Category Archives: Books

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Author Claire Cook considers herself a late-bloomer having published her first novel in her mid-forties. I knew of Claire’s work because I read the second book she wrote, Must Love Dogs and then picked up a copy of every book that followed.

Years later I met Claire online on the Goodread.com website. Our conversation started after Claire visited my online journal and read some of my writing. At the time I had just written “I Forgot that Sunflower’s Die,” which was just a few lines that touched upon the death of my daughter’s father. Claire had also lost a parent as a child and she shared her story which had recently been published in Good Housekeeping magazine.

Since then Claire’s periodically sends a note cheering on my writing, and with each book she writes I’m reminded that it’s never to late to follow your heart.

Whether you find yourself writing at a child’s swim practice or in the humid, hum of a bustling laundry mat, remember to love what you have and to bloom where your planted.

Here is Claire Cook’s interview on the Today Show…well done, girl:)

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Filed under Aging, Authors, Books, Fiction Writing, Films, Life, Writer's, Writing

New Moon 2009, Twilight Series Trailer

For all you Twilight fans…

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The Last Day of School

Yesterday was Alexa’s last day of school. It was a bittersweet day that Alexa both looked forward to and dreaded.

When Alexa’s Dad died 2 years ago she wrote and read a tribute at his funeral, a good-bye letter if you will. In her letter she said that she feared the big days ahead, like graduation and someday getting married. She said that the milestones in her life would be marked by his absence.

Alexa made it clear to me that she would not walk in a graduation ceremony afraid she’d be reduced to tears and throughout her last year of high school I wondered if she’d graduate at all. She struggled with chronic illness related immune deficiency and she grieved over lost health and a lost father. Her grades fell.

Her greif counselor told me not to push her and sometimes I didn’t, and sometimes I did. I knew if Alexa didn’t graduate that she was still an able, capable girl, even more important Alexa knows she’s an able capable girl. But I was afraid if she gave up on graduation that it would give her more of a reason to give up on life. Alexa and I discussed our terms, she agreed to follow through with earning the credit needed to graduate and only said, “just stay with me,” and so I did.

Finishing class yesterday reminded her that she couldn’t call her Dad to say, ” I did it Dad,” but she imagined what he might  have said and how proud of her he would have been.

After her online classes ended at noon we loaded into the car and left for the suburbs of Minneapolis. Nick had a new car to pick up and Alexa and I made plans to visit Cookie Strange at Great Clips in Champlin.

Cookie is one of my closest friends, daughter. I’ve known Cookie ever since she was born and her Mother named her Emily…which she later changed to Cookie. Cookie works magic on hair and I will follow her to the end of the earth because she makes my hair fabulous.

The last time I got my haircut I had it done locally, it is viewable in all of my online photos. The cut was alright but it wasn’t the kind of cut that you could blow dry and go and it didn’t fare well on windy days in the garden. I need hair that you can seriously mess up and I prefer an modern edge because age appropriate just sucks,  as always Cookie delivered.

When Alexa and I finished getting our hair cut we went to Totally Tan. As Alexa’s health has worsened her skin color has become very light but her hair is dark. During the summer she frequently hides in jeans feeling like her legs glow white. She also burns easily so I agreed to take her to a place that offers a full body spray tan.

After I paid for Alexa’s tan, Alexa looked at me and said…”Aren’t you going to go?” I hesitated, I have  to attend a birthday party and a wedding today…but thought I could use some color. After asking a pile of questions I decided to try it. The experience was absolutely dreadful, it so cold it almost took my breath away and I forgot to use the shower cap so I stepped out once again feeling like Bridget Jones.

On the drive home Alexa and I talked about her Dad, upcoming graduation parties, what to wear to the wedding and we started to turn a warm brown …maybe not so bad. By this morning I staggered to the kitchen for coffee on gingerbread colored legs and thought; definitely not bad.

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Filed under Books, Cooking, Education, Fiction Writing, General, health, Life, Minnesota, Minnesota Fiction, Politics

On a Beautiful Day

Charles Dickens
Image via Wikipedia

The weather is perfect today and I plan to spend most of the day outdoors. First I need a very long walk because I committed a cardinal sin and ate 4 ice cream sandwiches in 24 hours, suffice it to say  that I refused to visit the scale this morning choosing to ignore her instead. After that there is garden work that needs to be done and sheets that I want to hang outdoors to dry. I plan to accomplish all of this with my MP3 player.

As I am typing this blog post my computer is transfering 33 hours of Charles Dickens, 7.5 hours of Claire Cook, 8 hours of E. Lockhart and the final chapters of Sinclair Lewis. Titles include Little Dorrit, Wildwater Walking Club, The Disreptuble History of Frankie Landau Banks and the the last chapters of Main Street. My favorite way to spend a day…is lost in a book!

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Conversation Primer

Pontiac Vibe
Image by im4t00l via Flickr

Why do guys think I need help in the automotive department? Seriously, do I look in the least bit lost or confused? If its just an excuse to talk to me, I don’t mind but let me give you a hint…if you’d like to get to know me don’t begin your conversation with me by insulting my intelligence.

Oh and as far as the “didn’t know girls knew much about small gas engines…” comment.  I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure I have a small gas engine on my lawn mower, snow blower and dirt bike, not in my Pontiac Vibe.

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A Riding Vacuum Cleaner:)

Henry Hoover playing hide and seek
Image by itspaulkelly via Flickr

Today was a shopping day which included the purchase of a new vacuum cleaner. I procrastinate these kinds of purchases because I hate spending over 200.00 on an item that isn’t in anyway fun. For that kind of money I could buy an iPod Touch or one of those under the cupboard television sets with the screen that flips down; you know fun. I planned to purchase one last year but didn’t which meant that buying one this year was a must.

Since I wasn’t going to get anything remotely entertaining I picked a Hoover WindTunnel vacuum cleaner. This particular model was the small canister type that I could use on carpet or wood floors but the real clincher to the deal was that it looked like I could sit on it and scoot from room to room if I was so inclined. This made the Hoover WindTunnel the perfect choice  because the  purchase was both functional and fun (wink).

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Filed under Books, Events, Fiction Writing, General, health, Life, Minnesota Fiction, Politics, Royalton

Baking, Santana & Chad Kroeger

Baking artisan bread to Santana & Chad Kroeger.

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