Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I must really be enjoying the holidays. I've gained six pounds!

Dewey's Books Challenge

Recently the author of The Hidden Side of a Leaf passed away. In the book blogisphere all roads lead to Dewey, so fittingly a book challenge has been created in her honor.

I'm going with option #2 and my list of titles for this challenge includes the following:

1. Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
2. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
3. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
4. A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 by Annie Lieboviitz
5. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

1. The Splendor of Silence by Indra Sandaresan
2. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Monday, December 29, 2008

20 in 2009 Book Challenge Progress Page

Yes, I'm signing up for book challenges again. I have only successfully completed one, but trying is the "funniest" part. I will post my progress on the 20 Books in 2009 challenge on this post.

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
2. For Everyone from Beginner to Pro: Bobbie Brown Makeup Manual by Bobbie Brown
3. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
4. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2009 Audiobook Challenge

I will post the audiobooks I listen to for this challenge here.


© FreeFoto.com

Hooray! Christmas break is finally here! My plans:

and lest I forget...sleeping!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday 56

I came across the game below at Discussion Forum - Book Blogs

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Okay, I know it seems like I made this up, but I really was standing by my Bible when I read came across this game. It was the closest book.

Here's the line from page 56, 5th sentence:

"Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors."

I value all of my accomplishments, but it seems the ones I make as I grow older bring me the greatest pleasure because I have a clearer understanding of just how precious opportunities are and am able to take more pleasure in the preparation and hard work needed to seize one.

As promised here's the link to the person who started this game:


Your turn!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should Have Seen This Coming

(Picture by Steve Cole/Getty Images)

What happens when a teacher begins to experience burnout and no one intervenes. Each proceeding year is worse than the one before it. Far too often, we wait until he or she becomes "one of those teachers". Who is really at fault then?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

2009: The Year of Possiblilities

This is the year that I take the next step and let down some of the fences (okay, okay...walls) that I live behind.

I am watching The Lake House. It reminds me of The Time Traveler's Wife. In each case, the couple could safely work through the rough parts of relationship without any risk of heartbreak. Real life is fraught with risks, but the good parts (smiles , laughter, love, etc...) are worth it.

Perhaps this should have been an email to a specific person, but I think it has a message everyone needs to hear from time to time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Too Funny

It occurred to me today that I have not had a massage, facial, get away, or done much of anything since school started, so I decided to stop by the spa and schedule an appointment. As a parked, I noticed one of those knock-off 99cent stores. I went in before going to the day spa next door. There was a clerk with a heavy African accent helping a customer at the register. I browsed for a moment and then took the merchandise I wanted to the counter only to discover myself completely alone in the store, locked in, and looking at the back of a sign that said, "We'll return in ten minutes."

I called my mother (DON'T SAY A WORD!). She made me call the police. (She was afraid the lady would panic and shoot me (?) when she returned. I figured she would just search my purse for stolen merchandise.) The whole thing ended with the clerk returning, laughing, covering her mouth, and unlocking the door as she apologized profusely.

I know we all have strange things that happen to us from time to time, but I doubt that anyone I know can top this one.

What a life!

I have been laughing all evening and yes, the police called ten minutes after I got out. They wanted to check on the situation before they dispatched a car!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A list of things I am thankful for:

1. my home
2. family
3. friends
3. a loving, forgiving savior
4. my overweight cat
5. a reliable car
6. a job
7.a clear, sane mind
8. books
9. books on cd/tape
10. sunrise
11. sunset
12. a good glass of wine
13. a lit fireplace
14. good neighbors
15. good health
16. a well told joke
17. a hearfelt, loving kiss
18. a lingering hug (from the person responsible for #17)
19. a long, leisurely stroll
20. a good play
21. a good meal
22. life
23. a walk on the beach

Menu for Thanksgiving (doing dinner with relatives, but this is for home):

Wild Rice
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner Rolls
Cranberry Sauce
Pecan Pie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I thought I had posted this, but apparently, I typed it and never hit the publish button.

On Wednesday or Thursday of last week, the Yahoo Education: Word of the Day was proficient. It is defined as an advanced degree of competency. I understand that some tests are more challenging that others, but please explain how 65% accuracy on a state's standardized test is considered proficient. Don't tell me, let me guess - semantics. It just depends on how you define competency. Right?

Who knows, maybe "competency" will be tomorrows word.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sacramento and Updates

Seal of California

inside the Capital Building

the view from our hotel room

cool sculpture near the convention center

I took a lot more photos and will post them when time permits.

I have always been a little timid about posting my views or comments about my job, especially when they pertain to things taking place at my school site or within my school district. Whether positive or negative, I always question the line between my first amendment rights and the privacy of others. For that reason, I rarely post about work. Recently one fellow blogger has been asked to "cease and desist" blogging about his role as an educator and another has been duly warned. All I can say is point made, point taken.

Mom's most recent chemo treatment was the most difficult so far. It has taken her a week to bounce back and begin regaining her energy. Thankfully, she only has one more treatment left.

I haven't done much reading lately, but I did listen to The Boleyn Inheritance on CD. It was a very well told story, and the use of three different reader made the audio that much more enjoyable. As always, Phillipa Gregory did an incredible job with the historical and fictional aspects of the story.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Morning Awe

Time for cleaning, grading, and planning. Apparently, I am not the only one who does these things on Sunday (see ms-teacher's post)

Here are a few updates while I'm online:

Mom is doing well. Her last treatment was postponed because of an allergic reaction she was having. She has really been a trooper throughout this entire ordeal.

I went to the California Teachers of Reading conference, in Sacramento, last weekend, and had a wonderful time. The speakers were very informative but due to the economy, attendance was lower than usual.

Yes, I survived the "blitz" and so did my students.

I voted yesterday and am relieved that for me the election is over. I feels like McCain and Obama have been campaigning for five years! I am ready to move on. I only had one voting booth change of heart (No, it wasn't about the president...I voted for Obama!). I know that people who have such changes of heart really mess up the pollsters, but reflections on speeches, commercials, and conversation become clearest at the moment a final, decisive action is required.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

For once in a long while, I have the energy and desire to really get some work done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit motives, and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

For such a long time we have been focused on "stuff" rather than the things that are truly important. It's time to get back to the basics of living. The trucking industry is seeing a shift in what the transport. They are hauling more of the staples (beans, flour, etc...) and less of the fluff (designer handbags and electronics).

I have often wondered why people buy pancake mix when they already have flour, eggs, milk, and oil in their kitchens. My grandfather told me it was because the mix was easier to use, and that overrode the cost. If easier was what was best for us, I believe God would have made life, in its entirety, easier. Easy is rarely the healthy or cost efficient way. Scientist are finding that the best for of exercise is functional exercise and not a workout at the gym. As it turns out, the actual work of living is not only physically best for us, it is cheaper too.

Sunday Morning! Back to Basics

I am dodging work at this moment. I have decided to focus on home, hearth and health until 2:00. This is part of what I love about Sundays... time to recharge my spiritual, mental, and intellectual batteries. At 2:00 I will turn my attention to the work of my vocation. I have to do my lesson plans for the week, and since I will be attending a conference for three days, I need to make sure my plans are "Sub Friendly". I didn't get to choose my guest teacher this time, so who knows whether or not I will get someone who is will to come from behind the desk and do the work of teaching.

On another note, my mother is handling her chemo treatments like a champ. She has completed two treatments and has two to go.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lesson Plans

Tomorrow we are being "blitzed" by the district office. This is when all the district office employees descend on one school and "visit" for an entire day. Union representatives have brought it to the DO's attention that the word "blitz" has a very negative connotation and, in their effort to begin creating a more positive relationship with teachers, they should discontinue the use of this term. Truthfully, regardless of what they call it, the disruption it causes feels like an invasion.

As I create my lesson plans, with students and not the DO in mind, I can't help but think about the needs of particular students.

X needs a friend. She seeks me out before and after school...just to talk. She has one of those pushy personalities (yes, like mine) that tends to drive others away. Is finding M. a friend her age a meaningful lesson objective?

Y is new to my class. He threw a chair at his last teacher. This is his third language arts class this year, and I have been warned he is a very emotional student who doesn't handle change well. The class they put him in moves at an academic pace that is much too fast for him, but they won't put him in the appropriate class because of a conflict he has with a student (who has similar issues) in that class. That is my other core class. While it is our job to make decisions with his needs and challenges in mind, I doubt that this change is best for him. the adults who made this happen seem pleased...apparently it is best for them.

Z had a rough day Friday. He misses his mom, and his new, twenty-something, stepmom is not cutting the mustard in the mom department. He spent the entire second period talking to his counselor about it. Then, he cried and chatted with me for a while during break. Tomorrow our guests will be looking for students who are engaged in the lesson. I wonder if T. will be engaged. I wonder if he will be able to make it to class at all.

I am stressing over tomorrow, but I don't care about having visitors. I have a larger concern...How will I meet the needs of my students and create a the right educational environment for them? They are far more important; afterall, they will be with me longer than the duration of the blitz visit the DO has planned for Monday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lots to Say...No Strength to Talk

It's been a long day. I have lots to say about a recent writing retreat, questions about the use of district adopted resources, and life in general; however, I don't have the strength to address these things now. I am way too tired.

For thought provoking commentary on life and education, check out California Teacher Guy. He's always interesting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stress Management vs. Stress Removal

Yesterday the acupuncturist had difficulty getting the needles into my tense muscles. Two of them bent and would not go in. The third one was the charm. The treatment provided only temporary relief because today it all came back with a vengeance thanks to an overload of change, hyperactive children, and childish adults.

Wine, cheese (vegan), crackers and chocolate (yes, they're all bad for me in some way, I'm sure.) are proving helpful this evening.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And Then Comes Monday

I'm still riding off of the great Sunday I had. Relaxation, church, and good food! Anyway, today it was back to work. Overall, it was a good day. I got seven new students in one core and two in the other. All of the new students were well behaved. The two in the reading intervention class went through a brief pity party about the work being to hard, but found out quickly that those types of comments are not well received in my classroom. Before the period was over, they were working with their peers and asking for appropriate and specific assistance when needed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk

A dear friend and breast cancer Survivor is participating in an upcoming 3-Day Walk to raise funds for further research. I will be donating and wanted to share this information and opportunity with as many people as I can. Click here for details.

Sunday Morning!

Sunday mornings are always so refreshing! What can be more refreshing than a relaxed start of a new week. I look at each new week as God giving me more opportunities to experience his creation, and to allow me to impact the lives of others, as I live the best life I can.

I am getting back to my intentional socializing, reading, traveling, journaling, and taking classes when possible.

I am getting a better understanding of my own body and how to nourish it properly. I am now getting sufficient rest, but the excercise thing still proves to be challenging. It is my next project.

Recently, I have made peace with my spiritual beliefs and the areas where they conflict with the beliefs of others. I can now accept that religion really is something you shouldn't discuss with some people if you value peace. There is a lot to be said for respecting other peoples opinions, and not everyone is mature enough to embrace such a concept.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Withdrawal Over!

I have been without a computer for a week, and it has been hell! I ran out after work and bought a cheap desktop to use while I wait for my laptop repairs to be completed. I figure it can become my work horse.

If someone had told that I would ever be this hooked on technology, I would not have believed it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Let's Vote Already!

The results of this quiz surprised me a little. I thought I would be more of an Obama supporter. My guess would have been 85% Obama.

Your Issue Profile: 60% Obama, 40% McCain

Truth be told, you're not really satisfied with either of the candidates.

You could vote for either of them. You are the typical coveted swing voter.

You may want to narrow yourself down to a particular set of issues in order to pick your president.

Or start looking at third party candidates. One of them might suit you better.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Mom's surgery went well. She is tired but doing well. Now, we're in a holding pattern until we hear from the pathologist.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ransom Paid...Hostages Released!

The required ransom, a memory card, has been paid and the photos have been released from my cell phone. Thanks PO'd!

These are just the highlights of the twelve pix:

I could not get a good picture of Van Gogh's Irises because of the constant crowds that gathered around. Meanwhile, Monet's Haystacks painting got very little attention. I wonder if people understand the work involved in creating this painting.

Cezanne...one if my favorite painters.

The panels in the skylight were adjusted periodically and the change of lighting gave the paintings an entirely different appearance.

This was my favorite piece at the museum. Rarely have I seen a woman of African descent presented so beautifully in "classical" artwork. This sculpture was an excellent choice as the main feature in the room in which it was displayed.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Few More Getty Pix

These aren't the pictures that are being held hostage in my cell phone, but they are great examples of the architecture found at the Getty Center.

A Day at the Getty

Today I got up early and drove to Los Angeles for the sole purpose of enjoying the Getty Center. I had a wonderful time!

Just what the doctor ordered...a Zen moment!

The garden was absolutely gorgeous! I just love what they've done with the bougainvillea.

I love gardens! (Can you tell?) I just wish gardening wasn't such a chore.

If you have ever wondered why God created hills, here's the answer. Leave it to children to figure it out.

I took a few great indoor shoots with my cell phone (I couldn't figure out how to turn off the camera's flash.) Now I just have to figure out how to get the pictures out of the cell phone and onto my computer. I tried sending myself a picture message but it did not go through. I'll post some of the indoor shoots as soon as this problem is solved.

My feet are hurting because of all the walking I did today, so Monday looks like a beach day. I'm determined to get out and put some vacation in my summer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The picture to the left was taken last summer on a trip to Puerta Vallarta. I could use a vacation like that right about now!

Mom and I got through this weeks round of pre-op appointments. Surgery is scheduled for next week. She belongs to an HMO which has a reputation of not being people friendly, but in this instance everyone has been great and so has Mom's attitude. The information has been overwhelming, but consistent. Conflicting information makes decision making more difficult.

My mother has always eaten lots of fruits and vegetables, and she hasn't eaten red meat since the late 70's; however, she is going to make further dietary changes. One of my decisions is to seize this as an opportunity to make changes in my own lifestyle. My quandary is in the area of animal products. This summer I have significantly reduced the amount of dairy products in my diet and noticed a significant reduction in sinus problems. Is now the time to completely remove animal products from my diet? Should I start small and remove red meat from my diet? Should I only consume kosher and organic meat (which is the majority of what I eat now)?

I go back to work in eleven days. I didn't take a vacation this summer but with the way things have gone, I definitely need to run away for a few days before Mom's surgery and going back to work. My how the time has flown by!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Toy

I picked up my new toy yesterday! I have been researching this phone (LG Voyager) since it and the iPhone came out. I finally made my decision yesterday. It was based in part on the fact that the iPhone just changes too frequently. I know someone who buys a new one whenever they release an upgraded model. In the time I have been researching, he has had what...four phones, and I owned one phone during that entire time. He's usually able sell the old one to someone who just wants an iPhone. That's an additional chore that I would not have the time or energy to do; although, I'm sure the monetary incentive might be the motivation needed to find a buyer for the old phone.

What finally sold me on the Voyager and staying with Verizon was a list of things, but the main one was I just did not want to switch to AT&T. When you are traveling outside of the country they can't be beat, but domestically they just couldn't sway me with their service or their prices.

I am downloading all of my music from my computer into my phone today. Just think, no more phone and iPod when I go for my morning or afternoon walk. I will still use my iPod, especially when I travel...the ability to store over 15,000 photos gives me a sense of security and power.

The quality of the camera on this phone is much better than that of my old phone. I'll post some cell phone pix soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day By Day

I haven't posted in a while because there has been a lot going on. My mom is dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. Today, I think we both reached an information saturation point. We go to her pre-op appointments next week.

Time for more gardening.

I've finished three novels since my last post and will update with brief reviews in a few days.

I attended a World History Association Summer Institute and will be making several changes in the way I teach social studies.

I go back to work in two weeks which is sad because with everything that has transpired recently I could use a vaction. I just don't have the time to take one now.

Catching Up On Reading

Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 8/10
First Published: 1979
The earth is destroyed to build a freeway and that is where the adventure begins. I enjoyed the fact that the author did not assume the reader is a moron. The humor is intelligent and I appreciated that.

My favorite character in this novel is Ford Perfect. This intergalactic hitchhiker is a survivor. Like the car company he is name after, he manages to keep his head just above water (even when the odds are against him).

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Rating 7/10
First Published: 2004

My middle school students will appreciate this prequel to the Peter Pan story. In this story we get more background information about the Lost Boys, Captain Hook (before the hook), and Tinker Bell. It is a delightful, well told story.

My favorite characters in this story were actually minor characters. The mermaids in this story were not your typically gently, sexy mermaid variety. These girls could really defend themselves and were not afraid to make an offensive maneuver.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Rating: 10/10
First Published: 1990

This story, about a botched Apocalypse and a missing Antichrist, was the best of the lot and one of the best books I have read in a while. There are those that have difficulty with this type of book because they feel we should not joke about such things. I take this type of literature for what it is - fiction.

I literally could not put it down, and kept a close eye on anyone who grabbed my book to see what I was reading. My behavior may have given my orthopedic specialist the impression that I think he may be a book thief. My next appointment is in a year, which gives him time to forgive and me time to find another great book with which to tempt him!

My favorite character was (I hate to say it.) the demon, Crowley. If you have a horrible job about which you have some issues, who says you can't do it with style. And if anyone is wondering, Crowely is the same crawling demon that was there in the garden with Eve.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were presented in an interesting way. I had not really considered the variety of ways famine presents itself today, or the similar outcomes resulting from pestilence and pollution.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day of Culture

Yesterday, I went to the Bowers Museum to view the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit.

They didn't allow any pictures, and as far as I'm concerned the ones I bought aren't nearly as good as the pictures I would have taken. Anyway, I bought a few things to share with my social studies classes, peeked in the Gems exhibit briefly, and then it was off to visit Dad. Most of the visit was spent working on an iPod/iTunes problem which, I am proud to say, was fixed after going through a few hidden files and transferring information. Dinner at a local seafood restaurant was just compensation for my hard work.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fresh Air and Sunlight

I have learned at almost 45 years of age that there are things you don't talk to others about, especially not with friends. I'll take it for granted that they say and do the things they do because they have my best interest at heart and not their own noisiness. They are, after all, supposedly my friends. My older, and wiser, neighbor said that she understood my side and I am correct. It was one of those debates that really boils down to is believing that what is right for me is right for everyone.

To blow off some steam, I got into the garden, pulled, dug, and poured. Fresh air and sunlight are good therapy. Unfortunately, the battle with my friends has been squashed and the fight with the snails begins.

Is "Snail Food" another name for marigolds?

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, is the story of one young woman's mental breakdown. I consider it a combination of Catcher in the Rye and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Plath's descriptions of the main character's breakdown, shock therapy treatment, and the asylum she is placed in are very well done.

I have to admit it took me a while to get into this one. Once it became clear that Esther Greenwood was not merely depressed, the pace picked up and I could not stop reading.

Rating: 8/10

The Messenger

This book, a companion to Gathering Blue and The Giver, is the story of Matty, the village messenger. As he waits to receive his true name, life in the village changes for the worst, and he discovers that he has a strange gift. In the end, Matty's true name reveals his true role in the lives of the villagers and the village itself.

I really enjoyed this book. It was not as detailed as its companion novels, but it did an excellent job of bringing together the three societies created by Lois Lowry. I started reading it last night and finished early this afternoon. It definitely kept my attention.

Rating: 10/10

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Read Aloud/Think Aloud

As I was doing some reading and planning for the coming school year, I revisited a read aloud/think aloud I did with my reading class this past year. The novel I chose, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, was one that I had never read. The think-alouds were genuine examples of how readers digest a text. When I said I was surprised by a characters actions I really was and students could sense that. My predictions were actually predictions and they seemed to be more comfortable sharing their own predictions because of this. Sometimes I was right, sometimes a student was correct, and sometimes we were all wrong. Students were engaged and did a great job on the assignments that went with the readings.

This activity raised what I consider to be a worthwhile question. Is there any benefit in exposing students to this type authentic reading compared to our annual readings of the district core novels? One provides authentic examples/modeling of what good readers do, and the other places a greater emphasis on students using these strategies (will giving dramatic re-enactments of what good readers do). With the pacing guide, adopted curriculum, and numerous district and state tests will I get enough bang for my buck if I do this with my language arts class? I do believe it will be most beneficial in creating life long readers, but that does not always translate to test scores.

Coming and Going

Starbucks has announced that they will be closing 600 locations nationwide. Is this Starbucks location really coming soon? I guess I shouldn't worry since there are three Starbucks Coffee shops less than one mile west of this one and three more one mile east of this one.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hooray! This is my first completed book challenge!

My theme was "getting back in the game". I liked reading about one theme for a while because I feel like I actually learned something about it. Caribousmom, thanks for the great opportunity! I wouldn't change a thing.

My final book list and what I learned from each:

Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert - Don't lose your balance, work through things body, soul, and spirit. Allow God to heal your pain.

Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach - Just get back in there and consider the ups and downs part of the adventure.

Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards - Make connections and allow them to help you heal.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - Getting back in the game has its own rules (For example, "the vortex" is unavoidable), and you're not the first or last to go through it (Allow yourselft to heal. Despite how it feels, you will.)

The book I enjoyed the most was Chosen by a Horse. It caught me off guard because I just didn't expect to get taken in by the plot, but I was captivated from the beginning.

Themed Book Challenge

Title: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia
Author Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Biography
Year Published: 2006

This covers some of the same themes that are covered in Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach with the additional theme of spirituality and depression. The author finds different parts of herself in India, Italy, and Indonesia. Having read both of them

This was my second reading of this book (I initially read it last spring), and it was unusually difficult to get through. I think I had taken what I could from it during the first reading, or perhaps I'm just in a different place now.

"Going into that meditation cave every day is supposed to be this time of divine communion, but I've been walking in there lately flinching they my dog used to flinch when she walked into the vet's office..." (Gilbert, p. 141)

We have all had times when we have approach our spirituality from a different angle in order to make a connection. Gilbert takes you with her as she struggles with her spirituality. In my opinion, the spiritual theme (Hindu),which ties this book together, gives balance to Gilbert's personal growth. Body, soul, and spirit, she is transparent. She has problems and difficulties that happen to many of us, and she grows.

Rating: First Reading 9/10
This Reading 7.5/10


Just a few thoughts here.

1. How did we become the person we are? Better yet, how do we become the person we want to be?

2. I'm going to start sending myself postcards during my travels.

3. I have made my peace with it. Surgery for fibroids in December (Yes, I know -- Christmas). I just refuse to spend another wonderful summer recuperating... which means I need to begin having one. (I went on a shopping spree yesterday to officially kick-off "My Wonderful Summer".)

4. I am definitely getting the house painted.

5. I am still thinking about a post I saw on TravelinOma's blog and a corresponding post which was on Marta's blog. I do believe that real writers blog (just look at CTG), but I do not feel that every blogger is a writer. No, I do not consider myself a writer. I'm just someone who feels connected by sharing their thoughts and if blogging is a way to do that, count me in. I'm more of a speaker and storyteller (emphasis on teller) than a writer.
Do you consider yourself a writer?

Themed Book Challenge

Title: Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman
Author: Alice Steinbach
Genre: Biography

Without Reservations contains the memories and musings of Alice Steinbach in her quest to be spontaneous and independent. Her journey takes her on a solo trip through Europe. During this journey, she meets many people and has many experiences which help redefine who she is and give clarity to shared female experiences and feelings.

"But the work has it perils: spending large chunks of time immersed in another person's life makes it easier to lose track of one's own place in the world." (Steinbach, p. 25)

Although Steinbach is talking about the work of being a newspaper reporter, she has captured what happens to many parents, caregivers, and teachers.

I love the way she sends post cards to herself during her trip! It causes the journey to continue after you return home. I am going to start doing this.

What I learned:
When it comes to getting back in the game -- Just do it, be open to the positive, and enjoy the moment (even the rough spots are part of the adventure).

Rating: 7/10

Monday, June 30, 2008

Herding Cats Challenge

Okay, here is my list of books to read for the Herding Cats Challenge:

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

2. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

3. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

3. Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman