August 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

For a number of years now I've followed along as my mom has posted the 7 Quick Takes on her blog every Friday, as well as reading the Quick Takes on Jen's blog. I was trying to think of something to blog and saw that it was Friday, so I thought "Hey, I'll give these Quick Takes a shot".

Ever since the sixth season of Doctor Who ended last Christmas, I have been eagerly following the production and filming of the seventh season.  Now the start of the seventh season is just around the corner! I'm curious to see how the first five episodes will go... after today's mini-episode of Pond Life and a few leaks, it's pretty certain that Amy and Rory's relationship is heading down the drain (NOT cool Moffat.  Not cool.) We also know that episode five "The Angels Take Manhattan" will give us the departure of the Ponds before a midseason break leading into the Christmas Special and a new companion.  The first episode premiers tomorrow - so the questions will all be answered soon!

I am an avid Pinterest follower, particularly of the dessert recipes and DIY projects and I saw this really cute gift idea the other day. 

Turning a tie into a handbag?  I think I will try this one.


Also from Pinterest - does this not look amazing???

While I tend to take after my father as far as the majority of my personality goes, I do tend to talk and tell stories in the same way that my mother does - namely, I will leave out bits of information (usually crucial to understanding what I'm talking about) because I just automatically assume that my listener knows what I'm talking about.  I experienced this again last night while telling a friend about my adventures out east with My Knight.  I was going through the highlights of the week, finished telling about the trip to the Divine Mercy Shrine, when I said how we went down to the ocean one day, "and oh! I saw an incorrupt arm!" She gave me what I guess was a confused look as I continued to talk about how interesting it was, when she interrupted me, wanting to know where exactly I had seen this arm.  I realized I hadn't mentioned it was at the Shrine of Saint Edmund of Canterbury and correct myself.  Her response was one of relief.  "Oh! Good... I thought you were walking along the beach and you found this arm, and you meant that it was just preserved or petrified or something and I was like 'AMANDA! Shouldn't you have told someone about this???'"

At some point in the last few days, my dad mentioned to the younger ones that one of his great-great-great-great grandparents was Indian, which led to the boys dressing up in war paint and creating Indian names and a discussion as to our heritage.  We're a mix of quite a few things, though we're not sure exactly how much or where it all comes from, since no one in the family has done much in the way of genealogy, save for my great-aunt on my dad's side.  I found the folder with the family tree she gave to me a few years ago and we've been looking through it.  In our brief research, we've figured out that we are approximately 12% British, our great-great-great-great-great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, a great-great-great-great grandfather was in the Civil War and our great-great-great-great grandmother was told to get on a boat going from England to Australia, rather than England to America to join her husband, and nearly did but for her brother stepping in and keeping her from being sent to increase the population of women Down Under.

I was doing some photo editing with pictures I took of My Knight during our visit, and I just love how this one turned out. I was trying to express why I liked it to my sister, and I was going on about how it looked like those black and white photos you'll see of saints on holy cards, and pictures like that and she stopped me with "You mean you like it because it looks like an old photo?"
Yeah.  Yeah, that would be why I like it.

August 29, 2012

Catching Up and a Reading List

It's been quite a while since I've written something up for here... but I have been busy, and that's my excuse! Work, life in general and grand adventures tend to occupy all your attention at times.

Last week I took a trip out east to visit my Knight, and we had an absolutely beautiful time together.  It felt like time slowed down, and we were able to really savor each moment together, something that I feel will be a help in the long months ahead until we see each other again at Christmastime.  We had many fun outings, including a trip to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains (trust me, this prairie girl was super excited!), a trip to the ocean coast, and seeing "The Dark Knight Rises" in the epic IMAX theater.  I have been home for a few days now, and it's hard, but we did have such a wonderful time together, and I know that the time will pass quickly until our next visit.

While I was away, my siblings started up with school again.  As I am not in schooling this year, I'll be helping out  little bit when I'm not working, and teaching two of the younger ones to play the piano, and doing a format writing class with two of the older ones.  I'll continue to teach myself how to play the guitar, and then in my spare time I'm going to read a lot of books.

I've seen it passed around in Facebook notes several times, and I'm sure you have as well.  The note that goes:
 BBC Book List

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

I've read a fair number of the books already (30 if I counted correctly and didn't miss any), which leaves me with 70 more to go!  I'm always looking for new books to read, so I feel that there is a pretty good chance I'll actually do this. 

I edited it a little bit (taking out The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, for example... I think that will be a separate reading project), but here is the list.  The titles in bold are the books I've read - how about you?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen  
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible 
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Ken Keasey
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens 
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott  
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Death Comes for the Archbishop – Willa Cather
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald 
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll  
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie  
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville 
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett 
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce 
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola 
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens 
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas  
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

August 5, 2012

A Family Holiday: Day 2

Today was a much sunnier day than yesterday, and our plans for swimming were not interrupted.  We packed the car with swimsuits and sandwiches for lunch before heading off to our parish for mass, and from there we drove to the lake for an afternoon of watery fun.

A Family Holiday: Day 1

The Plan:
I go to work in the morning, mom does groceries, dad gets stuff done, in the afternoon we pack up and head out to the beach for swimming and a picnic.

The Reality:
The morning went slower than planned, so we decide to post-pone the trip to the lake until tomorrow.  Which is just as well because I ended up having a killer headache all day due to the change in weather pressure and we had a huge thunderstorm blow through in the middle of the afternoon.  We got a lot of rain that was desperately needed around here, and the power only went off... three or four times for no longer than 40 minutes.  By the time we were ready to grill the burgers for dinner the rain had stopped, which was unusual considering our track record of only grilling when it's storming or snowing or any other kind of bad weather.  (We almost never end up grilling when it's sunny out...)  Day one was finished off by watching the film "We Bought a Zoo" - a good, fun movie despite the handful of regrettable swear words including one that I'm glad I know went clean over my siblings heads - but it was funny and clean otherwise and one that we all enjoyed.