After reading Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon, I needed a light, easy read - not that Boy's Life was intense or difficult, just long - so I picked up Walking in Circles Before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe. I found this novel at the library's book sale a few weeks ago; while I knew it wasn't going to be the most amazing book I'd ever read, it was definitely a lot cheesier than I thought it would be. I honestly don't think I could recommend it to anyone even as a fun, thoughtless read. Nevertheless, there was still a quote (about the narrator's dog) that stood out and made me smile because it reminded me of Crickett:
"He climbed up onto the mattress and curled himself into an apostrophe by my right side."
Crickett has had the apostrophe curl mastered since she was just a pup.
Sure has been a long time since I've done one of these! To celebrate the vernal equinox, I thought I'd share 13 things I found and loved on Etsy when I typed in the keyword "spring." (Click on description to go to the shop.)
I recently finished Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon. While I thought the book was a bit drawn out, I still have to recommend the read; it has a special magic and charm about it that you don't find every day. Here is my favorite quote from the novel (I can completely relate to this sentiment):
“He saw straight through to the cosmic order of things, and
he knew that life is not held only in flesh and bone, but also in those objects
– a good, faithful pair of shoes; a reliable car; a pen that always works; a
bike that has taken you many a mile – into which we put our trust and which
give us back the security and joy of memories.”
Another library used book sale under my belt; I walked away with 18 books for $14.50! Pretty excited about my future reads!
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
Years of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
Gump & Co by Winston Groom (My dad is HUGE Forrest Gump fan so I thought he might find the sequel entertaining. I don't think this novel will be nearly as good as the first but a fun read nonetheless.)
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman (I think this might be one of the first ones I read!)
Walking in Circles Before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (This has been on my to-read list FOREVER!)
Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates (I've never actually read any of her work but I've sure been building a collection.)
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
Light on Snow by Anita Shreve (Actually saw quite a few novels at the book sale by this author. Curious to see what she's all about.)
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Santa's Newest Reindeer by Dennis Trom (I'm a sucker for Christmas books if for nothing else other than display during the holiday season.)
On day two of our Las Vegas trip, Mitch and I spent the morning at a time-share presentation. Mitch signed us up for the "fun" the previous evening in order to get free breakfast, free Blue Man Group tickets, and $50 of food vouchers. The experience wasn't completely awful, just took three hours of our vacation time.
Once we returned from the resort, Mitch and I spent the afternoon wandering the strip and popping in and out of stores that caught our attention. We visited the Coca-Cola and M&M stores, both of which I thought were wonderful; it was fun seeing all the merchandise these companies have to offer!
The Coca-Cola store offers photos with the Coke bear with a superimposed background - not just a green screen - but Mitch and I were too cheap to shell out the $30 for a photo that wasn't all that important to us (the green screen beauty was free with our camera). I mean the bear is cute but not THAT cute. Plus, we are both Photoshop savvy and can make our own background. ;)
So many awesome color combinations and fun names for those combinations at the M&M store!
Blue visited the store while we were there so of course we had to get a photo with him!
After visiting the fun stores, Mitch and I ventured to the Luxor hotel and visited the Bodies: The Exhibition. If you ever have a chance to see this exhibit (I believe there are several around the country), I HIGHLY recommend it. I found it extremely gross but incredibly interesting; definitely not something you want to miss out on!
The exhibit in Vegas features 13 whole-body specimens and more than 250 organs and partial body specimens, dissected and exquisitely preserved (amazing in itself!). You are given an up-close and personal look at the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and reproductive systems; there was also a very interesting area showing the development of a fetus. Unfortunately (and understandably), you're not allowed to take any photos in the exhibit but you can find plenty of photos online if you just do a simple Google search. (Perhaps you want to see what you're getting yourself into before you go!)
After our extremely in-depth anatomy lesson, Mitch and I visited the Monte Carlo to watch the Blue Man Group (our FREE show!). Very fun and high-energy; a little strange at times but extremely entertaining!
After the show, Mitch and I walked the strip again.
We had to get photos of the exterior of the Coca-Cola and M&M stores all lit up; so cool!
And then we ventured into the Coca-Cola store to try the "Around the World" sampler, a collection of 16 different sodas from around the world. This was so much fun and if you visit Las Vegas, you must do this! So many interesting flavors, some very delicious and one so horrible neither Mitch nor I could even finish the little cup full. They really should record people's faces as they are tasting these sodas!
Mitch and I got back yesterday from a week-long vacation to Las Vegas. We had a good time on our trip but it was definitely nice to get back to the quiet calm of North Dakota (and our little fur-baby, of course!). I figured I better start blogging about our trip right away before I forget everything and it ends up being a year or more later (*cough*Florida trip*cough* and *cough*Salt Lake City trip*cough* and *cough*Mexico trip*cough*).
Mitch and I arrived in Vegas late afternoon. We spent our first day getting settled and wandering the strip. That evening we visited the Paris Las Vegas and ventured up the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower replica in Vegas is half the size of the original in Europe but that was certainly high enough for me! We were 46 stories above the city and my palms were sweating, my heart racing; I hung on to the rail as much as possible. It was a beautiful sight, though, and definitely not something you want to miss out on.
I was recently invited to join a Facebook book club. As I'm sure you can imagine, I was completely giddy when I received the invite. I've always wanted to be part of a book club and now I am!
The book chosen for February is Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon. I'm excited about this read (it was the novel I voted on, after all) and excited to hear what the others think about it.
Interesting side note: I started the book on Sunday evening (yes, a bit early but I'm a slow reader so I figured it was okay); within the first twenty pages, the narrator witnesses a car plunging over an embankment into a lake. Also on Sunday evening, a woman here in my hometown reported seeing a car sinking into our river. Crazy coincidence, huh?
My dad is retired. My dad is also young at heart. This combination resulted in a sledding ramp built around a cottonwood tree in my parent's backyard.
I stole these photos from my sister's Facebook page after she shared them today. They are probably two of my favorite pictures now; they capture my dad perfectly. And to steal my sister's quote, "He's pretty much the coolest 60-year old I know."