Update Jan 10, 2020

Hi all! This was a good week. I got two books read:


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for my book club and BFG for M’s book club. I’ve now read all of January’s book club books!

I’m currently reading:

Currently Reading

Aaron and I hung out with my friend Liz on Saturday, and we were able to get through episode 2 of Earth Break, which is an internet-ordered escape-room-like scenario. Episode 2 was a bit more difficult than the first, especially since I think we may have been missing a piece??? (We decided we must be after reading the hint…That was a bit disappointing.) Sunday, the family played Pandemic and Clue, and watched some Star Trek (Original Series, Season 1).

Tuesday was M’s last occupational therapy. The therapist came out and said that his poor eating choices are psychological, rather than sensory. She said eating habits are a common way to control his environment when he feels things are out of control, and that it has now simply formed into a solid bad habit. 😦 We are going to back off of trying to get him to eat more variety, and focus on getting him to eat enough calories, which is hard enough. So, instead of saying he can only eat at specific given times (as the feeding psychologist suggested last year) we will let him eat whenever he pleases (within reason), but it has to be something healthier than goldfish or granola bars or Froot Loops.

Thursday, M got 3 cavities filled, and I get the impression he thinks it was rather fun. Which is frustrating, because we don’t have enough money to go filling 3 cavities every 6 months. It sounds awful, but Aaron and I were hoping he would have a less-than-enjoyable experience with the fillings and it would make him see reason in respect to dental care. Oh well. We’ll just continue to have to watch him brush his teeth twice a day to make sure he actually does it.

D is doing well. It is cookie season, and she’s thrilled to get out there and sell them. She’s still enjoying choir practice, though it’s quite exhausting for her. She will be happy to move on to other activities at the end of the season, I think.

I could have done a better job of exercising and dieting this week, but I didn’t gain any weight, which is nice.

Have a nice week!

Update January 3, 2020

Well, the holidays are over and it’s time to start afresh! I’ve already finished one book! It was Becoming Ms. Burton, about a woman who, after recovering from addiction and the stigma of being a felon, started a home for women returning to society after prison. It was quite good.

I’m currently listening to Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda. I cheated and watched the movie before finishing the book, because I thought it would be good for the kids to watch a story about how difficult it is to be gay in high school. They had a lot of questions, partly because it was a PG-13 movie (“what’s sex again?”), and partly because of the topic. I was proud of M, who usually covers his eyes at kissing scenes, cheered at the romantic moment. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler.)

I’m reading Five Midnights, by Ann Davila Cardinal, and Unspeakable Mind, Shaili Jain.

D & M both surprised their mom with new hair colors – pink for D and red for M. (That’s apparently D’s “cute” face and not her “annoyed” face. You can see how I was confused.)

I got over my cold, but then came down with a sinus infection. It’s not a bad one, so it’s all cool. Oh, and my hip has stopped hurting, so I can start training for a sprint triathlon in my efforts to lose weight. I’m typing on my phone, so I can’t put my data table up, but I lost a few pounds over the past few weeks. Hopefully I can keep it off.

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow
By Michelle Alexander

2019 Book 47: The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

In The New Jim Crow, Alexander wrote a study of mass incarceration in the US, including a history of its forerunners slavery and Jim Crow laws. She makes the point that the war on drugs is inherently racist in that in an age of colorblindness people claim they have to racial biases, but they also associate crime with poor black people despite the fact that drug crime is just as likely to be a white person crime (even a middle class white person crime) just as much as a black person crime. Black and brown people are disproportionately incarcerated. This leads to the percentage of black people who are felons his huge. Felons have great difficulty finding a job or home, are “hated” freely by white people across political lines, and are often unable to vote – just like old times when open prejudice was rampant. Because of the high incarceration rate, black and brown mothers are often single, often have to use state and federal help to survive, and are torn between embracing their men and boys as they are, and trying to protect them from mistakes. But there’s one huge difference: in the age of colorblindness, people don’t consider this racism. She suggests that racism won’t be obliterated until colorblindness no longer exists. We should embrace all races with equality.

5 snowflakes



Social Justice Nonfiction Challenge January Linkup

Social Justice Challenge

This is January’s linkup for Social Justice Book Reviews for the 2020 Social Justice Nonfiction Challenge, hosted by yours truly. Please put reviews in the comments section. As they arrive in the comments section, I will read them and then move them to the main text so that everyone can read them more easily.

Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado Perez – @Hibernator’s Library (Feminism)

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander – @Hibernator’s Library (Racism)

Update December 26, 2019

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. My two weeks since my last update have gone well. My family is currently in Oregon celebrating Christmas / Hanukkah with my in-laws. It has been a wonderful holiday season for us.

We had a scare two days before we flew out, when IL spiked a temp of 103. We took him into Urgent Care, and found that he had tonsillitis, though we got the ok to fly. He was a bit grumpy for the first few days of of his trip, and so was I, as I have had a nasty virus as well. Luckily, I’m feeling better, though not 100%.

The kids had a sneaky way of providing evidence of whether Santa existed or not. They put out both cookies and milk AND pizza and cider. They put out a coded note saying that Santa could only choose one snack. The code was the numerical alphabet backwards. Santa ate whatever he wanted, and left a coded message saying “I eat what I choose, young mortals.” It’s still up in the air whether Santa exists.

Here’s a few pictures:





Despite my goal to put a table saying my eating habits last week, I was unable to make a post due to our unexpected trip to Urgent Care. But the basic idea is that I binged more than I realized I do. That’s discouraging, but the information will help me be more conscious of my bad eating habits.

I am working on reading Maelstrom, by D. J. Schuette right now. But will soon move on to one of the books that Mark from LibraryThing sent me for a Christmas Swap.