Friday, September 30, 2011


I get asked a lot why I blog.  How I make the time for it with a full time job, a toddler, classes, busy schedules with our friends and family... all that life stuff.  So, why do I do it?  Why do I make the time? This.  This right here is exactly the reason why.
The Park
Because without this blog, in a year, or two or ten, at some point down the road I may have no memory of my sweet boy and my amazing husband stealing an hour before the sun goes down at our local park on a random Friday night.
The Park
I might forget how much Henry loved the swing and the slide.  How he would yell "READY, SET...GOOOOO!" before he flew down the slide, then burst into a fit of giggles as his Papa caught him up and spun him around in the air.
The Park
 I might forget that it was cool enough for long sleeves, but not cold enough for coats. That we all three spun around on the merry-go-round until nobody could stand up. Then we all three laughed together.
The Park
Blurry pictures and a simple post will keep this day in my heart as a good day. Maybe I would have remembered without it.  Maybe. But as days and years go by, does the magic from a fall afternoon at the park hold it's importance, or does it blend into the background?

Blogging is good for my heart and my soul. But more importantly, it is good for my memory.  To remind me of my favorite moments with my sweet sweet family.  I go back now and read old posts from years ago, so thankful for them. In a few years I will look back at the posts from today with the same joy.  It's worth every second it takes to document this amazing life.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

BlogHer Book Club Review: Lunch Wars

It’s time once again for a BlogHer Book Club review! Just to keep everything out in the open with full disclosure and what not, this is a paid review. But as always, my thoughts are my own. ( I CANNOT BE BOUGHT! ) I wouldn’t tell you to read something that I didn’t enjoy.
LUNCH WARS: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children's Health, by Amy Kalafa, is attempting to teach parents how to take on the school system and bring healthier meals into our children’s cafeterias. The book is full of information on the inner workings of the school lunch system. It details government involvement, funding, and how you can make changes. It includes alarming facts, such as the meat served in schools are held to a lower standard that fast food restaurants and are labeled as “pet food grade”. I just… I don’t know. This little fact honestly seems hard to believe.

Speaking of hard to believe, I had an issue with some of the casual claims the book makes to really drive home the point of needing healthier food for our children. I felt it was using scare tactics to get parents to feel like they MUST take action. It is implied that autism can be cured with a healthy diet. Cured. Kalafa also discusses how students are completely out of control after lunch due to the high amount of sugar and processed foods they take in. That they become unteachable. I know a lot of teachers, and they seem to disagree that the majority of students are unteachable after lunch. She says it as a personally observed statement, but when you put something like that in print you should back it up with well documented research.

Lunch Wars supports the idea of using local fresh grown foods and is strongly against highly processed and sugar filled options within our school cafeterias. These are two ideas I support, but I felt like 350 pages is a lot to read on the subject. This book is detailed to the point of making the idea of action seem daunting. And this is coming from someone working on a masters degree in public health who reads case studies and statistical literature on a regular basis.

Lunch Wars is a good read if you are passionate about what your kids are eating at schools and if you have a strong desire to lead the way in making changes. This book is really not for someone who is just casually interested in school lunches, which I guess was more where I stand. We will be discussing Lunch Wars over at Blogher Book Club for the next several weeks.  We would love it if you stopped in and joined the discussion!
BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Important (Harry Potter) Things are Happening

I was going to go to bed early last night. I was going to be really productive today.  I was going to finish my book for book club that's due tomorrow, and was going to write a paper for class that's due next week, I was going to finally write a blog post about taking Henry to the park with Nick last week.  But then last night I got an email.
Pottermore email
And well... all the stuff I was GOING to do seems to have been pushed back. Instead Whitney and I have totally been geeking out over Pottermore all day.
It really is all rather exciting.  I mean...if you are a huge nerd (like me...and Whitney....and a million (literally) other Beta users).  I haven't taken screen shots of the actual chapters...mainly because I don't want to spoil it for you all!  You care about experiencing this first hand, right? But just know that I am enjoying every second I am on Pottermore, even though most of the time what I am seeing is something like this:
Pottermore wait
Oh Pottermore, you are such a tease.

I am about to get my wand, but am locked out right now due to every other Beta member being online and getting ahead of me.  (GIANT SIGH).  I will of course let you know my house, which had best not be Slytherin, once I am sorted.  I know you all are DYING to know.

If you are on Pottermore come find me! I am NoxDust59. (don't be jealous. Not everyone can be randomly assigned as cool a name as me)  Now back to trying to log in again...


And my House is....

Okay, I was hoping for Gryffindor.  I ADMIT IT.  But really... I have always known that if I was really sorted, I would be a Ravenclaw at heart.  I will wear my blue and silver with pride!  Anybody else been sorted? What is your house?

Monday, September 26, 2011


Last Monday as the work day wrapped up I looked outside and sighed.  Rain.   Ain't that a bitch.  I have class on Mondays, and the walk from where I park to the building is maybe a quarter of a mile.  Not far on a beautiful fall day, but in the rain...

As I pulled into my parking lot and I started digging for an umbrella but came up empty handed.  Then I noticed a handle in the back seat.  A handle that looked like this...

Oh lord. I sent Nick a text message (that I also tweeted, because I enjoy making fun of myself on the internet) that said: " I have to walk to class in the rain and the only umbrella in the car is a Buzz Lightyear one. All the other students will be jealous right?"

Nick wrote back: "You can put a bag over your head and walk to class or use the umbrella and put a bag over your head when you get to class. It doesn't help that the bag is from Save a Lot."

That husband of mine.  He does make me laugh.  I opted to go with the umbrella.  You all, this thing was tiny.  TINY!  It BARELY covered my head.  And I had to hold the handle all the way up near my face because it was so short.  Sorta like it was made for a two year old or something.

I actually saw several drivers take a closer look as I walked by, and then saw them laugh.  Nobody in class mentoned my rockin umbrella, but several of them saw me come in with it.

 Nothing bands you as a mom faster than a Buzz Lightyear umbrella on a college campus.

It's Monday again, and it's raining again.  And I didn't get around to buying a grown up umbrella.  Looks like I will have to break out Buzz one more time.  No doubt about it. I am the coolest kid in school.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Else?

So.... I am going to talk a little (more) about the Outlander series. I KNOW, right? When am I going to get over this series (four books down, three to go)? I mean, you went to all the trouble to come over to see what I was talking about today, most likely expecting the pictures that I promised, and here I go again about my love of the Frasers. All I can say is that I canna help it.  The love is strong, and I must discuss it.

But before I get into all that, here is a little something for those of you who find my love of Scotland in the 1700's a little tiring.
The Park
"You all are really just here for pictures of me, right?"

Okay, we are going to get into some serious series spoilers in a second, but I will warn you before you hit that point in the post. First, let me just mention once again that you all should read these books. What? you don't think that Scotland in 1745 is interesting? Did you enjoy Braveheart? DID YOU? Of course you did! (everyone loves Braveheart, I think it's fact). So try it out. You will not regret it. (Whitney, I have changed my mind. I am going to need you to read this after all. It is just TOO GOOD to not force upon you.)

So now on to me letting you all know what I thought of the 4th book, Drums of Autumn. You all, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN.  Like on Tuesday night I stayed up until 2:30 am reading. Then, even though I was DEAD TIRED on Wednesday, I stayed up that night until 1:30am to finish it.  I just COULDN'T STOP READING.

If you are reading the series, or plan to someday, but haven't made it to this book, you are going to want to go ahead and close out now. Come back once you finish it. We can talk about it. If you have read at least to the end of book four, continue on. Let's be friends and discuss one of the greatest book series of all times together.


We are doing these thoughts bullet style:
  • Okay, can I just start by saying that Young Ian has gone and broken my heart. Like, seriously, I was so depressed when he walked in to tell Jamie and Claire that from now on he could speak nothing but the language of his new family. And the tattoos on his FACE. I mean, it's like Diana Gabaldon wanted to tell us "Look guys, this shit is HAPPENING. So you need to accept it." I LOVE young Ian. LOVE. HIM. And, well.... even though he did seem sorta happy with his new life, and I was happy to read the letter from him about the fact that he is married with a baby on the way,  the idea of him not staying on Fraser Ridge just breaks my little heart.  What will he Ma say??
  • Did anybody but me find it odd that Fergus was like, a MAIN character and then he is just basically gone.  Like, he is there...but not really.  I guess now that he is married and has his son his main focus is them and not Jamie. Still, it seems strange. 
  •  Bree and Roger. You all, I love them.  Like when I knew the series was going to evolve to include the entire family, I was not really sure I would continue to love it as much.  I wanted all Jamie and Claire, all the time.  But oh how I love Bree and Roger.  And my heart is BROKEN about her being raped.  And when he showed up all tattered with his big beard and his wounded foot and used his blood to claim his all. My heart almost couldn't take it.
  • What about the greatest misunderstanding of all time? You know, when Jamie thinks that Roger has raped his virgin daughter and left her pregnant and them come to take her away and force her to be his wife? That little misunderstanding.  And then, how he beats the shit out of him, and THEN gives him to the natives.  Right. THAT.  Um, I have no words except to say that entire THING was what kept me from being about to go to sleep the last two nights what with the MUST FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS compulsion that followed.  And when Bree finally draws Rogers picture, and Jamie and Ian know what they have done...and then the guilt on Jamie's shoulders. Just heartbreaking. HEARTBREAKING!
  • When you think about it, Bree and Roger have spent very little time together.  I mean, even in the 1970's, they weren't together much.  And then all the time they were in the 1700's, they only had that one night together over the year.  Can  you imagine? And yet...oh how they love each other.  Gives me joy every single time the story turns to them.
  • I love John Grey.  LOVE HIM. Like I want to be best friends with him.  
  • I find it a little convenient that there seem to be so many stone circles everywhere they go.  I mean, I get it, it's FICTION and everything.  But still... it makes me curious if there are actually stone circles in all these places.  Not  like, curious enough to go to the trouble of googling it, but curious enough to mention it and think maybe one of you will tell me the answer. 
  • The fact that Frank put the grave stone with Jamie's name on it for Claire to find...I am horrified.  Thankful and horrified.  I guess I see why he didn't tell her that he survived the Rising.  But still...STILL.  To just let her believe he was dead for 20 years!  But could she have left Bree?  Sigh.  The 20 years apart still bothers me. I mean, I GET IT, but...heart breaking.
  • The scene when Bree goes into labor and she wont let Jamie leave her side.  I loved it so much.  Jamie's love of Jemmy actually gives me such joy deep down in my soul.  Maybe a little because of how much Henry's grandparents love him.  Maybe because of how much I love Henry, and how my heart breaks that Jamie didn't get to be there to raise either of his children.  But the love he has for him warms my heart.
  • Why is HBO not making these books into their next series? Doesn't this have HBO written all over it?  COME ON NOW, it would be PERFECT!
  • Each of the last three books I had a general idea of what was coming.  You knew Claire had to find Jamie, you knew Bree had to find her parents.  You knew Roger would follow Bree.  But now, I have no idea what the last three are about.  They are together, they are all there to stay.  I don't what what is coming next, but I can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Festival

I love me a good fall festival.  The food, the craft booths, the food.   I just get sucked in every single time.  So on Saturday when Boo and I turned to trusty google to find something fun to do with the kids, we were immediately drawn to the idea of a local festival.  Add in that it had a free petting zoo AND a Thomas train you could ride. WIN. WIN.
Midway Fall Festival
"Mama...Do you SEE that car? Put the camera down and move along."
Midway Fall Festival
Apparently Henry thinks it's funny that I had to drag the wagon up a hill to get to the festival. I did not think it was funny.
Midway Fall Festival
but totally worth it! I mean, who wouldn't be sucked in to the adorableness that is this town and their craft booths?
Fall Festival
Turns out my mom and aunt thought this event was worth attending as well, since we ran into them there. Crazy small world.
Fall Festival
This is what a Nanny looks like who runs into her grand babies when she least expects it.
Fall Festival
True Love.
Fall Festival
Then we ALSO ran into Cici's other grandparents. Turns out EVERYONE loves fall festivals! (or at least everyone of the grandparent variety)
Midway Fall Festival
Trading babies. (yes my long sleeve shirt is now gone. And I managed to take it off in the middle of a crowded food booth. Amazing what you can pull off when you are burning alive. Mental note, September...still hot.)
Midway Fall Festival
Henry couldn't wait to see the real train engine!  Right up until we got close to it.  Then...terrified.
Midway Fall Festival
In his defence, that thing was H-U-G-E.  Who knew? (train conductors. they totally knew)
Midway Fall Festival
Next we rode the Thomas train, which was much more reasonably sized.
Midway Fall Festival
Next we moved on to the petting zoo.  "CHICKENS CICI!! CHICKENS!"
Midway Fall Festival
No fear of the wild beasts. (or tame farm animals.  Whatever)
Midway Fall Festival
We finished the day off with ice cream.  Because it just seemed right. 

All in all, a perfect fall day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lost Treasure

When Henry was 24 hours old our good friend Andy came and took some pictures of us at the hospital.  It wasn't a photo shoot, it was just Andy in the room with his camera.  In the craziness that is bringing a newborn into a home, I sorta forgot about the pictures for several months.  When I asked Andy about them later, he got a sad look and told me that he had loaded them onto his hard drive, which promptly crashed.  He had tried to get the pictures off, but he couldn't recover them.

I was sad at the time, but over the last two years these lost pictures have become more and more of a heart break.  I never felt like we took enough pictures of Henry in his first couple of days.  That we were lacking any photograph that really captured him right after he was born.

This weekend Andy came over to watch the football game (which, turns out, we didn't get the correct channel for.  Always check that you actually GET the ball game before having a cook out to watch it) and he brought me an amazing gift.  He had recovered the pictures.
Henry: 24 Hours Old
Our brand new family of three
Henry: 24 Hours Old
The only picture we took without his hat because he got so cold so fast in his first few days and would just shiver not stop when we took it off. This is maybe the most important one to me, because you can actually see that tiny little head.
Henry: 24 Hours Old
Our boy
Henry: 24 Hours Old
Hello world
Henry: 24 Hours Old
A little more of him
Henry: 24 Hours Old
Proud parents
Henry: 24 Hours Old
This is still what he looks like when he sleeps. My heart.
Henry: 24 Hours Old

These pictures.  They mean more to me than I could ever say.  Andy, thank you so much for thinking to take them, and then for being able to save them for us.

In the world of pictures, when it rains it pours.  I haven't had any pictures to post over the last several weeks, and this weekend I ended up with enough for three seperate posts. So... if you like pictures, come back.  I have lots to share.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Trenches

I was sitting in the break room this afternoon reading ( Drums of Autumn ) when a guy who works in the building walked in and looked at me.  He laughed and said, "All I ever see you doing is reading and eating!".  Well...I thought, this is the break room. What else would I really be doing in here?...but I just said "Those are two of my favorite things, so I guess you know me pretty well now!" and smiled at him.

He laughed and then asked me if I have children.  We work in the same building, but never work together and really don't know each other at all.  I tell him I do, that I have my sweet Henry.  He asked how old he was and I said two.  He then told me that he also has a son who is seven.  Then he turned away to fill up his coffee cup and said, "We really wanted more...but...well...our boy is our miracle."

He said it lightly, and maybe if I weren't an infertile too I would have missed the inflection.  The pain behind the words.  The way his head dropped a little, the way he still felt the weight of the heart ache of that want for another that sometimes isn't possible.  I looked at him then, much more invested in the conversation than I was seconds before, and I say "Oh our Henry is our miracle too.  We fought hard to get him, and we wanted another very badly...but it isn't going to happen for us." 

I wasn't sure how else to put it.  I wanted him to know that I understood.  That I really understood.  That we were the same, that we didn't choose to have an only child, but that we are so incredibly thankful for our one.  He looked at me, and he really looked.  Then a small, sad smile came across his face and he nodded his head. I smiled back and nodded mine.  Neither one of us said  "you never know what will happen, you might have another" or "Just relax and it will happen eventually!".  The little smile between us was all that was needed.  It said "I am from the trenches too.  I know that heart ache".  It's always an interesting experience, finding another person touched by infertility when you aren't expecting it. And I know he and I will think of each other differently now.  More as friends than we were minutes before.

After the small smile we talked for a minute about our boys.  He told me about how they decided on his son's name.  He ended the story with, "He is a really good boy.  We are so lucky".

Yes, we are.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Yesterday Henry and I had a play date with my cousin and her son (my godson), Wesley.  Wes is nearly six, but him and Henry love playing together.  It's pretty clear already that Henry wants to be exactly like Wes when he grows up.  Now several times during the play date Liz and I laughed about we might possibly parent a little differently.  I don't remember how many times I did something that sorta babied Henry and said "He's ONLY two!"  And Liz said, "Come on, he's TWO!"  Like, somehow saying that possibly he could feed himself that gingerbread cookie, rather than have me feed it to him.  Or...that he could drink out of a regular cup without a straw.   And YES, he can do these things, but I don't mind keeping him a baby.  Helping him with things that maybe other moms would just expect him to be able to do on his own by now.  (for the record, he can TOTALLY eat a cookie on his own.  They were just a little sticky and he didn't want them on his PRECIOUS hands.  "WASH HANDS?!?! WASH HANDS?!?!" *waves hands in the air at me*)

So after the snack we headed out to be back yard to play.  The boys had a blast.  After awhile they decided they wanted to swing, and I mention that Henry has never used a big boy swing.  I felt the restraint Liz used to prevent rolling her eyes at me.  "HE'S TWO!" she said.  "HE'S ONLY TWO!" I say back, with both of us laughing.  (My cousin and I have an enjoyable ability to even each other out.  It is one of the reasons we are so close)  But I decide to listen to her and put Henry in the big boy swing.  And he can do it!  He is holding on, he is happy.  He is TWO! He can use a big boy swing!

So there we stand, pushing the boys, and I give H a push and he and the swing go up...and only the swing comes back. YOU ALL.  HE IS ONLY TWO.  HE IS NOT BIG ENOUGH!  His little body, it just stayed at the hight of the swing, then fell straight back onto the ground with a loud "THUMP" as he landed flat on his back.  Liz and I froze.  Looked at the empty swing, then ran over to him.  He lay in the grass, wide eyed.  Shocked.  Then...Oh the tears.  It was pitiful you all. PITIFUL. But there was no bruising or broken bones.  It mostly just scared the crap out of him.  And us.   We sat at the table and Liz looked at me, and I looked at her, and we both just started laughing.  That relief of , "Oh crap, that looked SO. BAD."  But he's fine! And, I don't want to burst into tears, so lets have a good laugh.

Within minutes Henry was back playing in the dirt with Wes.  A little later he tried to climb the rock wall ladder to the slide. I said he couldn't do it by himself.  Liz said to let him try.  I did.  He made it to the top.  He might fall sometimes, but he is two.  He is getting bigger every single day.  When he falls, he will get back up and try again.  It is amazing to watch.

But we might hold off on the big boy swings for another six months or so.  He still is awfully little. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Little Things

I am so much happier at my new job.  Do you know how much better life is when you really enjoy what you do? It's been hard to pin point exactly what it is that I like better, but day in and day out I get much more joy out of coming to work.  I hadn't paid that much attention to it, but then yesterday I got an email that made the reasons a little more clear.  When I started in my old position a year ago they wanted to put an article in the newsletter about my addition to the department.  I had worked there for about six weeks when it was time for the newsletter, and the coordinator of my department asked me to just write up a little blurb about myself.  Where I am from, my previous work experience, the normal stuff.  I didn't think it was a big deal. I mean, who knows me better than me, right?

Well, now that I am in the new position I am once again being announced in the newsletter.  I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess I would have just turned in the same blurb I wrote a year ago, but tacked on that I worked for the University in a different department for the previous year.  Turns out there was no need.  I got an email from my new coordinator yesterday saying he had taken the time to write my blurb.  Here it is:

"Sarah {undisclosed last name} began working as a Senior Laboratory Technician in the Soil Test Laboratory in {secret city} this summer.  She worked for a year in our Division in the Feed and Fertilizer preparation lab prior to her transfer.  Before coming to Regulatory Services, she worked as a Biology Analyst with {Old lab where I worked before UK}.  At {Old Lab}, she gained experience with various laboratory testing methods along with preparing audits for quality assurance and quality control.  Sarah is from {secret city} and received a B.S. degree in Biology at the University of Kentucky.  She is an avid reader and is particularly interested in Harry Potter.  She has a young family with a son and a strong knit extended family of parents, sisters and brother-in-law that provide her great support.  Continued study to achieve a graduate degree is a goal of Sarah’s as she takes evening classes working toward a degree in Environmental Health Sciences.  The Soil Laboratory is fortunate to have Sarah in her new role."

You know what my favorite part is?  Where he says " She is an avid reader and is particularly interested in Harry Potter. "  It actually made me laugh out loud to read it.  It is what I am known for around here I guess.  But what actually gets me is that I don't work that close with my Coordinator.  We have taken a work trip together, had a few lunches, always say "hi" or "have a nice evening" but he never sat down to say "Ok, tell me about yourself so I can write up an article about you".  I don't remember telling him I love Harry Potter, but I wear a Muggle shirt on a regular basis and he commonly sees me reading on break.  I casually mentioned that I was taking graduate classes, but I am amazed he remembered the degree I am working towards.  I didn't tell him I have a close family, but I guess I mention them a lot.  And he listens.  He remembers. And so does everyone else in our little department.  It's a little thing, and yet it's huge. It has made this new lab feel much more like home.

Funny how this little blurb has made me realize how much happier I am to be working here.  It's a little thing, but it sure is nice to feel like people listen.

Friday, September 9, 2011


What?  You want to know what the Heck I am thinking, not posting pictures of Henry for nearly two weeks?  Well... let me tell you.  Our camera you see, it seems to have eaten our memory card.  Or maybe our memory card just died.  We don't know for sure yet.  I am really hoping the card died and not the camera.  Cameras are expensive.  But anyway, our memory card up and deleted ALL of our pictures (over the last two months, not like every picture in our lifetime).  Just *Poof* and they were gone.  Awful, right? RIGHT?  Well, luckily it wasn't that awful because I regularly load pictures onto flickr, but still...STILL.  But I am trying to not dwell on it.  Much.

So, seeing as I haven't had a camera, I have been using my iphone.  And do you know how crappy iphone pictures are?  I mean, not everyone elses.  Seriously, some people take AMAZING pictures with their iphone, but not me.  I take, blurry. It's like my signature style of photography.  But since it's been TWO WEEKS, I figure I will empty the iphone library here for your enjoyment.  (I have nothing else for today)

Henry and Cici
Apparently there is nothing more fun that sticking two kids into a pack-n-play and allowing the to JUST GO NUTS.
What else....well, last weekend we built this fort. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Right up until the point where Ellie thought she could walk across the middle. It crashed down in an impressive heap of chairs and quilts. No injuries were reported
And then there was this one I got from my mom's iphone. Apparently her photos have the same blurry signature.
Large Pizza
What else is on here... well there is this. We had our fantasy football draft and Missy ordered a large pizza. She asked if it was the biggest size they had. They said "Ummm... it will be big enough". Truth Large Pizza
Henry approved
 In other random pictures, the fall weather is coming on strong around here. That means Halloween, which means that skeleton PJ's are totally appropriate now.
Mama and Henry
And one last one. Mama sure does love this boy.

I promise to get a new memory card tonight. That way the pictures from the weekend might just be in focus.  But for now, I sorta like these.  Blurry seems to capture how fast life is moving.  But we are loving every second.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Slow Love- A BlogHer Book Club Review

(We have gotten rather bookish around here lately, right?)

So Blogher has changed things up a bit and is now having me publish a short review* for my book club books over here on my Bio Girl.  There will then be a continued discussion about the book over the next several weeks at Blogher.  If you are interested in  following along and participating in the discussion, we would love to have you!

*Extremely short review! They are limiting me to 250 words.  Do you know how few words that is?  I LOVE my words!  When I first wrote this review, it was 500 words.  DOUBLE.  And I was REALLY trying to keep it to the basics.  I guess those other 250 words will find their way into the discussion over the next month.  Anyway, I only mention this because i want to be clear that the actual review begins after that starred line right there below this paragraph.  It's my blog, and I say it is so.  So here is my review of Slow Love.  Starting....NOW.

Timing is everything.  And sometimes the time in your life you read a book will completely dictate how you feel about it.  That was most likely my problem with  Slow Love by Dominique Browning. We are a young family who has very little extra money, and that gives me no patience for Slow Love.  This is a memoir of Browning, following a year as she finds a way to slow down and live life after losing her job as a major magazine editor in Manhattan at the age of fifty.  She talks of the struggles of finding what to do with rising taxes on property and the crash of the stock market.  And yet, she has no debit and two lovely homes.  She talks of health issues and relationship issues, but all in all, she seems to me to be lucky. 

It was hard to feel sorry for Browning, or even invested in her story, but there is no question she is a good writer.  There are sections of the book that I found extremely interesting, specifically the small section about her health. But for the most part, I just felt that it was common. That lots of people are going through this, but without the security to sit around and think "What shall I do with all my time?"  Everyone else is thinking "How in the hell am I going to put food on the table?" Slow love isn’t bad, but I can’t say I would recommend it.

BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Did I Forget?

When I was little one of my very favorite things was the library.  I remember my mom taking us when we were really young, letting us check out as many books as we liked.  We were lucky enough to live within bike riding distance when I was of the age to find that awesome, so I was constantly back and forth, picking up age appropriate books like 'Flowers in the Attic' or some nonsense.  (Oh my, the updated cover of that book makes it look exceptionally creepy...assuming you know those two characters are BROTHER AND SISTER).  

Anyway, back on topic here, which isn't that I was reading the disturbing writings of VC Andrews at the age of 11, but rather that I was in love with the library.  I was a regular through elementary and middle school, but then... well, I guess I got rather distracted in high school (it happens).  And then as I started college I used the University library all the time, but never got books for personal reading.  I just....forgot.

It isn't that I didn't read for fun in college.  Oh, I did.  I read a lot, but I became intent on buying all my books.  Intent isn't even the right word.  It just never occurred to me to go to the library and get them.  It might have been due to some rather large fines I had accrued in the late Middle School years.  (They frown upon losing the 'S' volume of the encyclopedia.)  So I bought books.  A lot of them, actually.  I got them on ebay, not caring if they were used.  I wanted them all in hard back, I guess envisioning a day I would have a library in my home where I could build ladders to my books that would reach to the top of my 30 foot ceilings...something along the lines of Beauty and the Beast I think. 

But since the addition of a personal library has yet to occur in our home, I started selling my books.  Buying them, letting them lay around in the way, then selling them for much less than I paid.  Then money got tight and I was like, "I want to read that... but I can't AFFORD to go buy another book right now!"  And then, my friends, the light came on.  THE LIBRARY!

Let me be the first (since your mother and grandmother) to tell you, the library is AWESOME.  Did you know they have, like, ALL THE BOOKS!  And did you know it's FREE?  What in this day and age is free? Can you imagine a video store that was like, "Oh, you want to see 'Forest Gump'?  Just go ahead and take it.  Make sure to bring it back though, or we will charge you a dime a day!"  A DIME A DAY.  that's the late fee.  And really there is never an excuse to have a late fee because you can now renew online.  And you can put books on hold online, so they are just sitting there WAITING FOR YOU.  And they send you emails to remind you your books are due.  They have this thing down to a SCIENCE.

My life has changed, I tell you.  Today Henry and I spend over an hour at the library.  I picked up my two books on hold (Books four and five of the Outlander series...of course.) (SO. GOOD) and Henry picked out three books to check out for himself.  Then we read a few more in the kids corner, just for fun.  Played with the barn yard table for a little while, then headed home.  Spending exactly zero dollars.

The library.  Who knew?*

*My Aunt Jan , the librarian knew.  She is shaking her head at me right now, I can feel it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Plague

The plague has settled in on the Bio Girl household.  Well...either the plague or the common cold.  But with the amount of mucus we have flying around here, I am going to stake my money on the plague.  It's been a great holiday weekend, as I am sure you can imagine.

To make matters worse, I managed to have my back pain flair up again.  I can just hear the conversations now:

Caring Stranger: "Oh, you reinjured your back?  How did you do it?  Working out? Heavy lifting?"

Me: "Well you see, I was in the middle of the MAJOR sneezing attack..."

On the more adorable side of the plague, yesterday I put Henry down for his nap and was laying on the couch (reading of course... about 600 pages into Voyager) and I had one of the many sneezing fits of the weekend.  Once it was over and I blew my nose I heard a tiny little voice yell from his room. "Bless You, Mama!"

Good lord I love this boy.  Anyway, all three of us seem to be on the mend.  I can swallow without wanting to burst into tears.  I actually slept rather well last night.  It looks like the plague might be lifting just in time to get back to our busy lives.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Parrot

The other day Henry was sitting in Nick's lap while he played Zelda. I was reading (SO. ADDICTED) so I am not exactly sure what happened, but all of a sudden I hear an adorable tiny voice very clearly declare "Oh Shit!". I give Nick the show head turn with the evil eye.

"Did he just say...""

"Um... yeah. Oops"

I tell Nick it's time. Henry is quickly becoming our own personal parrot, so the cussing has got to stop. We agree. Cut out the cussing until the parroting has stopped. Which...when does that actually happen? Never? Do we never get to use the colorful cuss words that have peppered our language since we were teenagers? But we are so GOOD at using them. What a shame. (Nana-I am just kidding. I would never cuss. except maybe sometimes. But ALMOST never. Mouth of a princess, this one)

Anyway, about 15 minutes later I am in the kitchen getting Ellie her dinner. I shake the pouch of food and it splits open and flies across the kitchen. Beef chunks and gravy fly everywhere. "OH SHIT!" I yell.

Then, quietly from the living room I hear it again. "OH SHIT!" he looks at me and smiles. "Oh shit, oh shit, OooooH Shhhiiiit"

We are in a world of trouble. And maybe someone needs to wash Mama and Papa's mouths out with soap.

** Some of you asked if Henry qualified for speech in in evaluation last week. He did. Mainly because a good chunk of his speech is exactly this. Parroting. He is using his language more and more on his own, but it is slow progress. So we set goals for him to use more sentences, and for his language to come completely from him, rather than from us. So we are signed up for another six months of classes with Ms. Lauren, and are very happy with the new plan.