Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guess the Book

Alaina tagged me last week for this meme - guess the book from the 5th sentence on the 56th page. I don't typically get into these types of things, but since I'm such an avid book junky (I mean lover), I figured I'd give it a go.

Here are the "rules":
- Take ten books, and transcribe the 5th sentence from page 56.
- Five of the books must be fiction
- Provide five hints

So here are my 10 book quotes:

1. Controlling the start of a tremble in his hand, he leafed through the statements of entry.

2. I guess I have this effect on lots of people.

3. He learned Spanish words for food and pleasure, and he learned that when people are very poor they still have something to give and the impulse to give it.

4. He gave thanks for our food and comfort, and prayed for the poor and destitute in great cities, where the struggle for life was harder that it was here with us.

5. They pursued him up the M4 that night until he crashed his car by junction twelve.

6. Some days I felt like Anne Sullivan to Marley's Helen Keller.

7. This is a bridge built by people who have had an Industrial Revolution, people with mountains of coal and ovens in which you melt down a battleship.

8. The traps were all different sizes and hung from the ceiling and the walls and no way would I ever touch them.

9. But Abigail had views on nearly everything and persons no less than topics.

10. I do think it's a very uneven exchange of Christmas presents.

Now for my clues:
*I've read all of the books (although only #10 is on this year's reading list, a frequent author there), the first five are fiction.
*#1, #2, and #6 have all been made into movies in the last six or so years (one action movie which is a trilogy, one "romantic" movie--but quite different than his other movies, and one "true" comedy which was just released).
*#3 and #4 are both American classics, both from the 1900s (one female author, one male author)
*#5 is the first book in a delightful series literary science fiction/fantasy
*#7 is the first book I read by this author and is about Australia (he quickly became a favorite...amusing and informative)
*#8 is a memoir by an Mooresville, Indiana author
*#9 renewed my interest in biographies, the author has written prolifically about American history.

There's more than five clues because I can't think how else to clump the books. I've frequently recommended most of these books...wish more people would read them. :) If you're inclined to try and guess the books, I'd love for you to! I'm not going to tag this on to anyone because Alaina used up most of the people who I would have tagged! Happy guessing!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My 2008 Reading List

At the beginning of the year I purposed to read 52 books. Well, I fell a little short, what with planning a wedding, getting married, moving, and all. :) However, I did complete 42 books.

So here's my list:

Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf by Sonya Hartnett
All Rivers Flow to the Sea by Alison McGhee
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak
Atonement by Ian McEwen
When Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper
Rereadings edited by Anne Fadiman
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Robbing the Bees by Holly Bishop
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
Writers on Writing Vol. 1
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
The Prophets Speak of Him by Anthony Selvaggio
For Women Only by Shanti Feldham
Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me by Andree Seu
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut
Rumpole and the Primrose Path by John Mortimer
Underfoot in Show Business by Helene Hanff
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Sheet Music by Kevin Leman
The Lost Cosmonaut by Daniel Kalder
Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon
Looking for Anne of Green Gables by Irene Gammel
Shark Fins and Sichuan Peppers by Fuschia Dunlop
The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
The September Society by Charles Finch
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Fuzz and Pluck: Splitsville by Ted Stearn
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I realize that there still remains two days in 2008, but I won't be finishing any more books. I love reading a variety of books, so this list is a mixture of young adult, fiction, and non-fiction books. As well as old and new books. Peruse the list and enjoy, maybe something will pique your interest! If you're interesting in me writing up a brief synopsis/review of a particular book, leave me a comment and I'll try to do that in a post soon. Happy Reading!

Friday, December 26, 2008

You know you're a book junky when...

On your limited Christmas budget you purchase your husband two books.
On his limited Christmas budget your husband gives you two books.

Yep, we added four more books to our already overflowing collection. That was basically our Christmas for each other (not counting stockings, which always hold a few treasures). But, you know what? We were both very pleased to receive the books!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You know who is amazingly entertaining?

My husband.
After he quit working at the bookstore we both worked at, our co-workers frequently mentioned missing the many sound bites Jeremy would do (this included actually noises, singing bad 80s songs, and doing "bits"). Now, he doesn't make the noises so much anymore because I somehow just don't appreciate them as much as all the guys from work; however, I do get to hear songs and monologues. Yesterday morning as we were sitting at the breakfast table Jeremy started singing a song from the psychedelic era of 60's music. I'm not sure who sang it, but the opening is, "Jennifer, Jennifer..." Okay, I was pretty tired and I can't remember the following lyrics. Anyway, he followed his rendition of the song with a monologue that went something like this, "Mancala, Mancala, bring me some wine." "No, I want to run for freedom." There was more to it and the characters had their own voices. I just sat at the table and laughed at my husband's antics.
You all just don't know what you're missing!

Monday, December 22, 2008

You know what is amazingly dull?

Saturday morning Jeremy went to the gym before work. This means he's up by 6:20. This means I'm up by 6:20 to fix breakfast and pack his lunch. After I got him out the door by about 6:45, I laid down on the couch and turned on the TV. I knew the choices wouldn't be stellar, but my goodness, it was amusing. My favorite channel had a show on called Fresh. It is apparently based out of one of the local cities and it looked like it. The first interview was with a woman who makes fruitcake. Now the interviewer was a 40-something woman with long hair in a ponytail and she was using a hand-held microphone (first clue that this is very low budget). The interviewee was a bit older and was sporting what I would describe as a bowl-style haircut. The interview went something like this...

1st woman: Now this one?
2nd woman: This is a very moist fruitcake.
1st: (with her mouth a little full) Mmm, yes, it's moist and, and dense.
2nd: Yes, all my fruitcakes are just fruit, flour, and oil. So, they're not very sweet.
1st: Yes, they aren't very sweet. So, so they would make a good dessert when you don't want something too sweet.
2nd: Yes.
1st: (looking out at us) People should probably give fruitcake another chance (turns to woman), don't you think?
2nd: Yes, I think people should give fruitcake just one more chance. Um, just make sure it's a good one. (She didn't even put in a plug for her particular fruitcakes!)

Okay, you get the idea. This process took even longer than I'm making it and it was with the microphone passing between them. They rarely looked at the screen and it was obvious there was no sort of script or really planned questions (second clue it was low budget). They followed their interchange with how you could order her fruitcake, but seriously, how many people are watching TV before 7 on a Saturday morning? That's not going to gain many fruitcake orders or followers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie going

Today Jeremy and I ventured to a small movie theater about 25 minutes from our apartment. It's across the state line. Wonderland Cinema shows new movies for just $3.50! There are only six screens, so they don't have everything, but it's such a bargain compared with attending other theaters. It was a good find.
We watched Four Christmases which was moderately amusing. Jer gave it 2.5 stars out of 5. I gave it a bit higher, but it definitely wasn't anything phenomenal. Jer commented that it was kind of an exhausting movie to watch, and I agreed. The couple in the movie (a very self-centered pair) has to subject themselves to attending four Christmases all in one day--both are from divorced families. The emotional energy needed to be at even one of the Christmas celebrations would tire out a normal person. Still, despite it all, we enjoyed ourselves and were pleased with the hour and a half diversion.

Yesterday in the mail...

Jeremy and I received a goodie/gift basket from Mrs. Field's Cookies. I love the basket because it will be useful in the kitchen when we empty it. The weird thing is that we have no idea who sent it to us. There was no invoice, no way of telling the thought behind it. Would that seem suspicious to you? I don't imagine any of my few readers know anything about it, but if you do, please let me know. For now it's just sitting on our dining table.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Goodies in my Kitchen

Today is Keeping Creative Kitchens over at Alaina's blog. And while my cookie/candy excursions in the kitchen haven't been too creative or out of the ordinary, I thought I'd contribute the few goodies I have made. (I can't make too much because then it's just sitting around for Jer and I to eat and we really don't need that.)

Peanut Clusters (from Alaina's recipe blog)

Melt 6 oz. chocolate chips and 6 oz. butterscotch chips. Stir in until coated, 12 oz. salted peanuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

(I sent these to work with Jeremy this week and one of his co-workers took a couple and said that would be her Weight Watchers limit for the day, so they're pretty tasty and worth splurging on.)

Dipped Pretzels

Melt chocolate and/or vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave (Candiquik or any such will work). Stir in a handful of small twisted pretzels, using a plastic fork with the two middle tines broken off, pick up a pretzel and shake off the excess coating. Place on wax paper to dry. To fancy these up, sprinkle candy sprinkles, or drizzle vanilla coating over chocolate pretzels and chocolate coating over the vanilla pretzels (my personal favorite).

Reese's Brownie Bites

Using either a box brownie mix (I'm partial to Aldi's) or make brownie batter from scratch, fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter and bake (probably take several minutes less than the recipe calls for...I think I baked mine about 15-18 minutes). While the brownies are baking, unwrap mini Reese's cups. Remove brownies from oven and while they are still in the pan and warm, push one Reese's cup into each brownie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Once again, just follow the recipe on the package. However, I make these minor adjustments (and they've been getting rave reviews at Jeremy's library): double the vanilla extract, add an additional 2/3-1 c. of flour, and add a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. I also tend to bake them at a slightly lower temperature than the recipe calls for.

That's what I've made this year. I am hoping to make some peppermint meringues sometime soon, and perhaps some coconut macaroons. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Matter for Prayer

It's difficult when there is never any good news about the economy. It's all glum. I've obviously found it discouraging as I've been job searching. In addition, with the reality that my brother-in-law was downsized out of his job back in November, it's scary. Jer called me this morning with the news that the public library he works for has to cut $2.2 million from it's budget this year. The scary part is that they knew and were planning to cut $1.6 mil already, but where's the extra going to come from? I've been impressed with the library as they planned ahead and starting making major cuts last year to hopefully keep itself from too much of a crunch and they haven't been cutting jobs--as I understand, much of the goal of starting now was to preserve jobs. And still, even with this news, there isn't talk of job cuts, but it still makes our hearts beat a little quicker as we ponder this all, especially knowing Jeremy is one of the newer employees. However, we know that God will provide because not only is He our Creator, but He is also our Sustainer. We are going to be praying for this and everyone else facing similar circumstances.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tree Trimming

When my parents were first married, they started the tradition of having a Tree Trimming Party every December. This party involved special foods and Christmas tree decorating and just the two of them. Of course as they started having children, we joined in the fun. It was one of our favorite times of the year. Because this tradition meant so much to us, as we've gotten married, we've tried to share this with our spouses. Jeremy hasn't had much Christmas in the past few years. No tree and I know a couple years ago, he spent Christmas day alone. So, Christmas doesn't hold the same magic to him as it does to me. Nevertheless, I'm hoping to inspire more of the Christmas spirit by sharing favorite Christmas traditions and Christmas foods with him.
Last Friday night was our tree trimming party. It was more last minute than I'd anticipated, but it came off okay. I quickly pulled together a bit of "party food" and we listened to Bing Crosby croon Carols as we decorated. This was followed by a little snacking and a game of Scrabble where Jeremy soundly beat me.

Our little 3-foot tree perched on top of a bookcase. Jeremy's favorite part is the angel at the top of the tree. As he has no ornaments, all them on the tree are from my collection.
Jeremy playing with a slinky while admiring our tree. :)

My Christmas goody spread.

We had a cheese/cracker/meat plate (I made a tiny cheeseball with some cream cheese, sharp cheddar, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and season salt), veggie plate (cucumbers and celery), chocolate dipped pretzel plate, and a bowl of Chex Mix. I made some Christmas tea and we had some Oliver's Rose Wine. It turned out quite nicely considering the party's hasty birth.

Us at the end of the evening. Actually, this was before Jeremy beat me by 100 points at Scrabble. I might not have been smiling quite as widely afterwards!

Keeping on

Do you ever have one of those weeks that kind of bolls you over? Last week was a bit like that. Several circumstances kind of collided in my head and I sagged under it.
A big part of it involved job searching. It's a pretty pitiful state up here. Last Wednesday, when I took myself out of the house and ran errands and asked around about hiring, I had this out of body experience where I was sucked into a walk-in interview at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Now, before you congratulate me on getting any sort of interview, get this. They are hiring for a 10-day job in early January as they move locations. That's it. AND, they aren't hiring on the spot, they are having call back interviews for the people they are interested in. Seriously, it's a 10-day job. I looked around at the people and I suddenly felt really miserable. The dozen or so people were mostly scary looking guys, 50+ women, and what looked like probably high school drop-outs. I didn't like the feeling of desperation that hung in the air and I didn't want to identify myself with it. I took myself home very discouraged. For the record, I haven't received any second-interview calls.
Carry on, right? Something will happen eventually. Jer and I are both very grateful for his job being able to support us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Keeping Creative Kitchens

Today I'm participating in Alaina's Keeping Creative Kitchens. I'm not too creative here, but was pondering my current lunch packing for Jeremy.

I pack Jeremy's lunch everyday and while it's typically leftovers (I plan this into the portion of food I cook), recently I've had a couple scrounging days. He doesn't eat sandwiches, which is of course one of the easier fall back food plans. One night last week--around 9--I quickly threw together some vegetarian chili. I had a can of black beans, can of corn, can of diced green chilies, can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato sauce. I spiced this up and sent it for his lunch the next day. The creative part came the next day when I made a mock-taco salad using that chili. I crushed chips, tore up lettuce and covered that with a couple spoonfuls of drained chili, cheese, plain yogurt, and a little Catalina dressing. It was quite tasty and very easy. Yesterday's crunch lunch for Jer, was boiled eggs, rice cake with peanut butter, celery, and yogurt. Not too bad. Okay, this is not the creative kitchen you were expecting, but it's all I've got for now.

My husband told me I needed to post a new entry.

I've felt dull at blogging this week. Yesterday I spent the morning running errands and trying to find someplace that's hiring. It was very discouraging and I came home and stretched out on the couch and watched Friends.
Today I got up and around early. A girl from church came over for coffee around 10. Her 18-month old entertained us for most of our visit. Then we drove downtown and had lunch at a Thai restaurant with another woman from church. I followed this with a visit to the library to see my husband and find a fiction book to read.
Tomorrow Jeremy's off work and I'm looking forward to spending some time with him. We have some boring errands to run, but I'm hoping to fit in some dinner and maybe even a movie.
Copyright Facts, Facets, Fancies, and Fairy Tales 2009. Powered by Blogger.Designed by Ezwpthemes .
Converted To Blogger Template by Anshul . Premium Wordpress Themes | Premium Templates | Blogger Template