Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sanibel Sunday: 1/15/17


Good morning from sunny Sanibel, Florida! Illness and winter storms delayed our departure for several days, but we finally arrived late Thursday afternoon. The road trip was mostly uneventful... traveling with our daughter and the dog meant sticking to familiar routes and pet-friendy hotels, and that was fine. I just wanted to get here and wasn't as concerned with seeing new things along the way.

Friday was spent cleaning, unpacking, and grocery shopping, and then my father-in-law took us all out to dinner. My first beach walk was Saturday morning. I found sand dollars... lots of them! I rinsed and bleached them, and now they're soaking up the sun. Hopefully, they'll bleach out ever more over time. Sand dollars are my favorite, but have proved to be surprisingly elusive over the past few years. Last night we grilled pesto turkey burgers (the best turkey burgers ever) and ate outside. I'm so happy to be back!


This week's reading//

It's finally time to face the fact that we don't listen to audiobooks in the car. We tried but are constantly pausing them to talk, or forgetting to pause and then trying to figure out where we left off. It's just too frustrating.  I'll save the audiobooks for when I'm alone in the car or walking on the beach. I didn't finish any books in print this week either.

Right now I'm reading...


The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Such a beautifully written novel! I want to read it slowly and savor every page. My frustration with the characters and their bad choices seems to be increasing, but so far it's an excellent book.




This for a readalong hosted by Rachel. Part 1 discussion is coming up January 23. I borrowed the audio from the library, but have since purchased the kindle edition, too. I've read nearly 25% and am finding it very interesting.



Today and the week ahead//

We're off to the farmers market this morning. Our Sunday "Farmers Market Dinners"with my father-in-law have become a tradition. We buy whatever produce, meat, fish, or bread looks appealing (and almost always some homemade guacamole, too) then try to come up with an interesting and delicious way to put it all together.

There are several projects to be completed over the next few months, but mostly I'm eager to settle into a relaxed winter routine. My sister-in-law arrives on Tuesday and wants to explore the area. We're even considering an overnight trip to Key West. I haven't been there in a few years...

How was your week? What are you reading today?


48 comments:

  1. So glad you guys got to Florida safely! And I know you are so pleased to have your beach walks and Florida 'traditions'. My husband and I do listen to audio in the car on trips, but it's a little tricky to find books that we both will like. I suspect adding another person would make it pretty impossible. LOL

    Have a wonderful time!

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    1. Kay - Maybe it is the third person that makes the difference with audio... she is definitely not what you'd call quiet!

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  2. I come here for the books (and the reader!) but you keep sending me off to yet another food blog! :) Enjoy the warm sunshine ... we seem to be having either warm or sunshine but never both together lately!

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    1. Audrey - I don't follow many food blogs, but do love to try new recipes. I suspect there will be lots of seafood this winter, but those turkey burgers will make regular appearances in the dinner rotation, too. I'm hoping to finish The Mothers today. Let me know if you want to start Trollope soon or wait a bit longer. I'm flexible :)

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  3. Ooh - I'm jealous of your beach time! And glad you're enjoying The Mothers...if not getting a bit frustrated. And I'll be interested to hear how The Unwinding is...I had it on my TBR awhile back, then took it off, and now thinking of putting it back on.

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    1. Sarah - I hope to finish The Mothers today. The writing is definitely the strong point! Might concentrate on The Unwinding next.

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  4. Oh, to be in sunny Florida this time of year! I can only listen to audio books in the car when I'm by myself.

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    1. Kathy - It's taken a while to accept, but that's the case for me now, too.

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  5. I love living vicariously through you :) We are giving thought to snowbirding in florida (probably the gulf side as it is closer to Kansas) - but that is a few years away. We do plan to visit this fall, however, and see if it is a glorious as we envision.

    I, too, adore sand dollars! Please post final photos of the beautiful sea currency in pristine condition :)

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    1. Molly - The gulf coast seems a little more peaceful to me, the ocean not as wild as the Atlantic. I'm a little disappointed in the bleaching so far, but am hopeful some time in the sun will help. If not, will bleach a second time. I'll post a photo then :)

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  6. Oh, I hope you enjoy your "beachy" sojourn...and relax! It's wonderful that you get to travel south for the winter...enjoy.

    I loved The Mothers, but yes, those characters often made such bad choices! Enjoy.

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES


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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I hope to finish The Mothers today. It's taken an unexpected turn...

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  7. Glad you made it safely! I love sand dollars too, but agree that they are hard to find these days. Years ago it was so much easier.

    I hope you enjoy your stay and your time with family.

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    1. Vicki - Finding those sand dollars seems like a good omen for the winter... it's been SO long since I've seen them.

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  8. My daughter-in-law and son are always finding sand dollars at the beach here along the Texas Gulf Coast. I've never found one. What am I doing wrong?

    The Mothers sounds fascinating. I need to read more fiction. I'll see if I can get to that one.

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    1. Deb - I think the writing is the best part of The Mothers. She's an author to keep an eye on!

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  9. What pretty pictures! Glad you got back and are ready to enjoy the winter in such a lovely place. I have tried doing audios in the car I just can't keep up with the narrative. I can only seem to do audios at the gym. Looking forward to more of your thoughts on The Mothers!

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    1. Iliana - I love walking with an audiobook. I also listen now if I wake up during the night and can't fall back to sleep!

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  10. Oh that's great you got to Sanibel! Envious. What a nice place. Enjoy for us all! I like sand dollars too, so cool. The characters' bad choices in The Mothers were too much for me by the end of the book, but still I am glad I read it.

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    1. Susan - I'll probably finish The Mothers today. It took another strange/bad choice turn last night... even more frustrated with these characters now!

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  11. I know you are evermore glad to get back to Sanibel; I would be too! I've just finished The Only Street in Paris (enjoyed very much) and have just begun reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. It was short-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. You'll hear more from me on this one after I've finished it. I have painters coming tomorrow and work going on which will mean less reading time. I'm looking forward to seeing you and Zelda do the Sanibel Stoop. Thought about Sanibel today as I was packing up some of my shells and make way for the painters. Have fun!

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    1. JudyMac - Do Not Say We Have Nothing is one of the most recent additions to my tbr list. It appeared on several year-end lists posted by blogging friends. Sure sounds like my kind of book... will be interested in your thoughts. Hope the painting project goes smoothly. Zelda and I are out to hunt for more sand dollars soon :)

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  12. Sanibel! Nice place to be. And a tad warmer than up here I reckon. :) Love the pics. Dip your toes in the surf for me lol. Sand dollars- love those!

    Have fun if you go to KW! And enjoy the sun!

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    1. Greg - My parents and siblings are bracing for the midwest ice storm now.. so glad I'm here!

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  13. I had forgotten about sand dollars. I used to find them a lot when I lived in Ft Myers. Beautiful. I can only listen to audio in the car too when I am alone. I am reading a non fiction of a 71 yr old man who has just ridden his bicycle from New Hampshire to San Francisco. Will post about it when finished. Have a wonderful winter.

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    1. Pam - The book about the bike trip sounds like one my daughter would enjoy. I'll wait for your final thoughts before recommending. This is the first sand dollar I've found in years... hoping it's a good sign for the winter ahead :)

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  14. Oh my...this is the year I need to be somewhere warm and I can't go anywhere. Your days sound lovely! I am reading Amanda Erye Ward's newest book and it's lovely!

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    1. Patty - I'll be heading over to your blog soon to get caught up. Glad your current reads are good, and I hope Den is feeling better.

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  15. I do love a casual stroll along a beach... Soak up that sun for me! Tho, I can't complain about NC winters even if we had 8 inches last week. It's all gone and back to 70 yesterday.

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    1. Care - I'm starting to think NC might ideal for year-round living. Can't deal with the winters up north, but not sure I'd last an entire summer here ;-)

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  16. Definitely a little jealous of that beach ;)
    I read The Unwinding when it first came out and thought it was incredible. Super curious how it will hold up now, a few years later - it seems like SO MUCH has changed - and look forward to seeing what you think.

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    1. Shannon- I've read about a third of The Unwinding now and the individual stories are fascinating. Not sure how he will pull them together to make his point yet though. I was wondering if it would still be current, too. We'll see...

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  17. Glad to hear you're safely in Florida and I must admit I'm a little jealous. To be able to eat outside in January...so awesome!

    I thought the writing in The Mothers was truly the very best part of Bennett's wonderful debut.

    Enjoy the sunshine!

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    1. Susie - The writing is certainly the best part of The Mothers. Bennett is an author to watch!

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  18. Ahhhh, you're enjoying sunny Florida as I prepare to head out to work on this icy morning. Fortunately, we won't open the store until noon (why even bother, I ask!), so hopefully the roads won't be too bad. I'm just thankful we didn't lose power and that the ice isn't too bad with regard to the trees and power lines. My hubby says the roads aren't bad once you get out of the residential areas.

    I found a sand dollar while walking on the beach in Bandon, OR a couple of years ago, but it's been ages since I've seen very many at one time. Most were broken, so I was doing a happy dance when I found one fully intact.

    I put the turkey burger recipe in my Evernote folder and hope to try it when we are in Oregon. I doubt I can convince my husband to eat one, but maybe my mom will give them a try. :) They look delicious!

    Have a fun week! I'll be stalking you on Instagram. :)

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    1. Les - My husband isn't thrilled with the turkey burgers, but I've made some to keep in the freezer as an alternative to beef. The sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and cheese taste SO good together!

      It's probably been ten years or more since I saw a sand dollar, so I'm still pretty excited about it! I'll probably bleach them a second time today... not sure I left them long enough the last time. Will post another picture when they're 'done' :)

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  19. I totally envy you your farmer's market dinners--that is the best way to live! Glad to hear you like the writing in The Mothers--I had sort of taken it off the reading list, but if you like it...

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    1. JaneGS - A farmer's market in January feels like heaven... definitely the freshest seafood ever! I finished The Mothers this afternoon. The writing is the real star, but great characters and story, too. I'm wavering between 4 and 4.5 stars.

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  20. So lovely, JoAnn! I'm so glad that you all made it to Sanibel and are settling in! Isn't The Mothers great? I really enjoyed it. My husband and I can't listen to audiobooks, either; he wants to stop and talk too much - ha! I just wait until I'm commuting to/from work or running. Hope you're having fun! - Tara at itstaraleigh.com

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    1. Tara - I finished The Mothers this afternoon and can't believe that author is in her 20s... such a good book!!

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  21. And so it begins - Jealous of JoAnn season!

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    1. Lisa - Yes, I'm so happy to finally be here!

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  22. Florida! How wonderful, have a great time. Cold, grey and wet here in England!

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    1. Vintage Reading - England sounds much the same as our home in upstate New York... all things considered, I'm very happy to be here in sunny Florda for the winter!

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  23. I am planning to read the NYT book list to explain election, but The Unwinding was a DNF for me. Hopefully I can join in the discussion next month.
    I look forward to seeing what you think of The Mothers as you read further along. The characters are frustrating, yes.

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    1. Toady - I'm enjoying The Unwinding, but am waiting for the author to pull all the stories together to make his point. I'm 40% in now and see no sign of that happening. Finished The Mothers and thought the writing was excellent. Think I liked the story and characters a little more than you did...

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  24. So glad that you finally made it to Sanibel after the bout of illnesses and colds!

    The Mothers is one of the books I want to read this year. Let's see. Love the cover and love the blurb.

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    1. Athira - We're finally settled in now... almost feels like we never left! Hope you get a chance to read The Mothers. I ended up rating it 4.5 stars.

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