I've been MIA on my book review blog, Monarch Book Reviews, for a number of months and I apologize to my faithful followers.
As is currently happening in Pawcatuck, toward the end of the summer our home in NJ was broken into. The thieves took too many things to list, but most importantly, they robbed me of my sense of safety and comfort in my home. I spent many sleepless nights worrying over the "what ifs". Luckily I was in Stonington when it happened, but since the burglary occurred during the daytime, what if I had been home when they broke in? What if they came back? It took almost two months to deal with just the missing checkbooks, credit cards and other personal items, as well as the insurance company, not to mention the many many upgrades to our home alarm system.
We added motion lights outside and it took a while to get them to work properly, spending more than a few nights with so many lights on all night long, you could probably see us glowing on the moon!
Not long after returning to New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey with a vengeance. Unlike so many people, we were fine; just without power for ten days. As collections of donated items for the hardest hit at the Jersey shore began, I met a neighbor on my street who was accepting donated clothing. As chance would have it, her home had been broken into just that week as well as another on our same street. You can imagine how all the worry and what-ifs returned.
But through it all, I spent my time with books; lots of books! Books by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Sue Grafton, Camilla Lackberg, David Baldacci, Kathleen Grissom, John Grisham, Dana Haynes, Cara Black, Michael Connelly and many others. I made quick work of everything written by Robert Crais (love Elvis Cole!) and Ake Edwardson. Most were enjoyable, some were wonderful and some just okay. But I'm sorry I wasn't able to focus on my blog and send my regular book reviews out into the Ethernet for others to enjoy.
2012 wasn't all doom and gloom. There were many bright spots. Our older son and his wife celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary! Our younger son moved to NYC and is in a wonderful new relationship. He also adopted a rescue dog named Ralph. Ralph is a nine year old mini Schnauzer and he's an absolute delight! He's a silly looking little dog and he's always messy and unkempt and constantly makes you smile! Last, but certainly not least, my husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary on January 10th.
There are even more new "men" in my life. My husband finally realized a lifelong dream and is now the proud owner of two Clydesdales. Mike and Sherman (they came with their names) reside in Stonington and are truly gentle giants, weighing in at about 1,800 pounds each, but acting like eager puppies! George now spends his vacation time mucking out stalls, riding Mike or Sherman and teaching them to work as as team pulling a cart. The "men" are pictured here with our good friend Pete Job. George rode a Clydesdale many years ago when he was a member of the Junior Essex Troup in West Orange, New Jersey.
I'm finally back doing book reviews and hope you enjoy reading the posts!