Charting life's circuitous path

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Joyful Cookies


I struggled this morning to find the right words for this post. My sentences came out sounding a bit trite and overused like  I was part zen master and part overenthusiastic store clerk in my attempts to sound pithy, witty.  In a lot of ways, I was self-editing with a vengeance I wouldn’t wish upon my least favorite authors.

So, you’re getting just me.  :) A bit clumsy.  A bit rambling and not at all witty. (And not a cookie recipe in sight.) I’m the person who thinks of comebacks a day later and force those around me to hear them just so I can have my moment to shine (belatedly and not at all when it counted, but still shine).

This year has been equal parts wonderful and horrible. We’ve had to restructure our lives, our finances and in some ways, our friends to make each day fit together into some kind of crazy puzzle picture of normality.  But we’re building the puzzle slowly and together and for that, it’s been one very happy year.  Those horrible days will slowly turn into laughs and while I don’t know what’s ahead for us, the good days are captured and displayed on our walls, our phones and memories to help get us through.

As they say, “Turn that frown upside down.”

Oscar Wilde would be proud.  ;)

Here’s to sharing your cookie days with someone you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Strolling through Fall

“Only nine more weeks until Christmas!” sang out a little girl at the store as her mother groaned with defeat. “Oh, no! Don’t say that!”  The row of Halloween cookies contrasted sharply against the snowmen lawn ornaments and reminded me of the many Christmas emails I’ve started to collect from stores.  While we can’t stop the flow of time towards the holiday season, we have been trying to enjoy every moment as they appear.


This month has been wonderful.  Apples, corn mazes, bonfires and pumpkins have been scattered through the leafy days and we’ve sipped our way through countless cups of warm tea as the rain fell, the sun shined and the trees turned.  It’s been a great month, even if we’ve both fallen ill and the daily grind at work has increased.  All of that, though, has just made us even more determined to enjoy every free bit of time before the weather gets too cold for anything but quick scurries from car to building.



I’ve been trying to come up with a “bucket list” of things we want to do each season.  I would still love to stroll through a park before the temps dip, but we’ll have to see if that’s something to keep for next year.  As it is, we’ve had our fun share of chilly pumpkin rides on surprisingly warm straw and Halloween parties dressed up as the mad Alice and the 12th Doctor.  There have been times when I haven’t felt like doing things, but my lethargy usually stems from a slight case of social anxiety and just going and doing has really helped us to not only have fun, but to show the scared part of ourselves that it’s okay. :) Five years ago I probably wouldn’t have dressed up for a party, but this year we eagerly got our costumes and squashed the small bit of apprehension with promises of friends and laughs. feathersalice

And we had all of that and more. :) Here’s a warm apple cider toast to the last week of October!  I’ll think about November when it gets here.  Right now, I just want to enjoy what’s here.

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Cozy Reading

It’s officially fall!  I cleaned up my summer garden and fixed up our house with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. :) I love the season even if I don’t like the weather – too dark, too damp and too cool. The brisk air is wonderful for roaring fires and apple cider donuts – both of which we had a LOT of yesterday.  We went to our first corn maze and had a blast walking through the rustling corn at night and cozying up with sugar speckled donuts.  Corn maze was on my fall bucket list and we had such a great time that I’m glad we were able to go.

Fall is also a great time to get caught up with a lot of reading.  As many of you know, I read a lot through audio books.  I only really “read” a book before bed since I don’t have the time during the day to sit down.  I wanted to share with you a few books I really enjoyed and recommend.  :)

booksCinder by Marissa Meyer

Book One of the Lunar Chronicles

First few lines:

“The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean.  Tossing the screwdriver onto the table, Cinder gripped her heel and yanked the foot from its socket. A spark singed her fingertips and she jerked away, leaving the foot to dangle from a tangle of red and yellow wires.”

Why I love this book and the series:  Besides that killer intro?  I love everything about this series.  The world is a futuristic earth with Cinder as an intelligent, tough cyborg girl that doesn’t moon over the prince but creates a believable (yet sweet) relationship.  The prince (Kai) has actual dilemmas and diplomacy issues he has to struggle with and the overall threat from the Lunars (the race of people from the moon) is both creepy and suitable for the plot Meyer’s weaves between Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.  I was hooked from the very beginning and never lost interest as she takes a spin on different fairy tales.  I haven’t read a book I literally wanted to give out to all of my friends in a LONG time and this one just makes me want to give it as a Christmas present.  :)

Love, Anthony by Lisa Genova

Quick Spoiler Free Summary: 

“Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony was gone.

Now she’s alone on Nantucket, desperate to find meaning in her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman brings Anthony alive again in a most unexpected way.”

Why I liked it:  This book was beautiful.  The prose dragged me in and lit up the worlds of those living with autism and those trying to understand its shape.  Genova has a wonderful ability to put her readers right into the minds of her characters and this book is no exception.  The lives of the two women are woven together with their similarities and their differences until we finally see how Anthony may have understood his own unique world.  We get to see the beauty in all and also the tragedy of loss.  While this book might seem slow, it unravels gently in the brain to seep and place roots. Must be read with a lot of warm cups of coffee or tea and a big blanket.  :)

Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson

First few lines:

“A WOODEN SPOON—MOST TRUSTY AND LOVABLE OF KITCHEN implements—looks like the opposite of “technology,” as the word is normally understood. It does not switch on and off or make funny noises. It has no patent or guarantee. There is nothing futuristic or shiny or clever about it.”

Why I liked it:  A companionable read about kitchen tools and the kitchen space from spoons, stoves, knives and even rice cookers.  Wilson’s work really shines when she talks about the development of knife etiquette or the evolution of cooking devices from prehistoric to the modern gadget.  I cook a lot and found this to be a really fascinating look into the devices that let me put together dinner every night.  It can be a bit rambling at times, but so is my kitchen.  At any given moment you’ll see me stirring a pot, chopping an onion and pouring the seasoning without any given why or when.  This book can be dipped into and out of easily and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys cooking.

And what book can’t I wait to read?  :)

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Heroes of Olympus Book 5

Just published this month, the fifth book sees our heroes running from The Roman legion of Camp Jupiter straight into the hands of awakening Gaea.

I can’t wait to read this book.  Seriously, this series gets better and better as Riordan becomes a stronger writer.  You don’t necessarily need to read it from the very beginning of the Percy Jackson series, but if you can, I’d suggest starting there.  It’s a wonderful series full of action, comedy and a slew of myths. My inner geek loves all of the ways Riordan re-imagines the gods and goddesses for a modern world.  If you’ve only watched the movies, please don’t judge the books. The films are a sad, sad shadow to the original and don’t do it justice in any way.  Team Percy or Team Jason?  I’m Team Nico.  :D

What books are you reading?  :) 


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