Thoughts on Our Move

Dear Reader,

I know that there is usually a book review here but today there are some reflections on our recent move. I hope that you find them interesting/humorous/not boring…

In case somehow you missed it, my husband and I moved from Evanston, IL to Mequon, WI four months ago. We had lived in our house in Evanston for 31 years. Yes, that was 31 years.  I am not sure how that could have happened but somehow it did.

Reflection #1

You cannot clean out enough.

I thouMoving (1)ght that I had done a great job getting rid of stuff. We started at least a year before we moved. (I started cleaning out before I knew we were going to move.) Once we got past the “How do I get rid of that?” and the embarrassment of getting rid of things that had never been used, we did what I thought was a pretty good job. My husband estimates that we got rid of almost HALF the stuff we owned. That was a lot of stuff!

It was not enough. Due to timing issues, we had to store most of our possessions for a month. We were told that we stored 10,000 pounds of stuff.


Yep, 10,000 pounds.

My only suggestion to anyone about to move is to just get rid of everything and start over. Really, I am serious.  You will keep too much stuff.  Now I have to find out how to get rid of stuff in a new location.


Reflection #2

Don’t underestimate the love of local sports teams.

BrettFavreThis might not be as big an influence in other places but WOW we seem to have walked into it.

I don’t meet anyone that doesn’t utter the words “Bears or Packers?” Truly, it is the first thing my husband and I hear when someone finds out we are from the Chicago area. (Even the examiner at the DMV!)

I am sure that I probably didn’t even notice it the influence of the Bears in Chicago. The Bears were a big team in Chicago but there were other teams.  (Have you heard about a team called the Blackhawks?  Or those Cubs?  Or my poor White Sox?)

Here there is only one team. (Apparently the Brewers and the Bucks don’t count but I am not exactly sure why.) I think it might be a religion. The Packers are incredibly important.  Maybe is it that they actually win (in contrast to you know who) or that they provide social activities during the cold winter months.

When Brett Farve was inducted into the Hall of Fame a few weeks ago, the local news station had two reporters in Canton, OH for a week before the induction. And they both reported every night.  Brett Farve was a great football player. No doubt. But really, there was not that much to say about the activities in Canton, OH. It is a good thing he played so long so there were lots of old news clips.

Reflection #3

It is harder to meet people when you don’t have kids.

woman alone readingWe moved into our new house and two weeks later I went back to Evanston and had knee replacement surgery. I was not very mobile those first two weeks and then I was gone for three weeks for surgery and rehab. I am going to blame this for the fact that I have met exactly ONE neighbor so far.

The people I have met so far have been incredibly nice. I had rides to PT for the first six weeks. The drivers and the people at PT were so nice and friendly. There was always lots of conversations and laughter.

I guess I just have to work up the nerve to walk across the street and introduce myself. I have gotten my local library card and am hoping to go to some book clubs there. There is also a quilt store and I thought that once I get the sewing stuff set up I would take some classes. I need to take some action to meet people.

Reflection #4

It is good to shake up your world.


Yes, even though things are harder because I don’t know anyone or how to find places, I think it is good.  (GPS on my cell phone means more than ever before…) Change is hard and I whine about parts of it but overall, it is good to have to start over and have to find things out.  I look at things around here because it is all new.  We have to find new restaurants and shops because we no longer have old favorites. I miss the life we had but I look forward to finding out more about this area.

Now, if only someone would tell me who to call to fix/paint/repair stuff….

Thanks for reading!



Dorothy Cannell Cozy Mysteries

Dear Fellow Reader,

Wow, it has been a long time.  I never meant it to be so long.  Let’s see, since I was here last I have moved twice, had a total knee replacement, and became a grandmother for the first time.  So, I have not just been sitting around ignoring you.


I am pretty thrilled to be back.

I have been reading.  I will admit that my concentration level has not always been where I would want it.  As a result, I have done  a lot of re-reading.  Yes, many books got a second look.  These re-reads include the Tommy and Tuppence books by Agatha Christie, Sarah Addison Allen’s books (one of them The Sugar Queen, even got a third read) and there was a A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy.  It was like visiting with old friends.  Do you have times when re-reading is just what you need?

The thin Woman

After all those re-reads, I then moved on to cozy mysteries.  I started  several series.  The one I would like to bring to your attention today is the Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell.  In the first book of the series, The Thin Woman,  you are introduced to Ellie, a talented interior decorator who (like many) is dreading an upcoming family event.  She decides to bring an adoring boyfriend with her to help her stand up to her judgmental relatives.  If only she had one.  She sees an ad and decides to rent one!  She finds that adoration may be hard to get even when paying for it.  When murder enters the picture, Ellie has more than she expected.

There are 13 books in the series.  I would suggest reading the first four or five books in order so that you can follow the plots easier.  After that you will have the idea.  I was able to find most of the books at the library.  Dorothy Cannell has written 23 books.  She has another series (Florence Norris Series) and several stand alone books.  One of those books, Sea Glass Summer, was also very enjoyable.

sea glass

Have a great summer weekend!  I hope there is some time for reading!

Thanks for reading!


Just a quick note


Dear Fellow Reader,

death at

Yes, once again I am behind with my reviews.  I have been reading but between work and moving, I have not been reviewing.  I will be back soon!

I did just notice and I wanted to let you know that Death at La Fenice, the first book in the Donna Leon series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti  Is available for $1.99 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.  That price is for the e-book version.

If you like mystery series, this is a great one to start.  Currently there are 25 books in the series!  I think they are very well done and you will come to love Commissario Brunetti and his co-workers.

I promise to be back soon!

Thanks for reading.

Dragonfly Dreams by Jennifer Chow

Dear Fellow Reader,

I have talked on this blog before about my wonderful on-line writing group. Wordsmith Studio is a supportive interesting diverse community of writers. If you would like to find out more about the group, you can check the web site or look at the Facebook page.

One of the members of the group has published her third book! I have talked about Jennifer Chow’s books previously. She is the author of 228 Legacy and Seniors Sleuth.  Jennifer’s newest book is Dragonfly Dreams.

dragonfly dreams

Dragonfly Dreams is a young adult story about a 17 year old Chinese girl who dies in childbirth in 1880 Fresno, CA.  She is given the chance to watch over  and be an influence in her daughter’s life if she teaches her daughter to live the the Ten Commandments. This is not a simple task as Topaz does not know the Ten Commandments or realize the implications of her influence. Topaz has to learn that what she does and how she is influenced has a far reaching effect on her family.

Jennifer Chow has brought us three totally different well developed interesting stories in her three books. With Dragonfly Dreams, Jennifer successfully branches into Young Adult paranormal.

Dragonfly Dreams is available on Kindle for only $0.99 today and tomorrow (Feb. 9-10) and is available on  iTunes FREE those same dates.

Thanks for reading!


The Obituary Society

Dear Readers,

I wanted to give you a quick note to let you know that the book The Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall is available FREE on Amazon right now.

I have not reviewed this book yet but just quickly –

When Lila Moore’s grandfather dies, she returns to his hometown to bury him and find out about his life and why he left his family’s hometown and never returned.  While there, she finds out the ups and downs of small town life and finds there is a mystery that needs to be solved.

There were twists and turns in the story that made it an interesting read.

It is definitely worth it as a FREE book.  I don’t know how long it will be free so pick it up now.

Thanks for reading!