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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Digging His Grave

My beloved caught me in the act of shoving the sharp end of a shovel into the ground. He stammered an unintelligible protest as I pushed on the handle to pry the roots of a spent shrub from the ground.

Finding his voice, he spurted, "Don't do that!"

"Why?" I answered, stepping on the long arm of my garden implement. Popping sounds rose from the ground.

"Because I like gardenias," he said in defense of my victims.

"These gardenias look awful. They're showing their age and then some. You can't like these," I told him and continued with my task.

"I can," he rebuked. He justified his stance by adding, "I like you."

Monday, May 26, 2014

An Opportunity for Adventure

My husband and I do not see the road the same way. I see it as an endless stream of opportunities for adventure. He sees it as a mode for getting from here to there.

He drives interstates and major highways. He's fixed on arrival. I drive back roads and city streets. I'm fixed on what I can see along the way.

I'll pull over to take a picture of a watermelon busted in the road. I'll drive an hour out of the way to visit the national coon-dog cemetery. But my beloved balls at letting his passengers go to the bathroom or fortifying us with food. His disposition forces me to use strong words with him.

"Buy me some chocolate or lose me forever," I demand. I'm surprised and thrilled when he pulls in to a convenience store. It normally requires more prodding.

When he doesn't get out of the car, I nudge him. "What's wrong? Aren't you going to get my chocolate? You heard what I said."

"Yeah," he responds, still not moving. "It's a tough decision."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Presentation Tips for Procrastinators

Over a month ago, a ladies group invited me to speak at their tea. They wanted me to entertain them with my stories for about 30 minutes. I accepted. I put it on my calendar. I wrote it on my to-do list every week. I put off preparing.

The day before, I went into crisis mode. And still, I procrastinated by cleaning my house, weeding my garden, reading through old writings and getting distracted from the nagging task at hand that had a hard and fast deadline of Sunday at 1 p.m.

People like me know that despite the foul mood that creeps up on us while in this state of panic, this is when we do our best work. Do-or-die is when we get things done.

This video clip from my presentation is for everyone who ever procrastinated. The hat I'm wearing in the video was Minnie Pearl's, but I'll save the story of how it came to rest upon my head for another post on another day.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bookshelf ABC Wrap Up & Summer Reading List

I survived yet another annual April A to Z Blog Challenge. I expect my t-shirt to arrive in the mail any day now.

As promised, I've compiled a list of the books I recommended plus the books suggested in the comments. And wah-la, a summer reading list just in time for beach season.

A Sparrow Falls (Courtney Family, Book 3)
A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford Mysteries)
Angel of Death
A Time to Kill: A Novel
Big Book of the Berenstain Bears
Black Beauty
Biggles' Big Adventures
The Beast of Blue Mountain
The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One
Come to Grief
Cress Delahanty (Contemporary Classics by Women)
Cutting for Stone
Storm Front (Dresden Files)
Dracula (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
The Far Pavilions

For Love of the Game
The Fault in Our Stars
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel
The Guns of Navarone
Gods and Generals: A Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)
Ghosts of Grandeur: Georgia's Lost Antebellum Homes and Plantations [FIRST EDITION]
Help Me, Jacques Cousteau
The Hotel New Hampshire (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
The Invention of Wings: A Novel
If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny
The Joy Luck Club
The Johnstown Flood
Jane Eyre
The Joy of Family Traditions: A Season-by-Season Companion to 400 Celebrations and Activities
The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)
The Kite Runner
The Last of the Mohicans
Little Women
The Little Friend
Moonraker's Bride (Madeleine Brent)
The Magician's Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Nicholas Nickleby (Wordsworth Classics)
Nicholas Nickleby (Wordsworth Classics)
The Naked Bus Driver
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond)
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
Pride and Prejudice
The Red Pony (Twentieth-Century Classics)
The Pearl
The Quick and the Dead
Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal
The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan)
Running the Rift: A Novel
The Round House: A Novel
Red Storm Rising
Running with Scissors: A Memoir
A Study in Scarlet
Sense and Sensibility (Collins Classics)
Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
The Sparrow: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Still Life with Woodpecker
To Kill a Mockingbird
Thunder Point (Sean Dillon Series)
Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
The U.S. Constitution: A Reader
The Verb To Bird
V for Vendetta
West with the Night
Watership Down: A Novel
The War of the Worlds
White Nights: A Thriller (Shetland Island Thrillers)
X-Men, Vol. 1: Primer
Xenophobe's Guide to the English
Cross Creek
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned
The Yearling
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
Zimbabwe Bound: A Woman's Journey Through Africa