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#ErynReadin2016 January

Here’s what I read in January, 2016. A good start to the year. Total page count:1713.

Started Finished Title Author Genre Recommend? Page Length Page Total:
1/1/2016 1/10/2016 Dune Frank Herbert Sci Fi More, please. Yes. 800 1707
1/13/2016 1/17/2016 The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh Kathryn Aalgo NonFic: Biographical Lovely! YES. 308  
1/17/2016 1/17/2016 Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe Yumi Sajugawa Graphic Novel? Illustrated New Age. Is that your thing? Then yes. 20(rounded down for illustrations)  
1/18/2016 1/21/2016 The Light Between Oceans ML Stedman Novel Well-written but gut-clenching. No? 345  
1/26/2016   Bazaar of Bad Dreams Stephen King Short Stories Yes (Not finished yet.) 234  

I read Dune because it was one of my brother’s top 5 favorite books. I always meant to read it, but the length was daunting. My husband enjoyed it & many of the sequels, but said that I “wouldn’t enjoy it” but can’t recall why he said that. It may be because of the later sequels.

I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the message of self-control & I enjoyed the SCOPE of the universe that Frank Herbert created.

I was floored when I learned that Frank Herbert was inspired to write Dune by my very area. People think of the Pacific Northwest & they think of rain, but we have should more accurately be known for our dryland agriculture. We make the land do what we want. To an amazing extent. The Grand Coulee Dam filled HUGE dry fissures (coulees) that cut northeastern Washington’s desert with water. We then irrigated an entire half of our state with that water we were slowing down as it traveled from Canada to the Pacific Ocean. You can’t really imagine the scope of this unless you’ve seen the dam or lived through a summer in the inland Pacific Northwest.

Not 10 minutes from my house, you can be in sand dunes. A patron told me that when she was a kid, her uncle would pick her & her siblings up in his tender truck, drive out to the dunes & they’d make pools in the dunes. They’d spend the day making sand castles. Sleepless in Seattle is not THE Washington Experience.

I wish I’d read Dune as a teen. I’d recommend it to anyone, but I wish I could get everyone from Eastern Washington & Oregon to read it. If I had someone visiting me from out of the area, I’d ask them if they’d read Dune! Then we could go for a drive to the sand dunes. 🙂

The book I read this month that I REALLY recommend is Kathryn Aalgo’s The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh. It’s the loveliest book I’ve read in a long time. It’s about Milne’s inspiration for Winnie the Pooh & Shepard’s inspiration for the artwork.

I’m finishing up Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. I should have had it finished by now, but my brains a little scattered currently.

Lying, for Safety.

A friend shared a link to Gretchen Kelly’s blog post, The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, about the constant & everyday sexism women are exposed to. It’s a good read. (I did NOT read the comments & since it has now been picked up by HuffPo, I would suggest not even looking at them, unless it’s to give Gretchen kudos.)

I won’t catalog all of the everyday bullshit I’ve put up with over the years, there’s no time. But I guess it can all be summed up by this one experience I had while working in a toy store. Someone complained about a male employee’s behavior against me. I had complained on multiple occasions, but it all fell on deaf ears. I was 17 & I soldiered on. I freaking loved that job.

When our district manager finally got involved, I was asked to document the behavior. I made a list of the things that came most immediately to mind. It wasn’t anywhere near exhaustive. Copies were giving to everyone on the disciplinary panel. 

Every single woman cried while reading it. “I didn’t know how bad it was.” “I didn’t know you were dealing with this.”

Yes, they did know. I had told them. But everyone shrugged it off. In spite of the fact that I was a minor, everyone, me, my female coworkers & bosses, everyone shrugged it off. Because it’s so common that it’s NORMAL behavior.

Until my daughter became a teen, I never realized how much I LIE to men. Lies to de-escalate. Lies to make distance. Often lies about my husband being nearby or on the way & definitely lies about having a husband or boyfriend in times when I didn’t. And lies that are an opportunity to work my husband into a conversation (My husband LOVES that movie! etc).

It’s the sick, fucked up fact that some men will respect the idea of a husband more than they respect my comfort or wellbeing.

I recently lied to a creepy patron, because I went to the library after hours & he was lurking in the bushes (innocently using the wifi, but he hid from me & then scared me. He was recently out of prison & had been asking overly personal questions about me earlier than afternoon). In a fraction of a second, I lied & said the silent alarm had gone off. That if I didn’t call in, they’d send a cop out.

The speed which that lie rolled off my tongue was unnerving. My teen daughter saw the whole exchange. Earlier that day, I had lied & told him that I don’t USUALLY work alone, usually I have a partner, she was just out that day.

We teach kids not to lie. To always be honest. But screw that. Lie all you want, sweetie, if it gets you out of a scary situation. Hell, lie to the possibly nice guy, because you can. not. tell. which ones are going to freak out at you for giving them an honest “no, thank you”.

I know how screwed up that is, but it wasn’t born in a vacuum. Sadly, all men get to lie in the bed that their crappy brethren made, because my safety & my daughter’s safety is more important. Many, many women know how quickly things can get violent.

Lavender Fields Forever

Last fall, we took a trip to a local U-Pick lavender farm. It was their last weekend before closing for the season so we could pick an entire basket for $5. They also grow rows of flowers & we could mix & match our basket.

It was a lovely time. We enjoyed watching the bees buzz-ily gathering supplies for the cooler weather.

We also took a lot of lovely photos & got this recipe for Lavender Lemonade.



Lavender Lemonade
A refreshing lavender lemonade, perfect for a hot summer day, or as a unique potluck contribution.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 5 cups water, divided
  2. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms
  4. 1 cup lemon juice
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat; add lavender blossoms.
  3. Let stand at least one hour.
  4. Strain to remove lavender blossoms.
  5. Stir in remaining water and lemon juice, adding more water depending on taste.
  6. Serve over ice.
  1. Make sure your lavender flowers have not been sprayed with pesticides.
When The Bee Stings http://whenthebeestings.com/

Google Maps Turns Disneyland Map in a PAC-MAN Game!

For April Fool’s Day 2015, Google Maps built a game that turns their maps into a PAC-MAN game!

Infest Disneyland with PAC-MAN ghosts & race down Main Street to devour them by looking up Disneyland on Google Maps, zooming in a bit, then center the park on the right half of the screen. Then click the square at the bottom, to turn the map into your very own Disneyland PAC-MAN game!

Google Maps PAC-MAN Disneyland Map
I’m hoping Google will allow us to play this even after April Fool’s Day.