visualization

Book Lovers Day

I am…a book lover.

Book Lovers Day encourages you to give yourself some quality time reading a book. Like curling up on the couch with a cup of tea to enjoy the adventure in your favorite book.

Book reading is a great hobby. It’s an important one, too. I read that employers look for it on resumes. Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing. It makes us both smarter and happier people.

Here is a couple of ways to celebrate. Show the your books some love by cleaning and maybe rearranging the shelf you display them on. Gift a book lover friend with a homemade bookmark, first edition or signed book. Throw a book themed party. Guests can wear clothes of a character in the book and serve food from the story. Like having a tea party for characters in “Little Women”. More current party theme around play “Hamilton” based on Autobiography of Alexander Hamilton.

Do you have a library card? If not maybe a good day to get one. Some libraries offer downloadable eBooks.

I belong to Gold Country Writers organization in Auburn California. Earlier this year we started a Read and Review program. So far this year each month we have been reading books written by fellow author members. I have enjoyed reading two memoirs. I got to know my friends on a deeper level from reading their memoir. I also read a couple of novels one based on a true story and one spiritual book around generosity of giving. We will review a book of poetry next month and in November my book I am…Transforming: Creating Meaningful Change through Empowering and Inspiring Thoughts. On my own I am currently reading The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr Edith Eva Egar. Another powerful memoir. I think I have discovered that I enjoy memoirs. As I also enjoy movies based on true stories.

 

Quote on book lovers:
“All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed … No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.” – Eugene Field

I am…working with focused attention

By using different techniques I have improved my concentration.  One of these techniques is using the insight timer app on my cell phone to meditate. I can use it for two minutes to over 30 minutes. I can just listen to music, sounds of nature or a guided meditation. Other techniques include spending a few minutes petting my cat, rocking in my rocking chair, sitting outside on my back deck, listening to soft classical music, taking a short walk or having a snack. These and other methods like logging off e-mail  help me reduce my mental chatter, so that I can keep my attention on what’s in front of me.

With focused attention I am able to complete projects in a timely fashion. Maybe because I have taken steps to reduce stress and anxiety this makes staying focused easier for me.

Quote on attention:

“The best way to forget oneself is to look at the world with attention and love.” – Red Auerbach

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” – Jim Rohn

“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” – Michael Leboeuf

Experience (I am…experienced)

I have over 30 years experience as a professional bookkeeper and I have just over 10 years experience in writing inspirational cards and messages. I have around five years experience writing a blog. I have experience writing and publishing a book. I am currently writing a series of books. I find I am increasing my knowledge about writing from attending meetings of the Gold Country Writers. They have guest speakers, twice a month critique meetings, writing retreats, a mentoring program, writing contests, and  a newsletter. Their newest program is called Read and Review. Currently we are reading books written by our members. We gather together once a month and give the author a review of their book followed by posting a review online. I am enjoying this program for a couple of reasons. One is reading books by fellow members I feel like I am getting to know them better especially since two were memoirs and one was a novel based on a true story. Second the guidelines for doing a review are giving me more experience in how to be a better writer.

Where is your experience? In something you enjoy I hope.

 

Quotes on experience:

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“All experience is an arch, to build upon.” – Henry B. Adams

“Every moment is an experience.” – Jake Roberts

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar

“Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” – Franklin P. Jones

“Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.” – Oscar Wilde

I am…making soup

Yesterday I made the another soup from scratch. It was the third one since the first of the year and today is only February 3rd. I tried a new recipe from my Moosewood vegetarian cookbook. I have had this cookbook for years and made many recipes in it. I made Barley Mushroom soup. It was easy to put together. And with new tools like electric chopper cutting up onions is easy.

The first week of the year I made minestrone soup. Basic recipe again from my Moosewood cookbook. Though I looked online and tried something new. I added string beans for the first time and a can of crushed tomatoes. Usually I make it with tomato puree.  I have been adding Swiss chard at the end of my recipe for years. This time I decided to put in some baby spinach instead. Feels like I am starting the New Year watching what I eat.

The other soup I made was Provencal Vegetable from a different cookbook. Just to let you know I am not a vegetarian. I do enjoy vegetables and combing them makes soup tasty and healthy at the same time. This last soup has leeks in it. A vegetable I don’t find in many recipes. I like how they taste so no need to look for a substitute vegetable.

When I my children were growing up I would save bones from T-bone steaks and use them to make soup. My sons liked that I would put barley and rice in the soup. And since they weren’t crazy about eating vegetables I would puree the celery, carrots, and onion when soup was done before I served it to them. That way they ate their vegetables without protesting. Mothers are clever.

And they looked forward to my making turkey soup after Thanksgiving dinner. Even before going to bed I would put the carcass in stock pot with same vegetables as my beef vegetable soup. And of course I would add barley and rice. Sometimes I think they enjoyed the soup more than the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy from Thanksgiving dinner.

What will I make next? Maybe Butternut Squash, Split Pea or Spicy Tomato soup.

Do you have a favorite soup you make?

Quotes on soup:

“Soup is the song of the hearth…and the home.” – Louis P. De Gouy

“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.” – Abraham Maslow

“Only the purse of heart can make good soup.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” – Laurie Colwin

“Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the ultimate comfort meal.” – Ina Garten

“As for chicken, I have it once or twice a week.”  – Jack Canfield

I am…in sync

I had a busy work day at a client and tired as I was just wanting to go home and stop moving.  I decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store. I stopped at the local Safeway store in order to get a few things for Thanksgiving lunch I was going to have with my mother. I drove into the parking lot and luck was on my side. I found an end parking space near the door. I went to get a shopping cart and found one even though there were only a few left. This would be a good indication that the store is very busy. I proceed inside and I quickly found everything I needed. I am walking down the freezer aisle heading to the checkout stands and to my amazement it looks like there is a station straight ahead with no one in line. And before I get there the cashier asks me if I am ready. To which I say Yes. Unbelievable that  I didn’t have to stand in a long line and wait. Easy in, Easy out. It is nice when my thoughts are in sync with my action and outcome.  Life can be sweet.

Quote on in sync:

“If people aren’t in sync, things won’t work out well.” – Stephen Hopkins

“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.” – Stephen Richards

“When you stop existing and you start truly living, each moment of the day comes alive with the wonder and synchronicity.” – Steve Maraboli

I am…an extra

A first for me. I was an extra in a movie. I had to travel to Cameron Park to be in Mama’s Boy the Movie. My girl friend is on the crew and she posted in Facebook that they needed lots of extras for the movie. Their big ask was for individuals in their late teens to early twenties for school scenes. I certainly didn’t qualify to be a student but there were two scenes I was able to be in. The graduation and outside the hospital.

I received an e-mail late the night before changing the time I was to arrive and where to park. I had to be in a parking lot at a church by 11:30 to catch shuttle to location. I was challenged with road construction and yet I managed to arrive right on time. Here is the funny thing we were thinking a shuttle like vehicle would show up when this fellow in a Camry stops at church as driver to shuttle us to location. I was on the first trip over to location along with three others. I guess he gets credit for how many people he carries as we each had to give him our first name which he wrote down on a clipboard. Next step was to stand in the shade as it was going to be a very warm day and wait to read release form, sign on check in sheet, show our ID and leave our email address. Then it was back to the shade to wait. Then they decided to let us go sit by swimming pool under umbrella picnic tables. This is when the real waiting started. They said it looked like they were on schedule and after lunch at 1pm we would start filming. Well, 1:00 went by and we weren’t called. It was after 2:30 before they came and took several people to be part of graduation ceremony. I feel really lucky to get to visit with a friendly group of people while waiting to be called into filming. So this gal comes out and asks us if we have any funny stories from graduation. Then she asks when attending this graduation who would we be? I responded: Grandmother to a student.  Back to waiting and around 2:45 a fellow comes over wants to know if we would like to wait inside an air-conditioned room. To which we all say yes. We follow him and pick up bottles of water and snacks on the way. Big sigh as I walk inside. We knew it was very warm outside but so comfortable when we got inside. Then we offered us the leftover food from crew lunch. They had salad, pulled pork, tortilla chips, salsa and artichoke dip. I had a little salad. Then the call finally came for all of us to follow my friend into the graduation scene. I was directed to stand in a row along with other extras behind everyone who was seated. Then they put a row of four chairs behind an empty row of chairs. Next thing you know my friend tells this gentleman next to me to go sit down. Then she tells me to sit next to him, then Cheri a gal I met while waiting is directed to sit next to me and finally another fellow sits next to her. Here is the fun it turns out I was sitting right behind the lead character’s family. His mother, father and brother.  They came and sat in that empty row in front of us.

After the shot my girl friend said she could see my face framed behind the family so it looks like I will be in the film. We had a short break and then went out in front of the building to be friends standing outside the hospital looking up at room where Kelly the lead character is staying. Some people were given flowers to hold, signs with message like Home Run Kelly, and balloons. I was given two star shaped balloons. One was gold and the other was blue. I was standing on side but gal on a ladder was moving us around and she asked me to move sideways. I moved a little to the edge of a planter where ground cover roses were growing. Being up on a ladder she couldn’t see that I had an obstacle next to me. She asked me to move more to my right which I did but my skirt got caught on the roses for a minute. I ended up standing right next to the flag pole. We rehearsed talking among ourselves, seeing Kelly in the window, cheering and then chanting his name.  We did a couple of takes and they even had crew join the clip so the crowd would look even larger. The director came and stood in front of me along with two other members of the crew.

I have no idea when this movie will be released. There is more filming. The next day Gary Bushey who plays Kelly’s baseball coach will be on set. They only want students for tomorrow so I won’t be attending. Then next week there is a scene at a church in Rocklin CA but I am out of town so will miss that as well.  This was my big day and after lots of sitting around waiting I did get to be part of this movie. One of those first time experiences off the bucket list.

I have heard the comment “Do something new every day”. I certainly accomplished that today.

I am…peaceful

Prayer flags

Prayer flags

How about that message for starting the week? Focus on being filled with peace and radiating peace to everyone you meet.

This week starts with today being International Day of Peace as established by the United Nations. One can go back to Sept 1982 to observe the first such day. This year’s theme is ” Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. The U.N. General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.

On Saturday the 19th I went to a Playing for Peace Festival. It was held at the Spiritual Center for Positive Living in Cameron Park, CA. There were four bands that performed two of them being The Random Strangers and Ascension.  Plus, speakers on peace like Buddhist Monk, Geshe La Tsultrim and Reverend Dr. Patti Weber. It was a very warm afternoon but I enjoyed volunteering at the entrance table and being part of this lively event.

How can we help to raise the focus on peace in the world? We could demonstrate peace in our own life. Are you with me on this?

Namaste.

Quotations on Peace:

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” – Abraham Lincoln
“A smile is the beginning of peace.” – Mother Teresa

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

Arrrr you a Pirate?

Today I am…a pirate. ARRRR

Yarr! Let’s celebrate. Where is my eye patch? Mention of this day and I thought of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and I was just in a program with Mary Morrissey and during week Nine we had a lesson from point of view of a pirate named Jack. We were encouraged to stay the course, face the storm, do it afraid and go for the dream which we affirm as Jack the pirate would with an “Arrr”. Anyway, with Talk Like A Pirate Day you are encouraged to inject pirate-themed words and noises into everything you say. Talk like a pirate at home, at work, with friends, on the phone and to everybody you meet; top it off by dressing like a pirate, too!

ARRRR you ready?

Quotes on Pirate:

 . “The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his grand-father was a pirate.” – Bern Williams
 

. “Even pirates, before they attack another ship, hoist a black flag.” – Bela Kiraly

. “Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.” – Johnny Depp

 . “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

 . “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain from Life on the Mississippi

I am…reading (Read a Book Day)

Read a book day, really. How about read a book every day. I don’t read  a whole book every day and I doubt that is the intent of “Read a Book” day. I do spend some time each day reading a book. That seems to centerI-am-transforming-book, entertain, and expand my mind. Reading to my grandson is something I look forward to doing. Haven’t gotten the opportunity yet but I have given him some fun books. One with a finger puppet of a giraffe. His baby shower theme was giraffe and he has lots of them as stuffed animals.

Ok, back to reading. I started to laugh when I saw read a book. Funny, I have several books I am reading at the same time. One for a class I am taking, another on meditation, one on using social media for marketing, a couple on letting go to help me with writing my latest book. And I get emails on a regular basis for free e-books which I download to my Kindle fire. There are so many places one can find books to read besides the traditional book store. I already mentioned online. There is your local public library. There is a lending library in the community where I live. They also loan books on tape another fun way I  to listen to books. Twice a month I take a three hour drive so having a book on tape helps the time to pass quicker, plus I am entertained. You can find books at garage sales, yard sales and friends of library sales. Lots of book finding options.

The intent of Read a Book Day is to get people reading. Could include reading something that inspires you, reading to children, donating a book to children’s school library or to host a book reading party. How do you plan to spend this day? I plan to take some time today to relax and read. I hope you have something to read that feeds the soul and the mind?

Quotations on reading a book:

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.- Neil Gaiman

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should adsk him what books he reads.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. – Maya Angelou

I am…camping

What you see when camping

What you see when camping

We did lots of this when I was growing up. My favorite memory is when I got to sleep on my own inside our one wheel trailer. My dad made a tent over it. Then I grew too big and didn’t fit in it anymore. My brother got to sleep in the trailer next. We went to parks in northern California. Standish-Hickey State Recreation area was our favorite place to camp at. Each day we hiked a long trail down to the North Fork of Eel River to swim and eat lunch. Several years later they put in a road and campsites on the other side of the river which made reaching the river much easier. I read lots of books during those vacations.

When I got married we spent almost every summer camping, hiking and back packing in Yosemite. I like being to be outdoors in the fresh air. In the summer time we would also ride bicycles around the Valley. It wasn’t so much fun over the memorial day weekend in 1980 because of the Mammoth Lake 6.0 earthquake. Rocks were falling off the walls and onto trails and roads. Some of these rocks were the size of pickup trucks. The park actually closed the exit for awhile to clear and make roads safe to travel on. I remember our family riding bicycles to El Capitan meadow as we had another after shock. I was in the lead and thought the car ahead of me was moving. Turns out I was actually seeing the earth rolling up and down from the aftershock. One winter my husband and I cross country skied out to Glacier Point and camped overnight. It was very foggy as we arrived there but during the night I woke to moonlight. Zipped open the VE24 tent to see a full moon over Half Dome. It was a spectacular sight.

I have lots of fond memories from my camping trips. Like singing around the campfire and roasting marshmallows to make smores. Oh, and let’s not forget the smelly stuff I would lather on to stop mosquitoes from biting. This was especially important during a hike to a lake early one spring in Yosemite high country. And then there is sunscreen also lathered on before hiking. I found how important that was one year as I got the back of my ears sun burned on a hike to Water Wheel falls. I had pulled my hair back into a pony tail and neglected to put enough sunscreen on the that area. Very uncomfortable. Lesson learned.

I think the following John Muir quote is so true. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” – John Muir. Here’s to spending time going home. I am…camping. How about you?

Light hearted Quotes on camping:

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” – George Carlin

Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business. – Dave Barry