24 February 2010

TBR Challenge: Sense and Sensibilty

Back in December I agreed to participate in Emily's TBR Challenge. Several weeks ago I finished my first book for the challenge and that book was Sense and Sensibility. According to rule #6 I am supposed to write a blog post about each book I read for the challenge. Since I have a feeling I am going to have a hard time with a lot of the other rules that are part of this challenge (like not buying new books!) I am going to try to adhere to the blog post rule. So, even though I am not the most talented book reviewer, here goes.

This was my third reading of Sense and Sensibility, but my last reading was sometime in the 90s so it had been awhile. I had a pretty good memory of the overall plot, but had certainly forgot much of the details. It was excellent to have my memory refreshed to this wonderful book.

Despite the fact that I knew a happy ending was forthcoming, I was held in suspense much of the time while both Elinor and Marianne careened toward heartbreak and sunk into it. I found it interesting that both their views on love and the way to happiness turned out to be wrong and their heartbreak and disappointments give them both a better understanding of love and the way of the world.

This book also has some of my favorite secondary characters. Especially the girls' brother John and his wretched wife. They are quite funny caricatures, horrible in their behavior, but still amusing to observe. They and the others (Mrs. Ferrars, Lucy Steele, etc.) add to the color of the book and keep you from arriving at the happy ending too soon.

That all being said, I still think Colonel Brandon was too old for Marianne.

22 February 2010

Play day #2

One day off wasn't enough for me last week so I decided to take Friday off for some more playing.

My good friend Tracie invited Zoe and me to come skiing with her and her daughter and since that is something I have been dying to do, and actually resolved to do this year, it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

Before Friday I hadn't actually been skiing since the winter before I got pregnant with Zoe so that was 8 years ago! I was a little nervous about remembering how to actually ski, but a little voice in my head was reminding me of an article that my father clipped and mailed to me once about "muscle memory." Besides a day of bad skiing has to be better than even a good day of work, right?

So, off we went Friday morning up into the Berkshires. I do love it up there -- as a place to visit. I could never really live there. Zoe and Tracie's daughter were singing along to their iPods and we were chatting away and before I knew it we arrived at Butternut. Zoe and I struggled our way through the ski rental process and got all our gear on and then we had a quick lunch in the lodge before Zoe's lesson started.

I dropped Zoe off for her lesson and she was pretty nervous. So nervous that she really didn't speak. Anyone who knows Zoe, knows how unusual that is for her! I was only a bit worried about her though. She's pretty coordinated and very strong. There was no reason why she couldn't get pretty far along in learning how to ski in a 3 hour lesson.

Tracie, her daughter and I then headed for the bunny hill chair lift line. There were a few butterflies in my stomach as we rode up. I struggled a little to get off the lift, but easily maneuvered to the top of the mountain from there. And just like that we started skiing and I was doing it. It was a thrill. One more run down the bunny hill and we moved on to better parts of the mountain. I think I had a smile on my face for the entire time. Until my legs started to ache anyway. Luckily that coincided with the end of Zoe's lesson. I couldn't wait to see how she did. I was hoping for a smiling face, but prepared for a serious pout.

We made our way over to the lesson area and there was Zoe going up the chair lift with her instructor. When she saw me below she shouted to me, "Mom! Mom! I can ski!!" The grin on her face was about a mile wide. It was awesome. I was so proud and happy. We can't wait to hit the slopes again!

I think this picture pretty well sums up what a great day it was:

Thanks again Tracie!

17 February 2010

Play day

Due to some miraculous alignment of the planets, the stars, and the births of two of my nations most famous presidents I didn't have to work on Monday. I've been so busy with work that even though I knew the day off was coming I never stopped to think what I might do with my day. Luckily, inspiration in the form of my 12 year-old cousin, Asher, struck.

Asher and Zoe get along really well so it is lots of fun to get them together. He came to sleepover my house on Sunday night and I decided to make the most of having 2 kids on Monday.

We started off the day with some morning Mario Kart races on Wii. (That is one of the most addictive games ever invented!) That was quickly followed by pancakes and bacon at the diner. We needed fuel for the day ahead. Next stop was Wonderland if Ice skating rink where we were joined by my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew. We got in a good 2 hours of pretty good skating. All of us were inspired by the Olympics, of course.

Next up was lunch. Asher was dying for Subway so we stopped there on the way home and loaded up on sandwiches, Doritos and Gatorade. (None for me, thanks -- had to draw the line there.) After downing lunch and some brownies it was time for more Mario Kart races until Asher's parents picked him up. We were so sad to see him go Zoe and I had to take naps so we could feel better.

Later that afternoon Zoe and I went to Border's and stole some books by reading them while we were there. I had a coffee and she had a hot chocolate. We took up space in their comfy chairs until dinner time.

Although the day was filled with activities that wouldn't necessarily all go into my truly ideal day -- I mean we didn't even look in a shoe store -- all-in-all it was a fantastic day of play. I highly recommend it and hope to have one like it again soon.

09 February 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates

On Sunday my Dad came over to watch the Super Bowl with us. He was leaving for a vacation to the Bahamas the next day so he brought Zoe a Valentine's gift. (Yes, I hate him for being in the Bahamas right now.) Zoe's gift was a traditional heart-shaped box of chocolate with a little stuffed Teddy Bear attached to the top. She liked it very much.

Before half-time Zoe gave up on watching the game with us and went upstairs to watch TV in my bedroom. She asked me if she could eat her Valentine's chocolate for her dessert. Since I am on a diet and want all candy like that disposed of one way or the other as quickly as possible, I said yes. She's a pretty good self-regulator so I wasn't worried she'd eat the entire box.

About an hour later I went up to check on her and tell her it was almost time for bed. Then I asked her how she liked her chocolate.

"It was awful!" she said. I was quite surprised so I asked her why. "I don't like chocolate with stuff in it. I took a bite out of each one, but they all had stuff in it."

I opened the discarded box and sure enough there was each chocolate with one bite gone. It was a pathetic site.

"Why can't they just make all chocolate? That stuff ruins it," she complained. I told her I didn't know.

I left the room and immediately burst out laughing. Then I showed the box to Rob who promptly made the problem chocolate go away by eating all the bitten candies.

07 February 2010

Fashion Critic

I suppose I deserve this for all the fashion criticisms I've handed out to friends, family and strangers over the years, but last night I got my first taste of my daughter as my fashion critic.

Rob and I were having a date night and we were meeting another couple at a rather posh sounding place in downtown New Canaan, CT. I was looking forward to a night out and took the opportunity to wear my favorite heeled black boots and a black sweater that has silver sparkly threads running through it. I got myself dressed and ready and just as we were leaving and I was kissing her good-bye, Zoe looked away from the TV and at me and said, "Mom! Don't you think that's a bit much?"

Oy. I told her I didn't think that was very nice, but I kissed her good-bye anyway. She then finished me off with, "I still love you."

Double oy.

And for the record, I don't think my outfit was a bit much at all. A lot she knows!