Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Interesting tale of survival

This is a completely different survival story.  It feels contemporary, and it does recognize previous similar experiences (Alive, the story of the Uruguayan rugby team who were involved in the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972 in which survivors had to resort to consuming some of their dead) although this survival story does not devolve to this point.

There are several poignant moments, and the characters are portrayed in all their flawed glory.  I like this - definitely not my normal book - but worth a foray nonetheless.  

The story of the protagonist's experiences on a mountain in the desert near Palm Springs with three women speaks to the resilience of the human spirit, and also to the mistakes we may make along the way.  Again, there is a thread of redemption, making errors in judgement, and of choosing different paths.  There is also an element of the spiritual, and there were some passages that really struck home.  If you are looking for a different kind of read, this is a fairly quick, well written choice.  You are told pretty early on that not everyone makes it, and there is a real twist at the end of the book.  I found it was just "long enough" that by the time I was finishing the story, it was time (if that makes sense).

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Very quick ramble

It seems that a few times every year, I can steal a moment and truly update my blog.  I like being able to look back at least see the books that I was reading to see  how they shape my current awareness. I love being able to look back at this part of my history and the covers of the books to see what ones truly stick out, and which ones are totally unremarkable.

This has not been an easy year.  It has been a year of transformation.  I wonder if this is my midlife crisis year... a little more than 40, kids are still young, pushing hard in  my career, trying to figure out who this middle-aged version of myself is.

In this last year I discovered Game of Thrones. I still need to watch Season 5, and I loved it, even if I cringed at times, cried, looked out from the corner of my eye, sat with a gaping mouth and knitting needles in my hands.  I also loved watching Outlander, and have recently gotten in to watching The Vikings and Arctic Air.  I have discovered the joy of borrowing each season from the library and just blitzing on them ... it takes me about 6 weeks to watch a season of 10-12 episodes... which seems pretty fair.  I spend most of this time knitting - I have made a few pairs of socks, baby blankets, and I see a few more hats in my future since we have some friends coming out from the UK in a few weeks and they are something nice we can give them that are from us.

I find it hard to believe we are already in September.  It really feels like there was Summer, and there are some moments that stick out, and then all of a sudden I am staring down October.

*watching the meteor shower out near the lake, beside the road with a sleeping bag
*seeing grey whales from our campsite a Salt Creek Recreation Area
*watching the sunsets from our campsite and having campfires
*Ruby Beach and Beach 4 in Washington - exploring tide pools with our reference book
*Hurricane Ridge and Olympic Game Farm, still awesome
*Next Door Gastropub in Port Angeles with the boys, it was great
*the knitted Octopus and missing starfish - we hope they come back soon, just not the same
*watching the blood super moon a few nights ago
*big family birthday party for the boys with everyone there
*spending the afternoon out at Manning Park to see Jen and her boys
*camping for a night in Hope and going to Manning Park (including the amazing viewpoints)
*night we watched the sunset in White Rock
*going out with my dad to see a movie and go to a pub for a beer and a conversation

There have been lots of changes this year too, of course our kids are getting older, our parents are getting older.  My MIL has aged a lot this year, and it may be a part of life, but it does move you. She is no longer living independently, and as a family we went through her things and made some decisions.  I was fine, up until I was unpacking a box at home the other day, and putting away some beautiful teacups from her.  I could feel the tears slide down my face as I thought about her, and my grandmothers, and the pulling apart of a life, and the part of them that is a part of us, whether or not they are still physically present. There is a time for everything. This is time passing.

It has been a year of spending a lot of time thinking about mothers, and even for me, what it means to be a mother. I don't feel like this is something that I am practicing anymore, I think I own this role now. If I am worrying about the quality of my MIL's life.. I am also working at redefining my relationship with my mom.  It reached a breaking point this summer. It is truly terrible to realize that something has to change, that your relationship with your mom is impacting those that you love, and that you can't hide from it anymore. It is raw, and ugly, and honest too. It has helped having some space and not talking as much, or seeing her. It has helped thinking harder thoughts, questioning things and not just accepting because I should and I am a loyal person, and voicing them, and talking to my dad differently so he has a more rounded impression of what has happened.  It is good to realize we can do things differently, and if we don't meet somewhere in the middle, it isn't going to look like it did.  Well, even if we do meet somewhere in the middle in a healthier place, it isn't going to look like it did.  I want, and I guess I demand something different with my mom moving forward. It feels strange saying we need to be in an honest place with ourselves, and with each other. Cut through the BS, and accept each other's faults. This time has helped (in some moments - it is almost like a cycle of grief - waves of anger, sadness, grief, desire for it to be different, knowing all I can change is how I move and think).  I don't feel like in so much of a rush. Time helps, it does heal, it also allows for other emotions to move in, and move past, and move through. I don't want we had. I don't want to be worrying about what my mom has done, and didn't do, and the words she said, rather enjoy what we do have, and feel joy, and laugh, and then cry in the moments we need to and not pretend it is anything different than life.

I do want different when it comes to my mom, and for that matter my brother as an extension of my mom. This time has created the space for different. I look forward to reflecting on how this has changed in the months to come.

I also feel very grateful - to unexpected folks.  Like the folks that have come in to our life through sledge hockey. Amazing, humbling people.  I think I may get involved with the Cerebal Palsy association.. it feels like the right time.  How things have come together with riding, again.  The shifts are amazing it seems this fall.  The rewards within the trials.

Not everything in a year, or a cycle is great, nor it is all terrible.  Funny how life finds it's balances along the way... lifting you up when you need it, and bursting bubbles (even when you don't need it). Life can suck.  Life is also amazing.

I am so grateful for my personality - I can feel that through this stream of consciousness it helps - I can also feel my positive nature asserting itself even through this superficial reflection of the last few months. I am pleased with how the boys are right now - for my little guy, grade 1 is so much better than kindergarten.  For my bigger guy, I am so glad for the things we can bring in to his life now. For me, I believe that the trials of this summer will make me, and us (my family) stronger. It is crazy that sometimes people have to change significantly (and insignificantly) to create new paths, or new thoughts, or new choices that they didn't see already. I appreciate my flexible brain that sees more than one path and that can evaluate and then make decisions upon.

Reminded me of the books I used to read...

This is a nice read.  It reminded me of the romance novels that I read when I was younger with better prose.  I think just what I needed this September.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Caught me off guard, great read.

I totally loved this book and couldn't read it fast enough.

If you like science fiction/fantasy/quests... this is a great choice.

LOVED THIS, especially because I didn't expect to. I was hooked from the first chapter.

Monday, September 14, 2015

And all the popularity for this one... not quite as right... IMHO

Another novel about WWII.. considering how many five star reviews this book has received, I expected more.  It was definitely a good book, but isn't one that I will rave from the roof tops about.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A truly different kind of book...

Obviously I am trying to catch up on at least blogging the books that I have read over the last few months.

This one I kind of had to struggle to recall whether or not I had truly read it.  It did, and really didn't leave a huge impression on me.

I think there are other Hoffman novels that I have enjoyed more.

Some interesting interwoven tales around a garden in which only red things grow and about a small town in the woods, that just kind of happens, and how lives intersect.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

All the reviews for this one are right...

This was an enchanting novel (can you say that about a book about WWII???).  Lots of truly significant things happen in this novel, but it doesn't really reach huge climaxes.

Well written, well crafted, and an overall very satisfying read.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A different voice for WWI literature...

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for YEARS.  Truly.  I have almost given it away a few times, thinking I wasn't going to read it.. then I found that I was out of library books to read, and I didn't want to get back in to Norrell and Strange.. and well, this one seemed like a good idea.

This is a bit of a haunting look at WWI through the eyes of a first nations man from Ontario.  It was brutal, with some raw edges, and about loss, love in many different forms, hope, and ultimately redemption.

Well worth the time to read, but certainly not a happy go lucky feel good book.