2014 has been rather lovely and I am sorry to see it end. ( esp as it came on the heels of a crazy 2013 and an unsettled/uneasy 2012)
I was off for 2 weeks. 1 week was vacation and another was staycation/some work from home. This is a perfect recipe for a great vacation for me as it combines both Rest and Recreation
What happened in Vegas…and Grand Canyon and Sedona
Vegas is a great place for a family vacation
1. Parking is abundant
2. Loads of things for kids to do
3. Great prices on hotels – we stayed in the Hilton Grand Vacations - right on the strip in a suite that is practically an apartment and simply sumptuous and it's about 100 dollars a night
They really know how to put on a show
We loved the High Roller Ferris Wheel
4. Its close to things so beautiful that they make your heart fill up and burst out of your chest. I am all atingle with the beauty of nature and the amazingness of humans. The beautiful things we saw were as follows
a. Grand Canyon: The splendor of this has just taken my breath away. We were smart to stay in the Grand Canyon in a slightly dated lodge but it was priceless to be right there.
b. Sedona: The sun kisses the red mountains and turns them to fire. We took a little hike and could see the ring of fire all around us
c. Hoover Dam: Its art. No other word for this. The words inscribed here underneath the American flag that says "inspired by a vision of lonely lands made fruitful" will be in my mind forever.
Especially after we came on this after 4 hours of driving in the gorgeous barren deserts of the Arizona and Nevada.
R was mad to go on vacation but as is always he was sometimes a bit of a pain. Its SO great to see his enthusiasm.
First, we were worried when he was sick. Then he would NOT sleep the night before we were going to leave as he wanted to keep checking to see if it was morning yet
Then we were very annoyed when he was a whiny mess. He LOVES vacation but he wants to do the same things everywhere like go to Malls - take pictures of the elevators at Macy's etc
Still DH and I have learned to simply keep our expectations low and enjoy life in spite of his rigidities and try to balance between his need to keep things the same( so LOADS of picture of elevators were taken) and our knowledge that things need to be shaken up for him
I have rediscovered the pure pleasure of loitering in bed with a cup of Nespresso and a book
Since P.D James died, I am re-reading her series
Unnatural Causes: Maurice Seton was a famous mystery writer -- but no murder from his imagination could equal the ghastliness of his own death. When his grotesquely mutilated corpse is found in a drifting dinghy, ripples of horror spread among his bizarre neighbours: the cruel and cynical drama critic, the celebrated recluse, the rakish young heir, the terrified woman waiting for her killer in a lonely house.
Death in Holy orders :
When the body of a young ordinand, Ronald Treeves, turns up buried in a sandy bank on the Suffolk coast near isolated St. Anselm's, a High Anglican theological college, it's unclear whether his death was an accident, suicide or murder. The mystery deepens a few days later when someone suffocates Margaret Munroe, a retired nurse with a bad heart, because she remembers an event 12 years earlier that could have some bearing on whatever's amiss at St. Anselm's
I read a new author recoed by my trainer
Fault in our Stars Cliched plot of cancer kids and undying love. But I could not put it down. If you are in love with language, you must read John Green. Some choice quotes
"Look, let me just say it: He was hot. A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy . . . well."
"The risen sun too bright in her losing eyes."
"One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around"
"Mom sobbed something into Dad's chest that I wish I hadn't heard, and that I hope she never finds out that I did hear. She said, "I won't be a mom anymore." It gutted me pretty badly."
"His hand reached for her boob…. I wondered if that felt good. Didn't seem like it would, but I decided to forgive Isaac on the grounds that he was going blind. The senses must feast while there is yet hunger and whatever."
""I was thinking about the word handle and all the unholdable things that got handled.""
""That's the thing about pain," Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. "It demands to be felt." "
""Osteosarcoma sometimes takes a limb to check you out. The, if it like you, it takes the rest."
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves." Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars"
No more Dying then: Its in the Wexford series and is an amazing psychological thriller - two kidnapped children . One mother is indifferent - almost as though she is relieved. The child was an interference to her .The second mother is devastated. I like that Ruth Rendell does not glorify motherhood
I liked his sidekick - Burden's – his inner world was fascinating - always he is so controlled but not this time
The side story was almost more interesting - about one of the characters who has Fragile X and ADORES his aunt - has a job but no other sexual appetite at all . His mind is so childlike - all he hopes for is to have a big enough house she he can live with his aunt. I read it fast to find out the end - but it was not a good one. This handicapped child def ruins his aunt's life - I was mad at the author for making this the end
Master of the Moor
I always find it disturbing when she writes the books from the murderer's perspective ( like in Rottweiler)
Out of the three POV's in a murder ( detective, Victim, Killer ) I always like the detective perspective. Having said that - it was very well written
A man who is like a child in some ways ( married but not consummated) loves the Moor.In the moor he women with golden hair are being murdered with the hair shorn off
No man's Nightingale:
Who strangled the Rev. Sarah Hussain in the vicarage of St. Peter's Church, and why. The fact that Hussain was biracial and a single mother had galvanized bigots near and far, who resented her very existence as well as her modernizing the liturgy. When Wexford's grandson, Robin, begins dating Sarah's daughter, Clarissa, Robin gets entangled in identifying Clarissa's sperm-donor father—further upping the ante for Wexford. Is a white power group responsible for killing Sarah, or had a personal relationship curdled into fur
Put on by Cunning:
Nineteen years later, Camargue's entrancing daughter, Natalie, now a considerable heiress, suddenly reappears in Kingsmarkham. When her fiancé appeals to Wexford for help, believing that Natalie is using a false identity, the case of the Camargues is once more under investigation. Events soon take a gruesome twist and the pressure is on for Wexford to discover Natalie's true identity and to solve the mystery of the Camargue family, once and for all.
Pleasures of home
I have a sinsusy/cold/ weakfish staycation and so very relaxed and mellow
We love Binge Watching There is a lot of pure rubbish on TV after we have finished the A grade shows ( news Room, True Detective, Game of thrones) then the B grade shows ( mentalist, scorpian, elementary, Madam Secretary). Finally the real rubbish –( Mysteries of Laura, State of Affairs) - these woman-centered shows- I feel duty bound to like them.
But I don't.
A good yarn is a good yarn and vice versa. Instead we did Netflix - Liked Wolf of Wall street( about 1 hour longer than it should have been) a Bollywood movie ( rather good and about this new generation of Indian youngsters who are so materialistic and practical)
R is SO relaxed with the slacker schedule - he is just a cuddly, snuggly ball of love and charm and magic. Today DH was very la-di-da when I told him that R had asked me to read "Good night moon". I get it but its okay for five minutes of bedtime story I think.
Something so magical about me saying "And the Quiet old lady whispering " .. and R adding "hush"
In the little circle of the light from R's bedside lamp - its just the two of us in an enchanted circle.
The start of the year
The first day is AMAZING.
The sun is out shining and the ring of iced mountains that surrounds us are resplendent.
It's a perfect day to go for a drive
We do little acts of self care which I love to start the year with
We drop R off at Social group - then went to the Mall where I found excellent prices on Levis Cuve ID ( read fat ass) and I bought FOUR!!!
Then got to meet Molly – one of my online friends -short visit R was loud and annoying - but still I got to see Molly at least !!!!
The second day is a day of little accidents
Missed the trainer time and got to gym an hour early ( and I really would have loved the extra hour of sleep )
DH called me as I was pulling into the garage - so I grazed against the wall ( luckily car is 12 years old)
I cleaned ALL day- I had decided that I would clear the attic and so I did - I was listening to PD james novel ( super interesting) so it was a lot of fun
We interviewed a new therapist who has been working since 1984- so loads of expereince but who had an AOL account( which immediately made me think dated ) but once she was here - she engages beautifully with R.
She got his attention and they read a book together. ( Pete and his buttons) She was that combination of firmness and gentleness that is super important to us.
I have asked for references but if it works out - I think she will be a good fit
Did other nice lovely things
I had a massage certificate from my fat camo Massage was good - heated bed /vanilla fragrance .I really liked it
But not sure that I will go again as she also said a lot of vodoo things like "let the healing begin" and I should drink a lot of water today "otherwise the massage can generate toxins which must be flushed away". Plus it was a $90 massage ( +$18 tip!!!!) . I just had to pay the tip but still…
The rest of the weekend is spend in getting ready for the week. We are sorting out cupboards and our garages etc.
This will be the year of cleaning and decluttering and organizing I think.
I am not into making New Year Resolutions – most of the time they are forgotten sooner in a month. Sometimes life gets in the way and we have one more thing to feel bad about not getting to.
But organising is something that is becoming important to DH and me
The start of real life
Well all good things must come to an end and we are getting ready for the start of real life.
I cannot help but wish that I could rewind the past week.
But the trick of course is to find the oases in regular life.
Happy New year dear friends and hope 2015 brings you and your loves - joy and happiness