Saturday, October 7, 2023

What Happened to Summer?


Hello out there - yes, it's been (4) months since I last posted and I totally missed summer.  It wasn't much of a summer  - rain, rain, rain and lots of hot weather and humidity when it didn't rain.  I did seem to keep busy with yoga, some cardio an a bit of strength training and (2) book groups.  I've also been catching up with friends which included seeing a best friend from junior high and high school that I hadn't seen in 50 years! She was here from Austin Texas; she moved there for her husband to attend grad school and they never came back once he got a job with the state. We had a wonderful time catching up. Where did those years go?  The granddaughters are back in school of course (2) in 4th grade and (1) in 6th. 

I'm sorry I haven't read many of your blog posts in the last (4) months. I hope to spend much of Sunday catching up.

NEW OBSESSION:   I spent the summer collecting plants - lots of indoor houseplants with Hoya plants being my latest obsession.  There are some 500 varieties so this may be a bad addiction here LOL . I have about (30) now. Most I buy as 2" to 4" starter plants and, I was lucky enough to have one arrive in bloom even.  They will keep me entertained this winter as I learn more about each variety. 

My reading has definitely taken a hit with this new hobby. In fact I didn't read a single book in August but, I few months I did well. You can find my 2023 update on the sidebar or below.

My Hoya Multiflora
Here are what some of the blooms look like but, it could take years for some to blossom. 

                                                                                    Photo Credit


    1.  Night Shift; Robin Cook - audio - 4/5 stars (January)
    2. Women Talking; Miriam Toews - audio - 3.5/5 stars
    3. It Ends with Us; Colleen Hoover - 4audio - 4/5 stars
    4. The Levee: a novella; William Kent Krueger - audio - 3.5/5 stars
    5. Looking for Me; Beth Hoffman (reread for book group) - 5/5 stars
    6. Ms. Demeanor; Elinor Lipman - audio - 4/5 stars
    7. Rough Sleepers: Jim O'Connell's Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People; Tracey Kidder - NF/audio - 4.5.5 stars - February
    8. The Stolen Lady; Laurea Morelli - 3.5/5 stars (audio) book group read February
    9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; Taylor Jenkins Reid - 3/5 stars - (book group) March
    10. The Couple at Number 9; Claire Douglas - 3.5/5 stars (audio)
    11. Hello, Beautiful; Ann Napolitano - 4.5/5 stars (April)
    12. The Forest of Vanishing Stars; Kristin Harmel - 4.5/5 stars (book group)
    13. The Half Moon; Mary Beth Keane - 3.5/5 stars (audio) (May)
    14. Mad Honey; Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan  - 5/5 stars (print/audio)
    15. The Kind Worth Saving; Peter Swanson - 3.5/5 stars (audio)
    16. Soulmate; Sally Hepworth - 4.5/5 stars - (audio)
    17. The House in the Pines; Ana Reyes  - 3.5/5 stars (audio)
    18. A House with Good Bones; T. Kingfisher - 3.5/5 stars (audio)
    19. Gone Tonight; Sarah Pekkanen - 5/5 stars - audio (June) 
    20. What Comes Next & How to Like It (NF); Abigail Thomas - 4/5 stars (audio)
    21. Finding Me (memoir); Viola Davis - 5/5 stars (audio)
    22. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water; Angie Cruz (audio) 4.5/5 stars
    23. Small Mercies; Dennis Lehane - (audio) 4.5/5 stars
    24. The Bird Hotel; Joyce Maynard - (audio) 4.5/5 stars
    25. Sunflower Sisters; Martha Hall Kelly (book group- June) - 3.5/5 stars
    26. Central Park West; James Comey - (audio) - 4/5 stars
    27. The Five Star Weekend; Elin Hilderbrand - (audio) 4.5/5 stars (July)
    28. The Guest; Emma Cline - (audio) 3/5 stars
    29. What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing (NF); Stephanie Foo - 3.5/5 stars
    30. The People's Hospital: Hope & Peril in America (NF); Ricardo Nulia - 4/5 stars
    31. The Collective Regrets of Clover; Nikki Brammer (audio) - 4.5/5 stars
    32. How to Sell a Haunted House; Grady Hendrix - (audio) 2/5 stars
    33. The Drowning Woman; Robyn Harding - (audio) 4/5 stars (September)
    34. Lucy By the Sea; Elizabeth Strout (reread - book group Sept)
    35. Tom Lake; Ann Patchett (audio) 4.5/5 stars (October)
    36. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell; Robert Dugong 4.5/5 stars - (Oct Bookgroup)
    37. Happiness Falls; Angie Kim (audio - 3.5/5 stars - Oct
    38. Holly; Stephen King (current read - Nov)
    39. Ordinary Grace; William Kent Kruger - (current bookgroup read - Nov)

    • Fiction - 30
    • Non Fiction -  7
    • Children's Books - 
    • Print Books (includes ARCS) (my shelves) - 
    • Print Books (library) - 2
    • eBooks/eGalleys (my shelves) -
    • eBooks (library) -
    • Audiobooks (my shelves) - 6
    • Audiobooks (library) - 29
    • Combo (read/listens) - 1
    • Female Authors - 30
    • Male Authors - 8
    • January Books Read - 6
    • February Books Read - 2
    • March - 2
    • April - 2
    • May - 5
    • June - 8
    • July - 6
    • August - 0
    • Sept - 2
    • Oct - 3
    • Nov - 

    DNF - 
    1. We Should Not Be Friends; Will Schwalbe - abandoned at 27% wasn't holding my interest (May)
    2. The Book of Goose; Yiyun Li - audio abandoned at about 30% - couldn't connect with story (May)


    1. That's a great compilation of books for 2023. And a great collection of plants!

      1. Thanks for stopping by Joy; hope all has be well for you!

    2. That is a type of plant that is completely new to me. The blooms are stunning. I can see why you have developed this new hobby.

      Even though you sound a bit disappointed about your reading, the ratings of the books you finished were excellent. I think that is the most important thing---reading books we enjoy.

      1. Deb, I was thinking about that as well, although my reading has tanked, I've selected mostly books that I really enjoyed. I'm so happy you stopped to visit!

    3. I'm so pleased things are looking up for you and you have a newfound passion. Whatever makes you happy is good in my opinion and if your reading suffers a bit then so be it. Life is short. Nice to see you here again, Diane.

      1. Hi Cath, What you write is so true so it's important to do what makes you happy. Hope you and your hub have been doing well.

    4. It's so nice to hear from you, Diane! The summer weather definitely left a lot to be desired this year, but I'm glad the plant obsession and visits with old friends have kept you busy. Those plants are just stunning! I've been trying various orchids lately... but they do much better in Florida. No surprise there! Looks like you've read some really good books, too. Hope you keep posting here. I've missed you.

      1. Thanks JoAnn, that is so sweet of you to say I was missed. I thought about you in CT over the summer but, for the most part I just stayed close to home - that's what felt right. My niece has a place in FL and Long Island and she loves orchids and has them growing on trees near her pool. They even have their own watering system. I didn't put any of my new hoyas outside this summer - I was afraid of bug infestations. I did have some hibiscus and mandevillas in bloom on the deck though. I need to check out what you have been reading! Take Care.

    5. Diane, it's so good to hear from you, since you've been busy I hope that means you are doing well.

      Mad Honey and Small Mercies were both so good! Although you aren't reading as much, you've certainly got fun things going on (love the photos of the potential flowers). And seeing a friend from JH and HS is always the best. My 40th reunion was a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic.

      1. Hi Helen, I'm doing well; thank you. Those years have a way of sneaking up on us. My 50th reunion was in 2021.

    6. So glad you're posting again, you've been missed!

      I've been thinking about getting some plants but I'm not to good at keeping them healthy. My mom on the other had had 2 green thumbs and 8 green fingers. Her garden was amazing!

      A few years ago one of my best friends (we felt like we were sisters) from school came to Florida and we got to spend a week together after not seeing each other for over 40 yrs. It was like we had just seen each other the day before.

    7. It's nice to see you here again! Collecting plants sounds like a wonderful hobby and I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    8. Diane!!! I'm so happy to see your post in my blog feed! I'm sorry you didn't get much of a summer. We lucked out and had a fairly dry summer this year, but the temps were never very high (low 60s), although last week it got up to 80 or so. Of course, we're on our road trip on Vancouver Island, so we missed that heat wave. ;) Glad to hear that you are doing yoga, cardio and strength training. I need to get back to all of that when we get home in a little over a week. Sounds like fun catching up with life-long friends. And two book groups? Good for you. I've only attended my book group a couple of times this year. Too much else going on -- we had so many visitors this year (with more to arrive later this month!). I don't have much of a green thumb, and can barely keep our houseplants alive, but I'm going to look up Hoya plants and see if I can try one or two. I'm a few pages from finishing Fellowship Point, which I remember you read and enjoyed, so I'll pop back over here and read your review once I've posted mine. I hope you have a lovely fall and that we see more of you here in the coming weeks. xoxo

    9. Glad you're back! Those hoya plants are cool. Are they hard to keep alive? It sounds like you had a few fun things happen over the summer. And all those books you've been reading. What a great list. :D

    10. Good to see you posting again, Diane. We've missed you. I thought summer would never be over with when we were mired in days with temperatures that started approaching 110 degrees, and then it broke so suddenly a few days ago that it almost seems as if it never happened. The low this morning was 55 degrees, and that was a shock to the system. The plants you picture are absolutely beautiful...easy to understand why time flew by for you like it did.

    11. So happy to see you back to blogging again! Great list of 2023 books. Your new hobby looks like fun! Have a great week!

    12. So good to see you! Your summer sounds a lot like ours weather-wise but looks like you found some great ways to keep busy. I love your new plants and looks like you will have a fantastic variety of blooms when they do bloom. Have a great week!

    13. It sounds like you had a very busy summer, even despite the weather.

      I am trying houseplants again, hoping these survive longer than past ones I've tried to keep. So, I have two. Not a lot, but probably a safe amount for me. Both are cat friendly, although I'm trying to keep them in places the cats won't bother them.

      Have a great week, Diane.

      It looks like you have read a number of great sounding books so far. I recently purchased a copy of Happiness Falls at the recommendation of the woman who owns the independent bookstore I frequent. I am looking forward to it. I hope you are enjoying it!

    14. I had a Hoya plant that took years to finally bloom. It was a surprise! Too bad I didn't keep the plant.

    15. Great to see your post Diane! Love the update. I'm glad you're enjoying new things and fun reunions. The hoya blooms seem spectacular to see. Maybe I should look into getting one; they seem to bring good cheer. I hope you will continue to post every once in awhile. Happy fall. ps. I know the East was clobbered with rain this summer ... we could've used some here ... it was dry as a bone this summer and there was smoke from the wildfires.

    16. Hi, Diane! It sounds like you had a lovely summer, and I hope your fall is going well too. How is it possible that tomorrow is Halloween? Time has gotten away from me for the past few months.

      Your 2023 books read list looks great! I see some familiar titles on there — Soulmate was a favorite of mine this year. I've been so busy with other things that I haven't been reading or blog visiting as much. I did really enjoy the ARC for Murder Road by Simone St. James.

      Sending love to your plants!

    17. Welcome back! I have lots of houseplants myself, and I joke that caring for them has become a full-time job. I love the Hoya you showed a picture of--this is a new plant to me, so I will have to get one and see what happens.


    Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.