Monday, May 15, 2017

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Image Source
The first science-fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of African-American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.
Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life.
During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she's been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
My thoughts:

I thoroughly loved listening to Kindred. It was a short and smart but also brutal story. I don't know how Butler managed to pull it all together like she did but it was brilliant. How does one deal with the past and how it connects to your future? She offers up a wide range of feelings from horror to empathy.

I look forward to reading more of her sci-fi works.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cat Thursday May 4, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

Spring is almost here! It's been here for a bit but it is finally starting to feel like summer is getting a bit closer. We had snow last week and it still gets pretty chilly at night but the weather should climb up to the high 70s this weekend! The trees just turned from their blossoms to green or red leaves. Flowers, flowers everywhere and birds! My kitties love all the birds. Thus my theme this week!

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Toro

Quirk Books
Warren the 13th is back for his second adventure with his walking hotel and all of his friends. Things start off going pretty well but this does not last long when his uncle accidentally drops his drink on the hotel's controls. Warren must find parts for the repairs and hope he can get his hotel back up and running and get his guests back.

A mimic soon kidnaps Warren and takes his tooth so he can take Warren's place and take the hotel and the perfurmier Beatrice to the Black Caldera in the Whispering Woods to the evil witch.

Can Warren get back to his hotel and save his friends? Lots of fun puzzles and adventures await Warren. My son and I had a lot of fun reading this one together. My son couldn't wait to read this every night.

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring Break April 2017

April was tough. Lots of sickness floated our way and I think it's because of the changing weather. Utah has had lots of rain, snow, wind, and sleet this last month. We did get to do Spring Break with G out of school that week. And we headed down to Moab, Canyonlands, and Escalante in southern Utah to get some awesome hikes in and see our beautiful Earth.

We live in a gorgeous state with so much beauty and nature around. I loved Canyonlands. Gorgeous layers and colors. G enjoyed the Moab Giants outdoor dinosaur museum. DH and I loved the hikes despite the exhaustion. The petrified forest was also an amazing hike.

Books Finished: March: Book One by John Lewis, Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania Del Rio, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, and Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Currently Reading: Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.

Listening To: Podcasts. "You Must Remember This" by Karina Longworth is so amazing. I just listened to her 6-part series on Joan Crawford. It's a must if you love old Hollywood and history or if you just love a good story.

Watching: I am loving Dear White People, the new series on Netflix. Funny and insightful. Also Netflix put out a new Mystery Science Theater 3000. So funny. I also saw HBO's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and found it OK but not nearly as interesting or compelling as the book, unfortunately.

Looking Forward To: I'll tell you what I'm not looking forward to. DH is headed out of country for the month of May and it'll be tough not having him here. But I've got book club Friday and I have scary movie nights every Tuesday.

Making: I'm really going to try a lot harder this week to cook more at home. Stir fry and kabobs are on the menu along with some beef stew since it's been pretty chilly around here.

My Week in Pictures: Here are some pictures from our fun spring break vacation!

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Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon Wrapup

I had to change my book from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (682 pages was way too ambitious to finish in two weeks!) to The Delphi Room by Melia McClure.

It was a fast and creepy ride. After Velvet dies by suicide she wakes up in a room where where she has childhood sheets on her bed and a large mirror. Sometimes she sees the Shadow Man who has haunted her since she was a little girl. But then she hears someone next door Brinkley. They share letters through the grate between their rooms and in their mirrors they see mini movies of each other's lives when they were alive. They must discover what it all means.

A fun and enjoyable story. I recommend it to all.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cat Thursday April 27, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

On National Pet Day on April 11 a cat stormed the Marlins' field and held up the game! It even got adopted by an anonymous employee!

There is good in the world! I hope this cat has a happy life!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon

Spring Into Horror

My goal is to read Joe Hill's NOS4A2. From Goodread's:

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

I just bought this at a library sale and figured it would be a good one to read for the spring challenge! I enjoyed listening to his Heart-shaped Box story last Halloween so I am looking forward to this one.

To sign up head over to Michelle's site and have fun reading!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week in Review--Color Festival

Lots of rain and cold here in the land of Utah. We had a little bit of sun so my son and I did a quick hike. We also did a fun walk around our neighborhood to look for birds and new flowers. This weekend our local Hare Krishna temple hosted their Holi Color Festival so we all headed out there and had fun throwing colors around and eating some wonderful Indian food.

Books Finished: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Fascinating book. Part biography and part history of cells and the science around them. Skloot knows how to write up a good story and she did it with sensitivity and heart. I'm excited to see the new miniseries about Henrietta Lacks and her cells.

Currently Reading: Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Listening To: I just started Kindred by Octavia Butler and it's really good so far! Political podcasts to keep up with all the crazy. I have to take breaks, though, or insanity starts to set in....

Watching: The Golden Girls, of course, and the new season of Grace and Frankie. Girls movie night was Life. That was a fun sci-fi/horror! Good times in the theater! I also watch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, John Oliver's show and Bill Maher's show as soon as they come out. I catch up on clips with Seth Meyer's show.

Looking Forward To: Vacation. Son is having his spring break next week and we are taking off down south to see the sights and hike! The rest of the week will be devoted to local sights like the museum and the planetarium. It's a much needed break around here.

Making: I made soda bread for St. Patrick's Day! I've been trying to cook more this week. Made some steak kebabs and some stuffed Gouda chicken this week.

My Week in Pictures:
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Weeks in Review--Birthday and St. Patrick's Day

Last week DH had his 44th birthday! I set up a big dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that serves amazing drinks. Cuz that's what it's all about when you're turning the big 4-4! I ended up getting sicker that weekend so no posts were put up last week so trying to catch up.

This week I healed up. Did some spring cleaning by giving a ton of stuff to charity and selling a few things online and organizing the pantry.

For St. Patrick's Day I made bangers and mash and soda bread. Then DH and I headed over to a friend's house for some St. Paddy's celebrations with Irish cheese, stew, Jameson, homemade Bailey's, and fun by the fire.

Today is the first day of Spring! Spring Equinox and I plan on celebrating with Kebabs on the grill, homemade Easter bookmarks with the child, and planting seeds and watching them grow inside so we can plant them on May 1st/Beltane.

Books Finished: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. It was a very informative book on lives I never knew anything about. Which is just a shame. I think I might have enjoyed reading it rather than listening to it. The stories melded together and I had a hard time remember who was who since I listened to it over the course of a few weeks. I'm looking forward to the movie to bring it all together for me.

Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein. This one has been on my list for a long time and I finally got to it this month. A great resource and history on Humanists throughout time and ways to form communities today.

Currently Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Listening To: I've been listening to RadioLab this week

Watching: The Golden Girls and PBS Newshour. Also saw Get Out last week and it was a very smart and funny horror movie. I will watch again and look forward to owning it.

My Week in Pictures:

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At the local Aquarium!
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DH's bday partay!
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DS loves reading with his Shadow
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Scientific experiment to see if he could catch a leprechaun....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cat Thursday- March 9, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

Hosico the cat of cuteness and fluff. According to Bored Panda Hosico loves new toys and gets bored of them in a week. He's been compared to "Shrek's" Puss in Boots and Garfield.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week in Review: Sick Kid

2017-03-05 07.08.31I don't know how long I can come up with a pithy phrase every week which sums it all up so neatly...but yeah. DS was sick with a fever and sore throat from last Sunday to Wednesday. Well, the fever broke Tuesday...This is has been the Winter from Hades and I mean the sheer idea of spending 6 months down there. Doesn't sound found at all and this winter has not been fun...sick cats, death, and sick humans and add in plenty of days we couldn't leave the house due to bad air.

So March didn't start off with the bang I was hoping for but hey the weather is warming up! And I have tiny yellow crocuses trying to break forth from Mother Earth despite having heaps of snow and freezing temperatures every other day...

Books Finished: I finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. An all-time favorite. I haven't read it since high school and it still spoke volumes 20 years later; it seems like history continues to repeat itself. And I can only hope we figure out our sh*t one day soon.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Also another timely book. I read this one a few years ago but it didn't scare me quite like it did this time.

Currently Reading: Good Without God by Greg Epstein, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (with DS)

Listening To: I've been catching up with Hidden Figures on Audible. Very interesting and fascinating information. I'm looking forward to the movie putting more of a human and personal spin into it.

Watching: I saw Logan and it was amazing. It really was a great film and superhero film. I can't wait to see it again. Truly touching.

I'm also watching a lot of Golden Girls on Hulu. It's the only thing that has been keeping me sane during these last few weeks of death and illness.

My Week in Pictures:

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DS had a great run doing community basketball. His last game was Saturday and he learned a lot and made some friends, which is what I think team sports should be about.

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My friend came into town this weekend and we painted and ate some great food. She wanted to get her first tattoo so it was great to be there with her! Getting out with friends was much needed this week.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cat Thursday March 2, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

Here's a funny cat video of a cat slipping off the table. Poor kitty. Cats of dignity and having those papers in the way...such indignation!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cat Thursday- February 23, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

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Here are my 3 cats: Shadow, Frankie, and Nala. It's been a tough start to the year for two of my kitties. And Frankie will not be with us for too much longer. He has stomach cancer and is terminal. So we're giving him lots of loves and cuddles and trying to keep him as comfy as possible until the end.

Earlier this week was National Pet Appreciation day and so I wanted to tell my sweet kitties how much I love them. Shadow had some intestinal issues earlier too and had to have a focal ultrasound to check it out so she's bare bellying it!

I hope your kitties and pets are all safe and sound.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Meow Week in Review--Sick Cats and the Flu

2017-02-01 09.36.56This year has not been kind to me, relatively speaking. My cat Frankie was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We started him on steroids and that worked for a couple of weeks but the cancer has evolved and they are no longer effective. We know we are going to have to let him go soon, probably this week, and it's just devastating.

2017-02-02 11.17.39-1My other cat Shadow also started up with uncontrollable vomiting around this same time...her situation we learned is treatable, but scary. She's doing fine but she has intestinal issues that will be ongoing, unfortunately.

But my son celebrated his 8th birthday last week! I can't believe it. Where does the time go? We took him to a fun center where him and his friends went crazy and many children were lost for certain amounts of time but then found...whew. We have learned to never do that again! Ha ha. We survived. But then I got the flu and was out all last week and only started feeling human again Friday.

So my goals have been hit and miss these last few weeks, between life, cats, and sickness.

I started a bullet journal. I'm enjoying this a lot. It helps me think about my day, even if I hardly got a thing done. It's about keeping a record of my daily life. It's boring but hey. I'll take what I can get.

I'm excited about March. March will be amazing. I just know it!

Books Finished: Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West.

Currently Reading: Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Listening to: This week has been a lot of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History -The Destroyer of Worlds. I also catch up a bit on all-things politics right now: On Point, The Weeds, Slate's Trumpcast, FiveThirtyEight Politics, Code Switch, NPR Politics

My Week in Pictures: OK the fun highlights. I don't take pictures of myself looking miserable. Maybe I should. But it would be weird...I haven't been cooking much either. The last thing I made my son said it was too bland and he didn't like much for homemade mac n'cheese. Le sigh....

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Looking Forward to: Not being sick. I'm getting a massage next week too!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

2017-01-06 15.27.12Lindy West comes out swinging. She's hitting everything home. She's funny, she apologizes when she needs to, but mostly no f*cks are given. I loved reading her journey. Her ability to accept her body and to advocate for others is inspiring. How she has dealt with and continues to deal with deh Trollz aka people who are miserable human beings, is astounding. I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I'm definitely a Lindy fan!

"I also love being fat. The breadth of my shoulders makes feel safe. I am unassailable. I intimate. I am a polar icebreaker. I walk and climb and lift things. I can open your jar, I can absorb blows--literal and metaphorical--meant for other women, smaller women, breakable women, women who need me. My bones feel like iron--heavy, but strong. I used to say that being fat in our culture was like drowning (in hate, in blame, in your own tissue), but lately I think it's more like burning. After three decades in the fire, my iron bones are steel."

"It's hard to feel hurt or frightened when you're flooded with pity. It's hard to be cold or cruel when you remember it's hard to be a person."

"We're all building our world, right now, in real time. Let's build it better."


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