I have finished three of the books on my reading list for the fall. The first is What Matters Most by Luanne Rice. Luanne Rice is one of my favorite authors, and I know that no book she writes will ever disappoint me. This was a sequel to her novel Sandcastles. Most of her books have characters that have either shown up in other books of hers or who live in the same general area along the Connecticut shore as her other characters, and this lends a nice continuity to all her books. I definitely recommend this one, especially if you enjoyed Sandcastles.
The second one was 74 Seaside Avenue, by Debbie Macomber. Debbie Macomber is another author who never disappoints. This was the latest book from her Cedar Cove series, and it's another example of an author following a connected group of people through many novels. As you can tell, I really enjoy that. One of the things that I have always hated about the end of any novel is that I won't get to see what happens to the characters next. I love when an author brings up old favorite characters in later books for me to visit with again!
The third book I read between last night and this morning. I finished it less than an hour ago. I couldn't put it down! It was The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline. This was the first book I had ever read by this author, and it certainly will not be the last. Another type of book I love is any book that takes place near water. It can be the ocean, a cove, a lake...any type of water, really. I think it's because I dream one day of sitting by the ocean or lake near my home (and there is not one of those near my home now, so that means it's a home other than this one), lounging in a chair and reading, with the sound of the waves lapping against the shore and the sun on my face. I am not so much a beach person, but I love the way the air feels when the ocean is nearby. Anyway, when I read the flap on this book, it talked about being about a woman who fled her city life for a life in Maine. Well, I was intrigued by that because who does not sometimes want to get away from it all? When I started the book, I found that she went to Mt. Desert Island to start her new life. My family has long vacationed in this magical place, so this made me love the book all the more. I can't wait to read what else she has written...I can't imagine I won't love every word!
And now let's talk about my party preparations (nice segue, yes?)! This week, I am B-R-O-K-E. As a joke. A bad joke. I overspent in Cleveland and forgot to write my car insurance payment into my checkbook, and by the time I checked on-line, I had about $9 in my account. I don't get paid until Thursday, so I am stretching to make $100 from my savings account work for me. Therefore, this is a pared down version of our usual party, where we serve too much, everyone eats too little, and we throw away the leftovers.
I have only had one meltdown during preparations so far.
Last night, I slaved over the first ever homemade, not-from-a-mix cake I have ever made. It wasn't as hard as I expected, but it was more difficult than Duncan Hines. However, I did a good job, I thought, and I left it to cool on the counter. It stayed there, safe, all night (mostly because I kept a constant eye on Otto, the food thief).
Today, after we took a trip to the grocery store, I briefly (I will estimate it was one minute) let Otto in ON HIS OWN while I got the grocery bags out of the car. When I came in the door, he was licking his chops. I went into the kitchen...and found a piece missing from one of the cake layers. Damned dog.
Anyway, I might have exploded a bit. And then there might have been messy crying (What is with me, BTW? I must have some PMS because I even cried a bit during the dog show this morning when they announced winners.). And then a certain DAWG might have hidden in the bedroom for the better part of an hour before he came back out to test the waters.
At first, I was going to just trim the edge off that he stole from (Yeah, ew, sorry...especially to any of you coming to the party). But then, in a flash of brilliance, I realized that I had enough ingredients to make another layer for the cake! I amaze even myself sometimes! And that new layer is cooling in the fridge, waiting for the time it will be cool enough to be joined with the other layer in homemade cake bliss! I even made homemade buttercream icing (not the cooked kind)! I hope that everyone doesn't get used to this!
Anyway, Otto and I have made up. And I am keeping the cake under lock and key...and the dog too. As soon as he wanders away from where I am, I call him back. After all, you never know what a dog with a little too much freedom will do...
Anyway, happy birthday to my hubby! I am so happy to be your wife...here's to another great year!