Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday Musings: Our Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree

Our Norfolk pine! 

The needles are soooo soft.

norfolk pine
It was dark when we finished decorating on Sunday night, but you get the idea.

My week: Other than the weather, which has been unusually gray and wet for Hawaii, it was a decent week around these parts. Friday was my first day at my new library job and it went fairly well. I have a lot to re-learn (I worked there last time we were stationed here, but I feel like I've forgotten everything!) but I'm definitely excited to be back in a library again.

Saturday we braved the drizzle and went to cut down our Christmas tree, a Norfolk pine, a rather wacky-looking tree that grows naturally here in Hawaii. I also got all my Christmas cards sent off and mailed my (8!) packages at the post office this week. (My bill was $100. Does anyone else feel like they're single-handedly keeping the post office in business like I do?!)

This next week won't be quite so quiet -- I'll be adjusting to working again after a several-month break, and Jarrod starts a new work schedule, 4 a.m. to noon. I foresee a few extra dinners out in our near future!

Reading: It took me forever, but I finally finished up "The Masked City," book 2 in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series. I read and enjoyed the first book a few months ago -- the premise was so creative and fun and I was looking forward to diving back into the world of alternate universe-traveling librarians. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but the second book didn't enchant me in the same way. I was bored, I was confused, I actually skimmed! I'm not sure if I'll continue the series with the newly-released book 3 or not.

But thanks to Taylor Jenkins Reid, I've finally got my reading mojo back after two blah weeks. For some reason, I never jumped on the TJR bandwagon when everyone else was getting excited about "Maybe in Another Life," but after the world continued to rave about her newer book, "One True Loves," I decided it was time for me to check her out. The story was clever and hard to stop reading, the plot presented surprises where I didn't expect any, the writing was super-readable but still good, and I loved the main character (both versions of her -- the book is about how one simple decision can change so much and it's told in alternating storylines). I definitely recommend it next time you want a lighter read!

Last night I read the first couple pages of the popular new thriller "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena. I also have the historical fiction novel "Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes and the fantasy "The Queen of Blood" by Sarah Beth Durst checked out from the library, but I thought I better continue the fast-paced easy-reading trend so I don't risk losing my mojo again!

Watching: I finished "Gilmore Girls" season 7! I actually got a little teary-eyed watching the final episode, where Rory suddenly leaves Stars Hollow following her Yale graduation when she gets a job offer to go on the campaign trail with Barack Obama. The whole show made me a bit nostalgic; as I mentioned before, Rory and I are the same age, so when the show was on TV we were in the same years in high school and college, we both pursued journalism degrees, and life took both of us far away from our families not long after college graduation. Anyway, now I can finally join the masses and start watching "A Year in the Life"! I figure I'll pace myself at one episode per week.

We also watched the last two episodes of one of my favorite shows, "Poldark." I'm sad that I have to wait until next fall for more Ross and Demelza!

Knitting: Last week I mentioned that I ripped out my entire Gilmore Girls mystery knit-along cowl because I didn't like the shape it was going to end up being (and, of course, I waited until I was nearly done to decide this). But I did a lot of knitting while I finished watching season 7 and got the cowl almost entirely re-knit! I just have to block it and Kitchener stitch it together into a loop. Pictures to come soon!

Listening to: Christmas music, of course. I loooove this version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" -- though it's totally making me crave pudding.

Monday Musings
10 New-to-Me Authors I Read (and Loved) in 2016
Yarn Along: Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life MKAL and "Maybe in Another Life"
A Very Merry Christmas Survey (feel free to borrow my questions and fill out the survey on your own blog!)
25 Books I'm Committing to Read for the 2017 Backlist Reader Challenge

Looking forward to: Watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" by the light of our unconventional Christmas tree!

I'm linking up with Kathryn at Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


  1. I enjoyed The Couple Next Door, it was a solid thriller. I look forward to your thoughts.

    I also have Belgravia sitting on my TBR shelf, I'm hoping it will help ease the gap in my life now that Downton Abbey has finished!

    Happy reading and have a lovely week!

    1. That is EXACTLY why I picked up "Belgravia." I don't even know what it's about -- just that Julian Fellowes wrote it! On the bright side, we can re-watch "Downton" in a few years and it'll feel almost new again! I was surprised re-watching "Gilmore Girls" these past few months just how much I had forgotten -- and I only watched it for the first time in 2011.

  2. Your tree is so pretty. I love the shape and it TOTALLY looks like what I would expect from a tree in Hawaii :) I hope you like The Couple Next Door. I read an ARC of it and have to admit that I didn't really care for it. I couldn't stand any of the characters. However, I also know I'm one of the odd ones because most people loved it. I hate to hear that about the Cogman series - I hope I don't have trouble with book 2. Have a great week and fun with your new job!

    1. Don't worry -- I didn't enjoy "The Couple Next Door" either. I didn't like the writing or the characters and I thought the plot dragged horribly. I'm not finishing off the year too well, am I?!

  3. I loved the Gilmore Girls, too, and the revival kept me glued to the screen. Now I want more!

    I loved The Couple Next Door, and Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my new favorite authors. Enjoy!


    1. Oh, and I love your tree! I have fake trees, but I miss the scent of real ones.

    2. Thank you! Sadly, Norfolk pines don't have that typical pine-y scent. On the plus side, they also don't shed all their needles like a regular tree!

  4. Maybe in another life souns good Here is my IMWAYR:

    1. It was a great book -- and I think it would appeal to a wide variety of readers. Definitely check it out! I wish I had read it sooner!

  5. I love your tree! I discovered Taylor Jenkins Reid a few months ago and love her.

    1. Thank you! I can't wait to dive into "One True Loves" now!

  6. I'm sorry to hear that The Masked City didn't live up to your expectations. I have it on my Kindle along with the first book in the series which I haven't had a chance to read yet. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. I really enjoyed "The Invisible Library" and I was bummed that "The Masked City" didn't do it for me, but maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it. I hope you enjoy them!


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