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July 5, 2012

The heat is on!  I am sure that is not news to anyone, but wow.  It is hot.  For our annual Fourth of July picnic that we share with Jeff’s parents, we ate inside for the first time.  Just walking to the car felt oppressive.  My parents always invite us to the Bash at their golf club and they had to move the party inside as well.  They still had the festivities for the kids outside, but it wasn’t the same.  It was a bummer, but it was still fun.  The fireworks were spectacular.  I began with my camera, but put it down in order to be immersed in the explosions of color.


Oh!  And check out the moon!  Our city always has their fireworks display on July 3rd, and despite getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes, and sweating our way through them, the moon dazzled me…even more than the fireworks.  It started off pink, but I didn’t have my camera.  I made Nicholas run home to get it.

I love the moon.

We have been so busy lately.  Nicholas played in a Lacrosse tournament over the weekend in the 90+ degree heat.  Which meant that I had to sit in that heat to watch.  They played two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday.  I got sunburned…enough said.  Katie also had to play Softball in the heat.  But at least it was only one game in the evening.  Other than those required events that were outside, I have been hiding in the air conditioning.  I am so grateful for a cool house.

The best part about being trapped indoors?  Reading.  It is not unlike those cold winter days…  I only read one book, but it was a good one:  State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  It is set in Minneapolis at first.  In Eden Prairie!  I did my student teaching in Eden Prairie!  I had no idea.  It is such a great surprise to recognize your own back yard in a book.  Even if Minneapolis was only the bookend setting, and the major setting was in the Amazon, it was still a sweet surprise.

This book did not grab me by the throat and keep me like some books.  It was engaging and interesting, but I could put it down and do something else for a while and then go back to it.  The language is beautiful.  Ann Patchett is a wonderful writer.  It wasn’t until over half way through that I started shushing my kids.  I told Sarah to “Leave me in the Amazon!  I don’t want you to keep pulling me back home.”  She totally understood.  There was one scene where I had to get up and pace while I read.  Because I was there.  I was watching a character that I loved.  Oh.  I wanted to help.  The layers in this book are hard to explain, there are so many.  There are global implications, big business implications, personal implications, cultural implications, ethical implications…and I know I have missed some.  I really wish I had someone who read this book with me so I could talk about it.  I don’t want to give anything away to you, because I think I knew too much about it and had some expectations that were not met because of it.  It is definitely worth reading.  However, I really was let down by the end.  I felt like there were MANY threads left untied.  I like endings with neat little bows.  Has anyone out there read this book?  What did you think?  And, if you read it, be sure to check back here and let me know how YOU liked it.  I did love it.  I just wanted more.

I have been plodding along with work as well.  I have been meeting a colleague once a week in order to have a “due date” and get something accomplished.  It has been working like a charm.  She leaves today and is going on vacation for two weeks, so now I have to get busy.  Can you imagine how much I can get done in two weeks?  I also have to start in on my house again.  I have been ignoring all the jobs I would like to get done.  Not only that, but I have a significant portion of my dining room filled with bags that need to leave my house.  I still have high hopes of turning this house into my dream house this summer!  I don’t know if it is feasible though.  This is where I need to sing that song:

“Just what makes those little old ants, / Think they can move that rubber tree plant? / Everyone knows that an ant / Can’t / Move a rubber tree plant. / But they have / Hiiiiigghhh hopes / They have / Hiiiiigghhh hopes….

Wish me luck, I hope that song works.

*Please forgive how poorly this post was written.  Nicholas was talking to me, or to himself in the room while I was trying to concentrate.  I was so happy when he moved on, until I heard the drumming.  The loud, loud drumming which is continuing on as I type this.


  1. July 10, 2012 10:17 am

    Yes, let’s talk about State of Wonder! I definitely felt like the end left me wanting me more. Is it too much to hope for a sequel, or another book where the characters appear again. I really need to re-read it, but I was just so in love with it. Email me if you want to get specific and we’ll see how much I remember!

    Good luck with the house-shape-up! I am probably hosting an at-home birthday party for my soon-to-turn FIVE year old child so there is going to be some major ship-shaping at our house, too. We’ve lived here a year and I have practically NO pictures hung. SO SAD!

    • July 13, 2012 1:04 pm

      First of all, I know I said it on Facebook earlier, but Thomas is FIVE?! I remember reading the birth announcement on Christina’s blog. I remember the four-leaf clover and everything. HOW can that be five years ago?! And…along the same vein…how is it possible that you have been in your brand-new house a YEAR? Seriously. Time just needs to slow down.

      I will email you about State of Wonder. I have MANY questions for you.

  2. July 10, 2012 3:53 pm

    I am extra glad it’s not melty-hot here. We have had ONE day of extra-high (for us) temps and it was NOTHING. Today: cool and rainy again. But no complaining here, the sun came out at the end! This post of yours made me happy; sorry it took me so long to catch up!

    • July 13, 2012 1:05 pm

      There shall be no apologies from you. YOU are my very best commenter. I am actually looking for clouds. That is sad isn’t it?

  3. July 11, 2012 11:08 am

    I was so engrossed in State of Wonder while I was reading it. Her writing is just beautiful, and she created such a compelling world. But at the end I also felt a little bit disappointed. I think it’s that at the end of the day, Ann Patchett’s characters do things that I don’t understand, and can’t connect with. I had the same feeling with “The Patron Saint of Liars”. Loved and was engrossed while I read, but then finished and thought, “would a mother really do that??”.

    I recently read Ann Patchett’s Kindle Single on writing, called “The Getaway Car”. Loved it. And she talks about different writers who have influenced her writing, and I’ve started reading a few of those. Am reading an old one right now, Raymond Chandler’s “The Long Goodbye”. Don’t usually read detective fiction and am loving being lost in it. And Patchett is so right, Chandler’s description is amazing.

    What are you going to read next?

    • July 13, 2012 1:07 pm

      Yes! “I think it’s that at the end of the day, Ann Patchett’s characters do things that I don’t understand, and can’t connect with.” You totally nailed it! Not to mention all the questions…SO MANY. I don’t want to give them away, maybe I will copy you on the email to Sam? Would that be okay?

      I am reading The Skillful Teacher by Stephan Brookfield right now…excellent ideas, but a difficult read. I am becoming an expert procrastinator because of it! After that I am on to Monster by Walter Dan Myers. Would you care to join me?

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