Let’s just dive right in, shall we?
WHAT I’M READING
I have turned into a slothful reader. So let me just tell you what is on my “to read” list, because I’m just now finishing up the same books I mentioned in the last 3 “Randoms” posts.
Book club will hopefully resume this month. In between my family preparing to put our house on the market and the busyness of everyone’s lives and the fact that I picked a CRAP BOOK for last month, we didn’t meet in February. So, we are moving forward with this new selection:
“Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.”
In addition to the Book Club selection, Reagan got me this one for Christmas:
Steve Carrell, like many comedic actors, has a depth and range in his artistry that is most profound in his dramatic roles. I haven’t seen the film based on this book yet. I want to read it first. But I’m ready to get started on it so I’m going to make a concerted effort to finish up “The Hate You Give” and finish my stupid January book club selection so I can move on to these new reads.
WHAT I’M HEARING
I always have a podcast on standby, and always need new suggestions for good series, so if you have some, please leave them in the comments. I would definitely welcome them!
Right now, I’m listening to this one:
Nothing about dysfunctional families surprises me. I come from a very messed up extended family dynamic. There has been a lot of trauma and heartbreak, and every family story carries secrets.
What I like about this podcast, and the goal of the host, is the shining of a light on things that have hurt us, because when secrets are brought into the light, they lose their power over us.
WHAT I’M WATCHING
As I wait impatiently for the next season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I have turned to a series I never watched when it originally aired, but always wanted to check out.
I’m only 2 episodes in, but I enjoy political dramas. There are plenty of series that I watch with the family, but this is my solo indulgence.
Today is Ash Wednesday, and the first since I became an Episcopalian where I won’t be able to attend a service. It makes me sad, but just because I will miss the liturgy doesn’t mean I can’t move forward with my Lent observances.
I always try to do some introspection during this season, but I also try to shift my focus to what I can do for others. I try to do little things – pay for someone’s meal behind me at the drive thru, send an unexpected happy to someone, be extra generous with tips, and trying to strike a balance between focusing on what I can do to better myself while also paying more attention to others.
I long ago gave up the notion that Lent was, for me, a fasting of chocolate or something of that nature. It’s much too easy to use what should be a time of spiritual reflection and turn it into a diet.
I don’t want it to be that. I want to dig deeper than that. And I’ve been neglectful of my spiritual side lately. So maybe that in itself will be my larger goal. To just get back into a place of regular meditation and focus on the “other”.
Leading up to Lent, of course, is Carnival or Mardi Gras. I’ve spent the last 3 years making at least one trip to Mobile during the Mardi Gras season.
The weather and rain have been so unpredictable lately, I wasn’t sure if I’d make any of the festivities this year, but I took a chance, grabbed my kid, and set off for Mobile last Saturday morning, arriving in time for the noon parades.
We caught up with our favorite cousin and her fella and ended up with a tote bag full of beads, Moon Pies, and other assorted goodies.
We stuck around for the evening parades as well, but those Krewes were much more stingy with their merchandise. Though, their floats are some of my favorites.
The noon parades had a theme of Children’s Literature and the floats were a lot of fun! Everything from Peanuts to Dr. Suess to Rainbow Fish to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
The weather ended up being PERFECT, with even a visit from some sunshine! Even for a whirlwind trip, we had great fun in Mobile and, as always, I can’t wait to go back.