Well, last night we decided to cheat and have Mexican food instead of leftovers. Bad decision. We’ve been eating mostly clean during the weekdays now so the Mexican food tasted bland and didn’t sit well with our stomachs later either. That means leftovers for dinner tonight which is not a bad thing! I’m sure the Coq Au Vin will be even better since all of those flavors have been blending together in the fridge.
So no food blogging tonight. Actually probably not much food blogging this week since I will head out of town for work on Wednesday through the rest of the week. So what has been on my mind today? Books and work.
I have been making myself find time to read again. I was an avid reader my whole life until I went back to college and then nursing school in my early 40s. It was a combination of reading burnout and trying to find time. But I love books. I’ve had 2 e-readers but nothing replaces holding a book in your hand, the sight, smell and feel of the paper tingling your senses…the smell of paste just out of reach. The movie reel in your head – in my opinion, the telltale sign of great writing. Getting lost in someone else’s time warp for hours unnoticeably until the bleary eyes of morning. So I jumped back in with a vengeance and started out with 3 books: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin and The Answer to the Riddle is Me by David Stuart. I found both The Nest and The Forgetting Time to be disappointing. The Nest seemed to have been written with a thesaurus right next to the author. I’m not literary critic to be sure but I loathe books that use uncommon words just for the sake of using them. No fluidity, no lyricism. Just show. It’s clunky and doesn’t flow. It’s disruptive to the story, which I found lacking as well.
The Forgetting Time was a bit strange. It was like a non-70s version of Audrey Rose. Not badly written but not necessarily well-written either. I thought maybe I was losing my reading juju.
Then I read The Answer to the Riddle is Me. This is a non-fiction book and heart wrenching. Exquisitely descriptive, so even the ramblings of his very ill brain can be followed and yes, maybe Jim Henson really is God! The end is not satisfying, but it is real life and real life endings are often not satisfying. If you are either pro-government or pro-bigpharma, your heart will still break. If you’re neither of those, you will be left feeling angry, sad and helpless but not entirely hopeless. It is definitely worth the read.
Book #4 was The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter. This is a book geared toward young adults, with the protagonist a freshman in college. The storyline is a bit been-there, read-that with a meeting of Ordinary People and Glass Castle and a dash of Girl, Interrupted. But the writing itself is smooth and lovely, even lyrical sometimes. It was engaging enough that I was up until 1:15am to finish on my third bedtime reading. I found it to be worth the read but you may not.
So today a bookstore trip was in order. My mom has recommended a non-fiction book A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout/Sara Corbett. The premise sounds great. Waitress makes big bucks in NYC, quits job and travels. Rinse and repeat until all of your typical abroads have been acquired. She then starts traveling further east with each trip and then finds herself kidnapped in Somalia. This is all I know from mom’s synopsis. While looking for said book, I stumbled across two other memoirs so I guess I’m in a biography state of mind right now. One is about a family aftermath told by a daughter when her sister commits suicide: History of a Suicide:My Sister’s Unfinished Life by Jill Bialosky.
And then…no, it can’t be. I nearly shrieked with glee when I saw the sky-blue cover. I did let out a little gasp and jump up and down slightly. Because in any and all circumstances, Drew Barrymore must be celebrated! I confess I’ve always had a bit of a girl crush on her but not in the way it sounds. More of a “I know we would be BFFs and laugh about everything together, dare each other to do stupid stuff and then swear each other to secrecy and say a lot of ‘Omg, me too, RIGHT??’” kind of girl crush. (Much the same way I feel about Jen Hatmaker but I think everyone feels this way about Jen Hatmaker.) My Drew has written a book and I had no idea (Wildflower). I love her but I don’t stalk her. I am blithely unaware of any social media she may have going on, I have seen most but not all of her movies (maybe I have, I haven’t checked her filmography) so I’m not obsessed. She simply delights me. So I delightfully purchased her autobiography/”life portrait”. Maybe it makes me silly. I don’t really care. I love the fiery spirit that saved her from a nearly self-fulfilling tragic family history and a self-absorbed narcissistic mother, not to mention a very early downward spiral of drugs and alcohol to a seemingly grounded, “not quite all together but I don’t really care what you think” Adam Sandler bestie. What’s not to admire about that? Love you Drew, smooches!
And I’ve been thinking about work. To be totally forthright, I have always hated working. Actually it’s a love/hate thing. I hate adulting in general. I get energized and drained at the same time by working. My brain loves the challenge, my creativity does not. Finally in my mid-forties I realized my long time dream of becoming a nurse (my lifelong dream was acting, but alas it was not meant to be…so close, Drew, so close). I thought I would finally feel fulfilled in that area of my life but, like everything else, nursing is not what I expected either. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a nurse. And to be honest, I’m pretty good at it. I especially love being in hospice. It makes me feel like I’m contributing to something that actually matters. But where is my soul its happiest? Writing and cooking and gardening and making a home and refinishing furniture and knitting and taking pictures. If I can do any of that near an ocean, watch out world!!
So my whine is that I am only middle-class and not independently wealthy. Which is such a petty, petty whine. Because I am also blessed beyond measure, am loved with a quiet ferocity of a sleeping lion and am bathed in goodness and gratitude. But I still whine. Because I want what I want like we all do.
But such a self-indulgent life would only benefit me, Staci and our 3 wild-and-woolies. Love, grace and compassion are meant to be shared and spread beyond us. And I know this. So I only whine once in awhile. Then pour myself a glass and toast to not being impoverished and being able to breathe, walk and run and most of all, always, to love.
I hope this post does not disappoint since it is not edible. What’s on your mind?
Happy reading, joyful cooking and (ALWAYS) spread the love!