Welcome to This Week’s Miscellany, the occasional round up of Carrots family updates, photo dumps, books I’m reading, links I loved, and events where you can find me.
Number one thing I’m into lately: giant, messy buns. But first, let’s talk about this no Lent until March situation. My friend Cari brought this up on social media the other day and I was like YES, GIRL. PREACH: February is just an awful month. Usually Lent coincides at least partly so you feel like the blah grey misery is at least making you holier. But this year, there’s no Lent until March 1st. So we go through February and THEN we start getting all penitential for 40 days. What we have here folks is basically A DOUBLE LENT. I know, I know, it’s not really a double Lent it’s just a month of ugh and then Lent actually starts, but you know what I mean. The worst. I like it when Lent is early.
Anyhow, let’s do something light today with TWM: things I’ve been loving.
image via Summit
1.La La Land
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FILM?! I have just obsessed. My best friend Ellie and I snuck out to the movies one afternoon and it was everything I dreamed it would be and more. The music is great, it’s fun, it’s beautiful, it’s so reminiscent of classic Hollywood musicals (there’s even a DREAM SEQUENCE!). Emma Stone is a little bit of a floppy dancer and a little bit of a weak singer but I still loved her in this role! And Ryan Gosling is no Gene Kelly but WOW. I didn’t realize that there was something missing in my life and that something was Ryan Gosling singing and tap dancing. TREAT YO SELF.
2.These Almond Power Bars from Kitchen Stewardship.
I’ve been trying to figure out a cheaper snack than Larabars and I’m not even sure these fit the bill because buying the almonds to make them is pricey, but they were delicious! The kids loved them and because there’s a little bit of chocolate on top, they thought they were dessert. Win.
3.Sneaking out for writing time.
I’m more convinced than ever that the best self-care for me is time away to go to a coffee shop and write and read. I felt guilty about this for YEARS, but now I’m giving myself the grace to realize, hey! I homeschool my kids! I’m around ALL THE TIME. It’s ok to get a break from 24/7 parenting!
4. Our new cat, Lily.
I’ve never been a cat person, but she really IS pretty darling. Except when she pokes me in the face with her nose in the middle of the night and then proceeds to purr loud enough to wake the dead.
5. The occasional warm day that allow lunch picnics in the backyard and sunshine.
I know it makes me a total wimp because I live in Texas and we don’t have real winter, but gloomy chilly weather makes me blue. High of 82 is perfect, in my opinion and I can’t wait til summer.
6. Literary Twitter accounts.
I think because Facebook has been so divisive lately, I’ve been spending more time on Twitter (you can follow me here). And I’ve found a few accounts that I LOVE following, most notably The Library Haunter run by a Catholic guy named Boze that I hope to discover is actually a long-lost cousin. I mean…pure gold:
– remind her you will one day own her estate
– keep asking!
– repeatedly mention your esteemed patroness the Lady Catherine
— the library haunter (@SketchesbyBoze) February 3, 2017
If you like Narnia, Harry Potter, King Arthur, Dickens, Jane Austen, and Murder Mystery jokes, follow Boze immediately.
6. The Fountains of Carrots Raspberry Cordial Social Club
And while Facebook has been hard to navigate lately, I’m happy that a bright spot is the group Christy and I started for our podcast. It’s called The Fountains of Carrots Raspberry Cordial Social Club and it’s full of the most delightful people on the internet, in my opinion. Almost 1,000 ladies who are ready to talk The Crown, Anne of Green Gables, and Catholicism. Come join us! It’s free (of course) and lots of fun.
7. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
I read this one to prepare for our upcoming book club episode for The Fountains of Carrots podcast. My first time! It’s SO delightful. If you love the Anne books, I highly recommend The Blue Castle! There’s still time to grab a copy from the library or Amazon before we publish the podcast about it.
And there you have it! Let’s chat books and my favorite things on the web lately before we wrap up.
I’ve been really pleased with how my 2017 reading list kept me motivated to get through some great books in January.
Books I Finished:
✓ Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers
This was a fun one to discuss on The Simple Show with Tsh Oxenreider! Co-hosting these books episodes is such a treat.
- ✓ Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart
This one was pretty incredible. I recommended the book to my parents and my dad said, “I wouldn’t want David Bentley Hart critiquing my arguments!” For real. Now I want to read The Beauty of the Infinite, another of his books that’s been sitting on my shelf for ages.
- ✓ Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Ah, this one was so good! I absolute adored Gilead, so when I didn’t love Home as much, I was a little disappointed. But then Lila really knocked it out of the park! I still think Gilead‘s my favorite, but Lila‘s a close second.
✓ The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit (audiobook re-read–it’s free on Librivox!)
Listened to this one to fall asleep to at night. Nesbit’s children’s books are so comforting and lovely.
- ✓ The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
- Silence by Shusaku Endo
I’m reading this one for a book club with some friends in Waco and it’s really incredible. But intense! Not a light-hearted read, but very thought-provoking.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (audiobook re-read–free on Librivox)
This is the book I’m falling asleep to these days. Always a pleasure.
The Kids and I Finished:
- ✓ The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
I can’t recommend these books enough for the 7+ crowd! They are so clever and exciting takes about courage and friendship.
- ✓ Secret of the Shamrock (Chime Travelers) by Lisa Hendey
A quick, fun read about a little boy who travels in time and meets St. Patrick. The kids are begging for more in this series.
- ✓ A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
We all enjoyed listening to this one on audiobook. From what I hear the later books get morally ambiguous, but the first one, although dark, I really enjoyed.
- ✓ The Trumpet of the Swam by E.B. White
Currently Reading with the Kids:
- Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
I really like this one. But I think maybe it’s a little bit beyond Lucy and Gwen. Benjamin is enjoying it, but I may hold off a few months so the girls can enjoy it more, too.
- Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls by Caryll Houselander
The girls particularly like this one. Each chapter is a little story that can stand alone so we just pick it up off the shelf whenever the right moment strikes.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
This is the read aloud Benjamin and I are doing together at bedtime lately. Really love this series.
The girls are still reading The Little House books with Daniel at bedtime.
Upcoming Speaking Events:
February 11th: Grace Not Perfection Retreat, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, San Angelo, TX
-(email Patricia Gonzales, email@example.com to register)
March 25th: Catholic Women Blogging Network Midwest Conference, St. Paul, MN
-(sign up here to register and you’ll get an email from the conference organizers with details)
Had a blast talking books with Tsh Oxenreider last month and chatting about how books about war make us feel.
And Christy and I answered listener questions about how we run our lives on the last episode of FoC.
President Trump’s Refugee Order: 5 Things You Need to Know: Preemptive Love Coalition
‘Victoria’ Star Rufus Sewell on Becoming a Sex Symbol at 49: Harper’s Bazaar (There’s some language in this one, but since I’m currently loving Victoria and Man in the High Castle, I found it interesting.)
The world is never ready: Mothering Spirit (If you’ve been following the journey of my friend, writer Laura Fanucci after the death of her twin daughters, you’ll want to see this update.)
How to listen to Audible audiobooks for free (without a membership): Modern Mrs. Darcy
The Craft and Courage of L.M. Montgomery: The Rabbit Room
How to Achieve the Perfect SAHM Body: This Ain’t the Lyceum (tears of laughter!)
“The Crown” and the Fundamental Values of a Society: Word on Fire (Bishop Barron FTW)
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Hope you have a splendid weekend!
Lots of love,
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