A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

It's early morning and since the pool is closed today I have been doing some quiet pondering. I'm having a moment. You know those little snippets of time where you are moved almost to tears by the sheer magnitude of the blessings in your life... Yeah, I'm having one of those. The thing about feeling thankful for your blessings is that once you start thinking about it one thing leads to another and you find that you have a whole list of things.

1. Thursday night I swam my first mile of 2009. I've been hovering at 50 lengths for what seems like forever and Thursday night I swam 64... a mile! It's been since last Fall since I've been able to do that.

2. Work is busier than ever, but I'm so grateful for my job.

3. Reading has been such a joy recently. It just fills those vacant spaces. The wonder of a book can take you anywhere, make you experience things you never thought to experience. It's just the best thing and I'm so grateful to have the means to buy the books I enjoy and the eyesight to read them and a family who's tolerant of my past time.

4. Beanie did well this semester and is off of academic probation. Praise be!

5. Shmoo has discovered boogie boarding and while he wipes out frequently he still has all his parts.

6. GG still has his job.

7. All those close to me are hale and hearty and well.

8. My relationship with GG continues to be a wonder and a gift. It feels like I won the husband lottery. He's just it for me.

Do you ever get in one of these moods? Right now, this second as you read this, what is the one thing that pops in your mind immediately that you are grateful for?


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Planning a Wedding

I may have mentioned I have another niece and family wedding this year and that my niece had asked me to marry them. With a family as large as mine we rarely have a year without some big event or other. Anyway I've been working my butt off on the ceremony. We had a very productive meeting this morning and got a lot of things finalized. Since I'm sworn to secrecy there's not a lot I can share at this time, but my sister, who's a genius when it comes to selecting music, chose this one for the bride's entrance. I love it.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Tumbling Tumbleweed

I had this whole long post written about what's been going on with me. Really long. Really boring. The simple truth is that I've been reading, swimming, and living a slower paced life. Sort of.

Recently I realized I'd turned my writing and commenting into a chore on my 'To Do' list.  Erg!  That's not good. Writing posts and blog hopping has always been an escape and a fun thing to do. I don't know why, but not so much lately.

So instead of going on with a lot of blah, blah, blah...  I'm so lame.  Blah, blah, blah... I'll do better.  I'm just going to do...  Whatever.  Whatever as in I don't have a clue what I'll be doing tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I really don't.  Write more. Write less.  Blog hop.  Read.  I don't know.

I'm a tumbleweed...  I'm just rolling wherever the wind blows me. Hopefully I won't collect too much trash in my branches as I roll along.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Best Mother's Day Gift

It's not news that the best gifts often don't come with wrapping paper and ribbon.  Earlier this week my son Beanie called to ask me my plans for the weekend.  I reminded my absent-minded son that his Dad and I were going out of town for the 1/2 marathon.

The original plan was for our whole little family to go.  We even invited the girlfriends, but the our plans got derailed when we realized it was Mother's Day weekend and the girls wanted to (understandably!) be with their Moms. Beanie then got his job at Disney and would be working part of the weekend.  Shmoo said he would go with us, gladly.  So all was not lost, just a new plan.

Last weekend at the Relay for Life event we found out that Shmoo's friend who was going to watch Emily for us had a scheduling conflict with his work. This week we couldn't find anyone else to stay at the house either. Shmoo opted to stay home so we wouldn't have the expense of kenneling Em or just leaving her by herself and only staying one night at the race.  Not great, but practical.

I was wondering aloud to GG on our drive to the race destination how our trip got to be so different than we originally planned.  I told GG I felt bad when Beanie called because he found out he was off on Saturday, his GF was working and he had planned to come home and stay over on Friday because he wasn't working until Saturday evening.  GG shook his head because Bean is notorious for forgetting what's going on.  Anyway, I told GG I felt a little bit guilty and bummed out that I wasn't home with my kids when they made an effort to spend time with me for Mother's Day.

Now you all know from this blog that I spend time with my sons frequently. Even with Beanie 90 miles away at school, we see him at least once a month and talk on the phone several times a week. Obviously, it's not like I never seem him. Shmoo still lives with us and is a part of our daily lives, but it's Mother's Day weekend and I felt weird not being with them.

But guilt knows no logic.  The guilt got a little worse when I spoke with Shmoo late yesterday afternoon and he seemed a little down.  No plans for a Friday night, home by himself with only Emily for company.  Okay it doesn't sound so bad when you are my age, but when you are 19 it pretty much sucks.

About an hour later Bean called.  He had called his brother (on his own!) and decided if he couldn't be with me, he would go spend time with his brother and stay over and they could hang out.

It's just the best gift I could ever receive.  While I still feel sad to miss a Mother's Day with the boys, knowing that they are there for each other is just, well, I have no words.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Born to Run...

Well GG is anyway... Born to run I mean.  If there is one thing I don't get though, it's running.  I admire it.  The beauty and the discipline of it are awe-inspiring, but I sure don't get someone wanting to beat up their body like that.  

Anyway, we are off to the Central Valley for a half marathon. GG is running with the Road Warriors, my sister's group, to raise money for WWP. I told you about this a few times recently. Anyway we are off for the weekend. 

So much for all my resolve to keep current with the blog.  *sigh*  I have, however, already done my May re-read for Nath's challenge. Not telling what it is either... There's a couple more clouds with silver lining for the weekend, since GG insists on doing all the driving that means lots of reading time in the car for me. Wa-hoo! Plus I get to see my sister and The Stair Steps.  That's always a hoot.

Oh yeah, here's a nugget of news for you to chew on. I bought a recent release in a series that I said I was D-O-N-E with.  Can you guess what it is? I plan to put up a review of it next week. 

Guess what else?! I went to see the new STAR TREK movie last night with GG, Shmoo and Shmoo's GF.  Here's my review:  Fun movie!  I don't think you have to be a trekkie to enjoy it, but Trekkies will be in heaven.  On the other hand, the director JJ Abrams has sort of reinvented the wheel here too.  The movie is well cast, action packed and just plain fun to watch.

Gotta finish packing now so I better get going. I'm bringing the new laptop with me so who knows, I may end up getting in some blog-time in this weekend.

Have a great Mother's Day!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Silly and Superficial

It's the little things in life that make all the difference. I mentioned earlier in the week I'd gotten my purse and some great gad-about shoes for DC. Here in their superficial glory and my over-the-top giddiness are the goods.

The purse...

This was a splurge and obscenely affordable at a recent Macy's sale. It's officially called the Dooney & Bourke Medium Lucy Bag (Sunflower) with Twisted Strap. I call it my yellow purse with the awesome red insides. BTW, if you go to the link don't faint whenyou see the price. I paid less than the sales price listed. Much less. Gotta love a sale!

Totally superficial. Totally silly. It fits my shoulder, it isn't too heavy and can hold lots of stuff. These are all the prerequisites of a good travel purse for me.

The Shoes... SANUK Sidewalk Surfers. Love 'em! Comfy light and an impulse buy. So far so good. I'll let you know how it goes. I hate when my feet hurt. Ask anyone whose had the misfortune to be with me when I'm complaining.

Of course, just like last year I'm struggling with finding something "nice" to wear for evening type outings. Don't have a clue as yet. Also don't have anything to wear either. Despite my excitement over this purse and shoes, I really don't like shopping...

Well, except for books.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

April 2009 Reading List

Fifteen books in April. I can't even remember the last time I did that. My TBR Challenge Book for April was MOON CALLED. The only problem about getting the review done was that I got so hooked on the books I didn't stop to do the review. I'm not sorry though. I'm caught up with the series and am so glad I had them in my tbr to glom. I don't know who to thank, Keishon for the challenge or Nath for the contest that I won BONE CROSSED that finally kick started me reading the Mercy books.

PURSUIT by Karen Robards
Romantic suspense. Young, smart and ambitious Washington DC lawyer Jessica Ford gets sent by her boss to meet none other than the First Lady one evening. The next thing she knows Jessica is waking up in a hospital and the First Lady is dead. Secret Service Agent Mark Ryan wants to know what happened on his watch. While not all I'd hoped it would be. This was an engaging read.
My Grade = Solid B

My crack entry of the month. I have to say I enjoyed this contribution to the Nauti series much more than any of the others. However, not enough to bring the series out of 'C' territory.
My Grade = C

BLUE DIABLO by Ann Aguirre
New series. New heroine. This time we have Corine Solomon who can tell the history of an object by holding it in her hands. As always in an Aguirre book there are a myriad of interesting secondary characters. I reviewed this one.
My Grade = B+

THE BRAVO BACHELOR by Christine Rimmer
Silhoutte Special Edition 1963 April 2009. Simple story about a good man and a good woman thrown together by circumstance. A quick read. But a good solid story.
My Grade = B

SEALED WITH A PROMISE by Mary Margret Daughtridge
I really really liked this one for most of the book. Somehow this very straightforward story got convoluted in the last 30 pages or so. I think the ending should have been easier. No worries. There's still the requisite HEA, it just took a twisty road to get there. The characters made this story for me, and ending notwithstanding, a very good read.
My Grade = B

EDGE OF HUNGER by Rhyannon Byrd
First book of new Primal Instinct Series for Ms. Byrd. Very hard core alpha hero here. There's lots of room for a gajillion stories in this world, and Ms. Byrd has lots more world building to do. This was a very basic and fundamental introduction to this world. I'm hooked and will be checking out the next couple of books to see if she can keep my interest.
My Grade = C+

MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs

Book 1 in the Mercy Thompson series. In this book we are introduced to Coyote shifter Mercy Thompson who is trying to fly below the radar and just live as normal a life as she can as a shifter who repairs VWs and other European made cars. Life has been pretty quiet until a young newly turn werewolf shows up on her doorstep.
My Grade = B+

BLOOD BOUND by Patricia Briggs
Book 2 in the Mercy Thompson series. A blurb doesn't begin to cover the depth of these stories, the character and world building that Ms. Briggs does. The continuity is unbelievable and I read the books back to back. This time out Mercy is doing a favor for her vamp friend Stefan who along with her love from the past Samuel and a more than passing interest in her neighbor Adam further complicates her life.
My Grade = B

IRON KISSED by Patricia Briggs

Book 3 in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is nothing if not loyal to her friends and those she calls family. This time out she is helping her mentor and friend Zee beat a murder rap. While I think the first book will always be a favorite, this book packs an emotional wallop.
My Grade = B+

BONE CROSSED by Patricia Briggs
Book 4 in the Mercy Thompson series. For the first 3 books the reader is holding their breath about who Mercy loves and who Mercy is in love with. Frankly I was ready for some questions to be answered. Fortunately while Ms. Briggs does a great job of resolving the situations Mercy gets involved in, I was anxious to have some of Mercy's personal issues resolved.
My Grade = B

CRY WOLF by Patricia Briggs
Reading about Charles a quasi-brother to Mercy having been raised in the same wolf pack, I was naturally curious to know more about him. In fact I was down right anxious to read this story. It's well written, but I think by this point I was just ready for more straight up romance. I just didn't get as engaged with this story as the Mercy books. Although thinking about it while I type this I'm thinking it's more about me than the book. I'm even thinking of reading it again.
My Grade = C

TO BEGUILE A BEAST by Elizabeth Hoyt
This was an excellent addition to Ms. Hoyt's soldier series. Alistair Munroe has isolated himself in his ruin of a family castle hiding himself and his scarred face from people who turn away in horror at the things that have been done to him. Emma Fitzwilliam is escaping the tyrannical and neglectful lover she's been with for several years with her two children. A friend sends her to Munroe to be his housekeeper. The mystery of who betrayed the soldiers remains to be solved, but I'm salivating to read the next book, TO DESIRE A DEVIL. Looks like there are lots of surprises in store for us.
My Grade = B

DEADLOCK by Iris Johansen
This was a good romantic suspense book AND all the characters didn't sound the same! Yay! Ms. Johansen can be counted on to take an ususual tack while still handing us the strong characters we romance readers crave. Emily Hudsen recovers cultural artifacts in worn torn countries for the UN and helps preserve them until the country is ready and able to take stewardship of them again. She and her co-worker Joel are captured by bandits and need rescuing. The CIA calls in freelancer Jon Garrett.
My Grade = B

IN CARE OF SAM BEAUDRY by Kathleen Eagle
I was hoping for more from this book and I freely admit that my grade may reflect high expectations. This was a competent book and well written, but I just didn't feel that interested in the characters because it seemed like a story I'd read before.
My Grade = C

BURNING WILD by Christine Feehan
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe I shouldn't have considering how alpha Jake Banaconni is in it. Ms. Feehan does a bang up job of telling us about Jake's upbringing. I would have liked to know a bit more about Emma's. This is 443 pages and I couldn't put it down. The back has a bang up excerpt of her next Drake Sister book HIDDEN CURRENTS. If you like shifter books, this is a good one.
My Grade = B+


Monday, May 04, 2009

Catchin' Up

The goal this week is to catch up. It's not realistic for me to go back and read almost 3 weeks of posts and blog hop, but I'm going to at least make an attempt to get back in the swing of things. Maybe I'm just not supposed to be blogging right now. I dunno...

What I DO know is that I miss you all terribly. I miss your emails and knowing what's going on. I feel completely out of the loop about books... Well except for the ones I've been reading. I'm working on my April list and hope to have it up sometime this week.

In the meantime I've got a post up at ACCESS ROMANCE at Readers Gab. Aren't you just the teeny tinest bit curious what I'm writing about?

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