{Mid September}

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. A few weeks ago there were some really good Kindle ebook sales going on for recent bestsellers and I snagged Dead Wake for $2. I normally don’t buy books I haven’t read before, but I loved The Devil in the White City (also by Erik Larson) and I’d heard really good things about Dead Wake. And although I prefer to have my books in print, I’m really glad I got it because I loved it.

Before, I’d been under the impression that the Lusitania was some dinky little boat with a couple Americans on it. Nope. It was a spacious and speedy luxury liner (much like the Titanic) and carried many influential people. And once it was hit by a German torpedo it sunk completely in less than 20 minutes (in contrast, the Titanic took 2 hours, 40 minutes to sink after impact). And they were less than a day away from arriving in Liverpool! I could go on and on.

Except I’ll add that in doing some family history research a while ago I discovered one of my ancestor’s descendants (my distant cousin) was a 3rd Class waiter on the Lusitania on that voyage, and he was among the casualties. He was 19 years old. His body was either never found or never identified.

Listening to:
The Ballad of Captain Dwight on the Memory Palace. This episode wasn’t really the norm for the Memory Palace, but I still really liked it. And although it’s a compelling story, my favorite part is the unexpected ending.

Arthur and George on PBS. The season change has put me in the mood for mysteries. After the first episode, I’m intrigued, but not sold on it yet. It’s about Arthur Conan Doyle trying to clear the name of a man (George) convicted of a crime. It’s based on actual events, but I don’t know how loosely. There’s a book by the same name.

Working on:
Publishing an ebook. Back in April (Child Abuse Prevention Month) I did a sexual abuse prevention workshop via blog, and I’ve been brainstorming ways to freshen up the content with an alternate format. So I decided to tweak what I’ve already got into a free pocket guide. I think I’ve found a site that will both let me publish and offer it for free, so hopefully it’ll be available in October.

I recently joined a community symphony. I’d been wanting to do this for a while, but I was also really busy with teaching violin and with my church calling, so I couldn’t really justify yet another night away from my family. But a few months ago my church calling changed, and now I don’t really get the opportunity to talk to adults besides my husband, so I decided it was a good time to start symphony. On Saturday we did a car wash to raise money for music, and during some down time I was chatting with someone, and it came up that my degree is in social work. As I was talking to her I had an epiphany. I’m not employed as a social worker now, but my previous job in sexual abuse prevention gave me some unique knowledge that I feel compelled–obligated, even–to share with my community, even though it’s technically not my job anymore. This concept of being a contributer to my community has been on my mind a lot as I’ve been working on this ebook.

Thinking about:
How unusually unattached I am to my child’s hair. I feel like every toddler I know got to an awkward stage where the natural hair growth is not cute, but one or more of the parents is oddly attached to that sweet baby mop and wouldn’t trim it. I found I’m not one of those parents.

My kid doesn’t have a lot of hair–I’ve been asked if I buzz it–so the length has been a non-issue. But recently I’ve noticed when he slid down a slide, a couple of much longer hairs stuck out from his head from the static. And it bothered me a lot. So last weekend we got out the trimmers and evened things out. You really can’t tell we cut anything (there was barely anything to sweep up after) but it felt so good to trim it. I guess I’m not sentimental with the baby hair.


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