Thinking of an Arizona Christmas!

This has been a difficult autumn. Daughter's labour negotiations made a September trip impossible.
I accepted a  full-time job from September to November.  My husband has been suffering from continual sinus infections and headaches and the construction continues. Next week, we are leaving for a driving trip to Arizona.

At this moment, drilling, hammering and loud thumping sounds are audible.
If you have ever lived in a strata complex that has undergone complete structural rehabilitation, I'm sure that you would agree that it qualifies as a potential setting for Sartre's play "Huis Clos" (No Exit). There literally is no access to the balcony or storage room. There are workers outside all day every day and they never finish any task. Although as owners we are paying $40,000+ for the work,
we receive little information. Our dog can not use the balcony for play or for relief. The situation does not end with our unit, the gardens are strewn with bits of coffee detritus and we've had a porta-potty in the parking lot for almost a year.

We'll soon be sitting here.

I've enjoyed working in the same school since September and they are keen to call me to cover meetings. The children are so friendly and I feel welcomed by the staff. I'm covering two classes this afternoon (both primary) so Friday afternoon is likely to be active.

Savoury Roquefort cheesecake
Monday was a double book club day. We read Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson for the morning meeting. The book is a nonfiction account of the author's year spent driving a school bus for special
needs students. It was a CBC Canada Reads selection a few years ago. The author became a more mature and caring person through his daily contact with these young people.

The evening group is a social book club. We had a seasonal potluck at one of the members' home. I baked my first cheesecake. It's from the autumn Victoria magazine. Roquefort and cream cheese are blended with eggs and herbs de Provence over a wheat thins and pecan crust. It is topped with sliced pears and baked. An apricot glaze is painted on the cooled cake.

We read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. While I was reading the novel, I realized that I had read it before. I have a penchant for books with "Paris" in the title. Our group did not enjoy the book but I pointed out that it had been written with an element of fantasy. I enjoyed the journey through France and the idea of bibliotherapy. I do believe that there is a book to remedy every ill.

I've bought a couple of suspense thrillers to read and abandon on the road but no road trip is complete
without a stop at every independent book store enroute. Happy December!


  1. I love visiting bookstores wherever I go, too. I am also attracted to books with Paris in the
    Hope your construction is soon done-what a mess that must be. Have a wonderful weekend. xo Diana

    1. Beach Books is our first stop in Seaside, Oregon. I love to buy a book at each stop. Maybe the construction will be completed on our side of the building when we get home. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Oh, the unending construction. This seems to be dragging on for so long. I can imagine how wearying it would be. I enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop - like you, if a book is set in Paris, or has Paris in the title, I'll read it. I'm glad you are enjoying your school. A pleasant work environment makes such a difference. Enjoy the drive to warmer climes.

    1. School life can be fun! I love the role of visiting teacher. Did you read all the Cara Black mysteries? She does a fine job of her different Paris settings. It's been almost a year of scaffolding. Enjoy your holiday preparations. Will you be seeing your newest little one?

    2. That interminable construction sounds horrid -- we were more than a year with a huge project right across the lane, every single trade represented in multiples, most of them determined to drive us mad with noise and dust. But at least we could still use our balconies and open our windows (even if the construction dulled our enthusiasm for either). That recipe sounds wonderful -- I love a good mix of sucré-salé, and I'm a sucker for blue cheese and fruit. Like you and Lorrie, I quite liked The Little Paris Bookshop which turned out to be less clichéd than I'd anticipated thanks to that very element of fantasy. I'm wishing you a pleasant (and fairly uneventful -- because Safe!) roadtrip and a restful soaking up of the healing sunshine and dry desert air.


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