i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

RIP III – Scaring my way through my first challenge!

I swore to myself LAST year that I would participate THIS year in the RIP challenge hosted by Carl V. Then I went and totally forgot all about it. Luckily Stephanie posted about it over on her blog BEFORE the start date, so I was able to jump in while the water was still low. Woo!

I guess I am joining Peril the First – which  means I will pick four scary-type books to read between September 1st and October 31st. I am having trouble finding the right books, but I have some in mind already. I can’t promise this won’t change before the first of the month though. I do have a fickle mind.

My RIP III pool:

  • Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield (REVIEW)
  • A Kiss of Shadows – Laurell K Hamilton (Wasn’t liking it at all. Did not finish.)
  • Sisters of Misery – Megan Kelley Hall (REVIEW)
  • The New Girl – R.L. Stine (the first Fear Street book! Woo!) (REVIEW)
  • The Lost Mind – Christopher Pike (never read him when I was a teen) (Unable to renew – can’t read it!)
  • American Gods – Neil Gaiman (MAYBE! I don’t have much faith that I’ll finish it – that’s why he’s last!)

There is still time to join if you’re up to the challenge so go check it out today!

Ms. Hempel Chronicles

Ms. Hempel Chronicles
by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
Courtesy of Harcourt (distributed by Raincoast)

It has been over a week since I finished this book and aside from not quite having the time to write up a review, I have also had trouble figuring out what to write for this post. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book – because I did. It’s just that it’s different than anything I have read and because of the way it’s written it makes it hard to summarize the story.

Ms. Hempel is a middle-school teacher. She teaches grades 7 and 8. (Which I think is middle school… here in Quebec it’s considered a part of high school.) Aside from the occasional flash-back, the main character is referred to as Ms. Hempel throughout the book. It is only in these brief glimpses into Ms. Hempel’s past that she is referred to by her first name, Beatrice.

Ms. Hempel is a young teacher and trying to figure things out about life, as many of us do as we grow up. But it’s not so much a story about Ms. Hempel’s teaching as it is about her journey through her life and the decisions and choices she makes. Her memories of her youth as an alternative, punk-type teen to her new engagement and fiance. There are details about students and colleagues and family members and so on that make them more than just superficial side-characters even though they aren’t actually very active in the story so much as in Ms. Hempel’s mind.

The words flowed wonderfully on the page and I fell into a comforting rhythm while reading, but there wasn’t ever really a climax or denouement to the story. The last chapter (though they were more like sections of the book than chapters) leaps into the future, sort of out of the blue, confused me, but also made me smile as Ms. Hempel meets a former student who tells her that she is fondly remembered and talked about as the best teacher they ever had. She was more than a teacher, she was a friend.

And although I found the summary on the back of the book to be slightly misleading as to what was actually inside the cover, I am happy I picked this book up from Mini Book Expo because it had depth and wasn’t just a book of fluff (like I generally like to read. Heh!).

i’d like to see that phelps guy break this record!

I blogged about it in 2005.

And in 2006.

And in 2007. – Wait.. What? Crap! Why isn’t there a 2007 post? Did I not go to the dentist last summer? HOW CAN THAT HAVE HAPPENED!! I am so DOOMED! I am going to hell! Improper dental hygiene is like blasphemy! I feel so wrong inside…

And now for 2008 – I would like to inform you, my faithful readers, that I am now at 32 years and NO CAVITIES! (which is even more amazing by the fact that I was a big loser and didn’t seem to go last year. How did that happen? How did time go by so fast without my cleaning? ARGH!)

I was really happy about my appointment today and was going to write all about it until I went and did that search thing to link up to my other posts and REALIZED I SKIPPED A YEAR! I have NEVER gone more than a year without seeing my dentist. Sigh. I am a failure. Lightning shall strike.

Though, I will pick myself up from my dejected slump to inform you that I tried a new dentist out this time. This is the first time in my entire life I have ever gone to another dentist to clean my teeth. My orthodontist didn’t count because that was braces related and not tooth related.

Anyhow I went to this new place, just around the corner, I rode my BIKE for the first time since I bought it (yes, I KNOW!) and because I was riding my bike, I finally got to take my awesome helmet out for a spin (since my other bike was a lost cause when I bought this helmet…). It took a whopping 10 minutes to bike there, so I was slightly early (30 mins) but that’s ok because I had to fill out some paperwork, etc.

This new place? Amazing! AND they said they liked me because I made them laugh. I am totally partial to people who find me enjoyable. 😀 It’s an ego thing.

After a long talk about how I should floss (I KNOW! But I HATE IT!) and a lot of laughter, I walked away cavity-free and with a new tooth brush, mini toothpaste and sparkly dental floss. I almost got a toy (since I had joked that the other place has known me since I was three and I still got toys at the end) but I politely declined and said “I have to grow up sometime!” Though I am thinking about it now and I should have at least checked out their toy stash. There could have been something exciting in there!

I shall now go eat something more than a tomato from my sister’s garden (though that was very yummy). I don’t know what to eat though and I don’t like to go into the kitchen because it’s a mess. We have had dishes on the counter and in the sink for like 2 weeks now and the thought of washing them all by hand makes me want to hide under the deck in the back yard. But they have been there long enough that some stupid spider has made webs around some of them and now I don’t want to touch them because – hello?? SPIDER! There is a SPIDER in there somewhere and I am so not going near that.

*shudder*

But I am hungry. What do I want to eat? Someone around here seems to be bar-b-qing things and it smells GOOD. I suppose I could take my bike back outside and go to the store and pick up some food, but I am too hungry to want to try and ride my bike right now. I might pass out from starvation!

Woe is me, and all that.

I shall find something. And I shall spare you all from more insane rambles. I am too shaken about the missing dental appointment in 2007 anyhow.

Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!!

I found my first blog! I was trying to search for my dentist appointment posts (my search on this stupid thing doesn’t work, so I was using google!) and I found my Blurty blog! AND it answers the question I posed in my other post about how long I have been blogging. Well, the answer is…

… Since October 2003!

Though I wasn’t very prolific.

I wonder if I can import those posts to here? Hmm.

Garden Spells

Garden Spells
by Sarah Addison Allen

Charming. Completely charming. I loved this book so much I had the following conversation with my husband before bed the other night.

“I only have about 12 pages left. I am so sad, I don’t want it to end.”

“Why’s that?”

“I’m really going to miss the characters when it’s over.”

And it’s true. Finishing this book made me feel like something was missing inside me. How pathetic is that? I was so charmed by the characters and the writing I felt content and comforted every time I picked up the book to read before bed.

Claire Waverly doesn’t deal well with change. She likes everything to be the same because that is safe. The Waverlys are regarded as a strange family, things happen when they are around. Claire cooks fabulous food, but things are capable of happening to those who eat it. Things are simple and safe as far as Claire is concerned until the surprise arrival of her younger sister Sydney and her 5-year old daughter, Bay.

Suddenly things in Claire’s world aren’t quite as simple and she finds herself opening up to people, especially her new neighbour Tyler. Claire hopes to find solace in her garden, but is constantly pushed out into the world by her sister and a large apple tree with an attitude.

My summary really doesn’t do the story justice. By the end of the book  I wanted to LIVE in Bascom, North Carolina with these people AND I wanted to have my very own Apple Tree With An Attitude (even though I hate apples). I also feel like I need to learn how to garden and cook well. Neither of which I am particularly good at OR fond of. 😉 A lot of the reviews I have seen for Garden Spells have stated they found the book too much like Practical Magic, but I have never seen that movie so I can’t comment on that. All I know is that this book made me happy. I needed to feel happy. And even now I look at it longingly on my kitchen table and wish that I didn’t have to take it back to the library in a week. It has stayed on my wishlist only because I feel like I need to own a copy of this book to help make my life complete. Yes, I know that is crazy.

I loved this book. Plain and simple.