Sunday, September 8, 2013

The End of Your Life Book Club By Will Schwalbe
Hi Ya'll!  It's been a while...

As I was sitting on my back porch reading in the sunshine today, I felt inspired to blog about my book club's current read.  Any book that makes me cry and laugh on the same page deserves a post. 

So, the author writes about planning his mother's 74th birthday party.  I am currently planning my mother-in-law's 70th birthday and am so excited to be doing so.  I am so grateful for her - there just aren't words.  She is an amazingly kind woman.  This personal connection about celebrating milestones with those we love, brought me to tears. 

Then, the very next paragraph had another personal connection that had me laughing out loud, which then required me squeezing my legs and waddling to the bathroom (giving birth to twins will do that to you!).  I went on my first Disney trip this summer, so this was fresh for me.  To set the stage, the author is planning this very important party for his mother and he wants every little detail to be just perfect...  Similar to how the planner of the ever famous "Disney Family Vacation" feels. 
Mr. Schwalbe writes, "I was reminded of visiting Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth, and seeing some families ready to tear one another's eyes out--the kids sobbing inconsolably from greed and exhaustion and the stress of it all, the parents looking daggers at each other, the older children rolling their eyes or clearly stoned out of their minds.  Every now and then you even heard someone say a variation of the following:  'We traveled all this way and paid all this money, and you are going to have fun, do you hear me?  You will have fun right now, dammit, or I'll pack up the whole family and drive us home this instant, and we'll never come back again.'"  
If you are a mother of young ones and have recently taken a Disney trip, you are crossing your legs and trying not to wet yourself, aren't you?  No, this is not just a connection - THIS IS TRUTH - and just like me, at the Happiest Place on Earth, at the end of a really hot day, you said it!!!!  It's OK - now run to the potty!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bud Light and Book Club

How did I miss this? A colleague told me about this commercial today-AWESOME, CRACKED ME UP!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Talk DERBY To Me

This t-shirt cracks me up every year! You have one don't you? If not, you want one! Go on admit it! Don't worry, I have a Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky t-shirt that I had to have from Urban Outfitters several years ago and I secretly love it! Well, in case you don't already know, I am a Kentucky girl (well sort of - originally a buckeye) and it is, well was, Derby time here! Can you define TRIFECTA? Well then, let me talk DERBY to you (he he). A trifecta is when you pick the top three horses in exact order. So, in honor of the Derby, I had my book club gals select their BOOK TRIFECTAS and here are their top picks. So, if you are looking for a good read, here you go:

Lori says:
1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
3. The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

Jan says you can't go wrong with:
1. Any book by Anita Shreve
2. On Agate Hill by Lee Smith
3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Denise would put her money on:
1. Coming Home by Mariah Stewart
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Joan would forget the trifecta and go for the win with:
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Kim would bet on:
1. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
2. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Joy would go with win or place on:
1. Beach House by Jane Green
2. The Associate by John Grisham

My picks are:
1. Clay's Quilt by Silas House
2. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
3. Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks

And since my fav part of the Kentucky Derby is HATS, here are two fabulous Derby hat photos.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Currently Reading

Do your remember the first time you read The Outsiders?
I was in the 8th grade and it is actually the first book that I remember absolutely loving!

Better yet, do you remember watching the movie?
This is the only time I have ever enjoyed the movie more than the book!!! OMG Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze all in the same movie!!!! I think this movie was the beginning of puberty for me.Here's a quote. Can you name the movie?
"Pain don't hurt."

Nothing better than a rainy Sunday on the couch with my hubby and some Road House (ahhhhh)!
Ohhhh and remember Point Break?
And every woman's favorite...
This is my favorite scene, other than the end of course!!!Don't need a rainy day or the couch or even my hubby for this one (No offense dear, it is better when you watch it with me!). Any day is a good day when Dirty Dancing is on! I was ten years old when this movie came out. My mom went to to see it three nights in one week with her sister and cousin and I wanted to go, too. However, she sheltered me until it came out on video beacuse of the "Penny scene". Even when she finally let me see it, I didn't really understand what went down there, but I sure thought Patrick Swayze was HOT and I wanted to be Baby!
She did let me watch this mini-series on TV with her when I was eight. I never missed a night of it - The North and South 

Join us this month for Patrick Swayze's book, The Time of My Life.
What is your fav Patrick movie?

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Discussion About Spring and High School and The Lady Elizabeth

Do you think I can do it? 300 pages by 6:00 p.m. (ha). Good thing I watch The Tudors on Showtime from time to time. This is an accurate depiction of Henry VIII, right? We have had such fabulous weather this month that my evening time has turned into going for runs, weeding, washing my car, sitting on the back porch, chatting with neighbors and after dinner walks. Which means my nights have turned into DVR catch up since I have missed my evening shows while doing all of the above. What can I say... I ADORE SPRING! This time of year makes me want to frolic about the tulips, not sit down and read! Not being a history buff, I was reluctant to start this book. But I did, and found that it is very well written and easy to follow even if, like me, you know NOTHING about that time period. I must have been designing my homecoming dress or writing love notes, or something much more important than paying attention in history class when the 1500's were taught! This is exactly what my homecoming dress looked like in 1994. Hey, bows were totally cool from 1993-1995 (a little piece of history for you).
Questions for Discussion
1.What kind of obligation do you think a historical novelist has to the facts of history? Should a writer let facts stand in the way of telling a good story? Are there parts of The Lady Elizabeth where you felt that Weir erred on one side or the other?

2. How does Elizabeth’s girlhood determine the woman she grows up to be? What are some of the events that shape the kind of queen she will become?

3. Although Weir relies on unproven assertions in her portrayal of Elizabeth’s relationship with Thomas Seymour, some of the most shocking episodes, such as the scene where Elizabeth’s clothes are cut away, are recorded events. How could the two women charged with supervising Elizabeth, Kat Astley and Katherine Parr, allow these sorts of “games” to go on, and even participate in them? Do you think that this sort of abuse was a relic of less-civilized times, or is it something that could still happen today?

4. How do Elizabeth’s views on religion change over the course of the novel, and what contributes to those changes? Compare her religious beliefs with those of her society; is she typical of her times?

5. In the Tudor era, religion and politics were virtually synonymous. In twenty-first century America, religion has once again become bound up with politics, despite the constitutional separation of church and state. Does the Tudor experience, as detailed in The Lady Elizabeth, have any lessons for modern-day America?

6. Do you share Weir’s sympathy for Henry VIII? Why or why not?

7. Torture plays a significant part in The Lady Elizabeth. The threat of it is omnipresent, and it is used almost as a matter of course by a government intent on eliciting the answers it requires from its citizens. How effective is torture for Henry’s government as a political strategy, regardless of any moral considerations? Compare the attitude toward torture in Tudor times and the current debate about the use of torture in the War on Terrorism. Are there significant differences?

8. Twice in the novel, Elizabeth encounters what she believes to be the ghost of her executed mother, Anne Boleyn. Does Weir want us to believe that she has really seen her mother’s spirit? What other explanations might there be?

9. How do Mary’s feelings toward Elizabeth change over the course of her life, especially once she becomes queen? Why do you think these changes occur?

10. Queen Mary is advised by many to imprison or even execute Elizabeth. Do you think that she is too lenient toward her younger sister? Does she allow her personal feelings to trump her duties as head of state? What would you have done in Mary’s position?

11. When Elizabeth learns of the plots against Mary, why doesn’t she alert her sister? Is she right to hold her tongue? 12. What lessons do you think Elizabeth learns from Henry and Mary about how to rule, and about how not to rule?

Questions adapted from

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Told You So...

Did you see the I-pad on Oprah today? See, I told you...this is why I would much rather buy new curtains than any piece of technology. Just when the thought of actually purchasing a Kindle even entered my radar screen, BOOM-it is already ancient history. The I-pad is totally cool and includes all the features of the Kindle and so much more (including color). Will I buy it? No way. First of all, I have to buy a new kitchen table (I accidentally sold mine, oops) and I give it six months before they come out with the new and improved I-pad! I just can't play the "You'll Never Catch Me" technology game. My new kitchen table and curtains will last a good few years, right? So, PUBLIC LIBRARY, NO FEAR... I will be there on Monday to pay my fine and check out my next book club selection!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Someone Thought of Me

Don't you love, love, love:
  • to receive a card?

  • to get something with your name on it in your mailbox at work (I share a mailbox with 4 others and everytime I peek... usually nothing for me)?

  • when your favorite magazine arrives?

  • to get an invitation?

  • when someone leaves you something on your desk?

Well, I do and not too long ago, a colleague gave me this and said, "This reminded me of you." It brightenend my day the same way the things above always do and and made me laugh at the same time!

Now, go brighten someone's day with a simple gesture!