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Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday 5ive- March 24, 2023

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly-ish post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. Welcome spring!

1)  While walking around doing my errands, I've seen this twice now- the Urban Arrow bike. They have a cargo version for deliveries and this one is called the Family. You can put three little ones in the front and ride around town. I'm not sure how practical it is for NYC, it seems the Cargo one would be helpful for delivery people, although it is rather large. The Family one would be great for the suburbs or for Batman, he could put Robin in front.

2)  I went home to Auburn last weekend and had a great time. I spent St. Patrick's Day with my family, and my sister made delicious Reuben sandwiches for dinner. This time I managed to make the family group photo! Next up, a lovely bridal shower for my dear friend and former neighbor's daughter. It was great to catch up with friends I haven't seen for awhile. The mother of the bride arranged for a Girls' Night out at a local restaurant and we had yummy Cosmopolitans, delicious pasta, and wonderful conversation. As we were leaving the restaurant, a gust of wind took one of the ladies' leftover bags out of her hand and it flew down the street where a gentleman coming out of the brewery next door promptly stepped on it to stop it. Watch out for flying lasagna!
I also got to meet my 8 month great-niece Abigail Mae. She has such a sweet disposition, smiling and laughing and enjoying all the commotion. It's wonderful to see the new generation of our family beginning.

3) I made a tasty new dessert from my new favorite cookbook- Key Lime Cheesecake "Cupcakes" from Marlene Koch's Eat What You Love. We really like Key Lime Pie from the Publix grocery store but it's got a lot of calories, and this is a tasty substitute and only 140 calories per cupcake. I froze half of them, I'll let you know how that works out.
Photo from marlenekoch.com

4) After reading and loving Taylor Jenkins Reid's novel Daisy Jones and the Six a few years back, I've been patiently awaiting the Amazon Prime Video miniseries. I watched the first six episodes and was entranced by it, and finished the last four episodes yesterday. Each actor looked exactly like the picture I had in my head of their characters! There are a few big differences from the novel, but it so well done. Riley Keough is perfect as Daisy and she and Sam Clavin (Billy Dunne) have a palable chemistry as they push-and-pull towards each other. My favorite character is Camila, Billy's wife, so beautifully played by Camila Marrone. If you're a fan of Fleetwood Mac from the 1970s, you'll want to watch this story of the rise and rapid fall of a rock and roll band. Rumor has it the actors may play a few gigs as Daisy Jones & the Six. (My review of the novel is here.)

5)  I read three historical novels this week. The first one is my Book of the Month selection this month, The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch. It was a reluctant selection for me and it took me about a quarter of the way through the book before I was hooked. Loesch tells her story in three important timelines in Russia's history- the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the siege of Leningrad during WWII and the Stalin purges that followed the war, and the Glasnost years of Gorbachev. Rosie lost her father and sister tragically in front of her own eyes as a young girl and moved to London with her mother and her mother's large collection of porcelain dolls. In Rosie's determination to find out what happened to her family, we get the story of Tonya, a woman who married a wealthy businessman but fell in love with a Bolshevik orator during the revolution. I found Tonya's story more interesting than Rosie's, and you got a real feel for life during those historic times in Russia, and there a few times the story took my breath away. I ended up reading it in just two sittings, I couldn't tear myself away. 

Alka Joshi's first novel in her Jaipur series, The Henna Artist was wonderful and I finally got around to reading the second in the series, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur. Set in India in 1969, it continues Lakshmi's story after she was run out of Jaipur by powerful people. She married Dr. Jay Kumar and works with him at the community health center and runs the Healing Garden in Shimla. She got her former assistant Malik a job as an intern working with a construction company that is building a huge cinema in Jaipur. When the cinema balcony collapses on opening night and people are killed and seriously injured Malik finds himself looking for answers as to what happened that puts him in the crosshairs of some wealthy and powerful people with big secrets.  I loved The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, once again Alka Joshi drew me into this world with her interesting characters in fascinating storylines. 

The third book in the trilogy, The Perfumist of Paris, picks up Lakshmi's sister Radha's story in Paris. Radha is now married to a Frenchman and the mother of two young daughters. She has a job as an assistant chemist in a perfumery, with hopes of creating a fragrance that will enable her to get a promotion. Radha's husband and mother-in-law don't understand her desire to work outside the home, and Radha also has to contend with male coworkers who want the promotion. So many women will relate to Radha's drive to be successful and have something of her own, and how she balances that with being a good mother to her daughters and dealing with cultural bias as well from people. I found that interesting in this time in Paris, and I also liked Radha's changing relationship with her mother-in-law. My full review publishes on March 26th. 

Have a safe, healthy week.

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