Life | Changing Of The Seasons

Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to talk about the changing of the seasons.

At the end of summer, I tend to dwell on the past and the fear of going into a depression spell starting in August like the past several years, I didn’t. I haven’t been pulled into that black hole of sadness, and as much as I have been trying to be proud of this accomplishment, I have been suffering with a different kind of pain, around the the end of August through the middle of October, our weather has a way of going from one extreme to another with small chance of actual autumnal temperatures in between. As of now, September has been trying to cool down gently, but towards the afternoon it could still range in the high 80 degrees (26 degrees Celsius).before coming down into the 60’s once the sun goes down.

The final week of August, I started to have a little bit of pain in my back, and as much as I tried to blame it on my next period, it just gradually got worse as time moved on and before I knew it, I was spending a good chunk of my time lying in bed watching Criminal Minds fast as lightning and really opening up to naps in the afternoons. My way of escaping bouts of annoying back pain is to take a nap. I HATE taking naps–my parents know about my feelings on it, but they also know how stubborn I am about taking medicine to help relive the pain too, so we all have learned to accept our faults as they come!

I have been through this back in spring, and I vaguely remember how much pain I was in but I think this is worse because for once we got to experience a spring so the change of cold to warm weather wasn’t that bad of a shift (at least to me!) but since we are getting out of triple digit temperatures at a fast pace, has been really difficult on my body.

The thing is, it’s not just my physicality being affected by the sudden changes, my energy has been lacking too. This is what makes me mad because I want to do so much that I feel like I’m going to war on my own body. I know when it listen to my body so that’s why I’ve been in bed most days. I just feel guilty afterwards because I’m not able to read or paint any time I want to, so that’s been an issue I am still working on while you read this post. However, there have been some good things about this month that I wanted to share with you.

A few weeks ago, I went outside around five o’clock when our temperatures start to descend a little, so I can go out on the back deck and visit with out cats for a bit. If it wasn’t for the damn mosquitos I’d stay out there longer than 15-20 minutes at a time! Anyways, I was hanging with Nelson, Felix and Stormy, and we were all enjoying each other’s company but my favorite thing of the visit was when Stormy jumped up onto the rails, his little perch, and I went up to him and he lowered his face to me and let me bonk my head to his, twice! Now, for those of you who do not own cats, they do this with their fellow felines and whenever they do it with their humans, it means that they trust you. They consider you as family. I almost cried because I was smack dap in the middle of dealing with my back pain and he must’ve known inside that I needed a little bit of love back.

The next day,, I was able to go outside again and it was glorious! It was my ideal weather, but it was like eight or nine in the morning so that may have helped everything, but as my mom was pushing me out of the doorway, she asked me a question that sort of puzzled me at first. Here’s how this conversation went:

Mom: “When you were out last night, did you see anything in the yard?”

Me: “No, nothing out of the ordinary. Why?

Mom: “Look to your left.”

So, I look over and at first I couldn’t see anything, but then I moved closer to the rails and I finally saw it. We had a late blooming sunflower growing in our backyard! I was really glad that both of my parents were awake because I just shouting “THERE’S A SUNFLOWER!!” And then I tried to rack my brain on how I managed to miss it last night but obviously it wasn’t open enough for me to notice it on my own, but then I remembered the last time we went up north to visit with family and they had a sunflower that hadn’t opened yet but by the time we went home, it had blossomed and my aunt took a picture of it for us.

If it was out that evening, I think I was too interested in the cats to notice anything else and honestly, this can happen, especially if I have more than one cat surrounding me wanting extra amounts of attention, which if Felix is in one of his moods, he’s usually the one trying to cause fights with others which always seem to back fire on him! And if you are wondering where Stormy was located, he was on the front rail and since the sunflower was pretty short, I wouldn’t had been able to see it unless I went to that side.

The other mystery is, where the heck did it come from? I haven’t had sunflowers since last fall, and dad tried to tell me that’s where he threw them out because the cats wouldn’t go around there (another reason why I didn’t notice it!) to be fed so it is the perfect little area to grow. Unfortunately, it never grew to be like gigantically huge like most but it looked so adorable to be blossoming in the driest spot of the whole yard! And of course, I had my mom take a couple of pictures of it because I don’t know if it’ll ever happen again. Although, my mom did get me a vase full a few days beforehand and they were thrown out around that patch so maybe we will get another one as the fall season continues or into fall 2022!

Okay, well I think that’s all I want to talk about at the moment. I hope you enjoyed this post, even if the beginning wasn’t too positive, but that’s life.

Book Review: “The Boleyns Of Hever Castle” by Owen Emmerson & Claire Ridgway

Hello!

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve done anything for my blog.

Honestly, I see this as a good sign because it means that I am starting to enjoy these mini vacations! I have to say though, I did not do a whole lot of reading, ever since I finished the Celtic Blood series at the beginning of the summer, I have had a rough time figuring out what I want to get into next, as you might know I have really allowed myself to enjoy romance again, but they’re not as fun as they were around May, so I decided to dive deep into my historical fiction and even some nonfiction in there too, which is how I found this book on Kindle Unlimited in the middle of August.

I remember seeing this cover on the History of Royal Women’s instagram stories a few months before it actually came out. Moniek tries to give everyone an overview of all of the books coming out in both the US and UK and since it isn’t uncommon for the dates to be different, you may see it more than once. If you do not have instagram, she also does a blog post usually at the start of the month with more information about the books and when they officially come out too! If you’re curious about the books coming out in September, click here.


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Hever Castle is a picture-postcard fortified manor house nestled in the Kent countryside. It is famous for its links with the Boleyns, an East Anglian gentry family who rose and fell dramatically at the court of King Henry VIII.

In The Boleyns of Hever Castle, historians Owen Emmerson and Claire Ridgway invite you into the home of this notorious family.

Travel back in time to those 77 years of Boleyn ownership. Tour each room just as it was when Anne Boleyn retreated from court to escape the advances of Henry VIII or when she fought off the dreaded ‘sweat’. See the 16th century Hever Castle come to life with room reconstructions and read the story of the Boleyns, who, in just five generations, rose from petty crime to a castle, from Hever to the throne of England.

Owen Emmerson and Claire Ridgway have combined their considerable knowledge of the Boleyn family and Hever Castle to create this luxurious book. Packed with history and full-colour images, The Boleyns of Hever Castle will educate and enlighten you

taken from Amazon.

So, the book itself is divided up in three sections. The beginning is how the entire castle looked like when it was first built before the Boleyn family came along. The authors give you a lot of blueprints and reconstructed photos to give you a better idea, and this was something I could follow easily with but reading along through what was important about all of the balconies, rooms, and stairs. At some point of this, I became very confused and was tempted to skip that whole section–I complained so much that even my mom was telling me to do it! Once you finally complete this part, you move on to the origin story of the Boleyns.

This was definitely my favorite part of the book. I like to look up family trees to see where they came from and how various names play a part in the line of decedents. The first person you are introduced to is Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, who begins his quest to learn and work his way up the amount of positions like a mercer to sheriff of London. The men of the Boleyn were very good at their jobs, and this is something that continues through the generations to the point where you have Geoffrey’s great-great-grandson Thomas Boleyn becoming a diplomat for England, France, and Austria and then finally becoming the first Earl of Wiltshire in 1529.

Thomas would inherit a large amount of properties and after he married the Lady Elizabeth Howard, the daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, they would make Hever Castle their official residence. One of my favorite lines in the book was, they family could lived anywhere they wanted to, but they felt safe at Hever. The Countess would give birth to five children, but only Mary, Anne, and George would survive to adulthood. All of them were educated at Hever with their governesses and tutors, but most importantly Mary and Anne were allowed to take other courses that were mainly taught to the men of the household like falconry. Another part of their schooling, especially if they had family that worked within royal houses, they could live as apprentices or in Mary and Anne’s case, become ladies in waiting. They stayed with the Queen Margaret of Austria and Queen Claude of France before coming back to England and being part of Catherine of Aragon’s household.

This is the story of the rise of a remarkable family who, over five generations, rose from petty crime to a castle, from Hever to the throne of England.

My views on whether Anne was a schemer or a pawn has definitely changed over the years. I think the thing we all need to remember is, you never said no Henry. I am sure there was fear among the many families that served under the king, especially if you could not get something done right away, which is why my views on Cardinal Worsley’s responsibility has flipped as well. I do not believe Anne could get out of the king’s clutches or her family’s ambitions to gain even more control of the king. Unfortunately, the Queen could not give Henry a son, and Anne was at the right place at the wrong time and her fate was sealed.

The final section of the book is what happened after Hever was left to the Crown and the rest of the Boleyn family died out in 1634 with the death of Lettice Knollys, who was the daughter of Catherine Carey, who then was the daughter of Lady Mary Boleyn, the only child of Thomas and Elizabeth to not lose her head after the events in 1539. It wasn’t until William Waldorf Astor took control of the property and brought it back to how it could have looked like when the Boleyn family lived there, but with some added royal aesthetic. I thought this part was fairly interesting because it speaks to anyone who is obsessed with royal history, especially the Tudor dynasty! It doesn’t matter what century or year it is, everyone can fall in love with the stories this castle’s walls know by heart. It may be the only living thing to know the truth about Anne Boleyn’s thoughts about everything!

I really enjoyed this book, and think if you or someone you know loves learning about royal history, you should direct them to this lovely book. It is fairly short but it is full of information!

Have you read “The Boleyns at Hever Castle” by Owen Emmerson and Claire Ridgway yet? If you have, what were your thoughts about it? Let me know below!

August Playlist

Hello!

Did you think I forgot the monthly playlist?

There are times where I take advantage of things and since August ends at the start of a brand new week, I rook it as a sign!

August in general was an odd month. We got a new puppy that has been running our house like crazy! I got a new TV, which meant I wasn’t really reading much and spending a good chunk of time between watching my favorite Disney films and Criminal Minds late at night. And then to top it all off, Nolan was diagnosed with COVID a few weeks ago. Thankfully, he is feeling much better but it’s been slightly stressful but full of enjoyment for everyone in my household lately.

Honestly, my music tastes kind of reflect everything that happened this month, so I wasn’t too focused on one genre, but earlier in the month, I decided to do something different and arrange all of my Liked songs to Title and listen to each one and I have been enjoying this a lot, because I’m not stuck in on a loop of the same songs, sometimes I do want to change it up, and I am loving this switch a lot!.

Here are my Top 20 songs for this month. If you want to check out the full list on Spotify , click here.

In Another Life by Crown The Empire featuring Courtney LaPlante
Urinal Rodeo by Rev Theory featuring Heidi Shepherd
Survivor by Pop Evil
Last Dance by Butcher Babies
Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne-Marie x Little Mix
Show Yourself by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood
Bleed It Out by Lauren Babic featuring Halocene
Kill This Love by Social Repose
Run It by DJ Snake featuring Rick Ross & Rich Brian
Hallelujah by Underoath
Stronger by The Phantoms featuring Black Violin
Do Not Disturb by Halestorm

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes by Ilene Woods
Hard To Kill by Beth Crowley
Harley by Letters From The Fire
It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers featuring Louane
Choke by The Warning
Monsters by All Time Low featuring Demi Lovato & blackbear
Risk It All by Ella Henderson
Visiting Hours by Ed Sheeran

I am really excited to get my summer 2021 playlist up for all of you next month. Hopefully the last of bangers will release before the post like last year but you can never quite tell when it comes to music these days!

What were you listening to in August? Have you already picked out your anthem for this summer? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Favorite Reads On My Bookshelf

Hello!

We have a single, skinny bookshelf in my nephew’s playroom. I’ve always wanted to do a tour of it but I haven’t found a way to do it as a blog post and make it so that it’s fun and unique. The majority of the books are mine, while my poor nephew has like three! It’s a little sad but I don’t have any more room in my own bedroom to have proper shelves for them. I have a smaller one next to my bed but I don’t have any more room for anything really. Anyways, for today, I wanted to talk about my favorite books featured on the shelf and at first, as I was coming up with this post, it seemed like an easy conquest, when in reality it was the opposite but still I got it all done for you!

I’ve added a link to the reviews I’ve done in the past on the pictures listed below, so, if you want to check them out, all you have to do is click the photo. Be aware though, they could contain spoilers so please keep that in mind beforehand! It was extremely hard to list all of these books because I really love them all the same, or so I thought…I still hope you enjoy all of the books and maybe you will find your next favorite too..


5. “Origins” Stefan’s Diaries Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith, Julie Plec & Kevin Williamson

I do remember buying this book because from the moment I saw Julie promoting it on Twitter, and I was curious to see a written form of Stefan Salvatore’s origins, If you want a more detail look into the life of both Stefan and Damon on the day Katherine arrives to their home in Mystic Falls, VA, and turn them into murderous vampires, this was make you smile in a very odd way!

If you are like me and desperately miss the entire show (and The Originals too!) then reading the entire collection could be something you should consider someday. I have only read to the second book, but there are five more books afterwards “Bloodlust” and I think Julie wrote a series about Klaus too, correct me if I’m wrong in the comments, but they all seem great stories for the fall?

4. Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I did buy it mainly on how it looked without a dusk jacket. I saw it on all of my favorite BookTube channels, There are not very many books that can match or even look close enough to their majestic jackets, but when I started reading it, and I was thoroughly into the story of these characters. I saw everything as I was reading and I still have Zélie’s dark skin and white hair in my brain. The most interesting part is, I cannot tell you how much this book pops into my head nowadays! This entire summer had me thinking about Zélie and Princess Amari, and what could happen for everybody involved in the next phase, so that means I should make a point to get the second book in the series soon or else it’ll just keep coming up to me at all hours..

3. The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

This is still one of my favorite reads after nine years of reading it.

This book tells you of a story of a young woman who can do anything she wants in the world but she doesn’t see her natural beauty. She has anorexia and is bulimic, and it is a very sad story underneath this interesting person. I’m still kind of bothered on why I wanted to read it in the first place, but I think it is purely to remind me that not everybody is happy with their bodies, and everyone has different struggles with seeing beauty within themselves.

2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I know this one still freaks a lot of people out, but it actually started out innocently enough as I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with the film. I knew there was an able-bodied actor for the role of Will Traynor and thankfully a year or two before, I made a vow to read the book first and if at one time the main character was “normal” and became disabled after having cancer or was involved in an accident, it was easier to tell myself, this can happen (and I know a lot of people who have experienced it firsthand!) and once I finished I could find the right words to tell everyone in both the book and disabled communities my views on it.

What I didn’t expect was being absolutely taken by the story of Louisa or Lou as she likes to be called instead. How she was in this book was so amazing and very educational too. For someone who had no experience taking care of a person with a very serve physical disability, she had a lot of spunk in her. This was one of my favorite qualities in her, she could hit back on Will’s depressing wit. Despite the fact that she wanted to help his family change his mind about committing medical suicide, and you realize that Will holds all of the cards for her. The story isn’t necessarily about him, it is on her, at least that was the way I saw it at the end.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

All of the books listed in this post are truly amazing, but nothing compares to Victoria Aveyard’s “Red Queen” for me. I absolutely adore the story of Mare Barrow, the poor red who had the same abilities as the elite silvers.

It’s interesting, I remember before picking this up at Walmart back in 2016, and thinking it was about a vampire queen. It wasn’t until I read the blurb on the back that I realized I was a bit wrong there and I think I almost put it back on the ledge but something about it intrigued me and I finished with it a week after I bought it! I was thoroughly impressed and a bit surprised by everything mentioned in the book. One of my favorite scenes was when Mare tries to escape out of the castle and as she heads for the window, she has guards coming at her and she makes a run for it and manages to lean back and skid underneath the men and for some odd reason this scene is so vivid in my mind and pretty much sealed the deal on my doubts and expectations.

After five years, I can officially say I am almost done (depending on when this post goes live) with the second book in the series, Glass Sword and the review will publish Friday morning, and I am hoping to start on the third book by the end of the month if everything works out the way I am hoping it would. I would love to complete this series before the end of the year as well, but I’ll be proud of myself on that accomplishment whether that part happens or not though.


Now I have one more thing to say before I let you go!

I do love the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series by Jenny Han, but I do not keep those books on this shelf. They are located in my bedroom; I am hoping to store all of my beloved books, whether they are part of a series or standalones it doesn’t matter, so I can be reminded everyday of my accomplishments. Of course, this also means my dad will have to build me actual shelves on my wall someday because I have quite a few that I’m done with and want store them all together and I’m really running out of space on the floor so we need to go up for this project.. Also, do you have any advice on how I can get rid of the price stickers? They are seriously annoying and would love to have them removed from the beautiful covers. I am open to hear everyone’s suggestions at this point!

What are your top five or ten favorite books on your shelves? What makes them different than the others?

Meet Our New Puppy!

Hello!

This year has been a little bittersweet for my family as in late March, we lost our beloved dog ChiChi, three days before we left to visit some family up north. For those of you who never had a chance to meet ChiChi, she was a feisty little thing! She barked at literally everything, people, dogs, the cats, and even poor Nolan… We were happy that she had turned her tune of him in the last two months before her passing, but if he was outside and she was sunbathing in front of the screen door she would bark and bark at him for trespassing on her property.

Her death was hard on all of us, but it probably affected my dad the most as they were best buds, although I clearly remember him almost keeping her away from him when we first brought her home. I remember coming home from school and hearing my mom tell me about how they went to Walmart and dad was so worried about her getting stuck in the couch and being like that for a couple of hours, so they ended up taking her with them. Apparently she was stuffed inside mom’s purse because at that time she had a big purse and she told me, it was like Bruiser bobbing his head out of Elle’s bag at the end of Legally Blonde, she was so alert and curious of everything, but this was also before she learned how to be a guard dog too!

When my mom goes to work, it was just the three of us. Dad, ChiChi and I hanging out and fighting against sleeping the whole afternoon. ChiChi would sleep a lot. She was as bad as the cats sometimes! However, when she was awake, dad would cuddle and play with her, until he would venture outside and it was just me and the dog. Once he would leave, it was hard to resist making her sing while inside her blankets in the living room. She loved to howl (sing) to the theme songs of Cops, The Golden Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the operatic J.G. Wentworth commercial. After she died, I have heard that commercial five times and my parents do not watch Cops anymore because that was one of her absolute favorites!


Since she’s been gone, we’ve had three chances to get a new dog.

I think the main reason why it took so long was because my dad was very committed to the possibility whereas my mom wasn’t feeling the idea at all. I actually remained pretty neutral about it. I understood why dad wanted another dog but also get my mom’s reasons behind it too. I tried my best to talk them into letting my cat Stormy inside instead but neither one thought it was a good idea since he sheds quite a bit and he has never spent a lot of time indoors either.

It wasn’t until late July that my folks were on the same wavelength and decided to search for another dog. They were mainly searching into German Shepherds since they are mom’s favorite breed. I wanted another pittie and I almost got dad to follow along with me until they stumbled upon a couple of Belgian Milionis puppies. They are one of my dad’s favorite breeds, and I think what got his attention is that the guy who was saling them was a police officer or something like that and the father of the pups was his K-9. The guy was also looking for $800 but got him to go down on the price by half and that’s how we ended up with Rumer.

She was born around Memorial Day weekend so she is around 13 weeks (I think) by the time this post goes out, and she has finished with her final shot, and I’m happy to say as the vet was not ChiChi’s favorite person, Rumor loved him! Technically, dad and I spell her name with a “U” instead of an “E” so don’t be surprised if you see some mistakes on here and my social medias!

One of the things that the breeder told my parents was she likes to bite feet… And for the record, she does in fact enjoy this hobby, but the only time she bites me is whenever I try to play with her. For the most part, she would rather lick my feet instead and we are very grateful for it. She is actually incredibly adorable and is already showing off how she will protect you or me in this case. If you want to get close to me, you have to get through her first. She doesn’t quite know the deal about my wheelchair, much less how I go to the bathroom. If dad is helping me, she barks at us. I think she thinks I’m hurting him because she is ALWAYS around dad, but when mom takes me, she barks at her.

She has figured out how to jump into my bed, but not the couch, and I’m sure dad is hoping that day comes soon because she continues to eat like our cats, which is all the time. Speaking of the cats, her welcoming present from Bootsie was a big wack on the head when she went over to sniff at her. Two days later Grumpy got ahold of her as they walking outside for a bathroom break. Rumor is very curious of our cats though, and thanks to our back deck, they are able to see each other and watch the other’s movements. According to my mom, Felix did let her smell him the other day without any attacks so there is hope that maybe some will become friends with her one day.

Lastly, we kept ChiChi’s bed (although she mostly used it as a toy box than a bed!) and since she’s still small, she fits perfectly in it. Unfortunately, she’s ripped a hole in it and now she only has her blanket to lay on but I think she’s better with it, everytime she gets a toy or dental bone she’ll put everything on the blanket. My parents purchased a medium size cage for her and that’s where her food bowl is located but she hates being in it obviously. The other day Nolan came over and we had to put her in it and she actually did better than she had earlier this month.

When you have lost a family pet, how long did you wait until you brought home another animal? Are you familiar with the breed: Belgian Milionis? Do you have any advice on training or anything else for my family? Please share down in the comments.