Thursday, August 21, 2014

Makes my heart swell

At the end of the first Harry Potter movie Hen always claps when Professor Dumbledore awards extra points to Gryffindor and changes the House colors after the tally shows they won the House Cup.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Same tune, new lyrics

Hen, singing to the tune of You are My Sunshine: You are my mama, my only mama. You are squishing my balls right now.

I had just picked him up and unintentionally was squishing his, well, balls. Sorry, kid.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book forty-four: Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson

The title pretty much sums up the ridiculousness of this book. It is another Harlequin-esque book. Why am I reading these?

Emma's poppi (i.e. Italian grandfather) has passed away. His once capable wife, nona (i.e. Italian grandmother), is now in need of all sorts of care so Emma quits her dead-end marketing job and heads to the small town in which nona lives. At the same time, Emma's mother, who is on the rocks with her husband (Emma's father), also moves to nona's. They are there to take care of nona but they quickly become so embroiled in their own lives nona is treated like an afterthought. (Don't worry, nona's fine.)

Anyway, Emma immediately meets an interesting man who is dating…

dum dum DUM!

her sister.

That's right. This perfect man for her is already coupled with her sister… or is he?

You can probably guess how everything works out.

44 down plus 8 to go.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book forty-three: The Giver by Lois Lowry

This book reminds me of Ayn Rand's Anthem. There are differences to be sure, but both look at what happens when choice is removed from society and then an individual learns how to be an individual.

Anyway, the book was shortlisted and won awards and is now, someone told me, a standard read in English high school classes everywhere.

43 down plus 9* to go.

*Oh, I am so hitting my goal this year. Woohoo!

Book forty-two: Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #2) by Gertrude Chandler Warner

These books, perhaps more than most others, illustrate how our mindsets about leaving children alone have changed over time. Today's parents are constantly being reminded that one misstep in parenting could lead to charges of neglect or endangerment. But not so long ago, kids were given the freedom to roam freely for extended periods of time. 

In this book the children's grandfather lets them go to an island for the summer. Sure, there are adults present on the island and grandpa does visit, but most of the time the children are left to fend for themselves. They find, buy, prepare, and cook their own meals, they manage whatever crises come to pass, the learn to seek help when problems are too large to handle on their own. The also have so much fun exploring and discovering. 

Hen really appreciates the adventures presented in these books so we'll definitely keep on reading them. 

42 down plus 10 to go.

Book forty-one: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This book is being made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, which is originally how I came to learn of it. It's a great read. The beginning chapters in which Strayed explains what drove her to make the decision to hike the PCT are a little boring, as a reader with a yearly book count goal, I would have appreciated brevity, but once she was on the trail the minutiae of the daily struggle to hike was both interesting and exhilarating. One can easily imagine battling their own out of shape, aging bodies to hike such a rigorous trail. (And can readily convince themselves that they are not up to such a task.) But one can also imagine the beauty that is encountered while hiking along the trail, the gorgeous rising and setting of the sun, the void of man-made sounds and the awakening of the senses. So, yeah, at some point I'd like to hike for a few days on the trail. Maybe. C'est possible.

I would recommend this book to any female friend who has ever hiked or has ever thought about the possibility of one day hiking, even if only for a day hike.

41 down plus 11 to go.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

You're going to do what now?

Hen: I'm going to make a shirt that says, "I heart beer."

Me: What? Why are you going to do that?

Hen: For papa.

Sometimes Hen says things just out of the blue like this and it reminds me his brain is always working on one plan or another.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Naomi's in the condo!

My niece has finally made it back to Oregon for a visit. While Hen and I were there with my brother to meet Naomi at the train station, he was the one we agreed could whisk her away for the weekend. She came, I saw her just long enough to snap a few shots, and was gone.

But as of last night, she is officially a guest at the condo! We had garbanzo beans with rice and broccoli for dinner! Then Naomi and I caught a late showing of The Purge: Anarchy! Woot!

Today, we traveled to Frog Lake and spent the day enjoying the fantastic weather, beautiful view, and relaxing atmosphere. And, yes, s'mores were consumed.

Methinks Hen is quite taken with the idea of having a much older "sister" at home. Excepting the time he spent constructing a frog city out of mud with his friends, he's talking to her nearly nonstop. It's very cute. Much like how awesome his cousins, Taylor and Jackson, were when we camped with my older sister at Seal Rock a few years back, Naomi remains patient and responsive to him. There are lots of reasons why she's a great house guest but this ranks pretty high on the list.