Chirps that include descriptions of our favorite books (from two different book clubs), tips for starting your own book club, book-club-in-a-basket raffle ideas, or other thoughts on making the most of your leisure reading time.
Another month, a new season… and our latest list of places, projects, pups and pleasures that pumped us up!
Our book selection this month is The Rent Collector, by Cameron Wright. The story takes place in a community that lives in (and scrapes a living from) the refuse of a Cambodian waste dump. It describes the unexpected relationship that unfolds between an uneducated young mother and the dreaded woman known as the “rent collector”. The novel itself is heartwarming and inspiring, but the larger historical backdrop was also riveting. Many of the characters are loosely based on real people that the author’s son met while filming a documentary about life in this municipal waste dump. We also learned horrifying details about the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in Cambodia. It’s something of a perfect trifecta when a book combines vivid world-building, great character development, and enough historical fact to make it educational as well as enjoyable! Two thumbs up!
Favorite Local Restaurant
With the chicks back at college, we’ve been rediscovering all the empty nesting habits we’d set aside for the summer. When it comes to meals, that means extremely light fare most weeknights, with the occasional date night or dinner out with friends thrown in on Continue reading →
Oh where has the summer gone? Our last Cheep Trill was in Apriland our most recent Chirp was June’s Crafting for a Cause. As is probably the case for many of you, summertime has been busy! Between having the kids home from college, vacations, visits to and from friends and family, etc… these days of summer are just flying by. Now we are in the midst of packing the kids up to head back to school again! But we’re taking a moment to breathe, and celebrate ten favorite things from the past few months…
Our favorite book for the summer was The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. Set in the 1970s in the wilderness of Alaska, this book could put a chill down your spine on the hottest summer day. We loved the descriptions of living off the grid, surviving the dark, cruel Alaskan winters, and a community that pulls together to help each other in times of trouble. More disturbing were the family’s constant battles with the father’s violent temper and PTSD from his days as a Vietnam POW. The writing beautifully captured Alaska in all its fearsome glory – as Continue reading →
Spring has finally sprung here in PA, along with all the flowers, pollen, rain and allergies. Despite Cass’s current stuffy head, and Tina’s cold from a couple of weeks ago, we’re focusing on all the positives! Here are some favorites from last month…
Tina’s forsythia bushes really popped in April – and just in time for the big Easter party! In Cass’s backyard, Medusa (the wisteria vine enveloping her pergola), is strutting her stuff as well.
Well, March did not disappoint – coming in like a lion and heading out like a lamb. The month was filled with crazy roller-coaster weather changes, from snowstorms to 70 degree sunny days. We had a number of activities keeping us on our toes, like the boys coming home for spring break, a new craft venture underway, some major blog reconstruction (hopefully mostly behind the scenes?), a trip to England and a new puppy! Whew… Never a dull moment!
Let’s get the cuteness of the month posted first. Please welcome to the family our new Australian shepherd, 8 weeks old. Besides the potty training, crate training, sharp baby Continue reading →
Like it or not, an empty nest tends to leave us with extra time on our hands. No more school sports, plays, or club competitions to coach, costume, or cheer on, no PTA committees to join or school board meetings to attend. All the chauffeuring and homework help are things of the past. Mealtime has a tendency to get abbreviated without a full complement of nestlings to cook for and interrogate about their day… You may still be wondering how to use that new-found downtime? Continue reading →