books


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It snowed. I am sanguine to near total zen about it. Rob reminded me that last year’s final snow dump occurred on May 4th, which I don’t recall, but I do remember the walloping we took in early April after the ground was all but clear. Spring ditch rivers run close to the road and given the decided lack of shoulder on the rural roads, slipping off is not a preferred option.

No progress beyond cabinet installation as far as the reno goes. The man took measurements for the counter top, but it won’t be ready for another week at least, so there goes my dreams of Easter in semi-complete house. If we are even close to complete by May Long, I will be surprised. I am beyond ready to be done and Rob is so far past that point that he idly toyed with the idea of checking out a house that is for sale in Ardrossan – nearer to a rail track than the house we live in now. The trains run only early morning and late night in J’berg but Ardrossan is a main track with long rumbling parades of cars rolling through continually. If you ever watched my husband’s slow burn reaction to a train – anywhere it impedes his progress or makes noise – you would recognize that his level of reno fatigue is off the charts.

Mick has been full of news of late. We took her mother’s piano into the city for her last weekend and discovered, not to my surprise at all, that she was dating. And yesterday she let Rob know that she will finally be able to escape the kitchen work that has been steadily threatening to leave her fingerless. Through the machinations of one of her dubious friends, she is now employed as the IT girl for a company in the city. We are worlds of pleased for her because the digit injuries were concerning and it’s always nice when one’s child finds gainful employment that has meaning.

And I have an opportunity to submit a small piece to a dating book that will be published soon. The author writes a weekly advice column for the wives and girlfriends of widowers. I have written about it  before,  but he planned to take the blog stuff and turn it into a self-published e-book.  However, he is under contract to a publisher and they claimed dibs.  He was  surprised.  I wasn’t.  Self-help sells and niche dating stuff, especially written by a man for women, sells bigger.

Rob was puzzled, “Who would read a book about dating widowers?”

If I wasn’t so versed in the dating advice/self-help genre, I would wonder that myself, but I also know my fellow females and we, sadly, are prone to trying to coax pig’s ears into silk status. Therefore, we will read anything that we think might help us save loser relationships.

Harsh? By the time one gets to the point where an advice book is one’s only hope, one should have walked away long ago.

The truth is that men are not so complicated where dating and marriage are concerned, and they are like women in that they will change only when they see clear benefit that doing so is advantageous for them. You can’t change anyone or analyze a bad relationship into a good one.

But, Abel’s advice is common sense. He doesn’t pull punches or blow sunshine up bums.

His publisher wanted more stories about some specific post widow dating stuff, but I couldn’t find Rob and I in any of them. We just really didn’t have issues that harkened back to dead spouses in a grief-related way. Unsurprisingly, given current grief cultures Ayn Randian emphasis on “I am grieving so my needs always come first” advice that widowed folk are spoon fed by the various books and online self-help aimed at them, dating a widowed person has probably never been more confusing for those who haven’t been widowed themselves. They like to compare a widowed past to a divorced one but it’s too apples to oranges for analogies to match up really, but I am in total agreement with the non-widowed’s view that “your dead wife does not get top billing in our relationship and your grief issues are not a trump card to play whenever you want to get your way”. I also am behind the idea that children and in-laws should be kept out of relationships just as they were previously*.

Abel though thought I could just offer an overview of how Rob and I “made it work”. In 500 words or less. You laughed? So did I. Brevity is not my middle name

I don’t know that Rob and I “made” anything work. Relationships are work of a kind, and anyone who doesn’t think so is a fool, but you can’t make love be if both people aren’t on the same page and willing to throw absolutely everything on the table and make it all about the other person. I doubt that most people who are already having issues would be willing to follow the road map that worked for Rob and I, and indeed was quite similar to the one Will and I traversed.

And that’s about it. Employment continues to vex me. I am marginally invested in the blogging gig but covering current events wearies me and I fear for my karma. I listen to others talking about new jobs or watch as they pursue business ventures and am a bit jealous. Every vacant storefront begs me to speculate. A neighbor recently opened her own saloon across the street from the yoga studio. Edie and Silver are making plans to start an industrial plastic recycling venture. Jade, at the studio, is talking expansion. I have no ideas. She suggested volunteering at the schools and getting back into the classroom, but it’s not an idea that sparks anything inside me.

I think a lot about asking the domain owner if I can try reviving Moms Speak Up. Or even starting a site of my own so I can blog events rather than go the journalist approach which chafes and isn’t my best or favored writing style. I just don’t know.

But it’s time to get to Yin class. Yin is good for snowy Fridays when one has a cold (again) and is standing at the crossroads wishing it was really spring.

*But I realize that some people have always allowed children top billing and put up with meddling in-laws and often death simply magnifies this bad training. People should run away from those who allow any of this, imo.


I got this from Savvy Wit & Verse who took it from The Boston Bibliophile and The Bookkitten:

1. Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?
It doesn’t matter if the story is a good one though the mass market books tend to fall apart quickly.

2. Barnes & Noble or Borders?
W don’t have either one in Canada, but I am partial to BnN.

3. Bookmark or dog-ear?
I used to always dog-ear but Rob has a horror of it, so now I use bookmarks that tend to be whatever is handiest and doesn’t bend the book spine.

4. Amazon or brick and mortar?
I like to roam the shelves more than I like shopping online.

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
That falls squarely in my husband’s Virgo territory because I pile them up at random.

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?
All of the above

7. Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Toss.

8. Read with dust jacket or remove it?
They get in the way though I sometimes use them as bookmarks.

9. Short story or novel?
Novels but I enjoy a good short story collection every now and then.

10. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
God save me from them both.

11. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I prefer ending chapters but sometimes I can’t make it.

12. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
As long as what comes next is good, I don’t care.

13. Buy or borrow?
We do the bookmobile thing every Wednesday night. It is a family ritual.

14. New or used?
Doesn’t matter.

15. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?
I have done all of the above.

16. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Again, as long as it serves the story and the story was good.

17. Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
Evening or night but a really good book has me reading 24/7 until I am done.

18. Stand-alone or series?
Doesn’t matter.

19. Favorite series?
Anne Mcaffrey’s Pern series, David Eddings’ Belgaraid and Herbert’s Dune

20. Favorite children’s book?
Harriet the Spy

21. Favorite YA book?
I read Judy Blume as a kid but I loved teaching Gary Paulsen when I was still at the middle school.

22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
The River Thames by Helen Humphries

23. Favorite books read last year?
See Above

24. Favorite books of all time?
Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird

25. What are you reading right now?
Afraid by Jack Kilborn

26. What are you reading next?
The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine because it showed up via book fairy magic in the post last week.

27. Favorite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old?
The Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix

28. Favorite book to reread?
I don’t have time to reread anything.

29. Do you ever smell books?
No.

30. Do you ever read Primary source documents?
I had to google this and the answer is “no”.

Anyone joining in today? Don’t feel obligated to answer them all.