Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Thursday list...

1. I've recently decided I'm picky enough to buy the good lunch meat from the deli instead of whatever is cheapest in the pre-packaged section.

2. It's so hot, y'all.

3. I got a treadmill earlier in the summer and am so, so grateful to have more flexibility in my running. But I've GOT to get over the 20-25 minute rut I'm currently in. To be fair, if I'm running while the kids are up, then that's about how long I have while they watch a show or before someone things they need something. But sometimes I run after they go to bed, and I still can't make myself break those 20 minutes. It's better than nothing, but I'm really feeling the need to up my game a little. Especially since I really want to do a fall/winter local 5k, and I've had the Houston Half Marathon in January on my radar. (still plenty of time to get ready for both, but still.)

4. I'm all caught up on season 2 of Anne with an E, and I watched To All the Boys I Loved Before. As with season 1 of Anne with an E, I've got mixed emotions. Very few of the storylines in season 2 had anything to do with storylines in the books, but this turned out to be a really good thing. I also thought the tone of season 2 was much more similar to the tone of the book, which I liked. The characterization continued to be a bit of a mixed bag: Anne, Diana, Gilbert, Ruby, and the newly introduced Miss Stacy were just a delight and spot on in my opinion. I had mixed opinions about the portrayal of Marilla, Mrs. Lynde, Matthew, and the Barrys. And I CAN NOT STAND how the show has changed Billy Andrews' character (turning boring, hardly ever mentioned person into an awful bully). The biggest down side to me with season 2, is that this particular adaption continues to be very heavy handed in some of the themes and modern interpretations in a way I just think is unnecessary and takes away from the beauty of L.M. Montgomery's subtlety.

Now, To All the boys I Loved Before was a fantastic book to film adaption, and an absolute delight from beginning to end. It's the kind of funny, heartfelt, sweet, yet also thoughtful teen rom-com that I know I will watch again.

5. I'm currently reading a book for review that's partly interesting and partly boring, but not long so that's good. And I'm in the middle of a really fascinating, interesting book called The Orchard, by Yochi Brandes. I stumbled across it on the New Books shelf of the library. It's an translation from Hebrew -- Brandes is a bestselling Israeli author  -- which is not what I usually gravitate toward, but this book has sucked me in. It's historical fiction, set in Israel shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It's realistic fiction, but the storytelling has a touch of fairy tale quality that I really dig.

Stay cool, everyone!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Tuesday list...

1. I've been checking out the band Johnnyswim this week. They are on tour right now with Needtobreathe, and in what's becoming an early-autumn tradition, we've got tickets to their Houston show at the end of September. I'm not real familiar with Johnnyswim yet, but it's always nice to be acquainted with a band when you go see them in concert. Well....I've only listened to one album plus their collaboration EP with Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, but can I just say....I. Am. Hooked. Check out this song to get a taste: Let it Matter

2. I've got some shows and movies to catch up on soon: Anne with an E (I'm cautiously optimistic  after the first season, but they'll need to do a little character damage control with Matthew if I'm going to really enjoy it) To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (a friend said she cried buckets while watching this one, so I'll need to be ready). Funny -- all three of these are based on or adapted from books.

3. The kids enjoyed their first camping trip last week, although they were definitely done after the two days. Heat, humidity, and a couple of very late (for them) nights and early (up with the sun!) mornings wore them out. Me too. It was fun though, and I made sure to take notes for future family camping adventures. Such as: 1. the hammock is a must 2. munchkin-friendly card games are perfect for a little bit of down time 3. bring all the snacks 4. if there's room for bikes, bring 'em.

4. It's the time of summer when I'm itching to get back in the yard and do some work and damage control, but also it's miserably hot. The problem I always run into is that our mid-July trip to camp and after-camp recovery tends to derail what I got started in the late spring/early summer. Plants get puny and wilted...weeds start to take over. We keep the lawn mowed, but that's about it. At this point, I need to either suck it up (and do some yard work in the early morning or early evening when it's slightly cooler), or be content to wait until the hot weather breaks in a few (several) weeks.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Monday list....

1. We went to the library today for the first time in a couple of months. What's funny about that is that last night I'd added "return library books" to my to-do list for the week, then this morning Christina said "we haven't been to the library in a long time." So off we went to my favorite indoor activity! It's the first time in a long time we've been on a day with no story time, and while I am a committed fan of library story time, it was kind of nice to have a more low key visit. We went early -- so the library was delightfully uncrowded -- and leisurely looked for books, made a librarian-provided craft, played a little with the toys, and then headed home. We also had two poop-in-the-pants incidents, but I'm trying to block those out in favor of the more fun stuff. 

2. We're going on a little two-night, mid-week camping trip with the cousins this week, and I feel a little unprepared but oddly unconcerned about that. I made the food plan for us all, and just need to go shopping which I'll do tomorrow. Then I have a general idea of what I'll pack when the time comes. So really I guess I"m about as prepared as I need to be, because there's no sense in actually packing until the night before or even the morning of.'ll be an interesting adventure since the last time we went camping with Christina she was five months old. Hopefully it'll be a fun adventure too. 

3.  We've watched a couple of movies recently that I really enjoyed. The first was Logan Lucky, a heist movie set in West Virginia and North Carolina starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, and Danielle Riley Keough. I'd heard great things about the movie, but was still surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The heist itself was well-plotted and creative; the characters were interesting, unique, and quirky; the acting was top notch; and the tone of the movie was my favorite blend of witty and heartfelt. The second movie we saw was during a rare trip to the theaters for Ant Man and the Wasp, Marvel's latest superhero sequel. I actually enjoyed it more than the first Ant Man movie. I love Paul Rudd, and have a weakness for self-deprecating and light-hearted super hero movies. 

4. I listened to a podcast today that echoed a thought I'd had a few days ago -- August can be a weird month. It's still summer, but for a variety of reasons it feels like the beginning of back-to-school time. Sometimes that feeling is legitimate -- if you are a teacher who has to go back to work within the first or second week of the month. Or if your school district starts school the first week of August like my friend Lesley's. But if you're like me and preschool doesn't start until the last week of August or first of September, it's sanity-saving to keep a summer-time attitude in the midst of back-to-school displays and sales and commercials. And what do I mean by summer-time attitude? For me, it means slow days, creative hot-weather activities, being okay when sometimes "creative hot weather activities" turns into "let's turn off the lights and watch a movie," and going easy on my personal to-do list because there's not as much alone time in the summer. 

Here's to a few more weeks of ice cream, sprinklers, and summer-break schedules!
Happy Monday!