Never has a month flown by quite like April 2012. I’ve mainly experienced it in a pre-occupied haze, but managed to get a few personal goals accomplished all the same.
Reading: I finished The White Lioness by Henning Menkell and In The Lake of The Woods by Tim O’Brien. I truly cannot speak enough praises about Tim O’Brien. His writing is so lyrical yet mysterious. He never directly describes what’s happening, but instead narrates his novels through implications.
In the Lake of the Woods is a mystery novel in which the wife of a politician disappears without a trace days after he loses a big election. It was captivating, and as always, beautifully written. I’ve been encouraging Jonathan to read it so that I can finally talk to someone about my theories on what actually happened, since, true to form, O’Brien leaves the conclusion wide open. If you’ve read it, let me know so that I can pick your brain.
Currently I’m reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, and it’s another that I would strongly recommend. Verghese is truly gifted in the art of character development, and if you’re into medicine, it’s an interesting read since most of the main characters are ex-pat surgeons in Ethiopia. It’s a bit long, but such a nice change of pace after reading three thrillers in a row.
My reading experience will be forever changed after receiving this little guy as a gift from my husband.
The first book I bought with my Kindle Fire was The Art of Racing in the Rain which my friend, and fellow dog lover, Jill recommended to me. I can’t wait to give it a test run, though I’m still a little resistant to replacing my paper books. Call me old fashioned, but I love the weight of a book; I love to pass a book along once I’m done with it; I love to look at my bookmark to see how much reading I’ve accomplished; heck, I love bookmarks period, but I also understand the convenience of having a library of digital books waiting at your fingertips.
I still think I’ll buy physical books from time to time, but it will be mighty convenient when traveling and living overseas not to have to lug my entire collection with me everywhere I go. Especially because, at the rate that I normally read, I usually take 5 books with me anytime I go on a week’s long vacation.
Writing: My writing this month was par for the course. I still blogged every weekday except for one (because my computer charger didn’t work in Scotland) and wrote about 13,000 words. I’m starting to think that my original goal of writing 20,000 words per month is just darn unachievable. I know that’s not true, and I’m hoping to have a little bit more writing time once we get settled in Aberdeen.
Cooking: I actually found a great vegetarian recipe this month for Roasted Tomato and Spinach Cheesy Tortellini. For the first time, I made homemade roasted tomatoes and I now know what my famous secret ingredient is going to be. They were fabulous and a tasty addition to add to virtually any meal. What I did was just slice about 25 cherry tomatoes in half, seasoned them with drizzled olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and then roasted them in the oven for 4 hours on 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Every 30-45 minutes I would flip the tomatoes over for even roasting.
For the Tortellini recipe (which you can find here), you basically just toss the roasted tomatoes in with some chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, and cooked tortellini pre-stuffed with cheese. You can find these in the frozen pasta section of your grocery store. I sure hope they have them in Scotland too, because this dish was super yummy and tasted like it was way fancier to make than it actually was.
Well I have to run. Today is the most stressful day of the move so far. And by the way, I say that every day…but this time it’s really true. Today is the day I send off the dog’s paperwork to the USDA for approval. It’s a giant, stressful step and I’d appreciate any prayers or positive thoughts you could send my way.
Happy May Day (whatever that means)!