Thursday, January 23, 2014

Books; 2013 in Review

I read 35 books last year, including the Book of Mormon twice. I read quite a bit of fantasy last year, which was, honestly, never a genre that had interested me. However, I think I’m hooked.

I delved into fantasy at the beginning of the year, trying to not have to think too much. Losing our daughter had been tough, and I barely made it through Christmas. January, I read nothing. February started with “How to Kill 11 Million People”; probably not the best one to start off with either, so most of the early months of last year were spent in “Fablehaven”, which I highly recommend.

I had several disappointments in my selections this year. First on the list would be “Phantastes; a Faerie Romance for Men and Women” by George MacDonald; it was dull, and hard to follow. Really hard to follow. I so enjoyed MacDonald’s “The Princess and the Goblin”, that it was a huge disappointment, but his “Light Princess and other Fairy Tales” was only fair, so while he’s the beloved mentor of C.S. Lewis, I cannot agree with Lewis wholeheartedly on MacDonald’s merits.

Another disappointment was “Tarzan of the Apes”. First, I was completely unprepared for the amount of violence in this book; Tarzan follows the moral code of the apes, not man, and kills without remorse. The book ended stupidly in my view, and so I doubt I’ll be reading the subsequent volumes, so I don’t know if Tarzan ever develops a human understanding of right and wrong. The first book didn’t entice me to continue.

The other disappointment was “Beyond the Wardrobe; the Official Guide to Narnia” by E. J. Kirk. There was nothing new in this book; I love Narnia, he didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I was glad it was a free book.

While the year was heavily laden with fantasies, it was almost equally laden with classics.

I read the “Secret Garden” because my family was working as stage crew on a local production of a play of the same name. I found that I love Frances Hodgson Burnett’s writing. LOVE. Shortly after, I read “Little Lord Fauntleroy” and “The Little Princess” and enjoyed them equally. If you haven’t read these three classics, please treat yourself; they are charming and wonderful.

“Call of the Wild”, “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, “Through the Looking Glass” all get top honors. I especially enjoyed learning the WHOLE story of Pinocchio.

Two “modern classics” were “The Giver” and “Ender’s Game”. I have to admit, that I read “Ender’s Game” in preparation of the then upcoming movie, but I enjoyed it, mostly, and it, and some of the other “dystopian” novels that I’ve read, have inspired a book idea of my own. Please don’t hold your breath, but I have begun taking notes.

Of all the books I read this year, “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens takes the top spot of “Oh My Gosh, that’s my favorite book ever” for the year! (I have a new “favorite ever” each year it seems, they have a special list of their own) I laughed, I cried, I SHOUTED; I was listening to it on audio while I was canning, and the reader did all the voices, the perfect inflections, it was just superb.

I’m hoping to get to 40 books this year. How did you do in 2013? What are your book goals for 2014?

Where is Common Sense??

Today, I went to Walmart to buy, among other things, some cold medicine. My son was with me, and he had chosen some items to pay for with his own money; he has a job now, he does that. As it turned out, he hadn't brought enough cash, and asked if he could pay me back at home, and as before, since I know he has the money at home, I agreed.

We have all of our items rung up, and he hands me $10; I then try to hand the $10 to the cashier, and I have my debit card ready to swipe; the cashier says he needs my son’s ID. What? I try to hand him MY ID.

“Well, since he handed you cash, and you have ‘age sensitive items’, I need to see his ID.” I explain that my son is not yet 18 so that wouldn't work; that it made no sense because he’s buying a t-shirt, and art supplies. “Well I’m not comfortable with him handing you cash, how do I know this isn’t a sting? I have to get my manager.”

Now, let me pause in this ridiculous story to say that this is not the first time that this cashier has given me trouble over COLD MEDICINE. He checked my ID in September—while shopping alone, when I had purchased some Nyquil. Now at my age, I suppose I should be flattered, but really, when you have a ‘Self-Checkout” aisle, apparently you shouldn't try to self-check cold medicine if you live in a communist controlled state.

Just a friendly caution.

So, our intrepid cashier waits…and waits, for his manager to come. She finally arrives and he explains that the young man gave me cash, and I have ‘age sensitive’ items, cold medicine, that he believes *I* am buying, but what should he do? The young lady looks at me, and asks “is this your son?” I answer in the affirmative, and she turns to him, and says “It’s fine.” He is still hesitant, and she explains that if it were alcohol or tobacco, it might be different, but it’s fine.

I’m thinking “Thank you, common sense!” But hold on, no! She then says to him “It’s OK, you were right to check.”; and walks away.


Now, a few things, outside of the obvious bug me here (bet you didn’t see that coming).

First, I know this guy has been working at our Walmart for over two years, because, while I try to avoid his line, I’ve seen him there a lot, and I know he was there before Sarah died, which will be two years in April; this CANNOT be the first time that this has happened, where a child handed his mother money for his own items while she was purchasing COLD MEDICINE!

Second, they took my favorite pseudoephedrine OUT of the cold medicine, so no one can manufacture meth with it, but apparently, at the upper teen level you cannot be trusted to know 1. if you need cold medicine, and 2. to be able to purchase it for yourself or for your mother, even if she may be on her death bed, without an adult to pay for it and not take any money from you while standing at the checkout.

What has happened to common sense? Why should it matter if my son handed me money at the checkout for the items he’s purchasing? We had numerous other items besides our cold medicine, would it have been so difficult and scary to say “are you his mom? Because you have some ‘age sensitive’ items, and legally, I can’t sell them to him if he’s under 18.”

It could have easily been brought to light that *I* am sick, and I want to go home, take my cold medicine and go to bed; that if we didn’t live in a communist society, I could have sent my son to GET the cold medicine for me, on his own.

Marijuana is now legal in a few states, but you can’t buy COLD MEDICINE to relieve your aches and sniffles without Big Brother making sure you’re not buying it to give to your *almost* adult child.


The older I get, the more Libertarian I become. Personal responsibility is what our Constitution is about. Agency is what our Constitution is about, not this convoluted and bastardized system of ‘laws’ and ‘statues’ that we have now.

What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want everyone to check up on our business, every time we buy ‘age sensitive items’? Does the government have the right to tell you that you can or cannot buy ‘age sensitive items’?

Please, let’s restore common sense. All politics starts at home. Who are your county officials? Who are your state representatives? Are they proponents of the Constitution? The 10th Amendment? If not, seek out those who are, and encourage them to run. Maybe run yourself. You and I may be what stands between a restoration of the Republic, and complete lunacy.

We must restore sanity to this nation!