Monthly Archives: June 2014

Goodness Gracious, More Sword Fighting!

First, a little shield blocking with a handy boogie board. Actually, first is getting a hold of the boogie board. That was tough stuff.

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It went a bit better with John behind the shield.

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During a lesson about how to fight from one’s knees, Lily had a bit of trouble holding on to her weapon. John really needs to reconsider how he builds his grips.

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Back on their feet, they practiced form. Lily is very anti-form. Her style is more swing like crazy, try not to get hit. Methodical she is not.

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She tries really hard and she’s very enthusiastic though. Plus, you can’t deny she’s insanely adorable.



John decided it was time for Lily to pick on someone her own size. We had to roust Aidan from his bedroom to that end. As I’ve mentioned, these lessons weren’t meant for him originally. He seems pretty interested, though, and it’s really handy to have someone who is about the same build for Lily to spar with.


Sometimes they even look they’re enjoying each other’s company and that’s beautiful. Other times Lily gets her can-you-believe-I-have-to-hang-out-with-my-little-brother look on her face.


Usually that’s when she’s tired of chasing him all over the yard. The kid hates to swing. He loves to retreat.


He looks uncomfortable standing his ground, I can only hope that that’ll change with practice.


Maybe Lily will learn to temper her strikes and in three years she can fight for real. If, you know, she wants to.


And I don’t know about Dan. Maybe he’ll get into it, too. Except, he’s got nearly 5 years to wait. Lots of practice time.


In the mean time, lots of adorable pictures.





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Filed under Kids, Stick Jocks

Review: Bone House by Betsy Tobin


I can’t tell you what exactly about this book held me captive. I spent the entire story trying to figure it out. The characters are engaging but not breathtakingly original. The setting is one most regular readers know very well: an English village in the 1600s. Disease, witch burnings, peasants and aristocracy. It’s nothing groundbreaking. It’s a pretty straightforward Gothic novel that I couldn’t stop reading.

The story is almost agonizingly slow. It starts with the death of a woman in the village, Dora. She was a prostitute, the only one in town, it seems, but she was highly revered by everyone in the community. Her death is a tragedy to one and all but her loss is felt particularly strongly by the narrator (who isn’t ever named). Her mother is the village’s midwife and as such she and the narrator spend a considerable amount of time with Dora. They didn’t exactly have the pill in those days, after all. The narrator recalls her run ins with Dora (nicknamed “the great-bellied woman” due to her near constant pregnancies) and struggles to come to terms with her sudden, confusing death.

As time passes, Dora’s death becomes more of mystery. At first, it seems apparent that she merely slipped and fell to her death. Evidence starts to come to light that maybe something more sinister was involved. Something suspicious about the men in her life. Something odd about the twelve year old son she left behind. Maybe even something demonic is at work.

There isn’t much I can say without giving everything away. One thing this book has is a perfectly surprising ending. I was shocked but not disappointed. The ending fits even though it isn’t at all what I expected. I absolutely love a book that can surprise me.

One warning for potential readers: if you can’t stand a slow burn, don’t even bother. It was hard to stand sometimes, I kept waiting for a pay off that kept not happening. However, if you can stand the torture, the pay off is worth it.


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Filed under Reading, Writing