Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Reading ~

When I was a kid, I loved reading in the summer. It was such a relief to be able to read for pleasure and not for school. No homework!!! My sister and I always joined the summer reading program at our library. It was one of the few places we could get to on our own...walking or riding our bikes. We lived in town, but with a dad who was working shift work and mostly unwilling to take us anywhere, and a mom who couldn't drive (poor vision) we were basically stranded. So going to the library was a big deal.

The head librarian was Mrs. Charles, and she liked me - but still, she was unwilling to let me check out Gone With The Wind unless I got a note from my mother. And so I did. I think I was in about 5th grade...I sure thought I was something to be reading such racy stuff.

I've always loved reading, so choosing my minor in college was easy...Library Science. ;) These days it's hard for me to get into fiction, but I make an exception for John Grisham. I'm also on the list for House Rules, by Jodi Picoult. Anyone read that?

I rarely buy books, but I keep my library in business. I usually go to Central in Lake Charles. It's so easy to choose a book, request it online, and go pick it up when I get the email that it's waiting. Cool, huh? And, no I don't have a Kindle. I really like the feel of know, turning the pages, holding it in your hand.

So, here's a partial list of some things I've been reading:

Last night I finished Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. It's about emotional eating, and overeating. To me, her approach is both very deep, and yet overly simplified. This has been excerpted in several magazines so chances are you might have read part of it already.

I was anxious to get into Laura Bush's book. She's intriguing, really. I enjoyed the story of how she grew up as an only child and married into the larger than life Bush clan.

Several insightful stories in her book...the story of the car accident (she was at fault) in which a young man died. It happened when she was a teenager. Also, hearing about when the twins were born and she was a young mother. This isn't a page-turner though. Laura writes in much the same way she speaks...measured, and matter of fact, but with sincerity. I'm glad I read it.

I also finished Switch this month. This book is awesome!! It was a fun read and I really learned a lot. Some of their ideas are not new, it's things we've heard before, but these guys - Chip & Dan Heath (brothers) are very cool.

You might not have heard of this one, Making Toast, written by Roger Rosenblatt. When his daughter, Amy - 38 years old, a gifted doctor, mother, and wife - collapsed and died suddenly, he and his wife moved in to help care for the 3 little ones she left behind.

Making Toast is the story of that first year together. It's touching, poignant and even funny - yes, even in tragedy, that are things to smile at. This is a family story, how people who love each other can hold on tight and walk through heartbreaking pain. I loved this book. It's short and a fast read. Run, don't walk, to the library and get it.

And... (you had to know I would) I read Kitty Kelly's unauthorized biography, Oprah. It was fascinating.

I enjoyed it. Every. Single. Word. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

What are you reading this summer???

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Heads: barbeque, Tails: crawfish (heads too)

We recently held our 1st Heads & Tails weekend. We started with heads...Saturday morning, our ward was having a Barbeque. Jennifer is the Activities Comm. Chairman so she was in charge...and basically the rest of us (me, Don, RaeAnn, Wayne and Chris) were enlisted too. Charles and Lou Ellen were in town to join the party. Don and Charles were the official Masters of the Grill and they did a fine job of grilling the chicken. It was hot but there were some water games and plenty of shade. You may wonder how heads relates to barbeque chicken, but we did have burgers (beef) too and I was humming the old cowboy theme song: "Head 'em up, move 'em out...Rawhide!!" If you're not old enough to remember that, you're just wet behind the ears.

The guys napped through the afternoon and the girls shopped. Lou Ellen was wearing a green shirt, so I put on a green one too. Because of course, we should match - just in case Matt Lauer appears on the doorstep to interview us for something. Or a reporter from a major newspaper wants a quote about...say, Keith Urban. Hey, it could happen! And it has. ; )

We make a lovely citrus trio here, don't you think?

That evening the tails portion of the weekend commenced. We all went to Sausage Link for another round of crawfish and other assorted good stuff. Chris got fried chicken strips and onion rings. Jennifer went for the full 5 lb. tray.

Don had so much fun he could barely contain himself....
Same goes for Wayne...
Lou Ellen & Charles were ready for boudin and the crawfish tails...and the heads too.
Charles is mighty proud of his tray. After all, these are primo.

Lou Ellen was living large with her crawfish heads. That is, until...
...until she finished with the heads and claws and had what we shall call, the case of the burning lips. FYI, when you eat the claws and suck the juice out, that's the hottest part of the crawfish. Capable of inflicting pain. So be aware, only milk-based products can take the heat away. Ice, no. Water, no. Coke, no. Milk, yes. Ice cream...yes, yes, yes. So off we went, straight to Winky Doo's. Ice cream and yogurt.

Heads & Tails...Rawhide!! ~