Tuesday, June 28, 2011

She Is Too Fond of Books: Playing Catch-Up

It's been weighing on my mind that I've written NO book reviews in ages. But I have been reading. So I took a break from packing to share a list of what I've read over the past few months. These are off the top of my head, so I'm forgetting a few, but this is better than nothing, right?

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, by Stieg Larsson
  • Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson
  • Tyler's Row, by Miss Read
  • Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian (not as good as The Double Bind)
  • House Rules, by Jodi Picoult (Okay. Learned a lot about Asperger's.)
  • 84, Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, by Helene Hanff
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, The World According to Bertie, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, and Love Over Scotland, all by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton
  • The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

And my favorite thus far:

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

If you're looking for titles for your summer reading, these should get you started. Happy reading!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Summers

Holy cow. I don't know about you, but I am worn out. June has been its usual (at least for the past three years or so) frantic, frenetic, frenzied, barely controlled chaos with a few added sparks tossed in just for fun.

There was a security breach on my Amazon account, resulting in my account being closed, which discombobulated my seller account (and I had pending sales!). It's taken a bit of time to get sorted out, what with my Kindle (yes, I lost some books there). Amazon gave me a gift card to cover the loss of my downloaded books I lost; I was grateful. Then there was a mammogram scare that turned out to be nothing. And that was just last week!

Betwixt and between the unprepared- and unlooked-for events, we've juggled daily swim team practices; weekly swim meets (this year, I co-chaired concessions for two home meets -- a new experience for me); practice rides and lessons each week on the equestrian front; three horse shows; Miss Priss's first-ever middle school choir mission trip to Pensacola, FL; dental, ortho, and eye appointments; getting together with friends; pool visits (the girls can go by themselves this year -- hallelujah!); a complete overhaul of the study/schoolroom; Jasper's weekly obedience training; AND our trip to Hawaii. Plus we're getting ready for our journey to Maine, which is a monumental task with a multitude of its own requirements.

June in the deep South. That's my first summer.

By this time next week, we'll be in Maine, and my second summer begins. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Have you missed me? Or have you been too busy with summer activities to notice my silence? I'm guessing the latter!

Himself and I returned Saturday afternoon from a glorious week sans enfants on the Big Island of Hawaii (or, as they say, Hawai'i). Part of the time was a business trip for him; all of it was recreational for me. We had a blast. We rented a venicle and made a tour of almost all the island.

 Polulu Beach Overlook, north Kohala

Some Things We Saw:
- black sand beaches
- waterfalls
- rainbows
- southernmost tip of the U.S.
- sea turtles
- dolphins
- volcanoes
- snow atop Mauna Kea
- surfers
- beautiful flowers and flowering trees

My toes on the black sand of Punalu'u Beach Park

Some Things We Did:
- hiked through a rainforest AND a volcano crater
- snorkeled
- ziplined
- sailed on a catamaran
- toured a coffee farm and sampled delicious Kona coffee
- drove over rough, four-wheel-drive only roads to reach some places off the beaten path
- ate fabulous food

The trip home was a bear. We left Kona at 9:00 PM and, after five hours in the air, reached Los Angeles at 5:00 AM Pacific time. We boarded our second flight at 6:30 AM and landed at home at 1:30 Eastern time. We both tried to sleep on each flight, but were largely unsuccessful. So we were exhausted on Saturday and Sunday. Himself wonders if the return flight is worth the whole trip. I have no such ponderings. Hawaii is worth every minute of it!

Of course, now we're back home and smack into "real life" in real time. . . .