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Blancmange and the Devil in Spring

Blancmange and the Devil in Spring

Isn’t this cover just the prettiest? I absolutely judge books by their covers. And with spring just around the corner, this seemed perfect.

I’m a fan of historical romances. I like to read them to recharge when my brain is too tired to process nonfiction. Like, who doesn’t love a happy ending? And I end up learning a lot of vocabulary words through these novels. I mean, I learn a lot of technical terms and jargon through nonfiction, but it doesn’t have the same richness and nuanced meaning as now obsolete words from eras past.

I’m also a fan of almond desserts. So imagine finding an almond dessert recipe in an historical romance novel that I picked up because it had the most beautiful cover… Can you guess what happens next?

Five More Common Money Mistakes – Dollars and Sense, Part 2

Dollars and Sense - Common Money Mistakes Part 2

ICYMI, check out Common Money Mistakes Part 1 first! Originally, I had planned to review Dollars and Sense in one go, but there was too much important information for a single post. Hope you enjoy Part 2 just as much!

We now return to the story of the psychological forces behind the money mistakes we make, and how we can avoid making those mistakes.

Day 6 – Constellations

Constellations

I can’t think of a more apt description of my family. I remember when I first learned this fact about constellations. Not so much the details of where I was or who was there, but that feeling of shock and disbelief, and then resigned acceptance, because I was nothing if not a pragmatic child. All my flights of fancy occurred in my head, not in my life.

We were never close as a family. My parents didn’t seem to have time for us, and if I was completely honest, neither of them should’ve had children. They did what was socially acceptable, what was socially required of them, and we all suffered for it.

My mother never understood us; she was from a different generation, a different era even, and could not fathom why we would not obey her. Could not obey her. She continued to try to force her will upon us; the more she tried, the stauncher we stood, creating a relationship that cannot be salvaged. My father simply didn’t care for anyone – he was a sociopath.

As children, my siblings and I played together well, along with our cousins. But time moves on, and people change. We all changed in different directions, and without a tether to hold us together, we drifted too far to come back. By the time we realized, it was too late. Too late to come back. Coming back took too much energy. It took time, and awareness, and vulnerability, and we were too young to have any of that.

The past is not a strong foundation to build on; our past is an even weaker one. Any relationship we attempt now will be tenuous at best, destructive at worst. We have all become strangers, awkward strangers, uncomfortable strangers. We no longer have anything of significance to say to each other, and run circles around small talk.

I am a bit saddened by these thoughts. When I see tight-knit families, my heart clenches a bit. In a long-ago conversation I had with a friend, she said she would never be homeless, because she had family all over the area. I too have family all over the area, but I would never reach out to them if I were destitute. As she continued talking, I wistfully thought, it must be nice to have people you can unconditionally trust.

My entire life is conditional. If the series of events leading to my existence did not happen in the exact order at the exact time that they did, I would not be here. I would not be me. If events in my childhood happened differently, would I have the family I so desire? Would we all be planets in the same galaxy, orbiting the same sun, instead of distant stars playing constellations, seen only by people on Earth? Who would I be had the conditions for my existence been different?

The point is moot. There is no changing the past. From here on out: Who do I want to be? Which constellations do I want to be a part of?

 

The quote is from Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas. The graphic was created with a photo by Adrian Pelletier from Unsplash.

Day 5 – Sunlight

She woke up with sunlight on her face, the scattered rays fighting their way through the loose weave of her gauzy curtains. Blinking blearily, she turned over and snuggled back into the cozy nest of bed sheets and pillows, lashes fluttering to a close. The lazy fingers of sleep curled around her again.

Her eyes blinked open.

The wall was the same pale, faded cream it had been for the last ten years. Depending on the time of day, and time of year, the walls warmed and cooled, alternating from inviting to empty. The same it’s been day in, day out, for ten years. Today, it felt different. She felt different.

Reading Challenge 2018!

Reading Challenge 2018

I’ve always wanted to do a reading challenge (like I don’t read enough already). I see so many challenges floating around, and I’ve saved them to look at later, but I’ve never actually gone back and tried to do one. A lot of them had too many items on the checklist; how can I finish 52 books in 52 weeks in addition to my reading list? Some of the items I knew I wouldn’t be interested in and wouldn’t be able to complete.  So, I decided to create my own reading challenge – one I know I can finish! (Yes, that’s probably considered cheating, but let me get back to you with all my excuses.)

There are twelve items in the challenge, which would’ve been ideal to start at the beginning of the year, but since I only launched my blog at the beginning of the year, I’ll keep that in mind for next year! I wasn’t aiming for a specific number of items; I only knew I wanted it to be short enough to be doable, while still going out of my comfort zone. Let me know what you think about the items I chose. What did I omit that you would like to see? Which items are too easy or too difficult?

I’ll be providing updates and documenting my progress with this challenge. Please share your progress as well! I’d love to know what books you are reading for each item. Feel free to copy the image above, save it to Pinterest for later, or subscribe to get the reading challenge in PDF format! Share it with your friends and knock out #2 and 3!

What are you waiting for?  Are you up to the reading challenge?

(I hope we can be friends one day, but if we’re not there yet, please check out these books recommended by this stranger here, here, and here 😄. Also, I’ll be back with my writing challenge tomorrow; in the meantime, catch up on Days 1, 2, 3, and 4!)