So let's see, I will:
- Get the grass perfect, and will call in the lawn pluggers. (Imagine a bunch of mafia guys shooting up the lawn, that's what I see when I hear "Lawn pluggers")
- Purge the house of irrelevant rubbish and junk. Again. Got to be harsh, so more holding onto the blankie, it all goes.
- Mop, scrub, and polish flooring.
- De-dust the whole house. This will take a staged assault with my new vacuum cleaner. One room per day for a total of two weeks. That will be each room done once, the bedrooms and living room get done twice. Now that the heating is on, the dust has tripled.
- Fall means big meals made and frozen away for quick defrost. This is expensive in the beginning and my grocery bill has been hysterically large the past two weeks. But I hope a lasagna here, a pot roast there, drumsticks tucked in the back will give me peace on those days I can't be bothered because I want to hibernate. Stew is my ever faithful go to meal for he next three-five months.
- Diet. Atkins isn't working out for me. Three weeks and I've had enough. I'm going back to the body builder's diet. Besides, Atkins is partly responsible for the enormous grocery bill.
- I will get the photographs in the photograph box put into albums. This will take three years to complete. Estimated.
- Exercise five days a week. Three gym days, two days just fast walk two miles. Takes me half an hour and my health is worth it. I could say only on days it doesn't rain, but I live in Scotland and that would be a cop-out.
- Declutter, purge, break hearts.
- Get ready for NaNoWriMo (As JMC kindly reminded me this weekend is next month) and actually do it this year. No chest infections allowed this November.
- Do math drills with Sassyface for her math advantage and my own - I'm math deficient in every way. (Yes, I've mentioned it many times but just in case your forgot I did fail algebra 1 four times and only passed it my first year in college. How did I graduate? Ask the teachers that let me)
- Pre-school alphabet training with Shorty and getting her writing. She is very excited about this and will be a good time.
- Blog three times a week. I cannot sit at the terminal and read blogs all day anymore.
- Continue the not nailbiting. doing good at this. My nail beds are even beginning to regrow. Once all are an even length, I'll get a proper manicure.
- Stick to a laundry routine. Once the clothes are done and folded; Put Them Away! It's a very bad habit to have the family pick their outfits from neatly folded piles in the living room.
- Make love more often.
- Write at least one page per day. Do not belittle myself for not doing more.
- Play with the kids more.
- (space left for future emergency)
But first, I'll do a Quick SBD because I did finally sit down and read a book this weekend. I got to read The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne. That I was gifted by JMC. Everyone else has already read this, and I know I'm late on jumping on this bandwagon. So what.
I liked the book. I give it a B-. I like the way JB writes in a very intelligent and flowing way. I never got stumped on sentences or had to re-read. I didn't find one typo. That goes a long way with me because something like a typo pulls me right out of the story. This story has a lot of action as you'd expect from a French wartime spy novel. Running away from fellow spies, knife attacks, pistol fire, lust in the dirt. The first quarter certainly has a lot of build up to some promising excitement later on. I kept turning pages all day. Yearning for the book when I had to be away doing other things.
The Heroine, Annique, has been criticized for being stupid by other reviewers. I didn't get that. No until the last 20 or so pages, then I was thoroughly annoyed with her. "Non, I will not tell you my secrets er...ah because I have none to share. Nope. And you cannot tempt me any more with your nightly passionate embraces that my no longer virginal girl bits crave. In fact, I think I'll and go tell my secrets to someone who wants to kill me instead of love me. That makes the best solution for everyone." By that point I was really hoping she was going to get tortured, just a little bit. The other thing I found is that she's supposed to be one of the best French spies alive and she is written as extremely clever and resourceful, but get her with Robert, our dashing hero who is second in command at the British Service, and she's a bowl of gelatin. She bashes him over the head a couple times but sincerely she doesn't seem to be able to be a spy with him once she comes to like his strong manly arms around her. Robert really has all the power in this relationship and I think the relationship could have been sparkier if there had been a few more spy vs spy tete-a-tetes there. They fell in love far too easy. In fact, if I was Annique, I'd have gotten a crush on Hawker (another spy in the British spy gang) as he had the charm and charisma in spades. Robert was the man with the job...and a hard on. I don't know if Annique went for Robert purely due to Stockholm syndrome. One thing about Robert, he doesn't hide his feelings for her. I've rarely seen a hero who's so gushing with his affections - especially one who's a spy. Especially squared when he starts the story determined to torture her for something she did in Bruges that everyone else keeps saying she didn't do, but he knows better and he's going to make her pay.
The rest was stage set and acceptable but not exciting. The villain is a mould cut bad-guy who enjoys extreme violence and rape and killing children so we have to hate him for that and fear him in a way that sets the protagonists on a scary run. One can almost imagine him red with rage and spitting drool (and drooling spit) as he is thwarted time and again.
As it goes I enjoyed the book and don't feel my time was wasted. I wish the relationship aspect of the protagonists had had a bit more challenge to prove to me their affections are sincere but the writing was so excellent and the story well plotted, I can forgive. I'll be looking for the sequel My Lord And Spymaster after payday.