Wednesday Walk: Help

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I’ve been meaning to do a post all week, but it just hasn’t happened yet. This whole “learning Lightroom” thing isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. So, I’ve got kind of a backlog of photos to post and stuff to talk about (of course I can’t post without photos!!!). Hopefully this weekend being longer will give me a chance to get caught up.

Meanwhile, I’ve been completely immersed in reading The Help. I’ve been hearing such good things about this book, and I’m finally getting around to reading it.

So today instead of my normal Wednesday Walk, I hung out at my desk while I ate my snack and read a chapter. P.S. Thanks for the grapes, honey!!

So, hopefully after the long weekend I’ll be back with more photos and posts. Plus maybe I’ll have that book read. Then what should I read? Memoirs of a Geisha? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Game of Thrones?

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Wednesday Walk: A Voyage to Self

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It’s so pretty out today that I was sorely tempted to take my Wednesday Walk outside. Instead I contented myself with one of the hallways lined with windows. I like that hallway, it’s got a good feel to it.

Things have been interesting lately. I got a phonecall over the weekend from my sister who I haven’t talked to in a long while. It was good to chat with her, reconnect. And it later gave me the opportunity to reflect on a few things. I probably needed that. But it made me feel like a part if my life that’s been missing for a while was found for a little bit.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the recent posts over at Can You Stay for Dinner (one if the downfalls of blogging from my phone is that I can’t figure out how to do links). Anyway, she recently did a series of posts on her weightloss, which really struck me. One of the things that I have been thinking about is what I will miss when I’ve lost weight and what I won’t. This morning in the shower I started making a mental list. I could only think of a couple of things I would miss about being at this weight I’m at now. The things I would not miss were far greater in number. But yet, I find myself still stuck in this cycle.

I read further in her archives and she talks about Peace with Food. She talks about “the inclination to bolt” and how the writer Geneen Roth uses this term to refer to “the intense desire to leave yourself, to flee, when life becomes difficult. To escape boredom, anxiety, sadness, fear, and loneliness.” And I thought “this is me, this is why I do this”. But strangely food has not always been the thing I escape to. It’s been a number of things, including smoking, shopping, and now food.

So I’ve been trying to pay attention to when I eat and why. The worst time of day for me is between lunch and 5pm. Of course “stress” brings it on too. And stress can be anxiety, fear, sadness, etc. I seem to react to it all the same. So I’ve been trying to be present. And pay attention. And see what happens if I sit with it. I’m trying to journal more and attempt to suffocate my feelings less. But oh it’s hard.

So I’m engaged in this new adventure. A voyage to find myself and learning to truly live in the now. Wonder what I’ll find there?

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Wednesday Walk: Derby Days

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I love watching the races. And this weekend’s Kentucky Derby was no exception. Animal Kingdom ran an amazing race!

Usually in July, Eric and I go to Lonestar Park for a day at the races. It’s so much fun, but OMG it’s so hot to stand outside and watch. We usually watch from the air conditioned box for most of the races. I just wish I had a hat to wear!

My mom and I share a love of the races. She’s usually the one to remind me when one is coming up. And since I was talking about books and book club yesterday, one of the books we read for book club was A Day at the Races. We tied that book into a George Stubbs exhibit that included the famous Whistlejacket painting.

And when I finish reading a book, I always take it to my mom for her to read (this is the only flaw I see in my big Kindle plans). She loved A Year at the Races. I’ve since bought her Seabiscuit and a book on Secretariat.

One day I’d love to have a Derby party. To entertain with friends in a grand Southern tradition. What fun would that be? I guess it’s on my list with an Oscar watching party or when there’s another royal wedding, having a wedding watching party. I do love to entertain. I wish I did it more often!!

It was a good Wednesday walk. I was glad to find something racing related today!

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Reading My Heart Out

So I’ve been busy.  Seriously busy.  I’ve been reading my little heart out and loving every minute of it.  I thought I’d share some reviews of what I’ve read recently and since the book I just finished on Sunday is still on my mind, I’ll start with it.

I’ve mentioned before that I belong to a book club at the local Art Museum.  This month’s selection is The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.  Let me start by saying that it always takes me a long time (probably longer than it should) to read these book club books.  It took me close to two months to read Parrot & Olivier.  So, around April 15th I went in to my local B&N and ordered this book.  Eighteen days later, still no book.  Even though I’d been told it would take 4-5 days.  Day 19, after having called the store the day before and been given the runaround, I ordered the book from Amazon.  I had it the next day.  So…the reason I’m telling you this is because at the point I got the book from Amazon I was a week out from book club.  I had one week to read this book.  This 368 page book.

So, guess what I spent the weekend doing?  I figured if I could at least get a good chunk of it read over the weekend, I’d at least have a fighting chance to finish it on time.  On Saturday, I read 240 pages.  On Sunday, I read the last 128.  Two days!  It took me two days to read this book!  Let that be a testament to how good it was.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in two days.

The book basically traces the provenance of a collection of netsuke through three generations of a family.  I have a fondness for netsuke – how could you not – just look at that photo above.   But this book had the potential to be one of those books that is so dry that I can’t get through two pages without my mind wandering – it was non-fiction, it dealt with WWII history, and it was tracing provenance.  Potential yawnfest right there.  And I love art history.  BUT… this book was amazing!  I couldn’t wait to turn the page, I was interested and excited and the events surrounding the people and their relationships only made them that much clearer and endeared them to me.  And the netsuke – they were their own cast of characters.  The tiger, the rat with obsidian eyes, the monk asleep with his offering bowl, and of course the hare with the amber eyes – they all contributed to the story and interacted with its characters (including the narrator).

One of my favorite things about the book?  That the author/narrator takes a netsuke with him when he does his research.  It’s like they each take turns traveling with him on this adventure to find out where they came from.  Love it.  I highly recommend reading this book.

The previous book I read while I was waiting for my book club book to come in.  I picked it up while I was at B&N to order the other book.  I am honestly way late to the Pioneer Woman party, but I’d heard good things about the book so I wanted to check it out.  Since I was late to this party, I hadn’t read any of this story on her blog so it was all new material to me.  I enjoyed it and it was a fun read.  At times I did find myself wondering, “do these two ever really talk to each other?”  But it later became apparent that they did.  Ree’s writing is just like her blog – funny, endearing, relaxed.  It was a good way to spend a few nights and I’m wondering if there will be a Part 2?  I just keep thinking, how did she get from there to here?  How did she become a woman who has tons of people reading her blog?  And of course, near and dear to my heart – how did she get started with photography?  So, all in all, a good book and it makes me want to spend more time on her blog.

Finally, the last book I wanted to talk about is A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.  This is a YA book that came highly recommended.  If you’ve been reading the blog or my tweets, you probably saw me carting this book to and from my root canal appointments.

This book was so good.  And I had to laugh because my last book review post talked about learning new words – and this book had chapter titles of the main character’s word of the day.  She’d look up a word in the dictionary every day and then try to incorporate it into a conversation.  Many of the words were totally new to me…so it was fun to learn more new words while reading this engaging story.

There were parts of this book, though, that were difficult for me.  The book begins with a woman who has drowned.  Within the first few pages I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to read this book.  Having recently lost a friend this way, it conjured up those feelings of sadness and loss so clearly.  But, I continued on with the book and I was so glad that I did.  It brought up a lot of things that I’ve wrestled with in my own life- including finding your voice and following your path.  Very well-written and I look forward to reading more of Donnelly’s books.

So there you have it – my latest reviews.  I seem to save them up, don’t I?  And as for what I’m reading now?  The second Sookie Stackhouse book – Living Dead in Dallas.  I like mixin’ it up.

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Wednesday Walk: New Dress

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Long day today. Today was the first of three days worth of all day meetings. I decided to wear my new dress. Eric bought it for me while fending off the advances of the salesgirl. The things he does for me! But, anyway, love my new dress. It’s a little out of my comfort zone, but I did feel good in it and got some compliments.

So, no walk today since I was holed up in a conference room all day (taking photos of my lap on the sly). And I’m just finally getting around to writing this post at 11pm so my brain is tired.

Random thoughts…
– I’ve never had fried green tomatoes
– people who haven’t tried Pinterest yet are missing out
– no Pinterest for me today
– I still want a Kindle
– Cougar Town is the weirdest show but it makes me laugh
– Eric just told me they had a bin of sock monkeys at the grocery store today
– B&N can’t manage to get a book to me in time but Amazon can (see also: I need a Kindle)
– tomorrow night we’re having a team building outing that involves baseball and sitting outside. We are not amused.
– love my new dress!

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May Goals

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I’m laughing at the horrified responses I got when I tweeted the photo above of my to do list. Yep, lots to do!!

I thought I’d take a cue from a fellow blogger (Elefantitas Alegres) and do a May goal list, in an effort to whittle down my to do list.

May 2011 Goals:

1. Fitness/Eating/Health
– Continue with Saturday 3m walks
– Yoga twice a week
– Start doing menu planning
– Attend WW meetings
– Schedule eye appointment

2. Work
– Get back on track with weekly status reports and time tracking
– Complete training on my replacement

3. Home, Us, Etc.
– Schedule donation pick up
– Read book for book club
– Filing in office
– Make hair appointment
– Finish closet organization
– Continue cleaning out storage unit

Lots more little things I need to get done, but this is a good focus. And I need to keep reminding myself about my New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Focus on me
2. Cut down on the crazy

We’ll see how these monthly goals may help!

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An April Wedding


It hardly seems that long ago that I was a young girl glued to the television screen watching the most elaborate and amazing fairy tale wedding unfold.  I’d never seen anything like it.  What a beautiful Princess she made.

And now, years later I watched as the world prepared for her firstborn’s own wedding.

It’s hard to explain the affect Diana had on me, from her engagement to her wedding and then to her untimely death and beyond.  To see William’s engagement and wedding has been so amazing, and touching…as Diana’s presence is felt throughout it all.

 

And what fun it’s been speculating over what Kate will choose to wear, who will attend, the wedding watching parties being planned.  Even Google got in on the excitement for the day…


And the details of the day were so elegant and classic.


And Kate’s dress did not disappoint.  She looked incredible and so so happy.  I love the the Royal School of Needlework made the lace for her veil and gown – incorporating shamrocks. thistles, etc.  And in her bouquet she carried Sweet William, among other traditional flowers.


Such a beautiful couple.  Kate really carries herself with a grace and poise that will serve her well in her new life.


I do wish I’d gotten up to watch the wedding live, but it was just as exciting and moving watching it from my DVR.

The kiss at Buckingham Palace is what we’d all been waiting for.


I think Diana would be happy for them.

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