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
I have been building my community in my new city of 13 years.  It is relatively transient so ... 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
I usually revert to the 80's and early nighties for a quick pick me up.  I love listening to ... 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
I would compare it to a roller coaster I guess.  with the kids changing our lifestyle so much ... 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
anything italian.  My family were recent immigrants from Italy, 1930s so I could relate to this ... 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
It is hard to really write your map when you still have young kids at home as they will really ... 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 exercise and cook.  I know does not seem like play but  I like to be creative in what I make ... 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
I would love to relearn spanish or Italian to the point I can live abroad with my husband and ... 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
As a SAHM who needs to keep on eye on finances I provide service more than monitery donations, ... more

What Would You Do If You Couldn't Fail?

Brene Brown's Daring Greatly made me think a lot about failure. When we make ourselves vulnerable we open ourselves to a lot of things, some good and some positive. One of the things that we make possible when we do this is something many people, myself included, fear -- failure. When we make ourselves vulnerable we risk failure and that is a heady, wonderful, terrifying thing. ...more
I would probably try to get back in the work force full time and not think about someone else ... more

Plan B Parenting

In no other area of my life have I found myself as deeply vulnerable than as a parent. And that's why -- when my daughter was very young -- if you judged my parenting, I would jump down your throat. Then I would go home and cry and Google parenting websites and hold myself accountable for my daughter's milestone progress, her sleep habits, my mood, her nutrition and the state of foreign wars....more
I often struggle between not being a helicopter or a free range parent if you will.  Just today ... more