It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (February 28, 2022)

Morning, friends! I can’t believe it’s the last day of February. This month has flown. Thanks for hanging in with me while I caught up on some book reviews and other posts that I’d had sitting in drafts for too long. Also – busted! I really did need to catch up on content, but in addition to that, I was on vacation. Steve and I spent a blissful, adventure-packed week and a half in Costa Rica (the kids had school, so they stayed home and my mom flew down from New York to watch them, and my dad joined her later). Many stories to come, but not for awhile because I have to get through all of my Colorado posts first. We saw a ton of incredible wildlife (humpback whales playing right around our boat; toucans and scarlet macaws; resplendent quetzals in the cloud forest; dozens of hummingbirds; three different kinds of monkeys; crocodiles; and three-toed sloths were just a few of the many) – went scuba diving with sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays – hiked in rainforests and around an active volcano – ate delicious Costa Rican food – and said “pura vida!” to everyone. I’m sorting through my pictures now and can’t wait to share.

Anyway, we returned from our grand (and warm!) adventure to sloppy rain in the middle of last week. My parents hung around until Saturday morning and then had to shove off back to their regular lives in New York, and we were back to the usual weekend rodeo. I took Nugget skiing on Saturday; the snow was wet and heavy and the sun was warm – I think we have one more ski day left this season, maybe. The good news is we have the only indoor ski center on the East Coast about twenty minutes for us, so he can take lessons all summer. Sunday was also the usual – rushing from swim lessons to indoor soccer (just one more week of doing that mad dash before soccer wraps up too). I spent the afternoon playing outside with Nugget and also squeezed in a run. It’s good to be home, but I wouldn’t mind a Costa Rican sunrise right about now.

Reading. Only five books to show you, despite taking two Mondays off these weekly reading posts – I never read much on vacation, and this time was no exception. I was too busy taking in the scenery in Costa Rica, hanging out with Steve, and getting to know our new dive buddies – and crashing as soon as the sun went down, catching up on sleep. I regret nothing. Anyway – just before leaving for the trip I finally finished The Man in the Brown Suit on audio; it was okay, but not up to Agatha Christie’s usual flawless standards. Over the course of the trip, I read through Diplomatic Passport: More Undiplomatic Diaries, by Charles Ritchie (wanted something that was about travel, since I was traveling internationally for the first time in years!) and then started Cluny Brown on the flight home, both on my kindle. I finished Cluny up over the weekend and turned back to the physical books I’d left behind for my trip – got up-to-date on A Poem for Every Winter Day (which I’ll finish today) and then returned to The Dud Avocado. I’ve got to remind myself what happened in the first third of that book, since it’s been a few weeks since I picked it up!

Watching. The highlight of watching the last few weeks has been wildlife watching – of course! I can’t wait to tell you all about it. So! Many! Animals!

Listening. Not much listening. I left my earbuds home and didn’t take them on my trip. Shortly before I left for Costa Rica, I did finish up The Man in the Brown Suit, as noted above, and turned to 4:50 From Paddington (another Agatha Christie, this one a Miss Marple and read by the incomparable Joan Hickson, so I have high expectations) on Audible.

Making. Lots and lots and lots of pictures, although I have to sort through them, delete the blurry ones, and edit the keepers – and then those are destined for a Shutterfly book and possibly some canvas or metal prints for around the house; all in good time. And I started a new scarf for Nugget, which I’ll probably finish on the first eighty-degree day, but you know how it goes.

Moving. Well, no formal exercise other than that run on Sunday (which was both wonderful – I needed it! – and terrible, as I shook off the cobwebs from not running for two weeks) but our Costa Rica trip was an active vacation for sure. Two days of scuba diving, followed by multiple hikes (some quite strenuous), swimming in waterfalls, and wildlife walks. Good stuff all! And no regrets on not running, even though my speed went out the window.

Blogging. Monthly reading recap coming for you on Wednesday, and then off to Colorado (makes total sense after all this Costa Rica talk, right? ::winks::) for more travel recaps on Friday.

Loving. This helpful roundup from NPR with a list of reputable charities to support and information about the work they are doing to help the people of Ukraine right now. Feels weird to drop that in this “loving” section, since I – like many – am absolutely horrified by Russia’s invasion of a sovereign country. But I’ve really appreciated NPR and other news outlets for the detailed information they have provided about charities to support, where I can be confident that my donation is going directly to the mission and not being diverted to other campaigns or administrative costs. I chose to donate to UNICEF and added the transaction cost onto my donation, so that my contribution will go 100% to support for Ukrainian children.

Asking. What are you reading this week?

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