2013 Resolutions

Resolution #1: Great Literature I’ve Never Read

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It’s a long and shameful list. Made more so by the artful dodging it required for someone with a B.A. in English. There are books on this list that I should have read in grade school. There are books on this list that were required reading. I took tests over these books, turned in papers about these books, and waxed pretentious on occasion about them. What was my problem? They were downers. They were downers and I knew they were downers. And well…I don’t like downers. I like stories that aren’t big fat downers. I like some tumult, with a sprinkling of crisis, book-ended by humor and happiness. I don’t like unrelenting tragedy or pathos. There you have it.

So I’m a grown up now. Supposedly. And it bothers me a little bit-all these years later-that I dodged the bullet on some of these stories. So here is number one on my very short list of 2013 Resolutions….

I will read one bypassed tome of “Great Literature” per month in 2013.

For a total of 12, which doesn’t even begin to cover the list of great literature I’ve never read. Let’s face it, life is too short and too full for a book like Moby Dick. No offense to those who love it. It’s a crazy dude and a whale. It ends badly. Gotcha.

So here they are in no particular order:

1. Bleak House…Charles Dickens 2. Treasure Island…Robert Louis Stevens on 3. The Three Musketeers or the Count of Monte Cristo….Alexandre Dumas 4. The Red Badge of Courage…Stephen Crane 5. The Grapes of Wrath…John Steinbeck 6. The Call of the Wild…Jack London 7. The Good Earth…Pearl S. Buck 8. Johnny Tremain…Esther Forbes

I’m stopping there.  It gives me four to play around with.  If you have suggestions, I’d love to see them. If it’s great chick lit, I’ve probably read it.  It’s the more masculine or primitive tales that were diligently avoided.

What are your resolutions this year?

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Comfort and Joy!

I woke up this morning and cuddled with my six year old.  He still likes to cuddle with mom, thank goodness!  I made Nutella cocoa and a rich, strong latte and sat down with my family in the morning light.  And I felt happiness.  In that way that you feel it in random moments.  Tired, but relaxed and content.  So lucky. Such Comfort and Joy!

LatteAnd I spied our tree sitting there in the morning light and it was beautiful.

Latte-treeSo I grabbed my camera, because that what you do, right?

Christmas_Tree_Wideangle

 

You take pictures of things that are beautiful!

Christmas-Tree-Day

Pictures of Comfort and Joy!

 

 

 

Haiku for the Weekend

Haiku for the Weekend?

Did you ever have one of those days where you sit down to write, but the only words echoing in your head are the lyrical efforts of others? Today, for me,  it’s been Dorothy Parker.  I find that rich with irony given the Hallmark tangent I’ve been on as of late. So rather than put forth a mediocre to lame haiku, I think I’ll just enjoy the inspiration the cosmos has provided. Without further adieu, my favorite, Dorothy Parker…

Sanctuary
My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet’s the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.

Dorothy Parker

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The List…Etsy Edition

I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to the time drain that is Etsy.  You log on “for just a minute” and an hour and a half later, you forcibly pry your fingers from the keyboard or screen.  Despite the obvious pitfall to browsing (loss of sleep), I do it because it makes me happy.  I love the clever, diverse, creativity you can find there. So here’s another list.  This time it’s a list of Etsy finds that I think are neat.  I use the word neat because not all of them are pretty, not all of them are cool, and although I acknowledge that some of them are kitschy, I find them all to be very….well, neat.

1.  Blown Glass Acorn Earrings $15.00…nuff said.

2.  I love this brown leather journal…hand embossed, tea stained and adorned with a butterfly.  Pricey at $75.00, but very cool.

3.  I love (!) these dictionary prints by Collage-o-Rama.  The moose is my favorite, but frankly I’ll be buying a set of these for one of my special friends who “gets me”. Priced at $7.99 (and a buy 3 get 1 free seasonal special!)

4.  I covet many things found in the Claylicious store, but I especially love these little owls.  the colors are awesome at $27.00 each.  I love the orange!

5.  Love butterflies…love this bracelet.  A sweet deal at $9.99.

6.  I didn’t really know I had a thing for moose, and then I reviewed this post…This is awesome and I love it!  A moosehead from WhiteFauxTaxidermy…$99.99.

And yes, I said “I love” like 50 times in this post, but can you blame me?  So much Etsy and so little time!

 

 

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Archiving Happiness

It started yesterday.  I found myself randomly archiving moments of happiness.  I posted a status on Facebook last night-the first time I’ve posted in months.  It stated simply, “Rudolph!”  Since that moment, the list has grown incrementally, and now, it’s bubbling over…I must share…

rudolph1.  As stated previously, Rudolph makes me happy.  Yes, he’s awkwardly animated, and the dentist is irritating, but it doesn’t matter. There’s a mob of us for whom Rudolph was an eagerly anticipated event, even if Santa was skinny and more than a little mean.

2.  Sam Adams Winter Lager makes me happy.  Especially at this moment, when my beer is so cold that I have to analyze whether it’s actually crystallized or just deliciously chilled.

3.  Mindlessly surfing Etsy makes me happy.  I’ll probably post on this topic separately. So many talented and creative souls! I love the baubles I find there, and I think I’ll have to share my favorites very soon.

4.  Cozy blogs make me happy.  To be specific, those bloggers that evoke a sense of comfort, beauty and home with their posts.  They inspire me.

5.  Christmas lights make me happy.  Apparently, I won’t be growing out of it.  I find them beautiful, and oddly calming.  I think my favorites lights are those that take a small, modest, maybe even shabby home, and turn it into a hodge podge of color and festivus.  I love the celebration implied by the effort. Lights are pretty.

6.   The word “Festivus” makes me happy.  If Seinfeld existed for no other purpose, then the creation of this word justifies it’s existence for me.  I celebrate the concept of festivus.

7.   Christmas themed fiction makes me happy.  This ever-lengthening list of books is also destined to be a future post on it’s own merit.  During the month of December, I read Caron, McComber and every other beautifully sappy version of Christmas love I can get my hands on.  Some are wonderful! Some are terrible! And they all make me happy.

8.  Sappy holiday movies on the Hallmark channel make me happy.  I watch them constantly from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  The conflict is predictable, the problems are solved (frequently by a Christmas miracle) and they usually end in a cavalcade of seasonal joy.  They also remind me of my Daddy.  Pops and I watched many a sappy Hallmark movie together.  Our philosophy was simple.  Life is stressful enough.  Why would you watch stressful TV?

9.  Anticipating someone’s reaction to a gift makes me happy.  The idea that I can make them feel special is a gift in itself.

10.  Spending time with all of you through “Such the Like” makes me happy.  It’s gratifying in a way that supersedes the norm.

I like this archiving of happiness.  I like it very much.