Charting life's circuitous path

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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?  :) 

Leave a comment

House Dreams

“you are searching everywhere
you want the sun
find your home
between your eyes”
― Žiga Stanovnik

I’ve been desperately wanting a house to call our own.  My houzz ideabooks are stuffed with greys and blues, plush rugs, stone steps and beautifully tiled laundry rooms.  I’ve been trolling trulia for all of the houses up for sale in our neighborhood (and culling all those that don’t fit my exacting criteria) even though it’ll be at least another 8 months before we can leave this apartment.  We’re not filthy rich, so most of what I dream will stay in my mind.  But that’s okay.  We’ve got time to make the house our home where dreams are realized.

Some people say that home isn’t a building but the people in it.  I’d love for that to be 100% true since it would make waiting with my hubby at a dirty bus stop be like putting our feet up on a cushy ottoman, tea in hand. In reality, while the people and animals you share your home with are the most crucial part of what makes up a “home”, there’s no escaping the long sigh that escapes when you finally sink into your own bed and bury your head into your own pillow after weeks of being away.

Nothing beats familiarity.

I’ve “left the nest” for some 12 years now.  We’ve had our fair share of apartments and a good bit of luck with our current setup.  Having only one neighbor above us beats the surround sound situation of college life – pounding feet, arguments and drunken music.  I can’t believe we put up with so much for so long, but I suppose that’s one of the long held rites of early married life – the “what we had to do back when we first got married” story is firmly written.

Going back to my childhood home, however, was never the same the minute I stepped off the porch.  The fact that my bedroom was replaced with tatami mats and kotatsu and all of my favorite foods were suddenly absent from long stashed cupboards meant that while my heart might never leave family, my actual presence in the house was now that of a stranger.  Or a friend.  But certainly someone that now felt like she had to ask to use the milk or to borrow the fan.  It’s jarring when you fully realize how easily distance can occur.  One day you’re the child who doesn’t even blink to switch tv stations and demands pizza for dinner, and the next you’re politely agreeing to whatever everyone else wants to eat and sitting neatly on the couch.

And it’s not like my parents are all about rules, either.  It’s just a sense of otherness that seeps into the carpet.  Suddenly you see the house as an outsider might and all of its flaws and beauty are laid bare.  Funny how when you’re in your own home we become blind to everyday living.  Currently, I have laundry hanging on chairs after being ironed and a pile of paper sitting on my kitchen table.   By Saturday, when my parents come to visit, all of that will be cleared away and the floors swept.  “This is my home and my life,” the neatly placed coasters shout.

I’m hoping to find a house that we can truly customize to match our personalities and dreams.  I want our home to be somewhere people gather, laugh, eat and relax.  I want it to welcome us with open arms, bright with the warmth of the sun and the solidness of earth.  I want our home to reflect the life held gently between its walls.

And these lovely pictures?  Not our home.  :) They’re ideas taken from houzz of what I’d love to see in our future home.  Dreams, all of them.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 508 other followers