Showing posts from November, 2010

Struggling to Keep Focus

I can tell it's nearing the end of the semester. Homework is a struggle. While I've been pretty good about staying on top of my reading, I'm starting to daydream about all the books waiting for me on my to-be-read shelf.

Not that I haven't been able to squeeze in a couple of fun reads over the last few weeks. I have. A few weeks ago I read A Wrinkle in Time and, a week or so later, The Sea of Monsters in the Percy Jackson series. This weekend I not only finished my weekly reading assignment in Our Mutual Friend and a few scholarly articles on Dickens's treatment of the feminine, but I also managed to finish off Seduced by Sin.

Those three books were easy, quick reads. I purposely picked them because I know that I can't afford to get drawn into any of the more complex novels sitting on my TBR shelf. Young adult novels don't require a lot of brain power or thoughtful reflection. The same goes for historical romances. Not that I'm knocking them. Q…

I Am Thankful For..

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for the husband who cooks and cleans, who helps with homework, who takes my boys hunting and fishing, who lets me soak in the tub and enjoy a good book, who bites his tongue when he'd rather not, and who loves me despite all my faults.

I am thankful for my oldest boy who plays the same games his brother wants to play, who doesn't argue with us when we remind him to do his homework, who is content to be alone or can enjoy a good friend's company, and who still asks me to tuck him at night.

I am thankful for my littlest boy who gives me hugs and kisses whenever and wherever, who cleans his room even when he doesn't want to, who idolizes his big brother, and who writes love letters and leaves them lying around the house for Mom and Dad to find.

I am so thankful for each of them.

I am also thankful that the recent scare with my brother didn't have anything to do with the heart problems he had as an infant. I'm thankful the EKG…

A snippet from Great-Grandpa's Writings

Disclaimer:I did not write this story. As I did not write this story, it does not belong to me. All credit is due to my Great-Grandfather, Arthur E. Spencer.

Need Help...from Kazakhstan.

So, I've mentioned that I'm enrolled in two classes this semester, haven't I? There's the Dickens class that meets every week and then there's the online Kazakh-American Reading Group that I'm participating in as an Independent Study course.

The first course is going well. I've managed to stay on top of the reading. Done well on both the first presentation and the small paper. As of today, I'm about halfway through the last book, Our Mutual Friend, and beginning to work on my final paper. Things I have complete control over.

What I don't have control over? My Kazakh-American Reading Group. Participation has been a bit sketchy. We only had a handful of Kazakh women participating and all of them were doing it because they wanted to, not because they were in any way required to. On the other side of that equation, there were the handful of graduate students who are absolutely required to participate if they want a good grade at the end of the se…

Enjoying the Weekends

The last couple of weekends have been so very enjoyable. Right now we're in between sporting seasons, so there are no games or meets to attend on the weekend. We're also in between holidays, so there are no parties planned or last minute shopping to do. Nope, these last couple of weekends have been completely free.

For the first time in who knows how long, my weekends have been free!

Sure, I've had to do homework, but even that has been relatively easy because I've only had to read and make a few comments in my Kazakh-American reading group. No papers to write just yet. Research, yes. Actual writing, no.

Since the homework has been on task and the house isn't a complete disaster, I've been able to fight a few monsters on Final Fantasy XIII, read a couple of non-school-assigned books, and watch a few movies.

This weekend I also made a point of visiting with my Grandma. She's 82 and not in the best of health. Her lungs can't really handle Michigan …

Love This Quote

I resent people who say writers write from experience. Writers don't write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don't. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

~Nikki Giovanni, interview published in Black Women Writers at Work (1984)


While the hubby and I were on vacation last week, we did a whole lot of nothing. It was fabulous.

Of course, since it was the end of October, there were lots of Halloween related activities to help us pass the time.

There was the annual trip to the Pumpkin stand.

Which, of course, means that there would be carvings to do. I love the fact that, for the most part, the boys are capable of doing the messy work themselves! The only thing the hubby and I really did was cut out the stalks. The boys emptied out the guts and did most of the cutting. Very little parental assistance was required.

Gage's is on the left, KC's is on the right. Not bad! KC's carving was 100% all him, but Gage required some assistance on the mouth and one of the eyes.

Later that week, we visited the little man's 4th grade classroom during their Halloween party. Even though we were a tad bit late getting there, he still gave me the thumbs up.

After the kids finished eating, there was a make-your-own-…