Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Reading Receipt

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy

Three books this month:

1)The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
I liked this, although I have not read any of Karr's memoirs. (She's written three.)  I found myself writing down a lot of quotes from this, which is always the sign of a good book.  If you write in any way I think you would appreciate this book.  Here's just a taste: "Developing a voice is actually learning how to lodge your own memories inside someone else's head."

2) Matilda by Roald Dahl
I actually read this out loud to my class.  I love Dahl (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, James and The Giant Peach), but I had never read this book before.  Dahl never shrinks from creating horrible characters in children's lit.  I think that's part of why kids enjoy his books.  I know it's part of why I enjoy them.

3) The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
This started really well.  Technology causes a "word flu". Unfortunately, it really dragged for me in the middle and end.  I got impatient with the "aphasia" the characters were experiencing in their narration.  I did write down a few quotes from this one early on, though. "Words are living legends, swollen with significance.  We string them together to make stories, but they themselves are stories."

So true.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Best Words This Week

Welcome to The Best Words This Week.  This is a new idea I recently had for the blog.  The idea is to just share a snippet of words that made me sit up and take notice during the course of the week.

This week, I've been reading The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon.  It's the kinda-not-too-distant- futuristic story of a world dependent on smart "Memes" (think a very sophisticated smart phone that can anticipate your needs with just your thoughts) in which the English language is about to be phased out. I've written down several quotes from it already, and I'm not even halfway done.  To be honest when I read this part last night, I knew it was the perfect one for this inaugural post.

"When I was eight, he made me a dazzling blue and silver sword encrusted with sequins (which soon fell off).  Amazed, I asked how he'd made it.  "Wood and glue," he said, shrugging.  It had become one our tropes, with different meanings - it could be used to signify something either magical or very prosaic.  But mostly we said it when we meant "toughen up"; that we can fashion our strength from whatever we want."

Wood and glue.  Yeah, I like that.  We can fashion our strength from lots of different sources.  For me it's music or words, my faith or wearing a favorite item of clothing or jewelry or by drawing up a memory of another happy time.  I once was caught in the middle of a very contentious battle of the wills at work and consciously made the choice to wear a locket my husband had given me with pictures of both of my children inside.  It made me feel stronger and reminded me what I was fighting for.  There are lots of mornings when I just need to hear a certain song to get me ready to face another day.  And quotes.  My God, the quotes I've run through my head that have helped me "toughen up" over the years!

Another reason I think this struck such a chord with me is that I'm all about a good trope.  Growing up in my family, we had all kinds.  "Bad news, Bert, " and "Nature of the beast," are two that spring to mind immediately.

So I'll be adopting that expression now.  Wood and glue - the best words this week.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Small Spaces

I don't think my entire house is ever in order at the same time. With two kids, a full time job, five pets, and my husband, it's just not something I'm willing to spend every waking moment on.  Who am I kidding?  I'm also kind of a slob.  Because of this, I revel in it when I have one space that really makes me happy.  I noticed that lately I tend to snap pictures of areas that really give me an emotional boost.  Then it occurred to me to share this idea on the blog.

I've been collecting pieces from The Pioneer Woman's kitchen line since it came out in the fall.  What I really love about this line is that it has lots of different colors and designs, but everything still fits together.  I've never been able to commit to a "theme" in my kitchen or even a color scheme.  Until now.  

Man, do I love this stuff.  I tend to lean a bit towards her "Flea Market" designs which are kind of hodge podge but are pulled together by a common color palette.  Not everything I have is from that line, though.  My dishes are Cowgirl Lace and Country Garden, but somehow they still magically coordinate.  I bought several pieces when it debuted but have been picking up a piece or two when I grocery shop at Wal-Mart once a week.  She's recently released linens into this line.  I've slowly been replacing my old, worn-out, mismatched towels each week.  It's weird how much something like that can lift my spirits.  Then I found this runner last week and put this together over the weekend after I took down all my Easter stuff.

I love the way this turned out.  Of course, I have to move my $5 Kroger flowers at night or the cats will knock them over.