Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge Update

It is with heavy heart and shame that I admit the "progress" I have made this autumn with my reading challenge. Apparently I have descended into whatever level of hell it is that takes away the ability to focus on anything edifying for any decent length of time but still allows you to devour a Nora Roberts book in an afternoon. With that insight into my brain (what's left of it), you'll understand why Devil in the White City is no longer one of my "current reads". While I know that my daughter and husband found the book highly enjoyable and interesting, I'm not feelin' it (as my oldest would say). The Portable Dorothy Parker is a better choice for me right now and I'm getting ready to start on Sailing the Wine Dark Sea.

Did I really say I'd read Walden???

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another Birthday!

We've been fortunate enough to celebrate another wonderful year in the life of my oldest daughter, now 22. 22! I still can't believe that number. I remember holding her in my arms like it was yesterday. I vividly remember all those feelings of being a brand new parent. Pride, worry, and confusion were rampant. Most of all though was the sheer sense of wonder that this small being had made her arrival and was now part of our lives. Forever. In our hearts, our minds, every fiber of our beings.

She's grown into quite a woman. Unbelieveably accomplished and competent, she's a bedrock for the small company she works for. I continually remain in awe of the scope and range of her abilities, both in the workplace and without. She has a wonderful sense of humor and fun hidden (only slightly for anyone who knows her) beneath a more serious demeanor. Her very tender heart is evident to anyone who spends longer than a few minutes in her company and her sense of loyalty and consideration run deep. She's extremely talented and creative, but has a strong streak of pragmatism running through her that keeps her grounded. She makes the world a better place simply by her existance.

I know that I go on and on about my daughters, but I feel so incredibly fortunate to not only be so proud of my daughters, but enjoy their company so much. They are truly the most wonderful friends I could have. It is absolutely impossible to sum up the incredible human beings they are with mere words. I simply know that I am beyond grateful that they are a part of my life.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad Days

The day before yesterday was a bad day. There are a myriad of reasons why that day was a bad day, but I'm convinced that it could have been nothing other than a bad day because of my choice of ill-fitting undergarments. I know of no woman who is happy the day she has to wear her "emergency" underwear.

Note to self: No matter how compelling "The Gilmore Girls" DVD appears to be the night before, it's important to put a load of laundry into the washing machine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to School Week - Decorated Notebooks

Well, I finally had a day to myself and was able to decorate the notebooks that I wrote about earlier. I started with this one:

Just a simple one to jot down plans, thoughts, or other insprirations.

Then came this one:

I'm not necessarily crazy about this one, but I wanted to do nature notebooks this year and this was my attempt at using what I had on hand instead of running out to the scrapbook store. Susannah's nature notebook was next:

This one I liked. I hope she does too. Finally I did one for her just to have:

I still need to do one for her copywork, but I was done for the day.

Don't forget to check out Clarice's finished project and also take a look at my daughter Rebecca's finished projects here and here. What a fun project!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Not Back to School Week

We "school" year round here in our house, but as Clarice says about her family, even we feel the back-to-school vibe around this time of year. Generally this doesn't mean much more to me than I get to haul out the fall decorating things for the corner cupboard and heave a serious sigh of relief that the heat is over, but this year I want to make a few changes to our routine (or general lack of).

I don't often mark the beginning of the school year with any sort of tradition or celebration, but this year I'm thinking that a small gift or two might be a good way to help us incorporate some of those changes to our routine that I'm planning. Clarice has inspired many of us with her composition notebook redecorating. Since compiling and maintaining a nature notebook is high on my "to do" list for this year, I thought I'd decorate one of the many main lesson books that I have on hand for my youngest to use. Since learning cursive is high on her "to do" list this year, I thought I'd decorate a composition book for that purpose as well. How much nicer could it be than to do your work in beautifully decorated notebooks and composition books?

Now, if only my ideas for incorporating exercise, more vegetables and a cleaner house into our routine for the coming fall were as easy to implement, I'd be a happy woman.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge

I'm sad to say that I've spent the summer reading books that aren't exactly what I'd call intelligent, stimulating or otherwise scholarly. They've been lots of fun, and I think there's definitely room in a reader's library for "fluff", but with the fall coming on, I'm looking for a reason to push myself a bit more intellectually. While poking around blogland this morning, I came across this reading challenge from Seasonal Surroundings. This definitely intrigued me. So, with an aim to challenge myself a bit and clear off my "to be read" shelf, here's my list:

One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter Thomas Cahill
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America Erik Larson
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran Azadeh Moaveni
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
The Razor's Edge W. Somerset Maugham
The Portable Dorothy Parker Dorothy Parker, Marion Meade (editor)
Walden Henry David Thoreau

Well, there's some intellectual stimulation there. If I were really serious though, I'd add some Aristotle and Plato - something I've been meaning to read or reread for years. I'd even add George Elliot's Middlemarch, which I've been avoiding for even more years. Oh well, maybe for a winter challenge??? :-)