31 March 2013

Egg Hunting

Eggs on the monkey grass

Finding eggs to put in her basket

I am getting a TON of spam comments lately. Any ideas how to put the kibash on that? Ugh.

We had a little back yard egg hunt for a baby girl today. About 80 eggs to find. It started getting buggy -- yuck -- so Daddy had to help clean up the last ones. She's been playing with the empty eggs inside anyway. Plastic fun ... oh, I'm sure they're not BPA free. Stressful.

Hope you've had a great Easter!

24 March 2013

Cousins





Owen came to visit this week on his spring break. The cousins had a great time playing together, and I know Jane is missing him. I wish we lived closer to each other to have a more regular physical presence. We get by with visits several times a year plus weekly webcamming sessions.

Nothing like a cousin hug though!

17 March 2013

Red Stick Gators

Hope you're having a lucky day.

I'm processing my weekly Jane photos and found two gator photos I took at the zoo this week. I have been to the zoo three times before this and never seen these guys. Were they always there and I never looked? Are they new? Whatever the case they kind of creeped me out.



15 March 2013

Azaleas

The azaleas are blooming in Baton Rouge, and they have been for at least a month. I think they hit peak blooming last weekend.


One thing I really regret that we did at our house when we first moved in was cut down three big azalea bushes in the back yard. I didn't know what azalea meant, or how beautiful they were, and I was pregnant, emotional and my house was full of guests. I wasn't thinking straight.

We have a small bush in our front yard next to our front window. It doesn't bloom much, although there are probably 10 blossoms now. Nothing like the lush displays I see when driving down Highland or in the Garden District.

You live and learn I guess. Wait at least one full year before doing any major landscaping if you can help it.


Pictures of Azaleas at church -- about a week after peak bloom but still pretty.

13 March 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

Sad news from Google. They're doing away with Google Reader, the RSS feed reader I've used for ages, probably since it was launched in 2005. I know there are other readers available, but they aren't as good. And this is the one I know, where all my feeds are and what I'm comfortable with. Slowly I'm losing my loyalty to Google, since it probably IS somewhat evil. I should consider moving my blog to WordPress.

I'm not sure how the RSS capabilities for my blog will be affected -- I use FeedBurner, another Google product that may be axed if it isn't already on the block. It's also how my daily emails are sent out (to all two subscribers, me and my mom) -- so that's a bummer although not a major one I guess.

Grrrrrrrrr... How am I supposed to keep up with my blog voyeurism now?! Not to mention my news reading. Waaaaah!

WHINE!

12 March 2013

Read: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

Lots of Candles, Plenty of CakeLots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I checked out this e-book somewhat randomly. It was recommended on the same magazine page I'd torn out to remind myself to look up another book (not sure which one now). When I was perusing the EBRPL's Overdrive site I searched for this one and it was available: check out!

Because it's labeled "memoir" I thought I would love it no problem. I love reading people's personal stories -- I'm nosy that way (I do read a lot of blogs, for that very reason) and I just love a good story. But I wouldn't classify this as a memoir at all. It's a collection of essays without the overarching life narrative. At times it's preachy, and it's definitely the work of a journalist, which isn't a bad thing, but it quotes other people a lot and generalizes more than being personal for most of the book.

I don't think it's a bad book, and I'm sure I've liked Anna Quindlen's work in the past. I just think it's geared toward an older reader? I was turned off by some of the things she wrote about motherhood and aging. And maybe it was the honesty that made me want to turn away, but it just didn't do it for me.

I struggled to finish the book, if only to be able to post a review about it and check off another in an imaginary "books I've read this year" list. (Part of me wishes I did keep up with Good Reads so I had an actual record of what I've read. The Kindle keeps a record, including library books checked out. So at least I have that.)

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08 March 2013

FWD: How to Write Good

1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They're old hat.

4. Be more or less specific.

6. Writers should never generalize.

Seven. Be consistent.

8. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

9. Who needs rhetorical questions?

10. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Thanks, Auntie Sue!

07 March 2013

Read: My Beloved World

My Beloved WorldMy Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is more than a memoir -- sure it's the story of Justice Sotomayor's childhood and professional life, but it also has solid advice woven throughout. Advice for following your dreams, connecting with family and friends, and caring for your physical well being (as she has with her lifelong diabetes).

I think it's rare that a Supreme Court Justice would be this open about her life -- she even mentions her underwear at one point (a friend made fun of it and taught her how to shop better for herself once she had the means to do so). I can't imagine knowing about Antonin Scalia's underpants (although I did have a logic professor in college who had taken a shower with him when he saw him at his gym in DC ... just to say that he had!).

Anyway, I really liked this look at an inspiring life of dedication, even though the book ends once she becomes a federal judge and doesn't detail her life since. Hopefully she'll write a sequel about the rest of her life when she's closer to having finished it!

I read this as an ebook from the library, but I would love to have a signed hard copy.

(I've been plowing through a lot of books from the library -- the ebook options are amazing! Long live the library!)

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