A Book Review: Whistling Past the Graveyard

Book Group was weird this week.  I’m still trying to get the hang of this “Go Somewhere By Myself And Try Not To Be Shy” thing but I feel like I have to give myself a Hannah-From-GIRLS style pep talk beforehand (come on, you know the one).  At this particular meeting, there were about 12 of us and maybe it was because I wasn’t that into the book and didn’t speak up much but I just felt uninteresting and like I wasn’t really fitting in with the group.  I don’t know where I get this need to be liked by others from but I should probably work on that.  Just keeping it real today.

Anyway, back to the book, Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall.

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I thought it was just okay.  The plot, characters and writing-style didn’t particularly excite me.  The narrator is a 9-year-old girl (Starla), who runs away from home, befriends a black woman (Eula) who has just found a white baby abandoned on the steps of a church and decided to keep him as her own and the three of them journey to Nashville to find Starla’s mother.

I could appreciate that the author decided to use a child narrator because it allowed her to delve into race relations in the 1960’s with a certain level of innocence and naivety, but I felt like she only brushed the surface of the intensity of things that happened during the Civil Rights Movement.  It was all a little too simple, especially to have taken place in the deep south.

That being said, some of the characters were very endearing and you couldn’t help but like them.  The relationship between Starla and Eula was particularly sweet.  Some of my favorite parts of the book were centered around them baking and bonding together and really transcending any race barriers.  Go figure that I’d like the parts that included pie :)  Overall, it just reminded me too much of The Help and how much more I liked that book over this one.

What are you reading right now?

Memorial Day Weekend Things

Whoa!  Doesn’t it feel like Friday was so long ago?  Between what felt like an endless string of Rockies games, a few parties, a festival, a bunch of delicious food, yard work, a race and fun time with family and friends, I can barely remember all the way back to the beginning of the weekend!  Thank goodness I took way too many pictures :)

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We started things off with a Friday Rockies game.  We thought it started at 6:40, but no, it definitely started at 6:10.  At least we live close!  We left in the 7th inning when the Rockies were down 7-0 and the sky was starting to cry over the prospect of yet another Rockies loss.  For the record, the game went into a rain delay, didn’t finish until after midnight and ended up 11-8.  We still lost, but not by much!

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Saturday started with breakfast at Onefold, which recently opened and I’d been dying to go to.  YOU GUYS.  It was so amazing!  The gal at the register was super friendly and helpful and the whole place is just the cutest.  Plus they have Vietnamese Iced Coffee.  Yes please!  This breakfast burrito with house made tortillas was to die for.  I wanna go back right now.

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The afternoon was spent party hopping.  Joey’s cousin Courtney graduated high school last week and his other cousin Jade had a birthday party for her son Colton, who clearly found eating cake to be very tiring.  It’s funny how affected all of us Coloradans are by the lack of sun lately.  When it finally came out on Saturday, it was all everyone could talk about.  Then it rained…

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Post-rain, we took ourselves downtown for Denver Day of Rock.  I stumbled across this event a couple years ago with my mom and sister, then we tried to go last year but bailed when a huge storm started to roll in and I was pretty sure this year was going to be a repeat of last year but luckily the rain let up.  Basically, there’s a few stages with local bands and then, if you’re me, you’re there for the accompanying food trucks.

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We grabbed a few plates of food and shared them near the main stage where we were kind of paying attention to the music but mostly paying attention to this big puddle of water near us that everyone in the crowd was magically managing to dodge.  I watched a girl in rain boots jump over it and thought “no, that’s not the point of wearing those shoes!”  P.S. Those tacos were okay, but those Bourbon-glazed sweet potato fries and pulled pork sandwich were A+.

Back at home, we decided “hey, let’s just start True Detective” then finished the series at 1 AM.  I know I’m so late to the game, but HOLY MOLY.  I thought Matthew McConaughey was incredible.  I’ve never seen such an interesting character and he played the heck out of that role.

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Sunday yard work!  We knew we only had about half a day to get in any landscaping work before the rain showed up so we were up and at em digging a little trench for a mini curbside walk way.  We ended up only getting one side done, which was kind of disappointing, but I think it turned out pretty good!  You would think after all these house projects we would’ve learned that things always take twice as long as you think they’re going to.

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My mom and sister are finally home from NOLA so they drove down to have dinner with us.  Burgers, beer and one giant chalice for my mom.  Oh and would you look at the loot they brought home for me!  That chicory coffee is such a familiar sight in my mom’s kitchen and now I have a bag of my own.  My mom’s not sure Camellia brand red beans are any different than the red beans you can buy here, but I say they feel much more authentic.

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And finally, Memorial Day and the annual running of the Bolder Boulder.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  Plus we actually made it on time to take off with our wave.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that!  I guess burgers and beer should be my new pre-race dinner ritual because I beat my goal of finishing in under 60 minutes by a whole minute and 45 seconds.  I’m feeling pretty great about that right now.  And I’m feeling pretty great about the unintentional photo bomb happening behind us in that last picture.

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The rest of the day involved THIS!!!  And this would be our first Denver Passport outing.  That little booklet has the names of 64 different Denver restaurants that are all participating in this 2-for-1 deal on selected drinks this summer.  Hannah and Josh got it (plus the Boulder and Fort Collins editions) for us so we all went to Highland Tap and Burger to try them out.  This specific restaurant’s drink deal was a choice of any of their signature cocktails, hence the different choices.  To say I’m excited about trying out a bunch of places we’ve never been to before is a HUGE understatement.  Poor Joey has had to listen to me excitedly obsessing over this passport thing for weeks already.

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Once we set Hannah and Josh free, I decided we should go grab another drink somewhere nearby… either that or I was going to fall asleep on the couch… again.  So the Ale House at Amato’s it was!  We grabbed two Breck IPAs on the rooftop and made it out just as it started to rain… also again.  As you can imagine, the rest of the day involved lots of laying around and me getting into bed way early.  I can’t hang with these long weekends like I used to :)

How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

This Week + Dinner at Uncle

I just walked into my office and discovered a moth flying around.  I seriously almost just turned around and headed back home.  I do NOT do moths.  Joey caught it with his hands and now I’ll just be reminding myself not to let him touch anything of mine for the rest of the day.  Anyway, it’s Friday, it’s the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and it’s time for a weekly recap.  Because someone neglected to post all week.  Oopsie!

On Monday

It rained.

We went to the Rockies game.  I’m a fair weather fan in the most literal sense so the drizzle and chill wasn’t ideal, but I think Joey and I were both so set on going to a game that not going never even crossed our minds.

Aaaaand we lost…

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On Tuesday

It rained.

I ate a quesadilla, because it seemed like the only way to beat the rainy day blues.

We finally finished The Wire.  I was never really on board with the show, but that last season really lost me.  What should we watch next?!

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On Wednesday

It rained.  Are you getting as sick of this as I am?

We grilled burgers (in the rain…), roasted giant in-season asparagus, drank beer and pretended as hard as we could that it was summer.

We didn’t watch Letterman’s last show.  Is that bad?

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On Thursday

My nephew graduated kindergarten!  They sang “Here Comes the Sun” during the ceremony and I’ve never been more proud.  You’re never too young to start learning Beatles lyrics.

On our way into the school, I (and all the parents, teachers and mortified children outside) watched a lady accidentally roll her car over her son’s foot/ankle when he got out of the moving car.  The mother sat in the car screaming until someone pulled her out and moved her car.  I wanted to speak to the school counselor afterwards because I felt traumatized.

We went to dinner at Uncle!

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When it’s May, you live in Colorado and you haven’t seen sun or warmth all week, a giant bowl of ramen is where it’s at.  Also, we’d had Uncle on our “list” for a long long time.  We braved the dreaded hour-long wait and it was so worth it!  We started with the fried green tomato buns, followed by pork belly ramen (for Joey) and spicy chicken ramen (for me) and it was all phenomenal!  Mine had a tahini broth!  Plus we got to sit at the chef’s counter and watch all the kitchen action.  I loved it all!

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On Friday

IT’S STILL RAINING!!!  What have we done to deserve this?!

I’m missing my mom and sister who have been in New Orleans since last Saturday.  Come home, you two!

I’m looking forward to another Friday Rockies game, Saturday parties and Denver Day of Rock, Sunday yard work, the Bolder Boulder and anything else that happens during one of my favorite holiday weekends of the year!  And I’m going to pretend it won’t be raining during all of those things…

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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