Monday, March 11, 2019

Check this out...

On Writing: A Review of For My People

So, this just happened today. I am humbled by Lilaina's review of For My People, and have been near tears all day in anticipation

For those of you who know me personally it might come as a shock to hear that I find it terribly difficult to talk about myself, including sharing a story and characters that I am completely obsessed with. Seems like it would be easy, but, for me, it isn't. 

Most of us journal and then hide the journal. When we write it's as if we've put a piece of ourselves on paper for the world to see and to judge. 

I would love to sit with any one of you and talk about the beautiful basalt columns along the Columbia River or the astonishing feat salmon accomplish as they migrate home or how exactly smart historian people believe an atlatl worked.

But alas, it remains hard for me.

And as time passes, bringing my story and my characters up again gets harder and harder.

So, here's to a new day.

Read this, and let me know your thoughts.

Also, I am writing again and have been for some time. 

I will tell you more. 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

A poem about a mom and cooking dinner...

Why do I even try?
the more time I take
the less they eat,
actually the less they even try.
So why do I even try?

Anything with noodles, sure,
but hold the sauce,
hold the meat,
wait, hold it all but the noodles.
Why do I even try?

Rice is good, but nothing new,
white, minute, no extras,
is it mixed? they asked,
then I will starve, they say.
Why do I even try?

The more time I take,
the more dishes involved,
the less they eat
I don't know why
I even try.

What would happen if I didnt cook?
All they will eat,
all of them, quite possibly will be
gold fish crackers and string cheese.
Oh well.

That's it,
I am taking the day off.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. A review.

Goodreads says I have been reading this book for nearly a year now. This is true. My kindle has sat at 1% for a long time which means nothing except that I looked at the cover and table of contents and possibly a page or two almost a year ago when I decided to read it.

Here's the truth. Over the last few years I have spent countless hours reading books to better the education of my children. Sounds great to me. But I miss the feeling of longing for a book, that next page, that character, that tear stain on a page, a clutch to the heart or the need to throw it to the ground and never open it again. I need to read for myself. Just as I need to be exercising (heh) and pulling weeds (ew) and finishing that quilt I started two years ago (ugh). Not like, I need to go to the dentist, but like, I need that steaming cup of coffee with the pinch of coconut oil and just the right splash of 1/2 and 1/2 by 6:30 every morning.

Get it?

Well, neither do I. Sorry.

Back to a Man Called Ove. I chose this book out of the countless others published last year because I liked the name. There is a lot to be said about a name. And this one is just so simple it drew me in. Who is this man called Ove and why would someone write a book about him?

Ove is just an ordinary guy with a story who would be the first to tell you not a story worth writing a book about. But we all do have a story. And all of our stories connect to and intersect with each other in different ways. Memorable books start with simple, normal characters who with every page turn become more interesting until the reader is in love and did not see it coming. Ove is just that character.

A good book makes a reader feel something. This book pissed me off, maybe cry a little, then laugh some, and then sigh. It's just about a normal man, a normal life, a normal story. Which is what makes it so incredibly beautiful.

Rating: 5 stars
Second Read Worthy: No, but I will be thinking about it for some time
Share it with a friend: Definitely

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman  


Monday, April 11, 2016

A poem for Monday...

Today is Monday
Which comes back every week
I truly don't know why it bothers
Most people despise it
Some even curse it
I wouldn't come back if I were it
But it does
Maybe that is the reason we should embrace it
Resiliency, persistence, courage
Against all odds and everyone everywhere 
Despise moans and curses
It returns. 
Let's celebrate Mondays
For the sole reason that it comes back every week
And because we have no choice. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mountains ahead

One of those things that can frighten me and delight me in an instant is the thought that there are mountains ahead. 


There are always mountains ahead.

Sometimes those mountains are just a mountain. Just one devastatingly beautiful mountain covered in glistening snow with visible crags and silent moving glaciers.

Often I catch an early morning glimpse of the spledid Mt. Rainier of my home. After I enjoy the view, I wonder if I will climb it today. There are days I look away quickly praying I won't. And there are days I desire it more than anything. 

Because I truly believe I can. 

That particular mountain has its own weather. A known fact that we at the base marvel at. On those elusive sunny PNW days I can sometimes see snow storms at its peak. A dusting of snow around the edges. Those are the days I pray that I will not climb it. 

Not today. Please not today. The view from below is too amazing to miss. And scary.

There are times when that single mountain ahead is just a hill softly rolling and covered in the changing colors of Autumn spattered with many colors. This hill I have hiked many times. Sometimes that windy trail goes on for miles, but the steps are peaceful and refreshing and energizing with the quiet nature song and cool breeze. 

But I hiked that trail once as dusk set in. And it was different. The same trail with its quiet nature song and cool breeze seems a far cry from the one at dusk when all the shadows whisper and the wind seems to feel as cold fingers on the back of my neck. And I just know I will not find my way. 

That the wildness and the darkness will take me.

It never does, even when it feels a surety.

I dread the day a mountain is in view, but as I revel in her beauty I take note of the rolling hills before her. Those are the days I might just stand there for more than a moment moving my toes around in my old hiking boots to make sure there are no lumpy socks anywhere. Every hiker knows the problems associated with starting a hike with lumpy socks. I might also check my pack for water and jelly beans and gloves. Might also bend down to check on that beautiful German Shepherd's collar. 

When facing that deceptive mountain I am glad she's with me. Mountains are always better faced with someone at my side, no matter how many legs they have. Truly.

Sometimes the trail up the mountain is easier than it looks. Or harder. 

Sometimes the trail into the mountains is windy or strait. It can be clear or covered in deadfall and muck and running water. Sometimes it's steep, too steep and I move very slowly. Sometimes I can run the downhill and really feel like I'm getting somewhere.

What I have learned is this: just take a step. Just one step. Then another one. Until you know for certain you are moving forward and it is really happening. 

Face it. Breathe the fresh air. Wriggle the toes. Hold tight to that leash. 

And just take that first step.

It is, in fact, just a mountain and you might as well get to it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

What is Tolkien Reading Day you ask?

So it seems lately there is a day for everything. Yesterday was National Puppy Day. What is that anyway? It used to be we called these "Hallmark Holidays" but that was when we all went out and bought cards. What are they for now? 

You know I need a special day to share a picture of my May. Isn't she the sweetest?!
Well today is something called "Tolkien Reading Day" and...well, I love it! Seriously. 

I love it so much I thought I would blog about it. If anything will move a lazy blogger into blogging it will be as fantastic as "Tolkien Reading Day."

Here is why Tolkien means so much to me:

He took me to a world full of danger and terrible things, but also beautiful and wonderful things. He was the first to take me out of this world and into his own. He was the first to do that, not the last, others have come after him. 

With the world we live in today we could all use a little more LOTR. Folks have speculated that Tolkien's world was created due to the fact that the man himself fought in WWI and WWII. The horrors he would have experienced in the trenches of WWI alone could have led to insanity...or worse. Instead, they led to beauty, to hope, and to good winning over evil.  

Another reason Tolkien means so much to me, is that he was a special thing between my father and I. My dad is gone now but I treasure the time we spent reading together and talking about Tolkien's stories and Tolkien's world. I still have the old worn (and frantically taped up) mass market copies of the LOTR and the Hobbit. My kids have enjoyed them as well.

Finally (and maybe sadly), many years later, I have the same thing with my own kids. We are a weird family, but I know that. Our regular family conversations revolve around LOTR, the Princess Bride, Chicken Little and a splash of anything Mark Twain. We made a rule once that we could only communicate in quotes...what a weird thing to do...
Not sure why those are our favorites, but isn't family all about creating memories...and laughing...and being weirdos?

So the moral is: go read the classics with your kids. Laugh about the weird family traditions. Even write them down. And read a book. Let it take you away to a different place, a different world perhaps. And while you're in that world find some hope and happiness and bring it back to this one please...

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Monday, November 23, 2015

on this particular Monday...

On this particular Monday, I am considering solitude. Hiding in the mountains, away from everything and anything that makes me worry, stress and fear. I supposed I may very well be the only one that has ever felt this way. I am okay with that.

A list of what to bring (so far): coffee, snacks, a book or two, a notebook and my favorite pen (which seems to have run off again), maybe my laptop...maybe not, and warm clothes. That's as far as I've gotten. Well, possibly a bottle of wine too. 

And a cabin with a warm fire.

Only the essentials.

Possible places:

Maybe the mountains just remind me of peace and solitude. A reminder to let everything go every now and then. A good reminder. Worry, stress and fear are a part of life, but not good for the soul. Don't we all need a place and a time to let it go? 

Or maybe it is just the thought of that place.  


As the Ennis Clan packs and plans to move during the busiest time of year, I dream of this place. 

As the weather gets colder and wetter and the days shorter, I long for this place. 

As lifelong friends face frightening news, I turn my eyes that direction.

As the world seems to be crumbling around me...