Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Fail

Have you ever had a book that everyone seems to love and cherish however you've never read it and even when you tried to read it never finished?

That is what happened to me with The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger last fall. I tried reading it, got nearly half way through it and got so sick and tired of Holden Caulfield that I stopped reading.

Now, I was reading this book as a 20-something, married woman. I'm settled in my life, though I was unhappy in my job last fall and that was a great personal struggle for me, I was for the most part content and happy with my life. Accepting of the place God had me in and striving to grow in there. Maybe if I had read this book as a teenager or even when I was in college, I might have loved this book or even finished it. I could see the appeal of the story. There were times at the beginning when I could identify with Holden from remembering how I felt as a teenager.

So, die-hard Catcher fans, I'm not bashing the book, what I read was good. However, it just wasn't the book for me. Everyone has their own tastes, interests and different life-stages they are going there. Maybe someday I will give it another try and be able to finish it and love it the way so many have over the years.

My interest in reading it was lit by watching a documentary on Salinger on Netflix. Though, I never finished that documentary either...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was published in book form in 1911.

I had seen the movie as a kid when it came on the cable movie channels. I enjoyed it though Colin and Mary annoyed me. I finished reading the book earlier this week; it is in public domain which means its free online, so I downloaded it to my Kindle. Don't judge me, I still love a real book but if I can get books for free on my device I will and its a lot easier to carry books with me on a Kindle. It fits nicely in my purse, without all the weight of a real book. (I've ruined the lining of a few purses because of heavy books)

Anyway, the story of an orphaned brat, Mary Lennox, from India who is shipped back to York, England to be the ward of her uncle Archibald Craven and his closed up and creepy house. She is force to play outside every day where she begins to grow health and the mystery of the 100 locked rooms and the locked garden with its buried key intrigue Mary. She is befriended by a maid and her brother, Dickon, who is a Yorkshire boy and animal whisper.

Mary soon finds she has a cousin, Colin, that is her age but who is possibly even more spoiled and bratty than she because he has been sickly his whole life. Uncle Craven, Colin's father can not bear to be at his home so he travels and is away for long periods of time. Mary and Dickon befriend Colin. And together Mary and Colin grow stronger and healthier in the Secret Garden that Mary has been able to open up once more. The uncle comes back and is stunned to find his once sickly son healthy and happy. And they all live happily ever after!

I really enjoyed this book! I wish I had read it as a child; maybe then I'd love gardening and being outside! Even still reading this book reminded me of the carefree fun I had growing up, playing outside and keeping secrets and using your imagination. I really like seeing Mary's growth as a person; she is a child who was raised with everything being done for her and ends up in a place where there is no one to wait on her or entertain her all day. She learns to be polite, to share, and how to do things for herself. You see Mary begin the transition from childhood to early adolescence and the growing up she and Colin both must go through.

Definitely, a book worth reading and suggesting to a young person you know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hot & Humid

Sunday afternoon, I got a text from my sister, Maggie asking if I wanted to go to a free yoga class. This new yoga studio was offering a free class for Running Central, where Maggie works, and a lot of people were backing out at the last minute and she needed bodies. I said sure, its been months since I did any form of a work out and thought a yoga class would be a nice jumping off point.

We picked up a few other girls along the way and talk about different kinds of yoga. Maggie had done a hot (Bikram) class with our sister, Elisabeth, and talked about how awful it was. Low and behold, we show up to the studio and we discover its going to be Hot, Humid Yoga! The terror and trepidation run through us. Maggie had described it as hell and said she felt sick afterward.

The instructor kept the room at 96 degrees with 40% humidity. We were dying before we started; you start sweating almost as soon as you are in the room. At one point I had to stop and lay on my back because I was getting light headed. It was a lot harder doing the moves because I am so out of shape and I get competitive and don't want to look like I don't know what I'm doing.

Afterward, heading home I felt queasy and nauseated but that went away once I ate dinner and I was very lethargic. Now, a few days later my arms are so sore and my hamstrings when I bend, fold or stretch them. But the arms are crazy sore.

Overall, it was good, I had forgotten my shin's could sweat. I'm not sure I would try it again, but I've heard the side effects die off the more you practice Bikram but I'm pretty sure the instructor went easy on the heat, humidity and class level. Maybe I just need to practice at home and get better at some of the moves. Smooth transitions are hard for me.

It was definitely something I had wanted to try and now I have, cross that off the ol' bucket list!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


We are officially done with our house in the "big city!" We closed last night and are for the time being debt-free (until we purchase our new home). The general timeline break down goes like this:

Late March - We contacted a realtor, just to meet with them and see if we liked them and what they had to say about our house.

Late April - We were ready for the market. We finished projects, removed clutter and personal belongings, and staged the house.

Late April/Early May - We were on the market, lots of showings, and we had an offer 2 weeks later!! Negotiations - happened, apparently I had a head for our house in negotiating! WooHoo!

May - Inspections, testing, fixing issues, etc., etc..General freak out on both buyers and sellers sides after inspections.... Realtor's did a great job calming us all down.

Late May/Early June - Move into new house and clear out of the old one.

June 9, 2014 - Closing! We signed on the line and handed the keys over to the new owners. A young couple, that had just got married that weekend! Breathed a sigh of relief!

We were extremely blessed going through this process. We were literally only on the market 2 weeks; we had expected to be on the market for months given the current movement in our neighborhood. Lots of houses that have sat for months and a lot more houses popping up for sale at the same time as us. We decided to not say anything until after the closing to ensure that we didn't jinx ourselves in case the buyers backed out. Or something came up that prevented everything from going through.

Now we are in the process of unpacking and as my brother said when helping us move, "fitting 10 lbs of sausage into a 2 lb casing" at the new, smaller house.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


"Never judge a book by it's movie" is a very true statement and one sadly that I experienced last night.

A few years ago a movie came out based on a book series called "Beautiful Creatures".  The trailers intrigued me and so I decided I would read the book and then hopefully see the movie down the line. I read the first 2 books and part of the 3rd book in the series. I really enjoyed the first book; young, teenage love, castors vs mortals, all set underground in a backwoods town in the south. I thought that the authors had really developed a unique and interesting world and characters.

Which was also their downfall for me. The world they created kept expanding throughout the next 2 books and became somewhat too vague to follow and I got confused in the story line and stopped reading.

Anyway, last night the movie was finally on a channel I got and could watch it. While the movie kept to the main story and theme of the book the adaption could have been better. I felt that key points and favored character's were left out or blended to make one character were missing from the book to the screen.

The movie in it's self wasn't awful, kudos for pick leads that actually act like real, awkward teenagers. But the all-star supporting cast kind of out shined them. Its one of those the book was good and they had a great cast so it should have worked! However, I feel that they departed too far from the book to really succeed. Probably, why they haven't made the sequel movie two years later.

Separately, the book and the movie are good, however, I have to say the book is better hands down. I may need to reread it but only reading it once and seeing the movie 2 years later and remembering certain parts that are completely ignored on screen is a bit upsetting.

Have you ever had this been? A movie trail intrigues you to read the book before seeing the movie and then are disappointed when they don't align? It's very frustrating.