Monday, September 20, 2010

Books I love - James Herriot

James Herriot…where do I begin? I love James Herriot. You may have never heard of him. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I have. I first learned about him when I was really young and someone gave me a big book with lots of illustrations entitled "James Herriot's Treasury for Children." I loved it for the delightful tales it told of all sorts of farm animals. Later I read "James Herriot's Dog Stories" and "James Herriot's Cat Stories," which were both wonderful. At the time I liked them for the animals. Later I came to appreciate them for the best part of the story - the warm, honest, humorous narrator telling his life story - James Herriot. Little did I know that these books were merely extracts from James Herriot's main works - the five books he wrote that chronicle his life as a country vet in the early/mid 1900s in the rural Yorkshire Dales.

James Herriot is one of the most masterful storytellers I have ever come across. He feels like your old friend. His veterinary career starts in the 1930s, at a time when modern medicines still largely did not exist. His veterinary work is probably not what you first think of when thinking of veterinarians - the bulk of his work focused not on pets like cats and dogs (although he does deal a lot with them), but on farm animals like horses, ships, pigs, and especially cows. He tells you not only of his work, but also his personal life and the hilarity that comes with it. And that might sound boring to you, but trust me - it's not. It's funny, heartwarming, exasperating, interesting, and simply just captivating. Reading James Herriot is like drinking hot chocolate while warmly wrapped in a blanket in your favorite armchair while the rain falls outside.

His five books that tell everything in sequence are "All Creatures Great and Small," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "All Things Wise and Wonderful," "Every Living Thing," and "The Lord God Made Them All." Reeeeaad know you want to. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yesterday was harvest day for some of the food from our garden. We pulled up a couple carrots, and one was a monster. I mean, look at this thing! That's a carrot. And my hand.

I couldn't even circle it with my fingers.

We had carrots and green beans with mac and cheese for dinner. It was sooo good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Littlefoot and Friends

So, the week before school started, Alyse, Jason and I
seized the last bit of summer and went to the BYU dinosaur museum.
I've been wanting to go there for years. It was fun.
We walked in the doors and our attention was immediately captured by this display of amazing rocks (all different kinds, really crazy looking) that we couldn't tear ourselves away from for like 20 minutes. Then we looked at all the dinosaur bones, which were cool, and HUGE!

Swim, little fish, swim!

The dinosaurs like Jason a little too much...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Attack of the bugs!

So, I just thought about taking pictures of all my bug bites and posting them. And then I realized...that's gross. So I won't.

But I can tell you that all of the sudden, I have a million mosquito bites. It's hard to count them all, but I'd guess around 3-4 per limb, so around 9-12. It's itchy, and I don't like it. I'm the type of person who can't leave bug bites alone; I scratch them until they die. The one on my ankle is definitely dead.

Anywho, I hope you're having an awesome day. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brought to you by Labor

So yesterday, Labor Day, we were able to drive up to Highland and spend the whole day at my mom's house. We did lots of things, including making cookies, taking pictures, organizing, reading, Ticket to Ride, and a game of croquet in the afternoon. I've never played croquet before, to tell you the truth. It's really fun. It's even more fun when you're doing so bad that people don't mind when you move the little wicket things.

After croquet, we all hopped in the van to go to the grocery store to pick some things up for dinner. Sydney, who has super-human hearing, heard the ice cream man somewhere in the neighborhood next over. We used her hearing to track him through the streets until he suddenly appeared right in front of us. Sydney jumped out of the car and ran to him...and I followed close behind. :) I love the ice cream man.

Mmmmm. Ninja turtle. With bubble gum eyes.

I may or may not have broken my pinky toe in the process. Okay, we're pretty sure I didn't break it, but I did strain (or sprain, or whatever you do) my "flexor digiti minimi" (according to Jason, who just took anatomy). It was worth it. I mean, bubble gum eyes.

Overall, it was a great day. :)

Happy Labor Day!

We had an awesome day at my mom's house in Highland.
We'll post more later. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

My favorite new hobby

I loooove Shutterfly. I was introduced to it just a couple months ago by my stepsister, Diana, and making photobooks on it has become one of my favorite hobbies. Making photobooks is so fun! You can arrange the pictures anyway you want to, have different backgrounds, and add captions if you want. Also, once you sign up they send you different deals and codes through email so that you never have to pay full price for a photobook. By waiting for sales and using promo codes, I've managed to get some photobooks at really good deals. I've made one for my Dad of some of our favorite vacations, one for Jason of our honeymoon to Disneyland, and one for my brother of childhood pictures. I'm sorry, I sound like some kind of ad, but really I just like Shutterfly.

Books I love

I love reading. I don't know how it started, but ever since I was little books have called to me. Reading is almost as necessary to me as breathing. When sitting at the kitchen table eating cereal, I'll read the label of every food product within reach. When waiting for the conditioner to sink into my hair, I'll read all the shampoo labels in the shower. In middle school when I was bored in class, I read all the books in the desks that were required for other classes. When I finished my own books on vacation at Lake Powell, I read everyone else's. Every summer, every lazy afternoon, every chill winter evening is an opportunity I seize to read. Every time I go to the library, stacks of books build up in my arms and I can't wait to get home and consume them. I'm always searching for the really good ones. I've read several really lame books, hundreds of mediocre books, thousands of pretty good books, and many, many excellent books. And when I read a good one, I want to share it with everyone else, for two reasons: 1. I want them to get as much enjoyment out of the book as I did, and 2. I want to talk to them about it.

So, with that in mind, I want to start sharing all my favorite books with you. This may take a very, very long time, as I currently have a Word file several pages long with the books I've particularly enjoyed. But I really want to, because I want you to be able to enjoy all these books as much as I have.

I'll start this by talking about an awesome series that I just finished this week - The Hunger Games. You may have heard of The Hunger Games several times already, like I had before I decided to read them. They are sooo good.

The books are set in the future, in a country named Panem that lies in the ruins of what was once known as North America. Twelve districts surround "The Capitol," the central district that controls all the others and forces the citizens, who live in poverty, to send them almost everything they produce. Because of a rebellion against the Capitol nearly 75 years ago, every year the Capitol forces every district to send two of their children, one boy and one girl, to the "Hunger Games," a televised fight to the death that every district is made to watch to remind them that the Capitol holds all power and can do anything they want.

As "The Hunger Games" begins, the Capitol representatives are coming to each district to randomly pick the boy and girl who will be in the games that year. Katniss Everdeen, 16, lives in District 12 with her mother and sister. Against her every hope, Katniss hears her sister's name called to go to the Hunger Games. Katniss knows that her sister, who is only 12, will not survive the games, and volunteers to go in her sister's place. And the story begins.

These books are intense. They're the kind of books you can't put down. Katniss is an awesome main character who takes you through a amazing story of courage, love, determination, defiance, and rebellion. The pace is gripping; this is the kind of book you just can't put down. I don't want to give anything away, so all I can say is that you have even the slightest inclincation to read these books - do it. Find time, find a friend you can borrow a copy from - just read them.