A Mother’s Reckoning.

Book:

A Mother’s Reckoning. Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold

Wow. Just Wow. First of all fair warning. If you have any kind of trauma injury this book may trigger you. There is absolutely nothing graphic in it but I found myself having to read it in bits and spurts because I was getting amped up. I bit off all my fingernails…I ate out half my pantry, ha ha! ( I still read it in 7 hours though! ) Also, I found myself with racing thoughts at bedtime and the anxiety brought up some well buried events from my childhood. So, take care. I regret nothing and think it was well worth it though because this book…oh this book!

I found great comfort in this book. I’m the mother of a child who has made some bad choices and I have felt all kinds of turbulant, complicated, gut wrenching emotions during the course of that experience. As Sue Kelbold struggles to make sense of why her child did what he did and what her own part was, she takes the reader along with her and imparts great wisdom derived both from her experience AND from experts she meets along the way. It all felt like a balm for my soul.

I was left feeling like there is no easy answer. Good, bad or indifferent. I was left feeling nothing but compassion for every human being who struggles, with anything. I just wanted to give the world a great big hug. We are all just babies really. Vulnerable to the scary and the unknown. And yet we keep trying! How amazing is that!? I felt like if this woman can live her life the way she did and have this happen in her family, then shitty things can happen to any of us regardless of our best intentions, knowledge, beliefs and actions. We can try our best, and our best might not be good enough. The perfectionist in me struggles with this but it is a stone cold fact! I find it comforting. I don’t want to stop trying my best but I think it gives me room to let myself off the hook for all the things I cant control, yet blame myself for!

There is a lot of grace and kindness amongst these a pages too. Sue Klebold is unflinching and sincere. She makes zero excuses and only seeks to understand. The bits of kindness she was shown in the wake of this tragedy and the kindness she showed others astounded me, and filled my heart to bursting.

We all like to think we’re impervious to things like this and when it happens to people boy oh boy do we like to play arm chair expert don’t we? ” Well, she mustn’t have been a good parent if her kid did something like!” we expound sitting on top of our very high -and very wobbly- horses. Until something like that does happens to US and then suddenly, we’re not so sure anymore. Of anything.

I relate to this deeply as the mother of a child with an addiction problem.

I relate to this deeply as the wife of a person with a brain illness.

I even relate to this deeply as the mother of a young mother!

Us humans love to judge and think we know better. It makes us feel safe in a world that is nothing but chaotic.

This was an excellent read. Very well written and put together. Sue Klebold is very human and very likable. There is great wisdom in this one. Well done! I highly recommend.

Ramble, Secret Cats, Worms, Reading & Chocolate.

Squee! I have some exciting news BUT I cant really share it just yet. So instead, I’ll use this cute meme I found to drop this weird and obscure hint and if anybody guesses well…it’s not like I told…

If it all goes well, someone I know and love is going to be growing chonky! ❀

Ha Ha!

I remember when I first started wearing glasses. I felt so self conscious. Now I’m so used to them that it’s the opposite for me : I think I look better with them ON, as opposed to off. But yes, blurry vision can have it’s perks πŸ˜›

They really don’t! Every morning after a rain, I see them on my patio or in the lawn, trapped by the rays of the blazing sun. Do they not know, the light is bad for them? Did they not learn that in worm school? Were they never taught basic survival skills by their wriggly mums? Or maybe, just maybe the worms I see on the surface are like, bad ass rebel worms. They KNOW about the light, they just don’t care…

I have giant issues with worms. I appreciate their work but they gross me out. Seeing piles of them on my yard is revolting. Even just posting that photo is giving me the squirmies. Yuck.

Of course, my yard is home to a large worm population. Of course it is! The worms in my yard are SO big they make noises when they move. *shudder.

This ^ makes me laugh like a lunatic every time I see it.

I hope you had a great weekend! I did nothing but garden really, oh and read!

I finished this:

The Huntress By Kate Quinn.

Twas a good read. Interesting and exciting , the story pulled right along. I had to set it down a few times because it was stressing me out, ha ha. But it wasn’t majorly disturbing to get through. Nothing too traumatic. It felt a little rushed at the end with some of the storylines but I appreciated how justice was served quickly. The main issue was resolved and that’s always satisfying in a book. Especially one on this subject. ( World War Two ) I had just been reading about the Night Witches so it was really cool to read a fictional account of these real life women!

I gave myself this:

I am a handmade pepper mill.

And this:

And then I had a chocolate accident, ha ha.

I used to make fun of these things because the commercials were sooooo cheesy but then one year, one of my work kids gave me a box and I tell ya … that shut me up right quick. These things are pretty damn good for mass produced chocolate ( as you can see by all the empty spaces πŸ˜› )

All in all, it was an active, relaxing, delicious weekend.

How was yours?

B is for *Books. A-Z Challenge.

As an awkward , anxious child I didn’t have very many friends and the ones I did have were more frenemies than anything else. Don’t you dare feel sorry for me because A. looking back I preferred it that way. Its only in hindsight that I can see I only ever felt bad because other people thought there was something wrong with it. And B. I had books!

Lots and lots of books! When money was flush, my mother would take me to the bookstore and buy me anything I wanted and then some! When money was tight, there was the library. We made weekly trips and I was left to my own devices and allowed to bring home as many books as I could carry, in whatever subject or skill level I desired. I was reading trashy romance novels in grade 5, ha!

Books became my best friends and my best educators. Seriously, books did more for my intelligence than the public school system ever did.

Do I have a favourite book? That is a hard thing to declare. For years I’ve said The Witching Hour by Anne Rice was my favourite book. I read that thing with intense focus and appreciation in the weeks following the birth of my son. Then I read it over and over again. The story so capitvating to 20 year old me. It gave me something other than BABY to think about and I really needed that.

I’ve since read it again as a 40 year old and think I’ve outgrown it. Especially a lot of the questionable parts. It still holds a very special place in my heart though and of course I’m so grateful for it!

I read so many books in a year that it takes something really special to stick in my brain and stay there. I rarely buy books – they would take over my house in no time! – so if a book does make it to my book shelf, you know it’s special to me.

I have a lot of Buddist-y books, my favourite being this:

This one is excellent in a crisis!

And I have a lot of LIttle House-y books. My favourite being this:

I have a few novels.


And a few books about women


And finally, I have a few more kids books


One of the coolest things about books, I’ve discovered in my later years are … BOOK Clubs!

The very first thing I ever went to, by myself, on my own, was a book club!

I then went on to start a book club with a friend which we axed last year – There ended up being only three of us on a consistent basis, which does not a book club make-but now we’re all in a library run one together and its all good. I really like how the members are all so different from one another. How they bring a view unique to them and their experiences to the whole thing.

PLUS, there’s always the potential to make new friends and gain valuable insights into your own life.

I think book clubs are really just a front for connection.

I love and appreciate books so much, I got a book tattoo done on my leg! How’s that for dedication? πŸ™‚

I do review books here, so stick around if that’s your jam. Add me on Goodreads too, if you want.

I always say ” Books saved my life.” and I mean that.

What do books mean to you?

March Books-3 & 4.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller was a delightful little book of loveliness. A quick and easy read but one that you’ll want to savour and read in bits, so as to not miss anything. This book is hard to describe. What is it about? Life. Simple life. Insights into life as it is. The author takes us through her life’s stages and offers sound advice observations. A nice and valuable read.

I read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate in an evening! So let that be your first indication of my feelings toward this book. On one side of the story you’ve got your ‘river rats’ and on the other you’ve got your “powerful and well to do”. How are they connected? Read the book and find out! The story pulled me straight through -in an evening- and got me thinking about class and adoptions and prejudice and love. Another good read.


Buddhism & Afghanistan

This was my first read this month:

The Lovers- Romeo & Juliet in Afghanistan by Rod Nordland was capably written if not entirely frustrating. Not the writing or the book itself but the situation. This true story tells the tale of a young couple from two different ethnicities who fall in love and then have to fight their families and culture to be together. There are a lot of horrible things that happen to them and others and I find the book hard to read because of that, so be warned. It was eye opening to say the least.

Did you know there were once giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan? This book taught me that. I’m on a mission to learn more about that and I’m grateful for the new knowledge. I had no clue!

Speaking of Buddha:

Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye is my second read this month. A quick read full of personal insights, wisdom and lessons. I follow Timber on Facebook and this is just more detailed versions of his content there. Worth your time, especially if you want to take things in, in small doses.

So far, I’ve read 32 of the 125 books in my reading challenge. I seem to be reeeeeally slowing down but I’m still confident I can finish strong. I’ve got 10 month left to read the last 93. No problem!

Happy Day To You!

Aging Boy Milk

Boy 30529 by Felix Weinberg was a quick, concise read about the author’s experience before, during and after the Holocaust. I enjoyed reading it. This is a book that feels more like it was written for his family than a wider audience and there is a real different feel here, because of that.

Aging for Beginners by Ezra Bayda is a victim of my expectations. I was anticipating this would be a book about aging. It was … kind of. The author talks about things that happen as we age but the topics were not unlike things that happen as we live! Anxiety, depression, pain, etc. and so to me, if felt like reading over the same old ground. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read. I bookmarked several pages with interesting quotes or valuable information. I was expecting something a little more specific and that is a ME problem πŸ™‚

Milkman by Anna Burns pissed me off. 1. It betrayed me by starting out strong and interesting if not unusual and unique in style and structure. I thought I had a good one here but as the pages went on and the characters were introduced I lost all train of thought and found myself unable to follow the story. I completely lost interest in the end. 2. This was a Hits to Go! book at my library. I went to another library after choosing this book and found another Hits to Go! book and tried to take it out only to learn, one may only have one Hits to Go! book at a time. I wasted my weekly Hits to Go! quota on a disappointing book. Boooo! Anyway, this book gets mixed reviews all over the place. Some people love it, some people hate it. I don’t have such strong feelings either way. It was just hard for me to read and did not hold my interest after awhile. Too much work for this old brain! πŸ˜‰

These three books mark six books read in February. I’m off to a slow start this month, it seems. BUT I’ve read twenty-five of my 2019 goal of one hundred and twenty-five so I still feel pretty good about that.

How is your reading going this month? Join me on Goodreads!

Untethered Monkeys

And The Monkey Learned Nothing by Tom Lutz is a quick little read, full of travel vignettes. Each story is highly different from the last and not at all typical. A lot of these tales really stuck with me, and got me thinking. I felt a whole range of emotions and books that do that to me get a high five πŸ™‚ A good read.

I read Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer in a day. I can’t say I loved it but I kept reading to find out what the heck happened in the end, so there’s that! The characters were unlikable in my eyes but the story carried me along and I really like what the author was trying to convey. I really liked that a horrible practice was brought to light. The ending was brief and a little too pat. That’s always so disappointing. But I’ll survive, I’m sure πŸ™‚ Not a horrible read.

Three books down in February, no idea how many more to go! I’m craving something that makes me love it. Something that I’m eager and excited to read. Will have to check my holds list and see what I can stir up!

Happy Reading!