book review, books, haPPY, library, Uncategorized

what are you reading?

20170327_084223-1_resized7 or 8  years ago, I had somehow managed to work up the courage, thought I could do it, jumped in before I really thought it through, started a book club on-line.

The premise was pretty simple.  I would choose, sift through (everyone offered up suggestions, many genres) a book, once a month.  I would via e-mail, announce the new title to the 25 -30 folks that I arm-twisted to join me.

We all had 4 weeks to get the book from the library, purchase or borrow, read the book and then write a few sentences about our thoughts on the book/author.  I would compile everyone’s thoughts and share them all at once.  For about a week, we would have a “discussion” via email.  Then on to the next book.

Near the end, a very slim, scraggly group of us hung on. The book club lasted about 3 years.

My thought was, folks wanted to read and share thoughts. Many of us did not want to get dressed up, go to book club, bring a snack or mingle at the dreaded potluck, make polite conversation, politely decline yet another glass of white wine, make small talk about some ridiculous hot new movie or hear someone talk poorly about their spouse.

I wanted to talk about books.  That is all.  Just get to the meat of the matter and jump in with a glorious swish to the next new book.

Gosh, everyone had excuses.  More excuses than a 4th grade teacher collects on why homework isn’t done.  My all time favorite excuse of course….” I was too busy”  Which I started to understand as, “I didn’t want to do it and saying I was too busy sounded better”.

News Flash!  Saying I am too busy is just a twisted way of saying,

“I am a poor manager of my time.”

I got plum tuckered out, trying to be a cheerleader and chant….

“oh, this book will enrich your life”

“you’ll love the adventure”

“this book is worth your time”

“I learned so much, you will, too”

book 2Why can children/teens tell us about an entire television show they watched, but are less eager to share about a book they have just finished?

When Mr. Right interviews folks for a new job, one of the questions he asks is, “what book are you reading?”  He is always looking for a new book to read, so I am guessing he just wants to ask something he is interested in hearing about and of course, “what book you are reading” tells a whole lot about a person.

If the average American family who typically spends $125.00 per month on television/cable were to all of a sudden, stop all television for one year……well, you don’t need a book on math to know, that’s a whole lot of moolah to spend on books.

The last mileJust last night, I finished David Baldacci’s book, The Last Mile.  To say, he is an extremely good writer, is to understate his ability.  Like a dog with a new chew toy, he captures your imagination in the first chapter and doesn’t let go. Moments, during the day, while I was folding laundry or rebounding, I found myself wondering what Amos or Melvin were doing.  Yes, the characters are so real, it’s baffling.

I am in the thick of reading, Thomas Keller’s, Bouchon.  The sheer act of turning those overly large pages, somehow, makes me want to take more time and become a better bouchonbaker.  I want to serve Mr. Right, the perfect cookie.  I want to make less and yet at the same time, put more heart and soul into the few loaves of bread I do bake a month.  That man, heard his calling and followed.  Inspirational.

Of course with Spring upon us, I am toying with gardening books, methods, ideas.  Trying to find a book that will inspire me and somehow help me become a more satisfied gardener.

As I do five days a week, I read for one hour this morning.  Learning, researching, trying to educate myself. Today’s topic was Rosemary and how it helps our brains repair and function better.  I also learned more about keeping fluoride as far away from our beings as possible and I did 15 minutes of more essential oil reading.

While I am not persuaded to read a book because the back book jacket says a famous actor enjoyed the book, I am curious to read what my friends and family are reading.  While there are only a couple of genres I make little to no time for, my interest is quite often piqued just enough, that I will most likely give a variety of books a chance.book

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead.  Just think of all the glorious pages we will read?

In this together, friends.

Love to hear what you are reading.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

books, calm, grateful, library, Uncategorized

what’cha reading?

While growing up, we had this tall playhouse tower in the backyard.  Once you climbed the ladder, you ducked your head and then could stand up.  Just being inside the tower the outdoor noise was dulled.  It was cooler than in the bright sunlight.  It was also calm.  Sometimes, my sisters and I would take our lunch up there.  Other times, we would take books or Sixteen magazine and lay on blankets and do nothing but read.

My 56-year-old cousin, had a tree house built-in their back yard.  Yes, a real grown up tree house!  Shelves for books, a trunk to tuck blankets and pillows in.  Windows.  Twinkle lights, of course there are twinkle lights.  Sometimes, summer weather allows for them to sleep outdoors in the tree house.  It was a dream of hers, always.  To have a tree house.  You climb up the stairs and once inside, the outdoor world is muffled.  You take a huge cleansing breath and feel the calm and peace. There are ridiculously cool pieces of art hung here and there.  Their initials are carved into a piece of the wood.  Being there makes you want a tree house.  She says she needs the tree house to regroup now and then.

Moving is a wild ride.  All sorts of thoughts and ideas are swirling in your brain.  You feel guilty if you are not working on a project.  We are desperately trying to make it feel like “home”.   So many things to do and work on.  It is all tumbling around you.  You just need a moment to breathe or regroup.

puyallup-library_sizedThis past weekend we made time to go to our new library.  As we walked up to the front door, the clock tower was chiming, the Farmer’s Market was in full swing, the playground equipment was crawling with short people squealing and giggling, I heard a siren nearby.  Mr. Right held open the door, as I carried an empty library book bag, I thanked him and walked in.  We were greeted with Calm,  Quiet,  Peace,  Cool,  Excellent lighting, That perfect smell of books, Friendly faces.

First order of business; brand new library cards.  Sort of like a golden ticket.  FREE books and lectures and magazines galore….just by holding one of those magical and powerful tickets.20160416_143846

Two glorious stories of shelves after shelves of the unexplored.  Beautiful architecture thoughtfully designed to hold enormous amounts of books.

There is a beautiful bridge on the second floor. Yes, a real bridge.  You can see down to the children’s area on the first floor.   It feels like you are walking into an area of calm and peace.  There is a fireplace nearby where the periodicals are kept.  Feels sort of like ….a tree house.

As we wandered,  pieces of art caught our eye. Stunning, take your breath away beauties. Library lighting and amazing windows.  Desk and tables here and there.  Lots of thoughtful places to sit, cozy up, and read.

Somehow they have blended state of the art technology with the old familiar feel of wooden tables and low table lamps.

Feels like the perfect tree house.  The perfect place to center yourself and regroup.

As my boyfriend carried my overflowing book bag out the door, I heard the clock tower chime again.

An hour had slipped by. We walked out into the world again after being bathed in the peace and calm and wonder only a library can offer.  We stood taller.  We somehow felt ready to hear all the sights and sounds of the town.  We had re-grouped and our spirits were buoyed once more.

 

Extremely Grateful for such a beautiful library in our new town, we headed home to find the perfect spot in our own library to stack our books of the week.20160416_175348 (1)

In this together, I would love to hear/share what books are on your night stand.

 

 

 

books, library, lie, mom's soap box

the $50.00 lie

I lied.

I am not exactly sure why on earth I chose to lie.

But, I did.

Yep, a big fat juicy lie.

A WHOOPER.

For some reason, I lied and then I started to believe it.

Who was it who said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”   Oh that’s right, Adolf Hitler.

Geesh, not very good company.

Here are my excuses:  I was busy.  I was homeschooling two young boys.  I was volunteering.  I was involved in this and that.  We had a dog and house to tend to.  I was selling Discovery Toys.  We belonged to a home school group that met once a week.  We did a field trip every other week.  The boys attended a church program on Wednesdays.  Sunday was always church.  The boys had golf lessons.  The boys had tennis lessons.  The boys had 4-H.  the boys had t-ball.   Thursdays were library days.

Yes, library days.  Each boy was only allowed ten books a week from each library.  We went to two.  So that meant, 20 books per boy, per week.  Each had their own library book bag (that they sewed themselves as a home school math and sewing lesson, sure).  Each had a pocket in the book bag for their very own library card.

When our youngest was 4 years old, he was asked to do a PSA television commercial, encouraging other kids to sign up for a library card.  He did a really good job and was given a brand new book as payment.  corduroy the bear

We were trying to teach responsibility.  Treat all books with respect.  Never write in a borrowed book.  Always use a book marker, never dog ear the pages.  Always return books promptly and on time.  Never, ever loose your library card.

50billHere it comes:  I said, “to replace a lost library card, the library system charges a fee of $50.00”.  That is a LOT of lawn mowing to pay for a new library card.

They never, ever lost their cards.  In all the years of library trips, we only paid a fine once.

We moved state to state, to different country and back to the states again.  Each time, checking out the library system and getting books weekly.

We have lived here in this state for 20 years.  Even though we are empty nesters, we still visit the library on a weekly basis. While we have to pay way more fines then we ever did before, haha, we take very good care of the books we check out. Before the kindle days, we had been known to travel on vacation with our book and bring it back in a timely fashion in excellent condition.  We have never, ever lost our library cards.

Until this week.

One came up missing.  (oh, we have seriously looked and looked and looked)

side note:  We have been waiting in line to check out a certain book.  We have waited a few months.  If you don’t pick it up within 7 days it goes to the next person.   We were notified that it was now available for us to check out.  We wanted that book.

Well, we have gone 30 some years and never had to replace a library card.  I guess it was time to pay the piper.  We want to keep checking out books, weekly.  We both really, really wanted to read the book that finely came in.

We both decided that $50.00 was a fair price for all the books we check out.

Last night, Mr. Right, walked, not with his usual pep in his step, into our local library.  Explained the situation.  Got out his wallet to pay the $50.00.

The librarian said, here is your choice of pictures for your new card.  He chose Chamber’s Bay Golf course picture.

He said, what does it cost for the replacement?

She said, nothing.  Library & replacement cards are FREE. library card

What?

Um, I think I owe both our boys an apology.  I think as a busy mom, grasping at everything I could to teach responsibility and good behavior and respect……….I “may” have invented the fee of $50.00 to replace a library card.  I “may” have repeated it 2,000 times over the span of 30 plus years.

I am very sorry for lying.  Gee, I hope you haven’t been scared for life because of this.  If you want, I will gladly sew you each a new library book bag as restitution.

Okay, I think I have some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fabric in here somewhere…..

books, haPPY, sewing

grab the old ladies

pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes………...’cause everyone knows”  

……..take my hand……………….Hallelujah………..Hallelujah…………………. 

(I will pause here, to allow you, my followers to put on some Neil Diamond.  I like to listen to it loud. smiling.  However, I am sure you have your own way of “getting down” to the beat.  ha)

Similar to the masses, gathering up supplies, people and moving towards, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”, I sure wish there would be the same interest in the library.

You heard me.  I wish that libraries and books generated as much enthusiasm as a “get saved” show.

Oh, I know not nearly as magnetic, or popular.  No where near as loud. No gospel beat, pounding in the background.

Can you find salvation at the library?  You bet.

Can you find books about good gospel music and Neil Diamond?  Yes, again.

Can you find books about quilting or dogs or healing naturally?  Make that a big fat, yes!

Reach out your hand…………….walk with me this day………….

20150417_090954Yesterday, I reached my limit.  Yes, I did.   Goodbye old, boring, serviceable black, sturdy library book bag, we got as a free sample. 20150421_190820

Hello Hotness!  Oh my, you have flare and style.  I believe they call that charisma! 20150421_164231

I had ordered amazing, jaunty elephant material.  Soft and stable by Annie’s for the strength and stabilizer for between the outer fabric and fabulous teal lining.  I used a piece of stunning braid I found in  Alabama.  I wanted to sew all the good karma and goodness I could into this one bag.

I warmed up the sewing machine and turned up the music.

 …………..starting soft and slow………….like a small earthquake………………. and once I get into my groove and I let go and let the machine fly ……………………………half the valley shakes.

Brand new, freshly sewn, with the perfect pocket for library cards.  Padded handles and reinforced seams to hold the weight of all those good books.

Pack up the babies IMG_9312and grab the old ladies……………………. I read that as grand kids are reading, grandma’s are reading…………20150422_072359

All the cool kids are reading.

Honestly, I want a huge stampede to the ragged tent, I mean the brand new, brick and mortar building.  Grab a book or two or ten.

A new Library book bag!

Can I get a Hallelujah?

book review, books, good behavior, good manners, grace, grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY

rules

Within a year of being a newly wed, we moved from one side of the country to the other.   From Washington state to North Carolina.  To say it was a drastic change would be the understatement of the year.

New life, new baby, new husband, new roads to learn, new stores to learn……….and no friends, no mom, no mother in law, no funny Aunt’s living near by.  Back in the dark ages, no computers, no cell phones, basically no contact.  To make a phone call was extremely expensive and you had to wait until the weekend or after certain times.

We were alone.  period.  Two young kids and a baby.  Culture shock is the perfect way to describe it.

Rules of being newly married, um?  I was clueless.  Honest.  In no way am I putting myself down.  I just didn’t have a clue.  I was the person that could barely remember “my turn” to clean the bathroom once a week while in college.  I kind of don’t even remember if we had a vacuum?

Back in the day, we stumbled upon a little book, not too expensive, and was a whole lot easier to read and remember than a 5 pound Emily Post Etiquette book I had.

I needed help.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I left home with oodles of knowledge.  How to set a table for a formal tea.  How to send a proper thank you note, sympathy note (what color ink to use), what to say in a get well card and house-warming card.  How to send a proper invitation to a dinner party.  How to set the table with good china and crystal.  What to wear to a funeral.  When to wear gloves or not to wear gloves to any occasion.  The proper title and how to address any envelope.  I know the proper direction to pass food at a dining room table.   The proper shoes to wear with the proper purse.   If you had an etiquette or good manners question, I had the proper answer.

By all means, good manners have gotten me through many a situations.  I lived in a very structured and proper world.

Real life, um, not so much.  I needed, I craved a list of rules.  What to do, how to do it.  I just wanted a list that would help me live my life.   Yes, I had/have several etiquette books, we have several Bibles, Mr. Right had volumes of books on proper behavior for an Army guy.  Heck, we even had a copy of Dr. Spock’s book on how to raise a child.

Big thick books that really are a bit overwhelming at times.

I/we needed help.  Fast, quick, black & white rules to live by.

Oh yes, I came armed with oodles of etiquette and proper behavior knowledge.   I just didn’t know about “life rules”.

20150129_084948The book that helped us over the rough spots was written by a Dad .

H. Jackson Brown Jr.  is the author and his son Adam was leaving home for his freshman year in college.   He wrote the book for his son.  He wanted to send him off into the world with a little help.

It is really a collection of advise, rules, observations and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life.  They totaled 511.

Our book’s spine is broken.  That is how much we used it.

Learn CPR.

Keep a tight rein on your temper.

Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

Over tip breakfast waitresses.

Give thanks before every meal.

Take a brisk 30 minutes walk each day.

Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.

Plant flowers every spring.

NEVER criticize the person who signs your paycheck.  If you are unhappy with your job, resign.

Every day look for some small way to improve your marriage.

Lie on your back and look at the stars.

Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.

Learn your representatives in Washington DC.

Let your children overhear you saying complementary things about them to other adults.

Learn 3 clean jokes.

Don’t postpone joy.

Plant a tree on your birthday.

Be forgiving of yourself and others.

The list goes on and on.

You would be amazed at how many of the 511 things we do every single day of our lives.  They were/are our rules.  We read them and we memorized them and we put them into practice.

Give little surprise  WRAPPED gifts to your spouse for no apparent reason.  Not a birthday, or anniversary, just because.  Make sure you take the time to wrap them.

20150128_135710Last night when Mr. Right pulled out his chair to sit down to dinner, there was a wrapped surprise gift just for him.

 

 

books, haPPY, wellness

moss & murder

My brother & sister-in-law (let me stop right there, I sort of dislike the “in law” thing, who invented it?  sounds cold, distant, legal)  Regrouping, our “best friends” live in Vermont.  Yesterday, it warmed up to 4 degrees.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Below zero temperatures are more the normal for them this time of year.  ouch.

Son #2 lives in Southern California.  The place where it “never rains in Southern California”.  Last night he had to take a detour home, because the roads were flooded.

Our niece lives near Boston.  I don’t need to explain the weather she is dealing with.  Because she lives in a basement apartment, all she can see out her windows is white.  The windows are completely covered in white.  They have predicted, you guessed it more snow.

winter.

moss 3As you know I live in the western part of Washington state.  While we deal with mold, dampness and musty closets………….we have no snow to play in or to photograph.  Everything is soggy and moss is growing to beat the band.  (whatever the heck that saying means)

Sunday, we had 65* and sunshine.  We opened every single window and door in our home.  Good by bad germs, hello fresh air.  Now, before you get your panties in a knot, as I was pressure washing our deck, I forgot that the sliding door was open. The screen was closed, to allow all that fresh air in and keep the chickens out.  ………… I will wait a moment while you giggle and guess what the carpet looks like inside our home.  Geesh.

Note to self:  close sliding door prior to pressure washing deck.

Now, don’t get all fussy about the 65*.  It is gone.  It was only a taste of spring to come. moss 2

I adore the winter.  I am a winter girl.  Well, the Pacific Northwest Winter kind of girl.  We can drive to the snow.  We can play and ski and snow shoe within an hour of our home.  We actually get a day or two a year of snow.  Yes, we own a snow shovel.  It is out in the backyard shed.  It doesn’t get much play time.

Today, I am wearing “Life is Good” socks.  Beautiful color, cozy warmth, perfect for around the house.

I love the kind of winter days that keeps you indoors to create and dance around to music and cross stitch.  I like biking 5 miles indoors.

I love to spend time cooking and sewing.  I adore getting chores done, work done, dinner prepared ahead then spend 3 or 4 hours in the sewing room quilting and creating.

I am thankful that I am learning to appreciate and value and be thankful for time spent at home.  I am learning to appreciate the value of creating and breathing and not running to the next thing.  I don’t have to be going and doing all the time.  I know, our society puts some sort of bizarre kudos on the person who is driving here and there, running from one thing to another.  Lots of people seem to think it makes them better people if they are “busy”.

I am getting stronger and healthier every single day.  Part of that is taking the time to breathe and give my body a chance to build its self up.  There is great wisdom in learning to be at peace in my sanctuary.  Learning to be okay with me.  Instead of racing to the next social event, learning to thrive in my own environment.

mossI love to spend time, fussing.  I think my grandpa used to call it “puttering”.   Time well spent to me means…. spending time inside, fluffing and puffing and rearranging our nest.

Yesterday, we had an hour of sunshine.  I felt annoyed.  haha.  I know, I am a weirdo.  Enough sunshine to showcase the dusty coffee table and make me feel guilty if I didn’t go out and breathe it in.

Okay.  Stop everything.  Go walk the dog in the sunshine.  You will feel better.

Well, yes, I did. She typed with a silly smile on her face.

I also put my lawn chair out in the middle of the yard and read my library book for 30 minutes while wearing a short sleeve t-shirt (and pants and socks and sneakers, geesh).   My deeply moss4disturbing, murder mystery thriller book which I love to fall into.    A real who done it.  Nothing better than a good old fashion yarn with murder woven in.

Yes, the one thing I do entirely for myself.  I love to dive into an intense murder mystery.  Pure escape.  I sort of forget my own real life for 2 hours.  Sometimes, the murder is so interesting, I can’t put it down.  I read while biking.  I read while putting on make up.  I read while waiting for the water to boil or onions to caramelize.

I think in my other life, I was an excellent detective.  A stunning tall woman, who wore beautiful deep plum-colored lipstick and really high heels.   I think I would have use the initial W for my middle name.  No name, just a mysterious initial.

books, grandchildren, haPPY

my book

The door bell rang.
I went to the door.
A box.
20141217_110624I opened it gently and peeked inside.
Books, a stack of books.
Real hard covered books.  Books that you can buy.  They smell like books.
The pages feel slippery and real.
There is a dust jacket with words about me, the author.  For heaven’s sake, there is an ISBN number!20141217_110641
20141217_111026My book.  The back cover even has a picture of me!
I wrote a book for my grands.
I have a good lump in my throat.
I can’t believe it.
If we still filled out IRS forms and you had to write what you do…………………………..
instead of housewife, mom, grandma and business owner…
I would write: author20141217_111807
Amazingly happy author.