Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Motivational Reading

It is entirely possible I emerged from my mother's womb least that's one theory.

The love affair with books began early in childhood with fairy tales and mysteries and later science fiction. We never swam in money, but my father loved to bring me books he'd find here and there, like "Alice in Wonderland".

Visiting my grandparents in rural Georgia usually found me in a corner of the room beside the unlit fireplace, after finding a good read off their shelves, books my father had read growing up, like "Martians Go Home" and "Rin Tin Tin".

Some of my fondest memories involve libraries. My favorite hall-of-books was the military library at Patrick Air Force Base in Satellite Beach, Florida. Cozy, plenty of chair-filled nooks, wood floors that creaked and windows where the sunshine streamed in along with the sound of the ocean waves. It was peaceful, mostly quiet, and full of promise...and I loved journeying along for the ride.

In college my favorite hangout was the campus library. There was much planning for the future there, as well as getting assignments and research done.

My ex-husband shared my affection for reading, which is how one of our favorite date-time getaways involved Barnes and Noble and Godiva chocolates. Luckily our kids inherited the bookish gene as well, and homeschooling was most fun scouring local libraries in the winter and gift shops in the summer, snagging books as souvenirs.

I confess Amazon and I have a longstanding history, and I'm secretly proud of my spending record, having mastered the art of shopping on their new/used marketplace. I keep expecting a platinum Amazon American Express card offer to come in the mail any day now...

This week the kids and I, in an effort to stay out of the heat and be as lazy as possible (conserving energy you know) recently visited our local library and this is what I schlepped up our three flights of stairs--the rest was left behind for later (see photo). As we met up at a table before leaving the library, the kids were wide-eyed seeing my stacks spread out, probably pitying me for having this much time on my hands with little else to fill it with. But the excursion left me happy as a clam and bubblier than a fizzy Kombucha.

Exploring the world of possibilities, discovering all the things one has a passion for, it's all there. Almost as much fun as living it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter Is In The House

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is finally out in theaters!

I confess to being a fan of all things J.K. Rowling (not to mention things British in general). I revel in her books like a kitty does her catnip. Immensely.

Once upon a time I was in a local religious (please, don't go there) writer's group, and there were some snarky comments made about Rowling's writing not being all that good. Please. Jealousy about someone's success just isn't pretty. You can't argue the incredible creativity she gives us in the HP series, reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's (aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) Alice in Wonderland. I only dream of such imagination.

Now the younger kids and I are embarking on a week-long Harry Potter marathon, watching all the episodes up to the Half Blood Prince. I smugly submit it's a cool way to pass the sweltering daytime hours munching on Bertie Botts.

So thanks for the journey J.K., and reminding me why I like Hedwig and Pigwidgeon and Errol and...

Credit: Photo courtesy of

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spinning Frisbees

This pretty much describes my eating habits, which often resembles an out of control frisbee:

From the Watcher perspective, you can see when weight gain is related to stressors in your family life, your career, your friendships, your health, the way the White House is dealing with issues that matter to you, etc. Then you can choose to respond in a way that addresses the actual problem--again, using trim tab actions, not massive disruptions. You'll have a much more positive impact on your loved ones, your job prospects, and international politics (and everything in between) if you don't react to them solely by inhaling pans of blueberry cobbler. Excerpt from Martha Beck's "The Four Day Win".

Whether it's blueberry cobbler or those sprinkle-bedecked frosted sugar cookies from Wal-Mart that are like eating pieces of wedding cake....heaven. Except of course, for the morning-after-effects. I know, I know...but it's a cheap thrill.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Making The World A Better Place

"I always liked Michael Jackson, I think he was a great parent. He was misunderstood in life. I think he was a very deep person with lots of love. I think he will live on forever."

My sister wrote this recently, and it echos my feelings exactly about this truly remarkable man.

Growing up with Michael like so many around the world, having loved his music and his art, I will forever remember his smile. His innocence, his pure heart, his dedication, his love--for people, animals and the planet. His laugh, his way of holding light for all of us, for tirelessly sharing his gifts with the world.

And so much of the world loved him back. Not everyone, but the numbers, if they could be counted, would be staggering.
What is remarkable to me is how he gave himself so completely. When he performed he opened his arms wide, bared his heart and just let us in, open and unguarded, for us to take or leave. He bared his soul for us to feel.

I do not believe the accusations made against him about his personal life, though there was a time when I wondered. But I have come to realize that he was a person of such pure heart that some folks couldn't grasp the possibility that he was for real. I do believe he was for real. I love that he could still be childlike in an often jaded world--though it cost him dearly.

His work--both artistic and humanitarian--and his genuine love for people and the world leave me wondering what I will do to make the world a better place. That's what MJ leaves with me. His love, his smile, and his message of reaching out to everyone.

Michael once told a fan in a radio interview to always believe in yourself. As part of what he left for us to continue, I hope we too will believe in ourselves and open our hearts as wide as he did.

"Michael Jackson was a supernova. Just like a supernova, a collection of energy so bright that it cannot sustain and quickly flames out, so was the King of Pop. Michael Jackson sacrificed his childhood to bring us the music that would be the soundtrack to ours. " Kisha Green, posting her comment on The Huffington Post.
MJ, may you finally rest in

"And when the groove is dead and gone
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever, on"

Credit: Photo courtesy of Time magazine.

Friday, July 3, 2009

On Having A Life

Apparently, I don't have one.

It is the eve of our nation's birthday, and I sit here, alone. My eldest, who had earlier invited me over for a fireworks swimfest, left to camp at the lake with her boyfriend and his family. Well, okay, good for her. I can summon up some happiness for them.

Her sister, who prior to going to girl's camp to humor her father, begged me to pick her up the moment she got back so she wouldn't have to endure another weekend away from home -- hasn't bothered to let me know she's b-a-a-a-c-k. And I can tell she is because she left little messages for her friends on Facebook and Myspace.

My oldest son, who lived with us during the school year, is spending the month with his younger siblings at his dad's, but didn't bother to visit me the weekend I had them. To be fair, he left me his laptop since mine is having seizures....but, it's not the same as getting a hug from him in person.

Then there's my youngest, who left for his dads a day early so he could sleep-in the next morning (who's he kidding? Doesn't happen, since they are regulated by his early-bird stepmother who doesn't believe in letting children spend their summer vacations sleeping past seven) promised he'd be right back to give me a hug after he dropped his things off inside, and then disappeared into his dad's den-of-horrors and never emerged for the hug. This after I spent a king's ransom on fireworks for his stay there because daddy dearest wasn't planning on funding it. I even splurged for those psychedelic plastic glasses you wear to make the fireworks funkadelic for him and his dad's new wife's kids (did you follow that?).

So at the moment, feelings of abandonment and being unloved abound. And to top it off, my mind insists on heckling me with the reminder that Byron Katie says we do things to ourselves and then tell the story that others are doing it to us (to paraphrase, however badly). So I have abandoned and unloved myself? Mabe so. And not just me, but others too. Consider my FB profile which has a quote (from a page you can Google called Zen Sarcasm):

"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone."

For some reason I always thought that was hysterical but it also kind of describes my life. Which I set up. And that is a scary thought.

Maybe I should get a cat after all. Wonder if Bubbles is available?

Happy Birthday America. And...

Photo Credit: courtesy of