12.08.2016

think write thursday

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I like that I've developed my own holiday traditions; I like having family traditions, too.

Christmas Eve day, I spend wrapping and gift bagging everything. I like to watch Miracle on 34th Street (usually I watch both the 1947 and 1994 remake). Later in the evening, I'll put on my fuzzy pajamas and fill a travel mug with hot cocoa and go for a drive around town. The community is big on luminaries and it's pretty to see the streets that are completely lit.

The Sunday before Christmas is my father's annual holiday concert. He's a professional musician--the music director for the Methodist and Catholic churches--and he gathers together some of his musical friends to perform as a youth group fundraiser. Always the Sunday before Christmas and standing room only.

12.07.2016

yarn along

Join in every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting and reading too!


Knitting the Project Peace cowl and listening to The Xmas Factor by Annie Sanders.

w.w.w. wednesday


Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words.

• What are you currently reading? I'm reading The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore, and at school: Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War by Charles B. Dew and listening to The Xmas Factor by Annie Sanders.

• What did you recently finish reading? I finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for my December book group and listened to Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

• What do you think you’ll read next? something Christmas-y.

12.06.2016

ten things tuesday

This week is endless, it's only Tuesday!

I'm dreaming of the weekend--here are 10 things I like to do on the weekend:

1) Sleep. Either sleeping in or napping.

2) No alarm clock.

3) Wearing whatever I want. I can wear jeans and sweatshirts or whatever I want.

4) Catching up on TV shows that I record during the week.

5) Chatting and messaging my sisters.

6) Knitting.

7) Audiobooks. Especially while knitting.

8) Errands. Believe it or not, I kind of like running errands.

9) Grocery shopping and marketing.

10) Hanging out with friends. We frequently go out for meals.

12.05.2016

musing mondays

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…



• I’m currently reading…
• Up next I think I’ll read…
• I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
• I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I can’t wait to get a copy of…
• I wish I could read ___, but…
• I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: Do you visit your local library regularly? If so, what’s your earliest memory of visiting a library?

I visit my local library, which is a showpiece for the community, regularly because I am on the board of trustees. Not only do we have monthly trustee meetings, I take part in a monthly book group that meets (I'm a defacto leader of the group), and my knitting group meets there weekly on Thursdays (although, I haven't been in several months). I attend gallery openings and author readings and as many community events as I can.


The library was actually the first non-neighborhood destination I was allowed to go to when I was a kid. My mum would phone them to let them know I was on my way and I would walk the few blocks there with my wagon and stuffed animal friends in tow. I loved going there and being surrounded by books and by people who loved books.

finished reading

I almost forgot to talk about this book. It's historical fiction, set in the 1790s into the early 1800s, in Virginia. The central figure, Lavinia, is an orphaned Irish girl who becomes an indentured servant living in the care of plantation slaves. It's a well-researched look at the harsh reality of plantation life.

There are a couple of slow patches, but overall I was drawn into Lavinia's story and rooted for her. Some of the secondary characters (mainly the Pyke family) are cliched. But overall it was good historical fiction. I'm interested to see how my book group reacts.

From the publisher:
Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

12.04.2016

just finished reading

Wow--what a thought-provoking, timely book. The audio version is well performed. All three voices are spot-on!

From the publisher:
Ruth, an African-American nurse, has worked at a CT hospital for nearly twenty years as a labor and delivery nurse. So when a young couple, Turk and Brittany, come into the hospital to have their baby, it is business as usual -- until Turk calls in Ruth’s white supervisor after the birth. He says, “I don’t want her or anyone like her to touch my boy,” and pulls up his sleeve to reveal a swastika tattoo: he and his wife are Skinheads. The hospital is used to making patient requests -- they have women who request female OBs, and others who don’t want be cared for by a resident. So a note is placed on the baby’s file and all African-American staff are exempted from caring from that patient -- meaning Ruth, who is the only Black nurse on the ward. The baby is taken to the nursery a day after its birth so circumcision can be done. However, Ruth’s nursing colleague is called away on an emergency C section and Ruth is the only person in the nursery when the baby has cardiac/respiratory failure. After a brief hesitation – she intervenes – and yet, the baby dies. Not long after that, Ruth learns she has been charged with negligent homicide by the state.

Ruth’s attorney is a white woman -Kennedy McQuarrie- who would not consider herself a racist by any means. Like Ruth, she has a child. But unlike Ruth, her family has never had to think about race on a daily basis. In spite of the evidence and the request of a Skinhead barring Ruth from doing her job, Kennedy knows she won’t talk about race in court, because she’d run the risk of polarizing the jury or the judge and losing the case. But to Ruth, that’s not justice.

As the two women form an alliance, and then an unlikely friendship, Kennedy begins to see that racism isn’t just about intent, but power. That even if Skinheads like Turk did not exist, Ruth would still be fighting an uphill battle. And she begins to seek a way to make a predominantly white jury see that they are responsible for the house they did not build…but in which they live.

sunday stealing

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The Boat Questions



1. YOU HAVE 10 BUCKS AND NEED TO BUY SNACKS AT A GAS STATION. WHAT DO YOU GET? water and cheese crackers

2. IF YOU WERE REINCARNATED AS SOME SORT OF SEA DWELLING CREATURE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE? a sea horse

3. WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE REDHEAD? my sisters and me

4. WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU'RE AT A DINER? I like to check the specials

5. LAST BOOK YOU READ? I'm almost finished Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things

6. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR? they are beige with cabbage roses

7. DESCRIBE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE INJURED. I had "runner's toe" with a bashed up toenail

8. ROCK CONCERT OR SYMPHONY? LAST SEEN? I saw Elvis Costello

9. IF SOMEONE WERE TO BUY YOU A GIFT, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE? a gift card to Barnes & Noble or a yarn shop or Dunkin' Donuts

10. WHAT TYPE OF SHIRT DO YOU BEST IN? I don't have any idea what this means or how to answer it

11. IF YOU COULD USE ONLY ONE FORM OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? teleportation

12. WHAT IS YOUR DEADLY SIN? sloth

13. MOST RECENT MOVIE YOU'VE WATCHED IN A THEATER? RATE IT. I think it was Florence Foster Jenkins

14. IF YOU COULD INVENT ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE? teleportation

15. NAME AN ACTOR/ACTRESS YOU'VE HAD THE HOTS FOR? George!

16. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CITY? LAST TIME THERE? NYC last July

17. WHAT'S THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO MIND RIGHT NOW? eye twitch

18. WHAT TYPE OF PET DO YOU HAVE? dust bunnies

19. WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED THE LONGEST? I've lived here for 21+ years

20. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON THAT SPENT $100 ON YOU? uh... school?

21. WHAT'S THE LAST PIECE OF CLOTHING YOU BOUGHT? I ordered a fleece sweater from Land's End

22. WHAT WAS/IS YOUR FAVORITE JOB? teaching

23. WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH THE MOST?? my students

24. WHAT ARE YOU CRAVING? plain Lay's potato chips

25. WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND? I want to finish the Jodi Picoult book today

postsecret


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.

12.03.2016

saturday 9





Baby's in Black

1) When were you last breathless? after shoveling the driveway--fourteen inches of wet, heavy snow!

2) This is the love theme from Top Gun, and the romance was between a pilot and his instructor. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? when I was an international student in Ireland, I had a professor named Dr. Neil (I can't recall his last name) who was a real cutie!

3) The pilots in Top Gun all had cool nicknames -- including Maverick, Goose, Merlin, Cougar and Stinger. Give yourself a cool pilot name. Kwizgiver

4) The actress who played the instructor, Kelly McGillis, owns Kelly's Caribbean Bar/Grill and Brewery in Key West. It's known for its cheese and beer dip appetizer, served with warm pretzels. What's one of your favorite between meal snacks? I like Sargento's Balanced Break snacks

5) The group who recorded this week's song is called Berlin, but they're really from Southern California. Have you ever been to Berlin? How about Southern California? I have not been to Berlin (unless Berlin, New Hampshire counts) but I have been to SoCal.

6) Lead singer Terri Nunn has a weekly radio show, Unbound on KCSN. How often do you listen to the radio? Do you tune in for music, comedy, news or talk? I listen to satellite radio in my car

7) In 1986, when this song was popular, PeeWee's Playhouse premiered. While ostensibly for children, PeeWee Herman's show had many, many adult viewers. Do you watch still watch any kid's shows? I watch the Peanuts specials when they're on

8) Robert Pattinson, the actor who played Edward the vampire in the Twilight series, was born in 1986. Have you read the Twilight books? Seen the movies? yes, to both

9) Random question: In an alternate universe, which of these professions would you like to find yourself in -- United States senator, Ivy League professor, or imminent psychiatrist? hmmm... I think I would like to be an imminent psychiatrist

12.02.2016

friday 5

  1. What movie most recently impressed you with its score or soundtrack?
  2. I loved the soundtrack to You Before Me
  3. What movie most recently impressed you with its costumes or makeup?
  4. Florence Foster Jenkins
  5. What movie most recently impressed you with its scenic backdrops?
  6. I can't think of anything I've seen recently that had impressive scenic backdrops
  7. What movie most recently impressed you with its originality?
  8. I'm going with Hail, Caesar!
  9. What movie most recently impressed you with its dialogue?
  10. The Duff