Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Trip to Pancake Springs!

Hubby's Siblings

Sugar Mill- The Pancake House

Wanted This!

2 of My Beautiful Sisters :)  
Our Treasures!

Clinging to Treasures 

Sleepy Time!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lives of Our Authors

Sorry- but this is going to be a long post-

I am in my last semester of Undergrad- earning a Bachelor's Degree in English. After 2 years of college I am still ever-changing in my approach to literature. Everyone has theories and approaches of their own- but one particular idea has always been my favorite to contemplate- does the life of the author impacts their writing? Professors have different opinions and I've finally come to my conclusion.

I believe that knowing the author, knowing their struggles and sources of happiness adds a tone to their stories which are otherwise undetectable. Senses of hidden meanings and connotations are experienced more vividly when the reader possesses just a little bit of knowledge about the author.

When I initially started reading I never thought about the author (it simply never occurred to me that a little bit of information may enhance the reading experience). After some experience, I returned to read a few of the books from my past- this time having taken several literature courses which discussed the lives of some major authors-  Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Kate Chopin, and Virginia Woolf.

Below is evidence why I believe you must not rule-out the life of the author when reading their works.

**Frankenstein- I read Frankenstein during my first semester of college, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but thought of it only as a scary book. However, I recently re-read it after hearing more of the story behind Shelley's creation of Frankenstein and her own life. 

STORY- There is a scene which has always haunted me.  Victor has just given life to the creation (the monster). After the creature becomes aware of his surroundings and gains the power to walk, Victor goes into fits and becomes very ill. After weeks of sleep, he wakes up to see the creation reaching his hand out toward him, and Victor runs away.

It is this scene that always stands out when I think of Frankenstein- for the following reason:

Mary Shelley's mother died shortly after Mary's birth and her father paid very little attention to her.

Victor's response to his creation is that of Mary Shelley's father- running away from his "child/Creation."

I believe that Victor's response is symbolic of Mary's own feelings of rejection. This opinion conveys such strong and emotional feelings of sadness and pain to the reader.

** The Awakening- Another of my personal favorite moments where fiction and non-fiction intermingle is between the death of the protagonist from Kate Chopin's The Awakening and the actual life, or rather, death of Virginia Woolf.

Edna Pontellier is one of the very first feminist characters in the early 1900's. She is trapped in an oppressive marriage and is extremely unhappy. She meets a man and realizes her entrapment and leaves, takes in a lover and gets her own apartment (unheard of at the time). Anyways, at the end of her story she cannot handle the judgmental stares of her peers and she kills herself. But it is Edna Pontellier's end and Virginia Woolf's death that share a startling similarity.

Both of these women, unable to tolerate their circumstances- walk into a river a drown themselves. Now when I read The Awakening I am so much more aware of undertones of pain and sexism which I hadn't been so blatantly obvious before.

I guess the reason I'm sharing this is for one reason- the next time you pick up a work of fiction, get some information on the author and you'll have a stronger reading experience.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chalkboard Paint!

A Christmas present to myself! I wrote our names, wedding date, and drew our cats on 4 chalkboard coasters :) I love them! Now I need to get some coaster I will actually let people use!!

How to make these yourself- its very easy

1 small pot of Chalkboard paint (black)- Lowes $20
4 coaster with a smooth clean surface- basically anywhere
Chalk! Target $4.99

Follow the directions on the paint pot. Each layer of chalkboard paint takes about 12 hours to dry, so give yourself plenty of time- not a 1-day project.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Books and Authors List for the New Year!

I've made this list in reference to the books and authors I wish to have read before the end of 2013.

Margaret Drabble
Dorothy Sayer
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
George Elliot (Pen name) Given name- Mary Evans
Thomas Hardy
Carol Mc.Wallace
Julian Fellows
Frances Osborne
Booth Tarkington
More Charles Dickens!

Specific Titles
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves- The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
A Dash of Style by Noah Lukeman
To Marry an English Lord
Park Lane by Frances Osborne
Story of the Invisible Woman
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

New Year Goals!

This New Years Eve was spent with my husband and parents. We spent the entire night watching Seinfeld and eating Chinese food (Orange Chicken is the best). So, just like everyone else I started to think about what I wanted to do differently this year- I came up with a few OBTAINABLE goals.
  1. Visit as many Florida State Parks as I can! I've been to several but that hasn't been enough to satisfy me!
  2. Of course, lose weight, since my chances of getting taller are pretty low. 
  3. Read more of what I want- finish my "Books to Read List."
  4. Organization! I'm already super organized in my school life, but my home is a bit chaotic, especially my closet!
  5. Remember Romance! I don't want to fall into that 6 months of marriage rut.
  6. Save money for a house. I love my apartment, but I want an herb garden, more room to hold my lovely thrift store furniture, and a place that is absolutely and wholly mine!
  7. Give cooking another chance. I absolutely hate cooking- the time I do have to myself should not be spent on cooking, so I want to find a compromise (30 minute meals). 
  8. Get rid of things I really don't need/love anymore. If I don't LOVE it, it goes!
  9. Take more pictures of me and my husband!
  10. Family trip to Disney World!
  11. Graduate from College in the Spring! 
  12. Breathe better- Out with the bad, in with the new. 
  13. Quote more Dr.Who ;)