Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This is an article by Laura Miller from Salon.com - what a good idea!
Anyone want to rent a beach from house in February with me?
Reading retreats: Paradise for book lovers
How to get away from everything but your books in a country house or an Italian castle
Too many books would make this something of a busman's holiday for a reviewer, but I've packed a big stack all the same. Vacations, with their seclusion, quiet and idleness, invite long bouts of reading. Or, rather, they do when they don't involve visiting a big city, staying with chatty relatives or herding kids. All too often, the books treasured up for the summer are still unread on Labor Day.
So why not plan a vacation devoted exclusively to reading? Twice annually, Bill Gates schedules a week-long "reading retreat" during which he does nothing but pore over the books and papers he's set aside during the year. He's not alone: The idea seems particularly popular in the UK, where you can sign up at London's School of Life to receive a customized book list (they have "bibliotherapists" on staff to compile one based on a telephone consultation) and lodging in one of several modern country houses. The website promises "the perfect combination of great books and great architecture."
Those who prefer a more social experience can enroll in book-club-style retreats in which an assortment of guests all read the same book during the day and discuss it over the evening meal. Deb Snow, an English teacher currently running a guest house in rural Bulgaria, hosts a reading week with a pre-set list of books and meals provided. Reading Retreats in Rural Italy has a grander setting -- the 14th-century Castello di Galeazza in Emilia-Romagna -- but the terms are more informal and spartan. Clark Lawrence, who has been running these retreats for 15 years, explains, "Staying here is very similar to staying at a friend's house. People have to share the two bathrooms. We cook meals and eat together."
The exceedingly independent -- if not downright antisocial -- might follow the example of Natalia, who writes a travel blog called No Beaten Path. A harried mom seeking a reading getaway that involved "as little interacting with other people as possible, no housework, no cooking," she recently rented a "simple" room at Glasshampton Monastery in Worcester, England, run by the Society of Saint Francis. Even the meals there are held in silence.
All these retreats have the advantage of being inexpensive once you get there -- why shell out for luxurious surroundings when you hope to spend most of your time transported to another world by a book? If money were no object, I suppose shacking up in a fancy hotel with excellent room service would also do, but I've always found hanging around a hotel room all day to be obscurely depressing, no matter how posh the establishment.
The ideal reading retreat to my mind would involve four or five friends renting a big country house for a long weekend (at least three full days). They ought to be people who know each other well enough that they won't be tempted to spend all their time either getting acquainted or catching up. Everyone agrees that the rooms with the comfiest chairs are strict quiet zones. Everyone takes turns cooking meals. And everyone reads whatever they want, because trying to get four people to agree on a single book on top of all the above conditions is asking too much of the gods.
Lastly, I wouldn't schedule my reading retreat for the summer. It's too easy to be lured away by outdoor activities. (To be honest, if I were on a reading retreat at the Castello di Galeazzo, I doubt I'd be able to resist the siren song of nearby Bologna.) Not only are rentals cheaper in the off season, but the fall -- with its drizzly afternoons, blowing leaves and crackly evening fires -- is far more congenial to the readerly impulse.
As for what I'll be reading on my summer vacation, first on the list is "The Magician King," by Lev Grossman, the sequel to his 2009 novel "The Magicians;" I can't review it because he's a friend, but I've been looking forward to it for months. I plan to listen to an audiobook of "The Eustace Diamonds" by Anthony Trollope (narrated by the great Simon Vance) on the drive up. The rest of my stack is advance readers' copies of fall titles -- specifically, new fiction by Haruki Murakami, Alan Hollinghurst, Helen DeWitt, Jeffrey Eugenides, Helen Oyeyemi, Colson Whitehead and Neal Stephenson, plus several promising-looking debuts. So if I don't succumb to the charms of sun and sea, I should have plenty of books to recommend to Salon's readers when I return.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
All the windows! The simplicity!
I just want to curl up on the chase lounge with a hot mug and a blanket and watch the storms out the windows, so beautiful!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I love this car! Phil said he will start looking for one for me... hmm... Guess I need to start working on my manual game...
Thursday, June 30, 2011
After work on Wednesday Phil took me on a "country" date. You see, we live in a highly populated area but we both grew up in less populated areas. We think this is a contributing factor for why we just HAVE to see some land and gets some space every so often... And for me, last night was one of those times, so Phil took me to see some nearby "country."
Isn't it beautiful?
I just finished reading the book "None of Your Business" by Valerie Block.
Her writing style was a bit hard to get into, but the plot was so much fun! "A hilarious tale of a heist gone wrong" As with most books there were a couple of scenes and political points I would have prefered the author had left out, but over all the book left me happy I had read it... feeling complete in the ending itself, while still leaving the characters open to more adventures.
Have you read any good books lately? I would love any suggestions for future reads.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Guess what!?! Corporate has done it again! They have lowered the new distributor package from $199 to only $99!!!The great part? With the distributor kit you get 8 wraps! That is at the least $60 of pure profit just for becoming a distributor!
Let me know if you woud like to hear more about it works! I can fill you in on the other perks of becoming a distributor and the great compensation plan.
This price is only available through July 15th at 11:59pm est.
Are you interested in changing your life, this is a dream big company! What are your dreams?
IT WORKS! DISTRIBUTOR
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
This gal is one of my favorite bloggers, she has opened me up to a whole new world- you know that bike rack, totally her find! The book covers? You guessed it! Her again! I love how her blog is full of random fun information- its always good for a pick me up! And another fun fact...she spent many of her growing up years in good ol' Michigan too!
If you've got a minute check it out- its worth it!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come and see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. Going and coming took most of a day - and I honestly did not have a free day until the following week.
"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove the length of Route 91, continued on I-215, and finally turned onto Route 18 and began to drive up the mountain highway. The tops of the mountains were sheathed in clouds, and I had gone only a few miles when the road was completely covered with a wet, gray blanket of fog. I slowed to a crawl, my heart pounding. The road becomes narrow and winding toward the top of the mountain.
As I executed the hazardous turns at a snail's pace, I was praying to reach the turnoff at Blue Jay that would signify I had arrived. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these darling children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"
My daughter smiled calmly, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."
"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears - and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.
"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. The mechanic just called, and they've finished repairing the engine," she answered.
"How far will we have to drive?" I asked cautiously.
"Just a few blocks,"Carolyn said cheerfully.
So we buckled up the children and went out to my car. "I'll drive," Carolyn offered. "I'm used to this." We got into the car, and she began driving.
In a few minutes I was aware that we were back on the Rim-of-the-World Road heading over the top of the mountain. "Where are we going?" I exclaimed, distressed to be back on the mountain road in the fog. "This isn't the way to the garage!"
"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn, I said sternly, trying to sound as if I was still the mother and in charge of the situation, "please turn around. There is nothing in the world that I want to see enough to drive on this road in this weather."
"It's all right, Mother," She replied with a knowing grin. "I know what I'm doing. I promise, you will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
And so my sweet, darling daughter who had never given me a minute of difficulty in her whole life was suddenly in charge - and she was kidnapping me! I couldn't believe it. Like it or not, I was on the way to see some ridiculous daffodils - driving through the thick, gray silence of the mist-wrapped mountaintop at what I thought was risk to life and limb.
I muttered all the way. After about twenty minutes we turned onto a small gravel road that branched down into an oak-filled hollow on the side of the mountain. The fog had lifted a little, but the sky was lowering, gray and heavy with clouds.
We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. From our vantage point at the top of the mountain we could see beyond us, in the mist, the crests of the San Bernardino range like the dark, humped backs of a herd of elephants. Far below us the fog-shrouded valleys, hills, and flatlands stretched away to the desert.
On the far side of the church I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens and manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous, lettered sign "Daffodil Garden."
We each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path as it wound through the trees. The mountain sloped away from the side of the path in irregular dips, folds, and valleys, like a deeply creased skirt.
Live oaks, mountain laurel, shrubs, and bushes clustered in the folds, and in the gray, drizzling air, the green foliage looked dark and monochromatic. I shivered. Then we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.
Each different-colored variety (I learned later that there were more than thirty-five varieties of daffodils in the vast display) was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.
In the center of this incredible and dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple grape hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basin, weaving through the brilliant daffodils. A charming path wound throughout the garden. There were several resting stations, paved with stone and furnished with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of coral and carmine tulips. As though this were not magnificent enough, Mother Nature had to add her own grace note - above the daffodils, a bevy of western bluebirds flitted and darted, flashing their brilliance. These charming little birds are the color of sapphires with breasts of magenta red. As they dance in the air, their colors are truly like jewels above the blowing, glowing daffodils. The effect was spectacular.
It did not matter that the sun was not shining. The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day. Words, wonderful as they are, simply cannot describe the incredible beauty of that flower-bedecked mountain top.
Five acres of flowers! (This too I discovered later when some of my questions were answered.) "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. I was overflowing with gratitude that she brought me - even against my will. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"Who?" I asked again, almost speechless with wonder, "And how, and why, and when?"
"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.
We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. On the patio we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman, two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was. The Daffodil Principle.
For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. One bulb at a time.
There was no other way to do it. One bulb at a time. No shortcuts - simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded.
Loving an achievement that grew so slowly and that bloomed for only three weeks of each year. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world.
This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration: learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one baby-step at a time - learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.
When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
"Carolyn," I said that morning on the top of the mountain as we left the haven of daffodils, our minds and hearts still bathed and bemused by the splendors we had seen, "it's as though that remarkable woman has needle-pointed the earth! Decorated it. Just think of it, she planted every single bulb for more than thirty years. One bulb at a time! And that's the only way this garden could be created. Every individual bulb had to be planted. There was no way of short-circuiting that process. Five acres of blooms. That magnificent cascade of hyacinth! All, just one bulb at a time."
The thought of it filled my mind. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the implications of what I had seen. "It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"
My wise daughter put the car into gear and summed up the message of the day in her direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said with the same knowing smile she had worn for most of the morning. Oh, profound wisdom!
It is pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use tomorrow?"
Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Before and After
Check it out!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
He used this recipe here:
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, flour sugar and salt until smooth.
- Heat a medium-sized skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Grease pan with a small amount of butter or oil applied with a brush or paper towel. Using a serving spoon or small ladle, spoon about 3 tablespoons crepe batter into hot pan, tilting the pan so that bottom surface is evenly coated. Cook over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes on a side, or until golden brown. Serve immediately
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Fly Lady encourages you to start where you are and take baby steps to get where you want to go. Her everyday mission is to help you straighten your house, but once you start applying her principles it straightens you life right out too!
Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) like Franny in the pink sweats? Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don't know where to start? Don't worry friend, we've been there, too.
Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE) system, and anything else that is on her mind.
Check out her website here.
Check out her facebook page here.
I have not been "FLYing" lately, but I think I may have to pick it up again, it makes life much more smooth and enjoyable!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
He had to break the bottle to open it, so we have no pictures
of our intact bottle, but here is what he found:
In a blue mineral water bottle (stoppered with a wine cork) were the following items:
1- drywall screw
1-small artificial flower
approx. 12- lentil seeds
1- manuscript written on yellow paper
Another crazy thing about this whole thing is the day it was found/caught was 1 day after the 17th year the letter was dated. In the letter there were 2 authors and you can tell who wrote which paragraph by the pen that was used.
Get your thinking caps on, here it is!
(Kitchen) A simple look into the past,
(Sansalone) When looking for love, I've been searching in places that don't love back. Back to what? To Me? I feel its not a matter of who, its a matter of how. But I stop to think. Think clearly. Think opaquely. When the sword makes the cut, the impact it makes will shake the dust.
(Kitchen) And when it comes to that point, then you look that moment in the eyes and act boldly. When that moment of love found me, well, I didn't know how to really act. I didn't know what to do or say. I was taken back. I couldn't say anything.
(Sansalone) But here's what I did. I gave the Gables away! I ate the candy, shot the canvas. A canvas of hope, so much hope that it burns away all copper and slate. How do I know? The better question is: Why don't you try?
(Kitchen) But you have to be careful with love, because you will let it into your heart and without warning BAM!!! It will crush you heart, and then you will*( hey look, both wills are right under each other) :-) And thats it.
(Sansalone) For your heated discoveries enclosed are tools to inspire and protrude. Much quality to be had!
(Sansalone) Just peel back the orange skins of your ambitions and embrace the flavor savor. Does that mean to completely abandon all logic? Quite the contrary: Cling close to the spacious...DESTINY!
S. SANSALONE 4/4/1994 K. KITCHEN* In the original texts both "wills" appear directly above and below one another, hence the parentheses, and following sentence
Isn't this just the craziest/coolest thing ever?!?!? BUT! I am a bit disappointed by the message and bottle contents--- what the heck does it mean?!!? Are they song lyrics? Someones thoughts? Why the lentil seeds?!?! I have so many questions! Do any of you have any idea what they are trying to say?
We tried to track down the 2 guys last night. Husband and his buddy found S. Sansalone -they think and later that night when we looked we think we tracked K. Kitchen down to TX and we left a message on his phone, we will see if its the right one!
Stay tuned for more updates! If you have any ideas message me or leave a comment, we can use all the help we can get!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
It Works is a Grand Rapids based company. They sell several products but their "flag-ship" is The Ultimate Body Applicator" It is a wrap that "tightens, tones and firms in as little as 45 mins" - it also detoxifies your cells- the end result is usually inches lost and its not water weight!
My whole family has jumped on board with this one and it has made such a difference in our lives! The wraps have shown amazing results with us, up to 5 inches with one wrap!
We are also using the supplements, specifically Its Vital and Greens. We usually get really sick at least once every winter- this year? No Way!
I am just so pumped about this! My next order I am planning on starting in on the skin care products, I can't wait to see the results!
Check out the significant results in this before and after picture after just ONE wrap! I got from here.
If you would like to learn more you can check out the It Works! website here or you can email me!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Comfort and Style! What more could a girl ask for? More lole of course! Here are some pieces I have and others I want...
I have been able to layer my lole pieces, wear them to church, to work, for our Saturday adventures and you would not believe how packable they are! Give them a snapping shake when you pull it out of your luggage, pull it on and your ready to go! No wrinkles! Holds its shape! Love it!
You should definitely check it out! I have never actually shopped from their on line store, but I know Bass Pro Shop carries Lole and so do many small outdoors/hiking stores and ebay seems to have many sellers of lole .
Friday, April 1, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
For example, today while clicking "next blog" at the top of the page I randomly stumbled across a very good piece on finding your passion here. In this piece the author suggests you start by making a list of things that make you happy or you have an strong emotional reaction to- for her it is anything that makes her cry. (For those of you who knows me -I think it would be safe to say that anything that makes me clap is something that makes me happy, agreed?)
Anyways, I don't want to take all this information and direction and apply it entirely in a me, Me, ME way, but instead I would like to become more aware of who I am, how I tick, what makes me happy, and what is Gods plan for me. I think God created us for something, and I also think it is something we will be passionate about. This first really hit home for me as a teenager when I was reading The Dream Giver for Teens. For some reason I've forgetten it the past few years, I plan to revisit it now that I am at a new point in my life, this time I will probably use the original The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Check it out, I assure you its worth it!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When I was in high school (yes here comes a good ol' HS story...) we had a bible study 1 day a week in the morning before school, as a part of the morning we would share what we called "God Stops" -moments in your day that you stopped and noticed God working around you- it could be a flower growing on the side of the road, it could be an instructor available in their office unexpectedly, it could be just about anything... as the weeks went by and we all practiced noticing God Stops to share in the morning we noticed that we began to NOTICE... we are surrounded by beauty and joy everyday, we just have to stop and notice...
so some of my noticing-s for this week include:
- The feel of clean sheets
- Husband bringing home flowers for no reason at all- the most beautiful brilliant flowers I think I have ever gotten- yellows and purples and magentas! <3
- Sunshine! I can never seem to get enough of it this time of year!
- The daffodils popping up along the path I walk at work during lunch
- The smell of fresh laundry (definitely apposed to dirty laundry!)
- My early birthday fun present from husband -FUSHIGI!
- My leftover-enchiladas turning out amazing tonight- I took leftovers from the refrigerator and the freezer mixed them together with some V8 and taco seasoning, popped it into the oven and 25 minutes later- perfection! *whew -lucky break there!
- Some good conversations with family- you just can't beat them!
- Husband's impromptu invite to go walking the local trail, where we saw geese, ducks, great blue herons, cormorants, and egrets... little purple flowers, white flowers on the trees, and red leafy looking flowers!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
BUT other than that it was a great girl night. I stopped at Red Box and got not one, but TWO girl movies. Popped the first one into the DVD player grabbed one of my two-for-the-price-of-one Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream pints... Half Baked won the coin toss... IT WAS DELISH! and sat in the Laz-e-Boy and watched "Love Happens" IMMEDIATELY followed by "Step up Three" I stopped the movies when I wanted to stop them, I baked lazagna for dinner after I ate all of the Half Baked, and then I proceeded to put the lazagna in the fridge, untouched - no judgement people!
Over-all it was a pretty good night and I look forward to my next ladies night in.... lets say 2013!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
*follow the links for how-to, photo credits, and some amazing bloggers