This and that… and definitely that!

The berry pies I made before Valentine's Day, which were followed by Snickerdoodle cookies

The berry pies I made before Valentine’s Day, which were followed by Snickerdoodle cookies

I’ve been keeping busy with work, PT, work, baking, work, a couple of trips to the international film festival in town (always a good idea), work, and some good reads.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters was well-written and, like the other two books I’ve listed below, had wonderful descriptive prose; however, the big event that occurs halfway through the book was so well described that I nearly had to put it down without finishing. I might have a queasy stomach. I managed to slog through the part that bothered me and made it to the end of the book without further pain. This put me on a book-reading binge.
I highly recommend All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Even my husband read and enjoyed it. I can’t say enough good about that book! Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng was quite good but made me cry (hello, dysfunctional families!) and I didn’t pass it on to my husband since that sort of thing isn’t his cup of tea.
For something different, my book group read Tolstoy’s “Walk in the Light” (a short story that is part of the book, Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales) which we discussed last Thursday over a meal of beef stroganoff. I admit to being thoroughly swayed by the incredible meal prepared by our chef. Frank really is a chef and it was one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Each bite was a revelation, even the salad with feta and roasted beets (beets normally make me gag). The story itself? A little too preachy for me but I admire that good arguments were presented and discussed.

It's actually worse now because I went scrapbooking on Friday. *sigh*

It’s actually worse now than when I took this picture, because I went scrapbooking on Friday. *sigh*

Now that I completed both of the annual reports for work (one statistical, which nearly made me tear my hair out), I thought I’d have a few weeks respite. Somehow, I managed one day of breathing freely before it was time to prepare for Lent.  Next will be Easter and spring break. Time passes so quickly and I still haven’t mailed the snail-mail version of our Christmas letter (which I had to rewrite over the weekend to bring it up-to-date). Let’s hope it doesn’t get lost in the mess known as my craft area.
In my defense, I can’t walk around the desk because the dog and his toys lie (lay?) in front of the pellet stove. Also, I find it impossible to work there at night or when the guys are at the computer (see photo).  But those defensive words ring hollow now that I’ve written them.

EB moved home in mid-December and is still looking for a job. Since he is no longer in school and he’s used up his grace period for job-hunting, he owes us rent beginning March 1st. The dog enjoys having another person to take on long walks and the younger brother enjoys having someone around to help with chores.

In other news:

The roads have become a little scarier..

TIcket to ride... er, drive with an adult!

Ticket to ride… er, DRIVE with an adult!

SnakeMaster has his driver’s permit. Yes, my baby is growing up! Luckily, he still let’s me hug him and call him my baby without rolling his eyes too obviously. I think he understands the benefits that come with being the youngest and amazingly he still wants me to be around.
He requested that his picture (taken for the grandparents and shared surreptitiously here) be snapped in front of this truck of which he is part-owner. Dad paid the other half and uses it to pull the Scout trailer, but SM will hold the keys once he becomes a fully licensed driver. With zero-hour classes next year plus cross-country practice after school, he will need his own transportation.

Winter appears to be over. We only received half of the usual amount of snow in the mountains — never a good thing — but soon I will need to get out and take pictures of the slow arrival of Spring.

What has been happening in your corner of the world?