Visits, Homemade Desert and finished a book

I got lucky this year and received the day before Thanksgiving off from work. And even more lucky my boyfriend received a four day weekend before hand, so he came out to visit me. We spent some good days off baking, cooking, cuddling, watching movies and reading. Mostly just enjoying what would be our life should we ever live in the same city. Then we drove to his place. He likes to call them our summer and winter homes. He then got ready to work a couple of overnights for Black Friday and then an official opening on Black Friday. While he slept - tried to sleep, I went to my parents house.

I took my 15 year old niece driving. I think it was only her second time, though if you hear her talk, she has been "practicing"driving for years. I drove her to the courthouse parking lot and gave her the wheel. I talked her through where everything was in the car and then asked her to tell me what Bampy (my father) had told her. She then moved the mirrors and got settled. We basically spent thirty minutes or so driving loops through the lot and then parking. She was hilarious. She got nervous and said sorry, to which I shrugged because I am the girl who apologizes for saying sorry. She hit a curb and then rolled over the curb almost immediately thereafter, which ended our driving practice. I think she was getting tired and distracted. It was fun and I will never forget it. I hope to be able to assist her in the next year with more practice, but finding a good deserted place is a bit hard.

Saint and I spent time lying to each of my parents while we bought them both an ipad. They each wanted to give the other one and didn't know how or when to do so. We bought both and then I had to finagle them in the house without either knowing they each had purchased one for the other. My mom's birthday is next week and since my father will be out of town we gave it to her yesterday when we were all present. Then my mom wanted to give my dad his so they could learn together. I thought it was fun, neither had any clue. Which is really unique for me, as I cannot keep a secret. They were both highly pleased. We joked about rewrapping the ipad boxes for years to come.

Saint was a trooper and after four hours of sleep after being up and working for 30 hours, he still wanted to attend Thanksgiving at my Uncle's. My uncle's partner is a chef and oh boy, he makes fantastic food. It is all simple and healthy. I love that. I swear one day I will take a week off and go live with them while he teaches me to cook. He made turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney, Parmesan potatoes, green beans and salad. I never like green beans, but I am forcing vegetables down my throat to find out how and why I like/don't like them. Knowing I detest green beans I served myself some anyway. OMG they were so delicious!! Weird. I still cannot get over how good they were. He only braised them and then added spice, so they were hardly cooked at all. Maybe that is key?. He then pulled out pumpkin cheesecake, coconut cream pie and then offered up chocolate volcanoes. I chose the chocolate because I knew Saint would get the others. I then could have a bite of his and enjoy my own.

We then had to head out so Saint could go back to sleep and prep for work in less than five hours and I had to start the drive home. Coming home to my cats, Izabel and Tuesday make the drive home not so bad.

I finally finished listening to Daughters of Darkness by VC Andrews on my Nook. It was so interesting. I will post the review later this week.

I will be working later today which in retail is code for cleaning up the Black Friday mess. lol

Have a great one!!

Black Friday is right

I have worked in retail for over 13 years and I still cannot stand the madness that goes into this one day of the year. I get that -
it is the busiest shopping day of the year
estimated to bring in over $65 billion
offers great deals
makes shopping easier bc it is on one weekend
creates competition among stores which lowers prices
wages of time and a half
more job possibilities (really? ok fine)
It also makes workers work on days that they should be with their families. My boyfriend works at a major retailer and not only worked on Thanksgiving, but worked TWICE. On a holiday. TWICE

Have we really come to point in our commercialized society that we cannot allow people to spend ONE DAY with their families? Have we become so involved in the bottom line that we cannot push the open doors back to normal or semi-normal hours? Do we really need 24 hour stores? Do we really require a midnight opening to get the TV of our dreams?

When we drove by Best Buy around noon on Thanksgiving there were already a couple dozen people waiting outside. SERIOUSLY?

Is getting the better deal more important than being with family?

I wish that we could close the retail doors for 24 hours a couple of times a year for all families. I understand this seems unrealistic because we need hospitals, gas stations, grocery stores, but do we really need video rentals, books, clothes, electronics open 24 hours a day? Can we not live without for one day?

Did you see the article about the group of workers who imposed a law about not working on Thanksgiving? That is the kind of attitude I am looking for here. We can still offer the doors to open at 6am and have blockbuster sales, but can it not wait for ONE DAY?!

Maybe I am just a little bitter as my boyfriend worked from 10pm to 7am and then went home to sleep for a few hours before braving it at my family's house and then going back home to sleep so he could go back to work at 9pm. On a holiday!

Review - You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Title: You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publish Date: Dec 2, 2010
Hardcover, 413 pages

Barnes and Noble

I picked up this book expecting fireworks. Rage. Anger. Emotion. Fighting. Blood. Sacrifice. But it was calm. It was quiet. It was inner turmoil. It was loss and confusion. And then there was the possibility of hope, finding truth and will it really prevail?

It begs the question, Does Truth Really Win?

And does winning really mean good things will happen?

You Against Me focusing on the emotional and familial ties when tragedy strikes families. It doesn't just affect the family that was attacked. It pains the family who attacked as well. I was so enthralled with the power Jenny Downham gave the family of the accused rapist. I loved her character, the sister of the rapist, Ellie. She was scared and wanted to do the right thing, but WHAT is the right thing? I wanted to put this book down and run it is such a tough subject, but it pulled me in and I found myself rooting for these people. I wanted to the truth to come out and then I wasn't sure because with truth comes consequences and in this book, no one gets out without pain.

I am very interested in checking out Jenny Downham's other book, Before I Die. I love emotional books that make me think and this one, You Against Me had me struggling with all feelings.

Summary -
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.

Wordless Wednesday - Funny sign

Saw this in a bookstore and seriously, it is SO TRUE!! I can't tell you how many random, completely inappropriate telephone conversations people have no problem projecting throughout a bookstore. I do not think people care or realize how loud they can be without knowing it. Especially someone with a bluetooth in their ear. I have heard about drugs, babies, insurance, credit card numbers, you name it.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday - Tune In & Teaser

Another fantabulous song by Journey - Faithfully

A plan was beginning to form in the silence. It was a crazy plan, and Mikey tried to push it away, but it kept building. He thought of home, told himself he should have a kick-about in the courtyard with Holly to make up for not taking her to school, told himself to get some shopping done in case Mum forgot. But the plan wouldn't go away. His family would have to manage - he couldn't look after them all the time. "You busy tonight?"

You Against Me
Jenny Downham

My WANT List

I am waiting with little patience for the following books. Not only are the covers beautiful and very striking, but the summaries make me want to read them right now.

Title: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publish Date: Dec 27, 2011

Summary -
Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunt
er with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publish Date: Jan 3, 2012

Summary -
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Title: The Butterfly Clues
Author: Kate Ellison
Publish Date: Feb 14, 2012

Summary -
Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death

IMM - In My Mailbox

You Against Me by Jenny Downham
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Think Like A Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

**Don't forget to enter my current GIVEAWAYS - Thirst #1 and #2
** A Love by Any Measure

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