As regular readers know, at the beginning of the month we took our seven-month-old son to California to undergo an experimental therapy for his life-threatening disease. Then we flew back home to spend a month in the hospital. (We’re halfway there!)
Since returning to our home province, life has been uneventful — which is exactly what we want it to be. Felix is still doing great. His cell counts are bouncing around in the expected range. Ben and I have been doing lots of reading and Netflix-watching, and I’ve been learning how to knit. We’re hoping to do at least ONE fun summer thing with our daughter (who is still living with grandparents) next week.
We’re starting to dream about life at home with both our kids. Oh, how we dream about the squabbles and the messes and the nonsense! How joy-filled they will seem to us!!
Here’s what I’ve been into:
Unfortunately, I’ve tried several, but haven’t been dazzled by any books this month, even though I’ve danced with a few different genres.
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews — I’ve been meaning to read this book for years, because it’s about Mennonites and it won a prestigious Canadian literary award. But it confirmed something I already suspected: I don’t generally care for books that win prestigious literary awards. Call me low-brow, but I like stories with endings. (Preferably happy ones.) As usual, I found the tone too gloomy and the narrative too disjointed, and I couldn’t connect with the narrator. (Why are all the characters in award-winning books SO MESSED UP?) Also, I am a Mennonite, but I’ve never heard of a Mennonite community like the one she describes. It was so weird.
Stitch ‘n Bitch: A Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller — I wanted to own a book on knitting. This one has a few useful chapters but the rest just take up space. A third of it covers knitting history (don’t care), a third of it had helpful diagrams and instructions (good), and the final third contained slightly outdated patterns I’ll never use (it was published in 2003). I returned it.
The Idiot’s Guide to Knitting by Megan Goodacre — I picked this one out of our bookstore’s pretty extensive knitting collection after returning Stitch ‘n Bitch. I’m satisfied with it. Very clear diagrams, and it progresses nicely from the basics to advanced techniques. I still prefer to learn via videos, but it’s good to have as a reference book.
Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God by Lauren Winner. I’ve heard so many great things about this author, and this book was published just this year. I like the book (I’m about halfway through). I like how it encourages me to meditate on different rarely-highlighted pictures of God. There are some lovely reflections in the book. But I haven’t come across anything overly profound or paradigm-shifting. The writing is very meandering and sometimes I lose sight of the point. I feel like I’m listening to a very wise, elegant, and insightful person think out loud.
We gave The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (a new Netflix Original series) a second chance (we weren’t sold on the first few episodes). We’re glad we did. Once you get over its cartoonish quality, it’s actually quite hilarious. I remember Ben and I looking at each other and bursting out laughing with raised eyebrows. What is this? It’s hysterical! I can’t explain it but it has Tina Fey written all over it. But I gotta say, I don’t care for any of the scenes with Jane Krakowski in them (I didn’t like her in 30 Rock, either). I just don’t find her funny. (But maybe she just always gets cast as gross characters.)
The Maze Runner (on Netflix). SO SO INTENSE. Exciting and surprising. Reminded me of The Hunger Games if you’re into that kind of thing. (I am.)
The Help (also Netflix). Ben and I both found this film lovely and moving and wonderfully acted.
As I mentioned, I learned how to knit this month! So far I’ve mostly just knitted swatches to get comfortable with the different stitches and different kinds of yarn.
I also knitted a doll blanket, which is essentially just a really big swatch. (I used this pattern for a dishcloth, but with chunky yarn and big needles). You can (kinda) see the combinations of garter and stockinette.
(This is Felix’s Bamboletta, Jasper)
If you’re curious, here are the video resources I used to learn how to knit:
The Simple Collection: learn to knit with Alexa and Emily — So far I’ve used these videos to learn how to cast on (knitted cast on), how to knit, how to purl, and how to bind off
And that is pretty much it for this month! What have you been into?
*Linking up with Leigh Kramer!*
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