Sunday, March 23, 2014

pink and girly // outfits

i went for a drive this afternoon, to take some photographs of Mt. Adams, and since I was wearing a pretty cute outfit, I decided to snap some pictures. many thanks to my brother, John, for getting these for me. :) I wore it two different ways, one for church and the other for driving around in the country snapping photos. ;)
(And of course my darling little girl had to make an appearance. :)

Country Versions:
Jean Shirt: Kohls (Clearance, $11.95)
Dress: Hand-me-down (It was my mom's prom dress. :)
shoes: Kmart ($19.95)
Necklace: Modcloth (8.99 it's more expensive from them... i found it in an antique shop. :))
~     ~      ~
Church version:
Shrug: Kohls ($30.99)
Dress Hand-Me-Down 
Pumps: Kmart (Clearance $4.99
Necklace: Modcloth ($8.99)

Friday, March 21, 2014

happiness is mocha flavored

this morning an elderly neighbor called and woke me up at 7:20, announcing that a semi had crashed last night, and the gleaners group had cleaned it up, getting somewhere around 30,000 pounds of lettuce/fruit. She asked if we wanted some. i think i said yes... my brain wasn't awake yet. ;) and five minutes after i had gotten off the phone with her, another neighbor called, with the same announcement and question. she announced that she was dropping it off sometime this morning. i figured she'd be over around 10-11:00.  nope. she was over here at eight-fifteen. i was in a ridiculous pajama outfit, (picked out specifically for warmth and comfort last night while watching War Horse. ;) still laying in bed and highly unpresentable. it was wonderful though, because i didn't have a clue what I was going to fix for the kiddo's breakfast... i hadn't thought ahead that far yet. ;) (mama's always good about figuring out what she's going to make for breakfast ahead of time, but since she has been out of town for a couple days, it was left up to me.)  there were five huge platters of fruit, with a yogurt dip and already cut up and everything. so we ate gobs of fruit and leftover biscuits from last night and the most heavenly apricot jam my mama made last spring.  I fixed mocha's for my ten-year-old sister and I. the whole breakfast felt decidedly British. {I suppose mocha's aren't extremely British. ;)} It was wonderful. ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Agnes Gray // Book Review

Agnes Grey
Anne Bronte

I finished this book within two hours. I was hoping I would like it, but was prepared to dislike it as well, (after my encounter with Wuthering Heights, which I had extremely mixed feelings about.)

Charlotte Bronte is one of my all time favorite authors. Emily, not so much... But Anne Bronte may just join Charlotte up there somewhere near the top. (depending on her performance in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, of course. :)

Surprisingly, (especially considering the fact that I enjoyed it immensely,) the story has nothing remarkable in it. Everything is normal; it's just everyday life for the governess. Agnes was a sweet, gentle, patient girl, but not a heroin, or someone who matures dramatically during the course of the story..

I didn't feel that it was possible to get very close to Agnes, as one can with Jane Eyre, but I did find myself getting very excited about a certain man. :) I guess that's what surprised me the most about this novel; it simplicity and normalcy. Maybe that's what draws people to it... 

But anyhow, I did enjoy this book, and would suggest it for those in search of a very simple, down-to-earth story about a sweet, (but rather normal,) Agnes.

* * * {three of five stars.}

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Last of the Mohicans // Book Review

The Last of the Mohicans
by James Fenimore Cooper

It is the late 1750's and the French and Indian War grips the wild forest frontier of western New York. The French Army,, are attacking Fort William Henry, the British outpost commanded by Munro. His daughters Alice and Cora set out from Fort Edward to visit their father, escorted by Major Duncan Heyward, and guided by a traitorous Indian. They are soon joined by David, a man who lives to sing. They are lead off the path, and are "lost," but manage to stumble across the path of Hawkeye a scout with a huge reputation among the Indians, and the two Mohicans, Uncas and his father. and convince them to assist them to William Henry. The Scout agrees, mostly because of the two women, and thus the adventures of these seven begin. They are taken into Indian captivity twice, escaping the first time as if by miracle, only to experience horrors of the William Henry massacre  when the two ladies are captured by Magua again. The men follow as fast as possible, and begin to attempt to rescue them from their cruel fate. Magua proves cunning and even more horrible than before, and they are all taken captive. But Uncas reveals his identity, and it seems as if they are saved. But Magua is savage, and relentless. 
          I had The Last of the Mohicans on my bookshelf for forever, and it had been on my "i am going to read this eventually because it's a classic and I have to," list, and I finally decided to read it, not feeling well one day. Once I got about four pages into it I couldn't put it down.  It was extremely well written, with beautiful details and just enough dialog The story was sad, adventurous, and complicated, yet beautiful and untamed too. The ending was difficult for me to accept. but as I considered it more, I realized that it wouldn't have worked any other way. The story had to end that way. 
          Uncas was amazing. There were times I wasn't really sure who the hero of the book was, (I have since found out that it was the Hawkeye. :) But I was drawn to Uncas the whole time. He is strong, gentle, yet a savage as well. He wasn't really "explained" in great detail, and I loved his character. 
          I would suggest this book for older readers. When I was browsing through some reviews on Goodreads, I noticed that some people mentioned having read it at nine or ten, and I was kind of shocked. It's a bloody book, it's warfare and battles, and I would never recommend it for young readers. :)
I have since realized that this book is the second in a five book series, and am planning to read the first book, and the rest of the series soon. :)

* * * * * {five of five}

Sunday, March 16, 2014

s p r i n g

the grass widows are one of the things i love most about this place in the spring. they're tiny, each blossom barely the size of a quarter, but their purple petals are a brilliant purple that never fails to amaze me.

the one thing i am going to miss most this summer, besides friends and life in general, are the daffodils. my grandpa has planted hundreds of daffodils around our property and they are so gorgeous. 
if i get married in april/may someday, I shall carry a bouquet of daffodils, i think. (not that i'm actually planning my wedding or anything. ;)

 our move date got moved to the last weekend in march. it's nice not to have to rush packing quite so much; but it only prolongs the agony. luckily, i can come back the very next weekend for  a party a good friend is hosting. :) and luckily we have a little car now that gets pretty good gas mileage, so coming back won't cost a fortune.

jess kept me awake a lot last night, but she's so darn cute it's hard to be mad at her. :) she growls at sunny a lot, but sunny doesn't take her too seriously. :) jess even chased my shadow yesterday. we're sorta getting used to the schedule now. :) 


Friday, March 14, 2014

j e s s

This is Jessa, my adorable chocolate lab. She's almsot seven weeks old, and is a lab/border collie. She's a future therapy dog, and also happens to be one of the cutest things on the planet. She sleeps so much, but honestly, it's okay, 'cause she's just a baby. 

Jess is super playful, when awake, though, and has razor sharp teeth. I've only had her for a little less than two weeks, but we're already working on not biting every single thing in sight. :) Sunny,.our seven-year-old yellow lab, tolerates her, and I have high hopes for their relationship, once Jess has grown up a bit and settled down. Sunny isn't entirely sure what to think of her. Sometimes Jess growls at Sunny, and it's the cutest thing you ever saw. 

I cannot wait to begin training her. Training a dog to sit, stay, lie down, come, heel, etc, is one of the most rewarding things. Having a dog's loyalty ranks higher though. I'm excited about my little girl. :) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

i love my town // just not change

my life is being turned completely upside down right now. i haven't been able to write in weeks. my emotions and thoughts are all tumbling around, and i can't seem to sort anything out, and write it down on paper in a logical, systematic way. i've tried to journal several times, to figure some stuff out, but all i can find are ghosts of the words and thoughts.

my family is moving in about two weeks, and i really, really don't want to. i love my hometown, i love the people here. i live in a tiny farming town, where everyone knows everyone else, and even if you don't know somebody, you just might stand in the grocery store and have a ten minute conversation, because everybody is friendly. people wave and smile all time, and it's pretty much impossible to run errands without running into several friends along the way. the lady at the movie rental store can tell you whether you parents will approve of that movie or not, because she's spent the time to figure out what our standards are. you can run to the neighbors to borrow a teaspoon of baking powder, because you are making muffins and forgot to check to see if we still had some. and when your car battery is dead there is always someone more than willing to come by and jump it, even if you barely know them.

we're moving to the portland/vancouver area... it's so much different from the small town life. going to the grocery store and back isn't a twenty minute experience. Friends don't live five minutes away. it's just a whole different life. we've lived in this house for thirteen years. i just don't want to change. i love here, this house, my friends, my mountain. 

i guess i'm whining a little, sorting out the thoughts that have been floating around in my mind for weeks. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Princess Bride // Book Review

The Princess Bride
By S. Morgenstern

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she'll meet Vizzini,-the criminal philosopher who'll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik- the gentle giant; Inigo- the Spaniard whose steel thirst for revenge; and Count Rugen- the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping is Westley, Buttercup's true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

I really try to read books before I watch the movie adaptations, because it really gives everything away when you do it the other way around. And honestly, I wish that I had been exposed to this book long before the movie, because then I would have appreciated every little detail more. 
The Princess Bride was so fun, (despite basically growing up on the movie, so I know the story and lines by heart!) and I chuckled, winced, and thoroughly enjoyed reading my way through this story. I read the abridged version by Goldman, (not realizing until I started reading that that was what I was reading, although I have since heard that Goldman wrote the book, and just says that he abridged it... weirdo.) and I'm not really sure that I will get around to reading the unabridged version (although I am interested, if one does, in fact, exist). Morgenstern's (or Goldman's... :) writing style is extremely interesting. It's choppy, and extremely abrupt, (with the use of a LOT of parentheses!!) but it is intriguing at the same time, perhaps the wonderful story-line and witty dialog has a lot to do with that, but nevertheless, The Princess Bride is easy to read.

I was, however, extremely disappointed by Goldman's performance. I can't complain about the actual work of abridging, because I haven't read the original. But I found him to be very unprofessional and downright annoying in pretty much every word he wrote in this work. Honestly, Introductions and notes in classic books are NOT places to whine about your wife and various family problems. I don't really care if your wife doesn't love you, and your son is a little plump, etc. etc. etc. If you're going to whine like a fourteen-year-old on Facebook, PLEASE leave it out of epic stories!! 

Sorry. He just really got up my back every few pages. :)
I will be recommending The Princess Bride to everyone in future, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. However I shall be forced to always utter a most important warning: "When Goldman begins to talk, just skip it. His writings  aren't worth wasting your time on!" (unless of course he actually wrote the book, then just read the story, and skip everything else! :) 

my rating: * * * * * * * * {eight of ten}