Cafe Conversations | Damn It Spock…..I’m From Iowa, I just work in Space!

                Captain James T. Kirk      courtesy 



     Ah, yes.  Captain Kirk knew a thing or two.  Most importantly he was well aware that he was  a mere mortal human from Iowa and simply worked  in outer space.  He would boldly go where no man had gone before.  And while there, Kirk would fight evil in the farthest of galaxies, spar with alien beings, rip off his shirt to impress the ladies when ever the need arises and  become overwhelmed with a star Ship filled to the brim with tiny Tribbles.

         If only our elected officials in Washington DC  had the insight and humanity of a Captain Kirk.   James T. Kirk and his crew faced challenges so beyond the realm of what a congressman would deal with everyday.  Yes I know, Kirk was traveling into the far reaches of space. Congressional folk drive down Pennsylvania Ave. When was the last time your Senator had to debate creatures oozing green blood, Battle those Big Bully Romoulans, who always loved a good fight, and drive at warp speed, into the outer reaches of the galaxy?  Probably never.  Kirk always did the right thing for the good of the many!  What if every congressman would do this:  Stop talking about what you will do and just do the right thing.  Stop the nonsense of Pointing fingers and actually do the right thing for the good of the many.  Can you?  Can you do the right thing?  Could it really be that hard?

       As a Senator or Congressman goes to Washington, it is much like the first day of school, marking off the check list:   Cool clothes-check!  Well stocked briefcase-check!   Expensive sunglasses-check!  Blackberry-check!  Glad Handing your frenemies-check!    Oh, fine!   But did you guys just conveniently forget to pack the “Gray Matter” along with the toothbrush and socks?   I mean, really!  Is it that difficult to engage one’s brain once you arrive in DC?  Are you star struck?  My mental picture of the arrival in DC go like this,  hands placed on hips….chin raised high… I am a Senator!   Declared with great Superman intensity.

     Immediately following that, do you just throw on the Magnetic Cloak of Attraction?  You know, the Magnetic Cloak seems to attract every Ass $@#%  Lobbyist, Corrupt Politician and Self Serving ”I want something from you” Person licking at your ear!  As Nancy Reagan said; Just Say No!   Two year olds do it 87 times a day.   You try it!   How hard is it to repel those jerks?  Oh wait.  You cannot corrupt someone who does not wish to be corrupted.

       I sort of envision the politicians as Adam in the Garden of Eden.   Shyly slinking amongst the trees and shrubs.  Suddenly hearing a heavenly voice calling out , “Hello Adam!”   Oh, God!     Why Yes, Yes I am!    Adam answers, while shaking down to his toes.  “I swear, I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong or that I would end up being naked.”  “At least until I met that really, really bad snake thing and it told me to “go ahead and eat the apple, like, who’s going to know!  Although I did see he had a forked tongue.  Hmmm!   I probably should have known better, but oh well!”   Oh well, my butt!  Meanwhile back in DC.   I say, ditch the magnetic cloak and remember who you are, where you came from and who elected you.  Remember your promises?  Can you do that?  For you see, even at the far reaches of space, James T. Kirk always knew who he was and where he came from.  Iowa.  Do not get me wrong, I understand, we humans are flawed beings.  It all goes back to having that picnic in the garden.  Damn it Eve, snakes are not your friend.  Seems that each earthly human needs some sort of supervision.  It starts at birth and then it’s up to God where it goes at the end.

 Some people have a conscious that guides them.  That inner compass of “doing the right thing”.  Kirk and Spock were guided by their inner compass and it was probably larger than the universe they traveled.   That said, our politicians have an inner compass, be it small at times and sometimes on MUTE.  This is why they will still need ADULT supervision.  The need for a spell check of sorts. : )   No matter how you term it, these guys are away from “home” and have given the keys to the castle and the corvette. (I’m from Michigan,GM rules.)  The politician was elected because we liked what he or she had to say and loved the way they said it.  Makes sense!   We sit back and expect those elected to continue doing as we think they should with a thousand miles between us.  Are we crazy?  Did we not, all watch Risky Business?  The Romoulans tested Kirk and Spock every stinking time they crossed paths.   We elected these people.  So now, we should be watching them like hawks over the hen-house.  Yet, we go on about our business, living and struggling to just survive each day.  The politician is wined, dined and has his back scratched successfully.  Of course, the favor is to be returned at a later date.  A vote is taken and the politician votes the opposite of what was promised.  And, we are surprised every time.   Why?

      We trust our politicians to do the right thing.  Duh!  Aren’t they supposed to?  Remember the time, you first left home.  “I’m Outta Here!”  You screamed as you left rubber on the road.  WooHoo!!  You knew it all and it was yours for the taking.  Your parents didn’t know anything.  After all, they bugged you by watching over your shoulder, told you who to hang out with and constantly reminded you to say Please and Thank You, blah, blah!  Like, that was going to get you somewhere.   That’s just it.  We did, need all of that and much more.  Our politicians are no different.  Scrutinize and Supervise!  Otherwise we are throwing our elected officials to the lobbyists and worse with no chance of seeing what they could become.  Questions is, how do we supervise them, short of sleeping on their sofa and becoming attached permanently at the hip?

       Being in DC is tantamount to being at your first Frat Party, playing your first kick ass video game or somewhere in the middle of that.  Women will understand this a bit better perhaps.  A 70% off sale at Bloomingdale’s.  Nuff Said!    We, as most  Americans do not understand the “politics” of being in the senate or congress.  I do not know of anyone who does.   For example, I found this from Washington Watch:  A Bill with No Name

       What a mess the Senate has made of H.R. 1586. It’s a package of spending and revenue measures—but we’ll ignore the substance for now because they have so utterly goofed up the name.

       As we noted here before, this is a “shell bill.” It was introduced as one thing (TARP taxes), became another thing (an aviation bill), and is now a batch of spending policies. (Cost: about $125 per family)

       The most recent version of the bill was produced when the Senate passed a “substitute amendment.” That’s an amendment that clips out everything in the bill and puts in all new text.


        In the House and Senate, they often publish amendments ahead of time, and it looks like someone was in a rush to get the amendment together, because they left blank lines where the new name of the bill should have been.

        Take a look for yourself. Down toward the bottom of this page in the Congressional Record, it says, “SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “_______Act of______”. (The Library of Congress’ Thomas reporting system picked that up as the “XXXXXXAct ofXXXX,” so that’s how it shows up on our site.)

        Well, THAT’s the amendment they brought up and passed, so the new name of the bill is the “_______Act of______.”

And that’s the way it might be signed into law.


        That’s just great Huh!   But our constitution requires that the House and Senate pass identical bills before it can be sent to the President and signed into law.   We learned that in civics class.  Well, I did.  This is only one example.  Maybe this means nothing to you.  What about “hidden agendas in a bill to be passed?”  This happens every day.  Why do we as a nation, allow this and why do we not raise a fuss about it??  I cannot for the life of me figure out why not.  Do you think Kirk would let Scotty take over the Brigg?  Not for more than 2 seconds!  Scotty would warp speed into the nearest star if Kirk was not there with a hand firmly placed on his shoulder.  Kirk knew Scotty had to be supervised, watched over and demanded accountability.   Why not our politicians?  I say if they do not do the job, then we can go all Mr. Spock on them with the Vulcan Death Grip, just to get their attention of course!  I hear my neighbors and friends complain about this very thing.  Can we hold our officials accountable?  Where do you stand?

       As I raised the issue before, our politicians need to be supervised and scrutinized consistently.   They should be accountable to all their constituents for their actions.   These are the same people who support or not support, the President as he Commands our War in another country.   We should be waging a war on our politicians for accurate and honest representation.  Do you feel the weight of what that means?

Live Long and Prosper.   For now, Warp Speed Ahead!

Splat The Cat Needs A new Home!


Cat Found:  Cute, Cuddly and a Real Scaredy Cat ! 

Has a Mouse and Spider as Friends…..Oh My…..

Scaredy-Cat, Splat!     by Rob Scotton


It’s Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately he’s just too much of a scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o’-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head. Whooooo can it be?

There are more books featuring Splat and his Pals.  It’s obvious that Splat is a Lefty!  Cool, huh!



Splat the Cat !       by Rob Scotton, Rob Scotton (Illustrator)

It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

Check out the books I found.  I found 6 books of the Splat The Cat series, but it is possible, there may be more.

Splat for Valentines Day, Splat looks for the Easter Bunny, well you get it.  Great Illustrations and story.

Price:  $9.93 and up.

According to the Author the recommended ages are 3-7.  Illustrations are beautiful.   Ideal for boys and girls.

Available at Barnes & Noble

Available at

Come Sail Away….Tall Ships, High Seas Adventure

Traverse Tall Ship Co.    Traverse City.   Another Great Michigan Getaway!

 So sit right back and I’ll tell the tale of the cruise offerings from Traverse City.   No worries!  They do not offer a 3 hour tour.   I promised you some really cool ideas for Getaways and Long weekends.   Ready?  Here is the first of my series!     The Tall Ship Co. based in Traverse City has a “High Seas Adventure” waiting for you.   Enjoy the  * Astronomy Cruises – Sunny Days and Star Studded Nights.  Coming up on October 1 -4.    Sounds dreamy!    Bring your best guy or gal on a   *Wine Tasting Cruise – International and Locally featured Wines paired with amazing scenery and cuisine.   There are more than a dozen local Wineries in the vicinity of  Traverse City.    Shake off that bad day with a  * Micro Brew and  Pizza Cruise – Right Brain Brews and Crusted Creations Pizza.  My friends thought this was a winner also.   Wouldn’t be nice to stay afloat on the  * Windjammer Cruises.   Lazy weekends are satisfying with the *  Bed and Breakfast Cruises.     Oh My!   And there is much more!   Midwest Living Magazine even did a very nice layout  on this “Cruise Line”.   Enjoy the colors of  Northern Michigan, sail away on the spectacular lakes.  Sit back,  take a load off,  cell phones be damned and  leave your stress behind.  Enjoy the wonders that this beautiful state has to offer.  Stunning shorelines, local traditions, the best people anywhere.   Take it all in.  You deserve it.   Just one of many places you cannot afford to miss here in Michigan.  Can you tell I LOVE Michigan!  Check out the website.  You can even give a Gift Certificate.  Great idea, huh!   After all, there are only 94 days till Santa makes his list, checks it twice and Rudolph gets to change his nose bulb!. 

The Tall Ship Manitou is a replica of an 1800’s coasting cargo schooner, similar to those that sailed the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.   With a 62 passenger capacity and over 3,000 sq. ft. of sail, this stately vessel weighs nearly 100 tons, has a 21′ beam (width), an overall length of 114 feet and a height of over 75,’ so there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail.   There are overnight accommodations for 24 guests in 12 private cabins which are rustic and fitting of a mid-1800’s style windjammer.   Sailing out of Traverse City from Memorial Day weekend through early September, Manitou offers a noon sail, afternoon sail and a popular evening sail, with each adventure being two hours in length (a specially catered picnic meal is included on the evening sail).    Additional excursions include Wine Tasting Cruises on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. 

For more information: click on the link

Tall Ship LogoTraverse Tall Ship Co.
13390 S. W. Bay Shore Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684

Toll Free: (800)678-0383       (800)678-0383      
Phone: (231)941-2000            (231)941-2000      
Fax: (231)941-0520
 email:  Traverse Tall Ship Co.

The Tall Ship Manitou
Traverse City Top 10 Adventures

It’s Almost Heeere……..

Classy Style

It’s Coming Fast


What did you think I meant?   Autumn/Fall has so many pleasures and it’s the shortest season. Why?   Here, in Michigan, it’s about 2 weeks of a pure Fall.  That is the short window of opportunity for the Color Tours and such.   So, we have to work fast and savor the season slowly.  Is that an oxymoron?  I’ll check. 


For now,  I am beginning the planning process for a few day trips around the area, hopefully to enjoy the Fall colors and local events.    I will share some local spots with you in the following weeks.  There are many events, places and things to do and to visit, within an hour or so drive from anywhere in Southwest Michigan.  So please stay tuned.  I am putting the list together and checking it twice. 


 Oh, and do not forget about FOOD.  I have selected the cookbooks and pulled out those well-loved recipe cards of old.  I am getting ready for next month, to begin baking a few fun recipes.  I have my standbys, the tried and true ones and of course the favorites, the gotta have it recipes.  You know, the ones that if you don’t make them, you get yelled at!   Believe me it’s easier to just go ahead and bake the goodies, then to suffer the repercussions!  If you have any recipes that you wish to share please do so.  I would absolutely LOVE it.   I will post a few of mine along with a photo or 2.  So, coming soon.  Yuummmy!

Fall Decorating

AND,   Please do not forget about decorating.  It isn’t all about pumpkins, folks.     So listen up all you  Guys!    If you want the woman in your life to grab you and give a giant bear hug and just possibly a few extra generous kisses! ( This is G-rated) I know,I know,  she does that everyday doesn’t she!   I guarantee this will bring bonuses galore!  Interested??   This is what you can do.  Now,  On your own or with some help, Put together a few Fall Containers for the front steps, maybe a porch or the back deck and patio.  And, as a delightful bonus, the neighbors will be dazzled at your creativity and thoughtfulness;  and totally jealous, which makes it  sooooo worth it.    Here is an idea for a planting container that I thought was a bit different, just to get you started.   Go ahead and place pumpkins around but you do not have to make them the focal point, use them as an accent to the containers and other landscaping.  I have this container pictured on the upper left.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

*Yellow and Gold Autumn Container

Shown above in the left photo:

Ornamental peppers, a spiky grass and golden chrysanthemums give this container an autumn glow. It’s a great combination to make the transition from summer to fall.


  • 1 14-inch container
  • 1 6-inch pot fountain grass ‘Dwarf Hameln’
  • 6-pack white violas
  • 1 6-inch pot gold chrysanthemums
  • 1 6-inch pot ornamental peppers
  • 1 4-inch pot dwarf yellow dahlias

If you cannot find the exact plantings, pick something similar to the style and color.  It’s not rocket science, thank goodness.  These should last until freezing temps descend upon us.  (so much longer than a floral centerpiece)

*Good to Know

At the end of summer don’t toss out all the plants in your containers. Cut back leggy annuals and “spot replace” plants that are too weary to revive. You can fill empty holes with plants from this list of fall favorites.

 Happy  Planting!!  I have more ideas coming to this Blog soon.  Until then……I”ll need a Latte.

*courtesy of p allen smith

We Are All Hot Chicks……..Did I need The Book?

Live Like A Hot Chick


I love talking about books daily so this is nothing new here.   When I find a new book or rediscovered one that has been around for a while, I want everyone to know.  Hey!  Here is a Must Read!  Put down the remote and grab a page turner!   It was just a  few weeks ago, that  I stumbled across the notice that the book   Live Like A Hot Chick , was coming out soon.   I smiled and chuckled to myself.   Sure!   Then, while doing research on a different  article I was writing,  I just happened to glance at a few pages of another  book by the same authors.  Only giving it a few moments I found it a bit interesting, so I knew that I would come back at another time to learn more.   Having more research to  preview, I moved on.  Well,  Surprise! Surprise!   This morning, the “ know it all ladies “ from the Today Show had the authors on as their guests.  Well, it was Kismet!**   I knew with certainty that I had to look into these books  further. 

Digging deep ( hah!)   I dug up 3 books by the authors,  Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent.  “ How To Love Like A Hot Chick  …  The duo that taught you to embrace your body and indulge without guilt in  How to Eat Like a Hot Chick apparently is back to remind you of something that will transform your love life forever—you are a Hot Chick!   Heck Yeah!    With their feisty humor and uplifting message, Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent will help you figure out what you want, how to get it, and why you shouldn’t settle for anything less, damn it!    Most important, they’ll make the entire process a lot more fun with their advice on the hidden joys of being single, how to send out magical Hot Chick vibes  ( oh, just a moment, I need to take notes here)  OK!  Moving on,  and interpret your date’s vibes, ( oh, my!  Can you really do that?) falling in love without freaking out, eeeekk!  tactful dumping procedures for dates,  survival techniques for heart-wrenching breakups, and much more.

“Whether you’re single, dating, in a relationship, or so confused you don’t know what your status even is,   How to Love Like a Hot Chick  will have you laughing your way through dating and relationship issues and tackling them like the sexy, fabulous woman you deserve to be.”  I know many men that would love to be tackled by a sexy, fabulous, women.  Of course, after that;  you know,   he’ll ask  you to follow him home. :) 

Here is an excerpt from an article using Hot chick Algebra:

Live Like a Hot Chick, is all about balance, and this week we’ve put our message in mathematical terms to help you start living a more confident, calm, and harmonious life. Start applying these equations to your day, and we bet you’ll be better off.

1. Working ten hours a day at a job you hate + cleaning your house every Sunday + feeling like you never have time for you = Setting a plan in stone to go to yoga class and have brunch with a group of girlfriends every weekend.

2. An apple with almond butter for breakfast + a spinach salad for lunch + 1 spin class after work = Two glasses of champagne + a hunk of brie cheese + five buttery crackers + four fried appetizers at your best friend’s engagement party.

3. Clearing off your kitchen counter + shredding the dirty old receipts from your purse, car, and desk + putting those piles of old photos in cute photo boxes = A mind temporarily free from OWL (Overwhelmed With Life) Syndrome.

4. Waking up alone after hooking up with a hot guy who snuck out before sunrise = Chocolate cake for breakfast while you watch The Bachelorette on your TiVo.

5. Dirty dishes in the sink + unpaid bills on your table + just getting back from a week-long hellish business trip = Ignoring the mess for one night while you relax on the couch with a glass of wine and American Idol.

6. The stress of looking for a new job after having a baby + feeling LSE (Low Self Esteem) about not fitting into your pre-pregnancy suit = Buying a new suit + shoes + accessories that fit you perfectly and make you feel like a Hot Chick

7. Three rum & Cokes + two beers + the Taco Bell drive through at 3:00 a.m. = A gallon of water and a giant spinach salad for breakfast when you wake up at noon with indigestion and a headache.

8. An early morning meeting that lasts until 1 p.m. + a fight with your man the night before = A lunchtime spinning class to clear your head and blow off steam.

9. Complaining about how there are “no good men out there” + sleeping with every first date = Not finding love until you stop sending out confusing slutty vibes and figure out what you want.

10. Surprising your man with compliments and sexy lingerie + working hard to live within your means and put some money in savings each month + throwing your best friend a baby shower = Living like a Hot Chick.

Conclusion:  The first page of the book I previewed was titled:    Love Yourself.   The authors had started exactly where they should.   Start with yourself.   You cannot have a true relationship with any other human unless you love and respect yourself first.  From the random pages I did read, the books seem sensible, practical and an easy read,  for some, a requirement.   I am not sure that these books should be read by your young teen.  That’s not my call.  I am sure some teens are reading far worse.  I felt the books were for women.  AGES:  18 to 125.    The practicality and just down to earth girl-sense was pretty refreshing.  I will delve into these further as soon as I finish the other 3 I have going at present. 

I checked at the Portage District Library:  Under the search, 3 items did pop up.  The TV show, 2 and half men;  The Hot Chick DVD:  a Jazz CD.   Wacky!   Well it appears that  the library has not stocked these books as yet.  I feel they should.    

These books available at Barnes & Noble starting at $9.99.  Checking around may find other prices.  Perhaps Meijer or Target.   I say, buy one copy and share with your friends.  Or just keep it as a Reference Book.   Read it, Discuss it and take note of  the positives.

NOTE*  I did find a number of books with the words “hot chick” in the title.  I was not reviewing any of them, so I claim no knowledge of their content.  Some were a bit scary.  Buyer beware. 

I also like this website :

This is actress , Teri Hatcher‘s site – Get Hatched, cute huh!  Lots of stuff.  Nothing  R-rated.  Family Friendly.   Check it out when you have time.

Until next time…..I’ll have a Latte! 


**Kismet means fate. 

 Also,  **Kismet is a 1955 movie.  You can watch  the movie for free if you are interested by clicking the link

I Need a Road Map and GPS to Find My Happy Place

In a castle far far away

My friend Nancy, of  Embracing Myself  Blog , shared the simple pleasure of spending a day with friends over coffee and pleasant  conversation.  I had forgotten what that could be like.  I had always worked long hours, putting my workplace before inner peace.  As I read Nancy’s words, I could sense the contentment that she felt after sharing time with her friends.   All this has now brought me back to my quest.   Hence I will share an earlier post of my little  journey to find my Happy Place.  

In a galaxy far far away there is a place called Happy Ville!    I need help finding my own Happy Place.  (Be nice!)     Did I just………. not remember how to get there?  Had I ever really been there?    Oh, yeah,   “I’ve been there!”    So, why is it now,  being at a certain point of my life, that I cannot get to my doggone Happy Place as often as I should!    I have tried Prayer.  That takes patience.  I’m a bit short on that.    And, just  maybe, it wasn’t such a swell idea when I was stomping my right foot,  while standing in the middle of the kitchen, declaring ” I want to go to my  Happy Place NOW!. “  Maybe a tad too immature?  Probably!  I need a Yellow Brick Road and a pair of Ruby Slippers.  Click, Click, go the Ruby slippers,  “there’s no place like Happy Place, there’s no place like Happy Place.”   There it is………mmm….Nope!  Nothin,  Nada,  Zero.  A big fat donut hole of nothingness.   If I have to buy my way to Happy Ville, well you can  forget that too.   The “take money out whenever you need it” store closed in 2007. 

So today, my bag was piled high and wide, loaded with all the essentials:  sunglasses, lip gloss, snacks, a few best sellers, iPod loaded to capacity, (160 gigs of rip-roaring fun),  the GPS mounted adeptly on the dash, a folded map at the ready (good luck re-folding that sucker).  Cell phone charged to the max, sandals, heels, toning walking shoes.  Did I forget anything?  Something No doubt!   I am off to see the wizard of  my Happy Place.

 Nice little getaway place, huh!  In my dreams.

Then it happened.   A giant  SMACK  up side my head.   A Great Wisdom Cloud then surrounded me as the words of the great Homer Simpson hit me.  “D’oh”     Yes!  There it was.   I came to the realization that My Happy Place is not just a destination.  It’s a journey of the mind and heart.    Or, at least  what is left of my mind after crazy world.  Here I am thinking I need to physically go to a place, a dot on the map, a special place where happiness abounds and  falls like brightly colored skittles from the sky.  Everything I need for my Happy Place is within me.  So why aren’t I happy?  I had been looking for a map to follow or at least some divine guidance.      Nope!  Nothing to pack, nothing to assemble, no need to leave my home.  No Pat Downs or Airport Pornographic x-rays.   Wait a minute!  Well then, why do we say things like:  I need to GO to my Happy Place?   Is it a true destination?   Apparently it’s all within and around us.  Nope!  Here again I will need a GPS or tour guide to find it within also.   Is the cloud of “do not have a clue” passing over.  It appears I have no sense of direction at the moment, so I need tech support to find Happy Ville.

Well, I did try going to my Happy Place mentally one day at work.  Happy Ville seemed so peaceful and serene.  Darn near nodded off!   oops!   Oh, and note to all.  Do not attempt to visit Happy Ville when driving your car.  I drove to my old house once, attempted to use the garage door opener which refused to open and I had no memory of driving there.   A baffling moment at best! 

So, today, a small window to a possible “Happy Place” opened up.  Yippeee- Skippee!  I happened to catch a bit of Vh1‘s  100 Greatest Artists.  WOW!!   Short sound bites of music and videos I have not seen or heard for some time.   A trip down memory lane…it was quite nice.  I tossed the remote on the table and didn’t pick it up for quite a spell.  You know, just like the guys do, when they discover Zena, Warrior Princess  reruns on TV!  :)   I have not thought much about  many of these groups for a while.  They are getting old, man!  You know who you like, so I don’t need to list them all.  Ya know, music is one of my Happy Places. Thankfully!   Sorry,  I digress a bit.  My respite on a cold day was a welcome trip to Happy Ville that had me humming along.

Meanwhile, it’s back on the road again to find my Happy Place.   Perhaps the key here, is not to try so hard, huh?  Just let it envelop me, while performing simple everyday tasks, taking pleasure in each and every moment.  Not quite sure how changing the furnace filter or digging out weeds from cracks in my sidewalk  is Happy Ville, but I’ll play along.   I can take pleasure in those simple things on  most days.  A great cup of coffee,  aahhh…. mmmm good…… a phone call from a friend………., writing on my Blog……….taking photos around town…a good book.  Maybe, I’m just not paying attention when my Happy Place does put in an appearance?   Thinking about it too much seems a bit taxing. 

The Islands are a must see

Long Vacation?  Yes,  I know I really need a vacation.  Since, my last vacation was in 1995.  I believe I am overdue like a lost and lonely library book.   When I returned from that vacation in 1995, I decided one week later, to turn in my resignation at work.  Boy oh boy!   Nothing like being away from  the “crazy world” I worked in, to make me realize what a toxic environment really was.   Well, let me tell you that is another story for another time.   Oh, yeah, I remember, at one time,  I had planned a vacation to that lovely state of California once before.  As it always seems to happen,  that was the precise time my co-worker left for a better paying job.  Imagine that?  Then 20 other events happened.  Regardless, I was not allowed to take a day off, let alone a vacation.  I was doing the work of 3 staff members.  There was a hiring freeze.   Fiasco…. is the word that comes to mind for those days.  Nightmares come from experiences like that, you know.  Therefore, because a co-worker left and started me on the downward spiral for no days off, I believe this is all her fault.  Wendie, you have some explaining to do!  

 So, believing 15 years is too long between vacations, I just need to do it.  Does anyone have a vacation getaway place to rent?   Anyone…… Anyone??  Or even recommend a destination?    First place that comes to my mind is where I had planned to go in 2003… Napa Valley,  Sonoma,  Russian River Valley in Northern California. 

I left that crazy world in 2007 and have been seeking peace, contentment and my own little Happy Ville ever since.    Apparently my GPS is still on the fritz.  Know the number to tech support?

Kindle, Nook or a Book

Which do you prefer?  Do you have an opinion? 

Purists like myself prefer the tactile nature of  printed books.  Yeah, Yeah, the eReader will save space and for some it is just  a ” must have.”  For now, I prefer real books.  Digital or eReader, You decide.

Kindle:   Cost – $139 to $379.     The latest version of the Kindle e-book is Kindle DX.  It has a display of 9.7 inches with an E Ink screen.  The device is slim and has just 1/3 inch thickness. One can download books free of cost and without any contracts through the 3G wireless service.  The built-in PDF allows for viewing even tables and small prints with utmost clarity.   Auto-rotate feature of Kindle DX’s screen allows for transition from portrait to landscape view.  With this feature, one can easily view graphs, maps, web pages and tables. There is a text-to-speech feature which comes with Kindle DX.  With this feature, the e-readers read out content from blogs, magazines and books which converts the process of reading to listening.


 The Nook:    Cost – $149 to $199.     The latest additions to the Nook 1.3 include: “Read in Store” any book from the B&N e-book catalog daily for up to an hour for free (slower readers can return the next day);  dual internet connectivity (3G and WiFi);  lend a friend an e-book for up to two weeks; dip into OverDrive-powered local libraries;  open ecosystem that supports Adobe DRM and non-DRM books; browse books by cover; customizable screen saver and color touchscreen with improved contrast; more font choices; and a user-accessible battery.

Yadda, Yadda!

Book:  Free – $30       Libraries have free books or trade ins.  Garage sales are fabulous.  Trading amongst friends and neighbors.  Hard covers can be pricey, but give me one as a gift, HooYah!

 WOW!   Way too much information.  I just want to read the damn book.   It appears to be a 2nd job owning an eReader.   Sort of a mini computer, yet not.   

For now,  I like holding the printed books in my hand, turning each page as I read the words written by some brilliant author.  (Guilty Pleasures do not count)   Books have a personality.  Much like the authors and us readers.  Picking up a book,  years after reading it for the first time, touching the cover, flipping the pages and noticing the smudges from freshly polished nails, a ribbon or even a lowly bill found as a book mark.  Wonder if it was paid?   No such charm with the Kindle or Nook. 

What about:  Picking up a book a garage sale, finding small folded notes, pressed flowers between the pages  and a poem written in the owner’s youth.  There was also a small pencil drawing  of a flower;  similar sketches strewn throughout the book.   The name of the young girl written in an old style script on the face page, the year, 1921.  Finding the knowledge that the person was over 90 years old, had passed away and had the book as a teen.   A young girl’s foolish whimsy perhaps.   Remains of which were noted in the found objects pressed between the pages…..  How sweet!   This would never be possible with an eReader.  

What about:  Grabbing that dog-eared  paperback with crinkled pages, chocolate and  coffee stains and a few other unknown substances.  Notes scribbled in the margins, dates, names, places.  Critical notes to the author on few paragraphs.   These books are like old friends.  A sudden waft of Jasmine as I change the page.  Aahh, bubble bath.   I remember that.  A bubble bath, a book and some bubbly, a girls much-needed getaway.    I always run to these special books at times when I need something, yet I really have no idea what or why.  And so, there they are when I have that  need.   Only a precious few books are  loaned out to a few VIP’s.   Rules sometimes given in military precision to exclusive  borrowers.  Afterall, they are but fostering the book.

Regardless of what one chooses I am pleased that reading is alive and well.