11 months down, 1 to go! 177 books down, 23 to go to meet my third reading goal of 200 books for the year! I have to tell you that I’m shocked at how fast this year has gone. This past month our days were filled either being with/helping family or beginning to prepare for the holidays. (We also got hit with our first snowstorm!)
As many of you are already aware, Hurricane Sandy came rip-roaring through NY, NJ, and CT earlier in November. The amount of damage and destruction left behind was absolutely shocking. Mother nature’s power is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’ve got family in NY and NJ so it was interesting to see and hear the stories of how the same storm hit all of us yet did different things to our states. Being where we are in CT, Todd and I were fortunate to have minimal damage. Downed power lines and trees scattered our town, but that was the extent of our damage. Closer to the shoreline there was a ton of flooding, fires, weeks without power, etc. My parents in NJ lost their power for several hours but were lucky to get it back so quickly. My sister and brother-in-law live in Manhattan and had no power for 5 days. They and their menagerie of animals wound up going to my parent’s house to stay so that they could have access to heat and water. My aunt on Staten Island unfortunately fared the worst. Her home was evacuated at the beginning of the storm, and upon her return found water in her basement up to the ceiling. The several feet of water took a few days to drain and that’s when we got to work. We began tearing her basement apart, bringing up all the furniture, appliances, and other odds and ends that were down there as it all needed to be trashed. We then proceeded to gut the entire basement literally down to the studs. Framing, molding, heating baseboards, dry wall, etc. It all came down. At this point construction workers were able to come back in and begin working, beginning with putting up the drywall for all the new walls. My aunt has a new ceiling, new framing for closets, and has picked out new appliances and cabinets. Cable, internet, and power have all been restored as well. Thankfully things are looking up for her personally, but the island is still an absolute mess. I urge all of you to participate in any clothing, supply, or food drives taking place near you for Sandy victims. There are still homes with no power, people with no food, and construction going on everywhere. The cars that were flooded and totaled by the insurance companies are still being towed away. It’s truly a very sad sight and any and all help is truly appreciated.
Not all of November was a downer, though. Todd and I spent Thanksgiving with both of our families where lots of good food was consumed. My mother-in-law makes this fantastic jello dish that comes from a recipe from her grandmother. It has celery and apples in it and a great sauce on the side (it truly is fabulous!) My grandmother makes my other favorite Thanksgiving dish, rice and sausage stuffing. She throws in craisins and it is just a heavenly dish! There is almost never any left (of either dish) once Thanksgiving dinner is over. I think in 2013 I’ll have to fight for these dishes to get made more often, and not just at Thanksgiving.
To recap my reading in November, I completed another 10 books. My favorite of the ten was a historical fiction novel called In A Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener. That novel has quickly restarted my love of reading about the Tudor period of British history all over again. I’ve found myself gearing up to read a good amount of historical fiction novels in December.
Looking forward, December will be a lot of catching up for me. I’m working on getting all the reviews I have to finish by year-end up, along with what challenges I’ll be participating in for 2013! Todd’s working on his review of Targets of Deception and has some author interviews in store! Adam’s working on a review of the film Lincoln and a review of the historical fiction novel Tragedy and Triumph (he’s excited about December since both of his review items relate to the Civil War!) Sam’s in the process of reading an illustrated sci-fi/fantasy novel Elfhunter, and Charlie has film reviews of The Hobbit and Lincoln coming as well.
It looks like we’re going to have a busy and productive month! Until next time, happy reading!