Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring is coming (eventually, in its own time)












Hey, so I finished A Song of Ice and Fire FINALLY, and now we can all move on with our lives. This whole undertaking was starting to remind me of that time I decided to read the entire Bible, Genesis through Revelation, which took me six months. It only took me two months to read A Song of Ice and Fire because as it turns out, George R. R. Martin is slightly less verbose than God. But only SLIGHTLY. If Mr. Martin wants to start using "Infinitesimally More Concise Than the Almighty" as his new tagline, he can have that for free. Consider it payback for the enjoyment I've gotten from his books and insurance against anything really bad ever happening to Arya (don't read too far into that link if you don't want spoilers).

And also I have given up coffee. I felt you should know. I haven't done this voluntarily, and if coffee ever stops making my stomach feel like it's been gnawed upon by rabid weasels I am TOTALLY going back to my one 12 oz. cup of decaf per day, but for now I'm substituting roasted dandelion root and I don't hate it, maybe? It's not coffee, but once you throw in some grass-fed collagen powder and full-fat coconut milk (what? isn't that how EVERYONE drinks their coffee?) it's really pretty darn tasty. Yeah.

In other news, it turns out starting your own business from scratch is a whole lot of time-consuming work, WHO KNEW? I have been doing nothing* for the past couple of weeks since finishing that lengthy book series up there except working on my website and my professional Facebook page and Twitter and ordering business cards and oh yeah, still doing school, because I don't actually finish that and get my certification until September. But I start seeing clients in April. Let's pretend you care about that so I can promise to let you know when that happens, m'kay?

* Total lie. I also read three other books, took my daughter to the doctor 4,000 times and made about 27 batches of kale chips. And one batch of paleo waffles.

Monday, February 23, 2015

February (and part of January) in pictures



























Yeah, so February (and part of January). I guess it's been kind of busy though I can't think what I've been doing apart from reading A Song of Ice and Fire (yes, STILL, though I'm nearly done with book 5 now, huzzah!), school stuff, helping H with her theater costume(s), cooking all the things, eating all the things, drinking sazeracs, occasionally sleeping in my office because it's snoring season, loving the sunny-and-70s weather, loathing the rainy-and-30s weather (we have had nothing whatsoever between those two extremes), and wearing leggings as pants but only around the house because I'm not a savage.

If you've been socked in with mounds and mounds of snow, I wish you sunshine and green grass. If you've been broiling in the Southern Hemisphere, I wish you cool breezes and gentle rains.

I do NOT wish rainy-and-30s on ANYONE.

And I am very ready for spring. Now, please.

*Cupcake recipe here. Sazerac recipe here. Everything else is just crappe I threw together and crammed in my pie hole.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The bleak mid-winter








Hello, I have decided that winter sucks. Or at least THIS winter does, with its unrelenting gloom and damp. I know there are much colder temperatures and snow and whatnot elsewhere, but for reals y'all, I can only take so many days of grey skies and temps barely above freezing and cold cold cold rain/drizzle/mist before I start to go all Jack Torrance on your collective asses. I guess we had ONE sunny day this month because I took a photo of it but apart from that it's been SAD city up in here, and also ALLERGIES. Bleh.

I am combating the cabin fever with books, specifically the series known as A Song of Ice and Fire written by one George R. R. Martin. I'm determined to read the whole thing right through and have all five (so far) books finished by the time the TV show starts back up again in April. That might sound do-able unless you know that (a) I am the world's slowest reader and (b) each book is like 48,000 pages long. But whatever, it's not like I have any other hobbies.

(I've been assured by those who know that upon finishing the fifth book I'll suddenly feel compelled to write Mr. Martin VERY strongly worded letters explaining that he IS TOO my bitch and should write faster, perhaps mailing hardcopies of pages to me one by one as he knocks out the sixth book, but that's just crazy talk. I don't even know his mailing address.)

In other January news, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team gave my dad a National Championship for his birthday, so that was nice. Nutrition school is moving right along and getting more awesome by the day. I've started working out again, and meditating again, and taking photos again when I'm not reading. But I'm usually reading. Or napping. Or sneezing.

Yeah. That's about it. Wake me when the temperature is higher than my age. Or better yet, my dad's age.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014: The books

Hey, the holidays are mostly over and I'm cranky and ready for everyone to go back to work/school, including me, so let's talk about books, yeah? Here are all the books I read in 2014 and what I thought of them, in case you care. Don't worry, there weren't that many, and I've grouped the series stuff together for purposes of expedition.
  1. The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith, AKA J.K. Rowling. I loved both of these books and I think Ms. Rowling has a hella awesome new series on her hands. Apparently the BBC thinks so, too.
  2. The Shining by Stephen King. I had never read this, can you believe it? Loved it. I find King a bit uneven but this one was pitch-perfect and MUCH scarier than the movie. Also: SPOILER! Scatman Crothers didn't have to die y'all. Screw you, Stanley Kubrick, for randomly killing off the most likeable character in the whole damn enterprise. Also, after reading the book the decision to cast Shelly Duvall is even more puzzling. WHAT WAS KUBRICK SMOKING, YOU GUYS?
  3. Case Histories, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson, the first three books of her Jackson Brodie series. I love these books, and I heart Jackson, and I have GOT to get hold of the TV series that was made from them because JASON ISAACS, Y'ALL. (You may know him as Lucius Malfoy, among other roles. I just know him as yummy.)
  4. Dust by Hugh Howey, the final book in the whole Wool/Silo saga. Did not love. I have no idea what happened here because the rest of this series was fantastic, but this book was so BORING, and then I guess he wrapped things up but in a really unsatisfying way. Maybe dude was feeling the pressure of Wool starting out as a short story and then blowing up into a whole THING that he had to do, or something, I dunno. But meh.
  5. The Paleo Coach by Jason Seib. Freaking fantastic, one of my best books of the year or maybe ever, non-fiction-wise. If you're looking to start a fitness routine, or if you're trying to lose weight, or whatever health-related New Year's resolutions you've got going on, you need this book. Seib is all about getting your mind right before you can make outward changes, and he is spot on.
  6. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I love everything she does, and this book was no exception.
  7. A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery and How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny, the seventh, eighth and ninth books in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I freaking LOVE this series, it's like coming home every time I read a new book in it, but I didn't super love The Beautiful Mystery because hello, they changed the setting completely and I was not down with that. Half the characters were missing and it felt claustrophobic.
  8. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, another book I should have read years ago but hadn't. I loved it. Such a quiet but powerful and compelling story.
  9. The Water's Edge by Karin Fossum. This is one of the Inspector Seyer books but I can't remember which one; we get them all out of order here in the US. Norwegian police procedurals. Love this series.
  10. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. If you've read her blog then you've sort of read this book, but I love the blog and enjoyed the book very much. It reminded me of Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, which is just about the highest praise I can give to a food memoir.
  11. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Little vignettes all strung together to make up the story of an English-language newspaper in Rome. I loved this while I was reading it (on the beach), but ultimately it was super depressing. So yeah.
  12. Countdown City and World of Trouble by Ben Winters, the last two books in the Last Policeman trilogy. Loved, loved, loved. Not QUITE as much as I loved the first book, and I didn't super love some of the decisions he made with his characters toward the end, but by then I didn't care; I was all caught up in the fact that an asteroid was about to hit the Earth, OMG!
  13. Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe. If you've read a lot of paleo nutrition books, you probably don't need to read this one, but you might as well. I liked it a lot, I just don't know that it added anything new to the conversation.
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry. This is my daughter's all-time favorite book and I had never read it. I liked it just fine. Not enough to read the rest of the series, though.
  15. Faithful Place, Broken Harbor and The Secret Place by Tana French, the third, fourth and fifth Dublin Murder Squad books. Another series and author that I absolutely LOVE. Of the three I was least crazy about Broken Harbor and most crazy about Faithful Place but they're all outstanding.
  16. How to Meditate and Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron. Two-ought-fourteen was the year of learning to meditate; 2015 will be the year of making it a daily practice. Yep.
  17. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. See above. I am all about the mindfulness these days. It keeps me off Prozac.
  18. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Not part of the Jackson Brodie series above. This book was absolutely extraordinary. I loved it. It's the sort of book I might re-read from time to time.
  19. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Because no one would shut up about this book. I did like it. It's definitely YA fiction, which isn't HUGELY my thing, but I liked it.
  20. On My Own Two Feet by Manisha Thakor. Another absolutely fantastic must-read nonfiction book. Buy a copy for every young woman you know. I did not understand money AT ALL until I read this book, and I wish I had read it 30 years ago. My financial situation would be COMPLETELY different now if I had.
  21. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I thought I was tired of post-apocalyptic fiction until I read this book. It's definitely a fresh take. I liked it very much.
  22. The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch, the second book in the Hangman's Daughter series. I loved the first book and I loved this one, too. Seventeenth century Bavaria? I'm in. These books read like role-playing games, in a way. Fantastic setting, fantastic characters, tons of action and puzzles to solve and little tidbits about archaic medical practice. So great.
  23. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, the only boner in the bunch. I really hated this book, so much that I was never able to finish it (after THREE attempts). My review on Goodreads says it all, really.
And that's it. That's all of 'em. Apart from A Child's Christmas in Wales, which I read every Christmas Eve, and Stoner by John Williams, which I'm reading now and only halfway through and may get counted as a 2015 book at this rate.

In related news, I've bought 30+ Kindle books just since Thanksgiving, OMG. Those $1.99 deals get me every time. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, All the Light We Cannot See, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Ten Thousand Saints, every book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, every book in Barbara Wilson's Cassandra Reilly series, The Song of Achilles, The Drunken Botanist, plus more Atkinson and Penny and Fossum and Potzsch (and King and Howey) ... damn, y'all! It's going to be a good year for reading. I'll tell you all about it next December.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A conversation with my parents yesterday afternoon

Dad: Has your mom committed random acts of decoration on you yet?
Me: Um, do what now?
Dad: You know how people decorate trees on the roadside this time of year?
Me: Yes.
Dad: Well, your Mom does that with other people's houses.
Me (to Mom): You what?
Mom: I have too much stuff, so I've been taking little things from our house and leaving them at other people's houses. Kind of blending them in with the decor.
Me: ...?
Mom: Just little things. Like refrigerator magnets.
Me: You bring magnets to people's houses and put them on their refrigerators?
Mom: Yeah.
Me: I have OCD. Don't do that to me. I'll either notice right away or it'll drive me insane.
Mom: I stuck one to Lucy's* fridge weeks ago and she still hasn't noticed. I might have to start doing it with bigger things.
Me: Wait, hang on. You actually bring stuff from your house to other people's houses and just leave it there without them knowing?
Mom: Yes. And then I take something!

* Names have been changed to protect the victims. If you're a friend of my mom's and you're thinking Lucy might be you, you're probably right. Check your fridge. And maybe your valuables, although I'm like 98% sure she was kidding about that last bit.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Oops













Um, what the heck? How did I skip an entire month? I have no idea. You didn't miss much, though. It was cold, I stopped grilling for the season, H went to Dallas with her thespian troupe, C decided it was time to tweak some meds (under his doctor's close supervision), P took a much-deserved week off work, I did a bunch of nutrition school stuff, we had A Very (though not entirely) Paleo Thanksgiving a day early to accommodate my parents' travel plans, H finished driver's ed and turned 17 (!!), we bought her a used car (!$$!) and I put up the Christmas decorations in November this year, which never happens. You know, until now.

Next up: passing my first nutrition school test (which I did this morning, thank you very much), planning what to bake for holiday goodies and then actually baking them, H getting her driver's license and finally being able to drive herself to/from school OMG, a long-awaited trip to see the Louisiana in-laws (yay!), Christmas (yay!) and a bunch of dentist appointments (what? boooo!).

But first I'm off to boil some eggs (#rockstarlife). And hopefully we'll talk in the meantime, eh?