Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunrise was at 5:45, sunset will be at 8:4.8 Ooh, balance in numbers. Must go to the gas station at the bottom of the hill to buy lotto tickets!

D and I were actually up and walking at sunrise. Again, a beautiful morning. I got up early (on my day off!) to badger him into putting his shoes on. Once our shoes are on, the battle's done. We walked up and down all the side streets to the south of us, looking at houses and yards, taking note of who else has birds nesting in odd spots.

Our lives are pretty stressful and doing one good thing just for us every day, something with no phones, type, computers or wires, no way of being contacted by anyone, is the start of learning how to deal with it. Even if it means I have to get up between 4 and 6 hours earlier than I have to be at work to do it!

The bike shop at the bottom of the hill was hosting a free EARLY morning bike maintenance workshop and, man, a LOT of bikers take that street past their store. The coffee place opened up early, too, smart to take advantage of the ride-by traffic. I love seeing people on our streets, out of their cars, nodding and waving at each other.

After my not-so-healthy but very comforting breakfast of ramen and celery and cheese, I hopped onto the couch (freezing- I had to turn the heat on) and wrapped up and finished Ascendant, the sequel to Rampant, by Diana Peterfreund. I know I wrote about Rampant before so you can search around for that, if you'd like. I have to tell you how much I love her books, so far. The two I've read, anyway!

Rampant and Ascendant are the story of the Llewellyn women, unicorn hunters from ancient times. The main character of our story is Astrid, 15 years old when the story begins, and a virgin. The night she is close to losing said virginity, her boyfriend is attacked by a unicorn and damaged. He is saved by "the Remedy", and decides Astrid is not the girl for him. Her mother, who has always believed that unicorns were real and that they are descendants of the best hunters ever, decides that Astrid needs to study and train in Italy, learning everything she can to defeat the no-longer, obviously, extinct species. But, are the myths true? Are the unicorns all blood hungry, savage beasts? What about the people who are searching for the remedy, the cure for all disease? Who do you trust when those you want to trust have motives that don't match yours? Were there nunneries filled with women warriors dating from the time of Diana who could keep the world safe from harm? Wouldn't it be cool if there were a reason for them to still be viable? Man (and woman)-eating, not fluffy, no pink or purple manes or tales, unicorns; maybe not, huh?

These books are really good. They are humorous and deal with a lot of the same questions that girls who aren't unicorn hunters have to deal with. There is high romance, a little low romance, big questions about certain parts of life and how valuable these things can be, big adventure, strong and brave women. Good travel books, too, especially if you are on your way to Rome or France; good descriptions of the nightlife and tourist worlds. They are really good summer books. Ages 14 and up. (HarperTeen. $17.99. Rampant is available now, and Ascendant will be available in October! Ooh. October! Put it on your list, you're going to want it when you're done with Rampant.)

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