It’s Feel Good Friday………….Fall Decorations and Fun Reads For You!

Harvest Decorating

Fall is absolutely Glorious in the Midwest.  This year especially glorious!  Much to do, Fall decorating, many activities with school or college.  Go Spartans!  Some have expressed to me, a let down of sorts with the end of summer.  Well.  First thing.  Embrace Fall.  It’s beautiful.  Take it all in.  If you remember the article I had on Fall Decorating with Containers.  Read it again and perhaps become enthusiastic about some simple touches that always add a loving touch to your home.  Put out a few pumpkins.  Real or otherwise.  Visit a craft store or even the Grocery and pick up a few candles, scented and plain.  Place these around with some gourds, and tiny mini pumpkins. Viola!  Beautiful.  Believe me, small simple touches of the outdoors can lift your spirits.  No money!  Go outside and cut a few branches, leaves or not, and put them in a large vase.  Place on the floor or corner table.  Instant cool!  Decorators get big bucks for this.  Some greenhouses or market stands have mums for $2.00 to $4.00 each.  Cash in a few pop cans and you are good to go!  What ever you do, make it simple but love what you are doing.  These touches will keep us all happy until it’s time to decorate “en mass” for the Holidays.  Only   71 Days till Christmas.  I hear sleigh bells already.     

Let me offer a couple of suggestions for you and anyone who needs a laugh or a heartfelt story.  Either of thesebooks  should lift your spirits.  I guarantee it!   One other thing these 2 books have in common, is their extremely long titles. 

On Tuesday, I was anxiously awaiting a book my friend told me would be hitting store shelves.  Hoda Kotb from the NBC Show Dateline since 1998, has written a book.  I know!!   So my number 1 pick is  her new book.  Hoda is beautiful and talented.  A bit crazy when she is with Kathie Lee Gifford, but then who wouldn’t be??  Actually, it is very good from the portions I read.  Her multi cultural life, growing up and battling divorce and cancer at the same time.  Inspiring, interesting and some fun.  How did she get where she is today?  Well, it’s in the story!  Her new book:   Hoda:    How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee        by Hoda Kotb     Here’s a short excerpt for you:

*Recently, I was walking through one of New York City’s terrific neighborhood street fairs teeming with colorful



Hoda Kotb Book


  booths. Banners promised “Millions of Socks!” and vendors proudly displayed tie-dyed scarves and chocolate-covered marshmallows on skewers. The crowd had a Sunday pace and I happily relaxed into the mix of sun-soakers and serious shoppers. As I wandered, some who watch a bit of television offered their kind hellos as they passed by. A friendly guy selling piano lessons wanted to chat. He asked one of the two questions I most often hear. 

One is, “Where are you from?”

He asked the other: “How did you get to where you are today?”

It’s always that second question that makes me want to pull out a vinyl pocket photo file. It would flip-flop-flip all the way down to the ground, filled with pictures of the extraordinary people who guided me, who took a chance on me, who supported me. They are the answer. They are how I got to where I am today.

Think of all the people who’d fill your pocket photo file. Or even the pages of your book. I never really considered writing a book, and wondered—when someone suggested the idea—whether I could. I can’t remember a damn thing! Big problem. A good friend of mine, aware of my recall issues, mailed me a package of dried blueberries when she heard about my book project. The enclosed card (I’m told) read, “Good for your memory. Start eating these by the bushel!” Well, the package never arrived. Classic. The berries got lost, just like my memories.

Turns out, though, several hundred pages later, I did have a book in me. I do remember things once I dig around in the fuzzy matter a bit. (I wisely issued shovels to my siblings, too.) So, what’s my book about? It’s about where I’m from. My family. The hunt for my first television job. And the double whammy that took my breast and broke my heart at the same time. It’s about stories I’ve covered around the globe. Hurricanes Katrina and Kathie Lee. What I’ve learned so far in my life. It’s about how the dirt that gets kicked in our faces sometimes transforms into magic dust. Most important, though, these pages are a way to give credit and thanks to the people who boldly stepped up when no one else would, and who quietly sat down next to me without being asked. My book is about all that and a random guy on a plane who told me, “Don’t hog your journey.”

Okay, I won’t. Here’s my journey. I’m so glad you’re here. Pass the blueberries.*

 Everyone of us needs a book that isn’t necessarily about medieval castles or a dry biography, a book about we as a human and how we adapt to many challenges.  And should anyone be interested, Hoda is single, very pretty, loves wine and looking for Mr Right.  I am sure NBC would get in touch with her,  should you want to give her a call.  Want the number?  :)

The number 2 book I had heard of last week was:  

  American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures  by Willie Geist.     Willie is the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC.  I am not a fan of that show.  I had seen Willie Geist as a fill in for members of the NBC news team.  I had thought him to be dry and humorless.  Boy, was I wrong!  Willie could be the Joan Rivers of 2010.  He picks on everyone.  Truly no one is safe from his oddly strange mind.  He is funny!  Here is the review: 


*This is not the first book written about quantum mechanics, but it just might be the last. The theory presented inside these pages is so revolutionary that it has stunned the scientific community into reconsidering centuries of thought about the behavior of energy and matter. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Sorry, that s the introduction to Willie Geist’s next book the culmination of his life’s work. Look for it next spring, just in time for Mother s Day. This book is about his other passion: freaks.

When he’ s not in the lab, Geist spends his time on MSNBC s Morning Joe sifting through the wreckage of American politics and popular culture. These days, that’s a big job. With an Alaska hockey mom turning, almost overnight, into a national icon and threatening to move from Wasilla to the White House, with the world’s most famous athlete now associated less with the Masters and more with the strippers, and with reality TV working around the clock to ensure the constitutional right of every man, woman, and child to fifteen minutes of fame, Geist’s business is thriving

American Freak Show

 In his hilarious first book, American Freak Show, Geist takes the smart, biting observation loved by his television audience to new satirical extremes. The real-life characters who now haunt our daily lives are cast as stars in completely made-up scenes that, frankly, are not all that far from reality.

Geist treats us to the first look at President Sarah Palin s unconventional inaugural address, performed live on WWE s Monday Night Raw after her renegade victory in the 2012 election. We go inside the ballroom for a Dean Martin style welcome roast of Bernie Madoff upon his arrival in Hell, with Pol Pot serving as side-splitting roastmaster. Geist provides us with never-before-seen FBI wiretap transcripts of the more mundane, but equally profane, telephone conversations of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. And George W. Bush s batting-cage-and-waterslide-themed plans for a presidential library are laid out publicly for the first time.

From Obama to Oprah, Afghanistan to Lohan, and Snooki to the Salahis, Willie Geist spares no one as our host of this wild American Freak Show. You ll laugh out loud while weeping for the future of America.*

I say it’s worth a look.  It is meant to  be fun.  So in the interest of Feel Good Friday, I hope I have given you a few things to ponder.  For those that missed last weeks article:   Shop Your Closet!  Stop over at my blog and check it out.  Until next time……..Love Yourself, Love Your Family, Enjoy Your Life!



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