Sunday Lowdown #89


This past week my husband turned 38 and my father turned 59. Because their birthdays are close, we had a video dinner on Friday night. It was nice to see the nieces and nephew, sister-in-law and brother, mom and dad. On Nick’s birthday, I made some chocolate chip pumpkin oatmeal cookies.

That craft beer in the back, Batsquatch, cracks me up.

While work was wild and hard, I found humor during my break when I came upon this design for cool parents with babies:

Found here.

I also watched this gentleman who has no clue how an ice storm works. The part that had me cackling on break was how he loses both shoes immediately.

Friday evening I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street, a Halloween classic, and Saturday evening we watched Hubie Halloween on Netflix. Although I can’t stand when Adam Sandler does dumb voices, the movie had a fun script and made good use of his typical cast members (Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, etc.).

On Saturday afternoon, Nick and I walked to the library despite some stormy looking clouds, which we interpreted as “fall weather.” I dropped off a book and picked up Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago on Anne’s (of I’ve Read This) recommendation. It was a cute Día de los Muertos picture book, and I’m glad I looked at it. I sat in the grass in front of the library and read it so I could put it back in the book drop for a kid to check out before Halloween.

On the walk home, we found an empty wallet, and as we looked around, we discovered some cards spread about on the grass. Weirdly, the wallet contained a piece of paper with the owner’s name, phone number, email address, and a PIN to something. There were a couple of gift cards, including Starbucks, and not much else. I called the owner and learned that while she was at work, a man went behind the counter, rifled through her backpack, and stole her wallet. She was able to cancel her credit cards, but it seems her took all the good stuff and threw the rest out the window — which is where Nick and I found it. We wanted to give her something — how much more can 2020 suck for this person?? — when Nick and I both realized we have Starbucks gift cards from before the pandemic. We’re not sure of the balance, but given that we’re not Starbucks people, I’m hoping this young lady gets at least $20 in free coffee. She’s going to text me when she’s headed over, and I’ll put the card I wrote and her wallet on the door step. #2020GoodKarma


Two very different books this week! Dra– by Stacey Levine is humorous, dabbles in psychology, and is definitely satire about entering the work force. Though it was published originally in 1997, it will still resonate with today’s works in the U.S.

Next, I reviewed Exile’s Valor by Mercedes Lackey. The more I think about these books, the more I’m wondering if they would be considered New Adult reading. The characters are concerned with what comes after their school days as they enter into adulthood. I always thought New Adult was concerned with college students or people 18-22, but I’m starting to reconsider.


Two books that are great October reads! Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost is a novella that I listened to. A vampire in New Orleans searches for serial killer ghouls who used to be plantation slave owners. If the vampire doesn’t destroy them, the queen of the undead will unleash to torment of of countless deceased slaves upon him.

Although Chocolat by Joanne Harris was magical and lighthearted, The Girl With No Shadow is full of darkness, hiding, and witchcraft that will take readers from a quiet Paris neighborhood to the streets of Mexico on Día de los Muertos, where the dead walk.


I’m enjoying my current audiobook, Swamp Bones by Kathy Reichs, so I added another novella by her and the first novel in the series. I’ll likely only keep up with the audiobooks available at my library (it doesn’t seem you have to read them in order).

I added Governor Cuomo’s book after seeing him on CBS This Morning, and both Nikki Giovanni’s and María Hinojosa’s books because there are two free events coming up at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This for her video recommendation of Palahniuk’s book.

Lastly, I added the rest of S.M. Reine’s Mr. Poe books because they look spooky and cute, and every book I’ve read of Reine’s has been four or five stars. She self-publishes and writes what fans want/need, so I always try to support her with money, even if the e-book is $.99.


  1. ‘After the ice storm’ reminds me why I never want to drive in America. I’ll stick to floods and bushfires thankyou. Happy birthday Nick. Gotta enjoy a good craft beer. I’m drinking Matso’s ginger beer (3.5%) from Broome Brewery at the moment, but mostly I go for IPAs.
    I read Kathy Reich’s Bones books when they come up at the library, they’re ok. Now I’d better go and see if I commented on Dra. I’m falling behind again.


    • Heh, yeah, I’ve fallen down a driveway myself after an ice storm, but at least I had the decency to wear shoes that were not sandals!

      I looked up the Broome Brewery. I’m thinking if I were ever there, I’d had to try the Vanilla Berry Hi-Ball. In the U.S., brew pubs don’t make a ton of fruity beers and beverages. Right now, folks are in love with making the most bitter IPA they possibly can, much to Nick’s chagrin.

      I’m wondering if I like Swamp Bones especially because it’s a novella. The regular books are around 500 pages, and I’m not sure I’d want a simple murder plot to be draw out for so long. Fortunately, she has a few novellas in her credits.

      It’s so good to hear from you, and I hope you have a great week!


    • Thank you! It just sucks that not only did he go through her backpack while she was working and stole her wallet, but then clearly just threw the rest of the wallet with stuff he didn’t want out the window like it’s trash. Not cool!


  2. My mum reads a lot of modern crime novels and she really likes the Kathy Reichs books. I didn’t enjoy the one I read very much, but then I looked it up and it turns out to be not one of the most popular ones. I might give them another go because I did like the first few series of Bones a lot and I know that was inspired by her books.


    • Check out the novellas first. They might have better pacing. What I’m listening to right now clips along at a good pace, and I don’t feel like the story is bogged down by extra stuff. Reichs’s background as a forensic anthropologist herself really shows.


  3. Thank you for all the shout-outs! And those pumpkin cookies you made look yummy.

    So it’s funny b/c my husband just showed me the trailer for Hubie Halloween and now we want to watch it. I loved Adam Sandler movies when I was younger, I watched Billy Madison hundreds of times, but lately his stuff didn’t interest me. This Halloween movie looks fairly entertaining though, so I’m glad you liked it.

    Speaking of Halloween(ish) movies, I forced my husband to watch Clue with me last night, the old one with Tim Curry and he loved it! It’s my all-time fav movie, I so recommend it.


    • Oh, Clue is amazing. I’ve seen it so many times. I refuse to watch any version that only has one ending; I want to see all three! I hate when Sandler does voices, and many of his newer movies are Awful. However, this one made reference to many of his successful films, and the humor was toned down so that he wasn’t humiliating minorities.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All the good vibes to you for your kindness to the lady whose wallet was stolen! I’m glad you are able to make a sucky situation a little less terrible for someone. And happy birthday to Nick! My husband got pumpkin pie for his October birthday (it usually falls around the same time as Canadian Thanksgiving). Do you have a recipe for those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? They look delicious!


  5. Happy (belated) birthday to Nick! And those cookies look GREAT!
    I’m glad you were able to help the woman whose wallet was stolen. 2020 has certainly been hard enough without having to deal with thieves besides; I’m sure she appreciated being contacted about it so she could take care of her credit cards promptly, Starbucks bonus aside (which was a nice touch, good thinking!). I hope that good karma will be coming back your way, too!


Insert 2 Cents Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s