Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for June, 2011

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

I absolutely loved Pathfinder. Orson Scott Card gave readers enough information to figure out what was going on just prior to the reveal. Each character was introduced with enough time for us to become invested with them before we met another. Rigg, the main character, spends his childhood hunting with “Father”; who also trains him in many subjects and subtle mannerisms as they walk through the woods hunting. Well trained to keep secrets only “Father” knows about Rigg’s ability to see the paths of every living creature, except for “Father’s”.

The sudden death of “Father” and Rigg’s attempt to rescue a local boy lead Rigg and the child’s brother Olson to leave their village and travel to the capital. Along the way they learn that Rigg’s education, although good, did not give him all the information. He must journey to find his sister and legacy with some help along the way.

I do not want to give too much away. Suffice to say this is my favorite of Orson Scott Card’s books. I enthusiastically recommend this book!

My son the graduate

It seems like only yesterday that I was eighteen years old expecting my first child. Now he is that age and a graduate too. The world is so different from the one I knew as a teen. I tried to help based on my experience. He will have to let you know how I did. I do know that I did not alway assume correctly but we muddled through it.

A proud parent I invited all my aunts and uncles to the graduation party before the ceremony. It was so much fun. We looked at old pictures, remembered lots of moments, and had a wonderful meal together. Thank you all for coming and making it such a special night. We do not all get together enough. Then it was off to the ceremony on Tuesday night, June 21, 2011. I loved how effienctly the Bluefield staff ran the ceremony. It was surreal as he walked across the stage. We got a great shot together afterwards (Thanks Ruth!).

After the ceremony, he took off with his friends.

Tim and I went home and sat with a glass of wine discussing  the last nineteen years growing up together. Time really goes by quickly. I do not feel like I am old enough to have a graduate starting university in the fall but here it is. I am so proud.

Getting back on my eating plan & Forgotten Cookies

I have been feeling a bit guilty. I just posted on a friend’s blog that she should stick to her gluten-free plan. There are so many new choices out there. I even sent my new favorite gluten-free cookie that I can have. It has meringue base with the original adding chocolate chips. The first time I made it I threw in Hershey’s Skor Chipits. {I know I probably should not have them but they were in my cooking cupboard tempting me}. The result was a VERY sweet cookie. The kids loved but I found to be a bit much so I modified it taking out some sugar and adding gluten-free cocoa.

Modified Forgotten Cookie

4 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix cocoa and sugar together. Beat egg whites until foamy. Slowy add sugar mixture. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Drop cookies on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (or waxed paper). I usually use a teaspoon. Put cookies in oven. Turn oven off but do not open. Leave for at least 5 hours.

I do love ’em. Mine looked similar to Demon Cook’s Chocolate Macroons. I will have to try them.

Back to feeling guilty. Even though I told her to stick with it, I have been cheating on my diet all weekend. I did give up. Honestly I was tired of it always being about planning my food. Result is that I have been paying for it in itchiness and GI issues since Sunday. It will take at least a week for my body to get back to being healthy. Probably why I was so agressive telling her to stick to her plan.

I do not always stick to my meal plan, but I do know the importance of trying and

Review of Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

Still Alice sat on my shelf for over a year. Not because I did not want to read it but because I was not able to think about it. Knowing there is a family history of Alzheimer’s and remembering visiting my great-grandmother never knowing who I would be to her when I got there made it a bit hard to face this book.

Lisa Genova holds  Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University which really helps in the authenticity of campus life portrayed in her debut novel. Told by Alice Howland, we follow this successful midcareer Cognitive Psychology Professor, and mother of three grown children, through her descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease. I really connected with Alice. Her teaching and research proiorities along with the lengths she went to keep everything normal made her feel so real. The slow loss of this independence was devstating to read about. Especially, her plans of sucide, her moments confusion, and clinging to her professional life to the detriment of her students were so heartbreaking. A powerfully emotional read about the loss of self and the experience of Alzeimer’s disease and its effects on an entire family.

I loved this book and was surprised to learn that Lisa Genova self-published her book first, before it was picked up by Simon & Schuster. Read more about Lisa Genova and her amazing debut novel HERE. Discussion questions can be found HERE.