Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
Love unites my community. My family always spends a lot of time together, since we all live ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
Depends on my mood. If it's particularly bad (or, irritable), I love rock music. If I'm in a ... more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
You know those haphazard finger paintings done by 5 year olds in Kindergarten? That's my life. A ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
My gastronomic mosaic is all classic Southern American foods, but when you break it down, it is ... more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I've learned that the future isn't that scary, especially when you "map" ahead and that my ... more

Making Play A Priority

I know I've said this but my favorite parts of Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future really were the subject maps. I liked the service map because it made me examine the role charity plays in my life. I liked the learning map because I'm a big nerd....more
I have way too many hobbies that compete for playtime, but I mostly divide my play time between ... more

Lifelong Learning For The Win

My favourite parts of Kate and David Marshall's new book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future were the subject maps. I loved the subjects they chose to focus on and I really, really loved that one of the subjects they consider a key to happiness was learning. I am going to let my nerd flag fly and say I truly love learning new things. ...more
There are so many things I want to learn! I can knit and crochet, but don't know how to make a ... more

What Does Service Mean to You?

As I've confessed, I'm not one for making life maps or vision boards. That said, I really appreciated how Kate and David Marshall's new book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future, made me take a good hard look at some aspects of my life that I really had been neglecting. One of those aspects was service....more
Yep, this section made me feel guilty too. I'm in "selfish mode" at the moment too (thanks for ... more

Friends Help Make Breakups Bearable

I don't think there's really any way to say it except this -- breakups suck. Whether you are prepared for them, are the person doing the breaking up, or if you are blindsided by them, they just simply suck. We might pretend everything is ok and go through our days telling everyone that we are just fine, but friends know better. They know when we're lying to them and when we're lying to ourselves....more
I haven't been through a "break up" in so very long! I'm not sure I'd know what to do, except to ... more

Using Texts To Strengthen Your Relationship

I firmly believe that technology had changed how we do relationships. When we are apart from our loved ones we don't just have to rely on phone calls and letters. We have emails, social media, and yes, even text messages at our disposal as a means to communicate. Sometimes it's easier to put our thoughts out via text than it is in person, as Sophie Morgan discovered in Diary of a Submissive:...more
My husband refuses to text. He says if he has to say something, and vice versa, just pick up the ... more