Thursday, February 27, 2014

Emily Climbs // Book Review

Emily Climbs
L.M. Montgomery

Emily Starr wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world. Going away to school in the neighboring town of Shrewsbury is the perfect way to climb toward her goal. But Shrewsbury means leaving the comfortable old New Moon farmhouse and living with unsmiling Aunt Ruth. Can it ever be a place where Emily will truly begin her promising career and where her special, shining beauty will touch a young man's heart?

I enjoyed this book, although it is hard to put Emily on the same beloved level as Anne-Girl. Emily was loveable, interesting and fun, and when you add Ilse into the mix, their scrapes, adventures and "loving" fights become humorous and lovely. 

One issue I have with L.M Mongtomery is her extremely "flowerly" descriptions. Anne-girl didn't go too far with her "nonsense," but Emily seemed to take it much further. Anne could be practical, and semi normal. But I noticed in the entire Emily series everything was "fluffed up." Meaning that when Ms. Montgomery could have written a perfectly lovely normal sentence, she chose to add as many adjectives and flowery descriptions as humanly possible. While that can be pretty and poetic, it does get annoying at times. 

The story was interesting, and the characters just plain fun! Who could help writing in little Jimmy-books when you have such vivid people all around you. :)

I would heartily recommend this book to those in search of a enjoyable, amusing read.

my rating: * * * * * * * {seven of ten stars}

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

words of wisdom for myself

i. there are times when thirst can only be quenched by lemonade, even though it's 11:00 at night, the rest of the family has been in bed for an hour, it's the middle of February and insanely cold. so go for it, make that lemonade and enjoy it too.

ii. sometimes it's okay to stay up really late to finish the book. (even if that means less than six hours of sleep.) just be sure to spring out of bed when mom calls, and make coffee instantly. (and drink it with plenty of cream.) also be sure to apply plenty of under-eye make-up. if the yawns, coffee and headache don't give you away, the dark circles under your eyes will.

you get to use your favorite mug!!

iii. it doesn't matter that it's cold, wet and muddy outside, when you have a good book or an interesting writing prompt. just light some candles, and snuggle up with your book, and be sure to have a notebook and several pens sitting nearby, because they are highly necessary to jot important thoughts/ideas/tasks down. 

iv. take great caution when lighting candles, (see note iii.) and that the wick isn't too close to the glass. as the container may explode randomly. to prevent great injury should this happen, be sure to have the candle some distance away from your person. (and preferably the side that is going to explode should be pointed towards the wall!)

they take you to the places that are beyond your wildest dreams.
v. building snowmen is great fun, although one should keep in mind that they last longer when the snow isn't melting. it is always more fun to have the snowman last longer than two hours without falling over. be sure to take photos of cute snowman, however, in case he does topple.

vi. avoid, at all costs, introductions by william goldman. he's lousy, annoying and disappointing in every way. 

vii. it would be better to drink more water. headaches are never fun, and maybe if one thought of water instead of black tea/coffee in the morning first thing, one might be able to avoid nasty headaches and dizziness. (isn't that an interesting thought!)

viii. it is always acceptable to take more photos of little siblings. nobody, (except maybe them) is going to complain about more pictures of ridiculously cute little kids. 

ix. when you are running a little behind and you pull into to coffee shop drive through, it is acceptable to honk at the car in front of you when they don't notice it's their turn to order. (although be cautious with this one, because you might know the person pretty well, and you just might hear about it later. :) 

x. gold eyeshadow will brighten ones mood considerably! 


xi. fear of flying and heights diminishes with the adventure of travel. it is possible to get over fears for the chance of adventure.

xii. things happen. life isn't always great. it may seem perfect for a moment, but sometimes it's hurts. sometimes it's scary, and painful , but life can be beautiful too sometimes.

xiii. friends are one of the most beautiful things in the world.

xiv. dress-up parties with girls are lots of fun. but left over, slept on curls aren't so fun. Just be sure to throw on some extra lipstick and eyeshadow and hope people don't notice. :)

xv. when on road trips on windy days, it is helpful to pull your hair back before stepping in the car, because it just might blow everywhere and be quite ridiculous. 

xvi. also, when on said road trip, getting a mountian dew, a nasty coffee (gas-station coffee is horrible!) and a bag of yummy chips will be quite helpful in keeping you awake and alert. (if nothing else, the taste of the coffee will. :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

it's cold// but snowmen are cute

this winter has been the strangest i can ever remember. christmas felt like spring, and we were having 50*+ temperatures most of december and january. i've never been a fan of cold. in fact, when the temperatures drop below fifty degrees i avoid going out the door at all costs. (except maybe to get more wood for the fire, or get in the car. :) really the only thing i enjoy doing in the snow is skiing. but back to this winter. farmers are starting to get worried about their crops, because there just isn't enough moisture. i mean, we only get thirteen {at the most} inches of moisture each year, and not getting snow in the winter is not a good thing.  when it snowed last week, i knew i couldn't really complain {much}, because we need it. but that did not mean that i intended to enjoy it at all.  i'm a {sort-of} photographer, and several friends over the last week have asked very excitedly, "have you gone out and taken pictures of the beautiful snow?!" to which i replied, "it's super cold out there, and wet and i am staying inside reading/writing." but today i decided that i should go out before it melts, so i made a tiny, and rediculously adorable snowman, and walked around for fifteen minutes taking snowy pictures. now i can at least say that I did in fact take pictures of the white cold stuff on the ground. :)

he stands about a foot and a quater tall. :)

 i made my dog sit next to the little snowman, as a size comparison... she wasn't happy about sitting in the snow, and she was squinting, (we both were) because of the brightness. But the photos look like she was insanely bored. she is also really fat right now, (we found out she's been sneaking into the chicken house and eating their food. naughty naughty. :) and does anyone know how to take proper snow pictures?! tips would be greatly appreciated!!

 are you enjoying the snow? :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Man Jeeves // Book Review

 My Man Jeeves

by P. G. Wodehouse

Containing drafts of stories later rewritten for other collections (including Carry On, Jeeves,) , My Man Jeeves offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of comic literature's most celebrated characters. All the stories are set in New York, four of them featuring Jeeves and Wooster as we know them; the rest concerning Reggie Pepper, and earlier version of Bertie. Plots involve the usual cast of amiable young clots, choleric millionaires, chorus-girls and vulpine aunts, but towering over the book is the inscrutable figure of Jeeves, manipulating the action from behind thee scenes whenever he appears.
     Early or not, these stories are masterly examples of Wodehouse's art, turning the most ordinary incidents into golden farce.
                                                                  -From the back

I knew absolutely nothing about this book, or Wodehouse, except that he was well known for dry, British humor and is most famous for his well-loved characters Jeeves and Wooster. So I read this book quite untainted by expectations and foreknowledge. 
          I chuckled my way though this interesting collection of short stories, sympathizing and enjoying thoroughly the various scrapes and problems everyone managed to entangle themselves in, only to be saved by the brilliant, lovable Jeeves. I don't particularly think he would enjoy the term "lovable" however, in regards to himself. Perhaps it is not quite the right term to describe him. He is respected and well liked. There, I think he would settle for that. :) I rather loved him, though.
          My Man Jeeves was entertaining and enjoyable and recommended to those in search of a humorous  easy read, consisting of scrapes galore and plenty of neckties! :)
My rating: * * * * * * * {seven of ten}

Friday, February 7, 2014

s n o w

i. it finally snowed two days ago, for the first time this winter.  snowflakes are always pretty, but the 9* weather outside deterred me, and I opted to shoot a few pictures through the backdoor window.  :)  all my little siblings have been terribly excited and running in and out bundled in uncountable layers.

ii. my little sister, Mary, was out last night "skiing" on a little hill behind our house and fell, and we aren't sure yet whether she broke her ankle or just pulled/tore some ligaments, nevertheless she is in a lot of pain right now. unfortunately that means no more snow play for her, and most likely several weeks or more on the couch. 

iii. the freezing temperatures mean hauling water by hand from the bathtub to all the animal pens, because faucets and hoses are all frozen solid, (and buried beneath five inches of snow.) it also means that Duck and Tuck, (our female duck and the Bantam rooster who can't be in the same pen as the rest of the chickens,) aren't able to free-range, and are stuck in their little room. i think they would rather stay in though, and not freeze their feet. they are absolutely adorable, waddling and toddling after each other everywhere they go. Duck is white, Tuck is black, and they get along marvelously! 

iv.. i awoke to blue skies and bright sunshine this morning, (a wonderful thing to awaken to,) but that only lasted a few minutes, and the sky is back to overcast and dismal 

v. i like sunshine and warmness. also rain. but cold and I don't really get along very well, unless I am all cuddled up on my bed with twelve blankets and a large mug of tea, reading. if that's on the agenda, bring the cold on!!! :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Woman Named Damaris // Book Review

A Woman Named Damaris
Janette Oke

      She was almost fifteen on the night she dared for the first time to think of what life might be like away from home. Pa had come home drunk and mean again; the trauma of the subsequent scene had been repeated as long as Damaris could remember. The idea that she no longer nees to tolerate this, that maybe she's old enough to manage on her own, is planted in her mind and begins to grow. She must plan her escape carefully, but she must get away from him.             When the opportunity comes, Damaris carries with her the strength of her mothers love. Two treasures hidden for years from her father-her grandmother's lacy golden brooch and her grandfather's lovely watch are Damaris' only legacy from her past. That and her name. Her mother said it came from the Bible and had a special meaning that she can't remember anymore. What difference might it make?

        I started reading Mrs. Oke's books two years ago, when given the Love Comes Softly series from friends. I grew to love those stories and slowly began reading through the rest of her works. A Woman Named Damaris can't be claimed as one of her very best works. The problems didn't lie in a faulty story-line, or unbelievable characters, events, or run-on sentences. I felt like I didn't get to spend much time getting to know Damaris. I know that sounds extremely silly. but it seemed like there was so much time spent on the story and moving on to the next thing, that I didn't get a chance to really get to know this young lady very well; and it is rather important to get to know the main character. :) Time passed almost magically, weeks, months, even years passed in a sentence or two, and left you confused as to how old Damaris was now! 
          One particularly aggravating fault with most of Mrs. Oke's writings, and one which my mother points out ever time she reads something by her, is that she moves along with the story line way to fast. She doesn't dwell on details long enough. Of course, I wouldn't expect her to be another Scott, or Dickens, who were both a little overwhelming with their detailing's, but I think it would make a better book, if she spent a little more time explaining things before rushing off to the next scene.

         The ending was highly expected, but it was extremely abrupt, and left you sitting there thinking, "wait, he didn't even have to woo her at all..." And then suddenly "they" are together and all is ending happily... It just wasn't enough of an ending.
          All in all, however, I find Mrs. Oke's books interesting and lovely "in between" books for a breather between Classics. :) I can't honestly say that I would recommend this book particularly, but would suggest you look into Janette Oke's works, especially the Love Comes Softly series. 

* * * * * {five of ten}