July 1, 2012

summer essentials.

It's July and I finally had the experience I wait for each summer--not knowing what day of the week it is. It seems silly, but that's how I know I've finally relaxed. It happened today and it felt GOOD.

Things have been quiet around here on purpose. We have been having some pretty sad happenings around here, but we're working real hard on making the best out of every day. We've been playing disc golf a few times a week, keeping cool inside, reading by the pool, and making most of our meals from scratch. I haven't been inspired to blog or crochet in months. I've really needed the time off to rejuvenate and find direction.

Cory and I leave for our summer road trip this Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to hours in the car with the wind in my hair. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, seeing new things, and taking advantage of this beautiful country. The photo above was me shopping for supplies. Obviously ingredients for s'mores, a bottle of aloe, and new composition books are essential for July, right? :)

I've been reading a lot recently. I finished Dave Eggers' new novel, A Hologram for the King two weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it's simplistic style. Eggers isn't exactly what I would call a simple guy or a simple writer. He often comes across as spastic and hyper, but I have always loved him for it. Hologram is different. He tells the tale of a 54-year-old businessman that is wishing for a lifeline in Saudi Arabia by selling him a hologram feature for business meetings. I learned more about the American spirit while reading this novel than I have anything else. It's beautiful. It's more about what Dale does while he's waiting for the King instead of what happens once he finally gets his opportunity. What I liked most about this text is that I could recommend it to anyone. I could give it to a student, I could give it to my mother (and I'm going to). It's a story that will stick with you each time you have a conversation with someone who has been fighting the good fight.

I also read Chuck Klosterman's new fiction, The Visible Man that was equally as charming, but for completely different reasons. Klosterman's famed as a pop-culture, non-fiction writer. That's his jam. That's what he's good at. Lately, he has been dabbling in the world of fiction. I was never impressed with his first fiction release, Downtown Owl, but The Visible Man had me completely reconsidering Klosterman's skills as a novelist. The Visible Man is unlike anything I have ever read. This novel tells the story of a counselor's experience with an unusual patient through the transcripts of recorded therapy sessions. I have never read anything else in that format, but it worked to really invest the reader into each of the characters equally. Sure, the narration bounces between both the counselor and the patient, but the reader seems to be given the opportunity to make judgments throughout the text as the omniscient reader. It was a really unusual experience, but I really enjoyed it. It was certainly different than anything else, but most importantly, it proved Klosterman's ability to write fiction well.

I just finished A Prayer for Owen Meany, a cult high school classic that I never read before. It was a great read, but way longer than what I would've liked. Oh well, that's John Irving for you, I guess.

I picked up my crochet hooks for the first time this week after a very long time off. It was perfect because I actually came up with two new designs that will be in the shop this fall! Which reminds me, Donna's Decembers shop is closed between now and August 1. I've been working behind the scenes on cleaning up the shop and making sure that everything is just so. You know how it goes. It feels like a good fresh start, which is what I really want.

Even though I haven't been blogging regularly, you can always find me on twitter or Instagram (username: lizmatheny). I'm hoping to actually post pretty frequently while we're on our trip. If that doesn't happen, you can definitely find me on twitter and instagram, as per usual.

So, what has life been like for you? How have you been keeping busy?

ALSO! Please keep sending us recommendations for our road trip destinations! We're really loving all the emails about things to do and places to see! THANK YOU! :)


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