Thursday, February 25, 2010

Missing Librarians

Yesterday I went to the library.  After seeing online that I had not one but two books waiting on hold for me, I stopped after work.  Once I'd parked Oliver (my stud of a car), I went inside and checked the holds shelf.  Remembering that my last name now starts with a different letter (a 24 year habit isn't that easy to break!), I grabbed my books and went to the self-checkout.  About 60 seconds later, I was on my way out the door, receipt and books in hand.

It didn't hit me until I was back in my car that I hadn't talked to a single person during my little trip.  Not a one.  I remembered how getting books at the library used to involve asking the librarian if there was anything on hold for you (usually after waiting in line) and getting excited when your family had a whole stack waiting, since at least one book was sure to be yours.

My family was on a first name basis with the librarians at our small town library, and my parents even went to the retirement party of one (I would have had I been living nearby).  As I left the parking lot of the library, I fondly remembered Elsie, Paula, Patti, Kathy and all the others who faithfully provided us with hundreds (if not thousands) of books to read over the years, and I was a little sad as I realized that even the library, filled with timeless books, can succumb to our modern, do-it-yourself culture.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Love Him Because He...(#51-75)

51. Listens to NPR, even though we both think they're way too liberal.
52. Wants a dog someday.
53. Compliments me about all kinds of things.
54. Promised to read the new story I'm writing, even though it's a genera he never reads.
55. Makes breakfast nearly every day.
56. Takes out the trash without being asked.
57. Doesn't mind that I'm apparently incapable of finely chopping vegetables.
58. Has changed me from someone who rarely made the bed to someone who can't stand an unmade bed.
59. Understands that I need more sleep than him and doesn't mind getting up before me on weekends.
60. During the week will sometimes turn off my alarm so I get a few more minutes of sleep.
61. Spent most of the weekend fixing a mess he didn't create in a house we don't own.
62. Opens the car door for me.
63. Holds my hand.
64. Is wise beyond his years.
65. Gives amazing backrubs.
66. Has never criticized a meal I've made.
67. Laughs frequently.
68. Cares deeply.
69. Is an amazing provider.
70. Likes to play games.
71. Is incredibly encouraging.
72. Is honest.
73. Knows how to have fun.
74. Is willing to help fold laundry.
75. Likes going to the library.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Reviews: Secrets and Beneath a Southern Sky

by Robin Jones Gunn

I love small towns, so it's no surprise that the Glennbrooke series by Robin Jones Gunn hold a lot of enjoyment for me.  As a highschool reader of the Christy Miller Series, I loved seeing how the lives of characters from those books intertwined with ladies from the Glennbrooke series.

Secrets was a reread for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  In it, 25 year old Jessica has moved to a small town in Oregon in order to escape her overbearing, filthy rich father.  Her journey includes (but is not limited to) a car accident, finding Jesus in Mexico and Dove Bars.  Brilliant writing? No.  Stories about people from a charming town in Oregon falling in love and sharing life together? Yes.  And maybe that's why I like stories like this one so much--they're not brilliant, life changing literature, but they are stories of God moving in people's lives and seeing them live life together.

Beneath  a Southern Sky
by Deborah Raney
Beneath a Southern Sky had a very intriguing (though maybe not all that original) plot--young missionaries in South America, husband dies, wife discovers she's pregnant.  Moves back to US, has baby, falls in love, remarries, gets pregnant and then discovers her first husband is still alive.  As the story alluded to, this was a situation more than one couple found themselves in after World War II, and after other tragedies, no doubt.  However, I felt the solution to the "problem" in this book was a slight cop-out, as not every situation like that is resolved with someone being so self-sacrificing.

(These books were provided for review by WaterbrookMultnomah)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Recipe of the Week: Monkey Bread

Go here for the instructions on how to make Monkey Bread.  It received rave reviews from the husband (he said it might, just might be better than tiramisu, and for those that know him, that's a BIG compliment), so I will make it again, but rarely, as it's just so bad for you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love Him Because He...(#26-50)

26. Invited Mormon missionaries over because he wants them to know Jesus.
27. Not only lets me put my cold feet on him at night, but he wraps his feet around them to warm them up faster.
28. Prays with me every night before sleeping.
29. Looks really good with a wedding ring on.
30. Loves Jesus more than he loves me.
31. Puts up with my rambling.
32. Doesn't get frustrated when I'm super emotional.
33. Wants babies someday.
34. Tells me everyday that I'm beautiful.
35. Drives when we're together.
36. Loves going to Costco.
37. Tells me multiple times a day how much he loves me.
38. Shows me that love, too, by his actions.
39. Is excited to try our hand at gardening this year.
40. Can fly an airplane.
41. Can fix anything.
42. Likes to walk.
43. Agreed to experiment with paint colors in our house.
44. Doesn't mind when I rearrange some furniture without telling him.
45. Likes to experiment with toppings for our weekly pizza nights.
46. Scratches my back--the most relaxing thing ever, in my opinion.
47. Is willing to give up books to PaperBackSwap.
48. Is always striving to be a better man and husband.
49. Is totally cool that we don't own a t.v.
50. Loves hymns.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Love Him Because He... (#1-25)

When Chris and I were dating, I made him a book of 100 things I liked about him and gave it to him on our 100th day of dating. Our 100th day of marriage has long passed (seriously people, these months are flying by), but I (with his approval) am going to be doing a list of 100 Things I Love About My Husband on my blog (probably in segments of 20-25 because I always think of more as I go along).  Don't worry, I'll keep it G-rated. ;)

I love my husband because he...

1. Isn't embarrassed to kiss me in the parking lot at his work.
2. Likes listening to Narnia at night.
3. Makes up songs about lots of random things.
4. Is incredibly good looking.
5. Takes care of me when I'm sick.
6. Is humble.
7. Encourages me to be more like Christ.
8. Is always reading several books.
9. Reads his Bible every morning.
10. Loves me.
11. Does the dishes every night.
12. Doesn't mind it when I put meals on the menu that he knows he'll make.
13. Makes killer mashed potatoes and gravy.  I seriously won't even try to make them, because his are so good.
14. Married me!
15. Designed the most beautiful engagement ring in the world.
16. Is quick to apologize.
17. Dreams big.
18. Is the most patient man ever.
19. Understands that I still miss B-town.
20. Is always willing to try new food, even if it's something he hasn't liked in the past.
21. Is okay with my doing some 'crunchy' things (next up: homemade deodorant!)
22. Puts up with my music, even though our styles are pretty different.
23. Gives me the $10 prize for second place in a beauty contest whenever we play Monopoly (and says that I should win first).
24. Buys me flowers when I'm sick.
25. Encourages me to pursue my dreams.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something Besides Reviews and Recipes

An original post? Gasp!  I realize that my blog has mostly been filled with book reviews and recipes as of late.  Not bad, per se, but since I started this thing because I like to write, I figured I should actually write something. (Shocking realization, isn't it?)

To be honest, most of my creative energy has been taken up by a new story brewing in my little head.  It's been a long time since I worked on any story, let alone a new one, and I'm having a blast.  I've never been much of a plot planner, but this time I actually have chapter outlines written down and am sketching out all the main characters. What fun!  I'm excited to start writing and see where this one ends up.  Already I'm loving the character of Mallory, an adorable 4 1/2 year old girl.  

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Recipe of the Week: Tuna Turnovers

 (Note: I didn't try a new recipe last week, but since the goal is to average one per week, I'm forgiven, right?)

Tuna Turnovers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 c. tuna or diced cooked chicken
1 c. shredded cheese
1/4 c chopped celery
1 t chives OR 1 t onion, finally chopped
mayonnaise to moisten
salt and pepper

1 recipe biscuit dough
2 c flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Cut in:
1/4 c shortening

Add all at once, stirring to form soft ball:
3/4 c milk

Knead on floured surface 20-25 times.

Roll dough 1/8"-1/4" thick, cut into four inch rounds or squares.   Place about 2 1/2 T filling on each; fold over and seal.  Brush tops with melted margarine.  Bake 15 minutes.

Results: Pretty good, nice and filling.

Things to do differently: Try using some whole wheat flour to make it healthier.

What I did differently: Used ranch instead of mayo (but that's standard around here).  I also just spread some soft butter on the top instead of using melted butter because, face it, I'm lazy.  And have no pastry brush.  I also added way more onion than it says because onions are delicious, and didn't add any celery.

Make again? Yeah...Chris and I both liked them, and I think they were more filling than regular tuna sandwiches.