Saturday, June 27, 2009

Guest Blogger...Here's Rhonda!

I am having technical difficulties with this post...it has now briefly disappeared...this is my attempt to recreate Rhonda's post and my earlier post...sorry!

My guest blogger for Bloggy Book Club is Rhonda from A Day in Rhonda's Life...she is one of my favorite bloggers...she is funny, witty and charming. This month's Bloggy Book Club choice was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

The Lovely Bones is a story of young Susie Salmon, her tragic death, and how she is able to watch her family, and her murderer, from Heaven. It is a heavy, sad novel of tragedy, vengeance and ultimately of healing.

Stories of children in this context are never easy reads. It would not be a novel I would recommend for some light beach reading. It is, however, a story that makes you think.

I have often wondered what happens after you die. This viewpoint is how I like to think of it. No matter how I go, I want to be able to watch down on my family. I don’t want to miss graduations and weddings and babies being born. I like to think that this is possible.

Watching my family struggle, however, would be horrendous. Susie has a front row seat as her family copes with their loss. She sees her family fall apart. She watches her murderer live among them. Her friends. She witnesses horror and sadness, revenge and grief, and finally, acceptance, healing and love.

I’m not entirely certain whether or not I’m to assume you’ve read the novel and give away the ending. So I will anyway. It was a huge disappointment to me that there was no REAL ending. Yes, her family and friends were able to move on. We find out what comes of her murderer. But I needed them to find HER. I needed that closure. And that never happened. In life, yes, parents never find bodies of their children. People are left for years wondering. I know this is a real-life ending. But they were so close! I wanted to jump in and start screaming “She’s right there!! LOOK!”

I read for enjoyment. I read because I love a good story. I like a book with a beginning, a middle and an end. If you are like me, then you may want to avoid this book. It isn’t a happy read. It is difficult to get through at times, although it is well written. Sort of like The Shack in many ways. I think this stems from the real life experiences of the author, Alice Sebold. Her story, Lucky, is one you may want to read if you enjoyed The Lovely Bones.

I look forward to hearing other people’s thoughts on this novel! Thanks, Ronda, for letting me be your guest blogger today!


Thank you Rhonda, I agree with everything you wrote. I found this an interesting read and Alice Sebold is a great writer...it was interesting how she used the dead child's voice to tell the story. I found the author's idea of heaven intriguing. But, like you I wanted the child's body found and I wanted "the bad guy" caught and it was very unsettling for me that it did not happen in the context of the story. Perhaps, that is what she intended for her readers to feel...unsettled.

I do think a hallmark of a good book, for me at least is my willingness to pick up and reread a book through however, because of my feelings of this story...I wouldn't do it.

She does writes beautifully...it was her story I had issue with.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wax and a Hair Cut...Two Bits!

I recently blogged about the importance of good customer service....the kind I found at the Panache Salon in St. Augustine...it is an Aveda Salon and it is wonderful. After visiting this great salon to have my roots touched up and my brow waxed...it became clear that my old salon had to go!

I had liked my old salon at first...I mean it was okay...but then the person who was doing my hair went on maternity leave...I was given a lady who was from another country...to be honest I never understood where she was from.

But...the first time she looked at my hair she held it like it was a badly dyed rug...
She said "I can fix this...and I will give you an age appropriate hair cut!"
I thought..."Okay...that was way...harsh!"

So...she dyes my hair dark...dark... and shreds my hair with a razor to a chin length bob...which I sorta thought was okay but Hubby hated it. So...while it may have been age appropriate hair cut...apparently my eyelids weren't supposed to look age appropriate. While waxing my brows she mentioned that my eyelids needed to be done...
I usually don't have a problem speaking up but I was just feeling so defeated...
and to make matters even more special...this so-not-fun time is costly and you are required to tip, as well...

"May I tip you for that insult.." I thought as I was leaving...and of course like the wimp that I am...I did tip her!
There is a funny line in Nora Ephron's book I Feel Badly About my Neck in which she talks about the price of maintenance and when she sees a homeless lady...she isn't worried about financially becoming a homeless person but she says she is about eight days without maintenance of looking like a homeless person!

So after I had such a great time at The Panache salon in St. Augustine...I decided I would find an Aveda salon in Tampa....and I did...so my new hair salon is called HQ Salon and it is an Aveda salon...and now...I have a "Ronda" appropriate hair cut and color and... we are going to leave my eyelids the way the are for now....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Wish I Had Learned an Actual Second Language!

I have had issues with swearing since my first thrill of saying a shocking curse word when I was 13.
I honestly must have had a very sheltered life until then.
Now it may seem like I am going to blame an entire country on my cursing but at that risk...

When I was 13 my father was transferred to England and we lived in New Quay...a beautiful sea side town. I wasn't exactly thrilled that I would have to wear a uniform to school but I was thrilled to be going to school with "the British" as my Mother would call them.

I rode a Double Decker bus to school which was thrilling and it was on that bus that I learned the doozy of all swear words...and many others to follow. Let's just say I learned to speak like the natives...and I haven't stopped! I have wondered all these years that if we had moved to France maybe I would have actually learned a real second language!

When my oldest was two...I tried in vain to call them "adult words" that children don't use when in reality it is "childish words" that adults use.
One time my son used a terrible word in public and because it was common knowledge that I swear it was assumed that I had taught it to him...I still maintain I was framed!

Swearing is my "thorn in my flesh"...the very thing I do when I say I don't want to do it!
I am very careful around my grandchildren...it is unspoken but I am pretty sure I will lose "Gigi" privileges if I let loose a swear word in front of them.
It is rather odd because I am the only member of my family who swears...it's something I haven't been able to conquer...
I think sometimes when I am in a analytical mood maybe it is the only rebellious thing I do...I wouldn't type these words but I would let them fly if you were rude or mean to anyone I cared about it.

Anyway...
I thought the days of my young children repeating what Mommy said was long, long behind me...until a couple of days ago.

I had an extremely unpleasant couple of phone conversations with a man who felt like he was owed money faster and of more quantity than he was going to receive. He had called me and The Hubby and was threatening all kinds of nonsense using all kinds of inappropriate language... y'know my native tongue!
But, I kept it professional... until about round three.

Finally...as he is making more threats because he feels that General Contractor has cheated him...which I haven't any control over...not the General Contractor's actions or this man's feeling...

I say...
"Well, sir we can't all act like assholes... but you can and do act like an asshole, so you go right ahead!"
"Have a good day! " I said calmly...
My adult daughter who is our office manager is smiling behind me...I am embarrassed and frustrated that I allow this man to cause me to say things I was really hoping...I wouldn't say anymore!

Then...I sign onto Facebook and find this posted on my daughter's status....

just witnessed one of the funniest conversations my mom had with one of our subs. TOO FUNNY. Running some errands now...which includes picking up my laptop that's been out of commission for over a year!

Seriously...there is always a witness!

Anybody else have a bad habit you are trying or have given up trying to break?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sunday Salon... Is There Really a Human Race?

The Sunday Salon.com
I don't normally review children's books but I bought my one and only grand daughter a book for her second birthday! SHHHHH! I did not give her this book on her birthday as I am saving it for her party later...don't worry she got lot's of gifts on her birthday from Papa and Gigi, however!

This book is called Is There Really A Human Race by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell and it is my new favorite book! It has great truths for children and gentle reminders for grown ups...I love it! It is written so well and the illustrations are just beautiful! I love this book...
All of us should slow down and rethink what success is all about!
From the book....

"Shouldn't it be that you just try your best?
And that's more important than beating the rest?
Shouldn't it be looking back at the end
that you judge your own race by the help that you lend?
So, take what's inside you and make big, bold choices.
And for those who can't speak for themselves use bold voices.
And make friends and love well, bring art to this place.
And make the world better for the whole human race."

My favorite!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Car Rides!


My entire family loves dogs and we all have at least one! My children's dogs are like family members.
I love them all and they are my grand doggies!

This is my handsome son-in-law and my two grand doggies Harley and Rocky (He's the one looking adoring at Daddy)...they were coming to Gigi's house!

For more friday fotos visit Cute Candid Carrie!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

David Letterman and Me

I am in Tampa...I came home to:

a) Have my roots colored.
B) See my grand daughter on her birthday.
C) Pay bills.
D) Call our customers who owe us money.
E) All of the above.

If you answered All of the above...you are correct!

My Hubby is is Jacksonville...we don't do well apart and sometimes we don't do well together either.
I am leaning towards apartments next door to each other at the moment....

When Hubby and I are apart...I don't sleep in the bedroom...I fall asleep on the couch in the family room watching TV...I haven't a clue what I was listening to but I dreamed of David Letterman!

I was a guest and I did great! Yep!

He asked me my name and what I did for a living.

I said "Well, Dave...seems like I have now started supporting myself by begging people to pay me what they owe me!"
I may have said that differently in my dream because the people laughed really hard and I smiled.

"Hey, Dave" I said "You know that Palin joke was lame!"
He leaned in a said "I didn't know she had more than one child!"

"She has lots of kids!" I replied.
"Man, don't you have someone who checks these facts out?" I questioned.
"Nah, our budget is really tight these days."

"Oh... I hear you." I said and again it must have been my delivery because people were laughing so hard they were holding their sides.

So...I get up to leave waving to all my new friends as I go and...Dave starts walking me off the set.

Dave tells me " I think I do need someone to fact check my jokes! "How about you start right away...$20,000 a year, okay?"
I am thrilled (yep, I said thrilled) and say " Sure, Dave. When do I start?"

"Right Away...only we have just started asking everyone to only get a paycheck every other week...so next week no paycheck for you!"

"Sure, Dave...anything for you!"

So...I guess I am off to New York to work for David Letterman checking joke facts! I will make $20,000 a year payable every other week.
It beats what I am doing now!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Big Number 2!


Happy Birthday to our sweet grand daughter!

If we could have asked God for a special ordered little girl...this is who we would have got!

She is fearless like her Mom and Dad.
She bounces after she falls and shakes it off like her Dad did at that age.
She is sweet like her Mom...
and she likes shoes...like her Gigi!

Happy Birthday Kate Marie,
Love you always and forever,
Papa and Gigi
For more Wordful Wednesdays visit
Angie at Seven Clown Circus! She is amazing...and it looks like she has some work to do on her new house! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Simple...really!


The book I am currently reading I found on a clearance rack at Books-a-Million...it's called Simplify Your Life and the author is Elaine St. James.
It is a very easy read...It has 100 ways to slow down and enjoy things that really matter...It is 100 chapters or ideas expressed in a couple of pages for each!
This is an older book, so some of the ideas are outdated but many are still relevant especially in today's economic climate!

The author started by deciding that her life had become unmanageable and she set out for weekend retreat to repair the damage...out of the experience she changed her life and this book was born. I love the ideas...and I was proud to realize I was already doing or not doing many of the ideas...
I no longer wear clothing that needs to be dry cleaned and I am building a simpler wardrobe that includes separates that I can dress up or down. I no longer need as many clothes as before.

Begin by simplifying your schedule...Say no to things that you no longer enjoy doing but feel a misplaced sense of obligation to continue to do.

I found this blog called Zen Habits that did a great review of this book and you may enjoy some of their ideas.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Sunday Salon...or Here's What I am Reading!

I just finished Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones...loved this strange little book and it's story but will blog about it later...however I disagree with the great Anna Quindlen's quote...
"Destined to become a classic in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird..."
My quote..."Are you kidding me?"

I just finished Bill Hybels' book the Volunteer Revolution unleashing the Power of Everybody
I enjoyed this book and for me it fit nicely in the direction God is pushing er directing me!

I also just finished re-reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis...again for obvious reasons...
if you ever need a fresh perspective in regards to your faith or lack thereof...this is a must read!

My best read this week is The Green Bible...I now own about 30 Bibles...I have my first Bible from my parents...the King James Version which I can never make sense of and then my second Bible the New Testament Good News version which had much hipper and easier to understand language and ...many others.
I have a Serendipity Bible...I have used for small groups and then a Women's Study Bible which has studies geared for yes, you're ahead of me here....women!
I have a copy of The Bible for dummies...which again, you're right there...for dummies!
I am all of those things.

But, this The Green Bible is beautiful in the fact that it is Environmentally friendly- cotton and linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, and water-based coating.
It contains inspirational writings by scholars and leaders including one of my favorites Brian McLaren author of Everything Must Change.
It contains a Trail guide for further study...but it is called The Green letter edition because it has over 1000 verses highlighted in green print to support the thought that God cares greatly that we take care of His creation!
Have a beautiful Sunday...as we enjoy God's creation!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Does the Lord your God Require? Of Me...Ronda?

I am still trying to get used to this little-itty-bitty computer we have bought...
small screen...small keyboard...I think the type is itty-bitty, too! (just a sec)

Better...
We are still in Jacksonville...that's not the problem...the problem is my lack of control and lack of schedule thereof!
I make plans for Tampa...like our church...I don't pack clothes because we will be back for Sunday...and then we aren't there.
Then we are given a schedule...which every trade except ours ignores...and then the general contractor uses us to push the other trades back on schedule!

What all this means...we have missed church and it has forced us to be responsible for our own worship. I am used to doing devotions...for myself or leading others but to sit by myself and worship God is not easy...it is why we have churches in the first place.

I have never been a person who thinks you only worship corporately on Sunday Morning in a Church sanctuary...I have found this is the easiest way for me. But...I know too many people who worship differently from me in their own way...and I acknowledge authenticity when I see it...

I have been forced to spend alone time with God and question some of my actions and realize I have been allowing myself to be complacent in my role of worshiping God.I am thinking of that Easy Button commercial...I am not proud of this but I am honest when I say...I have gone to church...check that off the list...now what else is on my to-do list! I am also questioning what I think God expects from me at worship...so I have been listening...just listening...quietly listening to God...
my answer so far is... He expects MORE from me.

I fear change...and change is coming. I don't adjust well to change...this tiny keyboard is an example...but real change is what is required of me...

Have a great weekend...Thank you, God.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Drinks and Laptops...Not a Good Mix...

So... we are in Jacksonville...here on business...Hubby had the laptop at a restaurant and he spilt his drink all over it...so laptop is in the hospital and not expected to make it!

So, we have been without internet for about two days...not pretty!

I have been cranky...possible detoxing from blogging withdrawals! We bought a Aprire One Acer...I think it's called a Netbook...I like it, although it is tiny! I need it for email, transferring funds between accounts and OH... BLOGGING!



I realized I had a problem when I was at the pool and there was a preteen sitting by the pool with her laptop and it was all I could do not to try and take it from her...



Hi...my name is Ronda and I realize I am powerless over blogging and I am an addict!



I have been busy reading and I have read some great books...

My friend Carrie at Candid Carrie says she only writes non-fiction and I have read two memoirs back-to-back that reminded me so much of her and her sense of humor...I can see us all reading her books some day!

I read Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking ...this is her memoir detailing her life with celebrity parents, addiction to drugs and alcohol and her treatment for manic depression. It doesn't sound like it would be funny but it was very funny!

The second book I read was also a memoir and it was I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron ...this is a favorite author of mine and I love her real life story...she writes from her heart and she also happens to be hysterically funny!

I have loved biographies , autobiographies and memoirs since third grade when I read all the Presidents biographies which turned into a love of history. I now love to read memoirs because it's the authors version of history that is told and I find that an interesting perspective.

I have read the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for Blogging book club and I am dying to blog about it but I won't... I'll wait until after my guest blogger Rhonda from A Day in Rhonda's Life blogs first about it....
I will say that the real life story of Alice Sebold sounds more interesting to me than her novel...she has quite the survival story and I find that very inspiring!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Enjoy Your Day!


We are headed back to Jacksonville, Florida...Here is the view of the condo we rented...with NO Internet!

Starbucks...close by though...
Coffee and Blogging...my favorite!

The condo is on the inter coastal and the area below is a nice area to walk our dogs!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Lovely Bones


June's Bloggy Book Club choice is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold...this was a recommendation by Rhonda of A day in Rhonda's Life. Rhonda will guest post for me on June 28th. This best seller has also been made into a movie, directed by Peter Jackson and it will be released in December