Saturday, July 24, 2010

My children....

Callie, Wilson, and Oliver.....

I was away for a week at an Advanced Placement Institute to train me for a new course I'll be teaching this fall. My first day home and they are stuck to me like glue!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

READ these two fantastic books NOW!

I am here today to share with you two novels that I have read recently that I just absolutely loved!!! I wanted to post about them because I don't think their authors are very famous, and these two ladies deserve a little public praise! Both books are actually pretty short--about 300 pages--and read very easily. The authors are smart and insightful, but have amazing voices and humor!

Time Of My Life, Allison Winn Scotch:
In this book, the main character, Jill, goes to get a massage and suddenly winds up back in time 7 years. Suddenly, she is still dating a boyfriend who today, she looks back and considers him "the one that got away". But, is her memory of him romanticized? Was he truly that great? Also, she is back hanging with her very good friend, who we know had been killed in a car accident. Now, Jill has a second chance to spend time with her friend whose life was cut too short. While reading the book, I couldn't help but think of Doc and the Flux Capacitor (Back to the Future) and the Space Time Continuum!!! Sometimes I wondered if a small action would create an alternative continuum of time--you'll have to see what happens!!!!!! It was a fun read and I could not put it down!! You will enjoy!!! PS, this book has been sold to he Weinstein Company to develop it into a motion picture!!!

Secrets to Happiness, Sarah Dunn.
A friend bought me this book over a year ago for a gift. I was going through my breakup w/ my husband and I actually thought it wa sa self-help book! But, I read the book jacket for the first time recently and discovered that it was in fact, a NOVEL! Well, I started in on it one night and the book starts in Amanda's kitchen. Her husband Mark is helping her cook dinner and we're then introduced to Holly, the book's main character. Holly is a divorced (maybe this is why my friend bought me this book---hello, lightbulb moment!!) and 30 years old-ish. She is just at the phase of her life where she is trying to figure it all out--her life didn't turn out the way she imagined and now what? She decides that she is ready for love and adopts a dog from a local shelter. But, this doggy (named Chester) is a special boy and will continue to surprise her throughout the novel. Holly's life takes a turn when she takes on a 22-year old lover for no-strings-attached sex and companionship. Then, Amanda urges Holly to date one of her own ex lovers......hmmmm, dating your friend's ex? That can't work, can it? We also catch up w/ some of Holly's exes: the boyfriend before her ex husband, and then her exhusband. In the middle of all of this, we learn more about Holly's career as a tween sitcom's writer. Her writing partner, a financially unstable and drug addicted gay man, has some adventures of his own in this book. This novel is short, but man, does it have a lot of content in it and it certainly reads quickly. There were even moments when I laughed out loud during it. Sarah Dunn is a very talented writer and I look forward to reading more of her work!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gladiolus Glee!

I planted a ton of gladiolus bulbs this year and here are the two that are right outside of my front door. I planted them on May 22. Today is July 11. So, it's taken them 7 weeks to be in full bloom! These get a lot of sun and the soil is pretty rich, so that is why I think they've bloomed first. I have many more that are out back, but are probably a week or 10 days behind these guys!

The glads grow into leafy stalks like this (these are ones currently in my backyard. I have no photos of the ones I'm showing here in bloom when they were stalks)

Then, then a tubular stalk comes out of the middle that looks like scales on a fish....then the scales split and break apart, with colored blooms starting to poke through. July 6:

July 8: the first blooms appeared in the morning sunshine!

July 11: Almost the whole stalk has bloomed. They are a bit heavy and after a pretty hefty rain storm yesterday, they were starting to topple a bit, so I stabilized them w/ a stake.

I hope you've enjoyed this walk down Gladiolus Lane!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day, America!

I'm a history, this post today is only fitting!

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? (or, at least the first part of it!!!) Give it a read--it gave our country its amazing, legendary, and revolutionary birth that many nations since have tried to emulate!


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such..

.... is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of....

...large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Loving these!

Ah, loving these two things from afar right now....(I'm on a spending freeze....Lord, help me!)

I have always adored Fossil watches. They're nice, but not over the top. I love the smooth styling of this "Stella Collection" watch---so unique and also, very similar to my skin color & therefore, looking chic!!!! Also, love this tank by Anthropologie! My favorite color is green and this one has a cut and rouching to flatter the bust & waistline!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Capiz, please........

Oh wow, I love capiz chandeliers! I want one!!!!!

Anyway, they range from faux capiz and very affordable to real and slightly affordable and then, very expensive (AKA, unaffordable for TEM!)

Here are some lovelies from all price ranges!

Faux Capiz

19.99 (

Real Capiz $129 (Pottery Barn Teen)
This baby also comes in a teal blue combo; pink/red combo.

$259, Real Capiz (West Elm)

$259, Real Capiz and another gem by West Elm

OR, grab the above chandelier in a NEW color, a grey capiz----ooooo, lah lah!

Or, enrich your space with this RICH choice by for.....wait for it......wait for it.....$1,395 + $160 for shipping!