I’ve been thinking Thursday: Pied Piper

Someone referred to me as the “Pied Piper” of coop recently. And I really didn’t know what to say to that. I mean, didn’t he steal everyone’s children?

This required some googling.

“For those unfamiliar with the tale, it is set in 1284 in the town of Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany. This town was facing a rat infestation, and a piper, dressed in a coat of many coloured, bright cloth, appeared. This piper promised to get rid of the rats in return for a payment, to which the townspeople agreed too. Although the piper got rid of the rats by leading them away with his music, the people of Hamelin reneged on their promise. The furious piper left, vowing revenge. On the 26 th of July of that same year, the piper returned and led the children away, never to be seen again, just as he did the rats. Nevertheless, one or three children were left behind, depending on which version is being told. One of these children was lame, and could not keep up, another was deaf and could not hear the music, while the third one was blind and could not see where he was going.” (Thanks ancient-origins.net)

That is not flattering. I am mildly offended or would be if I had the energy to care…

This is part is better: “There are many contradictory theories about the Pied Piper. Some suggest he was a symbol of hope to the people of Hamelin, which had been attacked by plague; he drove the rats from Hamelin, saving the people from the epidemic.”

Ok, I can save coop from a plague. That sounds nice.

But what plague is that exactly?

The plague of rambunctious teenagers who disturb lunch? LOL

I will slay them with my decks of Zombie Fluxx.

Book Review: Choosing Courage

It’s Memorial Day here in the US.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads:)

What turns an ordinary person into a hero? What happens in the blink of an eye on a battlefield (or in any dangerous situation) to bring out true courage? The men and women who have been recognized by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation know the answers to these questions deep in their hearts. We learn of Jack Lucas, a 13-year-old who kept his real age a secret so he could fight in World War II—where he deliberately fell on a grenade to save his buddies during the Iwo Jima invasion—and Clint Romesha, who almost single-handedly prevented a remote U.S. Army outpost in Afghanistan from being taken over by the Taliban. Also included are civilians who have been honored by the Foundation for outstanding acts of bravery in crisis situations: for example, Jencie Fagan, a gym teacher who put herself in danger to disarm a troubled eighth grader before he could turn a gun on his classmates. Adding depth and context are illuminating sidebars throughout and essays on the combat experience and its aftermath: topics such as overcoming fear; a mother mourning her son; and “surviving hell” as a prisoner of war. Back matter includes a glossary and an index.

My thoughts:

On this day in which we celebrate those who died in service to our country, Choosing Courage is a fab book to remind you about the people who serve. Most of the stories are a few pages long, just enough to provide a little insight into the person who sacrificed for others and tell the story. It is not a quick read, despite the short story format. In fact, I found one story a day enough for me or I’d cry too much. Still, I like the reminder that good people exist.

 

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Nothing Special

My last book is up on Netgalley right now to garner some reviews. I know I said I was done writing but I had this whole plan in place before I made that decision. I had purchased various portions of the plan while they were on sale. So I could either go with it, despite being “done” or I could waste all the money.

Of course, I went with the plan.

It’s been up for a month and I got my first report from IBPA. 110 downloads. Not bad. 9 reviews.

Like an idiot I went to read all my reviews after that.

“Nothing too exciting here, pretty predictable, the dialogue was ok, but didn’t sparkle.”

sigh.

I think this one sticks with me because that’s about how I see myself….nothing special.

It makes sense to me that my writing would also be nothing special.

All those vague ideas about maybe finishing this series, nicely back in their box, thank you very much.

Book Review: Murder Strikes a Pose

I totally wasn’t kidding about seeking out the previous books in the downward dog series by Tracy Weber. She’s a local Seattle area author and as such deserved a little extra of my reading time. Murder Strikes a Pose is the first in the series as well as her debut novel.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of KCLS):

When George and Bella–a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd–disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.

One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

My thoughts:

Another book with ties to homelessness? hrm. It is a big problem up here. I could never figure out why though, it’s cold and rainy most of the year. I imagine that must be super uncomfortable. But Seattle seems to be a mecca like New Orleans (also super uncomfortable, 100 degrees and 2000 percent humidity, hello).

I enjoyed this book. For the most part it doesn’t read like a cozy trying to find it’s footing. There’s a little too much ruminating by the main character but it seemed in line with where the character actually was. Processing loss, learning to investigate, learning when to embrace things. So while the reading of said ruminating did irk now and then, it at least felt authentic to the character.

If I had read this one first I would totally say I am reading more to see where this goes. Since I read number 6 by accident first, I need to fill in the lines. LOL

I’ve been thinking Thursday: this week’s theme

Monday I reviewed The Year of Less. It super touched on a lot of things that I had already been mulling over.

And I think what I came to is…my biggest problem is my inability to say no to people who need my help.

This upcoming year was supposed to be my slow down year. My year to get healthy habits ingrained. To rest. To really consider what I wanted to maintain in my life.

Before I embark on my masters program next summer. Yup masters program, while homeschooling my child, and still teaching a bit at the coop. That was the plan.

 

Instead, I am back on the board of the coop. Because they begged.

I am teaching 4 classes. Possibly to become five because one of them is so far over my max it could almost be a second max, because I can’t say no.

I had thought about starting a tutoring/online teaching venue for while I was getting my masters. And I mentioned it to a few parents as a possible option, if I didn’t teach at the coop this year. Now I’m tutoring in addition to teaching at the coop this year.

And except for the board, these are good things. Things that make me happy.

But not things that give me time to focus at all on myself in the limited time I have left after taking care of the child, the hubs, the home, and the dog (soon to become two?).

Anyone know a good book to teach me to say no? Maybe a class? Seminar? Brain washing?

 

Book Review: The Year of Less

I’ve given up burning the candle at both ends, I just threw myself into the fire. Given that state of extreme stress and constant over work, The Year of Less by Cait Flanders was extremely appealing.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping her from meeting her goals—she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food—and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life—and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.

My thoughts:

This is a one day book, meaning I dragged it with me all day so I could read what happened next as soon as possible.

Does she give great ideas on how to shop less?

Er, not really. Her suggestions felt few and far between. And when I was done reading I couldn’t really tell you what she said about that, other than think before you spend.

Does she write a compelling memoir none the less?

Oh yeah.

And she made me think about my compulsive consumerism. Because to be honest, I think we are all a little compulsive. Maybe a lot.

I know I was already chewing on how much is too much, what do I really need, why do I feel compelled to get things I don’t need or to buy them for other people? Moving for the second time in nine months will do that to you. LOL. Perhaps that’s why this book spoke to me.

But I think, if you’re at all interested in other people, this is an enjoyable book to read.

 

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Social media

Yesterday the kiddo and I got our hair cut. We use the same stylist so we’re there a while. I always end up in these weird random conversations with her.

She plays music from her own playlist. Yesterday The Time Warp came on.

(It’s just a jump to the left….)

I was immediately transported back. My late teens, that year where we went to the midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show every week. We showed up so often they cast started inviting us to their parties. LOL.

(and then a step to the right….)

And then as she casually sprayed water into my hair, my stylist says…can you imagine in there was facebook and instgram back then?

Gulp.

(put your hands on your tits)

On one hand I wouldn’t have done eighty percent of the things I did, had I know it could be on FB and instagram 2 seconds later.

(and brings your knees in tight)

On the other hand, I wouldn’t have done eighty percent of the things I did. LOL

(It’s just a pelvic thrust, that really drives you ins -aaa-nnn-eee)

So I’m going to share just one of those things I’m sure would have made me notorious….

I once went to the midnight show of Rocky Horror in body paint and underwear and platform heels.

(Let’s do the time warp again)

Your turn….what’s one thing you are so glad FB/Instagram/Twitter weren’t around to capture?