Tag Archives: books



I am currently reading three books:

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s by Temple Grandin

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The most recent addition to my bookshelf is Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy. I saw it at Costco and it was cheaper than on Amazon, so I couldn’t pass it up. It’s next in line for reading. I’ve never read it before, but Binchy’s Tara Road has been one of my favorite books since high school, so I want to read this new one. 

I usually have more than one book going at a time, usually from different genres, so I can pick up the kind of book I’m in the mood for at the time.

A couple of days ago, I watched the movie Saving Mr. Banks. It became an instant favorite, and I watched it again today. I think I will watch it very often over the next few months, that’s how much I love it.

It inspired me to re-read all of the Mary Poppins books. There’s 8 of them. It’s probably been over 10 years since I last the first 4, and it’s about time I do it again, and read the last 4 as well. However, I don’t want to just borrow them from the library. No, I want to own them. So, I made a list of all the books so that when I am at the thrift store I can search for them.

Then I couldn’t stop, so I made a list of many other books I want to own…then went to one of my bookshelves for some inspiration.

While looking through my bookshelf, I noticed something curious. On the Romanian books, the titles on the spine are printed opposite the American books. See what I mean?

Curiouser and curiouser.

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On Reading

Today I realized two reasons why I love to read:

1: It makes me proud. 

I got my car detailed today (I haven’t had a car this clean inside and out for YEARS!). While I was waiting, there were 3 men around me who were also waiting, and they were all doing something on their smartphones. I pulled out my Alice in Wonderland book and started reading where I had left off last time I was waiting for something. And yes, it made me proud to be a book reader amongst the smartphone men. Who knows, maybe they were reading a book on their smartphone (I doubt it). However, there is just something about holding a book in your hand that makes it more worthwhile. 

2: One word can trigger the memory of a whole story.

I have recently (meaning last week) discovered the beauty of Panko bread crumbs. And after my car wash today I went to the grocery store and I bought pork chops (among other things). So when I got home, I looked for a recipe involving pork chops and Panko bread crumbs. Found quite a few, and decided on one after I read “No need for frying, this oven baked, lower fat pork chop recipe is delicious served with pasta and your favorite simple marinara or puttanesca sauce.”

Is it the “no need for frying” that got to me? NO. 

Is it the “lower fat” that got me? NO. 

Was it the “puttanesca” that got me? ABSOSTINKINLUTELY YES. 

The last (and only) time I hard the word “puttanesca” was when I read A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love that series!


Reading the word “puttanesca” again brought back the memory of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny being forced to cook for the evil Count Olaf and making puttanesca sauce. I had never eaten it then, and I still haven’t eaten it (if I ever to make it, I am leaving out the anchovies), but what matters is that ONE WORD can bring back a whole memory of a book I have read. Like magic. 

And there you have it. Two of the many reasons why I love to read. 

P.S. Shout out to Texas Car Wash on Eldridge here in Houston, TX for doing a great job with my car.

P.P.S. Shout out to all the writers ever. 

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Captivated by Books

I love holding a book in my hands, getting cozy, and reading.
I also love doing whatever I feel like (cooking, cleaning, resting) and listening to an audio book.

Even when I am here in Romania, I take time to read.

There are some books that captivate me no matter how many times I re-read them.

Namely, Harry Potter.

I just finished re-reading (well, listening to) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with my roommate. And every time I re-read the part where Dumbledore dies, I can’t help but cry. If it’s an audio book, I can’t multitask during the part where they are in the astronomy tower and Snape kills Dumbledore, when they are with Hagrid and he finds out what happened, and when they are in the hospital wing afterwards.

I simply can’t. It is sad every time and I feel like I need to devote my full attention to times like that.

When we were at the beginning of the book, I asked my roommate “Wait, is this the one where Dobby dies? Or is that the next one?” She assured me that it’s the next one, and I said “Oh, good. I’m glad Dobby is still alive.” I later remembered that it couldn’t have been this one because he dies while they are searching for the Deathly Hallows.

Even though Cedric, Sirius,  Dumbledore, Hedwig, Dobby, Fred, and Snape die each time I read the books or watch the movies, it is still sad every time. And if I don’t actually cry, I at least shed a tear. And when I read an earlier book, I am glad they are still alive.

How do books have the power to captivate us over and over again?

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Olfactory Sensations

Smells. Scents. Olfactory.

I love the smell of crayons – but not just any old crayons – it must be Crayola crayons.


I love the smell of rain.


Especially in green wooded areas, like Washington.


I love the smell of red, ripe, juicy strawberries.


I love the smell of a juicy orange (even though I don’t eat them because I can’t stand the texture).


I love the smell of warm oatmeal (even though, once again, I don’t eat it because I can’t stand the texture).


I love the smell of freshly baked cookies.


I love the smell of old books.


I love the smell of berries…black-, rasp-, straw-, blue-, etc.


I love the smell of a clean little infant.


I love the smell of a campfire (especially the way the clothes you wore smell the day after, and the day after that, until you wash them.)


I love the smell of a candle store, particularly Yankee Candle Co.


I love the smell of a freshly clean house.Female hand wiping dining table

I love the smell of warm pecan pie.

pecan pie

I love the smell of most warm pies, actually.


Ok, I love the smell of most baked goods. You got me.

baked goods

I am forever grateful for the sense of smell.

I am grateful for my nose.


It’s the little things that

make life beautiful.

**first 16 images were obtained from Google image search**

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First Monday

Happy first Monday of 2010! The day I go back to work!

The girls started school again today. Natalie and Clara…sweet dears!

Poor Lucas is teething again….so he was understandably grumpy and uncomfortable. He usually has  a HUGE appetite, but hasn’t eaten a lot lately. I hope his teeth just hurry up and come! Poor Lukie! But he was SO good today! We went to Wal-Mart to pick up pictures…he was wonderful! He was his usual self saying “Hi” to everyone! Then I had a doctor appt and he was SO good there, too! I love this boy. He just sat next to me and played with my keys while I read Cy-Fair magazine. Fun stuff. Everyone thought he was the greatest, naturally.

Then we went to the mall, where he was great once again. Then we had to go pick up Natalie and Clara from school. He got tired of sitting in the car, as usual, but oh well.

Monday is library day, so we went to the Cy-Fair library! But first we had to go to the bookstore so I could get my textbooks. I’m taking Biology online through the community college this coming semester. There’s FOUR books I need for this class…it comes to a grand total of $316.85 =( man being out of school for two years, I had forgotten how expensive they are! But really…$316.85 for USED books for ONE class? DANG. Needless to say, if you would like to help me pay for the books feel free! Just send me a check for any amount you wish! A blank check, even!

As usual, the library was great. I love that we each have our own card (with the exception of Lucas…him and I share). First we return our books from last week, and they give me the ones they want to renew. Then we go check if we have anything on hold. They go to the “So” section and I go to the “Pa” section. Surprisingly, none of us had anything today! Usually there’s AT LEAST 10 things between the three of us! Anyways, then they have about 20 or so minutes to themselves in the children’s library. They seem to spend half of it looking for books, and the other half requesting books online so they’ll be here next time we come. I’m glad I taught them to do that….or else I’d be doing it all for them! They’re very fast learners. Luke and I usually just stroll around the children’s library or play on the computer while they do their thing.

Lucas is always so good at the library. As long as he’s got food, he’s happy! Today he had Kix. Yum for his tum!

I got a lot done today! While Luke was napping, I applied to BYU as a “former student”. The nice thing about it is I don’t have to write any essay or anything like I did the first time…because I’ve been there, done that for this AMAZING school. I’m pretty sure I’ll get in, but I don’t think I should be SO confident.

Today, I also started to fill out my FAFSA so I can apply for federal aid! More fun…yay for the government!

And when I got home today, I continued my scholarship search. I’m finding a lot! I just don’t qualify for a lot of them….but some I do! Luckily! Now if only I can win them….


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