These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. I’ve had this book for years, but never really felt like picking it up. Probably because the title is kind of awful. But it was Pioneer Day weekend and I felt like reading something vaguely pioneer-y, and I’ve heard such good things about it, so I decided to get over the title and start. This book is so depressing. Sad, sad, sad. It’s the fictional journal of a girl living in the harsh Arizona territory from when she’s a teenager in 1881 to when she’s a middle-aged wife and mom in 1901. And although there is a lot of sad, there is so much strength. She’s smart, (but fairly uneducated), resourceful, and just plucky. It doesn’t take long for you to just love this girl. And although I shouldn’t have waited so long to read it, I think being a young mom made me sympathize more with the young motherhood part of her life. A stylistically interesting thing the author did was start out with bad grammar, spelling, etc, and then gradually over the next 20 years improve it as she becomes more educated.
Also, A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie. This is the first in a mystery series I’m trying out after realizing Louise Penny isn’t my cup of tea. Her style was a little more Gilmore Girls-ian than I prefer. But Crombie promised to be a little more like Agatha Christie, and it’s not a bad comparison. Lots of characters in a somewhat isolated setting, complex back-stories and potential motivations for murder, with likable protagonists. Also, can I point out how dumb mystery series titles are? This is called A Share in Death because it takes place at a timeshare. But she couldn’t just call it Death at the Timeshare (which also sounds dumb) because Agatha Christie worked that angle so hard (and well, but now it’s cliche).
The Olympics. It doesn’t matter what’s on, I get sucked in. I was a little worried about our Olympic television status because we just switched to a fiber Internet provider and dropped Comcast like it’s hot. And the cable void is filled pretty well between Amazon Prime video and Sling TV but we didn’t have the local channels. We had bunny ears, but not a great way to connect them to our tv, so we found an analog to digital box on Amazon for $30 and suddenly we’ve got local channels (we can record, too).
Mowing the lawn. I grew up mowing the lawn. I grew up with my mom mowing the lawn. In farming families it’s decidedly a job for girls. And it’s actually a job I don’t mind doing. But where I live now it’s kind of scandalous for women to mow the lawn. I did it when my husband had shoulder surgery a few summers ago and people actually asked him why I was mowing the lawn. My poor husband was embarrassed and I was incredulous. I’ve mowed a (huge) lawn since I was maybe 11, and now I’m suddenly too dainty to mow my own (little) lawn? Stupid. Anyway, I don’t do it very often just for the sake of my husband’s pride. But a couple weekends ago my husband got what we shall tastefully call “the million dollar wound” so he’s been out of commission for a few weeks (but finally now almost back to normal). But the lawn needed to be mowed. And like I said, I have no problem with doing it. And even though I’m pregnant, I don’t think it’s particularly strenuous or dangerous. But I had to mow in the cover of nearly night so people wouldn’t give my husband a hard time. The funny thing is, I can be pushing 40 pounds of stroller up a steep hill by my house in the heat of day, and everyone smiles and waves. But I spend 30 minutes walking around my yard behind a motor-powered device in the shade, and heaven forbid.