Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Garden Dreaming and the New Year~

Here it is the dead of winter and I'm already dreaming about next summer's garden. If only this place weren't infested with rabbits. I feel like Elmer Fudd. If I want a garden, I've got to get serious about my rabbit problem.

Seems brutal, I know. But when you're driving down the driveway early in the morning and you see jackrabbits the size of small dogs running from your garden patch, you know sh*t just got real.  All I really want are some tomatoes and a couple of squash. Is that too much to ask?? I just gave up last summer, hoping the winter would kill them off, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

I've got the most amazing salsa recipe! And an Italian friend gave me an awesome pasta sauce recipe. I just want to grow the tomatoes. So here I am, trying to draw plans for a rabbit-proof garden, which I'm thinking is basically a rabbit-proof cage for vegetables.  If you've got ideas, I'm all ears!! And I have a few months to get it figured out.

Where's Wile E. Coyote when you need him?

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Reading Year in Review~

Happy Winter Solstice!

I've been reading up a storm this year. I've read 24 books, if you count A Christmas Carol, which is more of a long, short story. I know there are lots of readers who go through way more than 24 books in a year, but it's more than I've read in a long time. I made a concerted effort to read diverse literature with diverse protagonists or by under represented authors. Some of the books I enjoyed and others I didn't, but I still feel like I learned something from each book, even if it was just what I don't like in a book. Many of the books featured young protagonists, but not all were classified as Young Adult. Here are some of the best:

Books that Moved Me:

All the Light We cannot See by Anthony Doerr - while technically not YA, the book features two young people, a blind French girl and a poor German boy, living through World War II. Heartbreakingly beautiful work.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - about a young Spokane tribal member growing up on a rural reservation in Washington State. Funny at times, but heartbreaking too.

Books that Made Me Think:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot taught me a lot about genetics and tissue sampling I didn't know and actually made it fascinating.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson  and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou were two memoirs I read, both about young girls growing up during pivotal points in history. They shared so much in common, I wrote a blog about it here.

Books That Made me Laugh:

None really, which makes me think maybe 2016 should be the Year of Funny Books. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens warmed my heart. If you've never actually read it, you should. I'd never read it before and it's absolutely charming. It's rather amazing that the moral of a story published in 1843, that wealth alone cannot bring you happiness in this life, is still a universal truth people need to hear today.

On this shortest day of the year, I'd like to close by wishing all readers, both young and old, will find real, true, lasting peace in their lives. Many thanks to my readers and reviewers. I wish you all the best for 2016~  Happy Reading!