Monday, June 29, 2009
And so, the chair. For as long as I can remember, this chair has been in my grandma's living room. It was in the corner near the doorway to the kitchen, convenient for chatting on the phone or for reading one of the magazines from the stack that always seemed to cover the brown desk next to it. We need more living room furniture and my uncle is trying to fix up the house, so I asked if we could have it. Thankfully my parents were there with their truck to transport it to our home on their way back south. It is comfortable and nostalgic all at the same time and I'm glad I have it to remember my grandmother by. I'm looking forward to cuddling our new baby in it this winter and I hope it will last a while for us. I think it also is a great symbol of my grandmother: it's not very flashy and not the most stylish, but it's exceedingly comfortable and welcoming just the same.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I've also been avoiding posting because I don't want to spend all my time moaning about how crappy I feel. I already did that last pregnancy. Some days I'm more fatigued than nauseated, others more nauseated than fatigued. Mostly I just want to lounge on the couch and eat ice cream, but sadly I have children that won't allow me to do that. We've been filling our time with other good things. Playing with cousins, shopping at DI (today I found this for only 75 cents!), going to the swimming pool, riding bikes in the driveway, summer reading at the library. Slowly I'm learning how to be the full-time mom; it will probably be easier when I want to eat something besides sour gummy bears and french fries.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I also thought I'd share a recipe for one of our favorite ways to use canned salmon. My kids love these and gobble them up every time I serve them. The recipe makes eight, which is really only enough for four adults (two cakes each), but you could probably double it if you wanted to. I also keep meaning to try these as a sandwich on a nice chewy roll with some honey mustard sauce and crispy lettuce. The original recipe suggests a honey mustard sauce, which you make by stirring together a tablespoon of honey mustard and one-fourth cup mayonnaise. We also like them with mango salsa or even tartar sauce.
2 cans (6-7 oz size) boneless, skinless salmon
¼ cup milk
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. dried dill or lemon pepper
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1-2 tbls. cooking oil
Beat egg and milk together in a bowl; stir in salmon and remaining ingredients except for oil. Form mixture into eight small patties, each about ½ inch thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry on both sides until golden brown (about 3 minutes each side).
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Well, I discovered that moving is never fun. This move was a little less painful than others, but more in the way of ripping off a band-aid rather than peeling it slowly. Still hurts. Friday morning we picked up the moving van and loaded it up. That morning actually went pretty well; we had a lot of people show up to help us load the truck and clean our apartment. I was so grateful for the help and don't think I would have made it through the day without it. Then my mom and I got in the car with the kids and Mr. Fob got in the truck with our stuff and we drove as far as Winnemucca. The drive wasn't too bad, but slower than we expected due to construction and rain. We stayed in a nice hotel in one of the biggest rooms I've ever seen. I'm glad that Friday wasn't too bad because Saturday was worse. First of all, I-80 is under construction all the way across northern Nevada. Neither of the kids slept at all during the entire day. We discovered that Wendover has no decent restaurant options and so had McDonalds for lunch per the kids' request. Then there was massive accident near Tooele that completely shut down the freeway. At that point I was already starting to lose it, so at my mom's urging I drove on the right shoulder for a mile past parked semi-trucks to get off the interstate and take the back roads around to Lehi. Thankfully that worked and I managed to get to our new home only about three hours behind schedule and with my sanity not completely gone.
In the days since we've actually spent a lot of time visiting friends and family and running errands, but I've managed to get a few rooms unpacked. It's been great to be here with family and friends again and we feel good about our decision to move here. The house is nice and big, but with some of the quirks that older homes have. Like an assortment of light switches with no discernable purpose. And a bathroom covered in pink and black tile. Apparently the people living here before us didn't do much cleaning or taking care of things, and even though the managers are good at helping out we'll probably be more proactive about making this a cozy home. It's still a little unreal to have an entire house and yard to take care of.
The biggest challenge for me with this move has been my incredible fatigue. Plus being tired makes me cranky, so I'm hormonally cranky and tired cranky all at once. My poor kids. We've instituted 'quiet time' in the afternoon because I can't get through the day without a nap. We haven't actually told them straight out that we're having a baby yet, but I think they're figuring it out. Either that or mommy managed to leave all her energy behind in California.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
East of the Mountains by David Guterson
I picked up this book because one of Guterson's other books, Snow Falling on Cedars, is one of my favorites. This one has equally beautiful writing, but the characters and plot just weren't as compelling. I also thought the ending felt a little too pat and didn't seem to fit with the protagonist's personality.
The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind by David Guterson
I happened to be in the short story section of the library and decided to grab this since I had just finished reading the other book by Guterson. As in his other work that I've read, the writing was beautiful and very evocative of time and place. But most of the stories felt just like most other short stories I've read recently and did not impress me much. There were a few that were really good, and some had details that still stick in my mind.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
I knew nothing about this book before reading it, and I'm still not sure what to think of it. It is just as much a 'travelogue' as a true-crime story, and a lot of fun to read. Probably not for the squeamish due to some of the more colorful characters, but still a good read.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
This felt like many other similar fantasy books I've read recently; it had echoes of Beauty and Goose Girl, since it is also a retelling of a fairy tale with a strong female protagonist. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it or that I didn't think it was a good book. Just because fairy tales have conventions doesn't make them inferior; for what it was, I thought it was a fabulous book and I couldn't put it down or stop reading it. I would recommend it for those who love fantasy and a good adventure with a satisfying ending.
Possession by A.S. Byatt
I've read this book four or five times now; it's become one of my 'comfort' books, despite the fact that it's really long and dense and full of made-up Victorian poetry. No rereading is as good as the first, since it's both a romance and a mystery, but it's still a great book. Especially if you're into literary criticism, but even if you're not I think you'd still enjoy it.
This is a movie I'm still pondering, nearly two months after watching it. First of all, from a technical standpoint it's fascinating. The acting is superb and the cinematography just perfect. It's a 'small', understated movie about a small, understated woman. It has an obvious political slant, and yet it doesn't shout at you and you don't even realize what the message is until the movie is over.
This is another character-driven movie with great acting. I'm still not sure how I feel about Meryl Streep's performance; it is over-the-top like she always is, but I'm not sure that's out of sync with how her character should be. She is the hysterical one in a sea of people who are not. It's also a movie that leaves you feeling unsettled, because the ending is ambiguous. After all, it is about doubt.Changeling
I didn't know much about this movie other than the fact that I really like what Clint Eastwood does. I was not disappointed, though I still don't think this measures up to some of his other stuff. For one thing, the story is kind of long and meandering. It probably could have been tightened up. And I didn't like Angelina Jolie very much in her role, which is a problem because she's the main character. The portrayal of Los Angeles also felt a little slick, like it was trying to look like a movie about L.A. and not historical L.A. itself. That said, I still enjoyed the movie and didn't feel it was a waste of my time.Sadly, this movie did feel like a waste of my time. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, Brad Pitt and the cinematography. But I just didn't like the story much; it felt too much like the main characters didn't do a lot, and I didn't find Benjamin to be a very sympathetic character at all. I have a feeling that this will be the sort of movie people start falling out of love with in a few years. Also, I guess I feel bugged because it felt like a higher-class Forrest Gump. And that bugs me for two reasons. First of all, Forrest Gump is aware that it's cheesy and yet it doesn't care; second, Forrest just seemed like a more likeable character and he was generally trying to help other people and he was loyal to his family.
This was our third historical epic in a row, but we made it through unscathed. It certainly felt like Baz Luhrmann film and kept us on our toes with delightfully unexpected things throughout. At the same time, that was a bit of a weakness for the movie because it felt disjointed and weak in parts. But overall it was a fun movie and we enjoyed watching it.
I've seen this one a few times before, but had to watch it again for a class. It's a fun movie about the power of movies and the power of nostalgia. I love both the actor playing the protagonist as a kid and the one playing him as a teenager.