Posts Tagged ‘books’

Good read: Soul Shifts

soul shifts - Copy

Dr. Wayne Dyer (bless his recently departed soul) describes this book as ‘a brilliant, authoritative, practical guide to higher awareness. Every page brims with highly specific suggestions for shifting to a more enlightened way of being. To waking up our consciousness, to get to know, deeply know the vibrating energy field that makes us who we are.’

‘’No shit Sherlock.” I say to that.

I have been reading Soul Shifts by Dr. Barbara DeAngelis for over a month now. It is one of those books—read a paragraph, maybe a page or two. Might even manage a whole chapter before the mind yells, ‘S.T.O.P. It’s chew time.’ Things must be mulled over, processed, digested thoroughly before proceeding.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to stop reading because all that’s twirling through my gray matter are the words, Holy shitting Christ (sorry to offend but that’s how the gray goop talks). It’s like Dr. DeAngelis has peered into my soul then yanked out a less-than-sparkly hunk of it and tossed it up onto a page for discussion.

We are vibrational beings. Science has shown this to be true. We are cosmic energy vibrating in a certain pattern that makes up what each of us consider to be “us”. We must transform at the vibrational level if we want to transform “us”. Dr. DeAngelis says deep inside of us is everything we could ever need. She talks about how a tree needs to spread its roots deep so it can grow tall. So do we she says. We need to have a deep soul connection to our consciousness. This book helps us build ourselves strong and steady from the inside out.

This is one hell of a book and I know, without a doubt, as soon as I come to the end of it, I’ll be starting it again. It’s like getting an exciting big gift box. When you open it you find a dozen little boxes inside, each one wrapped around a tiny treasure. And, because each one is so precious, the very minute you’ve gushed over the last one, you’re back to the first one, then the next and . . .

Try it—it might have your brain potty-talking too!


Pssssst. . . . wanna’ buy a cheap recipe binder?

Okay, one final comment on soap making. After using a small bar for a week I recently read how one can test a batch to see if it’s ready. All you need are PH strips, shaved soap, hot water and a reading of between 8 and 10 on the strip. My bars are at 7. . .




Meanwhile, because I enjoy reading the Cook’s Illustrated magazine, I was thrilled to learn they had a cookbook  so I requested a copy from the library.  .

cooks illustratedHoly Crap on a crayon—talk about a behemoth of a book! I should have read the fine print at the bottom of the cover —where it said 2,000 recipes from 20 years. . .

Opening this cookbook is like walking into an oversized big box store without a list and standing there staring at what must be twenty-five aisles and each one is a mile long.

Where to start??

But, once you get the mojo moving, you realize there are sooo many things you didn’t know existed until you saw them. And, because the child in us is never far away, every recipe in the book is like a bag of candy.

The thing with recipes is I tend to collect them. Sometimes when I’m hungry reading recipes is as good as eating. Sometimes, when it’s time to cook a meal, and I haven’t a freaking clue what to cook, I hunt recipes, and sometimes I come across a recipe that is so off-the-wall I simply have to save it. Doesn’t matter if I have to hike into deep woods to kill something, or gather buried roots—when I’m in a ‘mood’ I believe I might just do that.

In other words — I gather recipes to my bosom like a shiny new baby.

And, that’s why the over-grown king-sized binder holding my recipes recently threw its locking rings wide open like a cowboy leaping on a horse and dumped the roughly six trillion plastic sleeves (each containing at least four recipes) across our slippery ceramic tiled floor. As I watched the ocean of pages sliding in all directions like greased bananas I knew it was time to get ruthless with them. Time to cull the beast!  But first—that beautiful cook book had to go back to the library. I have to go cold turkey. NO. MORE. RECIPES. At least until the binder beast is under control.

So, hey — if you see the Cooks Illustrated book please give it a cuddle for me. And, whatever you do, don’t try to pick it up by yourself . . .

An energizing moment or two

41yRoaJEgiL__AA160_I have been reading Pam Grout’s book—a manual to guide the reader through nine do-it-yourself energy experiments that prove your thoughts create your reality. None of the experiments are expensive. Or suppose to take long.

*Snort*  she obviously didn’t try her experiments during a heat wave.

Three weeks ago I finished experiment #2 and that’s where things bogged down because to do experiment #3 one needs two wire coat-hangers. Crap on a stick! Finding wire hangers turned out to be like hunting for a rotary dial phone.

But, I did find one—hiding in the back of the closet holding up a piece of clothing that will never see the light of day again. One down, one to find. I asked my neighbor to the left. She laughed. So I turned to the right-side neighbor. She looked puzzled but then thought she might have one. Somewhere. It took a day of hunting but she managed to find one for me.


Only, remember the above mentioned heat wave? I’m living proof that during a heat wave, brain cells melt because I put those hangers down somewhere and immediately forgot about them. Worse still, I forgot about Pam’s book too!

Until yesterday at exactly 3:15 a.m. And, as soon as the memory popped into consciousness I jumped up (in slo mo) and after gathering up book and wire hangers, proceeded to the far end of the mobile where I followed Pam’s instructions on constructing a pair of energy dowsing rods.

Step one: With the rods held out a short distance at chest height you wait until the wires stop winging about like a couple of drunk noodles. Once they are settled you need to recall some nasty memory; a negative, drag-down, pull-out-your-heart scene and let it flow over you as you watch the rods.

For me, the rods pulled inward to form a tight cross over—Picture the crossed arms of a grumpy atheist, upon answering her doorbell, and finding a catholic priest on her porch.

Step two: Conjure up a wonderful, joy-packing, bliss-bringing memory from the past and watch the action again. For me, the rods pulled far far apart—imagine a mother standing on her porch as she watches her long-gone son or daughter returning and picture her arms swinging wide for that all encompassing  hug. Yeah! The swing open was THAT wide.

Huh—who knew energy could be so . . . energizing!




Advice on How to Become a Babe (sort of)


Okay, so here’s the deal—you know that old saying ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? I think they had Man-Wonder in sight through the blades of their beater when they coined that phrase because nothing makes the man happier than a good meal  cookie. Even through countless diets, we have figured out ways to include them. (Perhaps a wee part of the reason why the diets never worked as well as they should have?)

And, as I’ve mentioned a million of so times, I’m a fan of whodunits. My consumption of them equals Man-Wonder’s cookie-inhaling abilities.

And, as any reader of whodunit knows, those devilish little pocketbooks are now filling their back pages with tips and recipes from home care to cookies.

Talk about a sweet bonus — since I believe that anyone who can write a delicious mystery has got to be able to offer up a delicious recipe too. And so far most of the ones I’ve tried do.

Which leads me to Cate Price and her ‘Sometimes a Great Notion’ shop series featuring the main character, Daisy Buchanan. Fun reads, and, in the book titled, Lie of the Needle, she offers up a ‘Kitchen Sink Cookie’ recipe which produces cookies worth their golden weight (and this dough is no lightweight by baking time).

Here’s a recipe so full of yum, I swear Man-Wonder had tears in his eyes when he turned to me and said, “You’re a real park babe!”





I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a compliment or not. . .



pssst – if you want the recipe try entering in ‘cate price and kitchen sink cookies’ or better yet, read her book – you’ll be glad you did.

pssssssst— This cookies freeze well and are as delicious frozen as they are fresh. No kidding.





Books on my ‘right now’ reading pile

The War on Art by Steven Pressfield

war on Art  It is described as nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. (Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who lived in ancient China. He is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential book on military strategy.

This book takes the reader on a trip through the hows, whys, and ways of the evil genius called Resistance that lives within us and he shows us how to beat it. It’s an easy, interesting read and intriguing layout of a battle plan for defeating this enemy. Great read and it does give the reader’s brain interesting nuggets to think on.


The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick by Gene Stone

0761165819 Here we’re shown twenty-five different remedies from people who swear by each method. Did I believe everything in it? No. But there are sections I want to know more about. Topics include:people living in Blue Zones, people who eat dirt, swear by chicken soup, have daily encounters with H202(hydrogen peroxide), who run, who do yoga, them that detox by various methods, and a ton more. A book worth reading.


Book Art Studio Handbook by Stacie Dolin and Amy Lapidow

1592538185  Like to make your own books? Every so often I give it a try because the idea of creating something to create in is an urge too big to ignore. This book shows you how to set up a studio with good descriptions of each tool needed (lots of pictures). It shows you how to make some necessary (good step by step and picture instruction). It takes you through planning a book (materials) with chapters on different style of books, albums, and containers for books. It’s a picture book for those interested in book-making methods and definitely a few steps beyond creating books from cereal boxes (which are fun to do too!).  If I had to use one word for this book, it would be yummy. But then that’s not a proper book word so I won’t. . .


Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

1452135479 I love this guy! When he writes a book, his voice is all over it—you read and it’s as if Danny is over your shoulder talking out loud to you. He makes art so simple, so joyful it’s impossible not to just do it. I credit this artist, along with Cathy Johnson, Brenda Swenson, (okay, we can’t forget Kooje Koene and her  ‘quickie’ art lessons on YouTube), and Liz Steele with pushing my art to a more comfortable level inside my head and on the paper.

Listen, in my opinion—anything Danny produces is worth reading or watching.


Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

1780671067  Like to draw? Like to doodle? Like to Zentangle? This ‘coloring book’ is bursting with images and ideas. When it’s doodling time, this is one of my mainstays to pull close. And, it’s not just for drawing. I’ve found some of the pictures excellent for transfer to fabric to embroider. It’s a shelf have-to-have for me.


Vintage Trailer Style by Lisa Mora

1446304523  I’ve probably mentioned this one before but, somehow, it always seems to take itself off the shelf and insert itself into my ‘at the moment reading’ pile. Love, love, love this book! The travel trailers in this book are joyful and from page one you feel the burn to hit the open road. I mean – from trailers for girly girls to an airstream called Mimsy’s Trailer Trash Tattoo Studio—from Gypsy romance to the Wild West—what’s not to love about this book?

Excuse me—I have to get a napkin for the drool. . .


Buddhism plain and simple by Steve Hagin

buddhism plain and simpleI think the title says it all. I have had a burning curiosity about Buddhism for a long time but always shied away because, well, for one, I couldn’t see myself in an orange wrap, with a fuzzy head and meditating twenty-five hours a day (okay truth—I LIKE the fuzzy head part). Thank God for this book is all I can say.

I’m reading it in slo-mo because it’s a pondering book chockfull of AHA moments.


SKULLS by Simon Winchester   (subtitle—An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection)

0999730444  Now here’s a Picture Book!  Over 300 different pictures of animal skulls with information about each skull, plus a listing of what kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and behavior they belong to. Turning the pages it hit me — suddenly I could see where so much of our local, and stunningly beautiful Native Art originates from. I think this could be a valuable book for many artists in many different fields.


And, to end my list, are my at-this-moment favorites in the who-dun-its—Ellery Adams, Molly MacRae, Kate Carlisle and Laurie Cass

laurie cass kate carlisle indexLZ2P2FG0 indexEG7DRHCU bookmobile ellery adams index index0PAEHFHR

Hike; to trek. Walk; to amble. Brain—to differentiate

The words walk and hike—for some reason I’ve allowed those two words to co-habitat the same brain cell, like twins, for much of my confused life.

Well—no more!

We survived our colds and the winter monsoons but needed a walk real bad, so when the latest version of ‘Hikes around Vancouver Island’ showed up I grabbed it.  (Notice how I casually and idiotically grouped those two words into one sentence?)

However, I’m not a complete idiot—I only marked out the hiking trails closest to home and then ignored anything not labeled at the beginning as ‘easy’.

In the end, it was the hike with the suspension bridge and picnic-friendly lake that won out. Fun stuff to the clogged brain.

So, with book firmly in hand, we hit the trail. The first 100 meters was as lovely as it claimed. The suspension bridge was as nerve-tingling as expected. Part way over an awful thought passed through my mind like an ill wind—if the bridge was ever going to weaken – wouldn’t it be the parts dead center—where most people walk?

I shifted both feet out so I was walking side to side.

Did you know if you walk off-center on a suspension bridge it really, really sways? And the person not creating the swaying will squawk like a chicken and begin hustling toward the end. And, did you know, that moving faster causes more swaying?

Suddenly there were two squawking, hustling idiots on a swaying bridge. . .Yeah, too cool for words right?

Thank heavens the next 300 meters were easy-peasy—as the book promised. And, it’s too bad I, before we started, glossed right over the part that warned the following 100 meters were steeply uphill.

Lying buggers!

I swear it was closer to 1000  2000 meters and I felt like a monkey grabbing at branches as we hauled ass over slimy mucky rocks half-buried under gushing rivulets of water. I imagine our heart-pounding, sweat-dripping, wind-sucking gasps for air (okay, mostly mine) scared off any wildlife lurking in the bushes.

Methinks the authors need to state just who the ‘easy’ is directed at. Couldn’t be for us poor sods bulging with fatty baggage and left over cold left-overs.

But we made it!  And that’s when Man-Wonder barked. (I swear he did)  “Holy Crap Honey—recognise this lake?”

“Uh, no.” I said, my memory being equal to that of a squashed bug.

He pointed, “The big, flat rock? We hiked up here on our first date.”

“Nope. No way, even twenty years ago, would I have forgotten that hill. But, yeah, that rock is familiar. . . ”

“We came from the other direction. It was an easy hike in. Even for you.” And then like a goober, he smirked!

All I can say is he’s lucky I wasn’t packing pockets stuffed with bear scare, mace, and rocks like I was twenty years ago. . .


Book Review : Emails From India

Funny how things happen. I was at the library and picked this book up because India fascinates me (seems there is a large number of people in that group). I gave the book a quick study and decided not to bother with it, but for some reason the book wasn’t put back and it ended up in my check-out pile. I am so glad it did!

*On a side note—I’m beginning to see how the word ‘book’ and the word ‘pile’ always seem to run hand in hand with me. . .*


emails from india  Emails From India by Janis Harper

Many women, from around the world travel, often alone, to India, according to Janis. They have been doing so since the time of the British Raj. And they like to talk about it. She describes herself as an Indophile from sometime in her teenage years; yet it took her until close to reaching fifty before she finally made the trek.

And so, there is this book—Emails from twenty-seven different women about their experiences. Emails sent to friends or family and passed on from them to others because they were too delicious to not share, or they offered a loose travel guide of what not to do, where not to go, what to do and where to go.

Descriptions of young soldiers at airports with taped together AK-47s; beachy laneways in Candolim; a Muslim-rich ancient community called the Moplahs along the Kerala coast; a lush description of an Indian lover; narrow alleyways twisting left and right and ending at skinny staircases rich in aromas of sandalwood and rot, and so, so much more.

This is an incredible book to read if you have even the slightest curiosity about India. It is a book rich in the art of patience, of facing fears and diving into our endless wells of courage. It is a book of living life large.


Book Review or Two


Sarah Jio – Goodnight June

June Anderson, the main character, is a self-described highly trained, (emotionless)  ‘ax-person’ for a foreclosure department of a large bank when her beloved aunt dies and June finds herself the new owner of a much-loved bookstore from her childhood. But she hasn’t just inherited Bluebird Books, she’s also inherited a lot of problems. Serious problems.

June is suddenly faced with decisions; Quit her highly successful job and do everything she can to breathe life back into the bookstore, or try to sell it and go back to her own successful life.

To further complicate things, she is led to discover years of friendship letters between her aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon—the beloved children’s classic book. Letters which cause her to turn around and take another look at everything she believes to be true.

This book I could not put down. I tried. But I just seemed to end up with my bum parked and my eyes rapidly moving from left to right.

This is one big heart-tugging/heart-warming book from start to finish and it closes with a long satisfying sigh.

Good stuff!


The second book I was planning to review will have to wait. At least until the deliriously-happy drool has dried.

Good thing it’s not a library book!



People’s opinions, travelling books and pissy-hissy fits

First off, I ran across this blog posting and it knocked me back, and continues to knock me back, because I keep re-reading it. Here’s the link

Such wise thinking!

The other thing I’ve been doing is drooling (not from heat sleeping this time). No, this drooling is over the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks.


I want one. I really, really would like to have one. Not that I need one. Or that I could justify the cost of one.

I just want to have one.

So color my creative side excited when I received the latest blog from Debbie-Anne Parent’s Ephemera’s Vintage Garden site and she has put up a video on how to make your own version of the notebook. Not only that but she directs the viewer towards another video with even more detail.

After watching both videos I screwed up the courage to dismantle (carefully rip apart) a cool little leather book full of thin blank pagers which has been sitting on my shelf unused for far too long.

I made three signatures (sections of pages) for my ‘travelling notebook’ ; one of drawing pages, one of writing pages and one of graph pages. Each signature has 48 usable pages. The fourth section I added was a daily planner I found to fit the 6″ x 4″ notebook.

 Behind all the signatures I slipped in a back and front pocket page to hold things like receipts and cards. I also included a pen holder (using wide elastic and double-sided tape for the first time so the verdict is still out on that puppy!). I added an elastic bookmark (with button attached as a nod to my sewing). To keep the book closed I’ve attached a loop of round elastic cord.

 It’s a rough little book inside, but not bad for the first one. And I tried to upload some pictures of my leather baby but my dinkish tool aka my computer, is behaving rather badly at the moment.

  It has decided to not recognize any of my USB devices today. Yesterday  pop-up window were quick to inform me that it couldn’t connect to my printer  as I watched my items print out. And quite often it likes to tell me that its sound devices aren’t working—usually when I’m listening to something.

Do I think my system is heading for a crash? I’d like to help it along at times. I truly would. But maybe it’s time I did the mature, adultish  thing and take it in for a checkup. . . and try to answer their questions without sounding like someone who should never, ever be allowed near a piece of electronics.

Sometimes I hate being a grown up. Throwing a tantrum was so much easier.


Words to Ponder


While at my favorite bricks and mortar book store the other day I was rooting around in the ‘sale’ bins like a pig in pen when I came across a Reader’s Digest  ‘Quotable Quotes’. Pure Gold! Because—next to who-dun-its, art how-tos, herbals, cottage picture books, etc., etc., quote books are a passion. Here’s a few I’ve stopped to ponder over:


“A peacock that rests on his feathers is just another turkey.” – Dolly Parton

You know—beneath all that hair and hooters Dolly is one smart chickie.


“When in doubt, look intelligent.” – Garrison Keillor

I know this to be true. Just try looking over the top of your glasses at someone. It’s a thinker’s pose man. An action which always creates a niggle of squirm and doubt in others.


Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” – Jimmy Johnson

Well, duh. Any wife/partner/female half of a duo knows that.


“Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.” – Richard Carlson

Yeah, and sometimes I feel like there is evil in those two words—socially acceptable.


“When you finally accept that you’re a complete dork, your life gets easier. No sense in trying to be cool.” – Reese Witherspoon

Okay, move over Martha I think I’ve just found my new hero!


“Happiness hides in life’s small details. If you’re not looking, it becomes invisible.” – Joyce Brothers

Now that is something we know as children but forget through the major part of our lives only to become re-acquainted  with it as we become older. I guess there is something to be said for not being able to run too fast.


“Good taste is the enemy of comedy.” – Mel Brooks

Amen. I wonder if Mel and Reese know each other?


Now, if you will excuse me, I hear some unread pages calling my name.





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