I have a new blog!

Hi everyone, long time no blog! It’s been several months since I’ve written anything here, due to my busy schedule. But I have missed writing and sharing things with all of you. However, I wanted to rebrand a little bit, and due to some domain technicalities, I’ve created a whole new blog.

You can find my new blog over at www.alyssreadsbooks.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, I really hope that you’ll all go over and follow me there. The content should be similar to what you’re all used to here, but I’m hoping to blog a bit more regularly now. I’m really anxious to get back to writing and blogging on a regular basis.

So I hope you’ll go over and follow my new blog, and I hope you’ll enjoy my new blog!

See you soon!

Alyss

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Religion makes me uncomfortable…

Let me start off by saying that I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions, choices, religious beliefs, etc. I don’t want to offend any devoutly religious people, but I do want to talk about religion from the perspective of someone who doesn’t really believe in any of that. I wouldn’t really call myself and atheist, because I accept that we really don’t know what might be true and what might not. I don’t concretely believe that there’s anything out there except space and universe, but I don’t know that there’s not either.

What I’m saying is that I don’t have faith in any one thing. I wasn’t raised religious, although my mother was raised Catholic. So it’s hard for me to understand that faith in others, whether it’s faith that there’s something or faith that there’s nothing. And it’s even harder to listen to people talk about their religions.

Don’t get me wrong, I think religion is really interesting from a historical point of view. But to hear people talk about it in terms of their beliefs makes me uncomfortable. This is mostly because hearing about any strong feelings like that being expressed makes me a bit uncomfortable. But it’s especially bad with religion.

I don’t really talk about my beliefs, or lack thereof, or my opinions much. Mostly because I don’t want to offend anyone with my beliefs or opinions. I also don’t want to debate or argue about things like this. I really feel like everyone is entitled to hold their own beliefs and opinions, and so I don’t want to make anyone else listen to what I believe.

My problem is that a lot of other people won’t give me the same courtesy. Whether they’re legitimately trying to recruit me into their religion (which has really only happened with a couple of otherwise nice Mormons and the Jehovah’s witnesses that come to your door) or just talking casually about their beliefs or their church or whatever, I feel like that is an imposition on me. I really don’t care to hear about God or the bible or church or any of it. Whether it’s just a single offhand mention or a long religion-related story, I just don’t feel comfortable hearing about it.

And I’m not exactly sure why that is. I just always feel like it takes me off guard when someone brings up religion. Especially if it’s someone I didn’t know was religious. I’ll just be having a conversation with someone and they’ll mention something religious, and it just really disconcerts me. I don’t think I show it enough that they realize, so it mostly just derails me, not the whole conversation. But I wonder if it’s because I don’t have anything to share in return. I’m just so suddenly not on common ground with that person anymore that I really just don’t know what to do.

But really, what is there to do? Not a whole lot except nod and smile, and continue on with the conversation. But I mostly just feel like I shouldn’t have to hear about other people’s religions at all. They go to church or whatever their religious service of choice is, and there are plenty of religious groups for people of that mindset to gather together. Just like I probably wouldn’t talk about many of my interests without knowing I was speaking with a like-minded person, I feel like religion is too hot button a topic to just bring it up in everyday conversation. Or most other situations, like politics or healthcare, for that matter. There’s a reason we separated the church and the state, and I feel like so many people have forgotten that. We all have the right to our own beliefs, but in my opinion, that doesn’t include sharing them with other people if they aren’t of like mind.

What do you think? I apologize for such a long post, and anything I might have said that you don’t agree with. But this is just my opinion, and we’re all entitled to our opinions. That being said, I’d like to hear yours.

Alyss

Poldark series one

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This is a show I’ve been meaning to watch for months, so I put it on hold at the library, but when I got it the first time, I didn’t get a chance to watch it. So I put it on hold again, and finally watched it this time around. And I’m so glad I did.

For those who don’t know, this show follows Ross Poldark after he comes back to England from serving in the Revolutionary War. He finds out his father has died and left behind debts and a failed copper mine, and his sweetheart is engaged to his cousin. He decides to try to reopen the mine, and move on with his life. This series follows a couple years in his life after the war, as well as the stories of his cousins and some of the other people living in the town and working in the mine.

The show is based on a book series by Winston Graham (check out the Goodreads page here), which from what I understand is sort of a multi-generational family saga, and covers multiple characters over many years. I haven’t read any of the books yet, but I’m considering giving them a try, since I liked the show so much.

Although the first episode was a little slow to get through, the series as a whole was very good. This show really captures all aspects of life for its characters, including both joy and hardship. There’s a bit of romance, scandal, family drama, and mining business, which overall makes for a really great and compelling show. I can’t wait for the second series to come out, though I think it will be a little while yet.

Have you watched this show and enjoyed it, or not? I’d love to here your thoughts!

Alyss

(Photo courtesy of Telly Visions)

The best cinnamon scones

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I love scones, but don’t get around to making them often because they require buttermilk, something that I don’t keep in the refrigerator because I have no other use for it. But I’ve been craving scones recently, so I found a recipe for cinnamon scones that looked good.

I’ll link the recipe here.

It’s a pretty simple recipe, and only requires a bit of mixing and kneading (like most scones do). But what surprised me was that there was no cinnamon in the dough. It was completely plain dough, and then you sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each scone once you place them on the baking sheet. Then, there’s a vanilla glaze that you drizzle over the top.

This all seemed good, but I didn’t have the highest hopes. I was worried that the scones themselves would be too plain, and you wouldn’t really get the cinnamon flavor throughout. I was so wrong. My husband tasted one first and just about died. He loved them so much, and begged me to make more immediately. And I had to agree. These scones taste like cinnamon rolls, but have that wonderful fluffy scone texture. I definitely recommend that you go out and buy buttermilk immediately so that you can make these scones.

Happy baking!

Alyss

(Photo and recipe courtesy of Money Saving Mom)

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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I haven’t really had much to write about for the past week, so I apologize for missing a couple posts. But I did finish a book the other day, so now I can do something I haven’t done for about a month: post about books! I have to say that it really annoys me that I don’t read faster, because I don’t have a whole lot of time to read at the moment. So I feel like it takes me forever to read a book. And I’m the kind of person who starts to get antsy and in need of something new after too long with the same book.

But I recently finished The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. It’s about a girl who sails on a ship with her father and their crew, but instead of travelling through space, they travel through time. The girl, Nix, finds the maps, and her father navigates their ship through time to get to these ports. They are in the past, present, future, and myth. But the only place Nix’s father really wants to go is the time and place where he met Nix’s mother, who died giving birth to Nix. And the story unfolds from there as the crew tries to find the right map that will take them to the right time and place.

I have to admit that time travel is one of those story elements that I really love, and this book took the time travel storyline to a whole new level. It was original and intriguing and kept me wanting to know what would happen next. And it is a YA novel, so of course there was some romance involved, and a bit of a love triangle, which I didn’t entirely hate. Just as much as I love time travel, I really don’t like love triangles. They just tend to feel super cliche to me. But this one wasn’t terrible, and I feel like it fit with Nix’s struggle to find out where she truly belonged. One boy represented her life on the ship, and the other represented the life on land she could have had. So it felt a little bit more natural to me, and it helped that I think she made the right choice in end.

Not that I’ll spoil it for you! You’ll just have to read and find out, which I highly recommend.

Happy reading!

Alyss

(Photo courtesy of Goodreads)

Sometimes I think about…

Eating better and cooking more.

Exercising more, maybe running or something.

Spending the whole day reading, like I used to when I was younger.

Being a real adult.

Buying a house, instead of renting an apartment.

Having kids.

Living in another country besides the U.S., because it isn’t all that great.

Finally having my masters degree and getting a real full time librarian job.

Not spending all my free time doing homework.

My current job becoming full time so I can stay for a while, because I really like it even if it doesn’t pay very well.

Writing a novel and actually getting it published.

Maybe being a full time writer someday.

Actually keeping up with my blog, and writing every day.

Starting a podcast and talking about books.

Being an Internet person.

Doing all the things, even though I know I don’t have time for all the things.

The choices I’ll make, the things I’ll do, and the things I won’t do.

All the things I think about on a daily basis.

Alyss

Popover fail

I decided to make popovers again this past weekend, and wanted to mix things up a bit fro traditional popovers. So I found a recipe for raspberry popovers, and gave it a try. In addition to the standard ingredients–eggs, butter, flour, etc.–this recipe also called for a bit of sugar in the mix as well as sprinkled on top, and raspberries. Now I like raspberries and baked goods with raspberries in them. Raspberry muffins are great. So I was expecting this recipe to turn out pretty well.

It didn’t. The process itself was fine, and they came out fine. They were cooked enough, and didn’t cave in or anything. They even smelled good while baking. But they didn’t really taste very good. There was just something about the savoriness of the batter that didn’t go well with the sweet and tart raspberries. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever baked, and I still ate them, but I admit they tasted better after I picked all the raspberries out.

You can’t win them all. And half the fun of baking is trying new things and experimenting. Next time, I think I’ll try a more savory combination. I bet cheese popovers would be amazing.

Alyss