Weekly Wrap-Up #120 – May 28th, 2023

Posted May 27, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Weekly Wrap Up / 24 Comments

Well this should be posted as I’m enjoying my annual trip to Branson on Memorial Day weekend!

My Sunday started out with the guy who helps do lawn things for me coming over and spraying the poison ivy in my backyard. Then we had a make up Mother’s Day dinner at my mom’s house since everyone seemed to be sick last weekend!

Monday was another day I was by myself half the day. Trying to get things figured out still for all the laptops we checked. Had almost 200 students we didn’t see because they were absent the day their English classes came to check their laptops. Monday night went to watch my niece who is just about to graduate from 5th grade’s choir concert.

Tuesday, alone all day. Sat down and figured up how many days I’d not had a clerk just this school year. It’s a crazy amount, 47 days she’s been gone throughout the year, including the half days and partial days. At the end of the day we had a summer school meeting. I am going to be the library clerk for high school summer school. I’ll just get paid a per hour like a library clerk would instead of teacher pay, but that’s still easier money for me to have for my trip this summer.

My clerk was back for half a day on Wednesday. It wasn’t quite as busy today until after she left. And with my TA not here there will be a ton of textbooks to get put away tomorrow. We got some much needed rain Wednesday, including a little bit of small hail that had the dogs a little freaked out when they heard it hitting on the windows.

Thursday my clerk was there all day. It wasn’t a crazy busy day, but I did find out I had to decide which textbooks needed to be rebound, something in all my old schools the teachers did, so that was a fun thing to figure out. All day all I could think about though was how I was so ready for my trip to Branson!

Friday I dropped the dogs off on the way to work at my friend who is Argyle’s breeder, and she is watching them for me while I’m in Branson. We had a quick half a day. Quick staff meeting and a catered luncheon for teachers before we were allowed to leave once we had completed everything we needed to. I immediately got on the road to Branson. Arrived about 4 hours later and was happy to be in the cabin and away from the real world for a few days. Here’s a picture I took from our cabin’s deck Friday night.

Saturday we had a quick breakfast at the cabin and then went to the outlet mall. I was looking for shoes that would be waterproof and comfortable for walking for my trip to Scotland. We also had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Branson.

We went back to the outlet mall for a few more things after lunch, then back to the cabin so the kids could go swimming. While they were all down at the pool, I got some reading done and enjoyed some quiet time. Then we had our usual cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers back at the cabins. Normally we might go play mini-golf or do Go-Karts on Saturday night, but instead we decided to just hang out around the cabins. The kids played at the playground and everyone else sat around and talked. I tried to enjoy some quiet time, but got bugged by my brother to be more social. Which, yeah, I want to spend time with family, but this is also the first real vacation I’ve had since last July, and I was just wanting some quiet time with no dogs too.

Books Finished

First one was an e-galley I got from the publisher, second was for an author’s review team, but part of a blog tour, and third was also for a blog tour. The first three were reviewed this past week. The last one was an ARC from the publisher that I finished on Saturday. I should be posting my review on Monday.

New Additions to My Library




Somehow I got a $10 coupon for Audible, and I used it to buy the first one since I got the second book in that series with one of my Book of the Month credits. The second book I got from the public library to listen to for the library commmittee I’m on.

Bookish Stuff:

So I subscribe to J.J. Knight’s Patreon and she sends out Picklegrams each month. This month it was a fun little set of post-it notes with suggestions for marking things as you read.


The first was for an author review team/blog tour this past week. Second one is for a blog tour review in July. Third the publisher sent me an Edelweiss widget, it comes out in October, so it will be a while before I read it. Fourth was a win from the publisher from the TLA giveaway, it comes out in July, so again, will be a later date for a review. The fifth one I saw on Edelweiss and had to go ahead and grab it even though it doesn’t come out until October. I got a physical ARC of the first book by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone last year at Book Bonanza, which I don’t get to attend this year sadly. Sixth one was for the author’s review team, review will be on June 6th I think! The last one is a novella for a blog tour review in July.

Free E-books:

I got a $3 credit on Amazon for e-books, so I found these first three that I think were 99 cents each. All are by authors that I really like! The last two were also free on Amazon.

Physical Books:


What I’m Watching

The Survivor finale was this week, and I was a little surprised at who won. Not that the person didn’t deserve to win, it just didn’t necessarily seem like that was who the jury had been leaning towards. But it was a great season! Tried to watch some of the Harry Potter marathon that is always on over Memorial Day weekend and again got kind of bugged by my brother about sitting and watching tv on our trip instead of being social.

Coming Up Next Week On My Blog

First is an ARC I have from the publisher. The second and third are both SmartyPants Romance books. Fourth is another ARC from the publisher. Fifth is an e-galley I got from the author, but it came two days after I had planned to review it, so they said we had three weeks to get it reviewed.

Also since it is the end of the month I have an L-L-L-Little Reviews post coming up with all the the books that weren’t scheduled reviews or part of blog tours. I’ll have my monthly wrap-up too. It will be the last few days on my contract for this past school year, and Thursday and Friday will be the first two days of summer school.


Don’t forget that I do now have the nice little box on the right hand sidebar so you can check out giveaways all the time! My current monthly giveaway is HERE. Only a few more days to enter! Remember if I get over 100 entries in that monthly giveaway I add more winners, and last three months I had over 100, so that was two winners each month this year so far. So far it is over 100 already, if it gets over 200 entries I’ll pick three winners! Only a week and a half left to enter.

Upcoming Scotland Tour Tidbits

I can’t believe it is less than two months till my trip! I’m so excited!

On day 4 our last stop is Hopetoun House. It has belonged to the same family for over 300 years. In the show it was used as the Duke of Sandringham’s house in season one, and it also was the backdrop for Parisian streets, French bedrooms, Ellesmere, and the stables at Helwater during season 3. First is a picture of the whole house. Second is the scene with the duel that Jamie stood in for the Duke.

Final Thoughts

How was your week? Did you read or watch anything good? Get any good books? May is almost over! We’ve been having very summer like weather mixed in with a day or two of spring weather. And a nice thunderstorm Wednesday night. How’s your weather been? Enjoy this picture of my Argyle playing with some other dogs where he stayed while I was out of town.

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24 responses to “Weekly Wrap-Up #120 – May 28th, 2023

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, it’s a whole series that has a bunch of different branches. All have some kind of connection to Penny Reid’s books in some way.

  1. The views from the place where you’re staying are lovely. And yes… I can see where your brother is coming from, but those of us who work in jobs where you’re interacting ALL THE TIME with other folks need some downtime where we can just be alone with our own company. I hope the rest of your holiday is enjoyable and relaxing – have a great week:)).

    • Lisa Mandina

      Got some kind of down time away from the kids and just able to read today, so that was nice! Back to the real world tomorrow. Or at least home. Tuesday back to work.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Branson is busy, but still nice to get away. I only Argyle had actually gotten in the pool, but no, he’s not a big swimming dog.

  2. Well I hope you enjoy a balance on your vacay (no matter what your brother thinks). Your work can have a lot of interaction so it’s no wonder you need some quiet time. Any chance you can get a new library clerk who can show up? It’s awesome you have someone so trusted for your dogs to stay when you are gone. We can’t bear to leave Lulu anywhere and mostly take her with us. She’s never stayed with anyone else since we got her. I hope this last week of school goes smoothly.

    Anne - Books of My Heart recently posted: The Thirteenth Month by Elizabeth Hunter @EHunterWrites
    • Lisa Mandina

      Don’t think they’ll change the library clerk. Unless new admin decides to change something. The person who watches my dogs is my Argyle’s breeder, who I’ve now become really good friends with too. I prefer as much as possible to have them stay with her. Although the few times she can’t watch them, I have a friend’s daughter who comes and stays at my house with them. I wish they would travel more, although this weekend I’m enjoying being dog free too!

  3. Bummer that you only seemed to get library help on the slow days. Glad you have a little summer job lined up to help fund extra money for your big trip! That’s always a plus! Oh man, do I miss the outlet malls! They were always so fun, but there just doesn’t seem to be many lately, not ones that are actual “outlet” malls either. We have one in the area that calls itself an outlet mall, but is really just an outdoor mall filled with regular mall stores with products at regular prices. It’s so annoying. Although there are a few stores within that are actually “outlet” style, but the majority is totally regular stores.

    Nice new reads! Those are some new to me ones but I hope you will enjoy each and every one of them! Hope you’re able to sneak in a little more reading time as well on your weekend getaway! Hope you’re having fun!

    Here’s my StS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, we only go to a few of the stores, because they don’t really seem to have the outlet prices anymore. But it’s still nice to go to those few! I have gotten in some good reading this weekend, so I’m happy about that!

    • Lisa Mandina

      It was nice having another kid my nephew’s age here, so that the families with the kids went and did stuff while us “older” folk went back and rested at the cabins, lol.

  4. Being with family can be challenging when people have different expectations. Next time you go (or even the next day), let people know ahead of time that you’re eager to visit with them all, but you also are planning some alone time. That way when you retreat, they’ll know it’s coming and hopefully not pressure you. Hope the trip is mostly fun overall – and that you manage to carve out some time for yourself.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, they should know by now that I like my personal time. But it’s a younger brother who always does the bugging, so I should expect it by now. Other than that, the trip was nice, and I enjoyed spending time with family.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m very excited for tha tone too! It was a nice trip, but I’m glad to be home, alone, with just my dogs. lol

    • Lisa Mandina

      Cool! I’m excited to go. It will be my first long airplane trip like that, so I’m a little worried that I will hate that part. But at least I’ll go this once!

    • Lisa Mandina

      My life at my new school district seems to be just busy busy busy! lol Love Quest is part of a STEM series that the author is doing, or rereleasing I guess, so I’m excited!

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