Month: May 2013

Can Did It

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired
  • Read a classic (book 3 of 4)
  • Try a new recipe
  • (Re)connect
  • Get selfishly creative



Classic #3 was Candide by Voltaire.

Here is the trouble with reading a classic on your own – sometimes you just don’t get it. I’m not afraid to say it. I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. Despite the constant action and the short chapters, it was repetitive and  tiresome. I have a feeling this is for two reasons: 1) I had no historical context, nothing to inform my reading and help me appreciate the satire, and 2) I had no one to discuss the book with, and therefore no one to make me slow down and reflect on my reading. (Already my appreciation is growing for the book as I write this post. Reflection is a big part of that.)

Published in 1759, Candide is a satirical look at philosophy, politics, and religion. It follows the misfortunes of Candide and companions around the world and demonstrates his transition from a young man full of optimism – accepting all as “for the best” – to an experienced man who honors the act of “cultivating your garden,” or (in my interpretation) actively taking control of your world. This, I imagine, is what I will ultimately take away from the reading experience.  Not a bad philosophy, really.

If you’re curious about the story yourself and want some familiarity with it, I found Leonard Bernstein’s operetta version (split into 12 separate videos) much more entertaining. As with all adaptations, the operetta is full of changes and exclusions, but it will give you the jist…and a few laughs.






by Erin

We are one-third of the way through the year already. Holy moly.

I feel good about my prospects for resolution completion (red is done, yellow is in-process).


Where I am headed:

1. Explore – Still thinking about that one.

2. Learn about someone ; be inspired by their story to act/do- I kind of want to read about Mark Twain, whose stories I finally got around to reading recently. Maybe some inspiration will come from there. Otherwise, I am  open to finding inspiration elsewhere.

3. Read  classics – The blog poll still says the next books are Candide and Walden. I assume that won’t change. After blasting through some newer novels recently, I might be ready for another classic. There has been talk about some sort of parallel reading of Walden. As I may be distracted these next few months, Candide might be first so I can be a better reading partner later, when I am out of my baby fog.

4. Try new recipes – I have all the equipment for cheese making, so that is coming up. May also marks the beginning of CSA season. With Kid suddenly discovering his aversion to veggies, I may try a “kid-friendly” veggie recipe theme. Or maybe it will be a “CSA survival” theme. I also want to make more use of our Crock pot, so perhaps there will be something there.

5. (Re)connect – These are coming more easily than expected. There are a lot of people who deserve connection but I don’t want to ruin any surprises. In addition, I am exploring the possibility of what it means to connect to oneself. Connecting to a stranger is also intriguing, but I don’t know what that looks like yet.

6. Get selfishly creative –  I don’t have enough ideas to get me through the rest of the year, but some that I have been kicking around are: taking a “pop-up” art class at a local art center, writing poetry, draw portraits of my kids, take on a sewing project, attempt a solo painting, revisit “photography” projects from earlier this year after learning more about photography and recreate some of the photos.  Of course, “to create” doesn’t have to be arts related. Any suggestions on alternate ideas of creation and accompanying activities are welcome in the comments.

So, how is everyone else doing?