Wuthering Heights


Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.

The word “wuthering”means blustery and turbulent.

It took me until the end of the book to finally look that up in the dictionary, can you believe it?  I think it’s because I had it set in my head that Wuthering Heights was just the name of the estate where Heathcliff resided.  Because it’s very common in England to have a home with a name.

It makes so much more sense to know the meaning behind the title now.  That the house, Wuthering Heights, was by definition, the epitome of turbulence.

This would make a great horror movie.  I can picture this raving lunatic, locking people up in his house, killing their joy, laughing in the face of their sorrows and despair, forever bent on avenging the loss of his loved one.

This book was before its time.  It is not as polite as a lot of the novels written in this era seem to be.  It deals with the ugliness of being self-serving.  It boasts of physical abuse:  of the weaker characters and of women.  It is dark and sinister and alludes to the haunting of one of the main characters, Heathcliff, by his long-dead beloved Catherine.  And it allows you to sympathize with him, barely, as he in turn haunts those who he feel are cause for his loss or related to those who are to blame.

I’m glad it’s done, because I believe that this being my 11th work of classic fiction this year, I tire of the predictable minuscule typeset, and ridiculous amount of verbiage used to describe something to death!

But, had this been my 1st classic novel of the year, it would have probably been amongst my favorite in that it was unpredictable, dark, and risque for the time.

Ski Swaps


Do Not Be Intimidated!

I was…for soooo long.  I had no idea what to buy, what I would need, how to figure out my size in boots (not the same as street shoe size), how tall or short my skis should be, let alone figure out how to buy for my husband who wouldn’t be there to things on!

And the lines looked so long.

And I was afraid of looking like poser, a fraud.  I just wanted decent ski equipment on the cheap.  And isn’t that an oxymoron?  Skiers and budgets???!

Not so…these ski sales or ski swaps are brilliant.  They are usually put on by a local ski club, and the profits go to those who bring in older equipment and a portion goes to the club.  It’s usually held in front of a ski shop, who gains by helping people find what they couldn’t in the swap.  Or by discounting on sharpening, waxing, binding fittings, etc.

And the people there couldn’t be nicer.  Nice, nice, nice.  Extremely helpful.  Extremely decent about working with your budget and encouraging just that, especially for young families looking to bring their kids skiing.  And not condescending about your lack of knowledge, but rather, excited to educate you with what they know or find someone who knows even more!

Oh.  And did I mention the bargains??  I got a pair of gray Nordica ski boots for $35.  $35!  And I almost started crying when I put them on because it was the comfiest my little foot had ever been in a ski boot.  Most of the time my foot cringes at the sight and has to be contorted and wrangled into it and it feels bruised before I even take my first steps.  And then when I do, every part of my foot, ankle and calf hurt.  Probably because rental ski boots are purely functional and not designed to accommodate variations to a size 7 foot, just a “one size fits all” mentality.  And beautiful skis ranging from $40 on up.  It was like Christmas.

And let me fill you in on a little secret, skiers are able to afford skiing because they partake in these ski swaps.  Rather than paying exorbitant prices each time you want to upgrade your equipment or get your child the next size up at sports shops, etc, this enables everyone to make out in the deal.

Get in line.  It’s soooo worth it.  And by the way, the lines move very quickly, they serve hot coffee & you can buy a couple donuts and best of all, you  will meet other people who are just as excited as you are about hitting the slopes!



Brand Name Foods



I’m all for saving money when I grocery shopping.

In fact, I actually shop at 2 different grocery stores most weeks!  One to buy dry goods and name brand dairy products, because they are less expensive than my favorite store where I buy all their beautiful produce and meats.

And sometimes I buy grocery store brand items to cut down on the bill.  But, only sometimes.  And only with certain items.  Because I believe there is a difference in quality and taste, and I can tell.

And now, so can my Beach Rose.  The other day I offered cinnamon graham crackers to my savvy little 5 year old (She just turned, can you believe it?  I just wanna cry when I think of how quickly she’s growing…) as her snack.  She was so excited.  I opened the new package and let her grab her own.  She asked if I could please leave the package next to her at the table so that she could have another one if she was still hungry after the first. No problem.

2 bites in and she says, “This doesn’t taste good, Mama.  It doesn’t taste the same.  the cracker isn’t good and you can’t even taste the cinnamon.”

I believe that you can get away with grocery store brand vegetable oil, bandaids, freezer bags, milk, etc.  But be careful buying grocery-store brands of the classics and favorites: crackers, cheese, chips, etc.  There is a different in taste and in quality.

Even in items you wouldn’t think you’d need to worry about, you want to really think about.  I bought a 5 lb bag of sugar, and it wasn’t Dominos, and the sugar was in the clumps from the top of the bag all the way to the bottom.  Very frustrating when you’re trying to bake and you have to push your sugar through a fine sieve before measuring it!

And baking soda and powder?  Don’t do it!  They are crucial to baking and the quality may be compromised and you definitely only want the best quality products to bake with!

Food for thought…