Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Few from the DNF List

Do you always finish a book you start?  Are you that committed?  Most of the time, I'm not.  I was pushing myself to read all the books assigned in Book Club, but I didn't finish the last couple because I'm just not in a place to read books I don't want to read.  A few of the most recent books I haven't finished:

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey:  This was assigned in book club because we hadn't read a single western and several of my fellow library patrons are huge fans of the genre.  I don't know that I'd ever even tried to read a western, I'm not really a huge fan of the movie genre and assumed I wouldn't love the book genre either.  If this book was an accurate depiction of the genre, I was correct.  The book was VERY descriptive.  I get it, writers back then got paid by the word for their short stories.  People didn't have access to travel or the internet like we do today, so they got to "see" the Wild West through the eyes of the characters in these books.  This was exciting stuff!

I also assumed that westerns had more shoot-out scenes.  This one really didn't, at least not as far as I had gotten.  In light of how crazy this country has gotten in the last several years, you'd think I'd be thrilled that a book about a community of religious extremist didn't have more gun violence, but it just wasn't what I was expecting.  I'm not sad about it, just surprised based on the little I've seen of the movie genre.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien:  This is a big, fat book!  Over 1200 pages big!  I thought maybe it would be less intimidating if I downloaded the audio from the library's site, but that wasn't really the case.  I still knew that I had to finish listening to it in 2 weeks time or I would have to get back in line to listen to the rest.  That's a lot of pressure and I was not in a place in my life where I was ready to commit to over 1200 pages.  (It's really starting to sound like I have commitment issues, we'll save that for a future post...)  This book was also very descriptive.  I like to be able to visit these places in my mind, but sometimes the details put me on overload and I tune out.

The Secret Healer by Ellin Carsta:  This was an available download one month as a Kindle First on Amazon Prime and it's about midwifery in the Middle Ages.  "Free", midwifery, Middle Ages, all things I would like to read about, but alas, I didn't finish.

Now I'm no history buff, but the language of this book sounded like it could have been written for any time period, including the present.  Maybe it has something to do with being a foreign-written book and translated to English?  Maybe it wasn't well researched?  Maybe it was just poorly written?  I really don't know.  The writing was very simple and sure didn't conjure any images of 14th century Germany to me.  I know my complaint about the last two books was too much imagery, but this one sure didn't have enough.  The characters were flat and the the story wasn't well developed.  It really pressed on very basic female rights issues like sexual abuse, rights to control our own money/heath/bodies/life.  This book had potential, but I just couldn't finish it.

I'm sure there are others that I DNF lately, but these were the most memorable.  Maybe I'll revisit these at some point in the future and I'll like them for some of the very reasons I didn't like them this time.  I'm fickle like that.

What books have you started and not finished?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Never stop dating your husband

Well folks, I have been doing almost no reading lately.  I'm halfheartedly rereading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and I'm slowly listening to the Harry Potter books.  I'm not reading anything new or anything that hasn't been reviewed a million times on the interwebs, so I don't really want to talk much about books these days.  I'd have much more to say about Netflix than books right now, but we don't need to talk about that either...

Let's talk more about relationships.  I got some nice feedback on the last bit of relationship advice I posted for you, so maybe I'm onto something.  Please know, I am in no way an expert on anything relationship, these are always only my opinions so use your own brain and consider how what I say may fit into your own life before you take any of my advice.  I'm not always good at things like feelings and emotions, but I tend to be fairly practical and that helps and hubs and I have been married for almost 10 years and still like each other.  So here we go:

We change over time; personalities, values, priorities, etc.  What was important to you in your early twenties before kids, is probably not nearly as important in your early thirties with a few youngsters and a career.  I know I am a completely different wife at 32 than I was at 22 and I'll likely be a completely different mother to these twinsies than I was with Princess.  A few things I've learned while raising Princess and experiencing nephews:

  • Babies and toddlers aren't nearly as fragile as I had expected.
  • The house won't always be clean.
  • Accept help from people and let them do things their way.
  • Dog treats won't actually hurt your toddler.
Don't judge me, life can be crazy.

Something else I realized is how easy it can be to neglect your marriage when your kids rely on you so much.  It is especially important to spend time on that relationship when it is the easiest one to ignore.  In order to keep your relationship healthy, you must continue to get to know your husband.   Just like we must maintain our relationship with God through prayer, we have to continually have conversations with our husbands.  When we start neglecting rather than nurturing that relationship, the enemy will start to push his way into the gaps that form.

I know, I know, I hear you.  "But April, we are so busy!  Who has time for all that?"  I'm not saying devote huge chunks of time here,  I'm just saying talk to each other.  Ask each other's opinions on matters around the house.  Ask how his day was.  Ask him if there is something you should all do over the weekend. And... wait for it... this is a big one... LISTEN to what he says.  Even if you can only handle about 10 minutes before you go to bed at night, try to have some kind of adult conversation with your husband, preferably about something other than the kiddos.

  • What is going on in the news around the world?
  • Did you see that funny video so-and-so posted on Facebook today?
  • Did you see how pretty our yard is now that the flowers are blooming?
What are some topics you like to talk to your husband about?