Saturday, October 15, 2011

"if you're hypothyroid and you know it raise your hand"...

Golly... I am finally finding some sort of normal...  Medication adjustments take time and patience, and time and patience...

I canned a bit lately, and am missing my goats that we sold in the spring.  The leaves are changing colors now in my yard and I am (almost) missing our usual weeks on end of cider-pressing.  This is how I know I am getting back to normal...  My husband also told me that he liked dinner tonight; finally a night without frozen burritos!  

I'm still reading.  I am LOVING Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.  I am reading much slower than I normally do because I love his formation of prose.  I tend to get lost in the poetry of the words and forget the action and movement of the novel itself.  It is the story of a brother and sister, journeying with their father, to find their older brother who has been charged with murder.  It is beautiful and clean fiction.

Side note: For leaving comments I believe all you have to do is click on the word "comments" at the end of each posting...  Just in case...

books i've read:
French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano - Okay, I know.  Very "intellectual", right?  I didn't learn how to eat growing up, so this book actually taught me a lot.  It has a nice chatty tone, and even has some yummy recipes inserted.  She shares tales of her childhood and tidbits and tricks to keeping healthy and happy.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - This was a book club selection.  I rebelled against reading it: I don't like fantasy, but I thoroughly enjoyed this.  The "fantasy" was believable as it was knitted perfectly into real life situations.  For those that don't know, it is the beginning tale of a young boy who has been raised without the knowledge of his parents' wizarding past and is about to embark on a journey of self-discovery and magic.
Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams by Lynne Witney - After reading this biography, I decided that Mrs Adams and I would have been dear friends.  It was well-written.  It was not overwhelming and was decidely focused on issues that would interest women readers - what were the women doing while the men were politicking and fighting? 
Tallgrass by Sandra Dalllas - Admittedly, not my favorite Sandra Dallas novel.  It was fairly predictable but the background story was interesting.  The setting is a town in Eastern Colorado which housed a Japanese internment camp during WWII.  It shared details of the ineractions between the detainees and the townsfolk.  It is a murder mystery during this time of heavy suspicion.  I liked The Chili Queen (also by Ms Dallas) much better for its shocking plot twist.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - Are fairy tale retellings fantasy?  Maybe I enjoyed Harry Potter so much I decided the branch out.  Who knows?  I enjoyed this young adult book as well.  I DO like stories that take place in a forgotten place during a forgotten time, and the author needs to take you there and show you this world... but without telling you everything.  I enjoyed Ms. Hale's writing enough to read other her other books, too.

Do you read more during the colder months?  Do you have a "to read" list for the winter?

I do - but it is always changing.  It is a huge pile on my desk - one is the other book by Leif Enger. So Brave, Young, and Handsome; Wilkie Collins's The Dead Secret; and Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens are some of the pile...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

13 things on the 13th...

This is the time of year I moved two thousand miles from my childhood...

Fall is upon us and it makes me smile.  I love the indecisive coolness, tempered by a still-strong sun.  I love wind, and I have found it here... it is refreshing and cleansing...

It has been a while since I've posted and so a friend and I challenged each other to post on our blogs...

There has been so much that I've decided to try and say it in only 13 statements - and of, course, I will leave you with 5 more book titles...

1. I miss running...  walking too much causes pain still...it was the "little kid running down a grassy hill covered in dandelions" feeling I loved so much...

2. I saw the movie "Once", and all it took was "once" for me to become obssessed with the music!

3. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism just a few weeks ago. 

4. My new favorite scripture verse is 1 John 4:18-19 - "Perfect love casteth out fear..."

5. I am a chicken on a bicycle, but it is a necessary evil right now with no running...

6.  I have begun to play the guitar again...  admitting that takes guts...  I was self-taught as a kid, and have occasionally picked it up off and on over the years.  My husband is self-taught and I am envious.  All my kids play brass in their school bands, and are self-taught in other instruments...  I don't fit in unless I play something!

7.  I love to sing - but I love to sing the harmony...  I like supporting roles!  :)

8. All my children are in school this year... I am lost.  And lonely.  I am not much company to myself yet.  It'll come, I am told, but it is a surprise.

9.  I love Whole Foods and would haunt the cheese section everyday if I had one in town.

10. I used to be a writer.  I want to be one again.  I journal, but that is not "creative" in the same sense as fiction or poetry...

11. I like to knit blankets.  I have sewed one quilt, and I love when it is time to pull it out and put it on my bed.  It's a "hug".

12. I love my curly hair (it hides gray pretty well!).

13. I need to laugh more...

BOOKS I'VE READ:
A Rocky Mountain Christmas - John H Monnett - This is a collected history of Christmas celebrations in the Rocky Mountains.  If you're a sucker for Christmas, it usually doesn't matter if the writing is fantastic or not... 
We Are Witness: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust - Jacob Boas - A simple and interesting read.  It is written at a 5th grade level and is fairly short, but insightful.  One of the teens covered is Anne Frank.
Book Thief - Markus Zusak - I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It is the story of the bombing over Dresden, Germany during WWII.  It is a book written for a teen audience, but it was quality writing and very imaginative.  It was a complete tale.
The Birth That We Call Death - Dunn and Eyre - This book is an examination of the next step we will all face... and that it is not and "end", but another of many "beginnings" that await us.  It is a slim volume, and very uplifting and peaceful.
The End of Food - Paul Roberts -  A nonfiction look at what food was, and what food now is.  It was a bit "clunky" with science and did not flow as well as Omnivore's Dilemna.  It was informative, though.

Are there books that make you laugh?  Tell me...  I think I need some!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WAH! (singing the blues)...

So, I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I ran too hard playing in a softball game with old shoes and I think I have tibial stress fractures - in both legs.  So no running for awhile.

But while I was running, I decided to admit a hypocrisy.  I am a prude in books and movies, but I am more lenient in my music choices.

Here's my Golist on my MP3 that I run to:
Dream on - Aerosmith (my son loved this when he was two yrs old)
Better Than Revenge - Taylor Swift (angry girl music - nice)
Everybody Dance Now - C&C Music Factory (reminds me I used to be fourteen)
Goat Girl - Tanya Donelly (my husband shared this song with me - I used to have goats)
Golden Years - David Bowie (from "A Knight's Tale")
Haunted - Taylor Swift (good cadence)
Iris - GooGoo Dolls (my personal theme song)
Love is the Answer - Weezer (I grudgingly like a Weezer song!)
Off the Hook - Barenaked Ladies (I love the emotion in this one, and I like their harmony)
Sweet Louisiana Sound - Billy Pilgrim (I like the first stanza and the guitar)
Taxi Taxi - Cher (techno-Cher is good for so many things!)
The Power - Cher (more)
We All Sleep Alone - Cher (and even more)
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred (makes me laugh)
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (thanks to the few Glee episodes I saw)
Paparazzi - Lady Gaga (I am ashamed, but I like this one... good harmony in the chorus)
Eye of the Tiger- Survivor (necessary for a runner)
F**kin' Perfect - Pink (keeps my head in my head not inside anyone else's)
Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's (poppy and bouncy)
Everybody - Ingrid Michaelson (poppy and bouncy, and very true!)
Alejandro - Lady Gaga (good beat and melody - keeps me running)
I've Gotta Feeling - The Black-Eyed Peas (I listened to the lyrics the other day and I'm schocked to admit I let my kids listen to this one!)
Enchanted - Taylor Swift (good cadence, starts slow and folky and becomes emotional guitar)

Tame for some of you I know...  but raucous for me.

Just for listening I'm folky, harmony, singer-songwriter: Dan Fogelberg, Harry Chapin, Simon and Garfunkel, Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, the Andrews Sisters...

What do you listen to?

Friday, July 15, 2011

101 things about Tren and about FRANKIE

Tren did this on her blog and I thought how funny it was that we were so similar!  I thought I'd share!  She is in the regular type and I am in the all-caps.

1. Tattoos make me sad.  I just don't understand why people get tattooed.  It's like taking God's work of art and then putting graffiti on it.  – I HAVE A TATTOO.  I GOT IT WHEN I WAS A TEEN AND I STILL LIKE IT.  I DON’T MIND TATTOOS AS LONG AS THEY ARE SMALL.  HUGE ONES ARE RIDICULOUS.  HAVING SAID THIS I WOULD BE APPROPRIATELY ANGRY IF MY CHILDREN GOT ONE B/COUR BODIES ARE TEMPLES.
2.  I started drinking ice water a few weeks ago while visiting my sister-in-law, Alice.  It was warm in her house, so I drank ice water to cool down, and now I'm still drinking it.  Before now, I always preferred to drink water at room temperature. – I HATED TO DRINK WATER BEFORE I HAD MY KIDS- IT MADE ME NAUSEOUS.  ROOM TEMP IS STILL MY FAV.

3.  Hardly anyone reads my blog, and sometimes I feel sad about it.  I tell myself that I write it for me, which is true, but it would make me happy if I felt like people (especially my family) were interested in my life and my children's lives.  I love it when I get comments!  NO ONE REALLY READS MINE EITHER!  I LIKE COMMENTS, TOO.

4.  I've never had a manicure or a pedicure.  I HAD A PEDICURE ONCE, BUT I WAS TOO SELF-CONSCIOUS TO ENJOY IT.  NAILS ARE NOT MY THING.

5.  I don't like science-fiction.  ME, EITHER.

6.  I think root beer floats are amazing.  Root beer is good.  Vanilla ice cream is good.  Put the two together and it's magical.  GIVE ME THE ICE CREAM ANY DAY, BUT POP AND I HAVE BECOME SWORN ENEMIES – I WAS SLIGHTLY ADDICTED.
7.  I don't like anything mystical or astrological.  I USED TO BE INTO ALL OF THAT JAZZ AS A TROUBLED TEEN, BUT WHEN A PSYCIC TOLD ME TO BURN ROSE PETALS AND STREW THEM SOMETHING CLICKED IN ME THAT REALIZED THIS WAS NUTS! 

8.  I've considered being a foster parent.  ME, TOO, BUT GOD KEEPS TELLING ME NO.

9.  I miss Kaffree tea.  When I was a child growing up in Kansas, we drank sun tea made with Kaffree tea, which was an herbal tea that tasted like tea.  They don't make it anymore, but I found out it was rooibos tea, which can be purchased from Celestial Seasonings online.  I'm going to have to look into that.  I USED TO DRINK COFFEE AND THEN WHEN I JOINED THE LDS CURCH I GAVE IT UP.  THEN I DRANK PERO…  MY GASTRITIS DIDN’T LIKE IT.  NOW I DRINK CELESTIAL SEASONINGS BENGAL SPICE.  I LIKE THICK AND HEAVY DRINKS AND FOODS.

10.  I don't like seeing labels on clothing.  I'm okay with buying my kids name brands as long as they aren't plastered across the clothing.  ME, TOO, BUT I GAVE UP ON THE AEROPOSTALE WHEN SOMEONE ELSE WAS BUYING IT.  I REFUSE TO DO PINK OR ANYTHING ELSE TIED TO SEX OR UNDERWEAR. 

11.  I love aspen trees.  I wish I could live in big home in the mountains with lots of aspen trees and a creek running nearby.  ME, TOO!  IT’S BEEN MY FANTASY LATELY…

12.  I think dogs are gross.  I barely tolerate the two I have, and when they're gone, I'll have no more. Ever.  I’M NOT A DOG PERSON EITHER, BUT IF MY HUSBAND DIES I WILL GET A SAINT BERNARD TO KEEP ME COMPANY!

13.  I eat eggs for breakfast almost every day because I'm diabetic and I need protein in the morning.  It gets old.  I USED TO EAT EGGS ALL THE TIME, TOO.  NOW I AM ON AN OATMEAL KICK (WITH HOMEMADE WALNUT BUTTER).  I LIKE MIGAS OR HUEVOS RANCEROS OR VEGGIE OMELETTES THE BEST.  I AM A SAVORY GIRL.

14.  I often eat a whole bag of sugar snap peas in one sitting.  100 calories of sweet, crunchy goodness.  No guilt.  I DON’T CARE FOR PEAS AS MUCH…  I’D RATHER EAT A BAG OF SPINACH STEAMED WITH GARLIC, EVOO, SALT AND PEPPER…  YUM.

15.  I have a way with babies.  They hardly ever cry when I hold them.  I’M NOT A BABY PERSON.  I’M NOT A KID PERSON.  I LIKE MY BABIES AND MY KIDS, THOUGH. 

16.  I love hiking.  ME, TOO.

      17.  I have glasses but never wear them.  I ALWAYS WEAR MINE.

      18.  I've been pregnant 7 times with 8 children, but only have 5.  I hope to get to raise     the other 3 someday.  I’VE HAD FOUR PREGNANCIES AND FOUR KIDS.  I’M IN A UNIQUE POSITION I GUESS.

19.  I never buy myself perfume or jewelry.  I ONLY BUY MY BATH AND BODY WORKS LOTION AND HAIR STUFF.

20.  I like my showers really hot. ME, TOO.

21.  I love the rain, and enjoy watching lightning storms.  I LOVE THE RAIN; I HATE BEING IN THUNDER AND LIGHTENING.
 
22.  I think boxing and wrestling are pointless and stupid sports.  THEY HAVE THEIR MERITS – DON’T WANT MY SON IN THEM, BUT WOULDN’T OBJECT IF HE DECIDED OTHERWISE.

23.  I don't like guns, but believe in the right to bear arms.  ME, TOO.  I WANT MY HUSBAND TO BE ABLE TO BRING HOME THE BACON IF NECESSARY AND ME TO KEEP MY KIDS SAFE.

24.  My favorite Jelly Belly flavors are juicy pear, buttered popcorn, and cantaloupe.  ANY JELLY BELLY IS AMAZING!

25.  I like keys--old, pretty ones--not regular ol' car or house keys.  I LIKE KEYS, TOO. 

26.  I think people should embrace their natural hair color.  I think streaky dye jobs look retarded.  I’M EMBRACING BUT IMPATIENTLY.  JUST GO ALL WHITE!  NOW!

27.  I can't choose a favorite flower.  Poppies, ranunculus, pansies, and irises are some that I love.  LILACS AND YELLOW/ORANGE ROSES.

28.  I do crossword puzzles in pen.  I’M A WORD SEARCH GIRL – PENCIL…

29.  I like stripes.  VERTICAL STRIPES….

30.  I would love to visit England.  ESPECIALLY THE MOORS…. 

31.  I own two pairs of shoes.  RUNNING SNEAKS, COWBOY BOOTS, FLIP FLOPS, SANDALS

32.  I wear my hair up every single day.  ME, TOO.

33.  I love 19th century art.  I STUDIED VAN GOGH IN COLLEGE…  BUT REALLY LOVE BRUEGGEL…

34.  My ears are pierced, but I very rarely wear earrings.  ME, TOO…  TOO MANY THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT

35.  I long for friends, but don't feel like I really have any.  I PRETEND TO BE SOCIAL WHEN I HAVE TO BE, BUT I AM A LONER…  I AM A HOMEBODY AND NOT A VERY GOOD FRIEND.  I’M PRETTY SELF-ABSORBED – NOT B/C I’M SO AWESOME, BUT B/C I’M CONSTANTLY TRYING TO “FIX” ME.

36.  I do math in my head.  I USED TO…  I’VE LOST MY BRAIN SINCE WE BOUGHT THIS HOUSE...  I’M TOO STRESSED I THINK.

37.  I love "whites", as in fancy embroidered, lacy, stitched, linens and such.  I LIKE THEM WHITE ON WHITE AND BLUE ON WHITE..  EVEN A BIT OF BARN-RED IS GOOD.

38.  I hate driving at night.  YEP – AND ALL THE KIDS ACTIVIITIES ARE AT NIGHT!

39.  I avoid left turns on busy streets and parallel parking.  I WAS AMAZING AT THIS WHEN I LIVED IN THE CITY – NOW I AM A HICK WHO WILL PARK 6 BLOCKS AWAY TO AVOID PARALLEL PARKING!

40.  I had Bells Palsy at 13 and again at 26.  I HAVE HIDRADENITIS (SWEAT GLAND ISSUES – IT’S GROSS, SO GOOGLE ONLY IF YOU WANT MORE INFO).

41.  One of my favorite features on my husband are his hands.  MY HUSBAND IS HIS RED BEARD.

42.  I hope none of my children ever join the military.  AS A MOM, I AGREE… AS A CITIZEN, I WOULD BE PROUD TO BE SERVED BY THESE KIDDOS. 

43.  Turtlenecks make me claustrophobic.  I CAN’T BREATHE WITH THEM EITHER, BUT I WILL SACRIFICE FOR A BLACK TURTLENECK WHEN I WANT TO LOOK FANTASTIC – IT MAKES ME LOOK TALLER!

44.  I type fifty-something words per minute.  I DON’T TYPE.  I HUNT AND PECK BUT IT GOES QUITE FAST.

45.  I don't text.  I LEARNED THIS SUMMER AND IT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MY DAUGHTER WHEN I DON’T KNOW WHICH DOOR TO PICK HER UP AT, ETC…

46.  I float without trying.  I HATE BEING WET.

47.  I roast my hot dogs until they're black, but my marshmallows must be golden brown.  I LIKE BOTH RATHER BLACK.

48.  I stopped listening to country music about five years ago, and now I really don't like most of it.  ME, TOO – I LIKE A COUPLE OF SONGS, BUT IT’S ALL ABOUT SEX AND DRINKING AND TOO MUCH SAP.

49.  I love reading the scriptures, but don't make time for it nearly as much as I should.  ME, TOO.  I WANT TO BE A SCHOLAR.

50.  I don't really "get" teenagers, but I sure do love my own.  I UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLES’ TEENS – NOT MY OWN… THEY HAVE ME FOR A MOM – THINGS SHOULD BE GREAT FOR THEM… LOL

51.  I think graham cracker bits in a shake ruin the shake.  I LOVE TEXTURE IN MY FOOD.

52.  My favorite burger is Big Burger World's small bacon cheeseburger with mayo instead of ketchup and mustard.  It's what I order every time.  MY FAV BURGER OF ALL TIME IN THE HUNTHER TOODY’S DAGWOOD – BURGER, FRIED EGG, TOMATO SLICES, MAYO…

53.  I started collecting antique postcards last year, but I'm against collections in general.  EXCEPT BOOKS… 

54.  I can whistle a tune, but not loudly.  I CAN”T WHISTLE.

55.  I learned to drive a stick shift in a cemetery.  I LEARNED STICK IN A BEACH PARKING LOT.

56.  I've never been to Disneyland, and now I have no desire to go or to take my kids there.  NO DESIRE HERE, EITHER.

57.  I had my first real kiss in the sixth grade.  Ray Taylor was his name.  HUSSY!  LOL!  I WAS 16 AND IT WAS AT A SUMMER PROGRAM AT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

58.  I have eleven nephews and nine nieces.  I HAVE MORE THAN I KNOW B/C I AM ADOPTED, HALVED AND BLOOD RELATED TO SO MANY PEOPLE…  AND THEN I GOT MARRIED….

59.  Both of my grandmothers are still living.  ONE OF MINE IS LIVING.

60.  I don't like Halloween, and I'm planning to not celebrate it starting this year.  I HAVE FOND “SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES” MEMORIES/“MEET
ME IN ST. LOUIS
” MEMORIES OF A NEW ENGLAND HALLOWEEN… BUT IT’S OVERRATED NOW.

61.  I took a "test" in high school that said I should be a preacher or a mortician.  I HAD ONE THAT SAID I WAS GREAT WITH PEOPLE AND SOCIABLE AND I’D BE A GOOD EXEC…  I’D RATHER BE A HERMIT.

62.  I think Brian Regan is hilarious.  WHO IS HE?

63.  New notebooks excite me.  LOVE THEM!

64.  If I could talk to any woman, living or dead, I would choose either Eve or Mary Magdalene.  EMMA SMITH OR ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH.

65.  If I had to look like a celebrity, I would want to look like Charlize Theron.  ANDIE MACDOWELL…  SHE AGES WELL.

66.  I don't buy toys that use batteries.  I prefer simple toys that require imagination.  ME, TOO.  I RESISTESD THE STUPID LEAP FROGS FOR YEARS, NOW MY 10 YR OLD SEEKS THEM OUT AT THE LIBRARY!

67.  I make the best coconut cream pie I've ever tasted.  I’M COMING OVER, AND BRINGING THE BURGERS!  I LOVE MY MOTHER’S JOHNNY APPLESEED PIE – APPLES, CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND CRUNCHY TOPPING.

68.  I didn't used to like brussels sprouts, and now I love them.  ME, TOO… ROASTED WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

69.  Anything to do with Winnie-the-Pooh reminds me of my mother-in-law.  HATED THE POOR BEAR UNTIL MY SON FELL IN LOVE….

70.  I'm a stay-at-home mom.  ME, TOO.  IT’S KIND OF LIKE BEING A PREACHER AND MORTICIAN AND HERMIT, HUH?

71.  School fundraisers irritate me.  AMEN!

72.  I don't have a single houseplant.  ME, EITHER!  LOL…  NO, I LIE… I HAVE A LIME TREE THAT MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WATERS.

73.  I love coffee table books.  BRIGHT AND SHINY – QUICK FEAST FOR THE EYES.

74.  I'm afraid of climbing ladders.  I GET DIZZY.

75.  I never wear sunglasses because my eyelashes hit the lenses. (Now I have the wrinkles to show for it.)  I WEAR GLASSES – AND I’M TOO CHEAP TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE SUN IN MY EYES.

76.  I don't wear my wedding ring because it's too small for me.  I’VE SIZED MINE UP AND DOWN ABOUT 6X…  I WONDER IF ANY OFF IT IS REALLY MINE ANYMORE…

77.  I believe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is very soon.  I SAW A COUPLE RAINBOWS THIS WEEK.  STILL GOT ANOTHER YEAR! LOL.

78.  I never could do a cartwheel.  ME EITHER.

79.  If I had a large sum of money to give to one charity, I'd probably choose to give it to March of Dimes.  I’D MAKE ONE UP HAVING TO DO WITH BOOKS… OR BUILD A CLEAN (PRIVATE) LIBRARY.

80.  I call my middle toes my macaroni toes because they curve like elbow macaroni.  I HATE MY TOES, BUT THEY WORK.

81.  I think not immunizing children is irresponsible.  ME, TOO. 

82.  I have lived in five states.  TWO FOR ME.

83.  I want to learn to quilt.  I MADE ONE QUILT ONCE.  THAT WAS ENOUGH FOR ME.  TOO TECHNICAL.

84.  I can french braid my own hair.  ME, TOO.

85.  I love nuts.  WALNUTS?  MY FAV.  I LOVE HAZELNUTS, TOO, THOUGH.

86.  I have nice handwriting.  I HAVE UNIQUE HANDWRITING.

87.  I don't like being in the sun.  YEP!

88.  I sleep on my stomach.  I SLEEP ON MY SIDE.

89.  It annoys me when people call their pets their kids.  ME, TOO, BUT I UNDERSTAND.

90.  My mom got my name in a dream and told me it means "pure in heart".  MY REAL NAME I DON’T LIKE.  IT HAS A SENTIMENTAL CONNOTATION, BUT…  I LIKE FRANKIE.

91.  If I could have a superpower, I'd choose instant healing.  My second choice would be invisibility.  PATIENCE.  THAT’S A SUPERPOWER.  A “DE-STRESSOR” POWER WOULD BE NICE, TOO.

92.  If I had a racehorse, I would name it "Sweet Tally-Ho!"  - “NEVER LATE FOR DINNER” OR “AMISH DELIGHT”

93.  I love water parks, but I hate seeing everyone in their swimsuits.  THEY ARE WEARING SWIMSUITS?  LOL…  I HATE WATER ANYTHING – BUT I LIKE CREEKS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND WINTERS ON THE BEACH…

94.  My favorite sport to watch is soccer.  RODEO,  FUGURE SKATING AND LIVE BASEBALL.

95.  My favorite TV shows are on the Food Network.  ME, TOO.

96.  My favorite store-bought cookies are Grasshoppers and Mint Milanos.  I LIKE SAUSALITOS AND BAKERY-STYLE OATMEAL RAISIN.

97.  I know a LOT of nursery rhymes by heart.  ME, TOO.  LOST ART.

98.  If I could go on a $10,000 shopping spree in one store, I would go to Pottery Barn.  My second choice would be a kitchen store, and my third choice would be Barnes & Noble.  I WOULD GO TO WHOLE FOODS, DESERET BOOK, BARNES AND NOBLE.  AND MAYBE A CLOTHING STORE…

99.  My favorite drinks other than water are ruby red grapefruit juice, cranberry limeade from Sonic, and cream soda.  WATER, BENGAL SPICE AND PEPPERMINT TEA, AND HOT SWEET CIDER (REAL STUFF NOT SPICED APPLE JUICE).

100.  In high school, I was in an all-girls show choir called the "Tiger Ladies".  I RAN TRACK AS A FROSH, THEN JOINED INTERACT AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.

101.  I'm a sixth generation Coloradoan.  My ancestors lived in Colorado before it became a state.  I’M A NEW COMER TO THIS COUNTRY.  THIRD GENERATION BORN AMERICAN.

i AM here... sort of...

We have been wildly busy this week: zoo trip, one child off to Girls' Camp, hiking trip that turned into rock-climbing!, running in the canyons, library trips, more doctor stuff for me and my IBS-C, couponing, planning church activities, kids have gone swimming, AND apple season has begun!  Time to make applesauce and pesto this weekend! 

Will I even GET to read?

What have you been up to?

Friday, July 8, 2011

summer is exhausting!

My husband and I courted in the summer...  so amidst the sweaty, dirty children, the messy house, the piles of laundry (I thought kids wore less in the summer!?), and tangles of weeds in the gardens...  we manage to look over knotty heads and smile at each other fondly... 

Books I've Read:
Daisy Miller - Henry James - A classic novella of a young American woman in Europe...  I should read it again because I remember NOTHING about it...  hmmm...
Chew On This - Eric Schlosser /C. Wilson - Fast Food Nation for kids....  My children loved it, too.  It makes for interesting dinner conversation - especially the nights we eat our home-butchered rabbit!
The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder - For years I would reread the entire Little House series again and again.  I read them out loud to each of the kids as they approached a sitting still age.  This is one of the more somber ones, but the thrilling attitudes and energies that made up our country's pioneers keeps me reading every time.
Mayflower - Nathaniel Philbrick - This is a well-researched and well-written book about King Phillip's War in New Englad during the time of the Pilgrims and their children.  I grew up in MA so it was interesting to get a new spin on the Puritans and their relationships and intrigues with the Wampanoags and other tribes.
Christmas Jars - Jason F Wright - This was very hard for me to read.  It is a contrived Christmas tale of "do-good"ing meant to initiate charity and kindness in us.  It made me itch to be done.  It was oversimplified and I actually had questions when the book ended about the characters.  If fluff is what is needed, then read this in a couple of hours.

What book was hard for you to finish and why?  Did you finish it?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I am tired today.  Lots of activities and little time to read...  unless you are at a free day at the pool with 136 lifeguards (not really 136! close though!) on duty b/c the whole town is there... then you can read - AND finish two books.  I finished Mary, Martha, and Me, and Running for Mortals.  I was impressed with myself.  And now I am in that dead zone between books.

I've been reading The Homemaker, but it is hitting a raw nerve.  It is so well-written, and the perceptions of man, woman, and child, so clearly displayed to us as readers, that it is hurting my feelings!  It is about the effects/affects of a controlling wife, mother, and homemaker.  She can do it all and does, but without the considerations of how her family is being beaten down with her fire.  I am an intense mother - I am a mother-bear and desire some life lessons to be learned at home, safely, rather than in the scary grown-up world they will soon enter.  I am not as passionate as this homemaker in taking care of the home, but my heart is breaking for her children.  I actually find myself doing a personal inventory to make sure I am not hurting my children in the process.

Books I've Read:
More With Less Cookbook - Doris Janzen Longacre - a no-frills cookbook that gets down to the business of making a dollar stretch.  I have a lovely cream of tomato soup recipe from it the kids request often.
Winter Wheat - Mildred Walker - This is a beautifully written story of a young woman growing up on a "wheat ranch" in this country in the middle of the twentieth century.  It is a poignant tale of how her entire life is effected by the price of winter wheat.  I have some more books by this author on my shelf and I look forward to reading them.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - I think I first read this in high school and then I watched the Gregory Peck movie.  It is an important, well-written book, touching on the issues of race and humanity in this country.  Having said this, I never pick it up to read because I want to.  Maybe I should try that once and see if I feel differently about it.  It affects me and makes me angry and proud... maybe that's why it's not something I curl up with at night.
The Dollmaker - Hariette Arnow - This is one of my all-time favorites.  I fell in love with the main character and her struggles.  Gertie is a wife from the hills of Kentucky during WWII; her husband is moving the family to Detroit to chase the "good life" in the war plants.  She whittles - and that is what preserves her sanity in the difficulties of her new life.  I talked out loud to the characters, I cried with Gertie, I gossiped with her neighbors, I ached for her children, I wanted to tell her husband the things in her heart...  I felt a gamut of emotions and was glad to do it in this tale.
Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi - Another profound book.  A female professor in Iran teaches literature until the wars and government changes and restrictions prevent her from doing the job she loves.  Students approach her on the sly and a "book club" is born.  They read the classics and apply there themes to their own lives.  Jane Austen's works seen through Muslim women is amazing...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Drowning Ruth, the debut novel by Christina Schwarz, is one of the first books that I have truly enjoyed in a long time.  I was not reading it to pass time or because I am an obsessive reader.  In fact, I feel pulled to read it again to fully savor the effects of this tale.


It is a simple story of complex characters.  The main character is Amanda, and we follow her very closely.  We take jaunts into her niece, Ruth's, mind, and occasionally the narrator will allow glimpses of Ruth's father, Carl, but Amanda becomes the one we sympathize, question, and endure.  These small town folks are all tied together by one person, Mathilda... sister, mother, wife.  It is her drowning that creates the story. 

With Mathilda's drowning being the central event, we are immediately pulled in by the first line: "Ruth remembered drowning."  Even the title suggests that this is Ruth's story.  Immediately we are asking: who, what, how?

This tale jumps in and out of time frames, character's perspectives, mystery and mundane - but this is part of the story's charm.  We are acquainted with the events on the lake, and Amanda, slowly as we would learn of them here in our everyday world.  We are pulled in bit by bit. 

Ms. Schwarz uses elements of a thriller in this novel.  Yet it is not gory, scary, or very dark.  It is well-written, tightly woven, and easy to read.  It has us asking questions and changing our minds and aligning ourselves with the characters despite their flaws.

There is one line that I was afraid would lead somewhere I didn't want to go, but I was pleasantly relieved.  I highly recommend this book.  
***
Now, I am seriously reading three books at the same time:

...study...

...bathroom/treadmill...

...purse/couch/etc...

What are you reading... and where are you reading it?

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

i want this skirt!

check out this giveaway link for a soft bamboo skirt!  i can feel it already!  swish, swish...

done!

I love to watch cats wash their feet...  makes me smile...  especially when they start chewing...
My children are becoming photographers...  they are novices still...  it's blurry because he's chewing REALLY fast, right?

I finally finished Drowning Ruth.  I LOVED it!  It was delicious: simple with complexities...  I'll share more on Friday.

Tomorrow I am off to the big city.... Lots of plans: temple, Chipotle, thrift stores, Whole Foods, and Barnes and Noble for a new journal. 

How many books do you read at a time?

I have books for the bathroom, the van, my "table" (where I study), my purse, the treadmill...  Some choices are based on size for easy handling (treadmill), nonfiction is best for the bathroom, fiction for the purse, and thick heavy books for studying at the table... 

Tren, if you're looking for a place to house all those books you cull, let me know!  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

i'm too busy to read!

Now if that isn't a cry for help, I don't know what is!  I am in the middle of Drowning Ruth and loving it.  It feels like I may want to read it twice to pick up all the little clues and twists that I'm missing because I'm so distracted.  It isn't detail-oriented in a "solve the mystery" way, I just wish I had time to submerge and live in the story.

Nevertheless, I made a library trip anyway and tried to see if any books from the Persephone Books catalogue were there - just one: The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  If you haven't snagged a look at Persephone Book's website, take a peek...  lots of treasures. 

tren - I have read that Hitler's Youth book, and Letters From A Woman Homesteader is on my bookshelf.  It was a thrift store find.  My girls have read about Maud March - one loved it and two were lukewarm.  I thought it was a fascinating idea...  Your Granny's story sounds interesting, too....

fartygirl - I just read the New Yorker article about the Wilder women...  Very intriguing.  I always felt the tension between Pa and Ma...  I think we read the stories differently as adults than we did as children.

Books I've Read:
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte - This was definitely good Bronte reading.  It was not as great as Jane Eyre, but the characters were interesting and it had a bit of mystery on the moors.  Shockingness with a woman leaving her husband and living on her own...
Man's Search For Meaning - Viktor Frankl - As a consummate scholar and scientist, Viktor Frankl used his experience as a prisoner in the camps of the Holocaust to study human nature and the truth of "choice".  We always have a choice. He wrote parts of this while he was in the camps and kept his papers hidden!
Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - I read Something Wicked This Way Comes in 9th grade English.  I loved it.  It was fall in New England and life was imitating art.  I did not enjoy Farenheit 451... at all.  It was a book club selection, otherwise I would not have picked it up - sci-fi, futuristic, very dark.  Silly, in my opinion.  But any guesses on future technology could be seen as silly.  The age-old tactic of book-burning was carried over into Bradbury's future, though.
Except For Me and Thee - Jessamyn West - I watched "Friendly Persuasion" often on AMC as a child.  I decided to pick this one up and read the story that lead up to it.  It was easy reading - a story of the Quakers and their relationships with the slaves. 
The South Beach Diet - Arthur Agatston, MD - I read it, I admit. It was hard for me as I believe in natural foods, in their natural state, in natural proportions, all in moderation.  If I remember correctly, I was annoyed with the lack of evidence of a healthy sustainablility.

Do you "hoard" books?  Or "collect"?  Or do you read and give away as my sister does?

Friday, June 24, 2011

dirty feet

I painted my toe nails. 

Now, I hate make-up.  Occasionally I will honor a situation by putting on mascara and a shiny lip gloss, but I hate doing things to me that take time away from other things - like books!  And eating... and sleeping... and squishing little and big children...

But I HAD to paint the toes.  We worked in the garden for a couple of hours this morning before it became unbearably hot.  As usual, I went barefoot.  No amount of scrubbing or soaking will wash away the evidence of agrarian womanhood, so I painted.  Now I look like a toe-nail painter.  I'm such a hussy!  :)

BOOKS I'VE READ:
1993-1994 BYU Speeches - various - uplifting speeches given at BYU on LDS themes
Lorna Doone - RD Blackmore - a recommendation and gift from tren (one of my "followers", haven't learned how to link yet!).  I enjoyed this classic novel.  It's long.  It's old.  It's Scottish.  So there is some mental effort to be exerted but, the story is just as thrilling as any classic should be.  John Ridd falls in love with the mysterious Lorna Doone, who lives with a clan of outlaws.  There is drama, love, and a dry patch in the middle when John Ridd goes to the city, but it still holds the reader.
The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman - A fascinating nonfiction acount of a family during WWII in Poland that hide people from the Nazis in their zoo.  Zoos were privately owned at the time and the zookeepers lived on the premises with their families.  I read a lot of Holocaust/WWII accounts, and this one sticks out in my mind as a wonderful, well-written story.
America Eats! - Pat Willard - This is a history of food in America.  I believe it followed the food culturally and historically in its context.  It pieces together information gathered in the 1930s by the WPA during the Depression.  It was interesting enough to read, but I don't remember much of the content.
A Light in the Window - Georgene Pearson - A very easy to read account of schoolchildren and their busdriver during a 1931 blizzard.

I never used to read nonfiction.  I'm sure I was "above" that.  Now I am finding that I truly enjoy that medium as a break between the mental work of family and classics. 

What is your favorite type of nonfiction?  Do you ever read it?  Why or why not?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

judging books

I must admit I judge books by covers.  Covers are to make a first impression - to reel me into reading a book.  Books today lay it ALL out for everyone to see - especially on the cover.  I will not even bother to read a book with a half-dressed woman (or man) on the cover and I tend to steer away from titles written in gold cursive.  If the book has been made into a movie, I try not to carry the copy with Richard Gere kissing Diane Lane around, even if the story is clean.  I find another copy!

I judge by titles.  Font. Pictures.  The blurbs on the back.  I steer away from words like "passion", "erotic", "sensuous", and "affair".  Some things are just subtle clues to tell you what's inside.  Some people are attracted to that.  Not me.

I might read nonfiction which states certain facts (like Anne Morrow Lindbergh's affair with her doctor), but keep away from the fiction on the same topic... that she had an affair was enough information.  I don't want details.

I also flip through the book backwards (so I don't actually find myself reading ahead!) and allow certain words to jump out.  Usually sex scenes are not on a page loaded with quotation marks.  Long paragraphs may be about the weather and the hillside...  sometimes.  Sex scenes are not usually in the first chapter, but I erred there this week.  I found something disturbing in one book on the third page!

Women writers used to be safer.  Not anymore.  Sometimes their "scenes" are dirtier.

I steer away from sexual descriptions of body parts - not just "scenes". 

I usually stop a book immediately if there is something in it that makes me blush.  Rarely do I continue.  If I did continue, I will warn you.  If I tell you I am reading a book, and then I stop, I will tell you why.

Why does any of this matter?  Because "a man is known by the books he reads".  My book choices will tell you who I am - who I used to be - and who I hope to become.  Books affect us.  We need to be changed for the better by what we read.  With so many books out there, and so little time, we need to help each other muck through the junk to get to the gems that will change us all for the better.

How do you choose books?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

responding to comments

I have no idea how to respond to comments or if I even can with Blogger.  I looked all over Blogger and Blogging For Dummies and all I can guess is that I just make another comment myself.  Does anyone know?


Fartygirl - I haven't seen a New Yorker since I moved to this town 6 years ago!  Ha!  I'll look for the article though...  I can definitely see the love of the dramatic in both of the Wilder women! 

We aren't on a "farm" (if I said I was people in town would laugh at me!)  We have one acre with 40 apple and pear trees.  We have blackberries and raspberries.  We used to have three large gardens but can only keep one safe from the deer.  We used to have rabbits, guineas, and goats for meat and milk until this spring when it was time to move on.  We focused on chickens this year - meat and eggs and amusement.  I'm not vegan, but eat meat VERY sparingly (the ibs)...  I hate store chicken and eggs. 

And I'm glad I'm not alone about the sex scenes!  I feel like a peeping Thomasina!  People get frustrated with me becasue I'm "missing so many great stories" - and at times I get frustrated with the authors/publishers who just throw things in there for... for what?  Money...  shock value...  a better movie screenplay later...  personal lust?  So many great plots I do miss, but c'est la vie.

The Road :-)  I tried to read it but it mad me so sad, I stopped.  Sometimes I hate being morose.  Then we watched the movie the other night.  I was so freaked out by the cannibalism that I fell asleep.  (I've trained myself to sleep through my husband's scary movies!)  Well, some of the spookiness of it stayed with me.  Last night my husband was out playing softball, all the kids were in bed asleep, and I was curled up in a my chair reading Drowning Ruth with the cat.  At one point, the cat woke up and remained alert and studying some noises I couldn't hear.  For a brief moment I was nervous about cannibals bursting through my door...   The first book I ever cried at was Where the Red Fern Grows.

I like Karen Cushman.  I think she's brash and bold and covers topics that are intriguing.  I enjoyed The Midwife's Apprentice.  I haven't read her latest stuff though.  I still find it a bit grown-up for some kids - I think grown-up topics written for kids are usually clean enough for me, though.

Tren - What kind of youth books do you like?  I am impatient with so many of them because they don't have the depth I am looking for now.  I want MORE of the story - more detail, more information, more description, more character development.  I wish they would expand some into novels for grown-ups (I typed "adult novels" but that sounded risque!) almost like they take adult novels and scale them back for kids.

Have a great day folks!  It's a "ditch day" here, so I'll be irrigating the acre!

Monday, June 20, 2011

how to butcher chickens


We butchered over 20 birds on Saturday!  (There is a whole barn of floor space for these birds - they just liked this particular light - they were happy birds!)  Yum, but oh, were we exhausted...  especially my husband who did most of the actual butchering.  I am cleanup crew.

So, how to butcher chickens?  Carefully.

Because of our exhaustion, Anne's monologues were getting on my nerves.  So I put Anne Shirley away for another time, and pulled out another book from my shelf.


I haven't checked with Blogging For Dummies yet, but I scanned the cover so I think I'm still legal!  And this is actually from my shelf.  You can see it in the picture - bottom left shelf...

I needed a book to sink into, and I think I found it:
Ruth remembered drowning. 
"That's impossible," Aunt Amanda said.  "It must have been a dream." 
But Ruth maintained that she had drowned, insisted on it for years, even after she should have known better.

Page one!  And I was hooked.  I checked for cleanliness, and while I err at times, I'm usually right on.  I'm hoping I was right with this one!  I usually look VERY carefully at Oprah's Book Club Selections. I'll tell you how I judge books for cleanliness later this week.

BOOKS I'VE READ:
A Place In the Woods - Helen Hoover - I'm sure Miss Helen is a lovely woman and a lovely writer but I remember nothing about this book... it was nonfiction and about nature.
The Amish Cook - Elizabeth Coblentz - I LOVED this cookbook.  It's rather costly so I keep borrowing it from the library.  Elizabeth was an Amish woman who paired with a young black man and began writing a syndicated newspaper column about her daily Amish life (recipes included).  This is a collection of some of those columns.  Elizabeth reminisces about her childhood and how the young Amish today are different and shares the tragedies and triumphs of her growing family.  I loved her writing, and the recipes were tasty.  The pictures were clear - not artistic - plain and simple and honest.
Guide Me to Eternity - CT Monsen - This memoir is a tear-jerker.  I've read this one numerous times as well.  It is the true story of a young LDS wife and mother who chooses to rescue her son from drowning while watching her husband sink from her grasp.  It is a story of comfort and of how we are not left alone in our grief.
Across the Wire - Luis Alberto Urrea - This was a gritty, journalistic view on immigration and the border we share with Mexico.  It was written quite awhile ago if I remember correctly.  It was good for perspective.
A Woman's Place - Lynn Austin - Bethany House publishes books that I call "junk food".  And every once in awhile "junk food" is called for!  This was a fictional tale of women and their roles in WWII.  It was well-written, believable, and moved quickly.
Revolutionary Mothers - Carol Berkin - True stories of the women that helped shape the Colonies into the United States of America during the American Revolution.  Intriguing to see the important roles these women played and how they interconnected.
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe - A classic tale of a shipwrecked man who must create a civilization for himself.  I mostly enjoyed it.  There were dry parts and the end was a bit deflated.  Defoe wrote this as a first-person adventure tale which was all-the-rage when he was writing. 
Postville - Stephen G Bloom - A nonfiction account of a group of Orthodox Jews who move their butchering operation into an Iowan town.  There is friction between the two groups.  I found this to be fascinating.
Little Heathens - Mildred Armstrong Kalish - The author wrote this memoir of her growing up years in a large family during the Depression.  I enjoyed the many facets she touched on - the activities and play of the children, the food, and more.  The children in this family seemed to have had a lot of mischievous fun despite the struggles that surrounded them.
Hattie Big Sky - K. Larson - This is a young adult historical novel.  It follows Hattie as she moves West to take over her uncle's homestead at only 16 years of age.  Of course, there is love, and bad guys who wish her to fail.  I enjoyed the concept and my daughter loved it.

Have you ever tasted home-butchered chicken?

What book has made you cry?

Friday, June 17, 2011

reader's block

Do you get Reader's Block?  Life is too busy and crazy so you sit in front of your bookshelf and stare at it for an hour and 17 minutes without finding a good book to read?  Or you wander the library for 54 minutes and find NOTHING that interests you?  Or you ask the twelve year old for a suggestion? 

Life gets that way around here.  I read a lot of magazine articles and scriptures and the fine print on coupon policies, but sometimes a BOOK is beyond me. 

Short stories, you say?  Yes, that's true, but a high school teacher once told me that a short story was meant to be read in one sitting...  she quantified one sitting as "under two hours".  That ruined me.  I NEVER have two hours to sit and read.

So what do I do then?  Tell myself I haven't read anything from 19th cenutry England in awhile and begin Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor.  It was hitting the spot until I kept passing out from exhaustion from these busy summer days.  Such books work the brain.

Then I began Ten Circles Upon the Pond.  It's a story of a young Catholic mother's desire to have lots of children in the face of the Women's Movement and the push that kids ruin the environment.  It was well-written and actually very poetic, but I couldn't keep her kids and my kids straight. 

So last night I picked up an old friend: Anne - with an "E".  Anne Shirley has been a bosom friend for years.  I even bought the whole series with my own money as a pre-teen.  Anne of Green Gables is indeed a friend to many.

I thought I might try to read the whole series again this summer.  We'll see.  Books begging to be read always show up.

BOOKS I'VE READ
The End of Days - Helen Sendyk - a Holocaust memoir.  Nothing that stands out to give you more information - sorry.
The Giver - Lois Lowry - a book club selection; it was not something I would have chosen on my own because it is a book for young adults and it is "futuristic".  What will our world be like someday?  A young man holds all the memories for the community and the responsiblities and burdens that come with that calling.
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan - I think Michael Pollan is a splendid and educated writer.  It is a nonfiction push to eat local and seasonal.
Rumspringa - Tom Shactman - An interesting nonfiction/journalistic view of how the youth in an Amish community are not so different from us.
The Dawning of a Brighter Day - Alexander B Morrison - a nonfiction account of how the Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-day Saitns began and grew in Africa
I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree - Laura Hillman - another Holocaust memoir though this is geared towards teens.  I liked the title.
The Walking Drum - Louis L'Amour - This book was another book club selection.  It was not my favorite, but it definitely fell in line with the hero myth.  The hero is larger than life, on a mission of vengeance, and saves the day after a struggle.  It was an easy read though - and long for those that look for length in books.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyle - This is a story told from the point of view of a young boy who is confused about all that is happening around him durring World War II.  His father is chosen to be the comandant of Auschwitz.  It is a moral tale which helps one to forgot that some parts of the story are not believable.  The young boy mispronounces words such as the "Furher".  He thinks it is really the "Fury".  If he were speaking German there would be no misunderstanding, but the author is Australian.  We forgive this little foibles as the story comes to an emotional climax.
Little House on the Prairie Cookbook - Barbara M. Walker - I LOVE Little House on the Prairie.  I even read the cookbook!  I've even cooked from it.  The lemonade is in our family repertoire and we made lard cracklings, and many others besides.  I love revisiting all of the stories in one volume.  Food was so scarce to Laura that it made a very deep impression on her, and we are forever grateful for that bit of history.  My childen love that Almanzo ate pie for breakfast!
The Distant Land of My Father - Bo Caldwell - I enjoyed this tale.  It is a fictional account of a daughter who leaves China in World War II with her mother and becomes American.  Later in her life she decides to return to China to find him, and in so doing, finds out about him.

Do you ever have Reader's Block?  Do you have a trick to overcome it?  Or do you just ride it out?

Who's your favorite book character?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

i DO read fiction...

There was alot of nonfiction in the last list of books...  My reading always reflects my life.

We are still heavy in nonfiction in the titles that follow, but I have mixed in some fiction.

BOOKS I'VE READ:
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver - this was a bookclub selection (when I belonged to one).  It is fiction, and the tale of missionary/preacher and his family in Africa in the middle of last century.  It was very good.  I recommend it highly.  The chapters are told by different members of the family as chaos ensues within (and without) the family.  It is set up well, so it shouldn't confuse. 
Rainbow's End - Lauren St. John - Ms. St. John is known by my children for her books about children and animals (The White Giraffe, for example) , but I first found her here.  This is her memoir about her childhood, feeling very African (the only place she's ever lived), yet being a white child in Africa during a period of Revolution and turmoil.  A little intense, but gripping.
Plain and Amish - Langin - a nonfiction account written by an "Englischer" of the history of the Amish and how they manage their faith in today's world.
Omnivore's Dilemna - Michael Pollan - Nonfiction that makes you think about food.  Mr. Pollan follows four different meals from their very different beginnings to their similar endings: his stomach.  This book was powerful AND entertaining.  It helped mold my beliefs about food and what our relationship with it should be.
Nim's Island - Wendy Orr - I read this to my kids.  I enjoyed the voice, but it was not my favorite.  It just didn't click with me.  I have a problem with youth fiction - sometimes it doesn't feel well-developed to me.
The Alchemist - Paul Coehlo - Ugh.  This felt like a contrivance.  It is a parable, and I realize there is a measure of contriving happening in such tales, but this one did not reach me.  I don't even remember much about it - a shepherd is in it - because I didn't like it.  Sorry.
Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally - Alisa Smith and JB McKinnon - The title says it all.  There were a couple swears if I call recall correctly.  I enjoyed this book, and was sad when it ended.  They REALLY followed their rules, but they were lucky enough to live in a plant and meat fertile area.  Not to say they weren't a bit hungry and testy with each other... Very human.
The Flame Trees of Thika - Elspeth Huxley - a memoir of a young woman's life in the early 1900s in Africa... also a movie starring Hayley Mills as a grown-up...
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser - a expose on the fast food industry, us, and options.  I may be coining it a "classic" early, but I think it has such merit.  My kids have read this book in the youth version Chew On This by the same author.  It changed me. 
Coming to Colorado - Wolfgang WE Samuel - a memoir written by a man who was a German refugee as a child during WWII.  He came to Colorado and grew up in Aurora.  He became a pilot for the United States.  I enjoyed this perspective.  I read a lot of WWII/Holocaust stories and this one was unique to me because it told the middle of the story.  I also enjoyed the Colorado tidbits!

This period was obviously one in which I focused on food, Africa, and memoirs.  Huh.

What do you like to read?  Do you read only fiction?  Nonfiction?

Oops!

According the to second edition of Blogging For Dummies I am amiss in blogger etiquette:  I am not "transparent".

I am not telling you the truth.

My real name is not "Frankie".  It never has been, and while I wish it would become so, I will not change it.  Having said that, I am not writing as an alter-ego.  I am me.  My opinions, comments, and words are all mine.  Those really are my kids in the photos.  And those were real trout eyeballs on my son's hand.  I really do read these books.  And I really do drink Celestial Seasonings tea (Bengal Spice is my fav) but I have received absolutely nothing from that company for saying so... (wish I did though - coupons would be nice?)

Not sure if I covered all my bases...  that's all that jumped out of the book as I was flipping through.  I will read it though and fix other mistakes as I learn of them...

Or you could tell me... nicely, of course. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

...and so it begins...

I turned 30 a few years ago and I realized I couldn't remember whether I had read certain books, or if I had merely begun them and moved on... or if I had only thoght it sounded like a good book.  Going to the library or book/thrift store got to be hard.

I decided to begin cataloging the books I had read.  I put a piece of notepaper on the fridge, higher than sticker fingers or kitty's paws.  I scrawled "BOOKS I'VE READ" across the top and began on January 1, 2007.  I wrote the name of the book, and the name of the author.  At some point I also decided to write a blurb about the book beside these other notations.  I've read books - clearly remember reading them - but have no recollection as to what was between the cover.  The blurbs have helped!

Clean books?  What does that mean to Frankie?  Well, I like to think in terms of old B&W films...  when Cary Grant picks up the leading lady and carries her to the bedroom, he kicks the door shut behind him.  What happens after that is between Cary and his lady.  I don't like sex scenes.  I don't mind love, or romantic notions, but intimacy is so private and personal - even to characters in a book.  I want to respect their privacy as I feel the author should.  Having said that, I don't mind a few swears.  Doesn't bother me, but I know it bothers others.  I will warn, I promise. 

I read a lot of genres.  I have a hard time with fantasy and talking animals.  I read to learn more about me, the world, my children, my faith...  I expect a book to change me.  I want to grow.  Art has a purpose - and the purpose I find in books is a challenge to become a better ME.

Still working on how to organize my thoughts, but as it is summer and I don't have a lot of time to review as deeply as I'd like (maybe in the fall?) I'll start sharing the titles and blurbs of books I've read since turning 30... I've got four years to share so it should take a few posts!  :-)

BOOKS I'VE READ
Good Old Days in the Kitchen - Tate (sorry, I didn't write the first name!) - cookbook
Eve and the Mortal Journey - Beverly Campbell - an LDS view of Eve's role
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston - modern day classic novel about the strength of a woman in the South
BYU Speeches 1991 - 1992 - various authors on LDS themes
The Manual of Practical Homesteading - John Vivian - Mr. Vivian (I think from Mother Earth News fame) shares his practical knowledge of creating a homestead from his experiences with his little family.  Good goat butchering segments :-)
Note to self - still hate Hemingway... (I must have tried one and gave myself permission!)
Arctic Homestead - Norma  Cobb - memoir of the last homesteader in the United States...  I absolutely loved this story.  It reads well and the family's misadventures are exciting.  I reread this one often - I finally broke down and bought a copy b/c the library wouldn't lend me their copy anymore- it was held together with rubber bands!  Fun read for a woman who loves a "manly" man.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver - memoir-like account of a writer and her professor husband as they eat locally for a year.  Very good.  I've reread parts of it.  I reexamined my food choices after reading this, The Jungle, and Omnivore's Dilemna.
The Homecoming - Earl Hamner, Jr - The Walton's Christmas story - one my all-time favs.
Leaving Mother Lake - Yang Erche Namu - fascinating true tale of a young Mongolian singer leaving her homeland.
Ranch on the Laramie - Ted Olsen - a memoir...  I don't remember much about it :-)  Nice quiet read?

Enough for now...

Monday, May 16, 2011

got it!

books - that'll be my focus...

clean ones, and eventually reviews...  maybe i'll change the blog name, too....

feels good to have a direction now!

"refining"

Who tries on their wedding dress after 13 1/2 yrs?  The same person who starts a blog with no clear purpose!

I read.  I write.  Daily.  Minute by minute, though, I am refining myself.  Redefining.  This year has been a year of massive changes and an acceptance of self.  So who am I?  If I accept myself, I should figure it out.

So, do I just "doodle" here?  Do I tell you what I am reading - what GI tests I am having - what I am knitting - what recipe I am excited to try? 

I may have a focus some day.  Right now.... I am scattered.  Go back to school or stay home and run and write?  If I write, what should it be?  If I run, should I tell you that?  If eating half a banana too much sends my intestines into a spiral, do I share?

Do I catalogue my kids and tell family I am here now?  Do I share couponing glories?  Do I share my fears as my kids grow up and need me less yet need me more?

Not sure. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Fishy Tale

Okay - so my kids are AWESOME!  They all (the 5 yr old to the 12 yr old) de-gutted fish yesterday.  I took pix and was super supportive :-)  Who wants to smell like fish, right?  Actually one of my girls decided to be supportive with me so she didn't get gross either.


Then when things get a little boring:
Begin dissecting the head and walking around the house wth the eyeballs!  :-)  We didn't actually EAT the fish last night b/c it was wicked late when everyone got home.  So the kids ate weird sandwiches, Red Sox Man had a burger and I had a tortilla with peanut butter and banana (was sorry I did, too - too late for such a dense meal!)

I'm still loving Stormy Weather.  Paulette Jiles is a poet.  Shouldn't girl poets be poettes?  No one says "poetess" anymore, so let's at least change the spelling, huh?

Care to know what I ate today?  Sure ya do...  oatmeal and 1/2 banana and raisin for breakfast - a T of peanuts in the van on the way home from church b/c I was STARVING! - pasta, red sauce, broccoli, nooch, mushrooms for lunch - snack (my fav so far) was nature valley granola bar in almond milk with a couple strawberries and rest of breakfast's banana... dinner: trout, br rice, green beans and the kids will get a cookie, too.  My belly is okay today - a little bloated, but not too stinky, and pain only when I was STARVING!  The first food when I get to that point ALWAYS hurts.

What do you like to read?  Eat?  Do?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

My First Post

Not sure how to start a blog!  :-)  But since I've been knocking the idea around for a while, I probably should just do it.  Maybe I should tell you a bit about myself?

I am 33 years old and have been married for 13 years to a man I went to sixth grade with.  I have four children, 3 girls and a boy.  I am a Latter-day Saint.  I run and do yoga.  I drink Celestial Seasonings teas.  I knit.  I love old movies.  Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I love spinach and chard and yellow squash - hated them as a kid.  I hate cleaning. I drive my van like it's a truck.  Being diagnosed lactose intolerant was one of the biggest disappointments in my life (perspective, right?).  I've been seeing a GI doc for months trying to figure out what else is wrong with my intestines.  I joined the Americorps when I was nineteen.  I grew up a couple of miles from the ocean.  I love wind.  I have curly hair.  We raise chickens and apples.  We used to have rabbits and guineas and milk goats.  I can't decide whether I should go back to school or not.  I like the idea of naps, but I always feel terrible after one.  I love oatmeal.  I just began couponing to stretch my schoolteacher husband's salary.  We have two cats: Tom and Jerry.  I have weight management problems.  I eat when I am stressed - I'm always stressed.  I am a type A overachiever (but I don't like to clean?).  I love Whole Foods even though it's expensive.  I haunt antique stores and living history museums.  I have glasses.  I ran my first 5K last week.  I hate being wet.  And I always take more books out of the library than I could possibly read.

Well, that's a start.

I'm reading Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

And tonight we're eating fresh trout (caught today by husband and kids), roasted potatoes and carrots and green salad.

I think those are things I like on others' blogs - the tidbits, the food, the activities - etc.  I like the pictures, too, but I am NOT a techy...  soon?