I seem to be having a tougher time adjusting to the time change this year. I haven’t fallen back very gracefully.

Winters are long here in Laramie. We usually have our first snow in September and by Halloween winter has come to stay. Not so this year. Our first snow wasn’t until October and it is still warming into the 50’s during the day, though the temperature drops like a rock when the sun goes down. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Winter was coming slowly this year. Fall was going down like a tire with a slow leak. It was warmer than usual and it was still light when I walked home after work. There was even time to go up to Pole Mountain for a hike some evenings.
Then the time changed. Now, the sun has already set by the time I leave work. In a couple of weeks I will be walking home in the dark.

The dark is the problem. The dark seems darker in the winter. At least it does when there is no snow and no moon. The winter dark is confining. It closes down like a thick, heavy blanket. I avoid going out again once I get home. The older I get the less I like to go back out.

This dark will last for almost four months. The days will continue to shorten until the winter solstice when they will be only 9 hours and 11 minutes long.
Then slowly the light will return.

We have talked about living in Alaska. I don’t know that I could deal with the dark there when the sun is up for only 5 hours and 27 minutes in Anchorage.

Advertisements

So many books, so little time.

Last entry, I mentioned that I was reading a book that was pretty awful. I wondered why I kept on reading it. I think I was hooked just enough in the story to keep going. Last night that all changed. I found myself skimming and skipping pages. Time to cast that crummy book aside; so I did.

Some people really get upset when I mention that I start books and don’t finish them. They are folks who are held prisioner by bad literature. That’s too bad since painful reading may turn them into nonreaders. They start books and keep on plugging awat, even though the book has no redeeming qualities and worse they aren’t enjoying it. Now, I do believe that you should give a book a chance. Something about it attracted you so that you picked it up and started reading. Some books are slow starters and don’t get going for a chapter or two. Nancy Pearl , she of Book Lust fame, a prodigious reader and recommender of books, uses this guideline for when to give up. She suggests that you should subtract your age from 100 and read to that page. If the book hasn’t captured you by then, put it down.

Just because you put a book down doesn’t mean it is forever banished from your bedside table (That’s where I keep the books I am reading because one of my very favorite, life long pleasures is to read in bed.) I often pick up discarded books week or even years later and read them with relish. Maybe it wasn’t the book, maybe it was me. I may not have been ready for the book at the time I tried it earlier. Of course, there are lots of just plain awful books out there. I can’t figure out how some books got published. I’m not taking about taste. I’m talking about poor writing and worse editing.

I don’t know if I would religate Aunt Diminty to the trash heap. The series is, after all, just light fiction, meant solely to entertain. Since the series goes on and on, I must assume that a fair number of people enjoy the books and keep on buying them. I don’t think I will ever again be among them. There are just too many really enjoyable books waiting out there for me to find and read them.

Two good reads, one bad

I recently read two books I really enjoyed. The first I finished a couple of months ago was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This was a fun read for me. I did not identify with her particularly which I often do when I get “into” books, but I really enjoyed reading her story as she eats her way through Rome, goes to be with her yogi in India and travels to Bali where she finds love.

The second was a foodie book The Julie/Julia Project by Julie Powell. This is the story of one year when Julie gets her life back by cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Again, I didn’t identify strongly with the writer, but enjoyed her story. Julie swears and cooks her way through the year and comes out a changed woman. Unlike the blog which is a lot about cooking, the book is more about Julie, her husband Eric and their friends and famliy. This does not detract.

I recommend both to readers of memoirs and nonfiction.

Having finished these two, I picked up a mystery from my to be read shelf. I’d already read a couple in this series, but after I started Aunt Diminty’s Good Deed by Nancy Atherton. I wondered what I was thinking.
This series of mysteries involve a ghost, Aunt Diminty, and a grown woman who still consults with her stuffed rabbit from childhood and thinks that she is resposible for the damnest things, like other people’s actions and thoughts. It’s pretty awful. Wonder why I keep reading it.

Konza


One of the points of my compass is Dogworld. Dogs have always been a part of my life. Some have been more special than others, though all have been loved and given a good home. Konza was the most loved of all.

Yesterday, Gail and I went up to the mountains and took a special collar to leave.
Gail had been so upset when Konza was put down that she forgot to keep her collar. She ordered this one which we left at a place we call look out.

I guess that it has taken us 10 months to be able to leave the collar this says a lot about how much we miss that dog. She was a joy and a royal pain, but she loved us as fiercely as we loved her.