Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Friday (Favorites)!

I am in the most cheerful of moods lately, which makes me want to write cheerful things (when I write, that is, which is not much.)  So today I will share my favorites of this week:

1. Favorite healthy-living blog right now - Organize Yourself Skinny.  The name is a bit of a misnomer - this is not about being skinny, but about reorganizing your life in small steps in order to live more healthfully.  Tammy, the author, lost her own weight, and shares what has worked for her.  It is well-written, fun, and real.  She is very big on clean eating, which is something I'm working at.  I love her tutorial on Mason Jar salads - went out and bought mason jars last week - ready to start making those - as soon as I have a working fridge again (ugh, that went out yesterday.)

2.  Favorite place to go at 5AM - Melody's Boot Camp!  They do boot camp classes, and kickboxing, and running clubs, and healthy living lessons, and support groups...and they're very affordable.  I've always been a little scared of "boot camp" classes, but they're so supportive I find myself wanting to do more.  When Mel decided to do a 5 year anniversary special rate, I decided this was the time to jump in.  I've only done 4 classes so far, but I'm loving them.  They are so hard, but I feel so good when it's over.  I feel like I'm really committed to this healthy living this time - I don't want to undo all that hard work from the morning!

3.  Song I've been listening to over and over - "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic.  Yes I know it's mainstream and played constantly on the radio, but I rarely listen to the radio and it's really good, so shut up.

4.  Favorite ASMR-talker lately - Fairy Char.  She's adorable, and I get all kinds of good tingles from the hair play.

5.  Favorite book I've read over the past few weeks:  Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  It was so heartbreaking, a very moving story.  I started Under the Dome by Stephen King today.

I started this out all energized and ready to write and now I feel like I'm out of words.  Ooh, I'll post my favorite cat picture from the past few weeks - I used it on the Relay Facebook page, and it made me giggle every time I looked at it:
Still slays me. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring updates and a really good read

Good evening and a very happy spring, finally.  I want to start by sharing this picture of my cat, Eddy.  That is his favorite wall.  He stares at it, often.  I'm not sure what he senses in that wall, but maybe you all can see it.

A lot has been going on lately...working plenty, getting closer to Relay, Odyssey of the Mind State competition, and so very many books.  But I specifically want to talk about books.  More specifically, the book I finished today.

Anyone who knows me knows I read a lot.  So many of my friends respond, when I talk books, "oh, I wish I had time to read."  Honestly, I say, stop saying that.  If you really wished that, you would do it.  Because I'm working full time, running my kids all over the place, having a life, and I read more than your average bear.  I make time for it.  I don't watch much TV.   I don't spend enormous amounts of time playing games on my computer.  I don't have a smart phone.  I don't really clean my house...

My point...I read a lot.  Dude, I've read the dead Russians, and everyone knows there's nothing quite so depressing as a dead Russian.  Except, maybe, a live dum dum...

No really, my Russian friends, I'm joking, I love the Russian people.  But I also really love a happy ending.  And today I finished one of the most charming and enjoyable books I've read in a long time (gentleman readers, you may want to stop now, I don't think you'll enjoy this book.)  I adore Barbara Samuel-O'Neal.  She writes under the name Barbara O'Neal and Barbara Samuel, and I love both, but today I finished The All-You-Can-Dream Buffet, by Barbara O'Neal, and I felt so bouyant of heart at the end.  The stories follow four women, Lavender, Ginny, Ruby, and Val, who meet through blogging (hey!) and travel to Oregon to celebrate Lavender's 85th birthday.  They are all different ages and colors and styles, and they are all lovely in their own way.  I wanted to spend days with these women.  They all face down their challenges and find joy and I truly would like to crawl into this book for a few months.  I ended the story with happy tears in my eyes, a little melancholy that it was over. 

My husband hates happy endings.  He seems to think great writing only comes from pain, and all stories should end in death and despair (not that he's read a book since college.)  Hence his love of the dead Russians.  But I love a good happy ending.  I read to escape, and I certainly don't need someone else's fictional problems.  I like to fall into my stories, and let them wrap me up and make me smile. 

What are your thoughts?  Do you like happy endings, or do you need your books to be depressing "art?"  Have you read any good books lately?