Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crazy For the Storm

Check out the review I just wrote of Crazy For the Storm by Norman Ollestad over on Page Nibbers. AMAZING BOOK!!!!

Here are a few links to what OTHERS have said about this book:

June 07, 2009 Sarah Willis in the Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)

June 14, 2009 Washington Post

July 08, 2009 Pen on Fire - Audio interview of author by Marie Stone

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cool Quote

My daughter-in-law, Tammi, sent me this:

"Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back. Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance."

I LOVE those words!

Today I begin a whole new round of applying for jobs and wondering where I will be living in the next six months. For the first time in over eight years find myself unemployed.

I could freak out about that. I could focus on the loss of income, the loss of a lot of things. I have teetered a bit close to edge of melt-down angst over this from time to time.

But, gratefully, so far I keep pulling myself back in the nick of time.

I will NOT fall into the trap of "poor me" or blubbering about woulda-shoulda-coulda.

I will embrace new opportunities.
I will cherish time to explore new things.
I will dance.

Come on world, give me your best shot. I'm ready for ya!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Respond Differently

Jen over at Lords of the Manor has come up with an excellent suggestion. Out of the painful event of an injured knee she has come up with a challenge for bloggers to take up. She wrote: "Choose an area of your life in which you can respond differently. Maybe a relationship, parenting, interacting with friends, or maybe like me you need an attitude adjustment. Set a daily goal for yourself and keep track of how you respond differently in this situation, with this person, or with yourself and work on your goal for 4 weeks. Then on August 1 post a description of your goal, how you implemented it, and your results on your blog."

Well, obviously it's too late for me to give it four weeks, so I would not qualify for the prize. But that does not mean it's too late for me to explore areas of my own life where I could benefit from making some changes.

Also, it will be interesting to go back and read what others come up with.
Thanks for the challenge, Jen. Get better soon!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Blessings and Bumps

I just updated my status over on my FaceBook page. I said I am feeling extremely grateful for all my blessings...freedom, loving friends, a great marriage, good books, supportive family, a reliable car, good health, safe drinking water, nurturing spiritual community, a great dog, a prolific garden, technology that helps make my life run smoother (everything from my vacuum cleaner to the computer I'm writing this on...) Yep, I am feeling very richly blessed !

Sure, there are dark spots and bumps in the road. My job ends July 15. I have an interview for another one set up, but even if I do get it, it will be at a significant pay cut and mean going back to that horrible learning curve out-of-my-comfort zone unfamiliarity that I always abhor. Beyond that, there are other glitches to face. A legal battle that has been expensive and mean that never should have been brought against us in the first place. Health crisis for people close to me that I care about. The continuing downward spiral of the economy that has smoked our retirement savings into a mere shadow of it's former robust security blanket. I could easily focus on what's difficult and painful if I chose.

But I CHOOSE to focus on gratitude. I am not unaware of the very real and legitimate problems that must be dealt with. But I am seeing them as just a piece of the puzzle, the shadow side of all that is light in my life. Without the dark side, I would never fully savor the sweetness of all I have that is good. So in a way, I can even be grateful for the bumps...while I do not eagerly invite them I recognize those are often my most powerful teachers in one fashion or another.

I absolutely believe that what I choose to focus on the most is entirely up to me and will be the true determining factor in how I experience my life on a day to day basis. There will be times that I may slip in my resolve to be positive. For today, however, I am reveling in all that is right in my world and feeling ever so grateful for the rich abundance I've been blessed with. Even with all it's perils and problems, my life really is sweet.


I just finished reading reviews of the book "Twilight" over on Jacquandor's blog, Byzantium Shores. (yeah, that's where I usually go when I'm up in the middle of the night and can't sleep.)

I've never read Twilight and don't really plan to. I've heard some people rave about it and some say it is crap. Just not a genre I'm interested in.

I TRIED to read the first Harry Potter book, but it left me cold. I quit after the first 70 pages, baffled by all the hype.

I've been thinking some about why I think of some books as well written and others as not. It has a lot to do with voice. I like a book that uses words well and that engages me into the characters.

I just finished reading My Sister's Keeper when I talked about over on Page Nibblers. I liked that book A LOT. So I picked up another book by the same author, this time trying Songs of the Humpback Whale which I'm having a very tough time getting into. Meanwhile I'm listening to the audio book I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass. That book has me absolutely gripped, although at first the way it kept skipping around in time had me a little perplexed. Once I got the hang of a non-linear story I got very interested.

Another book I recently listened to that I actually liked a lot was Widow of the South by Robert Hick, a civil war novel based on a true story.

Then, for a change of pace I listened to The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross, a thriller about a family ripped apart when the father is arrested for money laundering and dealings with a Columbia drug cartel. He testifies against his partner and the family goes into hiding in the federal witness protection program... one thing leads to another and soon you find that nothing is as it seems.

There are so many good books out there...

It is interesting to me how authors manage to create characters, events, whole worlds sometimes out of thin air. Some pull it off better than others. Some take away my breath with their power with words. Others leave me wondering why I bothered. And isn't it interesting how different people will have such completely different takes on the very same book?

So for the twilight fans or Harry Potter fans ... more power to you for liking those books that I had utterly no interest in. I don't feel the need to bash the books as drivel. I just pass them by and reach for something else. To each their own.

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