Work is getting busier again. I am also vice president of the local chapter of the underwriters' association this year which means my main job is lining up the venues for our meetings and coordinating all that goes with that (menu choices, getting accurate counts on number of attendees from the treasurer, etc.). There was a lot of time spent researching, calling, comparing and touring multiple potential facilities for our day-long seminar coming up in May. I got free coffee and some cookies while doing the tours (on a "vacation" day from work) but otherwise, there is no compensation for this work. It is not easy to plan events for 150 people!
Our main bathroom shower/tub area is finally complete! It has been awhile but the tile is in (and looks gorgeous, I think), and the fixtures are installed so we are once again showering upstairs. I won't even say how long this has been in the works. If you have been here, you know. Now we are coordinating with electrician, tiler and plumber to get the rest of the room to look as nice as the shower. Of course this involves multiple trips to various stores to pick out the lights, vanity, faucets, tile, etc., that we need and also will require a bit of work on our part. So it is fun and time-consuming.
Here are the other less boring-sounding things I have been doing.
Reading: I am reading a bit. As of the end of October, I have read 36 books this year. Or I should clarify, I have finished 36 books this year. Some books were started last year and took a long time to finish because I would only read them in the car to E. Here are some I have read but not blogged about with short commentary on each.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson - My choice for book club. I liked this book a lot. It is definitely a different writing style than I typically read (hard to describe. The author is Norwegian, so I don't know if that explains it or not.) and the story/plot was subtle but I am glad I read it and that I chose it for book club so there were additional thoughts added to the ones I had on my own. The story is told from the point of view of one man, Trond, in two time periods: in the present as a 60-some-year-old-man, and as a 15-year-old after WWII during a particularly life-defining time of his life.
This Must be the Place by Kate Racculia- I don't remember how this one got on my list of books to read but it was a pretty easy read with interesting characters and a plot that kept me guessing a bit. I sometimes like it when I don't figure out what is going to happen and how it is going to go. The main character is a quirky teenage girl whose mother owns a boardinghouse. A man they do not know checks in and inadvertently turns their lives upside down and challenges things they thought they knew about themselves.
Candide by Voltaire - I have had this book since college and just read it for the first time, in English, not in French (I think the French version is also around here somewhere.) I have seen the musical at least twice but the satire in the book is much stronger. And, yes, the songs did occasionally run through my head while I was reading.
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous - a classic. Somehow I did not read this in high school like most people seem to have. I would have been even more freaked out about drugs if I had read this then - it was bad enough I saw the after-school special where the girl jumps out the window after taking PCP.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - This is the one I was reading to E. So glad I didn't work for Jobs, though I truly enjoy my iPod and admire his genius.
Marley & Me by John Grogan - Sorry, dog lovers. This dog mainly annoyed me and I did not get upset or sad when he died. This was another one we read for Friday night book club. I think we are done with the series of animal books now.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer - This is one that had been recommended to me by multiple people over the past couple years. So glad I finally read it! I liked the epistolary form of the book. The characters, time and setting were all interesting. An interesting time in history told from a unique perspective. I chose this one for Friday night book club after I had read half of it. Hope the other members read it!
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - Current book for Sunday night book club. Another interesting historical perspective, the same time frame as Guernsey but instead of post-Nazi-occupation of an island in the English Channel, this one takes place in the US. The story is seamless told from multiple characters perspectives and one of the main storylines follows a young African-American who has fought in WWII on the European front and is now returning to his sharecropper family's home in Mississippi.
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - I remember reading this one multiple times in high school and college but had not read it in a long time. I don't remember what I liked so much about it back then, but I think I liked it differently on this reading. And I had Sparks Notes to help understand it more now, too. And looking back at this list, satire and WWII appear to be the recurrent themes.
|started at the center and knit in the round|
Knitting: Now that the weather has turned cooler and my hands are less dirty from gardening, I have done a bit of knitting. At E's request I made a baby afghan for the newborn daughter of one of his friends. It was a simple pattern and turned out even cuter than I expected. I first read about this one in Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Golden Brown. This was a book we read when I was in the Knit Lit book club/knitting group a few years back. When I pulled the book out to get the pattern for the blanket, the discussion questions I had created were still in there including one to provoke discussion about a time when knitting has reformed one's character, either by keeping her out of trouble or by helping her relax or heal. Anyway, my pinwheel blanket was knit with a soft chunk yarn on size 11 circular needles. I knit while listening at my Mini-Medical School class and while watching TV. I think the baby was waiting for me to be done knitting because she was a bit late, arriving the day after I finished binding off. Welcome to the world, baby girl!
Weeding: Not much happening in the garden this time of year but I did finish fall clean up, harvested about 3 dozen potatoes and about 10 pounds of carrots, and helped E with the leaves.
That is a little bit of what I have been doing lately. Here's hoping I put blogging as a higher priority in the new year, if not before.
Until we read again,