Listen Up: Reading for a Lifetime

I adore books. I love the stories within and the travels they take me on. I appreciate authors. They write and hand off the story to a willing audience. I receive and am delivered to another place and time.

audiobooks at my libraryIn the past two month I’ve read the following books:

  • The Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Browne
  • The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • The 6th Man by David Balduci
  • One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • The Unlikely Disciple: A sinner’s semester at America’s holiest university by Kevin Roose

Ok, in actuality, I listened to most of them on cd while I drove to work, cleaned my house, took walks or worked out. I was handed The Unlikely Disciple in paperback format and it took forever to read. I don’t have time to sit still.

But while I’m in motion – oh my, let me have my way with them.

In a recent blog post titled “Audio books are not cheating” the author contents that by the time she has the freedom to relax and read, it’s the end of the day and she’s exhausted. I agree.

What I most love about audio books is that I can’t cheat. If I’m reading a book and the author expounds on the drapery, gets too deep into philosophy or the scene is too creepy, I usually skim the page and get to a new section with more dialogue and less description.

When listening to an audio book, I never fast forward because I could miss something important and regret it and then have to backtrack. I’ve found that I remember an audio book with a clarity and awareness that I don’t have with a book. I welcome stop signs, red lights and going slow so I can hear just one more chapter or tale.

When I check out audio books from the library, I often check out 4-5 books just in case I don’t like the 1) bo0k, 2) reader’s voice 3) the cds have scratches and tend to skip and 4) in case I’ve already heard it before.

So, that’s my story – and I’m sticking to it!

Laughter into My Old Age

Ahh Sunday …

Clean sheets
This image was found on

I changed the sheets on my bed this morning and my wrinkle-free bed looked lovely. As I yanked the clean pillowcases from the laundry basket I saw (to my dismay) the top sheet mingled with towels and socks.

Drats. No wonder it was so quick and easy!

Another joy bubble … causing me to laugh at myself.

I have to write these things down now so when I’m old and bored, I can reread and relive the experiences.

Of course, I’ll be laughing so hard that I’ll be a happy magnet!

Ever have days like these?

Black Friday Shopping

I won’t be shopping tomorrow, will you?

I’ll exercise, clean, visit some friends, visit a library and enjoy a day off from work.

christmas presentBut I won’t be joining the throngs of people shopping. It doesn’t suit me. I’d rather visit small shops that have unique gifts throughout the year. I’d rather print photos and frame them. I’d rather shop when stores are empty.

Christmas can be overwhelming if we listen to the news, watch the commercials, read the ads and buy into it all.

Or Christmas and the holidays can be sweet and memorable without huge debt and guilt.

The time to make the choice is right now — will you be naughty or nice?

Giving Thanks at the Inside Out Cafe

Welcome to the Inside-Out Café and Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

A special welcome is extended you all who do not have place to gather on Thanksgiving Day. To those who may be single, divorced, widowed, students, travellers, homeless, or just alone for one reason or another.

homemade apple pieI extend a welcome to all who wish they were with family but because of death, distance, disgruntlement or other circumstances, you are alone.

On this day, in this wonderful café, I offer you a feast to remember all year long.

Let’s skip all those appetizers that fill you up and take away from the main course… our friend Tom the Turkey. Tom is filled to bursting with sausage stuffing that my momma used to make the night before each Thanksgiving.

In addition to Tom you’ll feast on tasty sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes and roast potatoes, sweet buttered corn, broccoli, and a huge salad. You can also choose from a variety of hot rolls with soft butter and set yourself down for a meal, conversation, and tons of laughter.

Once the meal is over, you’re not finished. In the next room are tables set up with games. Pick your favorite and join in. Scrabble, Monopoly, Dominos, Checkers, Poker, Gin Rummy and Hearts are the popular games but keep looking for one that you love. Stick around for a bit for the dessert wagon to roll on in.

On my dessert wagon are the basic Thanksgiving Day desserts… the ones my momma used to make. Pumpkin, Mincemeat, Apple and Lemon pies. I think I’ll also make some cherry and apple turnovers. Grab some coffee and stick around. The memories are in the making.

When the day is done, the cards are put away and the door is closed, I hope you leave with a full belly and a wide smile.

That’s my idea of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: A Day Like No Other

In the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November. That’s less than a week away.

Give thanks bannerGrowing up, it was always a favorite time for me because of all the food (turkey is my favorite), my mom made pies (this was a ‘holiday-only’ treat), lots of family gathered and there was a festive feeling in the air. When the meal was over, the table was cleared and the poker games began. The laughter, yelling and cigarette smoke are in my memory cells.

Moving away from that scene was hard on me. I adored the large gathering of people and I missed that aspect because my clan numbered 4 instead of 24. It never felt right cooking a big turkey (yes, my favorite) for 4.

Over the years my clan has dwindled and I’ve been warmly invited into a new brood – one with lots of noise, people and hugs. And guess what I miss? Cooking that big turkey (uh huh, my favorite). I want to have my own celebration – with friends coming by and bringing food. I want to have the noise and festive atmosphere – right here.

So, if you’re around with no place to go – make a pie and bring it by.

I’ll warm you up a plate and save you a chair.

And we can share our words of gratitude together.


Blue Skies and Unrest

Blue skies are part of the scene here in Colorado again. Wide open skies, vast views, mountains scenes and for me, a sense of unreality. The view has become part of my world and I welcome it. I adore the colder weather and the unfolding of the new season. Sort of…

Rocky Mountains view from Highland Lake, Mead ColoradoI am still trying to get a handle on the passage of time. It appears to be flying by at top speeds as we approach 2012. Now, I ask you – how can that be? Weren’t we all either fretting or ‘tsking the 1999-2000 millinimum crisis? Wasn’t Sept 2001 something that we bookmarked? And here we are, more than a decade later!

Time is like the weather — it doesn’t care… it just is. It comes, it goes. The sun rises, the sun sets. Whether we’re happy, healthy, wealthy and wise or depressed, sickly, poor and stupid – time will continue to pass.

It’s what we do in the meantime, isn’t it? It’s the art we create, the children we rear, the books we read and the lessons we learn and so much more.

It’s getting comfortable in our own skin and feeling a sense of peace that grows within.

Time … I want to hold it in my hand and release it ever so slowly, like a balloon.

And I want to embrace it like a lover.

And I want to capture it for tomorrow. Want, want, want…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

All I had to do was look out my window and see the wonder of a Colorado Sunrise in November! Enjoy the view…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Veterans: May Peace Be With You Today

I received this in my email from a dear friend this past week. The timing is perfect for  Veterans Day and for all those who have worried, wondered and prayed.

Veterans Day Parade- Longmont, CO 11-11-11The words are so soothing and calming. I thought you might enjoy reading them as well…

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.

Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”

All I can say is AMEN!

And thank you to all our veterans.

Time, ever elusive time…

It’s happened again. We manipulated our clocks and tried to sync up with Mama Nature. The mornings are lighter but the days end so much earlier. Leave the house in darkness and leave work in darkness. It happens. It’s yearly. It’s a new season.

clockTime. It comes. It goes.

What happens between ‘comes and goes’ is our life. It’s holidays, vacations, workdays, evenings. It’s the best of times and yes… the worst of times. It’s our attitude toward people, events and the world. It’s the smile we wear or the tears we shed.

Time. How are you spending yours?