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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: Painting and Comics Galore

The Sunday

This week, we've been painting the would-be playroom. Or rather, the husband has been painting and I have been taping plastic to the floor and the walls. Mostly, I've been reading while he worked. We actually started doing this two weeks ago, intending to spend the new few weekends painting but the weekends have been busy for a month now so this entire week, the two of us would find ourselves in the basement getting ready to layer another coat of paint.

Last night, we finished all the painting that needed to be done and can finally start setting up the room. Good timing too, because during the upcoming weekend, our family will be coming over and will be with us for six months. Although they would love to help us, we wanted to finish setting up the playroom (the way we picture it) before they arrived.

We've chosen blue and green for the playroom colors. A few people have been asking why we didn't go with pink since that's the color for girls. Honestly, I hate pink. I am already prepping myself to be ready for those years when I'm going to be blinded by pink. But more than that, I really don't want to set up gender stereotypes in my house. I don't follow them, so I'd like my family and kid(s) to not follow them as well. I do want my girl to love being a girl and enjoy everything that comes from being a girl (dresses, princesses, dolls, make-up) but I don't want her to love dolls and princesses just because she IS a girl. Does that make sense? I'd like her to know that every option in this world is open to her and her being a girl doesn't change that.

Yesterday, while the husband was busy with his paint brush, I "rediscovered" a stack of comic books that my brother had left behind before he left for India last year. I had seen the stack while he was here, but I always thought that he had taken them with him. So I spent some time in the afternoon organizing them and stacking them in my bookshelves. It's always wonderful to discover books in your own house, especially in places you didn't know they were hiding in. It's like walking into a bookstore and discovering more "secret" places that the booksellers had stacked books in. You feel like you just won a few more minutes of browsing time just when you thought you were ready to leave.

While I probably won't get into the comics right away, I like that I'll have the option for when I'm on my maternity leave and possibly not looking for any mind-straining reads.

Last week, we ordered a bunch of items for our little peanut. Many of them arrived on Friday, and I was eagerly waiting for the mail guy to deliver them because I figured he was going to be cursing us for the multiple boxes he had to drop off at our doorstep. Luckily for him and us, many of the items were boxed together, thus reducing the total number of boxes. I would hate to have to drag them all inside in multiple trips.

How has your reading been going? Mine has slowed down to a trickle. I'm (still) reading The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, which is super delightful and charming, but as with all charming books, I find it hard to want to go back and pick it. I guess a lack of suspense in the book would cause that - another reason I read very little cozy books. Plus, this one is 500 pages long - too long in my opinion for a cozy book.

I did finish Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In last night and loved every page of it. I realized that I've fallen into every trap she has mentioned in the book and it feels good to be able to identify them and "unfall" myself. As I said last week, if most of your colleagues are male and/or you work in company where there are promotions and raises involved and/or you feel there is gender bias (usually very subtle or silent thanks to discrimination laws), then this book is for you. I loved Sandberg's approach in this book too - I would happily recommend any man to read this book as well - there are no fingers being pointed and she establishes that there are mistakes made by both genders that have resulted in all the gender imbalance in this world - a position I have always maintained. I'll talk more about this when I review this book.

Today, we'll be doing some shopping, getting the basement ready for habitation (especially since the would-be playroom was actually our gym room and we had moved all our equipment to the other rooms in the basement), and maybe some relaxing, which is long overdue now. What plans do you have today?


bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
Well, I'm wondering why you're not painting the playroom maroon and orange. lol I get exactly what you mean about girls and pink. I've always liked being a girl but preferred Matchbox cars to dolls and that was just fine with my parents. Things might be changing, though - I actually bought my first pair of pink pants last month!
Lisa Sheppard said…
Six months your family is staying with you? Gracious, you will want to get things done first. As much as you'll want to try to live life as normal as possible with them there, it just won't be. Plus there's that wee one - what fun to start having things arrive to make it feel that much more real!
literaryfeline said…
I felt that way about pink and princesses and dolls too. It didn't matter. My efforts to avoid my daughter falling into that girly girl stereotype failed miserably. My husband and I just do our best to provide her with a good balance--and sometimes it pays off. She does love her trains and Legos too.

I hope you have a great week. Swim lessons start today, but wouldn't you know it, my little one was running a fever all night and isn't feeling well. :-(
I totally support your paint choices! I always think of blue and green as being somehow more neutral colors than pink -- which I suppose just speaks to the limited run of options the society offers to little boys. A blue and green room will be lovely.
Ti Reed said…
Painting is such a process but the end result is always so much better than it was. You know? I really need to paint.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
Wow, I didn't realize The Truth According to Us was so long!! That really is pushing it for a sweet, cozy kind of book. I applaud your paint choices, too :-)
Care said…
Great post. I was wondering how things were going with the wee one's prep process!
I need to read Lean In and I really want to get to Bad Feminist, too. I have lost my reading mojo after I finished Misery. My parents are visiting and we are running around being tourists and then doing nothing to keep cool. But, reading isn't happening. (Still laughing at Kathy's comment calling for maroon and orange, too.)
Nishita said…
That nursery decorating phase is such a nice one. I remember the fun I had online shopping and redoing the place for my kids before they were born.