But Where Did It Come From?

There are two questions every book reader gets asked on a regular basis: what are your reading and how did you hear about the book. I believe that more important that a good book is the ability to find it. But how is that done? Ah, therein lies the mystery that I am going to attempt top solve. You see, instead of cataloging what I’ve read, I’m going to start by recording how I found it. Because a good book is hard to find.

Oddly enough, this first entry is a bit of a nombo. And, at the same time, the reason I even started down this path in the first place. You see, our internet died; very ethernet connection, the wi-fi signal, even our streaming service. It was a total blackout and it would be 3 days before anyone could come out to fix it. For Kev and the girls, this was no problem. They left the house in the morning and didn’t wander back until dinner time. They had access to other connections and were happy surfing their phones for the few hours they were in this dead zone I called my home. I, on the other hand, was trapped. I hate using my phone so instead, I opted to off-line activities while I waited to be connected to the world. I felt like quite the hacker when I realized that I had unread books on my kindle. It was like being on-line only you weren’t! Brilliant! So, I pulled up my unread queue, and began to peruse the titles.

They were totally unfamiliar.

Where these ebooks came from, I had no idea. Some were Kevin’s and these were easy to spot. They all had the word “Space” in the title. Mine were a bizarre hodge-podge of authors and genres. I have no idea why I bought these books but apparently I did. So, I picked one and started to read it.

Title sounded good. Cover looked cool. Lets go. I would use the following key words to tag this read: mystery, flashbacks, private high-school, female protagonist, series. I’m not sure if it is Young Adult. Maybe? To be honest, I don’t know what that term even means anymore. If I had to rate it, I’d slide it on the older end of YA. High school and above. It was a good mystery read and I have the next one on reserve at the library. The present day story is ok but the flashback to the original murder is what has me coming back for more.

But this found lost book had made me decide to record not only the what I read, but how I found it. So on that note, let me move on to the next lost found book…..

Reflections from an 8th Grade science student

Parenting consists of choosing between three options:  laughing, crying, and fighting the desire to rage quit.  (Or at least that’s how it seems to me.)  So I relish every opportunity I get to laugh.

Leina’s science teacher gave them the assignment to write a letter to their parents expressing how they are doing in the class.  The students were to assess their work and reflect on the following: their effort so far, good behaviors, and areas of improvement.  Seems benign enough, right?  Unfortunately, the teacher was a bit rushed and didn’t have time to review all of their work.  If the student was happy with what they wrote, they were given the option to sign, seal and address the letter to their parents themselves without the teacher proof reading their report.

Below is a faithful copy of the letter I received from my child.  Enjoy it.  I know I did.


Hawaii 2017

This might have been my favorite Hawaii trip.  By now, we have developed a rhythm upon arrival.  Everyone knows where to go and what to do.  We have the perennial favorites but also time to explore.  Even better, the kids are now young adults who can take care of themselves.  No more tracking lost toys, watching protectively in the water, trying to find food that appeals to bland palettes.

For me, I felt extra mellow and relaxed.  Given the choice, I would spend the whole day at the beach house, feet up on the lanai or ankle deep in the surf.  Round it out with two fish tacos from Ono’s and I am sated.  I guess I am a mellow vacationer.  Itineraries, schedules and guidebook tours hold no   appeal.  Wandering, napping, and lazily floating along are much more my speed.  And the nice thing about Hawaii is that everyone is there at once so you can always find a partner in crime.  Want to head down to play in the waves?  Leina will join you.  Craving some katsu chicken? Daniel is your man.  Looking to go shopping?  Kevin has his keys in hand and is ready to go.  Prefer to sip a glass of wine and work on a puzzle?  Uncle Dan will pull up a seat for you.  Heavenly, I tell you.

I think I will treasure my memories from this Hawaii trip all year long.


A Room of One’s Own?

Most days, this is where you will find me.  Waiting in line.  Drop off line, pick up line, in front of a house, or across from a gym.  It used to irk me to no end, all this time spent sitting in my car, parked by a curb.  But humans are amazingly adaptable creatures.  Rather than rail against my fate, I decided to embrace it.  I have a book stashed in my driver door (Hyperion by Dan Simmons).  Snack are located in the center console (dried nut mix from Costco).  Make up bag is on hand to pimp myself out if I ran out of the house in a blind panic because I lost track of time (lets be honest, this is most days for me).  And a small sketch book and pen set if I’m near something sketch worthy.  Add to that a few podcasts pre-downloaded and ready to enjoy (Hello From the Magic Tavern), and what was initially mind numbing boredom becomes wonderful relaxation.  Open the sunroof, lower the windows and enjoy holding still for a moment.  Sometimes, waiting can be lovely too.

Puzzle Love Anyone?

Confession time. I love puzzles. Love ’em. When I was a kid, we used to go visit my Grandparents who lived in a retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. Now, if you are a kid in a retirement area, it can be a bit slow. Luckily, my grandparents had two things going for them. One, a community pool. And two, a library that rented out puzzles. Every visit, my grandmother would go and get a puzzle for us. I remember pouring over the pieces on her dining room table waiting out the hot Arizona afternoon. I think that’s when my puzzle love began in earnest.

You open the box and are faced with a jamble of pieces, colors and shapes.  It all seems impossible but every child knows that the trick is to start small.  Find the corners.  Pick out the edge pieces.  Once that frame is assembled you have a toe hold on the beast and suddenly the impossible seems within reach.

There are different techniques after the beginning frame out is over.  You can sort by color or unique image.  From there expand into grouping by shape.  And the satisfaction of finding that one last piece to complete a section!  Ummmmm.   Makes me tingly happy just thinking about it.

So every summer I pick a new puzzle and set it out.  Most days it is just me fingering the cardboard shapes but every once in a while Kevin or the girls will join me for a bit.  It’s so easy to talk over a puzzle.  But it’s equally acceptable to sit in silence and slowly sift through the pieces or study the box art.

Oddly enough, I don’t like to do a puzzle more than once.  Instead, I grab my ModPodge and glue the finished piece together and hang it up.  A reminder that no matter how broken something is, if you frame it carefully and work on it bit by bit, you can make it whole again.

My Secret Weapon

Argument:  There is nothing to do.  I’m bored.

Rebuttal: Read a book.

Negative Rebuttal:  I don’t have any books.  I’ve read them all.  I’m so bored I’m going to die.

Winning Response:  Get in the car.  We are going to the library.

Yes, every mother’s secret weapon.  The scourge of bored children everywhere.  The Library.

Lined with beautiful books that you can grab and go.  Looks interesting?  Grab it.  Back blurb got you curious? Add it.  Author you like? Stack it.

And the beauty of it all, you get to walk out with them for nothing.  So if it is a dud, no worries.  You can return it no questions asked.  But if you love it, if it opens new worlds for you, you can go back for more.  And more.  And more!  Is there anything better than a summer spent reading library books?  Debatable.