Sunday, May 13, 2007

A picture of the boy who calls me "Momma"

And a few "momma" books from my bookshelf:
[I've read these, and really need to review them]
An Innocent, A Broad (Ann Leary)
Mothers: A Celebration (Alexandra Stoddard)
My Mother Worked and I Turned Out Okay (Katherine Wyse Goldman)
All Mothers Work (Cindy Ramming)
Life Laughs (Jenny McCarthy)

[I need to read these]
The Mother Load (Caryl Christensen, Marilyn Kentz)
Domestic Affairs (Joyce Maynard)
Life's Work (Lisa Belkin)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back Roads, by Tawni O'Dell

It took me a while to get through this one, but only because of the format; I have only one spot in the house to listen to the selections I receive on cassette. My old boombox (purchased after my divorce in '92, since my husband wouldn't give up "his" stereo system) lives on my coffee/end table, and it just isn't conducive to curling up with a good listen. The next time I make a run to town, I'm hoping to find something a little newer (but are they made with cassette-playing capability anymore?) so that my son can have my old one--he loves music, and he could use a source aside from his "mobile" player.

Nice tangent, huh?

O'Dell is a good storyteller, but the story itself packs a heckuva wallop; it isn't for the ultra-sensitive. The people in the protagonist's immediate circle who have questionable morality issues will probably be challenging to the straight-laced reader. I haven't researched the author's background, so I can say only that her research into the dynamic of a family torn apart by abuse so awful that it warrants intervention by the authorities was well done.

This book touched a nerve with me; the scenes at the prison, the reason Harley's mother was in jail, and all the fallout directly related to the fact of a missing parent brought up a part of my past for which I'll get no resolution. I've even recently made an attempt to find out who was behind all the drama of my 8th year, but my dad stonewalled me, and made it all about himself. Anyway, I think that Harley's truth-seeking was quite true to life; a sane response to an insane situation.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Books finished, books acquired

I'm finally done with Good Kids, Bad Habits and Happiest Toddler on the Block (reviews to follow) so I can start reading something for the non-fiction challenge. Once I finish listening to Back Roads (1 1/2 tapes to go), I'll start another for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I also need to start reading another for the BlogHer Virtual Book Tour. I'm way behind on those.

I received the following when I held my Spring Swap this weekend:

The Deep End (Joy Fielding)
Wilderness (Dennis Danvers)
Night Thunder (Ruby Jean Jensen)
Shaitan (Max Ehrlich)
Wilding (Melanie Tem)
Dream Makers, v.2 (Charles Platt)
Berserker Base (various)
Neena Gathering (Valerie Nieman Colander)
Castle Perilous, Castle for Rent, Castle Kidnapped (John DeChancie)
Caught in Crystal (Patricia C. Wrede)
Sunwaifs (Sydney J. van Scyoc)
Sorceress of Darshiva (David Eddings)
The Citadel of Chaos (Steve Jackson)
Men in Black (Steve Perry)

plus others listed elsewhere...these were the best of the sci-fi/fantasy/horror mix.

One of these days, I will write some long-overdue reviews and send some more books out of the house. I can't get back into trading on the BookCrossing forums until I make good on books I owe people. If I could have 4 good (interrupted) days of writing/typing and package prep, I could get all that out of the way and clear off some shelves.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A non-literary challenge

Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings has offered his readers a healthy challenge (under the guise of sticking around longer=reading more books--who can argue with that?). Personally, I've been wanting my baby weight off ever since it came back on (yes, I lost it all within the first month after giving birth in August 2005, plus 10 pounds, and it ALL CAME BACK). Maybe I can get a little more encouragement than I do from the 43Things crowd. Cheering is nice, but I don't get enough real commentary for it to be motivating.

Here's the basic outline of my plan to lose 10 pounds by September 1st:

water intake--according to this calculator, I should be consuming 14 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That seems a bit much, but I'll work up to it (I don't need kidney poisoning, TYVM). According to various sources, that doesn't mean, literally, straight water over and above already consumed liquids (which I get via juice, milk, fruits/veggies, and pasta). In short, boost the liquids, and be regular about it.

exercise--I bought a treadmill via craigslist 3 weeks ago, and I've been on it 4 times, long enough to burn 80-90 calories each time. Not impressive. I should be on there daily, and I should be increasing my time/distance. I need to put my pedometer back on and start tracking my non-treadmill steps (10,000 is an ideal, but it's really hard to make that happen--I could probably reach that goal once a week if I went on a snarf fest, attended a street faire, or just went to the mall). To that end, I need to get off my butt more during the daytime and get the housework done, get the garden going, and work with the animals (especially Serenity, Persephone, and Boudreaux). I also want to find my hand-weights and do some upper-body work. My son's getting heavier, and I need to be able to pick him up without hurting myself. After a few months, I want to get a yoga routine going so I can add flexibility.

eating--I'm not balanced in content or regularity. I need more vegetables and fruits in my diet. I need to not skip meals. I need to not quadruple my chocolate intake during *ahem* certain critical weeks. I need more whole grains and less fats. I need to find healthy snacks and get my portions back down to "normal."

For other ideas, and other research, I'll be reading and dipping into:

You: On a Diet
The Athlete Within
Feel Good Naked
Well Being
Body For Life
8 Minutes in the Morning
In the Kitchen with Rosie
Healthy Cooking for Two
1000 Vegetarian Recipes
AMA Family Cookbook
Weight Watchers Quick and Easy Menu Cookbook
Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook
Susanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away
Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

I may or may not try to track my progress on FitDay; if I can keep up with it, I'll post weekly reports here.