It is no secret October is my favourite month. It is absolutely the most colourful, versatile, cozy and outdoorsy time of the year. October for me is when the world makes sense. It's when Ella was born, and when Matt and I met in Chicago, and where I carry almost all the best memories. Which is why I haven't been here so much... there are more memories to be made.
The Lives of Stella Bain is Anita Shreve's most recent novel, and though I usually devour everything she writes, Stella didn't capture my imagination. Reading it, you feel kept at a distance from the central characters, especially Stella, for good reason: she has shell-shock-induced amnesia. The character herself feels a keen distance from who she was, or who she might be. Even within that plot development, it wasn't hard to guess what had happened or how it will end (tidy predictability, with a fair dose of rambling). Though I kept reading till the end, I didn't seem to care who Stella turned out to be. And when we find out, it's disappointingly average.
(let's be friends on goodreads)
Due to a cold and flu illness earlier this month, I enjoyed binging on a few Netflix picks, namely Alias (I just can't quit you), The Fall (creepy factor up to 11) and Parks and Recreation (catching up with my Pawnee friends).
Also in the queue, The Debt, with Helen Mirren as a Mossad agent and Shadow Dancer, with Clive Owen as a British police officer attempting to turn an IRA asset. As you can see, I like to balance my comedy with dreadfully dark, politically-charged films.
Ya'll, when your best friend leaves after visiting for a week, DO NOT listen to Glen Hansard's Rhythm & Repose. Just don't. If you must listen to something beautifully Irishy, pick Lisa Hannigan's Sea Sew instead.
Most read this month : The Taste of an Open Window... also working a Social Media series (I think) and a few other projects and freelance opportunities. Unsurprisingly, I did not make the finalists for Blog Awards Ireland, but am still thrilled at being shortlisted. And there's always next year. ;)
And blog housekeeping alert! The River Into Words is still active, but I let the domain go. You can find all the archives at http://riverintowords.blogspot.com.
Celebrating Ella's birthday with a small gathering (one other family plus the adopted uncle). My friend Sheryl at Yankee Baker made her a fabulous oreo cake and we sang and the kids played Wii and the adults sat around the table laughing. I can do parties - tiny tiny parties - if they're always like this.
Lunch by oneself in her cozy little Irish village tea room
Family drives through the mountains (minus the car sickness)
The Royals in the World Series. If you didn't know, the Kansas City Royals were previously referred to as The Worst Team in Major League Baseball. The last time they were even in the playoffs was 1985 (in which they won it all), and then they became terribly awfully bad and my love for them turned sour. This year, though, I was more than happy to see them succeed and make it to Game 7 of the World Series. I love my hometown and am thrilled to see it get the recognition it deserves. (also thanks to KCUR, our local NPR affiliate, for interviewing me for an article on Royals fans from afar).
My friend Nicole visiting Ireland. I joke that I've been with Nicole longer than I've been with Matt. But it's the truth: 22 years of friendship holds a treasure chest of memories, life lessons and deep affection. I had her all to myself this week and we did what all tourists in Ireland do: go to the Barak Obama Plaza in County Offaly! THIS IS A REAL THING. Also, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Newgrange, and everything in between. A full post with photos and such will come later (beware All The Selfies), but for now: how lovely it is to be known and loved. And to have no beginnings or endings to friendship. She knows me better than almost anyone, and doesn't put up with a single bit of my crap. And she told me today I better write.... so I will. After this blog post.
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor GOD with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD ’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. Proverbs 3:5-12 [MSG]
Linking a bit late with Leigh Kramer for What I'm Into. What were YOU into?
(affiliate links included)