Saturday, January 26, 2008



This is a "yes, if you have nothing else pressing, you should read this book" book. While I certainly enjoyed the story (stories, all wound together), and while I got a great kick out of the twists and turns the novel took, it still just amounted to loads of froth. I have always been a fan of the gothic romance/mystery, so this was an awfully fun and familiar style, but, based on the glimpse we got of the thirteenth, I would far rather have read the other twelve tales, and wish that they were real. Vida Winter sounds like an incredible author! Since her stuff isn't available, I think I'd rather go back and read Jane Eyre, The Lady in White, Emma, or Middlemarch than this book again.

"My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie." --Vida Winter

Now that's good stuff! That is exactly why I read.

Friday, January 25, 2008


While cheering on the two teenagers of the household in their weekly basketball game, I looked up just in time to see the enormous blur of a basketball flying directly at me. With absolute precision and the deft physical coordination that I am known for, I sat stock still (or was that shock still) and bravely bore the brunt of that basketball's brutality. It hit me square in the face, knocking my glasses to the floor, breaking the nose piece, and subsequently scratching off perfectly good patches of skin from my not very small in the first place nose. Blood spurted from inside and on top of my nose, splattering the floor, my hands, and (gasp!) my Vera Bradley bag! The game was halted as I blurrily blundered my way across the floor to find the bathroom, with several vague "Are you all right?" queries sounding from somewhere around me. Then, clear as a bell, I heard Lane's voice call out with great care and concern: "Way to watch the game, Mom."

If you sense the sarcasm in Lane's words then either a) you know Lane or b) you just might have been at the game to see that I wasn't really watching very closely... or c) both. Truth is, I was watching the game, but I was also playing Brain Age2 on my new DS Lite (awesome Christmas present from the boys). I would play a bit, then look up and watch a bit. Play a bit more, then look up and cheer for a while. You get the picture. It was during one of the watching bits that the basketball made its mark. I should have just kept playing my DS. Not only was the basketball game a bust (even after the scorekeepers counted 3 points for every basket made by our team on account of my injury!), but if I had just kept my head down, the worst I would have gotten was a bump on the head, and not wounds to my nose! Moral of the story? The stage always has been a safer place for me... (I'm sitting up there next week!)

Friday, January 18, 2008


in getting this out...
Still, January's not over yet, so I think I'm well within the acceptable time-frame for a Best and Worst of 2007 (inspired by none other than Mother Superior)...

Best Photo:

Although I actually think Lindsay's photos of us are far better, this one, taken on Thanksgiving, is a favorite.

This one is not, and it takes the cake for Worst Photo:

I took and sent the above to my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day. You can imagine her pride and joy in her pride and joy!

Best Moment:

While playing in the waves in Mazatlan we saw school after school of black fish swim by, sometimes even close enough to touch. It was amazing! The sun was setting and the light was filtered through the water so that the fish were often back-lit, and I cannot think of anything more mesmerizing and phenomenal. I felt like I was in "The Prince of Egypt" when the Israelites are walking through the Red Sea and pass whales and fish in the walls of water. It was wonderfully magical!

Worst Moment:

The night that Michael sat the boys down on the couch and told them about their Mom's passing. It was painful.
It was amazing, however, to see them handle everything with such power and grace. That has been beautiful.

Best Baby:

My new niece, Jane, and nephew, Brennan, are the obvious picks! And they really are the best babies! The best non-obvious picks are two babies that have yet to be born!
Baby Sugiura and Baby Robinson are both miracle babies coming sometime in the next two weeks to two blessed and very surprised families that we know. I am thrilled for them all, and reminded again of how much Heavenly Father loves us, has a plan for us, and gets a kick out of His amazing surprises!

Worst Baby:

Is there such a thing?

Best Book:

Okay, okay. I don't really think this is the best book (I liked "Eclipse" far better...), but I have to admit, this series was captivating. This truly embarrasses me, but I am a fan.

Worst Book:

It really is one of the worst written, far-fetched, ridiculous books I have ever read. I repeat, I am embarrassed, but I enjoyed these books nevertheless!

Truly Worst Book goes to:

This is a sad commentary on me, because "Neighbors: the Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland" is an amazing, superbly crafted novel, and just too painful to read. It literally made me sick. We humans do some truly disgusting things to each other, and I just have no comprehension of how or why it happens. (For a more palatable but equally disturbing look at the treatment of Jewish Poles during the WWII era read Alicia: My Story. I also learned new things from Shanghai Diary.)
I'd rather believe in vampires.

Best Purchase:

Trax eyeshadow by MAC.

Worst Purchase:

Two garage door openers, neither of which open the garage door.

Best Food:

The Surf and Turf, Cashew-Crusted Halibut, and/or Peach Cobbler at Red Rock Brewery. You CANNOT go wrong at that place! A-MA-ZING!

Worst Food:

Keri's attempt at horseradish mashed potatoes. Throwing-up sounds now, please. Sadly, Lane had a friend over for dinner that night, and he gallantly tried to eat them all. Horrendous doesn't even begin to describe those potatoes...

Best Trip:

It's a toss up between our trip to Mazatlan and our trip to Colorado. We went to Mazatlan with Michael's parents to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was a lovely vacation, minus the Time Share presentations that Michael forces me to endure. Nothing is worth that torture!
We, sans Daddy Michael, went to Rocky Mountain National Park for a Slade-Family reunion in July, and that was also marvelous. I am absolutely not one for the outdoors/camping/dirt and bugs, but I have to admit, it was great fun.
Equally fun was the week that Joshua and I enjoyed together in Ft. Collins (Evan went back to Utah to work, and Lane went back for Scout camp). We went on bike ride after bike ride, lazed around with Grandma, Grandpa and the cousins, and loved every minute of it!

Worst Trip:

Again I ask, is there really such a thing?
A week with 22 other people on a house boat in Lake Powell comes close. We had some fun times, but a full and stinky potty, a boat crash into the dock, and a gas leak all over the water around the houseboat kind of put a damper on things. I don't want to do that one again anytime soon. Ungrateful, ungrateful, ungrateful girl that I am!

Best Thing Learned:

How to blog.
That tender mercies aren't always for me, but they usually come back that way.
That it's possible to move on after even the most devastating experiences.
That I've still got a long way to go.

Thanks for coming along with me!


With a book on tape.
This one is:

It tells the story of four sisters in the Dominican Republic during the 30's, 40's, and 50's. These sisters are known as "The Butterflies" for their actions in an underground movement to overthrow the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

The Butterflies

I have never heard this story. Truthfully, I've never really heard anything about the Dominican Republic, so it took me awhile to realize that this was a true and historically accurate portrayal of the Mirabal family and the political situation of the time.
Similar to The Poisonwood Bible (a must listen-to on tape, in my opinion), each sister enhances the story for the reader by telling virtually the same story, but with their own personal take on each situation.
And isn't that how we're all living life?
The book is opened and closed by the last living Mirabal sister, Dede. I probably identified with Dede most, in that she is the sister who did not get actively involved in the politics of the time. I am certain I would have been the same way. Yet for her, me, and all of us, the consequences are unavoidable.
Near the end of the book Dede shares her aversion for people who hold ceremonies to commemorate "the Butterflies,"
"...people who kept their mouths shut when a little peep from everyone would have been a chorus loud enough that the world couldn't have ignored it..."
"Maybe these aren't losses. Maybe that's the wrong way to think of them. We went our own ways, we became ourselves. Just that. And maybe that's what it means to become a free people.
And I should be glad?"
In the Time of the Butterflies (sorry, no page number, but in the epilogue)

I am struck by the question mark at the end of that sentence. The cost of freedom is high, and often inordinately skewed. I'm sure there are times and circumstances which make it difficult to be glad for something which cost so much. That question mark makes me think of how often it is that I might know the right "answer," but don't want to accept the lesson just yet.


With a book.
You may not have noticed how long it has been since I have posted regularly. This is due to two factors: 1) lack of time and 2) lack of subject matter. There are, after all, only so many days that one can write about dirty dishes in the sink! My mom has started a new blog for us (the Slade-clan) to post book reviews/recommendations. But that takes away one of my own potentially phenomenal blog entries, so I'll have to post this in both places.
And the book is (drum roll, please)...

What can I say?
Admittedly I chose the book based on the movie trailers playing on television these days. The movie is rated-R, so I won't be seeing that! No one said I couldn't read the book, though...
Initially I absolutely loved this book. The writing was beautiful and captivating. I was excited by the way McEwan took me inside of each character with such exactitude. His phrasing struck a chord, and I felt as though he knew me, and was somehow summarizing my own everyday thoughts and experiences through a make-believe, much more exciting, much more captivating, romance. And that, my friends, is what I read for!
Then came Part II.
Suddenly I found myself reading an historical fiction based on the English army's retreat out of France in the early days of World War II. Okay, I thought, I like historical fiction. World War II fascinates me. But gone were the side-by-side varying perspectives of a day, and I missed them. Gone were the personal insights and character motivations which had so beautifully moved the story before, and I felt...well...lonely.
Part III didn't bring me back, either. And the "epilogue" lost me all together.
I'm still a little lost, two days after finishing the book, because, quite frankly, it didn't end correctly. To my way of thinking, it didn't even end. It just got over.
I can't say more because it would be such a spoiler for those of you who might still like to give the book a winning try. I do think that the movie will be wonderful because the right kind of story is in there. The kind of story that makes this an ever so familiar a feeling to me:

"The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. Her reverie, once rich in plausible details, had become a passing silliness before the hard mass of the actual. It was difficult to come back."
Atonement, page 72.

I can't wait until it's on TV!


Last night Joshua and I had a date.

(An oh-so-attractive picture of Joshua and me playing our DS Lites together.)

First we went to the ice rink where we were to meet up with the Young Men/Young Women's group and ice skate.

(Cody and Lane performing magnificent feats of beauty!)

Don't worry, I had my book with me and was all set to sit and watch as Joshua slid, sloped, and slewed around on the ice. He, however, decided it was too crowded (we occasionally have to deal with bouts of extreme shyness), and that he would rather go home and watch "Gilmore Girls" (our new-found excitement). I couldn't complain about that.

On the way home we stopped by Wendy's to visit Evan and get some yummy vanilla frosties for root beer floats at home.

I love my husband dearly, but there are times that dating him just doesn't compare with a night out with the boy(s)!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


As of 12:30 this afternoon I was going on a cruise in March. This is something Michael's family has had planned for a little while now. This is also something that inspired me not to eat the Cadbury fruit and nut candy bar I got for Christmas.

I bought a swim suit in preparation for the cruise (kind of goes along with not eating my candy bar).

But, as of 5:30 tonight we are no longer going on the cruise. Instead we are renting a house for a week in Island Park, Idaho, but not until August.

I am eating my candy bar. Yum.

And I am keeping my swim suit, regardless (of the candy bar, or of the nixed cruise).

Saturday, January 5, 2008


CHRISTMAS! It was merry. Very.

Hope yours was, too!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Christmas Eve Dinner.

A.K.A. why I make my own appetizers and eat a full meal before I go over to eat Christmas Eve Dinner. I'm not quite "converted," although I will say that Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce (sadly, not pictured) do deserve space on one's Christmas plate. There's also something (delicious) to be said for the bread and cheese, just as long as the bread isn't soaked in ham juice first...MMmmmmm....I'll pass! Speaking of which, please pass the lingonberries...