Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thursday, September 9, 2010

War and Peace

For the past three weeks I've been reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Last night I finished. It was hard to put down and I'm a fast reader, but 1358 pages take awhile.

As much as I love reading, the thought of writing book reviews makes me cringe. I will report, though, that a fair amount of time was spent deciding which translation of the book to read. I finally chose Briggs' owing to my inability to read French*, and was overall pleased except for two glaring distractions: the British slang of the Russian soldiers, and the speech impediment given to Denisov.

I look forward to reading at least one more translation. Even after 1358 pages, I wasn't ready for it to end.

*Yes, it was written in Russian but it includes French dialogue, which some translations retain.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fifth Grade

This morning our fifth grader began her official tour of duty. So far, so good. There were friends in her class, the lunch was edible and, best of all, her new teacher gave each student gifts: a silly band, a mechanical pencil, a bookmark, and a juice box. What more could a girl want?

I'm reminded of my own fifth grade teacher a few (many) years ago who absolutely did not lavish gifts on our class. She had already taught way too long to be pleasant. She wasn't nurturing, she didn't appreciate humor, and she was married to the principal.

I'm happy Cambryn is excited about her teacher. I'm happy she gets so excited over a silly band, mechanical pencil, bookmark and juice box! Thanks, Mrs. Marlin. We should all be so lucky.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Driver's License

I went to get my driver's license renewed last week. I waited in line, I checked the organ donor box, I updated my "weight" to something I could honestly weigh if I just wouldn't eat, I waited some more, and then I took my turn in the chair, faced the camera and tried not to blink.

The camera flashed. My eyes stayed open (quite an accomplishment, if you've never taken my picture). And then the entire system crashed.

Yeah, entire. I didn't just break the camera, I broke the whole state-driver's-license computer system.

The tag agent politely assured me again and again that this had never happened before, which consoled me none whatsoever. Thank God I had fixed my hair and worn some makeup or else the whole building might have blown up.

I waited 15 long minutes while workers flipped switches and pushed buttons and cursed until the system recovered. Then we had to start all over again. Organ donor, check. The weight I would love to be, check. Eyes open for the flash, check. Scattered applause from everyone in line behind me as I was handed my license, check. Don't have to do that again for another four years, CHECK.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Me, Myself and I at Fifty

    If life begins at forty, I'm now ten years old.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010


    Don't you just hate it when you have to pause your yoga workout to open a jar of pickles for someone?

    Maybe it's just me.

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Prized Possessions

    You're looking at something very dear to Cambryn's heart, her blankie. Yes, she's almost ten years old now but sometimes a girl needs the comfort that only a beloved possession can provide.

    The blankie started out as a crib sheet sewn by my mom and this is what's left of it. If it looks a little knotty, that's because the delicate pieces have been tied together. It's hard to imagine there's enough fabric left to do any good, but when it's called into action it can still work magic.

    Collin's beloved possession was a stuffed toy dog named Brownie, which he still has. Actually, he has Brownie II, because Brownie I got left at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Florida when Collin was five. We returned for Brownie just a short time later but evidently someone else had already claimed him. Trust me when I say that wasn't the highlight of our summer vacation.

    I persuaded Collin to take a picture with Brownie and he humored me with one stipulation: "For the record, Collin no longer sleeps with Brownie every night."
    He's in middle school. He has a reputation to uphold.

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    That Crazy Santa

    We've hit a snafu this Christmas. Santa brought one of these to Cambryn:

    but instead of putting it under the tree, it seems he wanted to play a game of hide-and-seek. He hid the gift somewhere in our house and we need to find it.

    We've searched the most obvious hiding place -- my closet -- to no avail. Santa's really making us work for it! If you have any suggestions, please help us out. Cambryn would love to play her new games and I would like to feel better about myself Christmas.

    Merry Christmas