The Lily Cafe at home: Audiobooks, Crocheting, Chinese Food, and…Video Games?

Welcome into my home!

I know I said last week I would be working on getting some reviews and my Impressions post up this past week, but, well, best laid plans and all, I suppose. I’ve been dragging my feet on those reviews, so I think today I ought to focus on them. At least I’m actually a little excited about some of them, but the next one I need to write (because I always write them in the same order I read them these days) has to be a traditional review and I’m just not excited. Anyways…


For years I’ve heard about how great audiobooks are. It’s certainly appealing to be able to listen to a book while doing other things like driving or chores. Certainly sounds like a very pleasant way to pass the time. I’ll admit to being curious about trying it out more than once, but I know myself quite well. I’m more of a visual than auditory learner, though I do rely on both, so I’ve always had the feeling I wouldn’t like audiobooks.

Last Monday was my kids’ first day back at school after the winter break and I thought, because I actually kind of missed the noise, it would be fun to try out an audiobook while tidying up my son’s room. So I picked up a book through the library, one I was interested in, but didn’t really need to read right away. I don’t even remember what it was, but it’s a contemporary romance that started out with a woman preparing for a trial and then having a panic attack in the courtroom, only to be saved by the guy she’d liked for a long time and who liked her, but I guess they had friend zoned each other? And that was just chapter 1. It took me an hour or so to get there. This was not going to work for me. In that time I could have read 2-3 or more chapters!

Audiobooks are just not for me. For one, it really depends on an engaging story from page 1 and an engaging narrator, and I found neither to be the case in this one. The narrator just read so darn slow it felt agonizing to listen to it sometimes. Well, most of the time. Well, the entire time I actually tuned into the story. For another, realizing getting to chapter 2 took that long? Definitely not for me. I’ve always been a fast reader, so listening to someone read it molasses slow wasn’t going to work. If only I could have sped it up a little…

Will I try another audiobook? Maybe when I can’t see anymore.


Instead of a lot of reading and writing, I’ve been working on simple blankets for my kids. They’re meant to be used to keep their legs warm in the car because my son waits until it’s really cold to switch from shorts to pants (despite not being born in California, I think he’ll really turn out to be a California boy) and my daughter likes the idea of getting leggings to go under her dress but actually wearing them is a completely different matter. Thus, the need for blankets, because, well, for a bunch of reasons. We don’t always turn the heat on in the car. For a bunch of reasons that aren’t actually important right now.

What is important is that I’m working on a very pink and a very green blanket right now. The pink one was actually restarted and actually also has purple and rainbow further down the line, because I’m not very good at keeping my rows even and, well, it was starting to mushroom the further I crocheted. So now I have a very large ball that’s actually three balls of yarn tied together, but at least I’ve got the start of a blanket for a little girl and not a little…much larger animal. The green one is coarser yarn, so it builds up pretty fast. I’m hoping that’ll help making this one go by faster because, at the rate I’m going, it’ll be next winter before I finish them. Good thing my son actually does wear pants. I’m trying to convince him to get gloves or mittens or something because he likes to put his ice cold hands on me in the mornings while we’re waiting for the school gate to open.

Mostly, these things are just sitting on my coffee table.

Chinese Food

I don’t make it a secret I’m Chinese, though I’m more accurately Chinese American with an emphasis on the American. It makes reading fiction books about Asian and Asian American families a little challenging sometimes because I think I ought to recognize more, but I really don’t. I’ve been trying, though. My husband and I like watching Chinese dramas, mostly historical, and we’re a little decorated for Chinese New Year this weekend. Though we’re a little confused because my kids won’t let me take down the Christmas decorations we made.

I am, though, venturing into making more Chinese dishes outside of stir fry. I grew up with Cantonese and Hong Kong food, so I’ve been looking more for those recipes. My husband got me some steamer racks recently, so I made some plain buns. My kids managed to eat 4 of the 6 in one day, but it doesn’t quite have the right taste, so I’ll be trying another recipe. There’s also a steamed rice cake I want to try, but every recipe seems a little different and, honestly, after the fifth one I started to go a little cross eyed trying to figure out how to make them. On the bright side, we finally made it back out to our nearest Asian market (25 minutes away without traffic and definitely not by freeway) and got some Hong Kong chow mein noodles, so we’ve been enjoying some pan fried noodles that have me dreaming of how much easier it would be to make in a wok. One day. And of course I have zero pictures because I keep forgetting and the food keeps disappearing. Anyways, I’m not interested in styling pictures, so they’d be awfully ugly to look at, so maybe it’s best if I just not do that.

Video Games

I am not a gamer. I have never been a fan of video games. My eyes can only take so much visual stimulation with too few words. But everyone else in my family got video games over the winter break, so there’s been a lot of video game playing in my household.

My husband’s been playing Breath of the Wild, and likes to remind me of that time we played Skyward Sword “together”. By that I mean he played and I watched videos and told him what to do and where to go. Now we kind of do the same thing, in that he asks me how to do this glitch or complete that shrine and I’ll read the instructions to him. I swear I know more about this game than he does sometimes, and I don’t even play it! Our son is also really into watching videos and is quick to get upset when his dad doesn’t do what he wants him to do.

Actually, my son hasn’t been doing much video game playing. He’ll turn on his Lego City game once in a while and likes asking me to do driving tests with him. He finished the game with his dad three years ago and, even though he asks to start a new game, he never actually does. So now he just hops in a car and asks me to rate how he’s driving. He’s…actually gotten really good. If this can translate into actually driving on the road, I think it might be worth it.

I’ll repeat, I am not a video game player. I played with my brother whenever he coerced me into it when we were kids and I’ll sometimes run amok when my son wants me to play his Lego City game with him, but I’ve actually become quite adept at pressing the A button. My daughter got some Disney video game or other, but isn’t coordinated yet to use both hands, so she moves her character around and I press A. It…mostly works. We did get stuck in the Lilo and Stitch world for a while and needed her brother to get us out. Luckily, with school back in full swing and Zelda, or, rather, Link, dominating the screen these days, I haven’t had to press A at all. Which is good because I don’t even remember which little button it is now.

In other video game related news, my kids have ventured back into exploring YouTube and discovered some Mario Maker 12 Days of Christmas song about all these things that are annoying. It sounds dreadful, but watching it makes me nostalgic for that one pandemic where my son spent most of his free time creating exactly those annoying things. My, how time flies. I don’t think he’s actually played in many, many months. Probably close to a year, if not a little more. He does still like Mario, though.

Time to Get Back to Work

And I think those are the major things happening at home this week. It’s quiet right now because the kids are at school though I do have a load of laundry to do and, well, those reviews are not going to write themselves no matter how much I hope and dream. I also have a cat who requires attention since it’s just her and me today and she really doesn’t like to be left alone.

So, back to work. Either the writing reviews part of the avoiding writing reviews part. I guess we’ll find out next week when they either post or don’t.

Until next time!

9 thoughts on “The Lily Cafe at home: Audiobooks, Crocheting, Chinese Food, and…Video Games?

    1. It can be hard to work into one’s daily schedule. I know I’ve really had to make time for it, and it’s mostly driven by the fact that I want to make something for my kids. But I hope you get a chance to get back into crocheting soon! Such a fun activity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, that’s lovely! It’s always nice to have something great to look at. It’s definitely amazing to see what people can create. My mom is much more proficient than I am and I’m always amazed at all the pretty things she makes.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow we went about a year without one, but my husband bought a cooker a few weeks ago and it’s so much easier. Sadly, our local Asian market is almost a half hour away, so we don’t get over there often, but I do want to make a point of getting there more often this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It sucks that listening to an audiobook didn’t work out for you. I can only listen while I clean or cook, if I’m doing anything too involved I forget to listen but it’s been great to listen to audiobooks while I cook and clean as it’s gotten my book amount up quite a lot. If you’re looking to listen to something while you cook or clean maybe a podcast would be more up your alley?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so disappointed about it, too! I love the idea of listening to a book while cleaning or cooking, and listening to books about food while cooking just kind of sounds like a dream come true. It would have also been nice to up my book count because there are just so many good ones out there. I haven’t yet listened to a podcast, but the true crime ones always get my attention when I hear about them, so checking one out is definitely a goal for this year. Hopefully that works out better!

      Liked by 1 person

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