Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just like my mind . . . cluttered!

Woah! This month was supposed to be calmer and slower, but as each day goes by, my calendar gets more and more cluttered! Now here it's the end of the month -- and where did it go? Thought it would be a catch-up month, and I just keep getting more and more stuff to do. And when I get home, all I want to do is chill. My Christmas stuff is still sitting in the hall to go up in the attic! At least it's boxed up -- and the tree is down! It was the second week of Jan. before I got that done. But it's going up tonight -- then I won't have to listen to the President talk!

Not even going into politics. I'm convinced no one in Washington DC has any common sense. They need to listen to Dave Ramsey -- budget and don't spend it if you don't have it. Don't make laws if you can't fund it -- from the budget. Every time they make a new law or rule, it results in more paperwork and expense for those of us who have to pay taxes and live by those rules.

Can't believe our baby Kate will soon be one year old! She's trying to learn to walk -- by holding on to people or things! She's so cute -- and determined. I feel a Skype session coming on! I can't wait to see her and hold her again! Casey's video is too cute . . .

100124KatePlayingMov4 from Casey Cooper on Vimeo.

Anna's redesigned her blog site and logo. She recently started designing for and had her first sale this month -- with great comments from the buyer! It's so exciting for Anna -- and for me, the Mom!!! Paperstyle is an online place to buy custom invitations and stationery. Click here to check out the rest of Anna's designs at PaperStyle! And her photo and bio are on there also in "Meet the designer"! And Casey took the photos of Anna that she used for her photo!

My mom's doctor is closing her practice this week, so she was in search of a new doctor. I talked to her about seeing Dr. Gabrielson, who Stacy and I both have begun using after bouncing from Hartford's sometimes clinic and Slocomb. I really like him, and he's been working on my cholesterol and high blood pressure. So yesterday Mom called to check on moving her medical records, and she told me who she talked to (Amy) and that they had discussed Mom's other doctor. I had to laugh. I told her that I had been there twice and I still didn't know anyone's name except the doctor. She gets to know everyone everywhere she goes -- and their life history, where they grew up, how many kids they have, their favorite food! She's so funny!

So, enough rambling . . . time to pick up my book and read myself to sleep! Night!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

TV reality woes

Like the books that I love to read, the shows I love to watch on TV are the ones that are a little quirky and funny. Life is too serious to have to spend my evenings watching serious shows. Keep it light -- that's my motto.

I'm holding my breath for Dancing with the Stars to start back -- plus Design Star. Can't wait for Project Runway which begins a new season this week. I don't like reality shows that feature people's lives and intrusive TVs into those lives. The people on those shows must be really hard up for money or have a really high opinion of themselves.

The Bachelor on ABC started last week, and since I watched last season's Bachelorette and thought Jake was cute and seemed so "guy next door" -- I decided to watch the first show. Plus, Anna's ex-roommate auditioned for the show in Atlanta and almost made it -- so I wanted to see the girls that did make it. Good grief! They were so cheesy and put on -- and some were downright slutty! And the girls Jake picked were the most shallow ones there! That's it for me -- not watching any more.

However . . . immediately after the Bachelor was a show called "The Conveyor Belt of Love." Now how's that for a name? Five women sat before a conveyor belt that and ran about 30 guys through on a conveyor belt. Their job was to convince the women to choose them. It was hilarious! And the goal wasn't everlasting love -- it was just a date! The beautiful blond chose the chubby nice guy with a great sense of humor. The shallow princess chose the shallow buff guy (that I really thought was gay)! Evidently it will be a series -- but it's received bad reviews in the press as a "meat market." No worse than The Bachelor is with women -- and much more entertaining!

HGTV's finally got something new going besides real estate shows. "Design Interns" is okay, but a little dull -- it's not a "Design Star." I like the "Outdoor Room" and the new "Curb Appeal" and "First Time Design." The Antonio Treatment looks interesting -- last season's Design Star winner is different but likeable.

I'm watching "Launch My Line" on Bravo, but it's not Project Runway -- and I liked "The Fashion Show" better. I wish they'd bring back Top Design, but it isn't listed on their website. I love "Shear Genius" though -- a hair style reality show. It's been pretty entertaining the past couple of years and starts back Feb. 3! But I can't stand those "Housewives of every big city in the country" shows. Just a bunch of whiny rich you-know-whats.

Color Splash, Divine Design and Design on a Dime are still my HGTV favorites. I wish any of those shows would come do my house!

They've also had some pretty good shows on the FOOD channel. The Next Iron Chef was good -- now they have a quirky "Worst Cook in America" on Sunday nights! Now that's pretty good for a new twist!

And I love "The Tudors" on Showtime, but it wasn't worth the money for a subscription last year. They didn't have any movies I wanted to watch, and their original shows are only about sex addicts, drug addicts or lesbians. I'll just wait for the DVD to come out on Netflix and skip the regular season this time.

Maybe they'll bring back The Newlyweds on ABC. But until then -- I'll keep watching for those quirky shows and "made for TV" movies on the Hallmark Channel (but not Lifetime TV movies)!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Polish your glasses and get to reading!

I love to read. It relaxes me -- I get to escape my life (which sometimes isn't too exciting) into a pretend life. Nothing's better than curling up in front of the fire or on a rainy day and just reading for hours, though I don't get a chance to do that too often. Usually I read before I go to bed.

Before I got my Kindle, I used to read in the bathtub. Everyone I shared books with said they could tell if it was any good by how wavy the pages were! If it wasn't that interesting, I would fall asleep and drop the book into the tub!

Now that I have my Kindle (which I got last year for Christmas), I won't read in the tub for that very reason -- I don't want to ruin it! A Kindle is an electronic book from Amazon, if you haven't heard about them yet. It's wonderful! I purchase the books from Amazon and they are downloaded within minutes to my Kindle! Like magic! The books are cheaper -- and some are even free -- but I can't share any more, and my mom doesn't like that part!

It's better than paper books because it's not bulky -- you can tote around hundreds of books with something almost as small as a paperback and much thinner. I bought a cover for mine so I wouldn't ruin it -- and I have a clip-on light so I can read at night in the car. You don't have to hold it open to read it. You can't lose your place -- if you turn it off, it automatically goes back to the last page you were reading when you turn it back on. You can change the size of the type to suit your "eyesight" -- and you can move the books to an archive after you've read them so you don't have to wonder if you've read that one yet. The archive is somewhere out there in electronic book land, but you can get the books back if you ever want to read one again.

When I find an author I really like, I'll read everything they've written, then I can't wait until their next book is out. Sometimes they take too long to write a new book, and I get anxious! I don't like books about perfect people -- I like them to be a little crazy or cooky or chubby! I don't like anything too serious. I especially like mysteries that are funny too -- maybe a little romance thrown in! But I don't like those steamy romance novels that have a patent plot -- doesn't matter what time frame they're set in, you already know the plot before it starts! I like a little twist in there!

Anyway, if you're looking for something to read, here are some of the books I've read that I really liked (the others are in my list on the right with links to the authors' websites):

  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsela. She also wrote the Shopaholic series, and her characters will drive you nuts, but they're so cute and funny you can't help but love them. Twenties Girl is my very favorite that she's written. Anna's a Sophie addict!
  • Dorothea Benton Frank -- I just love everything she's written. Her latest is Return to Sullivan's Island. There's always some kind of twist -- with strong, wacky women! She can write a great story that keeps you rivited and laughing all the way.
  • C.A. Belmond -- I'm anxiously awaiting her next book A Rather Charming Invitation. which is due to come out Feb. 2 this year. The adventures of Penny and Jeremy take you all over Europe, although Penny is from the U.S. Casey and Anna love these books too!
  • Jennifer Cruise -- I love anything she's written also! I've gone back and ready everything! I'm so ready for a new one I can't stand it. They're sassy - sometimes naughty - hilarious and always involve some type of mystery.
  • Cleo Coyle -- I've finished all her books and I'm ready for more. I love her "Coffee House Mysteries" and can't wait to read more about Claire Cosi and the Village Blend Coffee House in New York. I devoured the latest, Holiday Grind, in two days! It satisfies my love of lattes and sassy mysteries!
  • And of course, Ann B. Ross' Miss Julia series. If you haven't met Miss Julia, you must. She tries to be so prim and proper and gives you a good laugh in the process! I can just picture her living in Miss Ludies' house in Hartford. Miss Julia Delivers the Goods is due out in April!
  • And last, one of my latest finds -- Rita Lakin's "Getting Old Series." These are several like Miss Julia in a south Florida retirement condo complex -- with a little romance on the side! It gives me hope that getting old isn't so bad!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's wishes . . .

I received this today from the Good Clean Funnies List. They're great to subscribe to (free) -- a humorous email every day -- because life has to have a little "funny" each day! This is my wish for everyone this new year:

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs, and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count, and your mortgage interest not rise.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Where has the decade gone? It seems like yesterday I was helping to chaperone our church youth trip to Atlanta for Youth Link 2000 -- and we were all wondering if the world was going to go dark at midnight!

We managed to survive that media threat -- and now we're dealing with the latest -- global warming! Sometimes I worry about what the next decade will bring -- it seems like the world is changing so fast it's hard to keep up. Not long ago we were all impressed with big clunky bag phones as the "latest thing" -- now we have the iphone and Blackberry where you can connect to the Internet from just about anywhere, electronic books like Kindle that you can download and store hundreds of books, and Facebook where you can connect with long lost "friends" instantly. PCs and email are just about obsolete! And our country is building up a national debt that we'll never be able to dig our way out of, I'm afraid.

Sometimes I want to scream, "Hold up -- it's going too fast -- my mind can't comprehend it all!" And I realize I'm getting older and want to slow down! That's when I'm glad I live in the country -- next to a very small town (about 2,000) -- with one 4-way stop between me and my work! I need my "green" fix every day -- trees and fields rolling with cotton and peanuts, or freshly plowed dirt! Where people are are still grounded in common sense -- and faith -- and a sense of community.

So this new year, I'm not making resolutions -- just continuing on with what I've always tried to do -- doing something worthwhile each day -- trying to make my community the best it can be -- and being grateful to God for all that He has blessed Stacy and me with. 2009 has been a wonderful year with the birth of our first grandchild, Kate -- my mom's health better with her pacemaker -- Stacy's mom getting her new knee -- Anna's success with her free-lancing business.

The new year has already started off good! My brother Walker and his boys were here for black-eyed peas, turnip greens and cornbread today -- and Auburn finally (after 3 tries and overtime) won the Outback Bowl game! WAR EAGLE and HAPPY NEW YEAR!