Coffeegirl63's Blog

No Such Thing As Too Many Books… January 18, 2013

Filed under: Books,Relaxing — coffeegirl63 @ 7:06 pm
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I live alone. One of the upsides of this is that there is no one to be disgruntled by the fact that I currently have 6 books on the other half of my bed; 5 books, 2 journals, and a Kindle on my nightstand; quite a stack on my bedroom floor (close enough to reach, not so close as to be tripped over); a couple on my dining room table; and one on my coffee table. And one in my purse. Those are just the books I currently access. I also have overflowing bookshelves.

Not very long ago, I rarely made time to read. This was mainly because I worked a lot. I grew up reading, though. I would stay home from school “sick” sometimes so I could read. I got away from it for a while, but it seems I’m back with a vengeance… it’s wonderful!

A text from my son recently: “So apparently Charlotte’s Web turns 60 today. N&N (his housemates) have never read that or Stuart Little, and I was just thinking about how cool it is that you used to read us all those awesome books. Thanks for raising us to love reading! :-)” Reading to kids goes back as many generations as I’ve heard stories of in my family. I still almost always have a kids’ book in my stack of current reads. A couple favorites are The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Once in a while, I will read a book and wish I could read it to my kids because I think they’d enjoy it. We often recommend books to each other.

Recently, someone asked me how I could read so many books at once and how I kept the characters straight. At the time, I was reading Dracula, The Fellowship of the Ring, the Bible, and The Audacity of Hope. I can honestly say that I never confused (in any combination) Romanian vampires with Elves or Hobbits from Middle Earth, Senators and Presidents in Chicago and the White House, or God and the Middle East. Ok, some people made comments about there being vampires in public office, but I contend they are not Romanian so they don’t count as characters who can be confused with each other.

Some of my current reads:
~The Case For Faith–Lee Strobel
~Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation–Lynne Truss
~One Word That Will Change Your Life–Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, Jon Gordon
~The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness In Life and Work–Jon Gordon
~Boundaries In Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships–Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
~Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living With Imagination–Luci Swindoll
~Don’t Know Much About Mythology–Kenneth C. Davis
~Don’t Know Much About Geography–Kenneth C. Davis
~The One Year Chronological Bible NIV–God
~168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think–Laura Vanderkam
~The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–Barak Obama (no really, it says he wrote the whole 2000-page document)
~The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind… and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul–Barry Dennis
~100 Years of Cocktails: Recipes and History–H. L. Holbrough

That seems like a lot, but I just read what I currently am in the mood for and have access to. Some of those books are paperback, some hardback, and some electronic (Kindle and phone apps). Sometimes, I’ll read 3 or 4 books in a weekend. Some books take me a long time to get through.

Here’s an example of how I take advantage of any spare reading moment. A couple nights ago, I was getting together with a friend for drinks. I got to the (hotel) bar before she did, so I told her I’d wait inside. This is what she found: Me, sitting alone at the bar, drinking a glass of Australian Shiraz, reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and chuckling audibly. It really is a very funny book. Since it’s my current “purse book,” I’m usually reading it in public and laughing. This makes people ask what I’m reading… They either get it or they don’t.

What are you reading these days? What are your favorite kinds of books (genres, formats)? How have the books you’ve read influenced you? Can people see into your personality by looking at the book you are reading at any given time? by the stack of books you consider your current-reads and next-reads? Do you, will you, have you read to your kids? Do you write in your books–if so, what do you write?

By the way, Thank you, Jerry (http://authorisinthehouse.wordpress.com/) for reminding me to write again!

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Where *HAVE* I been?? April 29, 2012

Filed under: Spending Time — coffeegirl63 @ 12:56 pm
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Recently, a friend told me that he had finally got around to reading my blogs (including my professional blogs). He said he really enjoyed them and had shared them with his mother, who also really enjoyed them. I had conflicting emotions—their accolades thrilled me, and I felt like a bum for not having written in so long. I actually had to go look it up. I haven’t posted anything here since November. Very Pollyanna of me to have kept waiting until I had time… you know, until things slowed down. It seems my seasons never really slow down. I thought they would, but I feel just as busy as ever.

To my new readers, Welcome! And Thank You to those of you who are still with me in spite of my long absence. I will take just a moment to apologize for not writing. I know that I enjoy regular posts from the writers I follow, and I don’t want to let you down.

In spite of my being as busy as ever, I was able to take some vacation time in April. I spent a week in Northern California visiting my sister and my daughter and relaxing a lot–ok, I worked some, but not very much. I was home for one day–long enough to unpack, run through an entire payroll process, and pack again. Then I spent five days in Florida where my son got married. His wife is adorable, and I’m really excited for them. I didn’t work at all (except emails and a couple phone calls at the airport on the way to FL). I was home for another day–long enough to unpack, catch up on work bills and accounting, and pack again. Then I spent six days in San Diego–I worked a little bit and checked emails for critical stuff, but that was all. In one week, I read three books (The Hunger Games series) and walked in two major bodies of water (the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean). It was a whirlwind, and I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home. I’ve been working hard to catch up. There were enough chores at home that I didn’t go to the office this weekend… even though there is enough work at the office to keep me working overtime for a couple weeks.

Work will always keep me busy, but I’ve started reading again. It’s been delightful. I used to read a classic a year, but I pretty much stopped reading regularly, for pleasure, a few years ago. In February, my girls and I discovered a used bookstore in Colorado Springs—The $4 Book Store (https://www.facebook.com/thefourdollarbookstore). We spent a good amount of time in there, and we walked away with large bags of books. One of the books I picked up was Dracula. I’d never read it, so it seemed a valid impetus to re-start my classic-a-year readings. It was a tough one to start. Bram assumed that I would know as much about late 19th-century Europe as he did. Once I got past that part in the first chapter, though, I just flew through the rest of the book. My review: two very enthusiastic thumbs up! I loved it, and it’s one I’ll read again. Bram Stoker wrote this book in the form of journal entries from different people (mainly, three diarists). I have read books that were written from the viewpoints of different people, but never one in which the author kept the personalities so distinct. Also, I was impressed with his use of the Kodak and the phonograph, both new inventions at the time of his writing. So I highly recommend Dracula by Bran Stoker. (Note: it’s not at all creepy, horrible, or scary.)

My other project these days is gardening. Last summer, I had my backyard landscaped. The landscaper (Transylvania Landscape) put in four raised garden beds. I’m pretty excited to get them filled with plants. My seedlings, started indoors, are quite happy. They will move outside in the next couple weeks. I need to plant some seeds this week, though, and I need to get my sprinkler system on today… which means I need to read the book that tells me how to do all that homeowner’s stuff of turning on water and setting up zones and times and such for my watering system. Any of you know how to do that? Anyone want to come help me? 😉

Note: my reading of the book Dracula and my mention of the name of my landscaper’s company are purely coincidentally connected—although Dracula and my landscaper (Valentine) are both from Romania.

I hope you’re having a fabulous Spring!