August 31, 2010

For All of You & A Cherry on Top

Oh my!

I can't believe how many people stopped by to say even more kind words to me and my anonymous friend.  Thank you one and all.  Thank you to Shimelle as well, for sharing my blog post with so many. 

I'm so very excited to be learning something new every day with so many of you... game on!

It has been a wonderful day for me.  So many unexpected kindnesses occurred to and for me today.  From a passing remark in the hall at work, to all of your spirit-lifting comments, to an excellent if not exhausting hour with "L", to a wonderful email exchange with someone I rarely talk to who paid me big compliments when I had no idea she had been paying attention or cared.  It was very nice.

The end of my day was a cherry on top when The Boy approached me to have a very difficult conversation about finances.  He owned up to his mistakes.  He has committed to a new plan of action.  He is finally growing up.  I know I still call him The Boy, when he is 21 years old... but he always will be the boy in our family... I mean him no disrespect.  To anyone who has seen him, he is a very young looking 21 and could easily pass for 14 or so.  I finally asked him if he knew why I call him "Boy" so often (see?  I call him that to his face) and he said, "because I'm the only boy in the family."  I had to explain that because he is so very young looking he reminds me of Peter Pan (Wendy always called him "boy") and particularly this song:

I won't grow up, (I won't grow up)
I don't want to go to school. (I don't want to go to school)
Just to learn to be a parrot, (Just to learn to be a parrot)
And recite a silly rule. (And recite a silly rule)
If growing up means
It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Not me! Not I, Not me! Not me!

I won't grow up, (I won't grow up)
I don't want to wear a tie. (I don't want to wear a tie)
And a serious expression (And a serious expression)
In the middle of July. (In the middle of July)
And if it means I must prepare
To shoulder burdens with a worried air,
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Not me, Not I, Not me! So there!

Never gonna be a man, I won't!
Like to see somebody try
And make me.
Anyone who wants to try
And make me turn into a man,
Catch me if you can.
I won't grow up.

Not a penny will I pinch.
I will never grow a mustache,
Or a fraction of an inch.
'Cause growing up is awfuller
Than all the awful things that ever were.
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up,
No sir, Not I, Not me, So there!

He has very much resisted "growing up" and it was a nice "cherry on top" to have such a getting-more-mature conversation with him tonight.

August 30, 2010

Humbly Learning...

I have learned every once in a while, something happens… something little or something huge… that just smacks you in the face like a wet rag and says, “love & kindness are out there!”

That happened to me over the weekend. It was a slow dawning of understanding that didn’t quite fully realize itself until this morning (Monday) when all the facts were finally in order. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me (it has an evil side like that) and so I wasn’t quite sure if I was imagining that this “thing” was done, if I had literally forgotten that I had done it myself or if there was something else at work. Turns out it was something else at work.

I’ll stop being vague now. Well, as much as I possibly can.

You see… I was looking at the "Learn Something New Every Day" class over at Several of my online buds had been talking about it… most of them were signing up for it. I wanted to, but as with any class, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to “keep up” with it. I do work two jobs and have been embarking on a personal journey, as well as keeping up a house with a furry zoo recently filled with health problems. I hate to overcommit myself, but at the same time, I really need and love to have the prompts and the push to do something creative… for myself… on an every day basis. I also love to learn new things and so this class seemed to be up my alley. The last class I officially “took” was Shimelle’s Blogging for Scrapbookers, and well… here I am still blogging away. Wouldn’t it be great if this class would prompt me to continue to learn something new every day even after the class was over?

So, I hemmed and hawed over signing up. Did I want to commit myself? Would I make myself feel guilty if I couldn’t keep up? I have that problem too… an overabundance of guilt seeping from my pores. My online friends encouraged me to sign up and reminded me that once you sign up for it, you have access to that Shimelle’s class forever. So I went out there last week and got myself to the registration page… put in all the information and then at the last minute decided to just shut it down and not complete the financial transaction. We’re running a little tight on finances at the moment, as I said above, I have a few of my furry children who are draining me with vet bills lately, among other pop-up expenses that happened this month. So, I questioned how “late” I could sign up and found out I could sign up all the way until the end of the class. So… I will wait a payday or two and then sign up, even though then I wouldn't be on the same page/prompt as the rest of the majority of the class.

Imagine my surprise when I got a confirmation email from Shimelle two days later, thanking me for signing up. Needless to say, I was confused but resigned myself to the fact that I did not actually close out the payment page, as I thought… I must have clicked “submit”. A day goes by. I look again at the confirmation email and decided to check my various payment accounts.

No payments from my accounts were made for this class.

Here’s where I start wondering… did I imagine this? Is the payment hitting my account delayed? Was it a mistake? Am I thinking of the wrong class and perhaps it was a free class I signed up for? Finally I was convinced that it was a glitch on the computer (payments received) on Shimelle’s end, I emailed her back asking her to change the name on my account (I already had an account with her, but she had signed me up for this class under a different email) and to please double-check her account to make sure payment had been made…

Shimelle kindly responded this morning (or late last night), confirming the account change for me and then mentioned that "the class had been paid for by someone who wished to remain anonymous".

Can I say I was speechless and still remain speechless? My heart dipped, then stalled, then started beating again. I read the email a second time and tears in my eyes welled up a little (as they are now again as I write this). I can’t put into words how I felt and am feeling. It was an unexpected kindness that was timelier than I can even explain. It made my Monday feel less than a typical “ugh, back to work” Monday. It made me feel “lightened” in some way. It was … unexpected. It is….amazing.

Thank you, kind and sweet anonymous Friend. If you read my blog, I hope you now know how much your gift means to me. I have humbly learned that love and kindness are still out there in the world. Since I can’t thank you in person, I am shouting out my gratitude to the world in hopes of it reaching you. And since I can’t pay you back, I will pay it forward.

Thank you.

August 29, 2010


I love early morning.  I don't often wake up to it when I can enjoy it ... i.e. I'm always rushing around getting ready for work. 

Today is a day when I can enjoy the quiet of an early morning.  I didn't intend to get up so early, but it happened.  Dogs barking, my coughing, a disturbing dream and a piercing police siren combined to open my eyes several hours earlier than I had intended.

It's nice though.  I don't hear neighbors (and boy do I wish I never heard those neighbors!) or my own family some who are still asleep and some who have left early to go to work.  I hear a distant hum of background traffic and planes (I live near an airport).  And I hear birds.  I like the sound of birds in the morning.  I hear one of my kitties roaming around my bedroom getting in to bags she shouldn't.  Closing my eyes again, I tune into a few lone crickets, still calling out from the night.  I love crickets. 

I hear my fan whirring...

... and I realize that today is going to be a "hot one" and I will have to put the A/C on again. 

Then I will miss the outside noises for a few more days.  Especially the quiet of the early morning symphony.

August 25, 2010

On My Soapbox: Shopping Frustration

I went clothes shopping with my friend CT tonight.   She was sweet... and brave... to ask me to join her.  You see... I am not a shopper.  In general, unless it's scrapbooking supplies, I'm a get-in-get-out kind of girl.  Or, better yet, online or catalog shopping.  That's my true preference.  But every once in a while, I like to get out to a store I haven't been to in a while, and browse.  I have to be in the right frame of mind, of course, so apparently the stars were aligned just-so when my friend asked if I'd like to tag along tonight.

I'm experimenting with some "perspective shifting", and it worked well while I was shopping and I actually came home with several items of clothing, so BONUS!

But here is my frustration and one of the MAIN reasons why I detest clothes shopping. 

A size should be a size should be a size.  What I mean by that is... if you wear a size 10 (which I don't), you should be able to go into ANY store and pick up a size 10 pair of jeans and believe that they will more or less FIT.  Now, I'm much larger than a size 10, but I'm picking that number as a size to talk about.  Perhaps those of you out there who are a size 10 can tell me differently... perhaps when you are a "littler person", unlike myself, you actually CAN go into any store and a size 10 will fit.  But it's absolutely not true for bigger sizes.

I just bought my size of pants, recently, from a "sister store" to the one I went to tonight... but from a catalog.  I wear them to work.  They fit.  They are "my size".  So, I waltz into this store tonight and thought... let's check out a pair or two of jeans.  The salesperson says to me, "these run a little small..." but I pick  up "my size" anyway just to see what that means. 



I couldn't barely get them up thighs!  "a little small?"  What's up with that?  No wonder I get depressed shopping if I can go for store to store and have to keep increasing my size.   Seriously, these were not a little small.   In order to get these jeans to fit me, I swear I would have had to go up at least TWO sizes.

No way was I going to do that (I have enough issues with my current size), so back to the floor I went and picked out a nice pair of oversized, light-weight, comfy...... pajamas! 

I wandered around a little more.  Found a couple more shirts to try on... liked them.  Score for me.  But, get this... some that fit were "my size" and others... yep, I had to go up a size or two, depending on how you look at it.    Let me 'splain... these shirts were "two" sizes per shirt... so for example, it would be a choice between a shirt sized 8/10 or a shirt sized 12/14.  If you're a size 10... that 8/10 might be a little snug.  But that 12/14 might be too big. 

You can't win! 

Aside from the random sizing frustration... and seriously, what's the point of having something labeled a certain size if it doesn't physically compare to the size on the label of an item of clothing right next to it... we both had a good night and went home with new duds.

Thanks for inviting me CT!!  We'll do it again sometime, right?

August 24, 2010

We Didn't Start the Fire!

Original Music Video Courtesy of YouTube

So, one of my sisters sent me a video link.  It was to a slide-show, for lack of a better term, that someone (Ye Li) created to go along with Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire song from 1989.  Ye Li did a GREAT job looking up photos for each of the lyrics, and then went a thousand steps further and linked those photos up to Wikipedia.  Honestly, I'm someone who just listens to music and rarely gets all the lyrics and back in 1989, I was working too hard at drinking and college to really pay that much attention to this song.  But, when I watched this, I thought it was pretty cool... a) because I never really tuned into what all was included in the lyrics and b) because I was able to click on an image in the video to learn more about that piece of history via Wikipedia.

Apparently, Mr. Joel is a history fan, and in 1989 he turned 40 (what a coincidence... I'm 40 this year).  He decided to reflect back upon the history between 1949 and 1989... and essentially, that's what this song is about. Some of the major events that occurred each year of those 40 years.  In one song.  Pretty cool, even if you don't like the song itself...

Anyway, I'd love to share Ye Li's video with you.  Check it out!

All credits go to Bill Joel, Ye Li, Wikipedia and Google Images - I take no ownership of this fabulous creation...

It makes me think... what a great scrapbook page... or even entire album... devoted to a timeline of your personal world history.  Kinda like those cards you can send to people on their birthday... what was the price of bread, the price of gas, the #1 song, the average salary in the year you were born.  I would love to do a scrapbook on the history of the world during MY lifetime.  I just think that would be cool...

What do you think?  Have you ever thought of something like this re: scrapbooking?  I have actually thought of it quite a bit.  I touched on a few things in my Eighties post below... truly, I have lived through so much history, but until you sit down and look it up or think about it, you really just don't realize.

Yep, I think this is going to be added to my "list of things to scrapbook"...

August 22, 2010


This box of tissues was brand spankin' new (full) at 10am today.

This is what it looked like at 10pm tonight.

I don't care if it says "Puffs with Lotion". 

Galdanged stuff is sandpaper!

August 20, 2010

Time Flies When You...

...are on vacation.

...spend time with friends and family you haven't seen in months, many months.

...are in a casino!

...realize your mom would have been 72 this week, had she survived her fight with Ovarian cancer.

...realize it's been 12 years since she lost that fight.

...turn off the movie and head to bed, knowing that the next day you'll be going "home".

...sleep almost all the way home from vacation because The Hubs decides to drive the full leg (yay!). a book.

...have a list of things to do before the day is over.

...catch cold germs from your lovely, sweet husband and have half your normal energy.

...spend most of your day wiping or blowing or fighting with your nose.

...have at least 8 loads of laundry and only have 3 completely done (and two in progress).

...spend all afternoon running errands (bank, groceries, library, etc.)

...look back and realize the last time you wrote a post was Monday! 


Time Flies When You're On Vacation!

August 16, 2010

Where In The World Am I?

I dare ya to guess...

Look at that sun!  The sky!  The daggone spot on my lens!  Caught without my lens cleaner too!

Can anyone tell me what that tall tower is that is in the background? 

It was a beautiful day... sunny, warm... veeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy breezy.  With quite a bit of mist in the air.

Look at this old photo I found while I was out browsing around!

Isn't it beautiful?!

Naaaaaaaahhhhh, it really wasn't old... just converted with an action from PW.  That was from my day trip today.

Have you guessed yet?

How about now?

If you guessed Niagara Falls, you got it!  What a wonderful day today...

I'll be back to share more later!

August 11, 2010

Forever a Child of the 80's...

I had this album... yes album, as in vinyl. 
I may still have it in a box in my basement!

In a few days I'm off on vacation.  It's not a glamorous vacation, but days off from all jobs all together, so true enough, a vacation.  I'll be traveling "home" with The Hubs to visit with family for half of my time off, and then back "home" to my kids and zoo for the last half of my vacation.

No matter what I'm doing, whenever I get ready to take a vacation, The Go Go's song Vacation pops into my head and runs amok incessantly.  Having listented to the tune exclusively between my own ears for about an hour now, I had to run out to You Tube to watch the video.  Click the image above to go see it (embedding has been disabled for this video).

After delving neck deep into Go Go's nostalgia, I had to come on here and shout to the world that I am, and will always be, a child of the 80's.  The 80's was a very influential time period for me as I was in era of life where simply everything makes a huge, long-lasting impression.  Between 1980 and 1990 I aged from 10 to 20.  Talk about formative years!  I lived my teen years and entered college in the 80's. 

To borrow a song lyric from Dirty Dancing - I had the time of my life!

What the 80's mean to me...

  • MUSIC!  I don't care what anyone says (in a negative manner) about the music from the 80's, but first and foremost, there was a heck of variety!  If the 80's didn't create the expression "one hit wonder" then it certainly embraced and popularized it!  If you took all of the top 20 hits from each week and put each song only once on a CD, I'm sure you'd still come up with a plethora of CDs from that decade... with NO repeats!  How great is that?  And the music was all about peppy beats, being independant, and S-E-X!  There was the New Wave revolution, the New Age birth and growth, not to mention the Top 40 be-boppers.  Hip Hop became popular and the 80's truly may have hosted the "second British invasion" with the influx of popular bands from across the pond during that time.  I will listen to music from the 80's until the day I die, and impress my kids and grandkids with my knowledge of lyrics in current-day songs that are just recycling those "one hit wonders".  (If they're so bad, why are people re-sampling them?)
  • CLOTHES!  I admit, I was never into the fashion fads of the 80's when I was in the 80's.  In fact, every generation has it's "retro" look, and the 80's "retro" was the 60's.  So, I was more into dressing in the 60's peace-love-happiness and flower power type of clothes.  And I wasn't even that extreme, because, well... I was a wall flower and never wanted to draw attention to myself.  But I LOVED the ecclectic mish-mash of styles that defined the 80's.  Watch any music video or any John Hughes' film or ANY teen film in that era (Valley Girl anyone?) to see what I mean. 
  • FUN!  I think the 80's were light-hearted and fun, and yet we had our share of serious issues to be afraid of.  The cold war.  Hostages in Iran.  AIDS.  But check out most music videos, songs or movies from that era... we were all about having fun!  I'll try to refrain from contrasting this with the influx of the Grunge & Depression of the 90's.
  • BREAKDANCING!  I know it's not called that anymore, but it was in the 80's, when it became VERY popular.  It wouldn't have been a school dance without all those b-boys trying their share of moves, breakin' to the music.  I must admit, I did try a few moves myself... and, uh... well... let's just say I'm a bit to ample in the chest area to be doing the "worm".  And rug burns in that area aren't pretty!
  • EVENTS!  So many historical events occurred in the 80's. I'm sure that's true of any decade, but it just seemed like so many big things happened both good and bad.  Here are just a few random things off the top of my head:
    • The hostages in Iran...
    • Mount St. Helens erupted...
    • The space shuttle Challenger explosion...
    • John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman...
    • President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinkley...who was also stalking Jodie Foster...
    • The Chernobyl nuclear disaster...
    • The Exxon Valdez oil spill (which looks so small now, in comparison to the current BP fiasco)...
    • The explosive growth of computers, developing into HOME computers...
    • Movies!  The rise of Steven Spielberg, John Hughes, John Carpenter...
    • Beginning of the AIDS pandemic...
    • The rise of PC (political correctness)...
    • South Africa Apartheid...
    • The wall between east and west Germany dismantled...
    • I WANT MY MTV!
    • Valley "talk"... like, Omigod!  Gag me with a spoon, like, totally, fer sure! You're sooo tubular, dude!
    • Pacman...
    • Leg Warmers...
    • Headbands...
    • Rubik's Cube!
Yes... I am and forever will be a child of the 80's (with a distinct flavor for "retro" 60's)!  How about you... what's your favorite, influential 'time'?

August 9, 2010

It's All In My Head

I've just had a bit of a light switch go on.  When I scrapbook, or even quilt, I spend major amounts of time just thinking about what I plan to do.  I'm not quite sure if this is a waste of time or not...

I know there are people out there who sketch out the layout they want to have before they physically scrapbook. 

I don't do that.

I know other people who can just grab some photos, find some paper they like and then just start cutting and sticking and it comes out just beautiful.

I don't do that.

Then there are those who will find a layout in a magazine or online and copy it exactly (although with different photos and papers). 

I don't really do that either.

( I do find elements of a layout in a magazine or online and incorporate those, but I've only scraplifted an exact design a few times in my life).

When I want to scrapbook something, it starts in my head.  Like days... sometimes weeks... before I ever get to the projects.  And yet, I don't know what the end product will look like.  I plan on colors and photos and papers and embellishments and even sizes of photos.  But I have no idea what the end will look like until I get to, well, the end.  For example, the All About Me  blog hop I participated in earlier this year.  I said I would participate, and had no time to actually scrap... but in the meantime, I knew what chipboard book I was going to use, and what papers that I was hoarding that would be perfect for the project.  Then, since I knew how many pages I had to fill, I started thinking about topics for each page, and once I came up with the appropriate number of topics, I started thinking of photos to fit the topics.  Once I found all of my photos I had to find appropriate sizes for them to print them in, since the book was a "mini" 6x6 album.  Then, as I mentioned to Mel, I threw it all together last-minute.  I love the outcome of it, but I had spent a week or more just planning it in my head, with no real layout thoughts, sketches or ideas... just the elements. 

I find myself sitting, even while reading a book, and coming up with thoughts like that... a certain photo will pop into the eye of my memory and I will think, Oh, that would go well with this paper, or this title, or this [fill in the blank].  Or, I think of a topic I want to explore, in the good ol' "explore your inner world" way of SFTIO... and I'll even remember a photo that I'll have to seek out that would fit the topic perfectly. 

Sometimes I write these ideas down.  Most times I don't.  Those that I do, I often lose where I wrote it.

But I never, ever, ever have the end product, the outcome of the layout or project, as a clear picture in my mind.

Does anyone else do this?  Or am I just weird? 

That's okay, really... I'm okay with weird. 

August 5, 2010

Discover Within...

This month's emotion at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out is Discovery.  Check out the kit:

This topic really calls to me because I'm always looking to discover Me.  I mean, I know me, but sometimes I feel like I'm really missing out on large pieces of Me.  Or, maybe not missing out but just haven't found those pieces.  So I'm excited to explore this month's emotion over at SFTIO. 

One of the things I love are quotes and inspirational sayings.  As it so happens, SFTIO puts up an inspiration page every month with quotes, music and more, and I love taking time to peruse it.  Here are some quotes that are listed out on SFTIO's inspiration that struck a cord in me tonight...

We discover in others what others hide from us, and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves. Marquis de Vauvenargues

Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do. Lyn Yutang

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge. Daniel J. Boorstin

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. James Joyce

When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves. Dogen

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. Thomas Szasz

Seriously, go check it out!  There are so many more things to think about (and scrap about)!  What do you want to discover?

August 3, 2010


There's only one thing worse than a good book... a series of good books.  Because once I finish the first, I must read the next, and once I finish that one, the other one must be read, and so on, and so on.  The only saving grace is if the series is still "in progress" in which case I get majorly annoyed that I can't continue and then "stalk" the release of the next book.  If the series goes on long enough, and I have to wait too many times, only then can I sometimes "quit" the series and move on. 

Book series truly enslave me.

I'm caught up in one now. If you look to my sidebar to see the books I've been reading, you'll see it's the series of the "Black Dagger Brotherhood".    I looked the first one up, months ago, and borrowed it from the library. My son discovered that I was reading it and said a friend of his at work had the books, so ever since then, she has been my... uh... supplier.   I have read books 2 & 3 last week and over the weekend and currently am enmeshed in book #4 when the Boy walked into my room last night with books 5, 6, and 7. 

I'm a slave!  A slave to these books!

I have been asked for recommendations on books that I like, so I thought I'd address that here.

First, I am a "fluff" reader.  What that means to me is, the less real-to-life it is, the happier I am.  This means I stick with "fantasy" types of topics - fairy tales, folklore, vampires, and the like.  In addition, I'm a lover of "smut"... you know, that crude romance with a lot of graphic...uh...details.  Yeah, details.  Sex in books does not bother me one bit (although I think it shocked the Boy that I was reading these particular books, as he had read them and his eyebrows raised when he saw what I was reading... does he think I don't know about S-E-X?)  On occasion, I love a good mystery or action type book, like James Patterson, and occasionally a good horror book by Stephen King.  But mostly, fantasy.

I enjoy twists on the same "theme".  Currently (and for years now) it has been vampires and/or werewolves/wereanimals.  I enjoy fairy tales that have been twisted into something new.  So... all that being said, here is a listing of books/series that I thoroughly enjoyed and if you were someone who asked for some book recommendations, take this with the understanding that I'm firmly enslaved into the "fantasy-fiction" genre of books:

Author: Tanya Huff.  Favorite Books:  Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (a book about a young girl with mild mental retardation who 'sees' things, her friend who is a singer (and a magical bard), her social worker (who is also part of the maid, mother, crone archetype), and the battle between good an evil.  It is set in "modern" day Toronto, Canada, which was why I liked it so much... fantasy hitting present day.  It is typically only now sold combined with another Huff book which I didn't care for, and the two books are unrelated, but packaged together under the title "Of Darkness, Light and Fire".  Skip the "Fire Stone" part of that book if you find it.  I also enjoy her Blood series, which is a twist on the typical vampire/werewolf themes.  Huff is a "light" writer, so there isn't a ton of sexy additions to her books.  I also truly enjoyed her Quarters novels which encompasses the powers of earth, wind, fire, water, etc.  True fantasy genre.

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton.  Favorite Books:  The Anita Blake vampire series.  Anita Blake is a vampire executioner, because wouldn't you know, vampires are an accepted piece of society, sort-of.  Her day job, however, is raising zombies from the dead... typically for legal procedures, like clearing up last will and testament disputes or as a witness to the dead person's own murder.  As you go deeper in the series, there are a lot of werewolves, among other were-animals, vampires, and all things that go bump in the night.  Anita is a tough girl (yet, petite and beautiful, of course) but what catches me in this series is that no matter how tough she is on the outside, her mind and thoughts show her vulnerabilities and lack of confidence, which makes her real to me.  Also, the deeper you go into the series the more S-E-X there is and the more graphic, detailed and overwhelming it becomes.  And the series seems endless, so I think I stopped around book #13 or so.  I think Ms. Hamilton is up to 17 now.  She also writes another series that I did not get into, about faeries (and not how you think they'd be)... and while the concept was interesting, book #1 lept into S-E-X even faster than I could handle, so I never got past book 2 or 3. 

Let's move away from vampires for a bit... although, as I mentioned, they have been the bigger part of my reading selection of the past few years.

Author:  Anita Diamant  Book:  The Red Tent  This book was recommended to me from a friend and I was reluctant to read it at first as I'm not much for the biblical fiction genre.  But I must admit, once I got into the book, it really captured me.  A very cool concept, this book was developed off of one or two sentences in the Christian bible.  Neat concept.

Author: James Patterson  I have to admit, I am probably one of the few people who have NOT read Mr. Patterson's Alex Cross series.  I have read one book in that series - Kiss the Girls - and none others.  While I liked Kiss the Girls well enough, I just didn't want to get into another ongoing series at the time, so I only read that one because of the movie.  As usual, the movie didn't do the book justice.  In fact, I was introduced to James Patterson with When the Wind Blows.  I LOVE this book - about a group of kids who were experiemented on by a governmental agency - all of whom  have wings - when they escape and have to find a way to stay alive and out of the facility.  Again, you can see the "fantasy" part of this.  It was very reminiscent of the short lived Dark Angel series by James Cameron and featuring Jessica Alba that my family and I loved while it was on.  I'd say that When the Wind Blows borders on action/adventure with a touch of fantasy in it... in case you're not a huge fantasy lover, this really just skirts around the edges.  Mr. Patterson left this book as a stand-alone for quite some time before following up with The Lake House (unrelated to the movie)... which I didn't like much.  He should have left it a stand-alone.

Author:  Dan Brown.  Yep, The DaVinci Code was a book that I really liked.  It was not truly fantasy unless you take into consideration the extreme stretches to biblical interpretation... but more adventure/mystery.  I thought this was a great book until I read his first book Angels & Demons.  That book was excellent and way better than The DaVinci Code.  I haven't read any others by him though, although I know he recently released a new book.

Various Authors:  I love twists on fairy tales and folklore type stories.  So while I'm particularly fond of Cinderella stories and all things having to do with Alice in Wonderland, these books were fun to read.  I only have 3 or 4 of t hem, and I see there are so many more.  It's "adult fairy tales", each book a collection of stories, that are darker than the typical popular Walt Disney fare.  I took a course in folklore and fairy tales in college and have had an affinity of seeking them out since.  Original "fairy tales" were dark, and have been cleaned up in modern times so as not to offend or give children of delicate senses nightmares.  If you like fairy tales, check 'em out.  Snow White, Blood Red; Ruby Slippers, Golden TearsBlack Heart, Ivory Bones (and more). 

Author:  Stephenie Meyer - yes that woman who wrote the Twilight series.  Now, I am a fan of the books, but I'm not a Twi-hard.  Her other book that I read, The Host was simply awesome.  I hear she's coming out with another book along the same topic.  It has NOTHING to do with vampires.  Instead, it's plot runs more along the lines of  "invasion of the body snatchers" but very cool.  Check it out!

Okay, so there you go.  I could keep going, but this post is already miles long.  Please... leave a comment with your favorite books.  As long as they're not "learning" books (I can't read things that teach me something, only fiction stuff), I'd love to hear your suggestions and add to my list.

You know... so I can prolong my slavery...  :)

August 2, 2010


Oh!  Sorry 'bout my title there.  That was my inner gamer geektress speaking out. Only one reader that I know of will get that reference. It just kinda spilled out of me. Wait one sec while I tuck her back in her corner.  Here's something to look at while I take care of business.

Okeydokey… she’s contained now.

I promised back here that I’d come back and share my “guilt” from my quilt spree, but then I just never got photos taken.  Then, as you know, over the weekend, I lost my wireless and, well, got kidnapped by a couple of books. But, I did finally make time to get the photos taken.  So… now I’m back to share my “quilt guilt”.

Let’s start with the end.

I ended up with these two bags STUFFED full, plus two plastic bags that I later incorporated (squashed and stuffed) into these bags for the photo. The water bottle in front was one of the giveaways that some of the stores did as we either entered or exited their store.  Also in the red bag is a little pillow.  I think I mentioned before that quilters use their scraps to make pillow cases.  Who'dathunk?  So there is a little pillow there waiting for me to make my first little pillowcase. 

Like I don't already have enough fabric plans! 

Moving on...

Inside these bags were these books and patterns…

This ruler (and another not pictured)…

And all of this fabric!

I've got plans for all of it, truly I do.  Not a single thing was bought without a purpose.  Well, maybe ONE thing.  Or two.  But it'll all get used!  Just wait and see...

...and some of it might even end up on my scrappy pages!

August 1, 2010


Did you see that? It was fast… but look! Quick! See? Did you miss it? OMG, it was crazy! I can’t believe it! Amazing. Whew… oh well, if you missed it, I’m sorry. I barely saw it myself.

Yeah… it was the weekend. And… July. In one fell swoop - *poof* and gone. Kinda like my presence lately. *poof*

I have spent the weekend mostly “unplugged” from the world. Friday night I spent in my bed, reading. Saturday I worked all day at the store and then had a wonderful evening watching (unremarkable) movies with the family on the Hubs' new (to us), very large TV.

Anyone out there want a working console TV? It’s in my basement. Probably forever.

I rolled over this morning and picked up another book. And read it the entire day. I just finished it, actually. Oh, I broke away long enough to shower, eat and go to the grocery store, just not all at the same time. Heh. And my family was taken care of… I did cook dinner.

Housecleaning? Nope. Laundry? Nuh-uh. Clearing out the clutter? Not a chance. Tend to the yard? Nope, weeds still winning the war. SCRAPBOOKING? Nada! I really did want to scrap this weekend; I really, really did. But getting involved in a book is more time-sucking for me than TV, movies and World of Warcraft (when I played) combined. Seriously. I love to read and never make time for it. And this is why.

And I have to say, it has felt really good to just laze about on the couch (or in bed) and read.

How was this all possible? Well, my laptop… my breath, my heart, my passion… Has. No. Wireless. *Gasp* Yes, when I would typically be on the laptop surfing around the Net, blogging and hunkering down to contribute on or for the SFTIO site, instead I was reading. The Hubs, bless him, tried to fix it on Saturday so I did have internet briefly, but this morning it was gone again (it’s our router) and frankly, I wanted him to not worry about computers for a day or so. Plus, I had a book to read!

So unplugged, I still am. In fact, I’m writing this on my laptop and then will have to save it to a flash drive in order to get it on my blog using the Hubs’ computer downstairs. And so it shall be for another few days until payday swings around and we can solve this daggone router issue. The withdrawal is just beginning to show its effects…

…I believe I just found another book…


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