Saturday, July 4, 2020

Full Circle

I still haven't finished War and Peace. Last year I only got to page 148 before I had to return it to the library. Remember when we used to actually go into libraries?

If our current federal administration hadn't failed so fantastically at handling COVID-19, things might be different.

We can't go back, but we can decide our future leadership. So, I'll just reiterate what I said in my last post: We'll change that on November 3, 2020.

It feels like a very American thing to do.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Reading Tolstoy on the 4th of July

It felt like a very American thing to be doing.  I am grateful for my beautiful country and my precious freedom.  I am thankful we are not ruled by a dictator, just a petty man who likes to pretend he's one.  (We'll change that on November 3, 2020.)

Monday, July 1, 2019

Work Gets in the Way

I bought a hydrangea about a month ago.  Or maybe end of May?  Then we had a heat wave the next week and I came home to find it completely wilted (even though I had watered it two days before).  I knew we live in an iffy area for hydrangeas and I thought I had killed it.  It made me want to cry.  So, I poured a gallon of water into it and the next morning it looked like this again.  There's got to be some sort of significant metaphor here.

So it's July.  I haven't posted since December.  I don't know how that happened.  Wait.  Yes I do.  I got a new job as a homeschool teacher for a public charter school.  I like it a lot, but this first year was a HUGE learning curve.  Not only work stuff, but figuring out how to be a regular working mom stuff and all the stuff that goes along with that.  Stuff.

I also drive my kids--one or both--to swim practice every day.  Twice a day four times a week for my daughter.  I love that they like it so much but, wow, I never ever thought this is what we would be doing.

So.  I bought a hydrangea.  I put it in the back against the fence across the yard from the kitchen window over the sink.  I look out there often and it is a thing of beauty.  I love the way the colors of the flowers change.  It reminds me of my Grandma, though I don't remember her ever having a hydrangea or even if she liked them.  (And that makes me sad, because I feel like I should know this and now I can't ask her.)

I read one book in the last six months and I'll post about it in a few days.  Probably.  And now I am starting War and Peace which the librarian told me her son told her is just one big long cocktail party.  So, I'm thinking--beach read!

Happy summer.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Book o' the Month: The Old Magic of Christmas


The Old Magic of Christmas, by Linda Raedisch, is quite the eye-opener.  It turns out, the days between mid-October and February 2nd are chock-full of nasty characters, spirits, monsters, etc.  You have likely heard of the Krampus, but he is just one of many menacing entities you have to watch out for during this season.  However, there are also several actions you might take to help keep the baddies at bay and usher in some good luck (and presents)!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  It explores the folklore and traditions of Europe and beyond.  And in case you were wondering what you need to beware of on this New Year's Eve...it is moving night for Icelandic elves and if you are in Iceland, you might notice magical white frost "pantry drift" in your pantry.  Also, it is the night Finnish maidens might see the image of their future husbands reflected in a mirror. 

And, if you can swing it and you stroke a piglet this evening, you may have good luck all next year.  So with that I wish you--

A HAPPY NEW YEAR  pig balancing cones on its nose, line up of pigs along bottom of card

(image found here)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Book o' Last Month: The First Four Years

This post is bittersweet.  The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a bittersweet story of Laura and Almanzo Wilder's first four years of marriage.  It was tough going trying to make a living farming in the Dakota Territory, but Laura was resilient, pragmatic, and ultimately optimistic.

Andrew and I have spent many sweet mornings curled up before school reading through this series.  We have both been absorbed in the details of Laura's pioneer life.  But this is the last book in the series and when we finished the final page I thought, Now what?  That's the bitter.

Andrew is an excellent reader (thoroughly enjoying Gary Paulsen's Hatchet series) and interested in many other things: guitar, drawing airplanes and ships, Snap Circuits.  But, lucky for me, he is also still interested in hanging out with his mom.  Now I just need to find a new book to read to him.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book o' Two Months Ago: Moby Dick


I read it--the dreaded Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  Why is it so dreaded?  I was immediately drawn in to the witty narration of Ismael.  Who knew Moby Dick was funny (the book, not the whale)?  True, it is a loooong book (at over 600 pages in the edition that I read), but the chapters are short--perfect for our current condition of smartphone related short attention spans (or parenthood).  I will admit I learned more about ALL the aspects of whaling, which I never had any intention of knowing, including one particular visceral image I may never be able to purge from my brain, but it was worth it.  I may be partial because of my love of 19th century subject matter and literature, but I would still dare you: Read Moby Dick!


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer Plans

What are my summer plans? I get asked this question everytime I bump into a friend or acquaintance. 

Besides a four day trip to see family later this month, we've got nothing going on. And by nothing, I mean spendng 1-3 hours a day driving kids to activities. And by activities, I mean mostly Valerie's swim practice. (Swim team has been awesome for her, don't get me wrong, but still. A lot of driving for me.)

Yesterday I see that dooce.com is back in Paris this summer and I start thinking about the four weeks I spent in Spain back in the summer of 2002. I was there for a professional development class for teaching, but that was just an excuse, si?

So...here are my new summer plans:


No, I'm not going to Spain. Just looking up flights. And browsing accommodations. A mama can dream!