Friday, November 4, 2016

Those pesky humans.

Loved it.

“And I knew the point of love right then.
The point of love was to help you survive.
The point was also to forget meaning. To stop looking and start living. The meaning was to hold the hand of someone you cared about and to live inside the present. Past and future were myths. The past was just the present that had died and the future would never exist anyway, because by the time we got to it the future would have turned into the present. The present was all there was.” 
― Matt HaigThe Humans

Sunday, October 30, 2016

So wonderfully different

Deliciously different.

This may be billed as YA, but I loved it.  Such a novel take on fairyland and adventures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A book 2 that was more enchanting than book 1???

I love these characters and the concepts are so wildly different.

From all the trilogies it seems I have read in the last few years, this is the best book 2 I have read in a long, long time.

Damn.  Now I have to wait for book 3.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Four Londons, you say?

Fantasy has been such an enchanting genre for me this year.

Again, a truly novel surprise.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A book and a movie...

You know, I am randomly assigning dates to books I have read in the last few months in an attempt to at least track the books that have been impacting my psyche.

This was nice.

The movie was nice.. except for maybe the tree boobs that tried to squish one of our main characters.

Not as captivating as some of the YA fantasy I have been reading, but okay.  This doesn't quite sell you for this one, but it kind of feels like 13 year old girl stuff. Not in a bad way, just not as intriguing as most of the other stuff I have been reading.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Better than most

If you want a mystery, a bit darker, Tremblay is a talented writer.

Having read many of the popular fodder types in this genre, I think this is a step ahead and ultimately not as bleak of a novel compared against Gone Girl or Girl on the Train.

Although well written, I had a harder time getting in to this one .. however I think that is more due to the other types of books I am reading than this one itself.  Hopefully that distinction makes sense.  I am more on a fantasy kick and this one was just way out there compared to what I have been reading.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thinking women you say?

Another enjoyable read.

This has been a part of a great fantasy kick.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Still grateful.

This has been a strange, strange year.  It has been hard to catch my balance.  It has been a year of things going right, things going sideways, and things just not going as planned. 

We have travelled that path of a shunt failure again.  The part that makes it so much easier to bear and get through is that it really wasn't as bad as last time. I just read the post I crafted 5 years ago, and so many words are the same. I am grateful I blogged about the experience to fill in the gaps that memory takes away.

This time Brandon's shunt failure wasn't as bad - and we caught it earlier (I think).  A similar pattern of a headache that comes, and then goes.  It started second day of Grade 5, so it looked like a stress headache.  Then it calmed down... then he had a hot bath, got a headache spike, vomited, and got better.  Thursday was okay, again, the neurosurgeon fellow said it could be a shunt related event, or it could be stress, since a bunch of parents of kids with shunts had been calling so far this week (stress of school starting again and all that). Woke up at 12:30 am on Friday morning with intense headache pain, and I knew we were heading in.

If we got to Children's Hospital at 8:45, we were in the ER by 9, a CT scan at 10, then a shunt series of x-rays.  These showed that the tubing his body had broken, so it was obvious what the next steps were.  Although scary as hell, at least this time Brandon was never out of his head in pain.  The advil and tylenol did work.  He was alert until he went under for surgery, and then we were already on the road to recovery. It helps having a day surgery and not a night surgery, and the recovery was better, even if the surgery was a little more complicated because they had to fish out the broken piece of tubing.

It is crazy to be distant from what happened to type it out.  

It is hard being tough on the outside, telling your story, and people telling you that you are "so calm" and "how are you doing it".  You don't have a choice (IMHO) and you do the best you can and put on a false front.  Sometimes other peoples reactions make it harder because they are horrified by what we have gone through - and it sounds hollow when you say this time is and was easier because it wasn't as bad as last time.  This doesn't make it easy, it just means last time was really, really, really bad and this time everything happened quicker in terms of surgery and we got to recovery quicker.

Brandon is humbling.  His recovery has been swift.  He is still himself, still a Bruins fan, still smart and funny and my boy.

Our doctors are amazing. I am grateful we live in this time, we these kinds of resources that can save my son. I think I am starting to almost relax again, because his scars are already healing, and he looks healthy, and he is already frothing at the bit to do his normal stuff again.

How many encores are enough?

I think I am only a month late.. but I finally watched the Tragically Hip's final show that was broadcast on the CBC.

As a busy parent and full time employee, I sometimes forget the music in my life.  Not only has the world lost some amazing musicians this year, but Canadians have seen two beloved bands retire (for lack of a more fitting term).  SOTW will always be first, but The Hip occupy their own, beloved space. Each group reminds me of different times and different people.  Both were such soundtracks to some really key years of my life. It is crazy that Alzheimer's is robbing us of a lyrical poet, slowly and tragically, and brain cancer is threatening the life of another, equally gifted poet.

How do you craft a fitting tribute, but to just feel thanks for all the music.

Thanks for the songs you wrote, performed, loved.

Thanks for the memories, and the melodies that are left behind.

Music moves you in ways other things don't. It gets in places, and makes your eyes sticky sometimes.  It is like a smell, or a breeze, evoking memories, and creating more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New toes.

Usually if I am talking about toes, it is about my summer toes and how much I actually enjoy having my toes painted. It is a small thing that makes me happy.

Random thing having a kid with CP that drags his foot and you have made him knitted socks - it he can wear through thick rubber KEENs.. imagine what he can do to a natural fibre like wool and nylon.

Hence, check out his new toes!!! I couldn't find the leftover ball of yarn from when I originally knitted these bad boys up... so I went sideways and used up some other old balls because.. WHY NOT.  Amazing what happens when you let go of a few things, some magic can happen!

I really didn't know what to do for a while when I realized that Brandon had worn holes in the top of his socks. I kind of needed to get over my shock (maybe this wasn't best sock yarn choice for B but we went for colour choice) but I figured out back in the good ole days... you would have darned the holes.  So I went one full step further and just cut the ends of his socks off... found a loop that was untouched, and started again from there. I am sure there is a life lesson buried in here.  After the first sock was fixed.. B walked around with one sock, literally all day. Any doubts I had about fixing them, out the window.  Love comes in many forms.  This is one of them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Go Big...

 A highly quotable book, this.  If I am on a fantasy kick, I would also have to admit to being on a bit of a YA kick.  There is some kind of magic roaming through different genres far and wide and trying to pluck out some gems.

This human condition thing is an interesting beast.

I really enjoyed this book.  A different kind of heroine - at once, many different things: self aware of her size, confident, insecure, beautiful, funny, nasty, emerging into an older version of her self (AKA growing up).

It is great to see so many different voices, and how important they are to find.  I was going to say as a young person, but hell, I am in my 40s and I enjoyed it and got something out of it... so it really isn't about age.  It helps to hear different voices, different selves growing up, being insecure, making mistakes, being pulled in too many different directions at once.  I didn't always like Willow, but we aren't meant to. She pissed me off sometimes and I wanted to smack her.  I wasn't always comfortable - as a person who has never been small, there are some things written in this book I have definitely thought.  I also love how female friendship is handled in this book, and power struggles, and how important honest communication is.

How hard is to quiet that voice in your hard? We all have that harshest critic that questions whether or not we are good enough.  It is harder when you don't quite fit the normal mode, or the average.  Yes, I can hear that voice saying to me but HEY, what is normal anyways? I would also say normal is whatever your experience is of this thing called life... but there are some experiences that are outside of what is generally experienced.  Like when Willow says she hates going to a mall because 90% of what is inside won't fit her.  There is truth in that statement. I can't say I like going to the mall.  Select stores, maybe.  I hate many things about the mall, feeling inadequate because the clothes in the trendy stores don't normally fit doesn't help.  It is why I will never purchase lululemon clothes.  Their whole thing that they aren't for fat people, and their small sizing and big pricing.  Beauty comes in every size, and even folks who have some extra padding can be active and want some quality yoga pants.  Even if I was a 10 or even a 12... owning a pair of lulus isn't the hill I am going to chase.

This is a quick, fast, enjoying coming of age novel from a larger gal down south in pageant country.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Full on fantasy kick

I don't think I saw this one coming.. but I seem to be reading a lot of YA and fantasy novels this year.  They seem to be filling some kind of need - or perhaps this is an offshoot of the books that I am reading with my kids.

This is a cool idea - what if dragons exist, form deep bonds with humans, and we use them in warfare?  Enter this novel, during naval battles between Brits and the French in the time of Napoleon and Nelson.  A very different take, and quite enjoyable as a summer read.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


There is something wonderful about Gaiman's imagination.

I am sure a conversation with him would go in weird and enlightening directions.

Again, a totally different novel that was at once enchanting, and a little dark. I like the worlds that Gaiman creates, and this is a different take on New York, London, and the places that exist in the cracks of society.

Good read.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Far better than some of those popular thrillers...

VERY interesting book.

This is one I would love to discuss with my bookclub ladies.

Damn, I wish I would have written this after I had finished this book, not attempting to reconstruct my impressions weeks later.  Such is life.

This is about a family cracking around the edges, and something terrible happens in the tradition of old school horror movies meets reality TV.  Well worth a gander.

Friday, July 29, 2016

That wolf in the tower

I love being able to adjust dates. It is like having correct history at work.  I must admit, I am a bit shocked that it has been a while since I updated my blog. I didn't mean for two months to go sliding past, but they did.  I am writing this in August, and dating it for July... purely to almost accurately track what I was reading and when.  For some reason, I like having this record.  The books I read throughout the year are but one of the joyrides I am on.

You could also track my year by kids sports.

How many walks I take at lunch at work.

How many times I check my budget.

I am loving the different fantasy books I have been reading.  This was another one that was a solid entry for me.  Great summer read, I liked that this one wasn't a series, and different enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Well done trilogy

All three were great, and the second book didn't go through that terrible slump that so many second books do.

This is such a different series, and the embedded photos are just wonderfully strange.

I am really looking forward to seeing this movie when it comes out.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Still lurvley.

When you are a little ragged around the edges and want to read a lovely book.. any in this series is worth your time.

Nothing earth shattering, just lovely reads about the fictional town of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland in the mid 20th century.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Something about this series...

Does this book/series count as a guilty pleasure? I would say magical fantasy and defintely YA, and I loved them all.  I have no idea why... but they were just right up my alley and I enjoyed all four books.  This one was no exception.  Heck, I may even go and read her other series.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lost something...

This is fantasy in a totally different direction.

If you love Literature, and get off on your grammar... I think you would really enjoy these books.

I liked it... but it wasn't a speedy read or one that kept me up at night.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Some days are important to make note of.

Shit. It is already June 20th. How did this happen? Oh yes.  Life hasn't been dramatic, but it has been busy. I like to say that the days slip, and it really does seem to be the way it happens.  You get so caught up in trying to make it through the day, the next few days, the weekend, the week, that all of a sudden a month is gone and your kids are getting big so fast and you look at your spouse and you both have grey hair and I really don't feel that old.

It is Father's Day, and I hope my hubby felt some of the love directed his way from the kids.  He got cool hand made gifts this year.  I also got to see my dad this morning at both of my kid's events, and that was really important.

I really didn't think that lacrosse would be one of those things in Connor's life that would have a huge impact.  This has been a great season.  Connor has improved so much over the last three months, and his team has been great.  Amazing coaches, great parents, and the kids have embraced Connor.  We have found the sport combination between hockey and lacrosse that Connor seems to be finding his place in.  So much for baseball. I really tried.  Lacrosse has been SO MUCH MORE. Finished off a tournament and they went undefeated.  Connor was running, and a guy bounced off of him, and he almost got a goal.  Pure awesome.  They got their medals, which was even better in their eyes!

Brandon has also rode in his yearly riding event.  I really didn't think he would this year, and there were moments I thought he was going to quit.  He didn't.  He chose to stay.  He chose to continue on, and to be a part of the horse show.  He did amazing.  Best ever.  I almost cried and felt a bit overwhelmed. I cannot believe some of the people that have come in to our life and left their mark ever since we started on Brandon's unusual journey with CP and hydrocephalus. I am humbled by some of their grace, and love, and how generous they can be.

I was washed in pride for my kids today. They both did well in their sports.  They were in glorious moments, and it happened on a Father's Day.  How cool is that?

Grade 1 and Grade 4 are almost done.  Brandon is almost done with traditional daycare settings, and Connor has a year or two left. The winds of change are upon us, and things are going to shift again.  It will be amazing to see where the boys are at by the end of the summer.  Some weeks with their folks, some camps, see where they get to.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Sometimes it is good to blog in the moment so I don't lose some of the thoughts that are rattling around in my brain. I do think that when so much can happen in any given day (work, commute, meals, kids, sports, cats, laundry, food shopping, friends, Facebook) if you don't stop to reflect for a few moments, you can truly lose so much as it just becomes a bit of white noise in your life.

This was a great YA book.  It seems that there have been many more YA books peppered in to my daily reading in the last few years. I am so grateful I opened my eyes and my heart to different books.

I never thought that the first time I read about someone with hydrocephalus it would be in a book such as this.  First line in the book essentially talks about this kids' water on the brain and how he was lucky to be alive.  And then life moved on.

Isn't that just the thing? Life is complex. Life is many things.  At one point, our main character comes to realize that he may be a Spokane Indian, and more nomadic than his peers, he is also part of the people that love basketball, and comics, and reading.  This is a book about community, and growing up poor and Indian and on the rez, and how it can be such a terrible cycle to break to get out of a life without hope and to get farther than two miles from where you are born. I did some googling, and apparently this book is BANNED in some schools! THIS IS A GREAT read!! It is a coming of age novel that tackles some pretty heavy topics, but isn't that life? We cannot pretend for our kids that crappy things don't happen.  We can't put our kids in plastic bubble wrap and think they will never get hurt, or their heart's broken.  We need to build resilience.  Foster hope.  Encourage joy.  Keep them curious.  This is a great book and would be an interesting addition to grade 8 - 10 curriculum, especially from a different perspective that we don't always hear from.

So many different things you could say about this book.  I enjoyed it.  I thought so, until I read the first few lines, wigged out a bit, slept on it, and carried on.  I laughed, and I ached for this poor kid.  Human experiences, I think we can all relate to a part of a book like this.

Friday, June 10, 2016

This one had promise ... but ...

The writing was fair, the characters started off showing some promise.. and then I started to lose interest because the story just seemed a bit predictable by the end and I found myself getting a wee bit frustrated and turning the pages faster and faster until I finished the book.

Very average.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


This was better than I thought! A totally different choice for book club this month, and I found that I really enjoyed reading about Lowe's life.  I was surprised about some things, and I really enjoyed reading the passages about when he was making the 'Outsiders' movie.  Reading the stories about growing up with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez as your best buddies was a bit crazy after having been a little younger and watched all those brat pack movies.

There were good stories, and insights (such as being surprised about Lowe's sobriety), and Lowe comes off fairly self aware and intelligent (not just a pretty face).  Some of his comments about fellow actors were interesting (such as how talented and driven Patrick Swayze was).

This book didn't dish out on people, or throw them under the bus, you get the impression that Lowe truly loves his wife and is grateful for her, and that he made mistakes when he was younger. The stories are good, however, they don't get in to the really nitty gritty details of what really was happening, but I think enough details are revealed to keep you interested as you read this book.

Monday, May 30, 2016

A slow burn

This is the kind of book that creeps up on you.

Not quite as engaging as Blackberry Wine... but the characters draw you in and this is a well crafted book.

A very different perspective of life during WWII in France from a child's perspective.

I enjoyed this one as much for how it is crafted as for the story itself.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Unexpected wonder

I blame my dear friend Cher for this current series of books by the same author.

Chocolat was pretty good.  Then I devoured this one.  I loved this one.  I found I really like the main character and his journey, and this was a delicious novel.

Writing is well done, a little bit of everyday magic, and I found that this book went way too quickly for my liking.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A little chocolat, perhaps?

I love that Ken watched this with me.  Even more that he liked it.

I think I have reached that "age" where movies made 10 or 15 years ago don't feel that old!

This is a good book, I think I enjoyed some of twists and plot development more in the book than the movie, but isn't that usually the way?

I have only had one cuppa chocolate (spiced mocha) truly in this spirit and it was at Kapulua (sp?) golf course in Maui and it was an unexpected treat.

Friday, May 6, 2016

A book two success story

Maybe one of these weeks I will have time to properly blog again.

I love this series.  So different, so weird, I like it.

This was a book two that DID NOT disappoint. I am sad to have to wait a few months before I get my hands on the third book.

Good things come to those who wait, right?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What is luck, really?

Who are you? Who are we?

These are important questions to reflect upon, and it is not often that we give ourselves the space to explore these questions, especially once you factor in spouses, kids, work, and other loving responsibilities.

I am currently reading Award Applications.  They are truly inspiring to contemplate.

We don't give ourselves enough credit for what we have accomplished.  As a culture, we seem to never feel we are "good" enough, or that we have "accomplished" enough.  What is enough?

I think we are goal orientated, however, I think we also need to start appreciating what is truly enough.

I am also just finishing up Piper Kerman's biography Orange is the New Black.  There are a lot of details that shift from the book to the series, but truly the book is not nearly as racy or sexy as the series would have you believe.  I would not have sat down and had a beer with Cheryl Strayed, but I would with Piper.  She has a good bead on what is important, and she reflects upon some of the unexpected gifts she discovers during her year in prison.  I really enjoyed this book - more than I expected to. I was a good read, but not a quick read.  I think it challenged some of my perceptions about doing time, and affirmed for me how important restorative justice could be if we have willing participants.  Well worth a read.

What does HOME mean?

It is something that we all carry inside of us and is in the people we love.

It is also rooted in a place, where we put down roots.

Pink glasses to view the world.
Simple Pleasures.
Fresh air.
Moving water.
Being present.

These are thoughts flitting through my head as I complete this book and these applications.

This is disjointed, and somewhat incomplete.  Yet, I have scribbled a few words and thrown a few thoughts out there that hopefully I can return to.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I would have a beer with her...

What a pleasant surprise.

I remember reading the book Wild, and thinking, I likely would not go for a beer with the author because I wouldn't have anything to say.

I really enjoyed this biography.  Piper has a few things to say, and says them well.

Makes you think about the U.S. prison system and the amount of money tied up in it compared to their education system and you can't help but what wonder, what is wrong with this picture?

Yes, the series definitely draws from this book, but isn't nearly as racy and sexy as the episodes would have you believe.  You do care, and you see growth, and the capacity humans have to be the best and worst they can be.  Good read.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016


But not in a bad way.

Very nostalgic.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dark or light? Good or bad?

Really... in this human condition do any of us really fall completely on one side of this divide?

Great book.  I enjoy Rebus.  He certainly is quite the character.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A decade

It is hard to believe it has been ten years.

And we still love each other!!! 

Ten years. Two kids. A house in the burbs.  A minivan. An aging blazer and an aging cat.

I can't remember being selfish, or a good night's sleep.

I appreciate date nights so much more.

My wants have simplified.

I love you Ken!

Different and refreshing

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It looks like a new author I am slowly reading their canon of...

I am surprised by how enjoyable I am finding these books. They are well written, I am enjoying the characters, and I like the blend between the past and the future. Kearsley's older books seem to blend the details differently than her current novels, and I like them both.

This winter it seems the perfect combination has been some YA, some mystery, and then some historical almost romance thrown in for good measure.  A good foil for an intense period of time at work!

This was a different side of WWII.  It is amazing how many different stories there are to be told. I didn't realize that the British intelligence hired Canadians because they were subjects of her Majesty! Nor that there was a Camp X in Ontario to assist in training such folk. I couldn't imagine not reading, and being able to learning new things.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What happens to book 2 in a series???

This was okay. I must admit, I nearly turned back when I realized that there were four books.. until I realized that the fourth book is a prequel.

I am not sure when I will finish this series. I am just catching up on some books, and I have to admit although entertaining, this book really didn't leave a big impression.  I read one review out there and it said that this was a great idea, stretched in to three books. I can see that after reading the first two.  I like them.. I just can't say that I am totally engaged and racing to the read the third book to see how it all ends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Those are the breaks?

Just over six weeks in to 2016, and it is amazing how every semester start up really and truly is a blur of about for weeks, and then a slow recovery. I can't say that I have a lot of answers on how to make it easier. For me, so much depends on what happens with my coworkers, and it seems, who is off at any given time so I have to absorb their work. It seems my kids don't know how to walk up stairs, or how to brush their teeth at night, or finish their nightly ablutions without supervision. I think it was Superbowl Sunday.. but we warned the kids about being wankers on the stairs... and it ended up C sliding down the stairs in to B's leg and causing some pain. Speed forward about 10 days... and the pain the leg wasn't going away, and it was more than just high muscle tone from a growth spurt. I decided it was time to see our physio and get her opinion.. and well, she sent us in the get it checked. I think I knew at that point.. but the second opinion helped. Several hours at the hospital later, and B has a fracture in his fibula and a half cast that he will need to wear for a few weeks. I can't quite say I feel guilty - I don't think I would have done anything differently. I guess after so many falls, this wasn't quite how I expected a break to happen - I guess this falls under the "preventable" category and how as a mom.. you feel like a nag, especially about the same things all the time (don't fight on the stairs, eat your breakfast, put on your shoes..." These are the rhythms of life right now. So... We now have crutches, and can retire the Yoda Stick. For now. I am sorting out my response, and well, life moves on. As they say, them are the breaks. On a different note, I had hoped to make myself some green socks before St. Patrick's Day.. and they are done! Next up, a pair for my coz. I am looking forward to getting away in March. I can't believe our 10th anniversary is coming up. I am hoping we can hit a beach or somewhere and take some family photos with our wedding dud's on ... 10 years, white hairs, and two kids later!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Running to the edge...

I will admit it, I wasn't sure. One of my favourite librarians recommended it.. and well... she was right.  We are trading titles right now, and keeping the pages turning. This is set somewhere in the future, after the Earth has been badly damaged, and it appears that highly gifted teenagers are  put through a series of nearly impossible tests to seek out desirable traits and resilience that is perceived to be needed to help humanity continue and likely rebuild civilization in a new manner.  Of course, you don't know who to trust outside of the "gladers" and once things start to happen, the known world starts to unravel pretty quickly. A version of a bunch of folks in a stopped elevator - who crumbles, what traits are desirable, who can work together, and who comes out as a leader.

Not really what I expected, and it is quite good.  Strange how it seems so much YA stuff is about growing up, and having to change the world since the previous order has been toppled or has failed.  This is a pretty quick read, and I finished my stack of books and I am waiting for more to come in.  So, on to book two in this series I will go.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tried and true.

I like Connelly's writing and I have missed his character, Harry Bosch.  I have been reading these on and off now for years... and they are great.  Well crafted, well plotted, and I care about the characters.  It seems like I have been on a bit of a mystery kick lately - I am not sure if it is the time of the year (seems to me I read more of these at this time of the year than other times) or just what happens to have come up from my hold list, but this was a deeply satisfying book.  When I turned the last page.. it made me really hope and want to search out interviews to make sure that there will be more Bosch to come.  Dammit all for making our favourite characters properly age and mature through their books.

Now on to something completely different. I figure I have read so many of those angst filled YA series (Hunger Games, The Dark Materials, Twilight, Divergent, etc) it is time to crack and read the Maze Runner. January felt like a long month. It is hard to believe we are in to February now. We have been pretty lucky with such a mild winter. That being said, when we have a break in the rain, I love getting outdoors.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I really didn't think I have had that much time to read since Christmas... but apparently the days are warped - moving slow and fast all at the same time.

This was a lovely book.  I really enjoy Kearsley's writing, especially when I need more or less a historical feeling novel.  They are well written, and the stories grasp you.  For me, a blend of history and modern day that works.  I think I liked how things evolved better in the Winter Sea and the Firebird (or the convention), but this was a satisfying read.  It felt like the kind of book you want to read by the fire, with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Good post Christmas type reading...

It seems to me that this is the time of year I like to read these kind of books.  It could be that this coincides with both a semester start up (four weeks pass by in a blur) and it is also post-Christmas and my mind is apparently full.

This is almost a typical addition to this series, except that it seems that Reacher is making a connection with a woman, that appears that it will extend beyond one novel, or in flashbacks.  This adds an interesting layer to the paradoxical drifter that dispenses rough justice as he weaves his way across America.

The story kept you guessing, and was truly fast-paced. I think I started to wane about 75% of the way through, and then it picked up again.  Some decent dialogue with Reacher and Chang, and zipping across the country.  The journalist could have been a little more fleshed out, however, in this story, I think the underlying story is the fact that Reacher is making a deeper human connection that may make him pause in a place longer than a week.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I have no idea what I expected, and in that, this one delivered

This is a book I enjoyed, and I would recommend with a word of caution I think.  It is totally different.  Like nothing I have ever read before... much like the first time you read one of Neil Gaiman's books, or even Tom Robbins... your perception of reality needs to shift by a few degrees to wrap your mind around what you are being presented with.

Especially after the Promise, I enjoyed this book.  This is an intelligent read that pushes a few boundaries.  Before reading it, I would like go read a few reviews and how folks respond to see whether or not it would be your cup of tea.  Some moments are brutal, it isn't for the faint hearted, and yet it does present a character arc that makes sense, and a satisfying resolution.

Worth taking a risk on.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Not quite up to expectations..

I seem to have found myself on a mystery kick again.

I have been waiting for this one for a while from the library (because I could) and looked forward to reading it for it's entertainment value.  Post Christmas, who needs to use my brain?

It was okay. It almost felt like this has been done before, with more heart, from this author.  Maybe I was in a "mood"... I normally like the banter between Pike and Cole... but this time it just wasn't working for me. It felt like this was trying to like a Jack Reacher kind of novel, but it missed for.

Decent, yes.  As good as earlier books in this series, not in my humble opinion.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Now this is the type of mystery that grabs and keeps my attention...

Books like this make me wonder how books like "girl on the train" or "the nightingale" get so popular and these ones are not quite so viral by not quite capturing the public opinion in the same way.  This was a far superior read.  I will admit to a bias, I enjoy Rankin's books.  I haven't read one for a while... and this one was true to form.

John Rebus is truly a character.  One I have enjoyed reading about, getting to know, learning about his Scotland. I must admit I stopped reading Rankin for a bit since Exit Music because I didn't really want to get to know a new character because I was being crotchety.  Serves me right.  Rankin is currently weaving a few of his main characters together, and it works.

This was a great crime mystery, and the plot worked.  Especially after reading the Stewart mystery.  Comparing the two... one feels like a fluffy beach read, and the other one feels like one you would read by the fireplace, tea beside you, enjoying the atmosphere. A fine start to the books I will dive in to this year.

Friday, January 1, 2016

And so a new year begins.

I think last night was the quietest NYE I can remember.  Somehow, it was truly suiting to how 2015 seemed to have evolved. This was a year of so many things.  Although I didn't do a polar bear swim, it feels like there is a symbolic break from one year to the next, and even the ritual of sitting down and crafting a few words on to this blog helps to mark the line that separates one year from the last.  I enjoy looking back, even if it is only once or twice a year to see where my head space was... and things evolved from there.

What were the moments that counted?  There were a few..

*Like B starting to play sledge hockey.  This was huge.
*C playing 3 on 3 hockey and seeing a change from what hockey 1 was and what hockey 2 could be
*Our time together at Beach Acres.  We love this place.
*The difference between kindergarten and grade 1
*The beaches along the Washington Coast line
*Seeing the whale at Salt Creek together
*Making fire and setting up a camp
*Becoming a manager at work
*Choosing a different path for my relationship with my mom - I appreciate the different awareness I have now, even if it really hurt
*Fort Langley Tour with V and G
*Watching the blood moon together
*Watching the meteor shower out at the lake
*Date night back in March
*How well the kids did in Science Alive
*Making socks
*The new adapted bike to borrow for B
*Everything working out to make both sledge hockey and riding happen for B
*Watching C dance
*Our Christmas tree - it is beautiful
*My dahlias survived and were beautiful
*parade and fireworks
*Star Wars, the force awakens.. they did it right
*Small acts of kindness that surprised me along the way
*My closest friends. I needed them in different ways this year and I needed to lean

I may have missed stuff.  So it goes.

There were many tough moments, and choices that were made along the way.  It wasn't easy watching the changes with my MIL, however, she is doing okay.  Not perfect, but holding her own. I am lucky for her, and for the weekends she spent with us. I am truly grateful for the time to know her differently and better that I would have otherwise.  Crazy stuff with my family.  Stuff I will never fully grasp or understand, and for much of that, it is a blessing.  Our cars aging, and not always gracefully.  I ripped another door handle off.  How does this happen more than once to a woman? Never seeming to have enough money and worrying about whether or not funds are going to clear, when they will appear, and what edges to cut. Wondering why holes appear so quickly in B's shoes and then realizing it has already been over a month since he got new ones...

Sometimes this seems like tempests in tea cups.. some days, I will admit to having felt so overwhelmed.

Other stuff, like the wind storm in the summer, and the earthquake a few days ago.

Watching Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Vikings, and all the knitting that happened as a result.

Reaching 50 books this year, with a few to spare.

KEEN helping us with purchase of B's shoes.  Amazing company to deal with.  Thoroughly recommend them.

Truly, by 2016 there are a few things I want.
-our finances to be better under control
-to have had another amazing trip to the Island for Easter
-to have camped at least 3 times this summer
-for the kids to have done Science Alive and at least one more week up at work this summer
-More hockey, more riding, swimming lessons for the boys
-to try stand up paddle boarding this year
-to actually lose that 10 pounds and see a number I haven't seen for a long time not the scale
-get some new fish for our tank
-see something new this year, or try something out we have never done before
-at least start the St Brigid sweater
-to enjoy SOTW and at least Billy Elliot
-to take our family to some kind of theatre event
-birthday parties for the boys
-Family holiday in November somewhere away from BC
-to see Bard on the Beach as a date night with K
-to read another 50 books by December 31
-make a phonebook (FINALLY) to start printing out and documenting some of the amazing pictures we take
-to do that plunge again next year... if the cards are right

I think more than anything else I want to keep my wits about me.  I think this can nicely sum it up.  See where this adventure leads and try not to have weeks or months where it seems like flies by and things are no longer so organized.