Friday, April 29, 2016

Monthly Recap vol. 32 ~ April 2016

It's monthly recap time. When I hit you with a slough of links and other happinesses. Hopefully it will keep you busy and reading for a little while at least. Did you come here for the book recs? The funny little things my kids say? Whatever your morning cup of joy may be, I've got you covered, links style, here at Picture a Skyline.


Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

When I learned Madeleine L'Engle Loved Emily even more than Anne (of Green Gables), I figured I ought to give this one a try. You know how people say that a certain book will find you at a certain time, and because the timing is right, you just can't put it down? Yeah, that didn't happen with this book. It wasn't terrible, but I started it three times, and the time just wasn't right for this one, for me.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Le sigh. This was so good! Although it did not make me want to become part of her religion, it did cause me to think deeply about many things. Namely: racism, the South, family, and writing/writers/being a writer. See for yourself. #5stars

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Another over 450-page style long, but still quick-ish read by Kristin Hannah. Not a legal thriller like her last book that I read, but very, very good nonetheless. I'm convinced this lady has a gift, and I'm gonna stick around her neck of the woods!! The one thing that I did not expect was that this book hit a trigger point for me. I did know ahead of time that it would touch on *spoiler warning* -- breast cancer. #ihadapanicattack #itwasstillreallygood #itwasworthit

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

This is going on my top 5 for the year for sure. For some reason, before reading it, I was misled to believe that Delicious was about the days Reichl had to disguise herself in order to visit and review restaurants around NYC. I was so intrigued! But... nope. Wrong premise. That's this book. Once I got into Delicious, I didn't know it, but I was wanting to read Garlic and Sapphires. A combination of this book and the other one would make a great movie IMO: Gourmet in disguise! ;)

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

I posted this on Facebook:

**Have you ever read Ivanhoe? I’m currently trying to read it, because I recently learned that Sir Walter Scott is a 5th great-grandfather of my husband, Stephen’s.  I remember learning about it from the Betsy-Tacy- and Tib books that I read when growing up (somewhere around 5th grade ~ after The Babysitter’s Club and before Gone With the Wind or so).  I tried to get into it again after rereading the Betsy Tacy books in High School, but my brain wasn’t having it. I finally ordered it after finding and reading the “abridged version” I had found at my parents’ house. Still having trouble, but looking for some (any?) moral support. ;)**
and you guys, the support! It was amazing! Thank you! I was motivated to watch the 1982 version. I really enjoyed this plot-driven book and the writing was spectacular.

Isn't it cool when you realize you are related to someone famous (even if it is just by marriage).   I recently learned that my 4th great grandfather was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and he fought alongside George Washington. Not quite as famous as the author of Ivanhoe, though. Let's be honest. I married UP.


I binge-watched the Tina Fey-created show "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt..." Now I understand what all of the fuss was about!!! ;)

There are so many things I could say about this show.  It is, indeed, very funny. I actually laughed so hard, I was crying-  and spurting water from my mouth - near the end of the first season. I won't spoil it for you, but yes, the first season does get funnier and funnier. My favorite episode from the second season was the one where her friend Gretchen tries to join another cult, and Kimmy must rescue her from the Cosmetology Cruise. #cryingfaceemoji I'm trying to decide if I should tell Stephen to watch the rest of the season or not. He watched one very funny episode with me and he was intrigued. ;)


IVANHOE the movie! Anthony Andrews. 1982. See Rotten Tomatoes for more.

I've been re-listening to my Birth Labor Playlist from Annabel's birth on Spotify. Take a listen:

And here's a bold and perhaps contestable opinion: I think podcasts are the new TV shows. In terms of go-to media, I seriously love me a good podcast so mucho, and there are some really entertaining ones out there. (<--Add to that list The Right Heart, Ep. 17; on restoring your fertility)

While reading is one of my favorite pastimes, it is certainly a discipline, and only a handful of books that I read fall into the "entertainment" category. But honestly sometimes I would rather listen to a podcast about pop culture, relationships, or anxiety than watch an excellent TV show. I feel like that's saying something! Podcruncher is my favorite app for podcast-listening. I also have one of these penguin speakers, for taking my favorite podcasts on the road!

~Funny Things They Say~

{changing a doll's diaper}

Molly: This is hard, I can't do it.
Me: Just pretend you are changing a doll's diaper.
Molly: But she is wiggling and squirming and real!
Me: Say, 'Yes that's because I'm a real baby!'

{Watching Barbie}

Girls: I'm going to be x Fairy! I'm going to be y Fairy!
Anders: I'm gonna be Ken! I'm gonna be Ken! ... I'm gonna be a pink robot.
(Madeleine talked him down from that ledge)

{after Molly perfected her cartwheel and then started on round-offs... Madeleine builds a tower out of blocks}
Madeleine: (confidently, hands on hips) It's super-high, and gymnastic-cool.

And Conversations with Madeleine had a few real gems. ;)


Can she do Little House on the Prairie Now?!

Here's something fun.  I'm in the Catholic Mommy Blogs Directory. You can see a beautiful list here:

Thank you so much for including me; you are too kind, Lia! ;)

13 Ideas to Help With Clingy Toddlers @ Mothering Sunshine


true friendship ;)

mmmmm.... edu-m'cated.
~In The News~

The Pope did not attend a viewing of Spotlight, though he set up a panel :

Vatican panel kicks off meeting on sexual abuse by watching 'Spotlight' @ The LA Times

And apparently, the LA Times was hoping it would help them (the people of Spotlight) win an Oscar, (and it did...:'(  but the Pope knows what he's doing...

Spotlight Gets a Vatican Audience @ The NY Times

YAY! Go Pope Francis!!!  ... what a wise way to handle something like this. I, too, have not watched the film Spotlight. I have come to a decision about it as well... I will not be watching it. I don't think I could handle being that disturbed - and my husband and several of my friends agrees.

Papa Francis has truly led us into wisdom with this step. Parents, not sure what to do about a nasty movie that your children want to watch? Set up a panel, or say you want to attend a showing in a theatre... and then quietly excuse yourself during the opening credits. Your actions will speak LOUDER than words (!!!). So amazing in my mind.

Adolph Och's First Times (The One in Chattanooga)

An interesting article about the founder of the NY Times. @ The NY Times

Downton Creator Brings Drama on the Installment Plan in Belgravia @NPR

I heard about this on the radio! Looks super, super interesting. ;)


We've been eating a lot of salmon in these new-found warm weather days. Stephen slow cooks it on the grill after marinating it in a little soy sauce.  It is seriously swoon-worthy good.  I also made a Spicy Teriyaki Salmon that I'll definitely be making again! I've made Teriyaki sauce I don't know how many times. I love a good homemade version, and this recipe is seriously IT for me! ;)

Did Michele stop blogging as much? Waaah! I love her thoughts on children, theology, and the domestic monastery theme in general. It seems she is guest posting, but I need a place to find her posts!

But -- wait for it-- Rhonda is back in the game! Woot woot! Wow. The blogosphere is a happy place to be again. ha!  PARTY  in this house.

It has been *hot* here! Shorts everyday. 

Catch my Summer Survival Series Pt. 1 (ideas to keep you busy), Pt. 2 (Crafts ed!) and Pt. 1 from last year 

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum and With Grit and Grace and What I'm Into ;)


Lisa notes... said...

I’ve recently started “Life Path” by Luci Shaw (Red Couch’s book for May), and I love that the preface is by Madeleine L’Engle. I love when our favorite authors show up in unexpected places. Hope Emily of New Moon is good! Brown Girl Dreaming is on my to-read list.

Podcasts…don’t get me started. I have so many that I subscribe to. Great stuff out there! Rob Bell’s Robcast is one of my faves of late. Thanks for sharing what you're into. Followed you over from Leigh's.

Erin @ Stay at Home Yogi said...

I love that you had a birth playlist, that is so cool! :) So much good stuff here, I can't even comment on it all! Happy May! :)

Living In This Season said...

Love Kristin Hannah! she is a talented writer- thanks for linking up With Grit and Grace for the goals linkup