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Top Ten Tuesday: My 10 Favorite Books from the Last Three Years

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is to list my favorite ten books from the past three years. Here you go…

  1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  4. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  5. Return of the Natives by Thomas Hardy
  6. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  7. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Lefanu
  8. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  9. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
  10. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

The one thing that all of these books have in common is that they are on my “re-read” list. I know I’ll visit them again and that makes me pretty durn happy.

Goodbye, February and Hello, March!

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February is such a busy blip of a month. I felt like it flew by too quickly. This was very much a month all about family. We spent so much time together, which is a good thing (for the most part).

Here’s a quick run down of what February looked like for me:

  • Persy turned two and Hope celebrated her 15th birthday. Big milestones for my girls!
  • Persy, Atticus, and I survived a major stomach bug at the beginning of the month.
  • I finished Atticus’s rainbow blanket, crocheted a baby blanket, embroidered two baby bibs, and started a knitted scarf for Sam.
  • All that making stuff meant a HUGE dip in my reading. I only read three books in February: Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, Frost in May by Antonia White, and Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton
  • Another factor in my reading dip was inclement weather. Tons of ice and really unimpressive snow. We had six days total of weather that left the kids out of school and cooped up in the apartment. I can stitch and knit while the kids are mucking about, but reading just didn’t happen.
  • I started co-leading an addiction recovery group at church. New territory. Super fun. Kinda intimidating.
  • I hosted my first AND LAST swap. I had planned on hosting a swap every other month, but after chasing down people to send gifts and relaying “yes they sent it” and “no they didn’t get it” messages for four weeks I can honestly say that I’m not doing it again.

I suppose instead of meh swap experience and a wee bit too much family time and that one pukey weekend February rocked. No really, it did. This was my least depressing February in a long time (why does February always seem sucky?)

On to March!

  • I am reclaiming my reading this month. Cedar Station’s March Madness is going to help get me there. I’m behind on posting my TBR picture, but I haven’t picked all my books up from the library yet. My goal is to read seven books this month. My TBR thus far: In Chancery by John Galsworthy, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Her Highness, The Traitor by Susan Higginbotham, Mr. Fortune’s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, and French Milk by Lucy Knisley.
  • To help reclaim my reading I am bringing back my early morning reading ritual. I was up at 5:30 this morning reading and my goal is to start waking up at 5am to get in a solid reading hour.
  • I don’t have many events scheduled for this month. Sam is busy with school and it is the height of track season for Hope and planning things just isn’t working. The one exception is this weekend. Sam and I are going on a mini-trip to see Gogol Bordello. Hurrah for gypsy punk music!
  • As far as thread goes, I’d like to finish Sam’s scarf and start another embroidery project.

Alright March, let’s get this party started.

The Storm of the Century (not really)

Oh Georgia! Last week it was massive ice and power outages. This week snow. Schools were closed Tuesday through Thursday of this week for expected snowstorms. Alas, the snow and ice was minimal on Tuesday and the roads safe. Wednesday it began snowing around 3pm and we got an inch or two. Thats it. We took the kids out at 8am on Thursday morning and it was already beginning to melt.

Blogging and reading took a hiatus m while I tried my best to amuse cooped up kids.

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Tuesday’s snow. We had to scrape it off the van to make Persy a mini Olaf.

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Completed mini Olaf.

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At least I started a knitting project for all of those RescueBot marathons.

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Persy Jane followed Hope all week. She adores big sister.

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Atticus, poor dude, had ALL THE FEELS.

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At least we got in some redneck sledding. Rubbermaid tub lids are so useful.

I pray the bad weather is over. I love cold weather and snow, but I love order to my days and so do my kids. There is only so much painting, lego building, and dance parties one can endure.

Back to regularly scheduled blogging soon!

Happy Birthday, Alicia Hope

Alicia Hope

Today you are 15 years old. WOW.

I really thought I would be all teary eyed today, but instead I am super-duper excited for you. Just think of all the amazing things in store for the NEXT 15 years of your life! College, career, travel, new friendships and relationships….. You will spend the next 15 years becoming your own person.

Last week we were at dinner and sitting across from me at the table you were so grownup. You talked about school, track, friends, and boys. Then you started talking about college and how you want to travel to China and I was so blown away by how you have grown into such a smart, caring, and happy young woman.

You have always been fearless (except around palmetto bugs and that’s understandable). Even as a baby you were fearless. You were walking at ten months and so gleeful that you could careen forward from one location to another. I would walk behind you with my arms stretched towards you trying to guide you away from sharp corners and large steps, but still letting you go where you wanted. Sometimes you would start to fall and I would catch you and you would be so mad at me for stopping you. Sometimes you would fall and I would let you fall, because I knew that we were in a safe space and you wouldn’t get hurt. I’m surprised by how much of this I do now. I try so hard balancing being there for you to keep you from getting the big hurts and keeping my distance so you can find your own way through Life’s little bumps and bruises. It is actually really difficult and I pray everyday that I get the right balance of being your mom first and a friend second.

My birthday wish for you this year is that you will embrace being true to yourself. If you want to run… run. If you want to spend three hours putting on make-up to create the perfect “classic winged” eyeliner look … go for it. This isn’t a wish for you to do what ever makes you happy… happy is temporary and sometimes what makes us happy now leads to unhappy consequences later. This is a wish for you to lookout for Alicia Hope. For you to determine what YOU want to be whether that is an orthodontist or a makeup artist. Find what you are passionate about and DO IT. Surround yourself with positive people who appreciate how awesome you are and, above all, do not underestimate the power of female friendships. Boys some and go, but the positive friendships you form with women will last a lifetime. The world can be really mean to girls and it is so important for women to stick together and lookout for one another.

Happy Birthday, Alicia Hope . I have a feeling that 15 is going to be awesome.

Works In Progress: 18 February 2015

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Welcome to the icy tundra of northern Georgia. Monday we were hit with freezing rain and my county was hit hard. As of Monday night 80% of the county was without power. I don’t know how we did it, but our power in our complex stayed on. I still have friends without power and the county and city schools are closed tomorrow.

I’ve been cooped up with three cagey kids all week and I have had lovely visits from friends stopping by to get warm. I did get to do a little bit of embroidery on Monday and Tuesday. It is just a wee baby bib from a Sublime Stitch kit. I plan on starting a second bib tomorrow.

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I’ve done a few non-exciting projects like plan out meals and cull some recipes from my recipe folder. I’ve also done a fair share of baking and cooking. In fact banana bread is in the oven right now.

This weekend I plan on finishing bib #2 and then throwing some yarn on the needles. Sam needs a new scarf. There are predictions for snow this weekend and more next week. I better knit fast!

Readerly Rambles: 16 February 2015

readerly rambles

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What I Read: The other day I had a hankering for a very particular type of book. I wanted a non-classic, academic/nerd thriller. On a whim I went to the public library and returned home with three contenders. I ended up starting Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl and I couldn’t put it down. Blue Van Meer is a precocious high school student with a enigmatic father who is a professor and rejects putting down roots. A combination of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, this novel is smart, fast-paced, and will keep you guessing. Filled with teen angst, encyclopedic trivia, and criminality, this book was exactly what I needed.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 04 February 2015

Finished: 13 February 2015

Pages: 514

Challenges:

Owned/Borrowed/Library: From the public library

Stars: Four out of Five

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What I’m Reading: I’m about 50 pages into my reread of Antonia White’s Frost in May. I’m really enjoying it, as I’m a huge fan of boarding school novels. Funny story; Atticus was pretending to read this book last week and I asked him what it was about. He very nonchalantly informed me that it was about a mommy and an Atticus being chased by a dragon and they had to climb into a volcano to find but then were burned black and went to live with trolls. Ummmmm… not exactly, but that would make an exciting story. I hope to wrap up this slim book in a few days.

What’s Up Next: I might dip into a graphic novel (French Milk, perhaps?) or maybe start volume two of the Forsyte Saga, In Chancery.

Happy Reading!