Extracurricular activities

There have been a couple of really nice days. REALLY NICE! Just simply gorgeous. Somewhere in the 70 degrees (occasionally 60 degrees) and the sun is shinning. It reminded me of when I was little and we would pull out our bikes and go on a family outing.

So what did I do?

I found a bike on craigslist and bought it!

Yes, that's right. I bought a bicycle.

I feel like a kid on Christmas Morning!

I was looking at it while trying to decide to buy it, but both the tires were flat and it was feeling a little short for me. I did a little research on it the night before so I knew how much it retailed for and what I was kindof looking at. After buying it, I took it to the gas station and the tires wouldn't fill up. That is about all I know about bikes, so I decided to go find out how much it would cost to have a bike place look at, fix it and fit it to me. I mean, if I was at home, my dad would have done it all for free, but sadly that is what happens when you move away from home. When I got to the bike place I felt like their price was good, so I left it with them. For over a week. Ack!

After I left, I realized I didn't remember what the bike even looked like. I only had it in my possession for about an hour. But here is a picture of the bike from the brand's website. Obviously not the used one I bought, but it's new to me.

Apparently this is their biggest season. Who knew? It's still cold out and there is snow on the ground. Then again, a couple of really nice days and I wanted a bike, so hey, what do I know?

I was bummed about having to wait, I promptly put it out of my head and went about my days, but lo and behold I got a call later that week saying I could pick up my bike. YEAH!! I wouldn't have to wait after all. When Saint was in town, I dragged him to the shop and while I was there I was tested and found out my bike was a wee on the petite side for me. Damn. Just an FYI, your bike should offer you a 30 degree leg extension. I did feel that in the seconds I rode before I bought the bike, but for a small fee they could order me a new seat pole and voila! new and fits well. She said I had nice long legs and short arms. WHAT? Short arms? I looked at Saint and said, Did she just tell me I have short arms? He laughed and she did too and replaced her comment with most women do.

I knew one thing, I wanted a good and cool looking bike helmet. Fashion is oh so important when riding especially when I was standing there watching these guys ride bright red bikes through the shop. I like color! I found the perfect one too! I made Saint take a picture of me in it. Sadly, once again, I had to leave it all behind and wait for the part for my seat to come in. But even if they call me to come pick it up this time, it will still be earlier than I expected it in the first place.

Oh how I'd really like a bell too!

Each time I am out and about in town I fantasize about my bike and where I would go and what I would do. Dad is funny because he so nicely pointed out that no matter where I go, when I come home there is the biggest hill to climb in order to get home. That's nice. Thanks for reminding me that I have a big climb right at the end. I will definitely have to keep that in mind when riding anywhere. It's very apropos because when I was growing up we had this huge hill by our house and my dad would have to tie a rope to my bike from his so that I could go up (pulling me from behind) and down (guiding me down tied to his front) the hill. What a good dad he was. Poor guy.

Review - I am Nujood, Aged 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

I am a great fan of biographies, especially those by women and added that they are women from another religion, country or time pulls me in even more.

The feminist in me wants women to learn all their life possibilities. Not to be told No or held back. So when this book came in, I knew I would love it.

It goes through the life of a Yemen girl who has some seriously bad things happening to her family, focused mostly on her young sisters. In order to fix things, or maybe to save her, her father marries her off to a man three times her age who swears to protect her and wait til she is older to consummate the wedding. As predicted, none of this goes as planned. She pleads to those around her for help, but they all tell her to go back and she will be fine. She refuses to live with that verdict and seeks the help of a judge.

My first disappointment in this book was how fast the story is laid out. It is good because it gives the book that much more honesty because it sounds like it was written by a 10 year old. My second disappointment is all the information is surface and not in depth. I would have liked more depth to this book. Since, once again, I do not read the summary of the book before hand I thought the book would be entirely about her struggle to become divorced. Sadly it was resolved within the first quarter of the book. The rest goes on to detail her life after.

I did however enjoy this book simply because of the differences in culture and the fact that she does survive her ordeal to find that life has more to offer than marriage so early in life.

I am Nujood, aged 10 and Divorced is a good, quick read. Though I didn't love it, I would still recommend the book.


"I'm a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no."

Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled--not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood's case and fought the...

Other books similar in feel that I would recommend are Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren.

I am also really excited to read the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult since I read all of her books within the same time period. I started and didn't stop til I have read every single one of them. I was hooked from the first book of hers. She has this incredible way of seeing people and their lives. It gives them a life that I can put their shoes on and walk in them. I can feel their pain and their life. I can see their conflicts and decide for myself what I would do. As a friend of mine says, "Jodi Picoult breaks your heart." Therefore it is no secret I am a HUGE fan of Jodi Picoult.

Sing You Home was no different than the other books. It was simply fantastic. I felt so many different emotions that at some points I put the book down and swore I wouldn't read anymore then like watching a train wreck I picked it back up and was, once again, sucked back in.

The characters surprised me consistently and I was wowed and sadden. I loved Zoe who was the main character. She is married to Max who is a previous alcoholic. They have tried for years to have children, but even with help she has another miscarriage. Max decides he can't do it anymore and gets a divorce. Zoe finds she is destroyed. She throws herself into her work as a music therapist and finds a friend at work. A woman therapist who turns into a new love and eventually they marry. As Zoe is finding a new life, Max is too, with a very religious church of his brother and his wife. A once married couple becomes complete opposites and when Zoe reveals she would like to use their leftover embryos for her new wife to conceive, the battle begins. The church against lesbians who want to have a family with kids.

The emotional roller coaster that Picoult takes the reader on in this book was so fantastic. I found myself on both sides at different times. Throughout the whole book though I had one consistent feeling, I did not like the weakness of Max's character. I was disappointed that he kept riding the wave of other's.

I loved the music therapy information throughout the book. I believe that things like this work and I really enjoyed all the detail and seeing it develop. The book includes a CD to listen to while reading. A concept I also find fun and entertaining. Something different.

I do not want to spoil any of the details of this book. Read and decide on your own.

Find this book on GoodReads or Barnes&Noble

Synopsis from GoodReads:
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor -- asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max.

Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child.

SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age?