Lil Lemon Drop

Lil Lemon Drop
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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This post contains affiliate links.

I checked out A Court of Thorns and Roses based on a recommendations from someone in one of my After series groups when I was in the throes of heartbreak from that book series ending.
Note: This will contain spoilers.
Note 2: I know I made another site for book reviews, but...I don't know. I woke up Sunday feeling foolish over the Whole New Blog because a) there's Goodreads and b) noone cares.

So I put it on the back burner for now and am just going to post what I want here. 

Anyway, this book. Starts out fairly typical. Spunky, hardworking girl, Feyre has to go into the wilds to care for her family. Ends up killing a fairy and gets abducted by some beastly fairy creature and and taken back to his homeland. He has a big manor house. Powerful and wealthy. We fall in love. Girls, you are going to fall in love. He is tender and nervous, strong, and just the right amount of captivating, powerful brute. When he gives you an order you will tingle down to your toes even as your righteous feministic self recoils. He's great. But things happen (by the way, this is quite Beauty and the Beasty). It all goes to Hell. The underlying trouble that has been brewing breaks free. 
And then the story twists a bit. Everyone is captured by the bad lady who wants Tamlin (beastly guy) as her own. Feyre goes to the dark place to save him. She has to face horrible troubles. Help comes from others. It looks bad. 

Here's what the killer was. While Tamlin sat at the bad lady's side in court, unmoving, he witnesses Feyre going through all this crap and just sits there. It was explained that it was the only way to survival, but as the story is based on his strength and protection, he just comes across as pretty...weak. He starts to fade in my eyes. In a way, I felt this love had to fade some. First, they were already IN love but there are several more books. That new love feeling is THE BEST (I mean, I am not sure I have ever felt it, but in my imagination it's the best),  how could they possible sustain that. And two, as I was falling, falling, I knew this strong woman couldn't just end with happily every after and rainbows, sunsets, chubby babies, and doilies. Because we all know, as dazzingly romantic as the fairy tale ending in, eventually, sleepless nights with kids, farting in front of each other and him peeing on the damned toilet seat and throwing cigarette butts on your lawn ends the glow (oops too personal-I know I do some gross and annoying things, too. Just not going to talk about it). It isn't sustainable. So...even I dreaded the shift, I knew it was coming. At first, I was concerned it was just me, but gradually I realized the writer is just THAT skilled and subtle. I love it.

So there is this other guy Rhysand. And I think I really like him. But I am afraid this won't be a romance. This will become about her being more than that. I am working on the second book. See next post.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Sometimes "thier" is correct

 I am an imperfect soul. I am so imperfect I could spend hours cringing over what meager memories I have stored of my failings. 

One thing which has made my life much more difficult is a desire for honesty and bluntness in my view on the world. Women aren't supposed to be blunt. Women are expected to sweeten and sugarcoat and heal. Slowly, slowly I have been learning this lesson-at least to the extent I can stand.

Last week, someone was proofreading sentences with some students. One of the words that needed fixed was changing the form of "there" to the form which referred to people. They wondered aloud whether they were correct, but then nodded decisively and said, "Yes, it's t-h-i-e-r." 

And I looked up and wondered---what should I do?  Could I bear an inaccuracy to stand? I thought of the sped teachers who I had been working with as a substitute para when they  taught math (incorrectly). One I let it go, the other I corrected. The one who was corrected was not impressed with me. I thought of the para in my classroom leading the kids through a similar exercise and his mortification when I corrected him (and he is SO MUCH more knowledgeable than I will ever be).  It isn't like I don't make mistakes and misspellings even though I technically know better. And I thought of the kids and quickly decided. 

I let t-h-i-e-r stand. I could weave it into a lesson later. 

And today, the relief I felt at sparing someone a moment of embarrassment, despite how much I hate to let an inaccuracy stand, came full circle, and I thanked God for that brief, humane choice I made.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


 It's funny how the spirit soars, the animal body stands erect, and good moods prevail...only to slowly deflate as the weeks wear on. Last week, I was on top of the world, I loved everyone, and felt confident in all that I did. This week, though, I have felt myself falling slowly. Just a downward float back into the land of insecurity.

I chose A Mighty Queen under the impression that I would be writing articles of success and inspiration. That is what the people want. People want a sure-footed leader with straight answers. To be such a person requires such self-denial however. Self-denial which smothers the soul over time. Plus, I used to always sing, "Gonna be a Mighty Queen," because I have no desire to be a king. I like girlyness.

I knew I was falling when I found myself chuckling angrily when someone snubbed me as I said Hello. Now, I know there are a hundred reasons why someone wouldn't return a greeting, but my ego was hurt, and I jumped into self-protection. Ten years ago I would have been disappointed in myself for my lack of control and letting the situation get to me and being mean. Five years ago, I would have been disappointed but understanding and forgiving of myself. Now I am understanding, but I also hold myself to a higher standard. I should have just let my embarrassment in the minute wash away and move on past. 

There are times I look about me and I see how mean people can be. How self-righteous and angry and gossiping and hurtful. I find myself standing there wondering why I ever thought they were cool or admirable or hoped to be friends with them. They are no better than me. They might play the game better, but inside their hearts are just as tainted as everyone else's. It's so disappointing when the facade of idealism wears away and you see people for the selfish, broken souls they are. I guess we all are. 

I feel so fragile today. Every word and expression, every phrase and action is sifted through searching for the needle. And sometimes the sharp needle can always be found. 

And the work piles up around me and I don't want to do it. I want to escape, but I have no escape. I am slowly untwisting my heart strings from my novel having fallen "deeply" in love with a fictional character and fictional life, and am waiting quietly for the surging emotions bubbling over to calm and slowly drain away. I did this to myself, and damn, if it wasn't fun, but returning to homeostasis is a must, I suppose.

And at least another week of falling awaits me, and I think that someday, in a few years time, perhaps this rise and fall won't rule my life anymore, and somehow that saddens me. Who will I be then without the ebb and flow of powerful hormones coursing through my body. Not to mention how rapidly my face will fall. I think about it. I have reached the age that it doesn't matter anymore. The imagined weight loss and tummy tuck and breast enlargement and nose reduction, all the lovely things I was going to do to be just a wee bit cuter are really irrelevant at this point. Nobody cares. And I stand here, shaking in my raw soul, aware of my meager accomplishments, aware of my transparent weaknesses, embarrassed by my failings, and just..wait.. For the clock to turn around again, for the sunlight to burst through once more. It will come. And I will tell you joyful stories of strength and peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Help! I have fallen


And I don't want to get up!

Listen. I get it. I am old. I am a granny for goodness sake. I am also keenly aware of being completely ridiculous!

I am embarrassed, but also an emotional exhibitionist, so I am compelled to share this absolutely perfect link (well, that's how I feel-my husband would argue I don't show my feelings-I feel transparent, however).

Any kindred spirits here?

Whose your book lover?


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Rambling Thoughts on Life in the Moment

 I woke up too early, but we went to bed relatively early-ten or so. The house is a mess. This is on me. I was a baby yesterday and overindulged and lay about like an emotional weakling. Well, those words are too strong, but I did overindulge in food and wine and awoke at 3 a.m. with the sense that I needed to get my act together.

Yesterday was stressful. I feel like I made things more difficult for others, and that brought guilt and just an overall feeling of being a screw-up. Then I had 3 punch glasses of sweet wine and way too much chocolate and ended up with a terrible stomachache. But when I awoke-I realized a few things. 1) The work issue was really just too much stress adding together. My heart and mind were in the right place. What does bother me about it is my need for emotional reassurance that it was all okay. Maybe I need to just hush a bit and rest in the ambiguity of uncertainty sometimes. I keep thinking of those little cliches and sayings from Little House on the Prairie, "Least said, soonest mended," being the one that comes to mind, but I found myself repeatedly seeking reassurance. But then, as I think about it, I think-maybe that is okay. Maybe it's okay to talk about things that are worrying me, and other people can suck it up a little. What's wrong with just talking about things to figure out where I stand on them? Maybe I need that feedback to get to the heart and figure out what I think about it. 

2) I also woke up with the clarity that I need to curtail my wine drinking. I love the wine, and I am A-OK with a glass in the evening. But the past week or so, it sometimes crept up to to 2 or 3 glasses and that's not okay. It's not physically healthy, and it's not good for my head. I think part of it is due to reading about the heavy drinking in the book series I have become obsessed with.

If you need an escape and to read about others drama (because let's face it, real life can be dull), these books are great.

Note: This is an Amazon Affiliate Link.

Essentially, the story has four books with a 5th book, which is sort of a compilation of thoughts by the guy in the book. Reading it, calms my jets (did I seriously just write that) regarding his horrific behavior in the first book, but I suspect, I'll never be satisfied completely. You know, the ache-where reality just cannot quite touch fantasy-though you can see glimpses through the fog, and the slightest scent of crackling fires and smoke drifts over to taunt you with the false promise of perfection waiting. And the crickets sing their slowing songs-where did the Cicadas go- as autumn spins back to us again. I should probably close the back door.

I love that the book dealt with the issues. The couple struggled through his substance abuse, cracking apart for ages. The time lost was heartbreakingly slow and a strong sense of sadness fell upon me as I finished the fourth book. But it was good. 

I read an argument that it still wasn't realistic. And maybe it wasn't. Maybe most people aren't able to overcome their serious problems and face down their demons and arise out of the ashes. But man, that NF in me has to believe in something. When I was a child I had a recurring dream where the devil's son, would keep following me, talking to me, and I, while terrified, would continue to talk to him, persuading him towards kindness. I wanted to make him want to be a better man. Am I just seeped in victim mentality? The truth is, we put up with things, far more than we thought we could or should, because-where is the line? How understanding should we be when someone crosses the line? If we stomp our foot enough, they'll retreat back over the line and then what? Do we dispose of them and move on, alone, or do we forgive, losing a bit ourselves and our dignity and our trust along the way. I don't know which is right. Nothing is ever clear, cut, and dried.

Here is the page I read that suggests Hardin Scott, our male love interest from the book, cannot and will not change: MBTI fanatic. Definite spoilers. I think what really caught my attention is the writer's assertion that we as readers, Trauma bond to Hardin along with Tessa. That thought has captivated me, as it's a delicious romance, but also terrible. I just want him to love her so badly, I continued reading after learning of his betrayals. When I first started reading I was appalled at the writing and the present tense and just the overall simpleness. But somehow, the genius starts to emerge. This may never be Pulitzer winning material, but writing that grabs, entertains, and won't let go, is something. It speaks to something in us. Some yearning for new first kisses and completion in the eyes of another, and escape from a dreary every day. 

So, this is where I am now. Still hanging onto the fringes of a fictional romance, reasserting the need to make better choices of consumption, and wishing I had a friend to talk to about the things I need to talk out to understand. My coworkers don't want to hear that stuff. And I find myself excited. It's virtual day for all, which I have to say, I love! I wish we could implement this every single Wednesday. There is always so much work to do, and just relaxing at home while working is such a bright spot. I think we might have to go in for a real-life meeting this afternoon, and that's not ideal, but still, this should always happen at the secondary level;). 
Why can't we do this? Come on, powerful people! Make it happen!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and the After Series

 This post contains affiliate links.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill 

was recently loaned to me by a coworker. I read it quickly, as I found Nina somewhat akin to my soul. From books to a bookshop, to a perfect sounding apartment, Harry Potter references, and trivia-Nina is just living the introvert life. She really gets out quite a lot despite calling herself an introvert-she just doesn't go for empty, mindless pleasure. Nina is likable and relatable and this book is nothing if not a modern day fairy tale for bibliophiles. My only issue with Nina is how she didn't just clear off a page in her book for Prince Charming (whose profession is DELIGHTFUL), because she stuck to her plans too stringently. I couldn't do that-I'd toss the planner out the window for romance, but overall, it was a lovable fun book.


I have been craving romance lately, and after watching After, the movie, on Netflix, I found myself hooked. I went ahead and purchased the book and read through it quickly. I am not going to go into great detail of the harrowing, morally questionable journey I am going through right now 

but I am going to say, I like it and I don't care who cares.

After We Collided

I am currently reading the second book in the series, After We Collided. And you know what? I am loving it. I know the drama is ridiculous-the characters are so immature-and the misunderstandings abound. But alas, wouldn't life be dull if we couldn't dive into the fictional, dysfunctional, passionate relationships of interesting and beautiful characters?

Now, I have the house to myself for several hours, and I am alternating cleaning with reading (trading off,  straightening one room and reading a chapter). Perfect. I really just wish someone would drop off some laundry detergent and a can of pumpkin so I could make pumpkin bread on this overcast day (and do laundry). 

This day is fabulous!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

5 Secrets You Might Not Know About Me

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I spend so much time discussing books, self-help, and my internal musings, I thought it might be fun to share a few totally irrelevant facts about myself! Enjoy! Note: I do think I may have mentioned these before, but hopefully it was on a different blog.

1. My right ear lobe is torn. When I was seven, I was sliding down one of those metallic farm pools which had been placed upside down against a fence to dry. A boy had climbed up with me and grabbed my earring accidentally as we went down. My parents took me to the doctor, who felt I was too young to stay still during the minor surgery. Eventually when I was older, it just wasn't a family priority anymore. I use superglue when I want to wear earrings. When I was in high school I tried clip earrings, but they would grow slowly tighter throughout the day leaving me with bleeding and infected lobes. Once I borrowed my mom's tiny diamond studs. The superglue wore off and the stud was lost. She never asked about it, so I never said anything. 

2. In preschool and elementary I was in trouble nearly every day for talking. I was very extraverted. I was always the last to finish a meal because I was so busy talking. I lived with my nose against a brick wall for the first part of any given recess. Unfortunately I was also very honest and blunt and learned it was better not to say anything. Much less trouble that way. I always wonder if I might have fared better with my bluntness had I been male. The expectations of supportive warmth are not the same for males.

3. I have had a completely sober out-of-body experience. It is so hard to put in words, and I totally understand all the more scientific reasons for such an experience-but...I'm telling you I was flying around the room with my body on the bed.

4. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. It was planned and I was just 7.5 weeks along. I was so very sad. I was too shy to go to the hospital and the sac/embryo slipped out. As I attempted to wash it off in the sink to get a closer look, I dropped it down the drain. It was traumatic. This is one reason why strong punitive laws against women who have abortions scare the Hell out of me. How could I have proven that was a miscarriage? I have always called the baby Mallory. 

5. I believe my mom woke me up the night she her heart stopped and fatal damage was caused in the hospital. Many of my readers have already heard the story, but it was quite an experience. I won't rehash it here, but here the link: Why Downton Abbey?