Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book talk

Five books I've recently read, in the order that I would recommend them:
Books I plan to read next, in no particular order:
  • Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (loved the movie. Want to read the book, then watch the movie again)

  • Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy (I don't remember where I heard about this one.)

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (recommended by Tish, my librarian friend, who has very similar taste to me and rarely steers me wrong, although she has a weird thing for Pete Hamill that I don't get.)

  • One Day by David Nicholls (Tish, I'm reading it now)

  • This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (Tish)

  • The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (Tish)

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Tish)

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Tish)

  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (Tish)

    • What have y'all been reading that's good?

      Friday, October 15, 2010

      World domination and subversive activity

      Sometimes there is a quote that you hear too often, yet it resonates so deeply that it never really gets old.

      Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

      As I mentioned, I'm heading up the PTA Wellness Committee this year. I had two big goals (Start a walking to school program and do something to improve the lunch program), and one not-so-secret goal (start a school vegetable garden).

      Our district has a wellness policy that has met with a lot of parental resistance. In part: No chips, cookies, candy, soda for daily snack items or class parties. No food of any kind for teacher rewards. No candy or bake sale fundraisers. (Although we still have a "cake walk" once a year. Go figure how that gets approved.) I have no issues with any of that.

      And yet, despite the wellness policy, the lunch program, as in many schools, is repulsive. No fresh fruit or vegetables. At all. I read in USA Today recently (I know. It was an accident.) that only schools and pet food use that grade of meat. Gross.
      There is a breakfast item called the SuperDonut that gets a lot of negative parental comments. "It's fortified," says the food vendor. Umm. Yeah.

      So, I met one of our village trustees, Dana, who just happened to stop me to chat after a school board meeting. I attended that meeting to ask whether there were plans for any lunch program revamping. While talking with her, I realized that nothing would ever happen unless all the schools start working together. I mentioned this to our school's PTA president as well. Next thing I know I'm heading up a meeting next Thursday night, and we are inviting all the parents from all seven schools in the district to attend. I hope the news is spreading well. It seems to be. All hail the God of Email.

      On top of that, Dana told me of an eco-grant program the village has. I plan to apply for a grant to start our school vegetable garden, but I probably should get the principal on board first. Also, she and I are both interested in getting foreign language instruction in the grade schools. I think I'll need to hang out with her more!

      All this world domination and subversive activity is taking away from my exercising/reading/blogging/lounging time, which frankly wasn't such a large line item to begin with.

      Next selection

      The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich. I'm half through it and loving it!

      Thursday, October 7, 2010


      I'm not dead. Just crazy busy. New speech therapist for Nea, new progress towards a school veggie garden, etc. etc.

      Did I tell you about my first-ever attempt at peach jam? It's so lovely. Five pumpkins this year! We ate our one Red Rome apple. It was crisp.

      Will update more next week. Really!