Friday, April 17, 2015

March Reads

Finally getting around to my post on what I read in March. 

Honestly, I thought I'd have read more than I did with two trips/travels, but I didn't. 

Here goes, in no particular order.

The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
I picked this one because I had read an article about writers who take a piece of art and use it as a jumping off point or almost like a character in a story.  I enjoy art and liked this idea of pairing art within a story.  I didn't get these stories.  I think it is too high brow for me.  I looked at other's comments and most people really liked the short pieces.  I not so much.  Was actually disappointed how the art piece was utilized by Byatt.

Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton
Great book.  My favorite one of the month hands down.  The following was taken from Glennon's blog site.  It gives you a feel for her personality, character, and honest writing, which I very much enjoy, appreciate and respect. 

For twenty years I was lost to food and booze and bad love and drugs. I suffered. My family suffered. I had a relatively magical childhood, which added an extra layer of guilt to my pain and confusion. Glennon – why are you all jacked up when you have no excuse to be all jacked up?
My best guess is that I was born with an extra dose of sensitivity to life’s brutality and my own nakedness. I didn’t want to walk through life’s battlefield of rejection, friendship, and tender love naked. So when I was eight years old, I made up my own little world called addiction and I hid there for decades. I felt safe. No one could touch me.
On Mother’s Day 2002, unwed and addicted, I found myself holding a positive pregnancy test. I decided to become a mother and vowed to never again have another drink, cigarette, drug, unhealthy relationship, or food binge. I found myself marrying a man I’d known for ten sober nights.
- See more at:

The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
Ever since we read "Me Before You" for bookclub I have fallen in love with the characters and stories that Jojo Moyes weaves.  I have read three of her books thus far and just picked another one at the bookstore last Friday.  This one was probably my least favorite, but I still cried in part of the book and found the story engaging. 

Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee
A read shared with my daughter.  We both really enjoyed this quirky story about a girl: Julia Gillian, her dog and her life as an only child to two teachers who are going back to grad school, and so Julia is kind of on her own throughout the story, supervised by an interesting neighbor who reads in her indoor hammock all day.  This is the first in a series and we will pick up the other ones in the future.  I will say reading aloud the name Julia Gillian over and over was at times challenging. 

Maggie and Max (The Puppy Place #10) by Eden Miles
Another read between my daughter and I.  She loves this series.  This book had an added bonus of not only finding a home for Maggie the dog, but her friend Max the cat.  Quick read and really fun.

Well that's it.  Already the middle of April and I have high hopes to get through a couple more books yet this month. Looking forward to sharing my April reads with you soon. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Random Thoughts Thursday...

One of these things is not like the other...
50 yard- long lanes- What I was getting into last year on this date

25 yards- short lanes- What I was getting into today.
Swimming intimidates me.  Swimmers intimidate me (accept for my lovely friend Susan).  Swimsuits make me want to scream (mostly because of my large chest- UGH!).  Swimming goggles just never fit right (either too loose so that I'm forever stopping to tighten them, or so tight that I have permanent markings/like a raccoon, around my eyes after I'm done).  However, swimming is kind of the thing I can do right now.
Last week I met with a Health Coach because I really felt like I needed a life overhaul.  I was grumpy, frustrated, and probably a little depressed.  My knee is about 50% and that of course bothers me.  I can't just ignore it though and go out and say "screw it" and run a mile or two- or else it swells up like a little grapefruit growing off my right knee.  So the coaching session was GREAT!  My health coach totally understood me and my needs. 
A couple of her comments stuck with me.  "don't tell yourself you are now destine to a life of swimming just tell yourself for the summer (aka time being) you are going to work on your swimming.  It is like a bandaid to get you through until you can ride a bike or better yet run again".  I liked this idea.  I liked the idea that swimming was my "bandaid".  She also said her co-worker said the following to her once and she shares it with her clients "you tell yourself stories, once in awhile throw a good one in".  A good reminder. 
Lastly, I was talking to her about different hobbies/passions of mine.  She wanted to know what types of activities I could do in place of running (both mentally and physically).  I talked to her about my desire to write a motivational type book about an everyday person who gets her "big" accomplished.  Yep the story of a part time professional, mom of two, wife, friend, etc who sets her eyes on her "big" (70.3 mile triathlon) and accomplishes it.  But, I told her I'm struggling to write it because I feel like a "fake".  I'm not feeling worthy of writing it because of the accident, surgery, and now SLOW recovery and somewhat doubtful return to my now "big" goal of running a 1/2 marathon.  She said think of this as your "phoenix".  I didn't get it at first, but basically- my rebirth or coming out of the fire/transformation from triathlete to injured frumpy/dumpy me to end-goal of healthier,happier being.  I like the visual of a bird flying out of the fire!
Image result for image of phoenix
So I got in the pool and did 20 minutes free style and 10 minutes kick board and 10 minutes running in water, toe raises and my step down knee bends.  It felt good.  So not back into the long lanes, but making my way there one day soon. 
Total other random note, not at all related to any of the above. I 've had to do a load of laundry today because I'm finding glitter dust all over last year's pants, jeans, pajamas, shorts (my summer clothes).  No idea what pixie has been in my closet from last year to this year.  Strange huh!

Friday, April 10, 2015

I might get voted off...

The book club island. I realized, with only 50 pages left, that I read the wrong book for this month's book club book.

I was suppose to read "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder. So I went to my library. Checked that it was in on the virtual card catalog. Went to the adult bio section where I was told it'd be and there it was.

So where did I go wrong? Well if you look closely at the cover, which I obviously didn't do, you'll see the title and by Tracy Kidder, but at the very bottom you'll see Adapted by for young adults by French. I didn't notice this until I had about 1/3 of book to finish. I checked the title page within the book's first pages and found a lovely pencil writing of B, YA. Left by some fine librarian and nonetheless shelved in the wrong section.

Yep, I had read the young adult version of our monthly read. I'm laughing and thinking someone must have known I needed a little joke in my life. So I laugh, I finish the book and just hope the Bookies won't vote me off.

Books truly have given me a lot- this one gave me a good laugh at myself.

It was an excellent story of an amazing man. Interested to hear what I missed out on by reading the "kiddie" version.

----- Sent from mBox Mail Hotmail for iPhone and iPod Touch

Thursday, April 9, 2015

half a**

Do you ever feel like you are doing everything half ass?

I'm a lover of doing and loving many things and sometimes that makes me a multitasking nightmare.  I'm reading more and more these days about the importance of uni-tasking (one task at a time), or focusing on one goal or purpose.

My question is what if you don't know your one goal or purpose?

What if you think you are a professional health care provider of children with heart defects, dysrhythmias and dysautonomia (fainters, POTS, etc). However, what if you only do this part-time? Does that mean you really aren't a professional?

What if you think you are a mother of two wonderful, healthy, fun kids, but some nights you are counting down the minutes until bedtime for those two so that the real fun/work of the night begins (lying in bed and finishing that book, or watching a movie, or working on writing-that just doesn't seem to get done when you are making dinner, helping with homework, and reading to kids before bed).  Does this count down until their sleeping hours make me less of a mom?

What if you think you are best friends with your husband (aka coach), but you can't count the number of times the two of you have had a decent/adult conversation (no not the "what do you need me to pick up at the grocery store" type talks) on one hand during the last few months?  Does that mean your marriage is in jeopardy or that you are a bad wife?

What if you think you are a writer and have this dream to write a book about accomplishing something "big", but you just can't get the writing done or when you do write you just doubt yourself and this "story" idea even more.  Does that mean you are just a wanna-be?

What if you think you are a reader and you think you read a lot, but then you meet a person who has three kids, works full time, and read 200 books over the last year (my goal of 90 this year seems small in comparison).  Or what if you look at what other's have read and some of the authors you've never even heard of- does that mean I'm not really a reader?

I should be writing a post about my March reads- since it is the 9th of April, but alas when I was walking today at the indoor track and listening to "Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald" by Therese Anne Fowler I was hit by this line of questioning, because Zelda Fitzgerald was being asked if "she was stuck" by her artists, poet friend Natalie (go figure).  Natalie was referencing if Zelda was "stuck" figuring out who she was. This line of questioning came about because Zelda was stating she felt like she was doing everything half-way.   Natalie asked Zelda are you a dancer, a mother, a writer, a painter, a wife?  Zelda seems to have the same issue as I do- a lot of different life passions.  Her friend Natalie was trying to tell Zelda nicely she needed to figure out what life path she was going to choose. The author of course has fictitiously sketched this conversation, for we don't know if it really occurred between Zelda and her friend, but this conversation seemed oh but too realistic for me.    It struck me that many of us have several life passions and several life paths and sometimes the paths overlap and other times they veer away from each other making the journey tough and the terrain challenging.

I don't know if I agree with Natalie, Zelda's friend, when she put Zelda to the test of deciding.  I don't want to decide just one path, but I do want to experience the journey not feeling like I'm doing things half ass. 

I think you conquer the half ass feeling by realizing that you can't do it all "full on" at all times. We have to pick and choose when to go all out and with which life path.  I get that we/I need to be more mindful when doing specific activities to get a more full-out experience and feel fully engaged.  I think I'm all of the above: professional, mother, wife, friend, writer and reader and in order not to feel "stuck" I will embrace being all of these different things, but at the same time taking a breath, taking it all in, and letting the paths of life go where they may.  I'm hoping I will then feel like my being is less half ass.