Sunday, September 23, 2007

Challenge Update

Well, I was crusing along with my books for the reading challenge. Then I started About Grace
by Anthony Doerr. Life is too short for About Grace. I'm usually not one to put down a book that I have begun - I usually plow through it, even if I decide I'm not a fan or it's too hard. I was planning to do that with About Grace, however about 2 weeks ago I got a notice from the library that it was my turn for Khaled Hosseni's A Thousand Splendid Suns. I knew I had to put About Grace down and read this one since it was in such hot demand I'd never be able to renew it. I absouletly loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. I thought it was just magnificent writing and such a compelling, though heart breaking and horrifying, story. I couldn't believe how Hoesseni was able to draw me into a story that was so far outside of my own exsistence! Abosultely amazing. A must read. Now, I know I could count A Thousand Splendid Suns toward my challenge, many people have it on their lists, however I had decided before I started that all my challenge books would be about Alaska. So back to About Grace.
It's not a bad book. In fact, it's prob a great story. It's just dense. Very very dense. The story is about a man who has an affair with a married woman, they have a child, Grace, they get married and move from AK to Ohio. He has these dreams in which he sees the future. In one of the dreams he dreams that Grace dies in a flood. He tries to change the course of things and his wife thinks he's crazy. The flood he dreamt about happens, but his wife kicks him out of her and Grace's life and he doesn't learn if Grace survives or not. He then moves to an island where he tries to make sense of everything. The story is full of his angst, uneasyness, and grief about possibly killing his daughter as well as the giant question mark - is she alive or not. He attempts communication through letters with his wife and child but they are never answered. I got far enough into the book that I was attached to this man and very interested in hearing the end of the story. However, it's such a dark tale and so tough to get through the writing that going back to it, especially after reading about the horrors of modern day Afghanistan was asking too much. new book(s) for the challenge:
I needed a twinkie read so I have actually come up with 3!
The Homestead Kid - This is a book that my mom bought me in AK. It's about a family who took in a number of foster children and then moved to bush of AK to build a homestead and live off the land. They loaded up in an old school bus turned camper and bought a claim of land outside of Fairbanks. They all pitched in to build the cabin and barn and other buildings. It's dubbed "Little House on the Perma-Frost" - for all you Laura Ingalls fans!
Dead in the Water - Dana Stabenow I had previously avioded her work not being a big fan of mysteries, esp criminal/murder mysteries, however she has written so many books about Alaska that I had to try just one. This one takes place on a crab boat on the Bering Sea so might be able to scratch my "Deadlist Catch" itch in the process.
Lucy the Giant - Sherri Smith This is actually a young adult book - there are lots of young adult books about AK, but I'd kind of been avoiding them just because I'm not too into reading books about teenagers - even though I know there are some great YA books out there! This one also is set on a crab boat in the Bering Sea!
So whichever one I finish 1st I'll post as my final book in the challenge. Do I get extra credit for the other 2?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Middle Name

Well Susan tagged me so here goes.....I liked this one, it was a bit different....

Here are the rules for this Meme:

The Rules:
1) You have to post the rules before you give the facts.
2) Players must list one fact that is relevant to your life for each letter in your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name then use a name that you like.
3) When you are tagged, you must write a post containing your own middle name game facts.
4) At the end of your post, you must tag one person for each letter in your middle name. Don’t forget to comment them telling that they are tagged and to read your post to get the rules.

My middle name is Reeder. I'm named after my God Parents, Edythe and PE Reeder. They were both teachers in Dunbar West Virginia - Edythe taught 3rd grade (and was "the" 3rd grade teacher that everyone wanted their kids to have) and PE taught High School English. Both were active in the National Education Association and PE was even the president of their local chapter at one time. I find this interesting because no one else in my immediate family is in education in anyway shape or form. Even the last time I saw Edythe and was very old, suffering from Alzhiemer's and hadn't seen me in years her 1st question for me was "Is my baby a teacher yet?" Anyway, I digress - I'm named after them because they had no children of their own, just a few God Children. The agreement my parents made with Edythe and PE was that she would name me after them and then I would get Edythe's silver punch bowl after they died. They are both dead now and I have no punch bowl, oh well, it's a good story!

Ok on with the Meme:

R - Read....I love to read! I mostly read novels - I'm currently reading Khaled Hosseni's "A Thousand Splendid Suns", but I also enjoy magazines, professional books and educational journals

E - Engergetic, most of the time, when my allergies aren't acting up, I'm very energetic

E - eating....really, who doesn't love to eat????

D - Doing crafts - I enjoy crafts of all kinds, but I'm especially partial to cross stitching.

E (another e? seriously, this is hard...) - Excercise - gotta work off all that food right? I'm not to regular about it but I enjoy getting on my treadmill, or going for a swim, when it's not a pollen season or too hot (so like January) I really enjoy going hiking in the mountains. I'm also getting into yoga, a friend of mine from work teaches a yoga class after school and it's lots of fun!)

R - Relax - I always enjoy a good day of relaxing in my jammies with my computer and my TiVo!

Ok so now I have to tag 5 people....hmmm...can't tag the person who sent me this....let's see...I'll tag: Brenna, Counsuelo, Kristie, John, and Judy (yes I know your sister already tagged you)

Monday, September 03, 2007


This evening I let my dog out in our backyard. My backyard has a large grassy area with "flower beds" around the edges. The "flower beds" were lovely when I moved in 5 years ago, but they are now over grown and full of weeds. Daisy likes to crawl around in the weeds and sniff things. Tonight was no exception.

She was out rooting around in the weeds and I was checking e-mail and such. She comes to the door and scratches to be let in. I go to the door and immedatlely notice that she has something in her mouth - her mouth is bulging and there's some furry grass sitcking out. I figured whatever it was that was in there was dead and I surely didn't want it in the house. I figured Daisy had a plan for her critter - likely to eat it - and I didn't want her to do that on her bed!

So through the glass I directed her to "drop it". Daisy doesn't know any commands, but I swear she understands me. She looked at me like "Drop what, I don't have anything." I then told her "You aren't coming in until you drop whatever is in your mouth." Again she looked at me like she didn't know what I was talking about. I then gave her a stern "NO!"

At this point she backed away from the door. I decided I had to go out there with her. I opened the door and she made a run for it. Luckily she's old and fat and I caught her collar before she got in the house.

I finally managed to pry open her mouth (luckily I'm reasonably sure she won't bite me) and about half of the furry creature emerged. It reminded me of childbirth. It was gross.

I pried her mouth even further open and the entire dead baby rabbit fell out. :( It was whole and didn't look like it had suffered.

I then sent the dog in the house with a stern "get in there" and she was smart enough to go. My next task was to get the shovel and get the body off the patio and out of the yard where hopefully a hawk or other predatory animal was able to get a free meal.

This is now the 2nd baby rabbit she has killed, that I know of. Who knows if she killed more and devoured them outside. You'd think the rabbits would learn not to build a nest in my yard! And to think that for 6 months she shared a house with a rabbit!