Monday, August 28, 2023

Audiobook Review - The Hills Have Spies

 I recently finished listening to The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey, narrated by Nick Podehl. And honestly, I LOVED it. 5/5 for sure. 

I've always been a fan of Mercedes Lackey (you'll probably see her come up a lot more here), so I assumed I would like this book and I was not disappointed. Nick Podehl did a great job narrating different voices for the characters, and the storyline follows a teen boy and his father on an adventure.

Honestly, this book is pretty family friendly. On Amazon it looks like one of the categories is Romantic Fantasy, but I just don't see it, at least for this installment of the series. Because it is a young teen there is no real romance, though plenty of fantasy elements including talking to animals. Wouldn't be a bad choice for a long car ride or similar, I think the most they hint at is a couple being glad the kids are gone. I'd say it's probably good for young teens or older, only because there are some dark themes with the main conflict of the book. But again, I don't think there was much graphic in the way of violence either, some scars are described and possibly one injury, but not for long or in much detail.

Off to buy the next books in the series!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Starting again, and again, and again, and again

 Every time I start knitting a baby blanket I have about a million attempts, reminded each time that I can’t count. 

To make things worse I’ve actually knit this whole blanket but wasn’t happy with how it came out so I’m redoing it. But I think I knit these same 2 rows at least four times yesterday. And at 280+ stitches a pop that’s not nothing!

Offending rows

Now first of all many of you may notice the orange “markers” I have to count my stitches. It’s every 20 stitches (aka 10 double knit stitches) and apparently I can’t count to 20. 

The extra astute among you may realize that the pattern is simply alternating from one color to the other. One purl, and one knit, then switch. Two stitches. 

How many times did it take me to get this right? At least three attempts. And of course if I screw up it’s always at the very beginning of the row so I can knit all of the first row and 90% of the second row before I noticed.

Basically what I’ve learned is I can’t count to two. TWO!! Like come on now, somehow I’m a functional human and I can’t even do the most basic task a toddler can?

Don’t mind me while I mutter in a corner to myself trying to keep my grip on sanity while I debate if I pull back those two rows stitch by stitch or rip it all out and cast on 280+ stitches again. And likely again and again and again. 

Housebreaking regression part 2

 So we've been having a REAL problem with the housetraining. I think it’s tied to boarding, boarding has gotten her out of the habit maybe. Either way I’ve been trying to give treats outside and it hasn’t been working. 

Basically there is this one little carpet/area rug. She always goes on it. About once a day at this point. Random times too, often overnight or the morning, sometimes before her evening walk. We never see her doing it so I suspect it might be close to her walk time but we don’t know for sure. 

I’ve been diligently cleaning this one carpet with enzyme spray. Hasn’t worked. I put a towel underneath it to try to protect the floors. Eventually I picked up the carpet and left the towel. Dog pee. Thought maybe the towel smelled like pee from previous times peeing on the carpet so I put a clean towel down. Dog pee. 

I’m about ready to pull my hair out over this. She’s still getting treats for peeing outside, she pees every walk. She still pees inside. Always in this one spot. 

My last hope is I got a spray from Amazon that’s supposed to prevent marking and paid for same day delivery. I’m hoping I can put a clean towel down, spray the heck out of it morning and evening, and break the habit she seems to have gotten herself in or peeing there. Otherwise I’ll have to resort to using the crate a bunch. 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Audiobook review - The Patient's Secret

 Just finished listening to The Patient's Secret by Loreth Anne White. Overall I would say it was a fairly enjoyable listen, with a few minor issues. I probably wouldn't listen to it again, though it's rare that I would with mysteries/thrillers, but I'd give it a 4/5.

I'm not someone who is particularly judgmental of narrators in audiobooks, so I usually don't have much to say here. I think Brittany Pressley did a good job, there were no audio issues and her voice is pleasant to listen to. I wouldn't say it added too much drama to the narrative but I don't think it detracted either.

As far as some of my issues with it, without trying to spoil anything, I'd say they're issues I frequently have with thriller type books. First of all, you're expected to believe that literally almost every character has a motive to do the crime, and there were a few characters that felt like somewhat gratuitous additions to that list. I find it hard to believe that even in small towns THAT many people would have issues with the same person at the same time. One more minor issue about some of the characters too - but that would be a spoiler that I don't want to reveal.

Secondly, while there thankfully aren't unreliable narrators that are too drunk or whatever to narrate, you can tell throughout the story that information is being withheld to try to make it suspenseful. I always find this a bit frustrating and also find that it can slow down the narrative more than necessary. I definitely felt that it was slow at the beginning before hitting a reasonable pace, but I wasn't particularly engaged with that "must listen" feeling until very close to the end.

All in all it was an engaging enough audiobook to keep me entertained, but definitely not engaging enough that I couldn't multitask. I think this would be a fine listen for even more complicated crafts.

Puppy dreams and what it means for me

So Mikes mom got a puppy. And Mike sent me pictures, but joked it was ours to the point I couldn't tell if he was joking. All this is to...