Category Archives: Observations

Snow!! Finally!! A late winter for Idaho

Standard

I didn’t think we’d ever get winter here in the Treasure Valley, but it finally arrived! Although my inlaws in Seattle are getting more snow than we are, here in the mountain region of the country… really, we in Idaho should have waaaay more snow than Seattle!  Still, I’ll take what we get.  It’s so pretty. It’s not supposed to last, they tell us it’s going to turn to rain soon… I did get my workday cancelled, so it’s all good!!  Yay!

You can see it’s getting deep…

Poor confused Robin… dude, it’s not spring yet

Book Review ~ My thoughts on ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

Standard

The short review:  Did I like this book?  Meh.

                                             Will I let Kiki read it?  Yeah.

The long review:

So, I read the book. I tried really hard to read it with an open mind (because to be honest, I hated it before I ever started it. The whole premise of the story is just something I didn’t care to read.) I found that it was a good story in that it sucks you in… you find yourself interested in the characters, you want to know how it works out. So in that respect, I guess I can understand why it’s a popular book.

However. Technically speaking, I think it’s a very poorly written book. Did this author never take a grammar class?  Did she take one but fail miserably?? She doesn’t seem to be able to write a decent sentence; they are either 27 word run-on sentences, or mostly, they are fragments. Oh dear me the fragments!!  I would say they account for about 80% of the book, and that drove me absolutely crazy! Now, I don’t mind a fragment or two, heaven knows I use them a lot here in my blog… but, well, it’s a blog… not a novel. I wouldn’t even mind a few in a book,; sometimes they just work – but she takes it to ridiculous extremes. Urgh.

Then there is the main character, Katniss.  I don’t really like her.  She’s sort of – emotionless in a way, I guess. Clueless.  I can understand why I suppose, but that doesn’t make me like her any more. And tho none of the characters are really fully developed, she just seems really flat.

Another issue I have is that there is not nearly enough background to the story, and there are things that happen that don’t make sense – things that couldn’t happen. Things that simply wouldn’t work.  Like little silver parachutes falling at just the correct moment.  Uh-huh. Explanation, please, on the timing of those?

I suppose that much of what bothers me is completely overlooked by the young kids who read this, and after all, they are the target audience… not middle-aged moms. I asked my daughter, and the things that annoy me about this book, she didn’t even notice until I brought it up, and even after I pointed these out to my daughter, they don’t bother her. I also spoke to 3 teen girls who have read this book, and they all think the main character is this awesome, brave, strong girl. As I said, I am not the target audience, and I suppose Suzanne Collins must be quite thankful for that!

As for letting my daughter read it, I decided that it would be alright. Though it’s full of killing, it’s not gratuitous. There are lessons to be learned, like not letting governments get out of control… or that whole “when good people do nothing” business and all that. There’s no sex, and to a parent of a teen, that’s good! There really isn’t much of a love story even… very mild.

I don’t know if I will read the rest of the series. On one hand, I kind of want to see it through to the end. On the other hand I’m not sure it’s worth the time and effort – after all, there are so many good books out there to read!

What is the deal, people?? All those poor child-insomniacs!

Standard

For the better part of the last year (well, ever since I switched over to WordPress and have easily kept track) my overall “most read post” every single week is the one I wrote over 4 years ago about my daughter having insomnia!  Seriously!  It would seem to me, according to the number of people searching the web about “10 year old insomnia”, that this is a very common problem for 10 year old kids.  That’s so weird.

Stuff that’s weird

Standard

I think I will start a whole category here on my blog for this. Because life is full of weird stuff.  What I’m thinking of now is the weather here in Idaho. It isn’t winter right now. Not one stinkin’ flake of snow for Christmas. We have this weird pattern of it being freezing cold and dry as a bone, then when we finally get a little precipitation, the temps jump up to 40 or 50 degrees. Rain. Not snow. For an Idaho winter. The other day – Christmas Eve, I think – I was sitting on the back porch in my rocking chair, in sweats and a short sleeve shirt, just soaking up the sun. I was so warm!  Ok, my husband came out and was like “geez, aren’t you cold?” and I couldn’t figure why he’d ask me that. Of course, when I went inside I checked the thermometer, and the temperature was only 30 degrees out. It seemed warm to me.  Weird.

Soooo… it’s 2012. And I’m not as unhappy as you think.

Standard

I have nothing fantastic to say about this. I mean, it’s all “a new start” and all that rot… but I really don’t like making New Year’s resolutions.  I mean, if I need to fix something in my life, or change something, I don’t really think I should wait until January 1st to do it.  I usually try to fix things as they come up.  (mind, I didn’t say I did fix things… just I try to…)!  However, it is a time when a person does sort of reflect on her life a bit, examine it if you will… I mean, there’s not a whole lot else to do if you’re not out partying or something!

One thing really struck me after reading a comment on a recent post of mine. The commenter made a remark about me being “so unhappy with my life”.  And I thought “I’m not unhappy”… then I thought “yes I am” then “no I’m not” and then it rolled around a bit more in my head until I had to yell “stop”!! and then I thought some more.  🙂 Hard. Objectively.  And here is the honest truth:

I am not unhappy with my life.  I mean, not in the “I’m so desperately miserable” sort of way that the commenter thinks. Yes, there are things – important things – in my life that I am unhappy about. Things I would like to be very different.  Sure, my things may be biggish things, but doesn’t everyone probably have things in their lives they are unhappy about? At least some small things? 

I suppose I give the impression of being totally depressed because I often use this blog as my place to vent.  When something upsets me, I blog about it.  So I can see where someone could get that impression, since most of my blogs are unhappy ones.  But, after doing some very honest introspection, I can tell you that I really am, overall, happy. I am al-right. Perfect? No. Could be happier? Yes. But, okay.

In fact, it’s funny, because just yesterday my boss was telling me how much she enjoys working with me because I am so cheerful. Ha!

We had a really interesting sermon at church today, and it reminded me that I need to try harder to remember that God does what He does (or, honestly,what I struggle with is the “doesn’t do what He doesn’t do”)  because He has the bigger picture in mind.  And I haven’t got a clue.  I know what I want, but maybe not totally what I need.  Sometimes I don’t think the Lord makes any sense at all.  I ask for things like… help fixing my marriage, and I can’t possibly see what the downside of that could be – why would He say “no”? or, at least “not yet”??  I don’t get that at all. But I am a moron compared to God, so what do I know? Today I thought – maybe I need to learn to rely on Him for my needs, and if my husband was the man I wanted, I’d rely on him instead.  Maybe? Interesting …

I am just trying to see the … good.  See the point in it all, if I can. Maybe that’s what I’ll strive for in 2012.

Leesburg Virginia ~ and snakes who go swimming

Standard

Here in Idaho, we just had our first snow of the season!  Yay snow!  Of course, it only came down from the sky but didn’t stick… it’s not quite that cold yet.  But it was so pretty. 

But enough about Idaho – I’ve been thinking about Virginia.  Because even though we were desperate to come “home”,  there were still nice things about back there.  Not that I want to live there, nuh-uh!  But I have some good memories….

One day, we went on a picnic just minutes from our home.  A pretty little park…

And right under this cute little bridge was this guy –

EEEYYWWW!!!  That is just so many shades of wrong.  I don’ t have any specific snake phobias (I’m more of a grasshopper-phobic – don’t judge!) but I really don’t think one should be in the creek in which we were considering wading.  Just sayin’.

We just stuck with having a meal and calling it a day.

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what kind of snake that is!

If the USA (and maybe the whole world) is going to hell in a handbasket – should I really waste time trying to lose weight??

Standard

I think there is too much news-watching and political-talk-show watching going on around my house.  Seriously.  Because it seems like everyone around here is talking about how this is the end of life as we know it and related horrid stuff.  Which I really don’t want to hear. Or think about.  You know, I have really been hoping our business is going to take off and we will eventually make more money, get to have our own home, finally take our kid to Disneyland (for the first time in her 14 years…) You know, that we can go back to living the American Dream.  So, what if that’s never going to happen?  What if the crazies down on Wall Street succeed in turning our country into some socialist/communist country?  (Even tho every one of those people I have heard interviewed doesn’t even seem to know what they’re doing down there… just a bunch of unhappy morons.) Or we have to live as Muslims? Or China takes us over in some military coup or something?

I don’t try to worry about this crap.  I try to thinkhappy thoughts of how my life is going to turn around one day, and I will quit being miserable (Yeah, I know, it’s a state of mind.  I moved out of that state.) or, at least, I will live in my own home with my own stuff and be slightly happier.  But what if the paranoids are correct?  What if our country has only got 15 or so more years before we go down the drain, as other countries have?  What does that mean to my child?  That she’ll never have a good life? 

I don’t know why this is upsetting me so much, except maybe because I am so unhappy about my life situation right now, and the one thing that makes me feel a little better is sweet, sweet sugary food, and yet I am trying so hard to give that stuff up so I won’t be all fat and unhealthy.  So that , when life turns around and gets better I will look better! But what if that’s never gonna happen?  Should I just keep eating, and therefore feeling happy in those brief, sugar-filled moments?

Sigh.  Some pundit is on TV as I write, and I just don’t want to hear it.  I think I will leave the house.  And maybe go buy a donut.

Help! I need a couple years therapy, and I need to be done tomorrow.

Standard

Sibling rivalry.  Why is it still happening when you are supposed “grown-ups”?  My sister is making me crazy.  Well, crazi-er

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know I have a weight problem.  Yeah.  I try not to make my blog about that, but it comes up.  I mean, unfortunately, it’s a big part of my life.  A “big” part… get it?  Hahaha… okay, it’s late.  Gimme a break.

I have a sister who is a couple years older than me.  (I had another sister, a younger one… she passed away a few years back.  I miss her soooo bad.)  So this is probably wrong, but one thing I miss about her is that she was there to complain to about my other sister.  If that makes sense. Well, my “big” sister is driving me nuts.  Part of the problem is that we live in the same town and go to the same church, so we have sort of the same circle of friends. This is not a good thing.  I really, really need a new group.

Anyway, a few months back, a couple friends of mine (of ours) started a sort of “weight loss Bible study”.   Most of us in this group have a weight problem… except my sister.  Who is skinny.  Seriously – I think she wears a size 2.  She’s sick.  Or makes me sick… Anyway… I really don’t know why she is in this study, except that she probably doesn’t want me to be getting closer to these friends than she is.  I wish I was making this up!  I mean, I don’t think she consciously thinks of this stuff, but she simply has to be involved in everything.  It’s ridiculous. Every week it gets worse… that is, I get crankier and crankier with the stuff she says and just the fact of her being there… in my weight loss group.  In her size 2 pants.  And being cranky is what a Bible study is all about, right?  So then I have to feel guilty about my attitude…

This week she decided to show us how to make her kind of food… she is on this “all raw” “vegan” diet… yeah.  Whatever.  Poor thing just has such a food problem, yeah?!

I just want to figure out how to get through a day without eating a dozen cookies or a pint of Ben and Jerrys.

She does NOT get it.  And I can’t figure out how to explain it to her.

It felt like serving drinks to an alcoholic

Standard

Which is wrong. Totally wrong. And that is how it felt today.

 See, I work in a little boutique clothing store (and if you knew me really well, you would be on the floor laughing hysterically right now.  Yeah. I am so not a fashionista; it’s really not the right job for me.) However, that’s not the point. We have this customer who is from, uhm, I can’t remember… an Eastern European country. She speaks very little English.  Anyway, I waited on her last week, and it was kind of weird… she paid in cash, removed all the tags right there at the counter, wouldn’t let me bag it, and didn’t want her reciept.  Well, it turns out she’s a shopaholic and a hoarder – her family has even staged an intervention of sorts (which, aparently, didn’t work).  Her husband cut her off financially, so she got a job, cashes her paychecks, and goes shopping. (We are a small, locally-owned store; we know stuff about our customers that other big, chain-store employees probably wouldn’t know!) Well, she came in again today.  She bought several items; paid cash, cut off the tags.  Picked up some more stuff; paid cash, cut off the tags, stuffed it all into a huge purse/bag thingie she also was buying.  This went on about half a dozen times, until she ran out of cash and started using the credit card.  You know, last time I just thought it was weird, but now that I know the story?  Well, it just seemed so wrong! I wanted to tell her “Please, just stop!  Just go home, quit spending money on this stuff!”  But, that isn’t my place, is it.  No, as much as I wanted to, my job is to smile and serve the customer.

What would you do?