Wednesday, April 01, 2015

March: What I Read

10.  An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty:  I really liked this book, as you can tell from my review.

9.  The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood:  So sweet and very Fannie Flagg

 8.  It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell: A memoir about a fat person who loses weight.  Kind of preachy.  Really good recipe for chocolate fudge cake.

7.  A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray:  Usually I can't handle dead kid books, but this one managed to be funny and terribly sad and really interesting, too, given my obsession with Mormon mommy blogs.

6.  Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro:  A Park Slope playgroup goes to Long Island for the weekend.  A quick, fun read.

5.  Ghettoside: A Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy:  Well written and researched, this true story of black-on-black violence in LA features savior white cops and strike a wrong note in today's political climate.  A bad time for a good book.

4.  Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter:  This reminded me SO MUCH of Harry Crews' A Feast of Snakes, only it was about girls.

3.  The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith:  This book was wonderful, about grief and loss and coping-- really interesting structure, too.

2.  Still Alice by Lisa Genova:  WOW.  This was a fast, brutal read.  So well crafted.

1.  We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas:  This book was genius.  Sweeping, sad, hard to read but worth it.

10 really good books!  And I am at 43 books for the year, and they've all been fun to read.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spontaneous Spring Break, Part 5

You can read all the other parts here, here, here, and here.

We were SO SAD to leave and not only because we decided to drive the whole 797 miles in one clip.  ARGH.

We left at 7:00 and got home at 9:30.  IT WAS THE LONGEST DAY EVAR.  And we lost an hour, which we knew but didn't totally take into consideration.

We also lengthened the trip by hitting up the Badlands one more time because it was just a gorgeous place, and we wanted one more peak.

And we had to stop in Sioux Falls again because we lost Dorothy and Cooper;s coats and called just about every place we had been and finally found them at our shitty first night hotel.  But then, when we got there (just an hour after stopping for lunch), the front desk people couldn't find the damn coats.  But they did give us two other coats we lost that we had no idea were even missing (they were both Jack's-- poor Jack).  We waited around for a few minutes and then got pissily back on the interstate only to get a call that they re-found our coats about 10 miles down the road, and of course we turned back.

And THEN, we decided to make the trip FEEL longer by not letting the kids use any iPads or Nintendos until 4 hours into the ride.  To facilitate this, I sat in the back.  For 4 loud hours.

 Of course, the one day we set an alarm, the kids all slept in.  OF COURSE.
 One more hotel breakfast.
 One more attempt to play casino games.
 Oh, the back.

And now we are unpacked; all the laundry is done, and we are covered up in dumb souvenirs.  An old man in the Mitchell, SD, Culvers reminded us that these busy years with little kids are the best of our lives, and even though the children were fighting and we were all dirty and tired and facing 8 more hours in the car, we were like duh.

Spontaneous Spring Break, Part 4

Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

This was maybe my favorite day.  We loaded up the kids and went to Custer State Park to see buffalo!  If you go to the area, you HAVE to do the wildlife loop at Custer State Park-- it was beautiful and   really fun.

 The sky!

 I like this picture so much, I think we are going to commission a local artist to paint it.  And this is not our usual aesthetic.

 (We pulled the car over at a random cabin "resort" to snap this for Jack to take to school for his pioneer class)

 Oh yeah!  We also went BACK to Mount Rushmore for better pictures.

 Uh, I think this was breakfast.

Oh wait, no, this was how I woke up.  Cooper next to me and Harry snoring in the other bed.
 POOL!  (I took all 4 by myself so Ben could work on his online class.  BEST WIFE EVER.
 I love her spunky little personality.

 She hates hotel pools, and I love that, too.

 At Custer State Park.  This donkey would NOT leave us alone.
 Stalker donkey. This is my phone lock screen picture-- it makes me so happy.

 We had lunch in a random tiny town, Hill City.  Lots of wood carvings.

 All Harry and Jack wanted to do was pan for gold.  We finally found a place, but the owner took it WAY MORE SERIOUSLY than we were planning.

 Still messing up the selfie stick.

 Not this--this is perfect

 We climbed all the way to the top of the viewing area (250 steps, and we had to carry both Dorothy and Cooper), and SAW A RATTLE SNAKE.  We heard it, and Harry was all, oh I think that was a rattle snake, and then Ben SAW THE FUCKING SNAKE, and we all ran down all the stairs.

Straight back to Rapid City for a tantrummy dinner.

 Random picture from Hill City.  The museum was closed, but this is cute anyway.
 OMG BUFFALO at Custer State Park