Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lessons when I need them

This week has been full of lessons that no matter how bad I think my life is at any moment, most likely someone else is dealing with much worse. While it came at a time where I was about to fall into another pity party for myself and was definately needed... it still hurts to see those you love in pain. Strangers also took part in these lessons this week. Maybe another day I will share the lessons but right now, look around you... it might not be as bad as you think it is at this moment.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Feast Of Love

I recently finished this novel and found myself wanting to pick up something else by Charles Baxter. It offers the satisfaction of short stories, while actually completing the whole picture in a novel format. That probably doesn't make much sense. The author uses a multi narrator format and most of the chapters are complete short stories with a few that leave you wondering what happens next. Some of the chapter narrators only have one chapter, while others come back again later on to tell more of their story.

The book exhibits a diversity of characters and circumstances while it mainly focusing on the love relationships of between and of the characters in the book. I found myself wanting to find a sequel just to know how things worked out for certain characters. I will definitely be checking something else out by this author when I can. It also left me thinking overall about the diversity in my world.

If you don't like narrator switches, this is probably not the book for you. It does only switch at the chapter breaks though and that makes it pretty easy to follow who is leading the story at that time.

Updated: There is a movie based on this book .Guess it is another one for the Netflix Queue.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bumps in the Road

My laptop broke so I have been stuck in a room that if full of junk to use the computer. It is not a happy place and I am trying really hard to get caught up from last week.

Spring has been off to a good start here. We actually have green things poking up from the dirt in our yard. I thought for sure that we had killed most of the living items last year. Even the hydrangea bush that was full of fungus last year seems to be coming back to life.

Hopefully, we will have some time in the near future to mow the lawn for the first time before it grows any longer. I hate being that house on the block with 6 inch grass. Hate it, Hate it, Hate it... take that as a hint DH.

I can't stinking believe that April is almost over.. this year as flown by in a haze. We still have to make our travel plans for Memorial day weekend. Bah!

Have a happy Sunday!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BBBT--The Mistress's Daugther

This leg of the Barren Bitches Book Tour was The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Holmes. It is a memoir by an adoptee. This book offers an interesting look into a closed adoption family and how the adoptee is effected by the discovery of her birth parents. It brings up very interesting points about closed adoption and about both birth parents and adoptive families. If you haven't read it and find memoirs interesting you should keep it in mind.


Why do you think the author's biological father went through the DNA testing if he was still going to go along pretending she didn't exist? How did you react to that emotionally as the reader?

This puzzled me as a reader, just as it was clear that it puzzled the author. I think he felt that he did need to know if she was his daughter and that he may have wanted a more active role but that his wife greatly influenced his interactions with the author. I was amazed at the lack of emotion that seemed to come from her father. He seemed very in control of what he wanted her to know and what he didn't both informational and emotional. The whole scenario with her father and his wife at the restaurant along with his comments after the event just boggled my mind of how cold some people can be. Later on when he refused her access to the results just made me wonder what was going on in his head and what a hold his wife had over his life.

There are several instances in the early chapters where AM is struck by references to her arrival in her adopted family as a "gift" or a "present" one that's wrapped in pink ribbon at that. As an adoptee, I too have felt somewhat commodified in my adopted parents' retelling of my arrival into the family. We waited and waited and then you were handed to us... And this is something I worry about when I think about sharing origin stories with our (hopefully, someday, maybe) child. Will they feel like they were a commodity? More so than other children? What are your thoughts on this?

I honestly hadn't thought much about it until reading this book. I would hope that most people think of their children as gifts but at the same time, I can see the problem that it would cause when it becomes the most prominent explanation for their being. I don't know how to balance it but at the same time going on and on about it seems that would lead to negative feelings in the future.

Genealogy -- the quest to learn more about her birth family's history -- forms a large part of the latter half of the book. On page 152, the author notes, "I remind myself that the quest to answer the question Who am I? is not unique to the adoptee." How much do you know about your own family history? Is it something that interests you? How has it influenced your decisions related to infertility treatment (if at all)?

I don't know a whole lot about either of my family histories. I know that the information is available if I want to seek it out as others have copies of various documents. The most that I am concerned with is the medical history of the most recent members of my family. I would like to know how far back it has been since my father's family came to the United States but other than that the medical issues are the main concern.

The family history has not really influenced mine (our) decisions about infertility treatments as much as our own personal medical histories have.

Reading the book encouraged me to think of my own family "secrets." For example, most members of my extended family want to hush up any discussion of IF, as though it's a contagious disease. Do you think that secrets strengthen a family or tear it apart and, how does your family process secrets?

I have realized that most of the "secrets" are not always things that are "secrets". There is a very different idea of freedom of information depending on the age of the person involved. The older a person is in any of my families the more closed mouth they are about things and the more "ashamed" they are of discussing medical or emotional problems that may be unique or negative. Obviously we can't get away without discussing some of it but for the most part things are not shared with the masses.

I think that some secrets do have the ability to tear a family apart. It is all about the information and the consequences that this secret may have.

AM Homes has a way of writing so distinctive, so enigmatic, that I folded myself into a chair and read the entire book in one sitting. She couldn't not know. Neither could I. Her stream of consciousness style writing had me hooked, and I read each page and kept thinking the same thing: What would it mean to me? What would I do? I am not adopted but I have often battled with that great question: Nature versus nurture. As she says on page 7 of the version I have, "I am dealing with the divide between sociology and biology: the chemical necklace of DNA that wraps around the neck sometimes like a beautiful ornament – our birthright, our history – and other times like a choke chain." How do you feel about your own birthright and DNA – is it a history or a choke chain?

The medical influences are definitely a choke chain. There are more than a few chunks of the DNA that makes me that I would love to cut out and throw away. Yes, I realize that these are also things that would change me as well but it would be nice not to bear the burden of certain medical influences.

And finally, I want to answer my own question... check out group A for other answers to this question.

The story about Ellen’s boxes and the fact that the author was unable to go through them for several years struck a cord with me as I have my own boxes that are hiding in the house waiting for unpacking. Have you experienced something similar with a project, book, or other item that plagued you with emotions that prevented you from tackling it? What was the situation? How did it resolve– did you become zealous about something you discovered during the resolution (like the author’s quest for her genealogy) or did it just all fade away?

I have boxes of my father's items sitting in our cluttered third bedroom that is amuck with many other items that have been waiting disposition since we moved into this house. His boxes have been there for over 5 years and I can't even go into them to get out his flag display case to put in the China cabinet. I have gone through some of his papers but it is always a bit of a shock to see his old driver's license or his name on papers in the house. Unfortunately, I haven't resolved this issue and the whole room brings out a strong emotional reaction that it is hard to work through the boxes. It needs to be addressed and I only hope that the strength will come one of these days.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (with author participation!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Not quite sure what happened but somehow... we managed to receive a credit from the natural gas company. We had gone off of the budget plan at the beginning of this year because we had a huge credit that easily paid the heating bills for the entire winter. We were at the point that with the next billing cycle we anticipated that we would need to start paying the gas bill again. However, they did an actual read and ended up crediting us with half of our original credit again so... no gas bills for at least another few months.

No, I am not upset nor looking a gift horse in the mouth. It is nice to know that the slightly colder house we dealt with this winter to help reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint actually did work out in the end.

How about you? If you live in a cold climate did you make any changes to your energy use that actually paid off?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Auction Links

A new Ebay id was added for U.T.E.R.U.S

Here are the lastest auctions and here are the other auctions on UK Ebay... there are about 75 items between both links.

Check them out... you never know what you might find!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Another ding...

in the SciFi crown. There were Klingon's in the original Star Trek series? Somehow I missed it but I can tell you for certain that they sure as heck don't look like WORF. Maybe I missed it because when I was a kid, the original Star Trek gave me nightmares... or at least the Tribble episode did.

Ah well... life goes on. One of these days I will get it right the first time when Dh is in a Star Trek Zone.

Edited to correct my horrendous mistake :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Netflix and DVR Discoveries

The last couple of days I have been getting caught up on my Netflix movies and cleaning off the DVR box because it has been acting a bit wonky.

I watched Marty from Netflix. It was one of the movies I requested to get caught up on the Oscar winners. It was an interesting short love story about how people aren't always what you expect. It was a black and white movie with Ernest Borgnine. I liked it and thought that it was worth the time.

We have started watching the HBO series John Adams. Not sure where DH heard about it but he started recording it when it premiered. It is pretty interesting. I would be lying if I said I haven't had to Google anything to figure out something that I never knew before, such as the relationship between John and Sam Adams. We have only watched the first two so far but the third episode is part of today's plan and just in time to clear it off before another one shows up. I think they are premiering the fifth installment today but if you get HBO it is on all the time. If you don't, hopefully you can catch it on DVD from the library or your DVD source of choice as it really is quite interesting.

It is a known fact that I/we are pretty far behind in our movie viewing. Dreamgirls was one that I had wanted to see in the theater but never got around to it. It was good but for some reason I wasn't completely enthralled with it as I expected to be. The hype ruined it for me, maybe? I would sit through it again but I won't be purchasing the soundtrack anytime soon.

This morning I watched Infamous about Truman Capote. It was an interesting look into the author's life. I haven't done much research on Capote but the story line was mainly about the interviews and contacts he made for In Cold Blood. Worth it if you are interested in Capote or just like autobiographical subjects.

Now I am just waiting for the next 24 DVD to show up since someone requested it at the library before we were able to renew it and finish season 3.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Help a gal out...

And check out these Ebay auctions. A new fundraising group has been established and right now all of the funds raised are going to help out Calliope. She has been a wonderful blog writer/commenter/participant and has touched many people, including myself. So checkout the link and see if there is anything that you might want to purchase. 100% of the proceeds go to helping her achieve her dreams of Creating Motherhood.

More information on the U.T.E.R.U.S is here.