happy challenge 1

It is time, once again, for the August Happiness Challenge! Thanks to The Gal Herself!

Here's a brief explanation of the Challenge:
"Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

DAY 1: Anticipation of a road trip with my sister and niece to do some college dorm shopping. We're ready to roll and heading down to Bangor to hit Target and some other stores. It will be 3 hours of laughter, singing, and memories made all in one leg of the journey!

saturday 9

All The Way

1) Kelly Clarkson is singing an upbeat song about falling in love. Think of your favorite love song. Is it about finding love or losing it? celebrating love

2) This song was co-written by Kara DioGuardi, who was a judge on American Idol. Kelly was, of course, the first American Idol. Do you watch Idol, The Voice, or America's Got Talent? I watched the first ten seasons of Idol faithfully, I occasionally watch now. Sometimes I watch The Voice and AGT.

3) In this video, Kelly is blonde. Clairol based a famous ad campaign around the assertion that "blondes have more fun." Tell us another commercial catchphrase (it can be for any product at all). "Just do it"

4) As a young girl, Kelly wanted to be a marine biologist. She jokes that she changed her mind after seeing Jaws. Tell us about a movie that really scared you. The Shining

5) Kelly is very involved with NASCAR, performing at pre-race concerts and appearing at their Champions' Breakfast. Are you a race fan? I am not a race fan

6) Kelly is married to Brandon Blackstock, stepson of country superstar Reba McEntire. Are you a country music fan? I do not mind some country now and then

7) The Blackstocks have a baby girl, River Rose. In May, the family visited an Australian wildlife preserve and introduced her to koalas and kangaroos. Have you visited the zoo this year? no, I probably won't either

8) Upon learning that she was getting criticized on Twitter for being "big," Kelly responded, "Say what you will. It's a free world. It doesn't bother me." How about you? Do you worry what other people think of you? not too much

9) She bid over $200,000 and won a ring that had once belonged to Jane Austen. (She doesn't have the ring, though; the British government banned its sale because it's a historic artifact and Kelly's money was returned.) She also has a first edition of one of Austen's novels. Who is your all-time favorite writer? hmmm... all-time favorite? I guess I'll go with Stephen King


friday 5

Fresh Catch
  1. What were your feelings the last time you stood on a scale?
  2. resigned
  3. In what ways are you old school, and in what ways are you new school?
  4. I'm old school about education and I'm new school regarding technology
  5. What big event is coming down the pike for you?
  6. I'm going to be dog-sitting for a week, starting Monday
  7. In which social situations do you thrive, and in which do you flounder?
  8. I thrive when I know what to expect and flounder when there is too much unstructured activity
  9. When was the last time a fad hooked you?
  10. I often an hooked by fads... lately it's the TV show Alone


booking through thursday

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How do you store your books? On bookcases? In piles? In piles on bookcases? Are they sorted? Do you know where everything is? What’s the most creative storage you’ve seen or used for your books? .

I'm down to one book case. But I have a couple of boxes of books that I need to sort or donate (I know I'll never read them again). I don't have a system, other than by genre. I know where to find them, that's what counts! That's one thing I love about my Nook. No more storage problems!


yarn along

Join in every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting and reading too!

The Lara Hat and The Paying Guests


ten things tuesday

Ten Favorite Vacation Moments:

1) Not setting an alarm.

2) Eating at Cafe Sorpreso every week.

3) Knitting. And being asked to knit some keepsakes for friends and family.

4) Reading. I am still waiting for THE book of the summer, but I have read some good books this summer.

5) Road trips! I've taken three trips and am looking forward to at least one more.

6) Reconnecting with old friends. Staying connected with all my friends.

7) Ice cream.

8) Spending time with my nieces.

9) Savoring Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee.

10) Letting go of stress and worry about the changes coming in the next school year.


happy challenge

It is time, once again, for the August Happiness Challenge! Thanks to The Gal Herself!

Here's a brief explanation of the Challenge:
"Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

friends and feasts

The Friends!

The Feast!
I am so glad I went on this getaway to Chebeague Island; the island is quaint and not quite what I was expecting. There is a lot of wealth on the island. And a lot of shabby-chic.

But, on to the important parts: on Friday, we hit Portland and wandered around the Old Port. Jon was a great host in his home city. And the three of us spent a great afternoon and evening just catching up and gabbing. Unfortunately, I crashed around 8 pm, causing our night to end early. In my defense, the 6 hour drive down was in pouring rain and it was quite taxing. The Old Port was bustling, people watching was at a premium, and the conversation flowed.

Saturday morning we got up to make the ferry to the island. The bus to the ferry was crowded with lots of locals who were loaded with bags, boxes, and parcels. It was an uneventful ride. When Piper met us, there were hugs and tears--and lots of laughter. The big activity of the day was the library's 50th Anniversary celebration. Since Piper volunteers there, we went to the big bash. Being avid readers, Valerie and I were thrilled to tour the little library and attend the gathering. Piper introduced us to all sorts of people who shape the summers of her life. Interestingly, Val was introduced as a childhood best friend and I was introduced as a high school bestie. It was so much fun! Late Saturday afternoon, we got around to preparing the feast--all the while listening to an 80s radio station, singing, dancing, and reminiscing! The years melted away. We talked the night away.

Sunday was a drizzly, dreary day. Piper's hubby joined us unexpectedly--he wanted to make himself scarce so we would be able to focus on us. Curiosity got the better of him and he had to join us, though. The ferry back was even more crammed full than the previous ferry. But we managed to make it home before it got too late.

I'm lucky I have today to recover, poor Val had summer school bright and early. It's almost like a friend hang over!

musing mondays

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• I’m currently reading…
• Up next I think I’ll read…
• I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
• I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I can’t wait to get a copy of…
• I wish I could read ___, but…
• I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: Have you ever made a new friend because of a book? (or books)?

I've made friends by being in book groups, so I guess that counts!

finished reading

From the publisher:
Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her--the Best Man, who at the last minute--and with shocking revelations--begged her to reconsider the marriage. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled between ignoring what she was told--or running away.

She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke's brother, Frank.

That relationship didn't work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank's brother? Quinn opted for neither, and instead, spent the next seventeen years working in her Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown.

But when the two brothers return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you've traded the bad guy for the good guy for no guy doesn't mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it? Told with Beth Harbison's flair for humor and heart, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger will keep you guessing and make you believe in the possibilities of love.

Read this while on my vacation trip--lots and lots of fun!


sunday stealing

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Sunday Stealing: "I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly" Meme

1. Have you ever had a pen pal? I had a Dutch pen pal when I was a kid--we wrote for several years

2. What’s your favorite breed of dog? I love a French Bulldog

3. Can money buy happiness? sure

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down? not necessarily

5.What is one thing you spend way too much money on? clothes, books, and yarn

6.Can you honestly say you’re okay right now? yes, maybe a bit tired

7.What was the last thing you spent money on? lunch

8.Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color? not mostly, totally!

9.Who have you texted in the last 24 hours? my sisters

10.Were you in a good mood last night? an exceptional mood

11.Do you have a reason to smile right now? yes, it was a fun-filled weekend with a successful road trip

12. How often do you hold back what you want to say? fairly often

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place? yes

14.Are you currently looking forward to anything? payday

15.Do you have any TV shows on DVD? several

saturday 9

All The Way

1) In this song, Frank sings, "who knows where the road will lead us?" Which leads Sam to ask, does your vehicle have GPS? my vehicle doesn't have one installed, but I do have one

2) Sinatra introduced "All the Way" in the movie, The Joker Is Wild. During that film he also sang "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)." A few years later, in the movie Robin and The Seven Hoods, he declared Chicago as his "kind of town." Besides Chicago, can you think of another city Frank immortalized in song? New York

3) When Frank was 19, he saw a pretty girl sitting on her front porch, giving herself a manicure. He went and got his ukelele and serenaded her. That girl became his first wife, Nancy. Tell us how one of your romances began. I was wooed with clever letters

4) Both Frank and Nancy grew up in New Jersey. When you think of NJ, what else comes to mind? Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey (a guilty pleasure)

5) Sinatra made Las Vegas as famous for entertainment as for gambling. He was so identified with the Strip, that when he played Caesar's Palace the marquee simply said, "He's Here." Have you ever been to Vegas? no, and I can't decide if I want to go

6) Thin for most of his life, Frank was blessed with a metabolism that allowed him to whatever he wanted without gaining weight. He especially enjoyed clams posillipo. What's your favorite Italian dish? spaghetti bolognaise

7) Perhaps because of his hardscrabble childhood, Sinatra was a soft touch for charities devoted to kids. One of his favorites was Variety, which sends disadvantaged children on day trips to museums, zoos and sporting events. Here's your chance to tell us about a cause that's near and dear to your heart. I am a fan of the local cancer support group--I knit hats for their big fundraiser, Planet Head Day

8) Sinatra was a neat freak who couldn't stand dust or clutter and showered at least twice a day. He got this from his mother Dolly, who was compulsive about housecleaning and hygiene. Can you think of a time when you caught yourself doing something and thought, "I'm just like Mom/Dad!" I continually think "I am my father's daughter!"

9) In 1998, Sinatra was buried with the things he always had in tow: a bottle of Jack Daniels, a pack of Camels, a Zippo lighter and 10 dimes. Why the dimes? According to his daughter, "He never wanted to be caught not able to make a call." Of course, 17 years later cell phones have replaced pay phones. Anyway, tell us what you always carry. keys


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.