Her Weekend

Well, it’s back to Monday! What a great weekend this was. We had something planned for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We still have some more busy weekends coming up but I’m looking forward to it slowing down a bit. We need a couple of weekends to work on projects around the house this summer. My weekend in images: We went to see my grandpa in the play Fiddler On The Roof on Friday night. He played the part of the Rabbi. My grandpa loves acting and he’s really pretty good at it.

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It amazes me that at 78 he can still get up there and have just as much energy as the younger kids. It’s fun to watch him enjoying his time on stage so much. 

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On Saturday Andy and a couple of buddies took their road bikes out along the Legacy bike trail. 

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Andy had a slight mishap. 

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Later that evening we met up with my sister and some friends for Heather’s birthday celebration. 

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That’s my sister and her date, Alex on the left. Heather and her husband, Lee, on the right. Lindsey is holding Heather and Lee’s baby, Kenya. 

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California BLT Pizza- YUM! 

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BBQ Chicken Salad 

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When we got home from dinner Andy worked on tilling the garden and getting it ready for planting. 

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Sunday we went to the Hunger Games finally!! I loved it, although there are just so many details that you don’t catch unless you have read the book and are looking for them. But if you haven’t read the book you’ll still love the movie. I don’t know, I have so many opinions on the movie vs the book but I won’t bore you with them. All I can say is that I literally felt sorry for people who hadn’t read the book first because there is just so much emotion and intensity that you get from the author’s words. Descriptions, thoughts and ideas that the character’s think that don’t come across in the movie. Anyway, if you’re not a reader, I highly recommend the audio books. They’re excellent.

How was your weekend?

Winter Garden Discussion 2

The questions and answers:

1. Anya Whitson is color blind and cannot see the colors in her winter garden. Why do you think the author gave the character this particular trait? In what ways is it a metaphor for what Anya has gone through in her life? Do you believe it is a physiological blindness or a psychological one?

She’s chosen to be blind to everything that is happening in her life and to continue to live in the past. I think her color blindness is a psychological and physiological problem.

2. Memory is an important theme in Winter Garden. Meredith often regrets–when looking at old family photos taken without her–that she was often off organizing or obsessing over details, while everyone else was living in the moment, creating memories. How common is this for women and mothers? What memories keep your family together?

I think this is really common for women.. we seem to take on the role of memory keeper instead of memory maker in the family. Mothers are often trying to do it all and in the meantime they don’t slow down enough to just enjoy things.

 3. Jeff tells Meredith that “words matter.” What are some examples of this throughout the story? How have words saved and harmed each of these characters’ lives? How has silence saved and harmed each of these characters’ lives? How do words—the telling of the fairy tale—change their individual and collective perceptions of who they are?

It’s obvious that words matter because the only thing that seems to calm the children down is when Anya tells them her fairytale. They have no hope and are starving to death but it is Anya’s stories that get them through it. Her words become important with Meredith and Nina only they don’t understand the importance until she finally tells the story to the end.  

4. Anya is an unsympathetic character throughout much of the book. How did your perception of her change as the fairy tale unfolded? Did you end up sympathizing with her, or even liking her? Or do you feel that her treatment of her daughters was inexcusable, regardless of the hardships she had faced in her life? How do you think you would have fared in Leningrad under the siege? Was Anya heroic in Leningrad, or a failure?

I think that was her coping mechanism- shutting people out and being ‘tough.’ It was how she managed to survive the siege of Leningrad. But after she thought her family had been killed, she just put those walls up even thicker. I’m honestly wondering why Meredith and Nina’s father never explained to them why their mother was the way she was. I think Anya was heroic. She had many chances to give up and never did.

 5. How did you feel about the ending? Why do you think the author chose the surprising meeting in Sitka?

It was far fetched but I’m glad she was able to end on a positive note.

Thanks to The Many Thoughts of A Reader for hosting the April book club! 

Friday with more to come!

We’ve got another busy weekend ahead of us. I’m excited because we’ve got some fun things planned-a play, a dinner, and Hunger Games (finally.) I’ve got some work to do this morning but I wanted to first pop in and celebrate Friday with you guys for a minute. This is what I think of when I think of summer: theme parks!!

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I’ll be back later on today to post my answers to the Discussion 2 questions on Winter Garden so I hope you’ll come back and share your thoughts with me as well.

Happy Friday!!

An update on my reading goals

My reading goals have slowly and steadily been getting off the ground. I didn’t really decide to set any reading goals or join any challenges until the beginning of March, so I was a little late in the game this year. I’m hoping to get into a groove soon so that I can make it through my books quicker. 

So far I’ve read:

1809 pages…
8 books towards my goal of 50 books this year…
2 Cozy Mysteries towards my goal of reading 6 this year…
1 book for the April Book Club
1 book for the Eclectic Reader Challenge
1 book toward my Newberry Book Challenge
2 books toward my Caldecott Book Challenge

Okay, so I really haven’t done that much so far and I’m a little frustrated with my reading speed. I try to read at home, but I get interrupted a lot and then my mind wanders and I have to read the paragraph again. I’m also fighting my conscience as I actually feel guilty when I take time with my book–like I should be doing something productive like finishing the dishes. I also feel guilty reading while Andy is working. I felt guilty reading the entire time he was mowing the lawn the other night if that makes sense. 
I’m hoping to be able to figure out a couple of hours each day that I can carve out for reading…time that I can read without having to stop and restart a million times and time that I can read without feeling guilty about it. I’m also utilizing audio books while I’m at work and driving, but I like to do my own reading as much as possible. 
I’m not so much concerned with getting through my goals as I am with being able to read everything that I want to. I really enjoy reading and I want and need that time each day. My list of books that I can’t wait to devour is long and I anxiously want to be able to get to them all. It’s honestly like a hunger for me-like I’m starving and can’t eat the plate of food in front of me fast enough so I can get on to the next. There are just so many awesome books out there. 

You can keep up with my progress by clicking on the tabs below my blog header or friending me on Goodreads

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

So I was browsing Pinterest the other night and I came across this image.

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I thought to myself, “I need that now.” So I clicked on over to the recipe at Bake or Break. I didn’t realize that it was cake until then. I don’t usually care for cake, but I love peanut butter, so I decided to still try it. Fifteen minutes later the cake was in the oven and already smelling fabulous.
While I waited for it to bake I browsed around more of Bake or Break’s recipes and found some yummy looking ones I’d like to try. Like this Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake:

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When the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake was finished, I served it with a little vanilla ice cream. It made the most perfect treat for the evening! 

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Do you like cake, or are you more of a brownie person like me?

5 Confessions on a Tuesday

1. We have not seen the Hunger Games yet. Truthfully, I have been reluctant to see it, for fear that it would ruin the books for me. (Much the same way that Kristin Stewart ruined a previous three-book series I read.)

2. I hate shrimp in every form. It disgusts me and the texture makes me gag. I love most other seafood.

3. I am purposefully not taking very good care of a peace lily that was gifted to me, because I secretly want it to die. Shame! I know! But those things get so big and I don’t want a ginormous house plant. Does anyone want my peace lily?

4. I haven’t worked out in three weeks and I scold myself daily about it- but still have yet to get back in to the swing of things. Laziness sucks.

5. I have passed out at the ‘lady’ doctor’s office twice and once woke up with some other ladies’ husband fanning me. Embarrassing much?

What is your Tuesday Confession?

Her Weekend plus Earth Day

Wow, the weather was awesome this weekend! We decided to take advantage of it and spent as much time outside as we could. We ended up celebrating Earth Day by going on our first hike of the year up Waterfall Canyon.

On Friday and Saturday Andy was over at a friend’s house helping him with a project, so I took myself shopping in Salt Lake at City Creek. First stop was Coffee Garden so I could browse through the adjoining book store.

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I visited Sephora and had the girls help me pick out foundation, powder, and primer. 

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Finally we had some time to spend together on Sunday- Earth Day. We took Ashland hiking up Waterfall Canyon. I guess everyone else had the same idea because it was a busy trail!

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Later that afternoon we took the road bikes out with Andy’s brother, Corey and Corey’s girlfriend, Lydia. It was really fun and we went for a long ride. 

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It was a great day. We were tuckered out and spent the rest of the evening resting. 

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Did you do anything to celebrate Earth Day?

Saturday Meal Planning

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You know the drill- it was Bountiful Basket Saturday! I am super excited by our basket this week. Strawberries and corn on the cob-awesome! I hoping to get some seeds planted today for our own garden. We’ve had varying success with gardening over the last three years and I’m hoping that this year will be a good one. Having Bountiful Baskets has made it seem like we have a successful garden year round. It’s been a lot of fun. 
So here’s what we got in our basket (all for $15 and with no extra add-ons this week):
Bag of Apples
6 Kiwi
7 Roma Tomatoes
3 Lemons
8 Bananas
Strawberries
6 Ears of Corn
2 Romaine Lettuce
Bunch of Spinach
Celery
3 Yellow Onions
4 Yellow Squash
And here are the meal ideas I’ve come up with:
Sloppy Joes with Savory Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Tomato & Cheese Sandwiches with Side Salad
Spring Veggie Rolls with Rice
Chinese Chicken Salad

Other:
Apple Turnovers
Apple Scones
Banana Bread (requested by my husband)
Lemon Brownies(recommended by my sister)


Now it’s your turn- share one favorite recipe in the comments section that you think we should try!

Dinners outside

It’s finally been warm enough to spend some time on the deck. Monday night we grilled hamburgers for dinner and I made sweet potato fries.

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Yesterday after work we spent some time cleaning out this mess of weeds from our garden.

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Then Andy mowed the back lawn (I mowed the front on Monday) while I caught up on some reading.

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Later on we grilled up some steak, pineapple and veggie kabobs. This has to be one of my favorite ways to use up extra veggies and leftover steak.

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So while it’s been raining during the day, it’s been clearing up by the time we get home from work so we can enjoy some time outside.

Are you getting the spring rain showers too?