Thursday, June 16, 2011

Era Of Choice (Past, Present Or Future?)

"Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover"
(Or can you?)

With my love for reading I've gotten pretty good at picking out books! After all, I know myself pretty well by now! :) I can usually tell if a book is my "type" of book. I know what I will like & what I most likely wont. There of course have been a few mishaps along the way. I think a book sounds great & it turns out to be bad. I hate that! And there have even been a few times a book that I've chosen to read is so bad I can't even finish it. (And believe me, for me to put a book down, it has to be pretty bad!) Thankfully that doesn't happen very often.

But fortunately the opposite is sometimes true as well. I don't think I will like a book then I'm happily surprised when I do. I have a few criteria I go by when picking out a book. Now I know you are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but lets just be honest here, we all do it! If a cover isn't appealing to me, I will pass it up. I have a few Authors that I know I like their writing style, so if I see a book by one of them, I will give it a second glance.

I also pay attention to what Era, or time period the book is set in. You won't find me me usually with a book set in the Prairie Days. Not even if other people tell me how great the book is, if it's set then, I'm not interested. I know this probably sounds strange knowing that my favorite book of all time is Little Women, which is of course set during the Civil War time. (I can't explain it either!) I know what I like is Modern Day Fiction. The only Historic Fiction I am interested to read is usually set in the World War II Period. That I like! I also enjoy books that are Nostalgic & go back & forth between decades. I've read a lot of those recently, some of my favorites have been: Firefly Lane, The Girls From Ames (Non Fiction), Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, I Think I Love You, The YaYa Sisterhood, to name a few. But generally I stick to Modern times.

But, recently I have been discovering a new time period that I'm enjoy reading about. When I started a Book Club, the first book we choose to read was The Secret Life Of Bees, a really good book, set in the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Being born in the 60's, of course I don't remember them much, :) but I've always known all men are created equal. And that the color of our skin shouldn't matter. But still, I wasn't prepared for how much I would come to love another book set during that time period . . .

Now, I had heard a lot of people talking about this book. I looked at it, the cover doesn't give much away, the story didn't seem like my kind of book. I didn't really understand what it was about, but it wasn't appealing to me at all. I had passed on it a number of times. Then I saw the Movie Trailer. I thought "I have to read that book!" It looked so good. So I got the book for Mother's Day. And now that I've read it, I must say, the Movie Trailer that made me want to read the book, I now look at and think how silly it looks & it better do the book justice!

I can not tell you how much I really LOVE this book. I honestly didn't want it to end. It was funny & touching & intense. I know I will always consider it one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it that much.

"Lines between black and white ain't there neither.
Some folks just made those up, long time ago.

And that go for the white trash and the so-ciety ladies to0."

"So you saying they ain't no line between the help and the boss either?"

"They's just positions, like on a checkerboard.

Who work for who don't mean nothing."

"All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries."

And because of how much I loved this book, I'm willing to give another Era a go. One that I've never really cared to read about before. The Future! What am I'm reading next? I'm so glad you've asked. There is another book series I've heard A LOT about that just didn't appeal to me. (Again with the cover & the story line) But everyone says how incredibly great they are! They are Young Adult Fiction (As is the Twilight Series) but the last straw for me was seeing a grown man pumping gas into his car with this book in his hand. I thought that book must be good, if a man can't even pull himself away from it long enough to pump his gas! So I'm giving it a go . . .

And just in time too I'd say, since they are making a Hunger Games movie to be released soon as well. I hope it lives up to all the hype! You can rest assured I will let you know what I think. :) So, what Era, or time period do you prefer to read? Have you ever been surprised when you find a book outside of your "norm" that you really like?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Job Update

It's been a month since my son, Zach left us to go work for the summer at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State, so I thought I'd give you an update as to how he's doing away from home & how we're doing without him at home . . .

He traveled for the first time alone & got there just fine. His boxes we had sent ahead of time arrived in town ahead of him, but since the lodge wasn't opened yet, they weren't going to deliver them, until the next week. Which meant he had no bedding & no winter gear & there was almost 18 feet of snow on the ground! (Today, 1 month latter, there is still 16 feet of the white powder stuff on the ground!) They provided him with bedding. But since the lodge is a half mile hike from the dorms, and he has to be at work at like 6 in the morning, this Arizona boy was cold! It was a few days until he could even see the Mountain he was living on!

He finally got his boxes, which made life more easier! (Not to mention warmer!) He is working in the Paradise Lodge, in the housekeeping dept. He, it seems is the heavy lifter! He walks up the 4 flights of stairs (there is no elevator) several times a day! Carrying bedding & laundry up & down. He deals with shipment, & stocks all the supplies & makes sure all the maids & their carts have everything they need. He's filled in for a Porter, which works the lobby, keeping the fire going & helping people with their luggage! But he likes his own job better, even though he gets tips when he does the other! :)

He has met so many people from all around the world! He loves Geography & History, so getting to talk with people from different parts of the world is a thrill for him. There is a group of students from the University of Singapore that he seems to hang out with quite a bit. On his day's off they take a shuttle down to an area of lower altitude on the mountain, that doesn't have snow, in order to hike. He has seen Foxes, Coyotes, Brown & Black Bears, all kinds of birds & deer! Says it's absolutely Beautiful there.

He has had 2 other roommates come in & get moved to other areas, his one roommate he's had since the beginning he describes as a gay man, who loves to quote Scripture. :) They had a water line break in the dorms & had to sleep in the Lodge for a few days. He liked that! :) And those of you who know Zach, know how he loves to play ping pong, and he's pretty good at it. They have a table there. He's played a lot. There are a couple people from China, who beat him pretty badly, people keep asking him why he keeps playing them, when they keep beating him? He says because they challenge him & he'll know he'll get better by playing them. And he even beats them sometimes already. I told him by the time the summer's over, he'll be Forest Gump! :)

There was a week we didn't hear from him because a storm blew in & they get no Cell Phone coverage when that happens. When the sky is clear, he can call! He will text from time to time as well, but we usually don't get them until the day after he sends them. He has taken some pictures, but doesn't have a way to upload them so we can see them. :( We are planning a trip up to see him in July. Then you know I'll be Blogging & posting pictures! I've asked him if there is anything he needs, or things he wished he'd taken with him that he didn't? He said he has everything he needs, he's glad for some of the stuff I sent with him that he thought I was crazy for making him take! (Once again, I prove Mother knows best!) :)

It's quiet around here without him. And grocery shopping is so strange since Zach is our biggest eater! I asked him if he's loosing weight with how much exercise he's getting, and his reply was "the cafeteria is all you can eat!" :) He asked about the wildfires burning in Arizona. And we try to update him on what's going on around here. Our little dog Tinkerbell, slept down stairs the entire first night he was gone. She usually waits up till the boys get home, then will come up to bed. And I think she just kept waiting for him to come home! :) We're glad he's having fun & getting this incredible experience, but we sure do miss him. I pray everyday for his safety & well being. I just don't understand why kids have to grow up & venture out on their own! I'm sure he could give me a couple of reasons! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Carry On My Wayward Son . . .

The other day at work one of my co-workers gets a phone call from her husband, some friends of theirs had bought tickets back in February to see Kansas in concert. Something came up with their kids & now that the concert was here, they couldn't go. But, my friends husband had a meeting at work, so they weren't able to take the tickets either. I mentioned my husband & I might be interested in the tickets if they couldn't find anyone. They had a few more friends they wanted to offer them to. I didn't think anymore about it, nor did I mention it to my husband, who we all know is a Rock'n Roller! :)

The next day I get a text from my friend that no one could use the tickets, so she had them for me if I still wanted them. I asked John "Do we have any plans for tonight? How would you like to see Kansas in Concert?" Well, even if we had had plans, I'm pretty sure he would have changed them! So, we went out to dinner & got an unexpected date night!

The concert was at Celebrity Theater in Phoenix. It's a small round theater in which the stage turns in a circle, so no matter where you sit, you get to see the performance from front, back & everything in between! To a musician like my husband, that is what its all about. Actually being able to see the Guitar players finger positioning, etc. (It's all Greek to me! I just want to hear some good music & dance!) :)

The seats were amazing! The only thing between us & the stage was the small Orchestra pit, in which held the sound board. And with my husband being a Music & Arts Pastor, he loves to check out all that equipment at any concert we go to.

We were both wearing our Toms Shoes (cause we're cool like that I guess) Before the concert started, we had our feet up on the ledge overlooking the pit, so we had to snap a pic.

This was a view of the stage before the concert started. A local comedian opened the show.

But of course a Guitar player has to take pictures of the instruments of choice. After telling me of course what kind they are & a little of the Guitar's history, etc. Please don't ask me to repeat it, because, well, you know me! :)

We had so much fun. The concert was really so good. They are such talented musicians! I've never seen a Violin Rock out like that before! As the stage turns you get to see everything even how the drummer plays from behind.

The crowed was mostly our age & older people. :) After all the band has been around for 4 decades! But I loved seeing a few younger people there too. You can't really tell from this picture below, but this boy (with the Justin Beiber hair) was standing up by the stage & one of the Guitar players handed him his Guitar pick! Loved that moment! Someone parents like we do, making sure our kids know old school music along with the new!

When our oldest son, Kyle, graduated from High School a couple of years ago, for his Graduation party we put together a slide show of pictures throughout his life, & we did it to the Kansas song: Carry On My Wayward Son. So, that of course is my favorite Kansas song! And the one they did very last! And oh yeah, it was worth waiting for!