Friday, March 27, 2015

TGIF: Hopping and Booking Through Friday (03/27/2014)

My husband woke up this morning with a killer headache, and so I volunteered to drive our daughter to school today. Wouldn't you know it, the minute we get there, she runs to the restroom and throws up. Home again we go. She's resting (I'm not so lucky that she'll sleep--I doubt she'll even nap), and I am hoping she'll let me do a little blogging today. I am five reviews behind and had hoped to work on those. They may have to wait. It's not like they haven't waited this long already . . . Here's hoping she is feeling better soon! Stomach troubles are no fun.

Every Thursday Deb from Booking Through Thursday asks a question which participants respond on their own blogs on Thursdays (or any day they can, thankfully for me). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
Do you carry a book around with you? Inside the house? Whenever you go out? Always, everywhere, it’s practically glued to your fingers? (And yes, digital books very much DO count as long as you’re spending time reading on your Kindle or iPad and not just loading them with books that you never actually read.)
Now I feel bad about not being more detailed in my Day in the Life post yesterday. One of the first things I grab before heading downstairs in the morning is my e-reader and maybe a print book if I just happen to be reading one. I make sure one or both are tucked into my purse when on my way out the door. If I am staying in, I like to have them close by just in case I get the chance to read.

Sometimes you can find me walking and reading. I learned the hard way that I cannot read while going up and down my stairs, although sometimes I still snatch peeks in my book as I go because, well, how could I not?

Do you take a book everywhere you go? 

Book Blogger Hop

Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Which books have you read in the past month that still have you thinking back to the storyline and the characters? (submitted by Elizabeth)
I read more than my average amount of books last month.  This month is a different story. It was not a month for reading despite my best intentions.  As a result, all of the books I've read this month were pretty memorable. That's not the answer you want though, is it?

Is it fair to say Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which I have read before? Probably not since I am just over half way through (I'm taking my time reading it since my husband and I are reading it together) and haven't yet finished it.

I finished the third book in Anne Bishop's The Others series early in the month, Vision in Silver, which I devoured and absolutely loved.  Meg is a blood prophet, a trailblazer. She's innocent and kind, like a child in many ways, still learning the ways of the world. She has a way with people--and the others--winning over their hearts, including mine. She is also extremely brave, pushing herself, challenging herself.  And Sam, the young wolf whose mother was killed in front of him. He has suffered so much and has finally come out of his shell. It's hard not to love him and feel for him as a mother.

After reading all three books (Written in Red, Murder of Crows and Vision in Silver) in a row it is hard not to think about them still, admittedly. Still, I imagine this book and the two before will stay with me awhile given how much I enjoyed them and the world Anne Bishop has created. I hate having to wait for the next in the series.

Have any books you read this month stand out for you more than another? 

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Day In the Life of Me

Tomorrow Trish of Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity is hosting "A Day in the Life" event, encouraging bloggers to share one day out of their lives with each other. I went back and fourth on how to do it, tried taking notes of my day, laid it all out on paper and, well, it is really rather dull. I thought of telling you about a weekend day as those are the days the family is all together--Saturdays are for soccer, the park and library visits and Sunday are often our lazy days--but my narrative took me in another direction as I began to write. I did not think I would have much to say, regardless.

On a work day, I get up while it is still dark outside (around 4:30 a.m.), sometimes after pushing snooze, sometimes not. I kiss my 4 year old sleeping daughter and husband before heading downstairs. I am supposed to work out first thing, but I haven't been good about it lately, I'm ashamed to say (I need an injection of self-motivation). If I do work out, I go back upstairs to shower, and then come back down to eat breakfast. When I do not work out, I sleep in a little longer (or catch up on the Walking Dead if it is Monday). I enjoy the quiet time of the early morning. I feed the cats and give them some attention. Sometimes I squeeze in a little reading or listen to an audio book. More often than not, I catch up on e-mail or Facebook on my phone. I don't have much time before I have to rush out the door to work, which is about a fifteen to twenty minute drive. I love the drive. I have an uninterrupted view of the sunrise these days, as it peeks out from behind the distant mountains. Of course, if I am running late it means the sun is right in my eyes. I try not to be late.

There's no rushing around to get my daughter ready. My husband does all that. He starts work later and is the one responsible for getting himself and our daughter up, dressed and out the door for work and school. I rarely see either one awake before I leave for the office.

My work day involves a lot of paperwork, consultations, computer work and talking on the phone. There's the occasional meeting. I could tell you stories . . . But, really, I can't. I work with sensitive and confidential information. Some days are harder than others. I generally like my job and the work I do. I work with a great group of people. I'm known for bursting into song at any moment and for my dry sense of humor. I am also the queen of the non sequitur. My coworkers and I find laughter where we can. It helps balance out the days that are heaviest with bad news--the death of a child or another tragedy or something more than the usual crisis intervention we deal with every day. I never take my breaks, but I nearly always take my lunch. I need it for my mental well being, if nothing else.  The quiet time recharges me.  I work ten hour shifts, sometimes longer, which make for long days.  My job is harder now that I am a parent. The stories I hear and deal with at work have never been pleasant, but as a parent it's gotten harder to not think of my own little girl--to put her face on the abused and neglected children I hear about. I say this not for sympathy or anything like that.  It just is. 

I am lucky to make it to my daughter's school/daycare in time to pick her up before closing. Just barely. I am the luckiest mother alive to have found such a caring daycare provider and teacher. I trust her completely, more than I do my own mother and mother-in-law. I dread the day my daughter goes into kindergarten and has to start somewhere new. Right now, she's just a mile, if that, away from my office. But my biggest fear is putting her with someone else, someone I don't know, while I am at work. With the type of job I do and the stories I hear, I do not trust easily.  Yes, so, I will definitely be one of those overprotective parents.

As I drive to my daughter's school, I often wonder which side of my daughter will greet me that day: a happy girl or a cranky one.  Usually it's both.  She's always happy to see me, running to give me a hug (except on the rare occasion she doesn't because she's too busy playing). I got into this bad habit early on of letting her play awhile before we leave. I could blame my daughter's best friend's mother as I was only following her lead when Mouse was old enough to walk and voice her own opinion. The best friend's mother is who I wish I was as a mother.  She's always so patient with her daughter. I have never heard her raise her voice other than to call across the yard. She always sits with her daughter when she first arrives, talks to her and asks her how her day went. She offers these perfect little lessons to the children, knowing just what to say, right on their level--like when breaking up an argument, helping them express their emotions, encouraging them to share, etc.  She's always got these great ideas for projects to try. She really isn't perfect, of course. I know this and I know I shouldn't compare myself to other mothers, but I still find myself wishing I was more like her.  

I couldn't sit Mouse down and talk to her when I first arrive at her school even if I wanted to. Mouse is too quick to hug me and then run off to play some more. She sometimes comes back for me, wanting me to play with her too. If I try to ask her about her day, she's quick to redirect the conversation back to her game. I don't push it. I let her play.  Sometimes we sit and draw together. Most of the time, I really don't mind. It helps my brain shift from work to home and I enjoy interacting with my daughter and her friends until the other parents arrive. I think her teacher appreciates the chance to talk with adults for a bit, even when we're all still there a half hour after closing (sometimes she is the reason we stay so late).

Most days we play in the school's front yard, Mouse or her best friend often convince some other child and their parent that playing in the "meadow" is a must before anyone goes home. Us parents often joke about how the children spend all day together and yet they act like they haven't seen each other all day. They cry when it's time to go.  Mouse and I are ALWAYS the last to get in the car to go. Sometimes she goes easily.  On others she fights me. Cries (although less of that now that she's getting older, thank goodness). Pouts. Runs away. Hides. I tell her if she doesn't get in the car by the time I count to five she won't get to watch television when we get home. That usually gets her to cooperate. When it doesn't, I keep adding to the list until I've lost all patience; I worry about the day she's too big for me to pick up and carry to the car, her hugging me and pouting. I always follow through with my threats if she doesn't cooperate--and, of course, that brings on tears once we get home, and she realizes I was serious.

Most recently though, I've taken to sitting down on the school's front lawn beside her when she clearly isn't ready to leave after everyone else has, and she'll climb into my lap. We sit there and look at the sky--and finally she'll talk a little about her day. By the time I force the issue of leaving, she's more ready to go. I don't know if this is the best way to handle it, but I prefer the more peaceful approach--and it isn't like we have to rush home, not really.

Mouse doesn't often talk to me on the car ride home, at least not at first. I try to engage her, but she's often lost in thought looking out the window, sucking her thumb.  I find the most likely way to draw her out is to tell her about my day, about the people I "played" with and who might have been sick or feeling sad that day or maybe who won an award or was extra helpful. She'll then ask me questions and express her concern, if appropriate. Maybe she opens up about her own day more.  Yesterday, in fact, she told me she told me she couldn't tell me about her day. With a little more prodding she told me she couldn't tell me or her teacher that one of the girls at her school hit her. Her friend was mad because Mouse had told her she had a secret and wouldn't share it "because then it won't be a secret."  *Sigh* It can't be easy, can it? I wasn't too excited about having this conversation in the car. We did talk though. About her being hit, about her not wanting to share with me what happened, and about secrets (which, by the way, is a concept she doesn't really understand--we're working on it).

Sometimes on the car ride home we sing. My daughter's current favorite songs are Roar by Katy Perry and Shake It Off by Taylor Swift.  I love it though when we sing songs together that she learned in school or that I taught her (all those old camp songs which still come in handy after all).  When she's first trying to learn a song, she will have me sing it over and over until she can sing along.

Let's not talk about this past Monday when I got distracted and did not buckle her into her car seat, only for her to tell me when we were half way home, on a stretch of road that was hard to find a spot to stop.  "Look, Mommy! I can get out of my seat by myself," as I catch sight of her leaning forward to point out a bag of garbage in the middle of the road, and tell her quite firmly to sit back in her seat. I won't mention that when I got out of the car, I left the car running, ran around to her side to buckle her in and couldn't open the door. Or the front passenger door. They were both locked.  I will skip the part about how panic filled me as I saw my cell phone on the passenger seat, just out of reach, and I wondered if I would have to flag down a car to stop so I could call my husband for help, all the while my daughter locked inside a running car.  The images of all possible disasters ran through my mind. I ran around to the driver's side, and fortunately it was still unlocked. I felt a huge wave of relief.  My daughter, once she was all buckled in and we were on our way again, said quite calmly, "We won't be doing that again, will we, Mom?"  No, baby girl.  No, we won't. We laughed about it, and, of course, she told her dad all about it that evening.

When we finally get home, Mouse will want to stand in the driveway for awhile, maybe run up and down it before wanting to open the door to the house all by herself.  What happens next varies, with the exception of always asking for a snack and juice.  We talk more about her day. We take a closer look at any art work or worksheets she brought home.  Mouse helps me unload the dishwasher or load it, depending. She likes to help me change the cats' water too. Sometimes we play dress up or pretend. Or do a puzzle. On days when I am just too tired, I turn on the television and we watch cartoons together. Mouse likes to cuddle up next to me, climb on my lap.  She doesn't like to sit still, but she has to be touching me, somehow. And with that, of course, everything is right with the world.

At least until I tell her she cannot have the cookie she asks for until after dinner or she gets mad because I won't let her linger outside longer or I am not doing just what she asked me to in our game of pretend. It's clear she's tired at that point, overstimulated and cranky. There are sometimes tears and screaming. In the worst moments, my nerves are frayed, if they weren't already, usually because she gave me a hard time about coming home as well.  At those times, I am losing my patience and my husband is racing home to rescue both of us from each other. In the best moments, I redirect her and she is able to let go of whatever made her mad in the first place. Or we may talk about what made her mad and work through her emotions. Often, she just needs a hug and reassurance that her world isn't falling apart,  and to know that I still love her. What I'm thinking though is that she needs to eat and sleep. 

When my husband gets home from work, Mouse is perfectly happy. Things have calmed down by then and we're both more or less happy.  Often at this point, the television is on, Mouse is drawing and/or watching a cartoon. We enjoy dinner together about 7:00 or 7:30 p.m. depending--or rather, we constantly remind Mouse she needs to eat or she'll go to bed without dinner in between our own bites of food. (I could write an entire other post on meal times in our house.)

At around 8:00 p.m. on a good night, later if it's not, there's bath shower time (God forbid it is hair washing night because that is sure to bring on some tears), and maybe, if she's lucky, a little more television time before Mouse's teeth are brushed.  Or perhaps a game with Daddy. Then it's story time and sleep.  Finally.

Only . . . Bed time is not always easy. It can be a fight to get her upstairs to take a bath shower, and to get her to brush her teeth. It's a fight to get her into bed.  Not every night.  But many nights. Sometimes their are tears.  Often there are attempts at procrastination.  She can be quite creative in that regard. Mouse rarely does anything at top speed. She meanders and takes detours. We try to be firm and sometimes scold when it goes on too long.

Somewhere in all of this my husband takes over, and I sneak away.  Maybe to shower and often to read a little before bed. When Mouse is having a good evening, I enjoy the peace and quiet. When she isn't, well, I struggle with going to her when she cries for me or just letting her dad handle it. I kind of use him as my litmus test in what to do. If he's feeling frustrated, I rescue him. As strong as the urge is to run to her every time she calls me, I am not sure it's the best idea. I feel torn between wanting to meet her needs and help her feel secure and in wanting her to be independent and not rely on me so much.

Mouse does not seem to mind getting into bed.  Maybe because it means cuddling with me. She nestles up close and closes her eyes. Then they pop open as does her mouth. She has more to tell me about her day. As tired as I am, try to tell myself to enjoy these moments.  Be glad she wants to talk to me. It can be hard though, given how early I have to get up in the morning, as drained as I am. There are times I send her off to her father, the night owl, who lets her watch him play a game or read on his computer. Then there are the moments when I hate myself, when I tell her through gnashed teeth to "Please, just go the sleep." To be fair, sometimes I ask Mouse questions and encourage her to stay awake just a little longer. Sometimes I stick my leg high in the air and she does too. We touch our toes. We share nose kisses. We giggle and laugh. I suppose one can fault me for being inconsistent in keeping to a strict routine.  Regardless, I always, always kiss her and tell her I love her and to have sweet dreams.  Most nights she falls asleep first, and I drift off after.

And that's a day in my life.  More or less.

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (03/24/2015)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top 10 Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit. This is a category in which I will read everyone else's list and wish I had thought to put this or that book on my list. I kept my list to mostly books I red during elementary school, with the exception of two, which I read in 7th grade. There are so many! It was hard to limit the list to just 10.

1. Harry Cat's Pet Puppy by George Selden ~ I named one of my childhood dogs after the puppy in this book.  It's a story that has always been close to my heart.

2. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George ~ A must read coming of age story about a girl trying to find her place in the world.

3. Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library by Eth Clifford ~ Oh, how I love this book! Imagine being trapped in the library overnight . . . 

4. Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, James D. Houston ~ I read this in school as required reading and loved it. It is nonfiction, about Jeanne's childhood in a Japanese Interment camp in California.

5.Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume ~ This is not my favorite Judy Blume book, but it's one I would like to read again at some point now that I have a daughter of my own.

6. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell ~ Karana is one of my favorite childhood characters. Her story is one all girls (and boys too) should read.

7. Tarantulas on the Brain by Marilyn Singer ~ It is because of this book I am not afraid of spiders.

8. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton ~ I loved this book and went on to read anything I could get my hands on by the author after I read it.

9. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor ~ This book is one I have never forgotten; the story of the Logan family, Cassie in particular, made me angry and sad and it inspired me.

10. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White ~ A beautiful and bittersweet story--everyone should read this one.

Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think? 

Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.

Today I thought I would share the opening of the E.B. White's classic, Charlotte's Webb:
Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
"Out to the hoghouse," replied Mrs. Arable. "Some pigs were born last night."
"I don't see why he needs an ax," continued Fern, who was only eight. 
"Well," said her mother, "one of the pigs is a runt. It's very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decided to do away with it."
Would you continue reading? Have you read this one?

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

From the Archives: Spending time with Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. The first half of 2006 seemed to be my time for series reading. I read quite a few books by Alexander McCall Smith during that time. Here are some of my reviews from 2006: 

Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3) by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2001
Fiction; 227 pgs

Spending time with Mma Ramotswe was refreshing and fun. The main character in the No. #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series was her usual charming self. With the aid of her capable assistant detective, Mma Makutsi, there is not much that Mma Ramotswe can’t do. In the third book of the series, the detectives are asked to uncover a plot to poison the brother of a well-known government man as well as determine the integrity of several contestants in an upcoming beauty pageant. There is simplicity about the characters and the way Mr. Smith tells his story and yet it is so full of common sense and wisdom just the same. It was impossible not to laugh out loud throughout the book and even shed a tear near the end.

The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4) by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2002
Fiction; 191 pgs

A new detective has opened up his own business in town; Mma Makutsi decides to start her own business to earn extra money; Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has yet to set a date for the wedding; and Mma Ramotswe is asked to locate a couple of women from a man’s past. Alexander McCall Smith’s fourth novel in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series was a pleasant way to spend time. It’s hard not to like Mma Ramotswe and the other characters in the series. Although not quite as enjoyable as the third book in the series, I did like the book.

The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5) by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2003
Fiction; 198 pgs

The Full Cupboard of Life was a delightful little book. Mr. Smith brings back the wonderful characters in the fifth installment of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. This time around, Mma Ramotswe is called upon to determine which of a wealthy woman’s suitors has good intentions when it comes to marrying her. There is also the little concern of a parachute jump fundraiser which Mma Ramotswe’s fiancĂ©e J.L.B. Matekoni has been recruited to participate. The ending of the novel was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed spending time in Botswana with old friends, and as usual, Mr. Smith has created an easy going and heartwarming novel that leaves behind a feeling of satisfaction and happiness.

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #6) by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2004
Fiction; 233 pgs

Although more melancholy than previous books in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is my favorite in the series so far. The themes of the various stories throughout the book seemed to be in a similar vein, more so than in previous books. I felt that I was given a closer look into the lives of the characters, including the lead character, Mma Ramotswe, as she comes face to face with a person much better forgotten from her past. Assistant Detective Mma Makutsi continues to gain my admiration in each book as she shows off her skill at observation and assisting her friends. In this, the 6th novel in the series, Mma Makutsi takes up dancing lessons, the older apprentice quits his job to be with a wealthy older woman, and a couple of charming new characters are introduced. Mr. Smith has written another light hearted and enjoyable novel that kept me entertained and wanting to read more.

Blue Shoes and Happiness (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #7) by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2006
Fiction; 227 pgs

Author Alexander McCall Smith has written another enjoyable novel about the characters from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. In the 7th installment in the series, Mma Ramotswe and friends investigate the cause for unease in a nearby town, a doctor whose behavior is questionable, and the source behind a blackmail threat. On the personal front, Mma Ramotswe considers going on a diet and Mma Makutsi fears she’s lost her fiancĂ© when she tells him she’s a feminist. As with previous books in the series, Blue Shoes and Happiness made for a relaxing reading experience as I visited with my old friends in Botswana. The Africa that Mma Ramostwe lives in seems so beautiful. It’s hard not to love the charm of the people and the country as portrayed by Mr. Smith.

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TGIF: Hopping As I Muse and Book It Through Friday (03/20/2015)

Every Thursday Deb from Booking Through Thursday asks a question which participants respond on their own blogs on Thursdays (or any day they can, thankfully for me). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
What new book would make you spring out of your chair and run to the bookstore? (Or library, or nearest computer screen, depending on your book-delivery-method of choice.)
I still remember going to my first midnight release party. It was for the final Harry Potter book.  I was not one of those who started reading as soon as I hit the store parking lot, but I did go home that night, went straight to bed and spent the entire next day reading the book, start to finish. Then there was the time I was at the bookstore when it opened on a Tuesday, the day one of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series' books was being released (back when I read the series). I had taken the day off work in anticipation of buying and reading the book. I was sorely disappointed to find out the bookstore hadn't yet put the books out. I had to ask someone for it and was told to come back later in the day. I guess the books were still in a box in the back. I was not a happy camper, to say the least.

I haven't gone book crazy like that in years.  At least not more than a squeal and maybe a little feet stomping in glee. I rarely buy or seek out books immediately upon their release anymore.  An already overflowing TBR collection, my war on clutter (I didn't say I was winning . . .), and my tighter budget make me much less likely to buy a new release, at least not right away. I like to wait for a good deal generally, but sometimes I cave and buy it if I just can't wait any longer. Usually with the next book in a trilogy, especially if it's a final book. I do not buy books at the rate I once did. I think I am most guilty of buying earlier books in a series when I get a series book to review from a publisher or decide to buy an e-copy of a book I have in print because it is more convenient to read the book on an e-reader. And those Kindle or Nook daily deal can sometimes be irresistible . . . 

The closest I probably come though is with Jim Buthcer's Dresden Files series and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone books. They are about the only two author's whose books I must buy in hardback these days. And even then I am so behind on both series that I do not run out to get them right away.  

What new releases can't you wait to get your hands on? 

Book Blogger Hop

Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Do you read more on a rainy day or on a gorgeous day so you can be outside? (submitted by Elizabeth)
Someone at work yesterday asked which I would be willing to give up forever if I had to choose: chocolate or cheese. My immediate thought was chocolate, but then I started thinking of all the foods I eat that include cheese as a main ingredient.  My final answer has to be cheese.  Sorry, my beloved chocolate. I thought of that as I read today's question. 

I live in a relatively mild climate (although summers can be torture without an air conditioner). No snow, which means no hibernating in the winter on designated snow days. Rainy days are few and far between, but still much loved. I love the idea of spending a rainy day reading all day. It rarely happens (either no rain or I'm working), mind you, but it's a wonderful idea in theory. In contrast, I often imagine myself stretched out on a blanket in the park reading on a beautiful sunny day, a nice breeze to keep the heat bearable. It has been ages since I last did that. My daughter is not yet of an age where I am comfortable taking my eyes off her for long as she plays--whether near me or from a reasonable distance.

More often than not, I do my reading indoors, usually at night before bed or at the office during my lunch break. I read on the weekends when my daughter's favorite show is on if I have nothing more pressing to do, or sometimes when my husband and daughter are keeping each other entertained and I can slip away unnoticed.  

Ultimately, the weather rarely plays a factor in how much reading I do. Both sound like perfect reading weather options to me--if only the stars would align to make that possible.

What about you?  Do you prefer rainy day reading or being able to read outdoors?

Musing Mondays, hosted by Jenn from A Daily Rhythm, asks participants a random question every week, asking that they then post their links and visit the other participants to see what they have to say.

How often do you use your local library? Are you happy with their availability?
I love my local library. It is on the small side, but it has a marvelous children's selection, rows and rows of children's books. There is a nice size area for children and their parents to sit and read.  Just about every Saturday, we visit the library, taking advantage of the reading selection and, as of late, the air conditioning.  After a couple hours of soccer and playing at the park, it is nice to rest awhile in a cool place. It has also proven to be good shelter when the rain starts falling. 

My daughter enjoys selecting her own books to read, pulling them off the shelves and bringing them to either my husband or me, whoever she wants to read to her at that moment. I will sometimes select a few for her to read as well.  We don't always check out the books, although occasionally we do. 

The adult selection is made up mostly of popular fiction and it's not a huge selection at that. I am not sure I would always be able to find what I am looking for if I wanted something specific. The city (and county, for that matter) has quite a few library branches, however, and I imagine the inter-library loan program might help with that. 

As it is, I rarely use the library for my own purposes. I feel guilty at the mere idea of checking out books I have to return by a deadline when I have my own unread books sitting at home to read. There is another part of me that worries if my not using the library for myself is something my daughter notices and will be influenced by. I keep telling myself I will start using the library more--especially for books on my wish list (rather than buying them)--but it hasn't happened yet. 

Do you frequent your local library? What do you think of the selection there?

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