My Top 5 Books of 2017

It was really hard to choose this list. I read so many great books and to narrow it down to my top five, well, let’s say for this Libra, it was a difficult task. But I did it. 🙂

eleanor Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

I completely fell in love with Miss Oliphant, with all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies, she made me laugh and cry. You know throughout the story that something bad happened during her childhood and she’d spent growing up in foster homes. Now she lives by herself, goes to her job and talks to her mother once a week. Read it and love it.

 

ove A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Meet Ove. He’s one of those cranky old men that you see shuffling down your street yelling at the kids to get out of the way or the dog to quit pooping on his yard. But beyond the grumpiness is a story and a sadness. When a young chatty young couple and their two young daughters move in next door, Ove’s life begins to change with an unexpected friendship and a cat. I was not wanting this book to end.

 

lg Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

I couldn’t put this book down. Inspired by real events, this is a story of three women during World War II, their lives woven together through romance and tragedy. There is Caroline, a NY socialite working at the French Embassy; Kasia is a spunky Polish teenager wanting to be fighting against the Germans and caught up in the Polish underground; and finally Herta, a Nazi doctor who has convinced herself that she is doing the right thing. I think this is the best book I read all year.

road The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Okay, so this book came out in 2007 but I’ve never read it until this year. And I finished it in a matter of days – you’d see me at the beach with my nose in this book. A son and father are wandering fire ravaged America. They must rely on each other as lookouts and the only person they trust because there is evil lurking at every turn. It’s a profoundly moving story about needing to move forward, to move on when there seems to be no hope. And a story of unconditional love.

 

rules The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

You’ll read this as fast as you possibly can. It’s that good. A memoir by Ms. Levy as honest as I’ve ever read. She’s been knocked down, gotten up, knocked down again. It’s beautiful and messy and soul-baring with surprising humor. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

What were some of your favorite books of 2017? See y’all in 2018!!

 

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Right Now ~ 2/02/17

listening:   Caress Me Down ~ Sublime on Rock 101.3 Camp Springs, MD via radionet app (LOVE radio.net app!)

eating:    sushi stack – rice, salmon, spicy mayo, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds and soy sauce. YUM

drinking:    vino tinto (red wine)

wearing:    it’s night relaxing time so, my cute boyfriend’s red long sleeve flannel with a brown sweater over that, blue sweatpants, blue and green socks knitted by Mama N and warm pink/white/purple slipper boots

feeling:    full

weather:    a rainy night about 10°C

wanting:    a vacation to a sunny beach with crystal blue waters

needing:    see above. ok, fine – a refill in my wine glass

thinking:    about art classes – new class teaching/doing art in English. SO EXCITED!

enjoying:    a warm house, a fantastic boyfriend (when you are with the one you love, life is better), 5 cats sleeping all around me and a full glass of wine (he refilled my glass) 🙂

wondering:    wondering – more hoping that DeVos will not be voted for secretary of education. vote NO.

RESOLUTIONS 2017

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Resolution time, guys. Did you make one? Some?

How about these for you – 17 things to do in 2017

1. Travel somewhere you have never been before

2.  Learn a new recipe

3. Make a goal list – this month, next 6 months, this year, 5 years, life

4.  Take a social media break – a day, a week, a month!

5.  Go for a hike

6. Dance!!!

7. Go out of your comfort zone

8.  Go to or host a family or friend reunion

9. Go to a concert of someone that you have never seen before but you love

10. Throwing kindness around like it’s confetti

11. Learn a new language (that one I feel like I work on daily)

12. Laugh more!

13. Paint (ps – that’s my painting at the top!)

14. Give your place a full cleaning – organize and throw stuff out!

15. Find a nice dark place where there aren’t any city lights and star watch

16. Stop drinking soda. Drink more water.

17. Love the one you see in the mirror. That’s YOU, silly.

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Five things

Heyo! Been in a bit of a writing slump but hope the break that soon. Today is list five things off the top of my head.

1. Where the hell did summer go? A rainstorm (which was quite needed) started on Thursday and is still off and on. I loved it the first day – ahhhhh, fresh clean air. But now it has cooled off and I realized I wasn’t ready for summer to be over yet. Please come back!

2. I always start dreaming of what I am going to do, where I am going to be on my birthday in October. I get about a month to think of so many ideas. Last year was the big 4-0 (shhhhhhhhhhhhh) and I didn’t get to really celebrate it in the big 4-0 style because my mom was having surgery and I was there to help her with everything that goes along with being sick and having a big surgery. And don’t get me wrong, I was so happy to be there for my mom. If she needs me, I am there, whether or not I am having a milestone moment. My mom is all recovered so I get to celebrate it right this time. I’ve been dreaming of Morocco…… who is coming with!? But it might just be a ferry ride to the island of Menorca. Or Cornwall? Or NYC? OR DISNEYLAND!??!?!?! Please help me.

3. I feel like I’ve been so lazy this month. Wait, August is over. I feel like I was so lazy last month. There, I said it.

4. Does anyone know how I can make like a million dollars easily? I have so many things on my new favorite shopping site Shopbop.com that I want to buy. Would love some Rag & Bone jeans, Frye knee high boots, J Brand skinny jeans, a Tory Burch clutch… I could continue for about a year.

5. Decided I am not cooking tonight. It’s either going to be calling Tropi Pizza for a delivery or driving to S’Arenal for a döner (that is a gyro to you English peeps).

Tell me what’s rattling around in your head. Bu bye.

 

Happy Freakin President’s Day, yo.

I teach children English and today we discussed President’s Day being celebrated in the U.S. After learning the reason of the day – Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln – they were then declared President and were able to do what they wanted to. Here are a few of the highlights.

What would you change if you were President?

1. Paint the White House black.

2. Everyone in the U.S. would get a Ferrari.

3. No homework ever.

4. Only one burger allowed once a week. (This is because all of Europe believes all of U.S. is fat)

5.  Change the NBA to JAF (my student’s initials).

How would you help the unemployment situation?   I would plant grass in the desert and then hire everyone to cut it with scissors.

Who would you invite to your inauguration party?

The list from the female : Justin Bieber, Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, ME! and Demi Lovato

The list from the male: Rafa Nadal, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, ME! and some Spanish soccer player’s girlfriend.

Not too shabby of choices. Who would you pick to your inauguration party?

Thanks for the memories

Thought I would do my end of year “Stars We Lost” list again. It was such a hit last year! Um, with all three of you. Thank you my fabulous three! Thank you for reading this girl’s blog. Still not stoppin, not letting the elevator break.me.down.

So while I felt this year was quite lame compared to the amount of shocking deaths in 2009, it was a year that the TV stars decided to croak. And it is amazing the amount of wives or husbands they had! And not in the polygamous way.

Here we go. In a complete order of randomness, which is my middle name. Oh, no wait, that is Veronica.

1. Dixie Carter (1939 – 2010) A southern woman after my own heart. To be honest, she was mainly Julia Sugarbaker to me from the TV hit Designing Women. Number of husbands: 3

2. Rue McClanahan (1934 – 2010) Another southern gal! Ahh, how we loved Blanche from The Golden Girls! The second hit TV show about four women, actually I would have loved to see Blanche and Julia go head to head. Rue was born in Oklahoma AND majored in German and Theatre. She was also on her sixth husband when she died. What an inspiration! Number of husbands: 6

3. Alexander McQueen (1969 – 2010) He was British! He created gorgeous designs! What is not to love? His clients included Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz, Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles. Sadly, on the morning of Feb. 11, he took his own life, found hanged in his wardrobe. Your beauty and inspiration to fashion will be missed Mr. McQueen. Number of husbands: 1

4. Dennis Hopper (1936 – 2010) Whenever I think of Dennis Hopper I think of cool. Right? I mean how could you not with him starring in Easy Rider (which he also directed). Add to the fact that he made his debut in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant, you just know he’s gonna be a star. He dabbled in a little bit of everything; movies, TV (Bonanza, The Twilight Zone) but he was also a prolific painter, photographer and sculptor. With a camera bought for him from his first wife he created the cover art for the Ike & Tina Turner single River Deep – Mountain High. Ride on Mr. Hopper. Number of  wives: 5

5. Gary Coleman ( 1968 – 2010) Four words – “What’choo talkin’ ’bout Willis.”  RIP Gary Coleman. Number of wives: 1

6. Tony Curtis (1925 – 2010)  When I think of Tony Curtis, I think of his marriage to Janet Leigh (actress from Psycho) and their famous daughter Jamie Lee Curtis. But the movie Some Like It Hot was a brilliant and hilarious performance with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Have you seen it? You should. Number of wives: 5

7. Leslie Nielsen (1926 – 2010) Maybe it is the fact that his film debut was for Ransom! (NOT with Mel G.) in 1956 or it could be his deadpan comedy in Airplane, but I liked him.  “Nice beaver”, “Thanks I just had it stuffed last week” – and “Surely, you can’t be serious”, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley” are on my list of favorite movie quotes that if you are a close friend of mine, you must have heard me say. Number of wives: 4

8. Corey Haim (1971 – 2010) Ahhh, Corey Haim!! The Lost Boys! No wonder I am a freak for Edward… Hello, Twilight. Yes, keep up. I tore pics of him (we are back to Corey now) from Tiger Beat and pasted them inside my closet door. Oh, that was a GREAT door. LOVED the movie Lucas. He never married but did date many famous ladies; Alyssa Milano, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Eggert, even Victoria Beckham. Sadly, he accidentally overdosed on a concoction of Valium, Vicodin, Soma and Haloperidol. RIP Lost Boy. Number of wives: 0

9. Tom Bosley (1927 – 2010) The loveable dad of Richie and Joanie. Please tell me you know I am talking about Howard Cunningham from Happy Days. My parents liked him on Murder, She Wrote as Sheriff Amos Tupper. Number of wives: 2

10. J.D. Salinger (1919 – 2010) I know I mentioned in no certain order but I guess I saved the best for last. J.D. Salinger touched so many lives with his writing. The Catcher in the Rye is a fantastically superb novel featuring Holden Caulfield which Salinger later admitted “the novel was sort of autobiographical”. I have also read Nine Stories which is a collection of short stories, sometimes I don’t get short stories, I mean, they are so short. Number of wives: 3

The final count of husbands and wives from the Top 10 list of celebs that died in 2010: 30

And to bid adieu, with the perfect quote from The Catcher in the Rye:

Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up.  I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.  Anything except sticking me in a goddamn cemetery.  People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.  Who wants flowers when you’re dead?  Nobody.   ~ Holden Caulfield

Currents …

listening:    closer to fine ~ indigo girls via itunes

eating:    my breakfast egg sandwich. i like to call it a breg. ingredients: egg over easy, toast, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and h0t sauce.

drinking:    sparkling water

wearing:    GAP cords from about 10 yrs ago accidentally dyed light purple, cashmere sweater, dark brown finger-less mittens

feeling:    anxious

weather:    a lovely crisp fall day of 16 celsius

wanting: a crystal ball

needing:    a massage

thinking:    i should get off this computer if i want to get all things done before friday

enjoying:    3 cats asleep underneath my feet

wondering:    how much am i going to be charged at the airport on sunday to check 2 pieces of luggage

list of currents was inspired by my love of magazines, especially Vanity Fair and Elle. hope you enjoyed them!