It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Annyeong haseyo. Kamsa hamnida for the hair validation of Friday’s post. I’ve had a side shaved before but was a bit nervous at the salon to get double undercuts.

What was one, memorable part of your weekend? For me, while we had a lazy weekend, I am glad my 8-year-old is on the mend. I had to take her last minute to the doctor Friday; an eczema spot on her hand looked possibly infected. To be honest, I had tried to be on top of it but my attention as you know has been a bit divided with her dad’s bumpy healing. I know my baby was scared that she’d have to get a shot in the wound but she was happy to find out the doc just looked at it, took a culture, and prescribed medicines and ointments. The husband had picked them up via drive through – a new experience for us former city folk.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

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(Linking up with Kathryn) So I actually finished Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn over the weekend, a food memoir.

The first, 15 chapters enthralled me. The author’s family history was an interesting read. Each chapter starts with an old, family photo and ends with a family recipe. I had several favorite parts of Flinn’s family life:

I. A Sweet Moment

‘You know, it just really makes my day to hear a great song when I’m on my way home,’ Dad said brightly as he wrapped his arms impulsively around her waist. He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. ‘I’m going to go change out of my work clothes and head out to the barn.’

As Dad left the kitchen, Mom turned to where I sat at the table. She put a finger to her lips. ‘Shhh,’ she said. ‘It’s our little secret.’

What Dad didn’t know was that my mother routinely call the DJ at the station he listened to during his drive home in his Chevy pickup.

To assure her requests got played she employed her own brand of payola. For years she’d been plying a local DJ with pies. At first, she requested ‘Kisses Sweeter Than Wine’ by The Weavers, later “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, and then shifted to the likes of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads.’ (Loc 1217-1224, 30%)

II. A Clever Tactic

Touching the post was a sort of game/punishment that my parents invented not long after they moved into the farmhouse.

To burn off some of their endless energy, my parents first taught the kids a game called go run around the house. They’d run in a circle until they got tired. As they got older, they could run around the house in just a couple of minutes, not long enough. One day walking out to the woods, Dad passed the post, a stubby whitewashed wood pole that marked the border between the farm’s private property and the public lands of the woods behind it. It was roughly a quarter mile away from the house. The goal was to run to the post, touch it, and then run back as fast as possible, a full-speed eight-hundred-yard-sprint, enough to wear out anyone, especially when running in snow.

If the kids started fighting or being rambunctious, he’d enthusiastically cry out: ‘Hey, which one of you can touch the post first?’ The kids would stop in their tracks. Naturally competitive, they’d all jump up and down and wave their hands. (Loc 1320-1327, 33%)

III. Triggered My Memories

A. “In a situation unfathomable today, our parents stayed at the Fridlines’ house and unleashed six-year-old Richie, five-year-old Greg, and my four-year-old self onto the neighborhood. Trick-or-treating in a semirural community…” (Loc 2063, 50%)

This took me back to when just my brother and I would go trick-or-treating out in the neighborhood. It’d be pitch black outside. We’d be dressed up and armed with big bags. Back then we were safe on our own of course, walking for blocks and loading up on candy, loving how our bags would fill up with our favorites.

B. “The neighborhood girl nearest my age, Shelley, was three years older. She convinced me to cut off my hair when I was a toddler, so Mom didn’t encourage me to play with her much.” (Loc 2081, 51%)

This shared moment made me laugh because you know little girls have such a fascination with scissors. My one year older cousin cut off half of my hair when I was small and we were being watched by our grandmother, hiding the hair and the scissors behind the couch. My mum thought half of my hair was tucked in. So of course she had to even it out. There are pictures of me with a short, rounded bob.

I gave this memoir four stars. In the beginning I had wanted to give it five but from chapters 16 to the end, I felt the story grew legs and started running. Life became more modern elsewhere and everyone was getting older. I guess the mood became less carefree and a bit more serious. However, the format was still there and there was no loss in detail. The epilogue does tie everything together and sums it all up. If you read this, I’ll be interested to know what you think.

Well that’s it for now. I’m going to get some knitting in before I go pick up the 8-year-old ddal. I hope the written word is part of your week and it transports you to another place &/or time. Happy reading to you! Annyeong kaseyo.

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17 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. Ah the memoir sounds good and I love the mother’s devious way to express her love! Hope all in your family are well soon and life is full of knitting and good books!

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  2. Love foodie memoirs but I rarely read them…not sure why…scissors and cousins terrify me as do crooked bangs! Enjoy your knitting time!

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  3. ooh, that sounds really intriguing, I love the idea of ending on a recipe, and sounds like the anecdote are really fun reads. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. I’m glad little one is on the mend too. The Kid has the eczema as well. I wonder if I’ll constantly be reminding him via text or Face time, “Did you put lotion on? Did you put aquaphor on the spot?” when he’s 35. sigh. Doesn’t he know if he takes care of it, I won’t have to sMother him so much? 😉

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  5. I LOVED Burnt Toast! That story with the rooster was the funniest and most terrifying thing I think I’ve read in awhile! I’m actually reading Kathleen’s first book – The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry – and really enjoying it as well. I’m about 2/3rds in and am finding it a bit more consistent than Burn Toast as I know what you mean about that story getting modern.

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  6. Oo this sounds good! I have huge love of foodie memoirs. I will have to look this one up. I am glad to hear your daughter didn’t have to get a shot! That is a new thing for our husband and I, these shots. The boy doesn’t know they are coming until he feels them, but the look of betrayal- oy, heartbreaking.

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  7. That sounds like a delightful read. I’ll add it to my list .
    Food and family create such memories for all of us!
    My father must have felt like an outsider, but he didnt seem to care, at our meals.
    He was the only one who would touch the pheasant that he had shot. We were spoiled by mom who gave us NORMAL chicken breasts to eat. He loved his gizzard stuffing, his Hungarian stuffing, and we all liked the plain bread crumb celery and onion stuffing that our Irish grandma made forus!

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