Thanks to my sister, who is finishing up her last year of Law School and who gave me some Will writing advice, my Last Will and Testament is complete. And I hope it won't be read for many, many, many years.
Thanks to my wonderful husband, Matt Tringali, I was able to drink my coffee and eat a cinnamon bun in peace, reading my book club book as I ate, and then peruse Ikea. No clingy baby to hold. No preschooler to watch. No 5-year-old asking to buy anything. I had as long as I wanted to look at the plethora of things at Ikea. I have been there 2-3 times before, but always with children and the need to get in and out. This morning I saw many harried mom's disciplining their children. I heard many more babies crying in their strollers. I saw more than one toddler run off with an angry and embarrassed mother chasing behind. And I was thankful that it wasn't me. But I did have sympathy for these moms...because next time, it could be me.
Well, I did have a picture of me and my girls taking a walk to our beautiful brand new neighborhood library. But, the camera dropped and it no longer works; thus, I can't get the cute picture. So, a standard internet pic it is.
I decided to take a walk to the library today. Good thing too - Hickory Grove is one of the branches the county is closing due to cut backs. You may begin to notice some sarcasm now. I love the way the government manages our money. Spent a ton of it building a brand new beautiful facility at Hickory Grove. And now they are closing it. Brilliant. I really enjoy seeing my money being thrown in the trash. And my community. I had such high hopes of this helping out the East side. Dashed. And to add insult to injury, the county isn't leaving any branches open on the eastside of the city. I understand that something had to give. I get that if you don't have money, you can't do things. I DON'T get why they are spending $400K on a side walk on Park road, give Henry Jones a bonus, etc. and close so many libraries. Half of them to be exact.
Excuse me now as I go write/call/email/stalk my county commissioners to tell them that their decision is deplorable.
So, I fixed my camera. Here are the pictures I took on the way to the library:
Okay, so I know this isn't a picture of the dinner. But it is the chocolate almond cake that I made. And let's face it, there are days when we eat dinner just so that we can have dessert like this, right? For integrity's sake, I did make pork tenderloin, garlic and onion broccoli, rice, and sour dough bread for really good friends and one of the sweetest families you'll ever meet. I hope they enjoyed the meal, but I hope they enjoyed the dessert even more. Family, if you're reading this, let's get together again and have this cake (can you tell I want some cake?), Wii, and coffee with Bailey's again soon!
This is us and the Henderson's at Lang Van's tonight. They know the owner by name and the owner knows them by name (anyone else singing the Cheers theme song right now?). They have his Diet Coke on the table waiting for him as they see them enter. The Henderson's never open their menu, but just tell the server what they are in the mood for and they fix something for them. They bring him an iced coffee after dinner - which is the best I've ever had.
This is the coolest restaurant I've been to in a long time. But, probably only because of the company. For those who don't know the Henderson's, they are amazing people with amazing kids and amazing wisdom and love for Jesus. So, Henderson's - this post is for you. We love you and thanks for helping me check of another item on my list. Let's go back soon...
Yum. That's about the only thing you can say about these. They are fun size Snickers covered in funnel cake dough, fried and sprinkled with powered sugar. Can't get any better (or unhealthy) than that. I made these with friends at our Oscar party last Sunday. And I'll be makin' them again. AFTER I lose the 10 pounds I want to lose.
Here are some pictures of our many, many books. We love books. I love the way they smell and the way the feel (and for those reasons alone I will never get a Kindle). Don't get me wrong, I love the stories. But, there's so much more to a good book. Like snuggling up under blankets with a cup of tea while you read.
12. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. Good read, but not my favorite. Quirky book even if it is overall forgettable. I'd recommend it though.
11. The Hours by Michael Cunningham - Loved it. One of my favorite books. Cunningham is pretty much brilliant, which I'm guessing is why he won the Pulitzer Prize. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good literature. Almost all his sentences were beautifully crafted. The plot was engaging. The characters fascinating and deep. Can't wait to discuss this in book club this upcoming year.
10. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs - Rated R for explicit homosexual rape, sex, and language. But it's well written, funny at times, and a terrifying look into abuse and mental illness. It's a good book - but only because it's true. Overall, I'd recommend it to those who have had severe abuse in their past (because they can relate and it wouldn't be as shocking) and for those who can stomach lots of language and sex. And I mean explicit. I literally almost threw up at one of the sexual abuse scenes...it's that disturbing. Can't say I'd recommend it to the masses though.
9. Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay - Sad. Tragic. Haunting. Endearing. Highly recommend, especially if you like Nazi Germany stories.
8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon - Loved it and would recommend it to anyone. It's very well written, has a great storyline and characters, and is very believable.
7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - LOVED it. HIGHLY recommend it. One of my favorites this year. It's well worth all the rave it's gotten.
6. Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire - Wouldn't recommend. Although I have a dear friend who liked it and apparently, Amazon.com reviewers liked it, too. I thought his story had so much potential, but failed in his delivery of it.
5. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vindela Vida - Somewhere between a recommend and highly recommend. It's PG13, so take that into account when you pick it up. And it's very heavy. Do not read it when you want an easy novel - you will be disappointed. But, if you're in the mood for some family disfunction (which if you know me, is one of my favorite types of books), this is the book for you.
4. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
2. Travels with Lizbeth by Lars Eighner
1. A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
I would highly recommend 3. Recommend 4. and 2. and never recommend 1. I'll update this post as I finish the books.
Wow, what a busy month! I now have Netflix (thanks to my sister). Although this picture isn't my actual Netflix envelope, mine looked remarkably similar as following directions on how to open things is not my forte. I've asked some friends who have great taste for some slapstick, documentaries, foreign films, and Sundance suggestions. I'm feeling cultured just typing this (ok, maybe just a different kind of "cultured" with the slapstick one).
And I'm happy to say I have very clean teeth. And I will never floss everyday for a month again. Interestingly, I went to the dentist just 9 days after starting the everyday flossing (I remember this because it was my birthday; yes, I must hate myself to schedule a dentist appointment on my birthday). And no cavities and not much teeth scraping, which I'm taking to mean I don't need to floss every day. And no, this is not my cat.
The eating from my pantry/freezer went much better than anticipated. We ate a lot of food that needed to be eaten or that I was just sick of looking at (I think I'll design food labels in my next life). I still have a ton of food left, so I'm planning on carrying the pantry purge into March. Don't be surprised if you see another post labeled:
"The first person to make a comment gets all the rice, pasta, and Rice Krispies I have in my pantry"
I can only have so much pasta and rice in a month. And I really shouldn't make any more Rice Krispie Treats. And yes, this picture really is my freezer. AFTER I "used up" what was in it.