{Mid February}

Still Life by Louise Penny. This is the first in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, of which I’ve heard great reviews. Usually I tear through mysteries like this quickly–can’t put it down!–but this one was a little different in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. Instead of devouring it, I kind of sunk into it. Then suddenly it was done. I’m not sure what I experienced, but I’m eager to read some others in the series. Also worth noting, I was really impressed with the lack of swears. I’d still put it at PG-13 because of a few off-color comments from certain characters.

Also The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. A neighbor who is a children’s librarian recommended this book to me. It’s geared toward tween girls, and is pretty delightful. It came out when I was in high school (when that genre wasn’t exactly on my radar), but my 10-year-old self would have loved it. It’s really reminiscent of old-fashioned books with heroines trying to do the right thing. It’s a lot like Little Women (a bunch of sisters with different strengths and struggles having adventures with a much-beloved neighbor boy), but written more for the 10-year-old reader. The more I think about it, it’s totally a modern tween twist on Little Women. And it’s also a series, so I’m excited to read more.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. We finished Making a Murderer, but still had about a week left on our free trial of Netflix, so we watched the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s pretty clever. It started to fall a little flat for me toward the end of the season, so I’m not sure if I’m going to watch the second season when it comes out this spring. I don’t think they’ll be able to draw out the premise for another season. But it works so well that first season. And that auto-tuned theme song is so catchy!

Working on:
A multitude of projects, but most recently a custom set up in one drawer in my bathroom. I got some lattice from Lowe’s, cut it to fit my needs, spray painted it, then glued it in the drawer. I was going to include a photo, but it doesn’t photograph well. The lighting is too meh in there. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Great Grandpa Lou. VaLoy (who I mentioned in a previous post) was Lou’s second wife. His first wife died young, leaving him with 3 boys. Then VaLoy also died young, leaving him with 4 little girls. What I’d never realized was that VaLoy was only 10 years older than her oldest step-son and 10 years younger than Lou. The boys and the girls were really two separate families. And Lou was widowered twice over when each set of children had reached about the same age. The worst and saddest kind of déjà vu.


Thinking About:
The tampon tax. In these parts the state was considering a bill to remove taxes on feminine hygiene products, but it got shut down. The bill sounded like a dumb idea to me at first, but the more I thought about it I realized how patently unfair the situation is. There is a tax on products that all women, (and only women) must use. Men really don’t have an equivalent–something every man must have that women don’t need. An article I read estimated that the average woman will spend over $1,000 over her lifetime just on taxes on feminine hygiene products. That’s a tax men are automatically 100% exempt from! It’s ridiculous to have a tax that is so specifically targeted at a non-voluntary population. I really hope this gets reconsidered (although I think part of the problem was it was too broad and also included diapers–the state probably makes a killing on diaper taxes).


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