Ashes and Skittles, Bread and Jam

Before I get started today, I want to clarify a few things. First, I know I am loved! I was not baiting a hook for my precious readers, just using it as a literary device for the subject of blog stats. As Lisa points out in the comments section, it is easy to fall into the trap of basing one’s self-esteem on blog stats but I really don’t do that. At least not anymore. And while I write for myself, I also write for you, my readers, and my children, one day. The husband, he’s hit or miss. The blog stats themselves are just a window into the fascinating little brain of an ever-searching world. For example, you would never believe how many people want to know how to pronounce “coozie”, how to recycle old birthday candles, or are looking for a photo of paddywhack beer. Almost every day, someone asks these questions and voila, they are directed to this blog. But I am wondering where Random Tom is – has he dumped my blog?

Yesterday I went on a tour of a Beijing Opera costume factory in Suzhou with a group of menopausal expats from all over the world. While the tour itself was interesting, I can’t even bring myself to write about it. Let’s just say I was scandalized at the shopping behavior of the women. I am posting a photo above just so you’ll have an idea of the factory itself. Although the factory was billed as “heated” it was colder than a cave.

While I was parading along with the paparazzi group of women, Mr. Understanding went to the Mars candy factory in Beijing. He was impressed by it’s cleanliness and excellent operation. The Chinese are really beginning to tuck into “chocoli” so for those fretting about overseas factory operations taking away from US jobs, the Chinese chocolate market is the main consumer. Mr. U also saw Skittles being made. They come out hard as rocks and take twenty days to soften before they are put on store shelves.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the end of Carnaval and the beginning of Lent. I tried not to have a pity party for myself remembering bygone experiences. Since I am no longer attending church, I am really going to make an effort for the next 40 days. In the past I have given up alcohol, chocolate, popcorn, and shopping and have prayed for my enemies. This year I am going to tackle a biggie: bread. Although it figures heavily in the Holy Communion, I think it is heavily bloating my figure. Sammy “The Package” can only do so much. Proactively, I am going to tackle reading the Apocrypha. In 2007, my New Year’s resolution was to read the bible in a year following a Bible in a Year plan. I got bogged down at the end of October 2007 when my castle in Glamavillas seriously began to crumble. I finished it this year, albeit in December. However, when I got out my study bible recently, I realized I had not read the Apocrypha. I read Tobit over the weekend and the story of the angel Raphael guiding Tobias made me remember our Carnaval angel Ionara. I could almost hear her wings fluttering over the pages.

Finally, I am going to commit to a blog post a day, Monday through Friday, except when traveling. It might just be a photo, it might just be a paragraph. But I have all these little notes on things I have not blogged about and I need to get rid of them in my quest for an uncluttered life. V3 and I have had some pretty funny conversations. Additionally, I thought I would get a little interactive and ask my readers a question a day. Even the non-commenting section of my readership could maybe stretch themselves and send in an answer, sans elaboration? Today’s question came up in a conversation with Ms. Dela who works part time in an independent bookshop in Houston:

What was your favorite book before you could read?

Mine, of course, is Bread And Jam for Frances by Lillian Hoban. Some things never change.



Filed under Folkart, Life, Reading, Shopping, Travel

9 responses to “Ashes and Skittles, Bread and Jam

  1. MCV

    I can’t remember the name of it, but MRM read it to me a million times . . . it’s the one about the girl with the VERY messy bedroom. We read it so much the cover fell off it. I must have been comforted by the girl in her messy bedroom as I still have one . . .

  2. Sarah P

    Mine was Courdory. I could never have it read to me without crying. I even welled up when I read it to my son when he was young. He just looked at me like “What’s your problem?”

  3. 425Heidi

    Goodnight Moon. My mother told me once that I memorized it. When guests would come over, they were astounded that I could read so young. I don’t think she ever told them the truth.

  4. Mood Ring Mama

    Not sure, but I do recall having you read my Ferdinand alot. I always thought that bull looked so lonely sitting under that tree all by himself. But maybe I’m not remembering the story correctly.

  5. This is not early reading, but it was what I thought was my first adult novel and it was Ramona. I was in love with the characters. I think I read this at 10.

    I did not like most of the books I could read when young. They were things like Munro Leaf on manners.

  6. Winnie

    Jane, Dick, and Spot made me think it wasn’t worth the bother to learn to read. However, I do remember early on happily tearing up Pat the Bunny. (It tasted better than it read.)

  7. warrop

    O.K. so I will leave the world of “read your blog all the time, but too shy to write anything” and enter the world of “I am conphidant that I wo’nt misssspell anithing”. Mr. Understanding will know the answer to your question. “Miss Twigley’s Tree”. I listened to it being read to my older (and much wiser) brother all the time and can recite large portions of it (great confidence builder for someone with mush for brains).

  8. Radish: reread the question. Your parents must have read you a book or two. We still do have those manners books … they make my children LAUGH.

    All of these books are classics! Great answers!!!! I bought, for a scandalous price, an out-of-print copy for either a godchild or Warrop. It was a good decision. It is the book my own kids liked to take in to school to be read aloud – we have the original. It makes a great gift, this book. Even Mr. Understanding can recite it chapter and verse.

    Corduroy made me sad too, Sarah P. And talk about your worlds colliding – I did read Ferdinand the Bull a lot, I just don’t remember reading it to MRM! Pat the Bunny and Good Night Moon are nursery staples.

  9. Thing 1

    Where the Wild Things Are, Hop on Pop, and Are You My Mother? come to mind.
    MCV- I think we still have that book!

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