You probably thought I fell off the planet because I haven’t been here in a while. It sort of feels that way, at least to me, anyway. I’ve been trying to take some needed time away to clear my head, focus on my teaching, and get ready for the holidays. I’ve also been dealing with a health issue that’s had me a bit sidetracked. It’s not always easy to juggle everything, is it? So often we wonder where time has gone and how we can get more of it to enjoy the things we want to be doing. The truth is, life throws us some curveballs we didn’t see coming, and we must adapt. I didn’t intend to be away for so long. In fact, I think it was my longest time away from blogging. Maybe FROCKTOBER did me in! 😉
Instead of a long post about one particular topic, today I’m going to just chat about some random things, if that’s okay with you. It’s sort of a blogger’s paradise to talk about a variety of things.
I finally finished AFTER YOU for my book club book. As you may have read in a previous post, I absolutely loved ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. I can’t say the same is true for the sequel. Louisa Clark, as charming and endearing as she was in the first book, just didn’t seem like the same person in the second book. I became annoyed by her, actually. Her character is getting over the death of Will, and while that in itself is a tough bit to handle, she lost her verve and quirkiness and wasn’t nearly as funny as she was in the first book. Additionally, the plot rolled one ridiculous thing into the next, making the story lose its realness, at least to me. I almost wish I didn’t read the sequel because I loved how ME BEFORE YOU ended.
HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIES
Yes, it’s that time of the year again, and it’s the only month of the year where I command the remote in our house. I’m busily watching one Hallmark movie after another, trying to keep up with the new ones the best I can. I enjoyed JOURNEY BACK TO CHRISTMAS with Candace Cameron Bure, a sweet time-travel Christmas story that harkens back to WWII. Also, ANGELS SING with Harry Connick Jr., although it is not new this year and is featured on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, is one of my daughter and my favorites. It tugs at the heartstrings, but has a great cast including Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson. I’ll let you know what else I end up loving as I watch them.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Last night, our family took a trip into Baltimore for dinner at Oceanaire in Harbor East, and then we headed up town to Hampden to see the famous 34th Street–replete with lights, Christmas nostalgia, and a lot of Baltimore culture. The block showcases row homes decorated to excess, with lights draped over the main street to add to the ambiance. If you haven’t visited this holiday landmark, be sure to do so. In my daughter’s words, it will leave you “absolutely speechless.”
DECORATING THE HOUSE
In one of the Hallmark movies I watched, one of the characters says that Christmas isn’t just about the day, it’s about the traditions that surround the whole season. I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. Our tradition of cutting down the tree the day after Thanksgiving still stands, and we still go to Pine Valley Farms in Sykesville, Maryland. We spend that day (Friday) and Saturday getting our home ready for the holidays. This year, I’m particularly excited because both sides of our families will be with us on Christmas Eve. Traditions are important to keep because long after the kids have grown and have moved away, I hope they will remember the things we did to make the season special.
Be on the lookout in January for my newest novel, INN SIGNIFICANT. I’ll be publishing it after the holidays, so if you get an AMAZON GIFT CARD…
I’ll keep you posted.
That’s it, ladies and gentleman.
I’ll see you next time.
Stephanie Verni is the author of Baseball Girl, Beneath the Mimosa Tree, and the co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice.