Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Jekyll and Hyde Feet

So you've heard me griping about the varicose veins in my foot. I thought I'd take some pictures today and show you that I believe I am fully justified in my griping.
And today they actually look good! I wore socks all morning (which helps by keeping some pressure on them), and I was sitting down when I took the pic. I thought they looked bad last pregnancy..... I did have worse swelling last time (but maybe I haven't gotten to that point yet). Every pregnant woman I know has a varicose vein. Or a couple. Not an entire varicose FOOT.
I think what makes it even more frustrating is that the other foot looks so good! (Not that I'm delusional about my size-12 feet being cute or attractive in any way.) And what you may not be able to see is that the veins go part way up my shin. Then I have some just below my knee on the inside of my leg, and from my knee halfway up the back of my thigh. Only on my right side.
I feel like I've got one leg that's a normal 27-year-old's, and one leg that's my 75-year-old grandma's.
My doctor keeps telling me I'll have to get them lasered to get them fixed. Do you know how much that costs?? At what point do they get so bad that it is no longer a "cosmetic surgery" and insurance will cover it?
I've read that taking fish oil caplets helps. But in my research, I'm a little scared to take them, because they can't guarantee the purity of the fish used - where they were caught, what kind they were, etc. (It's more dangerous for pregnant women to eat certain types/amounts of fish because of mercury.)
So until I'm not pregnant anymore, it looks like my options are socks.
And griping.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Last Wednesday marked three months 'til my due date. I'm only six months along?? On the bright side of that, I'm 2/3 of the way there, and the last two months have absolutely flown by. So what's three more?
I'm not miserable, just anxious already to meet this baby! I swear, it moves more than Nathan ever did. Nathan would have an active day or two, but then have a couple days where he seemed to sleep it off. But this one is moving and rolling and tap dancing all the time, it seems. When I lay in bed reading, my belly is constantly undulating and jumping. It makes me wonder what he (she) is doing in there! I'm anxious to find out what kind of personality this indicates.
My check-up last week went well. No anemia, no diabetes. (Not that I was really that concerned.) My not good news: there's nothing I can do about the disgusting veins in my foot (I'm going to have to post a picture of them. Ick.), or about the my sore rib (I think I've had a cracked one for years, and it pops and "rubs" sometimes when I'm laying down, but it's gotten worse), or about the sore spot in my lower back (caused by my pelvis opening up). AND.... I have a hernia. I've suspected that for a while, but just remembered to ask her about it this appointment. There is a spot above my belly button that pooches out when I cough or try to sit directly up from laying flat. It doesn't usually hurt, but I don't want it to get any worse. My dad and my sister have both had a hernia there, and had to have surgery to fix it, so I know in reality that's probably where I'm headed. Unfortunately. I just hope during labor nothing else pops out there (gross thought), and that maybe after Baby is born and my stomach muscles aren't being stretched apart, I can kind of get them back in shape and avoid surgery, at least for a while.
I'm hoping the next three months go by quickly. The garden is going good, and we're re-planting some crops for a fall harvest, so it should keep me busy clear up to my due date (or the first frost - whichever comes first). I couldn't have asked for a better summer to be pregnant - this weather is perfect! (Most weeks have been in the upper 80s, some low 90s.) I still don't go outside much during the day, but I can work outside in the morning and evening and not be miserable. It's actually enjoyable in the evening, rather than how it usually is: "I have to go work outside, but I'd rather be inside in the a/c" (those nights where it doesn't get out of the 80s).
I just looked at the radar, and it looks like we're going to have some rain soon. I really need to get another couple rows of green beans planted before the rain, so I guess this ends my blabbing for this round.

I'm huge. I've gained 30 pounds already, so my goal for the last trimester is to simply maintain. Bring on the garden veggies!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I love my husband.
He makes my heart go pitter-pat.
I like him, too.
A lot.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Apparently I Get a Little Involved in My Reading....

I'm back to reading Lord of the Rings. I'm in "The Two Towers" right now (actually, I just finished it last night), and I'm really enjoying it. I've read them before, but it's been several years, and some of the stuff in them I don't remember from the first time around. It makes things in the movies make more sense, too, since I've watched them several times since reading the books.
So last night, I was at the part where Frodo and Sam are in Shelob's lair (Shelob is a giant spider, for those of you who are uninformed). I know what's going to happen. They're creeping along in the dark.....
Suddenly something comes hurling through the air and lands on my face. I screamed and jumped, and almost fell out of bed.
Paul, not knowing what part of the book I was at, had thrown a tshirt or some article of clothing at me from the darkness of the other room. I don't know what my brain told me it was, but it nearly scared me to death! You know how you get all tingly and prickly after a major scare? That was me.
So apparently I get into my books. I knew I enjoyed reading, but didn't know I took it that seriously!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two. Four? Five - SIX??!?!

We knew our Mama Kitty (so original on the name, I know) had kittens while back. She went from being a waddling basketball to a skinny slip of a thing overnight. We just didn't know where they were.
Finally the night before we left for vacation I figured out where they were. Paul was working nights, and I had just put Nathan to bed. I heard a sound coming from the basement cellar. Definitely a kitten. Since getting into the basement requires going outside, I decided to wait for Paul to get home in the morning to investigate. (Good thing I sleep with the fan on during the summer or that racket would have driven me crazy.)
We found two kittens in the basement. A mostly black one with a few calico patches, and a stripey one. That left pretty much no doubt as to who the father was. There's an ugly, mean black tomcat that comes sniffing around here every once in a while. (He is always picking fights with Brutus when he's around.) The reason the kittens were yowling all night was that they had "fallen into" the basement. Apparently she'd had them in a window well or something. (Our basement is definitely not rodent-proof. On my list of to-dos.)
Carlsie house-sat for us while we were gone, but she never saw them. The night we got back, we heard one yowling again. We went to rescue it and found.... Two more! There was a "pink" yellow one (what we call light yellow cats) and an orange yellow one.
Well, yesterday, I yet again had to rescue one from the basement. After finding no siblings, I decided to take the stripey one around to the front of the house, where we'd seen them playing and Mama Kitty likes to hang out. I put him down just in time to see another stripey one dash to the shadows.
Then after he got home from work last night, Paul took Nathan out to the deck to watch them playing in the flowers. He informed me that there's not one, but two black ones.
Needless to say, our cat population has exploded. We went from one outdoor cat to SEVEN. I don't anticipate them all making it to adulthood and becoming pets, though. I'm realistic.
Names thus far (don't knock my originality):
Tippy (black with white tip on his tail)
Callie (black with calico)
Mozerella (The two stripey ones. Because Stripey One and Stripey Two are even too unoriginal for me.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For the Record.....

I would just like to put in writing how much I LOVE this weather. I mean seriously - 71 degrees on the 21st of July in Kansas?? Whodathunk?
I know sooner or later we'll get back to "real" summer, but I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Colorado Vacation

I figure I'd better post about our vacation, before it gets to be six weeks from now and I still haven't written anything. That's how I'm operating lately. The kitchen is mostly cleaned (dishwasher loaded, but no hand-washing or counter-wiping done - okay, so it's more like partly cleaned), and I need an excuse to sit down and have a cold drink (water).
Paul worked 5 12-hour nights in a row week before last. He decided it would be easiest to sleep all day Saturday, as if he were going to work on Saturday night, and then we'd drive all night while Nathan slept.
That was the plan, anyways.
We left about 9:40, right about the time we normally put Nathan to bed. He was happy and chattered for about an hour. Then when he started cranking, we put on his bedtime CD, and he calmed down and drifted off. He finally fell asleep about Topeka, and slept until we got to Salina (about an hour and a half). We stopped for gas even though we didn't really need it, but we didn't want to chance not being able to find a place open further down the road (plus - surprise - I already needed to go to the bathroom). Nathan woke up with the bright lights at the gas station. He stayed awake until almost WaKeeney (2 hours further), just sitting quietly looking out the window. We drove into a thunderstorm, and ended up pulling off at a rest area just before WaKeeny to listen to the weather station. Good thing we did, because it unloaded just as we were getting back in the car. We sat for 10 or 15 minutes until the worst of it had blown past. We probably didn't need to have pulled off, but in a strange area, in the dark, with heavy rain, we thought it was best.
Nathan fell back asleep almost as soon as we got back on the road, and I drifted a few times until we got north of Denver (about 5 hours). We stopped for gas, then went to a nearby McDonalds to stretch and waste some time to make sure Grandpa would be awake by the time we got to Fort Collins. Paul drove the entire way on his own - what a champ! I contributed the less-than-an-hour between our breakfast stop and Fort Collins (so generous of me). We pulled in their driveway right about 7:30 Sunday morning (which was Paul's birthday).
We were kind of lazy on Sunday. Nathan had had enough sleep to not really be tired as soon as we got there, but not enough for it to be a "normal" day. Paul crashed about 9:30, Nathan about 10, and me about 10:30. We got a few hours' sleep.
When we got up, we had lunch, then headed over to the City Park which is just a block away from Grandpa and Grandma's house. We turned Nathan loose on the playset, but it was crowded, so we decided to go for a train ride on the miniature train they have there. Since Nathan screamed when we left it (as serious as he looked on the ride, he was really enjoying it!), we went for a walk around the pond/lake they have there to see the ducks and geese, then we headed home (Grandpa and Grandma's house).
We went to see Paul's grandma in the nursing home (where she has to live now) that afternoon. I was kind of worried, because she didn't look as good as I'd hoped. But it was HOT in there! Her bedroom has a big west window that the sun was shining in. They have an a/c unit in there, but the heavy curtain was across it. I'm surprised the nurses hadn't noticed and done something about that. Paul got the curtains adjusted and it immediately started feeling better in there. However - Nathan, still being tired, got really cranky because of the heat, and we couldn't stay that long.
The next day (Monday) we went to see Grandma just before lunch. It was cooler, and she looked and acted so much better! We ate lunch and got the chance for a nice visit. I brought a band to tie back the curtain from her air conditioner. We visited for a while after lunch in her room. She and Nathan played - as much as he'd let her. (He's not very warm with strangers.) But she'd snatch one of his trains and make him come get it. He laughed at her, and he got her to smile and laugh.
We decided to go for a short drive that afternoon. Since we'd been out here every summer and taken the same drive every time we're here, we didn't bother with a map.
And we got lost.
We'd intended to go through Bellvue to Poudre Canyon. Well, we missed our turn, and came into Bellvue from a different way, then missed another turn and ended up in a canyon, but it wasn't the Poudre. We finally figured out that we drove up Rist Canyon to Stove Prarie, then down to the Poudre. We drove on up Poudre Canyon to Red Feather Lakes. We intended to go see the lakes, then head back down, but we turned right instead of left and ended up in Wyoming. Oh well. We got to see some new territory, and the purpose of the drive was to enjoy the scenery, which we did.
I fixed supper for us, and Grandpa actually ate with us. He's very routine-oriented, and doesn't do well with small children - probably partly due to his lack of hearing. Then add to that, Nathan was cranky again, so Grandpa didn't eat with us again for an evening meal. I wasn't upset, I just hope I made myself clear that he was welcome to partake with us. After supper, we had some "porch time" with Grandpa. He sits on the porch every evening and enjoys the weather and watches traffic and chats with neighbors if they walk by. We love sitting out there with him, visiting, and listening to him tell stories.
The next morning (Tuesday), we went to see Grandma and put on a little "concert" for her and about 10 other residents of the nursing home. As a very last-minute thought (I thought of it the night before we left), I realized that Grandma hasn't been to church in many months; she'd probably enjoy some music. So Paul took his violin, and I took piano music in faith that there'd be a piano in the nursing home. We had absolutely no practice, but I think we did well, and I know the residents enjoyed it. Nathan took up screaming as if a switch was flipped, just as we started playing. I left Paul to do a solo and took Nathan outside. Then when nothing would console him (he just wanted attention), I arranged toys and snacks around him, and we just ignored him and went on. He finally quit about the last 3 songs. I don't think his fussing bothered the "audience" one bit.... They thought he was "so darling".
After another round of naps (for everyone), we took off on another drive. I wanted to walk around Estes Park - even though I'm not a shopper, I enjoy all the little shops they have there. We drove up Thompson Canyon. Nathan was happy and chattering. He wanted a drink of my Dr. Pepper, so I put some in on top of his water in his cup. He chugged it and asked for more. So I gave him some more (about a quarter DP to the rest water, in a 4 oz cup), and he chugged it again. He munched some pretzels and drank some more, then started fussing. I turned around just in time to see the eruption. He threw up all over himself and his car seat. I tried to console him while Paul searched for a place to pull over (not easy in a canyon). Finally we found a place and got Nathan out and stripped him down. Then he was happy as a lark. We're still trying to figure out if he'd just ate too much, if it was Paul's driving (my vote), or the altitude. Paul got the car seat cleaned up, and I got Nathan's shorts cleaned up, but the shirt was a lost cause - it was covered inside and out. We put a diaper down on his seat to keep his bottom dry, and headed on up for Estes.
We stopped at the visitors center to see if they had a WalMart or something similar to buy him a cheap shirt. But (good for them), there's no such store there. (Which I totally understand, as the town's livelihood is built on all the small shops there, and we all know what WalMart does to small town shops.) So we headed downtown with a half naked baby, and found the first store advertising t-shirts. The choices for a boy toddler were pretty slim - hippie rainbow tie-dye (with a big peace sign), or scary pirate tie-dye (with a flaming skull and cross bones). We went for hippie. As we continued to walk, we saw a Western clothing store, and decided to just see what they had in the way of toddler cowboy boots. Miraculously, they had some that fit Nathan's fat little (actually big - we ended up with size 9!) feet. Once he put the boots on, he didn't want to take them off. So now the outfit included hippie tie-dye shirt, jean shorts, and cowboy boots with nylon stockings (I didn't have any socks to try the boots on, since he had been wearing sandals).
We wandered around Estes Park looking in the stores, splashing in the water in a little stream-side park there at the edge of the downtown area (where we learned that Nathan's word for water is "cuppy"), and bought cookies at a cookie shop (yep - that's all they sell!). We decided to eat supper up there after we found a Mexican restaurant with reasonable prices.
We got back to Grandpa's house about 9. Nathan had a hard time winding down to go to sleep that night. He was never fussy, he just kept wandering out of his room to the living room where we were. After about 3 attempts to put him back to bed, we finally let him play for about a half hour. He finally made it to bed about 11.
We got up Wednesday and headed out about 8:30 for Rocky Mountain National Park. The two things on our "to see" list was Bear Lake (it has an easy walking trail around it) and to drive Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved highway in the US - over 12,000 feet at the highest point). We went first to Bear Lake - we had to take a crowded shuttle from the parking area lower down the mountain. Imagine me - six months pregnant - holding Nathan (he wouldn't go to Paul), standing up on a crowded shuttle trying to keep my balance on a curvy mountain road. More than once the thought crossed my mind, "Whatever happened to chivalry?"
We walked around Bear Lake, Nathan pointing out the "cuppy" at every overlook. We found a place where a large boulder makes a wading area, and let Nathan take off his shoes and get his feet wet. And of course had to drag him away kicking and screaming (even though it was so cold he gasped every time he touched the water!). From there we took the shuttle back to our car, and ate our picnic lunch at Hollowell Park. It was a gorgeous scene with blue sky and mountains and wild flowers everywhere. Unfortunately it was a bit windy, so we had to keep catching our lunch as it tried to blow away. We hiked a bit up Mill Creek Trail until I was out of breath (no surprise - but I think I made it a half mile), and then headed back to the car. We got Nathan settled for a nap, then headed up Trail Ridge.
I don't know if it's the pregnancy, or old age getting to me, but I had a really hard time with the heights and sharp road-side drop offs this time. I'd look straight ahead or even have to close my eyes and breathe deeply when we passed certain points. Still we got to see some spectacular scenery, which could be enjoyed safely from the confines of the car. Nathan slept the second half of the way up, and all the way back down.
We pulled off at Hidden Valley on the way back down to stretch and potty. We'll be going there again - I think the only place in the park that has running water and flushing toilets! (There used to be a ski park there, so I'm guessing that's why it has plumbing.) There was an easy trail (or so I thought) that looped around and came back to the parking area. We put Nathan in his backpack carrier and took off. But I was still huffing and puffing before we even made it halfway. Out of shape + pregnant + altitude = Rachel can't breathe. Paul got ahead of me and turned around to wait for me and informed me that I was "definitely waddling." Thanks, dear. (I'm blaming it on the slight uphill grade, plus the over two hours we'd just spent in the car.)
We headed back "home" after that, so we could see Grandma before supper. We visited for just a little bit before we took off again. We took Nathan to City Park to let him run again after all day in the car. He amazed us by tackling the slides at the "big kid" playground (higher slides, ladders instead of wide steps, etc). He's not even 2, he shouldn't be able to do some of the stuff he was doing.
We got some more "porch time" with Grandpa that evening, and watched America's Funniest Videos with him (a mutual favorite) before we headed to bed.
Thursday morning we got up, cleaned house, packed up, and then headed over to see Grandma one last time before getting on the road to go home. We finally got headed out about 10:30 their time. We stopped just east of Denver to potty (and decided to fill with gas since we were stopped), then stopped in Burlington (CO) for lunch and a stroll, then in Hays (KS) for gas. We needed a place to stretch our legs so we went to the WalMart there. We bought Nathan a pack of toys, partly as a reward for doing so awesome in the car, partly because we liked them. We had to stop in Junction City to go to the bathroom, and decided to grab some Taco Bell while we were there. We finally pulled in at home about 10:30.
It was a great trip. We stayed busy, but got to relax, got to see family, but also got lots of alone time. Nathan was a champ in the car, playing and talking (his vocabulary exploded on the trip!), entertaining himself a lot of the time. Really the only times he fussed was right before he fell asleep, and that was only for a few minutes. We decided it's good that our oldest seems to be such a good traveler, so he can (hopefully) be an example for his younger siblings on future vacations.
But we're glad to be back. REALLY glad to be in our own bed (Paul and I had to share a full-size bed out there). Nathan's been exhausted, taking 5-hour naps, and sleeping 12 hours at night since we've been back. Plus I think he's about to hit a growth spurt. The last two days, he'd scream at everything, even when I offered him food, but once I finally got him to take a bite, he'd eat adult-size portions.
Now. We've been home four whole days.... Maybe I should start unpacking.
The photo uploader here was being a pain, so I'll just post the pictures over at my photo slideshow blog.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Tonight we ate outside and enjoyed the PERFECT weather (70s, just a hint of a breeze) while we watched the sunset. I couldn't have asked for a better evening.
Which brings me to this edition of: Rachel's Recipes. This is what we had for supper tonight. It's been a while since I've posted any recipes (or anything at all, for that matter), and these are some things I've been craving all week. Plus, they're super easy, and cheap.

2-3 large tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil (or so)
1 tbsp basil (or so)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or so)
salt and pepper
If you peel and de-seed the tomatoes, it makes it a little better. I usually de-seed them (cut them in half horizontally, then poke your fingers into the holes to squish out the seeds and slimy stuff), but don't bother peeling them.
Chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Stir in other ingredients. Add more or less seasonings to suit your taste. (I never measure, I just shake stuff in 'til it looks good.)
You can either let it set an hour or two for the flavors to mingle, or what I do is blast in in the microwave for a minute (planning ahead is not my forte), which gets the juices flowing. Serve on toasted Italian bread (okay) or garlic bread (amazing).
This is the exact same ingredients as I use in fresh tomato spaghetti. Chop and mix the ingredients as above, then let set while you cook the pasta. Drain pasta, then dump it over the tomato mixture. The hot pasta quick-cooks the tomatoes. Add some grilled chicken for a tasty main dish. (Given Paul's aversion to "fowl" we always eat this vegetarian-style.)

Garlic Bread
1 loaf Italian bread
butter or margarine
Italian seasoning
We found a shaker/grinder (for $1!) that has all the seasonings together, but if you use them separately, Italian seasoning consists of some or all of the following: parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Use whatever suits you.
Cut the loaf in half lengthwise. Spread butter on each half and sprinkle seasoning liberally over butter.
When we have this, I usually put Paul in charge of it, and he tops it with either Parmesan cheese, or whatever shredded cheese we have in the fridge.
Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, until butter is melted and the edges are toasty.
Top with bruschetta.

Southern Banana Dessert
"Nilla" cookies
banana pudding
2-3 bananas
Cool Whip
Layer cookies, then sliced bananas. Pour pudding over top, then spread Cool Whip over the top. Repeat the layers.
Not even joking, I dreamed about this twice this week. Talk about waking up with a craving! Which is weird, because I've only had it maybe twice ever. As soon as we got home from Colorado, I went to the store and bought the ingredients. Now I have an entire batch to eat by myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I've Read Them

I went back and forth on whether to read the Twilight series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer). I'd heard they were a good read, but they were about vampires. I occasionally read fantasy, but wasn't sure I wanted to get drawn into a story of darkness and blood.
I found out I could borrow the whole series from my friend Carrie, and that was the deciding factor. I borrowed them.
Warning: I may spoil it for you if you haven't read them yourself. So if you're thinking about it, I'd stop reading this right now.
After all the hype, I was..... underwhelmed.
I guess it was one of those things about setting my expectations too high. I'd heard so many people say they were SO GOOD. Granted, they are classified as "juvenile fiction." Had I not been used to a "higher quality" of book, they may have affected me differently.
First off, the vampires aren't the dark and creepy kind.... The vampire "family" central to the story chose to only live on animal blood. This makes them the good guys, I guess. Apparently all vampires are stunningly beautiful, as well. (Some variations from typical vampire lore.)
The main character, Bella, kind of annoyed me. She threw her entire existence into getting the love and attention of the main vampire, Edward. Then when he left her, she used another boy, Jacob, as her lifeline to keep her out of the pits of dispair. But when Edward comes back, she leaves Jacob hanging. (I realize it's not quite so cruel as that in the books, but I'm thinking from his perspective.) Maybe the reason that this annoyed me is that I've been there. I've been so desperately in love with someone (or thought I was at least) that each little thing they did or didn't do could send me into an elated high or a dreary funk. That is not a healthy way to live, nor is it the way God intended for us - He wants us to get our fulfullment from Him, not from any male on earth.
Now I know these aren't Christian books in any way. But I am a Christian reading them, so I interject the Truth where I see it. It just made me wonder if all women who don't know Christ are so emotionally vulnerable. That would be a sad, sad way to live - pinning my hopes on a male who would inevitably let me down.
I also found the story lines predictable.... The first book, because I'd seen the movie, and knew how it ended. The second, I totally saw that Jacob was going to be a werewolf. The third, there was a build-up (with the Italians and the red-headed vampire), but no climax. But it wasn't really a cliff-hanger either. It just kind of ended. Granted, it finished the stories in the fourth book, but not in the way I thought it would. I figured being the final book, there could be a huge battle and some non-essential characters could be killed off. But, no - the author went for the "and they all lived happily ever after forever as best friends" ending. Blech. Give me a little action! Okay, so there was a battle early in the book, but all the good guys escape unscathed (save Jacob, who heals in a matter of days), while the bad "army" is obliterated.
Also another thing that bothered me was the incessant admiration of how "beautiful" Edward is. Don't get me wrong - I spend a lot of time gazing at my husband. I like watching him sleep (don't tell), and touching him, kissing him, and staring into his eyes (which, ironically, are a golden shade of brown). But there's so much more to a relationship than physical attraction, and the books don't seem to focus on this fact. Lust won't make a relationship work. Even being willing to give up your life for a beautiful person won't make it work in the long run. You've got to have something deeper. I did, however, admire the fact that they (Edward) chose to wait until they were married to give into their lustful desires.
And then add to that, after Bella is married to Edward, she still clings to Jacob. It's one or the other - you can't have both. When I married Paul, I made the choice to give up relationships with some of my guy friends - and these weren't/hadn't been romantic relationships. But to honor my husband (and make no appearance of things being other than they were), I chose to not keep up the same level of friendship with these guys. It's something you do when you truly love someone.
And finally - the bizzare pregnancy. Maybe it bothered me more because I myself am pregnant, but this whole bit of the story was WAAAAY out there. It's like they needed to bring an essential character into the story, but didn't want to just bring a stranger in off the street. And then add to that how they effectively slid Jacob's infatuation with Bella off onto the daughter... Just weird. And way too convenient.
Anyhow. That's my review - not school-book-report quality, but my rambling thoughts. I do apologize if I'm not exactly right on all the details... One book kind of blurred into the next since I read them so quickly.
I don't feel like they were a waste of time to read them; I did enjoy the story. (Obviously - I read the whole series in about 10 days - and that's with a couple days break in between each until I saw Carrie to get the next one.) But I expected so much more, and am still a little baffled as to how many girls and even women think this is the perfect love story. I think it's lacking.
Sorry if you disagree.