Monday, August 29, 2016

Running in the summer, in Arkansas

Here I am - proof of life!

What you probably can't tell from this picture is that it was in the mid-80s, with about the same level of humidity. I was dripping wet, literally. Not a dry spot on me. That is how most of my runs have been this summer. For a week or two, it wasn't blazing hot, but it was raining non-stop, and I got just as wet. Can I tell you something? I am so over summer. At the beginning of the summer, I was all proud of myself for running in the heat, playing tennis in the heat - it made me feel, well, superior. I was out doing, when so many people were inside, sitting. Now? I am just tired of being so damn wet, of my clothes needing to be wrung out after a run or a tennis match. I can still handle it, but the feeling of superiority has been replaced by a sigh of resignation. If I want to do the things I love, I have to endure.

Thank goodness fall is coming. Oh, true fall in Arkansas is still a ways off, but there is a hint of a cool breeze in the mornings now. The temperatures at only in the low 90s during the day, and it isn't quite warm enough for the pool some days. (That in itself could be an entire blog post - when I was a kid, any day the pool was open was a day warm enough to go swimming. Now, it has to be at least 85 for me to feel the need to get in.)

Anyway, I have been running in the summer in Arkansas so often because I signed up for my second half-marathon at the end of October, and I need to be prepared! I almost signed up for three halfs in a month, but reason kicked in and settled on one. My hope is that all this heat training will make the fall weather seem so glorious and easy to run it that I can break my PR from the spring. So, c'mon Fall!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Malcolm is Four!

Happy birthday to my wonderful, goofy, creative, smart Malcolm.

You have grown so much in the last year, and I can't wait to see what comes next.

I am so grateful that I get to share all my favorite things about this world with you, like blueberries, gardening, bird watching, books, and tennis (although we don't always share a fashion sense).

Never stop sparkling, little super hero!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Back to blogging, with book reviews

I have been trying to read more lately, and spend less time on computer games and Facebook. I also challenged myself to read more books by women and minorities; so far, 15 of the 21 books I have read so far this year are by women. Anyway, here are short reviews of two books I have recently finished.

Cold Magic (Spiritwalker, #1)Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is closer to a 3.5 for me. I enjoyed it enough that I want to read the rest of the trilogy, but there were some things - stylistically and plot-wise - that kept me from truly loving it. Initially, I had a hard time getting into the story, since the beginning was a bit slow - I tend to prefer a quick start. A large portion of the middle of the book is occupied with Cat and Anduvai traveling up and then back down the length of the country, seemingly to no great purpose - I mean, important plot things happen, but they start and end in the same place with lots of running around in between. And as much as I liked the mash up of cultures, I was often distracted by them, enough that I would get thrown out of the story for a bit. I am not entirely sure why this particular brand of alternate history/fantasy should do that, since I have read plenty of books set in alternate versions of our world, but somehow, the redrawn map of Europe, combined with actual bits of ancient Roman and African history, and magic, was just a bit too much.

As I said though, I do want to read the rest of the series. I like Cat and Bee, and I am interested to see where they go next.

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, and read it in two days. It is like Master and Commander, but with dragons. Napoleon and Britain are at war, and both use dragons as their aerial power. When William Lawrence, a British Navy captain, captures a dragon egg from a French ship, he is dismayed to have it hatch and pick him as his companion, because the aerial corps are looked down upon by society and especially the Navy. But he is a man of honor and duty, so he does what he must to keep the dragon safe and help his country in the war. Along the way, he forges a friendship and partnership with the dragon, Temeraire, that changes his views of society and duty. While I did find Laurence a little stuffy at times, given the setting I suppose that is forgivable. And the dragons are pretty cool. Too bad it wasn't illustrated, in full color! I will be reading the rest of the series.

View all my reviews