Category Archives: Meanderings

Morning Meandering… The Afterwards and Open Doors

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Good morning!

Jiminy Crickets life is cra-zy.  And yes, pretty sure that is the first time I have ever used Jiminy Crickets in a sentence.

Yesterday was my last day on the job I had for 10 years and 5 months. It was a bitter-sweet last day with a staff lunch and everyone went around and said a favorite memory they have with me… that was fun and it was perfect just to keep the lunch light enough so I was not a swarm of tears the whole time.  :)  As you can probably imagine… more than a few of the favorite memories had to do with office pranks, and chasing birds; but there were also ones having to do with the way I had a smile for everyone, and no matter what was going on in my life I didn’t let it get me down, willing to give anything a go no matter how crazy it seemed, integrity, and having a heart for the hurting….being able to see things in people that sometimes others can not see.  That is my take away… fond memories and it was awesome to hear what they see in me.

It is weird to be on the other side of that now.  It’s crazy to think come Monday morning I will not be heading across town into work, but instead working on setting up a routine and discipline of heading down stairs into my home office.  It is a wildly exciting and at the same time a little frightening too.

I am doing this…. after years of talking about it…. I am doing it.

EEP!

And here is the cool things about all that.  I have had offers come in to write for magazines.  I am working with a newspaper in the cities as well.  Just this morning I received an amazing email from a fellow reviewer and author who is working on two pretty cool things that she invited me to partake in that could lead to bigger things. And if I can have my book ready to submit again by August 12th  I can take part in a pool of books that are being selected for publication and marketing.  Holy smokes!!!!  I have to get moving! Things that I normally would have to politely decline but now instead can consider and even say yes to.  A couple of my friends have come forward this week and offered me flexible positions in their businesses if I need any supplemental income during this transition because they too want me to be able to write and follow my passion.

Anyhoo…

here I am.

This morning I am working on setting up the office and a few things around the house.  I am planning to take off for the cabin this afternoon – hopefully.

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?

 

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… CHANGES. Stay Awake For It

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Life is strange.

Stay awake for it.  ;)

I am sitting here this morning pajama clad and coffee ready.  It is the start of what looks to be another beautiful day.  I feel much like I am on the brink of something new and exciting but at the same time I am all knotted up inside.

Tomorrow will be my last day at a job that I have had for over ten years.  It is something I have given a lot of thought too… prayed over for the last couple of months… and finally took the step I needed to.  Current life happenings helped me make the final decision… (life has a funny way of doing that).

While sentimental Sheila is sad to move on from something she really enjoyed, realistic and adventurous Sheila knows it is the right thing to do.  It is possible to be sad and excited all rolled into one.  Future plans include setting up my home office, putting my writing back on track, and being able to say yes to a few offers that have come in that I had to say no to in the past.

Life also…

is never dull.

Last weekend my friend Amy and I were on the Tour Of Saints bike ride which we do every year.  I will talk more about the ride on Saturday morning but for now, I want to talk about the coffee. :) mmmmm coffee.

I picked up coffee the morning of the ride at Carribou Coffee and saw they had a promotion going on for people who took pictures of whatever they were doing with their coffee and hast tagged it #stayawakeforit.  Always game for new things I figured why not.  I would think leaving in the early hours on a Sunday morning for a what was going to be a sweltering hot day would be worthy…

Sheila DeChantal, Amy Price

#stayawakeforit

 

Life… is not always easy.  But is can be adventurous, and fun, and as I mentioned above…. never – NEVER dull.  Stay awake for it.  ;)

 

What are your “stay Awake For It” moments happening right now?

Morning Meanderings… SQQQQUUEEEE Package In The Mail!

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Mmmmmmmm coffee.

It was a long stormy night here.  By the time I went to bed the wind was picking up and a lot of thunder and lightning. With temps in the 90′s and the high humidity as well it had been said that we could get winds up to 70 miles per hour in this storm which yes… is a bit concerning.  I sat up in bed and watched out the window for a while worried about my trees, deck furniture, the wild rabbits….

alas, sleep won over.

This morning, things look good.

There are a few branches around but all is well.  I walked out and checked my crazy apple tree too; the one I have propped up with stakes to help its heavy branches and it is fine.

*whew*

 

In other news…. don’t you love receiving packages in the mail?  I love it!  Books thrill me…. every time.  It never gets old!  And the occasional package shipped from a friend or a fellow book lover is another level of exciting!  These are a little more personal because they are planning something just for the receiver.

I had signed up for The Book Monsters Christmas In July for just this reason.  I was given my swap partner which was Tula at Primary School Library Diva, we exchanged a wish list and a little bit about ourselves.  SO FUN! 

My package arrived yesterday…

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Fun right?  YAY!!!  The Rowell book is one from my wish list!  SUPER exciting stuff!  A fun magazine, Skittles, and a cute little card.  Thank you Tula!  LOVE it!!!  I hope you love yours too :)

 

Finally this morning, I hope you seen my post I put up yesterday afternoon about the Page Girls Birthday Week and Giveaway.  It is pretty sweet and a fun site to check out.  (And to be clear the pic is of my blowing a party horn…. lol… there has been some confusion about what is in my mouth or in front of my face. )  :D

Have a super Tuesday!

Morning Meanderings… Going To Woodstock!

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Good morning!  I am up early this Sunday all ready to head out the door, pick up my friend Amy and hit the road for our annual 50 mile bike ride in St. Joseph Minnesota.  We have completed this ride for probably 4 years now (maybe 5)… and it always seems like it is a HOT HUMID day.  Today… is no exception.  Looks like it will be in the 80′s and humid.  Packed double water today.

It is always a good time… even if we do complain about the hills and the humidity.  ;)

 

Here are the books that I welcomed into my home this week:

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After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid ( this was on the Summer Reading hot list)

 

Barefoot In Babylon by Bob Spitz (this is all about Woodstock and I am crazy excited about it!  I can only find a link to the old one, but this book is a new revised copy!)

 

The Bone House by Brian Freeman (Brian was our author at the library last week and he told me this was the book of his to start with.)

 

That’s it.  I need to go… want to pick up coffee and a banana.

Have a super Sunday!

Morning Meandering/Saturday Snapshot: People Slut

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Happy Saturday!  Ok ok… my title of this post might have been a ploy to get you click over thinking “Oh my word Sheila… what is going on?”

Or…

Maybe not.  Read on to find out. ;)

This weekend is the BIG Moondance Jam in our area and many of the Brainerdites and people all over Minnesota have gathered in Walker Minnesota to listen to a weekend of awesome bands, eat super bad for you but delicious food, and drink lots of beer and camp on site.  There are a couple of bands I would not have minded hearing:  Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, STYX, The Wallflowers….  but honestly I can only take the big crazy crowds for so long and I would want to just go, listen to some bands and leave (not camp) and it is a long drive… so anyway….

AND

Another group of friends are having their Class Reunion this weekend….

basically, Brainerd is pretty empty. :)

I tell you all of this… leading into my Saturday Snapshot this weekend, it is all about where I am thrilled to be this weekend… at home, hanging out on my deck which is my favorite place to be when the sun is out and the breeze is gentle.  So this morning, I took a little walk through my yard taking a few pictures of some of the things that make me smile:

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

This swing sits in the back yard. I don’t sit in it very often anymore but I like the look of it and at one time it was a great reading nook.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Hostas along side of the garage…. I love hostas! They do not take a lot of work, grow huge… and make me look like an impressive gardener (I am not)

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

My crazy apple tree.. the one that never has an off-year and breaks its branches because the apples are too heavy. You may remember the pics of this one last year after it broke in half.

 

Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal

This is where the tree broke last year and a friend of mine told me you could actually graft the tree branch and tape it back together… crazy idea but what did I have to lose?

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

It worked! This picture was taken this morning from the broken branches! Of course… it looks like it is going to be heavy with apples again so I am worried all over….

 

 

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This is a walnut tree. I am pretty proud of the walnut trees in the yard. There are 5. I don’t know why… no one else around has them… but they have always been on this property.

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Walnuts!

 

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Plum tree! I planted this one after the tornado in 2001.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Plums! I only have the one tree so do not harvest large quantities for jelly, etc… I usually leave them for the birds.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

I like to put out goodies for the critters…. this one is peanuts for the squirrels.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

We have several crab apple trees in the yard and these do rotate years. This year this appears to be the only one that is going to crazy produce. I think this fall I will make jelly.

 

For more Saturday snapshots… check it out here!

 

Ok…. you have been patient, listening to me babble, looking politely at my pictures and smiling and nodding… I can now tell you about people slut.  I seen to be going through a sentimental season.  I am trying to connect with family and friends and spend time with them.  In other words – I am working on SLOWING DOWN.  Yup.. I said it.  I love being with people – all people (thus the people slut title, which I believe a friend once called me (affectionately – not mean) because I can talk to and enjoy talking to … anyone.

 

Anyhoo… maybe that did not hold up as well as I thought it would when I thought of it this morning. :)  Oh well… still nice to hang out with you.

Today… I am reading California by Edan Lepucki.  I am listening to I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer.  I am trying to line up a lunch date with my cousin.  I may go to a movie later with Al.  And tomorrow morning, I am going on an annual 50 mile bike ride is St Joseph Minnesota with my friend Amy.

What are you doing with your weekend?

Morning Meanderings… Over Due Winners

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Good morning...

Ok honestly… I did start this in the morning.  And then I went in search of coffee… which now that I think about is probably why I could not stay focused on this post.

I have a little catching up to do.  I have some recent giveaways that need winners and I am late at taking care of this.  I have had a bumpy few weeks here in my life and still trying to get used to my new normal… more on that another time.

 

Ok… let’s do this.  Recently there has been some GUSHING here about Heather Gudenkauf’s new book, Little Mercies.  I wrote a post about great summer reading and went on about this title.  I also offered up a fun summer giveaway for a Little Mercies Bundle (*SQUUUEEEEE!*) The bundle includes: Little Mercies, The Weight Of Silence, and These Things Hidden.

 

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Sweet package right?  The winner for this package is:

Roseanne Erickson

 

Woot!  Give it up for Roseanne!!!

 

AND going farther back, I had an audio book giveaway too for June.  This one took a bit more work because it was the gathering of a MONTHS worth of audio book comments.  I old schooled this one and did what a blogger one told she did for giveaways (take each of the comment names and put them on a sheet for all the comments they had, cut them apart and then draw out of a bowl.  Thank you JK from JK’s Book Blog for that one ;)

 

This winner receives a $25 gift card emailed to them at one of the following stores:

 

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and that winner is….

Anita from Anita Loves Books!!!

 

I will email Anita now and once she chooses her gift card is on its way to her :D

 

Today, which is slowly eeking away from me…. is my 27th Anniversary.  EEP.  My husband had to say it was our 27th… I had to do the math.  Don’t tell him but I did not realize it had been that long.  ;)  He is working today trying to stay on top of all the demands of his job as an excavator so tonight we thought we may just go out some place for a little bit.  There is a new restaurant called The Woods that I would not mind giving a try.  :D

Morning Meanderings… MONSTER Rabbit

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Happy Sunday!  The sun is out and I get the good feeling it is going to be a beautiful day!  Not a lot of the agenda today – I may try to take a bike ride this afternoon, after all we have the 50 mile ride next Sunday and I have hardly rode at all this year!  EEP!

 

This year we have a few rabbits in the yard and I love that.  In the evening from the back deck I can sit and watch two little ones play out on the edges of the property between the house and Al’s shop.  I never seem to have my camera ready when I can catch them up close.

Yesterday morning I was on the phone chatting away with a friend on the deck when a LARGE rabbit lumbered (lumbered? yeah… that’s right) through the yard.  I told my friend he must be about a 20 pounder… like a small dog!  (Ok, I may have told her 40 pounder but you know… look at the size and double it… like fishing.  ;) )

Last night I finally caught a picture of him but he was far out and I did not get a great shot, but I will keep trying.

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

In bookish news, a few treasures came in this week:

 

Book Journey, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell Inamorata, The Drop, Dennis Lehane, Nadia Hashimi, Megan Chance

The Drop by Dennis LeHane (ooh I like LeHane’s writing!)

Inamorata by Megan Chance (BEAUTIFUL cover!)

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi (there is some buzz going around about this one!)

 

Great reading ahead!  Currently… I just finished Hurricane Sisters (LOVED!!!!!!) and should finish today You Should Have Known; also really good.  More about that tonight, when I post It’s Monday, What Are You Reading.

Morning Meanderings… Book Sale and Mediander

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Good morning!  Friday!  WOW!  Its hard t think that a week ago was the 4th and here we are rushing through July!

Yesterday I helped with the first ever Children’s Book Sale at the Brainerd Public Library.  Our regular sale is becoming so big and the children’s books take up a whole back wall and up the wall and under the tables.  The books are so many that we can not display them properly – instead they are crammed into full boxes and people have to dig.

I spent yesterday morning assisting in setting up the sale, we have a couple of hour break in the afternoon and then back at 3:30 to prep to open the sale at 4:00.

It went well:

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It pretty much looked like this and fuller from 4 – 7 pm.  Today we will do it again from 9-3.  It is not as crazy busy and exciting as the LARGE sale, but we are receiving lots of positive compliments on doing it this way.  Parents love that they can look through the books without being trampled and we sell them for 25 cents each so how can you pass that up?

 

In another discussion entirely, have you heard of Mediander?  It is a super cool website that you type words or topics in to and it will connect you to all sorts of info and media.  It’s pretty slick.  They had a big presence at the recent Book Expo in New York and I was on a panel with the Senior Editor.  We chatted and I was offered to write a review (hopefully more) for them.

I wrote a review on The Three by Sarah Lotz…. so goooooood!  Please check out my review on their site.

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Got to run… must get ready for the children’s sale, have a grad party later this afternoon and a fun work event after that :D

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… The BOOK Exchange!

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Good morning!

It is the morning of our Bookies Coronation.   SQUUUEEEEE!!!  I bought the dress on Saturday, I wrote my speech last night, giggling and texting my friend like a school girl about “How’s it going are you done?  Are you ready?”  with her texting back just as excited “just finishing up, now picking out my dress”

It will be great :)

Last month at book club, we had our Annual Book Exchange.  This practice started three years ago.  Each Bookie is supposed to wrap up in plain brown paper ( we are trying to avoid people picking the *pretty packaging*) a book that they have read in the past year that was a great read.  Obviously, not a Bookies Book Club pick.

Then…

We all randomly choose a book out of the pile and that will be the book we will each read and discuss in July (tonight) while we enjoy good food and conversation.  It is a fun tradition:

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collage for BJ

I had missed Bookies last month as I was at camp but I still participated.  I sent a book into the mix – the center picture above, Delicious by Ruth Reichl (LOVED that one!) and then the group picked a book out for me.  So what did I have picked to read this past month?

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I had Lethal by Sandra Brown.  This was a good one for me as I have tried Sandra Brown before and could not get through it.  She seems like an author I would enjoy, so this was a fun attempts again.  I finished it last night…. I will review the book later but for now I would describe it as very similar to the book Labor Day…. but a heck of a lot steamier.  ;)

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Looking Forward to a BOOKISH Week

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Good morning Happy Sunday of the 4th of July Weekend!  Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Central Minnesota… light breeze, lots of warm sun and I spent most of the day inside working on the year-end book for book club this week, and house stuff thinking that today I would go out and mow and catch the outdoor stuff.  Alas, since 3:00 am it has been thunder storming making it probably an indoor day.  *sigh* I should have reversed the projects.  ;)

 

In bookish news, here is what came in the house this week:

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Alex the Ant Goes to the Beach by Eric Wayne Dickey

Invisible by James Patterson and Dave Ellis (audiobook)

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith (audiobook)

Shunning Sarah by Julie Kramer (picked up at the Brown Bag author event)

Defector by Susanne Winnacker

The Meta Rise by J.V. Kade

The End Of Absence by Michael Harris

Delivering Death by Julie Kramer (picked up at the Brown Bag author event)

CALIFORNIA by Eden Lepucki

Lots of goodies!

 

 

This week I have a crazy book week.

Monday – Friends Meeting in the morning, Brown Bag Author at noon

Tuesday – Bookies Book Club annual Queen event

Thursday – set up and start of Children’s Book Sale

Friday – 2nd day of Children’s Book Sale

Around that I work, will be helping out with the bees, and possibly going to the cabin this next weekend.

Ahhh Summer.

 

What do you have going on this week?  Any bookish events? 

 

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