Showing posts from 2018

Reading Roundup: November 2018

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey Writing a book from the point of view of a protagonist with dementia could be a brilliant idea, especially if you are creating a mystery or a thriller and want the reader to have trouble sorting out the clues. This conceit mostly works in this novel, but sometimes the opacity of the narrator's mind just made things frustrating. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates I have a hard time figuring out how to review this book; it is certainly a great book, and one that everyone should read. It is not, however, a comfortable, fun, or easy book. In a way, I'm not the target audience. However, at the same time I am, because I know nothing about the experiences Coates describes, and it is vital that I learn. I'm grateful I read this so I can, hopefully, have a little more humility and understanding. Dendo: One Year and One Half in Japan by Brittany Long Olsen  I bought this book several years ago, but never sat and read it all t

Thanksgiving Break

This year I did not cook or eat any Thanksgiving food, and I find that I mostly haven't missed any of it. Well, except for pie. Many of my friends are posting about pie on social media and I would like to eat some. Other than that, I'm not a big fan of most Thanksgiving foods that I would only eat on the holiday (turkey, stuffing), or I eat those foods at other times already (rolls, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy). This year the kids were with Mr. Fob, so my parents and I decided to eat out at a fancy restaurant. They had a Thanksgiving special with turkey, but I chose a pork chop with blackberry coulis and sweet potato puree. It was delicious. So was the chocolate creme brulee I had for dessert.  The kids came back Thursday night, so we hung out and watched a movie. Friday we met up with my brother at the Natural History Museum and spent the afternoon together, then went out for Indian food. On the way home, I convinced my parents to stop off at Ikea so they could

Seventeen Years

Seventeen years ago today, I got married. Some years I don't think about the date very much. This year it's also a Tuesday, which was the same day of the week our wedding was on. Even more weirdly, the weather pattern is the same--warm and sunny today, with snow predicted for Thursday. I've been thinking a lot about the wedding today. However, I haven't really been sad or angry. It just feels so far away and so long ago. I'm a very different person now, I have a different life, and the world is a different place.  When I got home from work, I found a thank-you note from S-Boogie for me. I'll be honest and say that raising older kids is hard. Of course, being a teenager is hard too. I didn't realize how much I needed to hear some good feedback from my kids until I got it. They really are good kids and are mostly doing all right. I'm also grateful that Mr. Fob is still a good, involved dad and a reasonable co-parent. In fact, I often hate it when people

The Talk I Didn't Give Today

Last Sunday a member of the bishopric stopped by to ask me to give a talk today. I haven't given a talk for a few years, so I agreed, even though I only had a week to prepare. I also know I was going to be speaking last and wanted to prepare enough length to cover the time if needed. It ended up being a very busy week, and although I had the talk in the back of my mind, I never got a chance to sit down and write anything out until last night. I planned to wake up early this morning in order to review it and make any adjustments I needed. I did wake up early, but unfortunately it was to the sound of S-Boogie throwing up in the bathroom. After helping clean things up, I got ready and headed to church with P.Bibby. Little Dude was being slow, so we left him to walk since I was anxious to get there early. A few minutes after we arrived, I got a text that Little Dude had gotten sick as well. It was not an auspicious start to the morning. I decided to stick around since the older two

Ten things I'm grateful for today

1. Chocolate shredded wheat 2. Heated seats in my car 3. Watching movies with the kids 4. Costco 5. Connecting with friends and family on social media 6. My credit card company reversing a late fee after realizing their error 7. Natalie Merchant 8. Snowy mountains with a backdrop of blue skies 9. Corduroy pants 10. Reading the Book of Mormon quickly

Reading Roundup: October 2018

Less by Andrew Sean Greer This book took a while to get going and I was skeptical of why it had received so many different honors. About halfway through, it picked up momentum and I got to the point where I couldn't put it down. This isn't a long, epic novel, but it was a lot fun to read, especially as it got going and pieces started coming together in the end.  American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse This book was a fascinating look at an unusual crime spree and a part of the country that most people aren't familiar with. I also liked the pacing of the mystery, and how it was interspersed with background about the people and place involved. However, I ended up feeling just a bit disappointed in the end, because a motive for the attacks has never been revealed. I guess this a reflection of real life, but still makes the book fall a bit flat in the end. Transcription by Kate Atkinson I absolutely loved Atkinson's other WWII n

I Want to Remember this Soup

Tonight I made some lentil soup for dinner, but I changed the recipe up a bit to give it more of an Indian curry vibe. I kept in the cumin, but instead of chili powder I added some curry powder, ginger, and a bit of smoked paprika. I also used about a cup of coconut milk and the juice of an entire lemon. The kids all rated it a 9/10 and would eat it again.  I've been thinking about going back to being more vegetarian in what we are eating, but the truth is that we actually don't eat meat very often as it is. I particularly find myself craving beef on a regular basis, especially in the winter. It probably would, however, be good to give up ham and sausage. Those are two of my favorite meats, despite knowing how bad they are for me. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do that yet, but I do think we need to start eating more veggies and beans (I need to remind myself that vegetarian food isn't just cheese pizza.

Four Quick Things

1. I wanted to try NaBloPoMo again to see if I jump start my writing and creativity again. I've spent the last few years feeling increasingly uninspired and spending more time reading things on the internet rather than producing them. I have no idea if anyone is still reading this--I'm one of the few people I know who still uses a feed reader and actively reads blogs--and I think most of what I've posted so far has been drivel, but I'm going to keep trying. 2. Today was another busy day, all day long. Five or ten years ago I thought things would be easier when the kids were bigger. They are easier in some ways, since they can all feed and dress themselves. However, expectations are higher, problems are bigger, and they definitely all have personalities and priorities of their own. Plus we are just busier with more activities and homework and other things. The three kids are at three different schools (elementary, middle, and high school) for the next three years, and

What I didn't do today, and what I did

Things I didn't do today: Rake the leaves off the lawn Wash the windows Repaint a wall in the basement  Fix the compost bin Go to a movie or a concert or a lecture Clean out the closets Work on writing Go to the temple Things I did do today: Got a massage Went grocery shopping Made and canned applesauce (8 pints) Did laundry Cleaned three bathrooms Dropped off the vacuum for a tune-up Sometimes I focus too much on the things I think I 'should' do, or make unrealistic expectations for my weekends. Sometimes it's better to take a good look at what I've actually accomplished instead.

Thousand Oaks

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but my siblings and I used to make fun of the gun warning signs that hung in our school. There were bright yellow signs in every classroom with the phone number of a hotline for reporting weapons at school. They said "See a gun? Save a life! Say something!", and for some reason we thought the Spanish translation was hilarious. We'd randomly turn to each other and blurt "¿Has visto una pistola? ¡Salva una vida!" This was, of course, before Columbine and before so many other mass shootings, many of them in schools. True, there had been some other random crimes, like the shooting at a McDonalds in San Ysidro when I was little, but for some reason we felt safe at school. This is ironic, because the reason why there were yellow signs in every classroom was the gang violence that plagued our school and community. Our campus was a closed campus, we had a police officer assigned to school, and there were random metal detector checks

My Daybook

I did this post ten years ago , and thought it would be fun to do again I am wearing khaki pants, a cream-colored shirt with navy stripes, and a red cardigan. I am reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Also trying to read the whole Book of Mormon before the end of the year. I am hearing the hum of the dishwasher and the washing machine. Learning all the time that I should be more thoughtful in my actions and not so quick to judge others. I am thankful for the great community that I live in. I am hoping that Little Dude gets better for tomorrow, and that if it's a stomach virus, the rest of us can avoid getting it. From the kitchen tonight came a crustless spinach quiche. It was really delicious. S-Boogie is on a limited chewing diet for a few weeks so we've been creative with healthy soft foods. Bringing beauty to my home by recently buying some new chairs for the living room. It's my first exper