Cabbage Leaves and Closed Doors

I’m going out on a limb here and sharing a poem I recently wrote. Until this poem, I hadn’t written anything in years. Writing poetry used to be ingrained in me, almost a habit I couldn’t break. And then I did. Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing, and I hate that it happened. It’s a practice, like anything else, but something I want to do. I need to do. To write. Slowly, surely, it will come back again. For now, this is what I have to offer. Cabbage Leaves and Closed Doors, for Martin, my sugar lump his back,
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Southern Hospitality & Brazil

A few weeks back, during the World Cup, my husband sent me a link to a narrative article titled, “Brazil’s Secret History of Southern Hospitality.” Assuming it had something to do with the World Cup, as he was pretty engrossed in the games, I benched it for a day or two. I enjoy soccer as much as any American (I hope you get the irony here), but I’m not a huge team sports kind of girl. Also, the narrative is long, and I just don’t have that kind of time lately. A few days later, I found myself with ample
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Rules of Civility Book Review

Amor Towles‘ Rules of Civility, set in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s in NYC, is a descriptive portrait of life at the end of the depression. The novel depicts how people were influenced by financial crisis, how some continued to live lavishly, and how others’ lives were ruined because of what they lost during the depression. But the book isn’t just about finances, it also centers around the relationships between men and women from different classes as they struggle to find good jobs, love, and adventure in life. I picked this book up for two reasons: I’m a sucker for
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The Dinner Book Review

I’m not exactly sure where I heard about Herman Koch’s The Dinner, but for some reason it hit my Summer Reading booklist. Tyler got it for me for our anniversary, and I read it within 5 days. This may be one of the most white-collar, psycho books I’ve read, but it sure sucked me in. The gist of it is that the whole story takes place at a high-brow restaurant in Amsterdam, where two brothers and their wives are meeting in order to discuss their children’s recent behavior. The story delves into the brothers’ past relationship with each other, their families,
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Bringing Up Bébé Book Review

I went into reading Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman with high expectations. I’d read reviews, seen it on others’ book lists, and had friends suggest I read it. I actually wasn’t disappointed. Druckerman uses wit, good experience, and an honest approach – sharing struggles and shortcomings in her own parenting. The book explains the spoken and unspoken French parenting techniques she observed while living there with young children. She starts with pregnancy and goes through early elementary school. Druckerman bases her findings off 2 philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Francoise Dolto, both highly-acclaimed by the French parents and psychologists. They both
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Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle’

Has anyone out there been hearing about Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard’s 3,600 page, 6-volume autobiographical-novel (is this a thing?) called, My Struggle? In German, it’s ‘Mein Kampf” (sound familiar?). Germany and England wouldn’t even use the title because of how provocative the name. I’ll be honest. I’m skeptical. But a lot of other authors and bookie-folks have been skeptical as well and then couldn’t put the volumes down. In his native-Norway, they’ve even had to declare “Knausgaard-free days,” where people can’t talk about it. Seriously? This is crazy. After listening to this public radio interview with him, I’m quasi-interested, though I doubt I
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2014 Summer Reading List for Ethan

I chose some classic books, some mysteries, and some just plain fun books for Ethan to read this summer. The best thing is that some of them have movie versions, which we will be watching for Family Movie Night. Ethan is currently between 3rd and 4th grades. Ethan’s Summer Reading List The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle The Tower Treasure – Hardy Boys Book 1 – by Franklin W.
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Potential Summer Reading

Here’s my problem with reading lists: I’m horribly unreliable. I make a list with whole-hearted intentions, but then I discover they were actually half-hearted intentions because another book has struck my fancy and gets thrown into the mix. I end up with too many books to actually read. For example, five days ago I made out a summer reading list based off of another list I made two months ago based off my Goodreads page and Pinterest board. Then yesterday, while talking with a friend, I decided to read yet another book she was telling me about. So here I am
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Crazy Busy – Book Review

I just finished Kevin DeYoung‘s book, Crazy Busy. It’s pretty short, so even those of you who don’t enjoy reading can make it through this 118 page book. Chapter One doesn’t even start until page 11, so you technically get a few thrown in for free. The subtitle of the book is, “A (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem.” With homeschooling a 9-year-old, an almost 4-month-old, a (rented) house, 11th-grade writing students, and a few pets on my plate, I’ve got more than enough to keep me busy. Let’s also not forget my friends, marriage, and relationship with God.
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MWF Seeking BFF – Book Review

Check out mwfseekingbff.com This was one of those books that plopped into my lap at the perfect time, and Tyler probably got overwhelmingly annoyed with how often I talked about it. Surprisingly, even with all of my monologues about the book, every time he looked at it he tried to come up with what MWF meant. Macho Women’s Front Miserable Whales Forever Mistaken Wart Frog I actually made those up. His were probably more interesting and inappropriate. This fun book is the memoir-ish story of Rachel Bertsche, a Chicago journalist, looking for a new BFF. In an attempt to give
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