag hangs over my shoulder as I starte at the silver knob like it might start talking. This can’t be legal.

“We only lock the doors at night for precautionary reasons. And I sleep in the cabin with you,” Madison says, tugging on the key dangling from her neck. She touches my arm. I glance down at her finely painted fingernails pressing into my skin. The magenta polish has a glossy layer of perfection.

Read More »

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gift Guide

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Holiday Gift Guide – Books to Buy for a Teenage Boy

These recommendations are heavily based on the reading choices of my own students. Typically it is the boys I have to help find books they like more than the girls.


What books would you buy for the loved ones in your life? 

Review: Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch

Title: Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch
Author: Shana Gorian
Publisher: KDP
Release Date: September 2014
Length: 130 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Children’s


31752229On a sunny autumn day brother and sister James and Mandy head to the pumpkin patch with their friendly dog, Rosco, to choose a pumpkin for Halloween. While riding a hay wagon, visiting a petting zoo, and joining the kids on a scavenger hunt, Rosco sometimes makes mischief. But when the kids find trouble deep inside the corn maze, will Rosco shape up and help out? Join the kids and their rascally dog for fun and adventure in Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch.  Recommended for grades K-3 (ages 6-9). Includes 15+ black and white interior illustrations.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon


my review

The Skinny

James and Mandy McKendrick visit the pumpkin patch with their parents and their fairly new-to-the-family dog. Rosco is a German Shepard and is a good dog in general, but he can get distracted easily. The McKendricks are known for their awesome Halloween pumpkin carvings. Mr. McKendrick always selects an overly large pumpkin at the patch, and the kids enjoy the petting zoo and corn maze.

This year the duo have convinced their parents they can manage the maze on their own. There are just two stipulations: they must stay together using the same punch-card, and Rosco must go with them. The deal is sealed and the kids set out only to find trouble deep inside the corn maze.

The Players

Rosco – an 85 lb. German Shepard, recently adopted, enjoys being off the leash, always gets up to some mischief

Mandy – 7 year old sister to James, likes the chickens,

James – 10 year old brother to Mandy, likes the piglets, doesn’t enjoy arguing with Mandy

Luke – 4 year old cutie in the corn maze

The Quote

Their giant jack-o-lantern would be the jewel of the neighborhood, every year. Trick-or-treaters would marvel at the size of it. Dad always loved the compliments.

So this day was about more than just petting zoos and hay rides for the McKendrick family. It was about finding another outrageously large pumpkin in that patch. It was about art and tradition.

As the holiday approached, the whole block at home would be anxiously waiting to see what new creation Mr. McKendrick would come up with this year. And trick-or-treaters would come from far and wide to delight in the spectacle on Halloween night!

The Highs and Lows

  • + Family. I love that this children’s story focuses on the positive values of family. I don’t think there are enough examples of this in reading as children outgrow picture books. This is the kind of family you want to live on your street, be your neighbor, help you out if you’re in a bind and list them as an emergency contact for your child’s school.
  • + Values. When James and Mandy stumble upon Rosco and what he’s found in the maze, the siblings step up. They extend a hand, are kind and compassionate, and stand up for someone who has been wronged in the right way. Rosco also helped with that a bit.🙂 This is a great teaching tool!
  • + Funny. While there wasn’t rip-roaring laughter, I giggled in outbursts over the antics of Rosco and some of the dialogue among the family. It is cute and clean and light-hearted.
  • Plot. The plot spanned the course of one day and all the adventures throughout it. For the most part, the activities of each character are reflected in each chapter. The POV is 3rd person omniscient, so it might throw off younger readers who have never seen this before.

The Take-Away

This was a cute and light read for fall. What I liked most was the family doing things together and nobody throwing a fit or not participating. This is a great book to read as a family and can even bridge some of those conversations about what you like to do and can do as a family.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 




8567620Shana Gorian is the author of the chapter series for kids, Rosco the Rascal. Titles include Rosco the Rascal In the Land of Snow, Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp, and Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch.

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Shana has lived in Southern California for 20 years. She lives with her husband and two children, and the real Rosco, their German shepherd, Rugger.

Shana attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning her Bachelor of Arts in English Writing in 1994. She then attended San Diego City College, where she trained as a graphic designer. She went on to work as a website designer in San Diego for nearly a decade. But she always wanted to venture back to her love of the written word, and try her hand at fiction. Ten years into motherhood, she published her first children’s book. Shana is an avid lover of the great outdoors, and is always searching for more stories!

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads