On Dropping the Ball

Friday, November 20, 2015

Yes, this is one of THOSE posts. The ones where a blogger talks about struggling with priorities and trying to find balance. Sorry in advance. 

I started this blog six years ago and this is the 1,458th post. In that time I've reviewed books, participated in more than a dozen readalongs and nine Dewey Readathons, and most importantly made friends with so many other amazing bloggers. 

In May, the Huz and I found out we were expecting our first little one. Since then life has felt like a whirlwind of fatigue, excitement, and a million other things. In addition to preparing things like the nursery, we've been attending birthing classes, getting life insurance, creating wills, and researching all of the things you're supposed to know before caring for another human being. 

The Huz has switched jobs and is now working two different ones full time. I'm working full time and my office has gone from a staff of 14 to 8 in the span of one year. Needless to say things have been a bit crazy this year. While I've still been reading a lot, I have barely been reviewing. I have been keeping up with my Classics Club duties, but even that has been a struggle.

So I've decided to give myself a bit of a break. I've never taken a break from this blog and I never really planned to. But I know that right now I have so much stuff hanging over my head and I feel like I'm constantly trying to find a way to get through it all. This is new to me. I've never felt like this before and I'm finally realizing that it's ok to put a couple things on hold for a little while instead of constantly feeling like I'm dropping the ball. 

Life doesn't stop when you get pregnant or have a kiddo, but it certainly does get a bit more complicated. I hope that as I find my new balance I'll be able to be back at blogging regularly in the not too distant future. Until then, I hope you all will understand my sporadic posting. Thanks to all of you!

Photo property of Avid Reader's Musings

Wordless Wednesday: Iowa

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rolling Hills in Iowa 
Photo by me.

Grand Forks

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grand Forks 
A History of American Dining in 100 Reviews 
by Marilyn Hagerty
With a forward by Anthony Bourdain

With more than 100 different reviews of restaurants in North Dakota, this sounds like a snooze, but it's really a beautiful representation of how small towns have changed over the years. When she talks about blue plate specials, and Norwegian dishes, there's a wonderful love of community in her writing. 

I originally picked this one up as a nonfiction read for North Dakota for my Reading the States project, and I'm glad I did. Since my goal with the project is to get a better feel for each state, I think this book does just that. Hagerty paints a picture of this area of the country through their stomachs.

Yes, they are reviews of restaurants you will probably never go to. That's not really what the book is about, it's a chronicle of how small-town America and the food they eat has changed over the years. Once upon a time a new Arby's opening in town was big news and sushi was a foreign concept that most Midwesterners were wary of. You can also see how the styles of food are reflected in the area, there’s lots of Norwegian food because were North Dakota. I love that there's pieces of the town’s history sprinkled throughout the reviews as well.  There was a huge flood in 1997 that caused many of Grand Fork’s restaurants to close. A new restaurant that opened after the tragedy included a note on its menus that said, “Time will pass, our city will heal, but the strength encourage of its residents will never be forgotten.”

BOTTOM LINE: I wouldn’t recommend this unless you really want a taste of small town American restaurants. It absolutely provides that, but it’s also exactly what it sounds like, a collection of reviews of restaurants in Grand Forks, North Dakota.